Wow look I’m back again already! I’m definitely feeling the love, so I figured “why not give SRC’s fans a little holiday treat?” And…since I only have some of your home addresses, the only thing I could think of was another interview! This time though you may have noticed I scored a woman, and I’m gonna let her close out the 2012 Shoeless Joe season!
Sarah Robinson (formerly Sarah MacKay) is a very fast local running talent. Even faster than me. She’s knocking on the sub-17:00 5k door, she recently bettered 1:20 in the half, and she’s one of the leaders at Oiselle, the local women’s running apparel company based out of Greenlake. So if you frequent ye olde loop, perhaps you’ve seen her gliding by, making it look easy (that said, the woman knows how to bring the pain on race days). She also twitters and has a wonderful blog, which is where I realized she’d probably be a good fit for something absurd like this. Enjoy, and I’ll hopefully see you in 2013 with another batch of nonsense, assuming Win doesn’t deactivate my admin access to this site.
Shoeless Joe: Good evening folks! Today I am sitting here with Sarah Mackay (pronounced “Mackey”), an actual woman! Sarah…umm…(glances at paper) works at “Oiselle” (pronounced “Oy-sel”), a local womens running apparel company. She is a model and blogger and twitterer and is a surprisingly fast runner herself! Welcome Sarah!
Sarah MacKay: Actually my name is Sarah Robinson, or it will be once I get my personal assistant to file the appropriate paperwork. Thanks for getting the MacKay pronunciation right though…Massachusetts-style. The hard A sound in *Mackey* really gives it that delicate touch.
SJ: You’re welcome! My first question should be obvious: can you get me a job at Oiselle?
Sarah Robinson: A job as what? We are currently hiring Rundies models.
SJ: I don’t know what a Rundies model is but sure, that sounds fun!
SR: Rundies are days of the week underpants for runners. So instead of Sunday you wear ‘Long Run’, or Tuesday you might wear ‘Fartlek’ or ‘Track’. It’s for the dedicated yet forgetful runner.
SJ: Ahh, now I get it! That’s very clever! I don’t have a phone at the moment but I can tweet you my references and social security number after this if that’ll help grease the hiring process. I did do some modeling back in the day.
SR: Also please Tweet your credit card information. It’s just part of the application process.
SJ: Ok! Now I gathered from your website that Oiselle is mostly for women runners, right? You only seem to have a few items a man might wear. Can you guys make more stuff for men? Your designs are very good and I don’t think it’s fair that us guys have to keep wearing the same Nike shirts, which are all either weird, dishonest, or aggressively hostile & threatening. Just because I watch pro wrestling all the time doesn’t mean I want to dress like it!
SJ: But I digress. Let’s talk about you. I did research so I know a lot about you, but the reader might not. When and why did you get into running?
SR: I was given my first Nike waffles as a baby.
SJ: Wait, huh?
SR: Yeah. It was clear to me that my parents were sending a message. Something was expected of MacKays….and truth be told I did feel lazy after 11 months of simply lolling around, eating. I knew it was time to stop crying and start making something of myself. It was hard work, but with some good coaching I went from crawling to running before my first birthday.
SJ: Wait a minute, how do you even *coach* a baby?! Are you exaggerating?
SR: Yeah, I mean my story is the typical one. I started running when my gym class had to run the mile in 4th grade. I beat everyone except one boy. I think I let him beat me because I had a crush on him. I beat everyone while wearing a jean skirt, white Keds and my favorite white and blue striped boatneck top. I know this because that day is also the day I left school early to fly to Florida to visit my uncle and go to Disney World. Also it’s true that running makes you smarter. I have a memory like an elephant, but I can even add up mile splits. Hmmm actually, maybe it doesn’t.
SJ: Disney World, huh?!
SR: Anyway, after that run I was invited to participate in a city-wide elementary school track meet of sorts. It was a big deal. My whole family was there to cheer. My little brother even drew a big poster board sign for me. But I stopped part way through the mile because some chick near me started having an asthma attack. I helped her off the track and made sure she was okay, then jumped back in. My mom was yelling “Get back on the track!!! JUST GO!!!” and that’s the day I realized my mom was crazy. And also that running is a dog-eat-dog kind of sport.
SJ: Wow, that’s very similar to my beginning as a runner! I knew I had a lot of talent when I ran my first “off campus mile” during 7th grade gym and I beat some of the guys in my class and almost all the girls. My gym teacher said “good effort!” and I knew I’d found my calling.
SJ: So…I’m guessing with that speed and that mom, you ran in high school?
SR: Sure, despite my attempts at cheerleading, volleyball, basketball, acting, flute…it turned out I was a one trick pony.
SJ: But you must have been pretty good at that one trick…I saw a picture on your website of you in a college cross country uniform. They don’t just hand those out at freshman orientation. Well, I don’t think. Have you been running ever since?
