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Day 26 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Kara Douglass Thom & Laurie Lethert Kocanda

I noticed the book, Hot (Sweaty) Mamas mentioned by Kate Hopper in a giveaway post on her blog and thought, That sounds like a book I sure need. So I decided to invite Kara and Laurie to come on over and give away a book here. They were kind enough to oblige. Please help me welcome these two hot, sweaty mamas!

Kara Douglass Thom was a runner and triathlete long before she became a mom and finds her multisport training skills apply to mothering her four young children, 7-year-old twin girls, a 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. She is the author of two other books, “Becoming an Ironman: First Encounters with the Ultimate Endurance Event,” and the children’s book, “See Mom Run.” She writes about health, fitness and parenting for numerous publications and blogs about finding fitness in the chaos of motherhood at Mama Sweat.

A veteran endurance athlete, Laurie Lethert Kocanda has completed over 35 marathons, two Ironman triathlons, and two ultramarathons… so far. Motherhood has made her tougher—she’s conquered more miles and covered them faster as a mom than she did before. Laurie is an ACE certified group fitness instructor and has been revving up group cycling classes for over ten years. As the former editor of two regional sports magazines and a freelance writer for local and national publications, Laurie’s writing focuses on fitness, family, women’s issues, and pregnancy. She has two daughters, who are 9 and 5.

Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom goes beyond “getting your pre-baby body back.” It’s about how to make fitness a priority and protect that priority as ruthlessly as you would your children. Authors Kara Thom and Laurie Kocanda offer advice on how to fold fitness into a busy mom’s life and address the realities fit moms face (sleepless nights and clingy toddlers among them). Raising fit kids is important to fit moms, too. Hot (Sweaty) Mamas includes ways to workout with kids in tow and why this fitness mentoring will help kids grow up to be active. More about the book at www.hotsweatymamas.com.

From the authors:

1. How has writing (either just the act of writing or writing this book or both) impacted your self-confidence?

When we first set out to write the book the first agent we approached didn’t like the original idea, which was an essay book about how fit moms were making it work. She thought a how-to book was in order. At the time we had toddlers and were learning the ropes of fit motherhood and it was hard to comprehend ourselves as experts. Now, almost five years and six kids between us, we feel we have a lot to offer in the way of expertise! Still we’re not “know it alls,” and we think that tone is reflected in the book. We’re on this fit-motherhood journey together and this like-minded community has a lot to share with each other. Our Facebook page is certainly a reflection of that.

2. What are three words that describe your creative book-writing process?

For two busy work-from-home-mom co-authors: Back And Forth!

3. What good has your book created in the world?

As we all know motherhood can often be an isolating endeavor. What we experienced the moment we reached out for input for the book is how important the “sweaty sisterhood” is for fit moms. We know Hot (Sweaty) Mamas is helping connect this community and share ideas for fitness. The #1 reason moms in our survey said they exercise is for their “sanity”so in this way we are keeping each other physically and mentally healthy!

• • •

What do you do for your combined physical and mental health? Is there more you’d like to do? Describe your perfect hot, sweaty, writer mama workout. 🙂

How about you? Are you committed to your creative projects no matter what? Can you tap your great determination and use it to tackle the writing projects that matter most to you? Tell us what great determination means to you.

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway! Thanks for spreading the word!

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  • Heidi Smith Luedtke May 26, 2011, 11:16 am

    My perfect hot sweaty mama workout is a long run without the kids. I often run while pushing one of my kids in the jogging stroller. When it’s my big kid along for the ride, that’s a lot of extra sweat equity — think 63 extra pounds of kid and stroller combined! This fall, I ran the Philly marathon not because I was totally trained up for it. I WASN’T. But I couldn’t resist as much as five hours of solitary workout time in the early morning with other runners, cheering fans, and (gulp) no kids until the finish line. But, boy was I glad to see those smiling faces after 26 miles….until my son asked me to carry him to the car! 🙂

  • Jane Wells May 26, 2011, 12:43 pm

    Last summer, in an inspired attempt to combine fitness and a legitimate excuse to hang with my girlfriends, I announced “Mama Soccer”.
    Every Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. we would informally gather at a local elementary school playground and chase the ball up and down the field until we were breathless and endorphin-happy. We released our inner competitor, occasionally knocking each other over as we fought for ball control, and we laughed like hyenas.  Our kids were completely content and safely contained on the nearby playground equipment. We joked about making up t-shirts for them that said “My Mama Kicks Balls”.
    We are all looking forward to doing it again this summer – as soon as the rain stops!

