Positive running story – Kim Mimnaugh

Our positive running story this time is on Kim Mimnaugh, a runner and OCR afficianado from Warsaw in Indiana. Kim attended one of our women’s running camps in July 2019 (the same camp as our previous story on Robin). Kim was a dynamo of positive energy during camp, and kept everyone in giggles with her sense of humor. Kim is pictured above on Flat Top mountain in RMNP, left of the front row, during our 2019 camp). We recently asked if we could interview Kim for our positive running story series, and here is the result of our interview:

Can you share your brief running history to date?
I ran track in high school, but at the time I hated it and only did it to stay in shape for basketball (my first love) and volleyball. I didn’t really start running races until after I had my daughter in 2004. Since then I have run the Chicago Marathon twice, a trail marathon and completed my first 50k trail ultra in 2018. I have, also, run more half marathons and 5k’s that I can count. However, my true love is obstacle races. I have run everything from Warrior Dashes, to Tough Mudder’s to Spartan races. Although I have earned my Spartan Trifecta, I enjoy the Spartan Super distance the best. The challenge of the obstacles along with the trail running makes it a perfect combination for me. Currently I am training for my first 40 miler in April.

What are the top three things you enjoy most about running, and why?
First, I love being outside rather than stuck in a gym. I will run if it’s 90+ degrees or below zero (although I like it warmer better).

Second, running is my “me” time. There are times I may be thinking about things at home or working through stuff at work in my head, but I’m not replying to emails or dealing with the current crises. I always feel a lot more centered when I am done.

But lastly, and probably the best part, is running with other people. It doesn’t matter the pace; you can always adjust. And when you are running with your best friend or a bigger group, you get the opportunity to talk about so many different things all while pounding the pavement or the trail. When you finish, your mind is usually clearer, you breathe a little easier and you managed to get in a good workout along the way.

You have run several races in your career to date. What has been your favorite race you have experienced so far, and why?
That is a tough question, every race has been a bit different. I think it’s easier to come up with my least favorite race, which would be a flooded 10 mile trail race in December ☺ – man, that hip deep water was COLD!

But, if I have to pick a favorite…for my 40th birthday, the friend who got me into running met me out in Washington state for the Great Olympic Adventure Trail (GOAt) half marathon in the Olympic National Park. I went into the race with the sole purpose of having fun and enjoying the scenery and wasn’t worried about my time/pace/place. It was a gorgeous point to point course through the park and because I wasn’t focused on time, I took the opportunity to enjoy where I was running, which was so much different than what I was used to and took pictures (i.e. lots of selfies – those ladies at running camp know I like selfies) along the way ☺.

Do you recall what started your running career, and has anyone else in your family or close friends been supportive of your exploits?
A friend convinced me to run my first 5k with her after my daughter was born and the ball just started rolling from there. The next year we saw a few friends finish their first half marathon down in Indianapolis and decided if they could do it so could we; and I have been hooked ever since.

My husband and my kids have been supportive of my running. I think they realize I am happier if I get in some miles – which in turn makes everyone happier. They have also been great when it comes to training for the longer distances I have run and the time it takes to get it done. They all definitely pick up the slack when I am not there. The kids don’t even seem to mind me being the “crazy” mom that is always trying to get her run in before the track meets and in between soccer games.

My biggest fans though are, without a doubt, my daughter and my best friend. My daughter now runs cross country and track in high school and we completed our first 50K relay together in December. The fact she is so passionate about running and wants to discuss the races and meets definitely give us a special bond that I wasn’t expecting. And my best friend has been there since the beginning. She deals with my absolute craziness before the races, as I tend to get super nervous, and has always been there cheering me on – regardless of what my next crazy race adventure is.

Kim in the middle of the front row at camp

You attended our advanced women’s running camp in July last year. What was it that attracted you to come to camp, and what did you enjoy most about your camp experience?
I saw the description of the camp online and I was really intrigued by the description and what I could learn to improve my running. And come on…who wouldn’t love the experience of running up a mountain? Plus, I also managed to convinced my friend Jess to go with me ☺.

The camp, however, far exceeded any expectations I had. Not only did I learn a TON about technique, training and form, the women I met were absolutely amazing!!  We came from all over the country and had such varying backgrounds and running histories. But we all came with one thing in common – we all loved to run. The support of one another and the enjoyment we had running up Twin Sisters and Flattop, especially, was phenomenal – the views at the top weren’t too bad either. ☺ I would highly recommend the camp to anyone who loves to run regardless of running skill level.

Your e-mail address is kimrun4fun…..although you have raced, having fun seems to have a guiding principle for your running. Where does this come from, and has it always been this way?
That mantra definitely hasn’t always been my motto. If you ask anyone who knows me, I am extremely competitive by nature.  And definitely at the beginning of my running career, I was more focused on overall time and places that I received each race rather than the race itself. However, now, I want to enjoy the overall experience a bit more. A lot more of the events I have ran over the last few years have been with groups of various friends and whether it be the hot chocolate 15k or the trail 50k, the whole experience is always so much more fun running with other people.

What wisdoms would you share with a younger version of yourself about being a woman runner?
Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition, especially before and during your running. It took me a long time to figure that one out. Whether it be just a snack before you go out or something to have along the way, it may be the difference between a great run and bonking. Besides, with so many different options out there you can’t miss.

If we could share one message on your behalf to the World, what would you wish to say?
Wow, no pressure! Well, for the runners out there, if you are contemplating a race – don’t waste time – just go for it!  Things may work out or they may not, but at least you know you tried. And who knows, it may end up just being a stepping stone to a next great adventure.

Can you share one thing that is unique about Kim that no one would know by looking at you?
I HATE the monkey bars. Every obstacle race I do usually have some form of monkey bars and I HATE them. I have finally figured out how to get across them, but it took a lot of trips to the playground with my kids hanging by one-hand going “Come on Mom, it’s easy” and lots of additional burpees when I couldn’t get across in the Spartan races. But it doesn’t matter – I still hate them.

What are your goals for the rest of 2020 and beyond?
My only goal for 2020 is to finish the 40 miler in April, although I guess at first, I need to just survive the training ☺. I am running in the Covered Bridge Half Marathon with a friend (in return to support of her 40th birthday) in June and I am hoping to just enjoy that race since I heard it is supposed to be a gorgeous course as well.

Beyond that, my ultimate goal would be to someday qualify and run the Boston Marathon (assuming I get off the trails long enough to train on the road). And when I do, I want my daughter and best friend front and center there cheering me on.

Kim, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us, and we look forward to many more years of running for you! We wish you success with gaining strength and remaining healthy and consistent. Strength and kindness are two of your core qualities.

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