Monthly Archives: September 2011

More Sweaty Secrets

More secrets revealed at the Iron Girl expo!


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No question, this guy “gets it”

If you’ve read Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Fit Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom, you’ll remember we talk about the “sweat on significant others.” In particular, we discuss the importance of building support systems that help you succeed in your mission to get and stay fit. Of course, significant others are a big part of that network. Here’s one guy who definitely has his wife covered. I almost gave him a big hug after I interview him. You’ll see why.

Oh, and sit down before you listen. You might just swoon!


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What’s Their Secret?

Just minutes after finishing the Women Run the Cities 10 miler, Nikki and Julie share their secrets to being Hot (Sweaty) Mamas.

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A Week of Secrets Revealed!

This weekend I (Laurie) had the wonderful opportunity to be involved with not one, but TWO, women-only races in the Twin Cities. Over 2,500 women and girls celebrated the 5th anniversary of Women Run the Cities on Sunday by lacing up their sneakers and working up a sweat. Amazingly, over 1,200 of those participates were also moms. That means there were more than 1,200 moms taking time to celebrate their own wellness. Over 1,200 moms who know that, while it’s not always easy, fitness is worth the effort. Likely double that number of kids were shown by example how happy-inducing a good sweat can be (significantly increasing their odds of being fit adults, too!). The Athleta Iron Girl, also on Sunday, had 1,100 finishers with likely a similar proportion of hot (sweaty) mamas participating. Surrounded by the pre-race gitters of Iron Girl packet pick-up as well as post-race WRTC excitement, I had to ask what made it work for these mamas.

In the next few days I’ll be sharing what racers (and their significant others) had to say, so be sure to checking back. And give these ladies kudos for their determination!

First up, is Farrah, an Iron Girl participant with two young kids. Let’s see what keeps her going…


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Marathon Dates

Setting out on our adventure!

My husband and I refer to our first date as our marathon date. It lasted over 12 hours, included a stop at his parents’ house, my first mountain bike purchase, and drinks with his best friend. Nothing like jumping in headfirst. (Ironically, we’ve since run several marathons together, but those are never considered marathon dates!)

It’s been 14 years and two children since that first date and we still make an effort to spend chunks of time together reconnecting as a couple. We’re committed to frequent dates and shoot for an annual getaway doing something active. Just the two of us. Alone.

And so last week, Tony and I returned to the scene of our “best ever date.” We relived the “double crossing” of the Grand Canyon, where we ran from the South Rim to the North Rim, spent the night on the North Rim, and then ran back again. It was an amazing adventure with lots of great memories and nothing but each other’s company to occupy the time.

For two full days it was no kids, no work, no television, no phone. Just us.  We met a retired couple who have spent the last six years driving around the country in an RV, met some marathoners from KY, and enjoyed the beauty of the Southwest. When we finished our adventure in the Canyon, we went to the movies, enjoyed good coffee, and watched television in bed (off limits in our home!).

Surprisingly, the time we spend together never includes my typical dose of mother guilt.  When we take a multi-day trip away from the kids, we make every effort to ensure that they have good care, and they have a set schedule.

This time around they had the pleasure of spending the weekend with their aunt and cousins.  They still had to stick to their routine, but they were rewarded with a couple of impromptu stops at Dairy Queen, and an extra late movie night with pizza.  While their routine gives them the boundaries to know they are safe, the extra treats and later bed times keep it fun while Mom and Dad are gone.

Three and a half days away from the kids gave us plenty of time to reconnect doing something we both love.  And that makes for a very happy couple.  In the long run, happy parents make happy kids and healthy parents make healthy kids.


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Bed head, anyone?

Getting out of bed before the sun comes up means I’m rarely lookin’ fresh for my early morning workouts. I’m a stickler about sweating with clean teeth, but beyond that there isn’t much prep time associated with my pre-dawn fitness. Hair in pony, coffee in cup, grab the nearest (sometimes not-so-clean shirt) and I’m out the door.

I’m pretty sure we all share that routine to some degree (though you may always be confident your shirt is clean). For most of us, the main priority is getting out quietly, not getting out pretty. We don’t dare wake the kids or we’re up early and without our daily dose of fitness.

That said, there is something wonderful about working out with other people when we’re most ourselves, no primping, no prepping and probably no deodorant. What you see is what you get, wrinkles and all. Perhaps that why some of my fondest memories of fitness, some of my best fit-friendships, have grown during those early hours when the light is dim.

For me, getting out of bed in the morning ranks up there with cleaning the bathroom or making school lunches: Not. Much. Fun. But like most of the really great things in life, there is payback in the effort. The friendships hold me accountable, keep me climbing out of bed and lacing up my shoes.

As darkness takes over a little more of the morning, resist the urge to crawl back under the covers. Remember those friendships, those naked truths we love to see in each other, and keep moving! Even if the only face you see is your own reflection in the window, remember there is someone waiting for you and continue to embrace the dawn!



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Remembering 9/11

Ten years ago today, my life changed.

Less than two hours after watching a second line appear on a pregnancy test, I witnessed the horrors of 9/11 unfold from the coffee shop at work. I had just told a friend (another high mileage runner) about the faint line; told her we planned to test again the next day “just to be sure.” But I knew. A second line was a second line, no matter how faint.

For the thirty minutes we talked, my main concerns about being pregnant were how far and how fast I could run with a baby on board. Would I be able to run throughout my pregnancy or would I have to settle with walking in the later months?

As I got up from the table with my friend and saw the crowds of people behind us watching the television coverage of the attacks, I remember thinking that running during my pregnancy wasn’t important. I felt silly at having worried; now there were more serious considerations. Like, how could I bring a child into a world where such terrible things were happening?

From the moment I stood up (close to 8 am CST), I was terrified. I remember crying that night as I realized the enormity of the attack. Watching the aftermath on television with my husband, knowing we had a baby on the way, made the event seem even more grievous. It was an attack on everyone, even our unborn child.

We went ahead and took another pregnancy test the following day. We’d deluded ourselves into the “uncertainty” of the test from the day before. Wanted a new, happier day to know for sure. As expected, the faint line had turned into a confident, bold declaration.

As our baby grew I continued to worry about the world, but I also continued to run. After time, I realized that the running really was important. It was something I could control, something that made me feel like I was making a difference in my world. It was a statement, a proclamation of how important health and fitness were to me. It was my way of telling myself, my child, and my community that I wasn’t going to live in fear.

But admittedly, a small amount of fear remains with me today. I hate the thought of anything threatening the safety of my family. So I’ll do what I can each day to keep them safe in the ways I can control. I’ll do what I can to stay healthy and teach them to do the same.

We’ll never forget the tragedies of 9/11. We’ll never forget that first pregnancy test; the day we first learned we were going to become parents. The events will forever be connected, and forever remind us how fragile life really is.


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