trust the process

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April 25, 2024

Jennifer Schubert-Akin: 30 Straight Boston Marathons

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Jennifer Schubert-Akin, a 30-time finisher of the Boston Marathon and triathlete, shares her journey into sports and her experiences in endurance races. She started as an unlikely athlete, but after a friend encouraged her to try running, she fell in love with it. She went on to run marathons and eventually qualified for the Boston Marathon. Jennifer also participated in ultra trail races like Leadville and Western States. She faced challenges along the way, including a broken leg during a marathon and a recent health scare. Despite these obstacles, Jennifer remains resilient and continues to pursue her athletic goals.


  • Jennifer Schubert-Akin started as an unlikely athlete but fell in love with running and went on to participate in marathons and ultra trail races.
  • She has completed the Boston Marathon 30 times and continues to qualify for the race every year.
  • Jennifer faced challenges, including a broken leg during a marathon and a recent health scare, but remains resilient and determined.
  • She is now focusing on triathlons and aims to improve her performance in the 70.3 distance.

Sound Bites

  • "I definitely did not start out as an athlete."
  • "I finished my 25th finish and just kept qualifying and going back."


00:00 Introduction and Background

09:09 Participating in Ultra Trail Races

13:53 Qualifying for and Running the Boston Marathon

24:48 Recent Health Scare and Future Goals

Information on sarcoidos.


Mike Ricci (00:01.718)
Hi, Mike Ricci here with the D3 Podcast, Trust the Process, and I'm on with Jennifer Schubert Aiken. Jennifer, how are you doing?

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (00:09.)
Doing great, Mike.

Mike Ricci (00:10.562)
Good, just finished her 30th Boston Marathon, which is incredible to me. I can't wait to dive into that a little bit. But tell me a little bit about, you know, how you grew up and what got you into sports. I mean, not just everybody wants to do 30 straight Boston Marathons, and maybe it didn't start out like that, but well, how did you get started in sports? And tell me that story.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (00:31.949)
I definitely did not start out as an athlete. When I was a kid, sure, I lived in a small town. Being in a small school, you could basically play any sport you wanted. You didn't have to be very good because I wasn't. But in my 20s, after I graduated from college, like a lot of young people, I was not working out, eating too much, drinking too much, 15, 20 pounds overweight.

And this is kind of how I went through my 20s. So I was definitely the unlikely athlete. No one, least of all me, would have ever foreseen one Boston Marathon, let alone 30 when I was in my 20s. That would have been completely laughable. So we used to play a little tennis badly, and kind of mess around in some other sports. But my idea of a workout back in those days was come home from work, get on the stationary bike.

peddle a little bit while sipping a cocktail. I am not kidding. This is the honest to goodness truth. Friends who knew me back in those days know that this is true. Finally, this was when I was 32 years old. I still remember the day because it was the day after the Capital 10,000 Road Race in Austin where we were living at the time. April 2nd, 1990. I go into work. I was working at a law firm at the time as the office manager and

Mike Ricci (01:28.887)

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (01:52.176)
All my coworkers were talking about the 10K they ran the day before, and everybody was, you know, buzzing about the race and how they did. And I was just sitting there going, there is a guy 30 years older than me who ran the 10K yesterday, who was in far better shape than I am. I am really tired of this. So I talked to a friend at work who had been a big runner at Arizona State. She had been on the track team and actually the cross country team, I believe. And I said, okay, let's say I want to try this running thing.

how would I start? I literally did not know what to do. She said, go home after work today, put on your tennis shoes, go out and see if you can run for 15 minutes without stopping. So I did exactly what she said, oh, I made it 17 minutes, not 15. And I still remember walking back in the door of my house in Austin with wobbly legs after 17 minutes of running, thinking, wow, I did it. And so it was just kind of...

