• less is more


Less is more. I find myself saying this often. About many things. It’s one of those pieces of very “zen” advice that you wish you could follow all the time. It can be applied to many things. Like:

– Stressing about housework: it never ends anyway, right?

– Over-scheduling your kids: this backfires, right?

– American Idol: three seasons was enough, right?

– Running: less is more. What?

I know.  It’s hard to think that you get MORE with LESS running. But sometimes, this is true. Just like over-thinking leads to over-thinking, running too much leads to Running. Too. Much. Don’t get me wrong. There is no distance that sounds crazy to me. Everything is relative. One woman’s 5K is another’s 100 miler. It’s all good.


A very exhausted, overworked, overstressed friend who just ran a 50K asked me yesterday if she should go ahead and run that other 50K she was signed up for next weekend. “You know me”, I said. “I error on the side of over-conservatism. (With running, not politics) I can’t help it. I fantasize about being the person who can run a 50K then go run another in a week, or hop in a marathon after a marathon. I’ve tried. I get injured every time. I have finally learned that my body needs more recovery time. I can do those races! Just not too close together. This is me. You have to listen to YOUR body. And sometimes less is more. Most importantly, if you decide it’s less. THAT’S OK.”

Fresh legs work. And listening to your body works. After 15 years of running, which isn’t long by some, I am finally getting the hang of that. The challenge becomes NOT in the long slogging distance (I know I can do that and I have). The challenge is in the waiting. Waiting till you’re healed. Waiting till you’re healthy. Waiting till you’re rested.

If you love running. I mean really love it. And I really love it. Then the waiting is the hardest part. Waiting for the energy. Waiting for the strength. Waiting for the body’s green light. It might mean waiting a day, waiting a week. Or longer.

When it comes,  it’s all systems go. And so worth the wait.

I used to look up to people who could run and run and run and never stop. Now I look up to people who know when to rest. AND, who aren’t afraid to say so. It’s hard to cut a run short and not beat yourself up about it all day. It’s hard to DNS. It’s hard to DNF. And sometimes that’s the right answer.

Another friend of mine said to me this week. “I wonder what it would be like if, you know,  we actually acknowledged our injuries. How long would it take to get back to running then?”

Our bodies get stronger when we rest. Our torn and tired muscles heal when we sleep, eat, sit on the couch. This is a runner’s major thinking error; that recovery is separate from training. It’s not repeated cycles. It’s all one journey. Our current recovery is essential to the success of our next event.

As much as you seek to find the limits of speed, distance, endurance or altitude, seek the balance of rest. It’s the key to your success just as much as the next PR, or that extra mile.

Don’t worry. Your body will know what to do when it’s time to run. Your legs won’t forget. Your heart will not forget what it loves to do.

Sometimes less is more.




Best thing about speedwork? Chillin' on the bleachers afterwards

Best thing about speedwork? Crackin’ up on the bleachers after a hard workout.

Ok, that was a total bait and switch title. There is really nothing funny about speedwork. Well, except maybe waaaay after you’re done and you slap your track buddy on the back the next day and  joke about how you almost died on that last 800. “Yeah, and I’m so glad you were in lane 1 so my  wild-and-windy-loogie didn’t hit you in the face.” Yep, thems were good times. Ha ha ha.

Red, Carly and I are on our way to a PR in the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon. (And there is still time to sign up on Saturday – do it!) I usually don’t announce how confident I feel about a race (and I’m not always confident) because I might jinx it. But, I think I’m good. I think I’ll let myself have some “Hey, I just might kick ass” thoughts about Sunday. We’ve done our speedwork. We’re ready. This week we’re running short, slow, easy and reflecting on the training.

Red said to me recently that “running is something great to align your life with.” I’ve been thinking about this alot. It’s so very true.

  • Running helps me with my schedule. I plan everything around my workouts.
  • I use it to stay fit. It  helps me kick my 10 year old’s butt on the basketball court. I look pretty darn good at age 40 ahem 7 and I can maintain my guilt-free addiction to good cheese.
  • It does wonders for my confidence. Nervous about an important meeting? Scared to confront hubz about the car rolling down the driveway backwards and hitting a tree?  Worked up about a confrontation with a crazy neighbor? (Uh, these are just examples, they’ve never happened) Well, not me!  I just conjure up a tough patch in any race or even the fact that I’ve RUN marathons, ultramarathons, or up steep hills, in the dark, at 5:00am and WHAMO! Bring it, people.
  • I use it to stay centered. Being a parent is like being on one of those rides at the county fair where you strap yourself into a giant metal circle with 40 other crazies and the whole thing spins 100 miles an hour. Then, the entire ride tilts and you become a human centrifugal force experiment, hoping you don’t throw up or get thrown up on. Everything is up, down, spinning, sideways and sometimes there is barf. Running is like the opposite of that.
  • I use it to solve problems. The longer the run, the more problems get solved. I’m a type A, so I go on reeeeealllly long runs. I get more done (or is it because I have more problems? Hmmm.)
  • I use it to feel alive! I get girl time, nature time, sweat time, pain time, joy time, dirt time and me time. Running is multi-tasking-happy-place paradise.

