14 posts categorized "Hood-to-Coast"

Re-thinking Fitness Post Mamahood

August 26, 2010

Integrating fitness post-partum has been a challenge.  The last time I stepped foot into a gym was 8 years ago; and trying to fit a formal exercise routine into my everyday schedule? Well, that has nearly been impossible, the more kids I have. I run because it's flexible and requires little to no equipment; and the cost of my bike is less than a gym membership. Weights? My 30-lb toddler is my resistance, right? The Xtracycle is my cardio machine.  This has worked exceptionally well for returning to pre-baby shape except for strengthening my core and losing the last 8 pounds. I have struggled with these two areas after each child, and now that I am done with procreating, there are no more excuses.  It's time to get serious. 

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running gear: one mama's experience

August 25, 2010

As a reader of this blog you probably know there are lots of running mamas. There are three groups running Hood to Coast this weekend and two FaceBook groups; Run Mama Run (generally faster runners) and urbanMama Runners. The urbanMamas Runners group also has an email list. I (Courtney) moderate the urbanMama Runner FB page and email. I started running again in October 2009 after about 9 years away from it. I trained for the Shamrock 5k in March, and am now training for Run Like Hell 10k on October 24. I could not have done it without the support of my family, the mamas, and some good gear. This is not intended to be a blanket urbanMama endorsement or advertisement – just sharing this mama’s experience. Apologies to the email list readers and FB friends for double posting.


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Biking to work counts as a workout

July 29, 2010

I cannot remember the last time I've posted under my real identity, partly because the craziness of maintaining urbanMamas and partly because it feels a bit more "safe" posting just as urbanMamas.  It's a bit more anonymous, you know? So it's ironic that I am making my re-entry post that also includes (hold your breath)...a video! I know, I may really regret it. But here goes...

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urbanMamas partnership with studio vitaminwaterZERO, KINK launches

July 12, 2010

Studio_zerologo_200 We here at urbanMamas are more about create-it-and-they-will-come than active outreach to the mama community in Portland, and when one of our readers came to us with an opportunity to reach a new audience -- and participate in a fun campaign to help us train for the Hood-to-Coast, which many of us run each year -- we were excited about the possibilities. So today, a joint effort with vitaminwater ZERO and KINK FM launches, and we'll steal the blurb from the web site: "studioZERO is a series of lifestyle workshops for all members of the KINK and urbanMamas Hood to Coast teams and "home invasions" for the founders of urbanMamas.com and KINK fm morning show host Sheila Hamilton. Conducted by Portland experts in fashion, fitness and nutrition, they're going to show you how it can be done!"

While the ladies that founded urbanMamas are not product loyalists, we were thrilled with the chance to -- we hope -- invite more Portland mamas outside of our circle of influence to join our supportive community of parents and children. And we're hoping that you'll enjoy watching as we take advantage of the experts who will give us tips on how to better make use of our cross training and can assess our bike-to-work-and-farmer's market fashion choices. We'll have the opportunity to post videos to report on our training process, and recount some fun things with other aspects of our life-as-mamas, too.

Hood to Coast 2008: We Need a Mama Runner!

August 17, 2008

1439871238_51dbadc804UPDATE: Thanks to Merry for responding to our plea.  We have found our 12th teammate!

We're down to the wire, excited and thrilled about running for our third Hood to Coast. Maybe you've read about our previous exploits from years one and two. Maybe you are still holding on to hope of joining a team this late in the game, since inevitably something happens that disrupts the best of well-laid plans.  Well, something last minute has happened to one of our teammates who will will dearly miss running with us this year!  We are sad, and now we are scrambling for our 12th teammate.  Are you interested?  Can you make the 8:30 am start time?  Are you interested in running Leg 4 (7.18mi running around noon on Friday near Zig Zag), Leg 16 (3.53mi running around 10:30pm Friday on Highway 30), and Leg 28 (4.19mi around 8:40 am on Saturday toward the coastal range)?  Send us an email at urbanmamas@gmail.com

The car-free family: Getting to the beach on the Amtrak bus

August 29, 2007

Walking_beach As you may have read (or heard on KBOO), my family has given up our car, preferring to ride the TriMet bus, walk, or bike with the kids. We love how connected we are to the community, we love that we save money on gas & insurance & maintenance, we love that we're being good to the earth! But it's really hard to, say, go to the beach. Or come back from the beach during Hood-to-Coast -- Jonathan and I were both delivered at the finish line by our respective vans, and the boys were delivered by their grandma. Umm... now what?

