Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 166 – Adriana Nelson

Adriana: [00:00:00] Jeremy, my husband decided to like, “Hey, we need to start something on our own.” And that’s when we actually established the ROLL Recovery and worked on our products and launched it. But what happened to all this year when I was running, I was creating great relationships. Not only with race directors, but athletes who or maybe better than me or start me, it doesn’t matter. But being kind and always being engaged with anyone, you will race and be appreciative for what you’re doing.

Jesse: [00:00:54] Did you know that we each lose a different amount of electrolytes in our sweat, largely based on our genetics? That means that there’s no one size fits all perfect sports drink for everybody because we each have unique needs. That’s why we at Solpri developed the SYNC hydration system, a series of sports drinks to help match you with the personal level of electrolytes that you need. If you’d like us to help you match with your perfect sports drink, go to Solpri.com/hydration-quiz. That’s Solpri.com/hydration-quiz.

Jesse: [00:01:34] Welcome to the Smart Athlete Podcast. I’m your host Jesse Funk. My guest today, currently a pro runner with ASICS. She has a number of top finishes, including a second place finish at the Chicago Marathon. She was a champion at the USA half marathon, qualified the Olympic trials three times, has her degree in kinesiology, even though there’s been a minute ago, I still think it’s important to mention. Interestingly, and if you know anything about her, you may already know who I’m talking about. She has represented two countries, both Romania and the USA in the half marathon championship. She’s a co-founder of ROLL Recovery. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @AdiNelson. Welcome to the show, Adriana Nelson.

Adriana: [00:02:19] Hey, great. Thank you. And finally, we met.

Jesse: [00:02:25] Yes, so, so for you, the listener, you don’t have all the background. So we’ve rescheduled a couple of times with Adi first because my wife and I had a baby and then so we were busy at the hospital, not in a place where I could record and then schedules got busy with the second one, but we were finally here able to hang out for today. So thanks for being flexible with your schedule and life.

Adriana: [00:02:55] Thanks for having me.

Jesse: [00:02:56] Yeah, no, absolutely. There’s so many things to ask you. It’s hard to quite know where to start. So one of the things we were talking about before we were recording is maybe the challenge of continuing to be a professional runner as you age. So I guess maybe let’s start there and can you talk to me, I guess through your career, maybe how things have changed, how you feel training, any of that kind of stuff, just anything you think is significant or worth note.

Adriana: [00:03:35] Yeah. Let’s start a little bit of coming from a college like you know college running career. And I knew for a long time that even I won’t pursue being a runner. But more than that, when I came to US, it came off a scholarship. And that was like a huge thing for me. It was my first for a week, so sorry.

Jesse: [00:04:05] Yeah. Just so if she’s going to take a drink of water, just be patient with us. She’s losing her voice. So we’re just.

Adriana: [00:04:12] Big on recovery, especially. I can’t take any medication because I’m expecting a second baby and I don’t want to take any medications. I’m like, no. Anyway, so coming into US, we speak no English. Being able to finish my degree really quickly, I pretty much already through that. And three, three and a half years I finished my degree. I want it to be done quick.

[00:04:38] And then I. Currently, the approach by ASICS and I have been with them since 2006. Which has been amazing and been such a brisk walk to me in my ups and downs, very loyal company. Anyway, I think that the biggest challenge was more like the fact that I was alone in the US. And you just have to take yourself up there, basically, like pursue what you actually envision yourself to see, you know, to do what, what to do and this like running career.

[00:05:26] But I was lucky enough to actually be able to run well and be able to take care of myself. I didn’t need my parents — did not help me. I had to help them they’re in Romania, different life. I had a great manager who supported me through this time and put me in races that he knew I was able to do well. In 2005, I represented Romania and we actually won a gold medal, the World Championship. When I finished up then and that was great because I was still in college last year, but I was already running professionally, let’s say. Let’s put it that way.

[00:06:12] So that put me on the map a little bit, and that’s how I actually got approached by other companies. “Hey, we want you” like I consider luck, but at the same time, you know, whatever I was doing at that time, I was doing right. Well before I went to all the majors and those great to be all these kind of top ten and the majors it’s amazing I’m still missing Tokyo on my and my plate basically just because pandemic came and there’s no way to get there.

[00:06:52] And 2011 and I was still doing great running. That’s when, Jeremy, my husband decided to like, “Hey, we need to start something on our own.” And that’s when we actually established the ROLL recovery and worked on our products and launched it. But what happened to all this year when I was running, I was creating great relationships not only with race directors, but athletes who were maybe better than me or in me. It doesn’t matter.

