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My Love/Hate Relationship

15 Mar

I am in a love/hate relationship. And this relationship is with speedwork.

Every week, I dread my Tuesday/Thursday runs because it means we are doing speedwork. And this week was no different; tempo run on Tuesday, track work on Thursday.

Speedwork is hard. And uncomfortable. Speedwork forces you to put your body in a state of discomfort for an extended amount of time, and makes you feel like death while you’re doing it. Speedwork is also very scary, and intimidating. You see the times you must run your repeats in and immediately think, “Holy crap” (or at least I do).

But one thing is for sure: Speedwork pays off, and makes you run faster than you think is possible for your body.

As I said earlier, speedwork is a love/hate relationship for me. And although last night at 9pm I hated it, today at approximately 6:26am, I was in love…

Diana’s training schedule (I use Di’s, because I have yet to make one for myself) listed mile repeats for today. When I heard this, I said to her, “Oh, well you can do those but I am doing my own thing. I despise mile repeats. They suck. No way.”

As I was driving to meet the girls this morning, I was trying to figure out what I was going to run…800’s? 400’s? A ladder? And when I got up to the track, I still had not decided. We ran our warm up run, and still no decision (It is really hard to think at 5:15am).

Then it was time to start the actual workout. So I sucked it up and said I would do the first mile repeat with them, and then do my own thing (whatever that may be).

Well, I never started my own thing, and ended up running all 4 of those dang repeats.

The times for each mile were as follows: 7:02, 6:43, 6:41, 6:34. I thought anything under 7 would be good, and after the first mile I knew I needed to kick it into gear and pick up the pace. I didn’t think I would have these 6 min miles in my legs today, but it appears I did.

After I finished, I was proud and happy (as I always am after a Tuesday/Thursday run). And on a total runners high (my favorite feeling!!!). I am so glad that I pushed myself to do this workout today and didn’t give up. Diana and Stacy also did awesome on theirs, and we were a happy group overall.

Stacy wrapped up our run with a groundbreaking observation. She said to us, “You know what makes you run a fast race? Practicing a fast pace”. Shut the front door, I never would have guessed!!!

 

How do you feel about speedwork?? Do you love it? Hate it? Or both like me?

xo,

Ali

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A Run with a Tumble

13 Mar

If you have had any form of communication with me over the past week (phone, in person, text, facebook, twitter, dailymile, etc.) you know that I have a boo boo.

And you know that I have a boo boo because I have been complaining about it non-stop since last Wednesday (sorry friends).

If you have not been able to hear the story, or see the evidence of it on my body, keep reading…

The “Story”

Last Wednesday morning, I arrived at Diana’s house for a lovely 5am run. It was a recovery day, and we had 5 miles on the schedule.

We began our run through the neighborhood, chatting as usual and oblivious to our dark surroundings.

Then all of a sudden (.2 miles into the run), BAM!!!! And I was laying face down, sprawled out on the sidewalk. I continued to lay there moaning in pain, while Diana screamed, “OMG ALI! ARE YOU OK!?!?”.

It took a minute to figure out what the hell had just happened, but then I realized, and said to myself…“Ali, you just bit it. Hard. And right as a car was driving by. Stop moaning/crying, get your face off the sidewalk, and make sure you didn’t just rip your $98 Lululemon pants.”

As I peeled my body off the cold sidewalk, I started to really feel the pain. We began running again, and I hurt. Bad. At first, I couldn’t tell which part of my body hurt worse: hands, knee, hip, shoulder. By the end of the run it was clear…I could barely move my arm up and down…I had really done something bad to my shoulder.

As the day went on, the complaining/whining/pathetic-ness only got more annoying. And my shoulder hurt more and more.

The “Evidence

Now I know you are all just dying to see the photos from this disastrous event. So here you go…

This was taken 5 days, post fall. See that bruising? See it?

I wonder if people think I got a tattoo??

Ok, so maybe these photos don’t do it justice, but my arm still hurts really really bad. And I am going to continue to complain about this thing until the pain goes away and I don’t have to apply bandages and ointment numerous times a day.

Thank you for listening, and feeling sorry for me.

-Ali

P.S. The $98 Lulu pants survived the fall without a snag. Thank goodness, because that would have been something worth crying about.

We run, then we party.

5 Mar

This weekend, my best friend Nicole was in town. Nicole grew up in KC, but recently moved out to California to be with her now fiance.

The reason for Nicole’s homecoming was her Bridal Shower, and to get a couple wedding things done.

Saturday morning began with a 10 mile run. I had not gone for a run with Nicole in almost a year, and that is a VERY long time without my favorite running buddy.

