Melissa White /Hanson-Brooks
Melissa White /Hanson-Brooks
Melissa White has been a member of the Rochester Hills, MI based Hanson-Brooks Distance Team for about 3 years now. She has been a member of several Team USA International events. Recently she has been running the best she ever has. Read on to find out more about the ups and downs and recent success Melissa has faced.
RM: Melissa, You have had a great past two months. You were the 2nd place at the US 25k Champs, ran two 5ks at 16:09 and 16:13, placed 6th at Steamboat 4 miler, won Reed's Lake 10k in course record time of 34:10, ran a 4:42 road mile at Firecracker and just finished 7th at the Boilermaker 15k. What things have led to you running as well as you have of late? The main reason I ask is because you had a long period of time (1 year +) were things didn't seem to be clicking in your races. MW: It's a huge relief to finally be running well again and setting PR's for several distances this year. I think the biggest reason I have finally been able to get my running back on track is that my iron problem is under control. The past year I was anemic and nothing I tried seemed to be helping. I think it just took a while to get my iron levels back to normal, and a couple different iron supplements to find out what worked best. I was definitely frustrated with most of my races last year mostly because I knew I wasn't performing up to my potential. Being anemic is almost worse then being injured because when you have an injury you can physically point to something and say this is what hurts and this is why i'm not running well. When you are anemic you look fine to everyone, but you feel horrible doing everything from easy runs to races. I think setbacks like that really make you appreciate running though. I think we can learn from everything and running well gives you confidence but recovering from setbacks makes you even tougher then you were before. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I do because of the Hansons and Brooks, and I had too much to prove to them and myself to give up that easy. I think you will see a lot from the Hansons team in the future. RM: What are your plans as far as moving up to the marathon in the future?
MW: My goal has always been the marathon and I think I am ready to make that jump now. After running the 25k in May and the 15k in July I have realized how much I enjoy the longer distances. I'm really excited because this fall Dot McMahan, Yolanda Flamino, Susan Barth and I will all be attempting our first marathon at the Lasalle Bank Chicago Marathon.
RM: You have been studying hard to get your massaging certification. What are your plans once you get the certification? Are there plans for a serious business venture or is this something that you are going to do more as a temporary job?
MW: I have wanted to go to massage therapy school for quite a while and having Chad go gave me the confidence to finally do it. I have been taking classed since April and I will graduate in September, which has worked well for my running schedule. Running is a big part of my life and I wanted to do something geared towards runners and the medical field. I am going to a medical massage therapy school because I wanted a program that would teach techniques to deal with sports injuries and not just relaxation techniques. For the near future my goal is to open a massage therapy clinic with Chad. We are looking into opening a clinic in the Hanson's Lake Orion store.
RM: Looking back to 2002, could you ever imagine you would be running at the level you are now, looking to break into the top elite levels of US distance running and why or why not?
MW: I think everyone who becomes a professional runner has to have very high goals in order to dedicate so much time and energy into running. You have to believe deep down that anything is possible. Coming out of college I wasn't exactly sure what I was capable of but I knew I hadn't even come close to my potential. Now that I am with the Hanson's it's a lot easier to see these goals as a possibility because I'm around athletes all the time that have broken into the top levels. When you see other people around you accomplishing great things you start to believe that you can do the same thing. I'm in this career because I want to become the best runner that I can be. I know its going to take a lot of hard work and time but my goals are much higher then what I have accomplished so far. I still have a lot more to prove.
Thanks for the great interview Melissa! (Interview conducted by Nick Cordes)