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Running in Tutus

13 Jun

Last weekend, my best friend Nicole got married. Nicole lives in California now, and was coming in town a week before her wedding. We decided that the best way to kick off her wedding week was to run a half marathon, with the goal of a PR for Nicole.

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When I race, I am all about the outfits (umm, duh). For this race, I decided that we HAD to run in tutus. Nicole’s would be white, and mine would be purple (her bridesmaid dress colors). I made the tutus, then hand crafted some shirts, and TA DA!

Due to Nicole’s late night flight and a gala I attended on Friday evening, we did not get to bed until 1:30am. We knew the next morning would be rough, but we were ready to conquer the Hospital Hill half marathon!

Race Time

5:15 came WAY too early. Holy moly, we were exhausted. We slowly got dressed, and staggered out the door to make the trek downtown.

Once we arrived and assembled our ensembles, we walked to towards the start. Right off the bat, people were yelling at us, honking at us, and cheering at us. It was so funny!

We snapped a quick pic with an old friend, found our place in line, and began our half marathon journey side by side.

The weather was PERFECT. This race is always has a reputation of being super hot, and we got such a break this year. I will say one thing though – it was freaking hilly!!! I guess I didn’t really take the name of the race seriously. Who knew that Hospital Hill would be full of hills??

Of course she was wearing a veil.

The future Mrs. Valentine running through Valentine Rd.

It was so much fun running in these outfits because everyone was cheering for us. Seriously, everyone was. It was as if they had never seen runners in costume.

The top things we heard were:

“Oh my goodness, look at the bride! And the maid of honor too!!”
“Look at the ballerinas”
“When’s the wedding?!”
“You’re a nice maid of honor to run a half marathon with her”
“What is with the tutus?”

Nicole and I made it through the hills, and were able to finish strong and very happy.

I love this picture.

Final time: 1:50:25

So….did we get Nicole a PR? The answer is YES!!!! By 20 seconds!

So proud with our medals!

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So what did we do the rest of the week? Well…..

We rehearsed.

We relaxed.

We partied.

We watched our girl get married.

And we celebrated.

It was the perfect week, with the perfect people.

XO,

Ali

Vegas – Through the Photos

11 May

The photos do the best part of explaining my absolutely insane Vegas Vacation. Enjoy!

Friday, April 27 – Sunday, April 29

Drinks were going down by 6:30am

Jump, Jump!!!

I took care of the girls.

My only real pool time of the weekend.

Celebrating Nicole! (Sorority life did wonders for my crafting skills)

Ready to PARTY….easily the two most responsible and well behaving girls of the evening.

10pm, the Bride arrived!!

Partying at pure. We are so chic.

Saturday – 6pm. This was the hardest drink I have ever choked down in my entire life. Notice there were zero photos from Saturday daytime. Why? Because I spent a day of vacation in bed. Yep.

But I bounced back quite nicely!

Found some of Caesar’s friends

This happened. In the lobby of the Excalibur.

Thunder from Down Under. The most entertaining hour and a half of my life. My friend – “Ali, you look like you are going to jump that guy you are sitting on”. Me – Yeah…I was..I asked him if I could rub his chest. He said yes”.

I am so jealous that Kim scored a Thunder’s belt buckle.

Bride and MOH 🙂

Dancing the night away.

Chilling with Englishman…what is with his finger under Nicole’s chin?? This picture kills me.

4am. Can you tell? Complete with dollar signs we stole from Englishman.

Last minute drinks before leaving Sin City (and after a BIG day of shopping). Dollar sign necklaces still on….

 

The perfect weekend. With the perfect group of girlfriends.

And no (sigh), I never went for a run.

XOXO,

Ali

 

Birthday Blues

21 Apr

It is my birthday today, and I have a bad case of the blues. I am not ready to turn 26. And it seems God has not answered my prayers to have a 25 re-do.

I haven’t felt like this about a birthday since I was turning 22. At 22, I was panicking about graduating college and leaving that life. I also had major anxiety about where life would take me and what was ahead.

22 year old me thought writing on myself was super cool.

Coincidentally, I am freaking out about turning 26 because I am not where my 22 year old self thought I would be at this age.

