Runner’s Amazing Year: Surgery, Boston and Cover Model

Lindsey Hein photoLindsey Hein is a mom, wife, employee and coach — and still finds time to run, including a second Boston Marathon finish.

By Henry Howard

The past year has been full of momentous occasions for Lindsey Hein.

The long-distance runner from Indianapolis learned she had the BRCA 2 gene mutation in July 2013, the day before her first half Ironman. The gene increases a woman’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Hein was determined to finish the race, which she did. It turned out to be her “find your strong moment.”

She opted to have a prophylactic double mastectomy in October 2013, with reconstruction in January 2014.

Three months after her surgery, Hein finished the Boston Marathon. Again.

A Busy Mom Still Finds Time to Run

“It’s been an amazing year,” says Hein, who started running 16 years ago on her high school cross-country team in Bloomington, Indiana. “I signed up to run Boston a few weeks before my surgery. I ran Boston in 2009 and my husband (Glenn) ran in 2012. Since we’d both done it we decided we wouldn’t go back for a while because of all of the travel expense and whatnot. But after what happened (at the Boston Marathon) in 2013, I really wanted to be a part of the special day this past year. It meant a lot to be out there united with everyone. Definitely a powerful day.”

The Heins have a toddler, Marshall, both work, and also coach running clients. Just as important as it is for Lindsey to reach her own goals, she finds it rewarding to support her runners and Glenn — who finished his first 50-miler this summer — on achieving theirs.

It’s a busy life, but Hein doesn’t let the demands of work and home interfere with her passion to run. Her advice to others: Don’t let being “too busy” keep you from enjoying life and doing what you love.

“I believe it is so important as a parent to have my own big goals and dreams outside of being a mom,” says Hein, who has finished 13 marathons. “It would be easy to make excuses not to run or make time for hard training, but ultimately I know I’m a better mom because I give myself that gift.”

Hein usually runs around 40 miles per week, but hits 60 to 70 when in full marathon training mode. She finds inspiration in others. “I’m inspired by people who work hard and don’t make excuses.”

Hein shares her inspiration with runners she coaches and others. In fact, you could say she has shared it with hundreds of thousands of people.

That’s because she graced the September cover of Women’s Running Magazine.

The magazine, working with Saucony, chose nine finalists out of 2,000 inspirational entries in the “Find Your Strong Moment.” Readers could vote for their favorites among the nine finalists during a two-week period.

“I’ve had quite a big year and running has meant a lot to me – really ever since I started but more recently it was gotten me through some tougher times,” Hein says.

“It’s been fun seeing the magazine around town – definitely weird to see myself on the cover. But most importantly, I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to share my story, which all boils down to facing my fears.”

That’s a pretty amazing year. But, wait, there’s more — she is expecting another child, due in January.

“Looking back I’m so thankful things have turned out this way,” she said. “The (surgery) recovery would have been so much more difficult with a second child and I truly believe this was all in God’s plan to work out this way for our family.”

Favorite race distance: 26.2

Favorite pre-race or training food/drink: Toast with peanut butter, banana and water

Point of pride: Completing my first half Ironman. My time wasn’t super fast or anything, but teaching myself to swim and the training was a big feat. I’m a natural born runner. Swimming and biking were very new to me so it was fun to take on a challenge of something I knew wasn’t going to be very fast at. Also, running 20 miles pushing a stroller three months post partum. That was a big deal to me.

Favorite or inspirational song to run to: I usually don’t listen to a lot of music when running unless I’m on the treadmill. My favorites are of course something upbeat. Some examples: Flo Rida, Eminen and Taylor Swift. (Ha ha. Can you read me now?)

Favorite or inspirational mantra or saying: Trust your training: Work works. Believe in the work you’ve put in and be confident on race day. When I’m racing I always remind myself of all the times in my workouts I didn’t give up and that today is certainly not the day to give up.

Where can other runners connect or follow you:

Twitter: @LindseyHein
Instagram: LindseyHein626
Facebook: facebookcom/outforarun


One Response to Runner’s Amazing Year: Surgery, Boston and Cover Model

  1. Trevor Spencer October 14, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Thank you Lindsey for inspiring us all!

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