February 28, 2024

GEJ

Business Woman

Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 141 – Whitney Heins – The Mother Runner – Solpri

31 min read

[00:00:00] And I’ve always loved running, I’ve always loved running. I remember when I was a TV newscaster and I was talking to the head of Scripps Network, who at the time had the Food Network and Travel Channel and all those and I was pitching him on a channel just about running. So I’ve always loved running. And so eventually, you know, my husband kind of supported me and encouraged me to to have to pursue this idea of starting The Mother Runners High, which is a resource for moms who run, which is, as I mentioned to you earlier, is the intersection of everything I love to do, which is parent, run, and write.

[00:00:50] This episode of the Smart Athlete Podcast is brought to you by Solpri. If you’re active at all, whether you’re running or simply out walking for the day, you’ve probably experienced one of the number one problems that active people have, and that’s chafing. Solpri’s all-new, all-natural anti-chafe balm solves that problem while feeding your skin the vital nutrients it needs to be healthy. If you’d like to stop chafing once and for all and treat your body right, go to Solpri.com to check out the Anti Chafe Balm today. And that’s S-O-L-P-R-I dot com.

Jesse: [00:01:25] Welcome to the Smart Athlete Podcast. I’m your host, Jesse Funk My guest today is a former award-winning TV news journalist, founder of The Mother Runners, and, as you might expect, a mom of two. Welcome to the show, Whitney Heins.

Whitney: [00:01:43] Oh, it’s Whitney Heins.

Jesse: [00:01:44] As I said it, I was like, I knew I was like, I’ll take a stab. I was the one thing we didn’t talk about pre-roll.

Whitney: [00:01:53] Sorry.

Jesse: [00:01:55] For you listening, what do you and I have been on a roll? I was. We’ve gone a little bit longer than I usually do pre-roll, and I was like, “We need to get going”, and I messed up my my pre-intro. We — stop having interesting conversations with me, Whitney. I need to do my job here.

Whitney: [00:02:13] Heins, I like it. It’s got a good ring to it. Whitney Heins, —

Jesse: [00:02:16] I was like, It’s one that I’m just going to this. That’s 50 50. Well, it’s not exactly 50 50, but in my mind it was. So I’m like, “We’ll see. I’ll make a fool of myself.’ No, thank you. Thank you for correcting me, Heins.

Whitney: [00:02:30] Thank you for having me on the show.

Jesse: [00:02:33] I’ll just continue my long tradition of mispronouncing people’s names. It’s kind of thing that I do. A silly name mistakes aside.

Whitney: [00:02:44] Well, not everybody can have such a great last name as you.

Jesse: [00:02:49] You think it’s mispronounced, so you know, I try to be, you know, I try to be on top of it. But like I said, we got going before it. So, so so let’s jump backwards or jump forwards. I don’t know for the listener. We’re jumping forwards past past name issues, but let’s talk about moving from before we got going, we were talking about this book. If you’re on the YouTube version, you can see it’s called Ikigai. I’ve been reading it lately.

We were talking about like following passion and profession and kind of the intersection between them. You’re telling me each successive kind of career move you make trying to move you towards, you know, self-fulfillment or I kind of want to say enlightenment, but it’s not quite quite that heady. So what what are the moves you made? Why have you made those steps like looking back? Was it as easy as it looks at this point, or is it like you don’t know where you’re going at any given point in time?

Whitney: [00:03:56] I think I kind of always knew where I wanted to. Well, I think in my heart, I knew where I wanted to go, but I kept lying to myself because it wasn’t. It didn’t fit the the box of, Well, this is you. You pick a career that’s already the path is already laid out. You don’t make your own way.

Like I, when I was a little girl, I thought I wanted to be a TV newscaster. So that was the career path that I followed. And when I got into TV news, I realized it was awful. I mean, there were good things about it too, but it wasn’t. It was not what I thought it was going to be, and it was not conducive to to eventually having a family and being able to be engaged with my kids lives.

