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Immrsspacecadet aka Erin Azar: Fun and Inspiration from Team Struggle Run

October 19, 2023 Carissa Galloway and John Pelkey Season 1 Episode 17
321 GO!
Immrsspacecadet aka Erin Azar: Fun and Inspiration from Team Struggle Run
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Interview with Erin @16:22

Discover the transformative power of running as we sit down with Erin Azar, better known as Mrs. Space Cadet, whose journey towards habitual running has sparked inspiration across the globe. Erin isn't just an inspirational runner, she's a visionary, using her experiences to connect, inspire, and empower others, particularly fellow mothers navigating similar life changes. We discuss her 30-day running commitment, the mental blocks she overcame, and the profound impact running has had on her life, physically and mentally. 

As we journey through her time as a content creator, her running escapades, and her exhilarating experience at the NYC marathon, Erin's stories will no doubt amuse and inspire. And as if that's not enough, she also shares her new role as the official hype woman for USATF – talk about wearing many hats!

We chat about 'Erin Tries,' a series that gives us a fresh perspective on trying out different athletic events. From her amusing encounters with the NFL player Juju Smith Schuster to her perceptive observations on children's reactions to social media, Erin's narratives are sure to offer entertainment and insight. 

This episode is complemented by the expertise and charisma of guest chatter, Jodi Chase, a celebrated Disney performer who knows a thing or two about entertaining marathon runners.

As we delve deeper into the world of everyday athletes, we also touch upon the Blue Zone Diet, running inspirations, and of course, we give you a sneak peek into Erin's future events. Get ready for stories that inspire, moments that make you chuckle, and insights that enlighten, all in one packed episode!

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...

John Pelkey:

Welcome to 321 Go the Podcast. I'm John Pelkey.

Carissa Galloway:

And I'm Carissa Galloway and we're bringing you stories from start to finish to keep the everyday athlete motivated to keep moving towards the next finish. I'm so excited for you guys to get to know today's guest a little bit. She's the captain of Team Struggle Run, a mom of three, a marathoner, a newly minted hype woman and a viral sensation. It's Erin Azar, aka Mrs Space Cadet. You are going to love chatting with her if you already know her and you're going to love getting to know her if you don't. We're going to talk about the blue zones and living to 100 with healthier you and open the mailbag to hear from a backyard ultra runner. Thank you guys for listening. Keep subscribing, keep sharing the love and keep doing what you're doing.

John Pelkey:

Let's do this Very, very special guest joining me here to chat a little bit before we move on to our interview. She is an incredibly talented Disney performer. Over the last close to 30 years You've perhaps seen her on the streets of Hollywood Studios as a citizen of Hollywood, any of the number of events she's done over the years. Perhaps recently you took a trip on a spaceship, perhaps you you ran into her there. You can find her any place people are performing, generally on the Walt Disney World property. She also happens to be my wife, the lovely and talented Jodi.

Jodi Chase:

Chase Aloha.

John Pelkey:

I'm so envious that Carissa is over there doing Iron man and she's just killing it.

Jodi Chase:

She's a rock star.

John Pelkey:

She is a rock star and so are you, as mentioned. That's why in Orlando circles I'm known as Mr Jodi Chase. And, by the way, folks, if you hear like dogs playing and barking, our dogs are just all over us right here.

Jodi Chase:

Yeah, because they well, it's the weather.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, it's beautiful weather here in Central Florida. For those of you who don't know, we had weather in the 50s last night, as we're recording this, which is open your windows, weather for sleeping, which is about as good as it gets down here, where generally living in Florida is like what Jody.

Jodi Chase:

Sweater weather. Oh no, you mean Wow, you mean you mean in general.

John Pelkey:

Edit. What is it like normally living in Central Florida?

Jodi Chase:

It's like living inside someone's mouth living inside someone's mouth. That is absolutely correct, so that is my friend Matthew Arter's quote. Alright, I don't?

John Pelkey:

I still attribution to Matthew Arter, who's probably not listening. Now one Disney. People will know you, jody, because, in addition to all the things that I mentioned and I just scratched the surface, you're generally there on race weekends, two out of three days, three out of four days, sometimes every day of a race weekend, entertaining out on the course. Now you do any number of different things. People most likely run into you when you're in a military persona.

Jodi Chase:

Yes, I love doing that. Yeah bossing people around you know that I can be bossing.

John Pelkey:

Yeah. I'm just well just wow, we want to do that Marriage counseling, the podcast. So we'll think about that. We could add it to the podcast network that we're starting. But you've done a number of different things while you're out there and I'm going to do this in the reverse order that we talked about. We were going to do it in just because I wanted to bring up what my favorite thing you've ever done is. So we mentioned you've done the military thing. You've done cheerleader type gigs of just all kinds of different stuff out there. So you have a favorite that I've done a favorite, my favorite that you've done, and it has little or nothing to do with you know. Yeah, because you're brilliant and everything. But shout out to our old director, john feeling, who once had you and some of our other friends dressed up as archaeologists and you were unearthing Disney attractions of the past that are now gone. So you are out in front of a 20,000 leagues under the sea submarine. What I remember the most, because it's the most lamented past ride for me, mr Toad's wild ride. Cars were out there, any number of different things that are no longer there. That is my favorite, outside of the military persona, which you also add to this podcast, by the way, at times. Do you have a favorite? Do you have one that you remember most? I think for me.

Jodi Chase:

I mean, I've done so many events and so many different characters that I love and I love to do again, but the one that sticks out is the one that I had the most fun, which was with my friend Eric Pinder, and we were just playing cheerleaders but we were having. It was like a barbecue set up and so we had like a. We had an RV behind us, as if you were tailgating you were tailgating with an RV and we were laughing so much because he's a very funny man and we were just playing off of each other and the wonderful thing is that the the runners understood that we were genuinely having a great time.

John Pelkey:

Yeah.

Jodi Chase:

And so it was infectious, just laughing hysterically, saying the most ridiculous things in the moment, just spontaneous, you know, commenting on what people were wearing as they were running by. And you know, eric is a very he's very funny, that's all I'm going to say. And he was he's very. He loves the sequence. And so anyone who's running by with sequence, he would just he would analyze their outfits. And I was, just, I was on the floor laughing and I think it's just that if we're having fun, they're having fun kind of thing, and it's not. I mean, it's hard work. Of course, yeah, who likes to get up that early in the morning?

John Pelkey:

but you're up hours after I am, that's true, I know, gosh, I can really complain but anyway that thanks for asking that yeah you can sleep into, like sometimes like 3am or something. Yeah, 245.

Jodi Chase:

I too, because I take care of the animals when you're in a luxurious resort. So there's that.

John Pelkey:

It's good to be the. It's good to be the king, yeah it. And I guess it also depends on what mile marker you're at as to that's how much fun you're having, like mile to everybody's sort of you know it's. It's a big party by mile 22, a little more stretched out, and people are in various I had and you know forms yeah.

Jodi Chase:

Yeah, and we live in Flatrida. I call it Flatrida, right, but I am always, is always seems that I am on a hill, yeah, like the highest point, yeah, so I usually call it heartbreak hill. You know, like, come on, you can do it.

John Pelkey:

Yeah Well, I think I think they position you there for a reason. I know I'm I'm really giving Mark for our director way too much credit. I think it's like people. People don't need cheered on when they're just running on a flat surface, but if you're going up the the many Hills, mount Florida's that we have, then then you need a little more. Now in addition to me to perform, you are a race announcer.

Jodi Chase:

I fell into that.

John Pelkey:

You fell into that because of you. I should explain. I do some outside work for CJ, the DJ, dj CJ. However, he's pronouncing it now I don't know, I'm not, I'm not in the loop anymore. He's awesome. I've done a number of races for him because he procures race announcers for some of the races around town and on a Thanksgiving Day. He reached out to me prior to Thanksgiving asking if I could do a race. And I couldn't because I always do a college basketball tournament at ESPN wide world of sports the Orlando classic, I believe it's called. Now it's changed names frequently. I was unavailable and out of nowhere, cj's like well, your wife is a performer. He knew you were a performer and that you're very, very entertaining and you've hosted things. Would she be willing to do it?

