Photo Credit: Victor Sailer (Photorun.net)
Leading up to the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Saturday, February 13 in Los Angeles, we will be highlighting some of Team B.A.A.’s athletes who will toe the line for 26.2 miles in the City of Angels. First up is Rachel Hyland, whose lifetime best of 2:41:26 was set last October in Chicago!
Name: Rachel Hyland
Marathon Personal Best: 2:41:26 (Chicago Marathon, 2015)
What are you most looking forward to regarding the Olympic Trials?
I am most looking forward to running with such a big pack of talented and inspiring women. I am also excited to line up with teammates and friends, including Lauren Philbrook, my college teammate from Williams College. Lastly, I am looking forward to visiting family and enjoying the nice weather out in LA.
What has been the best part of your Marathon build-up?
This marathon build-up has gone pretty smoothly with the exception of a minor hip pain I had back in December. It has also been nice to feel less pressure than I did in my build-up to the Chicago Marathon, since at that point I was still trying to qualify. My favorite part of this build-up was definitely my trip to Jacksonville to run the Jax Bank Half Marathon on January 3rd. It was a great tune-up race, and a neat opportunity to be part of a big race where so many people qualified for the Trials.
What has been the toughest part of your Marathon build-up?
I definitely expected the toughest part of this build-up to be the weather, but we have actually had a really mild winter so far. For me the toughest part of marathon training is not the actual running, but finding the time – with my work schedule – to do the little things like stretching and strength work. I also find it challenging to get enough rest, especially when I tend to squeeze a lot of activity into the weekends.
Does it give extra meaning to the Trials knowing that you will be competing along with many other B.A.A. members?
I think it is neat that I will be lining up with other B.A.A members, as well as other teammates and friends. I was really happy for Amanda [Nurse] and Madeline [Duhon] when they qualified at Cal International Marathon in December, and I look forward to competing with them at the Trials.
What are your thoughts on the Olympic Trials course?
I am not expecting the course to be fast due to the concrete surface and multiple turns on each loop. I’m just going to try to enjoy the experience and not worry too much about the time or the course.
Going into the race, what is your race strategy?
My race strategy is quite simple. I’d like to run a smart race and feel strong during the last 10k.
What was your favorite workout leading up to the Trials?
My favorite workout of every marathon cycle is the long, marathon pace tempo (anywhere from 12-15 miles) about 2-3 weeks out from the race. I really enjoy this workout because fitness is at its peak and most of the hard work is done. In the past I have usually done this workout solo, but this time I was lucky to have a friend keep me company around the Charles River.
What are your goals heading into the race – do you have a time or place you are aiming for?
I don’t have a specific place that I am aiming for, but I would be thrilled to run another PR and squeeze under 2:41. If conditions are perfect and I have a great day, I think 2:40 is definitely possible.
Three things I couldn’t leave for LA without are:
- Adidas Adios running flats – I have worn them for most big workouts and I am excited to race in them.
- Sunscreen, because I know I am going to need it in the LA sunshine!
- Chocolate energy gel – This is definitely my fuel of choice during the marathon, and I would not trust any other flavor on race day.