[00:04:43] So I think each each step was like closer to what I wanted to do, and now I feel like so. Then I went from TV news to to PR and write — science writing for the University of Tennessee, and then I started my own business. After that, if I could be home with my daughter related to PR, and then I started working for somebody else’s PR company out of the house, and then eventually I was just like, I just want to work for myself because I was constantly, not totally in the moment, like when I was with my kids, I was stressing about work. When I was doing work, I was stressing about the time I was spending away from my kids.

[00:05:24] I was too — my two kids were little and I was working full time trying to do client calls. And it just I was spread too thin and not fully invested and engaged with whoever I was with at the time. And so I’ve always loved running. I’ve always loved running. I remember when I was a TV newscaster and I was talking to the head of Scripps Network, who at the time had the Food Network and Travel Channel and all those and I was pitching him on a channel just about running.

[00:05:55] So I’ve always loved running. And so eventually, you know, my husband kind of supported me and encouraged me to to have to pursue this idea of starting The Mother Runners, which is a resource for moms who run, which is, as I mentioned to you earlier, is the intersection of everything I love to do, which is parent, run and write. And so I have the mother runners. I write for Runner Click and Marathon Handbook and some other outlets.

Regularly, I have a podcast about running, I coach about running, and it’s just been so rewarding and just so amazing that like I was able to — from scratch start this career. And now I’m, I am told that I’m helping other people grow fruit on their trees and making a living while doing it, and it completely fits my life. So I am with my kids whenever they are home, and it’s just it’s really amazing. I’m really happy and lucky.

Jesse: [00:06:55] It’s always interesting when so I’ve talked to a number of people like you who are coaching and doing one coaching and stuff, and it’s a career path. I thought about it at one point in time, but I know, I know so many coaches kind of come and go through the sport. Because especially in the collegiate environment for like low level coaches or like smaller programs. Very difficult to make much of a living coaching like Cross Country. Bigger programs, Division one schools, big division schools, less of an issue. Being independent, like you are, highly variable.

[00:07:42] So taking that step forward, moving away from the stress of, you know, TV news and journalism, it was a relief stepping forward or was it still like, am I stepping off a cliff, you know, into an unknown situation? Obviously, as you mentioned, you had the support of your husband, which is, you know, great to have because you’re at odds, then that doesn’t make the situation any easier.

Whitney: [00:08:11] Well, I think because it was a slow progression, because it wasn’t it was like I left one career for another and then I moved my career home. And then so then it was just sort of this, unpackaging of this new venture, so it wasn’t like stepping off a cliff. And he and I think he saw the value in it because a) he knows how much I love running. It’s just like no matter what barrier I’ve encountered, I like my life. Honestly, at times would be so much easier if I didn’t love running so much. And the fact that he just saw how stressed out I was I had.

[00:08:54] I remember I had one really difficult client at the time, and he was just like, “Whitney, why are you doing this? Just quit. It’s not worth it. The stress that you have on you and trying to balance staying home with the kids and making these clients happy is just not worth it. So just just leave and we will figure it out.” And so I had his complete support to take the financial hit for me to leave that job and then over the past two years to build this business, which also has unfolded into something different than what I thought it was going to be.

[00:09:30] And I’m just kind of seeking out the opportunities as I see them. I honestly didn’t think I would be coaching. That was not part of the original plan, as also like partnering with these other sites and other collaborative collaborators and then running community. But it’s it’s been great. As you know, the running community is just so supportive.

No matter if it’s a website or a podcast or on Instagram or wherever, I mean, there are just so many different pockets of this supportive, wonderful, robust community. And so when I see opportunities to help more people and collaborate and do different things, and I’ve kind of jumped on board as time has allowed, so.

[00:10:18] It was it was it was exciting, it wasn’t scary because the careers that I’ve left in the past, while they’ve had many attributes, they were definitely not the right fit for me at the time. So I I left and never looked back, especially TV news like I haven’t even watched local news. I think since I left because it just it was I just was so over it by the time I got out of it, so.

Jesse: [00:10:44] Yeah. It’s like, maybe this is a crass analogy, but it reminds me of like, you know, often teenagers work at like, you know, fast food restaurant or something like that. And it’s like, maybe they like it, it’s beginning. But then just the overexposure to that over time smelling like, you know, fries coming home every single day or whatever, it’s like, I just don’t. I won’t. I just won’t touch it anymore. I know.

