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The Work, Play, Love Podcast with Lauren Fleshman & Jesse Thomas

December 20, 2010

The Work, Play, Love Podcast with Lauren Fleshman and Jesse Thomas


Juggling work-life balance can be a real three-ring circus, which Lauren Fleshman & Jesse Thomas know first hand. As business owners, professional athletes, and a married couple with two young children, the well of sage wisdom and cautionary tales is deep, and they spare no shame in giving it to you straight. Led by listener questions, this new podcast is all about the careful and chaotic intersection of sports, business, and family.

Have a question for Lauren and Jesse? They just might answer it on an upcoming episode! SUBMIT A Q


Book Update! Pole Pedal Paddle, Triathlon Cramps, Morton's Neuroma, Kid Fears

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Holy crap, they're back! After a long hiatus - just 11 or so months, but who was counting... - Lauren and Jesse dust off the mics to catch up on all that's happened in the last year or so. And booooooy has some stuff happened! Lauren gives a book update (the draft is in!), Jesse ripped the competitive bandaid off during a local multisport race (the Bend Olympics, nbd), and of course they answer a handful of listener questions. Settle in for a long overdue chat and a few laughs.

[uhhhh... looks like some episode info ran off course. we're working on it!]


Training Time Vs. Family Time, Primary Parent Responsibilities, Coaching During COVID, Couples And Exercise

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You all asked for it, and Lauren and Jesse answer: just what does a “primary parent” do? The Work, Play, Love duo discuss what primary parenting means and share how they divvy up household responsibilities. They also answer questions about how to balance training time and family time when you’re working towards a big goal, what to do if your partner doesn’t share your values around exercise, and Lauren offers some tips for coaching during a pandemic. Plus, Lauren talks about recent meetings at Oiselle and gives a book update, and Jesse gives a preview of a new Picky product.


Eating While Injured, Partner Pace Differences, Marriage Advice, Social Media And Antiracism

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Jesse and Lauren dust off their microphones and share what they’ve been up to this summer. Lauren’s found a rhythm writing her book and Jesse’s enjoying his new role as “primary parent” (Lauren is, too). Now they’re back in the hot seat to answer your questions about the balance of work, sport, and relationships. The WPL duo hear from an athlete whose eating habits have changed after injury, they offer some marriage advice to a married couple to be, they discuss what to do if your partner naturally goes at a different pace during your running date, and they talk about how anti-racism should be an ongoing effort when it comes to social media. 


Retirement, Dream Days, Managing Stress, Privilege, Fueling For Hard Workouts

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Lauren and Jesse are finally getting used to balancing Work, Play, and Love in…is it year 9 of stay-at-home? They catch up about family life during the pandemic, Jesse’s retirement as a triathlete and Lauren’s first race in over a year. They also answer questions about how to deal with high-stress situations, how to fuel when you’re burning a ton of calories, what is Lauren’s “dream” day, and how much does effort vs. luck (and privilege) play into where Jesse and Lauren are today. 


Asking Your Coach For Help, Standing Up To Aggression, Screen Time And Kids, Alcoholism

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Advocating for yourself and your well-being can be challenging and intimidating—especially in the workplace, with family, or in a competitive team environment. And for many of us, setting boundaries isn’t the most well-honed skill. Lauren and Jesse answer questions about asking a coach for more support, how to not feel like a pushover in the workplace, and what boundaries you can model for your kids around time spent with devices and technology. Plus, Lauren shares her experience growing up with alcoholism in her family, and she and Jesse talk about a recent relationship “discussion.” [Read More] (coming soon) 


Building A Healthy Relationship With Food, Family Dynamics and Sport, Playing Music, Training While Sick, Training “The Right Way"

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The holiday season is in full swing and your favorite Work, Play, Love hosts are going bananas with packed schedules for Picky Bars, sport, and family. And, no. The use of “bananas” is not a food pun. Lauren and Jesse catch up after not seeing each other for a bit and then dive into your WPL questions. They talk meditation and visualization, training while sick, and sponsorships. Plus, Lauren and Jesse go deep on developing a healthy relationship with food and body image, how to deal with a sibling taking over the title of “runner of the family,” fitting music into your busy life, and much more. [Read More] (coming soon) 


Night-Time Edition - Gift Ideas For Athletes, When To Have Kids, Scheduling Workouts, Angry Partners

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On the eve of Thanksgiving, Jesse and Lauren settle in for a late-night edition of Work, Play, Love. Around the holidays, everyone’s thinking about family, food, exercise, and work, and Lauren and Jesse answer your hard-hitting questions. Things like, what’s their favorite Thanksgiving food? And why are age-groupers peeing on the bike during triathlons? Plus, the Work, Play, Love duo talk about gift ideas for young athletes, how to fit in exercise in an already packed schedule, when to have kids, and how to work with a partner who has wildly different reactions to some situations than you do[Read More] 


