Monday, March 29, 2010

Two Years of We Are Girls Who Love to Run

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, We Are Girls Who Love to Run!

While we had the actual book in hand in January 2008, We Are Girls Who Love to Run's actual release date was April 2, 2008. That's two years ago today! Here's the birthday girl:

This week I've been processing what this "birthday" means, in much the same way that I contemplate my children's development and milestones around their birthdays. I often joke that this book is my third child, and in all seriousness it could be. Writing and publishing a book takes blood, sweat, tears and money, just like kids do. And as children's successes are your successes, so it is with the book. When people connect with your book, they connect with you.

I'm honored to have the following women celebrate this "third child" of mine since she came along. Our little business, Balanced Steps, has sold over 1,000 copies of the book, thanks to the support of runners/women like those I've highlighted below:

Early in the book's life I connected with fellow running author Carol Goodrow. At the time she came to know and support We Are Girls Who Love to Run through her work as editor of While she isn't editor anymore, I'm honored to have her continued support through her author site and in the work she's doing bringing children to fitness through a series she's writing for Newspapers in Education. I hope to be using her books, Happy Feet, Healthy Food, and Kids Running with groups of students in a running club next year.

The life of We Are Girls Who Love to Run has crossed my e-mail path with some amazing women runners: Kathrine Switzer, Kristin Armstrong, Deena Kastor and lesser-known, but equally as driven local leaders in the running world. Glowing reviews from educators, moms, dads, non-parental runners and parental non-runners alike continue to spread the word about the book and the importance of celebrating girls and their strengths.

Being the author of a running book has kept me steady on my running path. I firmly believe in living my passion and that in doing so I am doing a service to my readers. This year I'm even kicking my running up a notch by diving more into long distances (closer to 20 miles/week and more 10K races on the calendar than 5K). I'm also keeping things playful (as the book encourages) by heading off to hula hoop teacher training next month. A strong core and a happy heart can only help my running (and parenting).

Last year I connected with local running enthusiast Maria Milsap from Banana Blossom Press. I've mentioned her before, too. She's been great about getting the book into the hands of runners she meets at big Expos that our little company just can't afford to be at. And I'm enjoying spreading the word about her athletic greeting cards and witty shirts. (That's my daughter proudly displaying her "running. it's a family thing" shirt.)

My mom (my business partner!) and I were honored that a local runner approached us about using the book to help her with her fundraising for Team in Training. She sold enough books that we were able to donate over $150 in her name (and a few of her teammates sold a few copies, too). She was thrilled that she could use the book to spread her passion for running while raising money for a good cause. We're happy to work with others who are raising funds for non-profits.

Marketing and selling a book is not always fun and games. But persistence pays off. I'm honored that a fellow-mom entrepreneur feels so strongly about We Are Girls Who Love to Run that she has figured out how to offer it to her customers through her on-line clothing store, A Closet of Her Own. In addition to selling it through her website along side her "Run" shirt for young girls, she'll be taking the book with her to expos and trade shows. If you know a little girl who loves to run or loves dinos or firetrucks, you simply MUST visit this store.

In February I had the honor of getting to know Sarah Bowen Shea, co-author of the newly-released and fabulous Run Like a Mother. Through our quick emails, the Run Like a Mother: The Book blog, and her book, I feel like I've known Sarah for years. Truth be told, I'll meet her for the first time next month when we meet up to sign our books together at Title9 in Bellevue when she's in my 'hood. I'm already counting down the days . . . just 9 to go! And if I can swing it (ie, have someone watch the kids) I'll head out to do a run with Sarah on Friday, April 9th at Super Jock n' Jill in Seattle. If not, well, I'll just have to do a treadmill run in my new Vibrams. That's for another post, though.

And YOU, kind reader, thank YOU for continuing to visit this little blog. If you haven't yet read We Are Girls Who Love to Run, I hope you find a copy of it soon to share with your favorite running girl - whether she be two, twelve, twenty-two, or even one hundred and two! You can order signed copies by mail using the order form on the Balanced Steps website, at the Title9 event next week in Bellevue, WA, at Dragonfly Secrets in O'Fallon, IL, at an assortment of specialty running stores across the country, soon at A Closet of Her Own, and of course through Asking for the book at your local or school library is another great way to read it!

Happy running & happy reading!

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