GRIT Talks with Bethany Praska

If anyone knows what running grit means, it’s Bethany Praska! Bethany has a unique running history and evolution from being a D1 track athlete who found her running finesse in the 800 meter distance, went on to run post-collegiately as an elite runner who competed at the 2016 Olympic trials, and now runs 50 mile ultras. Aside from such acknowledgements, Bethany maintains a humble perspective on the journey she’s traveled thus far and the direction she aspires to move towards. Bethany and I sat down several times for some “GRIT Talks” and her story has been incredibly intriguing and grounding to hear.

How Bethany Discovered Her Running Passion

Bethany claims that she was a little bit of a later bloomer to running. In fact it was during a season of participating in high school volleyball, when she describes having to run a mile for conditioning and says, “There was a base of something that lit me up a little bit!”.

After high school Bethany made a move from Longmont, Colorado to the University of Iowa to run as a Hawkeye track and field athlete. She and her coach discovered her competitiveness could be stretched from the 400 and 600 meter distance to the 800 meter distance. That’s where Bethany seemed to settle into her track finesse.

She was such an unstoppable speed demon that she continued on after her final years of eligibility at Iowa, to run as an elite within the 800 meter distance. She was even successful enough to reach the bar of making the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Finding Out What It Takes to Run Both Distances

Bethany’s perspective of what running “long” meant, has progressed since her college years. Within her podcast episode interview, she compares the challenges within the training, the lifestyle and racing the varying distances of the 800 meter distance versus the 50 mile ultra distance.

It wasn’t always a cake walk for Bethany and she was forthcoming about the low moments of her college career. She fought thru figuring out how to match her expectations for herself and what she describes as disappointing results of her performances. Running and Bethany’s relationship with it, had gotten to point where she says it was not fulfilling or soulful. Although, her desire to repair and redefine her relationship with the sport, has circled back around to now taking on the opposite extreme of running trail ultras .

The GRIT of the Lifestyle

Bethany details a few of the times when the going got rough and her character was being tested. The days when she says, “it was not glamorous or fun”, but she describes how those were the days where she maintained hope for redemption.

“You’re kicking your heels, and shuffling your feet, and pouting a little bit. But I think the more you do that, you know there’s going to be a weight that goes up after those lower points.”

-Bethany Praska

Even now when she has been in the thick of training for an ultra, she realizes that regardless of how unappealing “going for a solo run in the rain before work” seems, she feels the most herself afterwards. We both agreed that after a run, no matter how uncomfortable it was at the time, you never seem to regret having gone in the first place.

Bethany’s Perspective on Growing Grit

“I think that you can grow that…I absolutely think that it’s something that if you prioritize it, you really can put some calluses on your mind. And create a better relationship with your head and understand yourself more.”

“I think you have to want it! If you go thru the motions but are not present to it, that could be just as useless as wanting it but not doing anything bout it. The accumulation of the two are maybe what can give you that.”

I absolutely loved and may find myself reiterating Bethany’s analogy of what defines grit, next fall with my own athletes. Aside from her saying that to her grit means “digging deep”. She gives a mental image comparison of three tanks of gas containing the physical aspects, mental aspects and heartfelt aspects of running. When one tank becomes depleted, a runner somehow finds a way to get it done by searching for more gas within one of the other tanks.

She also theorizes that it’s life experiences, both good and bad, or challenging and easy, that give you perspective and develop mental callous.

What Does The Future Hold For Bethany?

It’s undeniable that Bethany has a true and unwavering passion for running. In two weekends she’ll take on her third 50 mile ultra in Ottawa, Kansas. She’s prepped and facing the distance head on with her arsenal of experience and confidence from the completion of her first two ultras.

A few family members and friends will go to support her and help pace her thru the latter miles. And for the most part, Bethany feels mentally callused for the distance and has embraced the inner dialog that cycles thru her brain during all the miles. Whether they be random thoughts irrelevant to running and the race, or allowing her brain to just wander, she says she finds comfort in it all.

Beyond her race in two weekends, Bethany’s ambition to set new goals remains fueled. She has already begun dreaming of a fall 100 mile ultra. If that becomes her next chapter after the 50 mile distance, rest assured she’ll do it because she “wants it”. I’ll certainly be a fan of Bethany’s and be staying tuned to her continued evolution.

GRIT Talks with Bethany Praska also available on almost all other podcast platforms. Go to the RMC Podcast & Music Playlists page for links to other podcast platforms to listen!