Jodi Chase:

and to your credit, you said sure yes, I will, and you know you're we well, I knew you were going to coach me and you're like the best of the best, so I'm like I can do this, thank you. Thank you, the best of the best. It's true. It's true. All right, now do that on a loop, do laundry and take the garbage out.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, exactly, but you should. Folks who should see my honey do list for after this recording. Honestly, it's like Dickens novel, but it was Thanksgiving turkey trot in Daytona. You've never announced a race before. I don't remember if you had to bring music as well, because sometimes you have to provide music.

Jodi Chase:

I did. I brought music. I've always had to play music. Okay, you provide music, and so I get a playlist together and and I it was on the beach, which did not hurt. I know, wait a minute, I'm the sunrise on Thanksgiving morning. Yeah, I had to drive a little bit, but it was beautiful. It was a beautiful morning, everybody was in a good mood, yeah, and my jokes were flying out of my face and and I was like this is I want to do this. This is fun, this is incredible. I mean, it's work too. It's not just fun, it's work, yeah, and and I became pretty much hyper, focused on how can I be better? Yeah, so I did one and I became I'm a little addicted, I'm a little addicted to, and you just did one recently.

John Pelkey:

You did the.

Jodi Chase:

Lady Trash Jack 5K and Lockheedman Park, which benefits, breast cancer and leave, yeah, lots of pink, lots of pink and all women.

John Pelkey:

Yes, no men, men allowed to run. In fact, I have an ungood authority that if a man had slipped in and tried to run, that they would have been physically removed by me, by you, and I'm 5 foot 1. See, I never get to do that, I never get to drag anyone off. I never get to drag anyone off the course oh yeah, they let me do it, it was wow, yeah, I threw a few, few men up.

Jodi Chase:

Okay, I didn't know, I didn't. Everybody was so, so wonderful. It was such a great experience and it just a lot of women running for a cause. They were empowered. I felt empowered. It was great. Even afterwards I get to my car and my car wouldn't start. Yep, your battery was dead and 5 women came to my rescue. No man, 5 women. Oh no, ryan from Saint Pete, runfest was.

John Pelkey:

Ryan Jordan from Saint Pete Runfest, which is a race that you and I announced together. Yeah, coming up soon. Coming up. Yes, as we're recording this, it's at about the 3 and a half weeks.

Jodi Chase:

It's the most fun. It is a really fun race.

John Pelkey:

So I think this will come out after that. But if you look into the Saint Pete Runfest, we also do a peer run around the 4th of July, which happens to be your birthday. It is my birthday and brings up a change of top. Yes, because there that's our, that's our dog.

Erin Azar:

Amy.

John Pelkey:

Lou, she'll, she'll, she's very talkative, she's pit bull and very talkative. You want to say something Do you want to say something to him? No, no, okay, fair enough, she'll only talk when she's not supposed to. But as we're recording this, yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. Yes, october of 1923, and you have been employed at Walt Disney World since 27 years I've been employed 27. That's 1996.

Jodi Chase:

I think it was that I came in, yeah.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, and I've been there since 99, not as a cast member started ESPN Club as an independent contractor, which I still am. You are actually a cast member. But our history for Disney goes back even further than that, to the point that long before we met 19 years before we met 19 being my lucky number, by the way, see what I did there. Yeah, we were both at the Magic Kingdom at the same time, pretty much, yeah, we're not 100% sure if we overlapped or not, because you were there for your birthday, which is the 4th of July. Yes, I was there for my birthday. I'm not sure if I was there for my birthday, which is the 2nd of July. I know I wasn't there on the 4th, but I think we were still in Florida elsewhere, because I seem to remember fireworks on the beach and we had some relatives who lived here. We may have been with them, but we were both there for the 4th of July ish time in 1976.

Jodi Chase:

Was the bicentennial.

John Pelkey:

It was the bicentennial, which was a big deal. If you don't remember back then, or you weren't born back then, or have somebody tell Google it. People, google it. It was. It was a lot of fun. We, my parents, have been planning that for quite a long time. Yours was a little more spontaneous.

Jodi Chase:

It was the opposite. We were from New Hampshire and we were going to drive to Cape Cod and spend the week on the beach and my father and my mother both spontaneously said let's go, let's just keep driving down 95.

John Pelkey:

Now I'm going to stop you there. I'm going to stop you there. I was over there, so this was not. I had always thought this story was that they told you and your brother, tony, that you were going to the, to the Cape. No, but they planned on going to Disney, but it wasn't.

Jodi Chase:

No, it was just. I'm pretty sure it was that I asked my mom, but I'm pretty sure it was just that spontaneous because we really weren't packed for that long of a time.

John Pelkey:

Nice that.

Jodi Chase:

I remember and we certainly didn't have a lot of sunblock because I got so sunburned Did I tell you that story?

John Pelkey:

was the 70s, none of us knew we were still. We're all done, so we drove down and I okay.

Jodi Chase:

So I remember being at the Magic Kingdom because that was the only park that was open, and I remember it was my birthday, we're on the 4th of July and Mickey Mouse handed me a certificate and it had graphics on it that was it's your birthday, july 4th. You know all that. I remember it, yeah, so well and it was. It's so vivid and I just remember as a kid feeling so excited that I was. You know, that's first I was in the spotlight. Can you believe? When I was seven years old, I wanted to God say your birthday is the 4th of July.

John Pelkey:

You have parties out for your birthday, whether or not anybody plans anything or not.

Jodi Chase:

My mother said I came out with a bang. Yeah, so that. That's. That's really my my oldest Disney memory, other than watching it on Sunday night.

John Pelkey:

Yeah. World of Disney and then flash forward what, 20 years later, and you're working as an anachomical player at the old wonders of life pavilion, speaking of archaeologists digging up an old, an old attraction.

Jodi Chase:

Yeah, and that's where you started and I've got, yeah and then I did World Showcase players and I did a show called Laugh 9-1-1, which was line amusement for fun 9-1-1 and and we drove around with this big truck and entertain people. Why they were in lines? Because this was before fast passes.

John Pelkey:

Yeah. All of that, so it was really there's a lot of that live in entertainment out on the streets that that, sadly for us, we don't see quite as much anymore because because times have changed Well, well, listen, happy 100th birthday to the Walt Disney Company. It's figured large in both of our lives. When I was a college, I dated a girl who worked there and was there all the time, and then ended up working there. We both started, though we should shout out to Universal Studios Florida, where you and I met at the horror makeup show, which we both still do infrequently very infrequent but our careers at Universal have stalled at the horror makeup show and remain there. But thanks for sitting in for the chat. Thank you, sure actress, race announcer all around, a wonderful human being, great mother to our fur babies, who have been folks much better behave than I had expected. We have two things that I thought would bleed over in our neighborhood, which, while we're recording this, which was our dogs making a lot of noise and our pit bull, emmy Lou, is very talkative, yes, and then the rooster that now lives next door.

Jodi Chase:

Yes, they have chickens and yes.

John Pelkey:

So we shout out to our rooster next door and we're going to shout out to our interview coming up with a Loha Carissa and me and Mrs Space.

Jodi Chase:

Cadets, I want to listen to this one Fun stuff.

John Pelkey:

Thanks, joe.

Carissa Galloway:

Want to shout out our sponsor, our travel agent. We love her. It's Katie McBride with Travel Nation. You can get her to get tips, stress-free Planning budget. She'll make everything for you. So follow her on Instagram at travelmation, show her that 321 Go Love. And you can find her at wwwtravelkadeymcbrydecom and that'll be in the show notes.

Jodi Chase:

Okay, civilians, it's time for the goods. Let's get on to the interview.

Carissa Galloway:

We are so excited to have this woman on the podcast today. She creates some of the funniest running related videos out there. You guys. They're so relatable, they're so perfect. Like us, she's a podcaster, captain of Team Struggle Run, mom of three marathoner, newly minted hype woman of USA track and field inspiration and viral sensation. Welcome to the 321 Go podcast, erin Azar, aka Mrs Space Cadet. Erin, how?

