Meet Megan Knigga Sheets- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassador

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 I had become very depressed and withdrawn.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

Meet Morgan Shiflett- #2019 IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Morgan Shiflett
City/Town: Indianapolis, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2017

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

My favorite #IndyMini memory is running the race with one of my best friends and celebrating afterwards!

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

Sticking to a plan and enjoying every single run is what motivates me the most.

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

You will have good and bad training runs, appreciate the bad runs more than the good. Training for your first mini marathon is a great challenge that helps you focus on doing something good for yourself and ultimately is such a rewarding journey.

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

The Middle by Zedd.

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?

Someone I loved, workout clothes and a good book!

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini

Meet Cynthia Marshall- #2019 IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Cynthia Marshall
City/Town: Camby, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2019

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Going to the expo in 2018 and meeting Meb Keflezighi. I loved the atmosphere and the excitement everyone had for the Indy Mini and the 500 festival. I knew right away this was something I wanted to be a part of in the future.

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

Black Girls Run Indy group. They make sure I get my long runs in on the weekend and keep me motivated throughout the week.

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

Don’t be intimidated by the large crowd. That’s what has stopped me from signing up in the past. Everyone is there to support each other. It doesn’t matter you run, walk, or have to crawl to the finish line. You have a whole city of runners rooting for you!

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

No particular song. But I always listen to something upbeat and inspirational to cleanse my mind and spirit while I run.

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?

It’s definitely not an item but I would have to say my daughter! I couldn’t imagine being anywhere without her. Having her by my side would be all I would ever need.

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini

Meet Kevin Anspach- #2019 IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Kevin Anspach
City/Town: Mooresville, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2015

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Running around the track at IMS for the first time. The history that exists on that asphalt motivates me to power through the rest of the miles. Of course, finishing my first #IndyMini after losing 80lbs was unforgettable! It was an incredible, life changing journey for three years, that was complete when I crossed the finish line.

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

My wife has been my support through all of my newest and latest challenges, even though she thinks I’m crazy! I talked her into running her first #IndyMini and am so excited to see her at the finish line! My coach, Michael Winn, has helped me hit my target goals and gave me the knowledge needed to be successful at running. My biggest motivation will always be to stay as healthy as I can, in honor of my father and older brother who passed away too early.

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

If it scares the heck out of you to sign up, that means you need to do it! Definitely find a good training plan for the pace you want to keep, and do not skip a workout! The couch is not your friend! To fuel your training and keep your body’s performance at it’s peak, find a food regimen that works towards your goals. I personally have been a big fan of the Paleo eating regimen. I don’t consider that a diet, just clean eating. Make sure you have rest days built in to your workout plans. Your body needs that time to recover and stay healthy.

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

I generally don’t run with music, unless I am on the treadmill. If I do, it is a workout station on iHeart Radio. When I am running outside I like to take in my surroundings. ( And listen for approaching dogs.. )

 

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?

Running shoes, oofos recovery sandals, and lots of sun tan lotion!

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini

Meet Rickie Baullosa- #2019 IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Rickie Baullosa
City/Town: Whitestown, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2017

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Running with new friends.

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

Having an event to look forward to.

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

Don’t overdress and enjoy the experience.

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

Anything pop.

 

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?

Music, sunglasses, and running shoes.

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini

Meet The Running Rueffs: Ryan and Rob Rueff- 2019 #IndyMini Ambassadors

Name: Ryan Rueff and Rob Rueff
City/Town: Greenwood, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini:  Ryan: 2016   Rob: 2016

 

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Ryan: My second Mini as I returned from my injury and surgery. Waving to everyone and celebrating my return.

Rob: Going under the speedway and hearing Ryan giggle the entire time

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

Ryan: Having a cold Dr. Pepper after a hard run.

Rob: Ryan

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

Ryan: Have a great time and be sure to smile the entire time.

Rob: Don’t worry about your time – go out and enjoy the sights and sounds of the ʺgreatest spectacle in running.ʺ

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

Ryan: Nothing. I need to concentrate on my surroundings and be alert when running music can be distracting.

Rob: Don’t listen to music – too many other things to concentrate on and need to be alert.

 

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?

Ryan: iPod, beyblades, and Dr. Pepper.

Rob: iPhone, Sherlock Holmes books and my Pop-a-Shot.

 

Don’t miss the fun and the excitement of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 4. Register now for the #IndyMini!

 

Meet Jenny Haynes- #2019 IndyMini Ambassador

Name: Jenny Haynes
City/Town: Indianapolis, Indiana
First year of #IndyMini: 2014

Q: What is your favorite #IndyMini memory?

Every year is amazing. Running from downtown Indy to the track and back is just an amazing experience in itself! So much history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!!! If I have to pick one, my half marathon PR of 2:06 in 2015!

 

Q: Who or what motivates you the most during training?

All of my running friends, near and far! Running has given me many things, but the greatest gift has been the people that it’s brought into my life.

 

Q: What advice do you have for people considering running the #IndyMini for the first time?

It’s the best in the country! Follow a training plan and when your legs get tired, run with your heart.

 

Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to when running?

There are too many to list! I like to listen to upbeat songs while running and have several different play lists to choose from. If I have to pick one, maybe Champion by Carrie Underwood.