And ok, yes, maybe I use it to find humor in life. Just today as Red, Carly and I were enjoying a slow, easy 5 mile taper-inspired run this morning, Red says, “You know, even after this race is over on Sunday, I’d like to keep doing speedwork.” We all had a good laugh.

What do YOU think is funny about speedwork or running or county fair rides?


Training for a race is a little like dieting. Things start out really great. You’ve got lots of motivation. You’re high on the goal. You’ve got your plans laid out in front of you and you’re ready to check things off your list. You bump along the first few weeks and things don’t seem so hard. A little extra veggies, yogurt instead of ice cream, shorter runs that get you moving, but don’t kick your ass.

“This is very doable, ” you say to yourself.

Oh, but wait,  let’s add a layer….I should say that training for a race in the summer is like dieting in the summer! Twice as hard. There is so much to run and so much to eat. Your only hope is doing a lot of both and pray it all evens out.

For dieting or running in the summer, here’s what you need:

A Plan

eugene_running_clubI love a good plan. People often say I’m organized. I had a boss in the Air Force who told me once, “Wow, you really know all about management by objective!” “Of course!” I told him, “My mother taught me how to make a great list.” There’s nothing prettier than a yellow legal pad with a long list of to-do items all neatly crossed out. When it comes to my running, however, I prefer to have someone else be the list-maker and the task-master. Enter awesome coach Cathie Twomey Bellamy of Eugene Running Club. She REALLY knows me. She knows I’m a busy momma, so she adds in the “crazy” factor, she knows if she gives me a range of 6-8 miles to run that it will be 8. She knows that if she gives me a hilly day, that it will be mountains. And, like a diet, she knows I sometimes cheat. Type A that I am, it’s usually more instead of less. But she knows that too, adds that in, subtracts two, divides by 7 and spits out the perfect plan for me week after week. Right now, she’s got me on some fun weekend runs gearing up for the Eugene Women’s Half that involve 1/2 marathon pace miles. Hard. These are hard, people. But very satisfying. Knowing I can run extended miles at my goal pace builds fitness, but also confidence. It’s true, to run faster you have to run faster. At least, that’s the plan!

Good Cheerleaders

Sarah & Jessicca post-race high!

People say that if you have a goal, you should find people around you that are supportive. Done! My RMR crew of friends are absolutely the best cheerleaders ever. We even wear skirts! (Running skirts, of course, but very cheerleader-ish). And there is no better feeling than having someone to pound out the miles with or offer high fives and sweaty hugs at the end of a race. They wait for you at the wee hours, making sure you show up, they don’t judge you when you fall off the horse. I love this photo of my friends Sarah and Jessicca after the Eugene Women’s Half in 2010. This says it all.


The Occasional Treat

mckenzie_tanyaI would not do well working in a cheese factory. Anyone who knows me knows I will do ANYTHING for good cheese. I used to reward myself with a hunk of stinky blue after any run over 10 miles. (Once I started running long distances, this little system quickly became a problem, so now I just treat myself once in a while.) Anyway, along with surrounding yourself with the things that will be conducive to helping you succeed, sometimes you just need a little treat. For me, that means, in the middle of training, I have to veer off course and plunge into a space or place that I really love. Yep, I’m training for a fast 1/2 marathon, but there’s no way I’m going to give up ice cream, uh, I mean trail running! Hitting the McKenzie River Trail with 4 of my favorite people, was like having a giant blob of stink cheese delivered to my door. Well, you know what I mean.


A Solid Goal

What’s in it for you? What’s the icing on the cake?  How will this work make you feel at the end? Setting goals can be a tough part of training. I recommend setting at least three time goals and 3 other goals. For example, I have a time that I would REALLY love to hit, I have a time that I will be happy with and I have a time that, well, might just have to do and I will try to be ok with it. Then, I have other goals like fueling well, having fun, being in the moment, grabbing all the goodies at the end, being there for friends, smiling for the camera as I cross the finish in hopes I don’t look like I’m dying.


Summer is going by too fast. We talk a lot about that here in Eugene because the winter is soooo long and we’ve learned to really appreciate the sunny, dry days. Setting yourself up with a goal in the summer is great and I’m so stoked that I picked the Eugene Women’s Half. 13.1 miles is such a perfect distance. You have to work and train for it, but you still have time to enjoy the other parts of summer; like trails, and friends and…. cheese!

How is your summer? How is training going?







With this view at the start, how could I doubt anything? Photo by Glenn Tachiyama

With this view at the start, how could I doubt anything? Photo by Glenn Tachiyama

I ran the Peterson Ridge Rumble 40 Miler this spring and I’m finally getting around to writing about it. I know, the race was April – pause to go look it up- 14th. Yeah, it was THAT long ago. I just haven’t been able to write about it for a number of reasons.

#1 –  Time. I work full time now. My days are packed for 14-17 hour stretches. I’m trying to keep this wonderful Run Momma Run mojo alive, keep two kids and hubby happy and healthy,  train for my next running journey and everything in between.

#2 – Space. I haven’t been in the right space for writing about the race. As you’ll see from my notes below, while it was incredible in many ways – good incredible – it was also incredibly hard and emotional and it’s been difficult to put that into words.