Erin Azar:

are you? I am good. However, I was late to this and I still feel horrible. I will not forgive myself, but other than that, I am very good.

Carissa Galloway:

It's okay, we forgive you. We are very forgiving people, but I specifically want to introduce you and John because I think you guys are going to bond, because John absolutely thinks running is the worst thing ever.

John Pelkey:

Don't get it, don't get it. Former Rand Trackin High School still don't get it.

Carissa Galloway:

Oh, wow.

John Pelkey:

I know.

Carissa Galloway:

I feel like you guys are kindred spirits of you know we forced him to run a 5K. He ran his first 5K after announcing for Run Disney for 20 years this year. Oh wow, still still hates running, still hates it.

Erin Azar:

Oh well, okay, I mean I but do you hate it? But you find that it like helps you with other things, like do you? Feel better afterward.

John Pelkey:

Well, I do, I do and I don't want to bury the lead because I know there's a question about that coming up at some point but I do. I feel better when I do it, but I cannot convince my pre-doing itself that that is the case. Only my post-doing itself buys that. Exactly, and full disclosure. I was a sprinter. I ran the quarter mile, which seems like a long distance at this point in my life too, but that makes much more sense than you know.

Carissa Galloway:

Golf carts are available for 26 miles, and automobiles and yeah, I don't want to ride a golf cart for 26 miles.

John Pelkey:

That sounds worse than a marathon to me.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, it really is. It's personal, especially in the front, because you know, John, I always sit on the back of the golf cart because I don't like the wind.

Erin Azar:

Right.

Carissa Galloway:

Okay, we're going to start with some heart-hitting questions there and we're going to dive right into this. We are a really top-level podcast, so in my. Googling, I went to Wikipedia. You know you have a Wikipedia.

Erin Azar:

Yeah, which still puzzles me, by the way, you can write this Correct. I would like to know how are they written, who does it and who can edit it, because I can't. I wanted to change my age because it said she was born either this or that.

Carissa Galloway:

This was my question. I need clarity. Oh, okay, like Erin was born in 1983 or 1984. So can you tell us, do you know the?

Erin Azar:

answer yes, so it was 83. I'm about to be 40. And so I was like I always thought that Wikipedia could be edited, so I was like I went on there once I found out that I had a Wikipedia page because they don't like notify you or anything, by the way. I found it because why would they? Right, I found it because I was looking for another article and then I, so I just googled my name to find an article.

Carissa Galloway:

That's where we start to.

Erin Azar:

And the Wikipedia thing came up. I'm like, oh, who did this? Like thinking it was one of my friends or something, and then I was like, oh, the birthday, I should correct that. So I went to like search and then I was googling like how to edit Wikipedia, but apparently it's only like certain people have. I don't know if it's like a credential or something, but like I, for example, could not go in and edit my own page.

Carissa Galloway:

Okay, I think I can help you, and the only reason I know this is my girlfriend. We're so off topic. It's amazing she was. She googled me, she texted me and I saw it in the morning because she was up at night. She was like I was drunk last night and I went to Wikipedia for a high school and I added you and me as notable graduates, so, and then I sent a screenshot to Western. He was like greeted that, didn't she? So I'm, she's a reporter, she's a journalist. So I'm going to ask her offline and I'll give that to you. I'm making a note to ask her about how you can adjust to it. I thought you were just being funny and I can say this too.

John Pelkey:

It used to be different. You could edit Wikipedia Anyone could edit it because my friend, mark Ferrer and I, who we're going to interview for this podcast he's our director for Run Disney we worked together at ESPN club and we used to sit in the booth with the computer and we would re-edit people's Wikipedia's with the most ridiculous stuff in there, just to see how long it took them. And in the beginning this is back I got I don't even remember when it was I started working there in 99, but it would take them a couple of days to pull it down and we would put some of the most violently horrible things on there, because that's kind of people we are. And then it got to the point where we noticed we put something up and it would. It would disappear in an hour. So they started to catch up with that.

Erin Azar:

And now I think they had to do it because they're reprobates like me who will redo? Your meeting, John. You ruined it for everyone. All I want to do is change the year of my birth, and I can't do it because of you.

Carissa Galloway:

I don't understand why the person writing it just didn't need that. Just don't put that information on there, then yeah, I guess. I don't know, like maybe they were looking at races and they were trying to like well, this first year was this old, but this first year was this old, that's true. So, like, all right, I think we've, I think we've done that, nailed it. How was?

John Pelkey:

your birthday, new Year's Eve and we're really not sure what the official time is. I mean there could be any number of questions, as to why it has two different years.

Carissa Galloway:

We've answered them. I feel like we've succeeded, John. We have answered.

John Pelkey:

I would like someone to change my birthday to 1983 if somebody could work on that, that'd be really great. That was my 19th birthday, so just throw it Good math. John, good math, yes, all right. Okay, struggle run we mentioned that in the in your bio before we got you on here, which makes a lot of sense to me because we've been discussing my struggle with running. But can we, obviously and we I know we can but can we honestly say running changed your life a great deal? Yeah?

Erin Azar:

Right, it really did. You know, aside from now, that's my full-time job. In terms of like the content I create, which is obscenely crazy, but in terms of just like. If we forget about, like the Instagram and all that stuff, like brand deals say none of that existed. What running did for me was was as someone who like quit everything that I started my entire life Like so. So that adds up and by the time you're in your 30s and you've quit everything that you've tried to start including like trying to get healthier after you know, having three kids and everything else like that, I would try it it starts to like become this truth that you kind of tell yourself. And then you start to think like, oh well, why would I start XYZ? Because I'm just going to quit or I'm going to fail, and what running did was because I started, I think, just out of like desperation. I was like I, if I don't move right now, I'm like going to go insane. And so I I committed to myself to just run every day for 30 days, just like a mile or whatever I could do. I don't, I don't like condone that. I don't say like, oh, just go run every day, for you know what I mean. Like that probably wasn't that smart, but just building that habit and then getting that little like sense of relief mentally, that that I don't know if it's like endorphins or whatever, but sticking with that a little did I know would like have this whole domino effect in terms of, like my health, my mental health, career eventually, which is crazy. But yeah, it's changed so much just from like that little decision to like I'm going to start this and there's no reason for me to quit it or or quote unquote, fail because I'm not setting any goals. Really, I was just like just run, do something for yourself, get outside, and that's what started the whole thing and I think, for you the 30 days you needed, that you didn't need it and some people can't have an excuse.

Carissa Galloway:

They can't have a. Well, I don't do it on Saturday and then it's hard to get back into. But yeah, what I, for me, I connect with with that story is I have two kids, you have three kids and I think a lot of it when you have those little kids, you know maybe it's not full on postpartum depression, but you're not who you were and I know there's a lot of women out there that are in that space. So, like you kind of talked about a little bit, but like just talk about how, if they are there and they don't even know where to start or they're too scared to start, like how did that help you personally, aside from physically, mentally?

