Hey hey hey, it’s that time of the month... time to meet another member of our mama tribe! Each month we feature one of our #motherrunners so we can find out more about her. How do we choose who to feature? With a random draw from a hat by the nearest kiddo, of course!
If you’re out running around Austin and see a huge smile peeking out from under a bright orange Broncos hat, you are probably seeing this month’s member of the month, Marley A. With her ever-present double braids, and infectious positivity, Marley has made a splash since joining Trotting with Tots earlier this year. Her 17-month-old son, Zahir, takes after his Mama in the smiles department, and can usually be seen happily munching on or throwing cheerios in the stroller (if he’s not asleep, at least).
Marley (aka Marley Crue, aka Marley Mayhem, aka Leenie, aka Marlo, aka Goon, aka Changa, aka Winnie - ok, she will pretty much respond to any name you throw at her) is a former Derby Girl, who rolled with the Sun City Roller Girls before having Z-man. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern, who sees children, adolescents, adults, and couples. Her husband, Jesus, has also been known to put in a few miles, though Marley is the primary stroller pusher.
Marley says she runs to keep her sanity and stay active, which she is certainly accomplishing, one race at a time. She has already completed 3 races this year, including her first ever half marathon. She credits her running partner, Debbie S., with helping her blow past her goal time by a full ten minutes at the Hill Country Halloween Half. She has also decided to join 5 other Trotting with Tots mamas on a Ragnar Ultra team in March, where she will run 30ish miles in less than 48 hours.
You’ll probably be able to catch Marley having a celebratory meal at Gloria’s Cafe in Cedar Park after all those miles, as that is her favorite place to dine after a long run. She has also been known to treat herself to a bag of hot Cheetos with cheese if she has a craving. Spice is in her blood, as she was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. As Marley puts it, they have “the best Mexican food on the North side of the border,” though these days she likes to put in a heavy hill workout before indulging!
When she has free time, Marley enjoys learning as much as she can about WWII. She even has a textbook on the subject at her house. She also loves collecting anything and everything Star Wars related (episodes IV-VI only, obviously), Walking Dead, or Totoro goodies. You can find her relaxing with a beer in one of her favorite Austin spots, Rainey Street, too. She says the atmosphere is relaxing and not too “crazy drinkathon” -like, which is perfect for daydreaming of opening her own ranch for dogs. Marley says she would love to own a ranch where someone could visit and receive therapy from LPCs/LMFTs with dogs thrown in the mix to help as well. She would also like it to be a haven for older dogs who could be adopted and then live our their lives in peace. Hopefully she will make sure there is a nice running path there for strollers, too.
Although her dream job would be a peaceful retreat, her go-to running music is far from it. Marley likes to jam out to heavy metal both on the trails (especially her favorite, Zilker Park), and at home. Although her musical choices tend to get her some strange looks when she is running with Zahir. However, he is a fan, too, and often falls asleep to Metallica. On her current playlist you can find System of a Down, Iron Maiden, and Iced Earth, and her favorite warm-up song is Beautiful Loser from William Control. She might change her tune, however, if Adrien Brody decided to tickle the ivories for her and offer her a serenade a la his Pianist days.
You can find Marley at most meetup locations, though the Quarry in the summer is a favorite of both hers and Zahir’s. A definite non-favorite in their house, however, is Dora the Explorer, since in almost every episode the poor girl has to cross a bridge and those subliminal messages are not ones that Marley wants Zahir to have to endure.
So the next time you hear the distinct sound of B.O.B. Stroller wheels crunching on gravel and the sounds of heavy metal screeching along, make sure you say “hi” to Marley!
Fall weather is upon us (or at least it's trying to be) and so is that time of the month where you get a personal meet-and-greet with one of our runners without all that awkward small talk! Each month we try to introduce you to one of our members so you can get to know this crew. How do we choose whose features to feature? With a hat draw from the nearest toddler.
This month you have the privilege of getting to know Teryn R., our resident yarn expert, and baker extraordinaire! Hailing from Canada, or the "land of the free, home of the wold's handsomest Prime Minister," as she puts it, it is no surprise that Teryn is one of the friendliest runners around. She has an infectious smile, and she truly, genuinely LOVES to run hills. Yes, you read that right. Teryn has been competing as a runner since she was 10 years old, and has raced too many courses to count. Her favorite distance is a 10K, because it is a fast distance, but her legs don't feel like they're crumbling beneath her like they do when she does a half marathon.
When she's not flying through finish lines, Teryn likes to train in Clarksville and Tarrytown. The cool houses keep her mind occupied so the miles fly by, and the streets are rarely busy because of the hills. If she has her sons Ben (3) and Finn (1) with her, she likes to frequent Ramsey Park because of its great playground as well as its proximity to TacoDeli. Ben and Finn do not mind the stroller rides, and usually pass the time hanging out (usually in adorable matching sunglasses) and asking when they will get to the playground. Teryn does not run with music (she says she would rather jump in the lake than listen to a song on repeat while running), but her sons' songs about dinosaurs keep her entertained during most runs. The boys ride in style in their Chariot CX2, which Teryn bought because she is holding out hopes that she will one day get to use the ski attachment.
Though she currently stays home with the boys, Teryn was a graphic designer in a former life, and is still a phenomenal landscape photographer. Her dream job would be an Instagrammer who gets paid, or a food critic who does not actually have to review the food in any written form, just gets to eat out for free all the time. Both of these would suit her well, as she is a culinary genius whose photos of the pies, donuts, and other food she creates are enough to make anyone's mouth start watering! No stranger to indulging, Teryn treats herself to coffee after a long run, and snacks on frozen cookie dough balls, peanut butter rolled in chocolate chips, and a bag of whale crackers that are most definitely hidden from Ben and Finn.
In addition to her other talents, Teryn is a pro with needles. She knits anything and everything, and often has a project or two in progress. Her favorite place in Austin also happens to be Hill Country Weavers. She recommends their friendly and knowledgable staff for any help one might need with yarn-related projects. Her own yarn stash is minimal, as her "postage-stamp sized" apartment does not allow her to be a collector of anything. She says she and her husband, Steve, are more than willing to pay that price for downtown living.
One thing you will not find in their apartment is Thomas the Train. Teryn wishes she could banish it in all forms because of the show's racist and sexist themes, not to mention the overall "ugh" of Lady as a character. On the other end of the spectrum, she feels that she would be lost without her Garmin watch and Strava app, which she uses to "obsessively track" her runs. The app, she says, has some really great functions, like Grade Adjusted Pacing, which will compare your pace on hills vs flat ground.
Though overall laid back, Teryn still gives an involuntary shudder at the memory of her most embarrassing moment as a mom. It happened when she, Ben, and Steve were in the security line at the airport on the busiest travel day of the year and Ben tossed his cookies all over himself, both of his parents, and several other travelers who were within a 4-foot radius. She remembers not only being embarrassed, but then extremely frustrated when upon opening her wipes container to try to clean up the mess, she found they only had one wipe left. Lucky for her, Ben has no residual memory of the event, and still wants to grow up to be just like his mom. He recently told her that he wants to run half marathons just like her when he gets bigger.
The next time you see a Zooey Deschanel look-alike flying down the streets or trails, make sure you say hello, and if you happen upon Idris Elba at one of Austin's hangouts, make sure to send him Teryn's way.
It's that time again- time to meet another one of our motivated (and motivating) mamas! Every month we feature an interview with one of our fabulous runners so you can get to know us. How do we choose who to interrogate? With a draw out of a hat by the nearest toddler in tow.
Lenora G hails from Edmonds, Washington, where she spent many hours traipsing the beaches and shorelines of the greater Seattle area. Nowadays her waterfront running usually takes place around Town Lake on the Butler Hike and Bike Trail. Lenora can be found navigating either her Summit X3 double stroller, or her BOB double stroller (yes, she owns two of them, and no she won't be getting rid of either of them anytime soon) over the many hills of the trail with her two eldest kiddos. In fact, most of the mileage she has done while training for races has been on the trail, and with good reason. Its restrooms, water fountains, accessibility, and popularity make it the go-to spot for most Austin runners. This also means there is never a shortage of random passersby who will cheer on this pregnant mama (baby #3 is due September 1st) as she speeds along.
