Ep. 68 – Rewrite the Story: with Matt Llano

This week’s guest is Matt Llano of Under Armour and Dark Sky Distance. Matt is a 2:11 marathoner who has represented the U.S. internationally at the World Half Marathon Championships and has competed on the elite level in 4 of the 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors. Matt is a New York native who ran collegiately for the University of Richmond, where he was an All-American, and now lives and trains in Flagstaff, Arizona, with his boyfriend and two dogs.

Matt came on the podcast to share his acquired wisdom and experience as he trains for his 11th marathon as a professional runner, as well as his unique perspective on the changing landscape for queer athletes and everything in between. We also covered HGTV, dog miles, beginning our careers in swimming, and track vs. road racing.

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On choosing the NYC marathon:

“I ran it in 2016 in the midst of some injuries […] and I’m excited to go back and hopefully have some redemption. It’s my home state, the state where I was born; so to go back and rewrite my story is what I’m hoping to do this time around.”

On running his 11th marathon:

“I’m still learning with every race. Some come easier than others, but the marathon is just such a beast that no matter how many you’ve run, you can never take it for granted that you’ve got it figure out. It will always find out a way to humble you.”

Of the changing attitudes toward queer representation in athletics:

“It makes me feel a little envious of people going to school now to see how much has changed – not in a bad way, but to be able to be more comfortable, more open throughout college, I’m envious of that. I’m so happy for how far we’ve come and so happy to have been part of that conversation in a way that advanced discussion and acceptance in the running community. Nobody knew how to have those conversations at the time, and I’m glad it’s getting so much easier.”

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Ep. 67 – Hood to Coast: with James Randon and Mike Horowicz

This week’s episode features two members of the winning team at the 2021 Hood to Coast relay race, James Randon and Mike Horowicz. Hood to Coast is a 200-mile race in Oregon from Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean that will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year. This year, the Lostboys team finished in 18 hours, 34 minutes, averaging 5:40 per mile pace with a team of 12 runners. James and Mike are roommates, old friends, and Boston residents, and James is a professional runner for Saucony’s Freedom Track Club.

In addition to recapping the race and reflecting on the Hood to Coast experience, we covered binge watching, roommate pet peeves, and the longest “naked running” segment in running podcast history. This was a great, silly episode and you’ll really enjoy it.

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Mike Horowicz on his late-night leg:

“Before my 1am leg, I’m jumping up and down, sniffing smelling salts, and everyone is looking at me like I’m a psychopath… I never thought my life would take me to this point, but there I was.”

James Randon on running Hood to Coast after the track season:

“I had an abysmal spring season. Nothing went the way I wanted […] And on the other side of that, I realized that if I wanted to go back into training and continue to make it my career, I needed to find a love for it again. And running Hood to Coast, as insane and awful as it sounds, was a blast.”

Mike Horowicz on coming back to the race:

“There are certain things you do in life that you’re excited about the first time you do it, and then it’s like, ‘been there, done that.’ Hood to Coast is not one of those things. I’ve done it three times and I’ll do it again.”

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Ep. 66 – Earning Your Spot: with Helen Schlachtenhaufen

This week’s guest is a returning favorite, Helen Schlachtenhaufen of Freedom Track Club, who came on the podcast to talk about her breakthrough summer of racing.

After finishing a bittersweet 5th in the 1500m at the Olympic Trials in June, Helen ran a big personal best of 4:01.09 in her first-ever Diamond League meet in Sweden in July and put in big showings in Gateshead and at the Pre Classic. We unpacked her reflections on Trials and her mentality going into big European races this summer, as well as our favorite donuts, how she’d fare in a beer mile, and what it’s really like to date and live with her teammate slash boyfriend, Brian.

This episode is brought to you by the Under Armour All-Out Mile. All through September, you can sign up to train for and run your fastest mile at uaalloutmile.com/runyourmouth. You can train to run your fastest mile ever, work on improving your time from August to September, or just enjoy the ride. Make sure to join the Citius Mag team for the chance to earn great prizes and earn money for charity. Visit uaalloutmile.com/runyourmouth to sign up – it’s free!

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On finishing 5th at Olympic Trials:

“It’s bittersweet. I definitely wanted more, but I’m relatively proud of how I finished, and it made me still want more, but it was still cool just to be there – it was not something growing up that I ever thought I’d be doing, even in college it wasn’t a level I thought I’d be competing at.”

On Freedom Track Club’s new coach Kurt Benninger:

“One of my favorite things about Kurt is that he puts a ton of thought into everything that we do. It makes me feel super prepared going into races. He’s also a very calming person and I tend to get very stressed out before races, so it’s really nice to have somebody there to bring you back down to Earth before a race.”

