Banner photo above by Howe Stern; Loretta Tobolske-Horn at Desert Solstice, 2020.
“I’m almost 50 and I’m not getting slower. I’m getting smarter…” In this “blogcast” I talk to ultrarunner and coach Loretta Tobolske-Horn. Loretta turns 50 next month, which is close enough to make her a 50 is the New Forte role model!
I became acquainted with Loretta through Ornery Mule Racing’s “Freeze Your Ass Off” winter training challenge; Loretta designed a great training plan for runners to help them use the winter months to build strength and endurance. Recently “retired” from 26 years in special education, she’s probably busier than ever – coaching for Ornery Mule Racing, and competing in ultramarathons around the country.
Loretta was a competitive high school runner, but set running aside until her children were in elementary school. While still working full-time in special education, Loretta coached middle school and high school athletes as her kids entered each of those age groups. She ran her first marathon when both kids were in high school, and her first ultra when both were in college.
We’ve been trying to schedule this conversation for nearly six months!, and finally made it happen last week. We talk about her 24-hour race at Desert Solstice, her strategies for recovery and injury prevention, and her tricks for squeezing the necessary mileage into overpacked weeks. We talk about her love of coaching, and her commitment to inclusion and individualization – a gift she brings to coaching from her years in special education. We talk about her tips for staying motivated, and we talk about how to start or re-start running as an “older” athlete (“age is not a barrier!,” Loretta says in this conversation). One tip that came up AFTER I stopped recording: Loretta pointed out how many “virtual” challenges and races have been popping up in the last year, and how useful those are for getting ourselves committed and motivated.
This was a fun and inspiring conversation: Loretta exudes energy, enthusiasm, and positivity about running and wellness. Enjoy! BTW, you can follow Loretta on Instagram (@ultra.crazy.runner) and on Facebook.