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The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 56

Guest: Susan Pass

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“You should talk more and smile. It’s my favorite.”

Susan Pass — best known on the internet as “Susan Runs” and as the blogger behind “Nurse on the Run” — is a 15-time marathoner who holds a 3:18 personal best time. Susan is currently in school to become a nurse anesthetist — a career path she decided on after majoring in dietetics and going on to nursing school, then working in a burn unit in New York City for 7.5 years.

Here’s what you’ll get in this episode:

  • How Susan started running (4:05)
  • Susan’s history with injuries, surgeries, and a labral tear (6:11)
  • What the first run back after double hip surgery felt like (10:28)
  • Susan’s first marathon experience (11:55)
  • Susan’s current running goals (14:05)
  • How Susan became a nurse — and what she thought she wanted to do before deciding on nursing (14:30)
  • How Susan decided on a nursing specialty (16:00)
  • What it’s like working in a burn unit (22:25)
  • What it’s like working the night shift at a hospital (25:15)
  • Why Susan decided to go back to school and what her current 27-month program is like (28:10)
  • How Susan balances a demanding job and schooling with running (33:50)
  • Susan’s craziest nursing story (38:00)
  • What it takes to be a good patient (41:45)
  • Susan’s take on being an introvert (46:00)

What We Mention on this Episode:

Back in August, my friend Erin (“Feeney,” from this point on — she’s the one I’m always hugging at finish lines) sent an email to a handful of friends, myself included.

Subject: Your JetBlue Vacations Itinerary

And then, in just two sentences, she sold the entire group on booking a trip to Bermuda in January to run the Bermuda Triangle Challenge races.

Within an hour, everyone was in. Except me.

I was so sick in August. Like rock bottom sick. Physically sick and mentally roughed up. So I was out. “I REALLY WANT TO,” I wrote, in all caps, as I do. “But I need to get healthy before I can sign up for yet another race. [Sad face colon + parenthesis because I don’t know how to add emojis to emails.]”

Fast forward to December 27, 2017. I was fresh off my CAli on the Run trip, and was feeling emotionally and physically fantastic. That’s when I found myself on, booking a $91 flight while texting the group, “Bermuda: Dare me?”

Not a bad view!

A weekend getaway sounded good. Being warm sounded great. Spending time with the friends I’d neglected IRL while I was sick sounded necessary. And running a race or two sounded super fun.

The Bermuda Triangle Challenge consists of three races: a mile Friday night, a...

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 55

Guest: Nick Symmonds

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“I wanted to prove to everyone that all the sacrifices I’d made and dumb decisions I made were worth it.”

Nick Symmonds was a professional track and field athlete for 12 years, specializing in the 800 meters. He made two Olympic teams — the first when he was just 22 years old — and represented Team USA in Beijing and London. Nick, who lives in Eugene, OR, and is the CEO of Run Gum, retired from professional racing last year, and is now a proud, self-professed “hobby jogger.” He made his marathon debut at the 2017 Honolulu Marathon, and is now training to break three hours in the 26.2-mile distance this spring.

Here’s what you’ll get in this episode:

  • How Nick got into running (3:20)
  • When he realized he could make a career out of running and the life-changing training decision that launched his professional career (5:20)
  • Nick’s advice for mastering the 800m (8:45)
  • What it’s like competing at the Olympics (11:00)
  • When he was “the most nervous he’s ever been for a race” (12:35)
  • How Nick developed his mental strength and overcame “the rollercoaster of emotions” (14:00)
  • The sacrifices he made to become an Olympian (16:45)
  • How he made the decision to retire in 2017, and how he felt the day after his retirement (17:45)
  • Why he wanted to run a marathon...

I’m really excited about 2018.

I have a few New Year’s Resolutions. Nothing groundbreaking, just checklist-y things I want to (I will) accomplish this year. And since I believe everything good comes from putting your big dreams out there, here are mine:

1. I will put myself first. This is something I realized I need to prioritize after my trip to California. It’s not always fully possible, but I plan to set my intention on it and do my very best.

Best day ever.

