Celebrating One Year

8 Mar

We have officially made it through our first year of marriage!

I have often heard that your first year of marriage is your hardest year, and I am feeling so fortunate that our first year was so wonderful. Not a day has gone by since March 8, 2014 that I haven’t felt like the luckiest girl in the world. And hopefully Ramsey feels like the luckiest guy :)

Yesterday I was thinking about to our vows and reflecting on those words we exchanged. In this last year, we have been through a lot. Life hasn’t been full of “ups”, but we have certainly made the most of every situation and been there for each other.

For better, for worse, Ramsey has been by my side, and I his. There is no one that can make me feel better after a hard day than my husband. He knows the exact songs to play for me that will turn my mood around (btw it is anything by Bruno Mars and the Carpenters).

For richer, for poorer, we have figured things out (turns out honeymoons and houses aren’t cheap). With the help of a fancy google spreadsheet I have made sure we stay on the better side of this vow!

In sickness, and in health, we have made the appropriate CVS runs and known when one of us just needs to be waited on hand and foot. This vow was best tested two weeks into marriage when the stomach flu hit the Mohsen house. Hard.

In joy, and in sorrow, we have also been there for each other. Joys have included a new job, new friends, vacations and adventures, running PRs, and the cutest little pup named Winnie. Sorrows have included the sickness of a Grandparent, the loss of a friendship, injuries and seeing close friends going through hard times. Through the good and the bad, we’ve been there for each other.

We plan to celebrate our anniversary together by eating our amazing wedding cake (it was so good I had our lady make us a new one for our one year), re-reading the vows we wrote for each other and spending the day with each other. And I am sure the wedding dress will come out at some point!

I look forward to many more years of celebrating anniversaries and reflecting on what that year of marriage brought into our lives. I hope every year of marriage can be as good as the first one has been.

Happy Anniversary, Ramsey. I love you more every single day.

1011410_10100185802358002_523214941_n

xo,

Ali

 

Taking a Break…

29 Jan

Recently, I have had quite a few people ask me “what’s next?”

The past 3 and a half years, I have had an answer to this question. But today, I do not.

Since fall of 2011, I have had a marathon planned. I knew what race was coming up for the fall and spring, and had it marked on my calendar when the 12, 16 or 20 week training would begin. While some days I hated the training, most days I loved it.

I loved the accomplishment of getting up in the 4am hour to complete an insane workout, checking it off my training schedule and documenting it on my daily mile. I loved talking to my running friends about our upcoming races and the goals we had. And I also loved the miles and miles of thoughts I had to myself, or those that I shared with friends. While there were days I despised my alarm clock, cursed the Garmin and was over the training schedule, I really did love it. As we discussed in my run group today, we hate the training schedule, but we love it more.

Today, I am not experiencing any of that. And I know I won’t experience it again for a while.

Over Thanksgiving, I decided that after I ran Phoenix, I would force myself to take a break from marathons. My body hurt, and I didn’t love running like I thought I should. With this decision, I removed the Boston Marathon from my list of upcoming races. It was a hard thing to do, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

I have done Boston the last two years, and had quite the experience at each one. I am not sure that any race will every top that of Boston 2014, and for that fact I accepted that I was OK with not going back. Now instead of running a marathon on April 20, I will be coming home from a wine trip with friends. I decided that a new experience with people I love took precedence over running the same marathon for the third year in a row. I also knew that the break was much  needed and would be good for me.

Taking a break while I am still on top and healthy is much better than being forced to take a break because I am seriously injured or hate the sport.

I also do not have any marathon planned for the fall, which is very strange. My husband and I are planning a big trip to Europe late summer, and I know it is not feasible to train for a marathon while on a two week trip. I want to enjoy every minute of this adventure, not be worried about hitting 50 miles a week while I am there.

One of the reasons why I decided to run Phoenix was because I had a feeling it could be my only marathon of 2015…and it looks like that will be right!

Even though my marathon schedule is obsolete, I do have some halfs on the schedule. I am beyond excited to run the United NYC Half Marathon in March! After that, I will be running as the 1:45 pace group leader for Running with the Cows, and the 1:50 pace group leader for Hospital Hill (my favorite KC race!)

Since I am focusing half marathons now, my flexibility will be much better with my training. If I skip a day, it isn’t the end of the world. And goodbye to 60 mile weeks. Which means more sleep and more of a social life (my friends haven’t seen my out on a Friday night in 3 years ;) )!

My goal is to maintain 25-30 miles a week this spring, and focus much more on my cross training. I went to a class on Tuesday and I am still sore…which proves that I have got to get my strength training back! I will do a couple speed sessions here and there, but nothing intense like I had been doing. Hopefully with this rest, my body will heal and I come back to my next marathon mentally and physically stronger than ever!

IMG_6747

xo,

Ali

Have you ever taken a break? How was the transition?

Arizona Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Race Recap

22 Jan

A few months ago, Stacy and I got this crazy idea. We decided it would be a fun idea to sign up for another marathon just six weeks after we were to run St. Jude.