[00:07:37] But, you know, being kind and always being engaged with anyone, you will race and be appreciated for what you’re doing. That’s what probably took me in one step or to what I am today. I think without these relationships probably would have had a slow start even with our company. And I didn’t create a relationship because I knew I’m going to have a company one day.

[00:08:08] It was just because that’s how my that’s how I am. And I like being like that. But just being like that helped me where we are today. So then in 2012, when I started representing US and went to the world championships with them and got even more better like appearances and like get in the races and stuff that doesn’t change anything on me when I want it to what I want it to go to my runnings. And I never wanted more like I wanted more to get the best out of me for me.

[00:08:47] And that’s how people should approach. I mean, like any athlete should approach that way, in my opinion, because the better you do for yourself. You are going to have the other ones that you are, they want to with you, too. It’s like a cross-country team. You’re not going to stay with a cross-country team with this close person just because you want to be with them and pat them on the back. You want to go on the front there and pull them. You win the race and you pull the target person next to you.

[00:09:18] It’s the same approach. Pretty much anything you want to do. How about this for my review? And then I have to say, once we start focusing on our company. The challenge is, yes, because it comes to you. It’s just like it’s your life. Well, many things. You know, you are now you have people working for you or, you know, make sure you’re doing right to the text and all this. And you always have to be on your right path, everything to make sure everything is fine.

[00:09:58] However, I think the discipline that I had within my training and my and my running and got you to be fine. And guess what happened? Because I had two challenges, great challenges in my life was running, which I loved running, and I just love running. At one point, I wasn’t anymore for money. It was just like, “Hey, I just want to do it because I just love it”, right?

[00:10:27] But you just, in fact, it made me stronger and I couldn’t run 110 miles anymore sometimes, I’ll run 70 and I’ll perform better. Why? Because my mind is focused on different things that will take the pain from running. And the running was taking the pain from the business. And not only that, I’ve seen many athletes like after retiring. Clearly having trouble how to transition to from like one part to the other one. And that’s when if you have something already on a plate that you know, you’re going to serve it. Then you are ready for that.

[00:11:18] If you have not arranged, then you don’t know what you put in your plate. Once you take your mind away from the pain of like, you know, you get in some stages in a mental stage, like we still want to run, but I need to work. I don’t get paid but I need to, but I still want to be in the races. But like and that’s not only my mind. This is like a general thing I’ve seen in many athletes.

[00:11:43] And that’s what during that time when we were actually creating this company, it’s like, this is my way how to when I want to be out. And it was an easy transition. The second transition, which is like the sweetest one, was when I had my first daughter, you know, and I was already 37 when I had her. But you see, mentally and physically, I felt so great that I was like, I want to go back.

[00:12:18] I just want to like I want to show my daughter, “Look who made you” like “I took you to the races”, I took her in Japan. Many of the races we like. But she’s young, you know, two years old. You’re not going to remember all these things. I show her videos. “I did that?!” “Yes.” You know, and lately because she knew I was running every single day training and now Jeremy or how many couple of hours. Say, “Mom, you’re missing your run.” Like “When I get to race, I want to see you race. And can you be faster than that lady?”

[00:12:55] Now she sees lady like some girls or men running in our street and it’s like, “You know, they run like this. You’re one, you’re like this. How come they are not that fast?” Like, so she sees, like, a difference, you know? So I made a profit. We promised myself I was like, look, after the second one, which I’m almost 31 weeks pregnant now. I get it back, get back in shape because I need to take her back to that to see she’s super competitive. And anything she does, I let her beat me in all the runs, let her take my the ball away. The soccer ball in anything just to give her life is part.

[00:13:38] But I think it’s going to get real. I think she’s really fast and I and then our competitiveness is going to come back, you know. Anyway, let’s get back to you. Like the second transition was the child, which is easier, but at the same time missing being competing at a high level. It was, again, a challenge. This time will probably be a lot easier because. I’ve been through one stage with one child. I’m going to be in the second one and I’m 42 now, but I’m still willing to put myself up and see how much can I do. I thought I was going to be 43. I want to see what am I made of after all these years of training, having children, working, and I think once you because again, keeping your mind busy and look ahead for something that you actually want to achieve.

[00:14:42] And have now that will help you the transition and anything you want to do either you’re. Starting to be a professional. Maybe you’re just like in college and that all you see, it’s college running and stuff like that. And you go to professional, which is way different. Because you don’t have a scholarship, then you have to earn it on your own. You’re not going to have the parents out there like, fine to give you some money until you’re 22.

