Why I decided to run in a 5K…

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By: Medley Shamp

What is a 5K?

Medley running in a 5K

Medley running in a 5K

Prior to 2010, I had no desire to know what a 5k was, what it entailed or even speaking the words 5K. Since then, I’ve taken up this sport as a way to maintain my health, manage stress and meet new people.

The #1 question I hear is: WHY? Why would you want to do this? My answer is simple. Health. You see, most 5K participants are not high school track stars. Now, this is not to say your old high school buddy won’t be at this event, I’m saying that these local events are typically filled with people just like you and I. People who are ready to take charge of their health, possibly lose a little weight, spend time with others who enjoy running and sponsor the cause the event is recognizing.

Some frequently asked questions about 5K’s:

What is a 5K? A 5K is an event where the participant walks or runs 3.1 miles.

Where does a 5K occur? Everywhere! More commonly a 5K is held during town festivities (i.e. June Jubilee) or events focused on raising awareness (such as cancer awareness). 5K’s are also held year-round…yes, people actually run outside during our Minnesota winters!

What occurs at a 5K? The participant usually registers for the event in advance. On the day of the event you check in, collect your bib (participant number) and receive your goody bag. A goody bag? Yes! The organization holding the event usually includes a T-shirt and maybe even coupons to upcoming races, discounts to area businesses, granola bars, umbrellas, water bottles, headbands or stocking hats.

Am I timed? Yes, most events time the runner with a large time clock or through a small chip in their bib. Most participants are usually only concerned with their time. Something many non-runners don’t know and that is, that we really aren’t competing with each other, but with ourselves, aiming to beat our best and get a “PR” or personal record.

How much does a 5k cost? Typically, the cost of a traditional 5K run/walk is between $20-30. Fun runs, mud runs and obstacle course events usually cost a little more.

Do I need to train? To an extent yes. If you plan to run a 5K and do not currently run, a helpful training tool called “Couch to 5K” may help you. If you plan to walk a 5K, which by the way nearly 1/3 of participants are walkers, you do not need to train if you can walk a leisurely 2-3 miles now.

Finally where do I find a 5K? I thought you’d never ask…here are some upcoming local races…

Sunnybrook Stomp in Wadena on Friday, June 19 (sign-up now to join me at www.TCHC.org)Print

Sebeka Red River Eye Days 5K on Saturday, June 20 at 9 a.m.

Henning 5K on Saturday, July 11, registration at 7 a.m.

Ruth’s Rainbow Run on Saturday July 11 in New York Mills

Deer Creek 5K on Saturday, July 25.

Bertha 5K on Saturday, July 11.

Never Give UP 5K Walk/Run (Suicide Awareness) Saturday, August 29.

Nimrod 5K on Saturday, September 5

Princess Warrior 5K Run, Walk, Roll, Stroll or Crawl on Saturday, September 26

Medley & her family

Medley & her family

Now you know what a 5K is, I challenge you to try one this summer!



About Medley: I am a mother of two teenagers Cody 13, Taylor 17, my husband Adam and I are both employees of TCHC. In March I transitioned from Outreach Orthopedics to Care Coordination. We are lifelong residents of Bertha, enjoy attending our kids sporting events, hunting, fishing and camping.

You may ask what keeps me going with a packed schedule? A big motivator for me is a 7 year old boy I met through a running group called IR4 where runners log miles for their physically disabled buddies. Dean has a very rare disease called Pancreatic Agenesis where he is not able to be as active as other kids his age.

I may not be the fastest runner, or the most athletic person for that matter, but I run because I have a heart to be the very best version of myself each and everyday.

*For more information on IR4 visit www.whoirun4.com. There is no cost to participate.

How my mom taught me to be a good Care Coordinator

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By: Jenny Steinkopf, RN – Care Coordinator

Care Coordination is one of the newest programs at Tri-County Health Care. Our goal is to provide timely, patient-centered care, improve the quality of health care and encourage patient participation in this team approach to individualized care. As one of three coordinators, I work with the group to continue to find the best way to raise awareness and make this program successful for patients and staff.

A Care Coordinator partners with patients to better manage their health care needs. They are your “go to” person to help with various things such as understanding your condition(s), answering your questions, navigating the complex and sometimes confusing health care system, choosing a specialist, accessing services or resources and encouraging you to work on and reach your goals.

mom and vivLooking back, I had the perfect example of a care coordinator before I even knew what care coordination was. My mom, along with probably yours, has perfected this model of patient-centered, individualized, holistic care. Moms have that knack for knowing everything about anything. Who else can keep track of everyone’s schedules and know something is wrong before you even say a word? She’s just that good and knows you that well.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes the summer before fourth grade. That summer, my mom could tell you my medication doses, last lab results, what dropped my blood sugars, signs I would show if my blood sugar levels were low and so much more. I remember going back to school that fall and she was the one to educate my teachers, bus driver and friends’ parents on this disease that turned our world upside down. She was my advocate and was willing to do whatever it took to ensure I was as healthy as possible. My mom knew the value of being proactive with this chronic disease. She knew by focusing on preventive care, we were preventing emergency room visits, hospitalizations and major complications down the road. My mom helped me, but it was still my body and I was always responsible for my choices. My health care team and my mom could set me up for success, give me the right tools and encourage me, but I was ultimately the one to determine my success in managing my diabetes.

Jenny's Mom & Her

Jenny and her mom

Jeffrey Brenner, a doctor in New Jersey who cares for his patients with a similar model, says it brilliantly, “People are people, and they get into situations they don’t necessarily plan on. My philosophy about primary care is that the only person who has changed anyone’s life is their mother. The reason is that she cares about them, and she says the same simple thing over and over and over.”

I don’t claim to have all the answers, or a magic wand to fix all your problems (I wish I did!), but I do know that being proactive and shifting our attitude to prevention can pay off in the long run. Let’s not wait to see the doctor until we’re sick, but do it to prevent the sickness. I want to know my patients and what motivates them to achieve their goals, whether it’s related to medications, diet, activity or simply showing up to an appointment.

Little things make big things happen! We often set lofty goals in regards to our health, although we all know that there is reality and sometimes, a really big gap between the two! I want to help you build a bridge and take small, simple steps to get closer and closer to your goal. As a care coordinator, I’m not your mother, but I do care and will tell you those simple things over and over and over in hopes that I can help you be the best you possible. You can thank my mom.