Listener Q&A: November 2021

Gobble, gobble goo and gobble gobble gickle…

If you know the next line to that song, then you really are my kind of people.

But if you don’t, it’s all good.

And not for nothing, it probably means you’re a much better/more enlightened person than me anyway…

Let’s dive in to a little Q&A, shall we?

You Ask, I Answer!

In case you’re new to these parts, here’s what’s going on.

At the end of every month, I do an episode dedicated to you and your questions.

Want to get a question answered in a future Q&A episode? Come join our FB group, watch for the post asking for Qs, and put your query in the comments.

Basically, whatever you ask I try to answer!

Sometimes, the answers aren’t worth a whole lot. But every once in a while I like to think (or at least hope!) that I hit the nail on the head!

When it comes to free advice, there are no guarantees that you won’t get any more than what you paid for it.

That said, I promise to do my best!

And if nothing else, there are usually at least a few decent memes/GIFs to make it worth your while.

Let’s get into this month’s questions, shall we?

This Month’s Questions

I have a 5 year goal to BQ. Should I focus on getting faster in the half first or keep racing marathons as well?

I’m not sure the two are independent of each other, honestly.

The way you’d train for both options is largely the same.

In either case, you need to build a strong base of fitness first, then you can start refining your training a little more specifically for either a fast half or a BQ attempt.

How many times have you received a question via carrier pigeon?

When do you put up your Christmas tree? Real or artificial?

Our trees (yes, that is trees plural) usually go up the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Both of our trees are artificial and of the pre-lit variety.

When do you think it’s an ok time to start listening to Christmas/holiday music?

After Thanksgiving.

I won’t get too curmudgeon if you want to start playing it mid-November, but before that is just too soon.

Any Christmas candy you dislike as much as candy corn?

If I’m honest, I’ve never been a big fan of candy canes.

But candy canes are a thousand times better than candy corn.

What is the farthest distance you have fun?

Just finished a 45-mile race last weekend, and that’s my longest run ever.

(Actually, it was a touch short. So just over 44.25 if we want to be technical.)

What is your best source of motivation to run?

Great Questions

I think I’ve got a sources, actually.

One is that it really does help me to be a better person.

If I’m not running consistently, I’m grumpier at home and less focused at work.

Know that about myself definitely helps motivate me to get out there and get my miles in consistently.

Another is the health benefits, especially when it comes to brain health.

Both of my paternal grandparents had Alzheimer’s disease when the passed, so from an early age I’ve been dead set on trying to reduce my chances of getting the disease myself.

Research is far from conclusive, but there are links to running helping to improve brain health and reduce the likelihood of cognitive decline with aging.

That chance, no matter how inconclusive it is, motivates me.

And last but not least, my running goals motivate me to keep on keeping on.

I really want to qualify for Boston, and I really want to travel the US and run all over the country.

What is your favorite holiday movie?

Remember the 'Home Alone' kid? Here's what Macaulay Culkin looks like at 40

Honorable mention: Christmas Vacation.

Nothing else is even close to those two, as far as I’m concerned.

Turkey or ham and what sides?

I’m a traditionalist at heart, so I’d have to go turkey.

The problem is, it’s easy to have terrible turkey and cooking the bird properly is a huge ordeal.

Ham, more or less, is fool proof.

Good turkey on Thanksgiving is hard to beat, but it’s also hard to get good turkey.

As for sides, I don’t even know anymore.

Cranberry sauce, maybe? Sweet potatoes?


How crucial is getting fitted for running shoes?

Full disclosure: I’ve never gotten fitted for a pair of running shoes.

So hard for me to make an argument that doing so is absolutely vital.

If you have no idea where to begin, it’s probably helpful.

If you’ve had a shoe that works for you that is no longer available, or the new model is dramatically different from the shoe that you’ve loved for years, I don’t think you need to go and get fitted.

You might just talk to the people at the running store and let them know you really loved X shoe and were wondering what would be a similar shoe to that model, and they can probably steer you in the right direction.

