Megan Lacy is the top returning Girl among NJ harriers. She won the last year's Group 4 title at Holmdel in 17:55, the second best time in 2010 (behind Megan Venables 17:28). Megan took 4th in the MOC and then went on to qualify for the Footlocker Nationals, with a 3rd place finish at the Regional. At San Diego, she finished she finished 24th (18:17). Megan took time out from her summer conditioning to answer a few questions from our Todd Grasley.
XC Q&A - Megan Lacy
TG: What did your summer training consist of?
ML: Throughout June and July I also competed for my club swim team. After that is over is when I really start training for cross country. I work throughout the summer as a lifeguard and swim instructor and was unable to take off and do any camps like I have in previous years. Before, I have either gone to Running Works Camp or Blackwater Cross Country Camp. Right now my training consists of 40-50 miles a week. I have done a couple tempo runs, but besides that I have just been building the base.
TG: How would you describe yourself as a runner?
ML: I would have to say that one of my strengths would be that I am pretty consistent in my races. I didn't have too many "bad" races last year, except for when I was sick. I felt like I improved and got stronger as the season went on. A major weakness of mine would have to be that I never like to take it easy on my runs. I always want to push myself everyday and I constantly have to remind myself to relax. Sometimes, on easier days, I won't bring my watch with me so I can't worry about the pace. As far as races go I think last year I was still trying to figure out what kind of racer I was. I was used to being in the middle of the pack in previous years, so it was kind of a shock to be leading most of my races last year. I tend to go out hard most of the time, but I am going to try to stop sprinting all the time in the beginning this year.
TG: Last year you placed first at the Group Championships and 4th at the Meet of Champions. How would you assess your junior year?
ML: For me, my junior year was surreal. I did so much better than I had ever dreamed I would have. Coming into the year, my 5k PR was 18:43, so being able to go under 18 minutes in my first 5k of the season blew me away. I was thrilled with how I did at the state Group meet. I felt great and I was able to go and run a great time on a challenging course. However, I was a little disappointed with my Meet of Champions race individually. I remember not feeling good as soon as the gun went off. I think nerves got the best of me. The other girls just ran amazing races. My team did really well though so that was exciting. We had our best finish in team history, placing 6th.
TG: You finished third at Foot Locker Northeast behind Aisling Cuffe and Abbey Leonardi. What is the key to you winning regionals this year and what was the whole experience of being a Foot Locker National finalist like for you?
ML: After MOC, I was extremely nervous for regionals. I thought I had peaked too early. Regionals was probably the best race of my season. I love hilly courses and Sunken Meadow is the hilliest course I ran all year. My goal for this year is still just to make it back to Foot Locker. There are so many amazing girls in the Northeast so anything could happen. I would definitely love to win it, but that would just be icing on the cake. Being a Footlocker finalist was probably the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. They treated all of us like professionals and the hotel was absolutely incredible. Before Foot Locker, I had never been anywhere more west than Tennessee, so just the fact that I was going to California had me excited. Not to mention I met tons of new friends from all over the country. After Regionals, I had big hopes for Nationals, so I was pretty upset when I came down with the flu less than a week before the race. I had a high fever and when I ran I was too dizzy and cold. I had to take a few days off. I definitely think that affected my race. I felt sluggish coming up to it and I was happy that I was even able to finish 24th. I wasn't disappointed because things happen and I still had the time of my life.
TG: What are your goals for your senior season?
ML: I don't really like to set particular goals for myself going into the season because I don't want to get discouraged if I don't get the time I wanted to or place the way I expected. I try to take it one meet at a time and just focus on the next race I have and worry about the others later. I would definitely like to make it to Foot Locker again and place better than I did last year, but other than that I am just going to see how the season plays out.
TG: How is the team looking this year and is there anyone you expect to step up and surprise people?
ML: The team is looking really good this year. We have a whole bunch of new faces this year so I'm excited. I think if everyone really puts their all into races we could qualify for Meet of Champions again and get on the podium again. Honestly, any or all of the freshmen could be a surprise. They're a great group of girls with a lot of talent just waiting to be discovered.
TG: Are there any fun or creative workouts you do?
ML: My favorite workout would have to be any workout at Holmdel. I really enjoy running that course even though I'm always exhausted afterwards. We usually go up there at least once during the season and do 800 repeats through the course. My favorite part is when we stop at Wawa afterwards. The most fun workout I've done was a few seasons ago. We were all sore from a workout previously in the week. We did a two mile warm up and came back to the track. When we got there we were told to get ready for the workout. Then, as we were about to start, we found out that we were just going to play speed ball instead. We were all so relieved!
TG: What are your hobbies outside of running?
ML: I have a lot of hobbies. I love to keep busy throughout the year. As I already mentioned, I also swim for a team. I used to swim year round, but it came to be too much as I got more serious about running. I also play the violin and participate in orchestra; string ensemble and chamber strings at my school. I'm in Concert Choir as well. I have always really liked music and it's a great creative outlet for me. I'm also very involved in the S.T.A.R. program at my school, which stands for students together for autism research. We bring awareness and raise money for autism research. We also host recreational programs for local autistic kids. I'm excited because this year I am the activities coordinator so I will be able to plan the activities we do with the kids. Some of the other clubs I really enjoy are Renaissance, Yearbook, and Class Advisory.
TG: What is the one item you can't live without?
ML: I'm going to sound like a typical teenager saying this, but I probably couldn't live without my phone. I love to be able to be connected with people even when I'm not around them. During the school year things get busy for me with extracurricular activities and homework so I don't have as much time to hang out with my friends as I wish I did. It is nice to be able to stay close and communicate with my friends even if we haven't hung out in a few weeks. Also, now that I have more friends who live in different parts of the country or state, it's nice to be able to send them a text just to catch up.
TG: Who is your biggest rival?
ML: On any given day, anyone can be your toughest competitor. The race of your life is only a race away and anyone can have that race on any given day. My biggest competitor is always the clock.
TG: What is the worst outfit you've seen at a meet?
ML:The worst outfit I've seen at a meet has to be from Meet of Champions. Every year a lot of teams bring members not competing in the race. Some teams even dress up to support their runners. One boys team actually wore kilts last year. It was funny, but definitely not something I would want to wear in public.
TG: What meets are you looking forward to the most?
ML: I'm really looking forward to the Cherokee Challenge. It's our first meet of the season and my last home cross country meet. It's a 3200 meter race broken up by grade and a great way to start off the season. I've been running in it since the middle school race in 6th grade, so the meet brings back memories for me. I am looking forward to regionals and Meet of Champions as well and hopefully nationals. It's always exciting to run against the best of the best.
TG: What is your favorite part about cross country?
ML: My favorite part about cross country is the friendships you make throughout the season. I know that sounds corny but it's true. I've played a ton of sports in my life and cross country is the one that I've been able to make the most friends in. Everyone is supportive of each other and is friends with even their biggest rivals. The people you race the most or at the highest level of competition usually turn out to be the people you grow closest to. I like the comaraderie that you're able to develop in cross country with both your team members and the people you race against.
Thank you Megan and have a Great season
Photos by Good Doggie Images