Funky Town

By Mario Fraioli

I didn’t run last Wednesday. It wasn’t a planned rest day, I wasn’t injured, and my calendar wasn’t exactly packed with appointments and phone calls. I just didn’t feel like it, which is rare for me, but the feeling had been building for a couple days, if I’m being honest. (more…)

Eliminate The Unnecessary

By Mario Fraioli

Shane Parrish, writing for Farnam Street:

Focus directs your energy toward your goals. The more focused you are, the more energy goes toward what you’re working on.

In other words, eliminate what’s unnecessary so you can work harder on the things that are most important to you. (Easier said than done, I know, but a good reminder just the same.)

Going Long: An Interview with Susan Lacke

By Mario Fraioli

I first met Susan Lacke in 2010 when I was working as a senior editor at Competitor and she was writing a humor column for the magazine and website. It was clear from the get-go that Lacke not only had a way with words—she also possessed an uncanny ability connect with her readers on a deeply personal level while inciting a belly laugh or two along the way.

Written words are in important tool for Lacke, who is deaf, and she best expresses herself through the stories she tells for a variety of publications, including Triathlete, Women’s Running, Success, and others.

Lacke’s first book, Life’s Too Short To Go So F*cking Slow, was published last fall by VeloPress. It’s the unlikely story of her friendship with her former boss, Carlos Nunez, an Ironman triathlete who helped Lacke kick a smoking habit and cultivate an interest in endurance sports. That relationship “traversed life, sport, illness, death, and everything in between” and the book is chock full of life lessons that will make you laugh, cry and reflect on what’s really important in your own life. 

I recently caught up with Lacke to talk about her book, how she got into endurance sports, her relationship with Nunez, what sparked her interest in writing, how she’s made part of her living doing it, and a lot more.  (more…)

Sometimes, You Get What You Need

By Mario Fraioli
Photo: Amy Leedham

This photo was taken last week at the summit of Mammoth Mountain, 11,053 feet above sea level, where oxygen is in short supply and turnover doesn’t come easy. Not exactly what I should have been doing since running fast over flat ground is my stated focus for the summer, but sometimes you’ve just got to say “screw the schedule” and give your soul what it needs—even if your legs aren’t necessarily ready for it.

From Strength Comes Speed

By Mario Fraioli

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.”

Podcast: Episode 22 with Deena Kastor

By Mario Fraioli
Photo: Jeremy Teicher

I really believe that running is such a great way to challenge us and to add that difficulty to our life in a very controlled way so that we can deal with challenge and adversity. And I love that. I love getting to the crux of a workout. I go out hard in races and workouts because I want to suffer early on so I can find ways to get through it. And to me it’s always been a game—just this playful pursuit of seeing how badly I can hurt and then what tools I can learn to get through it…When I can handle these challenges in running continuously, then when something shows up in life, I feel like it’s a breeze to get through it. 

Honored to welcome Deena Kastor to the podcast this week. The 45-year-old, who lives in Mammoth Lakes, California with her husband (and coach) Andrew and daughter Piper, is an Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon, multi-time national champion at various distances, and holds numerous American records, including the still-standing women’s marathon mark of 2:19:36. She also holds multiple Masters world and American records from 5K to the marathon. (more…)



Mario Fraioli
Mario Fraioli is a writer and running coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area.