Archive | January, 2013

New Workout Adventures

30 Jan

Since I ran the Dallas Marathon last month, I joined a gym and have been trying out new workouts.

I LOVE trying new things when it comes to working out. I have always thought that changing things up gives your body an extra boost and really helps you see results. It also helps you from getting burnt out mentally on just one sport (i.e. only running).

My new workout adventures include three things.

First up, Spinning.

I have always wanted to try spin. I thought it looked fun, and really hard.

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I try to do spin 2 times a week, and have been loving it. The classes are fun, and the music is super motivational. I also love that we do it in the dark at my gym!

I have heard that Spin is really good for your fast twitch muscles. I am really interested to see if this proves true when I do my next speed workout.

Next stop, Stairmaster.

Holy crap, this thing is so hard.

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I sweat down to my fingers when I am on this thing. I really like to add this on to the end of my workouts or after I run. Sometimes I make it past 20 minutes, other times I manage 10.

But at all times, I am basically hanging on for dear life while sweat drips off my body.

I try to do at least 2 days on the stairmaster a week.

Lastly among the new workouts, Body Pump.

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Body Pump has become my favorite workout of all of the new ones I have tried. I LOVE how strong Body Pump makes me feel. And I mostly love how much of a difference I can already see.

My arms are more toned, and my booty seems to have an extra umph to it!

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I try to make it to Body Pump 3 days a week. I ran my fastest half marathon when I was doing weight training, and I think it could really help me with my upcoming races.

I have also really loved doing all these new workouts with my good friend Kara! It has been so much fun to start our mornings together!

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Do you have any new workouts you love? Or have you tried any that I am doing?

xoxo,

Ali

Marvelous Mondays – January 28th 2013

28 Jan

Happy MONDAY!!!

Did you have a good weekend? I sure did! DEG company party, long run, dinner with cousins, super workout Sunday, and meal planning made my weekend awesome.

This week I have a few things to be excited about. Here we go!

Overnight Oats

I did my first experiment with overnight oats last night. I did layers of plain greek yogurt, oats, bananas and strawberries, then poured almond milk and chia seeds on top.

Before and After.

Before and After.

I was a little nervous to try it this AM, but was pleasantly surprised by how yummy they were. I can’t wait to change up the combo tomorrow and try something else new! I hope to figure out a couple different recipes and post them here.

8 Minute Abs

Yesterday I started doing 8 Minute Abs again. I am going to Florida in a couple weeks, and need my stomach to be ready!

I have been doing the 8 Minute Abs workout for years. Seriously…my BFF Nicole and I used to do this workout from a VHS tape. And I totally had a 6 pack (I was also 15 years old and weighed 98 pounds..of course I had a 6 pack).

I am obsessed with the 90's people in the videos.

I am obsessed with the 90’s people in the videos.

I will try to post progress pics the next few weeks of the abs. Please disregard the tired face.

Cousins Dinner

I am still randomly giggling over dinner with my cousins on Saturday night.

We went to Ponaks, which I believe to be the best Mexican in KC, MO. And most awesome of all during the dinner?? My cousin Erica let me put on her engagement ring!!!! OMG I am obsessed!!!!

Soooo pretty!

Soooo pretty!

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What are you looking forward to this week?

And what super fun things did you do last weekend?

xoxo!

Ali

Boston Marathon Training – Week Two (& Party Pics!)

27 Jan

Week two of Boston Marathon training went well!

I have been trying not to follow any kind of schedule in an effort to avoid burnt out. I have been running when I feel like running, and getting in my long runs as I should.

I have also been cross training a TON. Spin, body pump and the stairmaster are my new best friends. I love changing it up and trying new things. And I hope that this cross training will help with my speed and body tone.

Total miles for the week clocked in at 36, which is not too shabby when I think about the fact that I didn’t focus on running too much. Cross training workouts for the week stood at 6 total. 3 body pump classes, 1 spin class and 2 turns on the stairmaster.

  • 36 miles
  • 06:04 hours
  • 3687 calories
  • 12 workouts

This week’s long run was at the trail, and way too early following my company’s annual party. I refused to not have fun at the party and enjoy myself. So I prepared myself in advance for a tough Saturday morning run.

