Abbey Cooper

Ali on the Run Show Episode 418: Abbey Cooper, Professional Runner for New Balance

Photo by Jason Suarez, @notafraid2fail

“It’s not who I am. It’s something that happened to me.”

Abbey Cooper was the talk of this year’s U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials. She may not have ultimately made Team USA, but Abbey, who is sponsored by New Balance, threw down not one but two of the most inspiring, gutsy performances at Hayward Field. First, in the 5K prelims, when she broke away from the field and ran the majority of the race solo in pursuit of the Olympic Standard (and she hit it, with a few seconds to spare!). Then, in the 5K final, when she was with the lead pack until the final moments, when she ultimately finished fourth, just one and a half seconds off the podium. Abbey is perhaps best known for her performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, when she fell during the 5K prelims. But people don’t talk about the fall — they talk about how Abbey got right back up and helped her fellow competitor to the finish. On this episode, Abbey talks about how Rio has — and hasn’t — defined her, and she reflects on the highs (like her recent 5K personal best at the Prefontaine Classic!) and those just-missed moments on the track.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Abbey reflects on her 5K PR at the Pre Classic, and why she feels like she’s been “running on house money” this year (4:50)
  • On working with a sports psychologist: Abbey’s husband  (9:40)
  • What it means to be “relationally healthy” (11:00)
  • What it was like watching friend Molly Seidel win bronze at the Olympic marathon (18:30)
  • On entering the off season (22:00)
  • Reflecting on this year’s Olympic Track & Field Trials (25:45)
  • On all those just-missed moments along the way (40:35)
  • On being defined — or not — by Rio 2016 (44:20)
  • More thoughts on just-missed moments and the lessons that come with them (55:00)
  • On “trusting the process with both commitment and surrender” (1:00:45)
  • What does “Running with Heart” mean right now? (1:05:15)

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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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