Martin and Larissa were in the same boat, more or less, as their family car went kaput. So we all put our Google fingers to work and discovered the Amtrak bus. (Yes! Amtrak has a bus!) Every evening, the bus leaves Union Station in downtown Portland at 6:20 p.m. and travels down Hwy 26, arriving in Astoria at 8:50 p.m., including stops in Cannon Beach, Seaside, and Astoria. You can request stops at Elsie, Manning, Necanicum Junction, Gearhart, and Warrenton, as well. The bus turns around the next morning, leaving Astoria at 8:30 a.m. and arriving in Portland's Union Station at 11:00 a.m.

We picked the bus up at 9 a.m. at Del's Chevron in Seaside, quickly loaded our two families' considerable gear, and took our comfy seats aboard the bus. Though the legroom wasn't amazing and the other passengers didn't seem entirely pleased when I had to pry a screaming Truman's hands off the steering wheel, the boys soon quieted down and we enjoyed a lovely ride back to Portland -- arriving on time! -- and then hopped the #17 bus home. A one-way ticket for an adult is $16, while children ages 2-16 are $8. Other bus lines go all over Oregon, from Salem to Corvallis to Bend to Newport. If you, too, are car-free by choice or by necessity, it's a good option for travelling with your family. Best of all, children under two are free and, on this trip at least, there was plenty of room to seat them beside us. I'd love to hear other stories about getting outside of the metropolitan area without a car!

HTC Recap: No Rest for the Weary

August 28, 2007

Just as I was preparing to upload a photoblog of our Hood to Coast progress during our rest stop, we got a call from Van 2.  Tracy's scheduled to arrive in 50 minutes.  Wait.  Say that again?  5-0 minutes.  Van 1 rushed around Shetha's in-laws house, gathered up most of our belongings and hit the road.  Darn.  No live updates!  Oh well.  I'm sure you're all tired of our HTC talk anyway.  But it would be a let down to not give you a peak of how it turned out.

At 12:15 pm on Friday afternoon, we are at Timberline, ready and anxious to start.  Here is half of our lovely, mama team:

Van 1 - Ready to go

We grooved to the music and cheered on the runners:

Grooving to Madonna

**Edited to add** Here is the mama behind the camera who also ran her patootie off, and did so in style:

Hau is modeling the tee

Supporting our fellow mamas who pushed hard, and ran strong.  Olivia was especially fleet of foot averaging 7:15 on one of her legs.  She truly was inspirational:

Leg 5: Finishing strong

We overcame odds.  Like running during the early stages of pregnancy:


Or recovering 6 weeks post-partum: Leg 7: Sarah heading out

We ran in the most stunning terrain: Stephanie in the rear view mirror

29 hours 56 minutes and 43 seconds later (with an average team pace of 9:07), we finished at Seaside: Olivia, Erica, Hien, Michelle, Keri, Sarah, Monroe, and Robin running to the finish

We beat last year's time by over an hour.  We were ecstatic about exceeding our personal goals, and reveled in the experience.  Keep on running mamas, we cannot wait for next year!

Starting time...12:15pm

August 24, 2007

It is 12:30pm and Van 1 has officially begun our HTC 2007 run. In typical Erica fashion, I'm trying to get in as much stuff as possible at the very last minute (which is also why I tend to be writing my papers at 2am the night before they are due). I'm still burning some CD's for our van, finishing up laundry, and just purchased a hat for the run; this was all after heading downtown to purchase some Ben Harper tickets. Having just finished up my double americano for the day, I'm also revved up and getting ready to run. I've been resting the legs for the last couple of days and even skipped biking Jackson so school this morning, despite his protests. My legs are itching to run. Am I prepared? Did those hills in Forest Park do the trick, my leg is supposed to be a doozy. Those cowbells better work some magic. With the urbanMamas split between the two vans, we should be able to get some pics up mid route. Check in again later (if you're not completely over the HTC coverage).

I Could Use A Little More Cowbell


We gathered last night, both the Run Mama Run and urbanPapas teams to feast, divvy up our sponsored-goods and get out our pre-race jitters.  We were absolutely enthused about the Oregon Live bells that will be dinging as we cheer all of the runners on.  We could use a little more time for training, but heck, a little more cowbell to get us through will have to suffice.  We will try to blog our progress along the way so you can share in the journey with us.  We've got our iPods loaded up with inspirational running tunes, and the van loaded with food and fuel to replenish us along the way. Lastly, since all five of the urbanMamas will be running this year, you can see that we are indeed a bit preoccupied by all things Hood to Coast. 

