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Becoming Ultra

Becoming Ultra is all about that first Ultra. We follow other runners training for their first Ultra, interview race directors of Ultra's, talk training tips, and just about anything for that next, very long, step.
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Becoming Ultra
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Now displaying: Page 5
Mar 25, 2022

Coach Hillary gets her crew mentally ready for the coming weeks!  Jeremy plans to practice eating aid station foods and deals with a hip.  Evangelyn has a tough long run!  Enjoy!

Mar 24, 2022

Ellie meets with her runners on this episode to talk about the last few weeks before their first 50k!  Lene looks for solutions for the end of her long runs.  Caitlin gets a little tough love and seems to have found a distraction on the trails!

Mar 24, 2022

Coach Scott Jones fields a handful of questions from runners.  Is cadence that important?  How do you maintain 100 mile weeks?  How do you get better running downhill?  Enjoy the show!

Mar 22, 2022

Sarah Cummings is a marathon, ultramarathon and ultra-trail runner. She is a 2-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier (2:34.47 personal best) and 3-time member of Team USA (Road 50K x2, Pan American Games Marathon). In 2014, she was 10th at the Chicago Marathon. 

Sarah started her running career at Corona del Mar HS in Newport Beach, CA and continued at Princeton University where she graduated in 2011 with a degree in Economics. While at Princeton, Sarah was a 4-time Ivy League Champion and earned All-America honors in 2009 in the 10K. In 2017, following a near career ending hamstring surgery, Sarah discovered her love for the trails while on a "runcation" in the Dolomites. It was only in 2020 that she got the chance to trail run and adventure on a regular basis after moving from New York City to Park City, Utah. 

Sarah's top ultra and ultra-trail performances include a win at the 2021 JFK 50mi in 6:18.43 (and a runner up finish in 2020), overall (M/F) win and CR at the 2021 Arches 50mi, win and CR at the 2021 Antelope Island 50K, and a win at the Hardloop 50K in 3:19.15 (Road 50K PR). Sarah was named #5 2021 UltraRunner of the Year by UltraRunner Magazine. 

Sarah is a winter sports aficionado. She loves snowboarding, splitboarding, nordic skiing, and ice skating. Sarah is an assistant coach for the Park City High School Cross Country team. 

 

“Accept what your body is willing to give and stay present”. Wise words from Sarah Cummings!  Sarah takes us through her running career and how she came to be one of the top trail runners of 2021.  We also talk about what inspired her move from New York to Utah.  Sarah also talks about her almost career ending injury and how she came through it.  Sarah has so much gratitude and it really comes through when you talk to her. We are excited to follow along with Sarah’s running journey and are rooting for her.  We know you will be too! 

IG- @sarahcummings

Mar 15, 2022
When you google teamwork, you just might see Willy’s picture next to it.  Also google crazy, same pic different outfit. Willy is all about helping others and hates to be the center of attention. At 49 he was very overweight, mentally strong and positive but not physically well.  Being the great polish wife, I am I got his fat ass a gym membership and put us both on a nutrition plan. We were in this together!  The weight loss is what started the journey.  One day he woke up and said he is going to start ultra-running. He applied and was chosen to be one of the two runners on season 8 of Becoming Ultra, completing his first 50k. Later that same year Willy was diagnosed with tonsil cancer. Cancer didn’t stop him from doing a 24-hour running event to raise money for a local veteran or attempting a 100-mile run with 30,000 feet of vertical at Mt. Hood. Willy is currently battling a recurrence of the cancer, this time in the lymph nodes in his neck.  He is doing it with the most positive attitude and resiliency and still taking the time to help others.   

What a fun and inspiring conversation we had with Will.  He is one of a kind in the best way.  We got to know Will from the COVID season of Becoming Ultra, he was one of two people selected to run their first 50k.  Since then, Will’s life has taken a few turns.  Diagnosed with tonsil cancer, he never let that stop him from setting goals and doing hard things to help others.  Subsequently, Will discovered he has cancer in his lymph nodes.  Still can’t stop this guy!  His mindset and positive attitude are amazing.  This one is full of fun talk and lots of inspiration.  We feel so fortunate to know Will and hope you enjoy this one.

