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CJ Albertson: 50K World Record Holder and US Olympic Trials Competitor

January 26, 2024 Carissa Galloway and John Pelkey Season 1 Episode 34
321 GO!
CJ Albertson: 50K World Record Holder and US Olympic Trials Competitor
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Ever laced up your running shoes and felt the urge to just take off? That's the spirit of CJ Albertson, our guest and 50k world record holder, who's here to share his extraordinary journey from a fourth-grade running champ to dominating the first 20 miles of the Boston Marathon. We trace his strides from youthful victories to the professional circuit, diving into his mental game and dissecting the strategies propelling him toward the Olympic team trials in Orlando. Hold onto your water bottles as we also discuss the science of sugar cravings in our 'Healthier U' segment and laugh along while debunking myths of nepotism in professional success.

Hang on to your headphones; you're about to enter the electrifying world of marathon running and personal triumphs. CJ Albertson doesn't just run; he leads—and not just in races. His narrative is one of resilience, detailing a hiatus from running and a phenomenal comeback that has fans and fellow athletes alike in awe. We get intimate with Albertson's life beyond the track, examining the vital support of his family, his partnership with Brooks, and the profound impact of fatherhood. From the pulse-quickening pace of the Boston Marathon to setting 50k records, Albertson embodies the sheer adrenaline of the sport.

Finish strong with us as we examine the atmospheric conditions and tactical planning that come into play for runners as they toe the line at the trials. We'll shed light on the meticulous preparation that goes into overcoming Florida's fickle weather, the camaraderie and competition among athletes like Galen Rupp, and the personal strategies that runners employ to stay ahead. Plus, we provide actionable advice on managing sugar cravings, fostering healthier dietary habits, and embracing the individual accomplishments that define our personal and professional lives. Let's race into this episode, where inspiration meets perspiration and the finish line is just the beginning.

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Speaker 1:

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

Speaker 2:

And I'm Karissa Galloway, and we're bringing you stories from start to finish to keep the everyday athlete motivated to keep moving towards the next finish.

Speaker 1:

Alright ahead of the Olympic team trials from Marathon in Orlando, we're talking to 50k world record holder, prolific downhill runner and proud holder of a 211.08 Marathon time, cj Albertson. This is going to be fun.

Speaker 2:

I'm so excited CJ is here. I love learning about his running. Career started in fourth grade, where he says he just won every race. But if you watched the Boston Marathon 2021, you saw CJ lead 20 miles of it and you spent that whole time thinking is he going to blow up? And he did not. And we're going to get a peek into that competitive mindset where he knows himself, he knows what he can do, and I think we're going to see that on display in Orlando Today.

Speaker 2:

In healthier, you were talking about why sugar is addicting, we'll open the mail bag to answer a question about none other than the Galloways. And thank you guys. Thank you for listening, subscribing, thank you for giving us ratings. Being social, let's do this All right, before we dive into our tab job. I really want to thank the people that take the time to give us five star reviews on Apple and even write a little bit. That just means the world to us and it also means the world to other people finding this podcast. So thank you for everyone who's doing that, and in a few weeks, we're going to start reading reviews. So write a good one, maybe make it rhyme, and we'll read yours on the podcast. Now, johnny, I'm going to give you an opportunity. I don't get a lot, just finish the divisional round of the playoffs. Did I get that right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, heck of a weekend man.

Speaker 2:

You can talk about it. I'm going to give you a few minutes. It's not Apollo 13. Sorry, Dorothy, but we are going to talk about.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, dorothy, we're going to get to Apollo 13 on a later episode. I'm trying to find some interesting facts that you can't just find on Wikipedia. But yeah, what a weekend of football. I think, coming out of the weekend, our AFC championship game is going to be Kansas City. No surprise, they've been there every single year that Patrick Mahomes has been a starter. So all the discussion about how they were not as good this year, well, they're still one game away from the playoffs and the Baltimore Ravens, who look to all the world like probably the most complete team in the playoffs. That's the AFC side, over on the NFC side. Can I clap for Detroit Lions and their fans First championship game since they lost to my Washington football team back in the early 90s. They have been one of the great stories through the year. Congratulations. Rock City up there in Detroit is going crazy. That's the good news.

Speaker 1:

The bad news is you're going to go to San Francisco and take on probably the most complete team in the NFC in the 49ers. A victory over a very game Green Bay. All of a sudden the NFC central. When you take into effect that, minnesota with Kirk Cousins does come back to them and I believe he's a free agent, a pretty good football team. Perennial playoff team with Cousins when he's healthy. This young Green Bay team, youngest team in the playoffs, giving San Francisco everything they could handle, and then the 49ers, when then you have the Bears, so there's two wins for all of those teams. Shout out to Kudos, to Green Bay, but I really do think that we have at least the two top teams in each division. I think most people going in would have thought in the NFC that Dallas would have been that team. For those of us who are from Washington, the enjoyment of watching them lose was a beautiful thing, then the Eagles lose.

Speaker 1:

You had to just be sky high with that Both of them going down Our good friend Steve Weinstein, who's our finish line DJ for most run Disney race big Philadelphia fan. We do have a little bit of a soft spot there, but they had been playing so badly down the stretch that they backed into the playoffs anyway and they weren't really expected to do much. Take her hat off a little bit to Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They came out of nowhere and Baker may have resurrected his career, but I think we have as good a match up as we could have hoped for. I don't know what to say to Buffalo Bills fans. I really don't. You were so terribly beat up. I know you had that game at home, but this has become the best rivalry in the AFC, but it's a bit of a hammer and a nail thing going on right now, with Buffalo being the nail. They just they weren't healthy enough defensively. Patrick Mahomes is a unicorn, jesus. Josh Allen has all the talents known to me.

Speaker 2:

If, patrick Mahomes, they're just on fat, this doesn't happen. You know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

No, and I've always said this about you know, I know you're a big baseball fan and you and I used to work for Atlanta Braves, for spring training and everything. I think one of the great things about having a baseball background is there's no clock in baseball and there's no point at ever getting overly worked up or trying. You know, oh my God, we have to do all of this right now. And I think because his dad, pat Mahomes, pitched for a long time in the major leagues, having that sort of mindset, let alone the baseball skills where he plays a little bit like a shortstop or second baseman where he can throw off platform and all those things, is he just has that it's never over till it's over to give Yogi Bear a little credit there mentality, and I think that really helps him.

Speaker 1:

But you know, what we're watching from him is is absolutely historic and what we have in these two guys is a little bit of Brady and Manning. And remember Peyton Manning always considered the bigger talent to Tom Brady but but in the end Brady was the more successful championship wise guy and it took Manning a while to get to beat Brady into playoffs. Everybody thought because it was going to be in Buffalo, but it's. It's colder than hell in Kansas City during the winter. To Pat Patrick Mahomes is used to playing in the in those elements. I feel bad for Buffalo's kicker, but did anybody think if he kicked that ball?

Speaker 1:

they weren't going to leave a minute and 14 seconds left that Patrick Mahomes wasn't going to drive down the field. So I'm sorry, buffalo, I don't know what you did. I have no idea it was it. Was it the McKinley shooting in 1901? I don't know, I have no idea. There's my history moment but I feel bad for my Buffalo Bill's fans out there. But it's going to be going to be a fun conference championship weekend and I tell you what, as much as I've just given Patrick Mahomes all that love beating the Ravens in Baltimore, that's some heavy lifting because the defense didn't really shine.

