Johnson City senior Lauren Mullins is one of the top distance runners in the state of New York. Milesplit's Todd Grasley caugh up with the two-time Foot Locker finalist as she prepares for her final cross country season. Find out what Mullins has been working on this summer, her goals for the season, and some of the meets she is looking forward to the most.
What did your summer training consist of?
Training this summer has been really laid back and relaxed. Coming back from injury from track season, I’ve just been taking it slow and gradually working back up to normal mileage. 20-30 miles a week on average.
Last year you finished third at states in 18:41. What are your personal goals this year?
My personal goal has always been to be a state champion. However, I realize there are so many great runners out there and state meet always brings lots of great competition. Times all depend on the type of course it is, but just going out there and trying my hardest is all I can ask for.
You come back two weeks after state and run in the Foot Locker Regional and place 5th in 18:25. What was the key to your success in that race?
Regionals is such an amazing race with such great competition and know what top ten would get me was more than enough motivation. After having the Foot Locker Experience in San Diego as a sophomore I knew I was going to do all that I could to get myself there in the future. This was a strong race for me and really encouraged a great week of training and mind set leading up to Foot Locker Nationals.
At Foot Locker Nationals you get 21st and run an 18:13.00 which is a season best. Do you feel that was your best race of the season and what was the whole Foot Locker experience like for you?
Foot Locker Nationals was definitely one of my season highlights. Nationals is always such an incredible experience because I get to meet new people and see old friends that I met last year, it's always a great time. They truly treat you like royalty while you are out there and I couldn't ask for a better weekend. These experience always leave me wanting to go back and really allows me to focus on one goal at the end of the season and that is to get back to nationals.
What is an ideal course layout for you?
Hilly courses are my favorite. I love going out on the course and facing challenges and obstacles that only make you stronger. Mud always adds a fun twist to things too, though it doesn’t create fast times, it brings out the true grit in runners.
What's your typical race strategy?
It definitely depends on the race and what kind of competition is there. If it’s a competitive race, I like to get in the lead pack and try to stay there. Otherwise, I don’t mind going out and taking the lead off the gun.
Do you have a song that pumps you up or gets you ready for a race?
I listen to Stronger, by Kanye West before every race.
Who is your favorite pro runner?
Molly Huddle, she grew up near me, and it’s inspirational to see a small town girl become so successful.
What are your hobbies outside of running?
I love hanging out with my friends and spending time at the lake. Boating, water skiing and tubing are my favorites during the summer. Cross country skiing keeps me busy during the winter, and yoga has become part of my daily routine.
What do you eat the night before and morning of a race?
Pasta is a must the night before a race and I always have a bagel and banana the morning of.
What meets are you looking forward to?
McQuaid Invitational in Rochester is always my first big invite. Other than that, the post season is when all the big, competitive races come in for me, State meet, Federations, Regionals, and hopefully beyond. I love Federations when everyone from the states come together and competes. Bowdoin Park is one of my favorite courses. Regionals is just an exciting meet, knowing what it can lead to, and the incredible competition there from several different states allows for really fast times and a chance to race against girls that I don’t typically get the opportunity to.
(Photo right by Margot Kelly/AZTrackXC)
Interview After 2010 Foot Locker Nationals Here
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