Erin Azar:

Yeah, I could talk about this for hours, but I will try and shorten it and it so, first of all, you know, after you have even one baby gosh, I feel like some, even after you get a puppy, like someone doesn't even have like a human child, like there's a big life change where you are now taking care of another fragile being. You're not getting sleep and if you did physically birth a child, your joints are like not where they're supposed to be. I swear, when I went for that first run after having the third baby, I felt like my hips I think I said in a video that I thought my, my something, was going to fall out or down or something and like off of my body, it felt like my body parts were like not connected right. And it's crazy how, even after like a C-section, the doctor you go there to see if you're okay and they're like you could, you can exercise now and you could do it. And I'm like excuse me, I don't know if that's, but if you should be advising that and yeah, so it felt really weird and but I think what, what really kind of got me to a place of I need to do something was I would tell myself how will I feel in an hour if I don't do anything? And then how will I feel in an hour if I go for a 10 minute run. And I really had to stick with that and that's really what forced me to like. You know, I didn't have running shoes or running clothes or a watch or anything. I was wearing maternity clothes and a nursing bra and my sneakers I've said this before but like they had holes in them and I'm not saying like oh, they were just like old and ratty. You could stick your fingers through the holes, which I didn't realize. I think, cause, you know, in pregnancy sometimes your feet can get wider, and so they were pushing at the sides of these shoes, creating holes, and so I didn't have any of the right gear, I didn't have any of the right knowledge, but just thinking like, will I feel a little better in an hour? Yes, okay, just go, do what you can. And I think that's kind of what I try and tell people, because until you do that first step, you are stuck in. It's almost like paralyzing You're sleep deprived, you're stressed out, you might have postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety, and if you have those, you might not even know, like I feel like three years later I'm just now thinking I don't know if I was okay back then. You know, and I think that's relatable. I was talking to a friend about that the other day. We went for a walk together and she's kind of still in that phase of her youngest is still kind of young, maybe one and I was telling her that I'm like okay, my youngest is four and I'm just now realizing I think I was unwell.

Carissa Galloway:

I don't remember my daughter's first Christmas. Like I cannot remember it. She was probably six months old and I like I can see a picture in my head, but like it's so hard when you're in it, and so I think that when you can go out and run, it's like an acceptable excuse to leave the house right, like we're not gonna be like I'm just gonna go watch TV. That feels selfish, or like it feels like, oh, they're working on themselves, so no one can judge me for this, and it's crazy that our brains play these tricks on us, like I don't deserve to do this, but you doing that was so powerful for you personally. But then you know so many people you know connected with that, right, john?

John Pelkey:

Yeah, absolutely, and you know, I want to bring that up as well because you have said one of the reasons that you're so popular is you've addressed the vulnerability you feel, and there are millions of people who get out there and run and don't consider themselves runners because you're talking about it before they you know runners let's do the air quotes runners the people who have their toenails removed so they can run further and set these ridiculous goals for themselves, and all of that. I mean that is one side of it, but you've said you don't really feel like a runner At this point. Now it's become a vocation, for gosh sakes. And you are so inspirational. Do you call yourself a runner and how can you help people to overcome and I love this? Karissa gave me this line pace-induced anxiety, where you feel like, if you're not, you know, if you don't set some sort of goal and get to that goal, what do you first of all? Do you call yourself a runner and how do you address that to people who are feeling the same way?

Erin Azar:

I think at first I did not call myself a runner because I think I just had the wrong mindset about it. At this point I'm like if you run and you want to be called a runner, then you are a runner. Like kind of looking at it black and white, not necessarily, like, oh well, this person runs really fast and said that I can only be a runner if I run at XYZ pace. I don't care if you're running and then you're walking a mile and then you're running 30 seconds. If you want to say that you're a runner, you have every right to say you're a runner and I kind of wish that. Like I had that mindset when I started, because it is a little I don't know, demoralizing in a way. Like it's so easy to put yourself down If you have some self-doubt in the beginning and you're looking at that pace and you're like how is this ever gonna get faster? And I need to get faster if I'm gonna say that I run or if I tell people that I'm a runner, or I don't want to tell people I'm a runner, because they'll look at how I look, they'll look at the size of me and think, no, you're not. So there's all these stories and quote unquote truths that we tell ourselves, and a lot of that is from previous life experience. That's where those truths come from. But I say quote unquote because they are absolutely not true and a lot of times we're projecting onto other people what they might think and those people really don't care, and if they do, they have some issues of their own to work out. So yeah, I do call myself a runner. I think anyone who wants to be a runner should call themselves a runner. And then the second part of your question. To get over that like pace, I think you called it pace induced anxiety.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, I love that phrase actually Cause I mean I think it's for you know, it spoke to me because, again, I was an athlete in high school and everything, and your mind gets in this sort of set where it's. You know, my, if I'm gonna start doing this and every day I should see improvement. And that's not really how it works. It's, it's fitful, even in the times that you can run, the distances you can run. So it is something and I'm gonna. I'm gonna put that on the t-shirts we're trying to come up with t-shirts pace induced anxiety on the back of my t-shirt so people can see that when I'm running.

Erin Azar:

No, I think that's good and I think it's very relatable. The problem I feel like comes into play when someone's just starting to run, or maybe they're just starting to increase their distance and they wanna train for something further than like a mile or a 5K. That's when you're gonna have to obviously slow down your pace or maybe do like a run walk kind of thing, and I feel like if you're trying to hit a certain pace, all that's gonna really cause is self doubt, because you can have a really great run, hit that pace and then your next run is horrible. Or you have a horrible run and your next run is great, and it's way too easy to be like well, if you had a bad run, you couldn't meet that pace. Well, how am I gonna meet that pace in a race then? So I feel like I don't know if someone is a beginner and you're not out there to win money or like beat this life goal that you have, that you've been working toward forever. Really just don't even look at your pace, look at your heart rate or something. You know what I mean. Like there's other things to track to show your progress. For me, I've been focusing on heart rate lately.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, that's good. That's a good advice and you know we're big run walk advocates in this, Of course.

Erin Azar:

yeah, yeah, yeah.

Carissa Galloway:

In the house. You're in the halo of run, walk, run, love it, I love it. Yeah, you've been very outspoken from the beginning, and this is kind of how your journey got started. Was that brands don't represent all runners? You know, you've been trying to make sure that when someone looks at Google's running things or looks at an ad, that they see a runner that looks like them. Do you feel like you've been able to make progress in that area?

Erin Azar:

I feel like, in a way yes, I do feel like there are brands that are especially brands that have worked with me in the past. We've done campaigns that are very much like running your own way and, like with Nike, I did one that's like making or creating your own PR, like come up with your own PR, that it doesn't have to be like a Boston qualifying time, it can be anything. So for me, I wanted to see how far I could run up this like extremely steep and long hill near my house and kind of beat that PR. So I feel like some brands have been making some progress in getting there and working with people who look different or run different. I feel like there's still work to be done, because it is very intimidating for a new runner in the space to see like a Gatorade or I don't even know. I'm just like calling that out. I don't even know if they use like running models, but obviously a beginner runner also needs to hydrate with Gatorade. But when they're constantly inundated with these extremely fast, high level athletes drinking Gatorade, they're gonna be like it's not like you're consciously thinking this. By the way, this is all subconscious. You know what I mean. So if I go into a store and I see mannequins of all different sizes, I naturally gravitate toward that section. I know like Nike had a display like that and Dick's Sporting Goods when I was there and that was like instantly in my head I'm like, oh okay, that's how those shorts would look on me Instead of before. If they just have their stick model mannequins, I would walk right by and be like, nope, those will not fit me, they're not gonna look right. So I feel like little things are being done to make progress and make it more like welcoming to a lot of runners, but I mean, for me I was so intimidated to even go into a running shoe store like to get fitted for running shoes, because I felt like I didn't look like a runner and people do I mean yeah, go ahead John.

John Pelkey:

No, it's gonna say that's a really, really great point. Because you know people who are Interested in what I do when they talk about hosting the races and everything, and you say you know people running a marathon and running their first marathon at Disney One of the things that struck me from very, very early on and it's because my mind was conditioned to think if you were a runner, you look like Usain Bolt or you look like Dave waddle. For the people my age back there, you're just this you know zero percent body fat, great athlete, and I was just. It was remarkable to me the number of people who Finished the race and actually even people who are getting pretty impressive times, do not look like a runner. So I think we are preconditioned to think this is what you need to look like. If you do that and and it's and it's it really isn't true. And the vast majority of people who are quote-unquote Runners and are out there doing it, they don't have the zero percent body fat, just eating 77,000 calories a day to keep their metabolism. They aren't those type of people and and I think it was a really, really great point because if you're, if you have any interest in marketing at all, why would you market towards the smallest yes that you can find, but we are pretty. You know, we watch the Olympics when we're a kid. We see these people at a very, very high level. So it's, it is really interesting. All right, I want to talk about some of your achievements, because I'm a little bit obsessed with the New York City Marathon, simply because I love New York and I know the logistics that go into putting a marathon on, and the fact that they can do it there amazes me and I'll put it out there in the universe. That's my blue sky. Get to announce the New York City Marathon. You ran in 2021 for the Michael J Fox Foundation because your father sadly has Parkinson's disease. Can you talk about that experience running that, and what? The idea of running for at least partially for that cause? What? What was that like? What was that experience like?

