Pirates, BHAGs, and Kids (Oh My)! Educator, Speaker, and Author Adam Welcome

Pirates, BHAGs, and Kids (Oh My)! Educator, Speaker, and Author Adam Welcome


My guest today is a teacher, principal, author, motivational speaker, and long time runner. Pre-Covid he was travelling the country - inspiring teachers. And he would often draw on his running background to drive the point home.
In this episode - we talk about the race that changed Adam's life forever, the year he signed up for 12 marathons - and ended up finishing with 13 because he wanted to do a double marathon and oh yeah - completing a 100 miler 2 weeks later, the incredible lessons he's teaching his kids - and how he approaches parenting. Plus how his Vegan lifestyle has impacted his ability to recover.
This is a fun and energetic episode that you don't want to miss.

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Podcast Transcription

The following transcript is provided for your convenience. It was created through a program, and may not be entirely accurate to our conversation.
Adam Welcome: [00:00:00]

Well, you need to have some, some skin in the game and you need to work towards this goal. So I look at it from a teamwork standpoint and I'm here to work on team David to get him across the finish line.
And if Kevin you're a third grader at my school, I'm here to work on team Kevin, and you need to put some effort into the team. And so does your, your, your parents or your guardians or whoever works on that team. Because at some point I'm not going to be here and you're not going to be here. And it's building capacity in people, which I think is really, really important.

Kevin Chang: [00:00:31]

Hello and welcome to the race mob podcast. This is episode number 34.
I'm Kevin entrepreneur technology and fitness nerd, and the founder of race mob. I'm joined by master motivator, founder of two legit fitness co-chair of the Taji 100. RRCA certified coach, USA track and field certified official, the incomparable Bertrand Newson.
All right. Our guest today is a teacher, principal, author, motivational speaker, and long time runner. Pre COVID. He was traveling the country, inspiring teachers all across the nation and he would often draw on his running background to help drive the point home. In this episode, we talk about the race that changed Adam's life forever.
The year, he signed up for 12 marathons and ended up finishing 13 because he wanted to do a double marathon in December. Oh, yeah. And after he completed that double marathon, he completed a hundred miler two weeks later. The incredible lessons he's teaching his kids and how he approaches parenting.
Plus we dive into his vegan lifestyle and how it's impacted his ability to recover. This is a fun and energetic episode, and you won't want to miss it. All the show notes can be found online at https://racemob.com/podcasts.
This episode is brought to you by race, mob, and inclusive community for endurance athletes. If you like our podcast, you'll love our YouTube channel, where we keep you up to date with news from the running world and give you tips that will help you improve door running. Check us out by searching race mob on YouTube and subscribe today.
Without further ado, here's our conversation.
All right, we are so excited to welcome Bay area native, devoted lead educator teacher, principal innovation director , and author of books, such as Kids Deserve it, Empower Our Girls and Run Like a Pirate, a snowboarder and accomplished speaker and entrepreneur, a podcaster and above all else, a marathoner ultra-marathoner runner .
So welcome to the podcast, Adam Welcome.

Adam Welcome: [00:02:34]

Hey, thanks for having me guys super pumped. Most of my podcasts that I do are education-based so it's actually super, I'm excited to talk about the running and marathon world and all of that. So. Let's get into it.

Kevin Chang: [00:02:48]

Love it. So, Adam, I mean, the first question I have to ask you is around the name, Adam.
Welcome. Is that a pending name? Did you come up with that or does Adam welcome?

Adam Welcome: [00:02:57]

All right, so welcome is actually my married name. It's my wife's name. And when my wife and I met and decided to get married, which we actually met at a half-marathon. We met at the inaugural North face challenge marathon that happened over in Merryn
many years ago we got married and she said that she wanted to keep her name and I wanted the same name. So I actually changed my name to welcome and it worked out because welcome is a pretty cool last name. It was actually Welkomen, from her ancestors. And when they came through Ellis Island, which happened with a lot of people, whatever you said, and they heard, they wrote that down because people were coming from all different countries and they just wrote welcome down.
And that was their new last name. So that's a little history on there too, which is pretty cool.

Kevin Chang: [00:03:50]

That's pretty fantastic. And how apps, I mean, you can just tell right away how personable you are, your ability to build communities and all of that, which we will get to.

Adam Welcome: [00:03:58]

And shout out to my wife because she actually beat me the day that we met at that half marathon by about 15 minutes, she smoked me. So my wife, as a stud, when it comes to running.

Kevin Chang: [00:04:11]

Do you want to give times, finishing times?

Adam Welcome: [00:04:14]

Honestly, Kevin, I don't remember. I just remember that she beat me by 15 minutes and we've been talking about that since we got married 10 years ago, so...

Kevin Chang: [00:04:23]

Well, let's talk about how you got into running. Where did running come from and how'd you get into the sport?

Adam Welcome: [00:04:28]

I've always been a lifelong athlete. Playing baseball and just being super outdoors-y as a kid, my uncle actually was a steeplechaser and a 5k, or he actually was in the Olympics. He actually went to the Olympics in 88 and he got food poisoning and he didn't place.
But. Brian Abshire is my uncle. He actually held the American record, I think, in the 10,000 indoor. And he held the 5k road record, I think at Fontana 13, 10 for a 5k smoking fast. So it was always kind of in my family and I'm actually a converted cyclist. So I used to be a cyclist, shaved my legs. Would ride my bike three to 400 miles a week. And actually I was not a runner until that race where I met my wife.
My buddy had signed up for this inaugural North face challenge, which runners know is a pretty famous series now all over that I think all over the world, if not, at least all over the country and his daughter has signed up and she got injured and he said, Hey man, come and run with her bib.
And I had run one marathon before that, and we can get into that. It was a heck of an adventure, but I said, dude, I'm not a runner. I'm not in shape. He's like, just come. And I'm glad I went because that's where I met my wife. And that was since then 10 years ago, I've run 29 marathons, since that day and just, uh, my wife and I run every day.
So cycling was fun. It was just hard to get out on those 80, 90 mile bike rides anymore. And especially with a family is it's just hard to get out. So with travel and kids, we've definitely made running a part of our lives since my kids were born having the joggers, the single and the double. And I think I've pushed the double jogger for I think five, half marathons.
So it's just, you know, you talk about family and I know we're going to get into that. It's, we've just made that a part of our life as a family. And I think that's a really good thing to think about. Your life doesn't stop when you have kids or when things come up, just bring them into the fold. And that's just what we do as a family.

