Chat Wrap: Lauren Fleshman

Sept. 28, 2001

Moderator: (12:58 PM ET ) Let's welcome Lauren Fleshman to this chat room. She will begin taking your questions shortly.

Evan (Mirrielees, CA): Hi Miss Fleshman,

First of all, thanks for taking time to chat. How do you think the Stanford experience has affected you uniquely as a student-athlete? How do you balance school and running now in such an intense environment, and what are your plans for the future?


Lauren Fleshman: (1:06 PM ET ) Being a Stanford Athlete has been very challenging because of such a high level of excellence present in all sports and in all my classmates academically. I have been forced to develop really productive time management skills in order to be successful. Stanford provides a lot of assistance as well and invests a lot of time to ensure the success of its athletes academically. As far as the futre, I plan to try to improve myself athletically and academically each quarter while still having a lot of fun doing it.

Katie (D.C.):What is your diet like during training? And do you take ibuprofen for pain?

Lauren Fleshman: (1:08 PM ET ) I don't have a really specific diet during training. I treat diet like everything else in my life: I try to attack it with an athletic perspective. I try to eat things that will help me to be strong and effective in my training. I try not to take ibuprofin unless its absolutely necessary.

Tor Sandven (Boston): Lauren, I was wondering how much of an advantage you feel you and your team have (if any) racing on your home course?

Lauren Fleshman: (1:11 PM ET ) I feel that we are lucky to be racing at home because the Stanford community is always supportive and lining the course on race day. The energy is very pro-Stanford, but at the same time, people seem to appreciate good performances, regardless of the name on the jersey.

Arhilio: Upon your arrival to Stanford, were you intimidated by the incredible depth of the cross country team?

Lauren Fleshman: (1:13 PM ET ) Any time you are surrounded by people with incredible abilities it can be intimidating, but that kind of environment is a breeding ground for more incredible accomplishments and challenges each person to become better. The people on my team have contributed more to my improvement than any other factor.

John Marinella, Maryland Heights MO: You track and field types are always running, running, running! Don't you ever just want to stop and smell the roses?

Lauren Fleshman: (1:15 PM ET ) I do! I'd be missing out on the best parts of running if I didn't stop to jump in a beautiful lake that I am running past once in a while, or swim behind a waterfall or stop to check out some deer. That's a big reason why I run!

Mike from Nevada: LaurenWill you be running in the 4K or 6K race on Sat.Looking forward to seeing you run.Also looking forward to seeing my granddaughter run Sat.Have a great race!Mike

Lauren Fleshman: (1:16 PM ET ) I will be competing in the 6K this weekend

Chris, Arlington, VA: Lauren- This is awesome you are doing this chat on about XC and running. My question is, I saw you win the 5K at NCAA's last spring. I must admit, I was surprised when you blew by the field in the last couple of laps and won relatively easily. Where you surprised that you were able to win there against such a deep field? And does that give you the confidence that you can win NCAA's in Cross Country this Fall?

Thanks and good luck.Chris

Lauren Fleshman: (1:22 PM ET ) NCAA's outdoors was a tough race that was set up perfectly for the type of shape I was in at the time. I had practiced big finishes and prepared myself mentally for a big move if the opportunity arose. I was suprised that no one reacted immediately to my move, but I suppose I took off kind of fast...I took myself by suprise too. I guess I got a little excited. Being able to physically run that race the way I visualized, despite pressure and expectations, gives me confidence to run like a national champion this fall. That doesn't mean I will necessarily win, but I want to always race as though I CAN and WANT to win, the way I did last spring.

Reggie Duncan: Hi Lauren,Do you have a role model that you look up to? does anyone or anything inspire you to give it your all during a race?

Lauren Fleshman: (1:28 PM ET ) I don't have one specific role model, but I look to the strengths of those around me to help me improve myself. Someone that has really inspired me to make the most out of myself is my high school coach's son Justin DeLong. He died last summer of leukemia at the age of 15, and that has played a huge role in my development as a person. I try to make the most out of every day the way that he did.

Reggie Duncan: hi lauren, i am going to have the opportunity to actually see you this spring for the pac-10 outdoor championships because my school is hosting that meet and i will be a helper but i just wanted to say if you goal to make the 2004 Olympics? Would you like to have the opportunity to run professionally?

Lauren Fleshman: (1:35 PM ET ) I would love to run for a living! Can you honestly say it gets any better than that? Of course that depends on being financially secure, and running isn't exactly where the money is unless you are Marion Jones, but I'm going to give it my best shot and plan to work my way to the top of the international scene someday. I am going to put myself in position to try for the 2004 Olympics, but 2008 is probably going to fall at the best time in my athletic peak.

Eric (Minneapolis): Lauren,

Congratulations on your early successes and continued improvement on your stellar high school career.

What are the key and advantageous components needed for an athlete to stay focussed and in top form through 12 competitive collegiate seasons (xc, indoor, outdoor)?

Lauren Fleshman: (1:41 PM ET ) The most important thing in making a good transition from high school to college is being PATIENT. What has helped me most is always keeping the big picture in mind in every thing that I do: every workout, race, recovery day. I think about the fact that I want to be a great runner for a long time and this takes the urgencey off of things that really aren't that important in the long run like doing that one last interval that might put me over the edge, or running that last 4 miles to hit my milage goal when I am exhausted. I listen to my body and take steps to preserve my sanity.

Reggie Duncan: Hey Lauren,

what other colleges were you looking at to run for? what made stanford the choose for you?

Lauren Fleshman: (1:47 PM ET ) I looked at Colorado, Northern Arizona, Arizona, and UCLA in addition to Stanford. Out of all these great running schools, Stanford stood out because of its incredible depth. I felt that it provided the best training environment. The philosophy of the coaches was condusive to what I had in mind, the opportunity for post-collegiate training was available right there on campus with the Nike Farm Team, the members of the team were the kind of people I couldn't wait to be around every day for 4-5 years, and the academics were uncomparable. Also, it just felt right when I stepped off the plane on my recruiting trip.

Jenny (Houston): Hi Lauren!!! I am one of your biggest fans. Watching you run is such an inspiration. Do you have any rituals or any special things you do before every race??

Lauren Fleshman: (1:50 PM ET ) I sleep in my uniform the night before a race, but that is more out of laziness than anything else. I like to get up as late as possible because I am not what you would call perky in the morning. I would forget I was even racing if I didn't wake up and see myself in the mirror with a uniform on.

D.e Dey (Mercer Island): Lauren - is there anybody in particular on the Stanford coaching staff that's really been instrumental in your success?

Lauren Fleshman: (1:53 PM ET ) All of the coaches are instrumental in my success! I would have to say that our assistant coach Dena Evans is really helpful and supportive and has direct experience as a Stanford athlete because she used to run for Vin Lananna. I enjoy working with everyone on staff.

Chris, Arlington, VA: What type of mileage do you do? Eventually, what do you see being your best race on the track? Are you fast enough to compete at the National level at the 5k? Or do you think you would have to move up to the 10K?

Lauren Fleshman: (1:58 PM ET ) My milage has gradually progressed each year. I am currently trying to maintain an average of around 70 miles per week. In order to compete at the national level in the 5K, I will need to decrease my 800 and 1500 times, but I have confidence that I can do that. Last season I had the fitness to run faster than my times posted in those events, but I chose to concentrate on the 5K instead. I expect big improvements this year. I don't plan to run the 10K as my primary event, but I think I will give it a try.

Bill Grace (St. Louis): Hi Lauren, How do you like the coaching at Stanford? Do you feel like you get enough attention since there are so many talented girls on the team?

Lauren Fleshman: (2:05 PM ET ) The coaching staff is very knowledgable and they serve as great resources for anything I would ever need to know to help me improve my times and my contribution to the team. At the same time though, at Stanford, part of your development as a runner is to take a bigger role in your own growth and training. It isn't much longer until I will be completely on my own after college, possibly with no coach. At Stanford, I feel that I have been prepared for the future well and have been encouraged to be independent and take ownership of my abilities.

Arthur Pratt , Bend OR: Lauren, Go Canyon Country (your Alma Mater)! I'm a real fan, also, of each of you Cardinal gals.Please help me, I want insight - I'm not being critical. With 'all' the past several year's Ladies High School Foot Locker Cross Country Champs and Runner ups attending Stanford, the cross country and track porfolio of the lady runners are beyond description!! Why hasn't the Stanford ladies totally dominated (place 5 within the top 10) theNCAA Cross Country scene in the past? What factors affect this? Any insight?

Lauren Fleshman: (2:16 PM ET ) It is impossible to judge how an athlete will do in college based on the results of one high school race. I think that the level of coaching and the opportunities available to high school athletes is so unequal that footlocker is in many cases a demonstration of who got lucky with training/support in addition to who is talented. There are many incredible, national champion quality athletes out there in high school that just don't get any significant coaching until college, and there are many athletes that get close to their potential in high school. There are athletes at every school in every sport that don't live up to expectations that others set out for them. It is just that the runners that usually come to Stanford are the most highly publicized in high school so there is a closer watch on them than on others. Plenty of people improve and succeed at Stanford. The opportunities are all there, but it is still a personal choice. People have to want to do it just like at any other college.

Kirby (Los Angeles):Hi Lauren!

Happy Birthday!

How has your training gone this summer? Did you train much with Anita Siraki? How much of an influence has your high school background been in your success as a collegian.

Lauren Fleshman: (2:23 PM ET ) Hi Kirby! Thanks for the birthday wishes. I trained with Anita for two weeks this summer in Mammoth Lakes, CA before we came to Stanford. She is doing great. We went with our old high school teams which I suppose says a lot about how I feel about my old coach. I'm two years out of high school and still going to high school training camp in the summer. The experiences I gained from my high school program stick with me and play a huge role in my philosophy about running. I couldn't have had it any better in high school as far as having a wonderful role model for a coach and a league/CIF/State dominating high school team. I learned how to be a team player which has served me well at Stanford with so many great runners around me. I learned how to keep everything in perspective and enjoy the process as much as or more than the outcome.

Lauren (Del Mar): What's new or different about this year's Stanford cross country team that will enable the Cardinal to win the NCAA title in Furman?

Lauren Fleshman: (2:29 PM ET ) We always put ourselves in a position to contend for a national title, but this year is different in that we have taken steps to really analyze ourselves so that we can get back to the basics and cut out any extraneous stuff that gets in the way of excellence. We are focusing on athleticism and integrity. As an athlete, it is easy to spout off goals and dreams, but actually DOING them is a completely different thing. We are all trying to deliver on the promises we made when we were recruited to this great team, to run to our fitness, to make eachother our number one priority. We are attempting to focus on the things we can control and not worry about the outcome. The team dynamics are great this year and we had a very productive training camp at Mammoth. It will be scary to see how good we can really be.

mike (springfield, ma): How are your chances this year as a team (and an individual) for bringing home the national championship? I guess I should say who are you watching closely?

Lauren Fleshman: (2:32 PM ET ) We've got a great chance at winning this year, but obviously it is not going to be easy. There are many great teams to watch such as BYU, Wisconson, UNC, Arizona State, Boston College and the fearless Guiney twins, Colorado, it never ends. Women's distance running is really excelling all over the country right now.

velocity 09: Lauren how do you feel you will do this weekend at the Stanford Invitational? How have you prepared for this race? And do you feel you are more of a track runner or xc? By the way how's Sara doing? I know you girls were real close friends in high school how does it feel to have her around again. Is she adapting to college running real well?

Lauren Fleshman: (2:40 PM ET ) I feel like this weekend will be a great opportunity to find out what kind of shape I am in right now so my coaches and I can plan my next block of training so I'll be ready for the championship part of the season. So far i have done a lot of base work and lactate threshold workouts, and I am training through the early season races without tapering or altering my workouts for the sake of feeling rested. This isn't the time of year to feel rested. When is that time again? :) Sara is doing very well. She is in great shape and ready to contribute as best she can for us this year. It's great having her on the team, and I can't wait to see her in uniform on the starting line with me!

Lauren (South Bend, IN): I'm a freshmen xc runner hoping to make a smooth transition between high school and college running. I'm now in a completely new environement with a lot of changes going on. What advice can you offer me to facilitate this?

Lauren Fleshman: (2:49 PM ET ) I would just say to take care of yourself better than you ever have before. Don't underestimate the strain on your body that change causes. You are in a new place, new bed, new room mate, new coach, new schedule, new food, new friends, new opportunites. You can adjust very quickly if you keep stress under control. Treat yourself like a queen. Do whatever it takes to get sleep and recover and try not to overextend yourself. Things will not go perfectly, and your ability to deal with obstacles will be critical in your transition. No obstacle or injury is worth stressing out over. Think of your running as a long process. Draw a line from where you are up to where you want to be someday and understand that the line is not straight. There will be dips and peaks, but always make sure the line is heading upward overall by not making the same mistakes more than once.

SakiBomb25 (Palo Alto): How are the new freshmen doing? They seem to be one of the most heralded classes ever... what are your thoughts on them? Who is the strongest runner? Has the most potential? Thanx and good luck this season!

Lauren Fleshman: (2:57 PM ET ) There is no doubt that this years class is great. Each one of the new freshman has unique strengths to add to the team. Anita Siraki is a very strong runner with lots of experience with milage and threshold workouts. Look for her to dominate the 10K this spring. Sara Bei is a very enthusiastic freshman, also with a great work ethic. We will be looking to her to keep up the great finishes she was so well known for in high school. I think she has become very mentally tough through her high school experiences. Alicia Craig is incredibly fit right now and will be a force to fear for all the upper classmen out there. Jeane Goff comes from a great family of athletes and is our dark horse with her ability to high jump 5'6' as well as run hurdles and long distances. Laura Hurlbut and Liz Rose are looking good in practice and are very excited about the opportunity to improve. Expect great things from all these girls and more.

Mike Dudley, San Jose: Lauren,

Congratulations on another excellent year in your career. You are truly someone for young runners to look up to. Keep up the good work!My question is regarding the course tomorrow. My son is running it for the first time tomorrow at the Stanford Invitational in the high school division. Can you give him any pointers regarding the course?

Thanks for your time and good luck tomorrow!!!!

Mike Dudley

Lauren Fleshman: (3:00 PM ET ) I would say to just stay relaxed the first mile and gradually move up through the second mile. Positions don't typically change too much once you reach the bottom of the hill so be where you want to be before then. Good luck!

chris from arlington.: Thanks to espn,, and lauren for doing something with XC and distance running. You guys rock!

Lauren Fleshman: (3:08 PM ET ) Sorry I couldn't get to everyone's questions but thanks to everyone for being interested and showing support for this great sport. It's a great time to be a fan of track and field because the sport is gathering momentum in this country and worldwide! Come out to Stanford to see some amazing meets this year. USA's are held out here so I hope to see many of you there! Thanks again and good luck in all the crazy things you are all doing! Go Card!

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