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Women's Running Stories

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Women's Running Stories (formerly Strides Forward) explores the intersection of running and life, through thoughtfully produced story-telling and original music. Runners featured vary widely, from world record setters to mid-life fitness seekers, and the stories are as different as the runners who share them.


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Megan started linking thinness with performance at a young age. Body commentary, prevalent ideals of what a winning distance runner should look, and the desire to be competitive led Megan down the path toward RED-s: she was amenorrhoeic (had stopped menstruating) by the time she was graduating high school. Her journey demonstrates the numerous challenges young women athletes face to get the health support and education they need to navigate away from the seriously harmful syndrome of RED-s.

This story follows Megan’s journey through her early days of discovering her love of being an athlete, to her frustrations and struggles with RED-s through her NCAA Division I career, and on to how she’s created and found strength in community and taken hold of her own health. Megan is the founder of Strong Runner Chicks, a community to support and uplift women runners.

Ways to follow Megan and Strides Forward Online

Follow Megan on Instagram: @meginspire

Follow Strong Runner Chicks on Instagram: @strongrunchicks

Learn about Strong Runner Chicks on their website

Learn more about Strides Forward on our website

Follow Strides Forward on Instagram and Twitter: @StridesForward

Strides Forward is on


& please join our private Facebook group

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10/02/21 • 47 min

This episode is part of our Roads to Boston 2021 series, where we are following the journeys of 9 women from around the world to the 125th Boston Marathon, which takes places October 11, 2021.

The last Boston Marathon took place April 2019. And finally, this legendary event is back, in person. For every participant who gets an entry to Boston, it's a victory all its own: you can't just sign up for Boston, you have to earn your way in. Get an inside look at what goes in to getting to the finish line of the 125th Boston Marathon. Whether Boston is in your future or your running interests take a different shape, join us to energize your own aspirations.

In episode 1, we met the 9 women of this series and learned about how they got started in this sport. We're in the midst of discovering why we all started marathoning. In episode 2, we learned about Patty's and Amanda's journeys to running marathons, which is inextricably linked to the Boston Marathon; in that episode we also learned about the Boston course. In episode 3, we featured the marathoning stories of Rochelle, Marija, Zarah, and Jonna, and episode 4 explored why Yao, Nicole, and Cherie run marathons. And, in our last episode checked in on what living the marathon life looks like for all nine runners.
Stay tuned for our next episode where we check in with the runners one final time before the race.

Join us on the journey, to energize your own running goals!

The runners featured

Rochelle Solomon, Randolph, MA, USA; hospital and healthcare compliance officer; Boston first-timer
Patty Hung, Orinda, CA, USA; retired high school math teacher turned pediatric nurse; 34 Bostons run
Yao (Yaowapa) Hoisungwarn, Bangkok, Thailand; singing teacher; Boston first-timer
Marija Desivojević, Belgrade, Serbia; mathematician; Boston first-timer
Nicole Spaulding Pinto, Los Angeles, CA, USA; cardiovascular perfusionist; Boston first-timer
Zarah Hofer, lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada; nutritionist; Boston first-timer
Amanda Watters, Ashland, MA, USA; editor, K-12 science curriculum development, 15 Bostons run
Jonna Maas, Spicer, MN, USA; medical doctor, Boston first-timer
Cherie Louise Turner, Somerville, MA, USA; podcaster, writer, editor; 1 Boston run

Ways to follow Strides Forward Online

Learn more about Strides Forward on our website
Follow Strides Forward on Instagram and Twitter: @StridesForward
Strides Forward is on Facebook: We welcome you to join our private Facebook group

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In this episode, Alison tells her running journey and touches on many of the topics that are featured in her book. Let this serve, then, as an inspiration to read her whole story in Running While Black, a book that will certainly become a best-seller and an important read for all runners, especially white runners.

On Women’s Running Stories, we often feature running journeys that highlight how running is about more than the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other. Alison's story is exceptional in this regard.

Her new book is the latest example of how Alison interweaves her running with her commitment to leave the world a better place than it was when she found it. Over the years, she has become a leader in the running world, with a clear, powerful voice. She has shown how running can be a vehicle to create change. She’s also working to create change within the running industry so that this sport can some day truly live up to the claim that it is open and welcoming to everyone.

Alison not only does the work herself, but also inspires and encourages and helps make space for other people doing the work to move the sport of running toward being a space where everyone feels not only welcome, but that they belong.