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. [Read More] 


*Special Episode* Mary Cain, Creating A Healthy Team Culture, Eating Disorders, Performance And Nutrition, Picking A Program

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Last week, the athletic community was shaken by Mary Cain’s op-ed in the New York Times, I Was The Fastest Girl In America, Until I Joined Nike. The article outlined a culture of body shaming and abuse by one of the most elite running teams in the world. Lauren and Jesse discuss the article and how this story illustrates a far too common experience for athletes. They field questions about how you can create a safe and positive environment for athletes as a coach, parent, and teammate; and they offer advice for athletes about nutrition and performance, and what to look for in a coach, program, club or team when it comes to your health. [Read More] 


Over-Training, Couples and Aging, 2-Hour Marathon Controversy, Tempo Workouts, Work-Life Boundaries

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Fatigue, burnout, and feeling overwhelmed. That’s what can happen when you overdo it. It’s not too far off of how you feel when you… underdo it? Jesse and Lauren reply to a marathoner who may be over-training. They talk about the controversial (and maybe over-engineered) Nike Vaporfly shoes that helped achieve a 2-hour marathon time. They respond to a listener who’s worried about her husband’s complete lack of exercise. And they talk about how to not overdo it at work. Plus, the Work Play Love duo shares the origins of the Flat Bruce, offer advice about tempo workouts, and more. [Read More] 


Being Fast vs. Being Friends, Parenting Disagreements, Grief and Loss, Life Planning

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The Work Play Love duo covers some “fun” workouts to try when you’re injured and relegated to the pool, they talk about how to introduce yourself when you’ve got a crush, they offer advice about using caffeinated gels on long runs, and they give a peek behind the scenes into the Picky Bars test kitchens. Plus, listeners write in to follow up about traveling with kids to triathlons, swimming in groups, and more. [Read More] 


Being Fast vs. Being Friends, Parenting Disagreements, Grief and Loss, Life Planning

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To plan or not to plan? That is the question. Whether you’re training to close the gap between you and your competition, or you’re hashing out parenting disagreements with your partner, or you’re rebuilding your relationship to sport after grieving a loss, making a plan can help you overcome tough obstacles. And sometimes? The plan is to just be present and not have a plan at all! Lauren and Jesse are back from a short hiatus to answer your questions about the intersection of work, sports, and relationships, and they talk about how they’re implementing their own plans—or having their plans disrupted (and what they’re doing about it). [Read More] 


Mental Health, Striving vs. Contentment, Solo-Parenting Tips, Breaking Up With A Coach

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When you’re trying to strike the balance of Work, Play, and Love, there’s a lot of experimenting, seeking, learning, testing, and re-trying things. And that’s totally normal. Jesse and Lauren answer questions and share their experiences about striving for a goal vs. being content with where you are, how to navigate mental health issues as they relate to sports and personal well-being, how to stay sane while solo parenting, and how to end a coaching relationship that isn’t quite working out. Plus, Lauren talks about her recent Wilder retreat, and the Work Play Love duo offer some advice about improving speed during long runs, how to think about heart rate during training, and more. [Read More] 


Staying Calm On Race Day, Why Kids Are Good, Making Races Fun For Your Partner, Setting Up Your Business For Balance

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The leaves are starting to change, and the Work Play Love duo’s wild summer schedule is starting to settle down. So what better time than now for an episode all about calming down, acknowledging the good things, and building balance into your life? Lauren and Jesse answer questions about how to handle nerves on race day, how to make race events more fun for a spectating partner, and how to build a business that leaves room for your other life goals. Plus, they count the ways having kids has improved their lives, they tell the story behind Picky Bars flavors, and more. [Read More] 


Live From FootZone in Bend with Another Mother Runner

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Lauren and Jesse sit down with Sarah Bowen Shea of Another Mother Runner for a live podcast recording at FootZone in Bend, OR. Sarah turns the mic around and asks the Work, Play, Love duo about the balance of family, sport, and business in their lives. Jesse and Lauren talk about sports and competition after having kids, their communication styles, Lauren’s writing goals, what they’re working on at Picky Bars, and much more. [Read More] 

Subscribe to Another Mother Runner podcast and check them out online at anothermotherrunner.com, @themotherrunner on Instagram and Twitter.


