Trackside Lounge: Ceili McCabe

  • Youtube link:
  • Interview Start: 2:22
  • Serious Stuff: 5:59
  • Fun Zone: 17:12
  • Beat Provided By Produced By White Hot


20:18:30 (Evan) Alright, we are coming at you live from the RunningHotTakes studios for this live episode of the Trackside Lounge, not trackside not in the lounge not live.
20:18:42 If you’re new, our program features, only the most legendary athletes who have decided to sign up for a serious, but silly interview, so we’ll see how it plays out for them.
20:18:55 We’re coming at you today from the airwaves in Hamilton, Ontario. On a serious note, I would like to acknowledge that the lands on which Hamilton was built are protected by the Dish With One Spoon wampum agreement, which was a treaty between
20:19:12 the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and Haudenosaunee that bound them to peaceably share the territory and care for the land and resources around the Great Lakes.
20:19:26 We recognize that Canada is a white settler nation, its projects are ongoing and felt in everyday lives of Indigenous peoples.
20:19:35 So for a present example of this, look no further than the brutal treatment of Wet’Suwet’En land defenders in BC as they must withstand violent force to protect their lands from the Coastal Gas Link pipeline.
20:19:50 And for more on that, you can check out the “Nasty Rankings,” number one on our website.
20:19:56 But for now, let’s get to our interview.
20:20:02 It’s a pleasure that we have Celie McCabe with us today. She broke onto the scene with a blistering 9:37 steeplechase this past summer, and was recently.
20:20:14 third at the NCAA cross country championships, following that up with an 8:52 3k indoors a couple weeks later on the legendary track in Boston.
20:20:30 How’s it going today Ceili?

20:20:30 (Ceili) Pretty well yeah it’s definitely a little bit of a break in training. So it’s always a little weird but but it’s going well.

20:20:41 Yeah, you say a break but when I asked you today when a good time to me, would be trying to schedule it around your runs, and you said you had a couple runs today.
20:20:55 So, must not be too much of a break. Did you take like last week off then?

20:21:00 I honestly kind of… since I started running kind of in high school, like a lot of my breaks have just been like,
20:21:10 kind of just running. I haven’t had workouts but kind of decided to just taper a little, a little bit to kind of keep the running rhythm and that kind of thing.
20:21:22 So, definitely, lower intensity but still kind of keeping up with it

20:21:22 I see, and how long were you two runs today?

20:21:31 I had a 20 (min) in the morning and then 60 (min) in the afternoon so yeah we usually just do like a small little shakeout in the morning and then get into the, the regular one kind of later on.

20:21:45 Nice. Um, and have you kind of gotten used to doing two runs like pretty regularly now that you’ve, you’ve been at West Virginia for what three years now?

20:21:58 Yeah, it’s it’s definitely something I’ve done… kind of acclimated to. I know when I first came in, like, running hadn’t been kind of the only thing I had done so my mileage was fairly low.
20:22:14 And then over the last two years I’ve kind of noticed it just starts to, I kind of feel better when I, when I get to get on that routine of having a couple (runs) in a day so we’ll usually double, I guess, four times a week.
20:22:31 So it’s, it’s, it’s definitely something that I’ve kind of grown to like, but it’s definitely taken a little bit of time.

20:22:38 Yeah, so it seems like you’ve been able to build up the mileage.
20:22:44 in a good progressive way that avoided most of the bad injuries that can happen with that, I guess.

20:22:52 Yeah, for sure. Our coaches very kind of cognizant of where what your background was and running and then also kind of finding what works for different people I know some, some of my teammates they use a lot of cross training and that kind of thing.
20:23:07 And so, it’s, it’s kind of finding that balance where you can still stay in a good rhythm but not be kind of getting injured or anything like that.

20:23:17 Sure, that’s the key with the running I find is like how how much can you do in a way that’s still a net benefit to you and not a not hurting you.
20:23:36 So, do as much as you can while still being able to recover is the key.

20:23:38 For sure, sure.

20:23:38 Okay, so we’ll get into some of the interview questions now if you’re good with that.

20:23:38 Yeah.

20:23:45 Okay, so, part one, we call this this segment the “Serious Stuff.” So we got some good questions.
20:23:55 brainstormed here by our team at RunningHotTakes. And, number one, is there anything in particular in your background, for example: the place you come from… which was BC Correct?

20:23:55 Yes.

