Tag Archives: Balanced Life

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….)

Asย I was listening, I thought about how much life has changed the last few years and especially howย 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’veย 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 notย make me go back ๐Ÿ™‚

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xo,

Ali

P.S. I am impressed that Flo Rida could make me think so deep.

 

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My Journey to Cleaner Eating

21 Jun

Over the last 6 months I have been making a conscious effort to eat well and think about what I am putting in my body. Basically, I’ve been trying to “get clean”.

It all started in January when I decided to do a 28 day detox program created by Arbonne. I love Arbonne products, and trusted the program. I had some work to do in regards to my eating habits and was excited to see what improvements I saw with my body and my health.

I love good food. And I could easily eat out every meal. I love to try new things and enjoy different foods. While this has been a great way to compile a list of ‘Best Food in Kansas City’, it has not been good for my body. I started to think about how often I had been getting sick, and how often I felt tired and sluggish. While lack of sleep could play a role, I didn’t think it was the main culprit.

Cutting back on all the pizza was a little hard!

Cutting back on all the pizza was a little hard!

My 28 day cleanse lasted about 21 days. And I cheated on the weekends. I mean, I have to live my life and if my friends invite me to happy hour I refuse to sit there and drink water and not eat. So making it through the week days “clean” seemed like a great goal for me. It also seemed like a great way for me to focus on what I was putting into my body and how it made me feel.

Yes, month one of the new “cleaner-eating-Ali” was a bit rough. I was cranky and just wanted my sweets and restaurant food. But each day seemed to get better than the one before. And I was noticing that while mentally I was a little bitchy, physically I felt awesome. And the stomach aches I often had subsided. I knew my mind would catch up to my body. And it did.

Before I make my food decisions now, I run through a list of questions in my head.

Do I really need to eat this? Usually, the answer is no. I used to snack ALL day. Now, I plan my snacks and bring them to work with me. Instead of eating pretzels, granola bars, or candy, I stick with a yogurt, nuts or a homemade energy bar or bite. And instead of drinking high calorie coffee drinks as an afternoon boost, I have tea or put some fruit in my water.

I make a breakfast item every week now as my pre-workout snack.

I make a breakfast item every week now as my pre-workout snack.

Obsessed with energy bites!!

Obsessed with energy bites!!

Can I make it healthier? When cooking a recipe, I always look at the ingredient list to see what I can sub. Sometimes the results are good, others are not so great. But at least I tried. I also apply this to every day when I make my lunch. I used to put things on my sandwiches without even thinking about it. Now I use only ingredients that are beneficial to me and providing some sort of healthy benefit.

Instead of ground beef, I use ground turkey. This was an awesome Turkey Meatball recipe from my Runner's World cookbook.

Instead of ground beef, I use ground turkey. This was an awesome Turkey Meatball recipe from my Runner’s World cookbook.

How will I feel after? Is eating this ____ (insert donut, cookie, etc) going to make me feel good afterwards (mentally and physically)? Is it really worth it? Sometimes, the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES. And sometimes it takes the greatest willpower on earth not to shove the bag of doritos my husband brings home into my mouth.

Never knew how much I loved stuffed peppers until the detox!

Never knew how much I loved stuffed peppers until the detox!

I do feel that the smarter-eating-Ali is a much healthier Ali. I am absolutely not a “clean eater” by the standards of some people, but I do believe I am much better than the average person. I have seen improvements in my body physically, and also mentally. I don’t know about weight loss, since I try not to use weight as a measurement, but my clothes still fit and I am feeling happier about my body. I have also been warding off illnesses and feeling more energized during the day.

I practice "Eat This, Not That" a lot at home. Ramsey always wants the pasta, so I am able to make myself a low carb version on lettuce.

I practice “Eat This, Not That” a lot at home. Ramsey always wants the pasta, so I am able to make myself a low carb version on lettuce.

Sure, I still have PLENTY of cheat meals. But I have far less of them than I did before. And to me, that is a victory (progress, not perfection). I am sure a lot of people would cringe with some of the junk I still put into my body. I’m not perfect.

I do not believe in depriving yourself, but I do believe in making smart decisions about what you’re putting in your body. If there is a day where my co workers bring cupcakes for a birthday, naturally I will eat one. Or two (ughhhhh). But then I go back to the clean eating ways and it all seems to even out.

