Ku and Mindy are a great couple, like Jennifer and her husband, who manage to balance a family, busy professional life, and lots of running. Mindy and Ku are local creatives – making photographs, producing videos, raising a family – they’re pretty impressive! Here’s Mindy’s interview responses!
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+How old are you? 41.
+How long have you been running? Since November 2011.
+Why do you run? I love the exercise. It feels good. I do it for the races. I love nothing more than the excitement of a race.
+What is the hardest part of running for you? LOOOONG distances. Anything past 13 miles. I ran my first Marathon in October of 2013 and it was definitely the toughest thing I’ve EVER done in my life. Even 14-16 miles in training was really tough. I need to get stronger. Which is what I work on between races and in the “off-season” – if there is one.
+Do you do other sports/athletics? Just weight/cross training to help make me a better runner. I tried co-ed football one Spring. Uh uh. Not for me. Injured my foot, then that messed up my running for a bit. LOL.
+What got you started running? I used to run a little, but not like this. I wanted to start back, so I’d run here and there just a little. Then I signed up for a half marathon. And thought I better get training right?? Lol. But after my first race I was hooked.
+What sort of distances do you run, and which do you like best? I run all, but my favorite race is definitely the half marathon. I’ve ran 3 halves, plus the Ragnar (which was a half distance, even though broken up) and the Tough Mudder (which is almost a half). I definitely AM NOT doing any more mud runs. After completing the Dirty Girl first, then doing the Mudder, I AM DONE with mud races. I prefer the DRY and COMFORTABLE conditions over the wet, muddy, cold and rocks in my shoes races.
+For anyone just starting to run, do you have any tips to share to? Start SLOW. I really recommend the Couch to 5K app or C25K as is it now I believe. The free app is fine. It really works. That’s how I started. I can remember when running for 5 minutes seemed like a long time and couldn’t imagine doing it. Now I’ve ran for 5 hours.
+What/who inspires you to run? My husband runs with me, and he’s been a huge support, but honestly in races – it’s the other runners and the spectators. Everyone that runs has a story and I love hearing those and feeding off all that energy. The kids holding signs and the wheelchair participants and the cancer survivors and my “stranger friends” and the people who are all out there for a reason (or no reason at all but just for the fun of it) is what inspires me the most. In my first race, some military personnel were passing out water and gatorade. The fact that they would volunteer their time for someone like me is way beyond inspiration. That’s on another whole level. Brings me to tears. In other races, it was spectators dressed as super heroes who made a line just to high five us as we ran by. There are so many people that inspire me to run, I can’t even tell you how many. Or even who they are.
+What motivates you to run? Sometimes I don’t want to. I’m not gonna lie. It’s WAAAAYYYY easier to sit on the couch and watch TV. But the races I sign up for motivate me the most. We travel for races or “racecations” as I call them, so looking forward to that, and wanting to be successful in a race, are what keep me motivated to keep training. I’m actually thinking about training for a Ironman 70.3 in 2014. We’ll see…..
+Do you find that time of day makes a difference in how well you run? YES!!!!!!
+If so, what kind of difference? I have more energy in the evening.
+What time of day do you run? Whenever I can fit it in with my busy schedule. With work and school and kids and freelancing, my “free” time is very scarce so I take whatever I can fit in.
+What time would you prefer? EVENING!!!! I run so much better after I’ve had a chance to fuel up and drink plenty of water throughout and then go out before dinner. Although now with winter coming, I’ll take whenever it’s the warmest! Unfortunately, 99.9% of races are first thing in the morning. And I’m NOT a morning person. I can’t eat breakfast right away so it’s hard to fuel up. But the adrenaline keeps you up and ready to go on race day.
+What is your favorite post-run snack? Probably greek yogurt with protein granola or cereal with milk. Although I’ll take breakfast, lunch or dinner if it’s anywhere around that time! If I run 5 miles or more, guaranteed I’ll be starving by the end. Anything less than 5 miles then I just do water, unless of course it’s around dinner.
+Do you do competitive runs, and why? YES! But I’m not what I feel is “competitive” yet. Once I can finish near the top 1/3 of the racers I’ll feel “competitive” but for now, everyone sort of leaves me in the dust. But I’ve finished every race I’ve ever entered. Some have just been better than others. But training is so crucial and I’ve learned that the hard way more than once.
+What was your favorite run you’ve ever done – personal run or competitive race? There’s a few. The Nike Women’s Half in Washington, DC in April of 2013 was amazing. Seeing my name on the wall outside Nike Georgetown was awesome. I finished in the middle of the pack and on my last trek to the finish I was exhausted and sore and tired and moving a little slower than I wanted to be. A total stranger came up beside me (she was finishing also) and said – right in my face – “C’MON! LET’S GO! LET’S DO THIS! NOW!!!!” And we both starting sprinting towards the finish and we could hear all the spectators cheering and I started crying right then and there and ran to the finish line with her. Then she hugged me and said “AMAZING JOB!!!” And to this day I have no idea her name, or who she was or anything. That’s just how races are and that’s why I do them. There’s this crazy sense of camaraderie and total strangers become your best friends, even for just a few minutes because they understand what you’re going through at that exact moment. They get it. They just know. One day, I will be the runner that comes up beside someone else who’s struggling and encourage him or her to sprint with me to the end. One day, I will pay it forward.
And on a personal run, I remember the first time I got to 14 miles and didn’t stop to walk, that felt really great. Not that walking is bad. And I’m learning more and more that it’s actually more beneficial, so DON’T BE AFRAID TO WALK SOME!!! Especially on longer runs. (Read the December 2013 issue of Runner’s World for more info on that.)
+What part of Milwaukee do you find most enjoyable to run in, and why? We run in Tosa as that’s close to where we live. The Oak Leaf Trail through Hart Park is nice and an easy convenient 3 mile circle route when we need that distance. (Which is a lot of the time). For longer distances we run from our house near Tosa to downtown or the lakefront and back. Which is why we don’t run races around here. (With the exception of a few). I’ve seen all of this 100 times and more, so when I get to travel to a race and see things I’ve never seen before, it’s even more exciting. Plus when it’s cold here, I don’t want to just treadmill it or sit around all winter, so we’ll travel warmer to run races there and enjoy the nice break. Even if it’s only just for a couple of days. That nice warm break makes it all worth it. And the cool medals too.