Welcome to Episode 41 of the Eat for Endurance Podcast, featuring elite skyrunner, Hillary Allen.
Hillary is such a fascinating, multi-dimensional person and athlete. In addition to establishing herself as one of the best mountain ultra runners in the world (hence her trail nickname of "Hillygoat"), she is a scientist and teacher, with a masters degree in neuroscience, physiology and structural biology, a trail running coach, a gravel cyclist, and now also an author.
Her book, Out and Back: A Runner’s Story of Survival Against All Odds, shares her story of survival and recovery after she had a life threatening accident during a 50k Skyrace in Norway. She was nearly halfway through the race when she fell 150 feet off an exposed ridge, breaking two ribs, fracturing her back, rupturing a ligament in her foot, and breaking both wrists. It's a miracle that she was alive, and that she did not injure her head or suffer from other more severe outcomes. She was told she would never run again, but after a lot of rehab and mental fortitude, Hillary made a full recovery and returned to elite level racing.
Hillary and I did not rehash the details of her accident , as she has done that plenty of times already. However, it’s an incredibly powerful and amazing story - so if you are not familiar with Hillary or even if you are, I encourage you to read or listen to her book, and/or check out some of her other podcasts interviews that she has done that deep dive into all the details of her accident and recovery. I loved her two episodes (Episode 49 and 168) on The Morning Shakeout with Mario Fraioli, and Science of Ultra had a great one too (she has been doing the podcasting rounds lately for her book, so you can find her all over).
Instead, as you’d expect from my Athlete Nutrition Profile Series, we focused on the nutrition side of her story - how it has evolved throughout her life and the role nutrition has played in her extensive and ongoing recovery process - with a few detours along the way (Bugs as food anyone? Yep, we go there!).
Hillary, thank you for chatting with me! You are such an inspiration and I hope to see you in Santa Cruz during your book tour. I'd take you for a run in the redwoods, but even with you coming back from an injury, there's no way I'll be able to keep up with you!
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