Kevin Chang: [00:06:36]

That's incredible. I mean, what a pivotal moment, that race must've been as well. So how did you meet your wife? Was it on the course, the starting line, finish line mutual friends. Was it...

Bertrand Newson: [00:06:47]

Aid station? Porta-potty line?

Adam Welcome: [00:06:51]

She was way ahead of me. There was no aid station, so we have a mutual friend and at the race.
It was super early in the morning. And if you know, the Bay area, Marin Headlands can be really foggy and cold. In the morning and my buddy and I roll up to rodeo beach and hop out of the car and I heard my name and it was this mutual friend. I used to work at a running shoe store in Danville, shout out to forward motion, sports, awesome running shoe store, super great people.
And we just said, Oh, Hey, how are you doing? That was it. And then we go to the start of the race and I see this woman. In front of a heater. And I said, Oh, I think that's my friend's friend that she was with. So I walk up to her and I said, Hey, don't I know you.
And my wife Stacy was not interested. And I was not trying to pick up on her. I was just, just say, Hey, don't I know you. And she. My wife is very serious when it comes to racing and she was like, did not want to talk.
So I kind of backed off a little bit and then we run the race. She beats me, I get home that night and I messaged my friend. I said, Hey, great to see you. And Allie actually won the female division of the half marathon.
She's wicked fast, Allie Bigelow. she actually runs for Wizel, which is, uh, just a great company. And, I said, Hey, what's up with your friend. If she's single, I want to take her out. And Allie called me an hour later. She said, she wants to go out with you too. That was December 5th.
We had our first date four days later and then we got married 100 days later after that first day, because, you know, When, you know, you know, and, uh, we just, we just celebrated 10 years of marriage in March. So that's the story. And I've just continued running ever since I sold all my $10,000 road bikes and bought running shoes and just have been chasing my wife ever since.
And, uh, No regrets. It's awesome.

Kevin Chang: [00:08:37]

What a story, what a story of human connection and the power of, of races and, , I suppose social aspect of racism, which we all miss, I think right now, during the pandemic, talk about some of your racing accomplishments. I know that there was one year where you ran a marathon every single month for an entire year.
What other things have you been doing in the, in the running world?

Adam Welcome: [00:08:57]

So, I'm not a super competitive guy. I just like to do hard things and, you know, just to backup quickly, the first marathon I ever ran was a few years before I met my wife. I had a buddy who I actually worked at this running shoe store with.
I was working there. On the weekends because I was an elementary school teacher and he said, Hey, let's do a marathon. There's a marathon CIM, California international marathon, which a lot of people know, it's like one of the biggest Boston qualifiers in the country. He's like, it's in Sacramento and it's in three weeks to do it with me.
And I said, all right. And we signed up two days before the race. He bailed because he said he wasn't ready. The longest run that I'd ever been on in my life was nine miles. That was the longest run I'd ever been on. So I'd go up there and get a hotel, take the bus to Lake Folsom dam. If you know the race, you know what I'm talking about. I'm looking around and I'm like, Holy crud I'm about to run 26.2 miles, but I wasn't nervous.
I knew it would be hard, but I knew I would get through it. And I ran a 3:57 on nine miles was my longest training run. And there was a few years in between till I met my wife and started doing more races, but I just started doing marathons and I did CIM and I did just a bunch of different races.
And then it got to the point where marathons weren't really a challenge anymore. I wasn't trying to break three hours. I'm just a middle of the pack guy. I could run faster, but I don't like being injured. So I just kinda liked to, you know, push myself but not hurt myself.
And I had this idea. I said, you know, I'm going to run one marathon a month for the entire year. And it was like early December of 2016. And I didn't even tell my wife, I just sat down. I Googled marathon schedules and I signed up for 11 marathons in 2017. Because as people know, when you hit the submit button and you register and you put your credit card down, you're committed.
And I was the only race that I didn't sign up for was November because I was trying to get in the lottery for New York. Turned out. I got in the lottery. And halfway through that year, I realized that my December marathon, it was going to be my 19th marathon of my life. And I didn't obviously want to end on that uneven number.
So I decided to run CIM twice. So I actually ran CIM. I left the finish line at 1:00 AM at the Capitol and I ran the course backwards. I had two neighbors that followed me on bikes. We got to the starting line of 5:00 AM. I changed my clothes, I got something to eat. And then I ran the real race back. So I did a backwards and forwards.
So I got my 20 marathons and I actually did 13 for the year, but I wasn't done two weeks later on new year's Eve of 2017.
I did a 24 hour race, which listeners, if you haven't done a 24 hour race. A 24 hour race is the most amazing experience I've ever had. It was at Crissy field in San Francisco, and it's a mile loop around Chrissy field for a day.
And my goal was a hundred miles and the longest I had ever run was 52 miles, two weeks before on the back-to-back. Marathon. And at 8:00 AM, I crossed the line and I'd run a hundred miles and my wife, she was there now, again, let's talk about family and having a team and people to support you.
She said, Adam, I'm proud of you, but this is not a distance race, it's an amount of time race. The race was from nine to nine. I still had another hour to go. I was ready to stop at 8:00 AM because I had reached my goal, which was a hundred miles. So she pushed me to keep going and I ran another hour and I got 103 miles. And I did that. And I talk about that because we, as human beings, we put limits on ourselves.
You know, people will tell me, Oh, I've done fifteen 5Ks. I could never do a half marathon. How do you know you couldn't do a half marathon? Have you even tried? Of course you can. And I just think, I think a lot of people are living too comfortably.
I like to be uncomfortable. I enjoy taking a cold shower sometimes because they're uncomfortable. I like to set my alarm clock for midnight and wake up and run 10 miles in the middle of the night on an empty stomach, because I think it just helps you to get through.
And I would say like the last running accomplishment I did, I was kind of tired of doing races. So I actually planned my own marathons, which I think actually is a really fun thing to do. Kind of like you're outside your front door, race.
Cause races can get expensive and the travel and you know, like the lottery, I mean, I've done Boston and you know, it's kind of a. Big thing to kind of go through that process and kind of a pain in the butt sometimes to be honest, well, I decided to do four marathons in four days, and I wanted to run the bridges in the Bay area that have a pedestrian crosswalk.
So I started with the Carquinez bridge over in Crockett, and I just ran back and forth on the bridge. On Monday until I ran a marathon, I went home, picked my kids up from school. And then on Tuesday I did the Benicia bridge back and forth until I got marathon Wednesday. I did the Bay bridge back and forth until I got a marathon.
And then the Thursday, I did this a couple years ago. I did the golden gate bridge. And the day I did the golden gate bridge, the bike lane on the other side of the golden gate bridge, people know the bridge, they know what I'm talking about. It was closed between the tourists and the bikes. It was like the slowest marathon of the week, but it was cool because I did it on my own terms.
I didn't have to pay any race entry. I had friends meet me on the bridges for part of the races and it really just fostered a really cool level of community with racing and doing hard things.
Racing is fun and yes, Kevin and Bertrand. I, I miss it too, but you can also race in different ways as well too. It's open to anybody, especially if you don't have the $150. To sign up for the race entry. So don't count out racing even when there are no races or you can't before

