This is a guest post from my dear friend Dimity McDowell. She’s the “Co-Mother-Runner-In-Chief” over at Another Mother Runner, an incredible community of moms who run. If you’ve ever wanted to get into running–or get BACK into running–they’ve put together a really cool challenge to get you going. With tons of support. And free stuff! She might even have convinced me to do it…
by Dimity McDowell
Ok, I’m a little embarrassed to be revealing my family’s dietary habits on Real Mom Nutrition—but I know Sally, a longtime friend of mine, is all about keeping it real.
So am I. So here’s the real in my house, nutrition-wise. My kids, ages 12 and 9, rotate through the same main courses for dinner weekly: chicken nuggets, tortellini, pasta, quesadillas, pizza, breakfast dinner, and one repeat of the previous six. My husband and I eat a more varied diet, but I’ve decided, after many failed attempts, I’m just not up for the struggle of tears and tantrums over chicken potpies at dinner, usually the only time we actually have a real conversation.
Here’s another real: Even though I co-founded Another Mother Runner and co-authored Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity and other running books, I don’t love the actual act of running.
I do, however, love many things about running—and that’s why I log mile after mile.
I love the way I feel after getting in a few miles: powerful and strong, bright and confident, unstoppable. Like a rock star who just happens to live in the suburbs, drive a minivan, and wear Dansko clogs.
I love how a workout ricochets through all areas of my life. Running makes me a more patient mother, a more loving spouse, a more efficient worker, a more positive person overall. Every person with whom I come in contact on days I’ve run benefits from my miles.
I love that running is my age-40ish version of happy hour; instead of meeting friends for a beer, I’m meeting them for a run—and on a decadent morning, sharing a latte afterwards. Much healthier, and my running friendships are some of the most intimate, meaningful friendships I’ve ever had.
Finally, being very real: I am not being terribly dramatic when I say that running may have saved my life. I have struggled with both postpartum and regular depression for over a decade; I am absolutely certain it is the dominant force that keeps my spirit balanced.
Just as Sally is out to create waves of healthy eaters, I am on a small mission to convert as many moms into #motherrunners as possible. Through Another Mother Runner, I’ve seen countless lives transformed when a mom set a goal to cross a finish line.
Before you stop reading this post and say, “I can’t run,” please know this: By run, I mean purposeful, forward movement at a comfortable pace. I don’t mean marathon; I don’t mean sprinting; I don’t mean exhausting yourself so you end up frustrated, injured, or with no energy left for anybody or anything.
I mean starting with a 5K, a 3.1-mile race that is doable for nearly everybody. I mean starting with a run/walk pattern, so you feel accomplishment from the very first workout.
Putting that combination together, I also mean (insert sales pitch voice here) training for that 5K with a program like the Train Like a Mother 5K: Run/Walk Challenge, ten weeks that might just change your life.
Here’s the quick and dirty on the 5K: Run/Walk Challenge. The ten-week plan gets you—a beginner or relapsed runner—safely and happily to the starting like of a 5K of your choice in May or June (there are five choices for start dates–the first one is Monday February 29, and the last one is Monday March 28).
When you register, you’ll get:
A Flexible Training Plan: You’ll start with one-minute running intervals and, over ten weeks, gradually build so you can run for 30 minutes straight.
Community Galore: You’ll have the option of joining a private Facebook page with women who are also in the 5K: Run/Walk Challenge. No question is too basic or TMI—and you’re always allowed to boast or complain about your workouts. You can also join a private Strava page, where your teammates can give you kudos for your workouts.
Accountability Aplenty: In addition to the inspiring, motivating community, you’ll also get a weekly newsletter every Sunday previewing the week ahead, so you’ll have time to plan for your workouts.
Miles of Resources: All your running questions answered and super short strength training circuits (less than five minutes; doable at home; no, not kidding.)
In other words, we’ll support you from your first step to your finish line—and cheer you on with every mile. (Because you are a rock star, after all.)
Ready to give it a go? Hope so.
Keeping it real one last time, I know families have budgets. I’m reducing the price of the 5K: Run/Walk Challenge, usually $35, for Real Mom Nutrition Readers by 30%—or over $10.
Use code 5KRMN at registration to save 30%; the code will expire Monday, March 7.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help you out.
And whether or not you join us this spring, wishing you many happy miles in all facets of your life!
Dimity McDowell is a sports and fitness writer who lives with her husband, two kids, and one dog in Denver, Colorado. She is the co-author of three books, including Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity. You can find Dimity’s thoughts on running and life at Another Mother Runner, on Twitter, and on Facebook. She also co-hosts the Another Mother Radio podcast.