1609 Podcast: Neely Spence Gracey On How She Found The Sport, Running While Pregnant
We’re super stoked to finally release the interview with Neely Gracey! We got her input on USAs and then jumped right into the interview. Neely talked about how she got started running and how she trained early on, told us about an interesting experience with drug testing after a race, and discussed how she’s running now that she’s pregnant! You can find Neely on social at @neelysgracey and you can find us at @1609pod. Also be sure to check out CITIUS MAG at @citiusmag. Thanks for listening!
Here’s a few parts of the interview transcribed for your enjoyment:
Alex: I’m curious, how did your parents start you out running when you decided you wanted to train? Was it mostly easy mileage? Or was it more traditional like what you see in high school where it’s sometimes a lot of easy miles but you get on the track too?
Neely: It’s interesting because my Dad was my coach, and he had a very unique approach where I didn’t run every day. I only started off running three days a week, but every day was quality. So I would do two workouts and then an uptempo long run and I’d maximize the three days I ran but then the other days of the week I would horseback ride and cross country ski and do all these different things that was more just being a kid and still living life. I wasn’t just solely focused my whole life on running. Then maybe after six months I did four days a week and we added in an easier run but a lot of my mileage was quality. So it wasn’t even until my junior year of high school that I started to hit 40 to 50 mile weeks. Everything that I was doing was very specific and had a purpose but I wasn’t doing high volume and I wasn’t running every day. I think it really helps with the longevity of my career and I think it also helped keep me hungry because I really wanted to get better and it helped me progress more naturally. I used more of the talent that I had, you know with the genetics that I had from my parents and not necessarily tap into all of the fitness that could be built at that time. Especially with young girls I think that’s really essential because when you’re really young girls haven’t fully developed so we have this really big engine but a small body so we’re able to do really big things if we put in that effort, but then it gets more challenging as your body goes through puberty and changes and it’s better to utilize that time to add in more mileage and to build strength and I’d say when I went through that it was like everything clicked and I actually got so much better after as a result because I was ready to handle the additional miles and the additional stress that was being thrown at me.
Alex: You’ve got some exciting news lately…..
Neely: Yes! So…. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to wear the 2018 adidas kit as a result of my husband and I expecting a baby in August! We’re so excited and we’re taking advantage of the off year where there Olympics or World Championship. The other thing is that we have enough time before the Olympic Trials that if we would’ve waited any longer we would’ve had to wait until after 2020. I ended up having an injury this past fall and it just seemed like a good time to give it a try and see what happens. Training was starting to ramp up and I was just not feeling very good in all my workouts and I thought “This is so hard, I’m way more out of shape than I thought.” Then I found out I was pregnant and that made a lot more sense. We’re really excited and I’ve currently been able to run every day so far. Some days are just a mile but I think that’s one of the really cool things about running is that whether you run a mile or 100 miles you’re a runner. Yout got out the door and it doesn’t matter how fast or how slow or how far but you still feel like a runner. That’s been something I’ve really enjoyed throughout this and I know that I’m not going to be able to run everyday throughout the whole pregnancy but I feel fortunate that I have up to this point.
Evan: Brad asks “Who is your favorite character from The Office, what’s your favorite episode and is the name Dwight in the running for baby names?”
Neely: I love this question. So every year my husband and I watch every episode, every season of The Office all the way through in order. It sorta started back in college when the final season of the show was on TV. It was our date night. Every Thursday we would get ice cream and we would watch The Office and so it’s just something that’s continued each year, we have to go back and re watch everything. Jim is definitely my favorite character, he always makes me laugh and the show would not happen without him. At this point Dwight is not in the running for the baby’s name but we will take it into consideration so thank you for that suggestion, Brad.
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