Lauren Miller, 21, is a Warren, Ohio native who has been running for about six years. I had the chance to meet with her over coffee one afternoon and discuss her running career, how it was started, how she feels about running in Athens, Ohio and if she has any advice for non-runners and runners alike out there on the streets.
Courtney: Lauren, I understand you are a runner.
Lauren: Yea, I have been running since I was about 15-years-old, I started back in high school when my friend got me involved with the cross-country team.
C: So you ran competitively?
C: Do you still? Was cross-country the only competitive aspect of your running career?
L: I compete in 5K races here at school, in Athens, but I do not run cross-country or track for the teams here. I am not really a competitive runner anymore. I do it more for leisure now.
C: Yea…I think that is what happens to a lot of runners once they leave high school.
L: Um, yea…I mean, I was never one of those runners who only cared about the sport and had to perfect my form and times with every race. I was the girl who just kinda did it for the fitness aspect, and that’s what I still do.
C: That’s not always a bad thing, some people look at that as like “Why are you in this race if you don’t care how you do?” type thing and I think its great. Competitive running isn’t for everyone.
C: You said you run 5K races here in Athens, have you run or trained for anything greater than a 5K?
L: Back when I was a freshman, three years ago, I trained with my friend for a half-marathon and ended up getting sick a few days before the race. Since then I have realized I am not a long-distance runner. I like the 5K and that is it! (Laughs) My friend has trained for a marathon and she is crazy I think. I’m fairly certain I would die if I tried that. But then again, maybe if I put the right training in and felt good about it all, then it could be done.
C: Marathons are a challenge, I have run one and I think I blacked out in the middle of it. I do not remember miles 13-17. I do know that the last six miles are the hardest six I have ever run.
L: I bet they are! That is insane!
C: Yea, I am going to run in the Athens Half-Marathon this year- I was going to do the whole but have not been training properly for it.
L: Yea that probably wouldn’t be good…
C: Ha ha, yea, probably not. So when you go running around campus and through the town, where do you go?
L: Anywhere. There are some routes that I know back from my half-marathon training days that go around town more so than campus, I kinda like those because they are away from the hustle of pedestrians and campus traffic. It’s more of an alone run…I like that.
C: That would be nice. Have you ever run in any of the state parks?
L: I went out on a run with a friend once and she took me to Sells Park. It was fun- we got to explore new territory aside from a residential neighborhood.
C: Yea you need to switch it up every now and then…Do you think that Athens is a good place for people to start taking up the sport?
L: Absolutley. I think that anyone can become a runner. It takes something more to become competitive, but anyone can really go out there and jog for a little bit.
C: That is true. It doesn’t take much skill. Do you have any advice for Athens runners before I let you go?
L: Well…um…I would just say that, like you said, it doesn’t take a whole lot of skill. It requires commitment though and if you can’t give it that, then you will be at a loss. Running can be great though and act as such a stress reliever. During finals week especially, it would not be a bad idea to go out for a run to just clear your mind. I’ll tell you what, next time someone is stressed, tell them to go for a run, clear their head and go. I can almost guarantee they will be hooked from there on out.
C: You are absolutely right! Thank you Lauren for talking to me today.
L: Thank you for having me and I hope someone is able to take something from this, maybe get someone hooked and a new runner on the streets!