A new person!

I got hitched! I am now Alison Naney, which means I have a new website: www.alisonnaney.com.

I’m doing more and more coaching, and getting really excited about new massage techniques I’ve been studying. Check my website to keep up to date on all things massage and running.

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Washington pass opened today, marking the unofficial start of summer. On my journey up valley after work I saw numerous motor homes that had made their way over. MVSTA’s stellar Sunflower marathon and relay event also marks the change of seasons. Before moving to the Methow, I liked the race, but now that I live here, I absolutely love it. The course now starts just a short walk from home in Mazama, and meanders through the wonderful varied micro-climates down to Twisp. Two years ago there was a nice tail wind, and if that past couple of days is any indicator, Saturday’s race will be a speedy one.

The calm before the calf-cramping storm. Photo by the ever-talented Kristen Smith

This year Sam, Brian Gregg and I are running a team as: Goat’s Beard/Methow Endurance, partnering with the exciting new mountain shop in Mazama. Thanks, Goat’s Beard! They are opening on Saturday and have a great selection of goods, including my favorite running shoe, the Scott T2C.

Remember your electrolytes! Cramping is not fun, and it will increase your recovery time as well. Massage, however, decreases recovery time.

To kick of the summer racing season, I’m offering a discount this weekend. Mention this blog and get $5 off a 60 minute massage. Happy running!

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Run with Ease


Join me in learning to run more relaxed and minimize injury. Working in conjunction with your body’s natural inclinations, I will show you through technique work, video analysis, running specific drills, and core strength, how to bring more ease to this lifelong sport.  This is NOT a fast run group. No prior running experience is needed to gain from this. All levels are encouraged to join, though to maximize personal attention and ensure proper form, class size is limited to 12.

Classes will be held at Winthrop Fitness on the following Mondays: April 16, 23, and 30 from 5:30-6:30pm. The cost is $45 for all three classes. Call Winthrop Fitness to sign up: 509. 996. 8234.

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Methow Endurance

ImageSam and I talk about running and skiing. A lot. So much so, that it was just a matter of time before we figured out a way to somehow put our enthusiasm for training and technique into action. Ideas were kicked around the Hanks/Naney household for quite a while, and we’re excited to present Methow Endurance, a way to share our passion for our respective sports with others while providing top-notch training and clinics.

So far, with Winthrop Mountain Sports, we are offering two fun opportunities this spring: an all Women’s Running and Yoga Retreat in May and a Spring Training Clinic in June.

Running technique classes and workshops coming soon!

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More Cutthroat

Running up to Cutthroat pass is my favorite local run. During and since college, I’ve been really interested in our connection to place and the idea of an intimate relationship to where one lives. The second I came to the Methow I felt a connection to the landscape and wanted to both live in this beautiful place, and really know it. As Barry Lopez so eloquently notes in his essay The American Geographies, from About This Life, few people are actually part of their natural surroundings. To that I can only say that each day, my runs bring me a little closer.

It was pouring on Saturday, so Sam joined Nikki and me on a rare fall outing rather than rollerski for three hours in 38 degree rain. I couldn’t resist going up my favorite trail once again. It’s the epitome of why I live here: wilderness, amazing views, a fun climb, and only a short drive from home. We got up to snow, Nikki gallivanted around, and I got to enjoy what might be the last time I get to run up there before the snow really comes.

snow, hurray!

family picture

It was a good day.

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Cutthroat Pass and beyond

The high mountain running season is waning already with some early snow. Last weekend  I went up Cutthroat pass and then north on the PCT with Kaarin, Ray, and the dogs. The huskies, of course, loved the few inches and frolicked in their natural environment.

We, on the other hand, enjoyed the beautiful turn of the larches and perfect, crisp weather. The views weren’t bad either.

happy girls


The next time will be on skis!

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Kangaroo Pass

After a disappointing race at Cascade Crest, I was in need of some good mountain time. I went to the hairpin and went up to Kangaroo pass: it did not disappoint. After several hours of alpine goodness, I came home feeling recovered physically and mentally (well, almost).

Now that the snow is gone from the high country, I’m excited to get to more places like this and perfect my scree skiing skills on the way down. Happy fall!

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Lactate Test 2.0

"there's no smiling in lactate testing!"

Back in June I did a lactate step test to determine my lactate balance point, and get an overall picture of my physiology. While I produced very little lactate, I had a spike in lactate at low heart rates, when my body should be more than capable of metabolizing the load. So, when I started working with Scott Johnston, he suggested doing 90 percent or more of my training volume in that easy zone to become more effecient. As a result, he said, I’ll bump up my anaerobic and lactate threshold, allowing me to go faster with more ease. It sounded a bit counter-intuitive, to train sloooooow (for me, since the heart rate zone I spiked in was barely more than a trot) to be able to go fast. I trusted him, however, and took a lesson in patience. In the past several months, I’ve walked more than I’ve walked in the past several years. I’d start to hammer up a hill, look down at my heart rate, sigh, and start walking. Once I recovered, I’d start jogging a bit. Seven seconds later, I’d walk again. Scott let me do just enough fast stuff that I didn’t go completely bonkers, but I’ll have to admit, I sometimes wondered why I wanted to get seriously fit, rather than do pretty well with running kind of fast all the time. Today, I’m glad I did.

We did another test this morning, and everything Scott and I were hoping happened, did. With three solid months of training, my previously confused physiology is now totally with the program. The spike in lactate disappeared, I produced less lactate at nearly every speed and heart rate, and was able to go a mile per hour faster before nearly falling off the back of the treadmill. All with easy base training. Luckily I’m in the right sport, and easy base training is 100 mile race specific training, so I should be good to go! After I recover from next weekend, I’ll be able to bump up into higher heart rates and be able to run more, which is really exciting.

One of the many pricks to my fingers.

The data, with a splash of blood for legitimacy.

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Sam got a camera for his birthday, so that means I’ll be able to take pictures on my runs now (thanks, Sam)! I’ve been wanting to change my blog a bit to combine running, massage, and other topics, so I decided to get a new look, too. Hopefully this fresh start will get my occasional writing hands typing more enthusiastically.

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