Want to try trail running, but don't know where to start? Join the (totally free!) Trail Running Jumpstart eCourse

• running: it’s just true


I really don’t know why I go to expos. I have only been to three and, while I know it’s supposed to be about getting your product out there and selling, I find myself just talking running all day and wanting to hear peoples’ stories about their most difficult marathon or how they are going to sign up for their first 5K or why they’re running because their daughter is ill and they created a team to run for Children’s Brain Tumor research charity. It’s SO about the fuel that is stoking the fires. I created Run Momma Run to remind people, especially busy moms who often forget to reward themselves, to celebrate their running. How did I get so lucky getting to meet people willing to share their stories?

Denise & Marina and their hard-earned space blankets

Meet Marina and Denise. My business partner, Michelle, and I met hem on the streetcar in Portland on expo weekend,  just after they finished the 1/2 marathon. We were on our way to REI to try on some Vibram FiveFingers. They were headed for a shower and a big plate of food. We asked them what we thought was a simple question, “How was your race day?” Well, they started out with a 3 hour drive the night before, but had to turn back an hour into it after realizing Marina had forgotten her wallet.  Then they decided they’d be too late to arrive on time to get their packets and tracked down a friend to pick them up. The plan was to meet him later at his hotel.  That seemed easy enough except they thought he was staying at the Marriot, only to find out he was check in  at the Double Tree. More late night driving around. Since it was pouring rain marathon morning, they decided to take some extra clothes, but struggled at the last minute on where to hide them. Nearby bushes seemed like a good idea. The race itself went ok, they said. They even PRed. After the race though, they ended up leaving their drop bag after not being able to push their way through the crowd to rummage through the bushes where they sort of remembered hiding it. With all that behind them, they didn’t care. They ran it. They had their medals, their t-shirts, their rose and their space blankets!

Stacy, an aspiring runner.

Yesterday’s expo offered more great stories, like the sweet one I heard from Stacy. I first saw Stacy in her yellow volunteer traffic safety vest outside in the parking lot as I pulled my car in to set up at the RiverBend 5K, a fundraiser for Lane Coalition for Healthy Active Youth. She not only directed me in, but helped me unload my pile, even saving me a parking spot later when I had to run back to the house for a forgotten item. When the race and expo were underway, Stacy paid all the vendors a visit and her and I chatted about her running. She said her father had gone on long bike rides and inspired her to quit smoking and start walking, then running. She would walk from mailbox to mailbox on her street, then started running from mailbox to mailbox until she could run the entire 1/2 mile out and back. Recently she hadn’t gotten out there as much, but was ready to start up again. She looked at the runner momma pendants I had at the booth and said, “You know, I’m going to tell my good friend about these and tell her to get me one. Then I’ll tell her to give it to me when I’ve made the distance. By then, I will have forgotten that she bought it and I’ll be surprised and excited about it!” That made my day. Thanks for the stories, ladies… sometimes long and complicated, sometimes simple, but always meaningful and true. Mmmm, maybe I DO know why I got to expos.

What’s your recent ‘story’ about running?


4 thoughts on “• running: it’s just true

  1. Ahhhhh, my funny story or not so funny story started on a morning run in Portland recently. Although CrossFit is my sport, when you have a best friend and biz partner who runs for a living you become a runner when with her. I have to say that my body doesn’t always respond well to running. I prefer trails to concrete, more time in the morning to get moving, and sights to occupy me as I try to work my way thru why I am running in the first place. On this particular morning I found myself having to opt out early as my body was having nothing of it. A couple of miles in and a pain in my lower extremities started me searching for a way out. Thank God for running in the city! Starbuck’s was only a few blocks away and I bid farewell to my partner and headed up. Now, Starbuck’s bathrooms, in the city require a key, and they only have 1 bathroom for all. This was 7am on a busy work morning and I was starting to feel very ill. I got lucky and wrestled the key from the barista and found myself doubled over for the next 30 minutes in a nice, clean, too bright of a place. It is like having the flu when I get myself in these situations. I need a bucket in front of me, porcelain under me, a sink nearby for cold compresses and a clothes rack as I tear my clothes off, praying I won’t pass out from the flu like sweats wracking my body. It doesn’t matter that there are people waiting outside, my body has a mind of its own and won’t work with me. Each time I get up, it sits me back down again and there is nothing, I mean nothing I can do until she decides she has had enough of me. When I finally am able to return to the real world, I sheepishly make my way out into the aromas of fresh coffee, the barista and her coffee drinking followers wondering, “she looks like a normal lady but what *&%$#@?” and I quickly leave this Starbucks and head for the hotel. Vacation food and lack of serious butt kicking exercise are always a lethal combination for my sensitive disposition. Till next time……..

  2. I so agree that the stories of why people run and the obstacles they’ve overcome are almost as rewarding as the race, itself. I get all kinds of amazing emails via the contact page on my site. One woman said she was getting bigger and bigger and the only exercise she was doing was lifting her baby. Then she took him to Disney World and it happened to be the day after the Princess Half Marathon. She found herself emersed in a sea of glowing women wearing their tiaras from the race. She went home and registered for that race, determined to get a tiara for herself the next year.
    Everyone has their own story of their goal, motivation, obstacles, and eventually, success; every one fills my heart and enriches my experience.
    Thanks for sharing, Laura. When I read your posts, I find myself thinking how much we think alike. I will be doing my first expo, The Gasparilla Distance Classic Expo in February, and I imagine my experiences will mirror yours.

  3. Hey, Deb! Thanks for your comments. I love getting your point of view and, yes, we do think alike! I love your FB posts. They always get me thinking. Good luck with the expo! Will you have services and products there? Fondly, Laura

  4. I am just now publishing the epub version of my book After Your First 5k, and I’ll have the hard copies to sell by then, too.

    I’ll also be promoting my local RunTampa.com running/coaching program, selling Run Tampa and Mojo shirts, too.

Leave a Comment