25 posts categorized "runMAMArun"

Striving to compete: to be a role model for my girls & boy

May 12, 2014

As my kids get older, I realize more and more how they are watching me intently when I set goals and work hard to meet them.  I have daily goals (do 5 loads of laundry today, go to the supermarket), but I want them to see me striving for more lofty goals.  Recently, I made the decision to peruse a senior position at a new organization.  I went through a long interview process, and I would debrief with the family all along.  At the end of the day, I negotiated it all to go my way, from start date to work-at-home expectations and from salary to job location.  I was proud of myself, so proud, and they were proud of me, too.

I am a mama runner, and all of my “brfs” (best running friends) know that I have a problem with commitment.  “Let’s run this marathon or that half!”  Registrations ensue and I remain silent on the matter.  

Running a race is a huge commitment of time and money.  Each race sucks at least $50, plus there is picking up race packets plus showing up on race-day early.  That is all time I just don’t have.  Then, there’s the actual training.  What if I don’t have the time to fit on that 12 mile run this weekend if the kids have tournaments, events, practices, birthday parties or other commitments? 

Continue reading "Striving to compete: to be a role model for my girls & boy" »

The Aftermath of the Boston Marathon

April 24, 2013

On Monday, April 15th, I woke up in a tizzy.  First, I was late for a meeting for which I had to commute an hour.  Second, we hadn't finished up our taxes.  Third, the funnest thing of the morning, it was the Boston Marathon, and the last Facebook status I saw was from a former PDX urbanMama, suited up in compression socks and bib number, ready to race.

I thought about our friend all morning wondering how she was feeling and how she was doing (undoubetdly strong, she always runs strong!).  After a busy day of meetings, I settled into another hour commute home and was horrified to hear the news.

"Late breaking news from the Boston Marathon finish line...."  and "....reports of two deaths, one of whom was a child of eight years old..." - the audio was unbearable.  As a "survivor" of sorts of what happened on September 11, 2001, I felt pangs of trauma resurfacing.  My heart beat mimicked how it behaved back then.  Every other moment, I let out tears.  And, as I drove, my hand covered my mouth in disbelief.

Our urbanMama friend was safe, though she was just picking up her warming blanket as the first impact set off.  Luck would also have it that her spouse and three children were running a little late to greet her, still a few blocks away from finish.  After hearing the comotion, the family re-routed to meet at another pre-determined location.

We have stories of friends who were there, stories of friends of friends.  Many of us, runners ourselves, can only imagine the confusion of feelings: the high of completing such a huge feat like a marathon and the low of realizing that something so awful had happened.

How is your family dealing with this current event, this tragedy?  Does it feel close?  Does it feel far?  For another former PDX urbanMama, it hits close to home.  Her 9-year old has nightmares, feeling so disempowered and depressed.  So, this mama has decided to organize an event, a worldwide run, on May 15, 2013, to honor those that ran the Boston Marathon and to honor the goodness in our world.  "MILES to teach GOODNESS" encourages us all to organize a run in our neighborhood, at the same time, to run 26.2 minutes to celebrate our communities and support one another.

Care to join?  Read more about the EmPOWERed Kids Run here or join the Facebook event here.

In our household, it still feels a little unreal.  We talk about it, we watch the news.  The event dampens our spirit.  We think we will join in on the EmPOWERed Kids Run to help us join in with the rest of the community to lift our spirits.

Run and Bike for Mother's Day

April 05, 2012

Looking for something active to do on Mother’s Day? Check out two great events. First, our friends at Adoption Mosaic are hosting the 4th Annual Run Mama Run 5k and 10k at Mt Tabor. There is a preview walk/run on Saturday, April 7th. Details here.   

More interested in biking? Then check out Cylo Femme at the NE Sunday Parkways.  Addtional information at BikePortland and Sunday Parkways.

Timing is such you might be able to both.


Mamahood: the sacrifice & the indulgence of it all

May 11, 2011

You may be able to tell that many of the urbanMamas are a running bunch (connect with them now on the run Mama run page).  Many of my friendships in Portland have blossomed due to regular running. Our time pounding the pavement/trails is time when we share about our children, their stages of life, our careers, our partners, and more.  

