Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Feb. 25th Update & Race Schedule

Hey everyone!  I wanted to write an update to tell you about my last race and let you know my race schedule for this coming spring.


Race Report:  On February 15th, I ran in the 26.2 with Donna Marathon in Jacksonville, FL.  I was leading a pack of the top women at 6 miles when we had to transition from the road to the beach for a 2 mile stretch.  I twisted my ankle in the soft sand during the transition and tweaked my Achilles, but I was able to get back going and stayed right in the lead pack of women for the 2 mile stretch on the beach, hoping that my Achilles would feel better when got back on the road at 8 miles.  As we transitioned from the beach to the road we again had to run through another section of soft sand and once again the sand gave way under my foot and I twisted my ankle again and this time significantly strained my Achilles.  I tried to walk it off again but couldn’t place any weight on it so had to withdraw from the race.  I was devastated, as I was feeling good until that point and excited about being out in a competitive race and leading the pack.  I also really loved everything else about the race including meeting Donna and all the great people associated with the race, doing a social group run on Friday with Joan Benoit Samuelson and meeting and hanging with some great fellow marathoners. I also greatly appreciate the race's hospitality while I was there.  Great people associated with this race.


Achilles Update:  I got lucky, it was just an Achilles strain and not a tear as I first feared.  I was able to get into and see my expert team at Carolina Sports Clinic on Monday and they confirmed the strain and no sign of a tear (had full strength still).  They worked on the Achilles and I took the next 4 days off and treated the Achilles with contrast baths, rolling, and light stretching exercises multiple times per day.  It worked as by Friday I was pain fee and able to do some light jogging and ran easy over the weekend.  On Monday, I went back to CSC for some more work and dry needling to get the rest of the junk out the area.  As of today I am feeling back to 100% normal but will wait until next week before I try to do any quality running on it.  I 100% recommend that any athletes, especially runners and triathletes in the Charlotte area, to go see Josh, Brad and Leah and the rest of the staff at Carolina Sports Clinic if they have any injuries or issues.  They have really been there for me this last year whenever I’ve had any aches and pains along the way. 

Schedule Update:   Ok so I have spent the last 2 weeks planning out my schedule for the next few months until my next marathon and here is what I tentatively have planned.

March 27th :   Raleigh Relays 10,000 meters (track race) – Raleigh, NC
April 25th :   Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon (Half Marathon) – Louisville, KY
May 17th :   Rite-Aid Cleveland 10k – Cleveland, OH
June 20th :   Grandma’s Marathon – Duluth, MN

So two 10k’s, a half marathon, and a marathon.  Hoping to take my PR’s down some in each if weather and training cooperate.  Excited to run a few 10k’s again to get my speed on and keep marathon pace feeling easier. :)

Happy Running!


Alana


Friday, January 30, 2015

Tempo-Long Run

Hi everyone!  I put together a video to show you a tempo-long run workout that I did recently in my training for the 26.2 with Donna - Finish Breast Cancer Marathon on Feb 15th.




Just 2 weeks away now, getting excited to race again!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Well another year has come and gone.  Christmas was a blast and the New Year will soon be upon us along with my 18th birthday!!!  There have been many tough trials that have gone on this year and some amazing victories as well.  I have learned so much this year about myself and about training/racing.

With the New Year coming up it is time to take a look at my goals and make a plan for 2015.  I like to take time with my parents and talk about my goals and plans to see if the past year has changed anything and to use those goals to make a plan of attack for the year to accomplish what I want to for the upcoming year.  Fortunately even through the tough trials of 2014 it has only solidified my need and want to follow through and complete my goals.  I have broken my goals into two main categories: Running Goals and Life Goals.  While they both help each other it’s easier to process having two goals rather than one extremely large one. :)


My Goals:

Running- My running goal is to explore my full potential in the marathon and half marathon races; have a long career as a professional marathoner; and represent the U.S.A. well in as many World Championships, Olympics, and major marathons as possible.

