'Ama runs!

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I love reading the stories of other running moms, and what makes them run! So I'm picking up the thread of portraits I started in 2008, and I'll be posting portraits of running moms regularly again!

I proudly present the (running) story of 'Ama!

When did you start to run?

I started running in 2009 when I signed myself and my non-runner hubby up for the Race for the Cure. We had a blast and continued running, though admittedly, my husband was more into it than I was.

I found out I was pregnant in January of 2010, and ran very infrequently during the first and second trimesters, and not at all during the third. I returned to running, again infrequently, when my son was about 7 months, and then ran the Hershey Half Marathon in the fall of 2011. During that race something clicked, and I was hooked. I've been running more consistently ever since!

What motivated you to start running?

To be honest, I don't remember why I signed us up for that first 5K. I was wrapping up my first year of graduate school at the time, and after a year of intense study, I think I just needed to move my body. I was very active as a child, and also athletic in my teens, but for some reason I took the decade of my 20s off. Probably because I thought I 'had a life'. As I entered my 30s, I yearned for that physical-mental-emotional connection I had grown up with.

How did you start running? Did you use a programme, if so which one?

Basically I just started running. I used the Race for the Cure 5K as a goal to get me off the couch, but I didn't join a running program.

Do you participate in races? Why, or why not?

I do, and I love it. As I mentioned, I was athletic in my youth and racing reinvigorates my competitive side. That said, when I race I only compete against myself. I don't race to compete against others...yet...:) Plus, I kinda like the swag and the bling.

Why do you run?

A deceivingly complex question. I could just say: 'I run because I love it,' but there is more to it than that. Running impacts every other aspect of my life in such positive ways that I can't imagine life without running.
  • As a mother, running teaches me patience, balance and to not sweat the little things so gosh-darn-much.
  • As a person, running builds my character, makes me smile, makes me easier to be around (truly. ask my husband).
  • As a woman, running makes me feel strong, makes me feel sexy, makes me feel empowered.
  • As a professional, running keeps me focused and disciplined, and helps me manage my time.
Do you have a favourite book about running?

I recently read that ever-popular book, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seenby Christopher McDougall.

My husband read it when it first came out, and basically revealed all the spoilers, but I still LOVED the book. Very well written and a gripping read. Marshall Ulrich's Running on Emptyis currently on my nightstand, and I want to read Scott Jurek's Eat and Runthis summer too.

Do you like to read about running?

Yes, but I also like to read non-running-related books, primarily fiction. My favorite book so far this year is The Art of Fieldingby Chad Harbach.

Do you read the magazine runner's world?

Yes.

How do you feel about running skirts?

Are running skirts with shorts under them considered skirts or skorts? Because I really like those. Running skirts without shorts seem a little too free-lovin' for my prudish preferences.

What's the biggest distance you've ever run?

15 miles

Where do you run?

Mostly urban road throughout our neighborhood, though during Summer I will try to get some trail miles in on some local trails.

Which do you prefer: running in the city/suburbs or in the country?

I prefer running on the trails, but logistically they are more difficult to get to. I really hate competing with traffic when I run, so I would prefer to run in the country if that were a possibility.

Do you have running gadgets? If so, which?

I used to run with just the Runkeeper app on my iphone, but I recently received the Garmin Forerunner 405CX GPS Sport Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Blue)so I'm running with that now. I like it, though it is taking some getting used to.

Do you run with music?

No.

Do you promote running to your kids?

My son is only 20 months, but we already have him running laps around the living room! Just kidding.

We want our son to be active, but how he stays active will be up to him. The Hubs and I participated in multiple team sports as kids and, honestly, the camaraderie one gains from being on a team is a really rare experience in adulthood. So I think we may encourage team sports while that is still an option, and encourage running as an option for later in life.

How often do you run per week?

I'm doing the #RWRUNSTREAK so right now I am running 7 days a week at least 1 mile. Otherwise I try to run 4-5 days a week.

How do you see your future as a runner?

I'm training for my first marathon in the fall, and we'll see from there. I hope to be running ultramarathons within the next few years. But ask me again after November 10, and we'll see.

Do you prefer to run alone, or with other people?

The only other person I've run with is my husband, so I'm not sure. There are days I miss running with him, and there are days when I appreciate being alone and tackling the run myself.

Do you see parallels between running and being a mom?

Yes. For me, the most significant parallel is that running and being a mom can be very difficult, but in the end both are very rewarding.

Running takes perseverance, motivation, commitment. Some days thats easy to do. Some days it's very hard. Either way, the rewards from running are huge.
  • I feel great.
  • I'm happier,
  • Im healthier
  • I'm a better mom
Likewise, being a mom requires patience, sacrifice and strength. Some days the mommy thing comes easy. Some days its very, very hard. Either way, there is truly nothing more rewarding than being a mother.

Do you have a message for moms who are thinking about taking up running?

DO IT! Make the sacrifice! You will be doing such a great thing for yourself and for your family. A happy, healthy mom  =  a happy, healthy family.

Wanna know more about 'Ama?

Visit her Run 'Ama Run!

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