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Why I Run: Kate Judy

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A regular series profiling local running enthusiasts.To be part of this series, please email grsports@greenfieldreporter.com 

Kate Judy 
From: Chicago 
Resides in:  New Palestine
Occupation: Teacher at New Palestine HS
Q: Do you listen to music when you run?
A: I do. I find it keeps me focused. I don’t have any distractions to outside noise. I just really enjoy the time where I can get lost in my thoughts. It’s a nice time to be by yourself and kind of clear your thoughts. It’s a nice time to rejuvenate physically, spiritually, emotionally and all that. It’s time to be by yourself.
Q: What do you listen to?
A: I have a couple of different playlists for when I run. One is for when I’m trying to run in a race that keeps me...it has the same kind of beat, it helps me keep the same pace. But when I’m just out (running), I’ll listen to whatever. I like all different kinds of music, but usually classic rock or a mix between soft rock and classic rock.
Q: What type of running shoe do you use?
A: I use Saucony. When I first started, I didn’t really pay attention to that but I developed plantar fasciitis and realized that I had to get some orthotics, so I got some of those. I started paying attention to the type of shoe. I’ve tried a lot of different kinds, and I really like the Saucony.
Q: When did you run your first 5K?
A: The first 5K I ran in to get (a desired) time was one that goes with the mini-marathon the weekend of the Indianapolis 500. I didn’t do the mini; I did the 5K. It was a year after I started (running), and I started in April/May of 2009. Now I do one (5K) a month.
Q: When it gets cold, do you hit the treadmill or still run outside?
A: I’ve done the treadmill and to me it gets so boring. (But) this past winter, it was just too hard with all the snow on the ground and the temperatures, so I would run on the treadmill then. But the year before, when it was milder, I didn’t mind it. I kind of like it to run out in the cold and be the elements. The cold doesn’t bother me; I kind of like it.
NEW PALESTINE — Kate Judy wasn’t exactly fond of running as a youth.
(And in reality, what kid would trade in hopscotch or the monkey bars for jogging?)
“I always hated running as a kid,” Judy said with knowing laugh.
Things changed five years ago when Judy developed high blood pressure and it became clear that she needed to adjust her lifestyle.
What started out as a way for Judy to get healthy evolved into a way of life for the New Palestine resident. Once Judy started running, a friend encouraged her to start signing up for 5Ks, and a healthy obsession was born.
“I never thought I would be able to do it. Now, I’ve done one mini-marathon and I do 5Ks quite regularly,” said Judy, who tries to run one 5K a month, before joking: “I do it mainly because of health reasons, but then you get the runner’s high and you can’t help but going out (and running).
“I lost 35 pounds the first year I started running. And my blood pressure went down.”


When Judy laces up her Sauconys to go train, she mainly runs at various locations around her family’s New Palestine home, listening to classic or soft rock as she clears her mind. When Judy started her regimen in spring of 2009 after – trying to get in shape with exercise videos and a health club didn’t work out – she had a rough beginning.
“It took me awhile because I hadn’t run in years. I set a goal to try and run a mile – and I couldn’t even do that,” recalled Judy, a Chicago native. “I would run/walk a mile and do the best I could. I would try to pick a point and try to go past that. Every day, I would try to go a little bit further. To get to where I could run a whole 5K, it took me probably six months or so.”
Judy’s husband, Dennis, used to run quite a bit and restarted his running ways when Judy took up the exercise. The couple used to enjoy a long run together every Sunday afternoon and tried for another run during the week when their schedules matched up, but arthritic knees typically relegate Dennis to elliptical machines and other low-impact exercises nowadays.
“Every once in awhile he’ll go out with me, but he pays for it,” Judy said with a laugh.
Once she got the ball rolling, Judy reaped the benefits of running immediately. Judy, a French teacher at New Palestine High School who is also entering her first season as a varsity assistant for the girls basketball team, has progressed to the point where she ran the mini-marathon at Indianapolis Monumental Marathon with Dennis in 2013.
“I was losing weight and feeling better right away. As you get into it, it becomes more maintenance. What I did is I decided to set goals for myself in the 5Ks. I did that to keep myself training, to keep myself motivated,” she said. “I really enjoy the races because I like being around other people, I enjoy the competition with myself – I don’t compete against anyone else because I’m not going to beat anybody. I try to better my time and so forth.
“The first (5K) I ran just about an 11-minute mile. Now, I’m around 10-minute mile and hoping to break that. We’ll see.”

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