[00:15:12] You have to be again in your own. And that’s when you find your window to see how much you can really achieve. But during this time. Even when you are in your peak. Think about what’s out there. And even, you know, I made a team for Romania in 2008 for Olympic Games. To a point that sounds terrible. And then for some reason, the politics didn’t work well there. And so I was a substitute and I just didn’t want to go. It was like, I’m not going to go just to be a fartlek like no. And I was young and I thought, “It’s okay, I’m going to go next time.” But then I that’s when I decided to switch to USA because that’s a ship, a huge ship. So you go from a strong country. In 2008, we had top ten to Romanians, one of the gold medalists.

[00:16:13] Where in 2008 the USA was not that strong. So I was like, I’m just going to go and put myself out there. You know, you get food poisoning before the race. You’re done. And that’s what happened to me in 2012. So how do you take the downs? Like the real low downs to actually move forward? It’s here. Because, you know, before that food poisoning or super strong, you know, you’re weak here and then you’re going to recover. You’re just going to find another one.

[00:16:50] And at the end of the day, for me, I was like, okay, you know what? God does want me to be an Olympian. That’s fine. I’m doing this for myself anyway. And if I’m lucky, to represent the country and, you know, proud for doing it. That’s a plus. And I was like, it’s both, you know? Yeah. That’s, you know, so you get from every transition comes naturally again, not only when you retire, but every transition comes from a very good race to the next.

[00:17:26] And how do you approach the next one? They might be a world record. And I’m going to be it’s going to be a disappointment. No, it’s not going to be like, you know, you’re still winning. You know, you’re still going for the races and trainings and stay healthy and put everything you can, actually. Yeah. Cheap stuff for you.

Jesse: [00:17:50] Yeah. So I want to back up a little bit because we’ve been talking about the transitions and stuff and obviously, you know, it’s you and your husband starting ROLL recovery so that there’s kind of two of you to split the workload. It’s not just one of you doing all of it. But I wonder about — I think you touched on this a little bit. But I would agree it’s important to start figuring out that transition before you need to.

[00:18:24] Because otherwise, like I talked to many guests, you have this hard stop. It’s your last Olympic Games, it’s your last professional race, it’s your whatever it is. And for maybe you, the listener, maybe you were never a pro, maybe you just stop doing whatever it was, whatever. We all deal with transitions, whether we’re professional athletes or not.

[00:18:47] What I want to know is, what do you think? Is there a good time or a good like mark for people to realize, like, this is what I need to start preparing the exit? Because, as you know, being a pro athlete takes a lot of time and energy. Just doing that takes a lot of time and energy, starting a business or trying to start a career. It also takes a lot of time and energy and then you get split.

[00:19:19] So I think maybe the difficulty and why some people don’t prepare is that it takes your energy away from and focus away from doing that thing you’re really good at. So do you think there’s a is there a good time or like a way to notice, like, this is what I need to start preparing for the next phase?

Adriana: [00:19:46] Back off a little bit on how we actually started the company. So you kind of see where how everything went because it probably sounded easier way set it.

Jesse: [00:19:57] Well it’s easy when you’re you’re ten years in it’s easier to go like, yeah, everything’s fine.

Adriana: [00:20:04] And it’s fine because this is one great point here is because we believe in it. The same thing with training. You believe in your coach and your training. You’re going to move forward. You’re going to do the same thing. You have doubts. You’re going to go up and down and nothing is going to be so.

[00:20:24] So in 2011, in fact, no — in 2008, I got married. We got married. And then Jeremy was actually helping me on the bike, pacing me. He was not really funny at all. He will jog with me sometimes afternoons, which is great. And a month after we got married, 2008, you know, we had that collapsing economy. His company decided to lay off like their best people because they’re the best paid. They thought that was the right way.

[00:21:04] He comes home all depressed and poor thing. I just I was driving his car and I had his mountain bike and I drove in the garage. I broke his bike, and then he comes home. It’s like. “You know, I’m going to break now.” Like, you know, like. I said, “Man, hey, you have two bad news today. The bike is gone, too.” And it’s like, I don’t care, you know?

[00:21:28] But I was doing well running and I think having the support even on his side and my side too. It was huge during that time because hey, we just got married, we just built a house together we from scratch and everything was like that. “How am I going to do now? I want to be a good husband,” you know. And I said, “Hey, how about this? Like you, you don’t rush to find a job right now at the moment because everybody you know, people are laying off people now.” I said.

[00:22:01] And just drop them in my own training, help me more or less also for a few years and help me. You know, we have area. You’re not alone. And I don’t feel alone certainly. So that’s what he did to the point where he after a few a couple of months, he’s like, “I want to start running, too, because it’s […] “Okay, come, come along.” He came on a workout. In the end, he thought after the work I was like, “I thought I saw Jesus in the clouds. Come and pick me up.” Like, he look so easy. Like I was like, “you know, here’s a training, right?”

