Emily Oren was the girl in high school who hated to run. But thanks to some great coaches and mentors, she found her passion for the sport. In college she won nine national titles and ever since then running has taken her all across the country. Not only did she help make her college Women’s Track and Field program 2016 Program of the Year, she was also the Honda Women’s Collegiate Sports Award Recipient.
Why running and how did you get started? I love running because you get out what you put in. I’ve always enjoyed looking back and seeing my steady progress throughout the years. There’s nothing more gratifying to me than crushing a workout I couldn’t have done a couple years ago or running a new PR that seemed impossible. I started running because of my older sister. My parents made her join cross country in high school and, like a typical younger sister, I wanted to do everything she did. So, we became teammates! And a couple years later our younger sister joined us as well.
On days where you might not feel like training, what inspires you to get out there? I’m always inspired by my sisters and my former teammates from Hillsdale. They’re all still really active and chasing dreams of their own, like running world marathon majors. I love hearing about everything they’re doing and seeing their hard work pay off. And having them be excited about my career gets me out the door every day. I always worked hard in college and so I try to keep that same energy today.
Can you tell us about a race that taught you a few lessons in this sport? Or that you would want to relive? My first race at D2 nationals, I nearly got lapped in a mile (yikes). I was entirely unprepared for what was coming my way. I was just a little freshman who felt on top of the world for making nationals, and probably had sort of a big head about it. After getting my butt handed to me and watching the amazing woman make it look easy, I had a reality check. I realized I wanted to be one of those girls who can make it look effortless, but I also realized I had a lot to learn about racing and about the sport as a whole. So, it didn’t necessarily teach me something specific, but it put the fire in my belly to get better and gave me some solid role models to look up to.
If I could relive one race it would have to be when my younger sister and I went 1-2 in the steeple chase at D2 nationals. I cannot even describe how exciting it was to listen to the announcer the whole race and hear the battle Molly was fighting for second and to come down the home stretch knowing we had done it, honestly indescribable.
Do you have a special pre-race ritual? I don’t necessarily do the same thing every time. Mostly I sit around and watch a lot of Netflix. If my family is around, they’ll have me go out on a walk with them to keep me moving. I am particular about what I eat though. I will pretty much always have a PB&J four hours out from the race, with a banana and some yogurt. I have a chai tea latte with a shot or two of espresso (depending on the time of day) about three hours out from the race as well.
Is nutrition a big focus for you? And, what would you say is your go-to meal after a tough run? As far as nutrition goes, I try to not get too caught up in it, as it can be a dangerous game counting calories and such. But throughout the day I make sure I’m covering my food groups. I always eat a lot of fruits and veggies with my meals and as snacks. But if at the end of the day I want some ice cream I certainly let myself indulge. After a tough run I always crave carbs, usually I’ll make myself an egg scramble with leftovers I have in the fridge and put it on a bagel with avocado and hummus.
What are your top tips for a speedy recovery after training? Make sure you eat within 30 minutes of your workout and spend time rolling out and stretching.
Who is your “team”? I have a lot of people on my team who I am very grateful for! It consists of my sisters, brother in law, parents and my fiancé. It’s also all my friends that have been with me from the start of this journey and those who I’ve met along the way. I have a great community standing behind me everywhere I go.
What was the best piece of running advice you ever received?
“Don’t think, just do.” – Dathan Ritzenhein
Much easier said than done, but honestly, it’s very applicable to every run. Mostly I lean on that during hard workouts. Just clearing your mind and letting your body do the work is actually really freeing and allows you to do a whole lot more than you think you’re capable of.
Apart from running, what are your passions? I love to bake, especially when I am baking with my mom. I spend a lot of time with my family and friends and I really enjoy a good board or card game.
What’s something you nerd out on? Economics. It was my major in college and I just love learning about how the world works from an economic perspective; I particularly like learning about behavioral economics.
If you could have dinner with one people (dead or alive) who would it be and why? Mia Hamm, I was a big soccer player back in the day and looked up to her very much. I told everybody I knew that I wanted to be just like her. She was/is such a strong role model for women in sports and I would love to get to live out my childhood dream and meet her.
Finally, why On? The obvious answer is how amazing the products are. I’ve never had such high-quality running gear till I started working with On. I also really appreciate their approach to partnering with athletes, it’s just that, a partnership. They want to be a part of our journey as athletes and cheer us on along the way. I like working with a company that’s so invested in their people.