SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Recently SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) had the chance to catch up with sophomore distance runner Kelly Ryan (KR). Due to an injury last year, she was unable to compete and is looking forward to her first track season as a Bronco distance runner. The Southern California native loves to race, and was excited to share some of her thoughts on the sport as well as some fun facts.
SCB: What are you looking forward to most about track season?
KR: Honestly, I'm just looking forward to being a part of it and being a part of the experience. I didn't get to race last year, or even train, because I had Achilles tendonitis which put me out for several months of the season. I can't wait to just train with the team but most importantly, step on the track in a new pair of spikes and race. Racing is my favorite thing about running and racing track is so exciting. I'm hoping I get to do some relays this season at some of the beginning meets because relays are so much fun to be a part of.
SCB: How did you spend your winter break? Did you do a great deal of training or cross training?
KR: I did a little bit of cross training over break but mostly I was building up my mileage getting ready for workouts at school. I ran about 60 miles my last week of break at home, which I was pretty happy with. In addition to running, I did a core workout every other day and tried to do our circuit drills at least twice a week. I was happy with the way training went over break for me and I feel ready to start track workouts again.
SCB: Do you prefer track or cross country? Within track, what is your favorite distance?
KR: This has been a long debate in my head ever since I started running in high school. I actually came to the conclusion this past season and realized I like cross country better then track. I love racing both but cross country gives me a different adrenaline rush then track, which I love. Within track, my favorite distance will always be the two mile or 8 laps. However, the distances in college are different then high school and there is no two mile. I will be racing the 5k and 10k this year in track and I'm most excited for the 5k. I'm not sure if I will like it more than the two mile but we'll see.
SCB: What are some of your goals for the rest of the season?
KR: One of my main goals for the season is to run a fast time in the 5k. Specifically, I hope to break 18 minutes and run around 17:45-50 for my 5k time. I haven't run the 10k before so I don't have a time that I am aiming for yet because I need to talk to my coach first. Another goal I always have for myself every season is just to train smart and train healthy as well; to make sure my body and legs are rested when they should be but also challenge myself when I feel good at practice.
SCB: What have you enjoyed most about being on a team during college?
KR: I love every aspect about being on my team. It's hard to pick just one aspect because I love them all but my favorite thing is probably pre-cross-country season in late August and early September. We all come back to school during the last week in August because we start racing in early September and need to train. For those three weeks, we just have practice at 9am because school hasn't started yet. Other than that, we spend the rest of the time at team dinners, various sports and board games, and spontaneous trips to cool places like Santa Cruz. We're basically with each other 24/7 and it's always so much fun. Preseason is definitely one of the best things about being on my team.
SCB: Is there anything you wish you could experience or accomplish during college, given you weren't a full-time athlete.
KR: I think going abroad for a quarter would be an experience that I wish I could have. I have heard so many amazing stories about going abroad and I've never been out of the country before. I guess I could go abroad if I really wanted to, but it's difficult with running because it would mean missing training for track season and there is no way I'd miss cross country or track seasons.
SCB: Where is your favorite place to run?
KR: Hands down my favorite place ever to run is by the beach. I've grown up running by the ocean all my life and I will never get tired or bored of it. One of my favorite things to do after a run is jump in the ocean.
SCB: Have you had any interesting stories while running?
KR: I've had many interesting stories while I have been running. However, not one just stands out to me above all the others. A lot of the memorable runs that I have been on in high school and college are special in different ways and I'll never forget any of them. Some of my favorite runs are just the ones where I'm with my teammates and we're talking and joking the whole way never wanting the run to end.
SCB: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
KR: I don't know if I can pick just one place. I've never been out of the country and want to go to so many different places around the world. I guess if I had to choose, I'd really want to go to Australia or Greece.