In the first few months after giving birth I was up late one night nursing my daughter and fantasizing about my return to running. That ultra goal was constantly nagging me, and I was trying to figure out if I could continue the demands of nursing while taking on an ultramarathon training schedule. It just had to be possible. To my delight I came across two women who proved to be the very inspiration I was seeking.
Shannon Farar-Griefer....man I love this woman's story. She was very much a non-runner until an ah-ha moment while nursing her child started her on the path to becoming the woman she is today. I dove into her life story and tried finding more info specifically on if she did ultras while nursing. I found that she continued running long distances while pregnant (wish I had seen her website when I was pregnant--that would have made me a lot less anxious!) but no answer to my question.
Then I came across Robyn Flores. Her tiny little TMI paragraph at the end of her Keys 100 Mile Report gave me the inspiration I needed. I contacted her and she was nice enough to specifically answer my questions about running ultras and breastfeeding. She never responded to my followup email but that first email was practically gold to me. Her advice was a great starting point to my return to running.
After relaxin stopped making my hips feel like they would slide apart, I dove into getting my running legs back. These two women are very dear inspirations to me. I think of them constantly throughout training. I've meet only one of them. Shannon was at a health expo and introduced me to her Moeben line, probably my favorite race gear in my possession. Her Moeben line, much to my dismay, seems to be non-active as I never received responses to inquiries about starting a charity campaign with them for Team BfB, and there has been no recent activity about the company for the past 2 years.
Thanks to Facebook though I've been able to get my Shannon-fix (personal page only, Moeben appears dead with only me posting lately) and my Robyn-fix for the past year. I have eagerly followed Shannon's quest for the Grand Slam. I was constantly checking the live feed yesterday to see her progress but she suffered a bad fall during the Western States 100 and had to drop. Love you Shannon! Heal up and get back out there! My Robyn-fix is momentarily dead too since after announcing she would again attempt the Keys 100 (very much to my excitement) she has deactivated her Facebook account.
I wonder if either of these women ever realize how much of an inspiration they are to others? I would probably faint if I ever got the chance to run with either of them.