[00:22:44] Meanwhile, he started doing his master’s degree in Stanford University for product development. That he’s a mechanical engineer trade. And that’s when he’s like training, going to school, basically. And I was getting massages and paying someone, you know, two times a week or something. And that’s the only way to keep fresh your muscles and stuff. That was it for me. Icing baths, swimming, whatever it takes.

[00:23:14] And he’s like, I can’t afford to go pay massages. It’s like, okay. Then he is like I was like, I want to look. He hated the stick. He like he hated the foam rolling being on these like these tires. Like, I don’t want to. Then he is like, how come is nothing there something that is really compressing the muscle itself? Like, so you don’t have to do too much? Or I have actually one here if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Jesse: [00:23:47] Right. Like if you haven’t seen it. So if you’re just listening, you’re missing out the YouTube version to see you can actually see the thing or you can go to rollrecovery.com and they’ll show you the devices.

Adriana: [00:23:58] Yeah, he, you know, and then he started drawing stuff. He went in the garage, he went to Home Depot, bought some PVC pipe pipes and all these things that he made it. He made something crazy similar. And then the first thing that was kind of funny looking was like a little robot looking like it’s kind of clunky and stuff. Second one was perfect. And. That’s when we said, okay, we’ve got to make some patents on it. We got to show people to see if they would like it. And we had neighbors they were like, “Make me want one top.” Everybody was trying “I want one!” “What is this?” you know.

Jesse: [00:24:38] It’s a good way to validate demand when people are asking to buy one and you don’t have them to sell.

Adriana: [00:24:43] That is great. I mean, like it was that only because we did it for us, like not for anyone else. The first was like, I want for me. But when we started to have to put a lot of money into patents and like productions and molds and trips and all these things, all the reserve money we were having, it was kind of like slowing down, right? You go race as a professional. If nobody knows that, probably you don’t get the money right away. A check you get a week on a week I’ll be like fast and I’m 1 to 3 months.

[00:25:19] So every time we like. Okay. “We’re waiting on the check. Keep going.” You know, asking family and friends and banks and everybody is saying, “No, we can’t give you money.” So we basically said we got a lot of no’s. When we started the company. And we just kept moving forward. I was like, okay, even if it takes a little longer, we’re going to be fine. And one time we were really short on starting the production. That was all we had, molds we had, we, we the patents, we have everything. But I was like, “Okay, we don’t have any more money for production. And then the next check is coming,” you know?

Jesse: [00:26:02] Yeah, I want to stop it for just one second. So for you, the listener, if you’re not familiar, getting a mold made, even if you’re going to China or wherever production is, getting a mold made for your product is not cheap. It’s even very simple products sometimes can be easily a 5-figure expense. Like it’s not for the faint of heart, is it? So I just I want to give a little more context to the situation.

Adriana: [00:26:28] Yeah. Yeah. And this product is not like a cheap product made, right? Just to be like so precise and perfect that you go back and forth and every change is like a cost, you know, like it’s everything. So one morning we come from the church was Easter morning and Jeremy was ready to talk to me and I was like, oh, he sat me down. He gave me a little cookie. And he said, I like to move forward. There’s one thing we can do. We have to do. And he knew how much this meant to me because. My background, the way I came from my family. The only thing to move forward because nobody’s giving us money is to actually sell the house. And —

Jesse: [00:27:20] So he try to butter you up before giving this news.

Adriana: [00:27:24] But guess what? He barely finished the sentence and I said, okay, let’s do it, because I’m not born in any like silver spoons and everything else. My parents lost their houses to the banks two times. We’re homeless, sleeping to my grandma on the floor. So I was ready for anything. So I guess we’re young. We, at this age, we can actually start again, anything.

[00:27:49] So if we fail, which I think we won’t. That’s the belief we had in the public. I’m okay to fail again. It’s okay. And he looked at me, he’s like, “Are you sure?” Like, really? That was easy. Like, that’s the support. In anything you want to start something you should have either is your family, your spouse, your partner, your good friends to not let anyone pull you down on something you believe.

[00:28:25] So we’re at the point that it’s like, okay, we’re paying even the mortgage right at this moment in credit cards and we’re not afraid. It’s fine. We just close our eyes. It’s fine. We’re going to, you know, we sold the house, we sold the cars. We actually had only one left. Like, it was fine. We rented a place. And everything came not necessarily smooth. Don’t get me wrong. Again, like you were saying, things have yet to change and everything is like everything doesn’t come “Here is a product” you’re done. No.