We ran with Stacy and Diana, it was like the group was complete! Overall, it was a great run at a 9 minute pace.

The KC weather was quite the change from what Nicole is used to!!

Following our run, it was time for me to prep for Nicole’s big party! I was a hostess of the party, and we were expecting over 50 women!

It was a lot of work, but the party was amazing (Thank you MOM for helping me SO much)!

Pretty in pink!

Good thing we ran, because we ate...A LOT!

The best friends!

I always love the motto “Work hard, play hard”. And I think that is a motto I live by. I work very hard at everything I do, and I play almost as hard. This past weekend was a testament to that, and it was one of the best weekends I have had in a very long time.

I am already looking forward to the next time I get to run with my favorite running buddy!! Maybe we could plan that run in Vegas at your Bachelorette party?!?

Have the best week ever!!

Ali

 

8 Miles in 8 Degrees

12 Feb

This weekend, I ran in the coldest weather I had ever braved.

It was 6 degrees when we began our 8 mile run at 8am, and 8 when we finished. The windchill was well below zero, but the sun was shining bright.

Diana, Stacy and I had decided it would be fun to wear PJ pants on this insanely chilly run. The PJ pants were also a great idea because they were fleece and were easy to layer over tights.

Oh you know, just ready to rob a bank!

This run was NOT Miles with Style. We looked like fools, and didn’t match at all.

Diana was wearing fleece pants with turtles on them, while I was spreading christmas cheer with mine. Our friend Emily who took the picture had the best PJ pants…complete with robots! Stacy looked the best, donning a pair of navy blue pretties.

I always try to look my best when I run, however in 8 degrees it is semi-impossible to look fashionable. The number one goal of this run was to avoid hypothermia, and get in our 8 miles.

We ended up having a great run, and were so proud of ourselves for making it through. We were also quite proud of the dedication we have to this sport.

Ran in my huge glasses, and they really helped to protect my face!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend as well, and avoided the 8 degree weather!

Wishing you an awesome week ahead!

XO,

Ali

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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

Fashion Fridays – Keepin’ Warm

27 Jan

Good morning, and Happy Friday to you!

As (I hope) you read yesterday, I featured my first guest blogger to speak about winter running essentials. Stacy is very educated when it comes to running clothes, and I knew she would be the perfect subject matter expert to write that post.

For this Fashion Friday, I would like to share two winter running essentials that I cannot live without.

Croquet Headband

I LOVE my red, yellow and green croquet headband. My boyfriend’s Grandmother got me this super cute headband for Christmas this year, and I cannot get enough of it. It is so warm, and also layers great on super cold days with other headbands underneath.

Self Portrait in the back yard.

It is the perfect head flair for a freezing cold winter run, and gets a ton of compliments when you break it out.

I apologize for not having a direct link so you can get one of these too..however I think you can get similar headbands on Etsy.com.

The North Face Gaiter, aka “Turtle”

The next winter running essential that I cannot live without is my North Face neck protector. I know they are called Gaiters (according to the website, it is ‘Gaiter’ not ‘Gator’), but I like to call mine a turtle (I can sneak my head in and out, just like a turtle!).

This turtle is freaking amazing. It is SO warm and soft – I could easily sleep in it (which would actually save me a few minutes getting dressed in the morning). Anyone who will be running in the harsh cold winter winds needs this thing. I got it at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Go there right now, and buy one.

And when in doubt...throw on a boa.

I hope that after yesterdays post and this post today, you are all geared up for winter running. You have no excuses not to be out there pounding the payment.

I hope you have the best Friday ever, and a fantastic weekend ahead.

xoxo,

Ali

My Purple Toenail

15 Jan

Yep, I am about to write a blog post about my disgusting and gross purple toenail. If you’re not interested in this post, or semi-grossed out by the thought of it – stop reading now.

If you’re up for it, read on…..

So, I have a purple toenail. It is ugly, and nasty, and the only polish that will cover it is (surprise) purple, blue or black! And although this purple toenail is annoying, icky and a total inconvenience, I really really like it.

But why would I ever like having a purple toenail? It’s easy. It’s because it reminds me of one of the best days of my life. That day is the day I ran a marathon (yep – I am STILL talking about my marathon)!

Every time I look down at my ugly gross toenail, I smile. I love the fact that the reason I have that unfortunate looking toenail is because I ran my butt off for 3 hours and 32 minutes. I also like to think the fact that I ran that long in the pouring down rain is another factor to the purple toenail, and that makes me feel like a total bad ass.

I will most likely be annoyed by this toenail come open toe shoe season, but right now I am going to enjoy and savor it. And I am going to continue to look at it and have a great deal of pride in myself for having it.