Last fall, I started a new running relationship that has really grown.  My running buddy started training for a marathon to celebrate her 50th year of life, and I followed along with her training routine.  For those of you who know me, you know that I am non-committal when it comes to registering for a run.  I don't know what it is.  Part of it is that I hate to spend "all that money" on myself for a run I could easily do on my own.  Who wants that t-shirt anyway?  Part of it is because I hate to put it on the family calendar, eating into precious weekend family time.  It seems so indulgent.

Before I knew it, I was running 20 miles on a Friday morning with my running buddy.  I would rearrange drop-off schedules so that I could leave at the crack of dawn and still be back for work meetings on a Friday.  It was indulgent: how many full-time working mamas could carve out time for a 3-4 hour run?  On the other hand, it was a choice and a sacrifice: I stayed up late many Thursday nights to work so I could get away with 3-4 hours away from the office the following morning.  AND, it really interfered very little with my family rhythm.  

Last week, in my heart, I committed to committing.  I opened up the webpage for registration for a marathon in June.  I had worked so hard this spring to increase my speed and distance.  I almost owe it to myself to let it pay off.  Before I hit "register now", I spoke with my husband about the idea.  And, due to other major life-changing transitions upcoming, he urged me to reconsider.  So, I did.  I decided not to run a marathon this June.

I am sad.  I feel that I have worked hard, unintentionally in the beginning, to train.  I didn't know what I was training for, but I realized that I am in great shape to run a marathon (NOW!).  But, as fate would have it, other life commitments will get in the way.  I am sure I am not the only mama who will let the family comes first, even if it means it will superceed my hopes, dreams, and aspirations (what a drama queen).  You know what I mean.  You've had that feeling before, haven't you?

urbanMamas Post – Spring 2011 Running Edition

March 31, 2011

As you have read on these pages there are some mamas in our community that love to run. So here are some running realted updates and events for the running mamas.

First, the urbanMamas Runners facebook page has transitioned to Run Mama Run. So come on over and ‘Like’ Run Mama Run. We post information on weekly runs, local running events, questions for mama runners, links to articles and products we think running mamas will find interesting or useful, and more. We added Heather Hardin Helmy of Eat Well NW as one of our content providers. She has been giving us great advice on hydration and nutrition, for mamas and families.

Run Like a Mother (now known as Another Mother Runner) is celebrating their First Anniversary. Join the fun.

Event Details
Saturday, April 9 - RLAMiversary Run!
Start at 9:30 at RiverPlace Athletic Club. Run 5k or 5 miles, return to the gym for the chance to win prizes, grab a great goodie bag, get a mini-massage, and meet other mother runners. Strollers, single friends, new runners, one and all welcome. Check it out and RSVP for the event on RLAM: the Book Event Facebook Page or on the blog.

Don’t forget about Run Mama Run event on Mother’s Day, a fundraiser for Adoption Mosaic.
Finally, let’s have some snacks and drinks and talk about running and motherhood.

What: Run Mama Run Happy Hour
Date:  Saturday, April 30
Time: 5:00 - ?
Location: Produce Row Café
204 SE Oak Street  
Please RSVP in the comments or on Run Mama Run 

Happy Running.

urbanMamas Event – Sarah Bowen Shea from Run Like a Mother

October 13, 2010

urbanMamas is proud to host author Sarah Bowen Shea, co-author of Run Like a Mother: The Book (with Dimity McDowell). Sarah is a runner, a Portland resident, a mother of three and a freelance writer with articles in Runners World, among other magazines. She is also an inspiration. She just qualified for the Boston Marathon on Sunday, October 10 at the (very soggy) Portland Marathon. Please join us for happy hour to meet Sarah and connect with other running mamas. If we have six or more mamas there will be freebies including a $100 Asics gift certificate.

Date: Saturday, November 13

Time: 5:00 – 7:00

Place: Produce Row Café @ 204 SE Oak Street (503/232-8355)

Hope to see you there.

Please RSVP in the comments.

A retrospective: Hood-to-Coast 2010

August 31, 2010

I am still on a post-run high, a feeling of fatigued elation, having lived through another Hood-to-Coast.  For me, this year was unlike other years.  I felt drab, heavy, slow after having our little man just eleven months ago.  I was upset with my training, or lack thereof.  How could I get out for a run - ever! - between naps, going to the supermarket, work, and all the demands of day-to-day life?  Training was limited to two runs a week; I didn't feel prepared.  Even before I got started, I wanted to give up and cry.  