The theme was speakeasy, aka flapper era.

The theme was speakeasy, aka flapper era.

I dressed up, Ramsey did not.

I dressed up, Ramsey did not.

Sparkles were very popular!

Rockin my fake hair. I love that stuff.

The party was a BLAST!! And I should really consider all the dancing as another workout. The people I work with are amazing!!!

6:30 am came WAY too early on Saturday morning, but I wanted to get the run done so I could go back to sleep.

I met the girls at 7:15 and we started our run. I forgot my Garmin, so I actually have no idea what our pace was or how fast we ran. And I love that. NYC training had me obsessed with pace and checking my watch, but on Saturday I got to enjoy the run and chat with my friends.

Feetsies.

Feetsies.

I hope for another successful week of marathon training the next 7 days.

And I am really excited to try some new recipes and incorporate healthier foods into my diet as well! If I come across anything good – I will share it with you!

xoxo,

Ali

Hospital Hill Blogging Team

23 Jan

A BIG hello to my new friends, and welcome to Miles with Style!

My name is Ali, and I have been blogging for about a year and a half. Recently, I was given to opportunity to be an official blogger for Kansas City’s most famous half marathon – Hospital Hill. I am so excited for this opportunity, and look forward to meeting all of the fans of Hospital Hill, and runners preparing for the race.

So who is Ali at Miles with Style? Well sit back and relax, because you’re about to find out!

I am Ali, a 26 year old girl living up life in Kansas City, MO. I have lived in Kansas City my entire life, and boy do I love this city.

I have been an avid runner for almost 15 years, and running is pretty much my “thing”. I find running to be the most therapeutic and relaxing activity in my life. It is also my constant – as it is always there for me. And while every mile I run might not be easy, it is always worth it!

Dallas Marathon 2012

I love to race, and as of last December, I may proudly say that I have completed three marathons! This spring, I will make it four at one of my dream races – The Boston Marathon.

Aside from my marathons, I have completed 7 half marathons (included Hospital Hill!), a few 10k’s and a ton of 5k’s. And my favorite city to race in continues to be Kansas City! I find our downtown stunning to run through – which also offers a nice distraction from the pain we are feeling during those hard miles!

I take advantage of any opportunity I have to run a race (in a tutu whenever possible!), and always love to tell the stories from each on my blog.

Hospital Hill 2012 – The Bride and Maid of Honor.

Although running continues to be a huge part of my life, there is so much more that I love to do and experience. I have been so fortunate to be blessed with amazing friends and family. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Mom and Dad

Traveling is another huge passion in my life. I believe in always living a balanced life, and strive to follow a “work hard, play hard” approach. And any chance I get to travel – I take!!

San Fran 2012 with best friends and wine

San Fran 2012 with my boyfriend

Kentucky Derby 2012

NYC Marathon 2012

Throughout my Hospital Hill blogging experience, I plan to share tips and advice for all aspects of your training.

Long runs, speed work, fuel, etc. – I will cover it! And if I don’t cover something you would like to hear about, go ahead and ask! After all, my favorite kind of talk is always run talk!

Feel free to send me questions via email (to the right), tweet me, or Facebook me! I will be writing posts about Hospital Hill every two weeks, but my regular blog posts about all things running, fitness and life will be posted weekly.

You may also catch me at the following places:

Twitter: @Alihatfield
Instagram: AliHat
Facebook: facebook.com/mileswithstyle

Until next time – take care and keep on running.

xoxo,

Ali

Marvelous Mondays – January 21st

21 Jan

Hello again! I can’t believe this is the second post of Monday! Boy am I productive!

It has been a LONG time since I did a Marvelous Monday post, and I really miss them.

For my new readers – Marvelous Monday posts are just simple little posts where I talk about things that will make my week great. It is also my way of duping myself into being excited for the long week ahead until the weekend hits!

Here we go!

I got a frother.

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I am obsessed with my frother I purchased this weekend from Bed Bath and Beyond. Now with my awesome frother, I can make awesome lattes!