Tips For Racing Kona, Amenorrhea, Dealing With Disappointment, Tempo Runs

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After a short hiatus, Lauren and Jesse are BACK in action. Hey, it’s summertime y’know? A family getaway filled with play was in order and sets the tone for a sport-filled show. From how to handle niggling injuries during your training season to amenorrhea as a young athlete, and from preparing for Kona to dealing with disappointment when you’re new to a sport, Lauren and Jesse offer advice, tips, and insight to folks at many different stages in their athletic journeys. [Read More] 


The Middle Of The Race, Resentment And Family, Analysis Paralysis, Cyclocross Workouts

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When you’re trying to achieve balance and stability in your career, on the field, or in relationships, it can be tough to take risks. Maybe you don’t have the data you need to feel confident in a business decision. Maybe you’re struggling with the differences in parental roles. And maybe you’re running your butt off, but you can’t ever seem to close the gap with the leaders in the pack. Jesse and Lauren talk about each of these topics through their own experiences and suggest that taking risks is a great way to switch it up and find new paths forward. [Read More] 


Athletes And Politics, High Mileage for Young Runners, Battling Injuries, Pros and Cons of Sales

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Sometimes you gotta unplug to recharge so you can come back to work, play, and love on your A-game. That’s just what the Flomas duo did over the past few weeks. Fresh back from a lake vacay with family and friends, Jesse and Lauren share their reflections about getting away from technology and spending some much-needed quality time with people they love. They also talk about athletes making political statements, whether high mileage is a good idea for young runners, and how to battle injuries as an aging athlete. [Read More] 


Building Confidence, Cultivating a Healthy Team, the Final Weeks of Recovery, Proposing

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Belief systems have an enormous impact on work, play, and love. Cultivating a belief in yourself can impact your performance on the field, at work, and in a relationship. Believing in a new training plan can help you get unexpected results on race day. And believing that your career doesn’t leave ample room for training can cause stress when you’re trying to achieve a big goal. Lauren and Jesse answer questions about faith and belief, concerns about training when working towards a marathon and a triathlon, how to find balance with passion career, and taking on a coaching role with a partner. Plus, Lauren’s just back from the USATF championships, which means a week of solo parenting for Jesse, and they both share their highest highs and lowest lows from the week apart.. [Read More] 


Building Confidence, Cultivating a Healthy Team, the Final Weeks of Recovery, Proposing

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Lauren and Jesse are just back from a hilariously disastrous family camping trip. Still, despite the nightmare of being in a poison-oak-infested campground with kids under 10, your favorite podcast hosts managed to have a pretty fun(ny) time balancing play and love. They recount the story of the trip and then dive into your burning questions, like: are used running shorts a good deal, or just plain gross? Should you race when you’re sick? How do you build confidence? How do you build a healthy team? And much more about work, play, and love. [Read More] 


Wealth and Relationships, Climate Change, Business Lessons and Sport, Love Follow-Ups

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Sometimes you gotta go all-in on business while sacrificing some play time. Sometimes you and your partner are feeling the exact opposite of one another like yin and yang. It’s not perfect, but maybe that’s what balance is! There’s no precise science to juggling work play and love, there’s no “shoulds” or spreadsheets to tell you where to spend your time and energy. Lauren and Jesse take a look at how you can still find balance even in unlikely circumstances. How can you train to be your best when you’re already on your feet all day? How do you handle a big wealth gap in your relationship? Should climate change factor into your discussions about starting a family? And if you’ve been all-in on business, how can you use that experience in sport? Lauren and Jesse tackle these questions, plus they wonder about the meaning of life and share a bunch of follow ups about love. [Read More] 


All About Love – PRIDE, Polyamory, Keeping the Spark Alive, Sharing Athletic Goals

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In celebration of PRIDE and love, Lauren and Jesse answer your burning relationship questions about love, intimacy, on-again-off-again relationships, and even how to deal with a partner playing musical instruments in the house. Plus they talk birth control for athletes, polyamory, inclusivity in sports and business, and more. This one’s all. about. love. [Read More] 


Preparing For Future Athletic Goals, Aging, Supporting Your Partner, Race-Day Clothes, Hilly Runs

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In your athletic career and in life, keeping your eye on the horizon can take on a few meanings. When you’re balancing your busy life today, how can you stay prepared for athletic goals in the future? How do you come to terms with an aging body on and off the field? You’ll also hear about how to support your partner through a tough time, some recommendations for race-day apparel, and how to handle hilly runs. [Read More] 


The “Dad” Episode - Cycling Safety, Babies and Dads, Reconciling with a Dad, Parent favoritism

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It’s the “Dad” episode! In honor of Fathers’ Day, Lauren and Jesse field questions all about parenthood through the lens of being a dad, relationships with dads, and more. They cover topics like post-partum depression for dads, what to do when your kids favor mom more than dad, how to maintain a healthy relationship with a dad after divorce, and how to respond to your dad when he lectures you about your life choices. Plus, Jesse and Lauren talk snack science, writing workshops, and listeners write in with follow ups about mom guilt, leg-shaving, and more. 