Speaker 2:

We're going to move on, because Johnny used to have a sports talk show. Now he has this podcast with me. So we are going to move on. But I need to just before we dive in to CJ. I need to talk about a real MVP last night, and do you know who I'm going to say?

Speaker 1:

Taylor Swift.

Speaker 2:

No, the shirtless one Jason. Kelsey, jason Kelsey, come on, I was just loving every minute of this guy when he crawled out of the press box Without his shirtless Like you play in this.

Speaker 2:

It's like you going to work. It's like, John, you going to another race and getting drunk and taking your shirt off watching me, and Riley announced like that's still your bubble and I get. He's going to retire and I just want to be so wealthy and high on life retiring that I can, just in front of my mom and my wife, just like be a complete I don't want to say idiot, but just like just I love it.

Speaker 1:

He is. No, he is. He is one of those rare, he is just a character. It's hard not to like him. He's smart, he's funny, he's self deprecating and just the joy. And you know, and when I thought about him like, well, here's a guy who just knows, you know, I'm not going to have to get up at five o'clock.

Speaker 2:

I think that was just his joy, that like I don't have to do it anymore.

Speaker 1:

Wait a minute, I can come to games and drink a 36 ounce beer. Take my shirt off, scream and yell jump up and down and I'm sleeping tomorrow.

Speaker 1:

And so no, it was, it was. It was a wonderful, wonderful atmosphere and glad Patrick Mahomes said that too Such a great atmosphere in Buffalo, which is part of the reason I feel so bad for those guys. But yes, Jason Kelsey is. You know, Travis is dating the pop star, but Jason Kelsey may be the the popular entertainer in that family family who their networks are going to scoop him up very quickly. Mom's just chilling there.

Speaker 2:

Mom's in the back chilling. It's just, it's fine and what's pretty Taylor's friend, Cara David.

Speaker 1:

I can't pronounce her last name, even though.

Speaker 2:

I took French. Yeah, I know you're talking about that.

Speaker 1:

She was there it was. It was just a really, really fun atmosphere. But yeah, no, he's the. He's America's guest right now, Jason Kelsey, because everybody would if he. If he stopped and knocked at your door today and was like I need to spend the night, you'd welcome him in.

Speaker 2:

I'm gonna, I'm gonna send it for Wings and Christ. Maybe he wants to join the podcast, you never know. We'll just, we'll go for it. We'll go for it.

Speaker 1:

All right. So, in conclusion, please no wagering on the weekend. But Johnny's takes are Baltimore going to be really, really difficult to to beat and I think, I think, detroit can win. But we may be looking at a replay of the Harbaugh Bowl Super Bowl with Buffalo excuse me, baltimore and San Francisco. And wouldn't that be ironic, in a year that Jim Harbaugh won the national championship at Michigan, that his brother would go back and win another Super Bowl, the last 21, over his brother? But I, you know, if you, if you have to put your mortgage on it, those, those Buffalo, excuse me, I can't see getting me say, the Baltimore Ravens look really, really good.

Speaker 2:

All right. Well, that's Johnny's pick, and before we dive into CJ, who, if you're making bets on the Olympic trials, I wouldn't leave him too far off your list, though, but we want to shout out Sarah Acres runs on magic. If you want to experience extra special magic during a run Disney weekend, your own trip, a cruise, all those things, she can help you plan the right experience for you. She specializes in every place you want to go. Personalize itineraries, find her on Instagram at runs on magic, where she's going to share special offers and more. Go to runs on magiccom or email her at runs on magic travel at gmailcom.

Speaker 3:

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

Speaker 1:

CJ Albertson. Welcome to three, two, one go the podcast. First of all, we'll start this the way we start all of our podcasts how are you and where are you?

Speaker 3:

I'm good. I'm in Fresno, california, right now, just finished up practice with our track and field team, so, yeah, good start to the morning so far.

Speaker 2:

But we like to start at the beginning to let our listeners really get to know you. So people were introduced to you at Arizona State. Can you tell everybody how your running career kind of kickstarted before you got there to Tempe?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I started running fairly early and in fourth grade because we could do. We had elementary sports like at our school, so like after school you just go into whatever sport was in season. So I started in fourth grade and it's just like a quick little six to eight week season, not like intense training or anything. But I won all my meets in elementary school. So then it was like, oh like, I'm a runner, I really like this, this is really fun, I'm good at it, I like winning, I like competing.

Speaker 3:

So I played a bunch of sports growing up but then I just kind of stuck with running and as I got older, kind of will whittled it down and then by the time I was a sophomore in high school I was just running cross country and track. And then we I had a Winsor Buchanan High School which is really good program for running. Their girls have been to NXN I don't know, maybe like five years in a row now or something like that, and my team my freshman year went to NXN. So I was just around like a bunch of great runners, really solid program, so was able to progress and do really well and have good high school training and a pretty decent high school career which allowed me to get to Arizona State where I was. There I ran in college and didn't have like, necessarily the college career I was hoping for wasn't quite as good as I wanted, but still ended up finishing out, you know, decently well and having a good time and experience there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, if I can bring it, because you actually jumped into something I read where you said you know I wasn't really a very good runner at Arizona State, being overly critical to yourself. But I should point out, for combined top 10 all time records between indoor and outdoor, the 3000 meter steeple chase of 2016 track and field championships, which is really interesting to me, you're the first steeple chase athlete that we've, that we've ever talked to, and you broke the ASU indoor record in the 5000 meters. You're also academic all conference, all academic so overachieving in the classroom as well. When you reflect on your time at Arizona State, what stands out for you?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, I think I was kind of like in that, maybe like knocking on the door of being successful. So I wasn't. I wasn't bad in any way and I well, my freshman and sophomore year I was maybe considered bad or below average. I don't think bad, I don't like.

Speaker 2:

Johnson, I have 5k, so bad is like not relevant in this conversation about writing. But I get what you mean. As a wife of a husband who was not scoring points in college track and field, I understand kind of what you're saying and maybe you were scoring points here, obviously obviously. Clearly you're more talented than my husband.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, but yeah, maybe my junior and senior year I was definitely, you know, above average. I made I never made a national mean cross country, but I did in the steeple chase. I don't know if I was a steeple chase athlete, I just I don't know if I was particularly good at it. I mean I only ran 845, you know, which is solid, but but it wouldn't, you know, I wouldn't make the NCAA me now. But at the time just the depth in the steeple wasn't nearly what it is now, at least at the NCAA level, and I wasn't good enough to make the 5k. You know, I couldn't close. I couldn't close the last 800 meters under two flats. So I just wasn't going to make the NCAA me.

Speaker 3:

It just it was what it was. I had no shot. So I did the steeple chase, you know, basically because it was my best shot to do something, you know, to make a national mean, to compete at conference. You know, even the score in the pack 12 and the 5k, yeah, like I said, you had to be pretty close to breaking two minutes, that last 800. And I just couldn't do that at the time. I still can't do that, probably, but I can do that time.

Speaker 2:

But the steeple, you know, maybe you could downhill CJ yeah downhill?

Speaker 3:

I probably should. Well, you know, that's kind of the athlete that I was, and and the pack 12 is.

