64: Marathon Training, Burnout vs. Commitment, Metrics for Success

November 26, 2019

64: Marathon Training, Burnout vs. Commitment, Metrics for Success

Juggling work-life balance can be a real three-ring circus, which Lauren & Jesse know first hand. Led by listener questions, the Work, Play, Love Podcast is all about sports, biz, and family. [ASK YOUR QUESTION]

64: Marathon Training, Lack of Love, Burnout vs. Commitment, Metrics for Success

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Sometimes it can take a long time (like Long-with-a-capital-“L” Long time) to achieve a goal. You might train to run a marathon for years, but persistent injuries and the balance of work, play, and love may keep you from your goal performances. It’s those experiences, though, that can prepare you for best races, relationships and achievements. Lauren shares the story behind her recent New York Times Op-Ed, I Changed My Body For Sport, No Girl Should, and explains how her decades of experience as a student, and then professional female athlete informed the article. Jesse and Lauren also get their gobble on for some meat and potatoes questions about improving marathon performance, finding love, avoiding burnout while pursuing your career, and what Picky Bars success looks like to them.  

What’s goin’ on?!!

It’s your weekly What’s Goin’ On, AKA “everyone’s favorite section.” It’s where Lauren and Jesse catch you—and each other—up on the latest in their lives.

Lauren worked with New York Times journalist Lindsey Crouse (Twitter) on her first byline with the New York Times. She talks about the stresses of writing a meaningful piece while solo-parenting, and describes the process of editing a piece for publication in one of the world’s most recognized media outlets.

Meanwhile, Jesse’s been traveling and working hard on all things Picky. He talks about recent distributor and buyer meetings, the exciting decision to raise funding for Picky Bars, and more. Most importantly? He outlines the fun shenanigans happening at Picky Bars for Thanksgiving week and Black Friday, Cyber Monday sale. And it’s pretty dang big. We’re doing 30% off everything in the store—so go snag some healthy snacks!

Picky Bars Strava Challenge

Jesse also talks about the first-ever Picky Bars Strava Challenge. Stay active with us this Thanksgiving week. Log 15 minutes of activity a day (anything from a nice chill walk to hill repeats) for five days, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win some sweet prizes. Check it out here.  

Tasty Bites

In the Tasty Bites segment, Lauren and Jesse answer your quick questions as quickly as they can.

23:41 - Can you please quantify "couple few"?

We know. The term “couple few” can definitely be confusing. It may be a regional colloquialism because it’s definitely not a phrase that’s familiar to…many people. But what does it mean, you ask? According to Jesse it means the same thing as “two or three.”

25:21 - What was the writing process like for Lauren’s New York Times Op-Ed? Did Lauren use Wild Writing to draft the article?

The process happened really quickly and Lauren covers a ton about her experience writing this NYT op-ed in the episode. And yes, Wild Writing was a big part of the beginning stages of writing the piece. Here’s an idea of what the writing process looked like:

  • Wild Writing — she journaled about the topic and saw where she got fired up
  • Wild Writing — more journaling, this time to a prompt: what are 25 solutions you see to this issue
  • Write a first draft based on what came up during the journaling exercises
  • Re-write based on feedback from Lindsay Crouse
  • Reduce the word count
  • Submit a new draft and begin co-editing with Lindsay
  • Polish, and send to another editing team at the Times
  • Decide on a photograph to accompany the article
  • Logistics: signing paperwork, releases, fact-check type stuff
  • Boom—the Times published the piece

For more on Wild Writing, check out Laurie Wagner’s site here, and learn about Wilder running and writing retreats here.

29:14 - I’m building my running mileage and progressing with two weeks of adding mileage followed by a recovery week. So this week I’ll run 55 miles, next week 60 miles, and then pull back to 20-30 miles for recovery. Am I doing too few miles on my recovery run week?

Everyone’s body is different, so there’s no set rules around your recovery week. When you’re on a recovery-run week, the point is to feel refreshed. So if you’re building up to 80 miles in a week, you may be able to pull back to 40-50 and still feel refreshed. Listen to your body, and if you can do a bit more (and you want to) while still achieving recovery, then go for it! Otherwise, your plan sounds great.

32:41 - I recently listened to theAli on the Run Show interview with Roberta Groner (6th place finisher representing Team USA in Doha). I had never heard of her before and the other names on the team were not familiar to me either. Are most of the big names in US women’s running just more focused on the Olympic trials and other big races like New York and Chicago?

The reason you see fewer “big name” runners in marathon is likely financially driven. There is less financial incentive to compete in the event. And the training time, recovery time, and risks involved with the distance can be prohibitive considering you can compete in back-to-back 5K and other distance races. Roberta isa badass, and the US has some incredibly talented marathoners competing in the field. Check out the Ali on the Run Show with Roberta Groner here.

