After winning her race at the Iowa-Grant Invitational, we caught up with Southwestern/Cuba City runner Kayci Martensen. See where the returning Division 3 state champ's competitive mind is at heading into the rest of the season. Thanks to Kayci for taking the time to talk with us!
MileSplit Wisconsin: Congrats on your recent win! I saw you finished over two minutes faster than the next runner. What was that race like for you?
Kayci Martensen: Place-wise it was pretty good but I wasn't exactly where I wanted to be on my time. I'm trying to stay positive and focus on upcoming meets and trying to peak at the end of the season. But that race was pretty special because I placed first and then my sister placed second as a freshman.
MileSplit Wisconsin: Was it difficult to pace that, being so far ahead of everyone?
Kayci Martensen: It is a little bit because there's no one there to push me, but cross country is also an individual sport so I can kind of just work on improving myself.
MileSplit Wisconsin: I know there's a lot still up in the air, but now that you're back racing, what are some of your goals finish-wise towards the end of the season?
Kayci Martensen: My biggest goal is probably to get back to the state meet and try to bring home another championship, but I also want to work on improving myself because we never really know what our last meet will be this season.
MileSplit Wisconsin: Going back to the spring, you were coming off of a really successful track season the prior year, what was it like to not be able to come back and improve on that?
Kayci Martensen: It was kind of hard to not be able to run track, especially this year. I didn't play basketball to focus on track, just because by the time practices were over for basketball, it was already dark out and I didn't really want to get injured playing basketball and not be able to run track. I still trained really hard and it was nice that I could focus on that.
MileSplit Wisconsin: What has your most recent training looked like during the spring and summer?
Kayci Martensen: We definitely got some miles in but we didn't go on any crazy long runs. We did some Vo2 Max workouts on the track to work on getting my heart rate up. Then over the summer we worked on training at a higher intensity and did some cross training like biking. I also life guarded over the summer so I swam quite a few laps at the pool I worked at.
MileSplit Wisconsin: Do you have any favorite race memories you can think of?
Kayci Martensen: I think I have two favorite races. For cross country, it was the state meet last year, because when I was a freshman I got third there but I didn't run that race very smart. I started out way too hard for the first mile and a half and kind of died. Last year I ran a lot smarter and I was a lot more confident in myself. My other favorite race is probably the mile at state track when I was a freshman. I think the mile's my favorite race and it's been a goal since I was in like sixth grade to run the mile at state, so it was really cool to win that.
MileSplit Wisconsin: So you said that's been a goal of yours since sixth grade, when did you start running and really getting into it?
Kayci Martensen: I've been running races in the summer since I was eight but I wasn't really serious about it until I was probably in seventh grade and on the middle school team.
MileSplit Wisconsin: What are some things you like to do outside of cross country and track?
Kayci Martensen: I love doing anything outdoors - I love kayaking, boating and camping, but I especially like hunting and fishing. I think it's cool to learn about and observe nature.
MileSplit Wisconsin: Is there anything else you wanted to add, about your upcoming season or in general?
Kayci Martensen: Yeah, I'm just trying to focus on improving myself and my times.