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Mother Runners of the Month: Heidi Mischel + Abbie McKee

Each month, we celebrate two athletes monthly in our #motherrunnner community.
[because sports awards aren’t just for youth soccer]

One athlete participates in our Many Happy Miles program and the other one is in a Train Like a Mother Club program: nothing like vicariously living through workout specifics, training cycles, and upcoming (virtual) races, right?

More importantly, they both epitomize the traits that keep us all moving forward: perspective, diligence, badassery, flexibility, and grit.

Heidi and her husband hiking in the mountains of Park City, Utah.


Location: Milbank, South Dakota

Kids: 3 kids; William (21), Claire (19) and Marion (16). I run with our labradoodle, Luna, when it is not too hot. We also have 3 horses, 2 cats and too many chickens.

What's your running story?
I started running shortly after William was born. I was a walker before then. It was simply a matter of needing to cover my 4 mile route faster so my husband could get to work on time.

I have done several 5Ks and 10Ks, and 13 or 14 half-marathons. However, the Twins Cities 10 miler is my favorite race and distance.

Now I run because I can. My daughter asked me why I do long runs if I am not training for anything. My answer: "Because I can, plus it makes me feel BadA$$”.

Why did you join Many Happy Miles?
I joined Many Happy Miles when it first started at the end of 2018. I wasn’t on a training plan but I wanted the sense of being on one.

I like how each month has a theme and keeps things fresh.

The MHM community is an amazing group of supportive, loving and dedicated women. As Caite says, “it’s the happiest place on the internet”. I agree with her 110%. This group of women consisting of all ages, experiences, and walks of life helps to build me up and makes me stronger – both mentally and physically.

Best workout in Many Happy Miles so far:
Heather, my favorite workouts are from November 2019 when the month consisted of Hat Tips (h/t) to Many Happy Miles members' favorite workouts. I love "h/t Ash" and "h/t Dimity." These are workout I go back to when I want to work on speed or running on the treadmill.


Hardest workout in Many Happy Miles so far:
I would say h/t Ash is a tough workout. I was cursing h/t Ash the first time I did this workout. I still occasionally curse her, but in a very good way. I tend to enjoy the tough ones.

Upcoming races? I just joined Train Like a Mother Club's Love the Run You're With 2.0. I think this is a fun way to stay motivated and positive. I was hoping to do the Twin Cities 10 miler again, but it is virtual this year.

When I run, I feel: empowered. I know that I can tackle almost anything after a run. 


Program: Ultra 50 Mile Program

Location: Spokane, Washington

Kids: Two amazing boys – Hunter (13) and Maks (10) and two amazing dogs – BoBo (15 years!) and GiGi (5 months)

What’s your running story?
I started consistently running at about age 23 and was lucky enough to find an amazing group of fellow #motherrunners.

Currently, I run every weekday at 5am with my BRF, Nancy (pictured above). Through this consistency, I quickly became hooked to running! Our mornings are joyful due to the deep meaningful conversations we have that provide therapy for my soul. Running each morning fills my cup, so I can pour that goodness to others the rest of the day. I’m "addicted" in all the best ways!

What led you to choosing the 50 mile ultra program and why do you enjoy it?
My friend from college, Kat Schjei, is a BAMbassador and has used Train Like a Mother training programs. She is so inspiring with so much ultra running success.

Because of Kat, I figured trying a Train Like a Mother plan was a no-brainer since she'd proven them to be successful for her! The 50 mile plan was easy to use and had a very clear plan for training. I also loved the chats in the Ultra group! 

Best workout in the Ultra 50 mile plan so far:
I really like the strength workouts that changed every few weeks. They were easy to use at home as well.

Most challenging workout in the Ultra 50 mile plan so far:
Oh my how to choose! LOL! Probably the week where you run 26 miles one day and the very next day run 18 miles. That was a bugger - but I finished!

What was your goal race?
 I was training for the St Regis, MT Trail Rail 50 miler, slated for June 6. With Covid, they decided to offer the race to local Montana residents only. All other registrants were kindly offered the chance to run it virtually on race day, upload Garmin data showing completion, and finishers were mailed the medal and Patagonia running race jacket!

So my BRF, Nancy, and I decided we weren’t throwing in the towel on getting this 50 miler done and created our own virtual local race course! (That jacket - we needed it!!)

We planned a beautiful course with friends hosting “aid stations” along the way out of their cars. We pre-packed all aid station bags for them and included what we wanted (en, water, tons of snacks, bandaids, etc).

We genuinely had the best time! It was wonderful to see 9 various sets of friends and family along our course and say hello to friends we hadn't seen in awhile. The support they all provided was just priceless.

While our race didn’t look as intended, it worked out truly for the better. I will forever cherish the memories made along my “course” and how much my friends and family truly showed up big time to support me.

What was your goal for your race?
My goal was just to finish in the allotted time and not be injured. Both were accomplished!!

When I run, I feel: like I am fully tapping into what makes me a more motivated employee, patient mother, loving wife and caring friend. It gives me a clear mind to focus on my purpose and the energy to achieve that purpose. I know what butters my bread – it’s running.😉

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