Episode brought to you by New York Road Runners. Join their virtual Pride Run 5K on Strava. [Read More]


Post-workout Fuel, Mom Guilt, Dating Teammates, Racing in the Heat, Kona

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You want tips about work play and love? We got tips. Whether you’re wondering about the best way to fuel after a workout, how to handle all-consuming “Mom Guilt”, how to navigate whether you should date a teammate, or how to race your best in the heat, Lauren and Jesse offer up a healthy dose of advice on what’s worked for them. Plus, the Flomas duo talk about cool vacation spots for active couples, where to go swimming in Bend, and exercise resources for postpartum Diastasis Recti. [Read More]


5K Workouts, Hard Conversations, Sleep Before Race Day, Investing Your Time, Multi-Level Marketing

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Confronting yourself or someone close to you is a major challenge, but it’s often worth it. Whether you’re approaching a tough conversation with a loved one, addressing your sleep-depriving excitement or anxiety before a race, or digging deep to get honest with yourself about how to spend your time, Jesse and Lauren offer tips on how to push through it in work, play, and love. You'll also hear about the best 5K workouts, sweet podcast recommendations, and the best jogging stroller. Plus, follow-ups about runner's PTSD, and changing your name. [Read More]


Alysia Montaño, Beginner Marathon Training, Balancing Individual Goals In A Partnership

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What does it mean to step up at work, in sports, and in relationships? What does it take? Lauren and Jesse share their feelings about the rapidly developing story of former Nike athlete Alysia Montaño, who was recently featured in the New York Times speaking out against industry sponsors and their (lack of) maternity leave policies. They also talk about stepping up to a marathon after you’ve run a few halves, and stepping up to support your partner’s goals, even if it means temporarily sacrificing your own. [Read More]


Triathletes and Pee, Racing vs. Training Better, Home Workouts, Failure, Exercising During Work

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Worrying about how you might be perceived by others can make it challenging to make decisions and pursue your goals. If you’re failing in a project, you might be able to realize it yourself, but how do you break it to your community? If you leave work early for a weekly running group or other exercise, will it jeopardize your job? Should you keep your last name when you get married, or will your family and your in-laws be disappointed? Lauren and Jesse tackle these questions about perception and more—like, you know, if a triathlete pees on the bike, do they smell when they reach the finish line? [Read More]


Caster Semenya, Race Prep Psychology, Racing After Injury, Late-Night Baby Duties

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Jesse and Lauren discuss gender in sport, and the challenges that DSD athletes face in light of the recent the Caster Semenya case. They share how they mentally prepare for races, and talk about wisdom from coaches throughout their careers. Lauren talks about racing after injury, and how she worked with Mel Lawrence to recover from a string of injuries and come back to set a 5K PR at Payton Jordan 2019 (go Mel!). They also dig in to who does what when it comes to late-night baby duties. Plus, Jesse admits to how nerdy he got trying to figure out whether he set a world record for fastest 5K on crutches last week. Episode brought to you by Jaybird (use code workplaylove for 20% off) [Read More]


Performance and Alcohol, Iron Levels and Fatigue, Career Motivation, Running While Pregnant

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Jesse plans to smash a 5K... on crutches. He talks about the race while Lauren talks about her smokin' 1:17:27 at the Eugene Half Marathon, and the difficulties of taking a race seriously while also taking care of the kids. This week's listener questions include discussions on alcohol's effect on athletic performance (and whether or not they imbibe before a race), fatigue and low iron levels in athletes, maintaining career motivation, and running while trying to conceive. Plus! Some details about the upcoming launch of Peformance Granola Flavor #2: Sassy Molassy. Episode brought to you by Jaybird[Read More]


Racing While Grieving, First-Date Advice, Triathlon Training Commitment, Online Trolls

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Listener questions are all about the hard stuff this week. Jesse and Lauren talk about racing (or not racing) after you’ve lost a loved one. They offer some dating advice for late bloomers (like them). They talk about how to navigate relationships when you’ve got a big training commitment. And they share their thoughts on message board trolls. [Read More]


Heat Training, Cycling Intro, Eating When Training vs. Not, Founders’ Equity In Startups

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Lauren and Jesse are back on the road, traveling back to Bend from San Francisco where Jesse had foot surgery. WPL listener questions including topics like: Training in the hot summer months, food relationships when you’re training vs. when you’re in an off season, they offer some bike-buying advice to someone new to triathlon, and they share the business side of Picky with a talk about founders’ equity. So get ready—it’s 7 hours to Bend, and you’re in the passenger seat for this week’s WPL adventure. [Read More]


Supporting Competitors, Skipping Workouts, Rest Days, Moving In With Your Partner

