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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St. Jude’s Marathon Training – HALFWAY THERE!

30 Sep

Last week’s training marked the halfway point of my training plan. 10 weeks down, 10 to go.

I knew I would be increasing my mileage, and I also had a really busy week with work and Girls on the Run meetings. Because of these factors, I went into the week with an open mind and decided I would do the best I could to follow my schedule.

Monday: 10.2 miles at 7:48 pace. 2 mile warm up, 6 miles at Marathon Goal Pace – 7:25, 7:27, 7:23, 6:56, 7:21, 7:14. The fast mile in there was on the track….so I kind of cheated. Overall I was very happy with this run and felt pretty good. It was a very cool morning which felt incredible. These paces are faster than my marathon goal pace, but they felt good so I went with it.

Garmin Selfie.

Garmin Selfie.

Decided to take Winnie pooch for a run when I got home from work. I was so proud of her for making it 1.1 miles! When I got home, I did 25 minutes of abs and arms.

Tuesday: 7.7 miles at 8:51 pace. Ran super easy, but also on lots of hills.

Went to the gym after work and did 25 minutes of abs and arms. Then hit the ice bath.

Ice baths are a perfect example of "hurts so good". I HATE them, but I love them so much more.

Ice baths are a perfect example of “hurts so good”. I HATE them, but I love them so much more.

Wednesday: Run #1 – 3.51 miles at 9:04 pace. Run #2 after work – 6.18 miles at 8:41 pace.

This was a disaster of a day. My schedule said mile repeats, but I knew it wasn’t happening when I woke up. I was so tired and just felt worn down. Usually I can fight it and give myself a pep talk, but that day I just couldn’t. This was one of the only runs in my 10 weeks of training that I have missed. Because of that, I am not worried about it. Obviously my body was telling me to rest, so I did just that. And the extra hour of sleep felt amazing.

 

Run #1 of the day was in the rain.

Run #1 of the day was in the rain. Proof on the tank.

Thursday: Off

Friday: 7 miles at 8:20 pace. Treadmill run in Baltimore. I was there for a Girls on the Run Conference. Finished this run with 4 x 30 second striders (6:55 pace).

Love my bum ruffle skirts.

Love my bum ruffle skirts.

Gorgeous Baltimore sunset.

Gorgeous Baltimore sunset.

It actually worked out well that our flights were delayed. Because of the delays, we got to have dinner next to the water.

It actually worked out well that our flights were delayed. Because of the delays, we got to have dinner next to the water.

Saturday: 16 miles at 8:56 pace. Such a great run catching up with Stacy and Diana. I loved hosting them for a run in my neighborhood. I was so glad I had an easy paced long run on the schedule. Not getting in from Baltimore until midnight made the 5:45am wake up call a little brutal. Easy miles were much appreciated.

Just had to slip in this ADORABLE photo of my sweet dog!!!!

Just had to slip in this ADORABLE photo of my sweet dog!!!!

Sunday: 5.04 miles at 8:48 pace. Finished with 6 x 10 second striders.

Total mileage: 56.74

All in all, I am happy with this week of training. While I didn’t follow my schedule perfectly and only had one hard run, I know I got in some quality miles. I also gave my legs a week to recover from the intensity I had been used to.

Hope your training/running/fitness is going well!!

xo,

Ali

Bad Runs Happen

29 Sep

This morning, I had a bad run. And not just a “bad” run…like a really really bad run.

The goal was to run 3 sets of 2 miles at half marathon pace. My PR half pace was right at 7:10 minute per mile, so I have been training towards a 7:00 minute per mile.

When I started my run, I could tell my legs were off. There was nothing fresh about them, which surprised me after coming off an easier week. At first I thought I would work it out during the warm up, but then when it was time to run faster I realized there may not be any “working it out”.

My first two miles were both off pace. A 7:30, and a 7:14. And worst of all – they felt so freaking hard (#twss).

I recovered for a mile then tried it again. The next set was better, as I was on flat ground – 6:56 and 7:04. But they still hurt like hell.

After another mile recovery, I started the final set. Again, it felt like I was dragging weights on my legs. Splits were 7:24 and 7:02.

On my cool down back to my house, I couldn’t help but think about my failed paces on this run. If I was holding myself to a 7min/mile pace, that means I only hit 1 mile out of 6. Not good. And there was no reason why this run should’ve felt this hard.

But instead of getting mad, upset and down, I reminded myself that bad runs happen. We all have them. And we always will. It is part of running, and certainly part of training for any race.