Mar 12, 2022

It happens to everyone at some point.  You feel guilty for running when you have so much else to do.  Sometimes you just need a little perspective and that seemed to be the theme on today's episode with Caitlin, Lene, and their coach Ellie Greenwood!

Mar 10, 2022
Evangelyn has an epic time in Moab.  Jeremy wants to know how to mentally prepare for the distance when you don't go all the way in training.  Another great conversation for Season 11 runners!
Mar 8, 2022
Amy made her way to Arizona and vounteered for a race while the Pearson's have a couple big weekends in the books.  Enjoy the show!
Mar 8, 2022
Erica Efinger-Gratton is a mother, race director and runner.  She is grateful to her father for encouraging her to run at a very young age.  Before race directing Erica went to school for the recording arts and worked as a sound engineer and in production management.  She worked with numerous bands which included Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park where she gained her knowledge of producing events.  In 2001 she started her family and stayed home to raise her girls. In 2010, she got certified as a running coach, coaching for many years until her trail running events took off.  Since 2014 Erica has been producing races and camps. Erica’s newest project is a 2-day stage race in the Red Rocks of Sedona on April 2-3.  It’s the first of its kind; showcasing the best trails on Sedona’s West and East side, offering distances from 50k to 16k.  Erica shares her home with her significant other, youngest daughter and rescue shepherd and cat.  When she is not producing events, she is working as a cycling guide, exploring new trails, mountain biking, reading, writing, and hanging out with her family.

If you are considering a trail camp or running vacation this one is for you.  Erica talks about her latest stage race and trail camps.  Her enthusiasm, support and attention to detail will make you want to go for it.  Erica is also an ultra-runner with some impressive races under her belt.  We talk about how her career in music production and passion for running made the transition into running camps and vacations the perfect fit.  One of my favorite parts of this podcast was Erica talking about change.  We think her superpower is being happy and making others happy.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did!

trailrunningescapes.com

IG- trailrunningescapes

Mar 1, 2022
Sabrina is a professional trail and ultrarunner for HOKA, a philosophy instructor at Morehead State University, a writer, a wife, and a mom to a 20-month-old daughter named Lucy. She has been selected to 5 US teams and has won 5 US national titles. She was the individual silver medalist in the World 24-Hour Championships in 2013 and a scoring member of the 2018 Trail World Championship bronze medal-winning team. Sabrina's philosophy research is moral character and emotions, and her current project examines character development in the context of distance running.  

Carly and I really enjoyed this conversation with Sabrina.  One of the things that stands out about her is her understanding of priorities and how they change.  Running helps her maintain a well-ordered life and live a morally good life.  We discuss her philosophy research and the impact it has had on her own relationship with running.  We also talk about running for Team USA.  Sabrina shares how her love of running has changed since the birth of her daughter; her order of loves is how she describes it.  There is so much more we could talk with Sabrina about, we told her she would make the perfect dinner guest.  I know you will enjoy this conversation with Sabrina as much as we did. 

IG- sabrinablittle

Feb 27, 2022

Scott recaps the Run For The Love challenge with some quotes from the participants as well as had a Minnesota runner who completed it come on to chat about it. Enjoy the show!

Feb 25, 2022
Coach Ellie, Scott, Lene, and Caitlin had a fun conversation about creek crossings and finally everyone is running again!  Enjoy the show.  Thanks to Venga CBD for today's show. 
Feb 22, 2022
Jessica is a mom, wife, 5-year survivor of stage IV cancer, creator of the website: www.carebetter.org, works in financial services, and teaches a finance course at a local college. She started distance running in college when she completed her first marathon and has finished a total of 12 to date. She also loves doing half marathons, triathlons, road biking events and has a newfound love for trail running.