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Jesse’s down for the count with a navicular fracture that’s nearly identical to the one he suffered after Wildflower, and the injury is making balancing work and family life tough. Lauren and Jesse answer listener questions about how to navigate uncomfortable situations like supporting your competitors, skipping workouts when you’re not feeling it (and what to do the next day), finding balance on rest days, and moving in with your partner. Some great follow up on the Athena/Clydesdale discussion from episode 38 closes out the episode. [Read More]


Identifying Injury, Relationship to Food, Athena-Clydesdale Division, Sandbagging

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Lauren and Jesse answer listener questions during the car ride from Bend to Eugene—road noise and all—about topics such as how to identify, deal with, and hopefully avoid injury; Fostering healthy food relationships for themselves and their kids; The Athena/Clydesdale division and its implications regarding body weight and performance; and a follow up on the interpersonal implications of sandbagging. [Read More]


Mental Toughness, Sugar, Recovery Strategies, Pushing for Business Growth

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Lauren’s got an exciting year building up for Wilder, and Jesse—with a recent injury—is finding that the plans for his year are changing. Today’s show dives into hard-to-answer questions: How do you push through mental fatigue during a race? How does Picky Bars decide to follow (or buck) food trends like added sugar? What’s the best way to recover? And when do you decide to take your business to the next level vs. letting it settle in so you can spend more time with family? [Read More]


Injuries, Motivation, Setting Expectations, and Jesse’s Marathon Approach

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When you’re training hard and going after a big dream, not much is more disappointing than an injury. This is especially tough when the window of opportunity to achieve your goal is small or fleeting. So what do you do when that happens? Today, Lauren and Jesse answer questions about the highs and lows of play—and how re-setting expectations can have a big impact on your mental health and your race performance. [Read More]


Maxing Out, Post-Race Letdown, Work Play Love Transitions

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Jesse gives an update on Picky's current supply chain issues, and how they're managing the unexpected snafu to hopefully avoid a massive out of stock issue like last year. Listener Qs include topics on pacing strategies for racing, managing the post-race come down, and turning off work-mode when it's time to give your attention elsewhere. [Read More]


Building Your Own Training Plan, Pooping While Racing, Baby Sleep, Jealousy

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Advice for creating your own training plan, dealing with the urge to poop while racing, sleep training your baby, and jealousy in relationships, especially on-again-off-again types. Plus a review of Lauren's epic journey to New York for Indoor Nationals and Jesse's time as solo dad with two sick kids in Bend's recent Snowpocalypse. [Read More]


Injury, Managing Stress, Deciding to Have Kids, Marketing A Business

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When you’re dealing with an injury, where do you draw the line between seeking an answer vs. changing your sport goals? How do you manage workloads to prevent burnout from cumulative stress? When it comes to starting a family vs. starting your career, how do you work with your partner to find a time that works for you both? Plus tips for raising awareness for a brand new business.  [Read More]


DNF, Training Through Hard Life Changes, Emotional Labor, Athlete Sponsorship

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Today’s show is all about the tough stuff. Where’s the line between pushing through a challenging race and taking a DNF? What do you do when your training is disrupted by big life changes? How do you split up responsibilities at home to balance emotional labor? Lauren and Jesse answer these questions and also chat about athlete sponsorship from their perspectives as athletes and business owners.  [Read More]


Weight Loss, Training for Distance, Family Play, Going Pro in Triathlon

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Jesse and Lauren recount their experiences after the Great Nordeen Nordic race including Jesse's unfortunate crash (yes there's video), and how his triathlon training came in handy. Lauren shares why her inner monologue during the race was “I hate this” on repeat. For listener Qs, they discuss weight loss, how to train for distance when you’re a fast-twich athlete, what the Flomases do to play as a family and as a couple, and whether or not to go pro as a triathlete. [Read More]


Exercise vs. sleep, strength training for runners, un-learning athletic lessons, parent-sharing duties

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Lauren and Jesse discuss adding strength training to running plans, prioritizing sleep over training, and habits they developed in sport that they needed to un-learn in other areas of their lives. On the family side, sharing parenting duties and what they do when they differ on a parenting approach. Jesse talks about being comfortable with failure as a business owner, and the latest Picky Bars product, Performance Granola! Plus, how to shoot a (well-mannered) snot rocket. [Read More]


Stretch Goals, Second Child Adjustments, Husband-Wife Business Struggles

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You can experience big stage wins in life, and some days the wins are from how many bites of food your kid is willing to eat at dinner. This episode is full of work-play-love balance: How to avoid feeling mediocre while juggling parenting, sport, and career. How to set exciting goals that won't lead to burnout or injury. How to adjust to a new child in the family. And how you can change your role in a business you co-own with your spouse. [Read More]


Metrics, Sport Niche, Asking Your Partner to Slow Down!

