Sarah Canney Battled (and Overcame) Disordered Eating on Her Road to Boston

Today on the show I’m running with a woman that has so much going on there is no way we will be able to cover it all in one chat.

Sarah Canney: Mountain Runner

Sarah Canney: Mountain Runner

Sarah Canney enjoys just about every type of running challenge from going hard on the track to running in the mountains, and everything in between.

Sarah has recently gotten into mountain running, and has quickly fallen in love with the ability to be out and a part of nature while running on the trails.

She still hasn’t tested the ultra distance waters yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that itch gets scratched at some point down the road.

Running a Marathon Was Supposed to Be a One-Time Thing

Sarah was very active growing up, but running wasn’t her focus.

In college, she signed up for her first marathon thinking she was going to be one and done with the distance.

Instead, she fell in love with the sport and has basically been hooked since.

Boston: Not What She Thought It Would Be

Since she started running, Sarah had looked forward to qualifying for and running in the Boston marathon.

After several years of chasing the goal, she finally qualified for the race and ran Boston earlier this year (2016).

Sarah had been building the race up in her mind for years, and perhaps that was part of the problem.

Sarah thought that running the Boston Marathon was going the be the culmination of her running ‘career’, kind of the icing on the cake if you will, but looking back she thinks that perhaps her qualifying race was that for her.

It’s the first time I’ve ever talked to someone that was looking forward to Boston and felt like it was less than they thought it would be when all is said and done, and it was honestly nice to get a different perspective on this race.

Sarah Canney Running the Beach

Sarah Canney Running the Beach

Battling Disordered Eating

In my mind, Sarah ran a pretty darn good first marathon. She had a plantar fasciitis issue flare up on her late in her race, and she still managed a sub-4 finish (which is something I’m still working on achieving).

After that race, however, Sarah’s times got worse until she eventually walked away from running for a few years.

During that time, one of the issues that really limited her ability to improve in the marathon was the fact that she was battling bulimia for several years.

Sarah is very open about her struggles, and subsequently overcoming, her eating disorder on her blog. Click here to visit the page on her website dedicated to her battle with disordered eating.

We talked a lot about her struggle with body image and disordered eating on this episode. Clearly that isn’t the most fun topic of discussion, but since Sarah is very open and honest about her journey, I wanted to spend a little extra time shining a light on a subject that more runners are battling than we may ever know.

I asked Sarah if there are ways to address a friend or family member that is struggling with an eating disorder without putting them immediately on the defensive, and she said the best thing you can do is just make them feel loved.

She also mentioned a post on her blog where she interviewed her husband to get his perspective on being a loved one of someone with an eating disorder.

If you’d like to connect with Sarah, find out more of what she’s doing, and hear more of her story check out her website and/or say hi to her on Twitter and/or Instagram.

Talking about overcoming disordered eating, #running Boston, and more with @runfargirl! #runchat Click To Tweet

As Always, I’d Love to Know What Stood Out to You From this Episode! Let Me Know Your Takeaway in the Comments Below!

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2 replies
  1. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Hey Denny, I enjoyedthe interview with @runfargirl very much. I really felt for her as she described the pressure she felt to be perfect when she was growing up. Are all of your interviews so intense tho?? Whoa. One thing I wanted to add about running Boston – upon reflection i totally felt the same way as Sarah. I had a good race. Not a pr, but respectable 4 hrs 9 min. I’m a Boston girl, so I would never want to talk bad about it, but in truth I remember all the shouting and deafening cheers getting to be a little bit too much for me as the race wore on. This is real talk right now. And that’s hard to admit because everyone’s always like Oh the crowd is so great! But there’s also a lot of drunk college kids and the smell of alcohol… And a lot of woo woo girls… Also, have to add here, full disclaimer: I too suffer from anxiety and I’ve had acute depressive periods. In fact I’ve come to think that the intensity of distance training and running may be a depressive trigger for me… Or at least it has been when I’ve spent too many long hours training alone, and not getting enough sleep. But anyway that may be a topic for you to take up sometime? Just a suggestion. Also, kinda heavy. Ok have a great night. Lisa aka @creakyjointsrun and

    • Denny
      Denny says:

      Thanks Lisa, and no all of the interviews are not quite as intense as this one! I honestly didn’t intend for it to go as deep as it did, but that’s what happens on my show. No script, just talk and see where it goes. And as much as the subject matter was a bit heavier than usual, I think we ended up where we needed to.
      I’ve had a couple of chats on the show that have gotten into the anxiety/depression discussion, but I’m always up for tackling something again. I’ll definitely keep it in mind.


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