Non-Running Questions With Shannon Rowbury is on a quest to make summer track’s season. We’re going to be bringing you interviews and stories from the professional running world. To kick this series off, earlier this month we conducted an email interview with Shannon Rowbury. Rowbury is an Olympian, World Championship medalist, San Francisco native, and most importantly, someone with a personality, willing to answer questions about something other than how hard she’s training right now. This interview took place prior to doping allegations against her coach Alberto Salazar. You can hear Rowbury address that here. You can read on for talk of art, Point Break, and burritos. Your husband is an accomplished Mexican Fine artist, do you ever see yourself as running’s Frida Kahlo?

Shannon Rowbury: Well, we did go to Frida’s house in Coyoacan and I did have a conversation with Pablo tonight about his next mural, where I like to think I gave some good insightful feedback. (He actually said, “Oh yeah that’s good!”…insert pat on back.) But, thankfully Pablo is loyal, tall, and slender (no “panzon” there). So maybe we are the Gen X Diego y Frida. If you ever got kicked off the Oregon Project for being too radical with your makeup and then you were like “I’m kind of tired of running so fast.” Then what would you do with all that free time? What are you looking to do after all this running non-sense? 

SR: So far, there have been no lipstick complaints. In fact, my sports psych actually slipped a reference to it in my last pre-race visualization, so I think that was a good sign. Outside of running, my dream DREAM job would be to have a travel show, like if Rick Steves were an athletic girl. But in case that dream doesn’t happen, when I am all done running I hope to combine my studies from Duke (in film and women’s studies) with my experience as a professional athlete. I would love to work in broadcasting or to stay involved with Nike, perhaps working in Innovation or on some of there exciting Women’s Initiatives. Have you seen Point Break Live? Basically the whole movie is reproduced on stage, but the Keanu Reeves part is played by a dimwit from the crowd. His character has no idea what’s going on…just like the real movie. It’s pretty awesome.

SR: Is this for real? Can you get me tickets? Did I mentioned I studied Theater in college too. I could write a review for your site in exchange for a seat. Deal?! You’re a San Francisco native so let’s hit some City related questions. La Taqueria won’s national burrito bracket. Is this your go to San Francisco spot? If not, who’s better?

SR: I LOVE La Taqueria. It’s been ranked #1 by the Rowbury Review for 30+ years. The meat is so fresh and the guac is just straight avocado. They are so old school, they have no website and only take cash. Genius! They even humor me when I practice my Spanish. My only gripe is that they take such a long Christmas break. Every holiday season I inevitably get a burrito craving, drive myself over 25th & Mission, only to remember that the La Taqueria clan is back in Mexico enjoying the Posadas. Since your team is based in Portland and you’ve got altitude training camps, and the European season, you have to be away from San Francisco for a large part of the year. What’s the one thing you miss most about San Francisco?

SR: The beauty and the food. San Francisco is such a stunning city. I was born and raised there but it still takes my breath away. And the food, you can get any kind of food and it is delicious. I probably miss the burritos the most. What’s the one thing Portland has that you wish San Francisco did?

SR: Movie theaters where you can reserve your seat and they bring your food to your chair. Oh, and no sales tax is pretty sweet too. What’s the one question you are glad we didn’t ask you?

SR: What’s your favorite workout? The truthful answer would be an easy walk/jog ending at a good brunch spot, but coach probably wouldn’t approve of that answer. What question didn’t we ask that we should have?

SR: My middle name is Nicole and my favorite color is blue. Oh, and I’m a Virgo.

Credit: Laila Bahman