On feeling like you belong in the world of elite running:

“Making the final of Trials this year was a moment of change for me. Walking out to the starting line, I realized: I qualified; I made it through the rounds; I literally earned my spot on the starting line. You can’t really have imposter syndrome there. Those are the moments when I feel most confident in my place in professional running.”

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Ep. 65 – Flamin’ Hot Miles: with Taryn Rawlings

This week’s guest is Taryn Rawlings of Dark Sky Distance. Taryn is an Oregon native and graduate of the University of Portland who competed in the 1500 meters at the 2021 Olympic Trials after a year of battling injuries, and following a disappointing Trials performance, went on to set personal bests of 4:05 in the 1500 and 4:28 in the mile later this summer.

We had a great conversation about bouncing back from setbacks, how to get through the stresses of the pandemic, and whether she prefers the mile or the 1500. We also covered binge-watching, side hustles, hanging with the “Portland Mafia,” and much more.

This episode is brought to you by the Under Armour All Out Mile. During the month of September, UA encourages you to train for your fastest mile ever in only 30 days. It’s free to sign up and you can win cash prizes, gear, and raise money for charity by joining our Citius Mag team and making Citius the biggest team in the competition. To sign up and learn more, visit UAAllOutMile.com.

On training in Portland for the summer:

“It’s been so nice. I met some of them [Portland-based pros] in college, so it was kind of fun to come back and be training with them. It’s been perfect because Sinclaire and I have been able to train together a bit, which has been so nice, and having the running squad traveling to meets too… you have this extra support crew there which is fun and super helpful.”

On being added to Trials late following the Shelby Houlihan news:

“It was a wild week… I was initially thinking, ‘I’m not going to get in,’ and it got to the point where it scratched down to me being the first person out, and I was like, ‘ugh, that sucks.’ And then everything came out with Shelby […] I didn’t want to say anything, because this is such a crappy situation, and it makes me feel so bad if the only reason I get to run is if she gets pulled out [….] It was kinda a whirlwind, but I was definitely happy for the opportunity to get to run in the end.”

On moving forward to set personal bests after Trials:

“My mindset really shifted from the Trials to ‘what can I get out of this season still.’ It just took a few good workouts for me to get the confidence back, and there was no pressure because I had been through so much the past year just to get back to the starting line. I just wanted to have fun with it again and compete.”

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Ep. 64 – Queen of the Roads: with Emily Durgin

This week’s guest is Emily Durgin of adidas, a 15:24 5k runner and 69:47 half marathoner who’s recently dominated all sorts of distances on the U.S. road circuit. Emily is a Maine native and graduate of the University of Connecticut who now lives and trains in Flagstaff, AZ, and we talked about her journey to the roads, her philosophy toward running and women in sports, and her (eventual) marathon aspirations.

Emily is a great competitor with an awesome perspective on the sport and we had a great conversation that also included topics like Bachelor in Paradise, self-care, and our hot takes on other Olympic sports. Enjoy the episode and don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review us, and follow Run Your Mouth and Citius on social media!

On facing world-class competition on the road circuit:

“Over the past couple years, I’ve gotten so much more comfortable on the roads. Nobody’s PRs scare me on the roads because anything can happen [….] Running against these women with 29-minute 10ks looks scary on paper, but on the roads the hills and the humidity make it a level playing field for everybody, and I thrive in those difficult situations.”

On the impact of social media:

“When I was in high school, I felt like everybody posted photos that were all so perfect. And now there’s a lot of women my age that are posting more imperfections, whether it’s your skin, or your hair, or your body [….] that was something that I struggled with in high school that I struggled with and it’s great to see. I know social media gets a bad reputation a lot of the time, but it’s been awesome to see a bit of a switch in recent years.”

On moving to the marathon:

“No, I am not racing a fall marathon. I probably won’t race a Spring ’22 marathon. I’ve had a lot of change in the past few months so this summer was more about having fun [….] Looking forward, we’re looking at 2024 and running the Olympic marathon Trials there, so we’re going to work backwards from that. I’m not sure when a marathon will come in, but we might push it back a little longer so we can do it right, not just do it to do it.”

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Ep. 63 – New Balance Newbies: with Millie Palladino and Drew Piazza

Before we get into the thick of Olympic coverage this week, enjoy some good pure fun on the latest episode of Run Your Mouth with guests Millie Palladino and Drew Piazza of New Balance Boston. We get right into the ridiculous with parking ticket stories and high school shenanigans, but we also covered the experience of joining a professional team, transferring colleges, and making hard choices in the sport of track and field.

Drew and Millie both competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in June in their first year with New Balance, with Drew finishing 20th in the men’s 800m and Millie finishing 14th in the women’s 5k. Drew has run 1:45 for 800 and 3:56 for the mile, and Millie has run 4:32 in the mile and 15:14 in the 5k.

