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5 Questions with Cally Macumber

5 Questions with Cally Macumber

| On 04, Oct 2013

photo: Track and Field Photo

Welcome back to 5 Questions, where we pick the brains of people from all areas of the running scene. Today, we were lucky enough to catch up with Cally Macumber as she enters her senior season at the University of Kentucky. She will compete at the Greater Louisville Classic this Saturday and pre-nats two weeks later. Follow her on Twitter @callymacumber and Instagram.

5 Question with Cally Macumber

1. Daily Relay: Congrats on your win this past weekend at the Cowboy Jamboree. How did your summer training go leading up to the event and how did that first big meet go in your eyes?

Cally Macumber: Thanks so much! After not having the best ending to last year’s outdoor track season, I was definitely motivated to put in some work over the summer. Prior to Coach (Hakon) Devries coming to UK, my summer training had always been relatively low in mileage, without workouts, and without core/ab work. However, this past summer, I upped my mileage and started to do more of “the little things” (core/abs, drills, and a push up or two). As for the race, I am happy with how it went, but I know it is still very early in the season and a lot more work needs to be done!

2. Daily Relay: You made your big splash on the scene last year at NCAA’s with a 6th place overall finish in Cross Country. Did you think going in that you were capable of that? And did it change your goals for the rest of the year?

Cally Macumber: Starting out as a freshman in college, who couldn’t break five minutes in the mile and couldn’t run under 2:17 in the 800, I definitely would not have thought that things would have progressed the way they did. I think, for the most part, going into college you really don’t have any idea of what to expect, but each year your standards and goals change, and mine definitely changed for the better last year. Coming into last cross country season with an entirely new coaching staff and an entirely new training plan, there was for sure an adjustment period. However, once we all got the hang of things, I started to feel better and stronger than I ever had (all the girls did!). I was able to train with Chelsea (Oswald), for basically the first time in our four years at UK, and with all the new changes, things just seemed to improve. Still though, even with my new-found confidence, I was unsure of where I would fall into place nationally (I was hoping for top 10-but I really had no idea). After finishing 6th, Coach Devries and I started discussing new goals for the indoor season and I was so excited for it to start.

3. Daily Relay: You ran a strong indoor season, but then looked to have some injuries outdoors after an impressive 5000 at Stanford. What was going on during the spring?

Cally Macumber: To be honest, nothing too significant happened during the spring. After cross country/indoor, I had set really high goals for myself going into outdoor, but unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as planned. I had nagging plantar fasciitis towards the end of the indoor season, so following indoor nationals; we decided that taking a little time off would be for the best. However, taking time off (after essentially having the best two seasons of my life), was the last thing I wanted to do, and I think I let it take a toll on me mentally more than it did physically. Workouts and races weren’t going as well as they had been, and I think I really just lost confidence in myself. It was definitely a good learning experience for me though-you need to be able to manage the high points as well as the lower ones!

4. Daily Relay: You’re from Rochester Hills, MI. Midwesterners are known as excellent cross country runners. How much pride do you take in that? What led you from Michigan to Kentucky?

Cally Macumber: Being born and raised in Rochester Hills, I take great pride in where I’m from. I grew up in a community with the Hansons group practically in my backyard. Everyone has such great respect for Keith and Kevin Hanson and for what they have done to promote the sport of running (and I, of course, always bought my shoes from them). Also, competing with girls like Megan Goethals in high school, I was really shown a good example of what hard work and dedication can amount to. Joining my first track team in third grade, I was fortunate enough to have had great coaches (Dave Hutson-elementary/middle school & Budd Ciccarelli-high school), friends, and parents that made the sport an even better experience from a very young age. What led me to Kentucky was John Mortimer, who was the assistant coach at the time. He was a great recruiter and really sold me on the school and the program. On my official visit, I fell in love with Lexington, the campus, and the team.

5. Daily Relay: It’s your senior year now in Lexington. What has it been like running for the Wildcats. Where are some of your favorite places to run around town?

Cally Macumber: I can honestly say becoming a Kentucky Wildcat was one of the best decisions of my life. Although there have been three coaching changes in my 4 years at UK, I was able to learn from each and every one of them. I was given the opportunity to do what I love to do, while also being able to meet so many amazing people and travel to so many interesting places! Whether running at Keeneland, through the trails at Veterans Park, or on the long, hot- Sahara-like Legacy Trail, it was always a good experience because I was with people that made me happy. I think that no matter where you are, if you’re with people that can make you laugh, you don’t need much of anything else … with that cheesy, but true statement, Lexington is an awesome place and everyone should try to visit at LEAST once in their lifetime ; )

If you enjoy 5 Questions, check out the archive of previous interviews over at Writing About Running

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