20:24:11 …success in another sport, particularly good guidance from a teacher coach…. So is there anything in particular in your background, that you think contributed directly to you, achieving performance breakthroughs?

20:24:28 I think really, I’m kind of coming into running a little bit later than a lot of people. Even on my team I kind of noticed. I think like throughout elementary and high school
20:24:44 soccer was always the thing that I wanted to do collegiately I guess and so
20:24:53 I kind of ran for high school and had a really good coach in high school that allowed me to kind of play my other sports, but kind of directed me in my grade 11 year to a club that he thought would help me a little more to
20:25:10 become a better runner instead of just someone that kind of goes out there and tries really hard and grinds it out. So I think being able to play a lot of different sports was definitely helpful to stay health
20:25:33 and figure out really what I wanted to do. And and then being really lucky to have a good high school coach who still gave me that freedom to do other things and not focus solely on running right away
20:25:42 I think made the transition into college, kind of set me up for a good trajectory, I think.

20:25:48 Nice. Yeah, it’s always good when it’s not pushed super hard like you kind of get into it.
20:26:02 Because you start enjoying it maybe.

20:26:02 So, what what position Did you play in soccer?

20:26:07 I was a winger So, yeah, definitely, definitely was doing a lot of running in that but yeah that was, that was definitely a big part of my, my high school especially.

20:26:20 Have you ever played the crossbar challenge in soccer?

20:26:23 I have. Yeah, yeah, that.

20:26:29 Were you able to snipe the crossbar? Or are you better passer?

20:26:32 It was weird because I definitely was, it was more of the kind of drive, drive the line and get across it, but for some reason I wasn’t too bad at that game.

20:26:32 So you’re just nasty at all the fun soccer games as well.

20:26:53 All right, we’ll move on to question two. So, was there a particular moment, either in training or in a race situation, when you realized you had achieved another level as an athlete, and if so, what did that moment feel like for you?

20:27:11 I think, like, over the past I guess since COVID I’ve been really lucky to train with my training partner here that Amy Cashin who went to Olympics this summer for for Australia in the steeplechase and and having a chance to
20:27:29 train with her for the past couple of years and really build up, like I can kind of see certain things in training where I could kind of feel that new level of fitness kind of coming and progressing.
20:27:42 And then, I really think last summer, to be running at the NCAA championships in the steeplechase I think was, was a cool kind of moment because a lot of girls in that field were people that had done had success in in other events
20:28:03 earlier that year and and kind of reaching that that new level that that I feel like I could kind of carry into the fall and so I think that was probably, I think if I could pick one moment that would be it.

20:28:17 I’m guessing your teammate is older than you? Or are they a similar age?

20:28:22 Yeah, she’s older, so she’s an alumni but but still trains and is an assistant coach so I’m really lucky to have have her as someone to kind of do everything with, which is nice.

20:28:38 Nice. Yeah, so, and her name is Amy Cashin you said right?

20:28:38 Yeah.

20:28:38 Nice and so did she kind of get you into the steeplechase or was it something else that brought you into that?

20:28:52 My, former club coach
20:28:57 back home was steeplechaser, and he kind of was like “oh well like you’re, you’re athletic enough and that I kind of think that you might be able to do it.”
20:29:08 And so I did it my last year of high school.
20:29:25 And then I wasn’t really sure if I was going to do it in college, but then having that kind of influencer (Amy) around me I think definitely kind of made that a possibility and then, and then from there, it worked out a little better than than I thought.

20:29:31 That’s good. Yeah, that makes sense. It’s always good when you have someone there to actually train with. Does the fact that like Canada recently has had like a lot of good steeplechase performances on the women’s side, does that motivate you at all?

20:30:01 For sure yeah no it was really great. Seeing especially the Olympics this summer and seeing Gen run so well, and I think it’s really impressive because she’s someone that I’ve seen really be good in cross country and just really
20:30:22 well rounded and I think that (performance), along with the other two running pretty amazing times… so it’s definitely something where this summer I, I was kind of shocked almost to get close. And then I took another shot at it to, kind of, right before the deadline and kind of coming,
20:30:48 coming close but not quite getting there was good. But seeing those other athletes really surpass all those kind of like, I guess even the standards have gone down, like the time standards have gone down so much in the steeplechase and
20:31:06 just seeing how much it’s progressed is really cool.

