A Studebaker, with lots and lots of miles

Ray Stein The Columbus Dispatch
Lainey Studebaker says one of her favorite places to train is Sugarcreek MetroPark near Dayton. [Brooke LaValley/Dispatch ]

Lainey Studebaker

Sport: Women’s cross country

Age: 20

Year: Junior

Hometown: Dayton (Centerville H.S.)

Major: Exercise science

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Question: Let’s start with your last name: Are you related to the folks who ran the old automobile company?

Answer: Yeah, my family is closely related to the Studebakers who made the cars.

Q: It’s been more than 50 years since the last Studie rolled off the assembly line; have you researched these vehicles?

A: I have probably asked my family questions about the company more than researched the cars. That said, I’ve always thought the Studebaker Lark was a pretty cool vehicle with an awesome name. Plus, my family lives on a “Studebaker Farm” where a beautiful red Studebaker truck has been housed for decades and so I have been lucky enough to actually ride in a Studebaker.

Q: Your opinion: Am I old, officially, if I know what a Studebaker is but not who Cardi B is?

A: Old, maybe … but also cooler, in my opinion!

Q: On to more pressing matters: Is it safe to say you have an affinity for animals?

A: Yes, absolutely. Sharks are my favorite animal.

Q: Among the more common pets, would you choose dogs or cats?

A: Dogs, without a doubt. I love cats, too, but I have always had a soft spot for dogs. My mom is a veterinarian and at one point, we had six dogs in the house (which, yes, was a complete zoo to live in). My first dog was a French bulldog named Bagheera and he was the funniest, most loving pup ever. He made me love dogs even more, which I didn’t know was possible.

Q: Do you have a pet on campus?

A: Unfortunately, I don’t. I live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. I probably wouldn’t have time to properly care for a pet during the school year anyhow. Luckily, if I need some doggie or kitty love I can go home, where my mom has three dogs and two cats.

Q: Do you ever try to go on a training run with you dog? Would that even work?

A: I’ve never tried running with my dogs because we have never had a breed that can run all that long. I used to take my Frenchie for walks and we’d run about 100 meters and the little guy would be spent. In the future, I would definitely like to get a dog that I can train to go longer distances. I would love a furry running pal!

Q: Where is your favorite place for a training run?

A: It’s probably a MetroPark back home called Sugarcreek. I enjoy on nice, hilly trails and that is exactly what Sugarcreek is. I have been running these trails since I was little, so it feels like home to me.

Q: Runners have to be aware of things at all times, so logic suggests that they don’t get lost easily. Is that true for you? Do you ever get lost?

A: I wish I could say that I’m good with directions and don’t get lost easily, but that isn’t true. I have an embarrassingly bad sense of direction. One time this summer, I ran on roads in Dayton that I don’t typically run on and got lost for like 30 minutes and ran almost 4 extra miles. My teammates are good with directions, though, so it is possible that runners don’t get lost easily and I missed the boat.

Q: It is impossible for me to interview a runner and not ask: Do you let your mind wander when you run, or do you stay focused?

A: If I’m in a workout, I try to stay relatively focused. But if I’m doing an easy or a long run, my mind wanders like crazy. There’s no way that I could pinpoint where — pretty much anything and everything is fair game. My mind goes on these wild tangents and sometimes I catch myself and have no idea how my brain got to where it did. Also, I talk a lot when I am running with my team and the conversations are equally as random.

Q: Is there a “guilty pleasure” food that you allow on occasion?

A: I cook healthy for myself but I am a big believer in “everything in moderation.” That said, I have a huge sweet tooth and if I need a “guilty pleasure” food I probably go straight to the candy aisle or the ice cream freezer.

Q: Do you have any pet peeves, something that just drives you nuts?

A: I hate when I see people litter while walking on the streets or out of their cars. There are so many recycling bins and trash cans now that there is really no excuse. I’ve definitely yelled at a stranger or two when catching them litter. Although it’s somewhat funny, I probably wouldn’t advise it.

Q: What about superstitions? Do you have any that you’d like to share?

A: I was a lot more superstitious in high school, but now my biggest superstition is wearing my lucky red ribbon on race days. I wore the same ribbon throughout high school after it was passed down to me by a senior that I really looked up to. It stuck out back then because our colors were black and gold, but it is a bit more fitting at OSU.

Q: How long does it take you to go through a pair of running shoes?

A: The general rule of thumb that I like to live by is 300 to 500 miles per pair, so at peak mileage, I probably go through a pair every four to six months. I can take them a little bit longer when I alternate with another pair of shoes, which I would highly recommend. It’s better on your shoes and your body!

Q: During a race, do you enjoy running in a pack, or are you better off running alone?

A: I enjoy both. I like feeding off of my teammates’ energy and having a large pack makes you feel united and strong. But I don’t mind breaking off, either. My favorite is when one other teammate and I get after it and push one another to move up through a race.

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Q: Is there much talking during a race, or would that be characterized as totally wasted energy?

A: Little things are said here and there, for sure. It is typically just short phrases like “get up with me” or “be patient” or “stay strong.”

Q: If anyone ever talks trash at a cross country meet, would it be before, during or after a race?

A: There honestly isn’t much trash talk in cross country. There is an unspoken rule that you should let the running do the talking since the results are black and white. The only “trash” I talk is jokingly to my teammates before races to ease the tension. It feels great to have a nice laugh before selling your soul in a race.

Q: Do you have a favorite runner that you like to watch?

A: I enjoy watching Emma Coburn. She is a steepler and even though I don’t run the steeple, she is inspiring. She is the epitome of a strong female runner who does not cut corners to become successful. She is humble but clearly knows how to race with exceptional confidence.

Q: Would you ever like to run a marathon?

A: At some point, definitely. It doesn’t make a lot of sense in the midst of collegiate running but I plan to do some marathons post-collegiately. I am also interested in doing triathlons.

Q: In order, who are your favorite three characters from “The Office?”

A: One, Michael Scott; two, Dwight Schrute; three, Erin Hannon. Everything that comes out of Michael’s mouth has me in stitches. Dwight is such an off-the-wall character and Erin (whose name is actually Kelly if you know your stuff) is so hilariously oblivious. All three of characters are so out of touch with what the other characters think of them.