Archive | August, 2012

Mile Repeats: The Side Effects

28 Aug

Mile repeats have been a big part of my marathon training thus far. It seems that every week, Coach (aka Dad) puts crazy mile repeats on my schedule.

While torturing our bodies this morning on the street, my friends and I kept naming off our various ailments. And we had quite the list.

We joked that our list was like a side effect label on a pill bottle….so I decided to make it reality.

And although this run sucked this morning, we still rocked our repeats.

Mine coming in at 7:21, 6:41, 6:38, 6:33, 6:37.

And I can only hope that the best side effect of all with these mile repeats is a marathon PR!



NYC Marathon Training – Week Four

27 Aug

This week was supposed to be a recovery week. I think it was still pretty damn hard….but hey – another week down!!!!

Monday – 6 miles easy, 8:23 pace. Ran during my lunch break at work. Made for a beautiful looking Ali the rest of the day.

Tuesday – 7 miles with tempo, 8:11 pace. 2 mile warm up, 3 mi tempo: 7:19, 6:57, 6:45, 2 mile cool down. Tired morning but a good run overall.

Wednesday – 4 miles easy, pre-TRX run. 9:00 pace. Then did TRX interval training for 50 minutes.

Thursday – 8 miles with mile repeats on the track. 1 mile warm up, 4 x 1 mile repeats: 6:47, 6:28, 6:25, 6:21. 3 mile cool down. Felt great on this run and totally on fire.

Friday – OFF

Saturday – 16 miles, 8:45 pace. Legs were feeling heavy through the run, and the weather was mighty humid.

Sunday – 3.5 miles, easy run and didn’t think about pace.

Total miles for the week: 44.5

A Chicago Weekend

22 Aug

A few weeks ago, I had one of the best weekends of the summer in Chicago. Although this post is a tad delayed, I still wanted to tell everyone about my weekend – and most importantly show you the photos!


We arrived Thursday morning, and immediately headed out to shop. Following a big day shopping, we got ready for dinner and our evening out.


We were so lucky to have our friend Brad as tour guide and Director of Fun. Brad runs a travel website called AbsoluteVisit. I urge you to check it out, the places he has been and things he has done are truly amazing!

Thursday evening we had dinner and Mia Francesca (amazing!!!) and then went to Second City Comedy Club. I can’t remember the last time I had laughed that hard!

Laughing at Second City

Thanks for the perfect weekend, Brad!!!


Friday was “active day”, and Brad basically planned for us to do a triathlon (yay! My first one!)

First we walked through Lincoln Park,

Seriously, I cannot get enough of this city.

Ahhhhh’ing at the Botanical Garden


Then we biked along lake Michigan,

Biking is not a strong skill for me.

“Love and marriage, love and marriage”

Admiring the bean.

And lastly we kayaked down the Chicago River!

This was an incredible experience.

The day was perfect, followed by a night out on the town!

The best $22 cocktail I have ever had.

Drinks at the Trump Tower (check out that view!)

Rose at Pops for Champagne!


Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast at Toast. I tried a very interesting dish, called the “Pancake Orgy”. Although the name was weird, the meal was incredible. Just thinking about the photo makes me hungry.

This breakfast did not disappoint.

The best surprise a girl could get on vacation 😉

Poppin’ Bottles

After a day out in the city, we went to dinner at MK. MK has become one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I urge you to go there – it is SO yummy!

Striking a pose!


Sunday morning we got up and had Brunch at our friend Eric and Melissa’s home. They were so kind to host our group, and nothing hit the spot more than homemade Eggs Benedict (can you tell I really like to eat??).


Before heading out of the city Sunday evening, we had a little pizza party on Brad’s rooftop. The view was amazing, and so peaceful. I love the way you can escape the city in Chicago, without having to travel far.

My favorite pizza in one of my favorite cities.

Overall, our weekend in Chicago was fantastic. We ate, we drank, we shopped, we exercised, and most importantly – we laughed. A lot.



NYC Marathon Training – Week Three

20 Aug

Monday – 4 miles easy, 8:47 pace. Felt very “blah” on this run.

Tuesday – 10 miles tempo, 7:46 pace. 1 mile warm up, 8 miles at tempo: 7:40, 7:14, 7:30, 7:15, 7:10, 7:09, 7:15, 7:04, 1 mile cool down. Felt VERY proud of myself after this run!!

Wednesday – 4 miles easy, pre-TRX run. 8:48 pace. Then did TRX interval training for 50 minutes.

