A running newsletter for women, by Molly Mirhashem.

Women to Watch

Some names to keep your eyes on this year 👀

GIF by Laurene Boglio.

Hello, and happy new(ish) year!

If you’re new here, welcome! This issue looks a bit different than the previous ones: to kick off the year, I asked a handful of women in the running world to share their “women to watch” in the community right now. It’s an undeniably exciting time for the sport, and these women are just a few of the reasons why. And I want to hear more! If someone else comes to mind while you’re reading these picks, shoot me a note with your addition.

The Picks

Allie Kieffer is my pick for woman to watch! She is one of the top U.S. marathoners right now. I first admired Allie from afar, but then got the chance to live and train with her for a few days while we overlapped in Arizona. That was a magical time. We'd wake up, drink our coffees, and then head out the door to train before the Arizona sun set in. What was most moving to me was how much I could relate to Allie, which is what I think so many people love about her. She is unapologetically driven, while also being warm, approachable, and able to have a sense of humor about our sport and her process. Just feeling her drive and curiosity for the sport and her own growth convinced me she will keep developing in the months and years ahead. Plus, she's fun to root for—she fosters positivity around her and it rubs off on you! I felt lifted after our time together and hope we get to train together again.”
Alexi Pappas, Olympian and filmmaker

Allie Kieffer@AllieKiefferSome rules need to be broken😜 Big thanks to @lindsaycrouse for so eloquently sharing my story. It’s been a privilege to shatter conventional standards and recognize my self worth is vested in who I am, not what I look like. https://t.co/PPi7qjXIsE

Rebeka Stowe: “Nike coach, former Big 12 champion, Olympic Trials finalist, 7-time U.S. outdoor championship qualifier—Rebeka’s credentials and accomplishments are staggering, but she’s also about to drop a training journal that is going to change the game. Stowe isn't just a killer athlete (she’s training to qualify for the Trials again), she's a remarkable coach. Her philosophy is based hugely in sports psychology, and distills the life-changing elements we learn from running and pushing our boundaries down into a few months—from self-efficacy and focusing on process goals, to reframing and reflecting on how we see ourselves as athletes. (That goes for everyone, from brand-new runners to BQ'ers and OTQ'ers). Coach Stowe is someone to truly watch.”

Kelly Roberts, founder of the Badass Lady Gang and She Can & She Did

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “I mean, if you haven’t seen the documentary about “Notorious RBG,” stop, drop, and go watch it right now. Love the opening few minutes with its music-video-style editing, with RBG working out at the gym in a sweatshirt that says “SUPER DIVA.” May her training keep her in good health forever and ever. *Fist pump*”

Sally Bergesen, founder and CEO of Oiselle

Ellie Fox: “She’s a young gun out of Boulder, but currently living on the road with her hubbie and also elite trail runner, Tyler Fox. Ellie gives zero fucks about what anyone thinks about her running. She just shreds miles, vert, and new terrain. Constantly. We lived together for a stint (well, we were the girlfriends of an already overflowing house in Boulder) and when I'd be eating breakfast at 9 a.m., Ellie would’ve already run up Bear Peak (~3k vert), gone to work (she worked the morning shift at Trader Joe's), worked on her van, proposed to her boyfriend, and taken her little dog on a walk. She once ran up Bear Peak in slippers in the dead of winter. She is now being coached by my coach, David Roche, and it's like she realized that she can run really fast all of a sudden. A shredder I'm proud to know!”

Clare Gallagher, professional ultrarunner

“One woman who is rocking my world right now is rabbit co-founder, Jill Deering. Jill is a MOTHER RUNNER. She just PR’d this past December at the California International Marathon in a blazing time of 2:48. PRing is amazing and all, but can we talk about how she just did this 8 months after having her first child? She is not stopping there. She is working her butt off to achieve her dream of getting the Olympic Marathon Trials standard. Between juggling a baby, the startup life, and her running, she’s an inspiration to so many women in our community.”

Monica DeVreese, co-founder of rabbit

Lornah Kiplagat was one of the best distance runners in the world, and a world-record holder in the half marathon. She saw that the potential for women's running in Kenya was enormous. She was very outspoken about the lack of training camps for women, and took her prize-money winnings and built a high-altitude training camp in Iten, originally just for women. At first her project was viewed skeptically. The camp has since grown into a world-class training center. She has an acute business sense, and a targeted philanthropic sense. She's one tough cookie, and I love her.”

Kathrine Switzer, women's running pioneer

“If Megan Roche isn't already on your radar, she should be. Not only is she an encouraging, motivating coach with a medical degree, but she and her husband (and fellow coach) David just co-authored my new favorite running book, The Happy Runner. I credit Megan with coaching me through building my mileage, but more importantly with helping me form a deep love of running. So far, she’s guided me through two ultras, and I hope to work with her more in the future! I recommend her services to all my running friends.”

