Monday, May 7, 2012

Q & A with Sarah Bowen Shea & a Giveaway!

Sarah & Dimity
One of my favorite running books is Run Like a Mother, co-authored by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea.  Halfway through the book I began to feel like Dimity & SBS were my new running girlfriends (even though SBS is way faster than me).  I wasted no time before joining the conversation on their popular facebook page and talked running with other BAMRs (Bad Ass Mother Runners).

So, by the time their second book, Train Like a Mother was released in 2012 I had already pre-ordered it. I devoured the book in two days!  

I reviewed TLAM here.

Sarah Bowen Shea is a mom, writer, and seriously BAMR (Boston Marathon? why yes, she did!).  She was kind enough to sit down long enough to answer a few questions about running and motherhood for me.

She also gave me a copy of Train Like a Mother to give away to one of you!  I'm making it really simple for you to enter.  All you need to do is leave a comment here on the blog OR on the KRW facebook page.  Tell me that YOU want to train like a mother and you're entered to win.  I'll announce the winner here and on facebook on Wednesday, May 9th.

Thank you Sarah!
1. How old are your kids? My older daughter is 10, and I have boy-girl twins who turn 7 this summer.

2. Do you ever take them for a run? Do they enjoy running? Last spring, I was assistant coach for Girls on the Run, and my older daughter participated in the program. It was not her cup of tea, despite her being an avid soccer and basketball player. My twins, however, show real interest in running, especially my girl twin. I just ran the Boston Marathon, and during my training cycle, I ran long on Saturday, then did short, easy runs on Sunday. The twins joined me for final mile or so of many Sunday runs. The three of us really enjoyed it—my son likes to literally stop and smell flowers, while his twin sister is more focused on running. It’s like they represent two sides of me!

3.  Does your family have a favorite physical activity? We love canoeing. We happened into it: We were in Eugene, Oregon (a.k.a. “Track Town, USA”), and I’d just run a half-marathon. The family had come to watch. Driving through town, we saw a sign for canoe rentals. On a lark, we stopped, and the kids absolutely adored it. Last summer the twins specifically asked for a canoeing birthday party. It’s fun to be outdoors doing a cooperative, yet non-competitive, activity.

4.  What other forms of exercise do they enjoy? All three of our children play on soccer teams in the fall and spring, and on basketball teams in the winter.

5.  Obviously we agree that Mamas need to move! How important do you think it is for a Mom to set an active example for her kiddos? In this age of rising obesity and diabetes, there are moms across this country showing their kids that it totally normal for Mom to exercise—and enjoy it—day in and day out. My younger kids often put on my running garb and run around saying they are me in a race. There are countless kids across the country who don’t bat an eye when Mom walks through the door sweaty—and glowing—after a run. They see how happy it makes Mom, and it sets them up for a lifetime of running after that same glow and vitality. 

6.  Do your kids come and see you cross finish lines?  Are there any that are particularly memorable? My kids have seen me compete in running and rowing races. Not a ton, as I do a lot of “away” races for work, but one that stands out was having my kids see me near the 21-mile mark of the 2010 Portland Marathon, when I qualified for the Boston Marathon. It was pouring rain, but those little troopers stood out in the wet to see me. They didn’t say much, but it was mentally important to me that they be out there. My husband snapped a great photo of me with a big grin on my face, with rain pouring down—it was the moment I spied them by the sidelines.

7.  Is there a time when you've bonded with your kids during exercise/running in a memorable or unexpected way? The first time my younger daughter ever ran with me was a moment I’d been waiting for my whole life. We only ran about ¾-mile, but I wanted it to go on forever, with her talking and looking up at me. She even talked about the runs we’d take together when she’s older, telling me that even she, at age 6, realized this was the start of a great running relationship. Here’s the post I wrote about it. 

8.  Any crazy moments spent running with your kids?  No, but I had a laugh with my younger daughter: She and I were running about a mile with her twin brother, John. I slow my pace when I run with them, but still she keeps up with me but not her brother. (He runs about 10 paces behind us.) I was thinking to myself that it felt like she and I were running solo; suddenly she says out loud, “It’s like John isn’t even running with us.” It was awful, but I just had to laugh since I’d been thinking the exact same thing at that very moment!

9.  What advice would you give to Mother Runners who want to start running alongside their kids? Don’t force it on them: My older daughter has never wanted to run with me, so I didn’t make her do it. On the contrary, her younger sister one day got dressed in her idea of a running outfit and waited for me on our back porch so she could join me on a run. I had just finished a 12-mile training run, so she and I ran slowly for only about eight blocks, but it was enough to whet her appetite for more. Figure out what they are capable of, then go at a pace suitable to them and a distance they can handle. Stop before they get completely burnt out—you want it to be fun, not drudgery. (Think relay races, not President’s Physical Fitness exam!)

10.  Is there anything you would advise us NOT to do? See above.

Answered by Sarah Bowen Shea, co-author of Run Like a Mother (Andrews McMeel, 2010) and just released Train Like a Mother (Andrews McMeel, 2012) based in Portland, Oregon.

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