Whitney: [00:11:11] Yeah, I mean, that’s a good analogy.

Jesse: [00:11:13] I didn’t know that if that fight fit the situation or.

Whitney: [00:11:18] Yeah, like in the very beginning, you think it’s so cool because you’re on TV and people recognize you and you get to see everything behind the scenes and you kind of know like the dirty little secrets of TV news, but over time, it’s just, I don’t know, you just realize you’re not having the societal impact that you wish you were going to have. And they work you so much and they treat you like they own you. And it just and you’re reading this. If you’re a TV anchor, which I was a morning anchor, you just reading the same story over and over. It’s boring.

Jesse: [00:11:53] Yeah.

Whitney: [00:11:54] At that part was boring. Like going out and reporting was super stressful at times and hard emotionally. When you’re, you know, expected to knock on people’s doors and ask them about how they’re feeling that their child just got shot or something horrendous like that. And it’s just, I don’t know. It’s just like, I don’t really see how this person’s pain is, is doing society a favor of me, Like, I felt like I was exploiting people a lot of the time. So it was just not what I wanted to do. But yeah, so at first, it seems cool. And then over time, you you kind of see it for what it really is, and I just can’t stomach it. So I don’t watch it.

Jesse: [00:12:33] Yeah, that’s that’s fair. I, you know, I think there’s a lot of I don’t know whether it’s because I don’t watch any of it because I live in my own bubble. Hence, why I got your name wrong. I hadn’t hadn’t watched you before on TV. But just like, you know, a lot of the like, now we have like the twenty four hour news cycle, right? It’s like we just, we have to fill it with so much crap.

Number one, you have to read the same story over and over again, but then like I know from whether you’re on the audio version or the YouTube version, I have a YouTube channel for the company and the podcast goes there and so is my show and running. And I know based on like what people click on and that kind of stuff. People respond better to negative topics than they do positive topics. So like all the TV news networks know that way better than I do, and they lean into it like, what’s what’s the phrase? If it bleeds, it leads? Is that the phrase?

Whitney: [00:13:34] Yeah, and it’s true.

Jesse: [00:13:36] Right. But but at the same time, you know, I know I found myself, it over time, more like social media plays into that, too. Or, you know, the algorithms show you what people click on, and that’s so you get fed that. And I just I just like, take a step away and just be like, you know, I’ve got to be off completely for a while. They kind of like, reset. How I feel healthy before tentatively allowing certain amounts of that kind of environment back into my life. But being able to like moderate your own mental health, I think, is number one skill, but then also hard to teach if you’re not even aware that —

Whitney: [00:14:25] Oh for sure.

Jesse: [00:14:26] You’re being affected.

Whitney: [00:14:28] Yeah, and that’s the scary thing is, so many people don’t realize that. I mean, in a sense, they’re being manipulated. And they they don’t realize it. They think it’s real and it’s balanced. But I do think a lot of people did did realize the the value in self-censorship when it especially during the pandemic, when there was just so much information, misinformation and realizing the impact it was having on their mental health and I mean kind of the segue way to athletics too.

I mean, the same goes with Instagram and who you follow and whether or not that makes you feel bad about what you’re doing. Yeah. So yeah, I think it’s it is very important to be aware of what you’re consuming and how it’s affecting the way you feel and act and what you talk about and your overall perspective on everything.

Jesse: [00:15:21] Yeah, this going be kind of a weird transition. So I’ll just preface with that.

Whitney: [00:15:26] Let’s go with it.

Jesse: [00:15:28] So you’re talking about the idea about Instagram and obviously Instagram presents certain ideals to us, be it aspirational lifestyles or the way we should look or whatever it is. And so my wife is pregnant right now and there’s —

Whitney: [00:15:46] Congratulations!

Jesse: [00:15:46] Thank you. It’s there’s like. It seems like there’s a trend of like having a certain like fitness pregnancy kind of body works like you’re like super trim all over, except you just have like a nice perfect little bump and it’s like just it’s. The thickness of like magazine photoshopping has come to Main Street, I guess everybody trying to get the perfect, it’s just the impact of that.