Lenora is no stranger to running while pregnant. Gideon (3) and Gloria (1.5) are both seasoned pros at bouncing along with their mama, or cheering her on as she races. In her running career, Lenora has completed an impressive 24 sprint/Olympic triathlons, 6 Half Ironmans, 2 Ironmans, 13 Half Marathons, 6 Marathons, and thousands of training miles. It's no wonder her most prized running attire are her Ironman finisher shirts. Lenora also completed the Bastrop Ragnar this year while pregnant, which proved to be great training for the sleep depravation that a newborn provides.
Her long list of running accomplishments and her six years of teaching middle school reading and writing made Lenora more than qualified to be the Marathon High Director for four years. This non-profit trains underprivileged middle and high schoolers to run the Austin Marathon. Education and working with kids is a family affair, as her husband, Sam, is the assistant superintendent for IDEA Public Schools.
Although people have told her she looks like Brooke Shields, Lenora claims she does not have any hidden talents aside from swimming, running, cleaning, cooking, and parenting (which are all pretty darn impressive talents). She does, however, have a penchant for picking great young adult fiction books, and dreams of one day being a middle or high school librarian whose only job is to put really great books into the hands of students. Her dream library would probably also feature a cardboard cutout of Thor, although she is ready for the superhero genre of movies to take a backseat, since she's seen the insides of her eyelids more than the plot lines as she has tried to support Sam's fandom in recent years.
When they're not racking up the miles in the stroller (while Lenora tells them over and over again, "We are almost done!"), Gideon and Gloria love to play at Roy G. Guerrero Park. This huge park and playground is rarely crowded, although the lack of shade makes it a better fall/winter destination for play. Lenora's laid-back attitude is rarely ruffled, but she still cringes at the memory of Gideon throwing raisins at the rows of people in front of him on an airplane ride. If you see her on the trails (and you will not be able to miss her triple stroller this fall), say "hi" and prepare to be greeted with a smile!
It's Featured Member Friday! Each month (ok, about every 4 months) we interview a member of our tribe so you can get to know us better. This month we are talking to Monica H!
If you've ever wondered what it's like to run about 4 miles with a 3-foot Minnie Mouse piñata in your stroller (along with your 3-year-old daughter), Monica could tell you. After her daughter, Emilia, decided that it could not be sacrificed at her birthday party, she started toting it around like it was not actually the same size as she was. This included bringing it in the stroller with her for several runs until it was replaced (and retired to the dumpster... did I mention Monica's biggest fear is mice?).
Despite her unorthodox stroller accessories, Monica earned herself the nickname "Speedy Garcia" because of her quick feet and Mexican heritage. She was born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico and her incredible cooking abilities reflect her roots. Her still strong accent has led people to compare her to Sofia Vergara, too!
Monica is a Ronan & Fields Consultant in addition to staying at home with Emilia. Before baby, she was a Food and Beverage Manager with a nutcracker collection, and an affinity for SXSW. Luckily her daughter has inherited her love for festivals, and is happy to accompany both Monica and her husband, Mike, on any and all Austin adventures they can dream up! She has sported headphones at SXSW shows, biked the Town Lake Boardwalk, and been to plays at the theater.
When she's not taking full advantage of this city's incredible offerings, Monica is putting in some serious miles. She pushes her single B.O.B., and rocks out to the tune of Justin Beiber's "Despacito." Monica says she cannot run without her hat, especially in hot weather, and her dream job is to be a professional runner. She has already completed a full marathon, and has plans to do more. Her first was partially unplanned, as she had registered for the full, but decided before the race to do the half. However, after completing the half the day of the race and slamming a beer, she got going again and finished the full after all!