I will never turn this down. I will just try not to eat the entire box of them :)

I will never turn this down. I will just try not to eat the entire box of them ๐Ÿ™‚

 

How do you balance your eating? Do you have any tips for someone who wants to make “cleaner and smarter” eating a part of their life?

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? ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you have ways that you handle your stress?

Or ever have to fix your perspective or priorities?

xo,

Ali

A week in my life – day six.

17 Mar

HAPPY WEEKEND!!!

And I am VERY happy that the week in my life challenge is almost over! I am laughing because you can tell that the posts and photos are getting shorter and shorter. I am losing my non stop photo taking energy ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday was a bumpy day. I felt like I was rushed all day, and I hate that feeling. I did have a minor panic attack during the day. More to come on that later…

Here goes Saturday…

7:15am - Out of bed, checking the weather for our run. Thinking, "I AM SO TIRED OF COLD WEATHER!!! I WANT TO RUN IN SKIRTS AGAIN!!!!!"

7:15am – Out of bed, checking the weather for our run. Thinking, “I AM SO TIRED OF COLD WEATHER!!! I WANT TO RUN IN SKIRTS AGAIN!!!!!”

7:35am - Arrive to my run late. Feel stressed. Get in Stacy's car and see Diana sitting in Caden's car seat in this bright and happy outfit. Feel happier.

7:50am – Arrive to my run late. Feel stressed. Get in Stacy’s car and see Diana sitting in Caden’s car seat in this bright and happy outfit. Feel happier.

9:45am - Finish up with the 12 miler. It was a good run pace wise, but I was feeling not so hot during it. Just felt worn down and tired. I was also having some really bad vertigo. So bad I kept weaving...it is a side effect of some medicine I was taking).

9:45am – Finish up with the 12 miler. It was a good run pace wise, but I was feeling not so hot during it. Just felt worn down and tired. I was also having some really bad vertigo. So bad I kept weaving…it is a side effect of some medicine I was taking.

9:55pm - Get picked up by Ramsey from my run. Take a post run photo. Realize my numbers are backwards.

9:55pm – Get picked up by Ramsey from my run. Take a post run photo. Realize my numbers are backwards.

Post run errand to the post office to mail a birthday treat.

Post run errand to the post office to mail a birthday treat.

10am - Retake my post run photo with my hands held up in the correct order :)

10am – Retake my post run photo with my hands held up in the correct order ๐Ÿ™‚

10:10am - Grab a post run breakfast at a cute little cafe.

10:10am – Grab a post run breakfast at a cute little cafe.

11:40am - Say "hi" to Lola!!!

11:40am – Say “hi” to Lola!!!

12:15pm - Drive to Ramsey's house to get ready for the Sporting KC game. Try to keep myself from having a meltdown because I am so rushed and feeling overwhelmed.

12:15pm – Drive to Ramsey’s house to get ready for the Sporting KC game, while having an internal meltdown.

PAUSE. Yes, I was full out having a meltdown in the photo above. I was stressed to the max, feeling so rushed and just straight up overwhelmed. Then I took a moment to work on my perspective and think about why I was so stressed.

I was so stressed because I was rushing to get from a run with my friends, to breakfast with my love, followed by the Sporting KC game, then to meet friends to watch the KU game.

Boo freaking woo. I thought, “I am so stressed and about to cry because I am spending the day full of things I love doing….Why am I having a meltdown right now?!?!”

On my run today, someone said the phrase, “check it before you wreck it.” This was perfect for that very moment. I needed to check my attitude before I wrecked my day. Get over it, you are doing things all day that you are CHOOSING to do. There is no need to feel stressed and feel cranky. As soon as I realized this, I felt 1000 times better. My attitude changed and I was ready to face the day with a new, positive, attitude.

1:15pm - Head to the Sporting KC game. Ramsey noticed my meltdown status and surprised me with a glass of wine. He knows how to calm me down. Then I spilled the wine in his car (I was sipping on wine, Ramsey was driving...no worries, we has not drinking and driving!).

1:15pm – Head to the Sporting KC game. Ramsey noticed my meltdown status and surprised me with a glass of wine. He knows how to calm me down. Then I spilled the wine in his car. He wasn’t happy. (I was sipping on wine, Ramsey was driving…no worries, we has not drinking and driving!).

2:00pm - Sit down in our seats at the game. Grab a couple Blue Moons.