If I didn’t have these awful runs, I wouldn’t ever appreciate it when I had the really great ones.

The runs where every split is 10 seconds ahead of pace and my legs never burn. The runs where I am smiling because I feel so great (yep – I do that).

If every run was easy, I wouldn’t be the runner I am today. Because without the bad, I would never truly appreciate the good.

And after all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger….right???

Now here is hoping that I get my act (and legs) together for my next hard run!

How do you handle a bad run?

xo,

Ali
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Marathon Training – 11 Weeks Left!

22 Sep

Only 11 weeks to go until the St. Jude’s Marathon.

Last week’s training went pretty well. I had a couple hard workouts, and a long run that pushed me harder than what I have been doing this training cycle.

Monday: 8 miles at 7:46 pace. 2.5 mile warm up, 2 miles at 7:03, .5 recovery, 2 miles at 6:55, 1 mile cool down. This was a great workout and I really enjoyed it. I will admit that I cheated and did it on the treadmill. I just had zero motivation to run on any hills. I promised myself that the next time this workout comes around, I will suck it up and run on the road.

Tuesday: Off day for running. Did 25 minutes of abs and arms. I am making it a goal to do this twice a week. Sometimes it is so hard for me to add in other workouts when I am running so much…but I know it is SO important.

Wednesday: 8 miles at 7:32 pace. 2.5 mile warm up. 6 x 800 @ 3:03-3:07 pace. 2 x 400 @ 1:31 pace. Hard workout but overall felt great. Happy to see my 800 pace getting faster over the last few weeks. Lightning put me on the treadmill again. But I didn’t mind it. Law and Order SVU is such a great distraction!

Thursday: 7 miles at 8:12 pace. Easy morning run with Amber and Erin. The miles fly by with all of our chit chat!!

Friday: 5.54 miles at 8:45 pace. Great little run with Ramsey.

Saturday: 15 miles at 8:01 pace. Ran with the old Runner’s Edge group. I forgot how much I missed going to the run group! Ran 5 miles warm up, then 8 miles “hard”. 7:28, 7:13, 7:31, 7:11, 7:19, 7:22, 7:06, 7:20. Cooled down for 2 miles. Felt really good and enjoyed catching up with my friend Krista! I hosted a little breakfast after the run, which was fun too! I am sad we can’t do that every weekend!

Sunday: 5.58 miles at 8:50 pace. Super relaxed run with Ramsey. We even stopped a few times to enjoy some plaza scenery and explore the tepees at the Nelson!

Total Mileage: 49.12

I could definitely feel this week of training as I ran hard again this AM. But I am reminding myself that pushing harder is what will make me stronger. Even if it might nearly kill me 😉

Other than ALL the running, I had a really great week!! Monday night I got to spend with old coworkers and celebrating my husbands next big adventure.

Friday night we had the best job ever – being food judges at the Plaza Art Fair! We tried so many amazing restaurants and crowned Gram and Dun as Best in Show. If you haven’t had the chance to go to Gram and Dun, I urge you to head down to the plaza and give it a whirl. The cocktails alone are reason to make a stop.

Official judges.

Official judges.

So much food.

So much food.

Saturday I hosted a little dinner party with friends. We all take turns hosting dinner and have a theme for the night. So far we have had Italian night, sushi night, and as of Saturday we’ve had Kansas City night! I got BBQ from OK Joe’s and Q39, Dessert from Andres, local wine and beer, and vodka distilled in KC! It was such a fun night.

Sunday we headed back to the plaza art fair to walk around and admire the art. We had quite the strong margaritas as we were walking around and ran into quite a few friends. Overall it was a great end to the week.

Post run homemade waffles.

Post run homemade waffles.

I am craving this again right now.

I am craving this again right now.

Gorgeous.

Gorgeous.

How is your training going?? Any fun plans over the weekend?

xo,

Ali

Marathon Training – 12 Weeks Out

16 Sep

Last week marked 12 weeks out from the St Jude’s Marathon. We had a much needed break from the hot humid weather, which made the training a tad easier.

Monday – 6 miles, 9:00 pace. Easy run with Ramsey. Recovering from my long run the day before!

Tuesday – 8 miles, 8:08 pace. Hard morning at the track! 5 x 1000, with a goal of under 4:00 min each. Ran 4:06, 3:55, 3:55, 3:53, 3:50. Not sure why I was so rusty on the first one but was able to work it out for the rest of them. Legs were screaming!!!

A little couples track morning.

A little couples track morning.

Tipsy Tuesday thanks to a Wednesday rest day.