I am wearing red pants.

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I got these red pants a few months ago from Gap Outlet. I never really knew how to wear them, but I think I mastered the look today.

I will mention that it is only 20 degrees outside and my feet are freezing. This outfit might be a little better for the spring, but it is still cute.

The Bachelor is on tonight.

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I am always a HUGE fan of The Bachelor, and have been watching every season since it began. I have a group that gets together each week and we watch it together!

This year to make things even more fun, I entered a Bachelor confidence pool. It is basically fantasy football for the Bachelor!!!

The DEG Holiday Party is this weekend!

My company does their holiday party in January each year, pretty much because everyone here is too busy during the actual holidays.

This year, the theme is Speak Easy. And I got an awesome dress to wear! It was on sale at White House Black Market!

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And for the first time in 3 years, I will have a date at the party!!! Woohoo!!!

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Well, this sums up my week! Anything you want to share about what will make your week great??

xoxo,

Ali

P.S. If you like all these photos above, you should follow me on Instagram! I post tons of pics there that never make it to the blog or facebook 🙂 http://instagram.com/alihat/

Boston Marathon Training…It Has Begun!

21 Jan

This weekend, I ran my first official training run of my Boston Marathon training.

I will be running Boston this year with two of my incredible running buddies – Stacy and Diana. Stacy and I qualified December 2011 and Diana qualified September 2012. For Diana and I, this will be our first Boston. For Stacy, it will be her 2nd.

On Saturday morning, I met Emily, Diana and Stacy for a nice 10 mile run. We ran one of our familiar routes, and had some amazing chats during the run. Sometimes you just need to have some girlfriend time and talk to your friends about life!

We didn’t run fast for us (about a 9:40 pace), but we did have fun. And for Boston, our goal will be able to have FUN.

I won’t lie – I am not super stoked at the moment to run Boston. Of course I am excited for this amazing experience, but I am not excited about training for another marathon. My forever long training this fall has me a tad burnt out on the sport.

I love to run, but I don’t necessarily love to train. There is a huge difference between running when I want to, and running because I have to.

The Boston Marathon will be a fun race for me. And will be one I do to enjoy. No, I do not foresee PR’ing, but I do foresee having a ton of fun!

There will be many more posts to come about Boston. I look forward to sharing all of the experiences as well as ups and downs of training with you!

xoxo,

Ali

10 miles complete, with big smiles on our faces.

10 miles complete, with big smiles on our faces. Can you spy the “Boston Qualifier” sign behind us? Diana still has it in her yard. She is so proud and I love it!!!

Negative Self Talk Sucks.

20 Jan

Last season at Girls on the Run, we had a lesson about negative self talk. And we discussed how girls are particularly bad at this behavior.

Negative self talk is just like it sounds – telling yourself negative things you believe to be true. And for us girls, most negative self talk revolves around the way we look.

“I’m not pretty enough”, “I’m not skinny enough”, “My thighs are too big”, “My hair is too short”, etc.

The reason why I am telling you about this, is because yesterday I had a very bad negative self talk day. And it all began in the fitting room at Lululemon.

My boyfriend and I stopped by Lulu so I could buy some new treats to replace items I had returned for Christmas. I stepped into the fitting room, and tried on some of those tight booty shorts. I thought they would be good for spin.

Well…..that was a big mistake. I couldn’t even step foot out of the room in those babies. I was appalled. I was starting at my legs in disgust, and could not stop looking at spots of cellulite on my thighs. How did I run 10 miles that morning, and have cellulite on my legs?!?

The above situation was step one of the breakdown. After this, I started staring at myself in the mirror even more, and noticed two lovely blemishes smack dab on my forehead.

So the count for negative self talk comments now stands at 2.
1. Cellulite
2. Acne

Then it got worse.

I finally gathered the courage to walk out of the fitting room wearing a striped tank, and running tights. I wanted to get some feedback from the boyfriend and see if he liked it.

So his response?

“I like the pants, but I am not sure the stripes on that tank are quite your thing”.

Yeah….that sent me over the edge.