Drew grew up in Massachusetts and competed at the University of New Hampshire before transferring to Virginia Tech for the remainder of his collegiate career, and Millie grew up in West Virginia and competed at WVU before transferring to Providence College.

On being new to the New Balance Boston team:

Millie: “To be honest, I feel like the transition was pretty seamless. I never felt super out of place [….] I couldn’t be happier with how I feel like I fit in with everyone, and that’s a testament to both Mark and the girls.”

Drew: “It’s really rare to get a group of people where you can feel supported by everyone at all times [….] you have someone to go to for whatever you need.”

On honest feedback from teammates and coaches:

Drew: “We had a similar [injury] thing, where we both knew we shouldn’t be racing. But we can’t see it for ourselves; we see it for each other. And then Mark steps in and tells us to relax.”

Millie: “Sometimes you need somebody to tell you to just not be dumb.”

On transferring colleges:

Millie: “I was in a place like – ‘you’re either going to keep doing this, and doing it the right way, or you’re going to give it up.’”

Drew: “For me, when I was thinking about transferring, I was terrified. But as soon as you decide you have to transfer for your own good, it doesn’t become scary anymore. It becomes: you have to do this for your own survival.”

Millie: “It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve done, but one of the best things I’ve done for myself.”

On tough decisions:

Millie: “No matter what, people are going to have opinions about what you should do with your life. But if it’s something you want to do, it’s always worth it.”

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Ep. 62 – Packing for Tokyo: with Bryce Hoppel

This week’s guest is newly-minted Olympian Bryce Hoppel, who joined the podcast a few days before leaving for Tokyo. Bryce qualified for the 2021 Olympics when he finished third in the 800m, making his second U.S. national team since turning pro in 2019. At the World Championships in Doha, he finished 4th in the 800m, and he’s not shy about his desire to land on the podium this time around.

Bryce is a Texas native and graduate of the University of Kansas and we had a great conversation about his path to running, his go-to taco order, why he should star in Space Jam 3, and everything in between. The first round of the 800 is the evening of Friday, July 30 if you live in the U.S., so don’t miss the chance to cheer him on!

On the men’s 800m squad:

“We come around when it counts. People are already counting us out but we’re definitely going to put two, if not three of us into the final, and one of us is gonna get a medal for sure. I know I’m going for it.”

On pre-Olympics jitters:

“I think it’s definitely more nerve-wracking leading up to it. Once it actually gets here, it’s like, there’s nothing you can do about it: go out there and compete. I just want to get to Tokyo… that’s the most stressful thing. They’re so strict about everything, you worry ‘am I even gonna make it there?’ And once you’re there, everything will click.”

On heading to Tokyo without American Record holder Donavan Brazier on the 800m team:

“It hit me right after all the feelings of making the Olympic team – I was like, dang, Donavan’s not on the team. That was crazy. It’s definitely going to be a different team without him, but he’s going to bounce back; he’s one of the best to ever do it.”

On choosing the University of Kansas:

“Kansas was one of the official visits that I went on and really liked it. I fell in love with track and cross country by finding a great group of friends there at Midland [in high school], and when I met the tight-knit community here, I was like, ‘let’s do it.’ Two days later I was scheduled for another official visit, but something just woke me up at 3am and I was just like, ‘I really loved Kansas. I want to go there’ [….] and luckily everything worked out and went well, and I definitely wouldn’t do anything different.”

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Ep. 61 – Return of the King: with Woody Kincaid

This week’s guest is Woody Kincaid of Bowerman Track Club, a Colorado native and University of Portland grad who recently qualified for his first Olympic games in the 5k and 10k. Longtime listeners will remember that we first had Woody on the podcast in 2018, when he was coming off a string of injuries that derailed his early pro career, and it was a great full-circle moment to have him come on again at the top of his game and to reflect on how far he’s come

Woody is a great friend of host David Melly and we got right into it, so get ready for an all-timer episode. We covered a wide range of subjects from “self-inflicted wounds,” to his relationship with his coaches, to why he threw up before the 10k at Trials, and everything in between.

Enjoy the episode and don’t forget to catch Woody representing Team USA in Tokyo in a few weeks. Don’t forget to subscribe, like, follow, review, and everything else!

On believing he can make the Olympics through setbacks:

“I do have this weird confidence in my own abilities. I have a pretty pessimistic outlook toward other things in the world, but I have a very strong self-belief. I’m not one of those guys that’s like, ‘anything is possible,’ but I know that if I focus I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to. I’ve had moments where I’m like, ‘I don’t know if this is going to work out,’ but those are, for me, generally pretty passing.”

On his relationship with University of Portland coach Rob Conner:

“RC was always a very hands-off coach. His philosophy was, ‘you can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’ and he was always taking me to water and I just… would not drink. But I think he’s very proud now and he’s happy to see the potential that he’d always seen on the big stage.”

