Q & A With Alison Carney

Nov. 4, 2003

What were your goals coming into this season?
Allison Carney: My goals were to simply improve my overall fitness, mental focus, and time/placement over last season. I had a good year last year, but I knew I had so much more in me, and my goal was just to bring that improvement to the forefront and show myself and others what I really had.

What do you think are the team's strongest points?
AC: Our strongest point is the fact that we are all so close. We have great chemistry on the team, and it pushes everyone. When one girl does well, everyone else wants to do even better!

Why did you choose to run cross country?
AC: I was always big into soccer through out high school, but I slowly started to realize that I had a shot in excelling at running as opposed to soccer. Cross country also has so many qualities that are addictive to me, the number one being you only get out of it what you put into it. I love that my performance is based solely on me. If I have a bad race, there is no one to blame but me, but if I have a great race, I know that I worked for it, and will reap the benefits.

Do you think of cross country more as an individual or team sport? How important is team camaraderie?
AC: Well it is obviously a team sport, but has individual qualities incorporated within it. The team is going to be there for you no matter what, through good or bad which is so awesome. At the same time you have to be able to motivate yourself from within to excel at this sport.

What do you think about when you run?
AC: My mind wanders into so many different areas it would be impossible for me to even come close to summarizing, but nothing in particular. One day I might be thinking about my family, and then the next I will start thinking about my race strategy for the next meet... and then there is always singing songs that are stuck in my head...that happens a lot too

What do you consider your greatest athletic accomplishment?
AC: My greatest athletic accomplishment was my senior year in track. I scored 30 points for our team, and led us to win the State Championship!!! That was also my most emotional athletic experience.

Describe your training ritual. How many miles would you say you run in a typical week?
AC: Over the summer I got up to running 70 miles a week. Now that we are in season I would say that I average 50-65 miles a week.

Do you have any pre-race rituals?
AC: I make new CD's before every meet, with the newest songs that I think will pump me up. So I listen to those, and the night before I race I call everyone back home in Vegas and tell them the exact start time of the meet, so that they can send their positive energy towards me... it's silly, but it helps to know that you have people all over who love and care about you.

What made you decide to go so far away from home in Las Vegas, Nev. and come to Maryland?
AC: Well before signing with Maryland I was all set to go to Arizona State University. When coach Sanderson called me though and noted all the great things about Maryland, I realized that maybe it would be better for me to experience something completely different. Arizona is just about the same as Nevada, it is ALL desert, so I thought it would be fun to just experience a whole new side of the country. Oh, and what an experience it has been. Things are so different on the East Coast, but I am so happy that I have the opportunity to see it all.

What's the one thing you miss most about home?
AC: Obviously my family and friends, but I also miss being able to wear shorts practically all year long, I miss the sun, and it would be nice to not have to worry about mosquitoes-- I HATE THOSE THINGS!

Do you stay in contact with friends from high school?
AC: I try my best. My close friends I talk to a lot through the computer. My high school coaches and team mates stay in good contact with me which I love!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
AC: I would love to go to England or Ireland, no particular reason.

What would you if you had more free time?
AC: I would talk to my family more. Sometimes I feel like I have so much going on that I do not get enough time to sit down and have a relaxing conversation with anyone from my family. I would also love to have more time to help out in the community. I did that a lot in high school, and I miss it now.

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
AC: I would like to be something that flies, but definitely not a bug. Some sort of bird. I think that would be amazing!

What's your favorite....?
Book: "It's Not About the Bike - My Journey Back to Life," by Lance Armstrong... it's very inspirational
Movie: Any romantic comedy
Food: Lasagna! Italian and Mexican are my favorite all-around foods
Band/Singer: I have no clue...there are way too many.