Podcast: Episode 80 with Sally McRae

By Mario Fraioli |
Photo: Brandon Flint

“There was definitely a time in my life where I had to tell myself, ‘It’s OK to be broken.’ That’s OK. The goal in life isn’t to be perfect—nobody’s perfect. There’s no one in history that we can point to that’s lived a perfect life. So, the reality is—and you said this so wonderfully when I was at UTMB and I was like, ‘I know this,’ when I was so disappointed in my performance, I was so down—and you said, ‘It isn’t about how you finish, it’s about how you respond to this journey and how you continue on.’ And I’m like, ‘I know this, I know this,’ and that is just a great reminder for everything in life because life, when it comes down to it, it’s the journey that’s the most fulfilling part.”

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This week I sat down with one of my most requested guests: Sally McRae. The 40-year-old mom of two is a professional ultrarunner living in Southern California and—in the interest of full disclosure—I’ve been her coach for a little over two years now.

Earlier this year she won her first race on the Ultra Trail World Tour, the Mozart 100, and more recently she finished 23rd at the UTMB, her highest ever finish at that event, in what was one of the grittiest races I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness firsthand.

This is a long episode folks, coming in right at about 90 minutes, and it does not disappoint. So much to take away from this one about relationships, communication, competitiveness, learning to give yourself grace, recognizing our victories, remembering what’s important in life, and so much more.

Related links, references, and resources:

— Follow Sally on Instagram, Twitter, and Strava.

— Check out Sally’s website.

WATCH: In this short film, Sally tells the story of how she got to be known as YellowRunner.

The Making of Sally McRae: “Slowly, the narrative of her life started to take shape in my mind,” Ryan Sterner wrote in a profile for Tempo Journal. “There was never an impasse or fork in the road for her. On one level, someone might see moments in their life where a decision had a catastrophic or monumental impact. Sally, however, is on a higher plane, an alchemist of sorts: she would have turned any old turd into gold.”

— “It’s taken me almost a decade to figure how to balance training and motherhood,” Sally told Outside in a 2014 interview. “And I can confidently say that I never will have it down perfectly—because, like life, we’re not supposed to have everything perfectly figured out. I enjoy the adventure that comes with being a mother. My kids keep me grounded, balanced, and challenged. Ultimately, they make me stronger and more disciplined.”

No Excuses: “I can think about my excuses as to why I shouldn’t be training later, and the funny thing is, as soon as I start thinking of those I’m already sweating,” she told Podium Runner. “I’ve never regretted getting up to train, but I’ve always regretted the excuses I’ve made.”

This episode is brought to you by Aftershokz. AfterShokz is the award-winning headphone brand, best known for its open-ear listening experience. Powered by patented, best-in-class bone conduction technology, Aftershokz headphones sit outside your ear so you can listen to your music and hear your surroundings. To learn more and save $50 on AfterShokz Endurance Bundles, visit tms.aftershokz.com and use the code TMS when you check out.

Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford at BaresRecords.com.

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