Abigail Wise, online managing editor at Outside

Megan Roche@MegRoche33Amazon temporarily out of stock -> sat down to explain microeconomics of supply and demand to Addie Dog via kibble analogy -> Barnes and Noble in stock -> around-the-clock kibble temporarily supplied.

“I am having a very hard time picking just one woman, so I think that's a great sign for the sport. But performance-wise I can't help but keep coming back to Molly Huddle. She's going to race a marathon this spring (I can’t say which one yet!), and my gut is that it's going to showcase what she can really do at the distance, speed-wise. She's a student of the sport and she's been learning the marathon over the past couple of years. Now it seems to me she might reveal a deeper understanding of it and combine that with her unquestionable talent. I'm excited to see her results.”

Erin Strout, freelance journalist for Outside

Who’s Missing?

As for me, I’ve had my eye on Allyson Felix, for her recent openness about her pregnancy and motherhood as a professional runner; and high school standout Katelyn Tuohy, who’s been racking up more accolades than I can keep track of.

Team USA@TeamUSANo surprise at all to see 4⃣x Olympian @allysonfelix back on the track & ready to attack 2019 👍. (📸: IG af857Q

Thanks for reading! Send me your picks, and I’ll be back soon with another dispatch. Enjoy your miles.

Molly

Let the Boston countdown begin

Hi everyone!

First: thanks to all of you for reading and supporting this project. There are already many more of you here than I was expecting. It’s exciting to realize that so many other women (and a good number of men, too) were also looking to read something like this. I have some other formats and ideas cooking for future issues, but for this week, here’s another round of quick hits.

Boston, baby

The elite American field for Boston was announced this morning. Des Linden’s return is old news now, but I’m so excited to see her come back to defend the title. (Though once again, I’ll be running and won’t be able to watch. I may need to task some friends with shouting on-course updates as I run by.)

des_linden@des_lindenDownpour. Cold. #BeBoston. Headwind. Elation. Sunny. Breakthrough. Perfection. Camaraderie. Devastation. Tailwind. #RunBold. Debut. Heat. Humidity. Heartbreak. PR. Passion. What’s next at #BostonMarathon? Defend. @jhboston26 @johnhancockusa 📸: Abby Nicolas | @SInowL

Jordan Hasay is also planning to race, after pulling out at the last minute last year with an injury. (And then pulling out of Chicago after that.) I was so looking forward to Jordan’s run in Boston last year, and I really hope she makes it to the starting line healthy this year! Ahead of Boston 2018, I co-edited this profile of Jordan by writer Katherine Laidlaw. In my humble opinion, it’s definitely worth a reread now that she’s gearing up for the race again. Even though the field, and Jordan’s injury record, have changed leading up to this year, it’s a nice window into her relentlessly positive personality and athletic drive.

Shalane is absent from the list, though it sounds like (according to LetsRun) she may still be undecided. As much as I’d love to see her keep racing, I’m also really looking forward to her eventual next chapter as a coach. It’s about time we had more women in elite coaching!

Not done with Camille yet

I mentioned Camille Herron’s 24-hour record in the last issue, but since then, I edited this Outside interview with her, by Fritz Huber. There’s a lot to love here, but this part got me fired up:

“For me, it’s more about the history that I’m making and being able to raise the bar for the sport and for other women. I want to be remembered years from now. You can’t put a price on that. I want to be able to able to read my name in history books. I think of our sport right now as being like women’s marathoning in the ‘70s. It’s a cool part of history to see women just crushing it right now. I think it’s just going to get better and better. Maybe me being a marathoner moving up in distance will usher in more marathoners to try things like this.”  

Start them young

Kara Goucher’s inaugural running camp for high school girls is happening in January and currently accepting scholarship applications. (The scholarship deadline was recently extended to December 30.) It’s great to see that one of the themes of the camp focuses on pre-race anxiety—if only that existed when I was in high school! Spread the word to the young runners in your life.

Kara Goucher@karagoucherWhen I was younger my race anxiety often stole the joy of what I was doing. At KG Strong Camp, I’ll teach you how to deal with nerves. Plus talk injury prevention, self-esteem, self-defense and so much more! All while having fun! HS girls register here: https://t.co/Kmi1WnBBNU

Called out

Gotta keep ‘em honest. Thank you, ladies.

