Belle Lap catches up with the amazing Chanelle Price. Chanelle was a 9 time All-American for the University of Tennessee, she is a sub 2:00 800m runner and World Indoor Gold medalist.
Chanelle’s huge heart is always present on and off the track. It is clear that she’s a person who thrives off helping, encouraging, and inspiring others. The US women’s 800m army is a strong one and Chanelle is in full force this year as she aims to make the Rio Olympic team.
Belle Lap: You went into college as one of the fastest US 800m runners of all time with an incredible 2:01.61 PR. How did you handle the transition from high school senior to college freshman?
CP: I was very excited to leave high school and start training with the studs at UT like Phoebe Wright and Sarah Brown. However, once I got there, my transition did not go as smoothly as planned. I did not understand the workouts my coach was giving me and had a hard time buying into his program. I wanted to stick to the training that allows me to be so successful in high school. This doubt in my training, along with all of the pressure I put on myself to meet everyone’s expectations, made competing well on the track my freshman year extremely difficult.
Belle Lap: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
CP: God. I started to build a relationship with God about 2 years ago and learned that my running is simply a gift from Him. My only job is to do my absolute best, and leave the rest up to Him. Taking this new approach to running allowed me to find joy in the sport again. I let go of all the pressure and expectations and began running so much better.
Belle Lap: The University of Tennessee has some unbelievable talent in the middle distance events, how did you manage so much competition in your daily training environment?
CP: I absolutely loved the competitive nature my teammates and I brought to training everyday. We pushed each other and truly brought out the best in one another. My biggest advice is to remember that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. You’re not always going to have a great training session. But if you feed off of your teammates and work together, the long-term results are great.
Belle Lap: Which injuries have you experienced through your career? What keeps you motivated during this time?
CP: I struggled with stress-fractures in my feet and shins my first two years in college. Once we figured out that these injuries were being caused by low estrogen, we were able to fix the issue. I was stress-fracture-free from 2011-2014. In the Summer of 2014, I re-injured my navicular stress-fracture from 2010. I decided to get a pin put in my navicular bone to prevent the injury from ever coming back.
I was very frustrated with my first few stress-fractures in college. I hadn’t dealt with injuries in high school and didn’t know how to handle it. I remember relying on my family, friends and coach to help keep me positive.
This latest stress-fracture in 2014 came shortly after my World Indoor title as well as a few great outdoor races. I was really bummed when it happened, but my faith got me through it. I understand that ups and downs come with the sport, and I returned to the track well rested and a lot hungrier than I was prior to the injury.
Belle Lap: At the 2014 World Indoor Championships you had an incredible performance and ran home with the Gold medal. What did this accomplishment mean to you?
CP: This accomplishment truly meant the world to me. I almost quit the sport after graduating college in 2012, but this moment solidified that I made the right decision in pursuing my dreams.
One of the key factors in achieving this accomplishment was trusting my coach. It took me YEARS to buy into his training, but once I did, I could definitely see a change in my performances on the track.
Belle Lap: Outside of your athletic career, which parts of your life are most important to you?
CP: My faith, family and friends are the most important things to me in life. A lot of people only view me as a runner. But I know that if I decided to end my running career tomorrow, God, my family, and my friends would still love me. That means a lot to me.
Belle Lap: How do you switch off mentally from running?
CP: I have to do something other than run in order to stay mentally sane. By that I mean from 2012-2014, when I did not have a contract, I worked two part-time jobs on top of training. After I won World Indoors in 2014, I signed with Nike. I was able to quit my jobs, but I knew I had to occupy myself with something other than training. I decided to go back to school for my Masters. Focusing on just running is not good for me. I become too obsessed. I definitely need another outlet.
Belle Lap: If you could give advice to your ‘college self’ with all the experience you have now, what would that advice be?
CP: Do not dwell on your high school achievements. College is a different animal. You’re going to have ups and downs, but remain positive and focused. You’re breakthrough is going to happen.
Belle Lap: Which book would you recommend as a good read?
CP: I would recommend a book by Joyce Meyer entitled Power Thoughts. It is a great read on learning how to impact your life through positive ways of thinking.
Belle Lap: What do you do for fun on the weekend?
CP: I like to go to the movies, shop, get my nails and toes done, go bowling, or visit my family in PA. I train in CT, so PA is not too far of a ride.
Belle Lap: What are your ‘words to live by’?
CP: Everything Happens For A Reason. I truly try to take life day by day and enjoy every moment and remind myself that when the hard times come, (because they’re going to come, that’s just a part of life) there’s definitely a lesson to be learned from them. Life is all about learning and growing.
Belle Lap: What’s next?
CP: I have my eyes set on making the 2016 Olympic Team. My entire year in terms of training and competing is geared towards achieving that goal. Also, I was not able to take classes this Fall semester because I was competing in Europe for half of September, so I will resume classes in January.
Belle Lap: Thank you for taking the time to contribute so much inspiration to Belle Lap. We wish you all the best this coming year and beyond. xox