Authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea were in Kansas City yesterday as featured guests for the 30th birthday celebration of the KC Express women’s running and walking club. Hundreds attended the event, including a small tribe of Garmin females in fitness, mother runners and even one father runner. While many of us have drawn inspiration and sound training advice from the pages of their book, Run Like a Mother, or their Another Mother Runner blog, it was a different experience altogether to meet the women behind the words and share the camaraderie of so many other runners.
After a welcome from one of the founding members of KC Express, Mary Edwards, Sarah and Dimity opened with a video showcasing dozens of women after the finish of a large female-only race giving their “Today I ran for _______” statements. This instantly set the stage for what keeps us all moving forward — which happens to be lots of reasons, some big, some small. Throughout the evening, we heard the authors’ personal mantras for movement, like Dimity’s “Forward is a pace.” Both Sarah and Dimity encouraged us to run naked once in awhile — no music, no Garmin Forerunner, no worries. They did offer an apology to Garmin ladies in the audience, but we later assured them no offense taken. Any given lunch hour, you might glimpse a few Garminites “running naked” on the nearby trails, while engineers in testing mode could have up to four Forerunners on hand. Another piece of advice from Dimity truly resonated with me: “Don’t think, just go.” The kids may be whining and tugging at your tech shirt, but take it from these mother runners, you’ll be furthering everyone’s health and sanity if you just get going.
My own children and husband are well beyond nagging when I run away from home most every Saturday morning. They do, however, have some complaints if I linger a little too long in their presence post-run, pre-shower. I recently discovered a new reason to keep my “long run or race goes here” habit. Couple of weeks ago, I happened to be home on a Saturday morning. It was a glorious slice of the day, with sunlight streaming in our east-facing home’s windows and front door. A time of day I’m never, ever home. It was in that dawning light I made a disgusting discovery: dust, cobwebs and other homely phantoms that normally escape my sight. My remedy was simple and involved no elbow grease: I won’t be skipping Saturday runs for a while. Just please don’t take a white glove to any surface in my home.
Garmin Blogger Justin, “Another Father Runner,” shared his thoughts from the evening: What a privilege it was to celebrate the KC Express club’s 30th birthday last night and to be amongst so many positive and lively Kansas City women. Listening to the entertaining tales from Sarah and Dimity, it proved even further that runners, though they might all have unique motivation to lace up their shoes each day, all have that one common bond — living in the moment. One of many takeaways that I will be certain to pass on to my five-year-old daughter when she gets a bit older is, “Don't ever say anything to yourself you wouldn't say to a friend”! It gives me a great sigh of relief to know that my daughter will be raised in a community where there are such strong women who live to promote healthy and active lifestyles. Happy birthday to KC Express and a big thanks to anothermotherrunner.com.
Attendees had a chance to purchase Sarah and Dimity’s second book, “Train Like a Mother,” through KC bookseller Rainy Day Books. As they autographed copies, Sarah said this was actually the first time she and Dimity had held the final book in their hands. I now have a bit of a bedside dilemma as my “must-reads” stack up, but I truly can’t wait to dig a little deeper into this one. It looks to offer a healthy balance of training plans, mother-runnerly advice and a sprinkling of just for funs, like Dimity and Sarah’s “aid stations we’d like to see” sidebar. Two of my favs:
A station where, for a $50 donation to Girls on the Run, you could buy yourself splits that are a minute faster.
A station that’s the human equivalent of a car wash: You would pass through it on a conveyor belt as sweat, dried salt stains, pit odor, etc. were cleaned off your body, hair and outfit.