Howdy y’all. BIG weekend for track and field with the NCAA’s and World Indoor Championships. So thanks to having several friends on the Arizona team (hey Amanda, hey Jenn!) I managed to secure a brief phone interview with one of the best athletes competing at this weekend’s NCAA’s and asked him a little about his diet. Enjoy!
Note: I couldn’t get it all down very quickly while talking on the phone because at times I had a little trouble with his accent and I felt bad asking him to repeat things. Lawi seemed really laid back and quite funny, we actually discussed burritos a little more than this. I was quite starstruck, so I apologize for not asking more questions. My favorite thing about the whole conversation was he seemed genuinely interested in how I was doing with my season and he sounded very sincere wishing me luck at the end. Can’t even tell you how much that meant to me.
Me- Hi Lawi, it’s Zach Ornelas calling for the interview, how are you?
Lawi- I’m good, you?
Me- I’m doing pretty well, how was your run today?
Lawi- It was good, I had a good run today I’m feeling good.
Me- Me too, I actually did a 10mile tempo today, averaged about 5:10
Lawi- 10 miles! That’s great!
Me- Yeah, I’m trying to go very low 29 in the 10k this season, I’d imagine you’ll be breaking 27 soon enough?
Lawi- No, I’m not going to run the 10k.
Me- So the 5 will be the focus?
Lawi- Yeah, I’m going to run the 5k.
Me-So uh I heard a little rumor that you may aiming to break 13 this outdoor season, that would be pretty sweet.
Yeah, haha, I am going to do something like that. It would be nice.
Me- So tell me, how are you feeling going into this weekend’s NCAA meet?
Lawi-I feel confident I’m really ready. I’m pumped. I’m excited to race the good competition too, It’s nice having those guys to race with.
Me- I like the sportsmanship. Now you do a lot of training with Bernard Lagat. How is it getting to train with one of the best in the country and one of the best in the world?
Lawi- It’s really motivating training with him. Just the feeling of being able to run with somebody like that gives me a lot of confidence and really motivates me to keep running hard.
Me- Now one of the things I like to focus on in my blog is eating, tell me a little bit about your diet. Do you eat your traditional Kenyan foods or have you switched to an American diet?
Lawi- Traditional recipes. I eat a lot of Chapati and Ugali. You can make it, you can buy the stuff for it at the store. It’s made of corn flower.
Me- Ok, I’ll have to try it. I’ve actually made chapati before. Do you like to enjoy some of our tasty, but not super healthy, American fast food ever?
Lawi- Oh yes, I definitely eat American food too sometimes like pizza. I like the mexican food, I really like burritos haha.
Me- Good choice man, being a former resident of Texas I really love that mexican food too. Back to running, you’ve had quite an incredible year already and you’ve already accomplished quite a bit. What are some of your goals for the rest of the year?
Lawi- I want to go to this ncaa’s indoor championships and do well. My main aim for the year is to prepare for the kenyan trials. I want to represent Kenya.
Me- I’d imagine that’s a pretty tough team to make, you’re definitely going to need to get under that 13 minute barrier then I’d imagine.
Lawi- Yes, it’s a very tough team. But if you can make the Kenyan Olympic team then you can medal at the Olympics.
Me- You know recently I was watching a documentary on the school in Iten coached by brother… umm brother..the Irish guy?
Lawi- Brother Collum?
Me- Yeah. One of the things I took from it is that one of the reasons Kenyans are so good is that the standard of excellence is incredible. I heard athletes say that just making it to the Olympics is no big deal in Kenya, you’re expected to medal.
Lawi- yes, it’s a tough team, we all want to medal.
Me- Well we want to see you do well this weekend for starters. Thanks for letting me ask you some questions Lawi. We’re all pretty excited to watch you run this weekend, I wish you the best of luck this season and with the rest of your year.
Lawi- Thanks Zach. Best of luck to you with your season, keep up your hard work and training and pursue those goals.