Ali on the Run Show podcast

Ali on the Run Show

Ali Feller

Every week on the Ali on the Run Show, I talk with inspiring people who lead interesting lives on the run and beyond. And while running is what brings us all together, on these episodes, we're digging a little deeper. These conversations are about the decisions people have made to get where they are today, and how getting sweaty has factored in. Whether you’re on the run toward something great or away from something that’s holding you back, join me on this never-ending adventure, and let’s all pick up the pace together.

433 Episoden

  • Ali on the Run Show podcast

    432. Shayla Martin, Breast Cancer Survivor

    1:22:15

    “In my gut, I knew my life was about to change.” Shayla Martin has a lot to celebrate right now. First, her 43rd birthday. Then, a spontaneous experience dancing onstage at a concert with Diplo. And, perhaps most importantly, her three-year anniversary of being cancer-free. On this episode, meet two-time marathoner Shayla Martin, a woman who is always joyful, smiling, and seeking a good time. But in 2017, at just 39 years old, Shayla's world was rocked when she found a lump in her breast that turned out to be breast cancer. Here, Shayla shares her cancer story, which included a mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and three breast reconstruction surgeries. She talks about how cancer changed her relationship with her body, and why, in her forties, she decided to pursue therapy for the very first time. She talks about living her best life at Burning Man, about a low point in her life last summer, when she was arrested on her way home after a run, and about why she thinks "life should be lived in a tutu." Shayla lives in New York City where she works in hospitality sales for GrubHub. SPONSOR: AfterShokz — Visit ontherun.aftershokz.com for 15% off wireless headphones. What you’ll get on this episode: On dancing onstage with Diplo and Jess King, and going to Burning Man (3:00) What Shayla’s life was like before her cancer diagnosis (15:30) What it was like being diagnosed with breast cancer (19:50) How Shayla responded to chemo and radiation (35:00) How Shayla’s relationship with her body has changed since getting cancer, and what it was like being told she was cancer-free (44:55) Therapy talk (54:00) Shayla’s experience getting arrested last summer while walking home after a run (1:04:00) Check out: The Pink Agenda Black Burner Project on Instagram @blackburnerproject Follow Shayla: Instagram @sdotmartin05 Follow Ali: Instagram @aliontherun1 Join the Facebook group Twitter @aliontherun1 Support on Patreon Blog Strava Listen & Subscribe: Apple Podcasts Spotify SoundCloud Overcast Stitcher Google Play SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!
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    431. LIVE at the Boston Marathon with Nell Rojas

    1:12:40

    "My goal is to be the top American. That's my goal. And I think I can do it... To be the top American would probably be the best day of my life." Racing is back! Major marathons are back! And, after 19 long and lonely months, live shows are back! It was such a privilege to get to host a live recording of the Ali on the Run Show at the Tracksmith Trackhouse during Boston Marathon weekend, with very special guest Nell Rojas. During the show (recorded on Saturday, October 9), Nell said that finishing as the top American during the Boston Marathon would make Marathon Monday the best day of her life — and she went on to do just that. In her fourth marathon and her Boston Marathon debut, Nell — who is currently, somehow, unsponsored — finished sixth, was the first woman from the U.S. to cross the line, and earned a personal best time of 2:27. This show was so much fun. I promise you will laugh at least once, and, special treat, you'll get to hear from Nell's dad, running legend Ric Rojas. Thank you to Tracksmith for hosting us, thank you to Nell for being a legend, and thank you to everyone who was part of the fun! SPONSOR: Tracksmith. Click here and use code AliBoston for 15% off your next Tracksmith order! Follow Nell: Instagram @nell_rojas_running Twitter @nellrojas Follow Ali: Instagram @aliontherun1 Join the Facebook group Twitter @aliontherun1 Support on Patreon Blog Strava Listen & Subscribe: Apple Podcasts Spotify SoundCloud Overcast Stitcher Google Play SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!
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    430. Ask Ali!

