How have the interactions with others influenced your life? This is an impossible question to answer. Even for someone that feels extremely introverted, anti-social, and loves the idea of off-the-grid, your life is shaped by the people that have been in it. This is not a bad thing really, it’s just how our species functions. 

There are pros and cons that come with the natural tendencies of human nature and relationships. The great cities humans have built could not be done individually. Of course, the great destructions also come at the hand of collective effort. The goal then is to harness the good of community, and work to lessen the negatives. 

Today’s episode circled around the various communities we are a part of. Our guest, Colleen Quigley, has been an influential presence on social media for the last several years, becoming more and more well known as an elite runner. She makes up one of the 11 Bowerman Babes and competed in the 2016 Olympic games. 

Early Competitions

Colleen didn’t dream of competing in the Olympics when she was younger. In fact, she didn’t like competition very much in general. She loved dancing, but didn’t like the dance competitions. Colleen is definitely a competitor today, but she feeds off the enjoyment of the event, not necessarily off the competition itself.

For younger athletes, or for those new to a competitive sport like running, there appears to be a lot of pressure. Outside influence can make anyone feel nervous about public performances, and when you are new to something, every event carries more weight. You simply don’t have enough experiences under your belt to feel relaxed about the current one.

While it’s okay to be serious about what you are training for, don’t let the seriousness of it dominate your feelings. Colleen suggests trying to focus on play and enjoyment. Running is a lot of things: serious, tiring, therapeutic, fun, exhilarating, etc. You get to choose which parts of it to focus on. 

Remember that one bad day doesn’t define who you are, but neither does one good day. Collect as many positive thought moments as you can to shape what running is to you.

Finding Motivation

Competing on a world stage has given Colleen many opportunities to develop and find the motivation that has pushed her to the top. Running with the other Bowerman Babes and a solid group of collegiate athletes has definitely played a big part. She says that when she is able to run with a group of people, bad days aren’t as bad because she can find someone to keep her motivated.

When we surround ourselves with others that have similar objectives, we move each other along. Finding someone or a group of people that motivate and inspire you, but don’t unnecessarily pressure you is worth it. If you haven’t found that group yet, keep looking, they are out there.

Colleen also finds motivation in pondering on the great opportunities she has. We get to run; we don’t have to. Going through injuries is something that has cemented that idea for Colleen. When you don’t get to run, you’d do anything to run, even in the worst weather. 

However, it can be difficult to remember that we get to run. Somedays you simply just want to lie in bed and forget about it. A good way to remind yourself of your opportunities is to journal. Rereading your journal during unmotivating times is a great way to see how far you’ve come and remember why you want to get out of bed!

Be an Active Contributor

It is becoming increasingly easier to be a passive consumer of social media. The apps and websites we use are strategically made to keep us there scrolling, clicking and watching. Don’t feel awful about your struggle to limit your time—it’s not easy for anyone. 

However, make sure you are using the tools that exist to limit your passive consumption. Using time tracking apps, having others keep you honest about your time spent online, or making sure to comment and post as much as you scroll will help make the social media experience more positive. 

Take advantage of the great people around you, and build up those you can. We are very lucky to have such a supporting group of humans to create great things. Let’s do it the right way!


Colleen on Instagram

Colleen on Twitter

The Social Dilemma

Protect Our Winters

Brene Brown on Instagram

Clare Gallagher First Interview RFR

Clare Gallagher Second Interview RFR


Listen to the Running for Real Podcast here:

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Thank you to my wonderful sponsor Tracksmith, Momentous, and Run Mitts for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.


Tracksmith is a Boston based running clothing company that truly cares about the quality and care of their running clothes. Running can be a demanding lifestyle for our clothes, they definitely go through the wear and tear to where we may be purchasing new clothes constantly. Tracksmith designers truly work with the finest materials and think of you as a runner in mind with spots for your keys, phone, and fuel. Not to mention they have their fall collection out! You can also go here to check out my favorites!

You can get $15 off your purchase of $75 or more, click here and enter code FORREAL15.


Here is a brand new sponsor, Momentous and I’m excited to start this relationship with them. This week I want to highlight Momentous collagen. Use Momentous Collagen Peptides daily for long-term joint health, resilience against injury, and faster return to running. The most popular ways to use are in a smoothie or with your morning coffee! It mixes in super easily and is totally unflavored. Most products claim to be “unflavored” but still carry a strong scent of their source, be it bovine-hide or marine collagen. Ew.

 Go here and use code TINA for 15% off.

The black owned business for this week features Susan Clayton of White Paws Run Mitts., They carry primarily the running hand mitts as well as face masks for runners. Which has been rated one of the best face masks for runners. There are 9 colors available for the face masks, and are comfortable, water resistant, have reflective strips, and made right in Baltimore. So go and check out their website here to learn more about this great product.

Thanks for listening! I hope you enjoyed today’s episode.

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Thank you to Colleen, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.

community, motivation, women runners

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