Coincidentally we both had our minds on the Arizona Rock ‘n Roll marathon. It was fate. We both signed up, and convinced Nicole and Diana to sign up too. It would be a fun and relaxed girls weekend, where we could also check another marathon off the list.

When I told people I was running this race, I pretty much got the same reaction – “you’re crazy”. I brushed off the comments and then stopped telling people my crazy plan. Which is why it was never mentioned here or on my other social media obsessions.

I didn’t realize how crazy of an idea this actually was, until I finished the St. Jude Marathon and could barely walk….I began to really question the decision and wonder if it was even possible for me to run another marathon. My body hurt, my feet still hurt, and my heart was not there.

It took until a week before the race to start getting excited for the race and to accomplish marathon #8. Stacy and I decided that we would run the race together and just have FUN. Diana, Nicole and Diana’s husband Lee were running the half marathon and had also had a plan to start the race together.

As soon as we landed in Phoenix on Friday night, I was beyond excited for the weekend and to run another marathon. I knew the weather would be gorgeous, there was no pressure, my body felt back to normal, and I was with some of my favorite people!

We were greeted at the airport by Diana, Lee and Nicole. It was great to see their smiling faces. I am sure the wine consumed prior to our arrival had nothing to do with their extreme excitement ;)

We went back to the hotel, had girl talk time in our room, then fell fast asleep.

Saturday morning we woke up rested and refreshed. Without the pressure of trying to PR a marathon, I slept like a rock. It was awesome.

After we got dressed, Nic, Stacy and I hit the Phoenix roads for a 2 mile shake out. I couldn’t get over the gorgeous weather and the SUN! We had not felt the sun like that in a very long time. KC has been a bit brutal lately!

After the shakeout, we grabbed coffee and breakfast then went to the expo (which was a really good expo btw). The whole morning was great. In Memphis I was a nervous wreck the day before the race. So nervous that I didn’t have as much fun as I should have. In Phoenix, I was so relaxed and able to enjoy every moment.

IMG_6693 IMG_6698

Following the expo, we went to the pool for lunch and relaxation. I made sure the group stayed in the shade so we did not use up any extra energy. I also made sure we were all drinking plenty of water…even though fruity pool drinks sounded SO much better.

Saturday night we went to dinner at 1130 The Restaurant. It was a great place and perfect for a pre-race meal. After dinner, we drove down to Tempe to check out the Half starting line and the finish line for the race. It all made me so excited!

FullSizeRender IMG_6705 IMG_6707 IMG_6708

After we got back to the hotel, the pre-race ritual began. Numbers were pinned, tags were added to shoes, and race strategy was discussed. We were all ready to run :)

Sunday morning, Nicole got up first to get ready for the half and meet Lee and Di. The half started in Tempe by the finish line of the marathon and half marathon. Therefore they had to drive down there and get situated much earlier than we had to be at the start of the full.

Pre race mirror selfie.

Pre race mirror selfie.

Stacy and I got ready and were out the door by 7:05am. We walked a few blocks from our hotel to the start and prepared for our 26.2 mile journey ahead.

Our pre-race nerves started, but overall we were still very excited for the adventure ahead.

And now begins our 26.2 mile journey…….

As soon as we crossed the finish line, our strategy began. Stacy and I decided we would warm up the first few miles, then get into a groove of 8:15-8:20 miles.

The first few miles flew by, and before we knew it, we were at the halfway mark! Our pace was steady at an 8:20 and we were having fun and enjoying each others company.

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 9.45.43 PM

Miles 13 – 20 were a weird out and back. I am not a fan of the out and back races because you get to see what is ahead for you. If you run down a hill, you know you have to run right back up the thing when you turn around. But it was nice to see other faces while we were running and do some people watching. That is certainly a benefit of the out and back.

Side bar I am still in SHOCK over the number of people running in long sleeves and pants. How did they not suffocate!!! I even saw someone in GLOVES at mile 20.

When we hit mile 20, the race started to get hard…as it always seems to! Someday I want to run a 20 mile race and see how much better it feels than the full 26.2 does ;)

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 9.45.24 PM

Stacy and I continued to run mid-8’s and tried to maintain pace. By this time of the race, there was no avoiding the sun. I forgot my running sunglasses at home, so I ended up running in my huge bug-eyed Tom Ford glasses. While I might have looked a bit ridiculous, I am so glad I decided to wear them! Had I not, I would have been miserable from the squinting and likely added 5 years of aging to my face.

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 9.45.09 PM

It was also getting warmer. I don’t think the heat really had an affect on my race, but I could definitely feel it. It was so weird, because while I knew it was warm (mid 60s) I never sweat. Apparently in the dry heat, your sweat evaporates as soon as it leaves your pores, which is why I didn’t sweat yet had salt all over me.

At mile 22, Stacy told me she needed a little pep talk. I proceeded to give her the worst pep talk ever and gave her my “shut up and run” line. Sorry Stac. I was finally able to pull together a semi-inspirational message for her and that got us through the next few hard miles. My body was hurting too, and I probably used up all the good pep talks on myself in my own head!