From there, I started running. We adopted a dog and I enjoyed running with him. And it just became a habit. And that's kind of how it started. And I got involved with the Austin Runners Club at the time and started hearing people talk about running marathons. And in April of 93, so three years later,

I'd heard about this beautiful race out in California, the Big Sur Marathon, and I signed up and we went out there for a little vacation. I was scared to death at the start of that race, not knowing what I was in for. And I finished it and just loved it. And after that, it was like, I couldn't wait to do another one. I ended up doing three marathons in 1993. And then December of 1994, you know, I started hearing about the Boston Marathon and talked to somebody who'd run that.

wow, wouldn't that be cool to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And Dallas White Rock Marathon, December of 1994, I crossed the finish line, looked at my watch, and thought, I'm not sure if I made it. I made it by 13 seconds, my qualifying time. And so in April of 1995, I ran my first Boston Marathon. This was before chip timing. So this is like back in the dark ages, before timing chips. And

Mike Ricci (03:58.88)

Mike Ricci (04:05.282)

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (04:11.332)
I finished in three hours and 42 minutes and I was qualified for the next year and just kept qualifying and going back and it just became a really important part of my life.

Mike Ricci (04:23.874)
That is so cool. And you've also done some triathlons, right? How many have you done of those?

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (04:28.52)
Yeah, you know, I don't know the exact number. It's probably somewhere around seven or eight. Well, I guess it's maybe closer to 10. That was, that was, that's definitely been a journey and that's a journey that is not over for me yet. I definitely want to improve with my swimming and cycling, but wow, what a fun journey that has been. I got into triathlon. That's kind of a long story, but.

You know, basically I was after running several marathons, well, we moved to Colorado and the trail running scene really took over my life. And the ultra trail running scene really took over my life for about 10 years doing the Leadville 100 several times, the Western States 100. And I kind of started getting bored and I was looking for something new and kept, you know, watching the Ironman and...

talking to people who were doing triathlons and I thought, that would be a really great next challenge. You know, I'm running the Boston Marathon every year. I finished four 100 mile trail races now. What could I do next? And I thought triathlon would be great. Ironman, of course, you know, nothing halfway, right? When you're doing 100 mile races, you might as well go for the big one. Well, there's only one problem with that plan and that's I didn't know how to swim. So...

Mike Ricci (05:50.69)

Mike Ricci (05:58.67)
Ha ha ha!

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (05:59.716)
That was kind of a big one, but I thought, well, I'll just, you know, have to hire a coach and learn. And so I didn't just learn how to swim like a normal person would. I waited until I'd had surgery for a tibial plateau fracture and I couldn't run. And so limped out to the pool on crutches literally for my first swim session, could not swim a lap. I literally, I was one of those.

swimmer peoples with my head sticking out of the water because I literally did not know how to put my face in the water and exhale. So that's been a real journey. If you had told me I would love swimming in the ocean when we go to Hawaii now it's I would have just laughed and said that would never happen. So I'm doing all these things now that in my 20s I would have said you're crazy this will never happen I would never do that and now I can't imagine doing anything else.

Mike Ricci (06:51.638)
That's awesome. You know, um.

Mike Ricci (06:55.863)
I always tell triathletes, joking of course, but no triathlete gets better at their weakness until they get hurt. So you couldn't run, you learned how to swim. It's just wild. Okay. So, well, let's go back. So when you had a significant accident as a child, right? And how did that impact some of what happened the rest of your life?

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (07:03.249)
Oh yeah.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (07:07.441)
That's right.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (07:18.228)
When I was eight years old, a bunch of kids going out, school playground, third and fourth graders, the boys were throwing rocks at the girls, and I happened to catch a very sharp rock in my right eye. A little boy threw the rock, it was totally an accident, he was not intending to hurt me, but it destroyed my right eye. So I completely lost my right eye when I was eight years old.

You know, that's a tough thing for a kid. I think actually it was harder on the little boy who threw the rock because he felt so awful. It had a definite impact on his personality the rest of the time we were in school together, which was until we graduated high school. Because I had a lot of support from family and friends, I recovered just fine.

Yeah, there were times it's difficult having a prosthetic right eye. But you know what? A lot of people have challenges to overcome and in the overall scheme of things compared to what some other people deal with, I felt like it was a pretty small problem in the overall scheme of things. Because it happened to me when I was a kid, when I was eight years old, kids are adaptable. And if you have the right support, which fortunately, you know, loving family and people who supported me.

