Tag Archives: About Ali

Being the best version of YOU.

13 Nov

Lately I have been thinking a lot about life – specifically living the best life possible.

Much of living the best life possible comes down to the decisions that we make on an everyday basis. We control our lives. We control our happiness. And we control changing things if we aren’t happy.

And sometimes “changing things” can mean making hard decisions.

When I talk to a friend that is sad or in a lull, I always ask them the same thing, “are you living the life that makes you the best person you can possibly be?”

Usually if I am having this conversation with them, the answer is “no”.

I have found that usually the areas we are discussing revolve around three things – Jobs, relationships and ourselves. And I always offer the same advice for each.

If you are unhappy with your job, you should look into ways you can make your job work better for you. And if your job doesn’t work for you anymore, you should think about another path you could take.

If you are unhappy with your relationships, strive to make new ones or let old ones go (I wrote about this specific item earlier this year)

If you are unhappy with yourself, do something that makes YOU happy.

Strive to live your BEST life. Strive to live a life that makes you the BEST version of yourself.

Sometimes the route to making positive changes can be extremely hard, and sometimes feel negative. Trust me, I know.

But I ask you to keep your eye on the prize. And the prize is your happiness. Which in my opinion is one of the best prizes of all ūüôā

xo,

Ali

Have you ever made a hard decision because it would give you a happier life?

What advice do you tell friends or family members that are going through a hard time?

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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

Weighed Down

23 Oct

Lately, I have become a little obsessive about my weight.

I have NEVER been someone to be crazy about the number on a scale, until I read a blog post from a fellow runner, and an article in Runner’s World about the importance of “race weight”.

After I read these blogs and articles, I sat there and started reflecting over the last year. I know that I have not been watching the food and drinks that I put into my body like I should. I also now know that I currently weigh more than I ever have (even more than I did when I was in my beer drinking, pizza eating years of college). Think those two items are related? You bet they are.

So why didn’t I watch what I was eating? “Well duh! I am training for a marathon! I can eat whatever I want!”

So that thinking right there, so WRONG. And I learned that the hard way last week when I stepped on a scale for the first time in months.

When I saw the number that appeared, I about had a meltdown (ok, I did have a meltdown). Yeah, I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty, because I have noticed that my body seems a little different than it did a few years ago, and shorts don’t fit me like they used to. But I wasn’t expecting the number that appeared.

The number on that scale was 12 pounds heavier than it was when I ran my first half marathon 4 years ago (still my PR to this day – 1:34).

See those itty bitty size zero shorts?? Yeah…I can’t get into those anymore.

Now I am in a total freak out mode that I am going to ruin my chances of PR’ing the NYC marathon and running under a 3:30 because I weigh too much. Can my body carry that extra weight 26.2 miles under an 8 minute pace? Did I run my 13.1 PR of 1:34 years ago because I was so thin?

I know it isn’t smart to diet before a race, but I have been paying attention to what food I put into my mouth for the first time in a year. I have been making much smarter choices (no pizza, no fried food, nothing with gravy), and not going back for seconds. I have also cut out all alcohol except on the weekends (I used to drink a glass of wine every night). With these habits, I hope to see the number on the scale drop a few pounds before I run NYC. Which will also relieve some of my stress about the situation.

—————————————

This post is in no way asking for people to tell me, “You are so skinny, you should love yourself” blah blah blah. I know I am skinny, but I am not happy with myself relative to where I have been in the past.

The point of this post is to get feedback from other runners and athletes on their thoughts about “race weight”, how they trim down before a race, and also how they keep themselves feeling full during training (I am ALWAYS starving!).

Please share any thoughts and tips you have. I always love to hear from you all!!

xoxo,

Ali

I will make one positive comment – although I weigh the most than I ever have, I am also the happiest than I have ever been ūüôā

Running is My Therapy

15 Aug

So, we all have our own “issues” we deal with each and every day. Some big, some small, but they are always there (unless you are living a life of denial).

Many people see a therapist to deal with their issues. Others talk to their family and friends. For me, I handle them with a pair of Brooks running shoes, and a Garmin – out on the road, pounding on that pavement. Sometimes with friends, sometimes all alone.

People often ask me, “How do you run that much?” or “WHY do you run that much?”.

And my answer to that question is always simple and clear: “It’s my therapy. I need it to keep me sane”.

An example of how Ali feels when she does not run.

I know that I live a very wonderful life filled with joy and happiness, but sometimes I get pretty freaking overwhelmed. And my anxiety level can go through the roof.

To cope with these issues, I have learned that running is key. Running balances my life in a way that nothing else can. It brings me back down to a place that I can handle, and one that I can manage.

Running also makes me happy – just like Elle Woods stated in Legally Blonde, “Endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands” (girlfriend was majorly correct).

