Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Catching up with College Prep senior, Brianna Bourne

Today we chat with College Prep senior, Brianna Bourne. This past Saturday, Bourne qualified for the 99th California state meet by finishing in 3rd place in the 1600 meters with a new personal best of 4:53.85. Last year, Bourne ran a best of 5:01.04 at the NCS Trials as well as 11:08.87 in the 3200m final. In the fall of 2015, she finished in 6th place at the CA state XC meet Division V race with a time of 18:33.0 on the Woodward Park course. She will be representing the North Coast Section this Friday/Saturday before continuing her education and running at Williams College.

1) What was your plan going into your race this past Saturday? Did the race go as expected? What was the most difficult part of the race for you?
Going into Saturday, I was really just going for 4:55.96 (qualifying to the CIF state meet by time), so I was quite shocked when I found myself in third place. About 600m into the race, I started getting very boxed in, and I also felt the pace slowing down, so going into the 800m mark I had to make a move to break the box and give a surge to reignite the race.

2) What was your first reaction when you realized you were going to the state meet on Saturday?
Qualifying for state had been my goal for the entire season, so when I realized I had done it, I was filled with relief and joy, and again, a fair bit of surprise that I had actually done it.

3) When did you first realize during the season that you had a shot at the state meet in the 1600m?
I first realized that I wanted to go for it at MOC last year actually, when I was watching the 1600m finals and noticed how many girls managed to qualify by time. At that point, my PR was a 5:01, so I thought shaving five seconds off that time would be a simple process. But of course, little did I know then about prelims/finals racing, which became a cornerstone of my training this season.

4) You ran 5:08 earlier this season at the Dublin Distance Fiesta. What do you feel were the keys to getting to under 5 minutes and ultimately your time on Saturday?
I remember that at Dublin I also got boxed in and relied on the other racers to set the pace. For me, getting under 5 meant not being afraid to take the reins in a race, putting myself out there and remembering that the race is always over before you know it. Also, I focused a lot more on my stride this season and tried to develop a balance of power and efficiency. In terms of Saturday’s performance though, the keys to my training were definitely learning to run on tired legs coupled with immediate, yet thorough recovery.

5) When did you first start running and what led to you doing cross country and track and field in high school?
I come from a “running family” so it had always been in the background as I was growing up, but I played soccer going into high school. I gave cross country a shot because that was the norm in my family, but after my first season freshman year, I told my parents that I was never going to do it again because I really didn’t enjoy it. But, in training for club soccer, I ran almost everyday in the summer leading into my sophomore year. After our team intensive camp, I realized that I preferred the drills when we ran without a ball, so I decided to quit soccer and return to cross country. That season went well for me and the team, and I decided to give track a shot as well and I’ve been doing the two sports ever since.

6) What were some of your highlights and proudest achievements during your first three years in high school in both cross country and track and field?
In terms of cross country, it’s always exciting when the team qualifies for State. I was pretty excited to make podium and place sixth at the D5 CIF state cross country meet in my junior year. My team also won the BCL-East league title that season, which was the result of everyone’s hard work. This past track season, however, has probably been the most rewarding for me. The girls’ team won the BCL-East league title. In terms of personal success, at a league meet in late April, I solo’ed the 3200 and broke 11 min, which I really couldn’t have done without my teammates lining the track and cheering me on. Aside from that, I am obviously very proud of my performance at the NCS MOC this past Saturday. I could never have imagined placing third!

7) Did you do anything differently over the summer or winter as you prepared for both senior seasons?
I ran a lot of mileage to set up a solid aerobic base for myself going into my senior season of cross country. Going into the track season, however, I incorporated more strength training along with a running base. I focused on logging in lots of relatively easy miles and keeping my heart rate low.

8) What does a typical week look like for you with a Saturday invitational? Typical weekly mileage? Mileage of longest run? Any morning runs? Typical workouts?
Typical is a little tricky because there’s so much fluctuation over the course of the season, but here’s a rough overview. Typical week with a Saturday invite: Monday is a fartlek, olympic lifting then a post-lifting short run; Tuesday is a speed workout (shorter intervals) on an all-weather track; Wednesday is a recovery/steady-state run and mobility+core training; Thursday is longer intervals on a dirt track; Friday is a pre-meet practice, a short run with a couple of strides; and Saturday is the meet (of course), along with a post-meet run, so that Sunday is completely off. Typical weekly mileage can range anywhere from 30-40 miles, but usually hovers between 35-40 miles. This past season, I really haven’t been going for very long runs, so my longest are no more than 7-8 miles. Saturdays are usually double days, so I’ll usually get in an easier morning run along with an afternoon workout that day. I’ve also done morning runs before Thursday long intervals. Typical short-interval workouts include anything with 200’s, 400’s, 600’s and long intervals are usually 800’s or 1000’s; my coach always mixes them up for various medleys.

9) Who are the coaches that have coached you in high school and how has each of them helped you get to your current status?
My current track coach, Kiet Tran, is very knowledgeable about all things running and training in general, so he’s really helped me grow as an athlete by developing my physical and mental strength. He knows my strengths and weaknesses really well, so he is incredibly thorough when it comes to developing training/racing plans. Also, Jack Coakley, who coaches cross country (and is also my AP Chemistry teacher), reminds me to not take myself too seriously (whether it be athletically or in the classroom), and he constantly makes sure I’m having fun.

10) Favorite XC course? Favorite XC invitational? Favorite XC workout? Favorite TF event? Favorite TF invitational? Favorite TF workout? Favorite long run? Favorite free time activity?
My favorite XC course has to be Woodward--gotta love that mixture of a loop and an out-and-back. Favorite XC invite is Stanford because it’s always warm and it offers that last taste of summer before we plunge into the fall season. I really like any type of fartlek run; having to keep moving heavy legs really helps my mental toughness. I definitely enjoy the 1600m, but I love relays, in particular the 4x400, because they’re so team-oriented. I really like the Stanford invite because it’s always exciting to run on a college track, and I’ve done 3000m the past two years, which is just a nice change from the 3200m. Since we haven’t really done the same track workout twice, I don’t really have a favorite, but I have come to like 1000s. We did an 8x1k workout earlier in the season with descending paces, and it definitely helped me build my strength. We also did a 5x1k workout in the post-season at faster paces, and both of them were real confidence-boosting workouts. I live right next to Tilden Park in Berkeley, so I usually run out in Wildcat Canyon or along Nimitz Way, two lovely rolling trails with some awesome views and lots of wildlife. When I have free time, I like to hang out (explore/hike) with friends or family, learn a new song on the ukulele, read the news, watch Netflix, or else try out a new recipe.

11) Now that you are going to the state meet, what are your goals for that meet? Any ideas of what to expect at the meet?
My biggest goal is to not pass out from heat stroke! Really though, qualifying to Saturday would be amazing, but I feel lucky enough to just be in the mix. I have no clue what to expect.

12) Anything else you want to add.
Firstly, thank you so much to everyone who’s supported me over the years and this past season: my family, coaches, teammates, competitors, coaches from other schools, friends and the whole College Prep community! You all are the best! And thank you, Albert, for reaching out to me and giving runners this space to share their knowledge.

Secondly, I recommend that everyone, but particularly female runners, reads Lauren Fleshman’s letter to her high school self, found here: Lauren reminds us to not get caught up in the more surface-level aspects of the sport (like the accolades or your appearance/weight), but to enjoy every element high school running because, like any race, it’ll be over before you know it!

Thank you very much for your time Brianna! AJC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great interview. All the best at Williams and beyond Brianna.

Popular Posts