When I was 22, I knew that by the time I was 26 I would have this fabulous lifestyle. I would be married, living in a beautiful home that I had purchased, driving my Acura, buying Jimmy Choo shoes once a quarter (yes, I actually thought I would be able to buy Jimmy Choo shoes once a quarter for the new season ahead), and overall be happy with all aspects of my life.

So what the hell was the 22 year old version of me thinking?! Although I do have a great life…I am not married, not a homeowner, still driving my 2005 Ford Escape (no offense Scapey! I still love you very much), and I am not an owner of Jimmy Choo shoes anymore. Why? Because I sold them on eBay to make extra money!!!

I realize that I have a great life, and I have accomplished many things. I have amazing family, awesome friends, a Boston Qualifying Marathon time, a good job, a solid clothing and accessory collection, and many other things. But I am still singing the blues today.

Cheers to a year that MUST be a good one.

Hopefully throughout this day I will snap out of it. But if not, there is always tomorrow…which thankfully is just another day! And my first adventure in pacing a half marathon.

Thanks as always for listening to my rambles, and especially for listening to this cry – baby post.

Wishing you an awesome weekend ahead!

Ali

Counting my blessings

3 Apr

Last Friday morning, we had the quite the scare on our run. As Stacy, Diana and I were running through a neighborhood, a big truck going way too fast in a residential area almost hit us.

It was terrifying. The driver of this truck was obviously not paying attention, and veered straight towards us into our running lane. We were forced to jump off the street into the grass, and stood there shocked and in disbelief at what almost happened.

Obviously, this startled all three of us. For the rest of the day, none of us could shake the feeling of fear that was hanging on from this awful moment. However since this scare happened, I have began to count my blessings again.

When I was a little girl, my Grandmother and I used to count our blessings together, and send blessings to those we love. “God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless brother”, etc. Somewhere through the years I lost sight of the many blessings in my life. But now I am beginning to realize again how important it is to count our blessings, and send them along to others.

Life gives us lemons often, but are these actually just blessings in disguise? I think back to our terrifying encounter last Friday morning. It shook me up, but it also prompted me to buy myself a running light to wear in the dark. I always thought they were silly and annoying, but now I realize that they could save my life.

Going forward, I will begin to count my blessings more often. I will also find the good in the “lemon” situations, and know that there is a reason for these things to happen.

I ask you to join with me. Count your blessings, and send them to the other people in your life that need them.

XO,

Ali

A Santa Fe Getaway

22 Feb

Good evening! I had to take a little hiatus from the blog, but it was for a really good reason. I was on vacation!

I had been looking forward to this little Santa Fe getaway for the past month. I was going with my boyfriend Zack, and we had not seen each other since Christmas (long distance relationships…wahh wahh).

So are you ready to hear about the trip? Good. Here we go!!

Thursday

On Thursday, I arrived in Texas to Zack’s lovely city he currently calls home.

We ran some errands, and packed up for our trip!

Friday

Around 10am, we hit the road and headed West.

It was about a 5 hour drive to Santa Fe, and a boring one at that. We decided to get an audio book to listen to, hoping it would help pass the time. Well, we got “Assholes Finish First”, by Tucker Max. I was actually the person to vote for this book, thinking it would be funny. It was funny…but also the most vulgar and inappropriate thing I have ever listened to!

At 3pm, we arrived in Santa Fe!

Cute little hotel.

After getting checked in the hotel, we headed out to walk around and get a little bite to eat.

Following our late lunch, we walked around the plaza so I could find some turquoise earrings (I wanted authemtic ones that Indians were selling off rugs in the plaza).

Success!

After our shopping trip, we headed back to the hotel and relaxed a bit.

Then it was time to hit the hotel bar. They had the most amazing cocktails at the bar, and I enjoyed this apple, lime, fruity vodka thing. Whoa.

Now this is vacation.

Dinner followed dinner at a New Meixcan style restaurant, then it was time to rest up for our big day on the slopes!

Saturday

The alarm went off early Saturday, and we started prepping for the day ahead. After getting bundled up, it was time to brave the snow.

A lot of people are surprised by the fact that you can ski in Santa Fe. For some reason they think it would be really warm there. Well, it is not. It is actually pretty chilly!

A lovely drive up the mountain.

We have arrived!

I had not skied in 12 years. I was terrified that I would forget how to do it.

The moment of truth happened coming off our first lift. Would I remember? Would I fall? Would I cry?

well…..

