I’ve been working with Louie Cayedito for almost two years now and his growth in the sport is one of the reasons I enjoy coaching so much. Louie is a triathlete-turned-distance runner and a massage therapist training in Lansing, Michigan.
How did you get into running?
I was a strength athlete in high school. I played defensive line and threw the shot put and discus! I grew tired of being strong but bulky and started running to slim down and get into a different kind of shape. A year later when I went to U of M I joined the triathlon club and that drove me to work on becoming a better runner for years.
What’s your favorite running route?
My favorite running route has to be hills at the Arboretum in Ann Arbor. It’s a beautiful nature area and features a steep, winding 1km dirt road hill. It’s a love/hate relationship because it’s so difficult but it makes for an excellent, stomach-turning workout.
What’s your favorite early running memory?
In my first year in college I was racing for the University of Michigan triathlon club. We went down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for Collegiate Nationals and it was unbelievably hot. I was in the sprint race which was in the middle of the afternoon. It was so hot and humid I thought I was going to die. It might be the most agonizing 5k I’ve ever run and now the experience feels legendary in my mind.
What’s your favorite thing about running?
I love how running makes my body feel very functional. Daily life these days doesn’t demand much of our bodies and it’s easy to overlook the fact that evolution has graced us with bodies that are impressive machines. Humans have unparalleled endurance abilities in the animal kingdom and it feels good to take advantage of that. I love finishing a long run and reflecting on how efficiently my body can travel long distances.
How had training been during the pandemic, in general?
Training during the pandemic has been pretty good for me. Being off of work during the shutdown allowed me to recover and find an uninterrupted rhythm in training. Going back to work in the summer I was able to take that momentum and base fitness and find a new daily schedule that worked well for me.
What’s been the biggest challenge of training during the pandemic?
I think I derive some energy from the prospect of running with other people or being social in general. With only relative isolation on the horizon, I think I have struggled to find motivation at times.
What’s been positive for your training during the pandemic?
The pandemic has allowed me to reframe my running. I was a highly competitive triathlete for a few years in my mid-20s. I won most races I entered and it led to a lot of personal expectations when I entered a race. I’ve had a hard time getting rid of expectations regarding finishing time or placing. Having no races during the pandemic has given me the chance to train purely for intrinsic satisfaction.
What accomplishment during the pandemic are you most proud of?
In the fall of 2020, I ran 3 time trials on the track on my own, spaced 2-3 weeks apart. I was able to motivate myself to give it my all for all of them and I ran a decent time in the last one. I was proud that I could motivate myself to do something so difficult on my own.
What are you looking forward to in training over the next couple of months?
This winter I took the longest downtime I have had in about 10 years. As a result, I have found a lot of motivation to get in shape and shoot for some good performances this year. I’m excited to put together some solid weeks and feel myself get fitter.
What small things—that will become big things—are you working right now in your training?
I’ve been doing all the strides! I’m focused on the mile this summer and I think doing frequent strides will help train my nervous system to run fast efficiently. My coach Nicole knows this, and that’s why she assigns them, but I’m actually doing them all now 🙂
How does your running inform your work as a massage therapist?
Running helps me keep perspective on how the body functions as a single orchestrated unit when it’s in motion. We work on single muscles at a time as therapists and that can lead to an overly segmented way of thinking of the body and the way it functions. Running helps me approach musculoskeletal issues with an idea of the interconnectedness of the body’s systems.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Training with Nicole under Boulder Underground has made all the difference. I wouldn’t have the perspective and healthy attitude around running that I do now if it weren’t for her!
You can follow Louie’s running as well as his love for banjo on Facebook.