Who is Mel Lawrence? The first thing that might come to mind is a super-fast runner. While that label may be accurate, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Recently, Rebound was lucky enough to catch up with Lawrence to see just what makes this top notch athlete go. Luckily for us we didn’t have to catch her on the track or trail.
Sure you’ll get to hear about Lawrence’s love for running, but you’ll also get to learn about the “human” side of her (because let’s face it, the running part of Mel is NOT human). From sleeping habits to celebrity friendships, Mel Lawrence isn’t afraid to tell you exactly how she feels.
So fuel up with a pre-read meal and get your running shoes on, because this interview is coming at you faster than you can say “Professor McGonagall”
Rebound: Are you an early riser or a bit of a night owl? Or both?
Mel Lawrence: An early riser for sure. I have an easier time waking up in the morning, and once 10pm hits I am very ready for bed. My boyfriend jokes that I have MELdowns once 10 p.m. hits.
R: How did you end up ‘picking’ running as your sport for the long haul?
ML: Before I ran I did dance and diving. Once I got into middle school I started running because my sister, Collier did it. She was pretty good, so I thought, “why not try it too?” And it kind of just worked out. Collier lives and trains with me in Bend now.
R: Was there an ‘ah ha’ moment when you realized this could be a career, more than just hobby?
ML: Once I got half way through high school I had a thought that it was something that I would be able to do in college and even get a scholarship for. Once in college, I had early success and I thought I could turn it into a career (and I definitely wanted to). The second half of college was filled with injuries though, so it has taken me awhile to get where I am today with it.
R: Do you prefer to run alone or with the pack? And of course, why?
ML: Each day is different. Generally I like running with people, and it helps get me out the door on the days I really struggle to. But I also like to have my “me time” on the trail, and I’ll do that about twice a week.
R: Favorite event/race memory/moment?
ML: Pac 10 XC 2008. I went to college at University of Washington, and that season our team was ranked #1 in the nation. We didn’t race the #2 ranked team (U of Oregon) until Pac-10’s that year, but when we did, it was crazy. We swept them and went 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12 for a perfect score. It was the most dominant performance by a women’s team, and to this day still is. We all felt really good and were in such a rhythm with each other. It was a really cool experience. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that good in a race in my life.
R: If you are feeling down what song can you count on to lift your spirits?
ML: I don’t know if I really have one. I don’t really turn to music for that.
R: Best book you have read in the last year? (Looking for recommendations)
ML: I’m currently reading Boys in the Boat, and it’s really good. I’m a little late in the game on this one it seems like, but I figured I should probably read it since I went to UW. I know the story and the history, but it’s written so well in this book. I really like to read, but I don’t read too often. I have a little bit of an obsessive personality and if I’m really into a book, I won’t stop. I’ll stay up all night and read so I can finish it because I have to know what happens.
R: Who is your favorite Harry Potter character? What position would you have been on the quidditch team? Perhaps the seeker since you are so speedy?
ML: I LOVE Harry Potter! It’s too hard to pick just one character. I think Professor McGonagall is such a badass, and I think the movies do a really good job showing this. I would want to play Quidditch too…open to any position except keeper. I’ve never liked being a goalie
R: If you could race anywhere in the world where would you take off to? Have you been there already?
ML: I’ve never been, but there is a Diamond League meet in Monaco, and I would LOVE to have the chance to race there.
R: Do you have a pre-race routine or at least one thing you ‘must’ do before each race?
ML: No superstitions for me. I stop eating three hours out, and that usually consists of a PB&J. I know my body digests it really well, so I just stick to that.
R: If they made the blockbuster film “Mel L” who would you want to play you? Who would play your best friend?
ML: I would want Emma Watson to play me because I have a huge girl crush on her. For my best friend… Jennifer Lawrence because she’s hilarious and real.
R: Favorite place to run in Bend?
ML: Shevlin Park is my favorite in town place to run. When the snow finally melts, I really like to go up to Tumalo Falls and do the North Fork to Bridge Creek run.
R: What have you learned through PT at Rebound that now helps you as you train/compete?
ML: I have gotten SO much stronger since I started going to Rebound. I’ve learned the importance of actually using the right muscles to push my body and what those muscles are. I bet Jay and Ellie would say I’m a different athlete since they started working on me. Especially Jay…he started working with me right when I moved here.
R: If you could be a professional athlete in any other sport what would you choose, why?
ML: I don’t know why this question is so hard, but it is. Probably an endurance sport though…seems to make the most sense.
R: Accomplishment you are most proud of (Doesn’t have to be running related)
ML: That’s tough. Probably graduating college and getting myself to where I am now. Pursuing running full time isn’t the most lucrative thing in the world, and it’s hard. But I’ve made it work and I’m happy with how it’s worked out so far and where I am with it. Obviously I haven’t done it all myself and I have a great family that supports my dreams and pushes me.