living lucy

Sarah and Dimity

A mother runner writer duo, Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell are the co-authors of Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother and the force behind Shea is an eight-time marathon finisher and mother of three, while McDowell has turned to triathlons and crosstraining to keep the injury rate down in her oft-injured bod. Both are also contributing editors to Runner’s World.

What is your favorite lucy item of all times and why do you like it so much?

Dimity: Right now, I'm grooving on the Endurance Skirt. Love how streamlined it's silhouette is, and love that there's a zip pocket in back to hold cash and gels. Plus, the shorts stay put when I run, which is a huge bonus.

What’s a perfect run for you?

Sarah: A 12-miler with a friend on a weekend morning. Long enough to be a challenge, but not exhausting—and enough time to get in some good gabbing.

Dimity: Cut that distance in half and I’m perfect. Six miles, preferably on the trails. I love trail running: makes me feel like I’m in the middle of a video game.

What inspires you to run when you don’t feel like it?

Sarah: Sometimes I entice myself out of the house with thoughts of listening to a new episode of a podcast, like, "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" or, dare I admit it, our own podcast, Another Mother Runner. But, in all honesty, motivation isn't my problem. (Don't hate me!)

Dimity: When I’m lying in bed at 5:25 a.m. and really not wanting to go, I mentally put myself with a mile to go in my run. I’ve done three or four already, and I’ve just got a small slice to go. My body is humming, my mind is balanced, and I’m so psyched that I got out there. I know my day will be better because I ran. That usually works.

What is your favorite running song/soundtrack/sounds or silence?

Sarah: To get amped up in the second half of a race, I love dance songs with a strong beat. Current faves: "Scream" by Usher; "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by Kelly Clarkson, and "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida.

Dimity: Yin and yang here. I’ll listen to music on the treadmill, but these days, I’ve been running without tunes. I’m sure I’ll switch again, but I’m enjoying the silence—the only time I seem to get it these days—and listening to the various birds and frogs and crickets.

Favorite pre-run snack if any?

Sarah: Unless I'm running for 75 minutes or longer, I go out on an empty stomach except for a bottle of water flavored with orange nuun.

Dimity: Definitely have to have at least one banana before I run. And if I’m really hungry, I’ll have a graham cracker or two or an English muffin with peanut butter. Can’t run on an empty stomach, no matter how short the run is.

Favorite post-run snack if any?

Sarah: Chocolate milk. It's delicious and the perfect ratio of protein-to-carbs that hardworking muscles need. Plus, even if I'm feeling queasy after a long run, chocolate milk always goes down easily.

Dimity: ditto.

Tips for running when you’re sleep deprived?

Sarah: Get out the door—or hit the treadmill—before you have time to think about it. Once you fully wake up, you'll be a mile or two into your run. And it helps to remind yourself that energy begets energy.

Dimity: You’re going to be tired no matter what that day, so you might as well do something good for yourself that can change your perspective and attitude—and, like Sarah said, it’s amazing how much energy you have after a run.

Best post-run stretch if any?

Sarah: I'm not much for stretching—there are lunchboxes to be packed or emails to answer—but I always spend a minute or two dropping my heels off a step to ease any calf tightness. This helped me banish plantar fasciitis last year, so now I do it to keep the painful condition in check.

Dimity: Yeah, the post-run frenzy doesn’t really allow for stretching, but I’m definitely a believer in foam rolling. Rolling out my quads, calves and IT bands (on the outer side of the quads) gets the kinks worked out before the next workout. I’d like to do it everyday, but do it more like two or three times a week. (And I usually watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart while doing it, so I can laugh while my muscles scream.)

Fun fact: Sarah worked for lucy when it first started! Here’s what she had to say about it: “Sue Levin, the co-founder of lucy, was my mentor from my early days being an editor at magazines. In the summer of 1999, out of the blue, Sue called me and asked me to be the Editorial Director of (the store was originally a website only). I had no web experience, but it sounded like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I jumped. I was the 9th employee of the start-up, and I was instrumental in creating the lucy personna and the personality of the website. It was a ton of fun, and a dozen years later, I'm still friends with several lucy co-workers.“

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