“I think, for me, it’s just if I can help people along the way, that’s great. There isn’t any big thing that I hope to accomplish or be remembered for. A good friend of mine pointed out, ‘When you help someone, you don’t know the ripple effect of that.’ So, if I can help someone, and that helps them do something else that affects a large amount of people, I think I would be happy with that. I think it’s just having good intentions and helping whoever needs my help along the way.”
It was a real pleasure to sit down with three-time Olympian Jen Rhines for this week’s episode of the podcast.
Jen is one of the most versatile and accomplished distance runners we’ve ever had in the United States. She made three-straight Olympic teams from 2000 through 2008 and competed in a different event at each one of them: the 10,000m in Sydney, the marathon in Athens, and the 5,000m in Beijing. Over the course of her 20+ year competitive career Jen qualified for 11 world championship teams and she won 5 national titles.
Today, the 45-year-old lives in San Diego with her husband—and past podcast guest—Terrence Mahon, and together they founded The Mission Athletics Club in 2018, one of the top post-collegiate training groups in the country.
“So, the cool thing is a lot of my friends in Boulder were trail runners, so they’re like, ‘Hey, maybe you should just try trail running. You don’t even have to be fast at it—you could just try it.’ And I was like, ‘I guess I could but if I’m going to do it, I want to do it well.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, yeah, you’ll see, it’s going to be different.’ I mean, the first trail run I ever went on I was like, ‘This is really awesome. You get to be in nature. This is awesome. I love this.’ And then I did start thinking, ‘OK, so how do I get better at this?’ I think that’s just kind of part of my personality, I guess.”
I enjoyed talking to Coree Woltering for this week’s episode of the podcast. Coree is professional trail and ultrarunner for The North Face. He’s based in his hometown of Ottawa, Illinois and loves to race at a variety of different distances and disciplines.
The 29-year-old has run 5 hours and 30 minutes for 50 miles and he’s eyeing a Golden Ticket in the spring of 2020 with the hopes of getting back to the Western States Endurance Run next summer.
We covered a lot of ground in this exchange, from how Coree went from being a fast 400 and 800m runner in HS and college to qualifying for the half Ironman world championships as an amateur triathlete, and eventually transitioning to becoming a competitive trail and ultrarunner; what it’s like being a gay black man in ultrarunning and endurance sports and how he’s advocating for more diversity, why ultra-distance races in the midwest don’t get the credit they deserve, how he got into coaching and who has influenced his philosophy along the way, and a lot more.
“One thing that has been really amazing about reporting on this industry is that I actually am really inspired by it and get really motivated by it and I’m just so motivated by all the amazing women that are balancing running with jobs and also families. I think every single woman that’s qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials right now, and all the women behind them too—sometimes it just comes down to talent, it’s not about work, and I totally respect that—what the women are doing right now specifically is amazing and I think I’ve kind of been like, ‘If they can do this, I can too.’ It’s very tiring and I can always stop. I think that’s important to remember and that’s what I tell myself when I start to get really tired, ‘I don’t have to do this, remember why I’m doing it, it’s because I want to.’ And I think that’s enough to keep me going.”
I had a great conversation with Lindsay Crouse, who is a producer, editor, and writer at The New York Times—and a pretty damn fast marathoner in her own right—for this week’s episode of the podcast. If you’ve been paying any attention to running news the past couple years, or just big headlines in general, you are definitely familiar with Lindsay’s work. Some of her most popular pieces include The Shalane Effect, which she wrote about Shalane Flanagan and the elevating effect she’s had on other women; she broke the piece about how Nike does not guarantee female athletes a salary during their pregnancies or immediately after giving birth; she produced the piece in which Allyson Felix told her story around Nike and pregnancy; and, most recently, she was responsible for the Mary Cain op-ed speaking out about the abuse she suffered under her former coach, Alberto Salazar.
We recorded this episode a couple weeks ago before the New York City Marathon, so the Mary Cain piece hadn’t dropped yet, but we got into plenty of other good stuff, including Lindsay’s own trajectory as both a writer and runner, the biggest takeaways from her reporting that she has applied to her own training, how her experience as a competitive athlete informs her perspective as a journalist, and a lot more.
My first New York City Marathon experience was a special one, a reminder that running really can bring out the best of humanity: tens of thousands of runners from different backgrounds coming together to face a common—yet uniquely personal—challenge, crowds generating excitement and offering up encouragement along the way, strangers selflessly helping others get to finish line. This is what our sport is all about.
“Tapping into the side of you that has that internal drive is super important because discipline’s a really hard thing, right? Cadence and consistency to me matters, and when I know I’m off loop is when I don’t have that consistency or cadence. If you take any successful business, any successful athlete, the reality is what makes them most successful is some sort of cadence and consistency.”
Excited to share a conversation I recently had with my good friend Bryan Hill for this week’s episode of the podcast.
Bryan is the co-owner and CEO of Rehab United Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy, which has offices in both San Diego and Seattle. A physical therapist by trade, Bryan was a collegiate All-American in soccer and played professionally for 5 years before opening Rehab United with his brother Sean in 2003. He took up running and triathlon after his soccer career ended and he also coaches a small roster of athletes in those two sports.
In this conversation, we dug into Bryan’s story, how he got into physical therapy and developed his treatment philosophy, the importance of cadence and consistency in anything you do, why community matters so much to him, what runners can do to get strong and stay healthy, and a lot more. (more…)
“I had a breakthrough race in Boston and training for New York has been every bit as good as the training leading into Boston and even better in some aspects, so what I’d really like to do is, I think it would be successful if I validated that performance in Boston…and say, ‘yes, this is where I am and I belong.’ You know, I ran 20 miles with the leaders in Boston and that was the first time running with the international leaders in a marathon that long and so I want to validate that Boston performance.” —Jared Ward
I’m excited to share a special episode of the podcast that was recorded live two days before the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon with Kenyan Mary Ngugi, who went on to finish 10th in the women’s race, and Jared Ward, who was the top American male finisher in sixth place.
Ngugi, who ran a personal best 2:27:36, won silver at the half marathon world championships in 2014, captured bronze at the 2016 championships, and owns the fastest half marathon ever run on American soil, 1:06:29 at Houston in 2016. She is also the mother of an 8-year-old daughter and one of the most outgoing Kenyan athletes on social media.
Ward, whose 2:10:45 clocking was the second-fastest marathon he’s ever run, was sixth at New York for the second straight year. Earlier this year he ran a personal best 2:09:25 at the Boston Marathon to finish eighth and was sixth at the 2016 Olympic marathon in Rio. He is a father of four children and will be a top contender for the U.S. Olympic marathon team in February. (more…)