Monica's favorite post-run indulgence is tacos, though she says she also has ice cream every night before bed. Food is the way to Emilia's heart as well, as Monica says the key to keeping her happy in the stroller (aside from the giant Minnie) is lots and lots of snacks. Bringing their rambunctious beagle, Rocco, along for runs is another way Emilia stays entertained, as she and Rocco have a close connection (think Nana in Peter Pan). Monica's favorite running spot is Katherine Fleischer Park, but will always go for a day at Town Lake, too. Next time you're out and about (or your kiddo is insisting on packing something ridiculous to accompany you on your run), give Monica a high five and know you're not alone!
Happy February everyone! It's Featured Member Friday... that means you get to meet one of our amazing members up close and personal. How do we decide who to feature? With a super un-biased draw out of a hat by the nearest tot.
If you had met this month's featured member a year ago, she would have told you that running a half marathon was impossible for her. Trust me, she told me more than once when I tried to convince her it was a good idea. One year later, however, she has now completed not one, but three half marathons (at break-neck speeds) and will be running the Austin MARATHON in a few weeks!
Susan C, aka Tex-Sass, or Susie Q, is the proud mama of a spunky almost 2-year-old named Evelyn, and a 5-year-old named Bodie who has the sweetest disposition, and better organizational skills than most adults. Her husband, Josh, is a member of the Trotting With Tots Bald Dads club (population climbing rapidly), and an avid runner as well. Unfortunately for him, his running season is shortened each year during hail season, as he does paintless dent repair and works long hours when there are ice showers. However, he makes up for it by being Susan's biggest cheerleader, often finishing races hand in hand with her (if he can catch up).
Before she became a mama, Susan worked for a neurosurgery practice. She grew up in Wimberley, Texas, but settled in the country in South Austin, where they see plenty of wildflowers and wildlife. Since she has conquered her fear of running long distances, maybe she will tackle her fear of snakes, scorpions, and frogs next. Some day, Susan thinks she might like to be a pilates or fitness instructor, working with people to help them be healthier.
For now, Susan spends her days running around with her kiddos in their BOB stroller. Her favorite places to run are Circle C Park, and Zilker, which also happens to be her favorite place in Austin. She would rather run that trail than any other, and holds out hope that she will spot her celebrity crush, Justin Timberlake, there one day (where I'm sure he would appreciate a mob of moms chasing him with their strollers). If she remembers to pack it, she loves to run with her Rogue American headband, and can usually be spotted with her headphones in, since her running playlist is full of songs that are not so kid-friendly (Bodie does know most of the words to "Booty Wurk" by T-Pain). The song she would pick to play on repeat while she racks up the miles is "Lay it All on Me" by Rudimental. Susan also swears by running with gum in her mouth, often switching pieces out mid-race (ask her where she keeps the extras).
Bodie and Evelyn stay busy in the stroller with snacks, milk, and an iPad if times get desperate. The whole family is rewarded with a trip to Pieous or Torchy's Tacos post-run, because chips and queso are the perfect way to top off a sweat session. Since she says running helps with her sanity, she has decided to make it a daily occurrence and has been streak running since early July 2016. The other reason she runs, she says, is to be able to indulge in things like dark chocolate, extra caffeine, and Lisa W.'s cakes. Whatever the reason, it has definitely been a good habit to pick up, and we are glad she has joined us!
When she's not running, Susan spends time taking Pilates and Barre classes at the gym, and gardening. She has quite the green thumb, even saving other people's plants that are in need of help. While at home, Susan tries to keep Bodie away from Sponge Bob, because he is "so gross" and bakes 2-3 strawberry pies for her family every week! Susan is a smiley addition to the group, and if you need someone to encourage you to keep going when you want to quit, make sure to say hi at our next meetup!
New year, new blog commitment! Up first, getting back into the groove of things with a new Member of the Month post!