Run Mama Run: Hood to Coast 2007

August 17, 2007

With just a week to go, 12 urbanMamas rest their legs and ready themselves for Hood-to-Coast.  Run Mama Run is our team, and it's not our first appearance in the largest relay in the U.S.  197 miles, 12 mamas, 20 kids (though they're not coming for the ride!), 2 vans, 30 or so hours.  Is it fun?  Heck, we've birthed kids, so what's 197 miles, just a few hours of sleep, and 30 hours of on and off running?  If you like momraderie, then - YES - it is most definitely fun.  Expect chatting, laughing, butterflies in stomachs.  Start on Mt. Hood and miraculously end at Seaside.  It's the moment we've all been training for.

This year, Run Mama Run is being supported by some great folks at OregonLive, so check us out over at RunOregon and read all about some of our mama running secrets.  Run Mama Run also send e-shout-outs to Lara for fueling us with Larabars and to Virginia for juicing us up with VitaminWater.

We aren't the only mamas running this thing.  Last year, we counted several other mama teams: "37 kids and still counting", "I want my mommy", "Moms on the Run", "Running from our kids", "Hoochie Mamas", "Dolly Mamas".  Anyone else running Hood to Coast this year??

Running Mamas Join the Fun

July 24, 2007

For the second year in a row, we've assembled a group of mamas (and papas) for the Hood To Coast.  This year, we thought we'd try for more team unity by participating in the Nike+ ChallengeLarissa has started a Nike+ Challenge team for the urbanMamas so we can run our way to some snazzy gear.  Only a handful of us mamas are Nike+ equipped so we are hoping for your help to up our mileage.  We're currently at 4.79 miles (yes, that's progress) but can we beat a bunch of Nike-sponsored teams?  Or, if you have some gear you'd love to donate to our fabulous team of runners, we'd certainly love to hear from you!


Hood To Coast Updates: A Photo Essay

August 25, 2006







running scared in Hood-to-Coast

August 24, 2006


I just said 'goodbye' to Erica and Jackson; I'd just come from Larissa's house. We're all (me chiefest among them) a little terrified. Along with Hau, Olivia, and a bunch of other wonderful urbanMamas, we'll be running the Hood-to-Coast tomorrow (and Saturday). Our start time: 8:45 a.m., and if we go according to our estimates, Larissa will be running through Portland between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., handing off to Hau around the Hawthorne Bridge (check out the map in today's Oregonian, the back of the Sports section, or see the PDF of the route here).

I'm amazed that we're doing this all together, it seems wild, crazy, and oh-my-god-what-was-I-thinking. But I realized while I was sitting at my computer, worrying and wondering how we would make it through: we have a secret! Haha. Not only are we accustomed to marathon-style pain (we all gave birth, after all, many to more than one baby), but we're fabulous at operating at peak efficiency for days on end without any sleep to speak of.

They say women who have given birth in the past year are far better at the marathon than women of similar age, but no small babies. I think our recent connection to the highly difficult time of pregnancy, birth and early childhood makes us beyond prepared for the road ahead.

Here's to us, and to all of you who've trained with us and cheered us on. And here's to being an urbanMama, possibly the best training program in the world ... for anything!

Running with the urbanMamas

May 08, 2006

This past fall, we had assembled a perfect team of mamas for what we were hoping to be our inaugural Hood To Coast race. After many weeks of waiting anxiously to see if we were one of the lucky few, we were sadly not chosen. It was heartbreaking, we were devastated. We had our window of opportunity with enough (non-pregnant) mamas to make a team, and in a flash, it was gone.

So, when the HTC Director emailed me the other week mentioning that they had a rare opportunity - a spot opened up, we jumped on the chance.  However, it looks like we are a few mamas short of a full team!  For those not familiar with HTC, it's a relay race from Mt. Hood to Seaside with a team of up to 12 runners.  We are looking for 5 running mamas (and 3 volunteers) who would like to be a part of our Hood to Coast team.  It's their 25th anniversary, and the race will sure to be quite enjoyable.  Does this sound like you?  If so, please email me at urbanmamas@gmail.com!