Carrie chats with ultramarathoner and COVID-19 survivor Lauren Wilke! They discuss her career, her illness, the short and long-term effects of COVID (as well as COVID toe), how we need to stay diligent in the fight against the coronavirus, and much more.
Recorded August 24, 2020
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Basic info: Ultrarunner, traveling engineer/technical author, compulsive crafter/artist. Now featuring: long-term COVID!
From PA originally. In Pittsburgh now. 36 yo and married. I’m a structural engineer and he’s a mechanical engineer for a navy contractor. (My brother is an industrial engineer and my mom, a retired art teacher and artist, doesn’t understand a lot of the nerd conversations we have.)
Running background: (I don’t track my races well; have been running 11 years. Big races and small races. Approx. 30 official 26.2+ races, and 45-50 including unofficial runs, like birthday runs. I’ve peaked at the 50-55-ish mile distance, 5 times, and was planning to break 100k this summer, but COVID.)
Running improves the nerve condition in my calf – CPRS. I can explain more.
And I prefer longer races and races I can use to see friends. I like to put together a whole travel weekend around a marathon or the piece together the layers of an ultra. My favorite race is a loop 24-hour.
I would still like to run a fast half and get a marathon PR, but I get distracted by shiny things. I did my first 50k Spur of the moment 6 days after my first marathon. When a friend says “want to do Whatever Race?” I almost always say yes right away.
I have a story about SFM 2011, which I ended up running with an ultra legend, as a good “fun” race.
Work background: I have Architectural Engineering degrees from Penn State. (basically math and science focused versions of architecture.) I was on the crew team for a few years in college, but it never clicked for me to be competitive. After graduation, I moved to Phoenix, because I thrive on sunshine and worked full time at a desk engineering. I wanted to challenge myself and started running from nothing with couch to 5k then to a bunch of half marathons.
Then the real estate bust and the Born to Run boom both hit. I luckily got a job at a specialty running store and combined engineering thinking and the enthusiasm of someone just a few years in and fully wrapped up in a new sport. I have a story how that running job got me back to engineering and this job.