Thursday – 9 miles with tempo, 8:46 pace. 2 mile warm up, 2 at tempo: 7:30, 7:20, 2 miles easy, 1 mile tempo (should’ve been 2): 7:30, 2 miles cool down. I try not to make excuses, but I have some for this workout…here they are: It was HOT, I was TIRED, my legs are SORE, the route was HILLY.

Friday – OFF (much needed!!!)

Saturday – 14 miles easy run with Stacy and Emily, 8:55 pace. The weather was AMAZING!

Sunday – 4 miles easy, 9:48 pace. Lovely Sunday run.

Overall this was a hard week of training. I had a very stressful work week, and did not get near enough sleep. I was also struggling with dead legs and humidity on some of the important runs.

Jumping for joy – another week of training complete!!!!

Wishing everyone a happy week ahead!


Running is My Therapy

15 Aug

So, we all have our own “issues” we deal with each and every day. Some big, some small, but they are always there (unless you are living a life of denial).

Many people see a therapist to deal with their issues. Others talk to their family and friends. For me, I handle them with a pair of Brooks running shoes, and a Garmin – out on the road, pounding on that pavement. Sometimes with friends, sometimes all alone.

People often ask me, “How do you run that much?” or “WHY do you run that much?”.

And my answer to that question is always simple and clear: “It’s my therapy. I need it to keep me sane”.

An example of how Ali feels when she does not run.

I know that I live a very wonderful life filled with joy and happiness, but sometimes I get pretty freaking overwhelmed. And my anxiety level can go through the roof.

To cope with these issues, I have learned that running is key. Running balances my life in a way that nothing else can. It brings me back down to a place that I can handle, and one that I can manage.

Running also makes me happy – just like Elle Woods stated in Legally Blonde, “Endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands” (girlfriend was majorly correct).

I bet I ran the day this photo was taken.

I need to run, I have to run. And if I am so blessed with this amazing ability to be able to run, why wouldn’t I go out and do it as much as possible??

So I must ask, are you like me and use exercise as your “therapy”? Or do you have other methods to share?

Hope your week is going well!



NYC Marathon Training – Week Two

13 Aug

Another week of marathon training complete! This week was a little tricky to coordinate as I was on vacation for the majority of it.

Week Two

Monday – 8 miles easy, 8:37 pace

Tuesday – 4 mile warm up, 4 x 1 mile repeats: 7:00, 7:08, 6:53, 6:48. 2 mile cooldown
Great run overall, but tripped and fell in a pothole during the first mile. I have got to work on my coordination…OUCH.

Wednesday – 3.5 miles easy, 10:00 pace. Ran in San Francisco on the Embarcadero. Stunning views!

Thursday – Off (wine tasting in Napa!)

Friday – 6 miles easy, ~ 9:20 pace. Another Embarcadero run in S.F. Took break in between miles to do squats, lunges and other cross training exercises.

Saturday – 8 miles easy, 1 mile jog/walk ~ 9:20 pace. Ran with my BFF Nicole. We saw many amazing San Francisco views along the run.

Sunday – 4 miles easy, 9:00 pace. Very tough run following my vacation. Had to run as soon as I landed in KC to fit in the rest of the miles needed for the week.

Total miles for week: 40.5 Miles

NYC Marathon Training – Week One

6 Aug

Last Monday, I officially kicked off my NYC Marathon Training.

My Dad is my official “Coach”, which is scary…but I know he will take care of me and help me run my goal of a sub 3:30 marathon.

Each Sunday, he hands me a training schedule. I then review it, have a minor panic attack, and figure out how it will get done.

Week One

Week one of training looked like this:

Monday – 5 miles easy, 8:40 pace

Tuesday – 1.5 mile warm up (Garmin malfunction), 4 miles tempo – 7:45, 7:14, 7:05, 7:13, .5 mile cooldown. 7:49 overall pace.

Wednesday – TRX, 3 mile run following TRX, 9:16 pace

Thursday – VERY HOT run!! Thunderstorms in the AM meant a 100 degree run in the PM. 4 miles, 8:20 pace.

Friday – Off

Saturday – First long run of NYC Training, 12.25 miles at the trail, 8:58 pace.

Sunday – Was supposed to be 6 miles, but I slacked off due to a Saturday night Bachelorette Party. Not sure my “Coach” understood…

Total miles for week: 30 Miles

Each Sunday/Monday, I plan to post my previous week training. All tips and tricks for marathon training are welcome!



P.S. Follow #AliRunsNYC on Twitter to see all my updates! (Yes, I am trying to create my own hashtag!)

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