Jessica’s story has sadness and challenges, but she does not dwell on that.  Instead, she chooses to pay it forward and live with joy.  Jessica takes us back to her cancer diagnosis and how she was determined to continue to grow her family despite the diagnosis.  We discuss how running has changed for her over the last 5 years and how important movement is to her healing.  Jessica believes that by helping others it helps her which is why she created the website www.carebetter.org.  Jessica has learned a lot throughout her journey and shares her wisdom with us.  Sometimes you meet someone who without even trying makes you want to do better.  That would be Jessica!  I hope you enjoy this one and it inspires you to pay it forward.

IG- carebetter.for.cancer

Feb 18, 2022

Hillary, Scott, Jeremy, and Evangelyn have a great conversation of the expectations on your running when you give so much to others all day long.  Parents, busy students, and many more of you will definitely be able to relate.  Enjoy and much thanks to Venga CBD for sponsoring today's show!

Feb 16, 2022

Coach Scott and the crew talk about the last few weeks.  The ups and downs of training and how to reframe the downs with the goal of a lifetime of running.   Amy gets a break from the cold north Alaska and the Pearson's get ready for a back to back 25k.  Enjoy the show.  Thanks to our sponsor Venga CBD for today's episode!

Feb 15, 2022

Stevie Kremer was born in Germany and moved to Connecticut when she was just under a year old because her dad was transferred with a German bank. She grew up playing soccer (even though she was terrible), tennis, and golf, and ran indoor track to keep in shape. After high school, she attended Colorado College where she obtained a bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s in education. It was in September of her senior year at CC that she ran her first marathon-it was a dirt road marathon in Boulder an she loved it. After graduating, Stevie moved with a friend to Crested Butte, CO, where she spent a year working for CBMR (Crested Butte Mountain Resort), then moved into a role as a 3rd grade teacher. Stevie enjoyed running, she primarily ran on roads where she felt safer from animals and  couldn't get lost as easily. She had no idea about the trails. After a few years of running around the very few roads in CB,  she was convinced to do a local trail race. Although she walked more than she ran, it opened her up to trail running. Not only did she discover a love of the trails but found friends that would run with her on the trails. That's when it all began. Stevie soon started racing all around Colorado. In 2012 she signed a one-year contract to teach in Italy, this started her racing career in Europe where she ran everywhere. Now she is a middle school counselor in Crested Butte, in the same school where she was an elementary teacher for 10 years, with a little 3-year-old and still loves running!

This was a fun one! Stevie is full of energy and enthusiasm.  She shares with us the struggles of juggling single parenting, a career and running. Stevie is very candid about her personal struggles and how she overcame them to find joy, laughter, and happiness. Stevie has a rich running history that has taken her to some incredible places.  We talk about her Pike’s Peak Ascent win, two times and her most memorable race.  We could have chatted for hours. Enjoy!

IG- @steviekremer

https://living-journeys.networkforgood.com/projects/141705-laci-stevie-are-running-against-cancer

 

Feb 8, 2022
Louise Bruce used to have a passion for drinking, wine was her choice, and she drank it to celebrate, to commiserate because she had a great day, a rubbish day, because it was Tuesday or Friday and so the list went on. Lou’s life was an emotional roller-coaster of some lows, some very lows and the odd high which was almost always short-lived – largely because her self-worth was so horrendous, she sabotaged anything good because she didn’t believe she deserved it. And then something changed, she decided enough was enough. She rediscovered her passion for running, went Vegan and dropped 6 dress sizes and writes a blog about her journey.  Her goal was to feel healthier mentally and physically, and 3 years since making that decision she is now studying at university and training for her first-ever ultra. She drank to make herself happy, but it only ever made her anxious and sad. When she stopped drinking, she started living and this is her journey. 

No matter how hard it gets there is always light at the end of the tunnel if you are able to look up.  These are words Louise would remind herself of often.  On this podcast Louise is candid about her traumatic childhood with an abusive father and the impact that had on her adult life.  We discuss how Louise went from relying on alcohol and sugar to cope to becoming a vegan and runner.  There are probably so many of us that can relate to Louise and her story.  She is on a mission to share her story in the hopes that other people will be inspired to make positive changes. 

