Today I’m sharing an interview I had with one of my former clients, Mara White.  My staff and I have been working with Mara for over 5 years now and I wanted to share her experiences with my audience.  Today will be part one of the interview where she will discuss some of the personal highs and lows she has had to battle with during her running career and how she transitioned into running.  

Mara WhiteAK: Tell us a little about yourself.  Who are you?  What sports did you play in high school and where?  What are you doing in college and what sport are you playing?

MW: Mara White I am an 18 year old College Freshman.  In high school I ran Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor track for Watkins Memorial in Pataskala Ohio.  I study Political Science at Belmont University in Nashville Tennessee where I run Division I Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track

AK: Your first season had some highs and lows and you were thrown a few curveballs.  If you’d like talk about how this season went and how you handled it?  What are your personal and team goals for next season?

MW: My highs would have to be my district cross country championship in 2008.  My all-state track performance in 2010 in the mile running 5:01 and setting a school record, and my 2:15 record breaking 800m run at the Teays Valley Invite in 2012.  Low’s would have to be both of my stress fractures.  I stress fractured my femur during track of 2011 which was the most painful injury I have ever had.  It ended my season that year and negatively impacted my senior cross country season as well.  While in the best shape of my life during my senior track season I stress fractured my tibia.  It was less painful and I was able to finish the season, but I most definitely did not run as well as I could have because of it.

In my freshman season of college, I have re-fractured the tibia that I injured in track of this past year.  I  then attempted to come back after that fracture and then fractured the other tibia.  I ran for about four weeks between the months of September and October, but since then I have not ran and most likely will not run again until February of 2013.  This fall has been the most trying time in my career, but I am surrounded by great coaches and a now very involved medical staff.  So even though it has been extremely difficult time I have faith that I can rebound with all the help I have surrounding me.

My first goal is to get healthy, before I can set time or place goals I need to take care of my body first and foremost.

However for the team we hope to see an Ohio Valley Conference Championship in the near future as we were runners-up this year.  We finished 14th in the region after suffering injuries throughout the team so to be in the top 6 next year is an obtainable goal that we have for the Belmont Women’s cross country team.

AK: You originally came to us as a seventh or eighth grader playing basketball.  What were the initial reasonings behind training at my facility?  How did the program go and how did it help you for that upcoming season?

MW: At the time I had been told that I had the technical skills to be a varsity level basketball player, but lacked the size and strength.  So I came to get stronger, and we also worked on my diet to help me put on good weight.  I was young so nothing I did was too intense for my age.  I did get much stronger, and my fast twitch speed was also something that improved.  Jono

[AK: Jono was one of my former staff] incorporated ball handling into my agility workouts and that really improved as well.

AK: You quickly discovered you were pretty good at this running thing.  How did we alter our training (if at all) to help you with that?  Talk about your success/highlights of your high school career and how (if any) did our training play a role in that?

MW: I no longer worked on changes in direction but the agility didn’t change too much. We really began to focus on those fast twitch fibers and my running form.  As a bball player we focused on my arm strength much more than we did during my running career.  As I switched sports we transitioned into more core, and leg focused exercises.

I ended my high school career with 6 School records.  Two cross country course records.  The Mile 5:01, the 800m 2:15 and the 4×4 and 4×8 relays.  I was all state both indoor and outdoor track and attended in all 8 state meets.  I trained with you through most of my career and the strength was something that carried me to success in the longer races, and the speed training allowed me to be versatile enough to run races such as the 400 for relays sake.

Part 2 will come next week.