Name: Alana Brower Nickname: The Feisty Latina & Mama Bear Age: 30
What’s your running story? I picked up running 10 years ago after my sister talked me into signing up for our very first 5k- the Chicago Cubs Race to Wrigley. I wasn’t a runner. The only time you’d catch me running was while playing soccer, tennis or if I was running late to something. At that time, I wasn’t playing sports and the college cafeteria offered pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It was time to make some lifestyle changes. I began training for my first 5k on a treadmill and I remember thinking the 5k was going to be a disaster because I could barely run a mile. Running a 5k seemed foreign- I didn’t know anybody that was a runner or had ever ran a 5k. Training wasn’t easy, it sucked. I remember getting that cramp in the stomach while running and being like...OMG!! Are there going to be bathrooms on race day? Wtf!? Over those 8-10 weeks of training, I left Ben & Jerry and kind of started to enjoy running. I looked forward to running on the treadmill (this was before I knew I could run outside in the freezing cold!). It was therapeutic. I could check out and leave my worries, stress and responsibilities aside for 30 minutes and focus on ME and how I can be better every day. Running is now just an everyday part of my lifestyle. I do it to stay in shape, but mainly because I enjoy running with my friends and family. What is your favorite post race food/drink? Morning run- Fairlife Chocolate Milk and a Donut. Evening runs are followed up with a pint of Pigeon Hill’s Renegade Double IPA or a Stout!
What is your most embarrassing running story? It was Fall in Chicago and I tripped on some uneven concrete that was covered up with some leaves. I scraped both hands and knees up pretty good. I ran the few blocks home…bleeding. When I got home I ran to my husband to show him my injuries and he escorted me to the bathroom to help clean up my wounds. I sat at the edge of the tub and when I saw him start to cut off my dangling chunks of skin…I started to get a little lightheaded and then *black* I woke up a few seconds later on the bathroom floor. I had passed out! I scared the crap out of my husband! That’s when I found out I don’t do well with blood!!
...You thought it was going to be a poop story didn’t you?
What’s your favorite running distance? My happy distance is 3-4 miles. I love 10k races but they're hard to come by.
What is your favorite city to run in? Besides beautiful Muskegon?? Chicago. That is where I really fell in love with running. The lakeshore trail is stunning, we lived a few blocks away from a cute park where I'd take my dog for runs. That is where I learned the importance of winter running gear and started running in the winter. It blew my mind how a big city could be so quiet and peaceful on early morning runs.
What is your best running memory? The summer I moved to Muskegon was when I fell in love with the Michigan lakeshore. It really is better on this side of the lake than Chicago. I had the summer off and would take my dog Lucy with me nearly every morning for a run along the Lakeshore Trail to Pere Marquette Beach. It was the best summer ever of running and playing in the sun. I think it is the most memorable because it was the last time I had so much free time.
Favorite Places to Run? The Lakeshore Bike trail where you have views of all of Muskegon Lake. I love it in the evening when you can see the sand dunes, the sailboats racing on Wednesday nights and all of the lake- it is still breathtaking. I love running the trails at Hoffmaster- the trails are challenging and the trees can be an excellent shield from the rain or crazy winds that might be hitting the rest of the lakeshore.
Best PR? I had to go look these up… 5k: 24:02.0 Run for Wings 2016 Half Marathon 1:55:11 Old Boys Oktoberfest 2013
Did you run before joining Run Muskegon? Since 2006 when I had to make a major lifestyle change that including working out! Before moving to Muskegon I ran with the Chicago run group Fleet Feet (they’re like the gazelle sports of Chicago).
Why did you join Run Muskegon? Over 5 years ago I moved to Muskegon knowing absolutely nobody so I immediately looked for a run group in hopes of making friends. There wasn’t a run group in Muskegon to be found in the land of Facebook or Google so I decided to form my own run group. I met every Wednesday at the YMCA at 6:30 for over a year…many times it’d just be me, my dog or an occasional runner. Eventually there were a handful of regulars that really helped establish Run Muskegon. Especially once we started meeting at the brewery!
If you had to nominate a runner for us to feature, who should we talk to? Colin Eden....he is one of the original pioneers of Run Muskegon and has one of the most memorable "first run" stories with Run Muskegon
What would you say to anyone looking to run with Run Muskegon? The only thing holding you back is YOU. Get moving. The only runs you regret are the ones you never went on.