“Like I want to make people happy, and do the right thing, and be successful. And I think a lot of people end up getting sucked into that and then have to be like, ‘Wait, why am I doing this?’ ‘Do I want to be here?’ ‘Why did I make these choices?’ and you have to rethink it and figure out what actually makes you happy and what you actually want to do. Luckily, just being competitive and wanting to get better and better and better at running has turned out pretty good for me because, when I sit back, I do love what I’m doing. But it is something you have to be careful of—like, ‘Why am I so obsessed at being so good at that? Or not failing? Maybe it’s OK. And I think that’s something I’ll probably be working with the rest of my life.”
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Stoked to welcome Olympian Colleen Quigley to the podcast this week. The 26-year-old is a member of the Bowerman Track Club and has established herself as one of the top middle-distance runners in the world, specializing in the steeplechase. She competed in that event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where she finished eighth, and has represented the United States multiple times in international competition.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Quigley had a stellar 2018 campaign, winning the Wannamaker Mile at the Millrose Games, qualifying for the world indoor championships in the 1500m, putting up personal bests in the 1000m, 1500m, and steeplechase, winning two race races in Europe, and finishing second to Jenny Simpson in the Fifth Ave. Mile to close out the year.
The nomadic Quigley and I caught up a few weeks ago in San Francisco before she took off for altitude camp and we covered a wide range of topics, including her morning routine, how she’s dealt with injuries throughout her career, what it was like to be coached by her dad in high school and the importance of keeping the sport fun during those formative years, making the decision to postpone a modeling career in order to run collegiately at Florida State, deciding to join the Bowerman Track Club after college, the influence Shalane Flanagan has had on her professional career and how her relationship with coach Jerry Schumacher has evolved over the last few years, fear of rejection and how’s she’s dealt with it throughout her life, her competitiveness and where she gets it comes from, the origins of #fastbraidfriday, what she’s excited about in 2019, and a whole lot more.
Related links, references, and resources:
— Follow Colleen on Instagram and Twitter.
— Check out her website.
— Read Colleen’s 2018 Year In Review.
— Get To Know The Bowerman Babes: Quigley penned this piece for Tempo Journal describing what it was like to be a part of the most successful women’s training group in the United States, if not the world. “I can confidently say this group has brought out the absolute best in me. I’ve done things in workouts and races I never dreamed possible,” she writes. “Things that would truly never have been possible if it weren’t for Jerry giving us the challenge and if it weren’t for the women accepting that challenge and making the decision to buckle up and just see what happens if we go for it together wholeheartedly.”
— “After college, the opportunity arose to continue doing what I really love, and even though I’m sure I could make quite a bit more money as a model, there is something inside me that can’t put this running thing on the back burner just yet,” Quigley told The Washington Post. “I am a runner first, then model.”
— The Origins of Fast Braid Friday: “The ultimate goal is to inspire people to take on challenges, to build a team aspect in, and to just give people that extra confidence to go do something that’s scary,” Quigley told Runner’s World. “I have big scary goals, and sometimes all you need is just a little extra boost to go for it and put it all out on the line.”
— Colleen Quigley’s Morning Routine: Check out how the 26-year-old Olympian starts a typical day.
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Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford at BaresRecords.com