Jenn Hohn, Osseo
The first race of Osseo's cross-country season goes off Thursday, but freshman Jenn Hohn has been sweating it for at least a week.
"The nerves are setting in already," Hohn said last week. "I'm nervous about burning out and hitting the wall during the race."
Whatever happens, Hohn will overcome. She already came to a crossroads in her young cross-country career, pondering quitting the team last season amid injury and lost confidence.
After recommitting herself mentally, Hohn enjoyed a great summer of training that saw her running, biking and swimming with a purpose. She is expected to emerge as one of the Orioles' top runners.
Hohn spoke with Star Tribune reporter David La Vaque about overcoming her doubts and her summer workouts.
Q You joined cross-country halfway through your seventh-grade year. What were your first impressions of the sport?
A I really enjoyed all of the people. You kind of ease into the sport, and it becomes your life. I really got to enjoying it, so I trained over the summer and came back in eighth grade but things kind of went downhill from there.
Q What led to your thoughts about quitting?
A During the summer before eighth grade, I trained too much and I strained both of my hip flexors. So I kind of had to put a halt on the running, and I had to take a couple weeks off. And then when I got back into it, I wasn't as fast as everyone else. So I kind of had this little voice in my head telling me that I wasn't good enough and that I couldn't do it.
Q What ultimately kept you from quitting?
A Since I enjoyed the people so much and I really did enjoy running, I decided I would stick with it.
Q Talk about the process of fighting back against your doubts and getting yourself ready to run again.
A Well, I didn't want to let my team down. And I really wanted to stick with the sport so I told myself, "OK, I'm just going to go all in and see what happens." I devoted myself everyday, and I came up with my own little training schedule.
Q What was your summer training schedule?
A I did long runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I'd do pacing on Tuesdays and then I'd do a hard workout on Thursdays. My goal originally was to run 200 miles, but I just got into it and I ended up running 270 miles this summer.
Q And you worked in some biking and swimming?
A I'm a member at L.A. Fitness, so I'd run out to the gym and do a 60-minute cycle class and then I'd run back home. Or I'd run out to Elm Creek and swim.
Q After getting hurt in eighth grade, were you trying to work a little smarter this summer?
A Yeah, if I was too tired, I'd take a day off. I listened to my body better this time.
Q Can you feel the results?
A I definitely feel more confident than I have in the past. And I believe that I can do things differently this season. I want to be able to finish my races and be proud of myself.
Q Do you feel like this is an important season in terms of setting a tone for the next three years?
A I think so. I'm going to follow the same training plan for the rest of my high school career. Hopefully it works out.
David La Vaque • 612-673-7574