Meet the Athlete: Sarah Fowler

Name: Sarah Fowler

Age: 24

Hometown:  Mt. Vernon, Ohio

Current residence: Lincoln, Nebraska

Occupation/Degree you are working towards: Assistant Distance Coach at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a barista at The Mill. Also working on a Master’s degree in Sports Psychology through Capella University 

High School: Fredericktown High School

College (major/minor): Double majored in Exercise Science and Psychology and Minored in Zoology/Biology at Ohio Wesleyan University

What is your running background?: I started running in 7th grade after my parents asked me if I wanted to join cross country. The only thing I knew about the sport was that you ran and I enjoyed tag as a kid, so I was like why not?? I ran both years of middle school as well as freshman and sophomore year of high school at Mount Vernon HS. I ran my senior year at Fredericktown HS and then exhausted my four years of NCAA eligibility at OWU. Now I’m here!

Favorite distance to run? I honestly don’t know. My favorite race is the steeple, but so much is different after the post-collegiate shift. I’ve never been much of a speed demon. I’ve always been a sucker for a good long run. Running 14 miles is so much more appealing than a 3 mile run to me.

What are your future running goals? The main goal is to be healthy. I’ve been stuck in this nasty injury cycle that I haven’t been able to break out of yet – I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though!  My upcoming racing goals include getting back to where I was in college, running a 10k I can be proud of, and conquering a half marathon. I also really want to run another steeplechase just because I miss it so much.

I can’t run without…? My trusty Garmin watch!

Do you do anything to stay injury free? I don’t know what it’s like to stay injury free. Haha To attempt the impossible, I take calcium and a multivitamin every day and B12, vitamin D, and iron every now and again. A couple miles into every single run,  I do at least 5 minutes of drills. I run at least 80% of my miles on gravel/dirt trails. I lift, do core, and do rehab exercises a couple times a week. Believe it or not, I actually stretch at least a tiny bit after practically all my runs while I snack on my post-run snackies.

Do you have a favorite running book/podcast/movie/athlete?

Book: Born To Run or Unbroken. Born To Run is absolutely fantastic. It’s one of those books that I can’t put down, no matter how many times I’ve read it. Unbroken may or may not count as a running book, but I’m a huge history buff, especially with the WWII era. Pairing an Olympic distance runner and the true story of perseverance during WWII is right up my alley.

Podcast: I’ve never actually listened to a podcast.

Movie: My favorite running movie is probably I Am Bolt. First, who doesn’t love Usain Bolt? Second, it was really cool to get such a close look into an athlete’s life, especially one of Bolt’s caliber. He has such a fun personality and I loved how the movie portrayed it. (PSA: It’s on Netflix.)

Athlete: I have too many favorites honestly. Emma Coburn is just perfect and a steeplechase runner, so that one’s obvious. Shelby Houlihan looks like she is always having fun with running. Emily Infeld shows constant perseverance through injuries and it’s just inspiring. Allie Kieffer opens up about her struggles. What she writes is raw, relatable, and helps us realize that we aren’t alone when facing our own demons. Lolo Jones is absolutely hilarious. Seriously, add her on snapchat.

What is your favorite race you have competed in the past? The 2018 Market to Market Relay!! Running 76.3 miles doesn’t sound like the best way to spend a Saturday, but it was actually a BLAST! It was so fun running across Nebraska, speeding from destination to destination, and cheering each other on. It was nearly 8 hours of non-stop excitement and adrenaline.  
What is your number one bucket list race you would like to do in the future? This one is tough! Boston is definitely on the list as well as Emma Coburn’s Elk Run. One is so historical and the other one looks like an absolute party. Nothing beats that!

Do you have any advice to other runners? Surround yourself with those who build you up and support you regardless of what each of you are going through. Be sure to always find the joy in running. If it’s not fun anymore, take a step back and change things up to rediscover it.

What are your PRs?

1500m (outdoor): 4:38

3000m Steeplechase (outdoor): 10:27

5k (indoor): 16:54

6k (xc): 20:51

Everything 6k and up: TBD – I haven’t run anything completely healthy yet. Stay tuned!!

How long have you been an LRC-Nebraska member? Almost a year and a half

What excites you the most about being an LRC-Nebraska athlete?: I love being able to have a sense of community and camaraderie post-collegiately. LRC-Nebraska hosts such a talented and incredible group of athlete that we can’t do anything but build each other up. They also provide endless support for those still chasing their dreams.

What does a typical training week look like for you?  Walk us through your daily routine (training related and otherwise): A typical day for me is the following:

Wake up at 5:30am and to go work at The Mill (coffee shop) and work roughly 6-12. Right when I get off work, I go for a run. After my run I head to the Devaney Center to get some office work/recruiting done until practice at 3:30. I conduct practice until 5:30 or 6. Then I head home to make some tasty meal for dinner. While eating, I watch an episode or two of whatever I’m in the middle of on Netflix. Around 8 or so, I typically begin to work on my master’s program classes. That gets me to about 10 or 11pm and I fall asleep.  Busy. Busy. Busy.

A few days a week I help out with a youth track camp in the evening. SO. MUCH. FUN. Some days I don’t work in the morning and get to go for my run early, which is always super nice.

As for training weeks, I typically have one long run, three hard efforts (includes races if I have them), two easy mileage days and an off day. I rarely double because I like to do all of my mileage at once. I lift on two of the hard days and try my best to do core every other day. When healthy, I like to keep my mileage between 60 and 70 miles a week. Recently, I’ve been sitting around 50 miles waiting for the confidence to make the jump again.

We all approach training and racing differently, so tell us what your short-term and long-term goals are with running:

Biggest short and long term goals are staying healthy and being consistent! I haven’t been able to do either lately, so that’s step one to reaching the remainder of my goals. I do have specific goals for the future, which include a sub 16:30 5k, sub 10:10 steeplechase (ideally a USA’s qualifier), sub 34 10K, sub 1:15 half marathon, and sub 2:45 in the marathon. I really want to kick some long distance trail running booty and be a real force off the roads. I don’t know which goals I want to chase yet or when I want to chase them, so I made them all just in case.

Where are your 3 favorite places to do long runs at the moment?

I currently long run in one place and that’s a loop from my apartment, which mainly includes Salt Creek and Jamaica trails. I don’t trust my legs on pavement and I don’t like to drive somewhere just to run alone, so I don’t get much variety. I’m a creature of habit, so I don’t mind it. They’re my favorite trails in Lincoln!

After a solid race or long run, what is your favorite meal to demolish and replenish those calories?  Please use details and give recommendations!:

Crazy as it sounds, I crave a cherry juice after runs! It’s super good for fighting inflammation. Not the best tasting, but it’ll grow on you.

Share a crazy training or racing story, or simply an interesting moment in time:

I actually just wrote a blog about my own crazy story. The last couple of paragraphs describe the most interesting part of my running. Even in complete solitude, I never run alone thanks to a good friend named Nick. Check it out!

  • What book are you currently reading or TV show are you binge watching?

I got Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor and Michelle Hamilton for Christmas, so that’s next up on my list! I’m always in the middle of binge watching The Office, but recently I caved and started The Vampire Diaries and it’s a lot better than I expected!

You’re the star of a running movie, and the opening scene is you running on a winding dirt road, with a beautiful sunrise.  What song is playing in the background?:

High Hopes by Panic At The Disco or Chasing This by Misterwives

Leave a Comment