Terrified but ready!

….I picked it right back up! I was actually shocked at how easily it all came back to me!

Zack boards, so we would go our separate ways at the top of the mountain and meet back up when he reached the bottom.

Beautiful!

ahhhhhhh!

We had the best day skiing, and the mountain was so pretty and relaxing. We were exhausted after skiing all day, and it was time to head back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, we rested and then prepared for dinner. Twitter friend Emily (@EmilyRatcliff) suggested an Italian restaurant, Il Piatto. Dinner was delicious, and such a cute and quaint little setting.

🙂

Sunday

Sunday morning, we ate at a cute little cafe and decided it was time to go to Church.

We headed up to St. Francis Cathedral. It was really lovely!

Very historic

I made an Indian friend.

This photo does not do justice!

After we wrapped up at St. Francis, we went to the Loretto Chapel to look at the famous staircase.

This staircase is a “Miracle” because it was made by an unknown little carpenter man, and doesn’t have a nail anywhere in it. It is such a cool story…google it!

So much character.

Incredible!

One last stop was required before we headed home. I wanted an authentic turquoise ring to go with my new earrings. Zack was quite the sport as I drug him up and down the street looking for the perfect ring.

This time was well spent, because I found a ring that was right at home on my finger.

I HATE the way my hand looks in this photo. Have I heard of lotion?

After I found my new ring, we headed back to Texas.

The trip home was more of Tucker Max, and that obscene book. But it actually got pretty funny during the second half.

Now I am back home in Missouri. The weekend was great, and I plan to visit Santa Fe again.

Chat soon!

xoxo,

Ali

 

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A Day of LOVE

14 Feb

In honor of Valentines Day, I decided to write a post focused on LOVE. Specifically, all the things that I LOVE about my life.

I LOVE….

My Family

Best Parents, brother, cousins, Aunts, Uncles and Granparents

My Friends

Loyal and faithful friends galore!

My Running Buddies

No way I would see all my successes without Stacy and Diana.

My Boyfriend

Far apart but always in my heart!

My Job

Where else can you wear awesome sweaters to the office?

My Shoe Collection

and this isn’t even all of them…

My Role as Aunt Ali (Awi,I E)

Reese, Bridget and Caden – always bringing me smiles and laughs.

My Running Ability

So thankful to have this ability come so easily to me.

All of these things that I love are what make my life happy and whole. They get me through bad days, and keeping me looking forward to the next day to come.

As the years go on, I expect this list to grow longer.

I hope everyone has a Happy Valentines Day, and is able to spend it with someone they love, or doing something they love.

XO,

Ali

A Day in the Life of Ali

8 Feb

I thought it would be fun to document my day, and show everyone how I choose to spend my time. Enjoy!

5:30am – Run 5 miles

7:00am – Get my Josh Elliott fix on GMA. I love you, Josh!

7:45am – Ready for work, glad I get to wear jeans!

7:55am – Pack up lunch, fix my smoothie, leave for work

8:20am – Sit in traffic on 435W

8:30am – Arrive at work. Good morning, Digital Evolution Group!

12:15pm – Lunch at my desk. mmmm Turkey.

2:15pm – Refill water for the 3rd time

3:00pm – Snack time! Chobani yogurt with Kashi and banana.

4:00pm – Tea time

5:15pm – Leave DEG, head to boot camp

5:56pm – Make it to boot camp just in time!

7:05pm – Hobble out of boot camp

7:12pm – Arrive at Margo’s for weekly Bachelor party with the gals!

9:15pm – Come home, shower and setup my nighttime office

10:05pm – Set out running clothes for Tuesday morning hill workout

10:06pm – Set alarm (that extra minute past 5 helps), prepare for bed!

Wake up, and repeat 🙂

-Ali

Marvelous Mondays – February 6th

6 Feb

Great news to all my readers. Ali is back to her happy self!

I finally shook my mood from the past couple weeks and I am feeling normal again. Cheers to that!

Now let’s get excited about the week, shall we?

Nicole’s Birthday

Obviously today is marvelous because it is my best friends birthday!

Throwback pic from 2003! We were WAY too tan for February.....

Happy 26th Birthday, Nicole!!! I love you and cannot wait to be your maid of honor in 4 months!

Foggy Run

I had a stellar run this morning in the fog!

