Lauren Davenport Johnson

Professional Distance Runner
Home      Journal

Latest News
2/9/13 Husky Classic
4:33.06 Mile, 4th place

Upcoming Race
Oregon Preview 3/16/13

2012 Season Review
2012 started out well for me. I placed 4th at the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, NM, in the 1500m race at the end of February. During the outdoor track season I ran a personal best time in the 1500m and won the first steeplechase of my career. Training was going very well and I was racing very well. Then I got injured... 

The day after a race and workout I had a lot of tightness in my right lower leg. The next day it hurt to simply walk. I was diagnosed with an Achilles injury, a common injury in runners. With only a month and a half until the Olympic Trials the plan was to manage the injury as best as possible while still training. My training was very sporadic and I was doing a lot of work in the pool aqua-jogging and swimming. A cortisone injection allowed me to train pain free for about two weeks. Once that wore off I could not run without pain. I got a second cortisone injection hoping to get through the Olympic Trials. This time the injection did not help. We decided that it would be better if I did not race because of the risk of causing further injury. I was very disappointed, but I know I made the right decision.
The day after the Olympic Trials I got an MRI to try to find the exact cause of my pain as well as the extent of the injury. I found out it wasn't an Achilles injury at all. It ended up being something that we had never even considered. I had an extra bone in my ankle, a piece of bone that didn't fuse properly during development, which I must have broken back in May. The bone was free floating in my ankle and causing a lot of inflammation. I was put into a walking boot for a month and a half to let the bone heal back into place.
The bone did not heal, so I had surgery the first week of August to have it removed. Following the surgery I was in the boot for two more weeks and then I began the slow process of returning to training. My calf muscle had grown very weak from being inactive for so long and I had to do a lot of strengthening work before I could even start running again. In the meantime I was doing a lot of cycling, swimming, and aqua jogging. 
We had been very conservative with my progression back to running. I started out by jogging for one minute and then walking for one minute. I slowly increased the amount of time I was running and plan to run three miles continuously this week! 
I have made some changes as I prepare to take the next step in my career. Nick and I permanently relocated to Eugene and I have joined the Oregon Track Club Elite. I will be coached by Mark Rowland and will have a large team to train and travel/race with. I am looking forward to returning to full training and starting my build-up to the 2013 season.


Looking Forward

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

My 2011 track season has come to an end. Although my outdoor season did not live up to the expectations of my indoor season, I learned a lot of hard lessons this year that I know have made me a stronger runner and person. I am still learning to race the mile/1500 both physically and mentally. Learning to push my body beyond what I once thought possible as well as learning to work through and overcome doubts and insecurities while trying to suppress my need for perfection. I don’t have the years of high level experience racing from high school and college that many of my competitors do, but the level of my workouts has improved drastically and the races will soon follow.

I have a few races on my schedule this fall, a couple of 5K’s and a road mile. I recently ran the Bowerman Athletic Club 5k road race on the Nike campus where I established a new personal best time of 16:45 and was the first female finisher.

Every time I start to have doubts about this journey I am on I am amazed by the reassurance and guidance I receive. I have been blessed to be selected as a recipient of a grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation. This grant will cover the cost of travel to almost all of my races next year and provide a huge stress relief to Nick and me. I’m honored to be named as one of this year’s recipients of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Travel & Training Fund.  I’d like to thank the Foundation, along with corporate sponsor Gatorade, for ensuring that athletes, like me, have opportunities to take their years of hard work and dedication to the next level. Other women athletes looking for information about the Women’s Sports Foundation or interested in applying to the Travel and Training Fund should visit

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11



Ok, so it’s been awhile since I’ve updated my journal. Sorry about that. The indoor track season is now over and I am preparing for outdoor. I had a very good indoor season that was unfortunately cut short by a freak injury. I got in three quality races at the University of Washington before spraining my ankle while out for an easy recover run on a local trail. This happened a week before USATF Indoor Nationals, and we originally thought I would still be able to race, but obviously that did not happen. We found that in addition to spraining the ankle ligaments, I also had quite a bit of tendon and soft tissue damage, which has made for a much longer recovery.

While I did not get to compete at nationals I feel that I can take a lot of positives away from my indoor season. I set a new PR (personal record) in the mile as well as an indoor PR in the 800. I think the race experience I gained was more important than just running fast times. I learned a lot about myself and where my strengths are right now as well as things I need to continue to work on. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to compete at Indoor Nationals, but I am looking ahead to my outdoor season.

I was planning to open my season in Eugene at the Oregon Preview meet but since it has taken me so long to come back from this injury (I just started doing workouts this week) I won’t race until Mt. Sac in April. That will give me a month of quality training before my first race. I had also planned on racing the steeple chase this year and seeing what I could so in that event. We are going to push that back to the fall so my focus for most of the outdoor season will be the 1500. My indoor mile time qualifies me for the 1500m at USATF Outdoor Nationals, so I will be able to focus on racing and not have to worry about hitting a certain time.  I’m excited about this upcoming season and am looking forward to continuing to pursue my goals.