Now I was battling cellulite, acne and unflattering stripes. And my poor boyfriend was just trying to be helpful when he told me the truth (now he has learned to first find out if I like it, then offer an opinion).

I got dressed (after starting at the cellulite again), and stormed out the of fitting room. Ramsey was semi oblivious and asked if I was ready.

“No, I am NOT ready! Because I have to find a top that flatters me!!!!”.

Whoa. I just snapped at my boyfriend in Lulu, after having a meltdown in the fitting room. What an eventful afternoon.

Finally, I pulled myself together, stopped pouting, and picked out another top that was “my thing”. Then I came clean to Ramsey about why I was freaking out. Of course he was supportive as always, and told me all the reasons why I have n0thing to worry about. It was sweet.

He is so amazing. He will give me a pep talk, AND photoshop my zits out of our pictures!!!

He is so amazing. He will give me a pep talk, AND photoshop my zits out of our pictures!!!

Moral of this story: Negative self talk sucks. It is not productive, and not beneficial. It is also very unhealthy. And I must find a way to overcome it.

I am always good at talking my friends off a ledge when they are feeding their brains with negative self talk, and I am also good at teaching my Girls on the Run girls that they should not be critical of themselves. But for some reason when it comes to me, sometimes I just can’t get those bad thoughts out of my head.

Today, I am much better and feeling quite happy. But I know that it’s only a matter of time until the negative self talk comes back, and I have another meltdown (hopefully not in a Lulu fitting room!!).

At breakfast this morning with my Mom and Aunt, sporting my new Lulu pullover.

At breakfast this morning with my Mom and Aunt, sporting my new Lulu pullover.

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Now I ask you – how do you deal with negative self talk?

And how do you love yourself for everything you are, instead of focusing on the things you are not?

xoxo,

Ali

Sparkle On Giveaway!!!

15 Jan

Hi friends!

I am so excited to have the opportunity to do another Sparkly Soul giveaway on the blog!

Sparkly Soul headbands are one of my favorite (if not the favorite) running accessory I own.

CHEERS for sparkles!!!!

CHEERS for sparkles!!!! (at the finish of the 2012 not so NYC Marathon)

These headbands come in so many pretty colors, and their sparkles are seen from far away. Another great part of the bands – they don’t slip! Seriously, this thing NEVER budges! I ran a marathon in one and it never moved. They are amazing. I promise (btw, I like the wide headbands).

Have a I sold you yet? Well good. Because you are going to love your sparkly soul. Now let’s discuss how you can win!

Me and my BF after winning a 5k! See what sparkly soul can do for you??

Me and my BF after winning a 5k! See what sparkly soul can do for you??

I am a big fan of the silver! Sparkly soul was necessary at my Girls on the Run 5k this year!

I am a big fan of the silver! Sparkly soul was necessary at my Girls on the Run 5k this year!

Number 1 must be included to be entered to win this contest. The rest are additional entries. I will pick the winner on Thursday at 8pm, using random.com.

Add a new comment for each way you enter.

1. Go to the Sparkly Soul website and leave a comment with which band you would want, then tweet:

I want to win a @SPARKLYSOULINC headband from @AliHatfield! Enter here: http://wp.me/p1UUgc-rQ #Runchat #fitfluential

2. Follow Sparkly Soul on Instagram (they post all kinds of fun things)

3. Follow ME on Instagram (I post fun things too)

4. Like Sparkly Soul on Facebook

5. Like Miles with Style on Facebook

You will be ready to race!

You will be ready to race!

Good luck!!!!

xoxo

P.S. This is the one I would choose:

This teal is gorgeous!

This teal is gorgeous!

Marathons are Like Relationships

13 Jan

Following my Dallas Marathon experience, I decided that marathons are like relationships.

So hear me out.

When you train for a marathon, you put your heart and soul into it, much like you do with a relationship. You devote many hours to it, and feel the negative effects when you neglect it.

You also spend insane amounts of time dreaming of the outcome of your hard work. For marathons it would be crossing the finish line in a PR, BQ or goal worthy time. For relationships it would be the wedding with the perfect white dress and gorgeous centerpieces.