I recovered physically and emotionally really with no problems and very fortunate in that respect. Sure, there are things to this day. I mean, when I'm parking a car, when I'm riding my bike, I have to be a little extra careful, you know, turn my head a little farther than somebody else might have to see what's around me because I have no peripheral vision to my right. So it's a minor nuisance in some situations. But

I'm really fortunate that that's all it is.

Mike Ricci (09:11.798)
Right, right. And I'm sure that, yeah, I'm sure that really impacted that little boy a lot. I mean, that's tough, that's tough to cause someone an injury like that. But you're super resilient. I'm kind of laughing about the cocktail and sitting on the exercise bike. And then you saying that you did the marathon and then I'm sure the ultras felt like a long way to go too. What is your favorite experience with the ultras? I didn't know you did Western States too, that's amazing.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (09:38.396)
Yeah, so, you know, got into that kind of gradually. We moved to Colorado from Austin in 1995, moved to Steamboat Springs. And of course, you know, heard about the Pike's Peak Marathon, that was my first kind of longer trail run experience. I thought that was pretty crazy at the time in the late 90s. And then of course, I started hearing about the Leadville 100, how can you not hear about Leadville when you get into trail running and you live in Colorado?

So we started making regular trips down to Leadville, Twin Lakes area for me training for the race. That became a whole journey in and of itself for about 10 years. My first two attempts at the Leadville 100, I failed. It is such a difficult race and it's so hard to wrap your head around everything you need to do to be prepared for that race and to be successful. But on the third try and with a...

Mike Ricci (10:22.487)

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (10:34.492)
of support for my husband who was my support crew and my cheerleader and could not have done it without him. 2002 on my third try I finished the Leadville 100 and that was a life-changing experience. It is so hard, it's impossible to overstate how difficult that race is. And you know after doing that it really does instill in you a belief that you can almost do anything.

because you have to prepare for so long and do so many things correctly and consistently over a long period of time to be successful in that race. And that carries over into many other areas of life. The parallels can be pretty obvious to other really difficult challenges, whether it's in business or your career, other goals you might have. So getting involved with the 100-mile races,

absolutely life-changing and I'm so glad I did it. I went on to finish two other times so I failed to finish on three occasions and then had those three finishes and while I was in the mode of doing those hundred mile races I was accepted into the Western States lottery, got in back when it was still fairly easy to do and did that race back in 2003 I think it was so

had all those experiences and then for many years I've had a lot of fun pacing other runners in that race, which I just love to do. Um, a lot of fun to help other people, you know, fulfill that dream because it's so hard.

Mike Ricci (12:08.67)
Yeah, yeah. So all my friends have done it. I paced one of them one year. I have not tried it, but it's, I've been up there a few times. It's wild. I mean, it's incredible. You know, Hope Pass, going up over Hope Pass, and you're like, oh, this is great. But you go way down and come back up over Pelt Pass again. That makes and breaks a lot of people right there, you know. Really does. And there's a lot of spots out there, you're desolate, just you and your thoughts, and maybe someone's coming by and your pacer and.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (12:24.038)
Oh yeah

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (12:28.217)
Sure does. Oh yeah.

Mike Ricci (12:37.334)
I've heard all kinds of hallucination stories and all kinds of things of, you know, people out there for 20, 24, you know, even longer, but your mind plays tricks.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (12:45.988)
Oh yeah, I mean, I was one of the 28 hour people, 28 plus. My last finish, I was a little under trained that year for certain reasons, but my last finish, I had 11 minutes to spare. So I really got my money's worth that year.

Mike Ricci (13:03.358)
I bet, I bet, that's awesome. Awesome. Okay, so let's talk about Boston. So you qualify the first time, 342. Was it qualifying 350 that time in your age group?

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (13:15.053)
It was 3:45.

Mike Ricci (13:16.562)
Okay, so you made it by three minutes. And then have you done, besides the ultras, have you done any other marathons since, or have you just kept qualifying back at Boston every year?

