Today we hear from Novato HS runner, Erik Olson, who just recently finished in 7th place at the CA state meet 3200m. run with a time of 8:56.56. Quite an impressive time for Erik who had multiple sub. 9 min. efforts this year but went into the state meet run in less than ideal condition (explanation below). Erik just also recently ran the world famous Dipsea race and finished in 5th place. No question, that Erik had one of the best track and field seasons ever for a Northern CA distance runners and with one year remaining for him in high school, greater achievements are definitely ahead of him.
1) What did you do training wise (day by day) following the NCS final on Saturday to the 3200m. final yesterday?
Well the day after NCS, I took off. Then Monday, I ran a 10k tempo run and ran a few 200s afterwards to work on closing speed. That day, I had the most amazing headache ever and did not feel good going into the workout, yet come time for the workout, I was feeling great. Then, I got home and started experiencing some severe chills and got my temperature taken from my mother. It turned out I had a 101.5˚ fever. Thus, I stayed home from school for two days and went to the doctor. On Thursday, I went to school, did an interval workout (not at full speed) just to get my legs moving again. Then on Friday, I got the call from the doctor discussing my lab results. It turned out I had food poisoning due to a bacteria found in undercooked chicken. I picked up my perscribed antibiotic as my coach and family left to Clovis. We Arrived at Clovis around 5 pm and did a short shakeout run. Then on Saturday morning went to Woodward Park for a warm-up run and then kept it low-key for the rest of the day until the race at 9pm.
2) What was your race plan going into the 3200m. final? Where there runners you were focusing on or where you focused on running certain splits?
Before getting sick, my race plan was to go out in 4:24 and then just see what I had left. Then after I got sick, I just wanted to be able to finish the race. During the race, I was focused on both the time and the runners around me. I was, fortunately, pulled by my competitors to hit a time that I thought was unreachable due to my food poisoning.
3) Tell us a little how your race progressed from the beginning and how it unfolded as it got into the second 1600m.
4) What was the toughest part of the race?
The first mile was the toughest part of the face for me because mentally it was draining. During that first half, I seriously questioned whether or not I would be able to finish the race, let alone run sub-9.
5) What do you feel that you learned from yesterday's race that will help you in the future?
I learned to not get food poisoning the week before the state meet. But also I learned that in order to race well you have to be able to push yourself through your own mental doubt.
6) Any races coming up for you this summer?
Yes, I plan on running the Dipsea this next Sunday and then running the 1500 and 3000 in the World Youth Trials in Ypsilanti, Mich. on June 30 hoping to qualify for the national team.
Thank you very much for your time Erik! AJC