 

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?

Running shoes, Garmin Watch and headphones!

 

Make 2019 your best year yet! Register now for the #IndyMini.

The First Timer’s Guide to the Indy Mini- Ambassador Guest Blog

The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is great for first-time half marathoners. There’s a reason why people return to the #IndyMini year after year: it’s flat, fast and FUN! Sometimes you need a little more than that to convince you to do your first #IndyMini. 2019 Ambassador Kirstin Maguire has some tips just for first timers!

1) SIGN UP: People tend to delay signing up because they want to see how their training progresses or what’s going on in their life.  Don’t delay! Commit yourself to the goal and get signed up as soon as you can. You’ll begin to feel like you’re part of something larger than just you and progression toward your goal will inspire you and others.  

 

2) TRAINING DOES NOT HAVE TO RUIN YOUR LIFE (but there will be some sacrifices): There are many flavors of training plans, some plans keep the running steady, some  plans increase miles, then decrease miles. There are interesting terms like speed work, intervals, run/walk and fartlek (excuse me?).  Find one that works with your life! My favorite training plan is for people who work Monday through Friday, my long runs (walks in my case) are on the weekends.   This means I almost always hit my training plan. Whatever training plan you are using, it has a pattern to that will require you to make adjustments to fit your schedule. For example, if your plan schedules 8 miles on a day you’re going to be in a car on a road trip, dividing the miles up to add 2 miles to the other days is not the same intention.  The 8 miles was your long push for the week, so it’ll be better to move the whole 8 miles to another day. Flexibility and planning ahead will help you stay on track of your plan! 

 

3)TRAIN HARD; RECOVER HARDER: That’s my motto.  If you are feeling tired and in pain from your last run when it’s time for your next run, you’re less likely to hit your training plan.   Self-care such as enough sleep, eating right and cross training appropriately will all help. Foam rolling can help you with sore muscles since they can work through tricky areas like IT bands.  Start with a smooth solid roller if you are a first timer. Dropping the truth here, I cry when I roll, especially my IT bands. I roll immediately after a run before doing anything else, stop, drop, roll!  It helps with the soreness and aches and pains. My running squad also recommends Epsom salt baths as another remedy against sore muscles.

 

4) INVEST IN TRAINING: Running can be a cheap sport or an expensive sport, depending on the individual’s needs and wants.  If weather is hampering your training, you may need a treadmill at home or to join the local gym.  Shoes are very important, especially when you’re starting to run longer distances. Make sure to pick your race day shows at least 6 weeks before, you don’t want to breaking in your new shoes at IMS!  I’ve mentioned that foam roller above, the gym may have them or you can find them fairly cheap in discount stores.

 

5) MOTIVATION: There’s a meme on social media that says “How do you know someone is training for a half marathon?   Don’t worry they will post it constantly on Facebook!” This is very true. Posting on social media helps with accountability and being part of groups on social media where others are posting means you will be more motivated to get out there and get great tips.  You don’t need to post if you don’t feel comfortable, but online groups can be very helpful. Find a group you like on Facebook like the Indy Mini First Timers or follow people on Instagram for inspiration. Find what works best for you; if you don’t like the group or they don’t embrace your values, then that’s just not a fit for you.  And that’s OK! As a walker, I want to be around others that are supportive and welcoming. Hanging a giant wall calendar helps with your visual tracking or moving beads from jar to jar to count miles are other ideas to help motivate you.  One of my big motivators is to create a rewards plan for myself. Say when I hit 100 training miles I’m getting new socks! Write it up in advance.

 

6) BUILD YOUR MENTAL GAME: If your mind can believe it, your body can achieve it.  Visual yourself on race day: bib pinned on, training completed, corralled up, waiting on the wave of the green flag, entering into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, revering the Golden Mile, kissing the bricks, heading back downtown for that amazing finish line, looking up and seeing that clock, smiling in satisfaction as to how your plan worked out while a volunteer says congratulations and hands you your medal.  You have to remind yourself that you can do this and that your training proved you can do this. Run through your mental game during your training, when you want to quit, like on that first mile (why oh why is it always so hard?), remind yourself of your goal and all the hard things you’ve done in life and succeeded. Remind yourself that this person is not a quitter!

 

Still need to register? Sign up now at indymini.com/register!

#IndyMini Social Runs and Meet Ups

Our partners at Michelob Ultra, Athletic Annex and Lindsey Hein (I’ll Have Another podcast) will be hosting a series of three social runs / meetups between now and April, specifically for people who are training for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or 5K. Come out and log some miles and meet some of your fellow #IndyMini trainees. All paces are welcome!

 

The first meetup took place on February 21 in Broad Ripple. After the run, participants met at Brothers for a social hour complete with Michelob Ultra beer specials (for those over 21), #IndyMini giveaways, and product giveaways from Athletic Annex. 

 

The next two runs are scheduled for:
March 21, 6-8 pm: World of Beer
April 18, 6-8 pm: Sahm’s Ale House

 

If you would like to attend, please RSVP at the Facebook event. Join us for fun, fitness, and free giveaways, including #IndyMini registrations and beanies!

 

Don’t forget to share your pics from the events using #IndyMini!