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (13:26.716)
You know, it's almost every year it's been qualifying for Boston at Boston. I think there was one year many years ago, and I honestly can't remember which year it was, where I slightly missed my qualifying time at Boston and I ran another race that year. I think it may have been that maybe I ran the steamboat marathon, because I've run the steamboat marathon several times, obviously living in steamboat. But.

I've had the good fortune of qualifying for the Boston Marathon every year for the next year during the race. And so kind of made that a point of pride through the through the years to go there. I know a lot of people go there and understandably they've worked really hard. They qualified and they want to go and just enjoy it and have fun. But I still like to go there and run really well and still make my qualifying time. Even now it's just a matter of pride to push myself and to not.

to get into that mode of, oh, I'm just going to go jog it or run it. That doesn't appeal to me. I want to give it my best shot every year.

Mike Ricci (14:32.834)
Right. When I met you a couple years ago, I believe, and if it was the year before, the year before that, but you would run it with a broken tibia, right? Or a fibula.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (14:42.236)
Well, yes, that's how I came to swimming with a broken leg. The 2017 race at Boston was very interesting. I was going for my 23rd consecutive finish, which was a big deal because if you get to 25 consecutive finishes, you become a member of the Boston Marathon Quarter Century Club. And as of now, there are only 15 women who are in that group, so it's pretty special.

But this was my 23rd. And if you don't finish the 23rd, it's all over. So I was under trained going into the 2017 race because shortly after Christmas of 2016, I sustained a small tear in my IT band when I was running on snow. And I, so going into the race, I was under trained. I knew it, but I still thought, you know, I know the course, obviously I can.

can manage this and go run the IT band had healed but I hadn't been able to do much quality training. So I go to Boston 2017, first half of the race was great, felt good, everything was great. Right after the halfway point I started having pain in my left knee. Knee pain is nothing unusual in a marathon, especially if you're under trained, so I thought well it's just knee pain. About five miles later I was in the Newton Hills

people who know the Boston Marathon know that's a really tough section. Around mile 18, there was a medical tent and I thought, wow, this is really hurting. I've got to stop. So they, they put an ACE bandage, wrapped it around it really tightly. I ran, limped, walked the rest of the way, crossed the finish line. I was limping so badly. You know, both, both legs were hurting massively by the time I crossed the finish line. And shortly after I crossed the finish line, a volunteer said,

do you want to sit down in a wheelchair? I looked so bad. And I said, no, I'm just gonna try to walk. I only have three blocks in my hotel. And I said, but I think you should unwrap this ace bandage because I think it's too tight. She unwrapped it and my leg literally started to collapse. So I collapsed into a wheelchair, never stood up again for a few weeks. After that, I was in a wheelchair and then surgery at the Steadman Clinic.

Mike Ricci (16:53.248)

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (17:02.92)
Thank heavens I was able to get in to see a wonderful doctor there. 10 days after the Boston marathon in 2017, I had surgery for a tibial plateau fracture. What happened was during the race, I sustained a stress fracture in my left leg. I didn't know it was a stress fracture. I just thought it was knee pain. When you continue to run on a stress fracture, really bad things happen. In my case, a tibial plateau fracture because I was limping so badly.

Mike Ricci (17:23.826)
Yeah, I do.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (17:30.232)
I sustained a stress fracture in my right leg by the end. So it did not require surgery, thank heavens. But that was my story. And then middle of May, a few weeks after the surgery, that's when I limped out to the pool on crutches and said, ah, let's learn how to swim.

Mike Ricci (17:46.094)
That's awesome. So obviously you probably, did you make it that year on a time or did you have to find a race later once you healed up?

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (17:54.632)
What I did that year, the one and only year I did this, since the beginning of running the Boston Marathon on my own, even though I'm a qualified runner, I raised money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society every year because my sister and now my niece both have MS. So I've raised a substantial amount of money for the MS Society and I said, this is the one and only time I'm going to ask you guys for one of your charity bibs.

because I'm so close to getting the 25 consecutive finishes. And they of course said, we're happy to give you a charity bib because you have been one of our most consistent fundraisers over all these years. So that was the one and only time I took the charity bib route, but I was so close to 25. I figured I had kind of earned it. So I did, but then I came back in 2018 and even though it was a horrendous weather year, it was...

