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Runaway bride

Running is life for former BYU All-American Lindsay Nadauld

For Lindsay Nadauld, the Olympic track and field trials are the big payoff for all her dedication. Or what else would you call drinking liquid iron every day, with an orange-juice chaser?

On her wedding day, Nadauld got up at 5 a.m. and went for a six-mile run with her training partners. By 7 a.m. she was in the car headed for the ceremony.

Nadauld loves running. She must. She wore her running shoes under her wedding dress during the reception.

"The shoes weren't even very white," she confesses. "They were just the shoes I ran in every day. They were gross."

Did we mention that Nadauld loves running?

She keeps bottles of water in every corner of the house to keep herself hydrated and ready to run. Then there's the matter of "red meat night." But we won't even go there yet.

She works full-time as a sales rep for Wallace Laboratories, which sometimes means she has to go to great lengths to sneak in her training. On occasion she has to run late at night, which means running back and forth for a half-hour or more on the same street because it's the only lighted route. "Pretty boring," she says. Hurrying to make her track workouts at BYU on time, she sometimes changes in the car, yanking off her nylons, pulling on shorts and a T-shirt.

Nadauld is tall, blonde and model-beautiful (and married, guys), and she owns half the state's supply of nice. She's smart (she graduated with a 3.7 GPA in business finance) and talented (she plays the piano). She's motivated and aware (she helped organize and raise funds for the Rex Lee road race, which has raised more than $10,000 for cancer research). And she can run like an antelope.

Nadauld was a five-time all-American at BYU. She qualified for the Olympic track and field trials, which are under way in Sacramento, in the 1,500-meter run.

Nadauld comes by running and fitness through her father. Spence Jones, a Salt Lake physician, eschews a car to ride his bike to and from work every day. Then he exercises when he gets home. He thinks nothing of riding 50 miles. Nadauld used to bike to the hospital with him when she was a young girl. Her father liked to run up the stairs in the hospital. "It's good exercise," he told her, so while he worked, she ran up and down the stairs.

She joined the track team at Highland High School because she thought all that running sounded like fun, won a track scholarship to Utah and transferred to BYU after a year with the Utes so she could train with Coach Pat Shane and his stable of national-class runners. At BYU, she was reunited with Susan Taylor and Melissa Teemant, whom she trained with in high school, and together they collected enough all-American certificates to wallpaper a small house. They have trained together for years, and now all three of them qualified for the 1,500-meter run at the Olympic trials.

Nadauld runs once or twice a day to get ready for racing, but her preparation goes a little beyond that.

"She drinks liquid iron every night before bed (no joke)," says her husband, Lincoln.

She puts a tablespoon of the stuff on the back of her tongue and washes it down with juice as quickly as she can. "It's horrible," she says. She explains that female athletes are prone to iron deficiency, leaving them fatigued and unable to perform at their best. Nadauld takes no chances. "I got my blood tested last week," she says. "I was a little low (on iron) and I could feel it. I got a shot of it in my bum."

Nadauld also gets together weekly with her training partners for what they call "red-meat night."

"It's taken me a year of marriage to figure out all the nuances of this ritual," says Lincoln. "Once a week, Lindsay, Susan and a couple other runners get together for a huge meal of red meat. I mean beef. They fry it, broil it, barbecue it, slow cook it. They put it in tacos, soups, casseroles or even desserts . . . I haven't minded joining in the red-meat feasts."

Why the meat feast? Protein and iron.

"I used to choose chicken; now it's red meat," says Nadauld. "We have recipe exchanges with ideas for red meat."

Question: With all that iron, how does this woman get past airport security?

All of this — the iron, the training, the protein — is part of Shane's program. "Lindsay is very coachable," he says. And then some. When Shane urged his runners to drink plenty of water, he didn't have to tell Nadauld twice. "We have four water bottles in each car, one on each side of the bed, and she carries one at all times in her hand," says Lincoln. "If ever a bottle runs out, it must be refilled immediately. And, apparently waking up twice a night for a swig of water is mandatory. Of course, we pay the price. We can't drive from Salt Lake to Provo without three pit stops."

No one can argue the results. Nadauld has career-best times of 2:06 for 800 meters and 4:17 for 1,500 meters, and now she's competed in the Olympic trials.

"Lindsay is the epitome of the dedicated runner," says Lincoln.

E-mail: drob@desnews.com