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!!