Archive | November, 2012

Ellen’s Perfect Proposal Video

30 Nov

If you’d like a little Friday sappiness in your life, take a look at this video.

My amazing friend Ellen got engaged on Thanksgiving, and the entire thing was caught on video!!! You can even spy me in the background totally in shock, letting out quite a shrill!

Major credit to her future brother-in-law Austin, for capturing the moment and editing it so well.

 

Love you both, and so excited for your future!!!

xo,

Ali

P.S. I take half the credit of this proposal, because I helped set them up 😉

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Pilgrim Run 5k

29 Nov

I got in the Thanksgiving mood by signing up for races, Thanksgiving races to be exact. On Sunday, I ran the Gobbler Grind Half Marathon, and Thursday I ran the Pilgrim Run 5k. My main purpose of running these races was to get in solid training runs, and have some company plus added motivation while doing so.

If you read my post on the Gobbler Grind, you know that one went well and I was very happy. For the Pilgrim Run I was determined for the same feeling.

In Kansas City, there are a TON of Turkey Trots on Thanksgiving. I reviewed many of them when making my decision, and decided that the Pilgrim Run was the one for me. Not only was the Pilgrim Run very close, but it was also a very small race. I’d be lying to you all if I said that winning the female division was not in the back of my mind 🙂

I went into the race with a goal of running under a 20:30. My last 5k in October was a 20:50, and I knew I could beat that time if I didn’t miss the start again (whoops). According to the Mcmillan pace calculator, I needed to run a 20:20 to match my other race distance equivalent times, and I knew that running a good time would add confidence for me going into the Marathon.

When we arrived to the race on Thursday, I did a mile warmup before getting in line. I was surveying my competition and decided I would finish in 3rd place. There were two other girls lined up that looks super serious and like they were ready to kick some ass. I was just standing there bopping around in my pleated skirt chatting with my boyfriend. I told myself that 3rd place was still really good, and I would just focus on my time.

Ready to run!!!

The race began, and I kept a steady pace. I was shocked that the girls I had placed in 1st and 2nd place in my mind were not too far ahead. I continued to check the good ole Garmin to make sure I wasn’t killing myself the first mile, but to my surprise, I was right on track.

You can barely see my in the background!

Right after Mile 1. I was so mad that my outfit didn’t match, but the weather was a lot warmer than I was planning so I had to compromise on the ensemble…

Right before mile 1, I began leading the women. Mile 2 got a little harder with a big hill, but I continued to run strong. Before I knew it, it was mile 3 and I was almost done (it is amazing to me how fast a 5k goes by!!!). I continued to push it and run as hard as I could. I crossed the finish line to cheers and the announcer saying I was the 1st female finisher. It was pretty damn exciting.

Mile 1: 6:26
Mile 2: 6:39
Mile 3: 6:28

Official Time: 19:51

After the race, I cheered for the other runners and then went into crazy girlfriend mode cheering for my boyfriend as he crossed the finish. We picked up some water, and then checked out the official results. I was very proud with what I saw!

It then became the best day ever when I discovered I got a trophy and HUGE pumpkin pie for my winnings!!!! I later made the trophy our Thanksgiving table centerpiece. 🙂

Holy cow!!!

Best winnings ever!

Posing with a turkey. He told us this was not a very comfortable outfit to wear in a 5k.

Found a friend at the race! Jenna makes me look very short!

More turkeys. Gotta love the Thanksgiving spirit!

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I am already excited for my next 5k, and the possibilities ahead for my 5k time. I never thought that a 5k PR would be possible after I ran a 19:40 in high school (11 years ago!!!), but now I see that it is definitely possible. And I spy many more 5k’s in the near future. After all, I am pretty PR hungry right now!

XO,

Ali

Girls on the Run is SO Much FUN!

27 Nov

Last summer, I made the decision to be a Girls on the Run Coach. I’ve wanted to be involved with this program for years, and I finally took the plunge and applied. I was thrilled when I heard back that I would be a coach for the fall season of Girls on the Run!

From September through the beginning of November, I devoted every Tuesday and Thursday evening to 14 girls, ages 8 – 11. We learned about loving ourselves, discussed good decision making and ran our hearts out. We also had a TON of fun while doing it.

I cannot say enough about how amazing the Girls on the Run program is. The curriculum was great, the workout plans were effective, and the girls always had fun.

The St. Mary’s GOTR coaches

The girls were so great at encouraging their teammates.

The girls were so great at encouraging their teammates. And they loved their scrunchies I made them!

Not only did the Girls on the Run program benefit these girls, but it also benefited me.