Emma Bates@emmajbates@FloTrack Will there also be a female list? Sub 4:30 perhaps??
Nikki Hiltz@Nikki_HiltzSo I had some time on my hands... 34 out of these 47 kicks are from men’s races That’s 72.3% Do men just have better kicks or are women just underrepresented in sport? I’ve both witnessed & been a part of some pretty epic race finishes so I’m gonna have to go with the latter https://t.co/hD073erkG0

FloTrack@FloTrack

Grab some 🍿 and watch 47 of the best finishes from 2018. https://t.co/pFpY6qN82w

Drop me a line

What’d I miss? Email me your thoughts about what you want to read more or less of. Also: for a future issue, I want to hear about the women in the running community who you have your eyes on right now—either for their race performances or for other contributions to the running world. Shoot me a note about who deserves a shoutout and why.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy your miles.

Molly

Welcome to The Kick!

A new running newsletter for women.

GIF by Laurene Boglio

Hello there!

I’ve been thinking for a long time about starting a running-focused newsletter for women. In both my personal and professional lives, I’ve met so many smart women who care deeply about this sport and have lots of opinions to share about it. Some of you are chasing an OTQ or trying to break three hours in the marathon, while others are just trying to squeeze in an easy six somewhere in your busy lives. And many times over the past few years, I’ve wanted to read a newsletter that feels like the best conversations I’ve had with my friends and training partners during a long run. There’s a lot of running media out there (some of it is great, and some of it... we’d be better off without), but I haven’t found that yet. This project is my attempt to fill a bit of that void. “For women” doesn’t mean that I’ll only cover female runners, but that will definitely be a focus. And if you’re not a woman and you end up loving this newsletter, that’s great too.

A tiny bit about me, in case you don’t know who I am: I’ve been running since elementary school, when I first found out that it counted as a sport. I eventually ran track and cross country at Tufts University, and in the few years since I graduated I’ve slowly (and at first, quite reluctantly) worked my way up to marathons. Right now I’m training for Boston 2019. I also work as an editor at Outside magazine—where I edit most of our running coverage, among many other things—though this project is just my own personal side hustle. I also write another newsletter called Pop a Molly.

For now, I’m not setting a hard frequency for how often I’ll send this out. When I have enough material to cover for a solid issue, I’ll send one. There’s still a lot I haven’t figured out here, and I welcome your comments and suggestions. The format will probably change from here, but to kick things off, here’s a rapid fire round of some of the things I’ve been thinking about:

The women of CIM

I still can’t believe it, but 99 women ran the OTQ at the California International Marathon—and 265 (!!) women ran under three hours. It’s honestly hard to wrap my mind around that many speedy women in one place. Watching my Instagram and Twitter feeds in the few days after the race, it felt like everyone I knew of who was racing completely crushed it. (On Outside’s running column, which I edit, Fritz Huber wrote about how the race has become a celebration of the high-level amateur. I totally agree.) It might finally be time to add CIM to my race calendar...

A new 24-hour record

Ultrarunner Camille Herron just set a new 24-hour world record by running 162.9 miles at the Desert Solstice track invite. (Honestly, nothing sounds worse than an ultra on a track—but it takes all kinds. I guess it helps that she had a taco and beer at 2 a.m.) Lots of people had their eyes on Courtney Dauwalter, who previously held the American 24-hour record and was aiming for the world mark. She ended up calling the attempt early, but she’s been crushing it all year and seems to have taken it in stride. I love this photo of Courtney and Camille, from photographer Howie Stern—reminds me of the “Shalane effect,” or just good old shine theory.

A tiny punch to the pay gap

There’s a trail race in Utah that pays out a higher prize purse for the top female runners than the men. It’s a small race (and a small prize), but you gotta start somewhere. I edited this piece for Outside, and it never ceases to amaze me how many angry dudes will latch onto stories like this and insist that moves like this are bad for the sport, or even that the pay gap doesn’t exist. In other words, we still have a long way to go.

Actually, Mr. Murakami

I also worked with writer Tatum Dooley on this essay for Outside about running and harassment, in the context of Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Admittedly, when I read this book years ago, this counterpoint didn’t even occur to me. Of course, in the years since then, there’s been a lot more dialogue around the harassment of female runners. And there’s been some great coverage of this issue already, but unfortunately there’s always more to be said. I think any female runner I know could relate to this line of Tatum’s: “Throughout my years of running, the catcalls have included honks (distracting); “Run, Forrest, Run!” (annoying); and crude remarks about my body (terrifying).”

Who needs toenails?

Sarah Sellers@SarahWhoSellersI wanted to paint my toenails yesterday. Then I realized I don't have nail polish. Or toenails. #thisisfitness #marathontraining

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your miles. Send me your thoughts on things I missed, and what you’d like to read here. Talk soon!

Molly

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