  • Diane J. May 26, 2011, 4:05 pm

    For my physical health I do toning exercises with free weights and run/walk either the treadmill or around the lake.

    I am working up to a full running routine, I haven’t run since track in high school.  My goal is to run two 5ks this year and next year I will run one with my sister. She is my inspiration.

    My perfect hot, sweaty, writer mama workout: Run three miles and 20 minutes of toning exercises.

    As for mental health, hmmm, the exercising helps. Is there such a thing as sanity after children? LOL

  • Malia Jacobson May 26, 2011, 5:41 pm

     I’m a Jillian Michaels devotee, mainly because her 20-minute workouts kick my butt and they work. If I can get up and work out before the kids get up, it’s going to be a pretty good day. I’ve always loved exercise, but my biggest mama-fitness letdown was my realization that a new mom, my workout time often coincided with the baby’s sleeping times, meaning that I was stuck at home if hubby wasn’t around (and, as a high school varsity sports coach, he often isn’t). No more long gym workouts or yoga classes, at least during this phase of my life. Home workouts are the way to go for me!

  • Amy Becker May 26, 2011, 6:19 pm

    For a hot sweaty mama workout, I’ve been using the Jillian Michaels Wii game and it is a serious workout! I’ve made it through the training mode, but the game mode is really long and after about 1/2 hour I give up, it is so intense. But, it gets some results! As for my dedication to creative projects, I’m not the best at that. I tend to get sidetracked. But I always come back, so that’s good.

  • Susan Vandenberg May 26, 2011, 7:55 pm

    Having given birth to my third child 8 weeks ago, I have just recently been getting back into the swing of exercise, but oh what a wonder a spring walk outside can be after hours of indoor caretaking! I’m working in a few minutes of jogging as well, and would love to complete another 5 K by the end of the summer. My perfect hot, sweaty, writer mama workout would be running (rather slowly, I must confess) 3 or 4 miles on a mild summer Saturday after a leisurely cup of coffee, with Ipod playing an audio book–fiction, most likely. Cozy mysteries or Michael Connelly thrillers usually keep me going best.

    I would love to win a copy of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas! Sounds like a great book.

  • Carol J. Alexander May 26, 2011, 7:59 pm

    Not sure which question I’m supposed
    to answer to I’ll try to tackle them all. My perfect hot, sweaty, writer mama
    workout would be working in the garden. Not only do I get the stretching and
    bending in, I also get the relaxation and brainless activity needed to
    stimulate my mental creativity. I really shy away from sweating but do
    understand that I need to once in a while. I guess that’s why I really need
    this book.  As far as creative projects
    go, I have no problem sweating over them. J
    To me, great determination comes with finishing what I’ve started, having the
    editor say “Perfect,” and, of course, with getting paid.

  • JJ May 26, 2011, 8:15 pm

    For me, “great determination” mean getting these two things done first in my day: writing for an hour before the kids rise & getting to the gym for my favorite early morning classes. Not to sound obsessive, but if these two things don’t happen, somehow the rest of my day doesn’t go as smoothly (or downright falls apart!). Since I was 16, my perfect sweat fest has been running; but since taking up pilates and yoga, I’ve discovered they balance each other perfectly–mentally AND physically:)

  • Lisa S. May 26, 2011, 9:40 pm

    My perfect hot sweaty mama workout (although it isn’t always such a sweaty workout) is taking my dog for a really long walk. When he’s in sniff around mode I don’t get great exercise. I’d love to train him to run with me, but he’s a fast runner, he doesn’t know how to go for a nice loping run. That will be a project for me and my son this summer. Biking is my favorite workout with my family. We go for really long rides and then stop at our favorite breakfast or lunch spot. And for combined physical and mental health there’s nothing like taking a yoga class.

