After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?
A couple things drive me to continue running; the most important reason being my mom. Growing up, life wasn't easy. My mom and I lived out of our car for half of a year and found ourselves in and out of hotels so that we could shower. My mom often donated plasma so that we could eat. However, never once did I feel scared or have the fear that I may not live to see tomorrow. My mom's goal was to make sure I was ok. She did everything in her power to make sure I had a good life. I run so that I can give back to her. I run so that I can give her the life she could never afford. The other reason I run is for the simple fact that I love it. I know I have what it takes to be the best in the world and until I accomplish that, I can't and I won't give up.
How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?
Sometimes coming to practice isn't the most enjoyable thing in the world. To keep myself motivated is really easy. I remind myself that I am truly blessed. Two years ago, I lost a teammate and friend. Track was a huge part of his life. When I just want to give up and go home, I remind myself that he would do anything just to be on this earth again and run over just one more hurdle. I do it for him. I also have an amazing coach who inspires me. Every day at practice he gets so fired up and excited for the session. His energy is truly contagious. I really just surround myself with people who want to be great.
On average, how many times and miles do you run a month?
As far as mileage goes, I really don't know how far I run. My sessions are about 2 to 2 1/2 hours long but part of that time I am resting in between sets. I have practice 6 days a week but one of those days is set aside for recovery and massage. During this time of the season when I am trying to peak, I would have to guess and say I run about 1000 meters or less a day, not including warm up.
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
The funniest thing that has happened to me while running has to be the time I was doing hurdle drills. I was working on being aggressive and attacking the hurdle. I ran towards the hurdle and heard a loud "crack." I turned around and there the hurdle lay, split in half. I had literally attacked it.
What are your favorite types of fuel for running and why?
Mentally what fuels me to run is just the simple fact of wanting to be the best. Wanting to break records and take names is always great fuel. Physically I like my products from Xendurance. There is this Fuel-5 drink that makes me feel on top of the world. It gives me energy and allows me to keep that energy throughout my workout.
What's your favorite cheat food & drink?
There is no question that my favorite cheat food is chocolate in any form. From Kit Kat bars to cupcakes to those gooey chocolate chip cookies Subway sells. I love it all.
Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?
Ice baths have to be more painful than any workout. Ok I'm exaggerating, but they are on the top of my list of things I don't enjoy. The aftermath of the bath however, is quite amazing. I’d say we have a love/hate relationship.
What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?
The most important tip is simple really, HAVE FUN! Life is way too short to have anything less than fun. And if you're having fun, it makes running so much easier. Also, eating a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with healthy snacks in between meals will allow for you to feel more energized and thus get into a routine to want to run and be active. When running, set goals and deadlines! Even if they are small goals, it is important to have something to work towards.
What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?
My favorite running accomplishment has to be making the Olympic Team. The year of the Olympics I was a junior in college. I had been undefeated all season but at NCAAs I fell over the 8th hurdle and didn't make the final. My heart was crushed. For the next couple of weeks leading into the Olympic Trials I had tunnel vision of making the team. Other than my mom, coach, family and selected friends, nobody expected me to place in the top 3 and make that team, but I proved them wrong. Placing 2nd at the trials, I punched my ticket to London where I made the final and placed fifth in the Olympic Games. I went against all odds, believed in myself and finished the year with a personal best.
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