by Katy Killilea
What could be better for a worn-out parent that a sanctioned way to abandon one’s family? When my iPod morphed into a iPhone and my husband was able to call me while I ran, I realized the real reason why I love running.Â He called, his voice replaced Ira Glass’s in my headphones, and I cracked: WHY are you calling me? I am running. I am LITERALLY running away from home! (“Uh, I just wanted to know if you’d seen Jack’s cleats.”)
Of all forms of recreation, there’s no other that requires so little forethought/equipment/money, and that provides such a realistic facsimile of freedom. You’re alone! Running away from your house! All it takes is the desire to escape and legs. There are, of course, benefits to running other than freedom. But it’s not about blood pressure. The very best part is the act of actually running away–running away until you’re tired and thirsty and long to be back home.
The sanity-preserving effects of distance running, as well as other benefits (endorphins, general well-being, ability to eat large amounts without gaining weight) are dissected and laid bare in Run Like a Mother, written by two mom-runners–one ‘s a hard core competitor (and she also happens to be a nursing expert), one’s not–who both find running essential to their well-being.
While the book has plenty of training information, which I would certainly consult if I ever were training for anything other than temporary escape, the juiciest, most important thing about this book is its discussion of why mothers run, what happens in our heads when we run, and how the day’s run changes everything else. It tells us why, for people who like running, a run makes the rest of the day feel easy. This book is also a lot of fun to read, with pie charts on what to think about while running (10% promising… for the fiftieth time, I’ll make better playlists and delete the tired songs today…2% There’s no chance it’s been 3 weeks since we got busy) and tart commentary on running bras and fashions. Running skirts are like…any other fashion that initially seems ridiculous but later trickles down to Old Navy.
Every mom who runs will find themselves in this book. Meanwhile, plenty of people hate to run but love yoga,Â surfing, Pilates, or lacrosse, and I’m sure those activities work in people’s lives much the same way as running does in mine. What do you do to escape?
Run Like a Mother
by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea
2010 Andrews McMeel $15