  • Rebecca Cherba May 26, 2011, 9:42 pm

    I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I am far from the hot sweat mama image that everyone else commenting here seems to be. I’ve been stationary most of my life, and it’s something I’ve been trying to change, but often lack the discipline and know-how to even figure out where to begin. I’ve got a great Kinect game on X-Box 360 that I play, when I actually make myself do it… I’m just not consistent. However, I’m trying to take it easier on myself right now, in terms of expectations, since we have an upcoming move in a month, and that’s its own pile of stress. I do make an effort to walk my son in his stroller when the weather is actually sunny (it’s raining again today, of course). Clearly, I need to read the “Hot Sweaty Mamas” book for motivation!

  • Pam Maynard May 26, 2011, 11:04 pm

    I love to walk with my son and our very energetic Border Collie.  We walk and talk about imaginary forest creatures, people that could live in the houses near us,  and cool things we see on the side of the road.  We exercise our leg muscle and our brain muscles.  When we get back, we get our our idea notebooks and write down what we talked about.  My son loves to write Haiku’s about nature. 
    We both also love Just Dance Wii!  It is fun, challenging and we get a workout without realizing it!

  • Mar Junge May 26, 2011, 11:19 pm

    Making exercise a priority is not easy for me. I’ve never been a physically active person and unfortunately, I chose a rather sedentary profession. I try to meet my daughter at the gym at least three mornings a week, but rolling out of bed at 5:45 a.m. is tough, since I rarely get to bed before midnight. I know no matter how bad I feel when I get to the gym, I feel great walking out. But more often than not I have an excuse why I didn’t go. Got to work on my motivation.

  • Tania Dakka May 26, 2011, 11:39 pm

    Writing helps my mental health as much as my exercise does;
    maybe more so since I tend to get into it more than my fitness routine.  There was a time when I was a lean, mean,
    running machine, but those days have been put on the backburner for motherhood.
     My goal is to get back to that fitness
    level, but with so many things in front of me, I find it more pleasurable to
    write.  As for my ultimate hot, sweaty,
    writer mama work out, I would spend 12 minutes of torture doing a BodyRock set,
    then I would go flex my writing muscles hashing out some major freelance and/or
    novel ideas (preferably and).  Thanks so
    much for this post.  You have inspired me
    to get back into it…for my kids and for myself.

  • Debbie Beane May 27, 2011, 1:50 am

    My youngest is 5 and I’m still trying to figure out what my perfect sweatymama workout is… and of course it keeps changing. My favorite is going to my one dance class a week, which is definitely for both mental and physical health~ though sometimes I wonder if it’s helping or hurting! But the most common, and probably best overall, is going for a walk/run with the kiddos on their bikes or scooters. It doesn’t allow for mental space, and it’s sometimes more stressful than I’d like, but we all get exercise and I can do it daily. As for determination, I don’t always have enough of it for either exercise or creative projects. I have good intentions from here to the moon, but I tend to defer to the needs of the small ones, and have a harder time justifying my own.  The flip side of the coin is that I have been determined, since they joined my life, to do my best as a mama, and I think I have succeeded in pursuing that goal to the best of my ability. So it all depends on which way you’re looking.

  • Deanne Haines May 27, 2011, 1:51 am

    Last year my friend asked if I wanted to run a 5K with her
    to lose our leftover baby weight – both of us had our third child the previous
    year.  I was pretty sure I couldn’t
    run 3 miles, but she convinced me, saying we had 8 weeks to train for it.  That’s all it took – now I’m
    hooked.  I ran three 5K races last
    year and this year I’m doing more including a 10K.  I love how running is such a great workout physically and
    does wonders for me mentally as well. 
    But what does even more for me mentally, is writing.  Writing is my creative outlet and my
    passion.  I feel fortunate to be
    able to do what I love.  

  • kara May 27, 2011, 2:22 am

    That reminds me of the quote from Lance Armstrong (now, perhaps, not so great for context) where he says: I don’t do it for the pleasure I do it for the pain. Perhaps the Mom-in-training mantra should be: I don’t do it for the pleasure I do it for the privacy! –Kara

  • kara May 27, 2011, 2:25 am

    Susan, congrats on the new babe!

