Emily Trittschuh | Never Fold

Emily Trittschuh | Never Fold

Heartbreak's Never Fold collection encourages every day athletes to bet on themselves & go big. Emily Trittschuh is a Heartbreaker team member based in Chicago and we asked her about her Never Fold moment. Like many athletes, it had to do with the elusive & ever-shifting BQ (Boston Marathon qualifying standard).

HB: When did you start running and what keeps you connected and engaged right now?

I started running in middle/high school as part of the track team. I was a sprinter and pole vaulter all throughout high school and didn't make the switch to distance running until college. I didn't train properly for my first half marathon at all, but when I crossed the finish line I immediately told myself I could do better. So I kept setting goals and chasing them down. I went down the marathon rabbit hole after attending a NRC run that introduced me to my charity, Imerman Angels. My Heartbreaker teammates and coach, Meghan, are what really keep me engaged right now. If I'm not feeling my run went well or I need friends to help with my 5k TT (Hi Jake, Devon and Courtney) I know that I can count on them to be there. Running is my happy place and source of consistency in this ever changing world.

HB: When you think about running and the idea of Never Fold, what comes to mind?

Running and Never Fold means training through the Chicago winters without access to a treadmill. It means not coasting through what may be the longest "off season" in awhile. It means grinding out tough workouts at 5:30am for a race that may inevitably get cancelled. Picking a goal, training for it and running your heart out even if the event is virtual or simply your own time trial. It's the little spark of energy that gets me out of bed for my morning runs.

HB: When did you bet big on yourself and what did you learn? (Can be running or otherwise)

I qualified for the 2019 Boston Marathon with a 4:11 buffer (my first BQ). I was shut out by 41 seconds that year. Then the BAA decided to lower the qualifying standards by 5 minutes. It was salt in the wound and I did not know if I'd ever BQ fast enough to get accepted. I put up a sticky note on my door that said 3:24:59 "Leave No Doubt" and signed up for the Cheap Marathon in April 2019. Instead of quitting I decided to try harder and prove that I was meant to be there. I ran the race by myself for 8 loops and ran a 3:25:02. 3 seconds off my goal, but close enough that I knew I was in under the new standards. I learned that slowing down your long runs makes a big impact on your race day performance, that even splits are my key pacing strategy, and I can accomplish anything I set my mind to if I choose to believe it is possible.