SR: I wish.
SJ: Ahh (nods knowingly), I can relate. What was your undoing? Boys? Narcotics? Shin splints?
SR: All of the above, except the boys…and narcotics. And change the “shin splits” to “broken back.”
SJ: Broken back? (winces) Did that hurt? How did that happen…did you break it while running?
SR: (glares) Not funny.
SJ: Huh? No, no, I’m serious! (holds up four fingers) Scout’s honor! Do you not want to talk about it?
SJ: Ohhhkay…so, no. (rifles through notebook) Totally understand, I wouldn’t want to talk about it either! Let’s see. Well let’s just skip a few years I guess. Why and when did you move to Seattle?
SR: I think it was 2007. I heard it was sunny!
SJ: Wow, that’s wildly incorrect, whoever told you that! I’m surprised you’re still here. When did you resume a regular running regimen? See, for me, I was jobless and pathetic and needed something to get me out of the house. So I decided to run a marathon. Now I run all the time but I’m often injured.
SR: I was so jobless when I got here that I would take weeks off of running when I knew I couldn’t afford the amount food I’d need for my training Wow…that sounds sad out loud.
SJ: Yes it does :(
SR: I guess I started running consistently again in spring 2011. Twenty five miles a week or so. After the D1 running experience and so much injury, I was 100% against running seriously ever again. I guess the Beibs has it right: Never say never.
SJ: Was it just an influx of pay checks that got you doing consistent mileage? You could afford Powerbars now?
SR: Yeah, and getting the right job. It’s hard to NOT run when you work for Oiselle. I think it’s in my contract.
SJ: Did the competitive juices come back quickly? And how are those juices different, if at all, than they were in high school & college? Also what is your favorite Powerbar flavor?!
SR: It took a tutu to bring my competitive side back.
SJ: Interesting! Ok Sarah, you’ve done great so far! If it’s ok with you I’d like to move on to the renamed Balanced Athlete Big Acting Lightning Round, sponsored by my close personal friend Eric Sach of The Balanced Athlete in Renton! I’m guessing you’d rather not wear this mask to aid focus?
SR: No thanks, only Oiselle’s elite fabric can touch my skin or I break out in hives.
SJ: Yeah that’s what I figured :\ Ok first things first, seriously what’s your favorite Powerbar flavor?
SR: At one time it was the Berry one. Now, whatever is free. They should bring banana back though.
SJ: Yeah, wildberry! I used to have this friend back in high school whose parents always had a box of Powerbars in the pantry. Some runs would end at his house and assuming the parents were gone I would always immediately head to the pantry and help myself to one (or as he referred to it, “steal”). As you know, they were out of most 17 year olds’ price range. But they’d almost always just have apple cinnamon, and I grew tired of them. Every *once in awhile* though they would have a box of wildberry and it was like Christmas morning!
SR: (nodding vacantly)
SJ: (ahem) Angry bicyclists on the Burke Gilman Trail…what’s their deal?
SR: There are bicyclists on the Burke? I have my headphones on; I guess I never notice them.
SJ: Lucky you. Bananas: runner superfood or vile, sorry excuse for a fruit?
SR: Better as a Runt. But when covered in peanut butter, a decent food.
SJ: Covered in peanut butter? Like, a whole banana…enveloped by peanut butter? Do you eat it with your hands?
SR: Actually to get technical, I guess the banana covers the peanut butter. I slice it and fill it with peanut butter, like a banana peanut butter sandwich where the bread is the banana…this is getting confusing.
SJ: I agree! I was told this was a good question so I’m just going to repeat it. If you could only run one more race in your life, which specific one would it be?
SR: Chicago Marathon.
SJ: Why Chicago?
SR: I need redemption for my only marathon.
SJ: What?! Saved By The Bell’s leading men! First Sage, now you?! I believe Zack was a member of more or less every sports team at Bayside…and I have to assume Slater was a track star. C’mon you’re not THAT young.
SR: I was one of those ‘we aren’t allowed to watch tv’ kids. My childhood is missing huge chunks of pop culture. HUGE. It was humiliating. Thanks for bringing it up.
SJ: Biggest pet peeve committed by other runners, either in the act of running or in general?
SR: Racing with earbuds. Also: leaking terrible, nervous runner farts at starting lines.
SJ: Haha, WHOA! We might have to edit that one a little, but ok!
SR: Haha really!? Dude, sneaky runner farts are the WORST.
SJ: OK moving on before I get fired from SRC! Do you think you could beat me in a 400m race, and why not?
SR: No. Maybe. I don’t know. I have one pace: slow and steady.
SJ: Would you rather be blind, deaf, mute, or paralyzed from the waist down? And why?
SR: Mute. I think people might like me more.
SJ: The 2012 Summer Olympics will be upon us in a couple months. Any sports or events or athlete scandals you’re looking forward to?