37:44 - What cycling gear is essential for winter rides?

When you’re biking in the winter, you want your hands and feet to stay toasty warm! With that in mind, here’s a list of winter cycling gear to set you up for some successful cold-weather rides: 

  • Waterproof, wind-breaking overshoes. Doesn’t matter what they look like as long as they keep your toes and feet comfy
  • Same goes for gloves—get some big, warm gloves that keep your hands warm
  • Packable waterproof, windproof jacket layer that can pack down into your pocket


Meat & Potatoes

The meat and potatoes section is where Jesse and Lauren dive deeper into listener questions, offer longer answers and discussions.

39:25 - After years of setbacks and injuries, I finally made it healthy to my first marathon! Now I’m excited for the next marathon but want to know how I train differently to improve my marathon time when weekly mileage stays the same. Faster intervals? Faster tempos? More hills? What can I do to improve my marathon performance without increasing mileage?

Wow! Congratulations on an awesome and healthy marathon! Now that you’ve got one healthy race under your belt, your goal should be to complete your training exactly as you did it last time! You will see improvement by simply stringing healthy races together back to back. Once you have a few consistent performances together, here’s a tip for additional training. Split your workouts into three days:

  • A workout day (running with a tempo or heartrate goal)
  • An easy day (for recovery)
  • And a practice race day (where you allow yourself to run a bit quicker).

43:49 - Do you have any advice for single folks who are looking for love? When you were single, how did you spend your time outside of a partnership?

It can be really tough when you’re desiring a connection and relationship with someone else, but don’t have it yet! When Lauren and Jesse were apart, they spent time finding their selves. They learned about what they wanted from life, partners, and relationships, and what they didn’t!

When it comes to looking for love? Try scheduling time each week to devote to meeting someone new. Just like a training plan where you would set aside time for the gym or workouts each day, set aside time to work on meeting folks and going on dates.

51:42 - I’ve struggled with burnout and depression in the past, and now I’m pursuing the start of a new career. How can I strive to reach my potential while maintaining my health and avoiding burnout?

When you’ve struggled with burnout in the past, it can be daunting to entrust a new job with your valuable time, effort, and dedication. Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re starting into a new career:

  • You don’t need to land your dream job right away – what’s a manageable step toward that job that you can take today?
  • Consider bringing a therapist on to your team who can help you with tools to communicate to your employer and help you find relief when you’re stressed about work.
  • Be aware of how you feel about your job in the moment. Hopefully you’ll find a role where you feel like you can exercise the hardworking, passionate part of yourself, but doesn’t demand that 100% of the time.

57:53 - What do you consider success for Picky Bars? 

Lauren and Jesse discuss where they see Picky Bars headed and what they hope to achieve along the way. What is success when it comes to Picky Bars? Here are a few thoughts from the founders:

  • For sales to reach a sustainable level, where Picky Bars can pay its employees well (including its founders) and offer good benefits
  • For Picky Bars to have a positive impact in the local Bend, OR community
  • Be a leader as a responsible business when it comes to capitalism—such as fair pay, and no wildly disproportionate distribution of salary money
  • Have a positive impact on our customers


Follow Ups

This is your brilliance, listeners! Follow Ups is a segment where we hear from listeners who weigh in with answers and expertise about topics covered in previous episodes. It’s also a section where correspondents can share updates about questions they asked in earlier episodes.

1:07:05 - Re: Fatigue

A listener wrote in about feeling excessively tired during training and on race days. They followed Jesse and Lauren’s advice and ran a BQ while feeling the best they’ve ever felt on race day! Here’s what they did: 

  • Focused on getting more sleep!
  • Used AutoSleep for iWatch to track sleep
  • Put their phone further away from the bed at night
  • Cut wine before bed
  • Set a goal of going to sleep, and stuck to it—saying goodnight to friends earlier
  • Fueled more during the race—seven gels vs. three, for example

1:10:15 - Re: Hamstring Tendonitis

A listener writes in who’s struggled with hamstring tendonitis and related hip, butt, and back pain for years. They recommend chiropractic adjustment as something that’s worked well for them. 

1:11:34 - Re: Stacy Sims Roar

Roarby Stacy Sims has been recommended as a good resource on nutrition for female athletes. A listener offers some critiques of the information presented in Roar and offers a few additional resources:

Nutrition Made Clear by Roberta Anding

David Roche: The Importance of Eating Enough Food


As always, submit your work/play/love question at pickybars.com/workplaylove - Thanks for listening!





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