Speaker 1:

You know, there's some pretty good track athletes in the pack 12 if people do the research there. So that's nothing. That's nothing to be ashamed of. But now you did, as I mentioned, set the ASU 5000 meter record 2017, I believe, at the Iowa State Classic. Can you talk us through that race and how you felt? Was that something you thought you had a chance to do, or was it even something that you had any idea what the record was?

Speaker 2:

And thank you, john, for bringing us a reflection from 2017. I just really want to get your mental cues turning and put you in a positive headspace for the trial. So yeah, let's go back to Iowa, 2017 CJ.

Speaker 1:

You set a record that's very impressive.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, I knew what the record was, particularly because I didn't have much of a shot to get any outdoor records. I think our outdoor record was somewhere in the 1320s I don't know if it was low or high and the steeple chase record, I think, was 820 flat, so probably wasn't going to get those. But the 5k indoor was relatively low compared to our outdoor record. So, yeah, I guess if I wanted to leave my mark, the indoor record was the one everyone I'd, because we've had some really great runners, even some 3k national champions, but for whatever reason there's no one ran a fast 5k, even though we've had really great athletes at ASU. So, yeah, I knew what it was going in. I felt pretty fit.

Speaker 3:

Looking back, it probably showed my aerobic strength because I hadn't really done a whole lot of speed workout or really race-paced type workouts. I just did a lot of tempos, some long runs and some hill sprints and I maybe did a couple somewhat race-paced stuff, but not much. So that was my second race of the season. It was a perfectly paced race and I just hopped with the pack. I don't know what the exact split or what the, because it's like a 300. So we oddly distance track, but for every 400 meters we were basically right at 66. I just ran 66 points every lap and ended up at 1350. And I think I got the record by a couple tenths of a second. So yeah, do you still?

Speaker 2:

have it? Yeah, that's what I was going to ask. Yeah, what happens when you get a record in college? I don't know this. Do you still get your name on the wall, like in high school, or that's not a thing?

Speaker 3:

For the outdoor records we have. I think at least when I was there, they had these like banners or like pictures of you that were on the light posts in the stadium For the indoor records. I don't think we had anything. It's in like a book somewhere and on the website somewhere. We have records of it. I don't know if it's like posted anywhere.

Speaker 2:

There's no love for indoor records.

Speaker 3:

The indoor records on is big, I guess.

Speaker 1:

I don't know, we were never, I don't know I ran track in high school and I preferred indoor track, I don't know. It just seemed more exciting because everybody was in a smaller area and the energy was better, whereas you know some of the outdoor tracks, particularly in high school, and some of those collegiate tracks, people are further away. So there's some love for indoor track, you're still going the distance, for gosh sakes.

Speaker 3:

It is a fun energy that does yeah, yeah, everyone's just right there. Yeah, it's different. I think it is more. I don't know if it's better, but it is more exciting in some circumstances.

Speaker 1:

Well, let me ask you this question.

Speaker 3:

The indoor 400 is great.

Speaker 1:

Well, I was a quarter mile in high school and I was terrible, and this was right after the Civil War, so it was a different time. But my question I always found, running indoor and outdoor track, that one of the things I had to fight against was going out too fast because of all of that energy that's going on in the room versus in the stadium. And I knew a lot of guys who were the same way. They're like don't burn yourself out the first hundred yards, because it's just you. The fans are on top of you, it's loud, it feels like a home field advantage thing.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I never really had that issue for those things.

Speaker 1:

That's because you're good and I'm not, so that's probably one of the things.

Speaker 3:

But I mean, but in the same way that for the 400, you're usually rewarded a little bit more than normal if you go out harder, if you go out hard in the 400 and outdoor doesn't really matter, but in the indoor you're going to get the pole and it's a lot harder to pass. So you, you know, it's maybe advantageous to go out a little bit harder and have a better position when you're running the you know indoor 400.

Speaker 1:

I just ran myself out of contention. Frankly, I was dead at 200 yards, so it's fine, john We'll get you into some masters indoor meets. I like to show you my letter jacket from high school with the winged foot. Can I do that? No, can.

Speaker 2:

I share that. I am from Southern Virginia and when we did indoor track in high school, we didn't have indoor tracks, so it meant that we were on the outdoor track, but they unlocked the bathrooms and the gym and we could go to the bathroom in the gym, so we would have to, like, hit the ice off the pole vault mat. So I hope that Chesapeake Virginia school systems have improved, but probably not. All right, we're going to move on, just like you moved on. So you left Arizona State 2017. You took a year off competing. Why did you do that and what made you come back to the sport that has turned out pretty well for you?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, basically I was like the majority of college graduates, I wasn't good enough to go pro. I mean, I had PRs of 845 and 1350, which were, you know, solid college times, but like no one's going to sign a big pro contract running those times. So, yeah, I just moved on to normal life and I'd gotten married my fifth year of college. So I was married, you know, I had my masters, I had my teacher credential, so I was ready to start normal life, get a job, have a career, have a family, all that stuff, and so, yeah, that's basically what I did and we moved a little bit and then I ended up getting the job at close community where I'm at now and started as like a part-time position, coaching and teaching a few classes. So that brought me back because Clovis, fresno, is where I grew up. So we ended up actually moving in with my parents, but anyways, we were in Fresno and I just kind of, for whatever reason, wanted to do our local marathon, because that's, I feel like that's a common thing.

Speaker 3:

You know, runners are like I got to do one marathon, you know, and so I just kind of did it for fun. But my version of fun is, you know running fast too. So I trained, I trained hard for it. I started running like around 100 miles a week or so and doing some you know pretty big long runs, just kind of having fun. And then I ended up qualifying for the Olympic trials in that race and it wasn't like a, I mean, a competitive race at one by over 20 minutes, but yeah. But when I ran 217 there, you know feeling pretty good, I was like, okay, I'm obviously pretty decent in the marathon, so I'm just going to keep keep with this and keep training. And then, yeah, that's kind of how it started. And then a year and whatever, 15 months later ran the Olympic trials and was seventh there. And that's like what got me a more professional contract with Brooks and then led into you know what I'm doing now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, we're going to get into that as well. But I do want to also point out and I thought this was an interesting story and I hope I have all of this right 2019,. You ran the set the record to the fastest indoor marathon, the two 1759 for and what I read was it was 211 laps on a 200 meter track, which I'm dizzy just thinking about it, honestly. But the other thing that I thought was interesting is you would stated this wasn't something that was on your radar. You really only found out about this event what a month or so ahead of time, and your sister helped you get into the race.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah. So I had run a marathon two weeks before and then the week after that I ran a 10 mile race and then I ran the indoor marathon. So I had like these other races kind of planned and again I was just like I mean, I was a good, what I would call it still amateur running, like I was just doing stuff for fun. I wasn't like this like well planned out, you know, I was just whatever races seemed like fun I would do. So yeah, my sister-in-law I think they had contacted her in the past about running the indoor marathon and so she reached out to me and was like, hey, like I know the race director because they've contacted me, but I don't want to do this, but it's something you would probably do. And I'm like, yeah, this is something that I do.

Speaker 3:

So I contacted the race director, I think like three and a half or four weeks before the event and, you know, told him I'd run 217 in my first marathon and kind of gave my background and he's like, yeah, you know, you'd be right there to set the record. So yeah, that's kind of how it ended up happening. And then I didn't cancel my other races, I was just like I'll be fine. So I just and this was like before like I had any super shoes or anything, so I was just running in just like some Brooks old school style flats. Yeah, random marathon in Modesto I think I ran 216 and then a 10 mile race in Sacramento and then the indoor marathon.