#3 – Sadness. The Boston Marathon tragedies happened the morning after my race and, while I sat working at my computer at home that day, bags of frozen corn under my feet, the shocking news hit the Internet and I was consumed with sadness, racked with sobs for days and could not even begin to think of my own 40 miler in terms beyond a shoulder shrug. Who cares about my efforts? My sport and its people were hurting.

#4 – Change. This race changed me. In wonderful, deep ways. But it also changed the way people see me. And how I see myself. I wasn’t prepared for that. I am still processing that and trying to accept it.


Training and signing up for my first 40 miler (an odd distance) was a consolation prize. I really wanted to run a 50. I figured that, mentally, I wanted to make the jump from 50K to 50M, but the race I was hoping to run filled up before I could register. My crazy schedule pointed me to the 40, so I hit submit.

My longest run was a 30 miler. It turned out to be the second worst run of my life so far. I was getting over a deep chest cold, running on shoes that were giving me fits and I was just flat out exhausted. It was a cold day, just below 30 degrees at the start and, despite the cold, I ended up sweat-chaffing in places you don’t want to know about. As I sat in the ice bath afterwards, skin literally burning in places, my legs and feet throbbing, my head aching, I experienced a mild panic attack and the questions started coming… What was I doing to myself? Are the people right who say running long distance is crazy? Is my husband who looks at me with a combination of pity, frustration, worry and WTF  right? Had I crossed a line? Was I wrong to want to run and keep running? If  hurting myself and pushing myself was wrong – wrong for my body, wrong for my family,  the wrong way to spend my time, the wrong way to live, was it the wrong thing to love?

This was a huge blow to my sense of self.  While the questions felt overwhelming, I knew the answers could only be found by  running farther.

But the 40 Miler Was Weeks Away

I had to sit with these questions for almost a month. I thought about it while recovering from that damned cold, the chaffing and the lousy 30 mile training run. Tapering is challenging enough. It’s more challenging when you think that maybe what you’re tapering for is the worst thing for you.

Crossing the Line

As you might have guessed, this post is not about the finish line. The finish line in any race is just a scribble on the road or a smudge the dirt. It’s the months of hills and speed and ache and exhaustion and niggles and pains and fun and frolic and pure running that make up the story about crossing that little line in the sand. Of course it’s an achievement. It’s wonderful to be done. But sometimes the most climactic part of the journey has nothing to do with what everyone agrees is “the end”.

As I spent the next few weeks in taper, knowing that something might be wrong with me to want to go out and pump my legs for hours on end just to come home beaten and silly, bruised and high, limping and singing, I had something else happen that made me question my passion.

I went to a birthday party of a new friend’s 4 year old. Grown ups gathered downstairs with beer, chips and chit chat while the kids played dress up and games upstairs. I was talking with women I hadn’t met before, getting the run down on their schools, plans for the summer, recipes, gardening tips…the usual meet and greet things when I suddenly felt very relaxed and happy. I had finished my longest run. I could chill until the 40. I could eat and sit and put my feet up and yes I’ll have another beer, thank you. It was nice to talk with people who didn’t know me. I didn’t have to talk about running. About my burning questions.

And then my friend outed me.

Without warning he walked across the kitchen and in a booming voice proclaimed, “…AND LAURA IS GOING TO RUN A 40 MILE RACE NEXT WEEK!”

I winced. I was in the middle of struggling with the sanity of what I do for hours on end and now 10 people were looking at me like I was nuts. It was confirmed. I had indeed crossed the line. The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to fend off questions like, “how much do you eat?” and “how many days a week do you run?” and “who watches the kids?” Suddenly I didn’t fit in. It made me sad.

A Week Later I Ran 40 Miles

And, as starting lines have a way of doing, my doubts about my abilities or my love of running were washed away like the scuttle of dirt that flies from your shoes during those first eager steps of any race.

I smiled for miles on end. Literally. And when I would catch myself smiling, I would smile bigger. I felt fantastic. 10 miles was a nice warm up. 20 was a fantastic half-way point. It smelled like my childhood: sage, juniper, dry dirt and cold, crisp air. The aid station oranges and potatoes were better than any delicacy anywhere. My fueling was perfectly timed and executed. Even my face plant in the thick dirt at mile 18 was entertaining.

And then I got off course.

At mile 29 I crested the second of two hills, proud that I ran all the way up given the distance I had just come and the fact that snow was now pelting me in the face. I drafted behind a group of 10 or so runners that had passed me from the regular start time. We all had our heads down because of the wind and snow and all of us missed our trail marker at the top of the hill. We headed off course and down a steep road for over a mile. At the bottom we gathered and realized that none of us had seen a course marker for some time. Not wanting to go back up and not sure if we were truly off course, we all kept going. Looking behind me I saw 8 to 10 more runners coming down the hill behind us. Surely, not all of us were lost. Or were we?

I had run 30 miles. The runners I was with, having started at the regular start time, were faster than I was. It was snowing. I wasn’t sure where I was. I had to pee badly. Running alone was fine. Running lost alone was not fine. Mostly, I didn’t want to over shoot or under shoot the total mileage.  I took stock: I had just filled my pack with water. I had enough Gu in my bag to choke a horse. I still had on my extra light jacket. I would be ok if I had to be lost for a while longer.

