Comments: Bell had an outstanding freshman campaign that saw her excel in the postseason. After a sixth-place finish at the KVAC Championship, she went on to finish third in the Northern Maine Regional before a ninth-place effort at the Class A state meet. Payton will look to build on her success from last fall and will challenge for a top-five finish this fall.
How has COVID-19 affected you?
At the beginning of COVID-19, I was of course worried that my family was going to get the virus and was pretty scared until I realized that everyone getting corona and dying was blown out of proportion by the media. I started worrying less about the virus and focusing on finishing school on a good note even though online learning was a challenge for me. Not being able to see my friends at school or talking to teachers in person was a bit of a struggle. After school was over I took quarantine to my advantage and focused more on running. I started working with Coach Dereck Treadwell of Treadwell Training and have continued working with him through the summer. At the moment, I am very worried about not going back to school because working remotely online is very discouraging. I went to Auburn's school board meeting and talked about why we need to go back four days but the school board decided to either go back to school in person two days a week or not at all. Since Corona, I have figured out that the Auburn school administrators don't appear to have any intentions on getting things back to normal and I am greatly worried about our quality of education now.
What has your summer training consisted of? How much mileage are you putting in?
My summer training has consisted of signing on with Coach Dereck Treadwell of Treadwell Training and working with him to develop a custom training plan for me. Not only have we focused on base miles, endurance training, and speed work, we have also worked on strength, running form, and improving my ability to pace. The mileage has been a steady build-up to 30 miles a week.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
My goal for the upcoming season is to work towards becoming the best runner I can be while focusing on longevity in the sport and improving on last year.
What is your favorite workout that makes you feel most prepared for success?
I don't have a specific favorite workout but I feel the workouts that set me up best for success are the ones that not only challenge me physically but also mentally. This is because they are the ones that help me to become comfortable with being very uncomfortable.
What did you learn from the last xc season that will help you improve in 2020?
The biggest thing I learned from last xc season was to not set limits for myself.
How is your team looking for the fall?
I honestly don't know how my team is doing so far considering I have been training on my own this summer. I anticipate having as good or an even better team since we only lost a few seniors last year and everyone else is coming back.
How do you stay motivated when you don't want to run?
I keep myself motivated when I don't feel like running by reminding myself that I truly love running and the reasons I love running and secondly I think about my goals for the future.
What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received in the sport?
What are the top three "little things" that you do to prevent injury?
The top three things I do to prevent injuries is getting enough sleep, proper recovery, and good nutrition.
What is the one thing you have done during COVID-19 that you have never had time for in the past?
The farthest I have run at one time is between 7-10 miles.
If every day were a holiday, what would yours be?
If every day were a holiday mine would be the 4th of July because without the freedom this country provides none of this would be possible. MERICA!
If you could go on a run with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?
I would go on a run with Courtney Dauwalter because she is a beast and to as well hopefully pick up some running tips she has learned over the years.
If your teammates gave you a superlative, what would it be?