Speaker 2:

The indoor marathon was actually there's a follow-up questions from that Indoor marathon. Who is there's a person telling you how many laps, how much did you know what lap you were on and how often did you get confused?

Speaker 3:

I never got confused because we're we're wearing like a zip and there's a is that the armory? So they had the scoreboard. So each time you you go, each time you pass the lap, your your chip gets read and then your your split and the lap that you're on is on the scoreboard. So I mean you could not look at it, but you just happen to see it every time, so like you always know where you're at and you can see every 200 meter split.

Speaker 2:

Were you ever like oh my gosh, I'm on 125. I'm going to like are you just zoned in the whole time?

Speaker 3:

I mean, I still thought of it as miles Like I never thought. I never even thought about like the laps, I just thought, oh, I'm on like mile 16 now, Like yeah.

Speaker 2:

So, my other question is listening to you talk about, about Fresno and this, and then your your 10 mile and all this stuff. I'm thinking to what you did, you know, later in 2023, with CIM and and going down to Mexico, do you think that you recover quickly in terms, you know, competitively, and that's an advantage for you?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, I think I think other people maybe recover faster than they think to, or like other other, like professional runners you know that have trained a lot and you know race marathons I think that they probably recover in a similar manner. They just don't necessarily do it or like or like do the. You know we have race back to back marathon, so you don't necessarily see it. But I don't think it's a matter of like oh, no one else could do this, it's just they. They don't.

Speaker 2:

but I mean, I think I like, are you just not afraid of like what's going to happen? You're just like no, I got like, because that's impressive. That's, I think, one of the most impressive things about you the way you race, the way you plan races. Like, no, I'm going to, I'm doing this and I'm going to do it.

Speaker 3:

I think it's because I've done it before. You know, like I had, like I said, like well, the first marathon I ever did, the two cities one. I I was signed up to do the Monterey Bay half marathon the next week and then that ended up getting canceled because of smoke or fires, I don't know, but we were all still there, so we all basically ran it. I ended up running like a 10 mile tempo, like pretty close to what my half marathon pace would have been. And then the next week I ran another marathon in Bakersville. This is kind of a small marathon but actually there's like an Ethiopian guy that ended up being pretty good. So we had a duel and I out kicked him.

Speaker 3:

But but yeah, so I had like, even from the beginning, like I had done these marathons like in close proximity, and in my training, you know, I've there's been times where, like I've, I've ran longer than a marathon distance back to back weekends, you know, relatively fast, obviously not racing them. But so it's something that, like, I've done before. So it's it's or done pretty close to that multiple times before. So I'm, you know, anytime you've done something, you're more confident to do it again. So it's not like this like huge thing, where it's like, oh, I have no idea how my body's going to respond. I pretty much know what I'm going to be feeling, so that that takes away any fear that you'd have.

Speaker 2:

But do you? Feel like the running world is like but what are you doing, cj? Like, do you feel that? Or you're just like, I know what I'm doing.

Speaker 3:

Um, no, I mean, it doesn't. I think the I think most of that comes from people that just aren't able to run as fast as me or train as much as me. So it's like to me it's like well, I mean, yeah, I may have, like some, a level of like blessing and talent and genetics that gives me an advantage, but also like when I hear that it's like well, part of why, like I'll always be, you know better than you, aside from genetics, is like your mindset just is very limiting for you. So, like I that it doesn't hurt. Like when I hear that it doesn't hurt me, it's just like, well, you have this mindset and that's why you're probably never going to like break. Like you know, you're always going to be this kind of average runner and maybe average and everything you do Not to put people down, but I'm like that's like.

Speaker 3:

That's like the competitive side of me. That's like when I hear that. It's like like when I'm, especially if it's like after something I do because, like you know, when you're competing you're in another mode. You know like you're fully, like any confident or even area inside of you like that's fully out. So when people are seeing things, it's like that side of me is going to respond and it's like I'm, it's like yeah, like this is why I'm better than you. So like I don't feel, like it doesn't, it just adds to it, like it's like nice to hear.

Speaker 1:

That is the answer I wanted, thank you, and the other thing, cj and this is great because it's leading right down the what I wanted to bring up is that you know a lot of distance athletes that you talk about, talk about. You know it's a battle within yourself. Obviously, you know you're out there alone, your mindset, your mentality but you make no bones about the fact that you love the competition aspect of it. Is it you? Are you actually in, because a lot of people go. I don't think about my competitors, I don't think about anything. You know it's it, but you love the competitive aspect of it and I think that's you know and that's what you're speaking to is that competitive aspect of running against other people to prove yourself is important and why you've had the success you've had.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I think a lot of like the good athletes are. They're the same, they're very, they're very similar and and even them like they're. You know, because a lot of like my competitors I'm going to be competing against in the trials. You know they may think some of the things I do are like a little bit like. You know, maybe that's not necessary, but like they don't think it's unreasonable. I mean, they're doing workouts or things that other people would call crazy too, but they know it's like well, this is just what you do if you're going to be good, and and so they're just as like. You know they're competitive too. It's like all the people competing in the trials to go to Paris. They're not just like oh, you know, I'm just going to go run my best and you know, go for my, my personal whatever. It's like. No, they're all just trying to like rip each other apart. But some of them will say that a lot of them don't want to admit to that.

Speaker 1:

But yes, that's the thing they don't want to admit to it, but in truth, yeah, it is competitive and I just that's something that I like about you. You mentioned the Olympic trials 2020 to 1149. Seventh place finish at the trials in Atlanta. Do you look at that as a turning point in your career and looking forward to Orlando here in a couple of weeks? How do you? What do you bring, from that point of view wise, to this year's competition?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that was for sure a turning point. You know that's where I went from this. You know I'd run 213. So I was like this good kind of up and coming runner that maybe has some potential. You know it's done some like fast lung runs, like can you put that together and race? And then I did and I was seventh in the nation and it's like okay, like I I'm not just like this guy that's coming, like I can compete, and so, yeah, that was that mark. And then, you know, looking forward to now, I've run lots of races since then, run Boston three times, you know, been in some races, run faster than that, olympic trials times eight times since then. So, yeah, looking forward, I am a just at least a more experienced runner and have ran in big races with all the guys are going to be in the trials, have competed against all of them. So you know I feel ready to compete and I have competed with everyone that's going to be there.

Speaker 2:

And not for nothing. That to 1149 was, you know, 1800 feet of elevation. I think in that Atlanta course there were 30 mile hour winds. It was not a pleasant day out there, so that's, that's super impressive. And then is that when you first started your relationship with Brooks after the Atlanta trials, I had somewhat of a relationship with them before.

Speaker 3:

they had what what they call the hometown heroes program, which they basically invited everyone that had qualified for the trials. They said, you know, if you don't have a sponsorship, will give you shoes. You know, because they were developing their, their first you know, super shoe at the time will give you shoes and some gear. And so I was like, yeah, I don't, I don't have anything, so I'll do that. And then I started running some faster races and man, like to 13, I'm a second at CIM. So I had kind of like talked a little bit more with them, like, you know, if I do get at the trials me, or maybe there could be, you know, something in terms of a sponsorship after that. So, yeah, I had like somewhat of a relationship going in, but it wasn't, yeah, it wasn't like it was now.

Speaker 2:

This is just a personal entry question, but at 2020, the trials Nike gave shoes to everybody, right. What did you run the trials in?

