According to Running USA, women outnumber men in race events. Here in the QC, 3 women from ORA Orthopedics will join that growing crowd at Sunday’s Quad City Marathon. Learn what motivates Mindy Bradley, Tiffany Mitton, and Katie Hendrix to run the half marathon … and run it together!
What got you started in running?
Mindy: I have been running since high school track. I have continued to run in a more non-competitive nature over the years. Running really provides me with stress relief. It also helps me feel not so guilty about eating the things I love to eat!!
Katie: I actually didn’t start running until my birthday in February. I made a promise to myself that I was going to do something for myself. I have two small children and felt like I was lacking time for myself. So, on my 29th birthday I promised myself that I would take some time for “me” and started to run.
My very first run I ran 1 mile and had to walk 3 times and was super slow. I gradually added more miles and increased in speed over the past several months. I’ve found that running is now my outlet for stress relief!
Tiffany: I have run on and off since I was in high school. But I have run more consistently since being out of school as an adult. There are multiple reasons why I run, including stress relief and overall physical and mental strength.
When I run there are multiple things that motivate me to run harder, faster, and longer distances. As a mom and wife I run to be stronger for my children and husband. There are children who have touched my heart in the past that I have provided care for that make me run for them, too. And my dad that is fighting stage 4 kidney cancer, so he is also my motivator to overcome things that my challenge us in life.
How do you ever find the time?
Mindy: Finding time really is the tough part! I’m not a morning person, so mornings are not an option for me to exercise. I usually try to squeeze in a run at lunch time (weather permitting). Otherwise, I run at night after my kids go to bed. Then I do long runs on the weekends.
Katie: I make running or working out a priority. My husband and I both like to run so we take turns running before work. If I don’t get a workout in in the morning, I will try to incorporate it into some part of my day.
Sometimes we run at lunch-time at work with a group. Other days, I will push my kids in the jogging stroller and run with our dog to the park. I try to get in a run any way I can!
Tiffany: I am a mom of 2 busy little boys under the age of 4 and a wife to a very understanding husband. I also am a nurse who works full time (and extra if needed).
I run on my lunch break during the week and then during nap time on the weekends or very early in the morning before my children wake up. I find time to run that way I can be the best person I can be.
Running a half marathon is a big deal! How and when did you decide to do this distance?
Mindy: I like this distance, because you have to train for it to do well. However, it is a distance that you can work into a schedule, even a busy one, if you make it a priority.
Katie: I’ve never run a race before. I wanted to do something challenging! I decided this summer that I was going to do the half-marathon.
Tiffany: I decided to run the half at the beginning of the year. I decided to complete this long distance run to challenge myself to be stronger.
How has the training gone?
Mindy: Training has been going pretty well for me. I ran a half marathon in the spring, so I had a pretty good base leading up to the training for this half marathon.
My goal for this race is to improve on my time from the spring. I used the Bix and the Bix at 6 training runs to help get me ready for this race. I tried to do several long runs of 10 miles to help get me prepared as well.
Katie: The training has gone well. I’ve been training the past few months and just did a practice half marathon last weekend.
I usually run 4-5 days a week and try to do a long run on the weekends when I have more time. My husband has run marathons before so he has been a good running partner and coach! I typically do 3-5 mile runs during the week and longer runs (8-12 miles) on the weekends.
Tiffany: I have been running all year long, but the last 3 months I have been training hard. I run about 3-4 times a week and then on the weekend. And I do at least one 5k race a month.
Should all women run?
Mindy: Unfortunately, running is not a great option for everyone. Running is hard on joints, especially knees.
Running can be alternated with other low impact activities, such as biking or swimming, as well, to help minimize pressure on your joints.
Katie: I think all women should participate in some sort of activity, but that activity is different for every person.
Some people like to walk, some like to lift weights, some like to cycle, some like to run, etc. I think whatever gives you some stress relief and increases the heart rate is good for you!
Tiffany: Absolutely!!!! There are so many benefits to running and keeping the body moving.
What is your advice to a woman thinking about running, no matter what her age?
Mindy: You don’t have to be fast, you just have to get out there. I like the quote by Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Katie: Get out and do it! Like I said before, when I first ran I only did 1 mile and had to stop and walk 3 times during that mile! It takes time, patience, and determination but you can do it!
It’s important not to compare yourself to others. Make your own goals, whether that be time, effort, distance, or whatever. Be proud of your accomplishments!
Tiffany: Just go for it. Even if you don’t think it’s for you. Just start with walking, then gradually move up to jogging. If that seems to be going well, start running at a slow steady pace and work yourself up from there.
How does running together inspire you?
Mindy: I love the comradery that runners share. It just seems like running brings people together.
You get to share the good, the bad and the ugly with one another. And sometimes it gets ugly, when it comes to running experiences! But when you can share it with someone else, it seems to make it more tolerable.
Katie: We do run at lunch sometimes, and it’s nice to have that partnership. Even though we don’t always get to run together, we like to talk about our runs, whether accomplishments or road blocks!
My husband and I also run together when possible. It’s nice to vent with fellow runners and get advice. We try to build each other up and we are cheerleaders for each other! It’s so important to support each other and raise each other up!
Tiffany: We all challenge each other a little differently. Mindy challenges me to run faster and Katie challenges me to run long distances. And we all are able to do this together and burn stress off.
How has running changed your lives?
Mindy: Running definitely keeps me in better shape, but it also helps relieve stress so that I can be a better mom. And it makes me feel accomplished and empowered.
Katie: For me, it’s been a great stress relief and gives me a “mental break”. It’s the “me” time that I need out of a day.
Between raising small children and working full time, the days get hectic. Running has taught me that even though I will have days that aren’t so great (just like runs that aren’t so great), if I keep on going I can accomplish my goals: one foot in front of the other and 1 mile/day at a time!
Tiffany: I have gained new friends and overcome lots of challenges. I have pushed myself to do things I thought I couldn’t do.