Athlete of the Week Archive

March 18, 2008


Emily Higgins

What sports, other than track and field, did you do in high school?
"In middle school I played volleyball, which was the first thing I did. I also played basketball through my junior year in high school."

Which do you like more, indoor or outdoor track and field?
"I like outdoor because its warmer and we get to run outside. However, this indoor season kind of made me change my mind a little because it was a really fun season. Also, it's nice because the tracks are smaller and the laps go by really fast. I guess it just depends on which one we are doing at the time."

What is the coldest weather you have ever had to run in?
"Oh man, probably between zero and ten degrees. Last year, we had to run outside a lot more but it has been nice this year being able to run in the new Indoor Practice Facility. I have definitely had to run in snow storms many times before though which is never good."

What is your favorite thing to eat before a race?
"The night before, I usually have pasta and a lot of bread. On race day, I really like it when we stay at a hotel that has a continental breakfast, those are great on race days."

Do you crave anything after a long day of racing?
"I don't like to eat right after a race, but I love to have ice cream or something like that on the trip home."

Do you have any pre-race rituals?
"In cross country, the girls get together as a team and pray. I have also just started this, but when I am running by myself I try to sit down, say a prayer and calm down before the race to get some of the nerves to settle down."

What are you thinking about during a race?
"Sometimes I don't think at all. Sometimes, I am counting laps to have an awareness of where I am. Sometimes I am thinking about the next split that I am trying to hit. A lot of times when I am in the pack, I am just focusing on the next girl ahead of me."

What are you thinking during the final 100-meters?
"That might be the hardest part mentally of a race. That is when you have to make a lot of decisions. You have to keep your focus and give 100 percent, so you don't get nipped at the finish. You have to be very focused to know all of your surroundings and know who is in what position."

What is your favorite type of running shoe?
"I wore Asics in high school but we have Brooks here at Wyoming so now I am wearing those."

Do you listen to music while you run?
"I don't, I never really have."

Have you ever gotten lost while you were out on a long run?
"I am sure I have. I know at home over Christmas, I will climb a fence and go across different fields. Sometimes there are cows and stuff that I have to run by which is pretty crazy. One run when I was home, I was in a bunch of trees and I was trying to get across a canal. It was really bad because I had to stop and walk for a while to figure out where I was and how to get across that thing."

What do you hope to do with your major?
"I would really like to go into physical therapy. I think there is a big demand for that and it is something I would really enjoy."

How do you stay focused and not burn out when you are running basically all year?
"It is always hard when I am not racing so when the races come around it gets me really excited again. Just the differences between cross country and track and the strategies of the two also help. It is hard going all year round, but the races really help and so does mixing things up and training at different times during different parts of the year."

Gatorade or water?
"I like Gatorade, it is good stuff."

Since you are a runner, do you run across campus from class to class?
"If I am late-- yeah!"

What is your favorite place to eat on the road?
"Old Chicago is pretty good. Olive Garden is always good. Basically anything Italian, a good bread bowl is awesome."

What do you do at a meet when you are not running?
"It seems like a lot of time is spent warming up and cooling down. At the big meets, I really like watching all of the fast people in the different events. I also really like watching the pole vault."