Life- My life goal is to use my career as a professional marathoner to help me start a charity “Alana’s Hope for Autism” focused on helping children with autism get the therapies the need to help them live happy, healthy, and productive lives. 

            As I am nearing the half way point in my senior year of high school, college is on my mind constantly.  With my life goal in mind I plan to get my bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in occupational therapy as I pursue my running career.  At this point I’m still unsure as to where I will be going to college, though it seems the options have been narrowed to UNC Charlotte and High Point University.  As the rest of senior year continues I’ll have a better idea, though one thing is for sure, I want to stay close to home. :)

Now I know that my running goal is a big one so I have created a game plan for specifically 2015.

2015 Game Plan

Main Goal: continue to improve my marathon time in preparation for 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials so that I can be as competitive as possible at the Trials

Racing Strategy: 3 marathons - One in the middle of February, one in late spring or early summer (May-June), and one in the fall (October or early November).  I’ll also run 1-2 races, ranging from 10k to half marathon, in between each marathon.

Now on to super-duper exciting news!!!!!   I am very happy to announce that I will be running the 26.2 with Donna- Finish Breast Cancer Marathon in Jacksonville, Florida on February 15th, 2015.


Timing wise this race works perfect as it is around the same time the Trials will be in 2016.  It is a fast course that normally gets nice weather and sounds like it will set up for a great race!  I have been back into full training and am excited to be preparing for this race. 

To me my running is not just about myself, but is a way to help others as well - in Indianapolis this past November I was able to donate a portion of my course record bonus to the Autism Society of Indiana.  I want to do something similar in all my future marathons as well.  So with that in mind, at the 26.2 with Donna Marathon I am pledging to donate 10% of any prize money I win to the “26.2 with Donna Foundation” to fund breast cancer research and care.

The beginning of 2015 is looking great with my 18th birthday in January and racing the 26.2 with Donna Marathon in February.  I plan to continue to work to take more and more time off of my marathon PR this year and finish off high school with a bang!


2014 was a good year but let’s make 2015 even better!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

2:38:34 - New Course Record, New Personal Best


I am so happy to report that last Saturday (Nov 1st), I won the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon with a time of 2:38:34!!!  It was a new course record and a PR by 3:20.  

I have put out a new video diary on Flotrack.org talking through my race and thoughts:


Watch more videos on Flotrack


Here are some pictures from the race and weekend:

 

We flew to Indianapolis on Thursday and checked into our hotel - The Westin in downtown Indianapolis



I went out Thursday afternoon and bought my brother the Andrew Luck jersey he has been wanting. :)   Of course I had to try it on first. 



On Friday afternoon my Dad and I had the great opportunity to talk at the race Expo about training and racing.  Great crowd and we loved meeting everyone!  



Then it was on to the elite runner meeting, getting my race number and turning in my fluid bottles along with everyone else's (we had some creative runners by the looks of some of the bottles). :)  



Then it was time for my favorite part about the day before a race:  Lasagna Dinner!!!!
Ate at Buca deBippo in downtown Indianapolis, just like last year - yummy!  



Race morning it was cold and windy and 17 mph winds at the start - but I had a good game plan for the conditions and was feeling good - thumbs up and ready to roll.  

Start Time:  8:00 AM   Temp 30F and 17 MPH winds;  Wind Chill of 18F


I got out smoothly and settled in with a group of guys looking to run 1:19 HM or 2:39'ish Marathon. It was great to have people to work with and these guys were awesome.  Special thanks to Jesse for helping us to 20 miles and to John for getting the Masters Men win.  


By 20 miles we had spread out and I ran by myself for most of the last 6.2 miles


I stayed focused and concentrated on maintaining my pace and cadence and keeping good form in those final miles.


Finally I rounded the last corner and the crowd was so awesome, I could see the clock and sprinted as best I could towards the finish line.


I threw my hands in the air and flashed the peace sign as I crossed the finish line.


I did it - the win, the course record and a big new PR:  2:38:34 (officially)


OMG - I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!    And Dad was there to give me a big hug - victory hugs are the best hugs.