Speaker 3:

I ran in the Brooks.

Speaker 2:

Good for you. I always think that was fascinating. The people that you know ran in the shoes for the first time and that's something that I tell people as an average runner. You're not supposed to do, so I think that was a good long term decision for you to run in the Brooks.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Comfortable shoes are the thing I always thought it was wrong on those years where, like college basketball coaches could sign a Nike contract and everybody on the team had to wear Nike. You notice now everybody wears the shoes that they want to wear, so I am an advocate for that. You mentioned your wife, chelsea, a registered nurse, which has really got to be helpful for an athlete, and also an athlete herself. How important has she been? What big a part, what part has she been to your success? That is the least well phrased question I've ever done. So let me read you. You wrote that how big a part of your success is your wife? I know, I know, former English major, I'm just going to kick myself for that one. How big a part in your success has your wife, the registered nurse, played?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, a lot. I mean even going back to college. You know we kind of joke like before she got there and cause you know it wasn't very good, kind of struggling, and then even like her first she's a year younger than me, so her freshman year, I think, maybe herself and she traveled like to conference and like I wasn't on like the travel teams, and so we always joke about that because like now I'm like a professional runner and she was the one traveling. We were first dating and I was just sitting at home because I wasn't good enough. But yeah, I mean just having her, especially through college, because college just had a lot of ups and downs, both physically and mentally and emotionally, and she was always and still is like just a very steady, stable person and like very sympathetic but steady at the same time. So it's like it for like I especially needed that you know, different stages in life, especially through college, and that kind of, I think helped me kind of to have a little bit of a little bit of the success I did having college and then afterwards just just having her, yeah, it just, it just like kept me moving forward, whereas like if I didn't have her, you know, not really, not really sure like where I would have gone and kind of those down moments.

Speaker 3:

And then now you know again like she's still like steady and like a lot of times I'm just like really, really tired because I'm like working and training a lot and it's just yeah, it's just exhausting and so a lot of things like with and we have two kids, so yeah, so she's, you know, doing, doing a lot with the kids and giving me kind of like time and space to be able to train, and not even like to train because, like you always have like an hour or two to run, but it's more just like the time to rest when it's like you know, obviously, like she's really tired and she's doing a bunch of stuff and so it's like, you know, you want your partner to also be doing things when you're tired and doing things, but it's like she'll still allow me that time to kind of like rest, because it's like if you're really trying to maximize a marathon, you can't be like constantly going.

Speaker 3:

But yeah, so I feel like she does a good job of like putting her like hired, like just completely exhausted emotions aside and like kind of sacrificing for me so that I can, you know, store up a little bit of energy research to get through the day and training and everything.

Speaker 2:

Well, speaking of that, yes, kids, I have two of them.

Speaker 1:

You have two children, their influence on your life and how that's changed. Because I'm I'm childless, just have a bunch of dogs and cats.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I'm a very teenie dog, so I'm dog. Ate my shoe last weekend.

Speaker 1:

My dog ate Chris's shoe a couple of days ago. But introducing children into anyone's life is changes, everything from what I've been told clearly. But for you, how has that been being a dad? Because there, you know, there's also that thing in your children's eyes. I mean, you want to be their hero and you want you're a competitive athlete. How is having your children changed?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, it's like it's so like complex. So it's hard to give like one answer, because in some ways it you know it's is hard and tiring, especially like at night, because like by the time I get to, like seven o'clock after I finish my second run and I eat, is like then I'm just like, I'm just done. But that's when my two year old is the most hyper. It's like he like he hits I'm just well, he's always crazy, but he like picks it into another gear and it's just like so energetic and hyper and put sometimes like wow, like I just I don't have any energy for this. But then at the same time, you know you get so many benefits.

Speaker 3:

I feel like when I'm, when I'm racing, just like thinking of them, or or when I am really tired, or or just like in a moment where I may overthink, like my training or what I've been doing, it's like they kind of force you to take your attention off of that and and there's just you know he's doing whatever and so it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I can kind of like balance things and even that out and then like you get this, you get this kind of like. You're just like forced to kind of like laugh and have this Joy and love when maybe someone else that you know doesn't have kids maybe just like be dwelling on, like am I fit enough, like this, or God didn't go well, like you know, whatever, I'm just like throwing my kid on the bed over and over again and or, you know, racing him around the house. So but yeah, he's, he, my son's a lot of fun. Now my daughter is like she's four months now, so she's just starting to like my L and like really interact with you and so, just like seeing, I like I mean she's a little bit more conducive to marathon training because, like we just lay there together, yeah, yeah, that's a lot, it's.

Speaker 2:

I have a three and a half year old who, once you get to like three, you get a little more of like conversation, like I'm going to need you to play by yourself for 10 minutes and then we can. We can talk about this, but to his, to his, it's fun, but it's a lot. We'll talk about your kids a little more later, but I want to flash back to 2021. You know where I'm going with this. We're going to talk about Boston. You I can still see you in my mind. It was so exciting Just watching you go for it. So the first 20 miles, you eventually finished 10. Take us through that run. And you know you called yourself the best downhill runner in the world or maybe I called you that, but that's what you've said and I ran Boston and those downhills destroyed my hamstrings in a way I maybe still have not recovered from. But for you, you know you've got that super strength to talk us about Boston and and that downhill running.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean in the Boston I was really excited because it's my first one, my first really big marathon other than the Olympic trials, and we were just coming out of COVID, so it was just like really fun to be in a fun environment and, you know, being one of us historic Marathons in the world, you know ever. So I was yeah. So I was just excited and I had like looked at like previous splits of Boston and know that the 1st mile is very downhill and some years it's really fast, like it's under 430 for the 1st mile and then the majority of the years they kind of take it conservatively. But I wanted to train for any situation so I would in my long run that start out on a relatively decent downhill and not quite we don't have that many goals in Fresno, but but yeah, as big as Hill as I could find and run, you know, in the 430s for the 1st mile of my long run and then kind of settle in and go from there. So there's something I had practiced and I had done some like a good amount of downhill sprints, downhill 200, things like that to prepare for the downhills of Boston. So, going in, I was prepared, yeah, I was prepared for the downhills at whatever speed we're going to potentially run them out.

Speaker 3:

So when the race started, I just went out what was felt comfortable to me and what I thought you know might happen. And then everyone else went out really, really slow in comparison. They went through the mile at like five minutes, which, for you know, it's about 115 feet downhill, that 1st mile. So it's like a 515 adjusted pace or something, which is really really slow for guys that are normally averaging 445 for a whole marathon. So yeah, so then once I had the lead, it was just, I just kind of kept running, you know, and didn't didn't say push it, but just ran. What kind of felt comfortable? And and they just continued to run slow, like you know, historically much slower than you would typically expect. So, yeah, and then it was just like, okay, I can have fun because I'm leaving the Boston marathon. This is crazy. I never. I it wasn't even a scenario. I really envisioned a whole lot. So it was just. But it was just like, well, this is awesome and probably never going to happen again, maybe. So, you know, just make the minds of it.