It it i- seems far reaching, especially if you think about. At least from my perspective, like like mom to be, should just be taking care of her and baby and not worried about looking good for Instagram, just like you should be in your own little world doing your thing, you know, but it’s hard when you have all these outside influences.

[00:16:43] So in general, I assume maybe you did at the time. It’s a question that comes up that I simply will never be qualified to answer. So I want to ask you a little bit about running while pregnant. Maybe the impact of Instagram, because again, it’s a question, you know, you write articles based on people searching for. I do the same thing with videos. I see this question. I will never be pregnant, so I can’t answer that. So while I have you, you know, I’d like to ask you about the situation in general, whatever you’d like to talk about it.

Whitney: [00:17:19] I think I mean, it’s kind of similar to whether or not you are pregnant. It’s just a stay in your own lane and do do what works best for you. But it can be dangerous if you’re pregnant or postpartum. When you’re looking at what other people are doing and having that influence, what’s best for you. I mean, running in particular in is such an individual sport and every pregnancy is different. Whether how you feel, how you run, if you’re not running, how you look, it’s a lot. I mean, your number one goal is keeping you and your baby healthy.

[00:17:53] So you do not want to be cutting calories because you don’t have the basketball belly that so and so on Instagram does. I mean, that’s that’s dangerous. So I that’s I think there is the message that every pregnancy is different is really getting out there and people are realizing that. But still, if you are following somebody on Instagram and they’re. They’re proud or bragging of about how much they’re running and how great they feel in their pregnancy or postpartum, a lot of people get out there and they’re like six weeks postpartum like, “I just ran a half marathon” that just unfollow them because it’s it’s not. I mean, really, I know it can be hard. It can be like watching a, you know, seeing a train wreck and you just have to look, but don’t, because it’s it’s not going to do you any favors.

[00:18:51] I think that’s important for all runners. I mean, it’s the same like when you get on Strava and you see what other people are doing and that impacts your training negatively. I mean, there are so many different variables that affect running and your health, and you just need to do what’s best for you.

Jesse: [00:19:09] That’s I mean, it’s that whole part of influence, right, like, you know, you you have a platform. People see you and listen to you. And so do many other people who for better or for worse, may not be experienced enough, have good intentions, care whether people have are hurt or sometimes unintentionally hurt people, you know, maybe aren’t in a good place themselves, don’t realize that. End up sending whatever poor message out there and then people go well and so did did this.

So I must be able to and. It’s a challenge that I’m not sure as a mom and I’ll ask you, this is, I guess, a father-to-be. How you try to raise your kids to be, independent, like self-determining, I guess, is what I’m after, because we have so many influences, we have so many opinions on what you should be running and how many miles you should be running and how you should approach it, and when you should do speed and when just there’s so many things like. How do you coach your runners? Is it the same way you approach your kids? Like how do you help that strengthen that self-determination?

Whitney: [00:20:36] Goodness. You know, I don’t know, I’ll have to tell you my –So I was telling you, my daughter just turned eight yesterday. She’s my oldest, and if anybody follows me on social media, they saw that I wrote about how fierce she is like she was. She started walking at nine months. She was the first baby in the daycare history to never take the bottle. And so that was like, eventually, that’s why I quit my job to stay home from her for her because she would starve herself all day and she was like the only baby to ever do that. So she is very self-determined, so she just kind of came wired that way. And my son is just kind of too soon to tell. So I don’t know.

[00:21:17] I mean, but I think it’s it’ll probably be the same as when you are a coach. You kind of have to like you have your own coaching style, but you do have to kind of bend to meet your athletes needs. Some need a cheerleader, somebody, some need to be held back. Some need to be gently pushed, others need to be held accountable every day. And so it just kind of figuring out what the personality is and what where their weaknesses are. And sometimes that weakness, like for for me personally, is. Pushing too hard and not realizing or ignoring red flags or ignoring signs that something could be a detriment if you keep doing it or run through it or whatever. So I think, yeah, you just have to be malleable.