20:31:10 Right yeah because it was always Genvieve Lalonde destroying the field at the Canadian Championships in the steeplechase and she still does on the cross course, which like respect to her for going out to these cross country races which a lot of professional
20:31:31 athletes tend to stay away from a little bit.
20:31:38 But yeah, this summer was interesting with Regan Yee breaking Gen’s record. And also Alycia Butterworth running pretty fast, and then there’s always also Charlotte Prouse kicking around too right? So there’s
20:31:50 definitely a good group there on the women’s side and actually on the men’s side too, there’s some good steeplechasers… so for whatever reason a lot of people in Canada seem to enjoy the steeplechase.

20:32:03 Yeah, no, it’s definitely a very, it’s an incredible kind of community to be like a part of just because of how, how good it’s, it’s getting and to kind of have that as a goal is good.

20:32:16 Nice.

20:32:17 Okay, so we’ll get into our last of the three serious questions here and then we’ll move on to the fun part of the interview, or maybe not fun depending on what Ceili likes better, but the last question here is: do you feel like your sudden recent success
20:32:17 has created more or less pressure to succeed at the next level, and does this feel liberating, frightening, or perhaps a little of both to suddently feel this good?

20:33:08 I think it’s, it’s definitely exciting.
20:32:56 I think it helps to kind of like for me
20:33:01 I think first and foremost I really like training and I like competing, but I like that kind of daily training routine and I think that’s kind of helped me kind of deal with some of that because I can just focus, focus on each day, kind of doing
20:33:18 the things that I think have helped kind of with some of the times that I’ve run or, or some of the races and so having the people around me that that I can kind of maintain that routine I think just kind of keeps everything a little bit more
20:33:36 level, I guess.

20:33:39 So like, in your head you don’t really view yourself as, as, like, making a huge jump it’s just kind of been continuing on the same path.

20:33:49 Yeah, I think it’s kind of funny to me to look at like when I ran it (a 3k) at Boston. I think it was like almost a minute faster than when I ran it in my freshman year.
20:34:01 And so I think that is kind of weird to look at it as, as kind of that big of an improvement but just kind of, I think, being aware of, like the type of things that you can kind of do to kind of stay on a good trajectory I think it just makes everything
20:34:20 seem a little bit more like I don’t know like planned or comfortable, rather than kind of just all of a sudden running these times so it kind of puts it in perspective, I think a little bit more.

20:34:34 So the times might be getting faster but the way you train and just conduct yourself overall has been pretty much consistent.

20:34:43 Yeah, yeah, i would say so.

20:34:46 Nice. That seems like a good way of going about it.
20:34:51 Okay, are you ready for part two of the interview?

20:34:51 Yeah.

20:34:58 All right, so for those of you who don’t know, I sent Ceili some of these questions the day before, and I feel like reading them
20:35:08 must have been interesting but I got no no blowback so we’ll see how this goes.
20:35:17 Question one: do you like pods (aka podcasts)? A lot seem to be inviting you to them currently, shout out to keep it running from Tuesday.
20:35:30 Do you listen to any podcasts? …that’s… that’s the first question.

20:35:35 Currently I haven’t been on a routine of listening, but it’s definitely something that a lot of people around me get really into, so maybe kind of over this break I’ll try to get into some.

20:35:51 Okay, nice. I would recommend, Alberta Advantage. Shoutout, Alberta Advantage, good podcast.
20:36:00 And additionally related to a different kind of pods, how do you feel about tide pods?

20:36:07 I do have some, some currently and, and I yeah so we’ve been getting into that in a little. Yeah, I think that’s what we have they’re pretty easy.

20:36:18 How many pods per load?

20:36:21 Oh, you know I feel like I put in like two, I don’t even know how you’re supposed to do, but I just I thought that was an all right amount, we got a little pebbles or whatever.

20:36:21 Yeah two sounds good, three though… it’s just like you’re insane if you try three.

20:36:37 Yeah, it might be a little strong so

20:36:37 yeah soap just starts bubbling out of your washing machine.
20:36:48 All right. I personally don’t use tide pods. I’m a liquid guy but yeah I mean I don’t know which one’s better. If it’s working for you that works.
20:37:01 The next question, which is a pretty essential one I’d say is: do you like cakes (aka pancakes) and
20:37:12 if yes, how do you like them?

