Kate Landau

Ali on the Run Show Episode 132: Kate Landau, 2:33 Marathoner

“I had never been driven by my own desire to get help. It was always other people pushing me to do it. Once I decided on my own and hit that rock bottom, everything got better very quickly.” —Kate Landau

Kate Landau is a 42-year-old single mom and physician’s assistant living in Florida with her daughter, Grace. She’s also a 2:33 marathoner. But the road to becoming an elite-level runner in her forties hasn’t been easy for Kate, who is set to run the Boston Marathon this Monday (and is gunning for a “2:30-ish” time). Kate started running competitively as a young age, and was a star athlete at her high school. She competed in the Junior Olympics and graduated as valedictorian of her class. But, not wanting her running progress to be halted by puberty, Kate dove headfirst into an aggressive eating disorder, which became a mainstay in her life for nearly 20 years. She endured more than 25 stress fractures in seven years, and battled serious exercise addiction.

It wasn’t until after having Grace that Kate started to run again — and run fast. She won the Eugene Marathon last year, and the Miami Marathon earlier this year. She finished eighth at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, and was the third American female to finish. At the USATF 15K championships, Kate came in fourth — and she was the oldest in the top 10 by more than a decade. Next year, she’ll compete at the 2020 Olympic Trials in the marathon. On this episode, Kate talks openly about her history with anorexia and how it shaped her life, and talks about her relationship with competition and why she always wanted to “be the best.”

If you or someone you know is currently suffering from or struggling with an eating disorder, please click here for help and support.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What the road to a 2:33 marathon looks like, including how Kate got into competitive running at a young age (3:45)
  • Kate opens up about her long history with an eating disorder, including lying to the New York Times (11:55)
  • Kate’s eating disorder road to recovery (19:15)
  • Kate’s advice for men and women struggling with eating disorders (31:20)
  • How Kate’s relationship with her body changed during and after pregnancy (35:00)
  • How Kate got back into competitive running after having her daughter (40:00)
  • Kate shares her 2019 Boston Marathon goals (47:15)

What we mention on this episode:

Kate in the New York Times

Tacoma City Marathon

McKirdy Trained

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2 Responses

  1. Our 13 year old daughter is a promising runner and has anorexia. Similar to Kate at that age, she was at one point, 5’3″, 75 lbs. The eating disorder has a strong grip on her that so far, after 7 weeks of clinical treatment, hasn’t been shaken loose. On a whim, I sent a note to Kate, asking her advice on ways to help our daughter through and out of this. Kate answered immediately and has had a profound effect on my daughter”s psyche. The first night of contact, she texted back and forth with her for nearly an hour. Kate”s story, her strength and perseverence, her kindness and her openness about her struggles are changing my daughter’s perspective in ways the medical pros and we can’t. Thanks, Ali, for having her on the show. Our first chance to hear Kate”s voice! My guess is Kate personally and through her story is helping many more.

    1. Greg. I am sending so much love to you, your daughter, and your whole family. I’m so glad you were able to connect with Kate. She’s amazing, and know that you are all so supported as you navigate this world for your daughter. <3

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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