Jesse: [00:28:55] No.

Adriana: [00:28:58] But the most exciting part was when we actually got the first hand samples. We took a couple of samples with us to the — it’s a famous coffee shop next door and they’re not only among the coffee shop and they’re only cycles and that’s their stop there and we took this R8 is called and we try and film people to see what their reaction when they tested.

[00:29:27] And I’m not kidding. Two people, one of there were some of them were outside in some when this guy was inside. He tries like an investor. We go inside and the same like these guys like, “Hey, do you need any help? I can give money, like in any restaurant.” And then there’s another team, like young athletes team, and they try they’re going nuts. Like, you know, it’s like I was like, we’re in good hands now. Like, if these guys nobody said I hated it.

[00:29:58] And you know what’s going to be your percentage there that they don’t like that kind of massage? It’s fine. But the feedback and the way everything went. It gave us even more courage. So the cool thing is that the world we work a couple of 2000 units for the first production after we knew everything is fine and we said, you know, it’s probably going to take a year or two until we sell them. We don’t know too many people.

[00:30:30] But the connections I was telling you earlier that I made with great friends, you know, like Shailene and Dez and like all race directors and not only in US, like Japan, Europe. The war went up fast because — Not because they were my friends, but they liked the product.

Jesse: [00:30:53] Right.

Adriana: [00:30:54] And I always tell them, like, if you don’t like the product, it’s totally fine. Give me a feedback. I love it. Like, because we want to be good. Don’t say anything good just because of me. You know.

Jesse: [00:31:05] I can be hard with friends sometimes because they’re like, I like you, you know, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but real good friends will tell you it’s terrible. If it’s terrible.

Adriana: [00:31:14] And it’s that pro-terrorist head turning it up, giving it like, I mean, like I want to earn your trust. I like that product rather than just “Oh, it’s good.” I mean, like, it’s like. And you can ask anyone. I told him, like, if you don’t like it, don’t even want it. We didn’t pay out this to say anymore because we don’t have that money.

[00:31:41] But then they, you know, they saw where I started it again can come in US with nothing and like trying to do something my husband and going in his and US. It’s the country of opportunities if you can if you know how to take it. Don’t give it, let them work for it. And if you believe in it, you’re going to move forward something that you will live in it.

[00:32:13] So. Yeah, same. This is our approach we took and it’s mainly because again, we believe in it. We took the risk, but the risk was positive and we kept saying this 2000 units that take a year or two and we’d say, okay, we’ll make the money back. No, whatever, that’s fine. We took 2 months to be gone and we’re out of stock. So that was like, okay, now we can actually maybe hire some people.

[00:32:39] We give the jobs, right? Now, that’s a great thing. We hired athletes who actually they’re professional runners. And I understand their schedule and trainings and races and they appreciate us. We have people in the office. They’re still there for ten years already. And it’s because it’s like we built a trust. We build relationships and nobody wants to leave us. I mean, we don’t want to we don’t want them to go because we love them. And it’s part of the family.

[00:33:15] So that’s the same approach when you go from one — from any career not only in running, really. Because you can be an amateur. And in fact, running can just really be part of your therapy, mental physical therapy. You don’t have to be a champion or anything. But if you educate yourself, “Hey, if I train 5 times a week, I’m going to be fit. If I eat well and I don’t eat junk the time, I’m going to be a better runner and healthier.” If I say, if you know how to do these things, you can also approach your work, your career the same way because you can see it with a clear vision.

[00:34:04] And I think that’s important, like once you’re set on some things you want to do in life. It’s like, really, what are your best apps? Pull that thing and next one. If you are about to retire, put your mind because you’re not a champion or you’re representing a country with something for nothing. You’ve been there because you worked for it and you knew what to do, and you’re going to take the same concept to the next page.

[00:34:37] And if you’re not, if you fell a little bit, not all the trainings are perfect, right? You back off and say like, “Okay, why did I make a mistake there? And then you go back, “Okay. I cannot touch that to the problem.” Then staying positive, like always positive even. Even when here is a trigger and you can just start shooting. You just take them brave because some of these errors, like it’s always a wake up call. You know, like, “oh, that was a good reminder for something that I need to do better.” And some people can take that as a negative where you can actually take it as a really good positive from anything negative and positive. Spin it around. And put it right back into your plan. And. I hope that helped answer.