Tipsy Tuesday thanks to a Wednesday rest day.

Wednesday – OFF DAY!!! Slept in and spent some time doing my physical therapy exercises.

Thursday – 10.25 miles, 7:43 pace. Enjoyed the gorgeous weather but will admit my legs were pretty dead4. Ran 2 miles warm up, then picked up the pace for the next 6 miles. 7:50, 7:11, 7:17, 7:22, 7:07, 7:04. Totally tricked Ramsey into doing this run. The poor guy thought we were going out to do an easy 7 and this is how it ended up. He did amazing though. So proud!!

Who wears matching socks???

Who wears matching socks???

Friday – 4.85 miles, 8:50 pace. Easy run but hit some killer hills. Finished with 4 x 30 second stride outs.

Saturday – 15 miles, 8:50 pace. Took this long run nice and easy. After what felt like a really hard week, I knew it was better to relax on this run and just get in the miles. I did love this run because I got to spend lots of time with Diana and catch up!!

Operation Breakthrough Homecoming dance! I wore my prom dress from high school. I still love it!!!!!

Operation Breakthrough Homecoming dance! I wore my prom dress from high school. I still love it!!!!!

Sunday – 6 miles, 8:33 pace. This one hurt a little after a fun night out on Saturday. My head was pounding at the start and my legs were sore after participating in a dance competition…and winning it. Ran from my house to my friends Ellen and Brian’s. Then they treated me to breakfast. It was great.

Total Miles: 50.13

Until next time….

xo,

Ali

What’s Next….St. Jude’s Marathon!

9 Sep

Well it is official. Marathon #7 will be the St. Jude’s Marathon on December 6th!!

My decision to run this race was based on a few different factors. The first one being that I LOVE St. Judes. It is an amazing Hospital that does wonderful things for their patients and families. The fact of running for something that really mattered made me excited.

The next factor was the timing of this race. After Boston this year, I needed a break from training. My body was tired, and my mind was equally as exhausted. I am not someone that can train back to back to back. I need a break….or at least a couple weeks of doing nothing. The fact that this race is in December gave me more time to heal and mentally prepare for another training.

Third factor – I get to run this race with two of my favorite running buddies!!! Stacy, Di and I have not done a race together since Boston 2013. We love to run together, travel together, and spend time together. This marathon will be such a fun weekend trip for us girls. I am already so excited for a weekend away with my friends – and our favorite cheerleader of course (my Mom!)

Right now, I am at week 8 of training. The first 3 weeks were quite relaxed and just focused on the miles and building endurance. During the first 3 weeks, I averaged about 25 – 30 miles a week.

Week 4 of training is when things ramped up. From week 4 to 6, I put in about 45 miles a week with one speed workout a week. Long runs averaged 13 miles each.

Last week was my first week of 2 hard workouts, plus one long run. Right now, my long runs are up to 15 miles.

A quick look at last week’s training is below….

Monday – Off (too tired from Dev’s wedding the night before!!!)

Gorgeous bride!

Gorgeous bride!

Tuesday – 5.66 Miles easy (8:30 pace)

Wednesday – 8 miles at 7:45 pace. 6 x 800. 800 repeats were all between 3:09 to 3:14. I had to do this run on a treadmill, which was a bit interesting. Other than thinking I was going to fly off, I really liked it. I got to watch an episode of Law and Order and the treadmill controlled my speed…which ensured I wouldn’t miss any of my times.

Storms in the morning brought the most amazing sunrise as I left the gym.

Storms in the morning brought the most amazing sunrise as I left the gym.

Thursday – 7.11 miles at 8:17 pace. Great run with Amber and Erin.

Friday – 9.35 miles at 7:51 pace. This workout was interesting. And by interesting I mean it was HELL. I was supposed to do 4 x 1.5 mile repeats at half marathon pace (7 min/mile is what I use as my half split). After the first repeat I knew I wouldn’t make it to 4 repeats. I ended up doing 3 repeats right at 7 min pace, then an 800 at 7 min pace, and a 400 just below 7 min pace. My body was just not feeling it.

It was so hot I ran in a sports bra. I NEVER do that.

It was so hot I ran in a sports bra. And I never have the courage to do that. Proof the heat made me delirious.

Saturday – 5.22 miles at 8:37 pace. This was such an awesome run. It was a gorgeous morning (FINALLY) and I just absorbed the amazing day.

Night before run at Treads and Threads.

Night before run at Treads and Threads.

Post run breakfast at Happy Gillis in KC.

Post run breakfast at Happy Gillis in KC.