I set out on my first of three run segments, feeling oh-so tentative and even irritated that I hadn't been able to prioritize running.  I couldn't blame myself.  I couldn't blame my family.  Life is busy.  What can we do? We had twenty-four mamas running Hood to Coast in the name of urbanMamas this year; I am sure I was not the only one who found it difficult to put the running before the kids, the dinners, the work, and the chores.  It was a feat in and of itself to have amassed the mama group group, making sure that we had ample childcare coverage for the 30+ hours away, coordinating feeding/nursing schedules, hauling pumps, pipes, and parts so we could make more food for the littles while gone.  

Continue reading "A retrospective: Hood-to-Coast 2010" »

running gear: one mama's experience

August 25, 2010

As a reader of this blog you probably know there are lots of running mamas. There are three groups running Hood to Coast this weekend and two FaceBook groups; Run Mama Run (generally faster runners) and urbanMama Runners. The urbanMamas Runners group also has an email list. I (Courtney) moderate the urbanMama Runner FB page and email. I started running again in October 2009 after about 9 years away from it. I trained for the Shamrock 5k in March, and am now training for Run Like Hell 10k on October 24. I could not have done it without the support of my family, the mamas, and some good gear. This is not intended to be a blanket urbanMama endorsement or advertisement – just sharing this mama’s experience. Apologies to the email list readers and FB friends for double posting.


Continue reading "running gear: one mama's experience" »

Reminder: Join our urbanMama running group!

March 04, 2010

Do you know we have a lot of runners in the urbanMama community? There is a Yahoo group, an email group and Facebook page. There is a group of us who are new to running or in the 10-12 minute per mile category. We are training for the Shamrock Run which is March 14. We have been meeting every Saturday at the Waterfront to run together. The next one is Saturday, March 6 @ 8:00 am. Meet at the Vera Katz statue on the east side of the Waterfront, south of the Hawthorne Bridge. Join us! Email: umamarunners@gmail.com. Facebook: Urbanmama Runners. And check out a great new running blog Run Like a Mother.

New Runners Group – First Run

January 22, 2010

The new runners group has started! Our first group run is Saturday, January 23rd @ 8:00 AM at Salmon Street Springs. That is the large water fountain/feature at the end of SW Salmon and in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. If you did not receive the email, but wanted to or want to be added, email me (again maybe) at umamrunners@gmail.com and I will add you to the list.

New Runners Group

December 29, 2009

If you are a regular reader, you probably know that there are many runners in the urbanMamas community. This includes two Run Mama Run Teams for Hood to Coast and a Yahoo running group. These are experienced runners – doing 8-10 miles on the weekends.

I, at 41, started running again in the fall after a multi-year hiatus. I am not up for 10 miles just yet, maybe never? But, as a goal oriented person, I decided to target the Shamrock Run 5K (http://www.shamrockrunportland.com) on March 14, 2010 as my first running goal.

Any new (or hope to be new) runners want to join me?

There are lots of resources out there to help get started and that provide support. I have been using http://running.about.com/ and the Running for Beginners (http://running.about.com/od/runningforbeginners/Running_for_Beginners.htm) and the Guide to 30 Minute Running habit (http://running.about.com/c/ec/10.htm). These then lead to training for a 5k, 10k, ½ marathon, etc. My husband used the NikePlus program (http://nikerunning.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikeplus/en_US/plus/). Email me at:  umamarunners@gmail.comAs a group we can decide if we want to meet/train/run in person,  email each other, have a group list, meet at the Shamrock Run, or all of the above. Happy running.

For Hood-to-Coast: Inspired by mamas

August 18, 2009

We wrote this piece about our running inspiration for a contest held by the Run Oregon blog. We didn't win: but we poured (all of) our hearts and souls into it, so ecco! You inspire us:

self portrait in van window, 2006

It is early, early in the morning one Saturday in August, 2007. I am in a field somewhere in the winding roads and misty mountains of Northwest Oregon and I am stealing a little sleep with my six-and-a-half week-old baby. When he wakes to eat, I put him in the sling and walk through the rows of vans with a friend, who's been helping to care for him these past 20-some hours.