2. I will bring live shows and events to the Ali on the Run Show! I’m in the process of planning live episodes for this year. They’re going to be fun. The guests are going to be amazing! (No, really. You’ve asked for them. It’s happening.) And, if all goes according to this big plan I have, they’re not all going to be NYC-centric. (And make sure you follow me on Instagram and like the Ali on the Run Facebook page, because I’m going to be doing a lot of live content there, too! It’s going to be fun and interactive!)

That time Brian and I recorded a podcast episode together and he padded my entire...

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 54

Guest: Gwen Jorgensen

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“It’s easy as an athlete to know what your body is saying, but it’s very hard to listen to it.”

Gwen Jorgensen is a professional triathlete, multiple-time world champion, and Olympic gold medalist. She represented Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she brought home the gold in the triathlon, and that same year, she made her marathon debut at the TCS New York City Marathon. (She ran a 2:41, coming in 14th place overall.)

So how do you follow a year like that? For Gwen and husband Patrick Lemieux, it meant welcoming their first child, Stanley, who was born in August 2017! It also meant declaring big, bold, exciting dreams: At the end of 2017, Gwen announced her goal to return to the Olympics in 2020, and to win another goal medal. But this time, she wants to do it as a marathoner. Gwen has officially begun her pursuit to chase her marathon dreams and compete at Team USA in the 26.2-mile distance.

Gwen was a blast to talk to — I smiled the entire time! Here’s what you’ll get in this episode:

  • Gwen’s expectations vs. reality when it came to her pregnancy and returning to running after giving birth to Stanley.
  • Exactly how Stanley’s birth went down. (“I hope your listeners don’t mind details,” Gwen said...

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to start gathering my favorite photos from the past 12 months to build my annual “Best of the Year” Facebook album. OK, so I’ve only done this “tradition” once, in 2016, but my intention was the same: When I was sick and sad for the last few months of 2016, I wanted to reflect on the good times I’d had before Crohn’s took over, and it worked.

And so, one very sick year later, I set out with the same goal — only this time, it didn’t work.

This time around, I flipped through months of photos, only to stop scrolling and somehow feel worse. It seemed all I had to show for 2017 was a lot of [admittedly adorable] puppy photos, and a few [admittedly too many] victorious jumping shots from the few runs I was able to go on throughout this seemingly endless Crohn’s flare. Even four of my “Best 9” photos on Instagram were #TBTs from years gone by: my first New York City Marathon, getting engaged, getting married, getting Ellie.

Needs more Ellie.

I was discouraged enough at my lack of happy memories to carpe the diem and book what turned out to be a life-changing solo trip...

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 53

Guest: Kate Grace

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It’s been a big few years for professional runner and Olympian Kate Grace. In 2016, the Yale graduate won the Olympic Trials in the 800-meter event in Eugene, OR, and went on to represent Team USA in Rio, where she finished eighth. She chased that with a personal best in the 800 meters in Zurich, running a 1:59.47. A few months later, Kate’s contract with Oiselle, her sponsor of four years and her first major professional sponsor, was up, and she announced her decision to join Nike, the industry behemoth despised by many at Oiselle. Then, this past fall, Kate officially joined Portland, OR-based Bowerman Track Club, where she now trains alongside some of professional running’s greatest, fastest women, including Shalane Flanagan, Amy Cragg, and Emily Infeld, and is coached by Jerry Schumacher.

On this episode, Kate lets us all inside the head of a hardworking athlete and Olympian. She shares what it’s like training with some of the fastest women in the world, and talks about the “not glamorous” parts of racing. She explains her recent sponsorship decisions, breaks down how to master the 800m, and talks about why the 800-meter race at the Trials was “a shitshow.” Plus, Kate shares what it’s like competing at the Oympics — and what...

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 52

Host: Brian Cristiano

Guest: Ali Feller

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I’m fresh off a life-changing trip to California, where I spent a week road tripping from San Francisco to Los Angeles — alone. I learned a lot about myself on this trip. My only goal was to surround myself with beautiful things. I went in with no expectations and an open mind, and by the time I flew back home, I felt lighter, happier, and more fulfilled than I have in years — or maybe ever. So on this special bonus episode, we’re flipping the script: This time, I’m in the hot seat, and my husband Brian is taking over the hosting duties. He asks all the hard, insightful, let’s-really-get-into-it questions (including why I really booked this trip, why I never give myself credit for my successes, and why I often say no to things without considering the potential amazing outcomes), and I enjoyed digging a little deeper into my feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and dreams. Enjoy!