Speaker 2:

And you did have fun and it was really fun and exciting watching you. So thank you for that, because that's one of the memories of you know my Boston memories. We've got meb, we've got Des and we've got you leading there, you know, enjoying the moment, and that's what you got to do. And 10th in Boston is an amazing Boston debut as well, so you had to feel good about that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I know, yeah, I think when they did catch me, they kind of caught me at a perfect time where I was able to regroup and we hit another downhill and I was kind of able to get back in the mix. So, um, yeah, yeah, so I was able to still finish well and, you know, not just keep falling back. So, yeah, overall it was a good day and a good finish. Actually, it's still my best finish that I've been 11, 12 or 12 and 13. I don't know either 11 or 12 or 12 and 13.

Speaker 1:

Since then there's a handful of people in the world who've ever led the Boston Marathon and ever will, and for 20 miles. That's just incredible. You know, as a debut, not having run that race before, what were your expectations of what the race was going to be like outside of the running part of it, the areas that you run, what the fans are like, the whole energy and atmosphere? How did it live up to what your expectation was?

Speaker 3:

I mean I had heard, like you know, different stories, like the Wellesley, like the wind tunnels, and I don't know, not for the wind tunnels but the screen tunnel.

Speaker 2:

The screaming yeah, you weren't stopping for kissing. I understand.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, I had heard like different areas I didn't really know like. So it seemed like normal or yeah, it seemed relatively normal because I knew like Boston was like or they have big crowds. I didn't realize that it was actually pretty tamed down that first year. Apparently, there was only like half the crowd that there normally is. So when I came back in 2022, I was like whoa, this is, this, is different. Like it was because, like when I ran out by myself, like it was loud at points but it wasn't anything like crazy. And then when I was running in 2022, I remember I don't know the town it's like right by halfway, right before you get to the half marathon spot, it was so loud like I couldn't hear anything because it's just like all these people yelling from both sides and there was lots of different parts like that.

Speaker 3:

So, yeah, it was just like 2021 and 2022 were obviously like different, but 2022 is my first. Like whoa, this is Boston, like there's so many people out here, it's so loud. And when we're spanning over 26 miles, so like there's just so many people because it's so, it's like loud at like a lot of places. And the whole the 2021 like pre-race was pretty mellow in comparison because, like now that, especially in 2023, this past year, like man, there's just so much like just festivities, like all weekend, and like if you, when you go down to the river, it's just just completely packed, which. It wasn't like that my first year.

Speaker 2:

Can I ask?

Speaker 3:

a question.

Speaker 2:

John, I have a very important. How was Elliot?

Speaker 3:

Oh, I mean it's not like we talked a whole lot, but it was very cool running with him. I mean, yeah, just watching him on TV for so many years, especially when you know watching him before I had any thought that I was ever going to be running like a pro marathon. So you're just watching this guy and then, like running alongside him for like 13 miles was I mean it was pretty cool. I mean, if I would have known if he would have slowed down that much. I mean it would have been great to be him because he ended up not too far ahead of me. But just racing with him was was really awesome. Before you know beforehand, like he's not really I don't really know where he goes, because like they have all the athletes kind of hang out and eat in the same spot in the hotel and everything, but the really big stars like him, like I don't know, I feel like they have separate areas or something, because I never really saw him before the race. But but yeah, during, that was cool. Thank you for indulging me.

Speaker 2:

My name is Elliot, so that ever I've always have a lot of Elliot questions. I'm hoping to get to meet him in Kenya when I go next month. I've been told he was invited to the wedding I'm going to. So, elliot, I know you're listening Please come to the wedding in Capsabet. Thank you.

Speaker 1:

He's a. He's a. He's an avid listener.

Speaker 2:

Huge, huge, huge fan. Huge fan of the punch.

Speaker 1:

All right, let's jump to October 22, because you set the world record in the 50 K. You stated your strategy for that race was a lot like you were just talking about in Boston was to go out fast and create a buffer for yourself. Take us through that. And this is another. You set a record, so did you know the record going in? Was that something you just planned on, or was it just one of those days where it's like I feel really, really good what I'm doing?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, I was definitely going for the record. I knew what it was. I felt that I was fit enough to do it. When I got to the course the day before, I realized it may be kind of difficult because the way the course was I basically knew I wasn't going to be able to run like the tangents because there's a there's a sizable dirt trail and I didn't really want to run on dirt the whole time, but I knew they would measure from that dirt and it's like this big loop and it's it was an open course so people were walking their dogs like. So basically I knew that I was going to be running far, you know, significantly farther than a 50 K, but I didn't know quite how much it was going to be like, how much that was going to add on not being able to run exactly the tangent. So, and it was hillier than I expected, to be honest.

Speaker 3:

So it was like a little like okay, I know, I know I can run this, if I was like on a track again like, and it's exactly 50 K, I for sure do it. But when I got there is like this, I don't know, I don't know what happened. So I went out. I didn't intend to go out quite as fast as I did. But then, you know, I wanted to have a decent buffer because I knew it'd be, you know, a minute or two like. I'd have to have like a minute or two buffer over the 50 K distance to equal out. And I was trying to do the math in my head With each loop to see how much farther my watch was reading each loop than what it was measured at. So I kind of had a rough idea and yeah, and then, and then obviously you when you're running by yourself, you kind of anticipate you're going to slow down a little bit. So I also had a buffer for that.

Speaker 2:

I just love all these things you do and I think that was your record, that someone took your record. Then you got your record back, which I don't know how your contract is structured, but that could have been more beneficial. So how all that?

Speaker 3:

works.

Speaker 2:

But let's jump ahead to Orlando. We're going to be seeing you in Orlando very shortly, but with your performance in Mexico going under that 2 1130 mark, making you eligible for selection for the team with the top three finish at trials and provision. There's a lot of upper level math obviously involved with the men's team, but you don't have to run a target time. You don't have. You don't need it to be a super fast day, you just need to finish in the top. How did that race in Mexico basically change everything for you going into trials?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it didn't actually change everything, but it just made it so like, ok, if it's 80 degrees and you know I can be third with a 2 12, then cool, I can just be content. I don't have to try to push the pace, I can just run as slow as needed but as fast as needed to be top three. So it just kind of like relieved pressure, just in case the worst of the worst happens.

Speaker 2:

Early weather reports Looks like it's not going to be terrible. It's not going to be today. I just ran and it feels like 54 right now at noon. So I'm sorry, I don't think you guys are going to get that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it looks like it might. Like the high might be like low 70s maybe. So maybe maybe by 12 it'll be high 60s. I'm not necessarily the ideal, but it's going to be good enough that it's going to be under 2, 11, 30.

Speaker 1:

So well, I don't know how much time you spent in central, sorry.

Speaker 2:

Are you excited for this race?

Speaker 3:

because I feel like you are. Yeah, I mean everyone's everyone's excited. Yeah, I mean ideally. I think I would like it to be a little bit warmer, just because I know a lot of guys are really fit and can probably run like a 63 flat first half and feel really comfortable, whereas I'm not sure I can do that right now. But I feel like I can run like 209 flat pace pretty comfortably, even if it's 70 degrees, which I feel like. I feel like there's a lot less guys that can run 209 pace at 70 degrees, but then there is that can run 207, 30 pace at 55 degrees.