A voice catches us with wisdom, smiles, from between two vans. "Oh! A baby!" says one woman. She's at least 15 years my senior, maybe more. She's with her teammate. "Oh, so many babies have been nursed in our vans," says the other. There are tears at the corners of their eyes. It is nostalgia but something else: a camaraderie rooted in millennia, "The Red Tent" but different, modern and ancient at once. We have been where you are, we know. My own teammate and I look at each other, overcome in that ‌inimitable way we are so often in the 30-some hours a year we spend running the Hood-to-Coast relay, flushed with the warmth despite the chill wet air, here, in a grass parking lot near Birkenfeld, Oregon.

We are an all-mama team; under the care of this year's 12 women are 28 children. And what inspires us most is each other, and all the other mamas whose paths we cross on the road, in the parking lots, and the ones we've left at home cheering us on. We are inspired by mamas.

Continue reading "For Hood-to-Coast: Inspired by mamas" »


May 04, 2009

Wanted to let you know about a Mother's Day event of sorts in case you were interested in joining in the fun.  For the past several years, a group of urbanMama friends have been participating in the Hippie Chick, a half marathon just for women at Champoeg State Park.  So this year, when we didn't get in, we were pretty disapointed.  That's when we realized that Portland really needed to have a women only walking/running event on Mother's Day!   The 10k loop we've planned (or 5k if you're walking) passes the park playground several times where the kids can cheer us on--go Mama go!   We're spreading the word to all our friends and family:
When: Sunday, May 10, 2009
Time: 5k walk or 10k run begins at 9:00
Where: Mt. Tabor picnic shelter (across from the parking lot and playground)
Bring: something brunchy to share afterwards
We'll have coffee and hot chocolate on hand. We're hoping this might
become an annual event, a little something we can do for ourselves on
Mother's Day, together with our friends and families. Donations accepted
on behalf of Adoption Mosaic.

Hope you'll join us!

Running Pregnant

September 14, 2008


Staying active is an important part of my life, even while pregnant.  With my previous two pregnancies I neither ran nor biked, two activities I've been enjoying a lot recently.  Recently, I found out I was pregnant when I was 8 weeks along.  While I've cut back on my running, partly due to the body readjusting (e.g., widening hips, expanding waistline, weight gain, etc.) making a wee bit uncomfortable but also partly due to my worry that too much running may harm the health of the growing babe.  I must say, I've been feeling good lately running.  Since this is my third pregnancy, I feel keenly aware of any issues I would be experiencing and would stop at any time if I knew it was a risk to my pregnancy.  Aside from feeling it a bit more in my hips, I'm hoping that running jogging will help me stay more fit, hopefully prevent the 50 lb weight gain during the last pregnancy and help me to bounce back quickly post-partum.  We've heard about biking throughout pregnancy, but what about running?  How long did you run into your pregnancy?  What limitations did you set on distance and time? 

Run MAMA Run - We're OFF!

August 24, 2007

We've been pounding the pavement hard for the past few months, and - in earnest - over the past few weeks.  We've written some of our training secrets, mama-style.  We've reminisced about how scary-but-fun it was last year.  With all that and a little bit of hype, we're off again!

Wish the Run Mama Run team lots of luck and fresh-feeling legs as they kiss their babes goodbye for over a day, as they run-mam-run the 197.2 miles from Timberline Lodge all the way down to the beach at Seaside.  We should be cruising through Portland around 10:30-11PM on Friday night, so if anyone is up past their bedtime, come cheer us on at the Hawthorne Bridge!

We'll try to check in with some pics mid-way....  in true urbanMama fashion, never far from a wifi connection!

Run Mama Run: Hood to Coast 2007

August 17, 2007

With just a week to go, 12 urbanMamas rest their legs and ready themselves for Hood-to-Coast.  Run Mama Run is our team, and it's not our first appearance in the largest relay in the U.S.  197 miles, 12 mamas, 20 kids (though they're not coming for the ride!), 2 vans, 30 or so hours.  Is it fun?  Heck, we've birthed kids, so what's 197 miles, just a few hours of sleep, and 30 hours of on and off running?  If you like momraderie, then - YES - it is most definitely fun.  Expect chatting, laughing, butterflies in stomachs.  Start on Mt. Hood and miraculously end at Seaside.  It's the moment we've all been training for.