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With the holiday break just days away, Lauren and Jesse answer some fun questions on play and love. The two talk about proper running technique and their favorite shoes. They discuss what to do when you’re at peak training and your hunger gets wild. Lauren gives some great advice on breathing while running—especially if your breathing feels out of control. And the two tackle a question about what to do when you’re dating a non-athlete.[Read More]


Running Technique, Hunger Management, Favorite Running Shoes

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With the holiday break just days away, Lauren and Jesse answer some fun questions on play and love. The two talk about proper running technique and their favorite shoes. They discuss what to do when you’re at peak training and your hunger gets wild. Lauren gives some great advice on breathing while running—especially if your breathing feels out of control. And the two tackle a question about what to do when you’re dating a non-athlete. [Read More]


Conditions for Satisfaction, Increasing Your Running Speed, a Day in the Life

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Last week, Lauren had a successful race at the club cross country championships and Jesse went on a spontaneous 20-mile long run that prompted a dose of work/play/love advice from Lauren. Hot on the heels of the week’s athletic achievements, the two jump in to your questions: How to support a partner dealing with injury, how to build running speed, how to maintain self-worth and combat negative self-talk, what a day in the life looks like for the Flomas family. [Read More]


Off-season + Solo-parenting Fun, Pooping, Recovering from a Bike Crash

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Jesse’s solo parenting and Zadie’s transition from infant to toddler is in full swing, but he’s kept the Flomas house in check and even found time to sneak in some long runs. Lauren had a very work-play-love week of travel which culminated in a trip back home to search for the perfect Christmas tree with the fam. This week, Lauren and Jesse discuss what to do in your off season, how to deal with the urge to poop during races, coming back from a bike crash, and playing the comparison game. [Read More]


Celebrating Success, Balance in the Digital Age, Leaving a Long-Term Relationship

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Whether it’s running in jungle-like conditions, celebrating Black Friday for your business, or navigating your infant’s love of the word “no,” there’s never a dull moment or lack of work-play-love balance. Lauren and Jesse are back from vacay and ready for your questions: Helping an athlete celebrate success, achieving balance in the information age, moving on from a coaching relationship, and applying for a job as a young, female athlete. [Read More]


Progressing from Marathon to Triathlon, Post-Race Funks, Asthma + Amenorrhea in Runners

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The Flomases are back from a work/play/hurt trip in Seattle where Lauren ran a cross country race that was "equal parts awful and amazing." The two share a bunch of NEW news about a new Picky product and a new segment on the pod. Then, the WPL couple tackles your questions about: how to transition from one endurance sport to triathlon, how to climb out of a post-race funk, managing asthma while running, and maintaining your period while training. [Read More]


Family Planning, Triathlon Diversity, Now vs Then, Evaluating Biz Ideas

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After two weeks off, Jesse describes how much of him missed racing Kona this year (a pinky nail) while Lauren talks about her home experience with both kids and the latest coaching progressions. This week's questions are around: Diversity in triathlon and endurance sports, how/when to put athletics on the backseat and start a family, balancing who you were as an athlete with who you are now, and finding and evaluating biz ideas. [Read More]


Sometimes Kids Suck… the Energy out of You

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This time last year Lauren and Jesse had their second child and then Jesse immediately got on a plane to race Ironman World Championships in Kona. Yeah, that was crazy. This year is decidedly more tame, with birth-day cakes (the first is for mom, Lauren says) and still a trip to the Big Island - for Picky Bars, not triathlon, business. Hey, this ain't called "work, play, love" for nothing. Listener questions this episode include breakthroughs, eating elephants, and off-season sanity. Enjoy!


Eating Disorders, Fat-phobia, and Family Planning

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Picky is back to full steam, the first out-of-state Wilder is coming up, and Jude's finally found the joy in riding a bike! (Oh how we hold onto some childhood fun as adults...) This episode tackles some serious topics, including the prevalence of disordered eating in sports and Jesse's personal struggle with binge/purge habits. Also chatted about: their paths towards choosing sport as a profession and how they decided the time was right to make a baby. Bow-chica-ow-ow.


Going to School & Getting Schooled (on Strava)

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The first week of kindergarten is in the books, which sparks a convo on developing community, making adult friendships, and deciding on childcare. Business gets its airtime with Lauren’s Wilder retreat coming up and a Picky update, and sport rounds out this episode with Jesse’s future racing plans, advice for seeking sponsorship or dealing with disappointing workouts, and the comparison trap, which has recently sparked a bit of a turf war at Picky HQ.


“Take your ‘treasure it!’ and shove it.”