Runner’s GRIT Campaign Interview with Briana Steffens

Yahoo! Yippee Ki-Yay!! Alright party people, I’ve got a fun little nugget for today’s ‘Motivational Mondays’ blog post. Over the weekend, I sat down with a longtime friend from high school , Briana Steffens, to interview her for my RMC Podcast and Runner’s GRIT Campaign. Briana is a runner who has been growing her running GRIT since high school but recently reproved to herself how much running GRIT she was capable of by jumping straight from the 5k distance to the Marathon.  She now trains her 12 year old son and teaches him how to grow and develop his own life’s GRIT by training with him for his first 1/2 marathon. 

Taking On New Challenges

Briana ran both cross country and track and field in high school but had taken a long break from running until just a little over a year ago. She describes her return to running after having five children and realizing she needed to prioritize more time for herself.

It turns out that not only did she re-acquaint herself with her running legs but also had to re-embrace the mentality that it takes to do the hard things involved with living the runner’s lifestyle. Getting up to log miles before the sun rise and a full day of homeschooling her children, was one of only a few of the challenges she’d take onto achieve her goal.

After accomplishing her initial goal of training thru a couch to 5k program, she dove straight into the deep end of training for her first marathon. Coincidentally, her 40th birthday was on the same day as the inaugural CRANDIC Marathon. It just so happened to be the right day and right year for her to check a pretty big bucket list item.

Hurdles Along the Way

Thru out much of Bri’s training for her first marathon, she was confronted not only with Iowa’s winter weather debaucling any ideal long run scenarios, but then also ended up with an IT Band that decided not to cooperate.

There were many tests thru out her marathon training journey when she had to ask herself how badly she wanted to get to her goal and what she was willing to do or not do.

With the natural challenges of the hilly marathon course, and the already unhappy IT Band, Bri found herself navigating thru her toolbox of tenacity. Within the 16th Episode of the 2nd Season of the RMC Podcast, Bri describes the strategies she used to get thru the entire 26.2 distance.

Some of her strategies internal and some of them external but all of them miraculously effective in getting her to the finish line at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

Briana Parents Grit

Her supportive family, who saw her thru out her training and met her at the finish, were beaming with pride. I was in fact there to witness this and even see each of her children’s eye light up when they took to the podium. The seeds had been planted and especially with her then 11 year old son Noah.

“Running develops character and I see it affecting Noah”

– Briana Steffens

Bri is now hitting the pavement and rising in the pre-dawn hours with her son Noah. He was so inspired by his mom’s marathon feat, that he declared with conviction that he was going to run a half marathon too. And so it has become an opportunity to capitalize on parenting character building for Bri and her son.

Limitless Potential

As with so many runner’s, Briana asks herself what her next challenge will be. The accomplishment of the marathon and realizing she’s capable of things she thought weren’t even realistically considerable, have sparked a fire within her. It seems to have sparked a fire within her son too and who knows how many of the other kiddos in the future.

The two of us have been friends for over 20 years and have been able to attest to each other’s accomplishments and life stories. I’m guessing that even another 10 years from now, she and I will be reminiscing again about running but the dialog will include stories of her children’s accomplishments as well. I can’t wait!!

Reframing the Running Brain

Extreme winter weather conditions seems to be the derailing for so many runner’s across the U.S. lately. I’m constantly asking myself, how can I overcome adversity in life and sometimes what I realize is that the conclusions I come to, overlap into my running as well. I’ve discovered or rather, re-discovered, a couple of tactics and ways for “Reframing the Running Brain” that I think have been working for me. I”ll share them with you and maybe they’ll work for you too.

Reframing Tactics

Keep a Gratefulness Journal

There are some daily small measures that I’ve implemented into my life, to help me approach the negativity and drama of winter. The first tactic is keeping a journal. I’ve come and gone from journaling over the years and have used a journal for different reasons.

During some periods of my life, I kept a journal to write about feelings of sadness, frustration, anger, sorrow, trepidation and anxiety. It was a safe place for catharsis. Like running, journaling allowed me to work thru my feelings and make peace with them.

I recently returned to journaling in a different fashion. Now, I use it more to document my and my families life. Each day that I journal I also include a list of things that I’m grateful for. Psychologically this has helped me to reframe my brain and mentality in seeking out the positive in my life versus the negative.

In terms of running, I used to refer to the treadmill as the “dreadmill”. I was so locked on the glass half empty perspective of not being able to run outside. But in my attempts to reframe my negative brain, I realized I had adopted an entitlement which I hated about myself. I reflected back on the days when the kids were much younger and too little to leave home by themselves, or when my husband used to travel all the time and I was a single acting parent. I used to feel so trapped when I couldn’t get out to run.

