Adriana Nelson Joins the ASICS Mammoth Track Club

ASICS elite runner Adriana Nelson has a list of accolades on her resume including a team gold medal from the 2005 World Half Marathon Championships, a second-place finish in the 2007 Chicago Marathon, and the 2013 U.S. Half Marathon Championships title. “The half marathon has been good to me,” she says. The Romanian-born athlete holds a 2:28-marathon and 1:09-half marathon personal best. She recently moved to Mammoth Lakes from Boulder, Colorado to join the ASICS Mammoth Track Club and train under the guidance of Coach Andrew Kastor. We caught up with Adriana to hear about her transition to Mammoth Lakes and her training for the 2015 Boston Marathon.

You made the move to Mammoth Lakes after living in Colorado for many years. Tell us how and why you made the change. 

Coach Andrew and Deena Kastor are the biggest reason I came to Mammoth Lakes. The moment I came to Mammoth I decided this was the place to be for running. It’s really given me a new spark and a new hope. Seeing the group so determined makes you go back to your roots and remember why you love the sport. And Mammoth Lakes is so beautiful and inspiring—it touched my heart. My agent, Josh Cox, was encouraging me to take a big step and my husband has been 100 percent supportive to have me training in Mammoth. We are one year away from the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and I know that I need to do everything I can to make the team. The Mammoth Lakes community is also so supportive and you run well when you have such a great support.

Tell us about your transition to the ASICS Mammoth Track Club.

I’ve been with ASCIS for many years, so it was an easy transition since it is an ASICS sponsored club. Running with the best in the country makes you comfortable going to into the race with the best in the world, which can be intimidating. It is great having someone like Deena next to me and pushing me in trainings and getting me out of my comfort zone—I really needed that. I needed someone I can look in the eyes and believe in what they’re saying and get inspired. Everyone has been so welcoming and I really appreciate that. We are like a family.

You started Roll Recovery with your husband Jeremy in 2012. Tell us about the business.  

My husband Jeremy Nelson invented the ROLL Recovery R8 out of necessity. We were having beat up and heavy legs from trainings and needed something more supportive in terms of recovery. Jeremy is a mechanical engineer and wanted to design a tool we could use after trainings. We showed the prototypes to our athlete friends and the feedback was great. That’s when we decided if we all like it and found it useful, maybe a lot of other people will too. We had to sell everything we had to launch the business—the house we just finished building and the car. We lived on credit cards for a year.  Thankfully, things have gone very well.

You ran the Boston Marathon last year and are running it again this year. How was your experience in 2014 and what did you learn from the race?

Last year I didn’t even preview the course. I watched the YouTube video, but it was really deceiving. Boston is a little tricky. Everybody was talking about how fast the first half of the race is. I was on a really good pace, but I had to hold back because everybody kept saying the second half is so much harder. I went over the Newton Hills and I kept waiting for more hills, but then I realized it was fairly flat and there are no more hills. I tried to finish hard even though it was a little slower than I anticipated.  It was a great experience—just being there was amazing. The people gave me so much positive energy and support. I couldn’t show them pain; I just had to keep smiling. I know what to expect now, at least more than before.

How is your training going for this year’s Boston Marathon? 

Everything has been going well so far. We feel like we are going in the right direction with training—positive energy and thinking. I usually don’t think too much of the race in training because you lose perspective. Every week I improve, I am getting tougher, faster, and stronger. I’m getting there. The last two weeks are as important as the whole block of training. Having a great taper can make a huge difference in the race. The work is done. I visualize the course a little bit. I visualize high energy and how to get everything out of myself on race day.

What are your goals for the Boston Marathon?

When we saw the start list for this year’s Boston Marathon, I felt like my name was falling off the bottom of the paper. There are so many fast women this year. What we hope from this race is a great transition from my old training to the new system. If I do great and make a personal best, then that would be amazing. If I do just okay, I feel it’s still great and I have tons of room to improve. I’ve been training pretty hard, so I hope it shows in Boston. I’m going to follow my plan and believe in myself. I’m very excited to represent Mammoth Track Club the best I can. I’m hoping to have a good day so I can come home proud. My puppies and my husband are waiting for me! Follow Adriana: Twitter: @adi_nelson Instagram: @adi_nelson 

Monica Prelle

Monica Prelle is an outdoors, wine, and travel writer who would rather be running, climbing, or mountain biking. See more of Monica's posts here, read more of her work at monicaprelle.com and connect on twitter @monicaprelle

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