And when marathons and relationships don’t go your way, the effects are felt almost the same.

Within the last year, I have been through a relationship that didn’t go my way, and two marathons that also didn’t go my way. And with both cases, I had similar feelings afterwards.

With my marathon I thought to myself, “Wow. I trained for this thing for 5 months, put every ounce of my body into it, and did not get close to the outcome that I desired.”

With my relationship I thought to myself, “Wow. I worked for months, poured my heart into it, wasted tears on it, spent many late nights devoted to it, and did not get the outcome I had thought would come.”

And then with both, I had the realization I would have to completely start over. Back to square one. Back to the drawing board.

When a marathon doesn’t go your way, you can’t just run another one the next weekend and get the outcome you had wanted (unless you are a running freak). When a relationship doesn’t go your way, you can’t just go on a blind date the following Saturday night and meet the person you’ll marry the next week (unless you are a celeb or you make really bad decisions).

In both cases, you have to come to terms with the fact that you will be starting over and the timeline of reaching your dream will be extended.

Someday, I will break 3:30 in my marathon. I am just not sure when that will be. My body and mind need time to recover from Dallas and process what it will take to work towards that goal again. Although I will be running the Boston Marathon in April, I am not sure an under 3:30 marathon is in the cards there.

And someday, I will wear my perfect white wedding dress and have the most perfect centerpieces that are talked about for years. I am well on my way to this dream, and my heart and mind tell me that I will never have to “start over” with this process again. 😉

How do you deal with a marathon that doesn’t go your way? Or a relationship this doesn’t go your way? What helps you accept the fact that you have to start over?

Wishing you a great week ahead!!

xo,

Ali

Dallas Marathon Recap – Running Because I LOVE it

10 Jan

Wow, I can’t believe that it has been over a month since I ran the Dallas Marathon, and that I still haven’t written my recap! Usually I am so prompt, but with this one, I have been procrastinating. However I procrastinate no more….here it is!

When I signed up for Dallas after the NYC fiasco, I was excited. I also had a good feeling about it. I had ran the race before, and felt that I knew what to expect. All I needed to do for this race was stay healthy and injury free. Obviously I had to keep up my running as well, but I knew that wouldn’t be a problem!

Staying injury free prior to the race was not an issue, but staying healthy was. I got sick the week before the race with horrible respiratory crap, and with my asthma it was a nightmare situation. I tried everything I could to stay positive for the race and not let the illness affect me. I took drugs from the Dr., got a ton of sleep, took time off work and tried about every home remedy possible. I knew my breathing on race day wouldn’t be perfect,  but I did know it would be manageable (after all, I have had asthma my entire life, so I know what it is like to race with it).

The Plan! Complete with steroids, nebulizer treatments, inhalers and mucinex.

My attempt at getting better

We left for Dallas on Friday afternoon, and arrived early evening. Everything about the trip was going well, and we were able to go out and have an awesome dinner in a fun area! Friday night I went to sleep early and slept like a rock, waking up on Saturday feeling happy and refreshed!

Saturday morning, Ramsey and I met his friends Brian and Allison and headed to the expo. I was SO excited to meet Allison in real life, since we had been instagram and twitter friends for quite awhile. Allison and Brian were running their first half Marathon (A) and first full marathon (B), so they were the perfect people to hang with all day! We went to the expo, and then to lunch at an adorable little restaurant. After lunch, Ramsey and I headed back to the hotel for a little relaxation.

Yay Dallas!

Yay Dallas!

Post expo photo with the bulls

Post expo photo with the bulls

Holy amazing!

Holy amazing!

Following doctors orders, I brought my nebulizer to the marathon with me. I was so mad that I had to bring that damn thing, but I was going to do whatever it took to not let my breathing get in the way of a PR worthy marathon! I took the nebulizer before dinner, and immediately felt better (breathing wise). Once we were back from dinner, I took it again and attempted to settle in for bed.

