Husky Track Head Coach Greg Metcalf estimates that Lindsay Flanagan and her teammate Megan Goethals have logged more miles than any Husky women in history. Flanagan came to UW from Roselle, Illinois in the fall of 2009, and wraps up her college career this week at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, running the 10,000-meters along with Goethals. Flanagan ran in the top-five for the Husky women’s cross country team at three NCAA Cross Country Championships, helping UW to a second-place finish in 2011. But this will be her first NCAA Track appearance.
GoHuskies.com: You came back for a fifth year of track, and making it to Nationals had to be one of your biggest goals. How did it feel knowing that you made the cut?
Lindsay Flanagan: Honestly, it was a lot of relief. Going in I was confident I could do it, but then actually going and doing it, it just felt like ‘Ah, finally!’ It was a really great ending for the whole year. It really was why I came back. I wanted to come back and run fast, but most of all make it to NCAAs. So lots of relief and a lot of excitement.
GH: What do you think you’ll be feeling when you get to Eugene and stand on the starting line?
LF: I hope I’m just feeling really confident and excited. Coach (Metcalf) said he wants us to be jumping out of our skin ready to run. So just going out there and giving it all I have. My family is going to be there and I haven’t seen them since Christmas. I told my mom before Regionals that I’m going to give it all I have, and then some more, so that’s a lot! I hope to just be really excited and ready to run.
GH: Coach Metcalf said at the team banquet that you and Megan Goethals have probably run more miles and laps than any Huskies in history. Do you have any estimate on how many miles you’ve run here?
LF: I think in my Flotrack, it keeps track of all your miles total, and I think it’s over ten thousand since the start of my freshman year, so that’s pretty cool. All fall and leading up to the last three weeks I’ve been running 80 miles per week, so that’s a lot of miles, and that’s why I feel confident. I’ve put in all the work I could.
GH: What has it been like having Megan to train with and race with these past several years?
LF: I think both of us after the last race just gave each other a big hug, like we did it! Our last one! She’s been here basically the entire time I have, so it’s been pretty incredible having someone so good and motivated to run with. We push each other, and I know on Thursday this week we’ll both be running together, and that makes you much more calm. You think ‘I’ve run with this girl every day, we’re doing this together,’ so it will be cool.
GH: What was it like having your sister Kaylee on the team this year as a freshman?
LF: It was great! I haven’t lived at home in five years, so this was the first time I’ve got to spend a lot of time with Kaylee since college started. It was so fun, and just watching her kind of learn and get better every meet was so cool. It would have been really fun having her at Regionals and I know she was bummed not to go, but she’s coming to Eugene, and it will be really exciting. Everyone would ask, “Is it going to be weird having your sister on the team?” and I would say, “No, it’s going to be awesome.” And it really was.
GH: At the Pac-12 Championships, you took fourth in the 10k despite losing one of your shoes partway through the race. What happened there?
LF: I think it was five laps in, someone clawed it off the back of my foot, so I ran ten laps with the shoe half on, then with ten laps to go I could tell it was going to come off. It came off and luckily the pack was a little further behind, so Coach was yelling ‘They’re not going to catch you so just stay where you are!’ I couldn’t really run that much faster with one shoe.
GH: After five years, will it be hard to leave Seattle?
LF: Yeah, I feel like this past week, with the banquet and the WESPYs, it was really emotional. It kind of hit me that this is the last hurrah. I’m really excited to see where else I go, but it’s going to be really hard to leave.
GH: Do you think you’ll go back to Illinois for the time being?
LF: I’m going to try and keep running, so if that takes me back to Chicago that would be cool, but it might also take me somewhere totally new, which would be fun. Being here for five years, I’m also ready to see somewhere new.
GH: You ran a half marathon in the fall and it sounds like marathons are the next big goal for you? What makes you want to tackle that race?
LF: I qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials with my time in the half marathon, so that was important because now I know I can keep running. I have something really big to look forward to. I’ve always run a ton of miles, so I’m ready to see if I can run a little more and put that to use in a longer race.
GH: When you’re coming to the end of a long race, what’s going through your head or are you just in a zone mentally?
LF: I feel like at the end of the race I’m thinking ‘You’ve run so much, you’ve done such hard workouts, and this is the fun part. You can do it because of all the really great things you’ve done in the past.’ So I just think about that and charge to the end.
GH: Will you be going through graduation next weekend or will you still be down in Eugene?
LF: I’m going to go to graduation on Saturday. My parents really wanted me to go. I finished with school in March, majoring in anthropology and public health, and I minored in global health and nutrition. You only do it once, and I’m probably not going to go back to school for a while if I do, so we’ll just make it a fun one.