Mike Ricci (18:41.874)

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (18:48.72)
40 degrees and pouring down rain the entire time. You might remember when Deslendon won, wearing a full jacket and headband and the whole thing. I came back the next year and actually had a really good race and resumed making my qualifying time. So yeah, quite a journey to get to 25 straight.

Mike Ricci (18:53.678)
That was the Deslendon year, yeah.

Mike Ricci (19:12.33)
Right, that's awesome. And so hopefully you were dressed well for that race.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (19:17.208)
Yes, yes, I was dressed appropriately because it was very cold and wet. So I wore tights, arm warmers, I mean, gloves. It was, I wore a vest, but I believe I was wearing arm warmers under a long sleeve shirt. I mean, it was cold that year.

Mike Ricci (19:21.322)
Yeah, like tights, a hat. Yeah.

A vest or a jacket?

Mike Ricci (19:37.43)
Yeah, it was really cold. You know, I had the sideways wind and the rain and that typical New England weather that you can get, you know, 10 months a year.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (19:41.878)
Oh, it was. Yeah, it was just, it was ridiculous that you're.

Mike Ricci (19:48.366)
So let's see, what was the hardest year? I mean, probably 2017 was the hardest year. What was your favorite year?

Mike Ricci (20:01.654)
What was your favorite year?

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (20:07.005)
Sorry, there was just a little delay there. So I think you were asking me, physically the hardest year was 2017. I'm sorry, could you repeat your question so I can answer?

Mike Ricci (20:13.633)

Yeah, yeah, what was your favorite year?

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (20:19.076)
Well, it's, you know, I guess there are two answers to that. The favorite year would probably be 2019 when I, when I got my 25th finish and I officially after going through so much for several years, I did, I did through all the, you know, the, the adversity and the obstacles that came up across the finish line for the 25th time. And what was,

That alone was special, but what made that year even more special was the friend who got me into running back in 1990. Remember, I mentioned the person who had been a cross-country runner at Arizona State. Her daughter was running her first Boston Marathon that same year. So she finished her first and I finished my 25th. We had the most fun celebration that night.

Mike Ricci (20:59.863)

Mike Ricci (21:04.92)
Oh wow.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (21:14.76)
We all went out together and we had a private room at a legal seafood restaurant on the Boston Harbor. And we had the most wonderful celebration. So that was really special.

Mike Ricci (21:25.043)
That's awesome. Any specific favorite memories of the course that you just are always stuck in your mind? I mean, going through Wellesley is one thing and obviously Heartbreak Hills is another thing altogether. I've done it a couple of times, but coming down into Cleveland Circle, that's when the people start spilling out of the bars and they want to give you beer and stuff like that. So it's always interesting every time you do it.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (21:52.304)
Yeah, it's, you know, the crowds are always great. Wellesley's great. Boston College, the students were out, seemed like more than ever this year. Maybe it was just because the weather was really nice, but there were so many things along the course. Really in thinking about this before our visit today, I started thinking about all these different things, about the Boston Marathon, what has made it special, the special memories, and I realized it's all about the people. And I don't just mean the spectators.

But I mean, back in the first year, I ran this in 1995, and then those first five or so years when the race had a traditional noon start, everybody would gather in the Athletes Village out in Hopkinson, and there'd be thousands of people just hanging out for the whole morning in Hopkinson. And there was Johnny Kelly, who had 60 plus Boston Marathon finishes, and he was in his 80s, and he was up on stage singing Young at Heart.

Mike Ricci (22:50.018)

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (22:50.128)
you know, and all these runners were there. And then there's Dave McGillibray, who's been the race director all these years, who just ran his, I think, 52nd. But all these years, until this year, Dave would work all day as race director and then go run the marathon at night. I mean, that's just amazing. And then Rick and Dick Hoyt, you know, I'm sure all of your listeners are well aware of their story, their incredible story at both the Boston Marathon and Triathlon. And then I have to mention Rebecca Gregory.

