On this episode, I recap my race experience at the Pistol Ultra 50k. This was my first (and probably last) ultra and I wanted to capture every moment of the race. I discuss the training plan I used to prepare for the race, what I fueled with during the race and how I pushed through the pain of 31 miles, what my darkest moments were, and how in the heck I made it to the finish line. This was an extremely tough race for me physically, but I kept pushing and eventually finished feeling like I was on top of the world. I am so excited to be able to share this experience with you.
Sho Gray is an extremely talented individual with an extremely positive outlook on life. His self professed goal in life is to encourage others, and he is very good at it. Sho recently won the Pistol Ultra 100 mile race while also crushing the course record with a time of 15:24. He lived in Japan the first 18 years of his life and then moved to Tennessee for college where he ended up staying and now serves as a cross country coach and local youth pastor. Sho has completed countless 100 mile races and other endurance ultra events. His spunky attitude and uplifting spirit really light up a race course. In this episode, Sho shares how he made the leap into ultra running and his experience at the Pistol Ultra race. He imparts training wisdom as well as how he fuels during and recovers from super long race distances. Sho shares his goals for 2018 (spoiler alert: they are BIG) while also giving advice to those who may be on the fence about tackling their first ultra. Enjoy this conversation with Sho Gray!
Today I’m talking to one of my dear friends from undergrad, Jessika Birchfield. Jessika is a wife, registered nurse, graduate student, and Justin Timberlake fan. We met in an exercise class in college and have been friends ever since. Jessika shares with us how she developed an eating disorder her freshman year of college and how she recovered from that. She touches on how an experience in 2nd grade helped shape her view of weight and her thoughts on social media’s role in eating disorder recovery. Although there is definitely some deep conversation, we also share lots of laughs through other stories like when she broke her toe because I forced her to play in an intramural basketball game. Jessika recently finished her first half marathon and she shares what that experience was like for her. I guarantee you will love her deep Southern accent and leave this episode feeling refreshed and not alone in whatever struggles you are facing.
Justin Kirkland is a journalist and runner that lives in Brooklyn. We met my freshman year of college (forever ago) while he was an RA in my dormitory. Justin left small town Tennessee behind to chase his dreams to the big city, and it is paying off in huge dividends. He writes for Esquire and USA Today as well as doing freelance work. His line of work has him covering everything from The Bachelor to personal interviews with Olympian Adam Rippon. We talk about what led him to his career choice, his infinite love of pizza, the freak accident that made him want to become a runner, and what it was like to lose 70+ pounds after spending his life being the funny fat friend. Justin shares some stories that are guaranteed to make you roll with laughter. I gleaned so much from my conversation with Justin, and I know you are going to love his story.
This episode is sponsored by Pressed.TN. Pressed.TN is a locally owned custom vinyl gifts company where you can order shirts, coffee mugs, tanks, onesies, and so much more. Alicia can make any design or quote that your heart desires. Check them out on Instagram and Facebook and be sure to tell them that you heard about them from the show.
Bart Yasso is a legend in the sport of running. Notoriously dubbed the Mayor of Running, he has inspired thousands, perhaps millions, to chase after their dreams and to never limit where running can take you. Having just retired as the Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World after having worked there for more than 30 years, I sat down with him to pick his brain about all things running. He has raced on all 7 continents, completed over 1,000 races including the Comrades Marathon in South Africa and the brutal Badwater UltraMarathon. Bart is the inventor of the torture training workout that are known as Yasso 800s and gas been inducted into the Running USA Hall of Champions. Although these are all fantastic accomplishments, Bart is probably the nicest person you will ever talk to and he is known for being a good listener. We talk about his thoughts on charity runners, his favorite race distance, and what it is like to win a race. He shares so much wisdom and knowledge and I’m thankful for the opportunity that I had to chat with him.
If I had to pick one thing I love most about running, it would probably be running races. I’ve been going to races since I was in 3rd grade and love every aspect that goes into it-the people, the buzz, the swag, the crowds. All of it. Over the years, I have run in so many different races of various distances, but there a few that stand out more than the others. Today on the podcast I’m talking about my list of top 10 favorite races. It was so hard to narrow it down, but I really took total race experience into consideration when narrowing it down. Hopefully this list helps you choose some races in the future. If you have done any of the races on my list, let me know so we can compare race stories!
Here is my Top 10 list. Check out today’s podcast episode for details about each event.
Jess Hofheimer is a mom of 3 from North Carolina. She owns her own run coaching business and is a Pilates instructor at a local studio. Jess is an experienced marathoner and has run the Boston Marathon. On episode 11, she opens up about overtraining, her eating disorder, GI issues, and overcoming a major foot injury. Jess is real and authentic as they come and her vulnerability on this episode to share her story is inspiring. We talk about what marathon she is training for, how she fuels during a marathon, and about her friend Drea who has ALS. Enjoy listening to Jess’s story.
Katie Taylor is a talented runner from Memphis, TN. She is a wife and toddler mama, road racer, trail runner, and run coach. Katie and I met through Instagram a few years ago and then eventually met in real life. She stays home with her daughter while her husband is in pharmacy school and she juggles many things. On this podcast episode, Katie shares her story of how she became a runner, her decision to start trail running, being a mama runner to an almost two year old, and what it’s like being a run coach. Her talent for running is amazing and she even shares how she recently won a 50k trail race. She is as real as it gets and our conversation was so refreshing. Enjoy listening to my conversation with Katie.
Leah Jones is a marketer from Lynchburg, Virginia who is on a mission to complete 50 half marathons before her 30th birthday. Most recently, she completed the Dopey Challenge in Disney World that consisted of a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon all in consecutive days. She shares with us her running history, goals for the future, and how she made it through Dopey. Download today’s episode to learn more about Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Heidal is an accomplished runner from Mobile, Alabama who is on a quest to race the states. She has already completed 48 and has the remaining two states slated for 2018. She travels for her job, but still finds ways to eat nutritiously on the road and always (yes, always) gets her workouts in despite where the road may lead her. She met her husband Rich at a Ragnar race and has been a sherpa for him in Ironman events, In 2012, Elizabeth was assaulted while running in her town and she shares this experience with us. Elizabeth has qualified for Boston on more than one occasion and has even won a half marathon before! Find out more about my conversation with Elizabeth by downloading her episode today.