This year, Run Mama Run is being supported by some great folks at OregonLive, so check us out over at RunOregon and read all about some of our mama running secrets.  Run Mama Run also send e-shout-outs to Lara for fueling us with Larabars and to Virginia for juicing us up with VitaminWater.

We aren't the only mamas running this thing.  Last year, we counted several other mama teams: "37 kids and still counting", "I want my mommy", "Moms on the Run", "Running from our kids", "Hoochie Mamas", "Dolly Mamas".  Anyone else running Hood to Coast this year??

Running Mamas Join the Fun

July 24, 2007

For the second year in a row, we've assembled a group of mamas (and papas) for the Hood To Coast.  This year, we thought we'd try for more team unity by participating in the Nike+ ChallengeLarissa has started a Nike+ Challenge team for the urbanMamas so we can run our way to some snazzy gear.  Only a handful of us mamas are Nike+ equipped so we are hoping for your help to up our mileage.  We're currently at 4.79 miles (yes, that's progress) but can we beat a bunch of Nike-sponsored teams?  Or, if you have some gear you'd love to donate to our fabulous team of runners, we'd certainly love to hear from you!


run for the mamas

August 30, 2006

If you don't know, you must have pink colorblindness: the Komen Race for the Cure is almost upon us, on Sunday, September 17. I have fond memories of running it shortly after I found out I was pregnant with Truman! Yay. Anyway, this year, I'm not pregnant (I don't think), and so it seems a good time to run it fast.


Today, as it turns out, is the last day to enter the race as a part of a team. We urbanMamas thought about the concept of starting our own team, but we decided: why not join  up with the MoMMA group, Mom's Milk Anywhere (formerly known as the NIPpers)? They're registered as "Team MomMA"(#13933) and I think running for the ability to breastfeed in public is a way to satisfy several goals at once: remember, breastfeeding has been proven to reduce your chances of developing breast cancer! Yay for that, too.

If you're running the Race for the Cure, and are interested in having a . run . mama . run . ( good mama ) shirt, let me know as I have lots of iron-ons left.

running scared in Hood-to-Coast

August 24, 2006


I just said 'goodbye' to Erica and Jackson; I'd just come from Larissa's house. We're all (me chiefest among them) a little terrified. Along with Hau, Olivia, and a bunch of other wonderful urbanMamas, we'll be running the Hood-to-Coast tomorrow (and Saturday). Our start time: 8:45 a.m., and if we go according to our estimates, Larissa will be running through Portland between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., handing off to Hau around the Hawthorne Bridge (check out the map in today's Oregonian, the back of the Sports section, or see the PDF of the route here).

I'm amazed that we're doing this all together, it seems wild, crazy, and oh-my-god-what-was-I-thinking. But I realized while I was sitting at my computer, worrying and wondering how we would make it through: we have a secret! Haha. Not only are we accustomed to marathon-style pain (we all gave birth, after all, many to more than one baby), but we're fabulous at operating at peak efficiency for days on end without any sleep to speak of.

They say women who have given birth in the past year are far better at the marathon than women of similar age, but no small babies. I think our recent connection to the highly difficult time of pregnancy, birth and early childhood makes us beyond prepared for the road ahead.

Here's to us, and to all of you who've trained with us and cheered us on. And here's to being an urbanMama, possibly the best training program in the world ... for anything!

Run Mama Run: HTC 2006

August 06, 2006

Earlier this year, 12 of us uMamas in the Portland area formed a team for the 25th Anniversary of Hood-to-Coast. We've been trying hard to get our rears in gears to prep. One of our mama runners is suffering some unfortunate injuries, and we're sad to not have her run with us. The up-side of this is that we have one spot available for another mama runner!

The details: the legs are is 10, 22, and 34. The cost is the $90 entry fee. We are also looking to get the whole team together one last time the morning of Aug. 20 at 10 am at one of the runner's houses. We lucked out with a nice and early 8:45 am start.

Email us if you think you can Run-Mama-Run.