Mike Ricci (22:57.986)

Mike Ricci (23:04.106)

Mike Ricci (23:07.703)

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (23:20.388)
Rebecca Gregory was a 25-year-old young woman who was standing at the finish line waiting on a friend to finish in 2013. And the first bomb exploded in a backpack that was set down three feet behind her. And she nearly died. Her five-year-old son Noah was bored as could be at a marathon. As you can imagine, a five-year-old would be sitting there watching thousands of people pass.

Because he was sitting on the curb leaning against her legs. He was spared serious injury He had a tiny nick on the back of his head and a tiny nick on one leg Rebecca's backside of her body absorbed all of the shrapnel from that pressure cooker bomb She went on to write a book called taking my life back and in 2017 we invited her to speak As an inspirational speaker at our Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference, which is an annual event we do

up in the mountains every August. After that, we became very good friends, which was just wonderful. And 2018, she formed Rebecca's Angels Foundation to help kids and their families who are suffering from PTSD. Because she wanted to help kids like her son, Noah, who had PTSD and didn't ever want to leave his house again. And she wanted to help other kids. And so now, you know, 11 years later,

Mike Ricci (24:34.029)

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (24:48.984)
Noah is a healthy 16 year old boy, has his driver's license, happy as can be. Rebecca has this amazing foundation, Rebecca's Angels. I'm very honored to serve on the board and she had her own fundraising team at the Boston Marathon this year and they raised over $100,000 for Rebecca's Angels. So when I think about the Boston Marathon at this point in my life, I think about all the people and the amazing stories that have come out of that race.

Mike Ricci (25:15.818)
Yeah, yeah. Well, I just want to say congratulations because you sent me that picture and I know you had a long streak. And then when you sent me the picture of you finishing with the 30, I showed my kids and they were like, wow. If you impressed my kids, I mean, that's a pretty big deal because they're teenagers, easily impressed. So, okay, so now we're done with the marathon. We're probably going to do a 70.3 or something this year.

but you just recently had a health scare. So tell me a little bit about that and how that's coming along.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (25:48.248)
Yeah, I had a very strange experience happen just a month before this year's Boston Marathon. I have been having problems with my lumbar spine for about five years. That is nothing new. It's something I manage. It's something that a lot of people deal with. You know, as the miles have added up over the years, you know, I've certainly put a lot of stress on my spine.

So I had started taking Meloxicam earlier this year to deal with back pain and it was helping a lot. But Meloxicam is very hard on my stomach. So to give you a very quick version of the story, the Meloxicam started really bothering my stomach and I ended up going to the ER on the morning of March 13th. So just about a month before the Boston Marathon on April 15th, was expecting them to just say, yeah, you know, quit taking Meloxicam and here's something for your stomach.

go home and feel better. Well, they said, let's do a CT scan just to make sure there's nothing going on in your abdominal area. Well, the CT scan picked up some of my lung area and showed nodules all over my lungs. To say that this was a huge surprise would be a massive understatement. Fast forward, I had another CT scan, then a PET scan, and it showed some very concerning images.

And you know what everybody thinks is, oh my goodness, lung cancer or some other, you know, very serious situation. I had the very good fortune of getting into the Mayo Clinic very quickly, where I saw a pulmonology specialist. All through this, I was, so that people know if anyone else ever encounters this, I was symptom free. I have had no symptoms of anything going wrong. So she said you need to have a bronchoscopy so we can go in and take a closer look. She said,

Go run your marathon. You're feeling fine. Your training has gone great. Go run your marathon. I ran the Boston Marathon with all of this on my mind. But nevertheless, I had a great race. I felt great. I felt like I always do. Came home and four days later had the bronchoscopy at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. Had to wait all weekend to get the results, which was very difficult. But just spoke to my doctor on Monday. So one week after the Boston Marathon.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (28:09.092)
I learned that what I have is, thank God, not cancer or lymphoma, but a very rare condition called sarcoidosis. And in some people, it can cause problems with shortness of breath, with fatigue, other symptoms. Fortunately, I have had no symptoms and continue to feel just great. So it's, you know, sarcoidosis, a condition that we're going to monitor. I am extremely fortunate and blessed to have a pulmonary specialist at the...