This episode is sponsored by The Feed, the largest online marketplace for your sports nutrition, offering the brands you know and love, from Skratch Labs, Clif Bar, to Maurten, plus their athlete customized supplements called Feed Formulas. In addition to supporting Strides Forward, this sponsorship supports Hear Her Sports and Keeping Track: together we are a collective of women-hosted podcasts focused on women in sports.

As part of this sponsorship, you can get $80 in credit at The Feed: just go to to claim your $80 in credit at The Feed.

Keep Up with Alison Online

Alison’s website:

Alison on Instagram: @alisonmdesir

Buy Running While Black:

Links to Organizations Mentioned in this Episode

Harlem Run:

Run 4 All Women:

Meaning Through Movement:

Running Industry Diversity Coalition:

Take the Lead on Instagram: @woctakethelead

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Beatie Deutsch had always been athletic. But after getting married and having four children in quick succession during her 20s, she realized she’d left that athletic part of herself behind to care for her growing family.

In 2015, Beatie decided to make a change and sign up for a marathon. Now, in 2021, Beatie Deutsch is a professional runner, a two-time Israeli National Marathon Champion, and the mother of five. She’s also an orthodox Jewish woman who runs in modest dress. Beatie has become an inspiration to thousands of people and is shattering stereotypes both in her home country and beyond.

Ways to follow Beatie and Strides Forward Online

Follow Beatie on Instagram: @marathonmother

Learn about Beatie on her website:

Follow Strides Forward on Instagram and Twitter: @StridesForward

Strides Forward is on Facebook & please join our Facebook group: we discuss women's long-distance running.

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As Barbara Hannah Grufferman approached her 50th birthday, she was feeling, as she describes it, the “umpies”: lumpy, grumpy, and frumpy. Her health wasn’t great: she’d spent her adult life putting the needs of everyone else ahead of herself: work, family, community. And now those choices were catching up to her. And, she’d just gone through menopause, which had had it’s own challenging impact. The spark and grit she’d had before seemed to be fading into the past.

Maybe this is what getting older and seeing the other side of menopause was all about? she thought.

And then, a pointed comment by her then young daughter and a well-timed Wall Street Journal article changed everything. Barbara, who’d never been a runner, set down a path of marathon running, health and wellness, and discovering how to age the very best she could.

Since that day, 15 years ago, Barbara has completed over a dozen marathons and one ultra, and there’s more to come. She also shares her wisdom and lived experience of achieving wellness and health after 50 with a growing number of woman in her work as an advocate for aging well. Barbara has written two books, writes a newsletter, has spoken in public on many occasions, and so much more. In a word, Barbara is vibrant.

Ways to follow Barbara and Strides Forward, plus Coach Parry information

Barbara’s website:

Subscribe to Barbara’s Menopause Cheat Sheet

Follow Barbara on Instagram: @barbarahannahgrufferman

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @BGrufferman

Follow Strides Forward on Instagram and Twitter: @StridesForward

Strides Forward is on Facebook & now has a (private) Facebook group; please join us

Our Website is

We have merch!

The Coach Parry Running Through Menopause Training Program

The Coach Parry webinar, where we first "met" Barbara

We recommend the podcast Hear Her Sports:

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Sally Kipyego was born in Kenya and started running at a young age. She discovered early on that she had talent and a will be seek the ultimate limits of her potential. She had early success as a junior, and when she came to the United States and ran as a member of the Texas Tech cross-country and track team, she dominated by winning total of 9 NCAA championships.

Sally turned pro after college, in 2010, and has been internationally competitive ever since. Among her many accomplishments, she placed 2nd in the 10,000 meter at the world championships in 2011 and 5th in 2015, and she won the silver medal at that distance in the 2012 London Olympics. During that time she was competing for her home country of Kenya, but in 2017, she became a US citizen. She currently calls Eugene, Oregon, home, and visits Kenya regularly.

In 2016, Sally decided the time had come to become a mom. This episode traces her experience going through pregnancy and the bumpy, uncertain journey returning to her job of elite running. And it all culminates at one epic race: the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials.

Through Sally's experiences, we learn about patience, listening to your body, and honoring the reality that every single pregnancy journey is different.

Follow Sally Kipyego on Instagram: @sallykipyego

Follow Strides Forward on Instagram and Twitter: @StridesForward

Our Website is

We welcome you to take a (~10-min) Listener Survey

We have merch!

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Dawn Harper Nelson is an Olympic gold (2008) and silver (2012) medalist in the 100-meter hurdles. In this powerful and important interview, Dawn goes deep about her experiences as a Black woman athlete who also became the first American in her discipline to win a gold medal at one Olympics and then medal at the following Games.

Dawn will be making her bid for a third Olympic team at the Track and Field Olympic Trials coming up in June 2021. Another excellent women helping women tie in here is that Dawn was chosen as one of three elite athlete moms to receive support from the nonprofit &mother as she trains for the trials. &mother aims to help women thrive in their career and in motherhood, and it was founded by Keeping Track’s Alysia Montaño.

Links for This Episode

Keeping Track website:

Follow Keeping Track on Instagram: @keeptrackmedia

Follow Dawn Harper Nelson on Instagram: @dharp100mh

Follow Dawn Harper Nelson on Twitter: @DHarp100mH

Dawn Harper Nelson Facebook Fanpage:

&mother website:

Follow Strides Forward on Instagram and Twitter: @StridesForward

Strides Forward is on Facebook & now has a (private) Facebook group; please join us

Strides Forward website:

We have merch!

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02/24/21 • 29 min

Sophie Speidel is a lifelong athlete: being a competitor is motivating, rewarding, and fun. But there's a simple fact that comes with aging: our ultimate potentials in speed and strength begin to fade. In a sport like running, where we generally measure getting better as getting faster, how can we adjust to a body that's slowing down and still feel like we're improving?

Sophie's journey explores this very question as she takes us through her menopause experiences and how she continues to thrive and achieve as her body ages.

Mentioned in this episode

Sophie Speidel's writing on Trail Sisters:

Dr. Stacey Sims

Selene Yeager and the Hit Play Not Pause podcast

Barbara Hannah Grufferman's "Menopause Cheat Sheet"

Coach Parry's YouTube channel "The Female Athlete"

Coach Parry's "Running Through Menopause" training program

Sarah Lavender Smith's blog, "The Runner's Trip"

Ways to follow Sophie and Strides Forward Online

Follow Sophie on Instagram: @sophiespeidel

Follow Strides Forward on Instagram and Twitter: @StridesForward

Our Website is

We welcome you to take a (10-min) Listener Survey

We have merch!

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Each episode features one woman's running journey through a time of bodily change. The season features athletes from around the world and of differing levels of ability and interest. The one common thread is a love of running long distances, marathons and more.

The first episode launches February 24.

Follow Strides Forward on Twitter:

Follow Strides Forward on Instagram:

Follow host Cherie Turner on Instagram:

Learn more at

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Charlotte Gibbs shares her very personal journey about how her pursuit to become the best athlete she could be led her down the far too common and ultimately detrimental path to RED-s, a syndrome that happens when you don’t give the body enough of what it needs to keep up with the demands you’re putting on it. It’s a condition that happens over time and left unchecked, it will get progressively worse. The key to avoiding RED-s is to recognize early warning signs, and correct course.

Charlotte shares her full journey back to rediscovering joy and health through running, while acknowledging the reality that this is an ongoing process.

I am very thankful to Charlotte for sharing these personal details about her struggles with RED-s, overtraining, and restrictive eating. These topics can be tough to talk about, but these experiences happen more regularly than we recognize, and yes, awareness and knowledge are power. I thank you to Charlotte for being part of that empowerment.

This episode is part of our series of stories focused on running in a woman’s body, where we’re focused on the topics of menopause, RED-s, and pregnancy. Each episode in this series features one runner talking about her experiences around one of these topics.

You can also listen to our first series about experiences at South African's 90km Comrades Marathon, or enjoy our standalone episode featuring ultra superstar Courtney Dauwalter sharing her insights on problem-solving in ultras and strengthening her mental game.

Resources referenced in this episode:

We recommend the podcast Hear Her Sports:

ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life, by Dr. Stacy Sims and Selene Yeager

Selene Yeager

Dr. Stacy Sims

Ways to follow Charlotte and Strides Forward Online

Follow Charlotte on Instagram: @lottiee78

Follow Charlotte on Twitter: @charlottegooda7

Follow Strides Forward on Instagram and Twitter: @StridesForward

Our Website is

We welcome you to take a (~10-min) Listener Survey

We have merch!

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