Sunday – 15.05 miles at 7:57 pace. Long run for the week was on Sunday due to my crazy schedule. I usually hate waiting until Sunday for my long run, but this week I loved it. Sunday mornings are so peaceful and it was made even better by amazing weather. I tricked my husband into running 10.5 miles with me, which included 4 hard miles. Those miles clocked in between 7 – 7:30 pace. So thankful that I am married to such a great running buddy.

Proof.

Proof.

Total mileage for the week: 50.39 miles.

It is my goal to post my weekly updates on my blog….so we will see how that goes 🙂

Are you training for anything right now??

xoxo,

Ali

Getting Back in the Groove

21 Jul

The last couple weeks, I have been getting back into my running groove.

My hip is feeling much better, as is my weird foot pain I was experiencing. According to my PT, I have an issue with my SI joint. It has probably been that way my whole life but recently started bothering me due to a couple factors…

  1. Sitting too much. Apparently when I sit down, my pelvis tilts incorrectly. This is why I have nerve pain and the deep aches mainly while I am at my desk or driving my car.
  2. Not stretching and strengthening. When I up my mileage, I get lazy with everything else. I do less ab work, I stretch less, and I stop caring about the other important areas to train.

My awesome PT told me I can start running again. He isn’t concerned I am going to injure myself, or cause damage we cannot fix. But he has told me many times that healing and fixing this issue is going to take a lot of time and effort.

I have been very careful with my ease back into running. After taking 2.5 weeks completely off, and another 1.5 weeks super easy, I knew I had to go easy on myself. All of my runs have been a conservative pace – about 8:45-9:30 pace. Whatever feels good that day, I go with.

My mileage has been relatively slow to pick up as well. First week back was only 7 miles. The following went up to 15, and last week peaked at 29. All easy paced.

This week I hope to reach between 25-30 miles with a hard work out thrown in. Since I am not officially training right now, my focus is building back my base so I am comfortable when it is time to start. I have learned my lesson in the past of starting a training program without a base. Doing that has caused injuries, and will cause an injury (at least it does in my case…)

I am trying SO hard to continue my strength training and stretching. I dread this every day, but when I do it in front of trashy TV it goes by so much faster! I am also trying not to sit down as much. This can be really hard during the day at work, but luckily drinking water like a maniac leads to lots of potty breaks, which means I get up all the time. Another thing the PT suggested is sleeping on my back to keep my pelvis aligned. That part isn’t so fun 🙂

I am confident if I keep doing what I am doing I can come back to my training stronger than ever! And possibly, reach new running goals this fall (those are TBD!)

Other than all this fun stuff above, things have been pretty calm over here!

Drinks at the pool!

Drinks at the pool!

Have you read this book??? SO DARK.

Have you read this book??? SO DARK.

Fiery Stick event in KC.

Fiery Stick event in KC.

Sweet Winnie the Pooch all swaddled. Love our baby!

Sweet Winnie the Pooch all swaddled. Love our baby!

That is all for now!

xo,

Ali

A week of Blissful snacks

17 Jul

A couple weeks ago, a fellow blogger Nicole (and girl I love to follow on Instagram) sent me some of her granola and boost bites to try.

Love the packaging!

Love the packaging!

At first, I was skeptical. These products are completely natural in every way. Gluten free, dairy free, gmo free, kosher, etc. With all that healthiness, there is no way that they taste good…right?

WRONG.

Everything I tried, I loved. The granola was awesome and I especially loved the bites. The granola was a daily snack in my greek yogurt. One small packet equaled 3 servings for me, so I could really stretch a bag if I measured it out in advance. And the bites made for a perfect 10am or 3pm snack (those are my daily snacking times).

maple nut crunched mixed in plain Fage Greek yogurt.

maple nut crunched mixed in plain Fage Greek yogurt.

As I said above, these snacks are super healthy. I usually avoid buying granola and pre-made granola bars because of all the extra stuff you get in them. But with Blissful eats, I was snacking guilt free. The bites pack 1/4c fruit, 4g protein and 2g fiber per serving. And the granola is full of nuts, seeds, and good fats.

My favorite flavor in the bites was the chocolate flavor. And my favorite granola was the maple nut crunch.

Want to try some too? Thought so.

Check out Blissful Eats on Amazon and on Nicole’s website.

And if you want a great discount, go to blissful-eats.com and enter “miles15” at checkout.

What is your go-to snack during the day? Have you every tried Blissful Eats?

xo,

Ali

 

 

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!

IMG_5349

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

 

 

 

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