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 9.45.56 PM

I tried to distract us from the race as much as possible and get us to the finish. We reminisced on our runs together, and the fact that this was our 4th marathon we had done together. And our first marathon we did just the two of us the whole time.

Stacy is the reason why I started running marathons, and it was so much fun to run this one with her. If you want to have a real bonding experience with someone, run a marathon with them!

At mile 24, we finally saw the half marathoners and hit our first real hill! This race was INSANELY flat. I still cannot get over how flat it was. Once we peaked the bridge, we could tell we were getting really close. I loved this race because we stayed separate from the half marathoners the entire time. We could see them, but we didn’t have to share a road with them. This is a MAJOR bonus when the race is bigger like this one.

The last mile of this race was one of my favorite finishes I’ve had (behind Boston and NYC of course).

We got to run across a bridge over water, and looked down to the finish line. We could also see the finish line village and Beer tent which was extremely motivating. As we left the bridge and were almost to the finish, we saw our cheering squad!! It gave us both the biggest smiles to hear Di, Nic and Lee cheer for us. It also gave us our boost to get to the finish.

Seeing our friends and SO excited to finish!

Seeing our friends and SO excited to finish!

Stacy and I crossed the finish line just as we had in Boston 2013. Hand in hand.

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 9.16.16 PM

We were done (finish time 3:41:10)! Marathon #8 for me and #15 for her was complete and it felt GOOD.

We immediately went to the reunion area and saw our friends. Then we got a beer and headed back to the hotel.

Pre-race glow!

Pre-race glow!

Thanks for being such a trooper, Lee!

Thanks for being such a trooper, Lee!

Di and Stacy

Di and Stacy

Nicole and Di ran together almost the entire race!

Nicole and Di ran together almost the entire race!

Such a fun weekend with my BFF!

Such a fun weekend with my BFF!

IMG_6714

Much deserved beer.

 

Looking back on this race and weekend as a whole, I have to smile. We had a great weekend together and the race was perfect. It was so great to run this entire race with Stacy and spend this time with her. She is such a great friend and I am beyond thankful and blessed to have her in my life.

As for the Arizona Rock n Roll marathon, I thought it was a great race and I would highly recommend it.

Thank you for all of the support for the St. Jude Marathon, and for this one as well.

xo!

Ali

I didn't even notice the climb the first half! This is from my Garmin.

I didn’t even notice the climb the first half! This is from my Garmin.

Splits aren't totally accurate because I had an auto pause incident during mile 17..

Splits aren’t totally accurate because I had an auto pause incident during mile 17..

 

St. Jude Marathon Race Recap

12 Jan

I am officially a marathoner x 7!

Last month, I ran the St. Jude Marathon. I started writing this post 4 weeks ago, and I am finally forcing myself to wrap it up and post.

Here we go…

The weeks before St. Jude I kind of fell off the radar with my blog training updates. Part of the reason was because I was busy with life. The other part was that I wasn’t feeling well and just didn’t have anything positive to say. Halfway through my training I started having Plantar Faciitis pain in my left foot. Then it hit my right foot too. Somedays were better than others, but most days it hurt – and it hurt pretty bad. As I was approaching the race I was very uncomfortable and discouraged. I had multiple therapy sessions (I did lots of Graston therapy), bought myself a foot spa, and got many foot rubs. Leading into the race, my legs felt good, but the feet felt bad. And that had me all sorts of grumpy and stressed. I was so worried that my months of training would go down the drain because of my dumb feet.

When we arrived in Memphis on Thursday, I started to get more positive about the race and told myself I wouldn’t let my feet put a damper on all of training. I was with my Mom and two friends, so I knew it would be an entertaining and fun girls weekend.

Friday morning we went on a little shake out run, then hit the expo. After the expo I went back to the hotel room and just relaxed. It was a really nice afternoon and exactly what I needed.

These ladies raised over $8,000 for Team Ryan!

These ladies raised over $8,000 for Team Ryan!

After relaxing for quite awhile, we hit the town for dinner. Memphis is a fun city and everyone there is SO nice. I could not get over the positive attitudes and charm. There was no way to be in a bad mood there when everyone around you was smiling and happy as can be. We had a great dinner and walking around the city was the perfect way to decompress and RELAX.

It rained ALL day on Friday.

It rained ALL day on Friday.

When we got back to the hotel room, I started all of my pre-race rituals. My clothes were laid out, my feet were taped up and everything was ready for the next morning. I crawled into bed and attempted sleep. It certainly wasn’t the best nights sleep, but it was far from the worst. I will take it.

Saturday morning I sprang out of bed and was the most nervous I have ever been before a race. I force fed myself some breakfast, then got dressed and ready to go.

Gotta take a snap chat.

Gotta take a snap chat.

St. Jude Heros!

St. Jude Heros!

When we got to the start I immediately felt better. I got to see my friend DeEtta, and also had a little moment with Stacy and Diana. Those girls always put me at ease and make me feel better. I am so thankful to have them in my life.

KC girls ready!

KC girls ready!

My Mom told me good bye and good luck and I got in line at the start.