Speaker 2:

So for those of our listeners and John who don't follow track as closely as I do no, no, john, this isn't bad. Cj, can you paint the picture of some of the things you've been doing to prepare for the potential heat environment?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, the main thing I've been doing is just I have my treadmill and I have like 11 infrared heat lamps that are like hooked right by the treadmill that basically shine on me, and then I have these two like pretty big red light slash near infrared panels that are also there, and then I have a humid like a pretty big humidifier that is in the room and then I put, I put like sheets to kind of like section off where my treadmill is, to kind of trap all the heat and humidity in there as best as I can in a small little boxed area and then, yeah, I just I run, I usually do my second runs on that and then I've done a few like 20 to 30 minute tempos in there. Usually I bring it, I bring the heat down just a little bit if I'm, if I'm running like like a tempo, just because like it's too slippery to to run sub five pace when it's just that part hot.

Speaker 1:

But I'm just going to say this I don't know how much time he spent in Central Florida but honestly believe no weather report unless it's about 45 minutes before the day starts because it changes here on such a quick. But what you're seeing now could change so greatly between now and then. It is a challenge here in in in Central Florida. So, fingers crossed you guys get good, really good, conditions, because I don't know if you've seen a course or anything, but it's a great spectators course and really, really do expect to have a lot of energy out there and a lot of spectators, because it's really going to be a fun one for people, for people to watch. How familiar you brought this up a little bit. I mean, I know you know you're running against guys and what kind of their times are, but now that your focus is, you know, finishing the top three don't don't necessarily have to post a time, do you? Do you concentrate some on the folks you think will be upfront and what their strategies tend to be, and does that affect yours at all?

Speaker 3:

A little bit, but it's hard to. I think this year is hard to know people's strategy because there's not very many people that have ran in races that they're that they're going to win, you know. So guys that have ran the fastest recently is Connor Mans, clayton Young. They've kind of just ran a pace, tried to run a somewhat even pace for most of the race and there's been people up front or Pacers or whatever, so they just been running in a group. They're not necessarily making a break to win or be in a top position, so it's different. So it's hard to know what their strategy will be to be like. Are they going to push the pace or they're going to lead? You know, because they haven't been in that position before.

Speaker 3:

Galen Rupp is really the only person that's really ran up front in the past and made moves to win, like I was, like he's won the past two trials, so you kind of know his strategy.

Speaker 3:

Typically it's he sits around for the first half and then somewhere in the second half he makes a move, or he makes a first move to kind of break things up and then he makes a definitive move to win and he's historically closed pretty well Obviously with each one.

Speaker 3:

He's older, so how fast he can close, now you know, I don't know. So, but yeah, I mean everyone else, like, yeah, even I really can't think of any of them that have, like, really won a really big event. So I don't even think they know their strategy, to be honest, because they have one, I'm sure, but like they don't know if that's their best strategy because, like you know, they don't, yeah, like or even top three hasn't even top three at a world marathon, major out of you know, out of the top kind of 10 guys that are contending, besides Galen, I don't think a lot of them have. So it'll be interesting because I don't know who's gonna be leading, who's gonna be pushing paces where, because I think, for the most part, again, besides everyone's kind of in uncharted territory. I mean, all of you will be there. He's made a team, but he's gonna be 47. So I don't know, yeah, I mean.

Speaker 1:

I'm not.

Speaker 3:

But like yeah, so yeah, it'll be, it'll be interesting, we'll see how it goes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it makes it fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it does. It seems in from a spectator stamp span standpoint as well, because it is kind of, you know, it's not where you have two or three guys and it's like, well, they're definitely going to be the winners. This could go a lot of different ways, so it should be a lot of fun. All right, before we let you get out here, we have some standard questions that we ask everyone. So, cj, as a competitive runner, as a professional, as somebody who's running Olympic trials, when you find yourself at a hard place, either during a race or in training, how do you motivate yourself to keep going?

Speaker 3:

Different times in the past. It's kind of just been like reminding myself that like running is easy and I can stay relaxed and I don't necessarily need to like push through this. I just need to find a way to to get back within my comfort zone, even though I'm in an uncomfortable spot. So I just need to like not I need to run faster, but I don't necessarily need to try harder, which is difficult at times. And then also now, just you know, having kids is kind of I can kind of go and think about, you know, my wife and my kids and just kind of like say their names or like picture them smiling or running around and it kind of just yeah, eases off some of the pressure and just like allows me to get back relaxed.

Speaker 2:

I love the difference in that question when we were talking to an elite athlete. John is sort of like an everyday athlete to think of the different mindsets and I think it's really important for us everyday runners to hear what, how you guys do it and what you guys think of, because it is essentially the same thing. You're discomforted for pace and my discomfort at a seven minute pace are equal discomforts to us. The stakes are much lower for me but I'm glad that you shared that. I like that and I think that I will. I will retain that one. The other question we ask because we have the best job in the world of being at finish lines of marathons and triathlons all across the world. We get to see a lot of inspiring things for you, a new picture, or think about an inspiring moment that you've seen at a race that sticks with you and kind of helps you see the beauty of endurance sports.

Speaker 2:

I know it's a hard question because you're not there when the people are getting out of their wheelchair and walking across the finish line, or the guy who has the shirt on that says I just beat cancer. You're home showered for that, but was there an athlete or a performance that just stuck with you? I?

Speaker 3:

don't know. I mean I've seen, watched so many races but like all the way from like professional even down to elementary school. I mean as a community college coach, I go to a lot of high school meets and so sometimes even just seen a kid in a JV race like PR or do something that I know was a big race for them, or just like how they race, just like, basically just like runners at any level, like can be an expert, or even watching like elementary school kids, or really like young runners, just because they just run. Some of them will just run like purely with like this, like fun, and like fearlessness, and it's just like they're not worried about like all the things that, like you know, we're thinking about is just like man, they're just going out and running as fast as they can. So yeah, there's just like a lot of different.

Speaker 3:

I don't know, I think there's. There's never like one thing that's like really stuck out to me or that, like I hold onto, is just you know, wherever I'm at, I see things and it's like oh, like that's cool or that's inspiring. Or like other athletes from other sports, just like their mentalities, like I've been watching hard knocks while I've been running on the trip on the treadmill. You know, and just listening to, like you know, professional football players talk, or like how they go through things, or, like you know, watching the Michael Jordan documentaries, or just just any athletes or any people in general, just like talking about what they do, can be inspiring in different ways or motivating in different ways.

Speaker 1:

I think it's a good lesson when you talk about young runners and everything, because even you know, having interviewed athletes from you know, hall of Fame football, basketball, baseball players, distance athletes so many of them talk about trying to remember the pure enjoyment of the athletics which you talk about with the kids or young, and just enjoying and going after it and not allowing all of the outside things that you deal with cloud you and just enjoying the fact that you get to compete. All right, speaking of competing, people are going to want to follow you now that they know that you're competing. So if they want to follow you and your career, cj, where's the best place to do that?

Speaker 3:

Well, they want to follow my running career. Probably Strava, just CJ Albertson. All my runs are on there, and then the only social media I have is Instagram, and it's also just CJ Albertson, so pretty easy to find me.

Speaker 2:

All right, well we found you and we're glad that you took the time for us. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando soon. Is the family coming?

Speaker 3:

My two year old isn't coming, but my wife and the baby are coming, and then my parents and all.

Speaker 2:

All right. Well, we look forward to seeing you and team Albertson here in Orlando on February 3rd.

Speaker 3:

All right, thank you. We look forward to seeing you guys too.

Speaker 2:

All right, athletes, here's the drink Time to shape up your diet. Carissa, give them the goods. John, we're going to talk about sweets, which I don't know if this is relevant to you.