SR: I’m looking forward to watching Galen Rupp and Usain Bolt race…each other…in a pudding eating contest.
SJ: If I were lucky enough to take you to a movie–any movie, not just new releases–which movie would you like to see and when should I pick you up?
SR: I’ll assume this is to find out my favorite movie, not looking for a date. Royal Tenenbaums or….Superbabies: Baby Genuises 2.
SJ: Ok great! And umm…if it…*was* me looking for a date?
SR: Married. (waves bling finger)
SJ: Oh. On that note. I have (pulls out a few bills and change)…3 dollars and…27 cents. Will you please run XC for the Seattle Running Club in 2013?
SR: Hmmm. Nope.
SJ: Please? I’m not allowed back on the board of directors if I don’t put you in a singlet.
SR: Are you any good with Photoshop?
SJ: Pretty Woman or Dirty Dancing? And explain.
SR: Dirty Dancing. There’s only so much of Julia Roberts’ laugh a person can endure.
SJ: I agree, she’s horrible!
SJ: Ok that’s a wrap! Sarah, aside from the excessive cursing and the fact you have no idea who AC Slater is, I thought you handled yourself extremely well in the Balanced Athlete Big Awesome Lightning Round, and why not, co-sponsored by Oiselle Running Apparel! Especially considering you’re a woman!
Before I let you go though I wanted to touch on a couple other topics. You recently ran the Hood To Coast Relay right? What did you think of this event and would you recommend it to other runners who haven’t yet experienced running at 3am or surviving a weekend from port-o-potty to port-o-potty?
SR: I recommend Hood To Coast to anyone. But if you are too type A, you better take your anti-anxiety meds or pack yourself a friggin’ drink. Things are going to get out of your control. And there is no room for cwanky in a van. Also if you have an A race in September, don’t do it. It will take some time to recover.
SJ: I’m usually not cranky and I don’t ever have A races. Can I be on your team next year?
SR: I’m a girl’s girl. Is that a thing? If this bird flies to the coast again it will be with Team Oiselle. Although if I went the mixed van route…yes, for sure. I think I’ve heard you’re good at beer ultras, so basically the same thing.
SJ: Well, fingers crossed my Rundies model application finds its way to…well, whoever hires the Rundies models! Speaking of Oiselle, do you have any personal favorite Oiselle products? Any tips for people shopping for their runner friends, wives, coworkers, baristas, strangers they’d like to meet, etc?
SR: You can’t go wrong with jewelry; Oiselle-inspired is even better. Or arm warmers, a tee shirt…my namesake the Mac Jacket is very popular–obviously–or a gift certificate to spend in spring 2013. Every new season makes me giddy.
SJ: My bus is gonna be here any minute, but I wanted to ask if you had any long-term running goals…ones that you feel comfortable putting on the record? Distances, races, times, etc? Or do you just move one race at a time, day by day? Or should I mind my own business?
SR: Oh lordy, I’m giving myself until July to get some serious times in the books. I have a coach now! Like a real live runner, so I’m just seeing if my training with him gets me to the next level. I’d love to run the USA half marathon championships in June…but I need to get under 1:19. So that. I suppose.
SJ: Wow! That’s about as fast as I was…about 20 pounds ago. I’m sure you’ll do great! And I look forward to photoshopping an SRC singlet onto your half marathon championship race pictures!
Are there any questions you wanted to ask me?
SR: I guess the only question I have for you…is…aren’t you supposed to be SHOELESS? What in the name of kittens are those moon boots?
SJ: Oh yeah, aren’t they cool? I’m excited to announce a new supporter of the Shoeless Joe interview series: Hoka One One! They must have seen some of the sweet action Vibram is getting from my support and wanted a piece! So they sent me a pair of shoes! They’re pretty beat up, but you can’t beat free shoes. I look forward to working them into my rotation, as soon as I get over this achilles injury. Thanks again, Hoka One One!
Gracious thanks to Sarah for trusting me and taking the time to give us what the people have been clamoring for: an interview with a real-life woman! I highly recommend her blog for an ideal brand of self-aware runner humor that can be hard to come by. She’s also really fast, if that matters to you. Even though I couldn’t sell her on either Vibrams or Hokas, watch out for her in 2013 and beyond.
Call for Comments
- Not letting your child or college son watch Saved By The Bell: child abuse?
- Should Oiselle hire Shoeless Joe to model Rundies?
- Favorite Powerbar flavor?
Call for Support
- Did you enjoy this? Are you already a club member? If not, consider becoming a member, or getting one for that special someone for Xmas or New Years or whatever you like to celebrate! I’m hard-pressed to think of a better gift for the holidays…aside from Oiselle clothing of course!
- Did you not enjoy this? :(
All photos of Sarah & Joe: Terry Creighton
[Editor’s note: A first draft of this interview featured an “SJ:” in a non-bold font. Seattle Running Club regrets the error.]