Now, I saved the best for last….and I KNOW you want to see it!

Wishing you all a happy Monday to come.

xoxo,

Ali

Marvelous Mondays – January 9th

9 Jan

Well, it’s Monday again! But that is ok, because I have many things to be quite excited for this week! Following a nasty cold that threatened my sanity last week, this week is going to get started off right.

So why am I so happy? Well, read below and you’ll find out!

Bootcamp

Tonight I am going back to my favorite workout class – Survival Bootcamp! I have been going to Survival Bootcamp off and on for almost 4 years, and it is one heck of a workout. I am so ready and anxious to be back at bootcamp after quite a break. (If you creep the website enough, you will see some pretty awesome pics of me working out!)

Running

I am SO excited to be back to running tomorrow morning. Stacy, Diana and I are getting back into our weekly runs! As long as the weather cooperates this winter, we will be running (hopefully) at least twice a week together. I miss the girls, and I need them to get me through the cold winter months!

Get ready to be worked, Brooks Ghost

The Pact

Last night I started reading ‘The Pact’ and I cannot stop thinking about it. I rarely get into a book that fast, but this one is really good..

Revenge

I love Revenge!! And this week I get to enjoy another awesome episode of this gripping show! Will Emily Thorne get Revenge?!

SVU

Although it has been an adjustment this season without Stabler in the picture, Olivia is still there and I really love her. This week, it appears she will have a new love interest in the form of Harry Conick Jr.!

And last but not least…..

The Bachelor

I have been a Bachelor finatic since season 1. I love the show, and I love making fun of everyone on it. Even though I am not Ben’s biggest fan, I will still be there watching as he attempts to find love. I have my Bachelor crew, and we have watched every episode together for years. It makes me happy.

 

So that is what’s making me happy this week. Now please share what’s making you happy!

Cheers to you and a great week ahead,

Ali

P.S. I am thinking about writing a Marvelous Monday post every Monday to start the week off positive…do you think that is a good idea?

What did you do this weekend?

13 Nov

Hi there, and happy Sunday to you!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun and exciting worth sharing?

My weekend was great, and let me tell you – I am still on a total runners high. Why? Because I ran 22 freaking miles on Saturday!!! Now I will tell you ALL about it!

This run included my running buddies (and amazing friends) Stacy and Dianna. Stacy and I started with 4 miles on our own since Diana only needed to run 18 (did I just say “only” when referencing 18 miles?). After the 4 miles start, we all began our running adventure! We decided to make the run fun (Nicole- remember our HS “fun runs”?) and go from Stacy’s house to my parents house. It was a little over 17 miles round trip, so it worked out perfect.

The run started off slow, and gradually picked up. My legs were a little sore from the insane running throughout the week, but felt much better the second half of the run. And then out of nowhere I really just got a little burst of energy. Our last few miles we were booking it. And the run wrapped up with an 8 minute mile on #22. I was pretty proud of that. I hope I have this same energy at the marathon!

Look, proof that I did it!

I loved how happy I felt all day following the run. As I said earlier, I am still on my runners high. It is crazy to think just how far 22 miles is, and that I ran it. This 22 mile run really helped me to be confident for the marathon. I know I can add on that extra 4.2 with no problem, and I cannot wait to do it. In 21 days, I get to call myself a marathon runner 🙂

One other great thing from the weekend, these new tory burch flats I received. Aren’t they just FAB?

Hello, lovely!

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

xoxo,

Ali

I’m Runnin’ in the Rain!

8 Nov

Tonight was insane. I ran 8.32 miles in the cold, dark rain. To top it off these 8.32 miles included HUGE hills and surges the entire time.

Normally, I would never save an 8 mile run for the end of the day, however this time I had no choice. All of the weather reports stated that there was an 80% chance of rain at 5am, but that it would be clear by the end of the day. Well, it turns out they were wrong. I slept in, and slept through the best running weather of the day.

Originally I had planned to do track work today, but the thought of being on the track in the rain and dark scared me. I decided that today would be hills and tempo, so I could do it my safe neighborhood! I got dressed like a crazy person, and hit the road!

I was shocked at how great I felt throughout the run! This was my hardest run since the Rock ‘n Roll half and I didn’t know what to expect. I ran some huge hills (I would include an elevation chart but I dont know how to get the data off my Garmin…), and had some solid sprints. Overall I finished at an 8:20 pace, and I am pretty dang pleased by that.

Soaked but happy!

As a reward for my hardwork, I made pasta, had a Boulevard beer, and now I am watching Glee.

mmmmmmm

Thank you for continuing to listen to my running rambles.

Ali

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