I bet I ran the day this photo was taken.

I need to run, I have to run. And if I am so blessed with this amazing ability to be able to run, why wouldn’t I go out and do it as much as possible??

So I must ask, are you like me and use exercise as your “therapy”? Or do you have other methods to share?

Hope your week is going well!

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

A Year in Review: 2011

4 Jan
One of my Twitter friends recently asked a question. It was: “If you could use one word to describe your 2011, what would it be?”. I quickly replied with: Happiness.

2011 was a wonderful year filled with many memories worth noting. Below is a month by month snapshot of my favorite memories of 2011. Please excuse the delay in writing this blog post.

January

January was a cold and snowy month in Kansas City. January brought me to St. Louis for my dear friends Lindsey and Joe’s engagement party.

All of Lindsey's Ladies, minus Kara

February

The month of LOVE! In February, Zack and I took a trip to Louisville, KY. This was Zack’s first meeting with my family that lives there. What a wonderful weekend we had!

At the Jim Beam Distillery

March

March was a crazy busy month for me! In March I ventured to Texas to visit Zack, then hit up Louisville to see my family and topped off the month with a fantastic trip to NYC!

My first time riding a horse in Louisville!!!

Aunt Holly and I outside of 'Catch me if You Can'

April

April is my birthday month! In April I celebrated a few other birthdays with friends, and then celebrated my own. Easter was also a highlight of the month, and I was happy to spend that weekend with my family and Zack!

Yes, sometimes I wear extensions.

Bridget looks right at home...

May

In May I got to see my parents new getaway home they had been working so hard on. The home is amazing and the view is even better!! I also took a trip to Texas in May to visit Zachary!

This is what you see from their front porch

June

What a month June was!! It started with a trip to Boston for work, that also included quite a lot of fun! Then I went to Key West with Zack’s family to celebrate his parents 30th Wedding Anniversary.

Boston Harbor in the morning, so peaceful!

Sunset Cruise in Key West, FL

I swam with the sweetest Dolphin, Santini!

July

July brought me to California for my first ever visit to the state! My best friend Nicole lives there now, so a trip was in order. I went over the 4th of July weekend and we had the best time in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach!!

In July I also ventured to the Lake of the Ozarks with Eileen, Louisville to see my Cousins and St. Louis for Lindsey and Joe’s wedding shower.

We climbed a mountain, in skirts!!!

We LOVE wine!

I had the most relaxing Friday of my life in Louisville with a Skinny Girl Marg and To Kill a Mockingbird

We were oh so tan!

August

August¬†took me to Chicago for Lindsey’s Bachelorette party. Such a fun weekend. I also took a trip to Lawrence, KS in August to celebrate Zack’s BFF’s birthday.

Lindsey's Ladies!

And OH SO CLASSY

Fun Friends

September

September was another busy month in my life. It began with me running my frist 10K race, and getting 2nd place right behind Stacy!!

Next up for September was a trip to Indianapolis for #ET11. We saw Katy Perry and partied our butts off.

To round out the month Lindsey and Joe got married! It was the most beautiful wedding. Remember the bouquet toss?

We made a podium.

DEG after Katy Perry

Some BM's

Party Central

October

In October, I started this blog!! I also co-hosted a “sprinkle” for Brianna and Baby Girl Bruening #2, met Reese Bruening, ran a half marathon- Rock ‘n Roll STL, and celebrated Halloween as a devil-angel!

Ready to Pop!

A little princess whom I love so much!

How cute are these shirts that Stacy made??

ohhhh scary! Espcially scary is that pleather dress I'm wearing....

November

In November I signed up and committed to run my very first marathon!!! November was full of training, hard. November also took me to Chicago for a girls weekend with Mom and Aunt Holly and Louisville for Thanksgiving.

So much fun!

The best family ever.
 

I am TERRIFIED of mascots!!!! (At Churchill Downs)

December

2011 ended with the best month of all for me. In December, I experienced one of my greatest life accomplishments – I ran a marathon. I also qualified for Boston at that marathon!!!

Christmas came in December, as did time with family and friends.

We ran 26.2 in the pouring down rain.

My biggest cheerleader!

BFF Nicole came home for Christmas!

Bridget turned two and celebrated another Christmas!

My Mom had this made for me - amazing!

Ringing in the New Year with perfect company!

 

2012 – Here We Come!

2011 was such an amazing year. It is hard to believe that 2012 could top it, however I have a feeling it will. I have many plans ahead for the new year, and can’t wait to share them all with you on future posts.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to my fabulous year, and to everyone that will make 2012 just as special.

xoxo,

Ali 

I’m a Competitive Freak

9 Nov

and I have the photos to prove it. I have always known that I was a very competitive person, however it was really brought to my attention yesterday just how bad it is.

