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Meet the Athlete: Emily Berzonsky

Name: Emily Berzonsky 

Age: 22 

Place of Birth: Lafayette, Indiana 

High School: Lincoln Southwest High School 

College: South Dakota State University (SDSU), University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) 

Major/Minor 

SDSU – Community & Public Health with Health Communication and Professional Writing minors 

UNMC – Master of Public Health with an emphasis in Public Health Administration and Policy 

Where do you currently live?: Omaha, NE 

Occupation/Degree you are working towards: Master of Public Health 

How long have you been an LRC-Nebraska member?: Only about a month—I’m a new member! 

How long have you been running competitively?: I’ve been running competitively since the Fall of 2009 when I began cross country as a seventh grader—so about ten years now! 

What excites you most about being an LRCN athlete?: I’m excited to make connections with other local runners. Runners truly are the best kind of people! Growing up in Lincoln, I was fortunate to have numerous coaches, mentors, and friends who were/are a part of LRCN (shout out to Ryan Salem, Parker Schoen, Katie Klug and the amazing Anne Ringlein) who got me excited about someday being a part of the group! 

What does a typical training week look like for you?  Walk us through your daily routine (training related and otherwise): Because I recently completed my collegiate running career and moved to Omaha to begin school at UNMC, I don’t have a routine established just yet. However, here’s how I imagine it will be: I’ll run every day, maybe sometimes taking one day off a week, and fluctuate between 40 and 65 miles a week when I’m training for a race. I try to run in the mornings to beat the heat, and I prefer long running on Sunday. I typically do a lunge matrix before my runs and myrtle and sometimes core afterwards, but admittedly, I’m not always disciplined about doing any strengthening exercises in addition to my runs. I don’t enjoy lifting, so if anything, I just perform body-weight exercises once or twice a week after a run.  

I’m also not very disciplined about creating and completing workouts on my own, but I plan to start doing a few when I train for races, so I hope to join in on some Track Tuesdays! My favorite type of workout is tempo runs. I’m much more of a long distance, cross country type of runner than a track runner. 

We all approach training and racing differently, so tell us what your short-term and long-term goals are with running: My short-term goals are to maintain enough fitness that I can have a decent showing at SDSU’s alumni cross country race and track meet and to have fun trying some of the LRCN races. I’m looking forward to running Market to Market for the first time ever! I’m hoping to be a part of the LRCN cross country team, and either this spring or next fall, run my first ever marathon—I’m thinking maybe the Lincoln Marathon! My dad got into running a few years ago and we have the shared long-term goal of qualifying for and running Boston together sometime within the next few years.  

Where are your 3 favorite places to do long runs at the moment?: 1) The country roads outside of Brookings, SD 2) Heading south on Jamaica Trail from Lincoln, NE 3) Sandhills, NE 

After a solid race or long run, what is your favorite meal to demolish and replenish those calories?  Please use details and give recommendations!: After a solid long run, I love to treat myself with a big brunch—a couple of Kodiak pancakes with peanut butter, scrambled eggs with some Tabasco, and an iced coffee! I don’t have a favorite post-race meal, but I have a huge sweet tooth, so I tend to reward myself with desert. My favorite desserts in Lincoln include Yogurtini (they have actual cookie dough as a froyo topping!), Hurts Donuts, Eileen’s Cookies, Ivanna Cone (I highly recommend the Canadian Breakfast flavor), Juice Stop (Half Nelson is my go to), and anywhere that offers acai bowls.  

Share a crazy training or racing story, or simply an interesting moment in time: This past year (2018), was the first time in years that SDSU competed at Woody Greeno. At the starting line, a few minutes before the gun was set to go off, my teammate Rachel, our best woman, decided that she needed to quick go #2. The port-o-potties were way on the other side of Mahoney Golf Course and most were already out of toilet paper, so she grabbed a big leaf off a tall weed and made a dash for a cluster of tall weeds that were perhaps a little too close to the start line for the task at hand. Our head coach, former Olympian Rod DeHaven, sprinted after her yelling at her to not use the leaf to wipe because it was most likely milkweed and she’d “have a rash for a week.” Rod and Rachel bickered for a few seconds. Rachel explained that she had no other option. Rod proceeded to run around for a few minutes yelling “DOES ANYONE HAVE TOILET PAPER?!” After no success, Rod ran back up to Rachel, took off his shoe, and removed one tall white sock. He handed it over and instructed her to use it to wipe. Rachel was adamant that she would not use the sock…particularly because it was an extremely hot day and the sock was undoubtedly sweaty. In the end, Rod won out and there is now perhaps a soiled sock still lying in the weeds of Mahoney Golf Course. The best part about the whole story is that my dad happened to take a picture of Rod at the meet, and in the picture, it is apparent that he is wearing only one sock. It has served as great evidence of this funny story.  

What book are you currently reading or TV show are you binge watching?: I’m currently reading Wait What?: And Life’s Other Essential Questions and binge watching Game of Thrones (I hopped on the bandwagon when there were about three episodes left)! 

You’re the star of a running movie, and the opening scene is you running on a winding dirt road, with a beautiful sunrise.  What song is playing in the background?: Old Town Road…kidding! Suit And Jacket by Judah & the Lion 

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