Jordan Hasay is my favorite runner.

As a decorated University of Oregon Track and Field athlete and now a member of the professional running team, Nike Oregon Project, Jordan is one of the most decorated and famous long distance runners of today. Jordan has set a great example for the female athlete, showing what hard work and talent can do. But what really goes on in the elite runner’s mind? What are her running rituals?

I had the privilege of asking Jordan some questions about her running career, her mindset, and some of her quirks last week.

Here are her answers: Ten things that you didn’t know about Jordan Hasay.

10. Her Biggest Role Model is her Mom

Since the beginning of Jordan’s successful running career, her mom has been by her side. As a mother and supporter, Jordan’s mom understands the ups and downs of the sport. According to Jordan, “I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the professional level without her help.” Jordan not only considers her mom her role model, but also her best friend.

9. Family Helps Jordan Stay Grounded

“I don’t necessarily focus on winning races,” Jordan says, “Focusing on the process helps and I just hope that I could become a better athlete, but most importantly, a better person each and every day.” When asked how she remains grounded, Jordan enthused that her family plays a big role in keeping her grounded. They help her to realize that her goal is to develop her talents to the best of her potential.

8. Faith is Very Important

Besides running, Jordan really enjoys attending Mass and other activities at her home church. “My faith is very important to me. Jordan enthuses. When she’s not running, Jordan also likes to spend time with her family and go to the beach.

7. Former Hoop Shoot Champion

If running was not Jordan’s sport and calling, she would love to play basketball. While on a club basketball team in 5th grade, Jordan won the hoop shoot contest. Why make the switch? “I used to just sprint up and down the court, so that’s how we figured out running was probably my better sport,” Jordan says.

6. The Best Professional Experience So Far

This summer, Jordan participated in her first Diamond League race in the Olympic Stadium in London. This was the first time that Jordan’s granny was able to watch her race in the flesh. All of Jordan’s mom’s family lives in Poole, England, where Jordan’s mom was born, so her aunts and uncles were able to watch her race as well. When she ran through the tunnel, she was able to pick out the cheers from her family out of 80,000 people. “My granny is a huge inspiration to me and always tells me to “Give it some welly! It was really special to be able to see her and have a personal best in the race too!”

5. Her Focus is Shifting From Academics to Running, Among Other Things

Now that Jordan is no longer a student at the University of Oregon, she is able to dedicate more time to running. “It is strange for me not to be a student,” Jordan says, “but now that I am a professional athlete, the main focus besides my faith, family, and friends, which always come first, will be running.” Since graduating, Jordan has already noticed that she is feeling more focused and fresh, able to give more energy to workouts, and get more sleep. “I think this is going to make a huge difference come the winter and spring when I start racing. It is going to be really exciting,” Jordan exclaims.

4. Training Under Alberto Salazar Has Given Jordan Confidence

Since switching from training at the University of Oregon to training under Olympian Alberto Salazar, Jordan has instantly gained more confidence. “I felt like we were able to relate and communicate really well from the beginning,” Jordan says, “He is really passionate about the sport and that continues to inspire me. He’s just a really down-to-earth, kind, faith-filled man and I feel really blessed to have the opportunity to work with him.”

3. She was Coached by One of Her Best Friends

Alexi Pappas, former Oregon Duck athlete and coach, and now Nike Oregon Project runner with Jordan, is also one of Jordan’s best friends. According to Hasay, “my senior year and the rest of my life certainly would not be the same without the impact of her friendship.” The two, known for their goofy and unique friendship, continuously pose for photos on twitter mocking the common #womancrushwednesday fad. The two pose with a toilet on one Wednesday, boasting the #womanflushwednesday hashtag, and a hair brush for – you guessed it – #womanbrushwednesday. Pappas and Hasay’s friendship also made headlines for Pappas’ unique cheering for her friend during a race. Watch the video here.

#womanbrushwednesday   #womanflushwednesday

2. A New Pair of Socks for Every Race

One of Jordan’s unique pre-race rituals involves buying a new pair of socks. If Jordan is about to run a race 5k or longer, Jordan wears socks in her spikes. But not just any socks. Jordan goes out and buys a new pair of socks. “But,” Jordan says, “In college it got to the point though where I was racing so much I’d just save the new socks for the championship or really important races because I couldn’t keep buying new ones every race!”

1. Secret to Success

Earlier this year, when Jordan posted a picture on twitter of her getting a haircut, her fans were concerned that Jordan was chopping off her iconic long hair. While Jordan is known for her long blonde ponytail or braid, she is also known for smiling in her races. When asked about her secret to success, Jordan kept it simple: “Keep smiling and having fun.” It is evident to fans that through the pain, Jordan is enjoying herself whilst on the track. Most cross-country and track runners’ faces are plastered with a grimace. Through the entire race. Jordan, however, smiles. Although it is nearly impossible to smile through the entire race, Jordan smiles a whole lot. How is it possible that she enjoys herself while she runs, enough to smile? “I’ve always been really passionate about the sport, she says, “win or lose, which I think has helped me be able to continue on no matter what happens.”