My guest today has been running for the majority of her life and she has no plans of stopping anytime soon!
She recognizes the value of taking care of her body from the inside out and how it has helped keep her running strong and healthy for decades.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Karen Schlueter-Morland today!
Running Grew On Her
Karen Schlueter-Morland doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t run.
From a young age, she laced up her running shoes and continued to run throughout high school and college.
As the years passed, the sport grew on her.
After graduating from college, Karen only knew one other person besides her that was a runner.
As it turned out, it only took that one friend to convince her to sign up for the Twin Cities Marathon.
Karen didn’t follow a training plan for the race, because in the 1980s there weren’t the plethora of options that are available today.
The lack of a plan didn’t hinder her race.
Karen finished the race in around 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Unbeknownst to her at the time, her next marathon wouldn’t be until at least a decade later.
Ignorance Is Bliss
Following that first marathon, Karen took a break from the distance.
The training took a lot of time, so she focused on shorter distances for awhile.
Looking back on her first marathon, Karen realized how not knowing a lot about the sport probably helped her more than hindered her.
With all the technology available now, it’s easy to focus on paces and splits.
Over the years Karen has learned how important it is to trust your training.
She is a much better runner and enjoys the process more when she doesn’t stress about all the metrics.
One of Karen’s favorite aspects of running is that she can combine the sport she loves with her other love which is travel.
The Boston Marathon is one of her many marathons that stands out as her favorite for obvious reasons.
Another stateside marathon that she loves is the WhistleStop Marathon in Ashland, Wisconsin.
When she is able to travel internationally, Italy is by far her favorite place to visit and run.
She has run the Rome Marathon two separate times with drastically different experiences.
Karen was very sick with what would later be diagnosed as bronchitis when she first ran in Rome.
That experience scared her to the point where she will no longer run a race if not feeling well.
Her second time running was a much more enjoyable experience.
Tips For Traveling and Running
Karen has gained some valuable knowledge over the years from doing destination races.
She would generally recommend planning to run the race at the beginning of the trip.
Running the race early on in a vacation, allows the rest of the time to be spent eating and relaxing.
She usually plans to arrive at her location 2 to 3 days beforehand to allow her time to acclimate to any time difference.
Flexibility is key for everything.
Be flexible on what to pack.
When traveling by plane, there are often restrictions on how much you can bring, so be thoughtful in the race gear you need.
Don’t forget that some variables, such as weather, will be out of your control.
A Shift In Priorities
To date, Karen has completed 28 marathons as she approaches her 60th birthday next year.
Along with including more strength training to keep her more injury-proof, she also discovered heart rate training 7 to 8 years ago.
As she was learning more about heart rate training and how to incorporate it, Karen came across the podcast Another Mother Runner.
Mary-Katherine Fleming, also known as MK, is a running coach that is associated with the podcast.
Karen discovered that Coach MK created the Fitness Protection Program.
The program is designed to help people stay consistent and motivated year-round with their fitness.
Most of Karen’s runs now are significantly slower than they used to be and that is on purpose.
Her priorities have shifted over the years to less about time goals and more about longevity in the sport.
About 5 years ago Karen decided to start a blog called Avocado Runners.
The kitchen is her happy place when she’s not out running.
Pre-pandemic, Karen loved to have dinner parties and was well known for her delicious food.
The blog has a little bit of everything, including recipes, running, and life.
Runny eggs are her go-to food that is nutritious and versatile.
Karen is excited for the day when she can travel again to not only run but also sample delicious food.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Avocado Runners
- Fitness Protection Program
- WhistleStop Marathon & Half-Marathon
- Run Rome The Marathon
- Twin Cities Marathon
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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