If you've been out and about on Town Lake's amazing trail lately, you may have spotted this month's featured member sporting the Red Rocket that is the TRIPLE stroller! Portia H. and her trio of tots are frequently found on the trail, since, as Portia put it, "You can do an easy 3, or practically a full half marathon and it's beautiful every step of the way." This may well be her favorite spot in Austin, too, because she loves being in the midst of nature yet still in the middle of a big city.
Averill (4), Clive (2), and Phebe (fresh from the oven in November) stay busy in the stroller with pretzels and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on YouTube. If their mom had her way, though, they would not be doing the Hot Dog Dance anymore, since Toodles and his endless bag of tricks is a little too nonsensical for her taste. Their favorite place to run and play is the Georgetown playscape because it is close to home and has some crazy fun slides.
Before Phebe was born, Portia was chugging mocha frappucinos after every run, including the Halloween Half Marathon, which she completed at 36 weeks pregnant! She says this most recent race was somewhere around #10 for halves, and she has completed 15 or so 5Ks, but this was her proudest moment.
Cheering her on from the sidelines, and also making sure she does not get injured (her biggest fear), is her Orthopedic Surgeon hubby Trey. He can be spotted accompanying his family on some weekend runs, or hosting beer-brewing bashes for the Trotting with Tots Husbands.
In her pre-kiddo life, Portia lived in Santa Monica, California, and was a Pilates instructor. In her dream world, she would be a professional musician or maybe a music teacher. She plays several instruments, including piano and cello, so this would not be a stretch. If you enjoy orchestral arrangements, you can spot her in concert with the Williamson County Symphony Orchestra, where she plays cello.
Portia binges on music, and also on Chicks and Rabbits candy each spring. She describes these Easter candies as "orange circus peanuts, but in delicious chick, rooster, and rabbit shapes" and has been known to overdose on them every year. As a mom, she says her most embarrassing moment was when, shortly after Clive was born, she was sitting in a restaurant with a friend talking about how she was afraid of leaking. Little did she know that she had already soaked her shirt!
Although music is obviously a big part of Portia's life, she runs without it. She says it took her a while to train herself, but she enjoys that it has made her appreciate her surroundings more. If she did want some tunes to run with, she would choose jazz, especially Dave Brubeck. She started running to control her asthma, and prove to herself that she can do what she once believed was impossible.
Be sure to give her a wave (and maybe a hand up the hills) when you see Portia on the trails at the next Meetup!
It's Featured Member Friday er... Tuesday! Each month, we feature one of our magnificent members so you can get to know our crazy crew. How do we decide who to feature? With a super fair draw out of a hat by the closest toddler in tow.
This month we are focusing on the Blonde-Shell herself, Lyndsey, "Lyns" V! Originally from Florida, Lyns worked in the medical field before staying home with her boisterous baby boy, Beckhem. She and her husband, Shawn, are new(ish) to Austin. So far, her favorite playground is the Play For All Abilities park, and the best running route she has found is Zilker, because of the shade.
When out on the trails with Beckhem, Lyns provides him with an endless supply of food and/or his paci to keep him from trying to break out of the B.O.B. while she jams out to Lapdance by N.E.R.D. You will not see her running without a secure ponytail, clips and bobby pins, since one of her pet peeves when running is having her hair touching her face.
Lyns says that you probably will not see her indulging after a long run. She usually treats herself before her workouts, putting the cart before the horse, or the snack before the sprint. If you catch her doing extra laps around the lake it might be because she snuck some raw cookie dough, or had too many Red Lobster biscuits the day before.
The March of Dimes races have been Lyns' favorites so far. She says they are put on for a good cause, and are always a good time. When she's not raising money doing races, she collects Lenox "Winter Greetings" Christmas dishes. She also loves spending time at the San Gabriel River running, biking, swimming, and playing with her dogs. She daydreams about working with animals at Sea World or Busch Gardens, where she might be able to put her hidden talent of doing a monkey call to good use, and about a world where Mariah Carey does not exist.
Seeing her with Beckhem, you'll know immediately that her fear of not being a great mom is one that she need not worry about. Lyns loves to run because she loves nature, and sweets. Say hi at our next meetup!