Erin Azar:

I'll tell you what you mentioned logistics and I immediately thought of just getting to the start line. So to for me it was Getting from a take in Uber from the hotel to the ferry station, taking the ferry to the bus station, taking the bus to the start line village and then walking past I called it, the Porta Potty village, to your Corral, like whichever one you were assigned, and then in that corral, you're still walking like I felt, like at least a quarter mile To approach where you will start the race.

Carissa Galloway:

So if you ever run again, I think you've reached enough celebrity where maybe you can get on the bus and you can forgo the ferry portion, maybe. Right, like that's how you know you made it right.

John Pelkey:

Skip the queue, always skip the queue. Use your celebrity for that. That's always a great idea.

Erin Azar:

I'll tell you what. I did get special treatment in terms of Start time because that next morning I was supposed to be on the today's show and they wanted footage of me finishing the race In the daylight. So and I said it listen the pace that I run, I will be finishing in the dark. So they actually I don't know who pulled what strings, but I started at 9 am, which is very early. I was not, so that's fast people and I Did my best to. Sometimes I would fully get off the course because I would hear the stampede's coming. Every wave of runners Was, you know, coming fast and fast and fast, and so I would get off the course because I didn't want to mess anyone up. Like these are people that are really I, that could like make or break someone meeting their PR, you know. So I'm like the whole time, while all these waves of runners are going by, I'm like hopping off the course, and I will say that it was such a cool marathon to run. Every burrow that you run through is like a different vibe. You feel like you're in a different world almost. There's different music, different ethnicities, different foods that you smell and different signs like it's so cool To see and running for that cause. Of course I was like super proud about we raised I think toward the end it was like 70 some or $70,000 or something for the Michael J Fox Foundation. Yeah, I felt very purposeful running it and I think that helped a lot. But that was also the first time that I I because you know, before that it was kind of still Lockdown ish, like the things were still closed. I think my kids still weren't back at school, and so that was the first time I saw people in person that recognized me, because, yeah, so before that it was Sometimes like in public, like at a grocery store, someone would say something, but this was like constant throughout the whole race. People had like missus space cadet signs and Things like that. So I think before that, the comments and the likes and stuff, it's hard to understand that those are actual people and not robots or something. So that was very eye-opening too for that makes me happy for you.

Carissa Galloway:

Just thinking about that. Like this is this, is this is real? Um, this is not a question on our list, but just thinks about thinking about it. Is it funny when people like they call you missus space cadet? Yeah, that's obviously not your name. Is Aaron? Um, right, you know it's like is that?

Erin Azar:

is that weird at all yeah, I mean they'll say that and and or oh you're the running lady, or oh you're the short scobbling Lady, or so you know, there's all these like different things.

Carissa Galloway:

People will recognize me for that's a shirt, john shorts, gobbling lady yeah that's it.

John Pelkey:

No, another shirt.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, you know I struggle. I think about you a lot when I pick out my shorts, because I got there's gobblers in there.

Erin Azar:

So yeah, I mean it doesn't make you doesn't do good for the self-esteem. Doesn't and if you're having a bad day, you know, like when you get your pocket or something like Stuck on a doorknob and it makes you, like, really angry, because you're already angry, and then you're like, oh, you know, that's how I feel. If I'm in a bad mood and my shorts start writing up my thighs like, forget it, I am so angry because it, like it takes it to the next level. It's so annoying. It's their fault, it's not, it's their fault.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, they're terrible you don't? You don't have this issue, but it's it. Maybe we should run. We could use some short shorts and you could go run and see. Just see what I so yeah.

John Pelkey:

I do have nice legs.

Carissa Galloway:

Gobbled, you don't. You don't know the the physics behind it. I'm right, all right, let's talk about your, your role now that you have as the official hype woman at USATF. John and I are extremely jealous of this. He's got to do some really cool things, so tell us about it.

Erin Azar:

Yeah, that actually came about because I I was following USATF. I saw I think it was footage from a road race or something like that, and I thought that that you know how, like the NFL, they have water, water boys, water girls. They run out with the waters he's, they squeeze the water in the players mouth of, then they run off. I thought that's how running worked for these track and field athletes. So I DM them and I was like, hey, I think it'd be really cool if I could be a water girl and you know. So obviously they're like you know that's not how it works, but we would love to work with you on other stuff, like you could hold the finish line tape and Do these other things. So that's how I got started with them. And then I'm not even sure how the Aaron tries series Came about, like who suggested it, if it was me or them, but that has turned into a whole Beast of itself. I tried every event of a heptathlon I and for each event I was paired with a different athlete. So those videos are some of the favorite, my favorites, that I've ever made. They performed with really well and I think people just like seeing someone Like a normal person. Try, you know these events because the athletes make it look very easy. You watch the Olympics and I'm, you know I'll watch swimming, for example. I'm like, yeah, they're fast, but I want to see someone who you know isn't a professional swimmer. I want to see their pace.

Carissa Galloway:

I think there's room for growth for you to like swim next to you know. I think so. Some of the sweat, katie, the decky, I mean, I think they're. I would be interested to see that the difference yeah. Doggy paddling. Yeah, yeah, yeah, don't stop it. Don't stop it track, keep it Right.

John Pelkey:

you can go if there's anybody my age or older, you'll remember. This is time honored George Plimpton, who's people, who's probably been lost to history. Was a writer who who used to do that. He played quarterback in the preseason for the Detroit Lions. He played goalie for the Boston Bruins in a preseason game and he used to do those. He you know the average guy doing that and and I'm just gonna throw this out there because it's an interesting piece of minutia, that means nothing to anyone, but I am just a font of useless minutia when he was asked and he did dozens of things. When he was asked what the most stressful thing to do, he played triangle with the Boston Pops and he had to come in at the exact time. It's that was more stressful than playing Quarterback. So I love yes, follow that line, because as a kid I used to love to watch those. They even made movies. There's a movie called paper lion with Alan Alda about that. So that that's one of my favorite. I agree with you, aaron. I want to see, because people don't know. Unless you stand on the sidelines of an NFL football game yeah, they look big on TV unless you stand next to a track in a world championship race, you don't really get it. Go ahead and you watch an NBA game and, like Steph Curry looks short. He's the sixth three, I believe, I mean, and he's the shortest guy in court. I love that idea, I will support that a hundred percent, and I would like to be your, your official announcer for all of them, john will hype you.

Erin Azar:

I would love to hype them, and then John Hipes you.

Carissa Galloway:

I would love that it's also facts that he has all these these facts. So you mentioned NFL players. Were you in a commercial with an NFL player?

Erin Azar:

Yeah, actually Juju Smith Schuster, who's? He was on the Kansas City Chiefs and now he's on the Patriots. We were both sponsored by sleep number and they were like, hey, this would be great if you guys could film together. And I do not watch. Well, now I do watch football because of the.

John Pelkey:

Taylor Swift.

Erin Azar:

No, I Did see that it's all over everything. I think that's the cutest thing in the world, no, and I love that. Swifties can just take over anything like they can. They probably increased the NFL Viewership by like a hundred ten percent. You know what I mean. They can carry the world, and I love it. But so, after meeting Juju, though, and filming with them, and like we were, we did some drills together and we played catch, which terrified me because I was scared to catch a football. I Actually started watching football because I'd be. I would be like, oh there he is, oh good, he caught the ball, you know. And so I kind of became this fan and I'm from like Eagles territory, yeah.

Carissa Galloway:

I'm the Red Star fan right, sorry the commander snag. Sorry.

