Book Review ~ Train Like a Mother

I am a voracious reader – always in the middle of at least two (or three) books, several magazines and of course, blogs.  I soak up knowledge and opinions eagerly.  A good book allows me to escape into a fantasy world or to learn about something completely new to me.  Reading opens my eyes and my heart and helps me see things in a whole new way.  It feeds my curiosities, it comforts my spirit.  I love love LOVE to read.

I also love to run – training for and racing everything from the 5k to the marathon with every bit of enthusiasm and passion I’ve got in me.  I’m always striving to be better and stronger.  Many (but certainly not anywhere close to ALL) of the reading I do has to do with running.  I want to learn about racing strategies, nutrition, hydration, shoes, gear, speed workouts and all the science and research being done out there.  I want to know about and be inspired by other people in this amazing sport – “everyday” athletes who are just beginning their journey runners on up through the elite sprinters, marathoners and ultra runners.  Running is a huge part of my life.  It is a big part of who I am.

I am more than that, though.  I’m a creative, crafty spirit who somehow mustered up the courage to start my own business (Sugar Cone) that allows me to indulge in this side of myself.  I am a sister and a friend – time with my soulmates makes me oh so very happy.  I am a Pilates teacher and a running coach and I receive a great sense of joy and satisfaction from helping others believe in themselves and accomplish their goals.  Above all of these things that make me who I am though, I am a wife and I am a mother.  My family comes first, ALWAYS.  Part of why I make the time to indulge in my passions and career is because doing these things helps me to be my happiest, most patient and most giving self.  And I want to be my best self for my children and for my husband.

If you are a mother, and especially if you are a mother who runs, you get this.  You know you are never “just a mom” but that being a mom is your most important job.  Your greatest pride and your truest love.

Until a couple of years ago, I didn’t really know any other moms who shared my passion for running.  Moms who tried to balance their running with their careers and their mommy-ing and their wife-ing and all the other responsibilities that come along with it.  But then an amazing book was published – Run Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea.  When this book was published, I rushed to the store to get it and then soaked up every single word.  It was like a magical moment for me.  All of a sudden I realized I was not alone – there were mothers all across the world who were just like me!  All of a sudden I felt like a part of something bigger than me, a member of “the tribe.”  Dimity and Sarah created an awesome blog ( and Facebook page – places where literally thousands of mother runners could connect and talk about every issue under the sun.  When I was running pregnant – I would go there to ask questions and get support.  And especially after I had my third baby – I was on the Facebook page almost every day, getting support and advice from women who had been in my shoes. Women who knew what it felt like to be a postpartum hormonal mess with pelvic floor issues and big huge marathon dreams.  It comforted me in so many ways, I can’t tell you.  I am truly thankful to Dimity and Sarah for connecting us all, for uniting us.

So when I found out that they were publishing a new book – Train Like a Mother – I was ecstatic.  And when I learned that I would be so incredibly honored as to receive an advance copy to review – my jaw seriously dropped to the floor.  And when the book came and I held it in my hands for the very first time, I beamed.  I could not wait to dive in.  I have been reading the book over the course of the past week and have not wanted to put it down.  It is GOOD.  More than good.  It is awesome.

Train Like a Mother is chock-full of tips and candid advice on everything from stroller running to cross training to racing to recovering to injury prevention – and more.  It provides great insight into what it’s like to balance training and racing with parenting and working.

As I turned every page I found myself nodding up and down in agreement, thankful to have my feelings and experiences validated by so many other moms out there who run.  I laughed out loud (they are seriously funny).  I cried (in a good way).

The book has training plans that are very well designed and incredibly easy to understand.  There is something for every mother runner — plans for a 5k, a 10k, a half marathon and a marathon — whether you are a beginner looking to complete the distance for the first time or you are a more experienced runner looking for a more aggressive plan.

This book is a great resource for any mother who runs or wants to run and I **highly** recommend it.

Even though I have already read it cover-to-cover, I know I will be revisiting the book many times over.  I am following the “Own It” (more aggressive) training plan for the ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon I will be running on June 2nd.  My goal for that race is to set a new PR and I know this plan will help me accomplish that.

Are you as excited about the new book as I am?  Have you rushed to the store to buy it yet?  If not, go get it!  You will love it.

9 thoughts on “Book Review ~ Train Like a Mother

  1. I got to go to Dimity's reading in Denver last Thursday and bought a copy for myself and one each for my sisters-in-law. I'm hoping to follow at least some of Dimity's bike-to-run plan (if my PT and back allow it). I loved the chapter on injury in particular–turned to it right away. :^)

  2. Jess, you never cease to amaze me with all the different things you have going on in your life, your ability to follow your passion and career AND your ability to put your family first. Are you privy to a 30 hour day while the rest of us have to contend with 24 hours? 😉

    In all seriousness, thank you for this review of TLAM. I am really excited to read it!

  3. Alright, you have inspired me to read this book, actually both their books 🙂
    Great review if the book and personal life insight.
    Love ya Jess!

  4. Anonymous is me, Alissa, but I can't figure out how to attach my name with my comment.
    Know any good books on how to use Facebook and blogging? 😉

  5. Jessica your blog is such a pleasure to read and your are incredibly inspiring ! I am turning 42 this year and have always just run for the pleasure of it and to keep fit. A friend has now convinced me that I should run a marathon ! Now I am so excited and cannot believe I have waited until my forties to do this ! I wish I had done it when I was younger but I guess better now than never. Our goal is The London Marathon for next year and I so hope and pray that I will get there and will be capable of doing it !
    Reading your blog is such an inspiration ! I definitely need to get this book !

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