And you can always check specs on the internet to find similar shoes to what you’ve been wearing.

Favorite/least favorite Thanksgiving sides?

For years, my favorite was a slam dunk: green bean casserole.

But the last few years, it’s become more and more meh to me.

I suppose my favorite these days is either sweet potatoes or cranberry sauce.

As for least favorite, nothing worse than the sweet potato mashed up with the marshmallows on top.

Why is Thanksgiving such a popular race day?

I Don't Know

Did you find a writing/accountability partner yet?

How do you hold your hands while running: loose fist or more relaxed than that?

I actually go back and forth.

I think that my default is not quite a loose fist, but pretty darn close.

But at various points during a run, especially if it’s a long run, I’ll definitely totally relax my hands and shake them a bit to just loosen everything up.

But ultimately, whatever is comfortable for you is more than likely fine.

Did you get a lot of Halloween candy?

Anything you’re shopping for on Black Friday?


Since I started wearing less supports in my shoes, my times are getting faster. Any ideas why?

Remember that correlation does not always equal causation.

More than likely, it has less to do with the shoes and more to do with your fitness improving and the weather cooling.

After putting in the work during the summer, it’s not uncommon at all to see your paces make a big jump once the weather cools.

My hunch is that those factors have a lot more to do with it than anything with your shoes.

Will you be watching any football on Thanksgiving?

In response to your recent email, you can’t have steak on Thanksgiving!

Do you do an internal happy dance when a client hits a goal?

My joy at the success of my athletes is honestly hard to contain.

What’s the biggest thing that running has taught you this year?

If you do the work, intelligently, it’ll pay off.

Obviously that’s not a perfect guarantee in every facet of life or even in running, but more often than not I think it lines up.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from your client’s this year?

Resilience. Determination. Faith. Trusting in the process. Consistency.

I’ve learned things from everyone I’ve worked with this year, no question.

What will you run for?

Pretty much anything.

How was your swamp ultra?

Honestly, I’m not sure it could have gone much better.

The course was actually much dryer than they made it sound like it was going to be, so the swamp factor wasn’t much of a factor.

I executed my plan very well, and all 5 of my loops were within a few minutes of each other so my pacing was on point as well.

There was a dog at the first aid station that I got to pet and play with every time through.

All in all, it was a solid 9 hours of running and there’s really nothing I can complain about.

What are you most thankful for this year?

Health, both personally and for my family.

As long as we’ve got that, we can figure out just about anything else.

Do you know how to make an apple pie?

Will you be getting a new puppy for Christmas?

Do you see any regulars on your morning runs?

What is your post-run routine?

This is an area where I have lots of room for improvement.

During the week, my post run routine is:

  • Make coffee
  • Make sure Adi is up
  • Get lunches packed
  • Make Adi’s breakfast
  • Anything else to get the girls out the door on time

Stretching? Foam rolling? Or anything else pseudo-adjacent to productive post-run acitivies?

Not happening.

Have you ever thought of taking a cruise? Where would you like to go?

We’ve taken a couple of cruises, and I believe we are set to take an Alaskan cruise in the summer of 2022.

Cruises aren’t necessarily my favorite vacation situation, but I’m down.

And I’m good with going anywhere, but ideally ports where I can get off the boat and go run/sight see and not be too worried about my safety along the way.

When someone asks how many marathons you’ve run, do you include 50ks in your answer?

I think it depends who’s asking.

If it’s a runner, then I’d be more likely to break it down and say X marathons and Y 50ks/ultras.

But if it’s someone that has no idea and they are just trying to be nice/make conversation, I wouldn’t worry about trying to explain the answer.

The fact that you’ve even done one is likely to blow that person’s mind, so splitting hairs between proper marathons, S&Gs, and ultras is going to be so far over their head it won’t even register.

In that case, any answer is fine just keep it simple.

And I’m spent…


As always, the answers in this post are the abridged versions. For a bit more, make sure you press play at the top of this post.

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