Needless to say, the day I invested in a treadmill was quite celebratory and I was so grateful. Somewhere though along the way, I must’ve started taking the treadmill and it’s convenience for granted. Shamefully, I realized this once this winters snowpocalypse took over. I really paused on this a few weeks back and since I’ve been able to change my perspective, the winter weather debaucling my runs has seemed less impactful or dramatic.

Relentless Optimism Enables Gritty Character

Negative Truth vs. Positive Lies

A long time ago, I once heard or read somewhere about a coaching or training tactic of telling yourself a positive lie instead of accepting negative truth. I’ve tried this and I’m not sure my brain make-up buys into it. Perhaps I’m too much of a realist?

But what I can offer as a spin on this tactic is to simply acknowledge whatever adversity or negative thought you may be having and counter it with something positive instead. This can be incredibly challenging, especially when the adverse thing is something like weather which is out of our control.

It has seemed to be a more manageable approach for me to compartmentalize the things in my life that I can control and the things that I can’t. With the things that I can’t control (i.e. weather) I try and accept it. And then ask myself what response I can control and how I will adapt my response to it?

Past, Present, Future

This is where the relentless optimism and gritty character attributes come to play. While I may not be able to control short term hurdles or the things in the present situation, I can choose how to respond to it and the type of energy I am going to allow myself to spend on it. This mentality has helped me foster a positive mindset and hope for what my future has in store.

Pain and discomfort, at least in psychological terms, seem to me to have a relativity. When I am feeling self pity and stuck in emotional mud, I try and remember the cliche yet brutally truthful statement that “it could always be worse”. Even if a person hasn’t been exposed to extreme hardships or something “worse” to compare to from their previous life experiences, the ability to empathize with someone else’s hardships is an opportunity to put your own life into perspective. And really, the point is….you still have your life, so make the best and the most of it!

A Grit Mentality Can Callous You

My obsession with the psychology of grit and having a gritty mentality, applies perfectly to this year’s winter weather. Will the shock factor lose it’s value when you brace yourself for the worst?

I’ll admit that I’ve gotten soft over the years in many ways. But, I also think that our society has become soft as well. Maybe it’s just human nature to find better and smarter ways of avoiding discomfort? Although, just because we have the ability to be smarter and more comfortable doesn’t mean we’re not going to continually be put to the test.

It’s possible that there’s a little bit of spiteful character make-up in me that wants to disprove to myself what I can or can’t handle. I don’t want to be a wimp! I don’t want to be a soft or weak person!! And I DON’T WANT TO LET MOTHER NATURE GET THE BEST OF ME!!!!!

I’ve convinced myself time and time again, what I am capable of, the tenacity of what I can handle, and that I have the ability to choose to cultivate this mentality. And so do you!!

Monday’s Running Motivation

Here are a couple of motivational tidbits to help you maintain perspective with your running.

GRIT Talks Campaign & The RMC Podcast

The first bone I can offer to throw you, is the second part of a two part podcast interview I did a week or so ago. To catch you up and give you context read this blog post – “How One Gritty Ultra Runner Gives Back thru Girls On the Run“.

Part Two of this interview – Ep. 15 – GRIT Talks with Kelly Teeselink, (listen thru one of the platform links on the RMC Podcast & Music Playlists tab at the top of this page), is a great testament to a runner who shares her personal journey with running and within a few of the 100 mile races she’s done.

“Is this something you could do? And, do you want to do this hard thing? If this is something you want to do and accomplish, then you can do it!!”

– Kelly Teeselink, 100 Mile Trail & Ultra Runner

Gun Runners on Netflix

Since, I’ve found some treadmill time lately, I’ve been entertaining myself thru the miles with motivational videos and documentaries. One documentary that gave me total perspective on what to be grateful for in life and with the opportunity to run was a Netflix Documentary called “Gun Runners”

This documentary resonated with me from the perspective that my life is relatively easy. To complain about weather conditions or being stuck on the treadmill seems trivial. Running is easily accessible for me, and has been more of a privileged hobby. Not the case with a few of the runners from Kenya, who were highlighted in this documentary.

In addition to giving me a self check, this documentary also re-enforced the reward of one runner chasing a dream and the GRIT it took to finally achieve it. Sometimes going after goals and finally achieving them takes years. Years of being exposed to people telling you it’s not the right thing, or life’s demands weaseling into the way, or attempt after attempt of coming up just shy.

At the very least, I don’t ever want to look back and be mad at myself for not trying.