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They say to treasure the journey because it’s over in a flash, but in low times when you want to tell those people to “shove it”, how do still show up and give it your best? Whether it’s feeling subpar at a start line or hiding in the janitor’s closet during the first kindergarten drop off, Lauren and Jesse talk about embracing it, or at least holding it together. Other topics include when to move on from a job, being a “fun guy” boss, and chafing. Meow.


Resiliency, Running Safety, and Celebrity Shots

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Jesse and Lauren get real about how setbacks in athletics conditioned the risk-taking muscles needed to take big business risks, especially with their personal piggy bank on the line. Mollie Tibbetts’s memory inspires a chat on running safely without allowing evil to steal the joy of the sport, and Jesse relives his first Ironman experience. Lastly and lightheartedly, they name their dream podcast guest hosts…

EPISODE 16: [Special Episode]

Super Advanced: Science! With special guest: Jude Thomas, 5yo

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This special edition episode covers technical topics like how the human body works, explained in a way a five year old can understand… Because it’s Lauren and Jesse’s five year old son, Jude, explaining them! Jesse sits down with his eldest child for this adorable bonus content, full of feel-good chuckles and some big picture enlightenment when the roles reversed and Jude got to ask the questions.


Man on Fire and the Social Implications of Sport

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Burdened by potential, attaching value in the wrong places, and finding motivation rather than anxiety in working with others… They’re all discussed, and it’s up to you to decide which sphere of work, play, love to apply them to. Lauren and Jesse give first-hand advice and open up about these listener-submitted topics, and Jesse finally learns what the term “wet blanket” means, after all these years being called one during peak training season.


‘Stupid Human Tricks’ and the Bars Are Back in Town!

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If wakeboard acrobatics and wrangling a dozen kids are to pulling sleds and carrying logs through snowy woods, this family vacation was totally like a scene from Rocky. Lauren, Jesse, and a proverbial Picky Bars emerge ready for their big test - not a vengeance fight against a Russian - a bar relaunch! That excitement carries into a lively chat led by listener questions on dealing with illness during training, acute injury risk, encouraging sport to kids, and if Flomas was ever a real thing.


“The Bigger the Ship, the Harder to Turn"

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From dealing with a DNF to sexual harassment in coaching, new Picky Bars developments to marketing yourself as an athlete, Lauren and Jesse cover a range of topics with an even wider range of emotions in this episode. Listener questions drive the conversation after a “What’s Going On” segment about co-dreaming as a couple and the difficulties of transition times, especially as married business owners relentlessly pursuing a balance of sport, work, and family. Plus: The #FlatBruce secret!


Burnout, Gender Stereotypes, and Goals You Can’t Afford to Catch

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Jude's sparkly turquoise shoes and Jesse's heart rate monitor strap accessorize another episode of Work, Play, Love. In search of balance on a yoga mat and in re-entry after the big Challenge Roth block, the Flomas fam turns to another batch of listener questions to drive some thoughtful conversations about a wide variety of topics like: Avoiding injury and burnout, periodization in training blocks, the cost of chasing down a pro dream, things they wish they'd done before parenthood, and the challenges of raising confident kids amidst society's gender stereotypes. It's a doozy from all angles!


Out Of Stock: On Pushing Through Pain in Business + Sport

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Lauren and Jesse talk candidly about our massive out of stock pains. As small business owners, they discuss the implications on both personal finances and the integrity of the brand when a product shortage hits - and it hit HARD. This segues into the first listener question on pushing through the pain in training and racing, followed by "sharenting" on social media, defining and pursuing your own idea of success, and maintaining the core of a brand while giving employees the reins to let it evolve and grow.

EPISODE 10: [Special Episode]

Jesse's Challenge Roth Race Recap

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This special episode about the “Hallmark” of the “Cool Races in Cool Places” tour covers the actual race (spoiler: podium day!) and the circus of family race-vacations, especially while Jesse takes what he says might be one last crack at competing at this highest level. Listener questions spark discussions on 140.6 course nutrition, pulling support crew + parent duty, and improving swim + transition times. It’s another highly relevant work/play/love case study, and doesn’t disappoint on laughs or inspiration.


Nerves, Body Image, “Happiness Differentials”, and Radiohead

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This week's balance of work, play, love is less of a flashy juggling act and more of a clumsy mess. Lauren + Jesse keep it real on managing it all (or not), diffusing fights with snacks (works for kids and adults alike), and what to do when you want to fix your partner's problem for them. Lauren reflects on how she managed her nerves with running and now with performing music (Jesse suggests sandbagging?) then continue on about body image, coach-athlete relationships & the "happiness differential."


