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Minnetonka speedster Elizabeth Endy masters tough double-dip

By Star Tribune, 05/28/13, 4:37PM CDT

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Elizabeth Endy laughs when she’s asked is she’s a glutton for punishment.


Endy

Elizabeth Endy laughs when she’s asked is she’s a glutton for punishment.

It’s a fair question — she routinely runs one of track and field’s most grueling double-dips, the 400- and 800-meter dashes. They are hybrid races, combining speed and endurance. They also are generally run less than an hour apart, meaning little time for reflection because there’s another race to prepare for.

“It’s tough because there isn’t much recovery time, but I like it,” said Endy, who won both events at the Class 3A True Team State Meet on May 17. “I try to get off my feet right away, but the good thing is they’re so close together that your muscles stay warm.”

Endy also competes in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays for the Skippers. When practices and meets are over, she heads to practice for her club soccer team, the Eden Prairie Fusion.

Staff writer Jim Paulsen talked to Endy about her seemingly never-ending athletic schedule.

Q: How do you balance track and soccer at the same time?

A: You have to make choices. It’s been hard. I’ve had to give and take in both of them. If I have a conflict, I go to the most important one.

Q: Do the coaches mind?

A: No, they’re usually pretty good at working with me. Together, we make it work.

Q: How does playing both sports help you?

A: Track definitely helps my speed and conditioning, stuff I can use during soccer. And soccer really helps my endurance.

Q: Which sport do you prefer?

A: My favorite is ... I guess I don’t have one. I like them both a lot. I’ve played soccer longer and that used to be my favorite. But in the last couple of years, I’ve had good success in track, so I really like that, too.

Q: Of your two primary races, which do you prefer, the 400 meters or the 800 meters?

A: The 800 is tougher mentally because it’s longer. I think I like the 400 better because I like the speed part of it and there’s more strategy involved.

Q: That seems to be such a tough pairing because you need a sprinter’s speed and a distance runner’s endurance. What makes you strong in those races?

A: I’m a pretty strong runner. I have the endurance I need, but I also have the ability to keep up my speed. My greatest strength is that I’m pretty fast.

Q: What goes through your mind during a race, say, the 400?

A: On the blocks, I tell myself that everything is going to be fine and that I’m going to have a good race. In the first 200, I focus on pushing it and running fast. In the last 100, I think a lot about keeping my arms pumping because my legs are getting tired.

Q: Do you ever look around to see your competition?

A: I try not to. I try to stay looking forward, but sometimes it’s tempting. I have never been burned by that, but I’ve seen people who have.

Q: Most indispensable piece of equipment?

A: My running watch. I get nervous that I’m not going to check in on time.

Q: Do you have any summer plans that don’t include soccer or track?

A: Swimming. I love going swimming, either in the lake or at the pool.

JIM PAULSEN

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