Podcast: Episode 123 with Sara Hall

By Mario Fraioli |

“It’s kind of like what you pay attention to grows. What you’re the most aware of—if you’re focused on an area where you’re not measuring up and you’re beating yourself up about that instead of seeing yourself a certain way—Ryan puts it well, where he’s like, ‘The first step in becoming a mentally tough runner is to believe you’re a mentally tough runner.’ It kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy if you think, ‘I’m not tough.’ But the opposite is [that] you start by believing that, then the more you lean into that, and believe in that, it grows.”

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Sara Hall is one of the best and most versatile distance runners in the United States. She’s won numerous national titles from the mile to the marathon and and she’s the sixth-fastest American female marathoner of all time after her 2:22:16, fifth-place finish at Berlin last fall. Sara is the wife of previous podcast guest, two-time Olympian, and American half-marathon record holder Ryan Hall, and the mom of four adopted Ethiopian girls: Hana, Mia, Jasmine, and Lilly.

This conversation covered a lot of ground and I think you’ll really take a lot away from it. Sara told me about growing up in Santa Rosa, California, and getting into running as a 13-year-old, she opened up about dropping out of the Olympic Trials Marathon earlier this year and what it’s been like bouncing back from that disappointment, and how she’s thinking about training and racing right now in the midst of a global pandemic.

We also talked about the biggest lessons the marathon has taught her over the years, her tendency to be hard on herself after bad races and workouts, and what she means when she calls herself a “high maintenance sleeper.” We also discussed how her relationship with her husband Ryan has evolved since he retired from the sport four years ago, how she’s talking to her daughters about the racial injustice issues we’re facing in the U.S., the role faith plays in her life, and a lot more.

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1 Million Downloads and Counting

By Mario Fraioli |

Sometime in the past week the morning shakeout podcast surpassed 1 million total downloads. I know it’s just a number, but I’ve never hit a million anything in my life. THANK YOU to everyone who has listened in, offered feedback, and/or shared an episode(s) with others. It truly means a lot to me.

Check out the top ten episodes below in case you missed one or just want to revisit some amazing conversations:

  1. 1. Episode #7 – Shalane Flanagan
  2. 2. Episode #55 – Ryan Hall
  3. 3. Episode #27 – Kara Goucher
  4. 4. Episode #40 – Des Linden
  5. 5. Episode #45 – Colleen Quigley
  6. 6. Episode #62 – Scott Fauble
  7. 7. Episode #52 – Stephanie Bruce
  8. 8. Episode #67 – Gwen Jorgensen
  9. 9. Episode #53 – Brad Stulberg
  10. 10. Episode #64 – Frank Gagliano

What’s been your favorite episode? Who do you want to see on the podcast in the future? Here’s to the next million!

Podcast: Episode 55 with Ryan Hall

By Mario Fraioli |

“I think what made me me was taking big risks and training really hard. And I think that’s what allowed me to have such high highs but it’s also why I had so many low lows as well. I think if I would have taken the edge off my training I probably would have just been a lot more steady in my results and not so up and down and all over the map. But also, in my mind, I don’t know if I would have gotten to the same place—and for me, I would rather risk everything and see what’s going to happen than play it safe and just get to mediocre for me.”

Subscribe, listen, and review on: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Overcast | Google Podcasts | Soundcloud | Spotify

It was a treat to speak with Ryan Hall for this week’s episode of the podcast. Hall, who retired from professional running in 2016, is still the fastest American male marathoner (2:04:58) and half marathoner (59:43) of all-time. He made two Olympic teams and finished in the top-5 at numerous World Marathon Majors, including a third-place finish in Boston in 2008.

We packed a lot into this 45-minute conversation, including his reflections on retirement and when he realized he couldn’t push himself to the level he wanted to in running. We talked about battling extreme fatigue toward the end of his career and what he might do differently in retrospect, especially as a high school athlete who trained hard from a young age. There was some talk about nature vs. nature as it relates to athletic success, body image issues amongst male runners—including his own struggles—and where his own independent and competitive streaks come from. Finally, we got into his attraction to Ethiopia and what led to he and his wife Sara adopting four daughters from that country, his upcoming new book, Run The Mile You’re In, what that phrase means to him exactly, and a lot more.

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