The Energy Well, Aging in Sport, #SuperAdvanced, and the NBA Playoffs

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After Lauren's Wilder Retreat and Jesse's weekend of dad duty during peak Challenge Roth training, the couple chats about helping each other ease back into “normal” life feeling rejuvenated rather than frazzled after time away. This week’s listener questions spur a lively chat about energy stores, the struggles that can come with sharing a common “space” with a partner, and aging in sport, including Lauren’s mindset after retirement and what Jesse’s next phase after pro triathlon might look like. Jesse and Jude share a special moment over the NBA Playoffs, although it comes with some "bad news" as Jude says.


To Our Younger, On-again, Off-again, Pre-and-postpartum, Creative Selves

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Some sage advice to their younger athletic selves morphs into lessons learned during their on-again, off-again relationship, which segues conveniently down the life path to exercising while pregnant and how to support a postpartum partner. Lauren sheds light on the reality that it took a while to feel “like her” again after baby #1, and Jesse admits he was more nervous for Pole, Pedal, Paddle than Kona. They finish with some tips on making time for creative projects you might be putting off, which - shocker - applies to working out as well.


Get Your Head Right for Race Day, Parenting Issues, Nutrition, Bucket Lists

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Lauren and Jesse's pre- Pole, Pedal, Paddle (The "Bend World Championships"!) chat is a primo segue into a listener question about getting into a good headspace for race day. They continue on to address co-parenting communication, society’s obsession with diet trends (and the frustrations it poses both as athletes and food business owners), and how well they’ve stayed the path on their younger selves’ life plan. Spoiler: Jesse has a spreadsheet for that.


Wild Wildflower, the Intersection of Work-Play-Love at its Finest (& Ugliest)

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This episode covers the whole spectrum of work-play-love, with talks about mental health, physical health, body, and brain. Jesse discusses his feelings about his first second place finish at Wildflower and what it's like having the whole damn family in tow for a big race. Listener questions bring up topics like injury prevention, confidence and disordered eating issues, and the educational and in intuitive balance needed to run a small business.


Training Together, Taking it to the Next Level, and Having Employees

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Race season's right around the corner - On top of Jesse's thoughts going into Wildflower #7 he and Lauren answer questions about their relationship with exercising together, what makes a good coach, how to know when it's time to consider a move to the next step, and what they call the hardest part of business: hiring and having employees.


Buzzing From Desi

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It's Boston Marathon morning, which has Lauren and Jesse buzzing after Des Linden’s big win. Topics discussed in this episode include managing projects and to do lists, finding rhythm after a break, parent guilt, and the idea of Picky bringing on investors. Finally, the importance of being more than "just an athlete."


Quality Time, Getting Sponsors, Hiring People, Workplace Healthcare

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Lauren and Jesse let their listeners in on the amazing secret benefits of... Dinner and a Movie! Other topics include adding value outside of performance while pursuing athletic sponsorship, and some the entrepreneurial processes around HR things like hiring, healthcare, and workplace culture. [Read More]


Making Time, Encouraging Kids, Modifying Training, Your Biz's "Done" Line

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Lauren and Jesse come out of the podcast gates hot with everything from setting work/life boundaries to the value of sports pursuit as a child in their debut episode. Sage wisdom and dad jokes ensue. [Read More]


The Intro

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"Because that's just what the world needs -- another podcast!"

What Lauren and Jesse - the married couple behind Picky Bars, two professional athletic careers, and two kids - really wanted was a way to connect with other folks juggling all of life's craziness while pursuing their passions. It's a real three-ring circus sometimes, but that's what makes it fun, right?!

Guided by listener-submitted questions, each episode will feature candid, unrehearsed conversation about all things sports, business, family, and the sometimes dizzying struggle of keeping balance between them. Also a heavy dose of dad jokes and bad puns, because that's how Jesse rolls.


Send your question about sport, biz, family, or a combination of all three to Lauren and Jesse HERE


A two-time USA 5K champ and five-time NCAA champ, Lauren held a seat at the head of the American distance running table from high school all the way through her professional career with Nike and Oiselle. Now retired from pro running, Lauren's known for her writing, coaching, and advocacy for sport, as well as being a mom of two and CMO for Picky Bars. She's full of sage advice and a quirky sense of humor, as well as a not-so-hidden musical talent and love of baked goods.


Between four hour training rides and riding the tandem to preschool pickup, swimming laps and wading in a pool of financial data, running marathons and running home for date night, Jesse's got the pro triathlete/CEO/husband/dad thing going on full force. A two-time Ironman champion and Kona finisher, Jesse's a firm believer in keeping healthy work-life balance whether it's peak training season or off-season, including making time for a beer (or two) at the end of the day.

CONTACT LAUREN & JESSE: workplaylove@pickybars.com


Lauren Fleshman Jesse Thomas Family Photo