After dinner with my Mom

After dinner with my Mom

Taking photos of the gorgeous downtown lights

Taking photos of the gorgeous downtown lights

Boy, was that one awful nights sleep. I was a nervous wreck. I was so wound up to the point that I was having a full out anxiety attack and thought I was going to pass out (hard to do while laying down, but I got really close). I remember laying there thinking that all I wanted to do was go to my parents hotel room and have my Mom hug me and tell me it was going to be OK (Moms are so good at that, especially my Mom).

During this panic attack, I was thinking about the past 21 weeks of training, and how badly I wanted to have a good race. Then I couldn’t help but let my breathing issues and the heat (it was supposed to be low 60’s to 70’s) come into my mind. The fact was, I was so scared that I was going to have an ashtma attack while running and die (seriously). I couldn’t stop envisioning myself falling down on the course and ending up in a med tent. It was AWFUL! I pride myself on not being a “mental runner”,  but that night, I was going mental. I don’t know what came over me that made me such a mess, but whatever it was needed to go away.

After a while of this I began playing the “how much sleep could I possibly get game”. You know that game…the one where you stare at the clock and start subtracting the hours. Yeah, I was playing it for a few hours. I think about the 4 hour mark I finally fell asleep.

When I woke up Sunday, I was feeling nervous, but ok. I got dressed, ate a banana, took my medicine, and headed out the door. I was happy and excited to face the race, but was most excited to cross the finish line. My parents were there to hug me goodbye, and my wonderful boyfriend was too. I am pretty sure I couldn’t have mentally made it through the weekend without those three people. They were amazing!

Ready!

Ready!

On the shuttle to the start, I made friends with a super sweet girl named Bobbie. Bobbie was running the half, and had also been signed up to run the NYC marathon!! After we figured this out, we had a little connection and stuck together until the race started.

When the race gun went off, I knew it was a little hot and kind of humid, but I was going to ignore that. I was there to run my 26.2 miles, and hopefully run it under 3:32! I was NOT willing to let my asthma and the weather control my race. I was going to do the best I possibly could!

Runner get set...

Runner get set…

and go!

and go!

Around mile 3, I was already dripping with sweat. I remember thinking, “this is not good”. I was also slipping on the pavement because the humidity made the roads slippery. 3 miles in, and the race felt harder than it should. I knew that it most likely wasn’t going to be my PR day, but that didn’t mean it still couldn’t be my day.

When I reached the 10k, I started to panic a tad. My legs hurt already and my breathing was too labored. Up until the 10k I was running my race I needed for a PR, but then I decided it was time to slow down. My mind started racing and my heart was pounding. I remember thinking, “Holy crap. I am hurting this bad and I am 6 miles in. How in the HELL am I going to run 20 more miles!!!”.  Also the realization that I would not PR and that I had many miles to go was a hard pill to swallow. A big part of me wanted to stop and quit. But a bigger part of me wanted to FINISH.

The first half of this race was by far the hardest half marathon I have ever run. It included a number of pep talks, water cups thrown on my body and muscle cramps in my legs. But once I got over the 13.1 mark and realized I was over halfway through, my attitude changed. It was like passing the halfway mark flipped a switch in my brain. I would not be defeated by this race as I had been in Chicago last May. I would run 26.2 miles, and be really proud of myself while doing so.

The theme of the first half of this race might have been defeat, but the theme for the second half would be triumph.

At mile 18, I saw my cheer squad. I was SO excited to see them, I about stopped so I could jump on them and hug them. I needed to see their smiles, and feel their love. My Mom jogged next to me and I said to her, “Mom, today isn’t my day to PR”. And she so sweetly said, “I know it isn’t honey, but is ok! You are doing amazing!”. When I saw my Dad, he gave me a big high five, and I told him that I was hot, but I was doing ok.

Thank, Dad!!

Thank, Dad!!

Happy as could be (at least at mile 18 of a marathon)

Happy as could be (at least at mile 18 of a marathon)

Next up to run by me was my boyfriend. I told him as well that it would not be my PR day, but that I was really ok with it. I wanted them to know that my attitude was really positive and that I would be happy with whatever I did, as long as I crossed that finish line.

And then I ran on.

And then I ran on.