Erin Azar:

And so I, you know you're, you're just born with this innate need, even if you are not a football fan, to just say go birds at inappropriate times. So as Juju was signing Jersey for me and a football, I said go birds. And he really thought it was hilarious. It could have went the other way, but he had a really good sense of humor and, yeah, we still like text message each other. I think we're, we're like kind of friends, no friends, and yeah, it's, it's. It was a really good experience. I think it was funny for him to meet me who, who did not know who he was, did not know anything about football. So I think it was like this huge contrast between us that kind of Made us work well together.

John Pelkey:

I by the way, that's great advice for anybody who meets famous people have been lucky enough in a lot of my jobs to meet my dad, worked at the White House. I met presidents, made a lot of famous people if you, if you do know who they are, pretend that you don't. Will make they'll have a conversation with you. Otherwise, if you're just some sort of fawning, you know, all over them, try not to be an Eagles fan and curse them out if they were Play for the Cowboys or the Giants. I know that's difficult, but that is really really good advice. All right, I want to ask you, because you mentioned your kids earlier what do you kids think about all this? Is it you know something? Do they look and go? Might be questionable, or they into it?

Erin Azar:

They think I'm hilarious, but they're still young, our oldest Nine. So they're nine, six and four. The four and six year old don't really get it. They don't really know what I'm doing, they just they see me film videos and they'll laugh. But my oldest understands, because the teachers at her school Watch my videos and she like overhears us talking about things. So she's kind of grasping the idea of mom makes these funny videos. They make other people laugh and I think mom's funny. So I mean that's not gonna last long, it's, it's gonna turn into, you know, probably like, oh my gosh, here she goes again. Mom, so weird, like my. My mom was perfectly Normal. She was a kindergarten teacher like sweetest lady and I was. I remember being embarrassed by her as a teenager. So I just feel like, no matter what I do, they're gonna be embarrassed. So why not have fun and make other people laugh while I'm doing it?

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, my daughter's eight, so we're still in the like mom's cool. Oh, I don't want it to go away, but I'm sure, I'm sure.

John Pelkey:

I think I still do embarrass her, but my job requires a little bit more embarrassment some of our costume, but also that that age, like eight or nine, is when you start to as a kid at least it from my memory we start to develop your likes and dislikes. That's when I really started to follow sports and I realized that I really liked music and theater and all those things. So it's an interesting thing to have a parent who is so out there Socially, professionally, it's. It's that has to have a really kind of cool effect on on a kid. I love, I love that.

Erin Azar:

Yes, someone, actually we were. I was running over the summer and my six-year-old was on his bike and someone drove past us. We were at the at the shore, and she turned her car around, parked it and got out like freaking out, you know, oh my gosh, I love your videos, or you know just something, can I get a selfie? And of course I'm like, oh, yeah, you know, and Mike, you know, son is standing there watching this, and then she gets back in her car and we're on our way and he's like what, what was she excited about? And I'm like I don't know. I think she just really liked your, your bike riding skills, you know, and and he like he accepted that and he like, so he's like, yeah, and he like dinged his little bell. Oh on his bike and Because I feel like they they don't have, you know, social media and Stuff, so it's hard to explain what that is. It's kind of like an abstract, very abstract for them.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, my daughter looks at phones now, so she gets it a little more than her dad lets her. So, yeah, better force that's out of my control. But yeah, no, that's, it's there and that's so funny that your son just took yeah, man, I'm cool.

Erin Azar:

He's like yeah, I'm really good at riding bikes.

John Pelkey:

Oh, maybe be a professional BMX rider at some point. Maybe it'll be that moment or a win the Tour de France. So we're gonna look back and we're gonna see those things when you're that age have an effect on you.

Erin Azar:

The thing of confidence there it is.

Carissa Galloway:

So we're talked about all the benefits of social media. That is your job, so do you ever have sort of that Analysis? Paralysis are like I'm just running and I'm not funny right now. Like what? Because I think even Every day people like me are like as I'm running a race, I'm like it's going well, or if it starts to go bad, well, what am I gonna say? How am I gonna explain this? And I think elite athletes feel that too. So how do you deal with that?

Erin Azar:

Luckily, like from the start, I was just very Concrete in how I said things. If I was having a difficult run, I would say it this sucks, you know, and I would explain why and how I felt. And if I was having a good run, that's what I said. That being said, though, there are times where I need to do a workout, and today was actually one of them, and I'm like dealing with cramps and things are going wrong, and my daughter left her lunch in my car, so I had to drive it to school and, like you know, my whole morning is kind of Not great, and I Actually didn't film anything about it. I took a picture, you know, and I thought I could like write about the Workout afterward. But there are some times where it's like I don't even, I can't even think of a word. It's not like like I don't, oh, I don't want to film this, because it's it's I don't feel great, or I'm not doing well, or or that kind of thing. It's like I can't even think and I just have to get this workout in so that I can go about my day. Those are times where, like, I won't, I'll film it because I I just can't talk, and that's okay.

Carissa Galloway:

You know, do you feel pressure about that? It was like that's fine, this is life and people right.

Erin Azar:

It's more like this is life. I can't do anything about that, I just my my brain. You know, if I'm running on empty, it's not gonna work and therefore there will be no video, and I don't really think that anybody cares. I.

Carissa Galloway:

Was gonna say because we've talked about other people have said. Brittany Charbonneau, who was a, is a professional, I'm not from the North Face said like I think they nobody cares and I actually thought I was very freeing for me. We're like yeah, I was like, nobody really cares. We think it's great when they do.

John Pelkey:

I was just gonna say when in doubt, just take a picture of whatever you're eating at that point in time and put it on there, because people do that all the time. Oh, look at my lunch Just yeah, totally throw that out.

Carissa Galloway:

There, are you judging me, john? Thanks so much.

John Pelkey:

Of course, of course I'm judging, that's my job, that's my job. And you say horrible things to me. Alright, you know, we do all the run Disney races and the running is secondary to run Disney races to the costuming. So, aaron, you're running a run Disney race. Who you gonna dress up as? What's your costume gonna be?

Erin Azar:

You know what my first question is does it have to be a Disney character?

John Pelkey:

Absolutely not.

Erin Azar:

Yes, oh, okay.

John Pelkey:

Absolutely not.

Erin Azar:

Cuz I am. I am not up on my Disney, I have to admit. I I have three kids, but they it's not like they don't watch movies, I don't even know. They like weird stuff. And my oldest kind of put it in the Her head and the other two that like Disney is for little kids. I'm like, excuse me, there are plenty of adults that are very into Disney and it is not a little kid thing, so I think it. I'm just not up to par with the characters. However, if I can dress as anything, I would probably go with like a food item I'm not sure which, but Definitely those are one, and I know finish like a six foot churro oh.

John Pelkey:

Those are got to be really difficult to run in because the wind coefficient when you're like a big waffle.

Erin Azar:

That's yeah that and they do marathons in this or the shorter no they do.

John Pelkey:

No, you have. You have absolutely no idea they are, and I say this with all due respect they're insane.

Erin Azar:

I need to come, I think, witness at first and like, can I be in the announcing booth with you guys and just watch?

John Pelkey:

Sure.

Erin Azar:

I want to watch them.

Carissa Galloway:

We're gonna talk to our director next. So yeah, I think you, you're invited at any time. I think there would be a lot of we do. We have four of us typically, so two of us are on stage and then two people are doing interviews, so you're already ready. Okay, you know for that, that portion of it. We've just fired Riley Claremont, john.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, well, it's alright, he's. He's mr Mom up there in North Carolina. Now he doesn't want to work anymore. No, and I don't blame. The thing is to Aaron, you have to understand, is it's not just straight-ahead costumes, they're like mashup costumes. Yeah, like somebody will do. It's like a Peter Pan Darth Vader mashup Darth Peter. Oh I love that do stuff like that and they dress up diligently done. They get like six people together who do the monorail.

Jodi Chase:

I mean there's all kind of bizarre and.

John Pelkey:

And, like I said, there are people who will admit they spend more time thinking about and putting their costume together Then they ever do training to run.