Bertrand Newson: [00:14:50]

Kevin and I, we talk about this and you touched on it very clearly, Adam, the power of the human mind and the human spirit. We can set the ceilings ourselves, but when you change your, your lens, your vision, and you believe in self, and again, just get out of your element out of your comfort zone.
You can surprise yourself and you as an educator, being able to understand. Just get out and put one foot in front of the other and great things can happen. Wonderful. Things can happen. You can meet your life partner. You can meet your spouse. Right? Which you did. So good stuff.

Adam Welcome: [00:15:24]

Thing is I think somewhat of a selfish endeavor because we go out there by ourselves and do it. But I think if you look at it from a deeper standpoint, when you do hard things and you push yourself, the people around you see that. And I think in turn, they start to push themselves, which I think is a really cool kind of domino effect connection. It's it's helping other people.
Something else that I've done the last couple of years is I've guided a blind runner.
I've always wanted to do this. And I got hooked up with United in stride, which is a great organization. And some of the runners are, are blind, some are visually impaired and the runner David, who I've guided twice for CIM is completely blind. And what an experience to take somebody that can't see, but that still wants to have the experience and you guide them for 26.2 miles, those two races, and I've done New York and Boston and rock and rolls and all double marathons and all these things.
Those two experiences of guiding someone else that has just lost their vision was the most memorable race experiences. And I think where I learned the most, some people have told me, gosh, David is so lucky to have you. And I said, man, I'm lucky for him because I've learned so much about myself. Giving back to someone else to help them achieve their goal that they can still do. They just need a little help to get across the finish line.

Kevin Chang: [00:16:47]

I think it touches on two subjects that I definitely want to get into in this conversation. One, setting big audacious goals we we've heard before BHAGs, right? Big, hairy, audacious goals. And not being afraid of failure. You've put out there, Oh, two weeks after running a double marathon, I'm going to do a 24 hour race.
Can you talk a little bit about, , that mindset and what kids can learn from having that mindset and how kids can learn from failure as well?

Adam Welcome: [00:17:15]

That's a really great question. I think it's a really important topic for not just runners and athletes, but human beings to think about and talk about.
What I would say is, get over yourself, get over what you think you can't do. Don't listen to the haters and don't listen to the naysayers that, are either in person or on social media that say you can't do it, this and that.
You know what? I am not that fast at all. I'm a normal dude that lives in the Bay area that has two kids and a mortgage and a wife and a full-time job. And it's not about breaking three hours or qualifying for the Olympic team.
I walk during marathons sometimes and you know what, who cares? And if you care, I don't care that you care because I'm doing this. For me and for the people around me that I can talk to about and have this experience.
And I think there are so many benefits with social media, but there are also many negative takeaways where you see people posting on Instagram and their pictures look all perfect. And they're crossing the line and they got their metal and they got their.
Peloton treadmill and all this stuff. And that's great. That's great. But you know what take what you need from that. Don't take everything from that because I think people get too wrapped up in what kind of shoes do you wear, Adam or? Hey Kevin, what kind of sunglasses are those? Oh, Hey, what kind of crank do you have on your bike Bertrand?
Like it doesn't matter. Just go out there and do whatever you can. And if you don't have the money, then set up your own race and set up your own adventure. You know, years ago, I touched on it briefly, but I wanted to start outside your front door races. And really that's happened with all these virtual races by all these races and all these companies.
And yes, there is amazing community going to a race, but people also realize like, Oh, Hey, I'm going to look outside my front door and in my community. And I'm going to, I'm going to do something a little bit different and I didn't realize that right down the street. There was a couple people that I can start a running club with or whatever it may be. And, Oh my God. That's, that's totally awesome.
And again, I think from an educational standpoint, and from like a coaching mentorship standpoint, when you have people around you and you do these things and you talk about them, I think naturally it's going to flow into them and they're going to gain inspiration. They're going to gain ideas and then they're going to hopefully start to do more. , So they can achieve their full potential as a human being and as an athlete and a, Hey, if you have to walk for five minutes during a race, it's totally okay.

Kevin Chang: [00:19:47]

And the second point that I wanted to get to being a guide for a blind runner, I mean, I think so much of your philosophy is around service and service of others. And you even have this book and this philosophy Kids Deserve t.
So, talk to us a little bit about service, how that plays a role into your philosophy and how that plays a role as a community leader, as a principal as well .