Jesse: [00:22:07] So think about that you’re talking about, you know, ignore red flags yourself, you’re coming back from injury. Before we got going, we were talking about how the time off is kind of helpful for you to kind of get out of some of those like bad thought patterns. Can you talk to me a little bit about the kind of process of time off coming back, dealing with that injury, that kind of thing? Because I think it’s something that if you run for long enough, you’ll probably deal with at some point or another.

Whitney: [00:22:38] Yeah, it’s been. Actually, it’s been a very long road. I launched The Mother Runners in July of 2019 and I was on. I was starting a big build up my coach. I had just kind of joined with him and decided sort of last minute to do a marathon. I did the marathon and he was like, You know what? We have a shot of getting an Olympic Trials qualifying time, so let’s do it. So I went from running like in the fifties a week to up to close to one hundred over the summer, and I tore my hamstring about a month after I launched The Mother Runner. So I toured in August and I was going to run Indy in November, and I continued to train high mileage on it.

[00:23:23] It was a partial tear, but I mean, it was just my leg was not functioning. And by the time I ran Indy, I mean, I still got a PR, but it was far it was like eleven minutes off the qualifying time. And that so I still tried to run run through it finally took time off, took all of twenty twenty to rehab, it finally came back last year, had a good start in two days before my first race in April. I got the second COVID vaccine and had an adverse reaction, which was lung inflammation, and then I was out for six weeks.

Whitney: [00:24:01] Then I started to come back. I’m sorry, this is a long story —

Jesse: [00:24:04] That’s fine.

Whitney: [00:24:05] I started to come back and about four weeks after that, I tore my plantar fascia. And so that’s where I’m at now and just getting back to running. It’s been such a long road of patients, but it is illuminated so many harmful thought patterns and habits that I had as a runner, which a lot of it was I’m realizing a lot of my mistakes have been rooted in fear.

Fear of losing the edge of losing momentum, fear of other people or competition, and comparing myself to other people in unhealthy ways and just having the habit that a lot of runners have, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but can be of pushing through pain and pushing yourself and just really learning when rest and recovery.

[00:24:58] Well, the importance of it and and the need and knowing when it is time to push and when it is time to pull back. So I am a much smarter runner than I was six months ago. If I usually if there’s an opportunity to run or push or sprinkle in a few more miles, I will always do it. And now I am constantly holding myself back.

[00:25:24] And that also comes with paces learning to run true, easy pace, which I think a lot of people don’t do. And just overall, I mean, my goal, my my shift has been my goal is not to qualify for the Olympic Trials Marathon. Yeah, that would be nice. But my goal is to have longevity in the sport and to be healthy and happy because when I tore my hamstring, I, it was like that goal was became — I was so fixated on it that every workout that I didn’t hit because my leg hurt, I would just be grumpy the rest of the day.

[00:25:59] And that’s not what running is supposed to be about is supposed to be bringing us joy. I mean, especially for someone like me, this is not my job. I’m not a pro runner. And so I, yeah, there are so many mistakes and they still like the devil still kind of creeps in there and it’s like, “Oh, Whitney, why don’t you just run a little bit faster?”, “Hey, you’re really close to hitting a certain mileage this week. Why don’t you just add a couple of miles on?”. And I’m just constantly telling myself, No, no, that is not going to do you any favors. So sorry for the long winded answer to the question.

Jesse: [00:26:31] I mean, it’s not easy to sum up what, six seven months in a pithy little quote, but thinking about pithy quotes, I spoke with Ironman legend Mark Allen to start off this season and on one of his he does a show on Mondays called Mondays with Mark Allen one of his things, and I talked about this in another video as well about like how to get the best out of yourself is to challenge yourself every day. And I think most of us probably hear that and go, all right, well, this is Mark Allen like he won six Ironman championships. Clearly, he means I need to bust my ass every day because that’s that’s the message most people give like, Hustle harder, go harder. But that’s not.

Whitney: [00:27:21] This is the flip side. Yeah.

Jesse: [00:27:23] What he means is challenge yourself every day. Like, What are you struggling with? So on that easy run, are you struggling to go easy because many people do. Your challenge today is not to go fast. Your challenge is to go slow. Which seems counterintuitive, right? Because it’s like it’s easy. So it should be easy. But it’s not necessarily because our brain goes. Dial it up to 11. Like, Let’s go and you get thinking about races and your pace picks up. And so sometimes I think it’s. It’s so simple, yet so difficult at the same time, if we just focus on like what what is the challenge today, like what’s my true challenge, not what’s the grander challenge, but just just today? So I really like that that train of thought. Just to to realize that the challenge is not always going harder.