If I had a hard day before practice, these girls were able to turn my frowns upside down. They made me smile, they made me laugh, and they just plain made me happy. Never did I not look forward to going to practice. In fact, I was really sad when the season ended.

These two were such sweeties!!!

The Girls on the Run season ends with a 5k in which all the Girls on the Run programs around the Kansas City area get together and run. There are so many girls there, and everyone is happy and excited.

I loved seeing all my girls at the 5k and witness the pride on their face as they crossed that finish line.

So proud to complete her 5k!

We had 3 Ali’s (4 including me) in our group! We all had a bond 🙂

One of my best helpers at practice.

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I already look forward to next season, and hope that I get to coach some of the same girls again.

If you have ever thought about coaching, I urge you to move forward and apply online to be a coach. I promise, you won’t regret the decision.

xo,

Ali

 

Resilient Runners

20 Nov

Since the cancellation of the NYC Marathon (yes…talking about that again), I have been so impressed by the resilience of runners. Especially with the way that we never give up nor let our determination be diminished.

Throughout the training period for this race, I connected with so many runners online (mainly via twitter) and followed their progress towards the DREAM race that was the NYC Marathon. We spoke about our goals, our excitement and our fears together. We also spoke about our feelings following this announcement:

Photo from the INGNYCM Facebook page.

Many of us understood the cancellation, but were also sad that our race would not happen.

When I found out NYC was canceled I immediately found a new race, as did many of my other running friends. We would run our 26.2 mile race, and we would run it with determination following the letdown we had previously felt. Many of these girls I connected with were running for charity, and would not be letting down their donors – they would run a marathon! (I look up to all the charity runners SO much!).

I would like to share with you some stories from a few fellow bloggers. These girls all put NYC behind them, and found a new race to run.

The Newbies:

Leticia and Nadia were to complete their very first marahton at NYC. They had put in the training, and they were excited to see the results. Following the news, these girls found new races.

Both girls were able to run their marathon, and did an amazing job. Leticia had an amazing time running the Richmond marathon, and finished it with a huge smile on her face.

Nadia ran the Phillidelphia Marathon, and get this – it was her FIRST RACE EVER!! And she broke 4 hours! Holy cow, girlfriend!

The BIG PR’er:

Jocelyn ran the Philadelphia Marathon after having her world flipped upside down by that damn Sandy. Jocelyn lived in the area of of NYC that lost power, and dealt with a bunch of other super inconvenient things. I can’t imagine living without basic necessities for days.

And even after dealing with the drama of the hurricane and her life being affected in many ways, she still rocked her marathon. Way to go on the HUGE PR Jocelyn! You are amazing and so inspiring!

The Winner:

Katie had big dreams of a PR at NYC, just like I did. She had trained so hard for the race, and was looking forward to running. Her reaction to the cancellation was similar to mine, and I thank her for being honest about her feelings on her blog.

As the rest of us did, Katie found a new race to run. And boy did she run her replacement race. Katie WON her new marathon, and broke 3 hours!!! I was in awe reading her race recap. I was especially in awe looking at her photos and seeing how cute she looked the entire race. Talk about wonder woman!

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In less than 3 weeks, I will be sharing with everyone the story of my replacement marathon. I hope that my stories are just as exciting as the girls I mentioned above 🙂

and one last thought for you all (I love this so much)………

xoxo,

Ali

 

Gobbler Grind Half Marathon

19 Nov

Yesterday, I ran the Gobbler Grind half marathon. I have been trying to get creative with fitting in speed workouts and long runs these last few weeks of training (because I am getting a tad burnt out!), so I signed up for this half.

I wanted to use this race as a long run, and also as a trial run practicing the pace. All along I have been saying I wanted to break 3:30 for my next marathon. But lately I have been reevaluating my goal. Since I have been training so hard and so long, I decided that maybe a 3:25 could be doable.

The time goal for this race would be under 1:45, at a pace that felt comfortable and possible for 26.2.

This race was relatively small, but very well organized. The course was fun to run because it was in a very familiar area – right next to my office!! Parts of the run were on trails that I often use for my lunch time runs, so I knew what to expect. Although there were some big hills along the way, it wasn’t anything crazy. The water stops were well spread out and had a ton of volunteers helping at each. And even though 3/4 of the race was on the Indian Creek Trail, it never felt too congested.

Bundled up at the start! (I ended up being slightly overdressed….)

And they’re off!!

I tried to keep a 7:45 pace going for most of the race. I kept reminding myself that this race was a practice and that I had no reason to kill myself. When I would speed up to a pace that started feeling uncomfortable, I would quickly rein myself back in.