Speaker 1:

I've said it many, many times I enjoy a dessert from time to time, but I'm not a guy with a big sweet tooth, so I don't generally crave that sort of thing. But I am interested to hear how sweets make their way into your healthier you Talk.

Speaker 2:

Well, they make their way into the healthier you, because I want to acknowledge to people that they're actually addicting. So the fact that you don't have them at all is good because it prevents that addiction cycle from starting. But our brains have a reward system and sugar just hits all the right buttons. So when you eat something sweet it triggers the release of feel good chemicals like dopamine, which makes you feel happy and satisfied. Then you go back to craving more and more of that. So with sugar cravings, I recommend that you watch Getting Curious with JVN on Netflix, because he does a whole episode that actually uses brain mapping technology. That shows you what happens when you eat sugar, and I think it helps release people from the feeling of I'm addicted to sugar, something's wrong with me. Two, there's nothing wrong with me. This is what my body is doing. How can I kind of combat against it? So we're not going to go into that, we'll go into that on another day. But just some of the other, there's just an awareness of that. The best way to combat against it is kind of slowly titrate down your sugar consumption, which will then stop the reaction in the roller coaster. But the other problem with sugar is it spikes your blood sugar levels, which then causes a different reaction and reason for a craving roller coaster, because your body's blood sugar goes up, it goes down, and when your blood sugar is down, your brain again tells you you need sweets to bring your blood sugar back up, which you do. So it's really this never ending loop. Your body likes that quick energy fix. Sugar does that too.

Speaker 2:

And then a final reason I'll say why sugar cravings happen is feel good memories. We associate sugar with happy memories. You know, we talked to CJ today. I was trying to give him cake before the Olympic marathon trials. He maybe didn't need that, but cake, there's a celebration, there's cookies, there's hot chocolate, there's all this stuff. Oh, I'm stressed, let me go grab that chocolate. So all this is connected and my point of bringing this up is I'm not going to solve this in this five minute discussion, but what I'm going to try to do is give you an awareness that sugar cravings don't make you bad. There's nothing wrong with you. The next time you have them, maybe try to indulge in a lower amount than you usually would. So it's very hard to stop them cold turkey. But if you just sort of, let's lower the amount and continue to lower it. Hopefully that will get you kind of back on that right track.

Speaker 2:

And then this is the topic of our chat that we had on Monday, january 22nd for healthier you. We are not we dive really deep into sugar cravings and detox, because that was the most requested subject to everybody in healthier you. So if you do want to join, I'd be happy to send you the recording. If you join, you'll be joining after the date, but if you use the code podcast you're going to save a little money. Go to gallowaycoursecom. It's a 12 week course, self-paced. It's going to help you take control of a lot of different areas of your nutrition. And, john, do you want sugar now or you still just want more Cheetos?

Speaker 1:

I do want more Cheetos but, quite honestly, a Hershey's Kiss right now sounds like a really good little treat for me, because what you're saying is have a Hershey's Kiss, don't have an entire chocolate cake.

Speaker 2:

But if you don't really have Hershey's Kisses, even the one might start you back on the train. But I will say we, my kids, got Hershey's Kisses for Christmas and I'm actually enjoying just one little one when I have that sweet tooth.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to say I think it's one of the perfect, like a delivery system for a little bit of sugar, a Hershey's Kiss and the ones with almonds in them, that's Johnny Laws.

Speaker 2:

So now, we've gone from telling people to not have sugar to encouraging it and not encouraging it, not encouraging it, just seeing.

Speaker 1:

if you decided you're going to have five Snickers, maybe instead have one.

Speaker 2:

Hershey's Kiss, pick it up walk away from the pantry and then have it. But that's the goal that you know, john. I want to preach realistic options, not never have sugar. We got to find a way to understand the why and then make options that baby step us towards more sustainable choices. So that's all. So thanks for listening.

Speaker 1:

All right, you want to do this mailbag one?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but you have to read it because it says announcer three. Oh well, no, yes, we're doing the mailbag and then we're wrapping, and then we're going to do. It's going to be confusing. We're going to do it. Yes, we're doing the mailbag, then we're going to wrap and we'll come back.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, not confusing. All right, All right, sarge, today's question comes from Tattoo Tink and they ask are you related to Jeff Galloway? My answer is I am not. All right, moving on.

Speaker 2:

I love that because that's like who is the question directed towards? Is it me, is it Weston, is it you?

Speaker 1:

Because I'm not John Paukey. I consider him a friend, that's all. We're just friends.

Speaker 2:

So it's directed at me.

Speaker 1:

That would be my assumption.

Speaker 2:

I am not by blood related to Jeff Galloway, which a lot of people in the past, like post COVID, will say your dad, your this. And I don't correct them because that's unnecessary. Jeff Galloway is my father-in-law. I am married to his youngest son, Weston, so Weston has that nice bloodline. My son, Elliot, maybe has a little bit of that genetic predisposition. We can I don't know if we can only hope he's going to do whatever he wants to do. So I am not. But what? I will say that it's a confusion. That happens. That I wouldn't say bothers me, but I don't love it. I was at Run Disney before I was married to Jeff Galloway's son. So some people assume that the only reason I got this job was because I am married to Jeff Galloway's son, and that is not true. John and I have done this for 20 years. I didn't start dating Weston until 2017. So I just happened to get to know my lovely husband Weston because I knew Jeff Galloway.

Speaker 1:

And I can say, I think with great confidence, that when we started this 20 years ago, neither you nor I knew who Jeff Galloway was.

Speaker 2:

No, we didn't. And then I met him and I was like this man's great, I love his method. I used his method for the first marathon I did in 2006, the Donna, which is coming up soon and I saw him after the run on the sidewalk and I like chased him down to take a picture. I didn't know I did, who I was. So there were many years of not knowing who Jeff Galloway was. He didn't know who I was. But now he, he does, he is sure.

Speaker 1:

Well, and can I say, the nicest man in the world, jeff Galloway. It really feels like he has an enormous extended family, because I know he feels like family to a lot, of, a lot of people and you can just watch at the end of a race. Now he's usually set up, you know, a hundred yards or so from us at the finish line welcoming people in, and so Jeff's got a very, very big family, you included, just not blood relatives.

Speaker 2:

And I am unfortunately the, by science, slowest Galloway there is, by marathon time. Of all the people that are married to one of Jeff's sons, I am the slowest.

Speaker 3:

Well you know, it's.

Speaker 1:

You know it's like you. You have an Oscar, but your performance wasn't as good as like the seven other people who got the who's the worst performed Oscar. I'm going to come back to that at some point. We're going to we're going to delve into who's the least deserving Oscar winner. It doesn't matter, they still have an Oscar.

Speaker 2:

So, exactly, exactly, nobody cares. So, um, yes, thank you for the question. Tattooed tank we love all the questions and we loved having you guys on listening to CJ. That was a cool episode. I'm so glad he joined us so close to marathon trials because I know a lot of them are really focused, but I enjoyed that. Can't wait to see him soon. We can't wait to talk to you guys real soon and we'll see you soon.

Speaker 1:

Bye, love 3, 2, 1, go.

Olympic Trials, Football Recap, Jason Kelsey
Running Career and College Athletics Experience
From College Grad to Professional Runner
Brooks, Family, and Boston Marathon Relationship
Boston Marathon and 50 K Records
Early Weather Reports and Race Strategies
Understanding and Managing Sugar Cravings
Sugar Consumption Impact on Family Relationships