A mother's reflections on running

A mother's reflections on running


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SALT LAKE CITY — A couple weeks ago, the authors of “Run Like a Mother” posed 10 questions to the running community and encouraged mother runner writers like myself to answer the questions in their own blogs and columns.

As a product of a generation of girls who spent hours filling out slam books in junior high, I happily accepted the assignment and even discovered a few things about my running self in the process.

1. What is your best run ever?

This is difficult to answer, and it comes down to two races. The first was my very first Boston Marathon finish in 2010. I had just come back from injury after having to drop out of the 2009 Boston Marathon. Crossing that finish line was monumental for me. I just felt honored to be running the same course that so many great runners had run before. For that one day, I felt as extraordinary as the elites.

The second was the 2012 Ogden Marathon. I had a goal to break 3:10 in a marathon but had given up that goal, thinking I was past my prime. This year I decided to give it one last shot. The day of the Ogden Marathon was perfect in every sense. The stars aligned and I ran my fastest race to date. Not only did I break 3:10, but I broke through the confidence issues that had been holding me back for so long. I came in third female overall, finishing in 3:03. My husband was so shocked that as he was filming me finishing, he raised his hands in the air in excitement. All we have is footage of the sky. But it’s a vivid memory, nevertheless.

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2. What are three words you would use to describe your running?

Consistent. Challenging. Rewarding.

3. What is your go-to running outfit?

My Running Skirts black paisley running skirt, 2010 Boston Marathon tank, Asics Kayano 18 shoes, and my green sparkly headband. I’ve worn the same outfit for every race this year and run better than ever.

4. What is a quirky habit you have while running?

I do a lot of math in my head when racing and am completely oblivious to others around me when I find my groove. A car full of clowns could pull out in front of me and I wouldn’t even blink. When I’m training, I occasionally listen to music, so I’ll drum out the beat of the song with my fingers. And I always carry extra tissue in my pocket. You never know when you'll need it.

5. When do you run? Morning, midday or evening?

Training runs are always done in the morning, but stress relievers are usually done in the early afternoon.


Take a moment and reflect on your own running. What are your significant running moments? What are your goals? What have you overcome?

6. When will you not run outside?

I’ll run outside in almost any weather, but after slipping on some ice a few years ago, blacking out and sustaining a mild concussion, I always take my runs indoors in icy conditions.

7. What was your worst injury and how did you get over it?

In 2009 I battled iliotibial band syndrome for five months. It forced me to drop out of my first Boston Marathon. I tried stretching, icing, physical therapy. I would have stood on my head for hours on end if it would have helped. I finally found Dr. Thomas Fletcher, who practices active release technique. Since then, I’ve only sat out a handful of days due to IT band issues. The man has magic fingers.

8. When did you most feel like a super mother-runner?

Pretty much every run I do makes me feel super, but after finishing last year’s St. George Marathon and winning the Grand Slam challenge, I felt I could do anything. I had battled strep throat, a foot fracture and an IT band flare-up at mile 9, but somehow pulled through. It was as much an emotional battle as it was physical.

My daughters, however, say that I am a super mother-runner because I won a pair of running shoes after entering an “ugliest foot” contest. I wouldn’t argue with that.

9. What is your next race?

The 2012 St. George Marathon.

10. What are your potential running goals for 2013?

I’ve definitely thought about attempting to break 3 hours in a marathon, but honestly, if I run strong and stay injury free, I will consider that a success. I would love to run somewhere new. I’m considering the Eugene Marathon and the Chicago Marathon.

Take a moment and reflect on your own running. What are your significant running moments? What are your goals? What have you overcome?

--- Ali Cowart with Kimberly Cowart, a mother and a runner (Photo: Christian Cowart)

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About the Author: Kimberly Cowart ---------------------------------

*Kim Cowart is a wife, mother, 24-Hour Fitness instructor and marathoner whose past slam books reveal a deep-seated love for all things Corey Haim.**

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Kimberly Cowart

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