It's hard to believe that it was four years ago at the Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene that for the first time we had 3 women representing Oiselle: Kate Grace, Collier Lawrence and Jamie Cheever. Who remembers the famous "Cheever Believer" fan girl tee?
Hands are raised and nostalgic memories flood the minds of several of us here at the Nest. We look back fondly on that weekend and now we have the pleasure of welcoming back to the Haute Volée, Jamie Cheever. Heading into the Olympic Trials once again in Eugene, a flock of fan girls will be cheering for her alongside hopefully not just a handful of Oiselle athletes, but possibly three handfuls! Anything is possible for this steeplechase specialist. And what I have come to understand about Jamie: she has fierce determination, a heart of gold and a belief in herself that knows no limits. She will definitely lead the charge for #WomanUp2016.
Okay! Catch us up on the last couple years of training.
I moved to Seattle a bit over two years ago to join the Brooks Beast team. The training was very different from my previous work, and, unfortunately, I tore my labrum almost right away. In August of 2014 I had surgery to repair the tear. As of January 1, 2016, I’m part of Oiselle team.
Do you work with a coach? How's that going?
I am coached by Rick and Megan Elliott, who are also the assistant coaches as University of Arkansas. They started coaching me in January of 2015, when I was just starting to run post-surgery. They were both steeplechasers at University of Arkansas, so they have a deep understanding of the event. We work well together because of our philosophies line up and they are so smart about putting together training plans. Since we live in different states, I have to be the one to make decisions in the moment. For example, if a workout isn’t going well, I have to figure out if I should grind it out, modify it, or give up for the day. I don’t think I could have made those decisions well when I was a younger athlete, but I’m comfortable doing it now.
Sky high of of 2015?
In July I was able to run the Olympic A standard in the steeple, eight months after surgery.
Humble pie of 2015?
The first couple of months coming back to training were mentally and physically taxing. My paces were slower, distances were shorter, and my weight was heavier. Part of the reason I love running is getting to do it with other strong women. I was heartbroken to have lost the teammates I moved out to Seattle to train with.
Humble pies feel like growing pains in a way. How did your set back influence who you are now?
I ran with a torn labrum for eight months, thinking my body felt off because of switching to a different training program. From this experience, I learned the importance of listening carefully to my body and advocating for myself. Both are still challenging things for me to do, but I’ve gotten much better since the injury.
Favorite race so far as a pro runner. Why?
My favorite race was Payton Jordan in 2013, when I set my steeple PR. I felt everything click and I dropped 20 seconds from my previous PR. Having my dad there, reading splits to me and cheering me on made the experience so special.
It takes a village, as they say. Tell us about yours.
I am so fortunate to have great support from my family, friends, and community. My parents have been my steadfast supporters. They encouraged me to chase my professional running dreams, let me live in their basement, travel to cheer for my races, and figure out how to watch online or on television when they can’t travel. The past two years, my boyfriend, Michael, has also been invaluable in my support system. For the past year he has largely given up his own training goals to run with me in workouts in recovery runs.
What does a typical day in the life of Jamie Cheever look like?
A typical day includes a lot of exercising, a lot of food, some type of medical appointment or self-therapy, and a lot of sleep.
7:30 - Wake up, eat breakfast, walk the dog and prepare for the day.
9:00 - 70 minutes of elliptical, 1 hour pilates mat class, and 30 minutes of weights at the West Seattle Health Club.
12:30 - Lunch.
1:30 - Chiropractic appointment at Inhealth.
3:00 - 8 mile run, 20 minutes of physical therapy exercises, 20 minutes of stretching, 10 minutes of meditation.
5:00 - Meet-up with friends for an appetizer.
7:00 - Eat dinner.
8:00 - Walk dog, respond to e-mails, read, and finish sewing project.
10:00 - Lights out!
What are your goals for this winter and spring?
My primary goal for this track season is to finish in the top three at the Olympic Trials so I am able to represent the United States in Rio. This winter my goals are to stay healthy, continue building a strong base, and get some good turnover at the University of Washington indoor meets.
Some of your fans know that you ran for Oiselle at the 2012 Olympic Trials and you were one of three women that year who wore our uniform. What about Oiselle brought you back to us?
First and foremost, I love the positive energy Oiselle employees and athletes bring to competition. They dress up, they cheer loudly, and they have a good time. Second, I’ve noticed over the past four years, Oiselle treats their elite athletes very well. They recognize that athletes are going to have ups and down in their careers, and Oiselle supports them through these times. Finally, the gear is stylish and comfortable and I can’t wait to rock it again.
Best advice for everyone out there training and racing and trying to improve as runners?
My best advice is to take care of your body. Distance runners are great because they tend to be hard-working perfectionists. But make sure to give your mind and body adequate rest and care. I take every other Sunday off of exercising, and I do my best to help my body recover from the impact of running though adequate and quality nutrition, rolling out, stretching, icing, and sleeping.
LIGHTNING BOLT ROUND...FAVE:
Oiselle styles this season
I’m most excited about the Hi-Ten Bra, the Stride Shorts, and the Wallace Jacket.
Place to run in Seattle?
Fuel your body the week before a major race?
I have a juicer, and I love making beet, carrot, and grapefruit juice.
Place to eat out in Seattle?
Jai Thai in Fremont. I love the pumpkin curry.
Training shoe and favorite racing spike?
On Cloudcruiser and Nike Mamba