After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?
There is still a lot that I want to accomplish in my career. Every time I reach a goal, it motivates me to set my sights higher and keep reaching for more.
How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?
At the beginning of every training cycle I write down my goals for the season. They are broken down from a big dream goal, to more attainable outcome goals, to everyday tasks that I can accomplish to help set me on the right path. Having goals written and somewhere visible keeps me on point and excited about the work I am doing because I know it is leading somewhere rewarding.
On average, how many times and miles do you run a month?
It depends on where we are in a training cycle, but an average month would probably include about 50 runs and around 350 miles.
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
There isn't anything particular that sticks out, but I've had a lot of odd encounters with cyclists while I'm training.
What are your favorite types of fuel for running and why?
Unless I am purposely doing a fasted run, I start every morning with steel cut oats made with soy milk and fruit and two cups of coffee.
What's your favorite cheat food & drink?
Sweet potato fries and a beer.
Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?
It depends on where I am in my training cycle and also the weather. I only use them when I am looking for an extra boost of recovery, such as between rounds at a championship meet. The rest of the year I believe in letting the body endure the stress of training without speeding up the recovery process. As far as liking them, it completely depends on the weather and how warm I am when I get in. If it's hot out and I just finished a race then I can enjoy being in the cold water, but other times I don't like it at all.
What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?
Build a foundation of love for the sport. It's true that discipline and hard work are keys to success and maximizing one's potential, but it's best if those qualities come naturally to you because you truly love what you are doing.
What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?
I am torn between making the Olympic team in 2012 and winning my first national title in 2014. Making the Olympic team changed my place and perception of myself in the sport, which has allowed me to continue reaching new heights. However, winning the 10,000 meters in Sacramento last June was very special to me because it was a home race and I had so many friends, family and fans there watching me. I really felt the positive energy in the stadium that night. I guess you could say my race at the Olympic Trials in 2012 was the most pivotal milestone in my career but winning the national championship was my favorite moment.
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