Adam Welcome: [00:20:09]

I take a different look at it. Kevin, I don't see that I'm here to serve - or serve David. I feel that I'm here to work with him and I look at it from a teamwork standpoint.
So maybe we're just splitting hairs because my feeling on service is, it's not wrong. My thought is, well, you need to have some, some skin in the game and you need to work towards this goal. So I look at it from a teamwork standpoint and I'm here to work on team David to get him across the finish line.
And if Kevin you're a third grader at my school, I'm here to work on team Kevin, and you need to put some effort into the team. And so does your, your, your parents or your guardians or whoever works on that team. Because at some point I'm not going to be here and you're not going to be here. And it's building capacity in people, which I think is really, really important.
And, you know, coaches do that with their athletes. During my 2017 marathon year, I hired a coach, Sally McRae, who many people know she's an ultra runner. Wasn't Southern California has moved to bend Oregon with her family and she coached me and, just having her on my team and me being on her team...
And I've never met her in person, and she was a virtual coach because we don't live in the same area. But I had to give something to team Adam because I wanted to bring her on team Adam. So I could get it across the finish line of all 13 of these marathons in this 24 hour race.
Working with people I think is the key. So they show that they have to meet me halfway or 10% of the way, because it's kind of like parenting.
I want my kids to hang out with me and my wife when they're in their twenties, but I want them to not need us. We want to build capacity in our kids so they can go live an awesome life. And I'm going to be a part of that, but they're not going to, hopefully you'll be living in the basement when they're 25 or maybe they will,I don't know. Things are changing in 2021, but that's just kind of how I look at it.
Cause I think people have to show up and you can't just show up and expect to get everything handed to you. You gotta show up, you gotta wake up, you gotta work up and you gotta, you gotta do a lot of those things to get to where you want to go.
And again, go back to like the Instagram, Facebook, Twitter culture that we have people see, Oh man. They're drinking that vegan smoothie and they got the new shoes and they got the Peloton and they're getting across the finish line. Dang.
Well, you know what? Like you gotta work. Like you gotta work to be able to afford it, those things, and to be able to accomplish those goals and it's going to be hard and you're going to have to walk and you might throw up and you might throw in the towel, but you know what? The next go get that towel, wash it off, find something new to do and just keep moving forward.

Kevin Chang: [00:22:44]

That's an incredible distinction, I think. Yeah. I'm glad that you walked it back and talked about being a team that teamwork, because both individuals need to put in the work. , both the athletes and the coach, need to put in that work in order to get that result and to work together and collectively. I love that metaphor and talking about it in those ways. So do you translate that philosophy into raising kids?
Do you have a philosophy in terms of, are you thinking about it as teamwork and the kids have to go get it? Do you think that it's different than other people's philosophies ?

Adam Welcome: [00:23:19]

That's a great question. I think it's very similar. I know how my wife and I raised our kids. My thought is always, you know, what do you want from me? I'm here to love you. And I'm here to care for you and provide for you.
But you know, case in point when my kids are eight and 10, when they were three years old, they started making their own beds in the morning because it's their bed and you slept in it and you are going to make it.
And the first month probably wasn't the best, but you know, now five years, seven years later, they make amazing beds. And it starts with small things like that.
We're also a big ski family. You know, we ski about 20, 25 days a year. And when my kids were three years old and they started skiing, they carried their skis. And then when they got poles, they carry their poles. And you're going to be cold and you're going to be uncomfortable.
But you know what? Five and seven years later, they're skiing black diamonds in, Lake Tahoe because we put in the work.
And it's the same, same with school as well too. I'm here to help you with your school, but you need to be responsible. And if you forgot something, then you're going to do tell your teacher why you forgot it.
I mean, I think those are just basic principles guys, like for life. I know, like every generation says, Oh man, kids these days and blah, blah, blah. But I mean, Aristotle and Plato were saying that about kids, hundreds and hundreds and thousands of years ago. It's holding kids accountable and holding people accountable and yeah, just moving forward.
And they're going to mess up and they're going to make mistakes. I expect that, and my wife expects that and we talk about them and you move on and you hopefully change for next time.
So if it's from a coaching standpoint, from a teaching standpoint, from a parenting standpoint, from, from a friendship standpoint, I mean, you know, guys have we're friends and we're friends that work out and meet and you know, Kevin's late every day to our morning run.
I mean, I'm going to start leaving you, Kevin. Like we said, we're meeting at 5:00 AM. I need to hold you accountable because I need to go run. Bertrand and I are going to go run cause we have to get home and get ready to go to work and get our kids fed and feed the dog and everything else. And it's the same with friends and we're not being mean or rude to you.
We're just, this is our team and everybody needs to be able to contribute to the team so that we have a healthy and a productive team.

Kevin Chang: [00:25:29]

I love it. And you know, I've been watching a couple of videos of your keynotes and other conversations that you've had and you have this. Very great picture of your daughter bellied up to a laptop at nine months old. And you talk about how she's writing a book and has learned to do some of these things on her own.
And you're putting tools in front of her, but she's figuring them out. She's developing these skills. So I wanted to first talk about . Developing some of these skills, but you also talk about the skills that kids need might be different.
It's a new economy, there's new technology out there. There are different skills that probably our kids. should develop, Producing videos or creating videos. Maybe one of those things that , we should give our kids the tools to do some of these things for creative outlets.
Can you talk a little bit about raising kids in, in that vein?

Adam Welcome: [00:26:17]

Yeah, no. I mean, I think, uh, empowering kids to do it on their own, you know, I tell people there's this really cool website. It's a G O O G L E com, and you can go there and say, how do I start a podcast? Or how do I start a blog or how do I create vlogs and upload them to YouTube?
You know, teachers and parents are more important than ever. I just say teachers and parents are important in different ways. I'm not here to teach my kids or your kids, how to do a podcast. What I'm here to do is to have conversations with them about the content. And to work on their public speaking and the other areas of that. They can figure out how to upload the podcast and distribute the podcast because how many websites and resources are out there, there's a ton.
So, you know, it's kind of like the Alexa, Alexa is my mom and dad when I was a kid, because when I was a kid, my brother and I used to play where in the world is Carmen San Diego. And we would yell across the house. Dad, where's Buenos Aires? And he would say Argentina. Well, now my kids ask Alexa and Alexa will tell you that answer.
That's the enciclopedia Britannica model. You know, we had encyclopedias in our homes because that was where information was. So, you know, getting kids ready for the world that they are living in and not the world that we grew up in. You said something that I say all the time, it's a new economy with new jobs and we have to get our kids ready for that.
You know, Elon Musk wants employees that are going to go work at the Tesla factory in Fremont and make the process better because you know, humans are not robots and we need problem solvers and we need collaborators of the information and of the content. And it just looks different and it's kind of like believing in your athletes that you coach, when you believe kids can and you set them free.
They're going to do amazing things. It's opening doors. If all the doors are closed, they have nowhere to go. So I really think teachers and adults should be in the business of opening doors for kids. And then you follow them through and you ask questions and you push them and you build their self-confidence and you make sure they're safe.
They can do so many of the things, creating a podcast, YouTube, whatever it may be. It's setting up their own Etsy shop. I mean, I have friends that their kids have their own Etsy shop because they create bracelets. You couldn't do that when we were kids, you had to make bracelets and go to the corner and sell them to people that were going by, but now you can sell them to people all over the country.
And that just gets them ready for whatever job they will have when they do enter the workforce, which they're in the workforce right now, because you don't need to graduate from high school or college to enter the workforce. It's called a side hustle and everybody should have a side hustle in 2021 and modeling that for our kids is super important.
###### Kevin Chang: [00:29:02]
Are you enjoying the show? Help us out by sharing the podcast. You can win some cool prizes like headbands wristbands. Training programs, shadows, and more, especially if you're part of an existing running group online community, or have friends that you think will enjoy the show, get your personal referral link at racemob.com/referral
###### Bertrand Newson: [00:29:21]
And we clearly see what fuels your soul, your passion. But you as the athlete, maybe we can, you know, look behind the curtain. What fuels you? I mean, are you a vegan athlete? Just kind of take us through, , your diet and what, , you'd like to share with our listeners.

