Kate Grace & Lauren Wallace Talk Flagstaff and Portland Twilight
After coming back from altitude training in Flagstaff, Kate and Lauren hit the track at Portland Twilight this past weekend. And yes, they brought the heat! Heather and I caught up with them pre and post race to recap on their training in Flagstaff, and get the scoop post race. Bottom line, we could not be more excited to watch these two race in the upcoming months leading into the Trials!
You both just returned from training in Flagstaff! How long were you there?
LAUREN: Kate and I and the Nor-Cal group were there for about a month.
Tell us a little about your key workouts in Flagstaff.
LAUREN: The first key workout we did in Flag was: 12 x 300 starting at 51 seconds and working down to 47 seconds. We did this workout down in Sedona that is at 4500ft, so we had a little more oxygen!
The second workout: 3 x 600-400-200-200. The 600’s were around 3k pace, the 400’s at 1500 pace and the 200’s at 800 pace. It was challenging progressing the pace off of short rest, but was instantly satisfying after the final 200!
KATE: The long runs are some of the hardest efforts for me. We do a run at a place called Bellemont. It's uphill the first half. So it's like running into even thinner air. That is a mental hurdle, but I feel so accomplished when done. My toughest workout was a fartlek our last week there. In the middle of the Drake race I remember thinking…"well, this isn't as hard as that 2 minute segment of that fartlek."
And you did a photoshoot while you were there! What was that like?
LAUREN: Local elite runner Steph Bruce, Kate and I went to Buffalo Park which is a popular workout site for many runners in Flagstaff. It was really fun to spend the afternoon taking pictures, holding changing blankets for each other and laughing behind the scenes. We each had around 3 outfits and a bird swimsuit! Oiselle Swim was easily my favorite item!! So sporty, but still makes you feel incredibly sexy!
KATE: I loved getting to try the new swim line. We posted up on this big rock outcropping and had fun vamping about. You can't tell in the photos that the rock actually had a pretty steep drop on the other side. We were all a bit hesitant moving around on it. The photographer thought it was no big deal, but we were inching along and hugging each other so as not to fall! I loved wearing the pleat shimmel. I hadn't tried that one yet, I usually don't go for shimmels, but I've been wearing it a ton since. Very flattering!
See and shop all of their favorites: Hot Haute Styles.
Now that you two have been to Flagstaff several times, give us the scoop...favorite things to do there?
KATE: It's a town with quick access to a lot of outdoor adventure options. I enjoy exploring the different trails while running. We go to Sedona about once a week for a track session. It's 2500 feet lower in elevation than Flagstaff. The scenery completely changes during the drive, you drop down the mesa and can look back at these majestic red rock formations.
For friends who visit I recommend a trip down that canyon to Sedona. Um, other than that, I guess trying out different food options. For a smaller town there are some really good restaurants. Diablo Burger is famous with the runner crowd. Though...the Annex burger gives it a run for its money. I'd just suggest both and you can decide for yourself! I don't adventure too far afield, this is a training camp after all, but the Grand Canyon is not far, and there are quite a few Native American cultural sites that I would try out if there as a tourist.
You gals are making Spring '16 look fierce (as always). Any #flystyle favorites this season?
Now lets talk racing. You two just raced this weekend at Portland Twilight. Tell us about how your races went down.
KATE: I don’t normally really take it out that fast. So I am really happy with it. It's been a really long time since I’ve raced like that so it feels really good. I got on the rabbit’s ass. She did a really good job. I should thank her! Once she dropped I knew that I needed to take control and start accelerating then. I knew that I have been doing a lot of strength work and that I am strong. So I went for it then. I didn’t let anyone come up on me. In the past I would wait until someone came up on me for my adrenaline to kick in and push me. Instead I just went for it and it felt good!
Kate won the Women's 800m, closing in a blazing 2:00.05. Watch the race on Flotrack.
You put a major gap on the rest of the field with 250m to go. Did you think anyone else was with you?
KATE: I couldn’t tell. I couldn’t hear anyone but it is always a little nerve racking because you can hear people cheer for others. I could hear folks cheering for Shelby and Alexa so I was like: I hope they aren’t close..I better go!
Ok Lauren, walk us through your race:
LAUREN: My race was a blur. It was really fast. I haven’t run an 800 since August. So I was really nervous going in. The first 200 meters I felt like I was getting swallowed. And then I just stayed there and with 150 to go I started to push and pass folks and felt strong. There is a lot left in the tank so I am happy.
Was that the plan going in for you to make a move at 150m to go?
LAUREN: Actually, no! I usually have very elaborate race plans but I haven’t been racing well off of those lately so I wanted to go back to the basics and put myself in the race and just compete. I didn’t necessarily put myself in the race early but I definitely competed so that was good that I got half the race plan down.
How is it having your training partner Kate in the same race?
LAUREN: It is great. It is interesting during the race I don’t think about anyone being my friends. They are my competitors and I’m sure Kate feels the same way. We are really good friends off the track but when we are racing we both of course want to beat each other and win the race. There is mutual respect there. And as far as having a good friend travel, train, and warm up with you, that’s great. It is really calming.
As far as warm-up we noticed that the two of you don’t warm up together.
LAUREN: Yeah race day we like to do our own thing. For workouts of course we warm-up together but as far as race day goes, we have our own routines and we like to keep those and keep the pre race stress low.
What were you thinking coming into this race last night with the weather being cold and wet?
KATE: I like overcast weather and a little chillier and other gals – more sprint type – like the warmer weather. I think I kind of jinxed myself because I said that and then gals were like..you like this weather Kate.. And in reality I don’t like this cold and this wet!
Kate, this must make you feel pretty confident that you can run 2:00 in this kind of weather!
KATE: Absolutely! It gives me a lot of confidence to know that I can race like this in tough conditions. It's always kind of hard to stay warm in this kind of weather but what really helped during the warm-up were the Visor and Power Stretch Roga Hat that I wore; they were amazing!
Here's where these two fasties will be racing next:
Hoka One One Distance Classic
800 meters: Lauren
800 meters: Lauren