Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 30th Update

Another update!!  Another update and a countdown on my two races coming up!!  There are only 13 days ‘til my rust buster half marathon here in Charlotte and only 12 weeks ‘til Grandma’s Marathon!  Training has been going really well these past 2 weeks and I feel stronger after every workout.  It’s time to take training to full blast and get ready for Grandma’s, so I’ll be able to unleash the beast in Duluth. ;)

2 week overview of workouts:
March 19th  - 6 x mile repeats on the track- May have added another repeat but still knocked some time off on this workout.
March 22nd  - 20 mile easy paced long run at McAlpine Greenway- Stretching my long runs out every time as I’m getting ready for a marathon now, feels good to run on the trail for these long runs.
March 24th - 12 x 350m hill @ 4% steepness grade- Decided to switch it up a bit this week and did hills instead of 600m repeats this time.  Now these hills will tough and will put some stride power and strength in your legs.
March 27th  - 5 mile tempo on the road- Knocked more time per mile off on this tempo run, was so happy to have warmer weather for this workout ( above picture ^)
March 30th  - 18 mile tempo long run on the road: 4 warm up, 10 tempo, 4 cool down- Felt so strong today on this tempo and was able to get into a nice rhythm during it.  Was a little windy this morning but I had no problem pushing through. (bottom picture)

P.S. Happy Birthday to the best dad ever J

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 16th Update and Exciting Announcement

AHHH!  Exciting news!  I am proud to announce that I will be running Grandma’s Marathon on June 21st.  I’m very excited to be running this marathon as it’s a nice flat course, in a great city/area and works out great timing wise for me.  I also got a really neat training shirt from the race, it’s neon orange so everyone will see me training haha. :)   Though it matches my blue and orange shoes so I like that.  Well on the topic of races I’d like to go ahead and let you know that I am also doing the RaceFest Half Marathon April 12th, here in Charlotte to get a good sense of where my race fitness is.

Training has been going great these last 2 weeks.  I have gotten back into full length workouts now and my mileage is back to around 100 miles a week again.  I believe my strength is pretty much back to what it was in December.  My speed isn't back all the way quite yet, but I feel as though it’ll be back within a few weeks more weeks of having strong workouts like I have been.

Now for my training recap of the past 2 weeks of good workouts:  :)
March 5th: 5 x mile repeats on the track- felt really strong and was very consistent with my times
March 8th: 18 mile easy paced long run at McAlpine Greenway- was a little muddy out but still a great run, I enjoy going out to the trail and just cruising around (bottom picture)
March 10th: 12 x 600m on a road straightaway- wasn’t able to get to a track for my speed workout so did this on a flat road we have measured out but I still ran them faster than last time
March 13th: 5 mile tempo on the road- I feel stronger every time I do my short tempo, was able to keep pushing even when tired

March 16th: 3 mile warm up, 10 mile tempo, 3 mile cool down=> 16 mile long run on the road- felt very smooth and strong the whole way on the tempo piece, very comfortable running at that pace

P.S. Thanks to Dad for taking these pictures for me :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March 2nd Update


I’m back for another training update on the past two weeks! Training has been going very well and I’m feeling so strong now that I have had a few weeks to get back into training full swing now, secondary runs included now.  My schedule has turned into a 2 week cycle, where I do 5 stress workouts within the 2 weeks, and it works really well for me right now and I love it. 

Along with workouts being in full swing, I have been back to doing my drill circuits 4 times within the 2 week cycles and I feel like they have immensely helped in getting my strength and stride power back so quickly.  It’s hard to not feel strong after doing a drill circuit :)

Now for a recap on my workouts for this 2 week cycle :)
February 19th: 4 x mile repeats on the track- was very consistent in times for each repeat
February 22nd: 16 mile easy paced long run out at McAlpine Greenway- felt great to be back out doing long runs on the trail, enjoyed my chocolate milk afterwards ;) (first picture)
February 24th: 10 x 600m on the track- took me a few repeats to get into the pace, but I ended up averaging a faster pace than last time I ran 600s even though I added 2 more than last time
February 27th: 4.5 mile tempo run- felt very in tune with my body while running and felt smooth during this faster tempo run
March 2nd: 3 mile warm up, 9 mile tempo, 2 mile cool down => 14 mile long run- Felt a little off in the beginning of the tempo section, however was able to run through it and felt much better around half way through and ended up significantly negative splitting my tempo

By doing all these workouts I can feel my strength and speed returning and couldn’t feel better about where I am right now.  I’m slowly starting to get back to the shape I was in back in December and that’s awesome! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 16th Update

HEY!!!!! I’m back with an update on how everything is going!  Last blog I said that I was back running and now I’m excited to say that I’m back doing hard workouts!   This past Monday I was back on the track for my first speed workout of 8 x 600 meters; it felt great to be back out there again doing something fast.  Then this morning I did my first AT tempo run back of 8 miles; I was happy to see that my endurance has quickly come back and now just need to work on getting my training times back down.