Erin Azar:

I love that, I'm all. I am loving that mentality like.

Carissa Galloway:

I am all about that yeah it's very fun. Well, we'll get you, we'll get you hooked in and then you can kind of, yeah, establish your baseline and see where you feel comfortable going, because you know some people do a little low-key, maybe be like a mashup with a shirt. But then there are the people if you've seen Finding Nemo, the Darla, whatever her name is that puts the fish in the bag. Someone was the fish in the bag. They were in a plastic bag. Doesn't seem intelligent like you're in, literally in a plastic bag, wow, okay.

Erin Azar:

Yeah, they go, they go hard. So I love the creativity and I love the dedication to that.

John Pelkey:

It's not, and we're always disappointed if we can't figure out the mashup, because sometimes it's like what I think, because they just go so deep and it was like, well, it was. A character is on screen for 11 seconds during the fox and the hound, and then this other character that only appeared in a Walt Disney Obituary video. I mean, they go way deep in this.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, yeah deep. It's crazy Wow.

John Pelkey:

Insane I'm gonna so a lot of the run, disney athletes.

Carissa Galloway:

They are thinking about our marathon. Weekend is in January and there's something called dopey challenge, which is the four days of racing, and a lot of them they choose this as their first ever race. So but what we hear a lot is that people sign up, you know, and then they the the realness sets it and they say I'm not good enough, I can't do this, I'm gonna fail. As someone who I've heard before has dealt with those same Demons while you're training, what is your pep talk for someone who's in that moment of I'm not gonna be able to finish this? How do we get to that finish line?

Erin Azar:

I think what I wish somebody told me when I was training for New York City is Just, you are doing the training, you're out there doing the training, runs if you, if you and if you have a bad run, those are the times where you're like there's no way that I'm gonna be able to. If I can't run 10 miles, how am I gonna run 26.2? Or if I can't run you know whatever, how am I gonna run XYZ? It's such a pointless mentality, because if you are doing the training and you're taking care of yourself At least a little bit and you're staying consistent, your body will do it and it's gonna feel really amazing. And then it's gonna feel really crappy and that's gonna feel really amazing all throughout those longer distances. But you just have to remember that your body can do it. There's a there's a reason why training is what it is, because it gets you to that point where you can finish the distance. So I think, though, the worst thing you could do is is let that self doubt in, if it helps. Sometimes, I would kind of like personify myself doubt as a little character. So maybe the, the Disney fans would maybe like to create a character, and because it does feel like this angry little Monster is sitting on your shoulder and kind of like whispering these things in your ear. So just you know, picture yourself just punting that thing or smashing it with like a big hammer or something Like get it out of there, don't let it in, because that's it's only gonna cause you more harm than good.

Carissa Galloway:

I think you've just made a lot of people a really good tool, given a lot of people they're really really good tool, maybe, maybe John included. All right, we're gonna do a little rapid fire. It's you and John, so you're both. Oh partaking. Unfortunately, john has seen these questions and you have not. They're not hard though, all right, and yet to be quick, you have to talk quick. We gotta think with John one thing you like about running.

John Pelkey:

Like the way I feel when I'm finished.

Carissa Galloway:

Erin same question. Oh, absolutely I agree, john, in two things you hate about running chafing, and the way my muscles feel 48 hours after I finished.

Erin Azar:

Erin same question the amount of preparation that a long run takes and, yes, chafing.

Carissa Galloway:

Okay, all right. Okay, erin, you're gonna start this one off. Best post race food to eat.

Erin Azar:

Oh, I'm not. I am not good at this. I would direct questions to Featherstone nutrition, but it's post you're done.

Carissa Galloway:

You can party, though.

Erin Azar:

Yeah, I know, but oh, like to enjoy.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, I'm a dietitian too, so I'm not judging you. Yeah, you just ran New York City Marathon. What do you?

Erin Azar:

want to eat. Oh, oh, totally pizza, absolutely pizza, and like cheesecake or something, john.

John Pelkey:

Well, I would you know, I would jump in with pizza at any time as well, but since the races that I've run my 5K is a Disney race and I'm up at one o'clock in the morning for that, and my call time is 1.30 am I would say an omelet, because by the time I'm done with the day, I want an omelet and I'll take Fancy Pants there and my obsession with the bear continues. I want that omelet with the borsen cheese and the crushed up, the crushed up ruffles, sour cream and onion potato chips on it. That's what I want at the end of my race.

Erin Azar:

That was the best scene of that show.

John Pelkey:

Oh that show. I'm obsessed with it.

Erin Azar:

Same.

John Pelkey:

I'm so glad that I got to see the 7 of that. It really it caused me to question how I go about my life, frankly, for a second. It really did. It really did. I'd watch what Richie went through and that, what that episode did, makes me emotional yeah. It was amazing.

Erin Azar:

Yes, I feel you.

John Pelkey:

And the Christmas episode is the easiest and hardest thing to watch at the exact same time.

Carissa Galloway:

Yes, sorry, chris, I know you're not up on your bear. No, I'm so glad that you get this moment because you keep trying to get me. You tried to poke me with the bear and I don't know, so I'm so hot. Go, john, just go. I'm so happy for you.

Erin Azar:

I feel the same way. You feel like you're sitting in on a really awkward conversation and you can't get away. But you can't like you. You want to see what they're talking about in it, but it's uncomfortable.

John Pelkey:

You have to pause it at one point. So I got to pause and go out and get something. Yeah, it's an amazing show. Carissa, stop drop all these jobs you have and sit down for like an entire week and watch the whole series of the bear.

Jodi Chase:

Yeah, no big deal If you've ever worked in food service.

Carissa Galloway:

Holy hell if you've ever worked in food service PTSD If you've ever worked at Binnington's in Tallahassee, Florida, thank you.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, it'll give you PTSD, but in the good way. Yeah.

Carissa Galloway:

Well, you said the word awkward. So, Erin, what is your most awkward running moment?

Erin Azar:

I think mine have to do with my neighbors seeing me film myself on my runs, Like when I was first getting started. Now they're just like, oh, there's that lady that does that. Yeah, I think the first time that happened I was like, oh my gosh, that must have looked really weird, because I didn't realize the person was there. John, what is?

Carissa Galloway:

your most awkward running moment.

John Pelkey:

Six Lap Relay, high School 1981. I'm going to say I'm running the Six Lap Relay and I had a really nice lead in my 220 and I turned around to look behind me and the guy passed me while I turned around to look behind me. And they always tell you, never turn around to look behind you. So it was that, or when I tried to drink water when I was running my 5K and I essentially missed my mouth.

Carissa Galloway:

I say on stage, I say this you squeeze the cup.

John Pelkey:

I know.

Carissa Galloway:

I literally say it all the time.

John Pelkey:

I didn't. I got about a third of what was in that cup and God knows I needed more.

Erin Azar:

I didn't know the squeezing the cup trick until I ran Chicago, so that was my third marathon. I finally learned it's nice.

Carissa Galloway:

Are you team Graham Cracker with Featherstone? Are you all on the Graham Cracker train?

Erin Azar:

We always have a box at our house because it used to just be for the kids. But now I'm like, oh, gotta have my, gotta have my fuel. But really I'm like I just freaking love Graham crackers Me too, I agree.

Carissa Galloway:

All right, we have a question that we ask everybody at the end of the episode, because John and I have the best seat in the world. We get to be at a finish line. We get to see all these amazing things For you. What is the most inspiring thing you've seen at a race, whether it's a road race, whether it's, you know, the World Athletics Championship in Budapest? You have one inspiring moment that stands out for you.

Erin Azar:

Oh, it's hard to pick one, but I think, seeing the people I'll use people that are blind, for example them running, they'll have the guide with them and they're usually wearing those neon shirts. It took me a long time in running the New York City Marathon to understand what was going on with the guides. That, to me, is because running a marathon is so hard. But to have something that like, if you're, if you're one of your senses, isn't you know 100%, I can't imagine overcoming, like all the training runs, not just like the race itself, but the logistics of everything, and overcoming that is like super inspiring to me. Whenever I see that, I'm like blown away.

Carissa Galloway:

Makes you cry a little bit, like you give a little bit it does, and then that pit there. No, it's just amazing, and we always try to highlight all of the athletes with disabilities that we can hear, because people don't realize. You know, we're complaining about our long run and we're complaining we can just go out and run, we don't need a guide to help us or we don't need a chair or all the other things that people do. So I love that you shouted that out.

Erin Azar:

Yeah, they're amazing.

John Pelkey:

Where we let you go, aaron, obviously you're everywhere. You're essentially everywhere. If people want to follow you and your career, where can they do that? And then, secondly, two part are here. What's next for you?

Erin Azar:

Okay, well, if you do like podcasts, I do have one. It is not really running, it's just like feels like you're hanging out with friends. It's called nonmembers only wherever you get your podcasts. And then I'm on Instagram and TikTok Just search Aaron Azar A-Z-A-R and my website is MrsBasedCadetcom. And in terms of what's next, I have something that just came up. Actually, there's this local running festival. It used to be the runner's world half marathon. They got rid of it a while back and now that's starting back up the Bethlehem Running Festival, the first time that I ran three miles in a long time. The other day someone messaged me I had just passed her on this run and she was like, hey, we need someone to run our three mile leg for the relay. I was like I just realized that I could run three miles. So, yeah, so I'm signing up for that. I'm really excited to do something local and, yeah, to actually train for something again.

Carissa Galloway:

That's awesome, that's great serendipity there and the US Olympic Marathon Trials are going to be here in Orlando. So I heard is that too serious of an event? Are we allowed to have fun there? Because I'll be announcing, so I would love.

Erin Azar:

I did get. Someone did inquire if I could be there. I have not gone back to him yet, only because of scheduling stuff, like I don't want to over commit, just it's hard to leave kids, a lot like traveling. So that's my only hold up.

Carissa Galloway:

I want to go, so bad just for the record, it's an easy place to fly in and out of. Yes, you let us. I mean you can sleep in. This is deaf. Galway sleeps in this pull down bed. I'm just, it's available.

Erin Azar:

I would do that. I'll sleep on the floor.

Carissa Galloway:

I'm sure they'll get you a hotel, but we would love to have you. We have loved having you here. Thank you so much, thank you, thank you. Keep inspiring. And then you know again, the invitation is always open for the pull out bed. The magic of run Disney.

Erin Azar:

We appreciate it, thank you, I'll show up eventually. Thanks, aaron. Thank you.

Jodi Chase:

All right, athletes, here's the drill Time to shape up your diet. Carissa, give them the goods.

Carissa Galloway:

All right, john, we're going to talk about something that's I don't want to say trending, but it's been getting a little love lately the blue zone diet. Have you heard of this?

John Pelkey:

Yes, I have. In fact, there's a documentary, I believe on Netflix, about it. There is, yeah, I watched it I watched it yet, but it's in the queue.

Carissa Galloway:

I watched a solid six minutes of it yesterday sitting in the car eating my salad lunch which I forgot dressing for. So it was essentially a dry crew to tape ladder I had. But anyway, I'm a big fan of the blue zone diet, so it's not really a diet with rules. It's kind of a concept where we looked at the eating habits and I say we, I didn't do this, other people did it, people living in blue zones, which are the regions known for high rates of centenarians. Is that how you say that? Yes, People have lived to be over a hundred and low rates of chronic diseases. So that's a brilliant idea, right. Why are people in certain areas of the world living longer than others? And a couple of key things that came out of this. That are things we've talked about before, the things I think we should think about. So it's mainly a plant based diet focusing on fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, moderate caloric intake. So blue zone don't inhabitants tend to eat until they're about 80% full. They're not Thanksgiving daying, it every day. So I think that's a good concept of either leaving food on your plate or not over indulging. They also pick lean protein sources, so that comes from the plant based diet or fish, and then really limited red meat and processed meats. Healthy fats we're going to start to talk about this more but, like, if there's one thing I want you to do right now for your diet is get in more healthy fats, get in a good snack of nuts today, because we're going to talk about it in a little, in a few weeks, about all those benefits. Then social eating I said I ate in my car. I eat alone most of the time. Their meals are an occasion, so that gives a sense of community, that reduces stress and then that also supports another principle of it, which is mindfulness. So mindfulness of actually enjoying the food, savoring the taste. There's occasional wine in it, but it's very moderate and the benefits of this are longevity, heart health, weight management, reduced risk of chronic diseases. All the things that we have here in America, john, america's I mean red zone, blue zone. We're not a blue zone when it comes to our health. No, we're really not. We're definitely a red stop doing what you're doing zone, and we know that. And our culture just hasn't made the shift of like we have to change. Is there anything that from that that you think you could do or you could do better?

John Pelkey:

I could certainly do better. I mean, we've discussed this is that my diet is actually not horrible. My wife obviously looks after me a little bit in that way, even though I do all the cooking. I think for me what it comes down to is smaller portions, the 80%, not eating until I'm full, trying to eat on a more consistent basis. For me too, because I do that sort of thing where I won't eat anything for hours and then just stuff myself, but I need to snack better with nuts and olive oil and those things, because my snacks and my cheating tend to be way over the top. I do Thanksgiving it.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, so let's, we're going to bring it down. We're going to think about the blue zones. Now we have a vision to attach that to and watch the series, because I think when we watch things, it's going to inspire us as well. And if you want more tips, you want to maybe talk about how we can embrace these. Join healthier you. We're finishing up our fall special, so if you sign up, you're going to get a customized three day meal plan I'll make just for you. Go to gallowaycoursecom and use the code podcast to save $150.

Jodi Chase:

Athletes listen up. It's mail call time. Announce a free present.

John Pelkey:

All right, Sarge. Today's question is from Alexis. Via our email, she says I absolutely love your show. Thank you. Can't resist cheering three, two, one go with you every time I hear the start. Thank you Once again. I've completed nine marathons and I recently decided to see if I could push myself further. A local run club is having a backyard ultra where every hour required to do one loop of 4.167 miles. Wow, I'm curious what advice you might have for things to be aware of and also what I should have ready for me at the start line for in between loops. That's a really good question, Carissa, and one I will have to give to you to answer.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, that's a lot going on there. That's a big challenge. It's a lot of management. So on the first side, you need to manage your pace. Start as slow as you possibly can in those first laps. Don't bank a lot of time. Don't think I'll get to rest more if I'm not moving. Keep it slow, keep your heart rate low for as long as you can. And then, in terms of what you have there at the finish line or the start line, if it's going to be about an hour, that's a good amount of time where you're going to need some kind of calories every single loop. So make sure there are things that you can already know you tolerate whether that's a gel, whether that's a goo, whether it's something that we talked about with Aaron Graham, crackers or even a sports drink. But don't overeat. Sometimes I think when we have that pause, it makes us feel like we need to eat more. Just treat it like a marathon. Then, as the night goes on, depending on how long you're going maybe it's broth, maybe it's pretzels, maybe it's even something a little heartier Keep the pace low and make sure every loop you're getting in around 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate.

John Pelkey:

And well done, alexis. Yeah, and thanks for the question and then 4.167.

Carissa Galloway:

That's just very random.

John Pelkey:

Yeah, it's so bizarre. If you want to ask a question again, our email I'm going to get this right is 321go podcast at gmailcom. Right Improvement.

Carissa Galloway:

Yeah, all right, well, guys, thank you to. Mrs Space Cadet for joining us. Thank you, john, thank you, thank you. Thank you for talking to me.

John Pelkey:

I'll talk to you later. Goodbye, bye, bye you.

Everyday Athletes and Disney Performers
Bicentennial Memories and Running Chats
Running's Impact on Mental Health and Growth
Overcoming Self-Doubt and Redefining Runner
Special Treatment, Marathon, and New Role
Aaron Talks Aaron Tries and Juju
Children's Reactions to Social Media
Run Disney Races Costuming and Pep Talks
Blue Zone Diet and Racing Inspiration