Stuff We Mention on this Episode:

CAli on the Run: My 7-Day Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Itinerary

“Making It Count”

Brian on Episode 2 of the Ali on the Run Show

Brian on Episode 17 of the Ali on the Run Show

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 51

Guest: Molly Huddle

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You know her, you love her, and she’s here today: Molly Huddle! Molly is a professional distance runner and 25-time national title holder who lives and trains in Providence, RI. On this episode, Molly talks about her Olympic dreams that started when she was young, and what it’s been like to actually achieve those dreams — twice. She talks about what it’s actually like competing at the Olympics (she represented Team USA in the 5K in 2012 and in the 10K in 2016), and explains why last year’s Olympics felt “like a local road race.” She also talks about the relationship between United States female distance runners right now (warm fuzzy alert!), how she trains her mental game, and her scariest career moments. Plus, she reflects on her marathon debut (at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon), talks about being at the finish line for Shalane Flanagan’s 2017 NYCM win, and shares what’s next. (Since recording this episode, Molly has announced she will officially be racing the Boston Marathon in 2018! Go Molly!)

Stuff We Mention on this Episode: 

TCS New York City Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half

Shalane Flanagan


Ray Treacy

Providence College


Mary Keitany

I’m working on a post that’ll actually sum up the week I just spent road tripping from San Francisco to Los Angeles. That might take a little while. But by popular demand — really, a surprising number of people asked for this! — here’s exactly what I did during each day of the trip, plus some quick tactical tips at the end based on what I learned along the way. 


A few things to note: 

  • I didn’t really care about food on this trip. I got so many restaurant recommendations, but food is still a tricky thing for me. Even though I’m feeling better coming out of this Crohn’s flare, I’m still trying to do mostly dairy-free, gluten-free, alcohol-free, and sugar-free. Obviously I was very lenient with that on this trip, but I wasn’t focused on eating my way through California. Maybe next time. 
  • This itinerary will take you from San Francisco to L.A., driving south on Highway 1 / the Pacific Coast Highway. I highly recommend going in that direction. More on that at the bottom. 
  • I’m sure I missed a lot along the way, but my goal was to “surround myself with beautiful things,” and what I ended up doing felt incredibly fulfilling. Mission accomplished!

Here we go…

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 50

Guest: Janae Baron

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This week, I am thrilled to welcome to the Ali on the Run Show my dear friend — and everyone’s favorite running blogger — Janae Baron! Before we get to that, please join me in congratulating Janae and her family on the arrival of their newest member, Skye Jo, born December 9!

Janae is the beloved personality behind the popular Hungry Runner Girl blog. Janae is a super speedy runner who lives in Utah with her husband, Andrew, their kids (Brooke, Knox, and now Skye!), and their dog, Beretta. Janae was nearly 37 weeks pregnant when we recorded this episode and, as always, was just as sweet, positive, and bubbly as she is on the internet — plus, she was willing to get super honest about everything.

Throughout this episode, Janae and I chat about her struggles with amenorrhea, dating after divorce, running before, during, and after her pregnancies, how negative comments really make her feel, and both the beautiful and challenging parts of raising a blended family. She opens up about how she actually makes a living as a blogger, talks about her game-changing blog post that got 600 comments, debunks some common Mormon myths, and shares more about her past with disordered eating, and whether she now considers herself...

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 49

Guest: Abby Bales

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Abby Bales is the founder of Reform Physical Therapy, which is all about keeping pregnant and postpartum women healthy, active, and injury-free during and after pregnancy. On this episode, Abby explains what exactly that means, why it’s so important — and often overlooked — and what women need to understand about returning to exercise after pregnancy. (Because spoiler, it’s a lot more in depth than just waiting six weeks after birth and then jumping back in.)