How One Gritty Ultra Runner Gives Back thru Girls on the Run

I’m super excited and inspired by today’s Motivational Monday’s highlight runner! This amazing ultra runner and inspirational woman happened to be representing the Girls on the Run program, at the Iowa Running Company’s Ladies Night, which I guest spoke at almost two weeks ago now. Her name is Kelly Teeselink and man oh man, is she the real deal! I was personally so inspired by her that I asked her if she’d be open to sharing her story and allowing me to interview her for my RMC Podcast. It didn’t take much coercing and since she was so pleasantly wiling, today I give you “How One Gritty Ultra Runner Gives Back thru Girls on the Run”, a two part podcast and GRIT campaign highlight.

Part 1 – Spreading Girls On the Run Education

I was so grateful to be part of an evening (the Iowa Running Co. Ladies Night) and event, where 100% of the proceeds got paid forward to the Girls on the Run Program. Even better yet, Kelly and I made a fun running connection and as always I went home that evening inspired by another runner’s story.

Kelly’s story is unique and dynamically rounded with her leadership and involvement with Girls on the Run (GOTR) but, also because she has progressed now to the 100 mile ultra distance. She attributes part of her ultra running success to the confidence she gained thru learning that body image has no relevance to the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment gained from running. This is part of what stoked her initial passion to become a GOTR coach and to try to positively influence girls at a much younger age with the same realization.

On a side note, some of you that have been my blessed loyal followers, already know that last fall I ran the Chicago Marathon for the Girls on the Run Charity. Here are a few of those blog posts, leading up to the marathon.

Thru out the process last fall, I discovered that not enough people knew about the Girls on the Run program. So I was very happy to interview Kelly and help her not only share her story, but also use my platform to help educate others about the Girls on the Run Program.

Girls On the Run Is Much More Than Just Running

Kelly elaborates on the other character building aspects of the GOTR program. In fact, she states, “It is NOT to develop competitive runners!” The program is more so to help build confidence in young girls, teach mechanisms for blocking out negative self talk, and how to not only accept yourself but how to accept the best in others.

We both agreed, that we wished there were some equivalent program around for us as young girls.

Part 2 – GRIT Talk with Kelly Teeselink

Hopefully by now, you have discovered the RMC Podcast and subscribed to it, so that you don’t miss out on any upcoming episodes. I decided to split my interview with Kelly into two parts. Part 1 – Episode 13, being dedicated to Girls on the Run. And Part 2 – Episode 14, being dedicated to asking Kelly some of her thoughts and personal experiences with GRIT.

I’m very fascinated with the sport psychology and principles behind the GRIT mentality for runners. I truly believe that if we can get more runner’s to adopt this mindset, they may be able to strive for new, harder, or more challenging goals. A few general questions that I posed to Kelly were;

  • What is your definition of GRIT?
  • Do you have specific people, athletes, or runners, that you think of as gritty?
  • Does you think that runner’s GRIT is innate and instinctive or can it be learned and developed as a culture or lifestyle?
  • Would you consider someone with GRIT, or even yourself, as being an obsessive person? (I’m eager to debunk the association general society carries with the extreme distance)
  • When and how did you gain or grow your grit?
  • What is it internally that makes you continue to pursue your passion or interest in running? Thru out training or during an 100 mile race?
  • If GRIT and self control are related, how have you been tested to prove this? (the ability to resist temptation)
  • What do you think you possesses that allows you to have the ability to sustain hard efforts for a long duration of time?
  • How would you advise others on how to become GRITTY or grow their own grit?

Kelly will be the first of many I hope to interview this year for my podcast and GRIT campaign. You can find links for listening or subscribing, to several podcast hosting platforms via the RMC Podcast tab at the top of this page. Stay tuned and enjoy!!!

Why I’m So Distracted With Today’s Runnermomcoach Blog Post

I initially started doing some research to write a blog post about the release of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon course being held in Atlanta. The difficulty of the course and it’s challenging elevation gain of 1000ft. has me already spinning mental cogs towards how the professional and elite runners might strategize their training and the race itself. But, there is something more urgent that has me distracted with today’s blog post and I’ve decided to push the pause button on olympic marathon talk.

A Nice Hump Day Distraction

Several weeks back on December 12th, I sat down with the voice and lead announcer of the Drake Relay, Mike Jay, for an RMC podcast interview. I’d venture to say that many runners even from around the world would recognize his voice and associate surging feelings of adrenaline with visions of eight white lanes of polyurethane and rubber granules when they hear him. And I have to admit, I’m eager for something happening this evening at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City, for another chance to hear him speak.

If you didn’t already know Mike has a genuinely huge heart and undying passion for running, track and field, developing youth and prep athlete runners and paying it forward. You can read more in detail about his Track Guy initiative thru my initial blog post and podcast recap here – Drake Relays Announcer – Mike Jay and His Way of Paying It Forward.