Celebrated with a new friend Ashley from the Autism Society of Indiana and later talked to the crowds at the finish.


Enjoyed a great post race lunch with fellow 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials Project member, Sarah Lannom, and her parents. 


Very proud to hang my race certificate on my wall showing my new PR and putting it right below my one from last year showing my 3:20 improvement.


Was incredibly honored when the USATF named me the USATF Athlete of the Week for my win and course record. What an incredible honor and one I am humbled to receive.



But by far the greatest thing that happened all weekend was that by breaking the course record I earned a bonus and was able to donate 25% of that bonus to the Autism Society of Indiana, and the race organizers matched that donation.  I thought of this repeatedly during the race, especially in the last 6 miles, and it kept me motivated, positive and determined all race long. 

Race Stats

Start Weather:  Temp 30F   Wind:  N 17 mph   Windchill: 18F
Finish Weather:  Temp 33F   Wind:  N 15 mph  Windchill: 23F

1st Place Female / Course Record / 2:38:34

10k split:  37:20  (6:00 avg. pace)

Half Marathon split:   1:19:28 (6:04 overall avg.)  (6:07 avg. from 10k to HM)

30k split:  1:52:46  (6:03 overall avg.)   (6:01 avg. from HM to 30k)

Marathon:  2:38:34  (6:03 overall avg.)  (6:03 avg. from 30k to Finish)

1:19:28 first half  / 1:19:06 second half

Fueling:
4-6 oz of Gatorade each at 10k, 20k and 30k
Chocolate Outrage Gu at 20k
3-6 oz water at  9, 15, 21 miles

Pre-Race:  16 oz Powerade, Full package of orange Chomps (2 servings), Med. Banana  









   






Saturday, October 11, 2014

Weekly Recap - Oct 11


New video diary out on Flotrack of a hill workout I did recently:

Here are Video Diary #3 on a a hill workout I do regularly:



Watch more videos on Flotrack

and Video Diary #4 on my weekly drill circuit I do:


Watch more videos on Flotrack



Today marks 3 weeks until the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, here is what I did this past week in training:

Stress Workout #1:  8 x 1 mile @ 5:35 w .25 mile jog recovery (2 mile warm-up & 2 mile cool-down)

Stress Workout #2:  24 mile long run @ 6:40 per mile on rolling course - building up my endurance. :)

Total Runs:  13
Total Mileage:  113 miles




Thursday, September 18, 2014

FloTrack Trailer


I have been working with Flotrack.com over the last month on telling my running story - the premium piece is scheduled to be out on Sept 24th - here is a trailer to it that they put out yesterday.

Watch more videos on Flotrack


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Rock n' Roll VA Beach - Video Diary


Earlier this week I put out the following statement on FaceBook:

"This past Sunday I dropped out of the Rock n' Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon at the 7 mile point. I regret that decision. It ended up being a hot and very humid race, I had not adjusted my goal paces for those conditions, and when I realized several miles into it I was not going to reach the goal I had set for myself, I got flustered, and began to magnify in my mind every ache and tight muscle and eventually stopped more from personal disappointment of not being in a situation to run a fast time than any real physical issue. I am not injured and will race the Virginia 10 miler road race later in September and the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on Nov. 1st. My training has been going great and I know I am getting stronger and faster each week and I am excited to race these races. To help me in races in the future, I am working on a new multiple goal system for my races to keep me focused for any times when my main goal is not possible that day. I realize now that a sub-par race time is always better than dropping out, for me, the race and my fans and supporters. While being somewhat of a perfectionist has helped me in my training, I realize that I need to put a leash on it in races and do the best I can on that day no matter what, as the race and my fans and supporters deserve that. I thank everyone for all of their support and patience with me, I am young and still learning my way in elite competition, but I am more determined than ever to make it and am looking forward to a great future in the sport I love."

I also have started a video diary on Flotrack.org so that I can share my story, struggles and successes with others in the hopes that it can help others on their journey.  The first entry is here 


Watch more videos on Flotrack


More videos from Flotrack.org coming soon including a bio-piece: