Archive | October, 2014

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.

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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:

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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!

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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!

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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

If I knew then…

7 Oct

This morning as I was driving to work, an old song came on the radio.

You know those songs that take you back to a time of your life and make you feel like it was yesterday? This song is one of those.

So what is it? Low by Flo Rida. (what can I say…I like my rap…shorty had them applebottom jeans….)

As I was listening, I thought about how much life has changed the last few years and especially how I have changed as a person. I couldn’t help but look back to that time of my life and think “If I knew then, what I know now”….

  • I would’ve spent more time thinking about others, and less time thinking about myself
  • I would’ve appreciated what I had, instead of obsessing over what I didn’t
  • I would’ve been more thankful for my parents and everything they did for me
  • I wouldn’t have put up with a boss that talked down to me
  • I would’ve spent less money on materialistic items, and donated it instead
  • I wouldn’t have dated that a-hole
  • I would’ve drank more water, and less wine
  • I would’ve taken more cabs
  • I would’ve stood up for myself more
  • I would’ve been happier with my appearance
  • I would’ve payed better attention in my MBA classes
  • I would’ve spent more time with my friends that deserved my time, and less with those that didn’t
  • I wouldn’t have tolerated a boyfriend that didn’t take me seriously (different dude than the one above)
  • I wouldn’t have been such a slacker with my running
  • I would’ve tried to meet more people and branch out
  • I would’ve volunteered more
  • I would’ve been more accepting of people
  • I would’ve been healthier
  • I wouldn’t have wasted tears over things and people that didn’t deserve my tears
  • I would’ve said yes to a date with my now husband two and a half years sooner

And those are just a few of things I would do differently now.

But I will tell you this – I regret none of these decisions. Because without these decisions, I would not be the person I am today. I am a firm believer that our mistakes teach us lessons and make us better people. I know mine certainly have.

Today I am thankful for all that I have and the person I have become.

And while my early 20’s were awesome – please do not make me go back 🙂

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xo,

Ali

P.S. I am impressed that Flo Rida could make me think so deep.

 

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