IG- @mysugarevolution

www.mysugarevolution.com

 

Feb 4, 2022

Coach Hillary is setting Evangelyn and Jeremy up for an exciting last couple months of training as they switch from primarily timed efforts to more mileage goals for long runs.  We remind the runners that missing a run here and there is normal and ok!  Enjoy the show and show some love for Venga CBD!

Feb 3, 2022
Coach Ellie gets some great news as Caitling and Lene are back to a semi normal training schedule.  Caitlin drops her caffeine intake significantly!  Only 74 days from their first ultra!  Enjoy the show and show some love for our sponsor Venga CBD!
Feb 1, 2022
Jenn started running in Nov. 2017 completing her first 5k in February of 2018 and then moving up to longer distances almost every weekend. 2021 was what Jenn refers to as her mid-life crisis as she ran her first marathon in February, turned 40 in March, bought a sports car in June, ran her first Ultra in October and then finished the year by taking an early retirement from her job of 21 years. Jenn discovered her love of trail running while training to complete her first ultra and can’t wait to spend more time on the trails. 

In 2020, Dave knew he had to make changes to his life so he could be around for his family.  In June of 2020, he tried running but struggled at his weight with knee pain. After seeing a doctor, the doctor said, “Your old and fat. Don’t run. It’s hard on the body. Get a bike.” And so, he did just that and started biking and losing weight. In December after significant weight loss, he tried running again and the rest is history. He completed his bike training completing a century ride and began running daily. Dave through diet and exercise lost 80lbs. Dave completed the Goggins 4x4x48 Challenge in March and ran is first marathon in April and then first 50k in October. 

Dave and Jenn have been married for 10 years (they even celebrated their 10-year anniversary by running their first ultra the day after). Dave and Jenn have a blended family of 6 grown children, 1 almost grown and 4 grandchildren.  They love being able to challenge themselves individually, but also love getting out there and exploring the world together. Dave and Jenn completed their 2nd ultra, just a month after their first 50k taking on the 50-mile distance, They crossed the finish line hand in hand just 7 minutes before the cutoff (Dave officially securing the DFL spot). They are excited for what 2022 has in store for them.

Whether you run with your partner or are thinking about it, this episode is for you.  We hear the good, the bad, and the ugly from our Becoming Ultra friends, Dave & Jenn.  This husband-and-wife duo have experienced the best and worst together.   From what drives them to recovering from frustrating injuries, we have an honest conversation about all of it.  We also talk about their first ultra together and a month later a 50 miler as well as what is next for them.  This couple will inspire you to grab your partner and hit the trails!

 

IG- jenngoins1015

IG- phx1ddg

 

Jan 29, 2022
A few months out from their first ultra and the Pearson husband and wife team seem to be plugging right along.  Amy has some knee and back issues and tries to find answers.  We hope you enjoy the show of real people training for really big things!
Jan 25, 2022

Ricky Haro was born and raised in Montana.  He hated running as a kid, it wasn’t until his Sophomore year that the cross-country coach worked with him to complete his first mile and tried to convince him to be part of the track team.  Ricky moved to Arizona in 1994 and joined the cross-country team. Coach Mark Hudson, who is still a great friend and mentor showed Ricky so much about outdoor recreation.  Ricky qualified for Nationals but suffered a quad injury and was on crutches for months.  Eventually he dropped out of college and joined the military.  Ricky became a SERE specialist in the Air Force (Survival Evasion, Resistance, and Escape specialist). The Air Force’s experts in all things related to someone being separated from support and in need of rescue, they train all aircrew personnel on how to handle themselves if they are caught up in hostile territory.  This is where Ricky learned about endurance, grit and the will to survive.  From 2005-2011 Ricky did not run a single day due to IT band syndrome and core imbalances.  In 2012 Ricky decided to dedicate an entire year to running and see what happened.  Ricky continued running and completed the Rome marathon; Magredi Mountain Trail 100; Blue Ridge Marathon; Marathon Des Sables; placed 5th in the Mogollon 100 just to name a few.  In 2016 Ricky did the Badwater 146 solo while pushing a baby jogger of supplies.  Currently Ricky gets high praises for being an amazing crew leader; serves on the Board of Band of Runners; Race Director for Kaniksu Ultras and overseas many adventures with his company, Rare Earth Adventures.

