Motherhood & Words

I spent last weekend at my mom’s cabin in northern Minnesota with my family, and it was just what I needed. The weather was gorgeous on Saturday (think mid-July heat and sun), so I decided I’d take a day and not work at all. (I clearly have an unhealthy relationship with my computer if it’s that remarkable that I didn’t open it for one day.)

Instead of work, I went for a too-long run around the lake (on a combination of country roads and small highways) without any water. That wasn’t such a good idea, but I did end up making it back to the cabin without passing out. Then I ate a big lunch and collapsed into bed for a wakeful sort of nap. Then there was the pontoon ride and white wine and my brother-in-law’s ribs on the grill. The kids were outside for 12 straight hours. It was perfect.

And this week I’m excited to post about a new book for mother runners by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. Run Like a Mother contains alternating essays by McDowell and Bowen Shea that detail what it’s like to be a mother runner. They offer encouragement, practical tips, and basically make it seem possible to get yourself up and out the door for an early-morning run even when you feel sleep deprived and over-extended. I especially like that they make this seem possible even for those of us who aren’t hardcore marathoners (which of course you know I’m not.)

But while I’m not signing up for a marathon anytime soon, I am ready for a 5K, and that’s what I’ll be doing on Saturday morning. Dimity will be in the Twin Cities promoting Run Like a Mother this week and she’ll be doing a number of readings and fun runs.

Thursday, June 3, she’ll be reading at The Bookcase in Wayzata at 7 p.m. On Friday morning she’ll lead a 5K fun run followed by a short reading at Title Nine in Edina. On Friday night at 7:30, she’ll be reading at Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis, and on Saturday morning, June 5, she’ll lead a 5K around Lake Calhoun from the Running Room at 9 a.m. Strollers and walkers are welcome on the runs, and apparently there will be lots of prizes at the end!

So if you’re a local mama runner (or if you want to be a mama runner, but need a little motivation), come to the Running Room on Saturday morning. I’ll be there plodding along in my slow, happy way.

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I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Kate Vogl on June 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Sounds like a great trip! And so glad to know I am not the only one with such a relationship with her computer!!
    Thanks for the tip about another great book:) Will check it out…

  2. Dimity and Sarah on June 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks for the really nice post with all that information–really appreciate it. Your weekend sounds magical. I've got the same relationship with my computer. 🙂
    Looking forward to meeting you on Saturday…happy to plod along with you. Dimity

  3. Caroline on June 2, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Oh, I'm happy to learn about this book! I've been rising before the alarm clock for a short run every day, but I need some motivation to stretch it out to 5K territory.

  4. Ines on June 3, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Oh that does it, Kate. I Have to move to your town. I just have to. Otherwise, I will keep missing these wonderful events…(I'll read the book, though).

  5. Andrea on June 3, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Well, I would never, ever, ever run except when late for the school bus (thank goodness the 9-y-o can make that run himself now) or chasing an errant toddler or two (thank goodness five-y-o's are less likely to run off randomly, in opposite directions), but it sounds like a wonderful weekend no less; and I'm interested in the prevalence of books coming out on how to be a mom and still cling to some semblance of the person you were before (have you read Base Ten by Maryann Lessert? Fiction about a mom who was going to be an astrophysicist, then had a kid and another…I'm in the middle of it and keep staying up way too late at night; I barely passed algebra and never even considered physics, but there's still so much I can relate to in it).

  6. kate hopper on June 3, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who has a computer addiction!

    Dimity, I look forward to meeting you, too!

    Caroline, you can absolutely do a 5K!

    Ines, you DO need to move here!

    Andrea, I'm really pleased about this trend, as well. And thank you for the recommnedation! I'll put Base Ten on my list.

  7. unfinishedportraitofsam on June 8, 2010 at 11:18 am

    sure makes me wish i lived in the area! enjoy : )

  8. Anonymous on June 15, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Darn – I just became a follower of yours otherwise I would have loved to have joined the run!
    thanks for the book idea – just what I need! Say – you should organize a mama running group… unless you already have one and I just don't know about it.
    Thank you ~ Rebecca