The singing of the National Anthem was incredibly emotional. A former St. Jude patient sang, and she did such a good job. I couldn’t help but cry. I remembered that I only had a 26.2 mile journey ahead of me, while the children at St. Jude had one much longer and harder ahead. Seeing that sweet little girl put everything in perspective for me. I was there to run and support them. The day was not about me, it was about them.

Waving to my Mom.

Waving to my Mom.

When the race started I tried to get into my groove. I stuck pretty close to the 3:15 pacer and decided I would hang onto him as long as it felt comfortable. The first few miles felt pretty good. I was hitting a solid pace, but did have a doubt in my mind if I could actually hang on to that pace for 26 miles. And a doubt at mile 2 is never a good thing.

At mile 3, I saw my Mom! That was the best treat. I love seeing her during races. No one can give me that extra umph quite like my parents. They are the BEST. The next best moment was running through the St. Jude campus at mile 5. There were so many people out cheering, including some of the patients. Another reminder as to why I was running this race. I was doing it for them.

When I hit the first 10k, I still wasn’t totally sure how I felt. People say you know if you’re going to have a good race the first few miles. For me, I don’t feel like I know until I cross that finish line. That is what is so scary about 26.2 – there is so much time for things to awry.

At least I looked happy!

At least I looked happy!

Around mile 9 I decided I needed to slow down a bit. I was still running with the 3:15 pacer, but knew his splits were too fast (not sure what pace band he was looking at…) I didn’t want to blow my race because I was trying to stick to this guy that I knew wasn’t running on pace.

Looking back, this was the best decision. Had I continued to hang on to this guy, I know I would’ve fallen apart at mile 18.

At mile 13 I finally felt in a groove. I was running completely alone and I was ok with that. I had my ipod and it kept me company. Miles 13 – 18 were the best of the race. I felt invincible and knew that I was going to PR. I continued to tell myself that it would be a great day.

Passing the Half.

Passing the Half.

When mile 20 hit, I started to feel a little rough. My legs were burning too much, and my feet were throbbing. The high from the past few miles was gone…and the new tactic was to just hang on and survive.

I gave myself the biggest pep talk of all time and decided once again to shut up and run. I knew that the second I crumbled mentally my race was over. If I admitted to myself just how bad I felt, it would start to show. I decided at this point not to look at my watch. If I was getting slower, I didn’t want to see it. If I saw my times slowing, I would’ve lost it mentally.

I knew that once I got to mile 24, I would feel better. At mile 24 we ran back through the St Jude campus and received some much needed encouragement. I knew I had slowed down, but I felt good and continued to pass other runners.

Mile 25 was hands down the hardest thing I have done in my entire life (physically that is). I felt like I was barely moving. Every step hurt more than I have ever hurt before. Looking back I don’t know how I kept going, it hurt that bad.

When I saw mile 26, I finally looked at my watch. With some quick math, I figured out that I could still break 3:17 if I picked up the pace and ran my ass off. So I did just that.

I ran harder than ever before. It was truly an out of body experience.

Hardest experience EVER.

Hardest experience EVER.

As we turned into the stadium (the race finished on a minor league baseball field) I kept my mind on the finish and continued to pump my arms as fast as I could.

Then I crossed the finish line (and maybe fell down on the ground in the most dramatic way, but I am not admitting to anything).

3:16:53!

Working harder than I ever have.

Working harder than I ever have.

I did it. I broke my original goal of 3:20 and PR’ed. I couldn’t believe it. With how hard the last few miles felt I had no clue what I was in for with my time. I was shocked, happy and relieved that it was OVER.

After the race I waited for Stacy and Diana to finish. I was extremely proud of both of them and was very excited to see them at the finish and share our race experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly).

Looking back on this race, I know I gave it everything I had. And I should be extremely proud.

But I won’t lie…I was a little upset and I am still a tiny bit upset about the finish. I had trained to run a 3:15 and knew going into this race that my body could do it. So when I didn’t see that time on the clock when I finished, I was let down and bummed.

Proud of this medal.

Proud of this medal.

And even prouder of these girls!

And even prouder of these girls!

I don’t know why my body wouldn’t give me a 3:15 at this race. I trained for it, and worked my butt off for it. It was not one of those races where everything feels great and the last 6 miles make you feel like you are top of the world. At the KC half and NYC marathon, that is how I felt. At this race, I felt like I was hanging on for dear life almost the entire race.

It is hard to explain, but there is nothing better than the feeling of crossing the finish line with a big PR and feeling amazing on top of it.

I’m sure I sound like a cry baby, and that is certainly not my intention. I just wish that I would’ve felt better. Had I felt great AND ran a 3:16:53, I would have a different outlook on this race. The fact that I didn’t feel well forces me to do the “what if” game and think about how much better I could’ve done had it been a day where my body felt great.

Back to the positive :)

I would absolutely recommend this race to anyone looking for a marathon. The course was great. Not too flat and not too hilly. I think it was just the right amount of hills and flat. Our weather on race day was perfect, other than some pretty fierce wind. And as I said earlier, Memphis is a great city.