    56:38

    "That goal wasn’t for anyone else. It wasn’t to prove anything to anyone else. It was just something new that I was going to accomplish on my own." Welcome to Ask Ali, a twice-a-month series where I answer all of your questions. This time around, we’ve got listener questions about my time as a single 20-something in New York City, redefining the word "smart," dealing with expectations and disappointment when a race isn't a personal best, muffins and more. Thanks to everyone who called in for this one. Enjoy! If you want to be part of a future “Ask Ali” episode (yay!), call 917-947-9699 — introduce yourself, and ask whatever’s on your mind! I can’t wait to hear from you! SPONSOR: goodr. Click here and use code ONTHERUN15 for 15% off your entire goodr order! You asked: Looking back on being single in NYC (4:10) On re-defining the word “smart,” and ways I think I’m smart (11:55) My favorite marathons (22:45) “What’s the point if I’m not going to PR?” (29:40) How do you deal with feeling like you’re not the “perfect” runner? (36:50) Which Superhero Muffins do you make for breakfast every day? (44:50) Dealing with identity struggles (46:20) Check out: New England Half Marathon Millennium Running Hamptons Marathon Manchester City Marathon Mount Desert Island Marathon "36 Hours in Bar Harbor" Steamtown Marathon Megan Harrington on Episode 176 of the Ali on the Run Show Rise & Run Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow Follow Ali: Instagram @aliontherun1 Join the Facebook group Twitter @aliontherun1 Support on Patreon Blog Strava Listen & Subscribe: Apple Podcasts Spotify SoundCloud Overcast Stitcher Google Play SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!
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    429. Henna Rustami, Fifth Avenue Mile NYRR Women’s Road Mile Champion

    1:09:09

    “I ended up on a dude ranch in Arizona. I just wanted to go far away from New York and from home and just do something completely different. I felt like I’d kind of lost a sense of myself in that pursuit of running really fast and high achievement, so I wanted to recalibrate and go somewhere where no one knew me and running didn’t matter.” Henna Rustami is a rising star in the running world. Though she describes herself as "the worst runner" on her high school and college teams, she has gone on to thrive on the run, becoming an Ivy League champion (running for Columbia University) and thriving on the New York City competitive running scene. Most recently, Henna won the NYRR Women's Road Mile division at the Fifth Avenue Mile, breaking the tape in four minutes and 45 seconds. And she's thriving off the run, too: Henna graduated from law school earlier this year! On this episode, Henna reflects on her running journey and her childhood, growing up in Long Island as the daughter of refugees from Afghanistan. She talks about her parents' journeys fleeing Afghanistan in the 1980s, and about what it was like growing up in a Muslim family in the wake of 9/11. She talks about finding confidence on the run, about escaping to a dude ranch for six months, and about what her training looks like today as a member of Brooklyn Track Club. SPONSOR: AfterShokz — Visit ontherun.aftershokz.com for 15% off wireless headphones. What you’ll get on this episode: Henna recaps her NYRR Women’s Road Mile win at the Fifth Avenue Mile (4:55) On confidence in running (8:45) What Henna’s training looks like (10:45) All about Henna’s childhood (14:50) How Henna’s parents responded to her love for running, and what it was like growing up in an Afghan family on Long Island after 9/11 (22:15) On graduating from law school and starting a career in the pursuit of fighting injustices (35:45) What it was like going from being “the worst runner on the team” to an Ivy League champion (41:35) On navigating what role running would play after college (44:50) What’s next for Henna? (53:35) Check out: Ali on the Run Show LIVE on International Women's Day Caitlyn Tateishi on Episode 226 of the Ali on the Run Show Follow Henna: Instagram @hennarustami Follow Ali: Instagram @aliontherun1 Join the Facebook group Twitter @aliontherun1 Support on Patreon Blog Strava Listen & Subscribe: Apple Podcasts Spotify SoundCloud Overcast Stitcher Google Play SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!
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    428. Erika Kemp, Professional Runner for the B.A.A. & adidas

