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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 I hope Ramsey feels like the luckiest guy 🙂

Yesterday I was thinking about to our vows and reflecting the words we exchanged. In this last year, we have been through a lot. Life hasn’t been all ups this year, 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 (anything by Bruno Mars and the Carpenters).

For richer, for poorer, we have figured things out. It 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 trips 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 together. 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.

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xo,

Ali

 

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Back on the Road! + 4th of July Weekend

7 Jul

This morning, I did my first run outside in 2.5 weeks! I think that is the longest outdoor break I have taken in at least a year. And it felt great to be back outside on the road.

As I said in my last post, I am currently treating some foot and hip pain. I ran 3 times on the treadmill last week, at 2 miles each time. I have been making sure to run at an easy pace and not push myself too hard. Seeing that I am not in training mode right now, pushing myself hard is just asking for further injury.

Just like my treadmill runs, I took today’s run very slow and conservative (in terms of my running pace). Instead of panicking when I saw a 10:21 mile pop up on my Garmin, I embraced it. It was so awesome to just run an easy pace and relax. A couple miles in, I could feel some foot and hip pain, but it was nothing significant. I hope to continue to do these types of runs over the next couple weeks before I have to pick it up for training mode.

I am trying to not get too discouraged about my current state, but I will admit that it can be hard to see friends running some awesome miles when I know that I shouldn’t be doing that right now. Even my husband has been making me jealous with this great runs lately! But I just have to remind myself that I am doing what is best for me and it will pay off soon when I am stronger than ever!

Moving on.

The 4th of July weekend was amazing! We were supposed to venture up to Iowa this weekend, however a last minute work project for Ramsey and a flood in the area canceled our plans. It was sad to miss out on the fun up there, but we decided it would be best to make the most out of our time at home.

I decorated.

I decorated.

Thursday evening we went to a winery and watched some amazing fireworks! And even better – we got to drink wine while watching them. Not much better than that!!

My patriotic outfit.

My patriotic outfit.

Wining at the winery.

Wining at the winery.

Friday we went to the pool, had some yummy drinks and food, then headed out to my favorite spot on the 4th – Lake Tapawingo. It was so fun as usual. It is crazy to think I have been going there my entire life!

Grapefruit margs.

Grapefruit margs.

Cousins!

Cousins!

Saturday and Sunday were spent cleaning, reading (Dark Places by Gillian Flynn), hanging out with friends, and spending time out in the city. I won’t bore you with every detail…however one thing that has been bothering me is the fact that for the THIRD time in just a few months I had a teacher no-show for my fitness class. To me, that is unacceptable. How would you handle that? Complain? Or get over it (until it inevitably happens again)?

Sporting KC game.

Sporting KC game.

SO hot but at least we had drumsticks.

SO hot but at least we had drumsticks.

He wants to be on the team.

He wants to be on the team.

How was your 4th?

Any tips for keeping myself in check while coming back from this injury?

Xo!
Ali

PTs, BBQs and Weddings

1 Jul

On Monday I started an adventure with my new Physical Therapist!

The mission: Get better by August, or at least feel better by August.

I’ve told everyone (that is willing to listen) about my hip/booty problems before. And finally I am doing something about it!!! I have been going to a Chiropractor for the pain the past 6 weeks, but decided I needed something more. My foot started hurting in a way I haven’t ever experienced, and that made me scared.

First step to recovery was to stop running and take it easy. I thought I would be miserable during my first week off, but it was actually pretty awesome. I loved having the time to do other fun workouts. And I loved just sleeping in if I wanted to. I always tell people, “listen to your body”, and I knew it was time for me to do that too!

After a week off, I felt better already. Which proved to me even more, I needed a BREAK!!!

Monday morning, I met with my new PT. The best part about the PT is that he came to my office to meet with me! One of the 1,000 perks about working at Hallmark is that we have a full clinic and I can do these kind of things at work. I love it.

We will be focusing on my hip pain this month and strengthening my muscles more. I have lots of exercises to do, but I am going to try my hardest to stay focused an on track with them.

Fingers crossed that I am feeling better by August so I can hit is hard for my next big racing adventure!! More to come there 🙂

ANYWAY….

We had another wedding last weekend, and it was a blast. It was one of those weddings where you wake up the next day sore from dancing so much. Brady and Molly – thank you for all the fun you gave us!

Love him!

Love him!

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End of the night selfie….GO TO BED.

On Saturday I hosted all of my cousins at my house for a little family BBQ. Ramsey was a pro at the grill and I got to try a new burger recipe. I also made some amazing Key Lime pie.

King of the grill!

King of the grill!

And queen of the pie.

And queen of the pie.

And on Sunday I experimented and made black bean sliders. They were SO GOOD. I just heated up the Morningstar Farms black bean patties, added a slice of cheese, guacamole and put them on a roll. Ramsey got 3 rolls, I got 1. But even without the roll, these little guys were delicious.

Ramsey's plate.

Ramsey’s plate.

I am looking forward to a day off work on Friday to hang out with my family and celebrate the 4th.

Have you gone to a PT before? And what are you up to on the 4th??

xo,

Ali

 

 

 

Week in my life challenge: lessons learned

9 Apr

Hi friends!

I was really excited to hear from so many of you as I was doing my week in the life challenge.

If you missed it, basically I just documented a week of my life through photos and captions. Some posts over shared a little more than the others (ahem toenails…..). But I tried my best to take pictures of everything!

The goal of my week challenge was to identify ways that I can help myself to not feel so busy, rushed and overwhelmed. When I first began the challenge, I thought that taking photos could really help me to realize things I am doing that are wasting my time. However by the end of the week, I realized my lesson learned would be something different…

Doing this challenge helped me realize the following things:

  1. I am really busy
  2. I work a lot
  3. I workout a lot
  4. I don’t get much sleep during the week
  5. I take Lazy Sundays to a whole new level
  6. I do a lot of really fun things
  7. I have a pretty amazing life

On this list, I think the most important items are numbers 6 and 7.

By the middle of the week I knew that my “lesson learned” had nothing to do with changing how I spent my time or making more efficient decisions. Instead, my lesson learned would have to do with my actions, and controlling my feelings (especially the feeling of being overwhelmed).

One day last year, I had a routine meeting with my boss. The day of this meeting I was felt like my head was about to explode, and that I could have a major meltdown at any moment (exactly what you DO NOT want to do in front of your boss!!!). I felt like there was just not enough time to get everything done, and I was slacking on things in my work life, and my personal life.

During this meltdown, my life was extremely similar to what it is now. I was training for the NYC Marathon, head coaching Girls on the Run, working like crazy, and trying to maintain a social life. I was also trying to get the amount of sleep I thought I needed to function.

And as I was melting down, my boss gave me some advice. He told me that controlling the situation and my feelings would depend on two things. Those things were changing my perspective, and evaluating my priorities.

After he told me this, I really took the advice to heart and applied it wherever I could. Whether it be in my work life, or my personal life, I learned that this could actually apply anywhere.

On day 6 of my challenge, I had to apply this advice to my life again. If you missed this post, I was full out MELTING DOWN over feeling overwhelmed because I was struggling to fit a ton of fun things that I CHOSE to do into my day (boo hoo, huh?). I was about to ruin my Saturday by crying about things that were not things to cry about. And that is where fixing my perspective came in handy.

“Check it before you wreck it”, I thought. And that thought alone helped tremendously. I was able to get a check on things and enjoy my Saturday.

Following ‘the week in the life posts’, I’ve had people tell me that they don’t understand how I do everything, and mostly how I wake up so early. But to me, it is my only option. All of these choices I make are things I love doing. And they are the things that make my life what it is. And to get in all of the things I want to do, it means I don’t get to sleep as much as I would like during the week.

Running, family, friends, boyfriend, social life, Girls on the Run and work are my priorities. I am confident that if I did not fill my days with these things, my life would not be complete and I would be pretty bored. I would also not be nearly as happy as I am now.

And isn’t life all about filling your time with things that make you happy? 🙂

Do you have ways that you handle your stress?