Then I hooked up with a guy who helped me get the map out of my pack. I have to admit, being the one in the group with a map cleverly folded in a waterproof zip lock did wonders for my confidence in that moment. From the map and the general distance and direction we were heading, we surmised that we were running parallel to the course. I took a quick pee and ran with him for a couple miles. In my worry about not wanting to be lost alone, I was determined to keep up. Looking at my splits later, I saw I had run 8:30 min/miles to stick with him. Doing tempo miles after running a 50K tells you something about yourself.

After a while we saw a shiny object through the trees. It was a beautiful blue tarp! A tarp covering supplies at the mile 35 aid station! We ran into the woods, drawn to the tarp like an ultra runner to a salty potato, had our fill of food and water and carried on.

The last five miles were peaceful. I was back on track. I was going to finish. I was going to run the entire way. I was going to cross the line.

A Tearful Finish

I had told myself when I realized I was off course that I couldn’t afford to have a freak out. There was no time for that even though I just wanted to sit down and cry. There would be plenty of time for that later.  As soon as I crossed the finish line, I told myself I could let it go. And that’s what I did.  I cried. I wandered around the finisher’s area. I got wonderful hugs from friends. I had a shower, cried some more, ate a burrito, I sat in the sun. Then I drove home alone.

I did it. I ran 40 miles. I ran longer than I had ever run before.

Were My Questions Answered?

I listen to news of the Boston tragedies over the next week. I rested, I limped around. I told a few close friends about my race, about getting off course, about the beauty, about how it felt pointless to talk about my adventure given the suffering that was happening in Massachusetts.

And I still wasn’t sure if I was sane. I didn’t want to see the look in someone’s eyes when I told them I had just run 40 miles. The look most people gave me was not a reflection of how I felt. For the first time, I felt like an alien.

Until I told Chris.

Chris is the mother of a friend of mine, Polly. She’s a very active grandma and I often see her taking Polly’s kids to school. Chris and I were sitting at  school three weeks after the race watching first graders sing thank you songs to volunteers. She leaned over between songs and asked how my race went. Knowing she loves to run and has always been active all of her life,  I was ready to tell her how amazing it was. I looked over and her face was a shining light with a beaming smile, eager to hear about an epiphany or devour a story about the trail. I told her it was an incredible experience. She sighed and shook her head in the knowing that comes only from experiencing exactly the same thing. There was absolutely no hint of “you’re crazy” in her eyes. There was no judgement. There was only the deep appreciation of someone who “gets” how much I learned about myself out there on my journey.

When I saw the excitement in Chris’ eyes, I knew I had the answer to my looming questions.  Some might say I was trying to find acceptance of myself from someone else, but I see it differently. Chris held up a mirror to me. She wisely and freely gave me a view into myself. She shone the light on why I love running. She helped me to see that place within myself that is all mine. That secret, beautiful place I can go on every run. I just have to cross that line of doubt within myself and I’m home free.

You don't really need matching shirts to run in the rain at 6:00am, but it helps.

Red and I don’t really need matching shirts to run in the rain at 6:00am, but it helps.

Or is it all you need is what you got? Either way. I got it!

Training for a half marathon or any race or even pulling yourself out of bed for a run comes from something deep inside of you. That’s what I love about running. “It gives you exactly what you put into it”, Red said to me yesterday. The best thing about it is that YOU get to take credit for it.  YOU got out of bed. YOU laced up. YOU put one foot in front of the other. YOU did it.


I would be lying if I said I didn’t work hard at having optimal conditions for training and running. (Well, as optimal as a full-time-working-mother-of-two-momma is gonna get) As you know, Red and I are training for the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon which is pretty darn optimal as far as races go. Hundreds of women runners, cool swag and goodies at the end. Uh, yeah, that’s part of the optimal plan for sure!

Here’s some other things you might need…

Who doesn't LOVE a beautiful place to run. I'm lucky to be in Eugene and enjoy Pre's trail.

A beautiful place to run! I’m lucky to be in Eugene and enjoy Pre’s trail.



Shoes! Uh, and some other stuff. Retain therapy goes along with the uplifting mental effects of running.


This is a little known fact about taking up running. You’re gonna need cheese. And lots of it. The good stuff.


And peanut butter, of course. This one is not a secret.


You also have to rest when your body says rest. Training is hard work. Resting is part of training. (And I’m not just saying that because I think this picture of a cat is hysterical)


You will also need the support of good friends. Like those who will sing operettas at the top of mountains you’ve just ran up.


And those who will take a picture of you taking a picture of them as you get ready for a race because we all know the real reason we run is for killer status updates on Facebook.


And, if  those friends aren’t enough, you might have to start your own running group full of friends who will lure you out of bed so you can pretend to surf in front of them at 6:00am. It was 6:00am. Who knows why I was doing that.


Ok, pause the silliness for a REAL training tip. You might need a good tennis ball to sit on when the speedwork gets the best of your bum. Ahhh, hurts so good.


Or, a nice col bag of frozen corn for your tootsies when you’re at work. (Yes, your boss will look at you strangely. Just go with it. You’re an athlete.)


Most of all, it’s great to have the support of people who love you.