Jesse: [00:35:38] No, you’re good. So one thing you kind of mentioned in so. For me, it was just a couple of hours ago I was talking with last week’s podcast guest. So for you, the listener, if you’re listening to this, when it comes out, it was last week, Alexey Vermeulen. He made a big transition from sports. So he used to race cycling on the road and as a 23-year-old decided to leave to go to gravel, even though he was doing well.

[00:36:08] And so we talked a little about transitions in that episode, too. But one of the things that I think I talked a little bit about with him, I like to talk about is like. Something you mentioned, which is like. So separating who you are from what you do. Like if you’re. You were saying. Maybe you’re not world champion anymore, or maybe you’re not a runner.

[00:36:36] You’re taking those kind of raw qualities of who you are and applying them to the next thing. I think. Probably especially for pros, I would guess, but even for nonpros, competitive people, people who take their sport very seriously, I think it’s a challenge for many of us not to be like, well, I’m a runner so I have to run. So especially when people get injured or they have to do something else, it’s hard to move away from that identity. So I’d like to ask you about how do you I guess maybe personally or in general, separate your identity as like “I’m just me. I, I run. But that’s not who I am”?

Adriana: [00:37:28] I feel like sometimes being more humble because everything in life will make you — like anything in life can make you humble. And putting yourself a step back a little bit and be more calm of what you’re doing will actually help you on this transition a lot. Well. Like, you know, whoever knows me think like, “oh, you’re such an amazing runner. You achieve this and that and that.”

[00:38:00] And the way I see it is like, Jeremy makes fun of me. I’m just saying, like, “I’m just lucky, you know?” he was like, no, that’s not luck. “You work for it, then you prove it not once you prove it many times.” Yeah, but I still want to say I’m lucky, you know, like. And that’s one approach of positivity, because maybe the next race or the next job or whatever it is, it might feel hard. It might feel like you’re not really achieving even what you had before. And how do you approach that?

[00:38:40] And the way you approach it is like take a step back and say like, I’m okay to sell a little bit. Because yeah maybe I was lucky with that race […] But I know I’m better than that. But it was not my day. And I will have another one. You know, it’s  and again, like turn that negative spin the other way around. And approach it differently. Maybe you’re not like a new person that works.

[00:39:11] So how are you going to approach that? Be ready for that. So how are you ready for that? Read these people. Read like it’s training or not. Like the training. See what I can achieve from that and keep moving forward positively. I’m not sure if you still hear me because I think.

Jesse: [00:39:37] No, I can hear you.

Adriana: [00:39:38] Okay. […] froze.

Jesse: [00:39:42] I’m frozen. Sorry. That happens to my video sometimes.

Adriana: [00:39:47] That’s fine. So, for example. After I had — before I had my daughter, I used to run 110 miles a week. And one of my main trainings when I knew I’m ready for a marathon was now I’ll do like a 35K, which is what is that like 20 miles where I would basically start being slower and the race pace and then finish faster than a race pace. And all they do is pretty hard, right?

Jesse: [00:40:17] Yeah.

Adriana: [00:40:17] And I learned through this time to actually. It was hard for me to accept that I can’t reach sometimes that I use to reach them. Right? And then you have to find you have to be like, okay, I need to find reasons why. And that’s a mistake sometimes. But sometimes you can be fine. It’s like, okay, here is why. I used to run a longer time. I used to take naps, which I’m not. I used to sleep 9 hours a night, in which right now I’m like eight where actually five, four I’m awake.

[00:40:52] So he’s just like that transition of, like, motherhood and breastfeeding and you still and you still want to achieve what you had before. He must be crazy. Or. Take it slow. Build it up. And see what you can achieve with less. So that’s when you start accepting the change. And the moment I start accepting that change. Guess what? Everything came on, on place. I ran. Now more than 80 miles the max probably did after my daughter, like when I was like the highest week or something. But usually it would be like between 65 and 75 miles and I still run 2:30.

[00:41:48] And I was on my mind all the time, my feet running after the baby cooking, emails working and it was because my mind was taking me like, never. I was focused on something. I was like, “Oh, do that thing right there.” When I was in the running, that’s all I could do right here.

[00:42:08] And I wish I would have been a little stronger and racing because I feel like I was a little weak knowing that I left my daughter home, my husband and half of the way in the way I so think of them. I couldn’t sleep all night and like they say, saying, I know my husband is like on her. Like I tell her, like, you better watch. I don’t want to hear anything. Like, you know, you’re like something happens, you know? But he’s he’s amazing. He’s like such a great dad. I couldn’t take my mind away from that.