Adam Welcome: [00:29:36]

So being a lifelong athlete in remaining healthy is super important to my wife and I. When I met my wife, her mother had stage four breast cancer and she died two weeks after we got married and then a year and a half later, my dad passed away from prostate cancer.
And, you know, with all those things being said, I'm not morbid, but my body is my temple. And I believe in only putting really good things in my body. And I've been a vegetarian for about 12 years, and then when I started my marathon year, I went plant-based. Full vegan.
And I would tell anybody that's listening that was the number one most pivotal thing I did actually for a recovery standpoint. Previously, when I was just vegetarian, I would run a marathon and I would need two, three weeks recovery time. Plant-based? Two days. No soreness. I mean just inflammation in the joints. Absolutely unreal. It is not hard to be plant-based.
There are so many options out there. So many great cookbooks, the happy pear chef Chloe, rich roll. Which rich, if you're listening, I would love to go run with you someday. I'm a huge rich roll fan. He has an amazing podcast. I'm sure you guys know about. Yeah. I'm somewhat of a, of a flexitarian now I'm full vegetarian, but we'll have just some cheese sometimes if it's on something it's hard with kids to be full plant-based. My kids have never had meat ever in their life. We're raising them to be vegetarians.
And I think it, I know it does play a role in performance, but also to Bertrand more, I would say recovery, because again, I'd go back to the point that I'm not that fast and I'm not trying to be fast. I want to be a lifelong athlete and not have injuries and not have inflammation and not have little niggles.
I'm never injured. I've never been injured. And I think taking care of your body and you know, like there's an old saying you are what you eat and it's true. And if you want to feel good, don't eat junk, eat good stuff, you know, take care of your body and then your body's going to take care of you.

Bertrand Newson: [00:31:42]

Thats great. And thank you for sharing. And, you know, we're in the midst of launching a 14-day Cut the Crap Challenge, starting February 1st with a partner of ours in a recent podcast, guests, Tony Julian ,just giving her a shout out.

Adam, take us through a sample day. You know, what is your morning, afternoon dinner snacks in between? What does that look like for you?

Adam Welcome: [00:32:03]

Yeah, so I wake up at, uh, between four and four 15 in the morning and, uh, I have coffee. Just straight black coffee. No, no sugar, no milk and hop on the committee and just kind of check in with the world. And then by quarter to five, five, o'clock I'm ready to go work out. Sometimes my wife and I will go run together, sometimes it's just me, you know, the headlamp and the reflective vest for safety.
And I don't usually eat before I run. Your stomach is a trainable muscle. And I think a lot of people don't understand that. Some people think that they have to eat before they run. They have to wait an hour before they work out or whatever. But you can train your stomach to actually handle a lot of different things, so.
I'll do that. I'll work out. I'll get ready to go to work. And then, uh, sometimes I'll have oatmeal or usually it's a smoothie, just a really great, easy plant-based smoothie. The best recipe is the one that you create with things that you have in your home that are easy to get.
I love Oatley, I love almond milk all plant-based and just whatever you have, spinach, kale. Yeah, blueberries. I mean some, uh, plant-based yogurt, chia seeds, dates, peanut butter, almond butter just don't overthink it. That's like the whole equipment thing. Why don't have this. And I don't have that. Just use what you have and use what you can get.
I don't eat a ton during the day, I'll have a couple of bananas and then just lunch is kind of random. Maybe some plant-based granola and a, an almond butter and banana sandwich. And then dinner, it just depends. I do all the cooking in my house. My wife is amazing. She doesn't cook though. Uh, she handles all the, all the money, the bills, so it's a great, it's a great, it's a great kind of divide and conquer.
Like I said before, kind of dropping some of the cookbooks. I take cookbook ideas and then morphed them into what works for me and my family. One of my favorite cookbooks is the blue zone. The blue zone is a really great cookbook. It's by Dan Buettner. And the blue zones. There's a few of them. I think there's five around the world.
And it's where they have the most centenarians where there's people that are over a hundred years old living. There's one down in Loma, Linda, Southern California. There's one in Costa Rica. There's one in Japan. There's one in Italy and there's one in Greece and his recipes are awesome. I think the best cookbook though, is the happy pear.
And there are these two twins from Ireland. Follow them on Instagram, the Happy Pair and their recipes are so stinking easy. And there are things that you have in your house. And I always double the recipe. So I have leftovers for the next day. That's a really great hack, especially if you have kids and you work and you travel.
You know, I think about my food a lot, but I don't overthink it. I don't stress about, Oh, I don't have that ingredient, I'll just put this in because it is hard with work and family and kids and training and coaching and all the things that we have in our lives. It can be hard to plan meals. And I've also been doing some kind of pseudo intermittent fasting. Which I just won't eat breakfast.
I won't eat until 11:00 AM. I'll have dinner then I won't eat until 11:00 AM and I haven't done a ton of research on it. So please don't quote me on the benefits of intermittent fasting, but I've heard enough people talk about it and done enough reading about it, where that's kind of back to my idea of making yourself uncomfortable.
I actually think it's important to be hungry at times, too. Because I think it, it helps you, especially during a race, maybe you missed an aid station or you don't have enough food and you can still perform on a stomach that maybe is in caloric deficit. You're going to be okay. You don't need to drop out. You don't need to freak out. I think it's all just good training for your body and your mind.