Whitney: [00:28:24] Yeah, no, I think that that’s an excellent point and I’m going to use that and remind myself that that I mean, holding back oftentimes is the challenge, especially for a lot of runners. And we were talking about before you hit record remembering what the purpose of each run is before you go out the door.

It is the purpose is not to live and die by the schedule. The purpose could be to run easy to run, hard to recover, to shake out, to take a rest day work, you’re getting to your threshold, whatever it is. And just remember that and not be just so, such a stickler to the numbers and the pieces and in mileage and all that. So I think, yeah, I think thinking about the flip side of the challenge and then what the purpose of the run is can really help keep you keep the guardrails on, I guess.

Jesse: [00:29:22] Yeah, I want to do another hard shift, usually pretty good transitions, but this is not I haven’t figured out a transition to this one. So I want to say, let’s talk about poop because I know you’ve had a few articles or at least at least one I saw about poop. It’s kind of the elephant in the room for runners, right? First —

Whitney: [00:29:42] See, I think runners, they’re like, so especially moms, I guess, like, we’re so open about talking about and my husband, just like Whitney, just stop. I’m like, You don’t understand. Like, so poop poop is in our lives.

Jesse: [00:29:53] So I want to pitch this to you. I had a hard time. So like as a brand, I’m like, I should have apparel and all this. I just I don’t. So I was thinking about this. And if you think it’s a good idea and you want to steal it, please do, because I probably won’t actually execute on it. Who knows? I was thinking about making t-shirts and all they say, and maybe they’ll have a graphic. It just says One Sock Club.

Whitney: [00:30:22] So you wipe with the sock?

Jesse: [00:30:24] I mean, no, —

Whitney: [00:30:26] I’ve never done that.

Jesse: [00:30:27] Not typically, but if you’re in the middle of nowhere and there’s no no bathroom around, there’s nothing to be used. You’ve got to use something.

Whitney: [00:30:36] This is true, I’ve never actually thought of this because, you know, I try to plan ahead.

Jesse: [00:30:47] This is this is I mean, this is more an experience of like inexperienced high school runner kind of situation. But I was just I was just thinking about this because it’s like if you know, you know, and if you don’t know, you have no idea, it just says One Sock Club anyway. So I wanted to run it by you. I the only person who ran it by it was my wife, and she had no idea what I was talking about because she didn’t run growing up.

Whitney: [00:31:13] I think it’s great and I fully support you. You can have it.

Jesse: [00:31:18] Okay. One Sock t-shirts it’s coming to come into a store near you.

Whitney: [00:31:24] Yeah, there you go.

Jesse: [00:31:26] Probably not, but –.

Whitney: [00:31:28] Usually our conversations are related to, you know, our kids poop. But then also, OK, well, how early do you have to wake up to drink the coffee or, you know, before you go running. I think you could. Do something with a coffee mug like this is this is my way out of the One Sock Club or something like that. Put that on a mug.

Jesse: [00:31:53] There’s something there, you know —

Whitney: [00:31:54] There is something there.

Jesse: [00:31:55] I come up with ideas all the time and I don’t have people to run it by besides my wife. And she usually just looks at me and goes, “I don’t know what to tell you right now”.

Whitney: [00:32:04] I just feel very thankful that I’ve never been in that situation, so.

Jesse: [00:32:07] Yeah, if you plan ahead, you know, make sure you go to the bathroom before you go run. You have a run where there are pit stops if you need to make them. You know, it’s just like poor planning on inexperienced runners part, but in some ways it feels like a rite of passage. But again, it could just be me in my own little head, and everybody else is like, what? Like, I don’t know what you’re talking. You’re just a weird guy. Like, which is fine. I’m fine with that. But you know, –.

Whitney: [00:32:41] You can pull runners and ask them how many of —

Jesse: [00:32:43] How many people are part of the One Sock Club?

