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• ultra running podcast series with western states 100 finisher carolyn hennessey

Yep – happy spirit, running spirit!

When I first thought about doing running podcasts for RMR so we could connect and support an even broader audience of running women, the ideas for shows seemed endless. However, the choice about what and who to feature as the first show was easy. My dear friend and ultra runner, Carolyn. The topic; her journey to Western States 100 Endurance Race. In case you’re not familiar with the famous 100 mile run, here is their website’s intro:

The Run is conducted along the Western States Trail starting at Squaw Valley, California, and ending in Auburn, California, a total of 100 miles. The trail ascends from the Squaw Valley floor (elevation 6,200 feet) to Emigrant Pass (elevation 8,750 feet), a climb of 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4½ miles. From the pass, following the original trails used by the gold and silver miners of the 1850’s, runners travel west, climbing another 15,540 feet and descending 22,970 feet before reaching Auburn. Most of the trail passes through remote and rugged territory, accessible only to hikers, horses and helicopters.

Yeah. THAT race!

The journey and the post-race podcasts are amazing to listen to. Sure, there’s a lot of information about what to eat, how to train for hills, how to handle crazy weather,  about selecting a pacer and crew, but it also includes thoughts on how to get your brain around even wanting to run that far. The mental shift from running a 50 miler to doubling the distance is no small decision.  Carolyn, who blogs over at Happy Spirit Running Spirit was gracious enough to play along and let us pick her brain about training for a 100 mile race, physically and mentally. I would have to add spiritually too because I think it takes a special kind of spirit to commune that closely with yourself and nature at that level of pain, challenge and endurance.

Carolyn & Deb make an awesome team!

In our awesome final program,  Carolyn and her crew chief and pacer, Deb talk about the unique and  trusting relationship between runner and crew chief and how that strengthens their lives and friendship. Many thanks to both of you for the honor of sharing such a personal journey with us.

Each podcast is 15-30 minutes and can be found on the running podcast page on our website. You can also find them and subscribe to our women’s running podcasts through iTunes.

Carolyn , in red, with her amazing crew on the final stretch at Auburn High School track!

Podcast #1 How did you know you wanted to run 100 miles?

Carolyn Hennessey is an ultra runner. We’ll chat with her over the next 6 months as she trains for the famous Western States 100 Endurance Race. We’ll learn how she trains both mentally and physically for running 100 miles while also working full time, creating another business and being step mom to three boys.

Podcast #2 100 Miler Play-by-Play at Pine to Palm 100

In our second ultrarunning podcast with Carolyn Hennessey, we’ll talk about her current training progress as well as review one of her 100 milers. How does she conguer challenges with pain, fueling, night running, adapting to condition changes along with the highs that come from such an ultrarunning accomplishment.

Podcast #3 Training Update & Western States Race Prep

In our third ultrarunning podcast with Carolyn Hennessey, we’ll talk about how her training is going and some specific things she is doing to prepare for the 100 mile distance, the heat, water crossings and other environmental factors of the Western States 100 race.

Podcast #4 Post-race report!

Our rockstar at the finish line!

In our last podcast of this series, we’ll talk with both Carolyn Hennessey and her crew chief, Deb Landau, as they give us their versions of the Western States 100 Endurance Run race report that Carolyn has been training for. We’ve been following Carolyn on her journey to one of the most famouse 100 mile races and we’re excited to hear the play-by-play. Did her fueling system stand the test, how did her heat training prepare her, how did she deal with rough patches and how did Deb and the crew help support her and keep her going.

We’d love to hear your feedback on our series, ideas for another one or your thoughts on ultra running!

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