As I mentioned yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak with Kara Goucher this morning.
I have been a fan of Kara since 2008, when I saw her performance at the TC 10 Miler (it was rainy and cold and she finished so strong). She is amazingly talented and it’s incredible to see how much she’s grown as an athlete. And hey, fellow Midwesterners are always great in my book!
Thanks for submitting your questions! I had a million of them running through my mind but didn’t want to keep her too long since she did have a busy day ahead. However, it was awesome to speak with her and hear her perspective on several things:
On the Olympics… I asked Kara what she learned from her Olympic experience (after a standout performance) and she said that she learned that she needs more strength.
“I ran a ton to build up mileage but I think we trained a few weeks too long and crested early,” said Kara. “But the marathon is tricky — I feel like the more you run, the less you know it.”
Kara did say that they are taking these learnings into account as her and Shalane prepare for Boston next April. So it’ll be exciting to see how it strengthens them.
On her family… Kara has been married to Adam Goucher for eleven years and they celebrate their son’s (Colt) second birthday next week. I think one of the things many people struggle with in today’s world, whether you have kids or not, is how to balance work (in Kara’s case, running) and family. Especially with our dependency on cell phones and computers, we often forget to give our family the attention they need and deserve. She mentioned that in between workouts, she gets to spend time with Colt throughout the day and once he goes to bed, they make sure its quality time for them to spend together for the health of their relationship. Such a great perspective!
On running… As Kara is focused on some shorter races over the next few months (she’ll be back in NYC for the pre-marathon 5k!), I asked her about her thoughts on tempo/speed workouts for the “everyday runner.”
“It’s really good to vary things,” Kara said. “For the everyday runner, it’s important to take a step back and not get into the doldrums of long mileage. Shake it up and do something different.”
Of course, I had to ask what advice she has for the everyday runner and I love her perspective:
“Running is a journey; you’ll have good and bad days. There are days you’ll hate it, and others you’ll love.
Just like life, it has ebbs and flows… but it is a journey worth taking.”
And to answer Lisa’s question about what Kara would do careerwise if she wasn’t a professional runner, she said she would go into social work and help kids in the foster system to help empower them. She said it is something that she has always wanted to do.
A great way to keep up with Kara and her running (Shalane too!) is through Nissan’s Innovation for Endurance campaign. They have an awesome blog and a Facebook page, and frequently feature articles from and about Kara and Shalane. For instance, Kara recently wrote an article about how she’s focused on building her speed. Innovation for Endurance is a great resource for athletes of all abilities so definitely check it out!
Also, check out my article on Examiner with additional details from our chat!