No, this isn't really from this morning, but it is such a cool pic!

It was a bit scary because it was super dark and super foggy, but I felt great and ran a good pace. Isn’t a great run the best way to start off your day? I think so!

Chocolate Ale

People in Kansas City have been crazy obsessed with this seasonal beer made by Boulevard Brewery. It is called “Chocolate Ale”.

After bar hopping with my friend Kim this weekend, we can now contribute to conversations about Chocolate Ale. It tasted like beer, with chocolate in it!

You would NOT want a glass bigger than this.

Sweet Baby Time

Yesterday I attended my first “play date”. My boyfriend Zack’s sister has two of the sweetest little babies, and they had a little date setup to play with their cousin Gia. I invited myself and tagged along!

I love these girls so much and see them every chance I get! Being Aunt Awi is the best thing ever.

Bridget drinks lots of water just like Awi!

Ummm, for real....look at that sweet face!!!!

So what are you looking forward to this week? Or did something great already happen that you would like to share?

Wishing everyone a happy, positive, upbeat week ahead!

xo,

Ali

A Letter to My Skinny Friend

2 Feb

Dear Skinny Friend,

We have lived in the same neighborhood for about 2 and a half years. I don’t know your name. I don’t know your story. I don’t know anything about your life. But I really like you. And you inspire me.

Our faux friendship started shortly after I moved into my house. I would see you running in the morning, and see the determination within you. Every time we run by each other, we share a polite “hello” and “good morning!”. You also give me a very kind smile that tells me you are a nice person.

So why do you inspire me? You inspire me because no matter what weather – rain, snow, cold, heat, etc. you are out hitting the pavement in our neighborhood. Every single day you run. And every day you look so determined to get to the next step.

You also inspire me because over the two and a half years we’ve been living in the same neighborhood, you have lost at least 50 pounds. Anyone who can take control of their life and do that for themselves inspires me. I don’t what else you are doing aside from running, but skinny friend – you’re lookin’ good.

Maybe someday we will stop and have a conversation during our run. However based on your focus and my tendency to start my morning runs late, I don’t know if that will ever happen.

Thank you for being an example to others in our neighborhood, and proving that being active can make a big difference in ones life.

Also, thanks for all the smiles, hello’s and good mornings these last two years. Keep up the running, and keep up that level of determination.

-Ali

Marvelous Mondays – January 23rd

23 Jan

Wow, I cannot believe that it is Monday again, and time for another weekly post.

I will admit that I have been mighty grouchy today…so I am hoping that this post boosts my mood. Nothing serious going on, just letting things annoy me that I can usually brush off. I also think my ugly nail polish is bringing me down – it looked so pretty in the bottle!

So here we go…let’s see how I well I can write a marvelous post while feeling quite un-marvelous.

The Killer 1,000

This week at boot camp, we will be doing something called the Killer 1,000. I have NO clue what this workout entails, but apparently it is quite the killer. I am hydrating like a mo-fo to prepare for this thing, because the last thing I want is to crash due to inadequate hydration.

Pinterest


I created a board on my Pinterest that is titled “Things I’ve Tried”.

The point of this board is to give reviews on the Pinterst projects that I have actually tried. There are so many great ideas and recipes on Pinterst, but I wanted to share my views and opinions on them so others know if it’s worth doing as well! I think everyone should do this…

*You should follow me, then I can follow you!

Running Groove


My running groove is back, and that is making me happy!

My accountability partners and I are back on a schedule of meeting 3 times a week for a morning run. Our mileage has been averaging 5-6 miles per run, and pace hasn’t been discussed (which makes it relaxing!)

Being back with the girls starts my day off the right way. And also serves as a 3/week therapy session.

Guest Blog Post

This week I will be featuring my first guest blogger! I love the idea of doing guest blogs, and I think this one will interest and help a lot of people.

Just a hint, the content goes perfectly with my blog name!

Girls Night


To finish off the week, my Mom will be hosting a girls night at her house.

Wine and appetizers will be served, and I am quite excited to try out another Pinterest recipe.If you have one I should try, please send it my way!

Have you caught on to my obsession with Pinterest?

 

What does your week have in store? Exciting workouts or time with friends/family? Please share!!

(and I totally feel better already after writing this 🙂 )

xo,

Ali

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