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…)
I recently sat down with James McKirdy, founder and head coach of McKirdy Trained, to talk about how he got into coaching, why he launched his company, what he looks for when hiring a new coach, and more.(more…)
I spoke with Matt Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Tracksmith, a few days before the 2018 Boston Marathon for a live recording of the morning shakeout podcast. We covered a lot in a short period of time, including the impetus behind launching a premium apparel brand, how Tracksmith continues to support the sport of running and its culture as both continue to evolve, what’s going on in the running space right now that’s exciting him personally, where he sees things going in the next several years, and much more.
I caught up with New York City-based runner, writer and coach Knox Robinson a few days before the 2018 Boston Marathon at Tracksmith’s Trackhouse for a live recording of the morning shakeout podcast. We talked about his run crew, Black Roses NYC, what “running culture” means to him and what its future looks like, his recent trip to Ethiopia and Kenya, where he spent time training with Mo Farah, Abdi Abdirahman, Eliud Kipchoge, and others, how he’s been able to run personal bests in his early 40s despite already having over 20 marathons under his belt, and much more.(more…)
I wanted to satisfy some of my curiosities about the morning shakeout’s current partner, District Vision, so I threw a few questions to co-founders Max Vallot and Tom Daly, which they were happy to answer for me. You can check out that exchange below.
“In running, the times are the times and if you’re not performing or you’re not doing what you used to be capable of, I can see that it would be hard to find the motivation. Running is not a very forgiving sport. If you don’t do the work, you’re not going to see results. Like, you always have the ability to ride a bike. That’s muscle memory. But, the ability to run a 5-minute mile? That’s not muscle memory. That’s training, and the training is something you have to do all the time. There’s no break — when you’re not running, you’re still training. If you want to go out and party, that’s not helping your running. It’s a full-time lifestyle. You’re in it all the time. Running is very transparent — it’s easy to see if you’ve done the work or not.”
Michael Wardian’s enthusiasm for running, competing and pushing perceived boundaries is palpable through a phone line, which is one of the realizations I came to while talking to him for about an hour a week ago today. After the call, my own motivation meter shot up a few ticks and I started thinking about different ways I could test myself this fall.
I’ve been following Shalane Flanagan’s running career since I took up the sport myself in high school. We’re the same age and both grew up in Massachusetts, competing in many of the same scholastic meets in the late 1990s. She was a boss back then, she was a boss in college at the University of North Carolina and she’s been a boss on the professional circuit for the past 13-plus years. A lot has changed in American distance running since 2004, but Flanagan factoring in races isn’t one of them. The four-time Olympian, who lives and trains in Portland, Ore., as a member of Jerry Schumacher’s Bowerman Track Club, is a threat to win, set a record, earn a medal or make a U.S. team whenever she steps to the starting line.
“For me, I had such interesting jobs that were with great companies, and I was so bored. The one thing that was the key thing—that I like about coaching—is that it’s so hard and there’s so much on the line. It kind of scratches an itch that keeps me a little bit settled. Coaching helps me because there’s so much going on all the time. It’s intense, and humans are really unpredictable. We could do the same workout, the same time of year, three years in a row and then the fourth year it doesn’t get a response. Then you’ve got to figure out why. What caused it to be different? I love that. I love that there’s stuff on the line. That’s why I wanted to coach, so I was able to do a corporate job and carve out some time in the day to do that, and it would keep me going.”
Coming out of Yale in 2011, Kate Grace was not a favorite to make the 2012 Olympic team. With an 800m personal best of 2:03.41, however, she had shown some promise, securing a sponsorship with the women’s apparel company Oiselle and joining legendary coach Frank Gagliano’s New Jersey-New York Track Club to train with some of the best middle-distance and distance runners in the country. Grace qualified for the 2012 Trials, competing in both the 800m and the 1500m, but did not make the final in either event.
As a middle-distance runner for Great Britain, Colin McCourt represented his country in international championship competition and notched world-class times of 3:37.06 in the 1500 meters and 1:46.72 for 800 meters. After failing to make GB’s Olympic team in 2012, McCourt retired from professional athletics and started working full-time. Over the next five years he gained over 50 pounds, topping out at 207 (94 kg) just a few months ago.
Earlier this year, McCourt was forced into a bet by 17 of his friends: break 16 minutes for 5K—an average pace of 5:08 per mile—by the end of 2017, or tattoo each of their names to his body. In January, he ran 24 minutes at a parkrun 5K near his home and started running regularly again. To date, he’s dropped 35 pounds (16 kg), posting daily video updates to his Instagram account and blogging about his journey on Athletics Weekly’s website. He recently started sharing his daily training on Strava. I caught up with McCourt last week to talk about the bet he has going with his buddies, the biggest keys to his weight-loss success thus far, the similarities between his journey as a professional athlete and a self-described “normal geezer who is out there grinding, trying to just lose weight so he can run around with his kid and not get 17 tattoos on him,” the unique connection he shares with his followers on social media, and much more.