This evening you can choose to sit down with a fresh brewski or my personal Big Grove menu favorite, Bibimbap, and hear Mike sit down for an interview and Q&A style discussion panel himself. For the rest of us runners and dreamers, I think it’ll be an intriguing dive into a couple of elite runners from our region. Mike dangled a little teaser carrot during our podcast chat together, that both of his guests will have their own unique story of “heartbreak and jubilation”

Direct from Mike’s Twitter Feed

Catalytic Inspiration

Mike is a true inspiration and his work of paying it forward now thru Track Guy USA t-shirt sales, is super rad! He’s already delegating t-shirt proceeds towards several pairs of free running shoes to two young budding runners.

I truly believe everyone involved and everyone present tonight will walk away feeling engaged in their sport, a fresh fuel for their running fire, and inspired to believe there is still value in putting good back into the world.

I think my ears will stay perked to hear if Eric speaks towards his personal training and what specific elements he’ll be working towards in order to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It’ll also be a fascinating history account to hear Randy’s story of qualifying for the 1980 Olympics, which ended up being boycotted by America and many other countries.

What better distraction from this blistery January running weather and abrasive Hump Day?! If you’re down at Big Grove for this evenings panel discussion and read or follow my blog, please don’t be shy because I’d love to meet you. And Thanks Mike Jay and extended thanks to Eric Sowinksi, Randy Wilson and Blake Boldon!

Drake Relays Announcer – Mike Jay and His Way of Paying It Forward

I could’ve sat all afternoon and listened to Mike’s captivating voice and his unique stories!  Phenomenal stories collected from years of being a high school track and field and cross country coach at Columbus Junction, as well as the lead announcer for 16 years at the Drake Relays, and having a massive Iowa running culture presence.  In fact, Mike told me about his evolution from his time as a runner at Columbus Junction running under Coach Purdy and the irony of how he eventually came to coaching alongside Purdy and evolving into now having 16 years of being our Iowa Drake Relays announcer.  What might impress you the most is that Mike still remains a humble and gracious man, who still has a huge heart and undying passion for all things running.  Not only does it seem that he’s dedicated his life up to this point to keeping the fire burning for other runners, but hasn’t come up shy for new ways to pay it forward.  

Humble Roots

Mike’s stories are genuine and telltale supportive of his humble upbringing and the driving principles that his parents and own coaches drove into him.  Principles of “hard work” and just being “good people”.  The same principles that he describes during several stories of his own personal heroes found thru the relationships he’s developed with runners and the admiration that he finds and inspires to pay forward.  

A few stories of hard working good people that include a self-trained runner and neighbor of Mike’s who is now aspiring to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon, and even an Olympic champion who returned to the Parapan Olympic games to selflessly help a blind 56-year-old woman go after goals of breaking seven minutes in the 1500 meter race.  These collections of memories and stories have fulfilled Mike over the years with inspiration and motivation for his announcing.  He claims that the “feel good” stories are the ones that stoke his passion.    

“It was such a feel good moment, above and beyond track and field!”

The Next Level Iowa

Proof of these principles is displayed with Mike and Jim Kirby’s co-creation and collaboration of the website The Next Level Iowa, which supports Iowa prep athletes.  Encompassed within our podcast recording session, Mike speaks towards some of the hugely impressive Iowa runners that have progressed onto the pro circuit such as Shelby Houlihan, Jenny Simpson, and a recent Next Level Iowa Podcast with Brogan Austin, to name just a few.   

You might like to read about a few of our Iowa elites on their website.  Mike believes that you don’t necessarily have to be a track and field fan to be able to come away with inspiration from his podcast session and runner highlight articles.   

Track Guy USA

After about three years of convincing and some assistance from his sons, Mike now has skyrocketed t-shirt sales under the website and alias TrackGuyUSA.  He and his sons use the proceeds from the Iowa based graphic designers and t shirt printers as a  method of giving back to Iowa’s youth running programs.  

Runnermomcoach Supporting Track Guy USA

In fact, he’s already planning a shoe give away to two needing recipients at an upcoming Olympic Track & Field Panel Discussion being held at Big Grove Brewery on January 9th, 2019.  Of course, Mike will be the MC and host of the discussion and plans to help Eric Sowinski and Randy Wilson share their individual journeys and stories of being Olympic hopefuls. 

Mike says the support that has already been pouring into his Track Guy USA mission has been humbling.  I’ve even seen a few of our local Iowa running stores posting boxes of his t-shirts to be sold in stores.  And I gotta say, it’s not hard to get behind principles that enable youth runners from any walks of life, to just be able to participate in the sport of running.  Way to go Track Guy!!