Now that this race is over, I get to go back to running for fun when I feel like it, not because I have to. I am looking forward to a break from marathons (well, after I run another one this weekend…) and enjoying half marathons.

As always, thanks for all the love.

Post race beer with my best cheerleader. This tasted SOOOOO good!!!

Post race beer with my best cheerleader. This tasted SOOOOO good!!!

More KC runners in Memphis. Great to see these guys!

More KC runners in Memphis. Great to see these guys!

At dinner with our Team Ryan group. So honored that we got to run for their daughter.

At dinner with our Team Ryan group. So honored that we got to run for their daughter.

8pm and barely staying awake. But that didn't stop Stacy from doing some karaoke.

8pm and barely staying awake. But that didn’t stop Stacy from doing some karaoke.

Splits:

  1. 7:28
  2. 7:17
  3. 7:25
  4. 7:26
  5. 7:15
  6. 7:29
  7. 7:14
  8. 7:17
  9. 7:24
  10. 7:24
  11. 7:16
  12. 7:19
  13. 7:19
  14. 7:17
  15. 7:24
  16. 7:27
  17. 7:27
  18. 7:20
  19. 7:33
  20. 7:35
  21. 7:32
  22. 7:38
  23. 7:29
  24. 7:44
  25. 7:34
  26. 7:51 + 3:17

3:16:53

Total Miles on the Garmin: 26.44
Average overall pace: 7:27
Overall Woman: 6th
Age Group: 1st

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 8.59.37 PM

xo,

Ali

Longview Half + Training Update

18 Nov

Last week was my last “hard” week of training. It was my third week of 60 miles, which is the most mileage I have ever done back to back. Last year when I trained for NYC, I only had one 60 mile week. This year, I knew I needed to do a couple more if I wanted to see improvements on race day.

When I started the week I was feeling pretty blah. I decided I needed an extra day off, and also needed to cut out a hard workout to get me back on track. I am so glad I did because it made the half marathon on Saturday much more enjoyable.

Part One – Training Update

Monday – Off

Tuesday – 8.25 miles at 8:46 pace. Took it nice and easy since I wasn’t feeling that great.

Wednesday – 10.25 miles at 7:44 pace. 2 mile warm up, 6 x 1 mile repeats with 400m recovery. First 3 @ 7:00, Last 3 around 6:55. Cooled down another couple miles. Had to do this one on the treadmill because it was just so darn cold outside.

Thursday – 8.03 miles at 8:09 pace. Had a few pick ups in the middle of the run.

Post run burglar selfie.

Post run burglar selfie.

Friday – 8.05 miles at 8:34 pace.

Dinner with friends Friday night.

Dinner with friends Friday night.

Saturday – 18.25 miles total (see below for more details)

Sunday – 7.55 miles at 9:00 pace. I was so cold and a tad over-served the night before at our friends house. Made for such a fun run.

Total mileage: 60ish

———————————————

Part Two – Longview Half Marathon Race Recap

Saturday was my last big long run before taper. I was so excited for this run, and also dreading it. I had 12 miles of goal pace miles on the schedule, so I decided to just run the half marathon hard and take care of the goal pace miles there.

Stacy, Diana and I started the morning with a 4.9 mile warm up. We took it nice and easy (9:20 pace).

The race was out at Longview Lake, which is a beautiful area. It was really cold, but we were lucky to avoid the snow that the weather people had been predicting.

Once we finally got started running (they delayed the race because there was a bad traffic situation), I met up with my friend Amber and ran with her. We ran the first 6 miles with the 1:35 pace group, then separated. I knew I was running too hard for a long training run, and that she could run much faster than 1:35. Once we parted ways I slowed down a bit and gave myself some distance from the 1:35 pace group.

As the miles went on I kept the 1:35 pace group in sight but ran a comfortable pace that I knew I could easily maintain. I felt surprisingly good considering the miles I had done earlier in the week.

Start of the race.

Start of the race.

Around mile 11 a girl named Jess came up next to me and told me she was going to run with me for the rest of the race. I was just fine with this since I was getting a little lonely. I also love to run with other people. Jess was really sweet and we had 2 miles of good conversation. It certainly made the last couple miles fly by.

brrrrr

brrrrr. 

As Jess and I approached the finish we decided to pick up the pace and catch a girl in front of us. I am so glad I got to meet her and run with her for a bit.

Running to the finish with Jess.

Running to the finish with Jess.

Done with the race and with 18 miles!!

Done with the race and with 18 miles!!

I ended up running a 1:35:15 half which made me pretty happy. It is really exciting for me that I was able to pull off that race after a hard few weeks. And I will say that the course was not flat. Crazy that just 3 years ago I trained hard for a half and ran a 1:36:39. It goes to show what hard work can do for your running. Dedication will pay off.

Amber ended up getting first in our age group, and I got second! That made the morning even better.

Running together for 15 years :)

Running together for 15 years :)

We are ready for taper.

We are ready for taper.