    1:03:08

    “That was the moment where I remember being like, ‘Oh, I’m not done yet.’ Like I know there’s more. It finally hit me, ‘If you just continue on, you have no idea where your ceiling is.’ So at that point, I just wanted to see how far I could go.” This summer, Erika Kemp — like so many professional runners — had one really, really, really big goal race. Since going pro in 2018 and signing with the Boston Athletic Association and adidas, Erika knew she would want to compete at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in hopes of making her Team USA debut. When it came time to race the 5K at Hayward Field, Erika made it through the first round and advanced to the finals. But ultimately, she finished last that day, and didn't make the 2020 Olympic team. But! Erika has gone on to have an incredible season since then. On this episode, Erika talks about her physical and emotional recovery from the Trials, and explains her motivation for continuing to race throughout the year. Since the Trials, Erika won the USATF New England 5-mile championships, won the U.S. 20K championships at the New Haven Road Race (it was her debut at that distance, and it earned her a second national title), won the Cow Harbor 10K (and ran a personal best), and finished fourth at the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K the following weekend. This girl is on fire, and on this episode, she talks about how she fell in love with running — and how she stays in love with it. SPONSOR: UCAN. Click here and use code ALI for 20% off your entire UCAN order! What you’ll get on this episode: How Erika plans her season (4:00) All about this year’s Olympic Track & Field Trials (10:30) On returning to running after taking a break (14:55) Why the Trials felt so “big” (16:45) Erika’s outlook on racing this season (20:30) Try it: Erika’s favorite workout (24:30) All about Erika’s childhood and how she got into running (27:45) On falling in love with running (34:50) On going pro (39:00) Where to find Erika during Boston Marathon weekend (46:30) Erika’s biggest hopes, dreams, and goals (49:50) Follow Erika: Instagram @imtinyrik Follow Ali: Instagram @aliontherun1 Join the Facebook group Twitter @aliontherun1 Support on Patreon Blog Strava Listen & Subscribe: Apple Podcasts Spotify SoundCloud Overcast Stitcher Google Play SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!
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    427. Jess King, Peloton Instructor

    1:21:45

    “I had remembered this promise I had made to myself, which was a ‘year of yes.’ That if there was an opportunity to meet someone, to make a dollar, or whatever it was, if there was an opportunity in front of me, no matter how scary it felt or how much resistance I felt, I was at least going to give myself the chance to explore it. So I said yes.” Every day, Jess King is in the homes of millions of people around the world. As one of Peloton's first instructors (she joined the team in 2014), she teaches cycling, Tread, Pilates, and dance cardio classes, and is known and loved for her bubbly, glittery, high-energy personality. Jess is a born performer. She grew up dancing competitively in Myrtle Beach, SC, and competed on Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance. On this episode, she reflects on that experience — on making it to the Top 10 before having to withdraw from the competition on account of a few broken ribs. She talks about the disappointment, about reading the comments on social media, and about stepping away from dance for a while afterward. Then, she talks about what it's been like for her to watch fellow Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby make his dance reality competition debut on Dancing with the Stars, and talks about the text she sent him before he first stepped onstage "from someone who's been there." Jess talks about her desire to use her platform for good, and about the power of representation as a Latina woman and member of the LGBTQ+ community. She shares her love story with fiancée Sophia Urista (power couple alert!), opens up about her own mental health and self-help journeys, and talks about how she got the job at Peloton — and how the pursuit of fame quickly transitioned into a passion for building community. SPONSOR: AfterShokz — Visit ontherun.aftershokz.com for 15% off wireless headphones. What you’ll get on this episode: On bad days, setting intentions, and Halloween (6:00) What it was like watching colleague Cody Rigsby on Dancing with the Stars (11:30) Jess reflects on her time on So You Think You Can Dance Season 4 (14:20) On dancing again after SYTYCD (24:45) How fitness — and Peloton — entered the picture (31:00) On the pursuit of fame, and the a-ha moment when everything felt validating (43:30) The pressure of having a platform (51:15) How Jess has evolved as an instructor since her earliest days at Peloton (55:35) On developing thicker skin and being human (58:40) Jess shares her love story with fiancée Sophia Urista (1:02:00) Jess’s message to anyone going through some stuff right now (1:08:00) If you love Peloton, check out: Matt Wilpers on Episode 398 of the Ali on the Run Show Becs Gentry on Episode 379 of the Ali on the Run Show Jess Sims on Episode 261 of the Ali on the Run Show Tunde Oyeneyin on Episode 311 of the Ali on the Run Show Olivia Amato on Episode 344 of the Ali on the Run Show Matty Maggiacomo on Episode 350 of the Ali on the Run Show Follow Jess: Instagram @jesskingnyc Twitter @jesskingnyc Facebook Follow Ali: Instagram @aliontherun1 Join the Facebook group Twitter @aliontherun1 Support on Patreon Blog Strava Listen & Subscribe: Apple Podcasts Spotify SoundCloud Overcast Stitcher Google Play SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!
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    426. Sam Grotewold, Director of Professional Athletes at New York Road Runners