RMC Podcast with Mike Jay

I was so ecstatic at the opportunity to be able to sit down with Mike for my podcast!  Afterward, I had thought of a hundred and one more questions I had for him, and still eager to hear more of his anecdotal and inspiring experiences.  He’s traveled the world with his announcing and met all kinds of amazing runners.  From the high school athletes competing at the State meet to elite and pro athletes competing on national and international scales.   He’s a huge-hearted and genuine man that has filled his brain with athlete’s stats and individual accomplishments but has also gotten to know many athletes on a subsurface and more personal level.  

Mike Jay is someone to aspire to.  Notes to self include; be a hard worker, stay humble, give back, and just be a good person!!

RMC Podcast Interview with Mike Jay

RMC Podcast and Mike Jay’s Episode can be found on Apple iTunes Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Google podcasts and several other platforms, which can be found on the RMC Podcast & Music Playlist page linked via the tab at the top of this page. 

If you like what you’re reading on my blog, please share it with friends and pass it along, or hit the “like” and “subscribe” buttons on each of my social media pages.  And if you enjoy listening to my podcast, I politely request that you give it a rating and share it with others.  Thanks for tuning in!


Local Chapter for Type One Run

Happy Hump Day Runners!  A few weeks back a former Prairie High School alumni, Morgan Russel,  had reached out to me to introduce herself and the Type 1 Diabetes Running Program that she is trying to establish here locally in Cedar Rapids.  I have to admit, it was the first time I’d heard of the global running program and figured that I wasn’t the only one that has never heard of it.  Thus today’s “Happy Runner’s Hump Day” blog post and podcast introduction to Ep. 9 Morgan Russell and our Local Chapter for Type One Run. 






What Is Type One Run?

Type One Run is a global grassroots initiative to unite those that live life as a Type 1 Diabetic and communes those that also want to live a life which includes running.  Their presence is worldwide and even includes a Type One Run Strava training group that according to their website has already united almost 300 runners from across the globe.

Morgan Russell,  has chosen to volunteer and drive this program to establish local camaraderie, and posts group run announcements and other helpful information to  Type One Run – Cedar Rapids Facebook page.

Podcast Interview Morgan Russell Reveals More of Her Personal Story As a Type 1 Diabetic Runner

Morgan is honest is admitting that learning to run as a Diabetic runner can be a little scary.  She details her own personal runner’s lifestyle and how that lifestyle may look different for her as a diabetic runner.

Her own humble advice to others are to maintain and keep a journal or log to be able to document and recall what’s worked or not worked well for aspects relating to fueling and carbohydrate vs. insulin intake considerations.  She’s discovered that in order to maintain a safe healthy balance thru some of her long runs, she even requires setting an alarm clock to go off at 4:00 a.m. in order to eat and prep.

But these are the types of convos and information tidbits that runners being part of her Type One Run chapter would be able to all share with each other.  No different than perhaps a run club that you or I may be a part of, sharing training tricks of the trade or asking and bouncing questions off of each other for when or how to fuel say for a marathon.  Good stuff!!

Continuing Efforts to Unite Runners and Pay it Forward

Morgan and I seemingly share principles of wanting to just foster other runners and a positive running community.  In interviewing her for my RMC podcast, and learning about the Type One Run program and educating others thru this blog post, we are both hoping to support and foster enabling all kinds of runners.

Please consider liking and sharing this blog post via Facebook or other social media.  In addition, go check out Morgan’s Type One Run – Cedar Rapids Facebook page and follow her unique story and the group’s news.

Happy Hump Day Runners!! (podcast link below but also available thru iTunes, Spotify, & Google Play)

Capital Striders Happenings and RMC Podcast Interviews

The leaves on the trees have begun to change and radiate fall’s beauty thru it’s vibrant hues.  It’s this time of year that many runners revel in all the glory of the crisp air and sanctuary of the outdoors.  With much anticipation of training that will culminate towards fall marathons, trail runs and the community of runners enjoying this time of year together, I am happy to announce today’s blog post titled, Capital Strider’s Happenings and RMC Podcast Interviews.

RMC Podcast Interview with Capital Striders

Capital Striders representatives, Kristin Adkins, Amber Crews, and Jason Kenyon were all kind enough to take time out of their busy schedules organizing and hosting the upcoming fall trail races, Des Moines IMT Marathon Volunteer coordination, and the 100 mile November Challenge to let me ask them a few questions during a group interview.