  • kara May 27, 2011, 2:27 am

    Oh, I’m a morning person too. I have to swap some mornings for writing and some for working out. I love them both… You must get up at before the crack!

  • kara May 27, 2011, 2:29 am

    Rebecca we talk quite a bit about being open to these “lesser” forms of exercise, allowing them to count and recognizing the temporary unbalances in our lives that throw off routines, fitness and otherwise. It sounds as if you’re on track!

  • kara May 27, 2011, 2:30 am

    Love the journaling after the workout!!

  • kara May 27, 2011, 2:32 am

    Mar, there’s a whole secret devoted to: “There are no good excuses.” That said, you already know the benefits at the end of the workout. No one really enjoys getting up early but we never say, “Dang! Wish I hadn’t gotten up early to exercise!” Nope, we never do…

  • kara May 27, 2011, 2:33 am

    Go Tania! Go Tania!

  • Laura Ackerman May 27, 2011, 2:34 am

    A few years ago, my son practiced soccer where there was a track.  I decided I should use it while I was there rather than just stand around all practice.  I hadn’t run much since high school, but I started to run again.  I’ll have to admit I wasn’t very determined or motivated and only ran on days when it wasn’t too hot or too rainy.  Last year it rained all season so I wimped.  This year I was determined to get healthy and determined to get serious about writing.  I can now run 2 1/2 miles!  I walk or run the track whenever my kids are in track or soccer.  I have also been writing consistently.  This is my year and I am determined to make it a lifetime habit!  To me, determination is pressing on toward the goal and not letting bad weather, disappointment, or anything else keep you from advancing to the finish line!

  • kara May 27, 2011, 2:35 am

    For those moms who tend to say, “But family comes first,” we want to remind you that  you’re a member of the family! You deserve it because you are a good mama!

  • Christa Hines May 27, 2011, 3:33 am

    At the beginning of each week, I schedule myself for two yoga sessions at the gym. (I found a gym with excellent child care!) I try to get there about a half hour before the class so that I can do the elliptical for 30 minutes before yoga. I feel on top of the world after this work out! When I can’t get to the gym, I like to run on the treadmill at home and follow it up with a short 30-minute burst of yoga. My kids love to do yoga with me and will drag out my extra mats and try the moves themselves. Throughout the week, I enjoy taking my dogs for a walk in the evening after the kids are in bed just so I can relax, walk out some frustrations and clear my head with some fresh air. I feel calmer, more centered and definitely more focused on my writing goals. Fitting these workouts in throughout the week are my sanity savers for sure! 

  • kara May 27, 2011, 10:35 am

    Yes to the yoga! I have found I haven’t had as much time for yoga but I miss/need it too much not to do it so my compromise has been *at least* two sun salutations in the morning (usually when I need a break from the computer and ideally before kids get up). My body always needs the stretch, but my day gets started out right and I feel it runs more smoothly (i.e. mommy’s more patient). Loving all these comments!

  • Laurie May 27, 2011, 12:16 pm

    Your son asking you to carry him to the car after running 26.2 miles shows you just how strong you appear (and are!) to him. Way to teach him that keeping fit makes you a strong woman! –Laurie

  • Laurie May 27, 2011, 12:18 pm

    Love it! Sounds like you have a wonderful group of “sweaty sisters” and you are all setting a great example for those kids who, for as busy as they appear on the playground, know exactly what you’re doing!  –Laurie

  • Laurie May 27, 2011, 12:19 pm

    Not sure about the sanity, but it IS worth chasing! –Laurie

  • Lkocanda May 27, 2011, 12:24 pm

    It’s been 5+ years since I’ve been where you are with a newborn. Remember to take care of yourself and don’t sweat the speed! You’ll be back to full speed in no time at all, wondering where those newborn moments went! Congratulations! –Laurie

  • Laurie May 27, 2011, 12:27 pm

    Maybe we could give each other pointers!  I love to get hot and dripping with sweat, but kill all things green!  Good to know gardening stimulates your creativity–it’s just one more reason for me to get out there! (Let the plant life beware!)  –Laurie