Track Chats - Julia Bos
This interview features Julia Bos, senior, Christian High School, Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2011, Julia was the Michigan State Division 2 cross country champion [17:24.70; time behind only Michigan greats Erin Finn (17:22.60) and Hannah Meier (17:24.10) in Division 1], 2nd in Footlocker Midwest Regionals, & 10th in Footlocker Nationals. Julia also was second in the 2012 Michigan State Division 2 3200m in track, and has a 3200m best of 10:36.
1. When & how did you get started in cross country, or generally in your running career?
I first started running about ½ mile every day in 5th grade for the sole purpose of improving my mile time in the gym class fitness drills at my school. I was a natural and already the fastest girl in my class but I wanted to beat all of the boys too. I kept running through 6th grade as well, by then I had increased my mileage to a mile nearly every day. The desire to join a middle school cross country team upon reaching 7th grade came to me when my older sister had so much success in the sport her 8th grade year, even winning some races. Was I inspired by her greatness? Possibly, but mostly I was just jealous. I wanted to one-up her.
2. Person/people most influential to your success in cross country, or generally in your running career?
The most influential people to my success in running would have to be my middle school coach, my head high school coach, and my dad. My middle school cross country coach, Dave Ludema, was not only very encouraging to me, but also very wise. He taught me the importance of taking easier days along with the hard ones in my training, and just generally not overworking myself, as I would need my body to last and continue to improve all through high school cross country and into college. At the time I had been running hard and timing myself every day, and if he hadn’t stopped me on the path I was headed down, I surely would have burned out before making it this far. My high school head cross country coach, Doug Jager, has helped me in my running greatly by laying out a well thought-out training schedule for me and the rest of my team every year to help us improve throughout the season and peak at the right time. And, if it weren’t for Coach Jager, I would have quit cross country altogether back in 10th grade. The pressure of being a front runner was turning me into a nervous wreck on the brink of quitting when he told me something about himself I had never imagined. He said that when he was a sophomore he considered quitting as well; but he didn’t, and has been thankful that he didn’t ever since. His story inspired me that day and I decided to keep on going. Through that rough sophomore year, Coach Jager didn’t put any pressure on me at all and he was patient with me even when I would repeatedly cry before races because of nerves. I owe much of my progress mentally as well as physically to him. Finally, I cannot discuss the most influential people to my running career without mentioning my dad. Though he doesn’t get paid he has always been and always will be one of my best coaches. He has been there to cheer me on at very close to every single one of my meets, even Nationals way out in California. He is always encouraging and helps me see the fun side of running. He cares about me so much and gives me advice on running as he reads up on it often.
3. Your cross country coach(es)?
[see above paragraph]
4. Keys to your successful training program?
It is hard sometimes to come up with the “perfect training program”, but my coach does a pretty good job of telling me what to do and when to do it. When I am on my own sometimes I even pray and ask God what the best workout would be for me that day, as He is not only All-Knowing but also the maker of my talent. I in-general probably do more cross training, or biking and elliptical, than the average running as I have had a history of being injured, and this helps me workout hard without putting as much wear and tear on my legs.
5. Why you enjoy cross country?
There are two main reasons why I enjoy cross country. The first is that I enjoy it because God made me good at it and as Eric Liddel put it so well, “I feel the Lord’s pleasure when I run.” The second reason is that I enjoy being on a team and the camaraderie between me and my teammates. We laugh together, cheer each other on, rejoice over each others’ victories, and comfort each other over failures. The hardest of workouts are made easier with the knowledge that one’s teammates are fighting through them along with one.
6. Your favorite cross-country meet(s)?
My favorite cross country meet is probably the big Portage Invitational in early October. I like the course, and each year for as long as I can remember, it has always been warm and sunny that Saturday—my favorite running weather. I must confess that I like this meet so much also because they give out the prettiest, shiniest, and most unique medals.
7. Cross country athlete(s) you most enjoy competing against?
Several of the cross country athletes that I enjoy competing against graduated last year but two of the remaining ones are Kenzie Wieler and Erin Finn.
8. Your greatest cross country experience in your career so far?
My greatest experience in cross country so far has either been winning last year’s Portage meet and breaking the meet record with a time of 17:32 (don’t ask me the decimal places because I don’t remember) or coming in second at the Foot Locker Mid-West meet in Wisconsin on a hilly coarse with a PR of 17:14.
9. Goals for the 2012 cross country season?
I have two main goals for the 2012 cross country season. I want to break my PR of 17:14 and be a good and encouraging senior leader for my team.
10. Long-term goals in cross country, or generally in your running career?
My over-all goal in my running career is to bring God the glory because he made me. My success belongs to Him.
See Julia’s MileSplit webpage at http://mi.milesplit.com/athletes/1039209-julia-bos .