The goal was to be able to talk the entire time, which I practiced by telling all the runners “Good Job!” when I passed them. I also wanted to ensure I had minimal leg burn, so I knew I wasn’t pushing too hard. Sure, some of the hills hurt but nothing felt like something I couldn’t have continued after crossing the finish line.

It was a beautiful day out there!

Do I think I could’ve doubled this run yesterday and kept going at the same pace? No. But do I think I could with the proper taper and nutrition? Yep.

My splits for the race were as follows:

1. 7:48
2. 7:46
3. 7:48
4. 7:47
5. 7:52
6. 7:30
7. 7:37
8. 7:43
9. 7:40
10: 7:54 (HILLS)
11: 7:29
12: 7:55 (HILLS)
13: 7:39

Overall time: 1:41:11, ~7:42 pace
First place in my age group too!

This race was a great confidence boost for me. I had a really hard week of training last week, ate terrible the night before (mexican and margs!), but still felt great. It amazed me how easy this pace could feel, even though it sounds so scary.

After this trial run, I do believe that a 3:25 could be possible come race day 🙂

Any thoughts from the readers on what I could be capable of? I always love to hear ’em!

xoxo,

Ali

 

My Choice to Run the Dallas Marathon

14 Nov

As soon as I found out the NYC Marathon would not go on as planned, I began researching new races to run. I was not about to let 14 weeks of training go down the drain. I HAD to run a marathon and PR. Not doing so was NOT an option.

There were many considerations to make for my backup race, but it didn’t take long until I made my final decision.

Factors considered when choosing the backup marathon:

1. Easily accessible
-I am officially out of PTO at work until February (I like to travel a lot), so I could not run a race that would require time off.
-I could easily send myself into debt by paying for all these race entries and travel costs.
-My entourage of spectators would be there.

2. A semi-large race
-I need spectator support to get me to the finish and through those hard miles.
-I like running next to other people. Sure it can be annoying dodging them, but I like the company.

3. A PR worthy course
-Duh

4. The date had to work with my schedule
-I didn’t feel comfortable running a marathon the following weekend due to travel costs and prep time.
-The weekend of November 17th was out due to my Girls on the Run 5k (I would NEVER miss that!)

The Decision

After reviewing my requirements, it became quite clear what my race should be: I would run the Dallas Marathon.

If you have been an avid reader of my blog (THANK YOU!) or spent time getting caught up, you know that I ran Dallas last year. Dallas was my first marathon, and the best day of my life. I pretty much have nothing but amazing memories from that race, and I got excited when thinking about reliving that experience.

I almost feel like I was having a little ESP during training, because I kept saying, “If NYC doesn’t go as I planned, I will just run Dallas again. I know it is a great race, and I know it could give me a PR”. I swear I said this – if you don’t believe me, ask my boyfriend. He will tell you!

A HUGE bonus of running the Dallas marathon is that my parents and boyfriend get to join in on the fun. My Dad has not been able to see me run a marathon yet, so it’s a really big deal to me that he gets to watch this one. He is my coach after all!

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I am now fully submerged and committed to training for Dallas. I will use these extra 5 weeks as additional training time to help me meet my goal. I used to think that people who trained for 18+ week for a marathon were crazy…well now I am one of them!

Thank you as always for your continued support! Updates to my training schedule are on their way!

xo

Ali

I will say that I better not be in a damn poncho this year or have to run the race in a plastic bag.

My NYC Trip – Through the Photos

8 Nov

Photos for you to enjoy from my NYC trip. As you can see, even though the race didn’t happen, we still had an AMAZING trip!!!

Began the trip by going to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

Sipped on Rose at La Grenouille (this is right before I found out the race was canceled).

Downed our race sorrows at the Lion King. Pretty great that they serve you vodka in sippy cups! And the show was fantastic!

Visited the infamous “Dangling Crane”.

Went to the race expo to pick up my race number, and 2012 NYC Marathon clothes on clearance.

Drank amazing drinks at The Plaza!

Indulged in macaroons!

Struck a pose!

Had dinner at Butter, a Lindsay Lohan and Blair Waldorf fave.

Adorably posed for pics in Central Park.

Admired the beauty hidden away in Central Park.

Explored the Met.

Educated ourselves on history.

Snuggled on the rooftop of the Met (it was COLD up there!)

Strolled along Democracy Plaza – It was pretty neat to be in NYC over the election!

Ate cheesecake for breakfast.

Walked the Highline, and spent lots of time with Ramsey’s sister Sarah (she’s a super cool NYC girl!)

Drank Bellini’s at Pastis! (I have wanted to go there for years – always saw it on Sex and the City!)

Went to our first official NBA game! AND got a behind the scenes tour of the Barclay Center!

