Caitlin Landesberg doesn’t know what it is to be bored. The always-busy mother, business owner, and runner became exceptionally tight on time this past winter when, not only did she give birth to her second child but she also helped Sufferfest Beer Company, the company she created, go big, when it was acquired by Sierra Nevada.
An avid trail and ultrarunner, Landesberg is a member of the Brooks Off-Road Runners, a trail running ambassador program. Her ultras and other trail racing tend to be around the SF Bay Area: She’s run the Lake Sonoma, Marin Ultra Challenge, Double Dipsea, Mount Tam, Pacifica Foothills, and Woodside Ramble. Despite her busy schedule, in 2020, she has her sights set on Way Too Cool, TransRockies, Buena Vista Gold Rush Days Pack Burro Race, and the North Face Challenge.
Landesberg was a collegiate tennis player and, after eliminating gluten from her diet in 2012, started Sufferfest as a hobby because all the gluten-free beers she found tasted so bad. She uses a process that removes the gluten post-fermentation to preserve the traditional beer flavor. The company, a certified B Corp, markets toward athletes and outdoors activities.
We asked Landesberg to share her secrets of time management and success.
Clearly you have a lot going on in life with two young children, and a rapidly-growing business so how do you find or make “Caitlin time?”
Finding “Caitlin time” takes work. I never worked at carving out time for myself until it started to really catch up with me: a cavity, exhaustion, clothes that didn’t fit, forgetting an anniversary—it came from all sides. Overtime I gained the confidence to give myself permission to not be everywhere or be everything to everyone.
I keep meetings to 30 minutes or less and emphasize efficient agendas with my team, my husband and I do all our cooking on Sundays and freeze meals for the week, I go to bed early and wake up before the kids, and most importantly, I carve out “sacred time” in my work calendar and I treat taking my daughter to ballet class or getting my haircut like any other important work meeting.
Could you tell us about your running? What place has it held at different points in life? Where do you see it in 5 or 10 years?
The role of running in my life is much like a romantic relationship: It started out hot and heavy, we decided to commit to each other, and now I work at keeping it in focus; keeping the flame new and exciting, and adapting as my body and priorities evolve. Sometimes I’m forlorn and resentful that I can’t be racing and adventuring more, but I also see my life as a runner as a series of phases.
Right now, this phase is about staying healthy, keeping running fun and light, and I use it as a true release from the stress and fatigue I feel in other parts of my life. To “run happy” has been my mantra this year and that has really worked for me. (Maybe another reason why I love running in my Brooks Calderas so much!)
In 5 to 10 years, I am optimistic that I will have more time and freedom (and potentially even get to run alongside my kids?!?). I am especially excited to use my bucket list races as a way to travel the world, reignite my athletic spirit, and reconnect with the “hot and heavy” romance I once had with this amazing sport.
How do you do it all? Would you say its time management or energy management?
I would say the key to “doing it all” is humility and asking for help. (Hint: there’s no such thing as doing it all!) I struggled at managing all of my responsibilities until I asked for more help from my husband, colleagues, friends and family members.
I appreciate the question because I would say energy management—figuring out what things help me resource the best and the fastest—has been a huge learning to staying on top of my ever-changing demands and keeping a clear, fresh mind. Finding a few flights of stairs during my lunch break (we have a lot of those in San Francisco), a 10 minute walking meditation, or even sitting down and writing a letter to a friend, are all super quick ways I reset during my loaded days.
Do you have any advice or shortcuts for those trying to find a work-family-fitness-fun balance?
Embracing the kids’ ages and integrating them into my sweaty endeavors has been the best way to stay active and be together. Investing in a kids backpack for hikes and a jogging stroller have been priceless for me and my husband.
Tracking down a fitness buddy with a similar schedule as me has also been super positive. These friends likely understand and are willing to do a few dawn patrols or squeeze in a quick workout between a phone call and school pickup!
Any new products or news from Sufferfest I can share with PR readers?
We’re launching in select cities around the country this September 2019! In addition, we’re introducing a new stout that our community has been asking for for a long time. Our Head Start stout is brewed with coconut water and fair trade coffee from fellow B Corp Equator Coffee. I think it’s absolutely delicious and perfect for the Fall.