I’m sure Red and I will be calling on all of these pieces of our training plan as we get closer to the Eugene Women’s Half. Like today might be peanut butter day! Tell us, what keeps you moving?

Here's our RMR gal Carly rockin' her favorite orange Mizunos in yesterday's race!

Here’s our RMR gal, Carly, rockin’ her favorite orange Mizunos in yesterday’s race!

This giveaway and short-to-the-point post is sneaking up on you like summer sneaks up on Eugene. Yep, most of us here say that summer officially starts when the gun goes off at the Butte to Butte. And what an awesome day it was for our 4th of July 10K! Sunny, a bit breezy and so so many Run Momma Runners out there! Nice job, ladies. Cheering for runners is second only to racing and, dare I say, just as fun?!

Oh, right, let’s get to the point! MIZUNO GIVEAWAY TIME!

As you know, training has started in earnest (read: I’m now trying to run faster on these ol’ momma legs) for The Eugene Women’s Half Marathon. As with the start to any endeavor, one needs new bling! To keep us all motivated to train and run and eat well and sleep better and not go crazy with trying to figure out camping and picnics and kids staying up late and work and summer insanity…..AHHHHH, let’s start with giving away a pair of Mizuno Running Shoes every week this month! Bam! As you may also know, Mizuno is our exclusive footwear partner so we get to gift you with these awesome shoes.

Carly, an RMR regular, Mizuno lover and woman on a mission to PR in the Eugene Women’s Half nailed the Butte to Butte yesterday. So proud of you!

Ok, Ok, the giveaway…

Please comment below with your answer to the following question and we’ll pick a winner Tuesday, July 9th. You can comment here or on our FB page giveaway post.

I LOVE a good half marathon race and it’s the fastest growing distance, especially for women. Why do you like the 1/2 marathon distance or why would  you want to run one?

Craig was WAY out in front when I took this photo here at mile4i 4ish. He's so fast I almost missed him. Zooom!

Oh, and here’s somebody else who wears Miuznos…our very own local, Mizuno athlete and WINNER of yesterday’s race, Craig Leon. He probably won’t be running the Eugene Women’s Half, so maybe I have a shot, right? right? Oh, c’mon, humor me!



Getting off LSD

logo_ewhI’m used to LSD, you know, Long Slow Distance. I’ve never been a super speedy runner and I think that’s why I latched on to ultra running.  But, after a long grueling race and the blisters heal, I LOVE short, fast runs. There is something that just clicks when I can  zone out, get a groove on and tick away miles on a long stretch of pavement. And the road is the best place to pick up the pace. Of course, we all know it’s twice as much fun with friends. So, when I found myself facing a summer without a race registration, I knew THIS was the time to do it;  the summer to get faster, mix it up and try for a half marathon PR. The race I picked…The Eugene Women’s Half! No sooner had a made this little secret goal for myself, than the lovely Tate Kelley from the EWH asked me  if she could follow my training.  Saweeet, I said. Let’s do this thing.

Goal number two: who can I rope into doing this with me cuz, you know, the more fun with friends thing. Enter my buddy, Red.


Red is awesome. And not because her real name is also Laura. Which, of course, is why we call her Red, to avoid confusion. Oh, and the HAIR! In a word, gorgeous. I love following her down a trail, her thick, red curls flying. I always feel like I’m in a movie running with her. My brain says I was to stop, but I know I can’t because the movie director  will yell and me and say, “Get your ass in gear! Red, the Hair Princess is ahead of you!”

Ok, back to the PR. I’m not quite ready to tell you my time goal yet. Or should I say OUR time goal because Red and I are in this together. But, I am willing to let you in our training, so here we go!

Speedwork, Day 1


I love post-speedwork yoga. It’s so relaxing. Plus, this position makes us look thinner.

It’s all about training specificity, which is a fancy way of saying, “if you want to run fast, you have to run fast.” Complicated, I know. Actually it is pretty complicated, especially for a distance runner who is used to pointing her feet in one direction and running for 5 hours. Speedwork is all about numbers and Xs and jog recoveries and laps and the watch and almost barfing. Almost.

Mimosas & My Amazing Uterus

When you set a new goal in your life, grab a friend. No, really, grab them. Then tell them they are coming with you.

When you set a new goal in your life, grab a friend. No, really, grab them. Then tell them they are coming with you.

Our first serious track workout wasn’t too bad, really. We survived to do it the next week. Know why? Because there’s Mimosas at the end of of this race, ladies! Hellooo! And loads of other fun stuff AND it’s an all-women’s event! The energy you feel running alongside hundreds of other women runners is like being in a room full of sweaty brilliance where everyone understands IT ALL. Like how crazy it is trying to get out of the house to run when you have a sick kid up all night, or juggling crazy work schedule and training or getting miles in on dark mornings before everyone else gets up then make it back home to pack lunches. Oh, and let’s not forget that not that long ago, women weren’t even allowed to run in a race of this distance. The miles tick by and the years tick by and still, no ones uterus has fallen out. Let’s continue to amaze them, shall we?

Join us in the fun and follow our journey. More soon….


Laura & Red



My post-40-miler tailgater last weekend. Putting my feet up with those tacos was worth all the taper-crazy-hard-race-work!

