Name: Megan Knigga Sheets
City/Town: Indianapolis, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2007
Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?
In 2006 my beloved Nana passed away after a very long and devastating battle with lung cancer. By the winter of that year, I was lost in more ways than one. I had become very depressed and withdrawn. I remember watching the Mini-Marathon participants during my tenure as a 2004 500 Festival Princess. I remember seeing the pride that filled the finisher’s faces and just simply being in awe of their accomplishment. I decided that as a whole, our family needed a goal and something to work for during 2007. So as a Christmas gift I signed my whole family up for the Indy Mini. At first, all 10 family members were very unhappy with me since I come from a family of non-runners. But having the mini to look forward to and train for gave us a common goal and something other than our grief to focus on. Watching all 10 members of my family cross the finish line that day in May in 2007 is by far my proudest Indy Mini moment. I am very proud to say that I have signed up for 12 Indianapolis Mini-Marathons…trained for them…and most importantly…crossed that finish line 12 times. Each time I sign up for the mini I know my Nana is sitting right there on my shoulder…urging me along.
Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?
In order to keep motivated I think about the finish line during all of my training runs. The elation and pure joy of crossing that finish line after conquering 13.1 miles can’t be replicated and that is what keeps me motivated. This year I’m also using my friends to motivate me as well. We are sharing workouts via social media and seeing their progress makes me want to get out there and crush my workouts.
Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?
Sign up. Make a schedule of training runs and stick to it. You have to carve the time out for yourself. You can absolutely do this. I understand having outside responsibilities; I am a full-time night shift nurse, wife, and dog mom to 4, including a puppy. But I make the commitment and I understand that my training time is sacred “me” time. Running a mini sounds so daunting, but break it up in chunks. I break it up in 5Ks. This makes the distance seem less intimidating and it works for me. Once you finish the Indy Mini you will undoubtedly sign up for it the next year because race day is so exhilarating. The 500 Festival puts on a top-notch race and it’s incredible to see the city and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from such a new and unique perspective.
Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?
My number one song for motivation is “This is Me” by Kala Settle and The Greatest Showman Ensemble. It is the best song for starting runs. According to iTunes here are some of my other most played songs, “Shark in the Water” by VV Brown, “Now That We’ve Found Love” by Heavy D and the Boys, and “Love Man” by Otis Redding. My music tastes are actually pretty eclectic. It’s not uncommon for my playlist to go from Katy Perry to Fleetwood Mac and then to Jason Aldean. I will listen to pretty much anything with a good beat for training runs. I love finding new music so if you have something new, send it my way!
Q: If you were stranded on an island (and had everything necessary to survive), which three items would you also like to have with you?
Diet Coke, Chick-fil-A, and my dogs. I’m very food motivated and I’m very obsessed with my dogs. I would be happy as a clam if I had these things on that island. I’m fairly certain that my loved ones would also say these things are the things that sustain me in everyday life, not just what I would require if I was stranded on an island.
Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini