Professional runner, mother and wife, Kara Goucher is nothing short of impressive. She shares with us a glimpse of her life in running shoes.
As a two-time Olympian, an American record holder, World Championship bronze medalist, and one of the most accomplished female distance runners of all time, Kara Goucher is one Boulderite you want to know. We caught up with her recently and she let us in on how she balances life as a mother, wife, professional runner and Boulderite.
Have you always wanted to be a professional runner and what sparked the passion for the sport?
As soon as I began organized running when I was 12, I fell in love with it. It was the first sport I did that felt natural to me. I never thought about making a career out of it until I started running at the University of Colorado and I saw former team members running professionally. By my junior year I was really hoping to make it as a professional as well.
“It was the first sport I did that felt natural to me.”
It’s incredibly inspiring as a working mom to see you kick ass. How do you find balance in life as a professional runner, mother and wife?
Life is all about balance. My life is more complicated as a mother, but it is more fulfilling to me. It has given my running more meaning. While my family always comes first, there are times when my family makes sacrifices for my running. And I make running sacrifices for my family. I’m not perfect at it, but they really support each other. I am a better mother because I feel happy chasing a dream. Likewise, I’m a better runner because I truly appreciate it and know that there is more to my life.
“Life is all about balance.”
How do you stay calm and focused on race day as well as getting through those challenging parts of a race?
I am always a bundle of nerves on race day but there are a few things I do to help myself calm down. I remind myself of all the hard work I’ve done to get to this point, all the hard workouts and miles I’ve put in. I also remind myself of how grateful I am for the experience. I spent many years injured on the sidelines and I remind myself how thankful I am to be a participant rather than a spectator.
What does a typical day look like for you in preparation for a race (the 2016 Olympics)?
A typical day would be to get up around 7 a.m. and get my son ready for school. Then I’d meet my coaches for my harder session around 9 a.m. It would take between 2- 2 1/2 hours depending on what we were doing. Then I would head home for lunch and a nap. I’d get up and head over to see one of my therapists for some body work. Then I’d pick up my son from school around 4 p.m. and drive to Rally Sport. I’d put him in child care there, do my double run and lift weights. I’d get home around 6 p.m. to have dinner and spend some quality time with my family.
What’s one (or a few) of your favorite Boulder guilty pleasures?
Ah, so many.
I love going to the Rio for a margarita before dinner. Brasserie Ten Ten for dessert. The fried pickles at OAK at fourteenth are insanely delicious. I love brunching with my family at The Buff or at Tangerine. Basically I love food. And Boulder has great food.
When it’s time to prepare for a race Kara calls upon health coach and recipe developer, Lottie Bildirici, of Running on Veggies. She recently cooked for Kara, leading up to the Olympic trials in February. One staple she cooked for Kara was Apricot Glazed Pistachio Crusted Salmon. Below she shares her recipe.
Apricot Glazed Pistachio crusted baked Salmon
Preheat oven 350 degrees
- 4- 4-6 oz wild salmon fillet
- 3 tablespoons of spicy mustard or dijon
- 2 tablespoons of no added sugar apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1/4-1/2 cup crushed pistachios
- 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots (I used a food processor to get it finely chopped)
- On a large baking tray place parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Place salmon pieces on this tray.
- In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients in the glaze–mustard, jam, lemon juice and garlic. Mix to combine until everything is smooth.
- Using around a tablespoon for each salmon piece, place the glaze over the salmon, spreading it with a knife.
- Once salmon is glazed, combine pistachios and apricots in a small bowl. Then sprinkle on top of each piece of salmon.
- Cook time depends on how big your salmon pieces are. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Then turn the oven to 400 and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on it so you make sure the topping doesn’t burn.