YR: I am interested in your prior Carlsbad trip. Please tell a little bit about that trip & how it compares with this one.
MOR: Carlsbad a kind of funny, because I won the trip kinda by default. My stepdad cross country skis a lot and our family is into cross country skiing. We met people that way. One of the people who won the drawing. Bloomsday was sending someone down to Carlsbad and the drawing from the first entrants. One of our skiing buddies got drawn and said he didn?t deserve it so and I didn?t get to finish my season, and he kind of felt bad for me. I got injured last year, and I didn?t have my state meet and I didn?t have my finale. He called me up and would you like to go to Carlsbad. That?s kind of how it happened. The experience was just amazing being with professional athletes just like down here. It?s walking into the hotel and walking into Dathan Ritzenhein, Lauren Fleshman, and people like that. I mean other people like Tirunesh Dibaba. Seeing your roll models within inches of you.
YR: Does it make it more real and tangible to you?
MOR: Yes, definitely. It really made me want to pursue that later in life definitely even more than before. I always wanted to be a road racer. It has always been my dream. Like a professional road runner. I think that would be really fun. I have actually been seeing people who went after it. It became true for them.
YR: Is this experience (Bloomsday) been a goal to you too?
MOR: Definitely. It is my hometown race. It is a pretty big race. I am going to run it when I get out of high school.
YR: Have you met Don Kardong?
YR: He is a great guy.
MOR: He is a great guy. He is sending my coach down here to watch me. My coach was not actually going to be able to come down and watch. He is sending him down too. He is great. He is a very generous man.
YR: I know last year you had injury problems. Could you relate a bit about the injury and especially about your road back as far as a return to running? The big thing is what you did to come back. For any kid who is young, this is an important story.
MOR: I actually had a stress fracture in my left shin. We found out later that I might have had one in my right one too. Anyways, I ran through it and eventually it started to heal. In the bone scan they both showed up as hot spots. The right one was already on the down side. I had already broken that one and was already healing. My left one was real. It was an evulsion fracture where the bone pulls away from itself. It is not just a crack. It was bad. You could see that in the x-ray and everything. It was really hard because I wasn?t training very smart. I know it was all my fault. I mean I really didn?t understand recovery runs. I feel good, so I am just going to run hard. I wasn?t giving myself any rest. I wasn?t taking care of myself. I wanted to be running at a really high level. I wasn?t willing to be able to attain knowledge to do that. I just thought I knew everything, and it turns out I didn?t. I had a lot of time to think about what I didn?t do. It was December then January when I had to take it off. It really made me realize though how much of a gift it is and how much I really love it because when you have something taken away from you, you definitely appreciate it more. It really makes this season so much better. This season despite the fact that it is a great season to compare with all my other seasons anyway. To have something like that happen and be totally healthy right now and running. Just to be here right now is more than what I could ask.
YR: When you get to your level, there is a question which should be asked and that is what do I gain out of this workout as opposed to what it will cost me (meaning time lost in training).
YR: At times, you need to be a little neurotic regarding your running. You need to run through pain, yet some pain will break you down. The key is learning the difference. Unfortunately, that is something which has to be learned and can?t be taught.
MOR: Yep. Exactly, my first thought was everyone gets shin splints. It turned out they were more than shin splints.
YR: In reading the report of the race last weekend, I am curious about your impression of the Footlocker Regional. It was suggested that you decided to save some energy and hold back a bit. Is that true or not?
MOR: I really wanted to. My goal was to get 5th. You know run as effortlessly as I could. I wanted to get in as comfortable as I could. You know 5th is right in the middle and I might be running too hard. 8th you get a little nervous. I ended up getting 3rd because .... I was running my own pace. I was running a little faster. It was really a comfortable pace for me. I was looking up ahead. You know I could really be up there if I really want to push myself or I really want to kill myself today, but I have nationals next week which is really more important.
YR: That was a sensible thing to do.
YR: I was curious about your summer training. Do you work with your team or by yourself or with members of other teams for that matter?
MOR: I didn?t have a coach all summer. Our coach just recently retired from cross country, so I was holding practices at my house 2 days a week for the girls. On the other days, I would run with the boys. Basically any guys around Spokane. But mostly with the Mead High School guys. That?s why I hang out with Taylor (Nepon) a lot.
YR: That way you get a little knowledge from Pat Tyson.
MOR: He is a very amazing coach. A very amazing person. To be around that was really fun this summer. I really felt their runs would really prepare me the most for Mt. SAC just the hilliest course. We got really good hills. Really good trails. Just a really great runs. There isn?t anywhere else in Spokane for cross country. That was really nice that I was able to do that. But that is pretty much what I did this summer. In the pool, at least once or twice during the week.
YR: You answered my next question about cross training.
MOR: Yeah. As far as the pool, I still do the pool once a week. It keeps me fit in the season. In the off season in the winter, I cross country ski.
YR: Do you aqua jog or use a treadmill?
MOR: No, I don?t have a treadmill. I am not that fancy. I just aqua jog. I have a little belt that I run with. It is nice to get off my legs.
YR: You kind of told me about the Del. I want you to share your views which might inspire others to train more. People think that running is too hard and there is no reward. To me, it doesn?t get any better than this.
MOR: Yeah. Definitely. When we rolled up.... First, we got picked up in a Crown Lincoln or whatever you call it. Lincoln Towncar. It was a really big, almost like a limo. It is the next best thing. Oh, my gosh! Then, we rounded the corner down here. We were like "This is our hotel?" It is like a castle. You feel like royalty here in every sense of the word. With athletes like that and all the great runners, it is pretty hard not to feel like royalty.
YR: Last but not least, how are you going to treat this race? Is it going to be the same strategy as normal or do you go into races with a strategy?
MOR: I think there is definitely a strategy for every race. It is my last cross country race of my senior year. I?m going to go all out. I don?t know what that is going to mean as far as strategy but depending upon who is in the race. I am going to run my race. I am going hard from the get go. We are going to see hopefully.... I am not counting on a PR. It is not a PR kind of race. What I meant from the get go is how I normally run?fast, faster, and my fastest in every mile. So hopefully, I?ll run my own race. I just want to have fun down here. I really don?t think it will be too hard. It started out pretty well.
Afterthoughts: Don't be surprised if this personable young lady is the Footlocker champion.