    1:23:41

    “Everybody who has ever run a marathon in the history of ever has run a first marathon. And I guarantee you that some of the concerns and doubts and fears that you or I had in our first marathon have crept into the minds of someone like Shalane Flanagan or Meb Keflezighi in the weeks and days and hours before they ran their first marathon.” Every year at races like the New York City Marathon and the Fifth Avenue Mile, dozens of professional runners assemble for their shot at glory. And in New York City, Sam Grotewold is the guy who brings them all together. As the director of professional athletes for New York Road Runners, it’s Sam’s job to recruit the professional fields at major events like the TCS New York City Marathon, the New York City Half, the Mini 10K, and the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile. And on this episode, the self-proclaimed “running and track nerd” explains how he makes that happen. With more than 20 years of experience, Sam knows the wooing process well. Here, he shares his goals for the recruitment process, how he measures success in his role, and how this year’s New York City Marathon field (which features professional runners from 25 countries and territories) came together. Plus, he shares some of his best stories from his time with the pros, and tells which athlete he reached out to first as he was assembling this year’s NYCM field. SPONSOR: AfterShokz — Visit ontherun.aftershokz.com for 15% off wireless headphones. What you’ll get on this episode: All about Sam’s role in the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile (5:30) On getting the athletes to the start line (19:00) How Sam got his job (21:30) How Sam assembles the fields of professional athletes (29:40) The narrative for this year’s TCS New York City Marathon (33:45) Sam’s process for recruiting athletes (39:00) Sam’s favorite thing about New York City Marathon week (46:15) What goes into the contracts for professional athletes (48:50) On schmoozing, socializing, and spreadsheets (51:20) What New York City Marathon day is like for Sam — plus some of his best race day stories! (56:00) Reflecting on the past year and a half at New York Road Runners (1:08:00) Follow Sam: Twitter @nyrr_pro Instagram @s.grotewold Follow Ali: Instagram @aliontherun1 Join the Facebook group Twitter @aliontherun1 Support on Patreon Blog Strava Listen & Subscribe: Apple Podcasts Spotify SoundCloud Overcast Stitcher Google Play SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!
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    425. Ask Ali!

    49:57

    "So many of us, we put so much pressure and expectation on our running goals because we work so hard, we make so many sacrifices and choices, and we just want race day to be everything that we dreamed of and everything we worked toward. And sometimes life happens, and it’s just… We have to adjust our goals accordingly." Welcome to Ask Ali, a twice-a-month series where I answer all of your questions. This time around, we’ve got listener questions about what to expect at the New York City Marathon start line, hitting a wall during marathon training, race announcing vs. running, The Baby-Sitters Club, and more. Thanks to everyone who called in for this one. Enjoy! If you want to be part of a future “Ask Ali” episode (yay!), call 917-947-9699 — introduce yourself, and ask whatever’s on your mind! I can’t wait to hear from you! SPONSOR: goodr. Click here and use code ONTHERUN15 for 15% off your entire goodr order! You asked: Insider tips for running the New York City Marathon (4:15) What is the ultimate food crime? (13:15) Advice for when you hit a wall during marathon training (16:00) Why I changed the warm-up questions on the Ali on the Run Show (27:40) On race announcing vs. running (33:00) How to get notified about live events on the Ali on the Run Show (38:45) My favorite character from The Baby-Sitters Club (45:00) Check out: Custom Performance Follow Ali: Instagram @aliontherun1 Join the Facebook group Twitter @aliontherun1 Support on Patreon Blog Strava Listen & Subscribe: Apple Podcasts Spotify SoundCloud Overcast Stitcher Google Play SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!
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    424. Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon Race Director