Capital Striders is a running club group based in Des Moines, Iowa and is currently about 550 runners strong.  They offer a well-rounded amalgamation of various types of training runs, group runs and is heavily involved in the Des Moines area running community.  Listen to their interview thru the podcast link below that describes and talks more in details about some of their specific training runs thru out each week.

Upcoming Races and Fall Motivation

Amber Crews and Jason Kenyon tell us some of the race highlights of two of the upcoming trail races that the Capital Striders Club will host.

Fast approaching at the end of October (October 27th, to be exact) is the “To Grandmother’s House We Go” trail race.  Included here is a link for registration and race details.  The race distances of 5k, 10k and 15k offered are based on the 5k loop thru Brown’s Woods.  They even encourage and give prizes for those that are brave enough to come in costume and honor the Red Ridinghood them.

The other scenic trail race being held before the end of the year is the “Sycamore 8“.   This race travels along the Des Moines River and if you’re one of those cold weather runners, then mark your calendar for this year’s race to be held on December 1st.  Link for registration and race details here –

Along with the weekly offerings of speed work on a track, hill runs for strength, and Saturday group runs, the club offers some more informal trail runs which you can find out about location announcements by following the ‘Capital Striders’ Turkeys‘ Facebook page.

In addition to the weekly group offerings, there is also what’s called the ‘100 Miles in November Challenge‘ spearheaded by Kristin Adkins.  With a couple years under its belt, the 100 Miles in November Challenge has been proud to collaborate prize offerings with Fleet Feet Sport and Heartland Soles to award a pair of new runnings kicks.  Local Hy-Vee dieticians have also contributed runner’s swag in the past like a new Fitbit watch.  If only I lived 2 hours closer, I’d sure be taking advantage of this late fall motivational running group.

Runner’s at Heart

It’s always fun to hear about an individual’s specific reasons for running, their personal motivation or their proudest running moments.  Within the Ep. 8 – Capital Striders RMC Podcast episode, you’ll get to hear Amber tell you about her zen 50k in Portland memories and how she came to identify herself at a young age thru running, Jason’s Rocky Mountain Park experience and his downhill hail running PR, and Kristin’s battle with Mother Nature at last spring’s Boston Marathon and how she came to find her role with Capital Striders.

FREE Race Registration Giveaways Contest!!

Capital Striders was generous enough to give away 1 FREE race registration for each of the upcoming “To Grandmother’s House We Go” and “Sycamore 8” trail races.  If you’d like to enter the contest, here are the parameters;

  1. On Facebook and/or Twitter – “Like” both the Capital Striders and Runnermomcoach pages.
  2. Share this blog post thru Facebook and/or Twitter via the Runnermomcoach Facebook/Twitter page, on your personal Facebook/Twitter page.  This can be done by simply clicking on the SHARE button at the end of this post.
  3. Be the first to directly e-mail with screenshots of 1 and 2, along with which race you would like to receive FREE entry into by 10/25/18.
  4. Ready?…Get Set…GO!!!


Holy Mother Runners from Iowa

Do you get paid to run?  Are you endorsed by running shoe companies to wear their shoes while running fast, with the hopes that it’ll influence watchers to go out and buy XYZ shoe brand so they can be fast too?  Do you get to include daily naps and massage and a dietician into your lives so that you can run and train all day every day at maximum ability? Do you have a nanny that comes and keeps watch over the children so that you can go log miles?  For the vast majority of you, this is NOT our reality or running way of life.  Today’s Holy Mother Runners from Iowa blog post features two “real” women from the Midwest and how they have kept running in their lives despite work, families, and the day to day chaos so many of us keep as a barometer of normalcy.  It may find you just as motivated if not more to put that next race on the calendar, once you hear how relatable and real these “mother runners” from Iowa are.

Response to the Holy “Mother Runner” Campaign

Last week after posting a contest for my Holy “Mother Runner” campaign, two local Moms won an RMC t-shirt and guest feature for my RMC podcast.  Ironically both mother’s who have daughters that run cross country at the school I coach at.  Their daughter’s have both participated in the program as 7th and 8th graders and will be entering their third year this coming fall season as incoming Freshman.

Holy “Mother Runner” Campaign

Iowa “Mother Runner” Suzie Johannes

Suzie has two teenage children both heavily involved and active in sports and activities.  She herself is a child physical therapist and has a service-oriented career.  I believe she may also assist her husband at times with his custom home building endeavors.  Needless to say Suzie lives a busy life but still tries her best to live an active life of fitness as well.