Or ever have to fix your perspective or priorities?

xo,

Ali

Seasonal Rage Disorder

27 Mar

I decided that I have recently acquired Seasonal Rage Disorder.

It is like the Seasonal Depression Disorder, only instead of having the side affects that one would think correlate to depression, I am having the side affects of someone with lots of rage. And I mean, LOTS of RAGE!!!!

The cause?

Well that is easy. It is the NEVER ENDING WINTER THAT WON’T GO AWAY!!!!!

I am always one of those people who gets so excited for the first (and even second and third) snowfalls of the season. I actually have always considered myself one of those weird people that don’t mind when winter is coming.

But right now, I am going freaking crazy with this weather. And when the weather people announce that we are expecting another storm with MORE snow and MORE ice and MORE cold winds, I want to punch frosty in the face.

Yes, I realize that it is “officially” spring, but I refuse to call it spring until the weather starts behaving that way.

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When I got home from my run this morning and I was feeling all sorts of anger from the cold weather, I put together a top 10 list of reasons why I hate winter weather and our current situation.

It is negative and grouchy, but it is how I feel.

Here we go….

1. Constantly slipping on ice and nearly falling on my ass. This morning, I actually almost fell into a storm drain.

2. Hour long commutes to work. I swear, people see snow on the ground and drive like idiots.

3. What does sunshine even look like? And where did I put all my sunglasses since I haven’t been wearing them?

4. My Girls on the Run girls are totally over running laps inside a tiny classroom. That small space will NOT help them to train for a 5k. I would guess maybe (and I mean maybe) 50 laps is a mile.

5. Stuck on the treadmill. Enough said there.

6. Wearing the same damn sweaters over and over and over. My spring clothes are being neglected.

7. Hands so dry they actually start bleeding.

8. My nose is ALWAYS running!

9. Constant shivering.

10. Looking like Ralphie from A Christmas Story every time I attempt a run outside. Or actually every time I go outside for any reason.

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Thank you for listening to me. I actually feel a little better already. And if you have tips on handling winters that won’t go away and miserable weather, can you let me know???

Wishing you a good week ahead. And I PROMISE the next post will be happier. Unless of course, we get another blizzard between now and then.

xo

Ali

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

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

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

NYC Marathon Training – Week Ten

15 Oct

This was a week of redemption for me following the awful experience of week 9 training.

Week 10 began strong, and also gave my legs some time to recover. I knew that it was important for me to give myself some rest, and listen to my body.

I went on a little weekend trip to Louisville, KY this week to visit my family that lives there. That definitely offered some relaxation and fun to get my mind off training. I threw in some photos below for your viewing pleasure 🙂

Monday – Off

Tuesday – 8 miles at 8:00 pace. Ran 3 minutes hard for 6 of the miles. Overall, this was a really good run and offered a break from the track and mile repeats (which can be mentally exhausting).

Wednesday – 4 miles at 9:15 pace. Great run with Diana following her big marathon!

Thursday – 10 miles at 8:40 pace. Great run with Stacy and Emily! Picked it up for 2 mins 5 times. Probably should’ve done my pick up 10 times, but was giving myself a “break”…

Friday – 2.3 miles on the elliptical. I haven’t been on an elliptical and years, but I really enjoyed this 30 minute workout!! It offered me something different and gave me the chance to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy!!

Saturday – 16 miles at 8:37 pace. Good run in Louisville with Ramsey by my side on his bike! Hilly run but overall pretty good. Hit my 1,000 mile mark for the year on the run!

Sunday – Off

Total Miles: 40.3 miles

Betting on some horses at Keeneland!

Mom and I at Keeneland.

Aunt Holly and I at Woodford Reserve tasting some Bourbon!

One of my biggest running cheerleaders! What a trooper to ride his bike next to me for 2.5 hours while I ran!!!

Ridin’ a Wild Turkey!!

 

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!

Thursday

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

Cheers!!!

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

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

RAWR!

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

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

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??).

Twinkies!

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.

xoxo,

Ali

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