    1:23:09

    “We all have something in common. You know what it is? We woke up this morning. Not everyone else did. There’s the best reason to go for a run.” Dave McGillivray is many things — philanthropist, motivational speaker, 166-time marathoner with a 2:29 PR, Ironman triathlete with a 10:36 PR, father, World Marathon Challenge finisher — but he is best known for his role as race director of the Boston Marathon. On this episode, Dave talks about what runners can expect at this year's race. As the "boots on the ground guy," Dave oversees everything that happens on race day, from the start line to the finish and every mile in between. But Dave's day doesn't end when the final finisher crosses the line: Every year after the official race concludes, Dave returns to the start line in Hopkinton and runs his Boston Marathon. Another famous Dave tradition: Every year on his birthday, Dave runs his age in miles. He's been doing this since he was 12 and hasn't missed a year yet. (This year, Dave is 67.) Dave cares deeply about this sport and the running community, and nearly everything he does, both personally and as the owner and founder of DMSE Sports, is for a greater purpose. This year, Dave served as a logistician for Covid-19 mass vaccination sites including Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park, and helped vaccinate 1.3 million people. SPONSOR: AfterShokz — Visit ontherun.aftershokz.com for 15% off wireless headphones. What you’ll get on this episode: Dave’s advice for World Marathon Challenge hopefuls (11:30) Dave’s morning routine (14:30) What’s top of mind for Dave, one month out from Marathon Monday? (19:20) What goes into choosing a race event date? (37:20) What race day is like for Dave — and all about his post-race tradition (47:45) Dave’s favorite part of race day, and his favorite Boston Marathon memories (55:15) What unites runners? (1:03:40) The role running plays in Dave’s life right now (1:09:50) Check it out: "The Future of Running" Live Show Deirdre Keane on Episode 422 of the Ali on the Run Show Follow Dave: Twitter @dmse Instagram @dmsedave Website Follow Ali: Instagram @aliontherun1 Join the Facebook group Twitter @aliontherun1 Support on Patreon Blog Strava Listen & Subscribe: Apple Podcasts Spotify SoundCloud Overcast Stitcher Google Play SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!
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    423. Courtney Dauwalter, 2021 UTMB Winner

    1:00:22

    “I was doing everything I could, every section that I was coming upon. So in my head it was like, if I’m doing as best I can and I get caught and passed, then that’s just how it played out, and I’m gonna cheer that person on who’s passing me because that’s cool, and that’s how we get better together.” Last month, Courtney Dauwalter defended — and reclaimed — her title at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc 106.5-mile race, and smashed records along the way. She broke the all-time women's course record by seven minutes, finishing in 22 hours 30 minutes and 54 seconds. She beat her 2019 winning time by two hours and two minutes, finished sixth overall (the highest finish ever by a woman), and won the women's division by more than an hour and a half. On this episode, Courtney talks about this year's UTMB experience, describing the sights (and hallucinations), sounds, highs (more than 32,800 feet of climbing!), lows, and views (of France, Italy, and Switzerland) along the way. Plus, in true Courtney fashion, we laugh a lot and talk about candy. If you're looking for a conversation that's equal parts fun, silly, inspiring, and encouraging, this is it. SPONSOR: goodr. Click here and use code ONTHERUN15 for 15% off your entire goodr order! What you’ll get on this episode: A day in the life of Courtney Dauwalter (2:00) What do the numbers and stats mean to Courtney? (5:00) Courtney reflects on having to drop out of the Hardrock 100 earlier this summer (6:45) Courtney’s goals for UTMB, and how she would grade her performance (12:30) How Courtney was feeling on race day (16:30) Courtney breaks down the race (19:45) Hallucination stories! And when things started to hurt (32:20) What Courtney listens to on the run (34:40) Marriage talk (41:00) How Courtney celebrated her UTMB win (44:00) What’s next? (50:25) Candy talk! (53:00) Check out: Courtney Dauwalter on Episode 302 of the Ali on the Run Show Follow Courtney: Instagram @courtneydauwalter Twitter @courtdauwalter Facebook Follow Ali: Instagram @aliontherun1 Join the Facebook group Twitter @aliontherun1 Support on Patreon Blog Strava Listen & Subscribe: Apple Podcasts Spotify SoundCloud Overcast Stitcher Google Play SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!

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