I am actually very thankful that they got lost (whoops!) and didn’t see me the first half of the race. Had I seen them in my panic mode I know I would’ve cried and made them all worry about me. Seeing them at mile 18 was perfect, because I could let them know I was happy with whatever came of my day, and my asthma would not be killing me – yay!

When I hit mile 20, I knew that my heart would finish that race for me. My legs burned so bad, but I was able to keep a solid 8:20ish pace going. I continued to remind myself that I was running this marathon because I LOVED running, and that I was running this marathon for ME! My time didn’t matter anymore and it does not define me as a runner. What defined me as a runner was having the strength and courage to keep on going when I felt so bad, and had so many obstacles thrown my way.

At mile 24, Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Stronger’ came on my ipod. Immediately, I had tears in my eyes. As cheesy as it is, this song got me through a really hard time in my life last spring. I would listen to it blaring and sing it with my running girlfriends on our morning runs. In a way it felt like they were there with me, running alongside me cheering. Hearing it during mile 24 made me so happy, and reminded me of how strong I have become – emotionally and physically – over the last 6 months.

In my head I was thinking, “how many people running this race were on a nebulizer last night?? And how many of these people had to stop and take their inhaler 3 times during the race?? And how many had the LONGEST training EVER because their original race was canceled?!? I bet not many!!!” I wanted to scream out, “I AM STRONGER!!!!” because that was exactly how I felt, but I refrained in order to avoid looks from spectators 🙂

Before I knew it, the finish line of the race was approaching, and I was so excited!!! Then I saw my cheering squad and got all sorts of emotional again. They were standing there cheering, and I felt an insane amount of joy running through my body. People have seen my photos of the finish and said, “awww you look so happy in this picture!” and I quickly tell them that it was because I was so happy! I wish I could bottle up that feeling I had at that moment and give it to people who need a little extra umph to get through something hard.

Almost done!

Almost done!

Crossing the finish line felt amazing. I couldn’t do my usual sprint due to my shortness of breath, but I finished as strong as I could (and of course with my arms thrown up in the air).

I did it!

I did it!

I quickly walked to find water cups (shame on you Dallas for not having water bottles for the runners), and then heard my name being called. Ramsey had run over to the finish to find me and we had such a sweet little moment holding hands through the fence. If only I had the energy to crawl over that thing so I could get a big hug!

Upon entering the after race complex, I ran into my new friend Allison (mentioned above), who was on cloud 9 after finishing her first half marathon (GO ALLISON!). She was so proud of herself, and I loved hearing her race story. Seeing her happiness and runners high after her first half marathon reminded again why I run – because I love it.

So proud and excited for you, Allison!

So proud and excited for you, Allison!

I finally met up with my boyfriend and parents and we exchanged big hugs. For some reason I felt like I needed to apologize to them for not running the race I wanted to, which is so silly. They told me that no matter what time I run, they will always be proud of me – and that is why I have the most amazing support system ever. I did want them to know that although my day didn’t turn out as I had wanted it to, I was still really really happy and so so proud of myself. Another marathon medal was earned!

BAM.

BAM.

He is amazing. He will even wear a shirt with a high heel on it to support me.

He is amazing. He will even wear a shirt with a high heel on it to support me.

When I got back to the hotel and checked my phone, I was overwhelmed by all the love and support waiting for me. I can’t get over how many people congratulated me on a finish and checked on me to see how I was doing. All of that love and support never goes unnoticed or unrecognized in my eyes, so thank you VERY much for everything!

The rest of the day was for traveling home, drinking beer and eating a ton of food (my favorite post race ritual). Overall, I was in a great mood and my spirits were high, which surprised me. Had you told me a month before the race that I would not PR or hit my goal, I probably would’ve punched you and then cried. But that day, I was perfectly content. As I said earlier, my marathon time will not define me as a runner, but my spirit and determination in the sport will.

Thank you again for all the love and support these past few months! I owe you all big time!

Splits (and pace)
5k: 24:22 (7:52)
10K: 49:20 (7:57)
Half: 1:47:26 (8:12)
20 Mile: 2:49:22 (8:28)
26.2: 3:43:08 (8:31)

and I won't forget that.

and I won’t forget that.

xo

Ali

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