BodyGlide Giveaway post! Comment below or on our Facebook page for a chance to win a sweet For Her BodyGlide Pack with the must-have glide and sweet running hat! Winner picked April 24th.

This post is dedicated to all my buddies running the Eugene Marathon races this weekend. I hold you in my hearts as I do those involved in the horrific events at Boston this week. Love. Peace. Run.


What does taper mean? Supposedly, the taper is a period of decreased mileage before race day that’s accompanied by more rest, healthy food, time off your feet and race prep. And, no matter how zen you think you are, it’s also a time of insanity as any racer will tell you. Whether you’re running your first race or your 50th, the taper is a multi-stage period of time in which emotions tend to run wild and pieces of your personality that you may not want exposed, get exposed. Your friends and family might see sides to you that you’d rather not have them see.

Runners, however, are the most forgiving during this period of time. Like, you’re running buddy might say…

“Hey, that new running skirt looks great on you!”


“Are you tapering?”

“Yeah, sorry.”

“I love you. Wanna grab a beer?”


In an effort to help you feel normal. And, to give you something to do for 3 minutes other than FREAK OUT about your upcoming race, I’ve outlined some of the stages of the dreaded taper. These can happen in any order and I’m sure I’ve missed some. Feel free to comment below and tell us your experience!

1. Confusion: When does taper start? I just finished my longest run. Is it NOW? Is it now?  Is it next week? When can I eat more? Is it now? I’m so hungry.

2. Denial: I’m not tapering, I just have like 18 days until my race. That’s all. No biggy. I’m cool. It’s not time to freak out or anything. Why is my voice so high?

3. Over-Eater: Good thing I’ll be burning like 26.2 million calories on race day. I’m just gonna eat this entire cake and not worry about it. Maybe I should wait till after breakfast.

4. Under-Eater: I’m going to run this race light as a feather. It’s humus and rice crackers for me today, thanks.

5. Hypochondriac: I have a sore throat. I bumped my toe. My toe is broken. I have pneumonia and a broken leg now. Did you sneeze? Get away from me! Don’t you know I have a race in 2 weeks!

6. Cry Baby: Dang! I used my free coffee punch card LAST week. Cry.  I should feel fortunate to be able to buy good coffee in the first place. Cry. Feel guilty. Cry.

7. Wonder Woman: Run at a crack of dawn in the dark, make breakfast, pack school lunches, work all day, whip up dinner, clean the kitchen, fold laundry, read to kids, handle kid meltdown, put kids to bed, fold more laundry, pay bills, set out running clothes for the morning, answer emails, finally remember to feed pets, find spelling homework crumpled in bottom of kid’s backpack, throw chicken and potatoes in the crockpot, panic that you were going to try and get to bed by 10:00pm, but it’s now 11:00pm. Oh, wait, this isn’t wonder woman taper stage, this is just what I do EVERY. DAM. DAY.

8. Dummy: “Mommy, where is Nebraska?” “Um, I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW! Oh, god, where is Nebraska?” What is wrong with me? “Go get the globe and we’ll look for it together, Jo–Ja–Ji—, whatever your name is.”

9. Faux Fantastic: Pulling off the faux-fantastic is  hard. It’s that big, hands-on-hips-confident-smile, ya-sure-you-betcha-wink-thing you throw at non-runners who ask you the dumbest question ever, “Are you excited about your race coming up?”

10. Bitch: Get away from me.

11. Uber-Bitch: Get the fuck away from me.

12. Newbie Runner: AHHHH, I just did my last short run and I feel like I’ve never run before! The clock has turned back. I feel like a newbie runner. Help! I can’t even run 3 miles!

13. Queen Bee: “I don’t care if you need another snack. I’m going to sit here in this Lazy-Boy for 5 minutes, that’s all I ask, 5 MINUTES and watch this cooking show! (This stage is usually followed by some version of “Guilt-Fest” stage.)

14. Melt Down: I scheduled my meltdown for the Friday before my race at exactly 10:00am. Of course, I was too busy being in “Wonder Woman Stage” to have my meltdown, but the fact I scheduled it in made me feel better.

15. Exercise-Free Exercising:  “Ooops,” I told my coach, a week out from my race. “I did a short run and now I’m biking to work which includes 8-10 miles of riding to a meeting.” “No problem,” she says, “just don’t use your legs.”

16. Guilt-Fest: I’m a horrible mother! I just spent half of every Saturday doing my long runs and I’ve missed out on hours of my kids’ growing up that I will never get back. (This stage is sometimes followed by “Cry Baby” stage or the sharing of cake from “Over-Eater” stage.)

17. Zen: I’m cool. I got this. I’m breathing deeply. I’m listening more. I’m blinking sloooowly. I’m stretching. I’m so tight I can’t touch my toes, but whatever. I got this.

18. Panic: I won’t make it. I’m not ready. I haven’t trained enough. I’ve over trained. I’ll be too slow. I’ll go out too fast. I’ll shit my pants.  I’ll panic.

