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The Runaround: Let's Talk About Running

by on January 31, 2019 4:30 AM

Runners really like running. You’ve probably seen us out running this past month in the snow, ice and cold and wondered what’s wrong with us. Trust me, my wife and kids think the same thing when I walk in the house with beard- and eyelash-sicles. Some of us are training for a goal race while others are running just because. 

 We also like to talk about running, a lot. I’m guilty of going to a social gathering that I don’t really want to go to. But the second I hear someone mention running in conversation, I’m more than willing to gab to a random stranger about everything from favorite courses to why I feel like Norm walking into Cheers every time I walk into Rapid Transit. Suddenly I know I can talk about something I’m interested in and not have to fake an interest in politics.

When I can make it, I try to go to the bi-monthly club meeting for the Nittany Valley Running Club. The meeting takes all of 10-15 minutes, and yet most of us don’t leave for an hour or two. Why? Because it’s a bunch of runners sitting around and talking about running. I think our significant others enjoy this time because we can get our runner talk out of our systems. At least for a few hours.

So what’s a runaholic to do when there’s no one around to talk to about running. We listen to podcasts about running. It turns out runners are some pretty remarkable people. We all have a story that is unique to each of us. I’ve stumbled upon a few running related podcasts that I thought my fellow runners might enjoy.

Rambling Runner - I recently discovered this one. Rather than focus on the big name, sponsored runners, host Matt Chittim interviews amateur runners who balance their love of running with the everyday responsibilities of jobs, families, friends and errands. I’ve recently listened to his interviews with renowned coach James McKirdy, who gives some solid advice about training smart to hopefully prevent injuries.

 The Rich Roll Podcast - Not to be confused with Rick Roll, Rich Roll is a “plantpower wellness advocate,” along with being a bestselling author and ultrarunner. These podcasts are a little on the longer side as he does a thorough job of interviewing his guests so the listener can really get to know them and their stories. I recommend the interview with my Hyland’s teammate Mirna Valerio where they delve into her story of breaking down stereotypes.

Man Bun Run - Host Rylee McDermott, a Utah-based attorney who is known for running with his trademark man-bun hair, brings on a variety of elite runners from marathoners and ultra-marathoners to talk about their most recent race experiences and trainings. My favorite episode was when he interviewed a registered nurse anesthetist after her surprising second place in the Boston Marathon.

Marathon Investigations - This is more on the technical or nerdy side of racing, but host Derek Murphy has made a name for himself from his blog by finding cheaters at races. I stumbled upon his blog a few years ago and was amazed at the lengths people will go to just to say they ran a race in a certain time, many times to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon. His podcasts detail some of his findings while also bringing on guests who specialize in running and endurance sports. My favorite episode is the interview with Kit Fox who wrote one of the first articles in Runner’s World about marathon cheating.

The Runner’s World Show & The Human Race - Although these podcasts were discontinued in 2017 when Runner’s World decided podcasts couldn’t help their bottomline, the archived podcasts have some great interviews and stories. Honestly there are too many good ones here to pick just one.

Do you have a favorite running-related podcast? Leave a comment below to let me and others know. I’m always looking for some new running-related podcasts. Trust me, my wife and non-running friends will appreciate it.

Race Calendar

Feb. 2, 10 a.m. - Tussey Teaser #0 Colyer ‘Sno Big Deal 10k at Colyer Lake

 Nothing like getting ready for the 50-mile Tussey Mountainback by running the first of the teaser races. All of the races in the series are free and include prizes and post-race food. If you’re looking for a fun group run on one of the trail roads of the Mountainback, this is the race for you.


Feb. 2, 10:30 a.m. - The NVRC Indoor Mile Series Meet #3 at the PSU Multi-Sport Facility & Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track

 The third and final indoor mile along with the 3000 meter run held in conjunction with the Sykes-Sabok Challenge Cup. Any NVRC member, except for high school age or younger (thanks, NCAA), is eligible to participate. Some runners are crazy enough to do both the mile run and the 3000 meter run. Hey, it’s free. Why not do both?


Feb. 3, 8 a.m. - 4th Annual YMCA Indoor Triathlon at the State College YMCA

While running and biking are possible in February in State College, swimming outdoors would not end well. Luckily, the State College YMCA offers their Indoor Triathlon. It starts with a 10-minute pool swim, then a 10-minute indoor cycle ride, and ends with a 10-minute treadmill run. Scoring is calculated based on the distance covered in each discipline.


Doug Schunk is an avid runner and a chemistry teacher at State College Area High School. His running column will appear monthly.
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