Splits:

  1. 7:31
  2. 7:15
  3. 7:33
  4. 7:00
  5. 7:01
  6. 7:14
  7. 7:21
  8. 7:11
  9. 7:15
  10. 7:24
  11. 7:20
  12. 7:11
  13. 7:05 (+ :57)

I am SO excited that taper is finally here and I can prepare my body for race day. I got an email yesterday stating it was 19 days away. I semi hyperventilated….

xo,

Ali

Listening to my body

11 Nov

The past few days, I have felt tired and worn out.

Last night, I posted my training update. If you read it, you know that I had a couple runs that I just wasn’t feeling it.

Yesterday morning, I was planning to run 12 400’s at 5k pace. I went to bed Sunday already dreading this workout and wondering if I should do it. My leg was hurting and I just didn’t feel good. And in the back of my mind I knew it wasn’t a good idea.

So when my alarm went off on Monday morning, I hit snooze. Then I hit snooze again. And finally, I turned the thing off and went back to sleep.

Very rarely do I sleep through a run, especially when it is a hard workout that I know I won’t be able to make up later in the day. But this time around, I just could not get up. I swear that if someone told me that there was $1000 waiting at that track I would’ve still turned off the alarm.

Normally I would feel guilty and lazy all day for skipping my run. But this time it was different.

My body is tired. And the aches and the pains were screaming at me to take a day off, so I listened.

Sometimes these rest days are just as important to us as the speed workouts are. When training for a race we put our bodies through so much, and it is only fair to give it a little rest sometimes. I tell people all the time to listen to their bodies, and finally I decided to practice what I preach! I probably should’ve done this last week when I knew things were off, but I was just too crazy dedicated to the training plan allow it.

Hopefully this missed day gets me back on track and prepared to face my last week of training before taper starts!!

Are you good at listening to your body? Or are you like me and struggle with the guilt of taking a day off?

xo,

Ali

St. Jude’s Training Update

10 Nov

It’s been awhile since my last training update.

Things are still going great with my St. Jude’s training. Since the KC Half, I have picked right back up with my training. There have definitely been some hard days the past couple weeks, and a few aches and pains. But overall, I feel strong.

Last week was one of my hardest weeks yet. I think that 15 weeks of training is catching up with me and my body is ready for that taper. I just keep reminding myself I only have one more week!!

Here is a little recap of training last week…

Monday: 10 miles at 8:05 pace. I had 3×2 miles at half marathon pace on the schedule and I just could not get myself there. My legs were pretty tired from a hard 20 miler two days before and no rest day in between. I ended up doing 2×2 miles, with only 2 of them being at half marathon pace. I figured I would take what I can get and my body was telling me to take it a little easier.

Tuesday: 7.5 miles at 8:50 pace. Easy and relaxed miles around the hood.

Wednesday: 11 miles at 7:43 pace. Treated myself to a treadmill run for this workout. Ran two miles warm up, 8 miles right under 7:30 pace, and a mile cool down.

Thursday: 8.5 miles at 8:37 pace. Great run with my Thursday run group.

Friday: 16 miles at 8:22 pace. Did my long run for the week on Friday because I was going out of town for the weekend. Overall the run was good, however I was having some major leg pains by the end of it. My piriformis issues have been acting up a bit the past couple weeks and really bugged me during this run.

A celebatory selfie after 16 miles before work.

A celebatory selfie after 16 miles before work.

Celebrating Hannah's baby BOY!

Celebrating Hannah’s baby BOY!

Saturday: 7 miles at 7:54 pace. Ran with my friend Erin before leaving for a relaxing weekend at my parents farm house.

Sunday: OFF!!!

Woke up to this gorgeous view at the farm.

Woke up to this gorgeous view at the farm.

Total mileage: 60

Hope you have a wonderful week!

xo,

Ali

2014 Kansas City Half Marathon

23 Oct

Last Saturday, I ran the Kansas City Half Marathon. This was my 5th year running this race – and it is truly one of my favorites.

The course starts in Crown Center, where I work! Then travels through downtown, around to Westport, and back through the Plaza. They do such a great job of showing people how beautiful and unique Kansas City is. I would strongly suggest doing this race if you are looking for a smaller fall marathon or half marathon.

When I started my training for the St. Jude’s Marathon, I knew that the KC Half would be part of my training. I also knew that I would love to try to PR my half, which was a 1:34:31. I ran 1:34 at my very first half marathon, which happened to be the KC Half Marathon in 2008. It also happened to be 6 years to the day since I had ran my 1:34.

Leading up to the race, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been experiencing some foot pains, as well as having a cold/bad allergies. With my asthma, any kind of cold or allergies can really knock me out, so I was just a tad (ok a TON) upset when I didn’t feel well. The week of the race, I was smart and finally got a prescription to knock out the gunk. I also got an amazing pep talk from my Mom and Stacy. They reminded me that it was just a run, and that I needed to go out and do my best. They always know what to say to me to make me feel better.

Saturday morning was a new day, and I woke up so excited to race! I decided to get up extra early to do a nebulizer treatment for my asthma, and also drink some warm coffee. I figured anything to loosen up my chest would be beneficial.

We arrived to the race around 6:15. First stop was an indoor restroom, then we went outside and I met up with my fellow GOTR SoleMates! It was fun to meet the other girls that had been raising money for GOTR. It was also nice to see some familiar and friendly faces at the booth.