Suzie strives to teach her kids that being active and setting goals for themselves should be fun.  And to do what you can thru the process towards those goals so that you can “look back with no regrets”.  As a mom who understands the importance of the journey, she says she does all she can to offer support but let her kids somewhat define what that support looks like.  She offers to take splits for them during their races, and of course emphasizes the lifestyle of eating well, and helps them with the at home physical self-care that’s necessary to prevent injury.

First Time “Half”er Tami Flockhart

Tami had running seeds planted at an early age with her involvement in track and field as an short and middle distance track runner.  Since then, she’s continually defining her running life and returned to it after a bet with her husband that he’d take dance lessons.  Tami has recently trained and completed her first ever half marathon.  She chose to run the Des Moines Women’s Half Marathon as her first and says she may choose to do another this fall.

Tami also attests to the difficulty of how to manage work, kids, life and yet have enough ambition to complete long runs on the weekends.  She inspires for her daughter to follow suit and turn it into a life sport.   And of course takes the opportunities with her daughter to teach life lessons from her participation in the sport and thru the empathy of being a distance runner herself.

RMC Podcast Interviews

The three of us sat down and recorded the informal style podcast.  It felt like a casual chat about their own running and kids, or just a down to earth heart to heart from Coach to parents.

What I appreciated most, and hope that you will as well, is Tami and Suzie’s candid real runner mom balance and perspectives.  Sometimes these “real” stories motivate us more since we can relate and realize our fight to fit our own goals and running identities into our lives, are successfully shared amongst so many.  If you’ve ever asked yourself…How do they do it?  Can you do it too?


Meet Lindsey Andrews – A Mother, A Runner, A Business Woman

Yesterday, I had the fortunate opportunity to be able to sit down and chat with a woman who was a 6x All-American college runner but claimed she ran in high school just for fun.  She is also now finding her return to running after bearing her first child and is a young Iowa businesswoman who co-owns the Heartland Soles Running Shoe Store.  Meet Lindsey Andrews, a mother, a runner, and a businesswoman thru today’s blog post and my RMC podcast.

Planting Running Roots and Transitioning thru Life’s Milestones with Running as Her Guide

Lindsey tells family tales of how she got started running and developed her love for the sport.  She remains humble with her honest claims that she only ran cross country and track in high school “for fun”.  But, also speaks towards the culture change that she adopted in her development as a college runner who peaked with eighty-mile training weeks and running at 6000 feet altitude and “challenging terrain” on long runs.

She elaborates on the lifestyle that was necessitated to support running that kind of mileage and intensity.  She attributes the modalities that worked for her, and the importance of how and why.

Lindsey the Mother Runner and Business Woman

When I first stepped in the front door of the Johnston, Iowa Heartland Soles running shoe store, I was greeted with tiny giggles and toothless grins from Lindsey’s now seventh-month-old daughter Layla.   The immediate vibe I observed was that the family-owned business and cogs behind the machine are well oiled with an all-inclusive family and “salt of the earth” atmosphere.

Lindsey and her husband Jordan were actually celebrating their 2 year anniversary of the store’s conception on paper.  She actually anecdotes a funny story of a small snafu the day she and her husband biked into downtown Des Moines to submit their dream store’s legal documents.  The twister is that they ended up at a local eatery and found inspiration to what now adorns the store’s interior walls.

Lindsey also opens up about her personal journey with running thru her pregnancy and her uphill climb and return to the sport now with her husband as her coach.  She aspires to run in Bean Town and the Boston Marathon someday.  Perhaps she’ll even be able to run in the Master’s Division in tandem with her daughter as a high school runner on the Blue Oval at the Drake Relays.  These are a few of her “next chapter” dreams.

The RMC Podcast Keeps Plugging Away

As I was interviewing (perhaps more informally, chatting about running and life) with Lindsey, my brain was spinning with ideas for future podcast interviews and topics.

There are so many interesting individual stories waiting to be heard and individuals I would love to meet.  The mother’s who ran thru pregnancies or returned to running successfully post-partum, professionally or recreationally.  I.E. professional Mother Runners I’d love to meet or interview, Gwen Jorgensen, Paula Radcliff, Kara Goucher.  Or, the collegiate runners who found themselves and developed their identities thru running in college and the lifestyle of being a full-time student and athlete.  And, runners who experience and train thru the acclimatization process and science of running at elevation and the adaptations their body goes thru while doing so.

My blog and podcast have been such a blessing and inspiration for me as well, even though I set out with the purpose to inspire and motivate others.  If you’ve taken the time to read this, or listen to my podcast and think you would like to share your personal story or know of someone in your life that inspires you as a runner and might inspire others as well, please comment or e-mail me!  Let’s keep the running community strong and moving in the right direction!!