20:37:15 Um, I do, so I I have like the Kodiak pancake mix which is like, pretty popular here anyway on our team.
20:37:25 So those are pretty easy.
20:37:38 I’ve like made the banana pancakes.
20:37:33 So, so that’s been been good. I’m not like I’m not one of those people who has it like pre-workouts or anything or like any specific time, but, but I do like them.

20:37:45 So you’re more of a casual cakes person not a pre workout cakes person, yeah yeah I would say that. Yeah. Okay. Nice. I think that’s, That’s good that you’re mixing it up though with some, some oatmeal cakes as well.

20:37:59 Yeah, yeah got a little mix of it.

20:38:08 Do you think you might try a new kind next?

20:38:08 I’m up for anything really. I, yeah, a lot of my teammates get pretty like they’ll do some different things so I’ll, I’ll see what what I can kind do if I just go over to someone else’s house and try.
0:38:23 Yeah, good, a good joke we have with me and some of my brother’s friends on the Guelph team is you gotta hammer the cakes.
20:38:35 So make sure you promote that hashtag because right now there’s only about a specific group of 10 of us who consistently use it and we’re the only ones who get the joke.

20:38:48 Haha yeah, I will.

20:38:50 Alright, so this next segment, we like to call “Would you rather.” Our zero fans so far have told us they really liked this segment, but
20:39:04 On today’s episode of, would you rather it’s: would you rather eat seven raw eggs, or one litre of expired milk

20:39:04 Definitely gonna go with the eggs I feel like that is.
20:39:19 Yeah, the expired milk I think that the smell even just kind of gets me. Not sure if I could stomach it be like I can just toss back the eggs and it just would be over a lot sooner.

20:39:31 I was talking to some of my friends about this and we also settled on the eggs, like, despite expired milk, especially when it starts getting like the chunks.

20:39:45 That’s disgusting

20:39:45 But, although I am wondering like, would the answer change if it was like expired oat milk or expired like soy milk, like are they, bad if they’re expired?

20:40:01 I’ve never really like I feel like all these ones last so long I’ve just never like had that happen before so it could, it could be better, I don’t know.

20:40:12 Yeah, like if those expired you’re definitely not hammering the milk, like you might have been hammering the cakes but not the milk.

20:40:19 Yeah, for sure.

20:40:19 And then the eggs, I feel like if you’re allowed to, like, beat the eggs so it’s just like a consistent liquid then it’s not as bad as if it’s like seven eggs that you just cracked into a glass.
20:40:38 but either way I think it’s still better than the expired milk.

20:40:38 Right. Yeah, definitely.

20:40:49 All right, this next segment, we like to call “faves.” And today’s question is, What is your favorite way to cook up a potato?

20:40:57 I definitely had say like mashed potatoes.
20:41:01 Although it’s definitely not the most common one for me because usually takes a little longer so like, I’ll just kind of fry them up but but if I had, if I had a while I would definitely do mashed potatoes.

20:41:15 That’s a solid choice.
20:41:17 There’s also like, boiling potatoes, which I feel like is near the bottom for me.
20:41:24 Yeah, frying is a pretty solid one, definitely if if you’re adding like how long it takes to cook into the ranking system, it would it would be near the top.

20:41:36 Yeah.

20:41:38 All right, so we’ll settle with mashed though. And our last question today is the music based question, which is: do you have a favorite song or artist that you’d like to tell us about?

20:41:38 Um, yeah
20:41:57 I was thinking about that like I don’t usually have like one particular artist but I do like Kanye West, a bit. And so, like, a couple of his songs I would say…
20:42:14 …I don’t even know like probably like “Power” by Kanye, something like that but, um, yeah, I’m not one that has like a very set artist I like.

20:42:30 Fair enough. Um, did you recently do the Spotify wrapped thing that everyone posts about?

20:42:30 Yes so that’s funny actually because like I am one of the only people I think that I’ve talked to that has Apple Music, so I get a lot of hate with not having
20:42:52 Spotify, but I did like seeing other people’s.
20:42:56 I found there’s a common theme of like the pop, like dance pop or something like that came up every time so I was kind of confused as to what what the genres were.

20:42:56 Dance pop? I did see that one quite a bit.
20:43:13 it seemed to be a solid one.
20:43:17 But yeah, Kanye West has some good songs I’d say some of his newer stuff is, is very interesting to say the least.

20:43:37 I would say I’m more into like the 2008-2010 which at that time I was definitely not listening to that but, um, yeah I’m not too sure about the newer stuff.

20:43:40 Do you think you could sing the song?

