To help get reacquainted, Sassafras interviewed Cilantro to find out what she’s been up to.
Sass: Hi friend! Welcome back! We first met around the time that you were doing your first marathon, back in 2012. Since then you have done everything from 5Ks to 100 milers to stage races. How would you describe your runner identity now, in three words?
Cilantro: Ultrarunner for Social Justice (oof, four words, can the “for” not count?). The older I get and the more I learn, I can’t separate who I am as a runner from who I am as a person. That’s why I still want to run across America to raise awareness of gender violence and open the discourse regarding prevention. Running empowered and empowers me, and I believe it has that same power for good to help others, and I want to start paying it forward, whether that’s through my own efforts or by bringing running in an accessible way to others.
Sass: I remember reading that you wanted to qualify for the Comrades Marathon in 2019. Is that still on your radar?
Cilantro: Yes! Someday. But my bigger goal right now is the long-run – literally, building the fitness I need to run across the continent. I love to race, and I love to win (or, podium) and I’ll race when it is appropriate (i.e., when my coach says it’s time).
Cilantro: Oh man. I’m trying to keep my travel to the [North American] continent for a bit – it’s so draining to travel overseas. But I have been swimming a lot, and I’ll hopefully get back to bouldering once my geographic location allows that to be more feasible. I’d considered training for an Ironman at the top of the year, but cycling is just not my jam. I’d rather run 100 miles than bike it. Maybe someday that will change.
Sass: Your treadmill love is well documented. What’s been on your screen lately, now that The Bachelor is over?
Cilantro: A good treadmill is still my BFF, but I’ve largely stopped watching anything on the ‘mill, and I just enjoy that time to think. Sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast (my favorites are The Morning Shakeout, Ginger Runner and RadioWest), but mostly I just think.
Sass: What upcoming races do you have on your calendar?
Cilantro: We [my coach and I] haven’t selected any races yet – just some general times: May/June and September. I’m going to focus on the 25K-50K distances as that’s where I’ve had the most success.
Sass: OK, now time for the lightning round…
What’s the best book you’ve read lately? The best book, in my opinion, and the one everyone should read, is Inferior by Angela Saini. She breaks down the science behind why women have been told they are inferior and how science has been used as a weapon to keep women “in their place.”
Guilty pleasure music? My running secret weapon is my Broadway show tunes playlist on random. Unexpected pleasures abound. And if I’m really needing a boost, I play the soundtracks from High School Musical (1, 2, and 3) on random. I’m not even embarrassed, because this playlist is literally everything.
Current go-to post-run treat? A nice swim. Just kidding. I still like a huge green smoothie.
Long run recovery (aka self care)? The best news I received in a decade was that hot baths promote recovery. Even in the heat of summer, I love a wicked hot bath post run.