As someone who isn’t pregnant, has never been pregnant, and has no children, I had loads of questions for Abby, and she was game to answer all of them. She even walked me through the proper way to do kegel exercises! But this episode isn’t just about pelvic floors. Abby and I also talk about her history with Ulcerative Colitis (we’re IBD sisters!), her relationship with running before, during, and after her own pregnancies, and what it’s like being an entrepreneur and mom of two.

Stuff We Mention on this Episode: 

16 Handles

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

Brian Bosworth



Kara Goucher

TCS New York City Marathon

Hamptons Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon



At the end of 2016, I was very sick. In an effort to cheer myself up and not be too down on the fact that the past few months of the year hadn’t shaped up the way I would’ve wanted them to, I decided to go through all my photos from the past year (and, since that was our first full year with Ellie, there were thousands) and make a Facebook album of all the best ones.

By the time I posted the photos, I was back to my perky old self. I felt grateful for all the great memories I’d made and experiences I’d had throughout the year, and I knew there had been more wonderful than crappy. My experiment worked!

This was a good, very picturesque day, but I’m pretty sure I had a roll of toilet paper in my pocket — and had to use it in the woods at one point…

Now, here we are at the end of 2017, and the majority of this year hasn’t gone as hoped. (I didn’t say going as planned, because after last year, I knew not to make too many plans. But still…)

So in a similar effort, last week I decided to bust out my nearly decrepit phone (seriously, they design iPhones so they die just before you’re due for an upgrade, right?), scroll back to January 1,...

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 48

Guest: Sally Bergesen

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Sally Bergesen is the founder and CEO of Oiselle, a women’s athletic apparel company now celebrating its 10th year in business. On this episode, Sally shares the “oh shit” and “oh no” moments that led her to create Oiselle, and talks about why it’s so important to her that she and her company empower women. She talks about Oiselle’s decision to start sponsoring professional athletes, including Kate Grace, Lauren Fleshman, and Kara Goucher, and shares the career opportunity that gave her a pit in her stomach and made her “want to throw up.” She also opens up about some of Oiselle’s more controversial moments like “LogoGate,” her opinion of “The Swoosh” (that’s Nike, of course), and her take on the state of influencer marketing.

Stuff We Mention on this Episode: 


Episode 43 of the Ali on the Run Show with Kara Goucher

University of Oregon

Lauren Fleshman

Bob Lesko

Sarah Lesko

Emily “Sweaty” Halnon

Sarah “Once Upon a Lime” Conklin

Meggie Smith

Oiselle Volée

New York Road Runners

Kate Grace

New York City Marathon

Oiselle Flyte Tank

Oiselle Roga Shorts

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The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 47

Guest: Brian Cristiano

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Three years ago, my now-husband, Brian Cristiano, and I lined up at the start of two very different Turkey Trots. Though both races were five miles, the outcomes were vastly dissimilar. I ran the Prospect Park Track Club Turkey Trot in Brooklyn, NY, in a respectable 38:41—a 7:44 minute per mile pace. Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, Brian was racing the Newport Pie Run. Here’s a dramatic retelling of how his race went, plus a very special Thanksgiving-themed Sprint to the Finish. (This episode was basically sponsored by three Abita Brewing Company beers and two shots of Patron—all for Brian.) Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Stuff We Mention on this Episode: 

Brian on Episode 2 of the Ali on the Run Show

Brian on Episode 17 of the Ali on the Run Show

Newport Pie Run

Prospect Park Track Club Turkey Trot

Meet Brian

Our engagement story

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Ugg slippers

Orangetheory Fitness

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The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 46

Guest: Allie Kieffer

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Shalane Flanagan may have won this year’s TCS New York City Marathon, but the next American to cross the line was Allie Kieffer, who finished in 2:29. Not only did Allie nab a 26-minute personal best time that day, she was also the fifth place overall finisher. Not bad for a self-coached, unsponsored runner from Buffalo, NY!

On this episode, Allie talks about every aspect of her groundbreaking race, from the injury that almost kept her from lining up at the start — but that ultimately led to the strong race she had — to her mental state before, during, and immediately after the race. She explains how what was once her greatest fear — running the race alone — ended up being the greatest gift, and breaks down how she managed to negative split a tough course, passing a handful of runners in that final 10K. Allie talks about how — and why! — she set the world record for the fastest indoor marathon last year (that’s 211 loops around a 200-meter indoor track, by the way), and opens up about the tremendous and tragic losses she and her family have faced over the years, including the death of her sister. Then, Allie talks about her struggles with body image, and offers up her...

