Q & A with UESCA Running Coach – Mandy Mullen

Fusion FIT

I had the pleasure of getting to know Mandy when she so graciously agreed to be in UESCA’s introduction and strength training videos. While you likely won’t find someone with more things on their plate, as you’ll read below, Mandy still manages to thrive in all aspects of her life. Like me, I hope that her story will inspire you and give you tips on how to live your best life, even if you’re juggling a million things. Mandy, thank you for your time and wishing you all the best in your endeavors!

As a wife, mom of two boys, gym owner, run club owner, race director… and of course, freelance UESCA running model 🙂 – how do you get it all done?

I tell people that what they see on the outside of my life isn’t the whole story, and I think this is true for everyone. My family and I have had to make a lot of sacrifices and adjust things that are a priority. I don’t go shopping, I rarely get my hair done. I’ve cut things out that don’t add value to my business, quality time for my family or bring me true joy.

Truth be told, big stores give me anxiety so a Target run is something this momma doesn’t even do. I Click List and Insta Cart everything and my husband cooks more often than I do. Our house is rarely ever “picked up”. We have two boys ages 5 and 7, so think legos and matchbox cars everywhere. Nick does his own laundry and 90% of the kids’. He’s in the Air Force and we’re lucky with his 4 day a week work schedule, giving me more time to focus on the businesses and him quality time taking care of and playing with the boys. He’s an ultra-marathoner (you’ll read more later) so he has his own juggling to do. On any given afternoon you might find him running circles around the park while the boys play and I’m at the gym teaching a class. 

When it comes time for me to work, I go full speed most of the day. While I do take time to attend classes at my own gym, chat with clients and go to happy hour at least once a week with my girlfriends, when I work I am fully focused and efficient. This kind of dedication is required when you’re essentially running three businesses but your youngest is only in school four mornings a week. I multi-task and find that as long as I touch on each “business” every day, things seem to stay afloat and successful. 

A lot of endurance athletes have a hard time balancing everything they have going on while trying to find the time and energy for training. Any tips?

Yes! It is incredibly difficult. The first step is making your training a priority and making sure your tribe (spouse, children, friends, family, etc) understand that. This is where it becomes imperative that you ask for help and support. You must be willing to admit that you can’t do this all alone.

For most of us, our running time is also our therapy and mental break so while it’s another thing we have to do, it should also be relaxed and pleasurable. If you’re following the rules and running slow most of the time, you can find it to be one of the most therapeutic things in your life. I use my running hours to listen to entrepreneurial or running related podcasts, audio books or my fave Lumineers inspired playlist. 

You obviously don’t have a lot of free time, so how to you prioritize downtime and keep it in your schedule?

This is so important! I don’t have much free time, but I am sure to take at least an hour each day to turn off my brain. Whether it’s going to the park with the kids, yoga, a glass of vino with my girls or sitting on the couch to watch an episode of Shameless (my current guilty pleasure). Most days this downtime comes after we put our kids to bed, while Nick washes the dishes and packs lunches. Gasp. I know, I know. I’ve had to get rid of the guilt associated with taking some time to be relax while my hard working husband is still doing house work. We’ve found that as long as we both know we’re each doing our best every day, we’re able to fully support what the other person needs.

Boss Lady

You obviously wouldn’t wear so many hats unless you had a passion for these areas. What keeps you going and where do you get your energy from?

Oh gosh you guys my passion and lust for life right now is up there. There isn’t one thing on my plate that I don’t insanely love. Except for Quickbooks; I can’t stand accounting and balancing the books.

Other than that, my community of people, the events we put on, my clients and team fill my cup every day simply by working hard for their own dreams. I wake up every morning excited to walk into my gym and see people smiling, sweating, laughing and whooping loudly. Showing up to group run and doing what I love most with my runners is often the most magical part of my day. 

My passion for fitness came to me after the 2013 Boston Marathon. Yes, the year of the bombing. My husband and I both began working out and running after college because the pizza and beer did not serve our bodies well. I was a reluctant “runner” and over time came to sorta enjoy half marathons. My husband on the other hand caught on quickly and earned his ticket to the 2013 Boston race. It was getting off the subway after the bombs went off, holding my nine month old son, that the heaviness of my responsibility as a parent set in. As families mourned their losses and the running community mourned the loss of the day, a fire was lit in my heart to do better. Become more. Dream bigger.

It was suddenly so apparent how short this life is and I’m not going to spend it doing things half-way. No more excuses. No more “I’m not a real runner”. Nope. Time to dig deep. My husband said he wanted to go home and attend to re-qualify so we could return the next year. I didn’t say it out loud yet, but I decided I too wanted to qualify and earn my own way. 

That year I ran my first full marathon in 4:45. Not pretty and not painless, but I did it and kept working hard afterward. Fast forward to 2017 when I became a UESCA Run Coach, started my own running group, and worked harder than hell to get faster. In 2018 I ran the Colorado Marathon in 3:38:50…missing my BQ by under 4 minutes. I crossed the finish line to find my run.Windsor girls heartbroken for me but I had a smile on my face because ten years ago I hated running a mile and now I’m 4 minutes away from that crazy Boston dream. Hell yes. I’ve arrived.

My husband and I are training for the Revel Rockies on June 6th and plan to take our boys back to Boston in April of 2021.

So yeah…that’s my fire. That’s where I get my energy.

Fushion FIT | Interview with UESCA

What is your favorite time management hack?

I love me a beautiful, organized planner. The expensive Erin Condren with all of the stickers and pretty pages. I start each morning by reviewing my to-do list (it’s a long one ya’ll) and the day’s schedule. I’ve always had a knack for multi-tasking and I thrive on positive stress. Being able to look at a physical to-do list and layout of the week helps me feel in control of it all. There’s also a great deal of satisfaction that comes from the little check mark once I’ve accomplished a task. 

Most recently I’ve been using time blocking in my calendar to focus on specific parts of the business, family time and “me” time. Trying to stick to that plan allows me to set healthy boundaries with my work, friends and family. 

Rick Prince is the founder/director of United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA), a science-based endurance sports education company. UESCA educates and certifies running and triathlon coaches (cycling and ultrarunning coming soon!) worldwide on a 100% online platform.

Click here to download the UESCA Triathlon Course Overview/Syllabus

Click here to download the UESCA Running Course Overview/Syllabus

Rick Prince

Rick Prince

Founder/Director of United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA).

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