Whitney: [00:32:46] Yeah, I don’t know. I I mean, I’ve been running for a very long time. So yeah, I feel very lucky that I’ve not found myself in that situation.

Jesse: [00:32:56] When did you start, by the way.?

Whitney: [00:32:58] When I was six.

Jesse: [00:33:00] OK.

Whitney: [00:33:00] Yeah.

Jesse: [00:33:01] So yeah, very long time.

Whitney: [00:33:01] Yeah. 34 years that I’ve been running.

Jesse: [00:33:08] How are you know what’s one sock club now? I guess you’re an adult now, so hopefully at this point you don’t have to join. Maybe it’ll be like you won’t join until you’re like 80 and it just catches up with you on a run or something. You’re like, I got to talk to Jesse, get that t-shirt now, took another.

Whitney: [00:33:24] I think it’s because, well probably I don’t know. I mean, I ran my first marathon in college, but like when I was a kid, I didn’t run long distances. I mean, I feel like that happens when you’re doing long runs. And in college, yeah, I never, I don’t know. I somehow avoided it.

And then as an adult, like I said, I plan ahead. Like, I mean, honestly, I would make sure I will make sure my husband never listens to this podcast. Like, honestly, like, there’s nothing there. I mean, there are many things worse, but like not having to go on a run is pretty terrible. And so like, I will do what I can at all costs to avoid that. Yeah, I just don’t like that feeling.

Jesse: [00:34:08] So I would I would suggest, here’s the transition for you. I would suggest that that that you’re not having joined the one sock club is probably a win for you. Which leads me to my question for this year, I’m asking every single person and that’s how do you celebrate your wins?

Whitney: [00:34:25] Oh, gosh. Well, I I need to do that, I. Well, when I like, I I guess I don’t I don’t know. See, this is like into my my messed up mindset that I feel like I haven’t had a win yet.

Jesse: [00:34:45] That’s why I’m asking people because I don’t think we do it enough. So I’m kind of lot of people put people on the spot. It was an entrepreneur friend of mine who suggested this question because she she sees that a lot in our kind of like entrepreneur e-commerce circles, just people just keep grinding and never take a moment to go. You know, I celebrated, so I really try to embrace your question. But so if you don’t talk us through, if you’re coaching yourself, what should you be doing, I guess? What would bring you joy to celebrate a win?

Whitney: [00:35:21] Ok, so we need to look at what a win. First of all, you need to qualify, what a win is, is it? I mean, it’s not like when you –.

Jesse: [00:35:30] One Sock Club, that’s a win.

Whitney: [00:35:31] Yeah. Well, yeah, well, so I mean, in addition to that, I you know, I like your automatic thinking is, well, a win is a PR, a really good race time. And through this entire injury journey, I have been really shifting away from that and focusing on the process and loving the process and the journey. And those race times are just like little added benefits along the way because the ultimate goal is to to stay healthy and run for a long time. And so I don’t I mean, I want to say like the win is the the run itself, like getting out there. I just, you know, getting out there and just moving your body and feeling good and feeling powerful for me is a win and a gift of itself.

But if that’s I don’t know, because I don’t want to say it’s like, you don’t you don’t want to make it something external or materialistic, like, I don’t want to say, Oh, go buy yourself a nice pair of running shorts or have a glass of wine tonight. I think it’s just like really reflecting on all that you’ve accomplished, all you’ve accomplished and where you’re headed and being able to make it happen, especially as a mom.

[00:36:48] There are just so many barriers to running. Time is a huge one, and just the fact that and guilt is another one and the fact that people need you and you have to ask for help. And a lot of moms have a tough time asking for help so that they can go do something for themselves. And so overcoming those, I think, is a huge thing to be celebrated. And just like reflecting on how awesome you are and how you were able to do that to me is. And maybe writing about it, you know, maybe because I’m a writer, I think journaling about it kind of helps, like cement your accomplishments.