20:43:44 You know I’m not, I’m not sure if I could, to be honest.

20:43:49 Not a karaoke vibe.

20:43:51 No, no I don’t, I don’t know if I’ve heard, heard any of his of his in that kind of setting but maybe.
20:44:02 All right. And that’s, that’s so yeah, that’s the end of our interview.
20:44:09 The last thing we have here is if there any social causes you’d like to bring attention to today you can bring that up.

20:44:16 Yeah, I mean, I was kind of thinking about that and like just in in the small kind of writing community we have a here in West Virginia, like, I think there’s been kind of like a push in the last last few years like there’s a program called Girls
20:44:33 on the Run which is pretty local to the university.
20:44:38 And I think that’s just been something that’s pretty cool I think myself and some of our teammates kind of want to get a little bit more involved in, and just kind of help with kind of getting
20:44:52 youth in general, but girls involved in whether it be, I mean, this one’s focused with running but, but any type of sport. I think it’s always something I’m pretty interested in.

20:45:05 Yeah, that sounds great.
20:45:08 So is there like a website that people can look to find more about that somewhere.

20:45:16 They should have, have a website, um, so it should just be Girls on the Run.
20:45:22 Um, it’s, it’s definitely pretty small. So it’s very kind of locally based, and that type of thing and much of it is run just off of volunteers, but something that I think I would definitely like to kind of be more involved in that type of thing if
20:45:41 I can help out in any way and so that’s always something I’m looking at

20:45:41 Okay yeah so there’s like a local branch of this near where your school is?

20:45:54 Yeah, so it’s it’s kind of based based kind of in in the community and Morgantown.
20:46:04 And so, yeah I kind of found out about it with one of my teachers being one of the guys that was running it and so I know a couple girls on our team in the past that went help out with it, and it’s a definitely a pretty small college town here so it’s
20:46:22 always kind of easy easily accessible to kind of help out with those things.

20:46:27 Sounds good. It’s always good to get more people in the sport from different backgrounds, obviously, historically, it’s been a pretty male dominated thing, so it’s always good to good to get more diverse groups involved.
20:46:45 So yeah, that sounds like a great thing to get involved with in Morgantown where, West Virginia University is.

20:46:59 Okay, Celie well thanks for joining us today on the RunningHotTakes Trackside Lounge Podcast.
20:47:14 Is there anything you’ve got going on this weekend.

20:47:13 Yeah, I’m actually heading home on Saturday so that’ll be that’ll be good for for a few weeks and bring one of my teammates home with me so it’ll be, it’ll be a good kind of time to be at home for a while so that should be fun.

20:47:31 And what what city. Are you from and BC or town?

20:47:31 I’m from Vancouver.

20:47:31 All right, so Ceili McCabe flying back to Vancouver BC this weekend.
20:47:45 And, yeah, thanks again for coming on!

20:47:45 Yeah, thanks for having me!

Post-Secondary, RunningHotTakes Productions

Notable Replies

  1. It’s the unfortunate nature of what happens when some of our best young runners go off and run in NCAA programs - it’s ever been thus, no?

    We may see them in and note them high school and then, they more or less disappear for 4 years (there are some exceptions - who do come back home to races from time to time say a Robert Heppenstall, or win REALLY big NCAA titles, say a Shelia Reid), but my guess is due to the demands of a full year of NCAA running particularly for middle and long distance types XC, then Indoor, than Outdoor, the last thing they are thinking of in late spring and summer is to come home and race more! My understanding is June is recovery month and then July/Aug you are furiously getting ready for XC!

    Put Alex Lucki in this category. I do recall some great races from here at OFSAA Track and XC when she was in High School. Then 4 years at Maryland. Ran reasonably well - but no big headline performances. Rarely if ever saw her run or race here in Canada for 4 + years, in big National Level races. Then this Fall she has great and notable performances in two National Championship races on Home Soil!

  2. Thanks, Evan! I asked and I received. I want this to be the new norm!

    And now we need more lounge. Who’s next!?

    P.S. I make the best pancakes in runnerdom, hands down, and have been feeding them to athletes for 30-odd years now (out of my super-smooth cast iron pan, for your ferritin!). And fruit on top is mandatory!

    P.P.S. Suck it, Kelsall! (Unless you actually beat us to it, in which case well done!)

  3. We should give credit to the Keep It Running podcast who beat us to it. Check them out to learn even more about Ceili!

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