Hanging with the other SoleMates!

Hanging with the other SoleMates!

After a few minutes at the tent, I headed to the start. I really wasn’t too nervous – mostly just excited to get the race started (and over with…)

At 7:05, after a little “Let’s Go Royals” chant, the race started.

I decided to run with the 3:05 marathon pacer. I figured that this pacer would be running a 1:32:3o half marathon time, which would make me extremely happy.

I stuck with this pacer for the first 5ish miles, then started to pull away. I was feeling good and confident. While I had a few coughs, I didn’t feel as though my breathing was slowing me down. And my legs felt great.

From this point on, I stopped looking at my watch and just ran on feel. I knew I was running a pace I could maintain, but didn’t know what that pace was. I figured it would be a great way to gauge my fitness and also practice pacing.

At mile 8, we split from the marathon and I popped my earbuds in. It was pretty sparse around me, so I decided a music distraction would be nice. The next few miles I focused on getting over the hills and to mile 10. Since I know this course so well, I knew that mile 10 starts 3 miles of some great downhills.

Mile 10-13 cruised by. I felt amazing and just tried to maintain the pace and effort. Around mile 12 I finally snuck a peek at my watch and was pleasantly surprised by the split – 6:23. I knew I was moving fast, but had no idea I was moving that fast! Eventually, I saw the 1:30 pace group and tried to close the gap as much as possible.

Running up the final hill of the race to the finish was awesome. I could see the clock and knew it said 1:30:xx. I couldn’t wait to finish.

When I hit my watch I actually couldn’t believe what I saw – 1:30:32. I just beat my PR that I had been chasing for 6 years. And best of all – it felt so good on my body.

017a284c9c4ed7981af27880aeaf1125

I won’t play it down – I was (and still am) so proud of myself. I overcame my mental and physical barrier of not feeling well and just ran the race.

“Shut up and run” is what I told myself. And that is what I did.

This race gave me confidence that my training is working and I am doing everything as I should. And I am excited to see what else this fall could bring :)

Splits:

  1. 7:45
  2. 7:01
  3. 7:11
  4. 7:01
  5. 6:51
  6. 6:45
  7. 6:31
  8. 6:36
  9. 6:51
  10. 7:02
  11. 6:35
  12. 6:23
  13. 6:30

Elevation chart:

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 8.56.51 PM

 

 

 

 

You can see the climbs and the downhills in my splits.

 

We wore KC Royals pride, and Ramsey PR'ed too!!

We wore KC Royals pride, and Ramsey PR’ed too!!

Celebrating by the blue fountains!

Celebrating by the blue fountains!

10 Reasons to Support GOTR!

16 Oct

This Saturday, I will be running the KC Half Marathon. This will be my 5th time running this amazing race and I am very excited.

This time however, I am excited for a whole new reason! On Saturday, I will not just run this race for me, but I will run it for Girls on the Run of Greater Kansas City as a SoleMate.

Girls on the run is a program that has been very near and dear to my heart for the last few years. I began my journey with GOTR as a coach, then moved on to the 5k committee. Now I am serving as a Board Member and loving every minute.

This program is truly amazing. There are so many reasons why I love it, but today I am just going to make you read 10 of them.

1. The lessons. Did you know GOTR is not just about running? In fact, the majority of each lesson is spent teaching our girls life lessons that will make them stronger, and more confident individuals.

2. The girls. Every girl in this program is awesome in their own way. Not only can they make me laugh, but they make each other laugh.

3. The opportunity to participate. Because of donations from people like YOU, we are able to give so many girls the opportunity to participate. Without donations, we would not be able to help these girls grow into healthy and happy girls.  

4. The friendships the girls make with each other. I love watching the girls develop friendships over the season. The coaches do such a good job of separating the girls from their cliques and friends. The outcome is a group of girls that are ALL friends with each other. By the end of the season these girls are so close. It is so cute to see them cheering for each other as we do our running exercises.

5. The bond with their coaches. Throughout the season we really get to know these girls. I have had girls confide in me when they didn’t feel like they could trust any one else. The bond we form is truly amazing and I miss them so much when the season ends.

6. Watching their progress. Not only do we get to watch them grow into strong individuals throughout the season, but we get to see them become better runners. Girls that never thought they could run a mile will shock themselves by running 2 in practice. The running aspect of each practices turns them into such confident young ladies.

7. The hilarious things they say. These girls are so funny. They make each other laugh, and they make me laugh. One of my favorite GOTR lessons is when we talk about gossip. During this lesson we share examples of times we have been gossiped about. In one of my lessons, I had a little girl raise her hand and say – “This boy at school started telling people I was an elf”…then she really killed me with….”I mean, I know I am really short but I am not an Elf!!”

So funny. And look at the confidence we helped her gain to stand up for herself to that annoying little boy :)

8. The positive behavior we encourage. Let’s face it…some days it is really easy to be negative. GOTR teaches the girls how to unplug from our negative “cord” and be positive individuals. I always say that this program did as much for me as it did for these girls.

