MileSplit recently caught up with Eden Prairie senior Miriam Sandeen to talk about her high school running career and what the future holds for her.
What were some of the highlights of your high school cross country and track careers?
I would definitely say one of my highlights was going to True Team State for Track and Field with my team. I think we all worked together as our girl's team to get there. Of course, racing at Stillwater was fun, but just having fun with everyone before/after the race really made it memorable.
Did you encounter any struggles or adversity along the way that you had to overcome?
One of the main struggles I am still overcoming is an eating disorder. In the summer of 2019, I was not in a good place and try to control what I was eating. This eventually led to staying in the hospital and an intensive residential unit. This also meant that I lost my junior cross country season. When I wasn't able to race, that was my motivation to get better. I began to eat more and then slowly got back into running. Over the winter I was so motivated for the track seasons. I ran 5-6 a week and did strength training as well. My eating disorder obviously was not gone, but the track season kept me from going back to that dark place. I was so ready to run until it got canceled. I wonder if all that hard work I did went to waste? Yet, my close friends (on the team) and I trained every day. We continued to do the workouts and long runs. As summer approached, I did not know what to expect. There were so many unknowns. Nonetheless, we still completed our summer miles training and as of now, there's a season. It's definitely not what I was expecting, but I glad to finally getting back to racing. As I still battle an eating disorder, I make it my goal to not let that disorder thinking take over and use that motivation of the season to continue to recover.
Aside from the competition, what was the best thing about being apart of the Eden Prairie program?
The best part of being a part of Eden Prairie Cross Country is 100% the team atmosphere and coaches. Especially on our girl's team, I know that I would not have continued cross country if it weren't for the positive attitudes and kindness that everyone brings to the team. We all cheer each other on, whether you're on varsity, JV, etc. I could not tell you enough how much I adore every coach that is part of Eden Prairie Cross Country. I know that if there is any issue, all the coaches are open and honest with you. Their lives are so hectic, yet they still come to practice and run with us. It makes my heart happy that I have such a positive team and that I am able to run with these amazing people.
Are there any coaches or teammates that you've worked with over the past four years that you'd like to thank?
I think all of the coaches deserve a shoutout for being such amazing coaches, but I would like to thank my head coach, Jeff Lindief. I have heard of coaches who (I think unintentionally) disregard the feeling that their athletes have. This is not the case with Mr. Lindlief. I remember getting pulled aside on our summer miles trip last, and Jeff saying how he's noticed how much I was out of it. I needed to eat more or I am not going to have a season. Unfortunately, he was right. He cares about everyone on the team; it does not matter if you are on varsity, he will genuinely listen to what you have to say.
What are your plans and goals for the future? Do you intend on continuing with the sport in college or in another capacity?
My plans are hopefully to run in college. I know how competitive it is to get on a D1 team, but I am reaching out to a couple of D1 and D2 colleges. I know that if I am not able to run on the team, I will for sure being doing some form of running in college, such as a run club.
What advice would you give to a younger athlete who's hoping to have a successful and enjoyable high school career?
Enjoy the moments, even the tough long runs and workout. Life goes to fast to worry about the hill workout you have tomorrow or the long run at 8 am in the morning. Enjoy being with your team and getting better together because it could be taken away from you. I also want to mention that you do not need to be skinnier to be faster, do not fall into that trap. You will not perform well with a lower weight. To get faster, you need to make sure that you are fueling yourself correctly so you're able to run your fastest.