Kevin Chang: [00:35:31]

Do you do any supplementation for vegan diets in order be able to participate in endurance sports. And then can you also talk about what is your nutrition strategy on race day during like a marathon or an ultra?

Adam Welcome: [00:35:43]

Since I went plant-based I started getting blood tests like twice a year just to make sure I was fine and I was, I was totally okay. And then I'd never taken any supplement and then a recent one that was. Kind of low and some B12. So I take a B12, but I don't know if I even have to, to be honest, I've always felt fine.
But I do think it is important to talk to your physician, to do your research, to make sure if you are going plant-based or vegetarian to make sure you're getting, getting what you need in your body. I mean, I do think that is important, but I'm definitely not the expert in that.
And yeah, race morning. I just two packets of oatmeal with some raisins and some peanut butter and a banana. And then just go run. I see people doing a 5k or a half marathon, they are eating like a sandwich. I'm a firm believer in working up to race day.
So four or five days before I'll start eating more, to get more calories in my body. And, you know, like my race strategy has evolved over time. Your first marathon, you might cramp and you might go in caloric deficit or you might eat too much and have to go to the bathroom at mile 20 and that's going to happen.
It just train and try that. That's really what it is, you know, like read what other people are doing and then do what works for you because some people may like Goo and I don't, I like tailwinds, so I'll carry a bottle and I like to drink tailwind and that works for me. And I can honestly run an entire marathon with one jail and a bottle of tailwind. And I'm good. And I can run a sub four marathon pretty much any day of the week.
So like I said before, your stomach is a trainable muscle, so don't overthink it. Don't carry too much stuff. And also too, I think, especially with ultras at aid stations, follow your eyes when you're at an aid station and your eyes lock in on something, eat it.
It's okay. You know, if it's a cookie or during the 24 hour race, I ate soup and I ate a burrito. I had like. Three burritos and people say, how did you eat a burrito? Like you're burning a lot of calories. I didn't eat it at once. I ate it over a 30 minute period. So again, your stomach is a trainable muscle, so don't be too set in your routines and what you eat.
Oh my gosh. I don't have this flavor clif bar. I can't run today. Like, that's ridiculous. Don't be so locked in on that. Be flexible with what you eat when you train and what you wear, because then you won't have that freedom moment.

Kevin Chang: [00:38:10]

Let's switch gears and talk about, run like a pirate. Where did that name come from? What is run like a pirate mean? And how'd you come up with a title like that?

Adam Welcome: [00:38:19]

I even want to write that book. Some friends encouraged me cause they're like, dude, what are you doing? You got to write this book. And especially being an educator and working full time. So I wrote that book in two months entirely on airplanes, which being on an airplane is a great place to write because you don't have your kids calling your name and you don't have all the distractions. You can just kind of put on the headphones, the noise, canceling it and get to work.
My publisher, Dave Burgess, who's down in Southern California. His first book is called, Teach Like a Pirate and hit the theme of his, a whole publishing company is like a pirate theme and I've written three other books, Kids Deserve It, Empower Our Girls, and my newest book, Teachers Deserve It, that just came out about six months ago.
And, I was just playing off of theme of teach, like a pirate work, like a pirate, and then run like a pirate. So it was just going along with them. They were excited to publish that book, but really it's get the most out of life. That's like the subtitle.
I tell people it's a book about running, but it's not about running. That's my Zen response because if it's yoga or Peloton or, or swimming or stand up paddle boarding or. Knitting, whatever it is, you have more capacity inside your body. And you asked a question earlier about failure.
When I signed up for all those marathons in December of 2016, I honestly wasn't sure if I could finish them all. It was a risk. Spent thousands of dollars in hotel. And I flew around the country and I ended up obviously finishing them all and feeling really good and doing well. And I ran with Dean Carr.
Nassis in, at New York for the New York marathon. And Dean also ran. He ran the 24 hour race. I ran with Dean for hours and hours around Crissy field. And I mean, I just met him, amazing people, but the fear of failure, hampers people, because like I said before, they just, they worry about maybe what people will say or if they can't and you just don't know until you try, you just got to try and Kevin, you said it earlier, put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.

Kevin Chang: [00:40:25]

Incredibly powerful words. And especially on a day, I mean, our audience doesn't know, but we are recording this on Inauguration Day and it was such an uplifting experience to be able to watch that ceremony, to be able to listen to, you know, the incredible words, not only of Joe Biden, but also, I mean, I don't know about you guys, but the chills I got from J-Lo up there and then the poets that was speaking today, ,
I had one quote that I wanted to pull out. She said:
There's always light
if only we were brave enough to see it
if only we were brave enough to be it
(Quote from The Hill we Climb, by Amanda Gorman)
And I think, I mean, what you said there that highlights it, right? Like if you're brave enough to put that goal on the calendar, if you're brave enough to put some audacious things out there, that's the only way that you're going to be able to go out there and tackle it. So I just love what you were talking about and what you said there.

Adam Welcome: [00:41:16]

Yeah, it's just, don't overthink it. I mean, I'll just say it again. People overthink their shoes. Are there, do you have the Garmin watch or the Coronas watch? Which one should I have?
Do you know what, when I go run, I don't wear a watch. I do not wear a GPS because it doesn't matter. I'm going to go run and I'm going to run how I feel and people are, you know, data is important. And I know coaches out there that are listening, the data is important, But it's also not. Just go out and be a human being and push yourself.
And once a week put on the garments. So you're, you're dialed in and people just. They hamstring themselves from moving forward because they get so locked into these arbitrary things. That just don't really matter. If you are trying to qualify for the Olympics, it matters. Most people that are listening are not trying to qualify for the Olympics.
They are doing it for fun in their life. So don't overthink things.

Kevin Chang: [00:42:07]

I wanted to talk with you about. Technology, because I know that in the education world, you're , an innovation expert, a technology expert. I even watched a video from you from about a year ago before the pandemic even happens on technology in the classroom .
So how has technology in the classroom, how have you seen that change over the last 12 months? And how can you know, we have a virtual coaching business. Are there any principles or is there any technology that we can use as coaches to get the most out of our athletes?