9. The steps they take towards healthy living. Not only does the program encourage girls to be healthy emotionally and physically, but we teach them smart ways to eat. At the end of each practice, a healthy snack is served. With a new partnership with Door to Door Organics, these girls get to try organic fruits and vegetables that they have never had the chance to try. By providing them with these snacks, we hope they continue to make these healthy choices outside of practice.

10. The season ending 5k. After a season of life lessons and fun runs, the girls are ready for their season ending 5k. At this 5k, the girls really get to celebrate their accomplishments. Watching these girls work so hard at the 5k is amazing. When they cross that finish line you see a sense of pride in them that was not there when they started the season just a couple months prior.

EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS!!! 

$10 buys a healthy snack

$35 buys a girl a pair of running shoes

$135 puts a girl through the program

Without donations from people like YOU, girls do not get the opportunity to participate in this program. So many of these girls need the guidance and support this program offers.

DONATE NOW!!!!! Pretty please?

I promise you, your money is well spent.

And if you don’t believe me….just look at a few pictures my husband snapped at the last 5k. If these don’t show happiness and confidence, I don’t know what does!

10171201_10100220979647432_50223486142127214_n 10366060_10100220980610502_2583571189521871508_n 10373762_10100220980286152_2491728514977362665_n 10262012_10100220980091542_5323735590143904060_n 10155057_10100220980011702_3162041023175172402_nxoxo,

Ali

 

P.S. DONATE

St. Jude’s Marathon Training – Week 11 and 12

14 Oct

Hellllooo!!!

First off – Go Royals! As I am sitting here writing this, the Royals are playing Game 3 in the ALCS. This team has our city on a high and I hope we keep it going!

Now to running…

Since I was a slacker last week with my training update, I will add two weeks to this one.

Week of September 29 – October 4

Overall this week decent. I had 2 quality runs then a couple iffy ones. But at this point of my training I expect to feel tired.

Monday: 11.68 miles at 8:04 pace. This run was not so great. In fact, it earned itself a dedicated blog post….I will spare you from having to hear about it again.

But here is the same selfie for ya.

But here is the same selfie for ya.

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 8 miles at 7:38 pace. This had to be on the treadmill due to storms. I am a safety girl and just won’t risk running in bad weather. Workout was 5 x 1000 at 5k pace. I think I messed up my math and I am not sure of my specific splits. I know I did 3 at 6:22 pace and 2 at 6:18 pace. Legs felt much better for this workout!

TV night.

TV night.

Thursday: 7.1 miles at 8:15 pace.

Friday: 6.03 miles at 8:38 pace.

Saturday: 16.5 at 7:48 pace. 4 mile warm up, 8 miles goal pace (a little faster) 7:26,7:23, 7:25, 7:19, 7:08, 7:21, 7:06, 7:14. 4 mile cool down. This was an interesting run. It didn’t necessarily feel that great, but my watch looked great as the splits popped up. I was very happy when it was over and look forward to doing this run again and feeling great the entire time!

Post run snuggles.

Post run snuggles.

Boozy movie Saturday night. I LOVE the theater we went to!! We can get doubles of wine, and recline! And Gone Girl was a pretty awesome movie.

Boozy movie Saturday night. I LOVE the theater we went to!! We can get doubles of wine, and recline! And Gone Girl was a pretty awesome movie.

Sunday: 6 miles at 9:00 pace. WOW this run felt HORRIBLE!!! We waited to run until the afternoon and it just plain hurt.

Total Mileage: 55.33

Week of October 5 – 12

This week was a planned recovery/mini taper week. As I prep to run the KC Half Marathon this weekend, I wanted to make sure I felt semi fresh. I was also dealing with some MAJOR foot pain in my left foot that I was not loving. And to top that off, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. Because of these reasons I took the rest and recovery more serious than I had planned. I will say I am very proud of myself for listening to my body and taking a break.

Monday: Off day for running, but did some Jillian Michaels Yoga. I love her.

Tuesday: 6.64 miles at 8:12 pace. Foot hurt this entire run. It really freaked me out.

Wednesday: Unscheduled off day to let my foot rest and to shake off the sickness I felt.

It was so much better to just lay in bed with Win. Don't tell Ramsey Winnie was in our bed...

It was so much better to just lay in bed with Win. Don’t tell Ramsey Winnie was in our bed…

Thursday: 7.3 miles at 8:21 pace. Added 6 stride outs the last mile.

Friday: 6 miles at 9 min pace. Ran the first 3 with a group of running friends for Krista’s birthday!

Saturday: 11.87 miles at 8:55 pace. I met Stacy and Diana for this run and I am so glad I did! I knew I would be running easy but the run felt shockingly hard. I think the week of mini taper just made my legs feel a little dead.

Sunday: 4 miles at 8:42 pace. Ran nice and relaxed on the treadmill while watching SATC. Sometimes I love the treadmill so I can watch TV. After the run I hit the steam room. I forgot how much I LOVE the steam room!! It is my favorite place to stretch and made my head feel a little less congested.

Total Mileage: 35.82

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,300 other followers

%d bloggers like this: