The second person in our community spotlight series is Katie Mitcheldyer, aka “Wife.Mother.Runner“. I’ll let her introduce herself!
Hi! I’m Katie! I’m a Mama to Jett (9), Charlie (19 months) and Lily (fur baby, 8)! I’m also married to a pretty amazing guy, Kevin, who if I told you what he did for a living, well… you know the rest 😉 My family and friends are everything to me and are the ones who keep me going with their unwavering support and encouragement! I love following like-minded, motivated, kick ass folks on IG and FB, which is how I stumbled upon Sam and the #crushitzone, so if you’d like to link up on IG, my handle is wife.mother.runner, and then just search Katie Mitchelldyer on FB and shoot me a request!
1. How’d you get your start? What got you into this craziness?
I love this question because it brings back so many memories! I ran hurdles in high school and after graduation in 2005, I did absolutely nothing. Nada. My son was born in 2008 and in 2010 my friends signed me up for Virginia Beach RnR 1/2 marathon and told me a month before that I better start training. Maybe I shouldn’t refer to them as “friends”…who does that!? LOL!
So, for that month I ran and ran and when race day came I crossed that finish line in the Labor Day humidity that covers VA Beach and I’d never felt so accomplished and proud (and sweaty!)! I was officially hooked.
Thanks “friends”! Since then, I’ve run countless marathons, half marathons, 5ks, 10ks, 15ks and completed one ultra marathon (50k). And well, here I am training for my first triathlon, Boulder 70.3, in LESS THAN 3 WEEKS!!!!
2. What has been the hardest thing for you to overcome in training?
My own mind. I’m a thinker. About ALL things. And when I’m training I can get into my own head sometimes, making certain situations seem worse than they are – I’m not the only one right? During my last marathon training cycle, which was also my daughters first year of running the roost (ever heard of sleep walking? Yea I’m pretty sure I did some sleep running during this time), I really made an effort to keep it positive & listen to my body. And I had a 70-minute PR at the California International Marathon last December due to just that! We celebrated with cake! OK, well that was for the babe’s 1st bday, but I’ll take some credit for the celebration 🙂
3. How have you managed to balance family life and training?
Well, I’m not sure I would really call it “balance”, but we make it work. My husband is the most supportive person on Earth and for that I am so thankful. One of us, if not both, has been training for something or another since we met and so we’ve had a few trial and error runs to figure out how to get it done. The little addition to our family 19 months ago definitely made us up our game, but what we’ve found that works for us is communication. Go figure! Communication in a marriage? No way! Haha!
But in all seriousness, we sit down at the beginning of each week and go over our respective schedules. We jot them down on our calendar that hangs in the kitchen and decide who is going first on each day. If one of us sleeps in and we miss our workout, well, that is on whoever to figure out a way to get it in! But obviously we work together and make sure we each have “our” time as well as time together with the family.
4. What do you look forward to most on race weekend?
Hmmm. All of it? I guess I’d have to say that feeling you get when you pick up your race number and lay out your gear the night before and you can’t get to sleep because you’re too busy thinking of all the things…like “what if my alarm doesn’t go off” or “what if I can’t poop before the race?” or the million other things that us athletes get all frazzled about! But then you wake up, fuel up, dress up and toeing the start line is AMAZING!
Lining up with hundreds or thousands of complete strangers that somehow feel like best friends in that one moment, is indescribable. Then there is the finish. I always get this feeling right before crossing the finish line, right in the pit of my stomach, and my throat gets dry and I start to tear up. It’s like “Man, I really did this. All of my hard work has paid off. Right here. Right now.” It’s great. And of course seeing the kids and the husband/family/friends at the finish is just icing on the cake. #ilikecake
5. What kind of goals have you set for Ironman 70.3 Boulder?
This race will be my first triathlon. Like, ever. So, honestly, I just want to not die. Seems reasonable, right? We used to live right outside of Boulder, and it holds a special place in my heart, along with a lot of people who mean a lot to us, so I want to take it all in. I want to cross the finish line with a smile and know in my mind and in my heart that all of my training, and the support of my friends and family, made it possible.
But I am a numbers person, so yes, I do have a time goal 😉 I’d love to finish around 6 hours. I feel like my training and of course the race day energy will allow for that, or maybe even better. BUT if it doesn’t happen, it is not something that I will be upset about. It’s going to be a great experience, and I’m more than pumped for it!
6. What is your biggest source of motivation?
My biggest source of motivation would definitely have to be my kids. My son is older, and so he’s seen me cross some pretty big finish lines. I love that he asks me and my husband at night “How far are you running/riding/swimming tomorrow?”. He sees us putting in the hard work and then for him to see it all paying off when we finish the events, I really feel it’s a lifelong lesson that he’ll carry with him. Charlie is still too young to fully grasp it all, but she does enjoy strollers runs which usually lead to her passing out like a boss. 🙂
7. As you’ve gone through this journey, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Wow. I’ve received a lot of advice! During this #roadtoboulder70point3 journey I’d have to say that the best advice has been to believe in my body; believe in my training. We put ourselves through a lot for that race bling and that finish line feeling and it’s easy to get caught up in the social media hype/comparison and even our own minds (like me) and what it comes down to is that our bodies are freaking awesome. We need to appreciate what they can do instead of being stuck on what they can’t (yet) do. It takes time, but progress is progress, no matter the time it takes.
8. If someone was going to make you a personal cheering sign, what would it say?
Oh! “#katieinherchonies” Because I hardly ever have a shirt on and sometimes I even run in my bun huggers because, well it’s hot out here! My friend Linda always comments with that hashtag on my photos and I think it’s hilarious and it would definitely brighten my spirits during an event. Btw, “chonies” is another word for undies 😉
9. You guys are planning to move, what are you most excited for?
We are! After Boulder, we’ll be road-tripping it up to the PNW to our new home in Washington! I must say that I am looking forward to having seasons again! Southern California is beautiful and sunny and nice and did I say sunny? I do love the beach, but I’m a Southern girl and I like my Spring and Fall and maybe a little Winter mixed in. So definitely looking forward to that along with exploring new running routes and trails! It is so green and lush up there and I just can’t wait to get lost in it all (ok not really lost, cause that would be scary). 🙂
10. Any personal shoutouts?
So many. But I’ll keep it simple: my husband, Kevin, is the most selfless person and without his support and encouragement and those mornings he literally pushes me out of bed to go workout, I know I wouldn’t be doing all the great things I am right now. Of course my kiddos, my best friend Jaymie #wifeyforlifey, my many close friends, my family who might think I’m crazy for “always running” but support me nonetheless, and to my social media peeps who inspire me daily! Oh, and a special shoutout to Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies for keeping me fueled at all times 🙂
Good luck in Boulder Katie! You’ll CRUSH IT!
“Man, I really did this. All of my hard work has paid off. Right here. Right now.”