Discussed who would win the election.

Stalked the news anchors in that little box.

And then…we went home!!!

xoxo,

Ali

The Unofficial NYC Marathon

7 Nov

As most everyone knows by now, the New York City Marathon did not happen last Sunday. This news was extremely disappointing for me when I heard on Friday night. In fact, I was pretty much in shock. My heart broke for myself along with all the other athletes that traveled to this race and spent many months training.

All week I understood why the race should be canceled. I knew there were people hurting and people who needed the assistance. But when Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the race should go as planned and it would be GOOD for the city, I went ahead with my trip – as did many other runners.

As I said earlier, I understood the cancellation and also began to agree with it. My only wish with the cancellation was that it had happened earlier in the week, before so many people spent so much money to get to the city and stay in the city. I know that I would’ve gone to NYC regardless of the race being canceled, but knowing sooner could’ve saved many others time and money who would have canceled their plans.

Although the race did not take place on Sunday, I still had the opportunity to be a part of something pretty amazing. I was invited by two of my Twitter friends (Beth and Kristine) to join them for a run through Central Park. They were so kind to include me in their running group, and it turned into the most amazing experience!!

Kristine, Beth and Stephen

Kristine, Beth and the very talented jewelry designer Erica Sara!

Central Park on Sunday morning was a sea of runners, mostly wearing their orange marathon shirts. Some people even pinned their race numbers to their shirts and wore costumes (I saw Buddy the Elf!).

I would say this is the most beautiful place in the city.

As soon as you entered the park, you could feel the enthusiasm of the runners. Everyone was smiling and doing what they love to do – run. People were there spectating as they would’ve on race day, and there were even faux water stations setup for us to get a drink. There was nothing negative in the air on Sunday. In fact, I am pretty sure you got a contact runners high if you looked at all of us.

Kristine and Beth made sure I was able to run the significant miles of the race (24 – 26.2) and also run to the finish line (seriously, you girls were AMAZING!). So many people were swarming the finish. They were taking photos, chanting and cheering. The experience nearly brought tears to my eyes.

Sporting some 2012 Marathon wear that was on clearance.

Look at all those happy people!!!

Simulating my finish line hands!

The thing I realized after this experience was that even though things don’t always go our way or as planned, it doesn’t mean that we can’t make the best of it. Every runner I saw on Sunday was negatively impacted by the race being canceled as well, but that didn’t mean that they sat around sulking all weekend. They got out there and celebrated their love of running with all the others that share that same passion.

Even though the “Official” 2012 NYC Marathon will not happen, the “Unofficial” 2012 NYC Marathon was still an amazing experience. And it is an experience that I will not ever forget.

xoxo,

Ali

And yes, I will be back in 2013!

NYC – It’s Happening People

2 Nov

As I am sure you have all heard, the NYC marathon is happening this year. And I will be there at the starting line on race day.

This week has been quite the roller coaster of emotions for me. I have been stressed to the max, sad and depressed, and happy yet confused. That is a lot of emotions….!

There is a lot of drama surrounding the race this year, revolving along the lines of, “should they?” / “shouldn’t they?”. And both sides have VERY good points (which I agree with). I have been consumed in this drama the past two days, but I will not be consumed with it any longer.

As I said earlier, I am running this race. I am putting all of my hard work and early mornings out there on race morning, and I am determined to PR. This is what I want to focus on now. Since last February, I have been obsessing over race day. Planning every detail and being excited beyond belief. I will not let that excitement and spirit fade because of bullies out there with very vocal opinions. Us runners are not bad people, and I don’t think it is fair to view us that way. In fact many of us (myself included) have already donated to the relief efforts and plan to help out when we are in town for the race.

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Moving along. I was pulling together some fun facts the other day from my Daily Mile (we should be friends if we aren’t already!). It really showed my exactly what went into training, and made me even more comfortable with my goal to break 3:30.

Here we go…

NYC Marathon Training

Weeks Spent in Training: 14 (98 days)
Miles Completed: 508
“Off Days” in Training: 17
Time Spent Running: 62 hours, 6 minutes
Alarm Clocks Set in the 4am Hour: approx. 31
Alarm Clocks Set in the 5am Hour: approx. 40

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All positive thoughts are welcomed and accepted this weekend. As are all prayers for the victims of this terrible storm.

I will be updating my twitter (@alihatfield)/ instagram (alihat)/ facebook page (mileswithstyle) as much as I can! I can’t wait to report good news and share my experience with everyone!!! I will also have my cheerleaders tweet with the hash tag #AliRunsNYC 🙂

xoxo

Ali

One of my favorite photos from marathon training. Running along the boardwalk in San Fransisco!

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