Mayo Clinic in my corner who will be monitoring this as we go forward. Right now there's no treatment I need to undergo, but we will certainly keep a close eye on things and should anything change. I've got people who can help me assess the road forward, but at this point in my life, I'm like, maybe this is just something else I have to overcome, but I am extremely fortunate to be

five mile run this morning and felt fantastic.

Mike Ricci (29:11.052)
Well, thank goodness you're okay. Not surprising to me that you're running a week after a marathon.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (29:17.28)
I mean, it was just an easy one, you know, just to go stretch out. I've been swimming and biking and just having fun since the race. So yeah.

Mike Ricci (29:19.465)
I know.

Mike Ricci (29:23.522)
That's good. That's good. That's awesome. So I mean, you know, triathlete, you know, chairman and CEO of the Steamboat Institute, 30 time finisher of the Boston Marathon, Western States, Leadville, I mean, how many more things can you put on your mantle? It's, it's pretty incredible.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (29:41.308)
You know, Mike, at this point, I'm just going to take it a year at a time with the Boston Marathon. I just want to go out and have fun doing some triathlons this year. I still have my dream of finishing a full distance Ironman. I think this year, with all I've been through, I think I'm going to focus on having fun and getting faster at the 70.3 distance. I know I can make a lot of improvement there and I just want to have fun.

Mike Ricci (30:09.802)
Yeah, I think that's the right thing. I think that's the right thing. Because I think when you can, and you know, you've tried Lake Placid a couple times and, you know, and even when we met, I was like, why are you trying to do Lake Placid? And I thought maybe just because the lake swimming would be easier with your vision and that, that would make sense. And you know, the course, you know, the roads, but you know, something flat might be a little better and a little quicker and you could probably take an hour off the bike easy, give yourself some time on the run, right? Um, and look, you're, you're.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (30:30.534)

No, sometime.

Mike Ricci (30:35.242)
The Lake Placid, not being able to finish those weren't a matter of physical fitness, right? It's been your lumbar and your back just saying no mass, right, like 15 hours is enough and that makes sense. But yeah, so I mean, yeah, look forward to seeing you. Have a great season and yeah, thank you for coming on. This has been great and enlightening. And I'll put a couple of links in the show notes about some of the things you've mentioned in terms of, you know.

The situation just went through, I can't even pronounce it, Scarla, how do you say it?

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (31:06.728)
Sarcoidosis. I will send you a link from the Mayo Clinic, which is the best resource because obviously there's a lot of garbage on the internet. But I will send you that if it helps any of your listeners who are faced with something similar. I am sharing this because I was so scared and if my experience can be helpful to anyone else, I would love to help.

Mike Ricci (31:08.505)
Okay, so we'll put that in there.


Mike Ricci (31:16.791)

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (31:33.264)
someone else who is facing this and is as frightened as I was.

Mike Ricci (31:37.502)
Yeah, totally appreciate it. You're awesome, you're incredible. Thank you for coming on, I appreciate it, and we will catch up again, maybe after the 70.3 or maybe before and just talk about how that training's going and maybe your post-race, and we'll hear about the big PR you're gonna have this year.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (31:53.252)
I would love to talk to you in more detail about that later. Yes.

Mike Ricci (31:56.798)
All right, well, thanks so much, Jennifer. All right, you bet.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin (31:58.612)
Thanks for the opportunity, Mike.

Coach Mike Ricci is the Founder and Head Coach for D3 Multisport.  His coaching style is ‘process-focused’ vs. ‘results-focused.’ When working with an athlete, their understanding of how and why they are improving is always going to take precedence over any race result. Yes, there is an end goal, but in over 2 decades of coaching, experience has shown him that if you do the right work, and for the right reasons, the results will follow.

Coach Mike is a USAT Level III Elite Certified Coach, Ironman University Certified Coach, and Training Peaks Level II Certified Coach. He was honored as the USAT Coach of the Year.

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