Written by: Stephanie Duncan-

I first met Kendra a few years back during a Baby Boot Camp class. She’s the type of girl you can’t help but instantly fall in love with, and once you get to

know her more you realize how insanely awesome she is! Kendra worked so hard at maintaining her goals through her 3rd pregnancy, while holding down the fort with two other adorable little ladies, and a full time job.

She never ceases to amaze me, including her first run training night, pulling a sub 9-minute mile, and breaking 8 by the end of the 8 weeks. She shows up every night with an incredible attitude no matter what the day has thrown at her, and works hard on achieving whatever is set out before her to do.

When I had to think of someone to do our first featured runner post on, I didn’t even stall or hesitate. Kendra is the epitome of mom strong, all while maintaining an incredible humble and friendly attitude. So here’s a little more about what makes this runner tick, what inspires her, and some future goals!

RL: What inspired you to start running?

K: As an adult, I’m inspired to run as a way to stay in shape and be healthy. When I initially started running WAY back in Junior High Cross-Country, it was a means to cross train for the upcoming Nordic ski-racing season.

RL: What is your favorite race you’ve done?

K:I really don’t have a favorite run…yet! Most of my recent events have been community fun runs and they are all really enjoyable. I am doing Hood to Coast this fall and want to do some of the other more established races in the area, so I’m hoping one of those becomes my favorite.

RL: What is one piece of running gear you can’t go without?

K: I have to have a good sports bra to run in! And a good hair tie to keep the locks out of my face is a must. I can’t stand hair in my face when I’m gasping for breath!

RL: Road or trails?

K: I actually love a combination of both trails and roads. I like that the trails tend to be more shaded, quieter, peaceful, and varied in terrain, but the roads are right outside my door and there for the taking no matter what!

RL: Favorite post run/race meal?

K: Well, my husband and I are currently both doing run training, and there’s nothing like a burger and a beer after a good workout! Otherwise, I love anything fresh and flavorful from a yummy salad to a bowl of pasta. Brunch after a morning workout is always a plus, too!
RL: Do you run with headphones? If so, what’s your running jam? Podcasts? Audiobooks?

K: I do run with headphones when I’m running by myself. I have a playlist that I made with the most random music on it–think a little Top 40 Billboard, a little country, a little classic rock, and a few inspirational tunes thrown in there, too. I love music that makes me want to sing and dance while I’m running, because then the miles pass a little faster and my stride tends to lengthen.

RL: Do you prefer running in the cold or heat?

K: Cold all the way…I prefer -10 over 90 degrees most any day! I am prone to heat exhaustion; so running in the warmer weather is actually really hard for me. I grew up skiing so much that I can do almost anything in the cold and be alright!

RL: How do you find time to balance running, working, and motherhood?

K: The struggle for balance is REAL. I find that it takes a lot of planning, a lot of flexibility, and a lot of communication. Both my husband and I are actively training right now, so we are in constant contact about when each of us is planning to get our workout in and how we can support one another to achieve our goals. Often times, one of us will run in the morning and the other in the evening. I’ve also found that with the weather getting nicer and the days getting

longer, running after work is more feasible. We have also discovered that our oldest daughter can ride her bike about 4-5 miles, so we take her on runs with us now and that helps! She sets a nice “slow jog” pace for us these days.

RL: What is something that inspires you?

K: Being healthy and a positive role model for my 3 young girls really inspires me to be the best version of myself. Showing them what a healthy life looks like through an active lifestyle if very important to me. I also want them to appreciate the outdoors as much as I do, so being active with them is very important. I’m also inspired by other moms around me who are doing a kick a$$ job at managing life, motherhood, and training!

RL: Next big goal or race?

K: I am currently in search of a half marathon to register for mid-summer. I feel like I’m finally at a point where my kids are old enough that I can commit to training for that distance, and since I’ve never done one, I really want to give it a try.

RL: What’s your mantra when the going gets tough?

K: Most of my life I have been involved in individual endurance sports (cross-country running, Nordic skiing, rowing/crew, etc.) and throughout it all, I’ve always said just keep putting one foot in front of the other. As long as I say active and try harder today than I did yesterday, improvement will come. And throughout it all, you have to stay positive. One night during the last run training session I did in the fall, it was pouring rain and dark as night and I going off of probably 5 hours of sleep, but I told myself, just keep going…pick up the pace, keep your feet moving, because the fact that you’re a mom of 3 kids and out here running is a blessing and a joy no matter what the circumstances!

RL: One thing (or more) that you love about Fitlife/Runlife?

K: I honestly love that it is a time for me to really push myself and see what I can accomplish. I’m not a super competitive person by nature, but I do have high expectations for myself and Run Life lets me push that standard higher and higher each time. I also enjoy that it’s a time for my husband and I to get out of the house together, workout, and have a mini dinner date afterwards. I always feel refreshed and renewed after a good workout! It’s also really great to see so many moms and dads and young and old people out there taking time for themselves and focusing on their health and lifestyle. We need more of that in this world!