Friday, June 8, 2012

5 Questions with Liz Maloy

Liz Maloy led a strong field of Americans at Pre
(photo: TrackAndFieldPhoto)
Today we have 5 Questions with someone that I wasn't totally aware of before the Prefontaine Classic last weekend. After her strong showing in the 3000 meters around Hayward, I think most American distance know now. Here's some more information about the DC based Olympic hopeful. 

Liz Maloy is a great example of what you can do in this sport when you stay focused. After a good career at Georgetown, where she battled injury, she has stayed with it and produced some exciting results, including running a 15:15.34 Olympic A Standard for the 5000 last summer in Lignano, Italy and finishing as the top American last weekend in the 3000 at the Prefontaine Classic. This field included Molly Huddle, Amy Hastings, Brie Felnagle, Lisa Uhl and Renee Baillie. She runs for Team New Balance and will compete for a spot on the Olympic Team at 5000 in just a few weeks! Follow her on Twitter @LizzyMaloy

5 Questions with Liz Maloy

1. Writing About Running: Congrats on the strong run at Prefontaine. That race had to give you some confidence going into the Olympic Trials 5000 in a few weeks. What'd you take from the experience?

Liz Maloy: Thanks! The 3k is such a fun distance, and we don't have many opportunities to race it, so it's fun to take advantage of an opportunity to get a personal best. It does give me some confidence heading into the next few weeks of training, although the 5k is a different beast of a distance. Last Saturday was just a really great race to be in - getting in there and mixing it up with all those great athletes and just enjoying a sold out crowd.

2. Writing About Running: You had a nice career at Georgetown, but have really come into your own the last few years. What has led to you making such a jump?

Liz Maloy: Coach (Chris) Miltenberg was named to the Georgetown coaching staff shortly after graduation my senior year - his coaching philosophy is 100% the reason for my recent success. When Coach Milt met me, I was just getting over yet another stress fracture. We sat down for a meeting and he told me I needed to be patient and success would follow. Patience is the virtue we've stood by throughout the past five years - it has been difficult at times, but I honestly think it's made me a better person and a better athlete. He was always more cautious than not, taking 3 days off at the start of a little nagging pain rather than pushing through it, and it allowed my body to fully heal, recover, and grow stronger. Coach Milt never gave up on me and I've appreciated all his efforts in making me the best athlete I can be.

3. Writing About Running: Your breakthrough run of 15:15.34 for 5000 in Lignano was just outside the 15:15 Olympic A Standard when you ran it; then the standard was changed to 15:20. Can you describe the emotions of missing the time by so little and then later "hitting" it through the IAAF change?

Liz Maloy: Lignano was great. At that point in the summer, I wasn't chasing a time (I honestly didn't even know what the "A" standard was) - I just wanted to come away with a positive experience. I had struggled a bit in June and really wanted to have a solid showing, to be able to walk away from the track happy. Missing the "A" standard by .34 was a bummer, but the Lignano track was extremely hard (probably why it's so fast!) and my foot really started to bother me and I made the tough decision to pack up and go home. I think I dodged a bullet by stopping early (part of Coach Milt's "be more cautious than not" plan). I figured in order to make a US Olympic Team in the 5k, you're going to have to be in at least the "A" standard shape at the Trials, so having the time beforehand wasn't totally necessary. But…when I found out the IAAF changed the time, I wasn't going to complain! It was a little anti-climactic, but exciting nonetheless, and it enabled me to just work on racing, rather than chasing a time.

New Balance made Maloy a "track card" and
she's already outrun both PR's
4. Writing About Running: When I tweeted about you Saturday at Pre, Maggie Infeld quickly chimed in about you being an excellent training partner. Who all are you training with these days and who's your coach?

Liz Maloy: I'm still training at Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Maggie is my main training partner, which is awesome. We've been training together for about 8 years now (wow!). We both have different strengths, so we feed off each other at practice every day - she kicks my butt in short stuff and I help her get strong with longer tempos. Coach Milt, the Georgetown women's coach, is still my coach. You might not believe it, but Washington DC is an amazing place to train. Rock Creek Park has trails for miles (I still don't know the entire system) and we can use all the Federal Parks for workouts. The support system at the University and in the community is one of a kind and I'm very thankful to be a part of it. They would do anything to help me achieve my goals and I'm forever grateful!

5. Writing About Running: New Balance has an incredible group of women that will be running at the Olympic Trials. How long have you been running for them and how's your relationship with the talented group that will be storming Eugene in a few weeks?

Liz Maloy: I've been a part of Team New Balance since January of 2011 and it's been great. They've really made an effort to create a sense of team among the group. We all know and cheer for one another at races - it's fun to have that sense of camaraderie after leaving the college system. I feel very lucky to be part of an awesome American company!

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