[00:37:25] So when I I’ve, I have regularly updated my injury journey on Instagram, and I had a couple of people when I was finally able to do like my first continuous run this year. I had a couple of people say, You need a confetti cannon. I was like, You know what? You’re right, I need to celebrate because it has been such a long road to come back from this and I I should have, and I didn’t. I just kind of like hung out with my dogs because they were the only ones home and celebrated with them was like, I did a full 30 minute run today. Good job, Whitney. But yeah, I don’t know another rambling question or answer to your question.

Jesse: [00:38:06] That’s why I put you on the spot. That’s kind of what that question is designed to do, but I think.

Whitney: [00:38:12] How would you celebrate?

Jesse: [00:38:13] How I celebrate? Again, I I don’t really, which is part of why I’m asking like, how do I do this better? Come back to Mark Allen. I asked him and I was like, he’s a perfect person to ask to start the season. You know, such a prolific winner. In any sense of the word. And he just talked about like. Reliving the win like taking a moment for himself, thinking back through the situation and thinking about like, what did he do well and kind of reflecting and, you know, celebrating the things that went as planned or that maybe didn’t go as planned, but then he adjusted to well and kind of giving yourself that like positive feedback for executing as best as you could. And sometimes so I think about as I’m trying to learn about, you know, how to raise children and how to raise myself –.

[00:39:18] Well, yeah. But just like I think about how do you encourage behavior, right? And some of that is how do you celebrate a win? And I’m interested in this idea of. I don’t know. Pretty succinctly, but basically like a prize, so to speak, and maybe that prize is that self-reflection. But the idea of the celebration being something that propels that activity forward. So like we’re talking about, I play music. So like when I was younger, I play violin. I did not buy buy a violin for myself, but like as I got better, my parents would get me a nicer violin, which then encourages me to practice more because it sounds a little bit nicer, like things like that. Like how do we celebrate in a way that encourage us to run more, not necessarily run more mileage, but just like maybe run more effectively or encourages the running?

[00:40:24] Whereas like the opposite is like what? As a good example, when people are trying to lose weight like they lose weight and then they celebrate by having a piece of cake like that’s moving you in the opposite direction of your goal. Like if you’re trying to celebrate or run you, you just ran a marathon and you celebrate by running like a cool down marathon. That’s probably not the right direction of celebration, you know what I mean? So I’m interested in the idea. I don’t have any clear answers yet, but that’s kind of where my head’s at.

Whitney: [00:40:56] Yeah, I mean, I feel like if there’s something that you think would help your training, whether it’s a new Garmin or Woop or super shoes or whatever, then maybe that could be it that helps your training. Yeah, but yeah, I really like the idea of of Mark Allen just looking at your past training cycle and your race and what you did well. And I think just that, like periodic reflection is really good and just being darn proud of yourself like I — it’s I mean, I’m not one that likes to say that I’m proud of myself because I have like a lot of goals that I feel like I’ve yet to accomplish, and I feel like I have to get there before.

But I have, like, come out and said, I am very proud of myself for this, for this return to run and how I’ve been very disciplined and I’ve made mistakes. I mean, I strained my hamstring in the process with my run walks because I was trying to be good and run without a watch. And then my pace was too fast on the runs because I was just, like, so excited to be running again.

[00:42:03] But like, I’m very proud of how disciplined I’ve been with not running more than I’m supposed to and listening to my physical therapist and listening to my body. And so I think just just even like saying to yourself or to your family or whoever like, I am really proud of X, Y and Z. I’m awesome. I mean that. I mean, I think that’s a way to even just celebrate. It doesn’t have to necessarily involve purchasing something, I guess, or a massage. Massages are always great.

Jesse: [00:42:35] Solid answer. Whitney, where can people find you? Get in touch their questions. Want to know more about any of the topics that you like to talk about,

Whitney: [00:42:45] Including poop.

Jesse: [00:42:46] Including poop — I was going to say it I was going to avoid it.

Whitney: [00:42:50] By the way, the article was talking about the conundrum of tapering and then getting constipated. That’s what that article was about. Because anyways, yeah, it’s really easy. It’s TheMotheRunners.com. And then my social media, including Instagram, is @themotherrunners.

Jesse: [00:43:12] All right, Whitney, thanks for hanging out with me today.

Whitney: [00:43:15] Thank you for chatting. We covered a lot of bases.

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