Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Extra Motivation

The blog entry below was also shared this morning by the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon's new blog site, please check it out: http://www.monumentalmarathon.com/blog/2014-08-26-My-Extra-Motivation.php 

I am absolutely sooooo excited to say that I have an opportunity with the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (IMM) to help raise money for the Autism Society of Indiana (ASI)!!  I have always wanted to use my running as a way to help raise awareness and provide resources for those with autism.  My little sister Rose has autism herself, so being able to help others is just amazing.  I currently have two ways of raising money for ASI: pledges and t-shirts.

Hanging out with Rose

Pledges:  For the IMM I am going in with two different goals in mind: 1) Break the course record of 2:39:22 and 2) get the A- standard for the Olympic Trials (2:37:00).  For achieving each of these two goals I will receive a bonus of $1,000.  I have pledged to give 25% of each of these bonuses to ASI, which would be a total of $500. Wonderfully enough the IMM has pledged to match the amount I donate.  It would be so amazing if other companies or people joined in the cause and matched my pledges or decide to donate as any amount as well.

T-shirts:  The IMM has also helped me to create an Ink The Cause “Go Alana” t-shirt you can buy to show your support.  Proceeds from the t-shirts will go to support ASI as well.  The t-shirts look amazing and have a picture of the state of Indiana as a puzzle piece on the front, the logo for ASI, which I love!  You can purchase them online, here.  Your support of ASI is greatly appreciated!

For the press release covering the partnership with ASI, click here.

On Training:
With all this going on, I want to ensure that I am in the best health and shape for this race in order to have the best chance at achieving both of my goals.  When preparing for a marathon I have found that it’s not just the training you have to pay attention to it’s all the little things too; such as recovering properly, staying hydrated, and making sure you fix any problem that starts to show itself.  One thing the marathon will do is find your weakness and amplify it, so it is very important that you take proper care of your body throughout training to prevent that from happening.
For me my weakness is my hamstrings and hips, and Grandma’s Marathon in June had no problem exploiting that weakness and ruining my plans for that race.  So the first thing I did after Grandma’s is get in contact with Carolina Sports Clinic, from which I have made a great partnership with.  They have helped me to identify where exactly my weakness is and what are causes for that weakness.  We have found my hamstring and hip problem came from strength imbalances and inflexibility in the area.  Since that discovery in July, I have been working hard to turn that weakness into a new strength by adding new strength exercises into my core and strength circuits.  As more and more time passes I can feel that area getting stronger and stronger as I continue to work and stretch that area and workouts are better than ever with no issues.

Training in the south in the summer

As I have been training through the summer months, and living in Charlotte during the summer the mornings are very warm and humid, hydration and recovery have been extremely important to be able to perform well in training.  If I am not properly hydrated and making sure I have the appropriate amount of electrolytes I end up feeling flat during training.  I’m not sure about you guys but I sweat so bad during runs that when I get home I look like I jumped in a lake, all that sweat is just water leaving your body that you need to make sure you are replacing. 

Now on the topic of recovery, especially during hot training months, my personal favorite is the simple ice bath.  While some people don’t like the idea of sitting in a tub of cold water with ice cubes floating around in it, after a hard workout in the heat an ice bath is exactly what my body wants.  I enjoy sitting in the tub, listening to music and eating my breakfast as my body cools down.  Another good recovery tool is rollers, using rollers helps to get the blood flowing through the muscles.  I notice a difference when I use them before I go to bed, because I wake up the next morning my legs feel so much better. 

As you train for your races, whether it is a 5k or a marathon, remember all the aspects of your training.  The workouts, the recovery, the hydration, and the reason you are training in the first place.  For me during the hard moments of a workout I will think of the wonderful people who will benefit from me achieving my goals at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.  I will continue to train hard with a smile on my face with my goals of a setting new course record and getting the A- standard time in mind.  I have found my extra motivation in training, and I hope you will too. :)  

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18th Update

Hope everything is going well so far this August! I can’t believe school is just another week away for me and that I’ll be starting my senior year of high school…crazy.  I went yesterday and visited my final college (High Point University) yesterday with my cousin Nikki, which was so much fun.  I have narrowed the colleges I plan on applying to down to UNC Charlotte, High Point University, and Lenoir-Rhyne University.  The only thing left to do is apply and see where that puts me! :)

Now for my workout updates! I apologize for missing my blog post last week so I will have 3 weeks instead of the normal 2.

July 28th- August 3rd:

Wednesday: 2 mile warm up, 8 x mile with .25 jog recovery, 2 mile cool down- slightly cooler temps but still extremely humid as Charlotte usually is during the summer.  I feel stronger every time I do this workout!

Saturday: 24 mile long run on the road- Had to run of the road this time as it rained a lot the days before and the trails would have been really muddy.  Luckily I have a nice 6 mile loop I could use from my house!

Number of runs: 13
Number of workouts: 2
Mileage for the week: 113 milwa

8 x mile
24 miles
Saturday night was so much fun!  I went over to my friend’s house and had Chinese food for dinner then got to go to the MKTO concert with my best friends and had a great time. :)

August 4th- 10th:

Monday: 2 mile warm up, 16 x 600m with 1:30 jog recovery, 2 mile cool down- hot and humid but was still able to run faster than last time.

Thursday: 2 mile warm up, 6 mile wave tempo, 2 mile cool down- was glad to be able to do a wave workout again! Felt slightly flat but still was able to have a good run.

Sunday: 20 mile tempo long run=> 5 mile warm up, 10 mile tempo, 5 mile cool down- definitely a strength building run as I felt a little sick in the stomach but was able to push through and gained some mental toughness.

Number of runs: 13
Number of workouts: 3
Mileage for the week:  112 miles

16 x 600m

6 mile wave tempo

20 mile tempo long run

August 11th- 17th:

Wednesday:  2 mile warm up, 8 x mile with .25 jog recovery, 2 mile cool down- was so excited to have FloTrack.com come out and film my workout and my day.  Ended up having a great workout and felt incredibly strong and fast.  Afterwards I was able to go to Carolina Sports Clinic and use the recovery compression boots, which felt amazing!

Saturday: 24 mile long run out at McAlpine Greenway- it was nice to be able to run on the trail for my long run.  Struggled a bit at the end as it was incredibly humid, this made breathing slightly difficult, but was still able to get in the miles.

Number of runs: 13
Number of workouts: 2
Mileage for the week: 113 miles

Using recovery compression boots at CSC after my mile repeats

My visit to High Point University with my cousin!

Hope you all have had a great summer and good luck to those going back to school!!