“When I was younger I really struggled with separating myself from sport. I really believed that how I performed is what defined me and I started to perform way better once I was able to separate myself from sport and realize that sport does not define me. And that’s something that’s just been huge for me.”
Really enjoyed talking to Gwen Jorgensen for this week’s episode of the podcast. The 33-year-old Jorgensen is the reigning Olympic champion in triathlon, who, in late 2017, announced she was retiring from multi-sport racing to turn her attention to running full-time. Her goal: Olympic gold in the marathon. In early 2018, Jorgensen signed with Nike and joined the Bowerman Track Club to train alongside 2017 New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan and reigning Olympic Trials marathon champion Amy Cragg under the watchful eye of coach Jerry Schumacher.
We covered a lot of ground in this conversation, including Jorgensen’s recent surgery to repair a Haglund’s deformity in her right heel and how she’s dealt with it from both a training and psychological standpoint, the importance of separating yourself from sport and having balance in your life, last fall’s Chicago Marathon and why she didn’t feel that it was a fair representation of what she’s capable of in that event, reflections on her first full season of training as a runner, learning from Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan, what it’s been like going from being at the top of one sport to an underdog in a different one, how she’s learned to get comfortable sharing her story (and struggles) with a large audience, why the Olympic gold medal in the marathon is still her goal, and a lot more. (more…)
F*ck it, let’s call a spade a spade: Reigning Olympic 1500m gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz joining the Bowerman Track Club is just plain weird. Given the known tensions between BTC and Centro’s former team, The Oregon Project—both of which are bankrolled by Nike—not to mention the ongoing doping investigation against the NOP and widespread speculation of wrongdoing by its head coach, Alberto Salazar, this news caught me off-guard the other night. It’s not unprecedented—both Kara Goucher and Alan Webb previously switched from NOP/Salazar to BTC/Jerry Schumacher—but those moves happened well before the Propublica story came out in 2015 and all hell subsequently broke loose online and elsewhere. Sure, Centrowitz is the reigning Olympic champion, but I’m still somewhat surprised BTC and Schumacher were willing to pick up the baggage Centrowitz has been carrying with him the past several years. (more…)
“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.”
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.
The Shelby Houlihan Speed Show passed through Lausanne last week as the 25-year-old once again showed she’s one of the best closers in the business with a 3:57.34 win—and personal best—at the most recent Diamond League meet in Switzerland. It was the second-fastest time in the world this year and fourth-fastest 1500m ever run by an American woman. Houlihan hit the NOS coming off the final turn to put away a stacked field that included world-beaters Caster Semenya, Laura Muir, Sifan Hassan, and Gudaf Tsegay. So where does she get her incredible closing speed? It comes from strength, she told Cathal Dennehy in this feature for Spikes magazine, echoing a statement I heard many a time from my own college coach, Karen Boen of Stonehill College.
“I’ve always had the speed,” Houlihan explained, “but I was never aerobically strong enough to use any of that speed at the end of races.”