19. 30-Second-Butterfly-Barf: This is final stage of the taper. You’re standing in the crowd at the starting line on race day. Everyone around you is putting on their best “Faux-Fantastic” smile. You should have peed one more time. The race starts in 30 seconds. The butterflies in your stomach have multiplied 26.2 times and you’re so nervous you want to barf. Then the gun goes off and you start to run. Yay! Taper’s over. Let’s run!

body_glide_herSince runners are such a unique bunch, I’m sure there are more stages of the taper. Comment below with your experience or how you feel before a tough run for a chance to win some sweet goodies from BodyGlide! We’ll pick a random winner on Wednesday, April 24th  from all of our blog and Facebook comments. Oh, and be sure to like BodyGlide on Facebook to keep up with tips and tricks for successful racing!

Doin' the empty tent dance! Don't ask me how much it cost per square foot.

Mizunos are also good for dancing. Here’s Michelle and I getting ready to rock our tent at the Olympic Trials Track & Field 2012

Michelle, my biz partner here at RMR, and I are blessed in many ways. Not only do we get to be best friends (going on 17 years!) but we get to work and play together. And I want to share something very special about her too. If you didn’t know, she was the financial beginnings to Run Momma Run and, while I did the “running” of the business for the last three years, she’s been backin’ my butt the whole way. She’s also been the quiet, but very savvy voice of many decisions and the amazing woman who swoops in at our events and makes sure I manage to make a few sales in between all my yapping with people about running. I love her. We’re a great team. And, when we put all our eggs in a basket and decided to have a booth at the Olympic Trials Track & Field in 2012, someone else noticed we made a great team – Ron Wayne, Director of Sports Marketing for Mizuno.


Here is Ron on the right with, you guessed it, Pre.


Big name, big heart this Ron guy! If you didn’t catch it, be sure to listen to our Mizuno podcast with him about his amazing running career back in the Pre days as well as some of the incredible Mizuno racing team athletes. Ron introduced us to Mizuno’s Mezamashii Run Project:  an effort to help create a more euphoric running experience — a more “brilliant” run — for more runners everywhere. The word “mezamashii” means “eye-opening” or “brilliant” in Japanese — it’s a word that captures the euphoric feeling of a brilliant run. Check out this great video about the Mezamashii Project! (If you’re on Twitter, check out the #brilliantrun hash search!)

Mizuno is our exclusive footwear partner!

Mizuno is our exclusive footwear partner!

After spending time with Ron we were excited to receive an invitation to be exclusive footwear partners with Mizuno! We had a blast hanging out at Coorperative Performance and Rehabilitation here in Eugene who hosted some Mizuno Mezamashii Runs during the Olympic Trials weeks. We got to demo Mizuno shoes, and I hung out with RMR folks, met local, elite Craig Leon of Mizuno Racing Team and did some of my own brilliant running with my new Mizuno Wave Inspire 8s! They were euphoric runs for sure. I remember that, in the midst of working 10-15 hour days at the trails, those fun runs were a fantastic escape – pure joy and release! I can’t wait to try the Wave Inspire 9s this year!

Our partnership means that we get to try Mizuno shoes and goodies and share them with you. We’ve had a blast in the last 6 months doing giveaways at our events and on Facebook and through our blog. Our gals our LOVING the goodies and so are we. So, let’s get down to it!



These babies go everywhere. Yep, even on Halloween runs at 5:30am when you’re dressed like a cocktail waitress.

I am embarrassed to post a current photo of my Mizuno Wave Inspire 8s because, truth be told, I’ve been taking them out on the trails and they are FILTHY! In the best way, of course. The ground has been more frozen than wet lately and they handle the dirt, gravel, rocks, logs, twists and turns just fine! I was surprised at how extremely light these shoes felt when I first put them on and, if they weren’t caked with dirt, they would still feel that way! Seriously a light shoe. I’m a long distance runner and this lack of lead on the bottom of my feet really makes a difference after mile 10, 15, 20…. I was also pleasantly surprised at the fit. I’m a AA and it’s very hard to find a shoe that works for my flat, skinny, straight feet. Despite being light, they are very sturdy and, though I’ve been giving them quite a beating on the trail and on the roads training for a 50K last summer and now training with them for a 40 miler in April, they don’t feel like they’ve gone more than 100 miles. I can’t wait to try the 9s this year! This moderate support shoe has gone from an 8.9 oz to 8.3 oz – wow! And, if you’re  a minimalist type, check out Mizuno’s new Evo Running video! Check out all of the Mizuno Running Shoes and stay glued to our Facebook page or sign up for our Winery Run & Brunch Event coming up for a chance to win some.


I LOVE my Mizuno Wildwood tights! They are tightish – which I love. I feel so supported and enveloped in goodness. Sounds silly, but really, they are so comfy. Another big plus, especially for this distance momma – two pockets! Key pocket in front, room for 2-3 Gu in the back. NICE! Oh, and my girlfriends who have won some at our events LOVE them too.

They are perfect for running....and especially good for running in to get coffee after a 10 miler on a cold day!

They are perfect for running….and especially good for running in to get coffee after a 10 miler on a cold day!


After my mega-chaffing experience on my last big training run, I decided to run in a bra and my fantastic Mizuno skirt. Less to wear, less to rub. Worked like a charm.

