Interview with Martin Luther King sophomore, Lauren Peurifoy

Today we chat with MLK sophomore, Lauren Peurifoy. She has been one of the most impressive California runners starting out the season with a 4th place finish at the Cool Breeze Invitational as 4 girls dipped under 17 minutes on the 3 mile course. At her next meet, Peurifoy and her MLK teammates traveled to San Francisco to compete at the Lowell Invitational. With 86 schools competing, all races including the varsity ones were split up. She raced in the first varsity race and established a new course record of 17:08.2 that lasted until the very next race when Rylee Bowen ran 17:03.5. Last week, Peurifoy finished in 8th place in the Sweepstakes race at the Woodbridge Classic running a new personal record of 16:46.9.

1) MLK travels to San Francisco often for the Lowell Invitational. What were some of the highlights of the trip for you? 
The entire trip was unforgettable but the main highlights were being able to experience the beauty of San Fransisco for the first time as well as bond with my team mates.

2) What was your race plan going into your race? What did you think of the course? 
My plan going into the race was to glorify God by running to the best of my ability. I also planned to improve on some of the weaknesses I noticed in my previous race like fixing my form and controlling my breathing. 

3) At what point did you take the lead and when did you feel like you had control of the race? 
I took the lead about a mile into the race but at no point did I feel had complete control of the race. I knew my competition was tough and could easily catch me if I let my guard down.

4) You finished in 4th place the previous week at the Cool Breeze Invitational. How much confidence did that race give you heading into this Saturday's race at Golden Gate Park? 
Coming in 4th place at cool breeze was a definite confidence booster but I couldn't underestimate my competition at Golden Gate Park. I knew I would have to work just as hard if I wanted to race as well as I had at cool breeze. 

5) What were the highlights for you from your freshman cross country and track and field seasons? Proudest accomplishments? 
My entire freshman season of cross country was a highlight to me because it was a learning experience and I completely fell in love with the sport. One moment that stands out to me was CIF prelims which was also my proudest accomplishment. Despite that we didn't make it to finals, I was able to PR and we got the 2nd fastest team time in school history. Some highlights from track season were winning the DMR with my teammates at Rancho Bernardo Invitational and racing in the rain at Arcadia. My proudest accomplishment was running the 1600 and 3200 at CIF prelims.

6) How old were you when you started running and what other sports have you participated in? 
I played soccer since I was seven but I didn't start running competitively until last year when I got into high school. I only joined cross country to get in better shape for soccer season and I had no idea I would love it so much.

7) What did you do this past summer to help prepare you for the season?  
Once track season ended, I took a two week break without doing any training. After that I began to cross train by biking, swimming and doing core on a regular basis. Once I started running again, I made sure to follow exactly what my coach had recommended for that day and I didn't let myself skip a run unless completely necessary. Lastly, on our trip to Mammoth I committed to pushing my body to a higher level and focused on mental strength.

8) What does a typical training week look like for you with a Saturday invitational? Weekly mileage? Typical long run? Pace of most of your runs? Any morning runs? Strength work? 
My coach usually keeps my mileage at about roughly 42 miles a week to ensure I don't rack on the mileage and get burnt out. A typical training week goes as followed:
Mondays- aerobic run
Tuesdays- MVO2 workout
Wednesdays- recovery
Thursdays- thresholds
Fridays- Aerobic run
Saturdays- invitational or long run (an average long run for me is about 10 miles)
Adding to this, we do core and stretches at a nearby park before beginning our workout. Also, on occasion we'll have morning runs depending on the mileage for that week but they're usually just an aerobic or recovery paced run.

9) Can you tell us a bit about your coaches and what you have learned from them during your time on the team?
I'm really blessed to have the coaches I do. Coach Peters taught me everything I know about cross country, considering I had no experience of running competitively. He has also taught me not only how to better myself as a runner but as a person. Another coach who has taught me a lot is coach Kennedy. She is very inspirational and is a great example of the runner I strive to be.

10) Favorite XC course? Favorite XC invitational? Favorite XC workout? Favorite long run? Favorite TF invitational? Favorite TF event? Favorite TF workout? Favorite free time activity? 
My favorite cross country course is at Central Park in Huntington Beach. My favorite invitational is definitely Woodbridge because of the atmosphere and intensity. My favorite cross country workout is a long run. My favorite long run is Big Smokey in Mammoth because I get so distracted by the view it doesn't feel like I'm running! My favorite track invitational is Arcadia because of the competitiveness. My favorite event to run is the 3200. My favorite track workout is 8x400s because I feel they have the most effectiveness. In my free time, I like to go to the beach or spend time with my friends.

11) As you look ahead to the rest of your season, what races are you most looking forward to competing? 
I'm looking forward to competing in league meets this season because of the strong competition we have with Roosevelt and Santiago. I'm also looking forward to racing Woodbridge this weekend as its a great opportunity to push myself. 

12) Anything else you like to add.
My main goal this season is to put all my trust in God and let Him have complete control of the outcome. I want to run every race in honor of Him because He is the reason I am where I am today.