Comments: Matson has been the best girls cross-country runner in Maine the last three years, and nothing is expected to change as she is the favorite to win a fourth consecutive Class A individual title. She won the New England title and made a return trip to the Footlocker Nationals last fall, expect more of the same in 2020.
How has COVID-19 affected you?
The canceled spring season and virtual school affected me much like it did everyone else; opportunities to race were nonexistent save for a few sporadic time trials, and as time went on, online learning became more tedious than freeing. Most significantly, the impossibility of official visits and the prospect of applying to an institution whose campus I've never seen in person has made my college search different. Regardless, my family and I are fortunate to have remained healthy.
What has your summer training consisted of? How much mileage are you putting in?
My mileage has been consistent with a slight buildup over the past two months, from 35-40 miles a week to now around 50. I've run a few fartleks and some intervals, and have been pushing myself to run on grass (which at this point in the preseason I'd normally be better acquainted with) even though I'd rather go on the roads.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
To race well when the circumstances allow, and to make the most of my final high school cross country season.
What is your favorite workout that makes you feel most prepared for success?
Longer intervals (800m and up) are a favorite, as well as fast finishes.
What did you learn from last xc season that will help you improve in 2020?
I learned how to, or rather, how not to, approach the postseason meets. By the time last year's regionals and nationals came around, I had more race anxiety than regular nerves (though the chances I get to apply a new postseason philosophy this year are slim).
How is your team looking for the fall?
Over the past six weeks, we've all been logging miles on a shared Google spreadsheet. It's been cool to watch everyone progress, especially the underclassmen. For the most part, I think everyone is very motivated.
HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED WHEN YOU DON'T WANT TO RUN?
For me, motivational struggles come with running's eponymous "little things," like foam rolling, stretching, drills, and lifting. Whenever I get tired of them, I ask myself if I'd rather be injured or sitting on a lacrosse ball for two minutes. That usually restores my focus.
What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received in the sport?
To trust the process more than the goals you set.
WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE "LITTLE THINGS" THAT YOU DO TO PREVENT INJURY?
Foam rolling, mobility circuits, and collagen protein powder.
What is the one thing you have done during COVID-19 that you have never had time for in the past?
I've been painting more, which I don't usually do a lot of during the school year because the surface of my desk is never clear.
What's the farthest you've ever run at one time?
If every day were a holiday, what would yours be?
LaCroix Appreciation Day.
Favorite subject in school?
English and History.
If you could go on a run with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?
Katharine Switzer, the first woman to enter the Boston Marathon 5 years before women were allowed because I like to think I would have done the same thing.
If your teammates gave you a superlative, what would it be?
Most likely to go an entire practice without talking.