Have you ever heard so many good things about someone then meet them and they lived up to all those wonderful words?  Yep, that is Ricky.  This guy is a running, crewing bad ass in the ultra-world.  We caught up with Ricky on a break from his Across the Years multi-day running event.  Ricky shared some amazing crewing stories and how to excel at crewing.  I personally used all his advice the following weekend and everything went great.  We also talked about his Badwater 146 experiences.  Ricky is a race director and owns an adventure company.  We could have listened to his adventure stories for hours.  Ricky also shares with us personal stories about his childhood and one of the most significant people in his life, his Grandfather.  There is something for everyone in this podcast so sit back and enjoy.  

IG - rareearthrunner

www.rareearthadventures.com

Jan 23, 2022

Lene is still dealing with the after effects of having COVID and Caitlin is in a similar boat.  Both are itching to get back out and train well but as with everything else in life, they have been dealt a couple curveballs.  Ellie does her best to comfort them knowing it could all turn around any day now!

Venga Garmin Fenix Giveaway

Jan 18, 2022

Coach Hillary puts Jeremy and Evangelyn at ease as the training ramps up  and their bodies are feeling the stress.  We know so many runners go through these things so we hope it is a helpful episode for you all!

Episode sponsored by Venga CBD

Jan 18, 2022

Liza Howard is a longtime ultrarunner and running coach. Since her first ultra in 2008, she has won numerous 100-mile  races including the Leadville 100 twice and multiple USATF Championships in the 50 mile and 100k distances. She completed the Marathon des Sables, a multi-day stage race in the Sahara Desert, twice, and ran for the United States at the 100k World Championships in Croatia in 2018. She’s currently training for the Badwater 135, which will be held in Death Valley this July. 

In addition to running, Liza coaches for Sharman Ultra Coaching, teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, and directs Band of Runners, a non-profit that supports veterans and their surviving family members by introducing them to trail running and the trail running community. 

Liza lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and two school-aged children. Sometimes she cleans the house too.

Manny is a former Infantry Marine Reservist who deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2010 with 1st Marines, 23rd Battalion Alpha Company.  While inactive from duty from 2006 to 2013, Manny worked as Personal Trainer who Specialized in Obstacle Course Training. Races like the Tough Mudder and Spartan are what first introduced him to trail running.  Fast forward to 2019 - Manny is suffering from reoccurring running injuries and is told by his VA doctors that he should seriously consider not running. Fate said otherwise when he met Rob, who then got him in the Band of Runners Trail Running Camp, where he learned the skills to prevent injury and improve his running and met a community of trail runners who are all eager to see him succeed. And through the help and mentoring of the BOR community, Manny ran his first successful 50k at Hoka One Bandera, a virtual 50k hosted by BOR, his first 50 miler and 100k, and his first 100-mile race at the Badger. Now, through the Samaritan Center, Manny serves the community as a Mental Health Peer Coordinator where he coordinates and facilitates - mentoring, PTSD, substance abuse, life skills, and wellness groups - for Veterans in the Greater Austin community and helps run the Veteran’s Re-Entry Dorm at the Travis State Jail for the Texas Department of Criminal justice. Manny is currently training for the Caballo Blanco Ultra, formerly known as the Copper Canyon Ultra.

We had a lot of fun on this one!  Liza has some great stories to tell, and she tells them with so much humor.  We talk about how she balances training for the Badwater 135 with family life and a nagging hamstring injury.  Liza shares her witty take on her Instagram posts after a long break from social media.  Most importantly, we discuss Liza’s passion project, Band of Runners.  This is an important program that really makes a difference in the lives of Veteran’s.  Manny is a Veteran who participated in the program and then became a mentor.  He has a caring heart and lives a purposeful life of helping others.  He shares his experience with Band of Runners and how it has changed his life.  Manny also talks about his many Ultra’s and battling through injuries.  We know you will enjoy getting to know Liza & Manny and learning more about Band of Runners.  These are two very special people.  Enjoy!

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