Adam Welcome: [00:42:38]

Yeah. So technology has changed everything.
Obviously, my dad taught second grade in Richmond, California for 35 years. Okay. Well, there has been more change in the last five years of education than there was in my dad's entire 35 year career because it's called the internet.
And I believe with technology, I think too much emphasis is put on the adults with technology. Like I said before, teachers and parents are important and they are more important than ever. They're just important in different ways, giving the technology to the students and then getting out of the way, I think is really, really, really, really important because. A child that's five years old can figure something out because technology is so intuitive.
So it really is. I think one of the great equalizers for students that are an English learner or are in special education, or are an immigrant from another country, and we can bring kids to a place that we couldn't have brought them. If we didn't have the technology, if you're a gifted and talented student, I want to be able to make sure that they can see their full potential as kids.
And I think, you know, from a coaching standpoint, I mean, having a podcast is really great. Cause you can just send your, the people that you coach their podcasts. Hey, listen, to this episode, you're going to get something from it.
And I think from a video standpoint, obviously I would say you guys aren't on Tik Tok, I mean, I follow doctors on Tik tok and I learn things from physicians. About how to take better care of my body.
Also people that have cookbooks, you know, or Instagram and, you know, there's so many, I would say using technology in that way is, is super beneficial from a stretching standpoint, from a rolling standpoint, obviously not for everything, but there are definitely some really, really great things that I think can be utilized.
And all you need is a good idea. Good lighting. Your phone and you are ready to roll. Don't overthink it. You don't need a studio. You don't need $10,000 cameras. You just need that iPhone that you have in your pocket, and it's going to evolve from there.

Kevin Chang: [00:44:36]

That's incredible. I mean, I think we were talking to coaches all the time that are interested in using technology, developing their influential skills, becoming influencers on multiple different platforms.
One of the things that we are tackling this year is how do we take. Some of the knowledge that we've gained over the last several months and help other coaches that might have a voice or help other influencers or help other people with stories and be able to leverage those platforms and provide, you know, more inspiration because, Hey, who couldn't use more inspiration these days?
And we just want everybody to be happier, healthier, live a better life.

Adam Welcome: [00:45:11]

And I think something to add real quick there. I've heard a lot of people say, well, I don't want to put my content out there for free. And here's how I would look at it. Let's say you're a piano teacher or you're a race coach, and you're trying to teach people how to stretch or strength training.
What that is is you're kind of chumming out there. You're putting some content out there. I can go on YouTube and learn how to play the ukulele or the piano. But I can only get to a certain level. If I want to go to the fifth, sixth, 10th level, then I want to reach out to that person and say, Hey, can you give me live zoom lessons?
And I'm going to pay you. That's how you monetize that. Don't be afraid of giving away your knowledge free. Don't give away all of it, put it out there. And that's how you're going to get people into your ecosystem. I just, wouldn't worry about giving all the way, all the secrets away, because if you think you have all the secrets, you're wrong, because other people are already putting out what you're putting out.
You're just going to tap into a different group than they have

Kevin Chang: [00:46:04]

I love it. Sound advice, and I think maybe a plug for us, we do put free training plans up on our site, free personalized training plans for anybody who wants to listen, who wants kind of a roadmap on how to get to their end goals. I think the thing that we provide or coach provides in addition to that is the support and answering questions.
And Hey, weather plays a role into it, or, Hey, there might be an injury that crops up you might have to modify. You might have to change things and having somebody who has the experience and who has done that before can help you tremendously and accelerate. Your ability to recycle quicker.
So great thought. I mean, we try to put as much content out into the world as we possibly can and encourage others to do the same.

Bertrand Newson: [00:46:46]

Adam you're, you're a blue collar athlete, like a lot of us out there. And what advice could you give somebody who's just getting into running or the desire to want to move forward? They've made the decision in their mind that, you know what, I want to be happier. I want to be healthier.
Two, three key tips from coach Adam.

Adam Welcome: [00:47:04]

Yeah. You know, I was thinking about that when you were talking just earlier, Kevin, I used to work at the running shoe store for about 10 years and we had a lot of people from team and training come in. I don't know if team in training is, um, is still around, but I think that concept is really good. But do that on like a light schedule.
So with a social media, find two other people where you live and say, Hey, I'm going to start getting in shape. And if you want to get in shape, don't go run, start walking, just go walk. And if the longest you've ever walked is half a mile, go walk a half a mile, and then the next week go walk another mile.
And if there's a hiking trail by your house, I'm a huge proponent of hiking because just getting some elevation on some softer surface is really helpful. And if you live near a high school, hop on their track, I know running around a track for me is super boring, but you know what? You know how far you're going, I think it's safe also, and it's softer on your body.
I really think mixing up the surfaces as a really important, because if you're only pounding the pavement and your body's new to that kind of an action, you're going to get shin splints potentially. And you know what? Get the right pair of shoes. Don't just go on to Zappos and buy a random pair of running shoes, go to a running specialty store.
If it's a Sports Basement or Forward Motion in Danville, or any kind of local shop and have somebody look at your feet, have them do a gait analysis. It's not this super complicated process. they want to make sure that they're going to get you into the right shoe that's going to fit your foot so you don't have problems.
And make sure to set up those routines. I think that's why most new year's resolutions fail is because people just don't make it a part of their life.
There's a lot of things that I don't do in my life. So I can do what I do and I run my wife and I run every single day. We'll take one day off a week and there's things that I don't do so I can do that. It's just a non-negotiable. And if you want to make that a non-negotiable, then you need to look at your life and stop watching Netflix for three hours and watch for two hours and go work out for an hour. It's all choices, my friends.
Make the choice to start living a healthier and more active lifestyle. So when you are 70 and 80 and 90 year, your body, thanks you. And hopefully you're healthy and you feel good.

Kevin Chang: [00:49:16]

Talk to us a little bit about your training schedule. Do you plan up for marathons? You said you run six days a week. Is it all kind of the same distance varying paces? Talk a little bit about that.