A little background before I dive into¬†the latest¬†story…

I have an obsession with catching bouquets at weddings. Obviously part of this obsession is because I would love to get married (hear that, Zacky?), but the other huge part is that I really really like winning competitions. I have some mad jumping skills (8th grade record holder in the high jump, thank you very much) and I have developed a strategy at catching these things (no, I won’t tell you what it is). To date, I have caught three bouquets at weddings (it should be 4 but I was totally screwed out of one bc I got knocked down by a girl even crazier than me) and I¬†expect this number to climb.

Now for the latest story…

My wonderful friend Lindsey got married in September (September 24th to be exact!), and I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in the wedding. Everything about her day was perfect, and the day/night couldn’t have been more fun.

The Stunning Bride!

All day I had been anticipating the bouquet toss. I wanted that thing, and I knew there would be some fierce competition vying for it as well. Some of the fierce¬†competition included my very good friend Kara (and fellow bridesmaid), whom I knew Lindsey would be targeting.¬†I warned Kara though that I would not be giving up without a fight. Of course she deserved it, but¬†we already¬†all know that she will be the next…well, I won’t say it out loud ūüôā

Then I heard the announcement “All single ladies, please head to the dance floor as Lindsey tosses her bouquet!”

Lindsey, you are so pretty!

I got in position, and then I saw the bouquet flying through the air.

There it goes!

Before I knew it, I was grasping the bouquet in my hands and fighting off my best friend (roommate, and fellow bridesmaid) Eileen.

I swear, we do love each other!

VICTORY!!! That thing was in my hands, and all the other girls at the wedding were looking at us like we were freaks.
 

"Ali you were NOT supposed to catch that!" Sorrrryyyyy

 

And this is how happy my boyfriend felt...

 
A message to the other competitors in the bouquet toss: I apologize if I stepped on, elbowed, or offended you with my behavior.
 
And last but not least, a message to anyone I face at the Dallas White Rock Marathon on December 4th: Bring it on.
 
Love Always!
Ali

Welcome to my Blog!

13 Oct

Welcome!

I am Ali. I am 25 years old, living in the wonderful midwest (Kansas City area). I love my life, and I love sharing my life with other people. I have many favorite things, one of which is running. I decided to write this blog to keep people posted on my running progress as I train for upcoming races. I will also share other important life updates, since I have many other interests in addition to running!

So why do I run? There are numerous reasons why I run, aside from the obvious that I have always had a passion for it and I love it. Many people don’t really understand why I run, and how I can actually enjoy it! For my first blog post I would like to explain my reasoning for why and how I could enjoy running miles and miles, and also give you a little taste as to who I am. So here we go!

I run because…

My running buddies are the best
I love my running buddies and our morning chats. Sometimes when I don’t get my morning started with my running girlfriends, my entire day is out of whack. I need them in my life to keep my sane.

The shoes are so dang comfy
No explanation needed on this one, I love my Brooks running shoes.

Running skirts are fabulous
Running skirts are the best thing that was ever introduced to running. I love skirts in general, and the fact that I can now incorporate them into my running attire makes me smile. Running skirts actually motivate me to run just so I can put those cute things on!

It makes you feel like a bad ass
It is impossible to run 16 miles on a Saturday morning and not feel like a total bad ass. When your friends are sleeping, you are running. The high I get after running is similar to that high I get after shopping, and it is much better for my bank account.

Food is too good not to enjoy
I am a sugar-holic, most notably when it comes to¬†chocolate. I am also a carb-a-holic. Pasta, bread, donuts ‚Äď bring it on!

I often indulge in wine
Nothing is better after a stressful day (or just a regular Tuesday evening) than a glass of chilled white wine. But then in college I learned the hard way that alcohol actually does make you gain weight (darn it!). I have to cancel it out somehow ‚Äď because I refuse to give up my wine.

I like music
Few things relax me more than an evening run with Justin Beiber, Britney or MJ blaring in my ears.

My boyfriend lives far away
Zack lives in Texas. Running helps to take my mind off how much I miss him every day and gives me something else to focus on.

I love to shop
I am a certified shopaholic. I love it. I am one of those people you hear about that gets the incredible high after making an exciting purchase. Shopping would be my life if I didn’t make an effort to prevent that from happening (and didn’t have the financial constraints). But how does my obsession with shopping become one of the reasons why I run? Distraction. Running helps to distract me from thinking about shopping all day and to keep me from using all my spare time to shop!

You can always count on me to have a perfectly matching running outfit, and to repeat those outfits very rarely. You can also always count on me to share my feelings on the latest fashion trends and trending topics during my morning runs.

I love running. I love shopping. I love life!¬†¬†I run miles and miles, and you bet I do it in my ‚ÄúAli Style‚ÄĚ for each and every one of ‚Äėem!

See you next time!

Ali

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