Going the Distance: Track + Field 2017


Hazel McLain

Q: Why are you passionate about running the two mile? 

A: I just feel like long distance running gets me into a really peaceful place the quickest, and it just helps me relax and release stress more than fast running. I can just sort of relax on the long run, and especially when we do [them] for practices that are over five miles, I can just really relax and zone out, and it’s my meditation place


Q: How do you train or prepare for the long distance running in ways that are different than usual? What do you have to do outside of practice? 

A: With long distance running, I break up the event in my mind a lot more than I would with speed running because with speed running, I feel like you just run and you don’t really think about it, because you’re not that worried about getting tired. With distance running, I really break up the race and think about what times I want to hit at each point. I just make sure I’m hitting those times and keeping a really constant pace, and then I usually towards the end try to have a little bit of energy so I can speed up to pick people off. 


Q: What is it like being the only girl on the two mile? 

A: It’s not terrible, it’s a little annoying because sometimes the coach will extend the workout for the two mile people and I’ll be the only one running and I’ll just be running with the guys, so it would be nice to have the company. It doesn’t bother me that much because at the same time I’m running, and once you run and get in the zone, you don’t really notice it. 


Q: Why do you think fewer people attracted to long distance? 

A: I think longer distance does take more training, and you definitely have to build up to it more. You have to have been running in the off season; a lot of people don’t run in the off season and also, I think a lot of people think it just sounds not very fun because it’s eight laps around a track, it is a little boring and then also it is painful because you’re running fast for like twelve minutes.


Q: Does that make you step up more? 

A: Yeah, I think so because I’m the only girl from East doing it, I definitely feel more like I need to really come through on it, and make sure I try to score high enough so I score points for the team, because they’re not going to really get it from anyone else. 


Q: What is your favorite thing about running? 

A: It’s hard to pick just one, but my favorite thing is probably when I do get to the state called the “runner’s high” where you actually start to zone out during a run, and you just feel really happy because all your endorphins are rushing and you’re just outside running, and enjoying nature and just enjoying what you can do.