Adam Welcome: [00:49:26]

Yeah. I mean, I'm probably not the best person to ask that, or maybe I am the best person because I just don't... I used to, follow Hansen's, training program. I think Hanson's a, it's actually a really good start for people because, I think it's kind of like a blue collar training program where you don't have to have this huge, crazy, you know, these 24 mile runs and stuff, it's, it's really hard for working people.
But now where I am,having been run so many marathons and having, I think I have like a lifetime base. It's January 20th, inauguration day. And if I was planning to run a marathon on February 20th, in a month, I would probably do my longest run would be 15 miles. And then I would go do the marathon and I would throw in a couple tens, a couple of twelves, a 15, keep my base and then go run the marathon.
And again, I'm not trying to run sub three. I'm not trying to run. 3:30, you know, I can wake up and go comfortably, run a three 45 and I'm happy. And I enjoy the experience and I'm not injured.
If you are trying to qualify for Boston, I get it. I ran Boston in 2018, the worst weather in 50 years. Where they have people with hypothermia. I mean, the weather was absolutely insane. That was the year that Des (Desiree Linden) won. So I ran when Des won, and then I ran New York in 2017 when Shalane won, which were absolutely amazing moments, you know, if you guys remember those years
And just don't freak out about your training. It is important and you need those miles on your legs. But also, you gotta be flexible if you have a 20 miler and you can only do 10 in the morning at 10 at night, do 10 in the morning and 10 at night. And I don't know, coach, you might say something different, but you know, it's life.
And if you're not trying to qualify for the Olympics, you gotta be flexible. Just don't overthink it and just do what you can do.

Bertrand Newson: [00:51:08]

Sage advice, coach.

Kevin Chang: [00:51:10]

Do you incorporate and speed work or trail work or a Hill work or strength work? Do you incorporate those things or kind of keep it more consistent throughout the week?

Adam Welcome: [00:51:18]

Yeah. When I had my, when I had Sally as my coach, she, she definitely did some more like tempo fartlek kind of speed stuff, but that's the only time I ever did. And I ever will do that stuff. I live in the East Bay, so it's not flat. There's a lot of Hills, so I definitely do a lot of Hills just kind of naturally.
And then at the start of COVID, I actually started doing. Not cross, but I would do something called the filthy 50 where it's 50 jumping jacks, 50 squats, 50 lunges, just a bunch of fifties, all in a row. That, and also just doing some leg stuff for skiing, just wall sits and squats really.
I don't go to the gym. I don't have a gym in my house. I just kind of keep it natural. It's kind of like, you know, from the movie Rocky, he was out there just doing stuff in the meat locker. And then there was that guy in Russia in that lab.
I just like to keep it natural and again, and it works for me. I'm not injured and I keep it simple, so I don't have to be like, Oh, I can't work out. I don't have. My dumbbells or I don't have my kettlebells. Like, you know what, like, I don't need it. I can do it in a different way. And if kettlebells work for you, that's cool. It's just, it doesn't work for me in my life. So I just don't use them.

Kevin Chang: [00:52:28]

Can you talk about bringing kids along in fitness? I mean, I think you talked a little bit earlier about the strollers, the double strollers, you had your kids along with you on the, on those runs. Have they picked up any of these sports? Do you take them on, on any of these. I adventures with you?

Adam Welcome: [00:52:42]

So yeah, they started in the backpack and the front pack hiking. And then, yeah, I mean, I remember my daughter, I think was seven months old when we did our first half marathon and I pushed her in the single jogger. And then my son came along and I pushed him in the double jogger. And then we got the scoot bikes and they were on the scoot bikes. So then my daughter would scoot and I'd push my son in the single jogger. And my wife is always with me.
I mean at three and a half, my daughter was riding her bike 10 miles. Cause my wife and I believe in the church of Sunday long run. And we go for our long runs on Sunday. And, uh, yeah, you better learn how to do it. And, uh, the same with hiking, my son was five years old and my daughter was seven and we hiked Mount Tallac up in Lake Tahoe, which is the tallest point in Lake Tahoe. It's like an eight hour round trip hike.
If you think your children can't do it. You're imposing limits on them arbitrarily without seeing if they can do it. You may need to pick them up and give them a piggyback ride for 10 minutes to give them a break. But you just don't know unless you try it.
Don't tell me what I can and can't do. Don't tell kids what they can and can't do bring them along and they can do it. Oh my gosh. You know, you just, you got to believe in them and then they're going to believe in themselves. And now it's just no factor.
We often will go run 10, 15 miles on the weekend and my kids just hop on their bikes and it's like, no big deal and they love it. So yeah. Bring kids along for the journey they deserve to be on the journey.

Kevin Chang: [00:54:12]

Incredible. Talk to us, I guess a little bit about the podcast that you have. I know you have one that's like a minute or two minutes, Monday through Friday, little words of wisdom throughout the week. And, and where else people can find you online.

Adam Welcome: [00:54:25]

Yeah, thanks. So actually I've had podcasts over the years and podcasts kind of come and go with different projects that I'm working on.
But about a month and a half ago, I started two new podcasts actually. So I have a Monday through Friday podcast called the Adam welcome podcast. You can find it on everywhere that podcasts are. And it's literally like 45 seconds to two minute, little motivational, just kind of seeds of an idea that I'm thinking about.
And I think the podcasting world is crowded, but that's really good because that's means that there's attention in the podcast world. And I don't know of any other Monday through Friday podcasts that are, are, are a minute. They just kind of fit into the podcast world and my schedule and how my brain works.
And then I also have a principal podcast it's called the principal crew pod cast. And I, I released three 30 minute episodes a week. I just like to put a lot of content out there. So that's kind of my Mo I like to do things.
Not a hundred percent, but like 300%. And, uh, yeah, I'm kind of all over social media. Mr. Adam. Welcome on Twitter on Instagram, Mr. Adam, welcome.com is my website. And, uh, that's just a great way to get ahold of me, or just check out to see what I'm doing.

Kevin Chang: [00:55:33]

Thank you so much, Adam, for joining us on this podcast.
Hopefully when the pandemic dies down, we will be seeing you on race day out there on the courses. I'm sure that this is kind of just the start of a friendship, especially being here in the Bay area. Thank you so much for joining us. , we'll have all of the links down in the show notes to Adam and where you can find him and some of the incredible speeches that he gives online.
So thank you again, Adam, for being on the show. Great stuff. Hey,

Adam Welcome: [00:55:58]

thanks guys. For having me. I know how fun it is to produce a podcast. And I also know the time it takes to schedule guests. We had our own scheduling conflicts previously. So yeah. Thanks for taking the time to put everything together and for putting out great content for people it's appreciated.
###### Kevin Chang: [00:56:13]
Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the race mob podcast. Check out all of the show notes. Or find a running buddy online at dot com. Please subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave us a review until next time. Keep on moving.