[00:42:42] And in the race, whenever I was hard, I would put even more down myself because I would think more of my daughter’s like, it’s so hard. I train so hard and I train harder than before and I achieve fastest time then before her. Why am I not doing this? And and then the moment I wake up, it’s like, “Oh, wait, my legs are back. Oh, wait, my, my head is back.” And then I will just try to recover everything I lost in the last day 10K where everybody is dying. So why don’t I not do that in the middle one was the hardest one. You know.

[00:43:14] So it’s all about how you can actually manage these feelings on anything you do. Like, this is just a raw example. It’s like a really good example because I could see myself. Like what? I was failing. But then I will take my daughter to races. And guess what she wants, Mommy. She’s not going to want Daddy too much. So I’ll be, like, holding breastfeeding, whatever I’ll do. So it’s like my energy is off too, like.

[00:43:43] So where do you draw the line? You know, and again, you need to accept. You’re getting older. You’re getting less time. You’re not going to be young forever. And if it’s okay, it’s okay to slow down but feel the same way as you’re young. Because, for example, maybe when I was running in my two twenties, I felt great and energized and the trains were just the same as hard as when I was in my late thirties.

[00:44:20] But I felt the same way because I will back off and like, “Hey, you got to respect yourself for what you’re doing and your time you’re spending before training. You’re not putting your legs up anymore.’ And if it’s like 5 seconds, 10 seconds, slower mile, that’s an achievement because you’re doing so much more. And again, like, you have to go to hammer these trainings to get there to feel good.

[00:44:49] Even if you are 40 now and you’re running, say, 3 hours, and when you’re 25, you’re an example and now you’re 40 and you’re going to be 50. But if you’re smart, you’re going to feel the same way. Just accept that that 15 minutes, it’s your time that you can spend on training, recovery and resting and and your bones and muscles are not recovering in the same way. And keep credit yourself for anything.

[00:45:22] And I think that’s that’s what one great otherwise here is to like go with the flow. And feel it. How is that, you know, how your — how smart are you and how good are you feeling about yourself moving forward each year and every, you know, five years from now is not going to be like today. You know, you just have to accept that.

[00:45:49] And the way to accept that is to be proud of yourself. Hey, I’m still putting myself out there to, like, not to show the world it’s for me again. Like, it’s like, hey, this is what I love to do. And you’re not going to be a world champion anymore after you’re done. And if and you know, I tell you what, people forget about you fast.

Jesse: [00:46:10] Yeah.

Adriana: [00:46:10] And you have to be okay with that. And there are some artists there who have been pampered and always in the media and all these things. And the moment is cut, they’re going to depression. But why would you go that way? You have to try to avoid that, right? And accept like, “Hey, I’m human like anyone else. I might be a two twenties girl by now and maybe tomorrow will be a three hour. I’ll be, like, still loving it and feeling the same way I was been still competitive and feel that fire in the […] and I just and it’s still great. And like. And that’s what I want to do with for my daughter, too. When we come back running. And I was like, I want to show her and it’s okay. She hates being beat up on something. Like she’s like I was like, I think I know where you got that from.

[00:47:03] Like, I, I’m pretty sure yesterday she was swimming in the pool with her friend, and she’s a very good swimmer. We took her swimming since she was nine months old. So because I want her to be safe and stuff. And she’s tiny for four, four and a half, you know, and, like, skinny, like. Like me, can I say? Petite and her friend is six months or seven months older and her butt is like this much taller and her, like, stronger and stuff. And they’re both great swimmers.

[00:47:36] And I can see the competitiveness in her and how she likes to challenge herself should be like, “Throw me these things. Three of them. Not two. Why do you — throw me — throw her two and I would catch three” and she’ll bring all these three little toys from the on the bottom of the pool and it catch them and she’ll come so fast. At first, like, I was like, you don’t always have to be first. It’s fine to be second. It’s fine to like, see, sometimes weakness is to actually know where to take the weakness up high again.

[00:48:15] And again, you slow down. That’s fine. Find some challenges there to actually make you feel positive and great about yourself because you’re not. Then you’re going to be stuck.

Jesse: [00:48:30] Yeah, I think. I don’t know. I mean, I don’t want to, like, overstep my balance, but just at least from our conversation, I think she’s just she’s going to be just fine because just from what we’ve talked about, I think you’ve got a really good handle on. I mean, all of it ups the downs, how to deal with it, how to be content while you’re still being competitive. It’s a balance, obviously, like if you’re hungry to win, you’re hungry to win. But then you also know, like you said, most of the time you lose it, but you have to deal with that. And so I think she’s going to be in good hands. So.