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 45

Guest: Andrea Barber

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Today, the Ali on the Run Show is going Gibbler! I am so excited to welcome Andrea Barber — best known as Full House’s wacky next-door neighbor Kimmy Gibbler — to the show. On this episode, Andrea dishes about all things Full House — including her favorite Kimmy moment, and yes, what John Stamos is really like. She opens up about what it was like growing up in Hollywood, what happened on the Full House set when the cameras weren’t rolling, and how she spent the 20 years between Full House’s finale and the resurgence of the Tanner family on Netflix’s spinoff Fuller House. (Spoiler: She got a college degree, a master’s degree, interned at the United Nations, and had two kids. NBD.) She also shares why she hates red carpets, and gets super honest about her history with anxiety and depression, and the postpartum depression she experienced after giving birth to her daughter. Today, Andrea lives in Orange County, CA, with her two kids (ages 13 and 10), and she’s a runner! She started running five years ago as a way to help manage her mental health, and she’s been hooked ever since. (Raise your hand if you can relate!)

Stuff We Mention on this Episode: 

Stephanie Tanner Motown Philly routine

Saturday was the best day I’ve had in months. In fact, it may have been the best day I’ve had since this same weekend last year.

Easy, tiger…

I’d been enjoying a pretty good two-week stretch. Before that, things had been rough. This Crohn’s flare had proven more than just unrelenting — it was turning out to be pretty life-ruining. It was affecting my work, my ability to take care of my dog, my relationships, and obviously my mental health.

After hitting the proverbial rock bottom — again — I knew I needed to make a change. So I started by changing my diet. I committed to 90 days without added sugar, gluten, dairy, or alcohol. I also started on a doctor-prescribed 30-day dose of Uceris, which is a steroid that directly targets the colon, and that I’ve tried in the past without much success.

Then I went to Texas for a family wedding, and I strayed a little. I did my best to stick to my new “lifestyle,” but I’m pretty sure BBQ ribs and brisket — and, yes, a few glasses of wine — aren’t quite beat-Crohn’s-approved. So how do I make sense of the fact that I flew back to Texas on a Sunday night, and I swear, I woke up Monday feeling sort of like...

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 44

Guest: Chris Heuisler

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You are in for a treat today! On this episode, Chris Heuisler, the National Run Concierge for Westin Hotels and Resorts, shares his most embarrassing running story. Enjoy!

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The post Ali on the Run Show Episode 44: Chris Heuisler’s Most Embarrassing Running Moment! appeared first on Ali On The Run.

Related posts: Hello From Utah! Episode 6: Chris Heuisler, National Run Concierge for Westin Hotels and Resorts Episode 13: Chris Mosier, Transgender Athlete & Advocate

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 43

Guest: Kara Goucher

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Kara Goucher is a professional distance runner with loads of podiums, medals, and titles under her Oiselle-sponsored belt. She lives in Boulder, CO, with her husband, Adam, and their 7-year-old son, Colt (plus their cat, Ellie, and their rescue pup, Freya), and we chatted as she was fresh off her annual Podium Retreat, which sold out in just 36 hours! On this episode, Kara talks about why the Podium Retreat is her proudest accomplishment, and opens up about the most defining—and most discouraging—moments of her running career. She talks about her decision to leave a 12-year Nike contract and sign with Oiselle, and very openly discusses what made her decide to become an outspoken advocate for clean sport. She shares how she feels about being called an “anti-doping whistle blower” and what it was like getting backlash and hate mail after coming forward with her allegations about her former team and coach. Plus, Kara talks about coming in fourth place at last year’s Olympic Trials, how she finally forgave herself for not making the Olympic team, and what she regrets about running after pregnancy.

Stuff We Mention on this Episode: 


Kara Goucher’s Podium Retreat

Oprah Winfrey interviews Lance Armstrong

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)