On his relationship with Bowerman Track Club coach Jerry Schumacher:

“Jerry and I are the same person with two very different philosophies of life. Personality-wise, we’re very similar, stubborn kind of people, but we disagree on a lot. We always fight, but we understand each other.”

On participating in track and field media:

“I’ll go on podcasts because I have a respect for recording in the moment, but it’s not wise… it’s not smart. If I were smart, I wouldn’t have a Twitter as a professional athlete, because it doesn’t do me good. [….] At the same time, everybody has a [platform] now, and one of the good things about that is that people are more sympathetic to people just being themselves. I’m not worried about what people are going to think at this point – I’ve been out there for a while.”

On dealing with speculation and criticism:

“I’m most defensive when people discredit everything I do. I’ve always been that way. It can be anything… doping allegations or anything else. When I ran 12:58, it was like, ‘well, it’s just the shoes, it’s the environment.’ And Centro made a good point – he said: that just means you made it. And I really took that to heart. When people are so mad at me, it just kinda means that now I’m on the radar.”

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Ep. 60 – Sky’s the Limit: with Skylyn Webb

This week’s guest is Skylyn Webb, a middle distance runner for Saucony’s Freedom Track Club. Sky has an incredible story beginning in Colorado where she played basketball at Fort Lewis College before joining the track team and becoming a 3-time D2 national champion in the 800. Most recently, she qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials at the Music City Track Carnival this past weekend and you can catch her in Eugene next week.

We got into some pretty heavy stuff talking about Sky’s unorthodox journey to running, coming out to her parents, and learning to channel adversity into positive outcomes.  We also assessed Sky’s potential in the beer mile, her impulse pickups of a tattoo and a puppy, and planned our post-pandemic Boston summer. Sky’s leading the way as one of the few openly gay athletes at Trials, which we talk about a bit on the pod, so happy Pride to all our queer listeners and friends!

This was a great episode with a wonderful person and athlete and hopefully the first of many more in the coming weeks leading up to, and during, the Olympic Trials in Eugene. Make sure you subscribe if you aren’t already and enjoy the great long-run talk we’ve got coming up!

On taking up running at a difficult point in her life:

“I was in a tough spot, and I ended up reaching out to the track coach at Fort Lewis and he let me on the team. It brought me out of that hole and allowed me to finish my eligibility at UCCS and it all led to… here. At the time it was awful, but I wouldn’t change it now.”

On taking an unorthodox path to pro running:

“I hope [my story] can go to show that you don’t have to be this perfect runner all throughout your whole life…. it’s fine to get into it later or not be so serious for a while, and it can still work out.”

On her potential in the beer mile:

“I don’t want to be too confident, but I think I could be real good. That might be the only time I could beat Helen [Schlachtenhaufen] in a mile.”

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Ep. 59 – Clearing Barriers: with Dan Michalski

This week’s guest is Dan Michalski of Tracksmith and LeTourneau University, a steeplechaser who’s been turning heads all season with his big performances, most recently when he ran a big PR of 8:21 and notched an Olympic standard at the USATF Distance Open this past weekend. 

Dan is an extremely impressive guy who only started running track his senior year of high school in Ohio before running for Cedarville University, a D2 school, before transferring to Indiana University and nearly winning the NCAA steeplechase in 2019 before falling over the final water jump. He’s currently balancing a newborn baby and a full-time coaching job with his own running career and is currently ranked #8 in the world without a professional contract.

We talked a lot about his unconventional path to elite running and the challenges of balancing a career and family with training, but we also got into his love for disc golf, his hardest steeple falls, and the story behind his moustache. Dan’s story is super inspirational and hearing from him made for a great episode.

On racing pros while unsponsored:

“I have a little bit [of a chip on my shoulder], but I also don’t want to confine myself to that narrative. America loves the underdog, and I know that about myself and the people that know me know my story, but at the same time… I make ends meet. I’d much rather be making a salary and getting health insurance doing what I’m doing than being the guy that’s just kinda hung around one of the pro training groups.”

On potentially racing Evan Jager:

“There was some fangirl nervousness in me… he and Will Leer and Ben Blankenship […] those guys were on my wall at my parents’ house. He was somebody that I did elevate, and it’s crazy to think that I could be sharing a starting line with him – we’ll see if we’re sharing the finish line.”

On learning from his infamous fall at NCAAs:

“I had the most epic ‘failure,’ but what did it really cost me? It’s in a sport; it’s not real life. It wasn’t truly consequential, and really it’s been kind of a formative moment for me. If I can get past one of my biggest failures, I can say that I’m so much more of a person than just the runner that was going for a national title that one time.”

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