This week was also kind of crazy! We got around 8 inches of snow between Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday here in Charlotte, NC; which is the most we have gotten in 10 years!  But that didn’t stop me from going out and getting my runs in while it was snowing and when the snow covered the roads.  It was fun the first day and half the second then I was kind of done with snow haha.  Quite a few people thought I was a little crazy though getting my runs done in the snow, but hey it’s a runner thing you get your workout in no matter what; y’all understand that. J

As I’m getting back into training I can go into every run knowing that each workout has a purpose; to get me closer to qualifying for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team.  The goal has been made.  The date has been set:  February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA.  Now it’s time to train.    

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jan 22 - Update!

Great news! I have currently been running everyday this past week and half! My foot is back to normal and I have been doing easy runs this past week and plan on focusing on getting back into shape over the next few weeks.  I should be able to get into doing workouts again in 2-3 weeks, then training will be back on track!

This past weekend my dad and I sat down and came up with my training schedule for getting back into shape and for this new cycle.  It is color coded and everything, as I enjoy my training schedule to be very organized!  I loved working with my dad and helping to create my workout schedule for the next training cycle.  I have it placed on my bulletin board in my room to check off every day and keep track of my progress. (^^picture^^) :)
I will keep you posted once I come up with a definite race schedule for the upcoming months, however at this point I want to see how training goes and how fast I regain the fitness that was lost in the weeks I had to take off.

Thanks so much for the well wishes and for being supportive as I go through this period of time. I’ll keep you updated on how training goes, love you all! - Alana :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

Beat The Heat 5k in 2013

Happy New Year!!!

One of my resolutions for 2014 is to get back to blogging regularly (every week or two) to keep everyone updated on how everything is going with training, racing and just life in general.  So be sure check back regularly for updates, pictures and videos.

Unfortunately this first update of the year comes with a bit of bad news.  In mid December my training was going very well, I was ramping back up after my break post Monumental Marathon, and was rounding into good shape as I prepared for the U.S. Half Marathon Championships in January.  My 30 minute tempos were back down under 5:50 pace and my 1 minute repeats were down in the 5:00-5:05 pace range and my long runs going well.   But as I focused on speed more, I started doing 3 things I had done in the past but none of them recently: 1) I started doing more short fast speed workouts  2) I started doing that speed work in light weight flats 3) I added back in my twice weekly full drill circuits.  Because I had done all 3 before I didn't think anything of it.  But the combination of adding all 3 things in at the same time caused me to develop a stress reaction in the 3rd metatarsal of my right foot.  Luckily my parents and I caught it quickly before it developed into a full stress fracture, and I have spent the past two and half weeks of my Holiday break staying off my foot, and treating it and allowing it to heal.  But with this forced time off from running I have to withdraw from the U.S. Half Marathon Championships later this month.  Bummer!  But it already feels a ton better and I expect to be back running shortly and will add back in things more gradually this time. This was my first major running injury in the sport, or at least the first thing hat caused me to miss more than a day or two of running all together.  So I know it was bound to happen eventually and after 10+ yrs as a runner I feel very lucky to have made it this long and I am glad we caught it quickly before it became a bigger issue.

But this down time has given me some time to plan out 2014 a set some goals for the year.  My 3 main goals for 2014 are:

1)  Get the Olympic Trials A standard of sub 2:37 in the marathon
2)   Lower my half marathon time to the low 1:15's or better
3)   Be in the top 25 fastest U.S. woman in the marathon for the year

Last year my goals were to "get my feet wet" in the marathon; get the Trials B standard; and run one of the top 50 fastest times by a U.S. woman for the year.  I am very excited to have accomplished all 3 of those goals in 2013 and am super excited to attack the new year and new goals in 2014.

I will update my spring racing schedule as soon as I get back training again and see how fast my fitness progresses.  

Personal note:  I turn 17 years old next week (Jan 8th).  WoooHooo!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier!!!

So happy and over come with emotion as I crossed the finish line

On November 2nd, I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in 2:41:56 to finish 4th woman overall and qualify for the 2016 U.S. Marathon Trials by over a minute.  I am beyond excited about it.  Here is a picture essay of my race.

So happy to have both mom and dad with me for this race.

Start line - just getting ready to go.

In the pack with Colleen De Reuck and Elizabeth Herndon at 3 miles (all 3 of us got qualifiers)

Here are my Garmin splits for the race:

1.     6:03
2.     6:08
3.     5:57
4.     5:59
5.     6:13
6.     6:09
7.     6:07
8.     6:14
9.     6:05
10.   6:09
11.   6:09
12.   6:01
13.   6:05
14.   6:17
15.   6:07
16.   6:16 (uphill)
17.   6:05
18.   6:14
19.   5:59 (downhill)
20.   6:08
21.   6:11
22.   6:08
23.   6:12
24.   6:06
25.   6:14
26.   6:07
.45   5:45 pace

Garmin Total 26.45 miles @ 6:07 pace -    Official 26.2 miles @ 6:10 pace  2:41:56 (1:20:25/1:21:30)

Great guys to race/pace with for the middle miles

Group thinned down by 20 miles, but so grateful to have people to run most of the way with

On my own the last few miles, but with the half marathoners on the other side of the street

Final straightaway - Almost there!!!

I can finally see the clock!

OMG - I did it!!!

Daddy congratulating me.

With Colleen afterwards - she won (2:39:22) - I was 4th (2:41:56)

Elizabeth Herndon was 3rd (2:41:30)

I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the weekend