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Athlete of the Month Q&A: Senior Joyce Shea, runner

Compiled by Chelsie Park

The Oracle: What inspired you to start running?
Joyce Shea: I started in sixth grade because I had bad allergies and my dad made me go running. But I grew to eventually like it, and I began running with him in the mornings before school. In seventh and eighth grade, I attended the cross country and track teams, and it’s taken off from there. It’s a lot of fun.

TO:What’s your favorite part about running?
JS: My favorite part about running is the long runs. Running with friends makes it enjoyable. Everyone on the team is also super, super supportive. I don’t really do short distance, though. In track I do mainly the mile and two mile.

TO: What are the best and worst parts about running?
JS: The hardest part about running is the races. Besides being physically taxing, races are mentally tough. It takes a lot of motivation for me to keep on running. The best part about running is the teamwork and the natural scenery in Los Altos Hills, which makes exercise enjoyable.

TO: How do you prepare for races or events?
JS: Before races, I typically start breathing methodically so that I get adrenaline through my body, and I tell myself that it’s going to hurt, but only for a short time. I actually think that I do not like racing, but I love to run. My coach also usually tells me what times to aim for. It depends on how I’m feeling that day, and how I’ve been running.

TO: How do you feel after running?
JS: After a race, I’m very tired. During long runs, I usually feel very good after and before. I love all of it. Especially if you’re running with people, it’s a lot easier.

TO: Any advice for people thinking about starting running?
JS: I would recommend that people run with others or find something that makes running enjoyable if they are thinking about starting running. Sometimes, it is hard to motivate yourself to run, so a partner will make it more fun.

TO: What are your goals for the future?
JS: I’m not actually sure. I think I just want to PR and do my best in races. PR mean personal record, so it means beating your earlier time. It’s kind of like competing with yourself for the best time you can get. As for college, I’d like to only be in a Division Three (D3) team, because I’d like to be a student first and an athlete second. D3 is more like you’re competing, but it is much more of a team and you focus more on being a student and studying rather than being a professional athlete. I’d say that I like running in itself an the team atmosphere rather than competing.

TO: Who inspires you?
JS: My coach PattiSue is very experienced and knowledgeable about what she does. I have talked to her about other things besides running, and I think that if you have a good relationship with your coach, they can provide you with a lot more than just running tips. My dad also, because he got me started running.

TO: What has been your favorite memory from running?
JS: My favorite memory from running was jogging a path called Moody for the first time. It has beautiful trails, and running with a friend made it an even better experience. However, I want to add that I love doing easy runs in general. I love running with other people and seeing the scenery.

TO: What has been a challenge you faced?
JS: I don’t think I’ve faced major challenges running because it’s so enjoyable. However, I get nervous for races because I want to do well.

TO: What is something important you have learned?
JS: I’ve learned that hard work will pay off over time. Because cross country is a fairly straightforward sport, I’ve found that working hard such as running longer and pushing myself in workouts, is the best way to get better. There’s no secret formula to success.

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