August 17, 2012
Wow, I can’t believe I leave today to go over to London. We will be staying in Lakenheath for a ten-day training camp. This is very important to get used to the time change and get adjusted to the food. I will also be training once a day.
This is my sister, Hannah, who also made the USA team. She will be competing in the 100m wheelchair event, so we will be competing against each other.
As an elite athlete who does both track events and marathons, training is very tough. Since I focus on the 100m, 400m, 800m, and 1500m on the track, and then the marathon, I have to really break down my training so I can focus on both track and marathons. In order to do this, I train mostly longer distances in the fall, from about September to January. When I train for distance events our coach will have us doing long tempos, climbing hills, sprinting down hills, and doing distance pushes of about 22 miles. Going to the gym is also very important. I work on a lot of core and arm building exercises. For sprinting training I work on a lot of starts, shorter tempos, and down hill sprints.
I classify myself as a track athlete and sometimes a marathon runner. For me equipment is the most important item about the sport. My racing wheelchair has three wheels (two in the back and one in the front). In the chair I kneel on my knees and have a seat. My wheels are made out of carbon fiber, which makes them very light and sturdy to push. My wheelchair is made out of titanium and aluminum. I also have two steering mechanisms on my racing wheelchair -- one which can help me turn on the track and the other to help me turn on the road. To push my wheelchair I use racing gloves. I make these racing gloves out of plastic. I heat up the plastic and mold them to my hands. On the palm side of the gloves I add rubber. I hit the rubber that is on my gloves on the rubber around the ring of my wheels. I can go about 23mph.
When I am not racing I love watching movies, going to the mall, spending time with the family, going to the beach and volunteering. The genres of movies that I like to watch are action and comedy. My favorite movie I have seen this year is “The Lorax” and “Batman.“ I love clothes, especially dress shopping or getting athletic clothes. My family is very important to me. I don’t get to spend a lot of time with them during training season, so when I do get to spend time I am the happiest person in the world. I love warm weather and that’s why I love going to the beaches. I also love the sound of the waves crashing. I love volunteering at local schools and at children’s hospitals. I am also part of the Child Life specialist club. I think it’s very important to give back to the community. I had people who were there in my life who believed in me, and I want to do the same for others.