Once upon a time, many moons ago, I met my dear friend Robyn Smith while volunteering to stuff goody bags for the Knoxville Marathon. She was the volunteer coordinator and we became such good friends after hitting it off so well. Robyn recently completed her first, and what she says her last, full marathon. I wanted to bring her on the show to talk about her experience and to share her story of how she became a marathoner!
She ran the Chicago Marathon all while raising more than $5800 for the Autism Speaks charity. On this episode, Robyn discusses why she chose that specific charity, what her training was like, why she will never run another marathon, and if running with a sign on your back saying that it is your birthday is a good idea or not during a race. Robyn’s story is so inspiring and I am just thrilled to death for her that she knocked this huge goal off of her list. Enjoy!
Today’s episode is a solo show! I’m getting a little personal sharing about when things don’t go our way. Whether you are dealing with (or have dealt with) things not going your way in a race, in your marriage, in your career, or even in just your everyday life, this episode is for you. We’ve all been there. And sometimes we haven’t reacted so well to things not going our way. There has been many times when I have felt completely derailed when my plans did not come to fruition. But we pick ourselves up and move on. Today’s show goes a little deep into specific examples of when things haven’t gone my way and what I did about it. Enjoy!
Adam Welcome is an author and accomplished runner from California who I first met via Instagram. I began following him after reading his first book, Kids Deserve It, and saw that he was a runner. In 2017, he decided to do one marathon per month and that led him on an incredible journey. Not only did he accomplish his goal of doing 12 marathons in a year, he also wrote a book about it called Run Like a Pirate. Adam’s journey to his goal included a 24 hour race where he knocked out over 100 miles.
In this episode, we talk about his experience of doing one marathon per month for a whole year, what it is like to write a book and have it published, the excuses we make and how we can change our mindset to overcome them, how to mentally recover if a race doesn’t go as planned, and what advice he has for those who may not have the best support system when it comes to running. Adam has so much wisdom to share and even though this is a shorter episode than usual, it is jam packed with some serious truth bombs. Enjoy this conversation with Adam Welcome!
Kira Tierney is a busy mom of 3 from Illinois who is currently serving our country as an Army Officer in our United States Military. On this episode we discuss life in Illinois (spoiler alert: it includes chickens), how she became a runner thanks to going to a super small school, becoming a member of the military, training in Afghanistan while being deployed, her Boston Marathon experience, and so much more! Kira shares some crazy (and scary) stories of what it is like to be running while rockets are flying over your head and what training looked like while on deployment. We also discuss some fun races that she has competed in around our country including the Bataan Memorial Death March and even a race in Alaska. Enjoy this conversation with Kira!
This episode features my fellow teacher and very dear friend, Derrick Crabtree. Derrick and I teach 8th grade in rooms that are side by side and are great friends outside of work. He is a husband, father of 2, podcast host, and a runner. Derrick shares his story of how he got into running in the first place, his love/hate relationship with the sport, how he’s learned to be mindful in his running, and what it is really like being a teacher. Stay tuned until the end where he shares the craziest thing that he’s seen in his 8 years of teaching.
Derrick offers a unique perspective of running as he sees it as an extremely personal experience and for those reasons does not particularly enjoy running races. We talk about running your own race and how advice from others isn’t always a good thing. In addition to being a runner, Derrick also hosts his own podcast, Top Tenn Teaching. His show is designed around education and is interview based, so if you’re a teacher then take a listen. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Derrick Crabtree!
Jamie Watts is an incredible athlete with a story that will inspire you no matter your fitness level. She is a runner from the DC area who has completed well over 100 races that range in distance from 5ks all the way to her recent marathon finish. What’s even more impressive than that? Jamie has done this as a runner with cerebral palsy. After using running as a way to get in shape for a family trip to Italy, she quickly discovered her love for finish lines and has been crossing them ever since. In this episode, Jamie shares her story of becoming a runner, what her first race was like, what it is like starting races earlier than everyone else, how she fuels during really long training runs, and what her experience was like for her first marathon. Jamie also offers encouragement to anyone who may be scared to do a road race for fear of coming in last. Jamie’s personality is uplifting and spunky and you are going to love this episode!
Jill Schumacher is a physician’s assistant from Annapolis, Maryland who recently became a Six Star Finisher after completing the six Abbott World Majors. Having worked for 7 years to accomplish this goal, she finally has been able to cross this off her bucket list and in this episode she is sharing all about it. Jill shares how her and her husband met (spoiler: they are Jack & Jill), how she got into each of the Majors, budgeting and saving for each race, her experience at Boston, running with Athletes Serving Athletes, which race was her favorite, and if she plans to run for charity in the future. Our interview was full of great conversation and I loved learning more about this fierce woman that comes in a small package…for real, she’s 4’11”. I learned so much from our conversation and it *almost* makes me want to do the World Majors. Even if your goal isn’t to knock off the Majors, there is so much to take away from this episode and you may be inspired to set your own huge goals.
Mirna Valerio, known on the interwebs as The Mirnavator, is a superstar who truly does it all! Having been featured in National Geographic, NBC Nightly News, Runner’s World, Elle, Self, and Outside Magazines, being the cover model and a regular contributing author for Women’s Running Magazine, and writing her own book, A Beautiful Work in Progress, it is safe to say that she is well known in the running community. Mirna serves as a Spanish teacher, cross country coach, choir director, and much more at a boarding school in North Georgia. Trails are this girl’s best friend and she has quickly became an icon for plus sized runners. I have personally been deeply inspired by Mirna’s accomplishments and how she has changed the status quo for us fat ladies.
In this episode, we talk about her book, her new crazy life that is full of speaking engagements and book tours, her recent experience at the Boston Marathon, her decision to take on a running coach for her training, the pressure that comes with being the “face” of plus sized running, and what she has planned for the rest of this year. Mirna has an infectious laugh and a truly charming personality. You are going to love her in this episode and want to become her best running friend!
Episode 19: All Runners are Real Runners (Kelsey Cansler)
Today I’m talking all about what it means to be a real runner! This past week, the photo in this post was featured on the Runner’s World Instagram page. After reading some of the comments on that post, I realized that there is a struggle going on in the running community based on what makes someone a “real runner” and what those words mean. I discuss the implications of plus sized runners getting lots of media attention, the negative results of saying “I’m not a real runner” or “I’m too slow”, and how powerful words can be. We are all in this together and putting ourselves into little boxes with labels does not help anyone! Hopefully this episode can shed some light on what it means to be a runner and how we can all come together to empower the entire running community.
Tia Stone, better known on the Internet as Arkansas Runner Mom, is a mom of 4 and extremely talented runner from, you guessed it, Arkansas. She has ran Boston, won the same marathon 3 different times, and proudly has several sub 3 hour marathons to her name. She works very hard in her training and her dedication really pays off! On this episode, we talk about her recent races at Little Rock, the Strava Speed Project, and how she braved the crazy weather to run Boston with her sister. Tia shares how running became a family affair for her and also lets us in on how she fuels for grueling races. It is amazing to see someone like Tia balance kids, life, and have such an impressive running resume. You are going to love my conversation with Tia!