Emilee Risteen

Ali on the Run Show Episode 684: Emilee Risteen, On Chasing 2:37

“It’s not easy to talk about the disappointments. It’s not easy to talk about the times that you fall short. Nobody wants to brag about those. It’s been hard. There were lots of tears shed in private. And just really accepting the fact that I wanted something so badly, and it didn’t happen.”

Emilee Risteen has raced six marathons in the past 12 months, each in pursuit of one very specific goal. For the past year, Emilee has been trying to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials, which would mean running 26.2 miles in 2:37 or faster. She ran CIM in 2:43, Houston in 2:48, Boston in 2:41, Grandma’s in 2:38 (a personal best and so close to that 2:37!), the McKirdy Micro in 2:41, and CIM one more time in 2:44. In this conversation, Emilee — who ran her first marathon in 4:03 and has taken nearly 90 minutes off her time in less than three years — talks about chasing her big goals, and about what happens when you don’t quite get there. Plus, she talks about how going for sub-2:37 was initially about the time and the OTQ, but ultimately became about so much more.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • How Emilee is feeling post-CIM (3:20)
  • How Emilee is processing this past year on the run (4:30)
  • On “getting back out there” (8:10)
  • Why Emilee loves the process, and what this year of running was really about (11:45)
  • What the women’s OTQ community is like at marathons in the U.S. (19:30)
  • Emilee’s relationship with the time 2:37 (23:50)
  • Emilee shares her running origin story (27:10)
  • What Emilee’s first marathon was like, and how she’s gone from being a 4:03 marathoner to a 2:38 marathoner in less than three years (33:50)
  • How running fits into Emilee’s life (45:20)
  • How Emilee ran six marathons in 12 months without getting injured (47:35)
  • Emilee shares her 2024 running plans (51:40)

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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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