Running for Our Lives

July 20, 2006

In a posh beach house where we held our urbanFamily retreat over a year ago, an idea was hatched in the middle of doing cat and cow poses as our children straddled our backs. The three other urbanMamas and me were reflecting and dreaming, and discussing the anticipation of two impending births. Sarah was enduring contractions throughout the stay without making us aware, a warrior perhaps inspired by Ina May. As the pregnant mamas revealed our apprehension and worries about returning to “self” after the births, we formulated a plan. We discussed the possibility of running together as a group, and perhaps training for a marathon. What a brilliant enough strategy for losing that post-baby weight! But how difficult it is to go for that first slow and agonizing jog, it is baby steps indeed.

After both Sarah and I had second sons, and some time to adjust to life with newborns, we took the plunge and started the journey of recovery. Shetha started the urbanmamasrun yahoo group to allow us to communicate; and Erica found a race for us to run and created a training plan to get us ready for the Run Like Hell Half Marathon. Fast forward to today. The urbanmamasrun group has expanded to include so many lovely mamas. What started out of necessity has blossomed into scheduled Saturday morning social runs sometimes topped off with coffee and scones. It’s not all about the running even though we do sometimes put in some serious mileage. It’s mostly about the friendships and support we get from one another. Running has become fun, and my fellow mamas have been the best motivator to date. If you need some motivation to start moving again, join us on a Saturday morning run or at one of these upcoming local events:

  • Cascade Runoff 15 K – Sunday, July 23. Downtown, Portland. There’s still time to register!
  • All Women’s Triathalon / Duathalon – Saturday, Aug. 5, Blue Lake
  • Hood to Coast – Come and cheer on the all mama team along the way! The 25th anniversy of the event probably means a whole lot of celebration.  Larissa has been blogging about her training. We’ll be posting our starting time and approximate running times.

Running with the urbanMamas

May 08, 2006

This past fall, we had assembled a perfect team of mamas for what we were hoping to be our inaugural Hood To Coast race. After many weeks of waiting anxiously to see if we were one of the lucky few, we were sadly not chosen. It was heartbreaking, we were devastated. We had our window of opportunity with enough (non-pregnant) mamas to make a team, and in a flash, it was gone.

So, when the HTC Director emailed me the other week mentioning that they had a rare opportunity - a spot opened up, we jumped on the chance.  However, it looks like we are a few mamas short of a full team!  For those not familiar with HTC, it's a relay race from Mt. Hood to Seaside with a team of up to 12 runners.  We are looking for 5 running mamas (and 3 volunteers) who would like to be a part of our Hood to Coast team.  It's their 25th anniversary, and the race will sure to be quite enjoyable.  Does this sound like you?  If so, please email me at urbanmamas@gmail.com!

Run, uMama, Run!

March 02, 2006

I just wanted to post a quick note that one of our mamas, Cherl of Running Addiction, will be running her muchly trained-for Napa Valley Marathon this Sunday.  Cherl, I want you to know that I'll be cheering you on from here in Portland!  You're an inspiration to all of us!!!


February 15, 2006

Thanks for all the input on the walking group! Let's try it this Saturday.  I hope lots of you will come out and join out team of walking urbanMamas. The urbanMama running group has tried to meet most Saturdays at 8am at a designated place, so why not have walkers and runners meet at the same spot this week?

urbanMamas RUN & WALK
Saturday, February 18, 2006
8 AM

Eastbank Esplanade (the path near the OMSI north Parking Lot...)

Saturday Morning Runs

November 05, 2005

Recently the other mamas of this blog and I ran Run Like Hell.  You can read all about it from Portland's very own Sarah Gilbert on blogging baby.  Now that it's over, we're still committed to continuing this tradition (two solid months of mamas meeting up to run could be construed as such).  It's transpired into a social event where we run and chat.  It's fun, and very casual.  Each mama is extremely supportive. 

Here's how it works, one of the mamas sends out an email with a suggested route and decides where to meet, and then come Saturday morning we head off for our run.  We like to run in Portland - in Forest Park, along the waterfront, in North Portland along the Williamette - whereever our heart desires.  Sound like something you'd like to do?  Interested in being added to email group?  Then, send me an email!