Podcast: Episode 27 with Kara Goucher

By Mario Fraioli |

“When you have things that are out of your control, that are weighing on you and really causing you angst on a daily basis, your running is not going to be what you want it to be. It can be a great escape, it can be a place you go to find calmness and peace in your heart and your mind, but you’re not going to perform at all what you’re capable of performing.”

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Thrilled to welcome Kara Goucher to the podcast this week! Goucher, who recently turned 40, hardly needs any introduction: She’s a two-time U.S. Olympian, world championships silver medalist in the 10,000m, sub-2:25 marathoner, and has finished on the podium at both the New York City and Boston marathons. Beyond her competitive accomplishments, Goucher serves as a role model to runners worldwide, particularly women and young women, who are inspired by her example.

We talked about a number of different topics over the course of 40 minutes, including how she’s dealt with racing anxiety throughout her career, the impetus behind her new book, Strong, what life’s been like for her since speaking up as a whistleblower in the Nike Oregon Project investigation three years ago, how she navigated the disappointment of finishing fourth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, what’s keeping her competitive fire fueled at the age of 40, the effect training with other world-class women like Shalane Flanagan, Jenny Simpson, and Emma Coburn has had on her career, the appeal of ultrarunning, what’s exciting her about the sport right now, and a lot more.

Related links, references, and resources:

— Follow Kara on Instagram and Twitter.

— Check out her website.

— Buy Kara’s new book, Strong, on Amazon.

— “I still want to be competitive.” Goucher spoke with Brian Metzler for Runner’s World in the spring of 2017 after she recovered from two knee surgeries and the disappointment of not making the 2016 Olympic team.

— “If the sport’s to be saved,” Goucher told David Epstein for ProPublica in 2015, “it can’t keep going on the way it is.” Goucher, who was a member of Nike’s Oregon Project from 2004 to 2011, is one of the main whistleblowers in the ongoing investigation against her former coach, Alberto Salazar, who she said ” is sort of a win-at-all-costs person and it’s hurting the sport.”

— In late 2010/early 2011, Kara and I engaged in some playful trash talk ahead of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon, Goucher’s first race back after giving birth to her son Colt. While Kara’s old blog no longer exists on competitor.com, here’s an interview she conducted with my colleague, Matt Fitzgerald, at the time, and one or two examples of my tongue-in-cheek blog posts.

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Want more of the morning shakeout podcast? Check out past episodes here and here.

Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford at BaresRecords.com

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