Today we chat with American HS runner, Rachel Mitchell, who just completed quite a senior year as she qualified for the state meet in both xc and track and field. Mitchell finished 7th last year at the NCS MOC in the 3200m., running 11:20.06. This year, she improved her time and place to 2nd place and 10:51.15. She then went on to record another personal record at the state meet finishing in 13th place and 10:44.48 just behind her fellow NCS competitors, Jacque Taylor and Colleen Lillig
Every year, my coach is pretty good about making me peak at the end of the season. However, my coach adjusted my workouts because my legs were a little tired from NCS finals. On Monday we worked on my speed by doing 10 200s at 75% then a 25 minute easy run after. Tuesday was a 6 mile run at a medium pace and Wednesday my coach repeated the workout from Monday. Thursday I ran a 6 mile run at a faster pace then I did on Tuesday and Friday was my recovery day (only 25 min). My legs were feeling better and ready to race by Saturday's finals.
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?
The past races I have been playing catch up. My coach wanted me to run a controlled race and move up. "It's all about the last two laps" like he said. I wanted to be around a 5:25 split mile but there were so many girls going at a fast pace the first mile that I ended up running a 5:20. But I didn't let that discourage me, I just told myself I have to run this fast to pr. I started moving up when there was only 800 meters to go and just went for it. I wanted to break 10:50 going in and ended up running a 10:44 because of how fast of a race it was. I was really excited about my time and thought it was the perfect end to my season.
3) Tell us a little how your race progressed from the beginning and how it unfolded as it got into the second 1600m.
I thought I got an okay start. It's kinda hard to not get elbowed in the beginning when there is 31 girls in your race. I was in the back for the most part of the first 1600 then on the 5th and 6th lap I passed 3 girls. The last two laps I improved my position to 13th. I am not quite sure how many girls I passed, but this year there was so many fast girls in the race it was hard to dictate where I should be.
4) What was the toughest part of the race?
Before every race, I try not to think too much and just go out and run. My goal was to make it to the state meet and I did. The hardest part of the race was deciding when I should move up but overall I wanted to have fun and pr.
5) During what part of the season did you feel like you had a great shot to make the state meet?
When I ran my pr in the 1600 at Sacramento Meet of Champions (she ran 5:03.42), I realized my times were getting substantially better to put me in position to make the state meet if I stayed healthy and trained hard.
6) Any races coming up for you this summer?
No, I am going to focus on training for cross country at Sacramento State and the difficulty that comes with running at the next level.
Thank you very much Rachel!