This is my favorite piece of running gear. NO, not the post-race beer, the skirt! (Ok, it’s a tie)

I am a HUGE skirt fan. A total convert from shorts. (Which is lucky and just in time as my 10 year old pair that I love are just. too. gross.) I ordered this skirt just before I ran the McKenzie River Trail 50K last summer. Then I pulled a classic race day no-no: I wore something NEW on race day. Yep, the queen of chaffing just KNEW that this skirt was going to be perfect for 31 miles and it was. Wide, comfort fit waistband, draw string for perfect adjustment, just the right length, long shorts underneath, slightly extra fabric for that extra girly-feeling-swish (c’mon, you know what I mean). AND, two fabulous pockets. Seriously, I used to rip pockets out of old running pants and shorts and sew them into new ones that didn’t have pockets. I can put my iPhone in the side boy-shorts pocket. How perfecto is that for wild life photo ops on the trail?



And they hold a little ice pack in whatever place you need that extra zing.

I have really sensitive feet. I was injured for a good portion of 2010 and 2011 and when my tootsies start to even think about hurting, I hit them with all I’ve got; ice, vitamin I and my Mizuno Compression Socks. I’ve tried other brands in the past and these are the shiznit! Super snug in all the right places on my feet and nice and tight on my calves, I keep them on for hours. I’ve also started running in them under my tights since it’s dropped below freezing. Soooo warm and snug. Plus, they wear really well with my work boots and skirt. I can hang at the office after an early morning long run and feel the healing power!


blog_jacketsJackets seem almost pointless in Eugene. Either it’s not raining hard enough to wear one or it’s raining so hard and long you’ll be soaked to the core so what’s the point? Somehow, however, this one is perfect  – the Mizuno Cabrakan. It’s super thin and ultra light (80 g!) so I’m not too hot (I’m always boiling), but it really keeps me dry. I took it off the other day after a gusher and I was dry underneath. Whoa, that’s never happened. I took it on a 22 miler yesterday and it rocked through the rain, sun, wind and I never took it off. And, Michelle is lovin’ her Mizuno Elixir Jacket. Here we are with our gear on the rainingest day of the year so far with our inspiring speaker Janet Oberholtzer at Eugene Running Company. She graced us with her comeback-to-running story after a horrendous accident. We gave her some Mizuno shoes to try and she’s loving them!

Mizuno in 2013!

What’s next? Lots…we’ll have some fantastic Mizuno giveaways at our Winery Run & Brunch this year. Seats fill up quickly, so register today! We’ll also continue to have giveaways at our 2nd Thursday of the Month RMR Club Weekly runs now and then and keep up with us on Facebook so you won’t miss the chance to try some Mizuno goodies yourself.

Cheers and here’s to more brilliant runs!


Our Mizuno Giveaway Extravaganza Continues (But first, Soup!)

I asked our lovely Michelle to share her amazing recipe for Pumpkin Carrot Coconut Curry Soup and her thoughts on being in Oregon this time of year.  Soup is a lovely way to bring in the season and so is winning a pair of new running shoes!!! We continue with our awesome Mizuno giveaways and feel so fortunate to share their excellent products with you.


This has autumn written all over it!

There is nothing that speaks fall like chilly nights and the brilliant colors that come with the changing of the leaves. It has been many years since I was a part of this spectacular time of year. Getting to experience fall was one of the many reasons I wanted to move to Eugene. I have missed that special smell in the air that is indicative to the coming of the season along with the wet leaves and the changes that happen in my refrigerator.

Here’s what I came up with recently with the last of my garden’s carrots and a sugar pumpkins.

Pumpkin Carrot Coconut Curry Soup Recipe

1 med. Sugar Pumpkin cut in half, seeds scooped out and placed face down on a cookie sheet.

2 cups carrots-washed and cut into 2 inch pieces

2 Leeks (or 1 med onion)chopped and rinsed thoroughly

1 T Coconut or Olive oil

1 can Trader Joe’s 14 oz. light coconut milk

1 cup veggie or chicken broth

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp curry

1 tsp turmeric

1 cinnamon stick or ½ tsp cinnamon

Chicken or Veggie stock as needed.

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Place carrots alongside prepared pumpkin and bake in oven till soft approx. 45 minutes. Chop the leeks and cook for 3-4 minutes in oil. Add cumin, curry and turmeric and let simmer for a couple of more minutes. When leeks are soft add coconut milk and cinnamon stick. Let simmer on the stove for 30 more minutes being careful not to let the coconut milk boil.

When the pumpkin and carrots are cool to the touch scoop the pumpkin out of the shell and  puree in your food processor or blender along with your coconut milk mixture (take out cinnamon stick). Keep processing until all the coconut milk is incorporated. Use stock as needed to thin soup to desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper and place the cinnamon stick back in the soup. Serve the next day. Curry is usually better when it sits for a bit.

~ Bon Appetit’

The winner will pick a model and color from our list of available shoes!

Ok, Ok, Let’s Do the Shoe Giveaway!

Mizuno is our exclusive footwear partner!

Here’s how to win! Soup is a great vegetable delivery system for moms with little picky eaters. Give us either a soup idea or another one of your favorite, healthy, go-to winter family pleasers. We’ll create a list of awesome dinner ideas and pick a random winner from our Facebook and blog entries on Friday, November 30th by 5:00pm PST!