Adriana: [00:49:14] Yeah, I’m not going to push her. In fact, the cool thing is that I. She had I kind of training wheels for until this year and my mind is like I think you really ready to take that pedal like the wheels out, you know, training wheels. And she’s like, “Mommy, no.” Okay, I’m listening to your problem. Two weeks ago, she’s like, “Mom, I really want to take these wheels off.” “So are you sure? Okay.” So, Jeremy, help her, guide her. In 10 minutes, she knew how to learn how to go without all training wheels because she was ready.

Jesse: [00:49:51] Yeah.

Adriana: [00:49:52] And. And that’s one thing to children and everything. Let them be ready when they’re ready. Let’s not push them. Because I as much as competitive I am. And I want to see her explore and do so well in many sports and everything. She can do a pull up now. It’s like amazing. She sees me and her dad and she wants to try. So she’s got every kid is going to live by example. You know, and we push ourselves.

[00:50:23] And I think that’s what she sees. And I’m grateful that she sees that. And she takes it in. But, you know, if she was not ready for the training wheels to take off, I would be like, “No. It’s okay. Whenever you’re ready.” And she’s like, and now I think I’m ready for the bike with the brakes on the handles. Like you’re going to have to learn a new skill now. Ah, you look great.

Jesse: [00:50:49] Yeah. Adi, as we’re starting to run out of time. I’m going to ask you the question I’m asking everybody this season. Each season I have a singular question I ask every single guest. But I have a feeling you’ll have a great answer for this one. So this year I’m asking everybody, how do you celebrate your wins?

Adriana: [00:51:12] I — How do I celebrate my –. 

Jesse: [00:51:16] Wins?

Adriana: [00:51:17] Okay,

Jesse: [00:51:17] Okay. So if you achieve something, it doesn’t have to be like I’m world champion now. But just when you achieve something that was important to you, how do you celebrate?

Adriana: [00:51:26] First of all, I think. Every single little one. Every single win I’ll say I celebrated inside of me because when I lose, I cry a lot. You know, and I’m easygoing even then. When I lose, like, you don’t have to win to actually win it, right? I mean, to be first and winning can be like, I had a great race and that’s all I wanted and I wanted the time and I’m super happy. Right?

[00:51:59] But when you go under while you train and you don’t achieve what you were actually hoping to, that’s the hardest lose sometimes. And that’s when you actually have to really know. That’s a win, too, because that’s like, how do you want to get out from that? So when I win, I just. Honestly, I just smile and I can’t wait for the next challenge.

[00:52:27] Because that’s like that’s one that means I gained something. And in the same time I ask myself, “Could I have done more?” Why don’t go celebrating a vacation or like a beer or whatever, you know, it’s like, I’m going to go for a next next day run to actually celebrate my legs, to see how they feel after the race and if I’m ready for the next one or all the work. Like I, I made a, I made a huge project and it went better than I thought.

[00:53:05] I’m not going to be like, “yes, it was me” just because of me because I thought, that’s like I’m putting the whole team in there, the whole team celebrating with them. Even though 90% of it I’ve done it was something I prefer to get everyone involved. I was even this much part of it. To feel to make them feel the same way. And that’s the same thing either race or for work or school with AJ or everything. I just like to put involve everyone that has been part of it. And that’s my, my biggest celebration to feel good about, to feel like they’ve been part of it.

Jesse: [00:53:45] Adi if people want to see what you’re up to, follow the racing you’re doing. See how you’re recovering after babies born here and it’s coming up soon. It’s going to be very, very soon.

Adriana: [00:54:01] Eight weeks left.

Jesse: [00:54:03] So by the time this comes out, it will be four weeks to go. Where can they find you? Where can they keep up with all the comings and goings of what you guys are doing at ROLL recovery you, all that kind of stuff?

Adriana: [00:54:13] Yeah, I’m actually pretty much in Instagram and I never flop people with anything. Like, I’m pretty. I’m staying low with everything I’m doing, but I get a lot of messages and questions and I’m always happy to answer. I have from young very young children, I mean, like our high schoolers to like over forties and fifties, people will write me and ask me advice and I love giving them advices because that’s that’s who I am. It’s part of me. So it’s @adi_nelson It’s either usually Instagram. Don’t talk about politics with me because I’m not a political person. I’m like a very like, whatever is best for you, do it.

Jesse: [00:55:00] Ask a running question. Just keep it to the running.

Adriana: [00:55:03] Yes, like. Like life questions. Like everything else doesn’t matter. Like, really? Our company is @ROLLRecovery on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. And. Yeah, fine. I’m here any time.

Jesse: [00:55:20] Awesome. Adi, thanks for hanging out with me today.

Adriana: [00:55:23] Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me. And I hope your listeners enjoy this episode.

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