2:00pm – Sit down in our seats at the game. Grab a couple Blue Moon’s.

CHEESE! First home game of the season ended with a tie. 0-0...keep in mind why I get frustrated at soccer games.

CHEESE! First home game of the season ended with a tie. 0-0…Remember why I get frustrated at soccer games.

6:00pm - Meet some friends to watch the KU game. Rock Chalk baby. They WON! And we won with some amazing bar food!

6:00pm – Meet some friends to watch the KU game. Rock Chalk baby. They WON! And we won with some amazing bar food!

8:30pm - Home for the night. Feeling so exhausted! I actually feel asleep next to Ramsey watching 20/20. When I woke up I turned on Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Pt 2. I immediately start crying...I love this movie!!! And I love these ninja turtle PJ pants.

8:30pm – Home for the night. Feeling so exhausted! I actually feel asleep next to Ramsey watching 20/20. When I woke up I turned on Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Pt 2. I immediately start crying…I love this movie!!! And I love these ninja turtle PJ pants.

Go to bed. NO ALARMS set on Sundays!!!!

10pm – Ready to go to bed. NO ALARMS set on Sunday mornings!!!!

Hope you had a great Saturday too!!!

xo,

Ali

A week in my life – day four.

15 Mar

Ok. So taking photos is getting old. Like, really really old. BUT I put myself up to this challenge and I WILL follow through!!!

Thursday was a pretty relaxed day. Thursdays are actually one of my favorite days of the week. I get caught up at work and usually get to do something fun with my boyfriend on Thursday nights! This Thursday was no different.

As I said earlier, I am getting a little bored with all the photo taking. Thursday I tried to take some pictures of things I had yet to take photos of. Beware…TMI ahead.

yep. Another ridiculous wake up call.

yep. Another ridiculous wake up call.

6:15am - Easy 6 miles with Diana done!

6:15am – Easy 6 miles with Diana done!

Craving a Gatorade post run. Bought one at the gas station, then realized I bought melon instead of orange.

Craving a Gatorade post run. Bought one at the gas station, then realized I bought melon instead of orange. And Melon Gatorade is yucky.

When I get ready at Stacy's, I wear my American Girl robe. I have had this thing for AT LEAST 15 years. The arms are short, but the length hits above my knees now. I can't get rid of it!

When I get ready at Stacy’s, I wear my American Girl robe. I have had this thing for AT LEAST 15 years. The arms are short, but the length hits above my knees now. I can’t get rid of it! Another thing to note….I hate bright lights in the morning. I basically get ready in the dark.

7:25am - Ready for work. Trying to wear my winter clothes before spring hits!

7:25am – Ready for work. Trying to wear my winter clothes before spring hits!

7:45-8:30am - Sit in the WORST traffic EVER!!! Remember yesterday when I said that traffic made me bitchy? Holy crap. I was RAGING when I got to work. I know for some people an hour commute is the norm, but for me it is not. I get SO sleepy in traffic!

7:45-8:30am – Sit in the WORST traffic EVER!!! Remember yesterday when I said that traffic made me bitchy? Holy crap. I was RAGING when I got to work. I know for some people an hour commute is the norm, but for me it is not. I get SO sleepy in traffic!

10am - Oats.

10am – Oats.

Lauren can make a rockin sock bun. Look at that thing peaking out!

Lauren can make a rockin sock bun. Look at that thing peaking out!

11:25am - Instagram break. Checked out fellow GOTR coach Heather's photos from her practice the night before. This girl has the BEST ideas.

11:25am – Instagram break. Checked out fellow GOTR coach Heather’s photos from her practice the night before. This girl has the BEST ideas.

11:30am - Head downstairs for meeting. Must take elevator because my TB boots are so tall I worry I will fall!!

11:30am – Head downstairs for meeting. Must take elevator because my TB boots are so tall I worry I will take a tumble!!!

11:30am-1pm - Attend the Limited WIP Kanban meeting. Kristen and I are always the only girls there :)

11:30am-1pm – Attend the Limited WIP Kanban meeting. Kristen and I are always the only girls there ๐Ÿ™‚

Eat a turkey and avocado wrap.

Eat a turkey, pepper and avocado wrap.

2:00pm - tea time.

2:00pm – tea time.

3:00pm - Some amazing friends helped me with my avocado issue from day three post!!! THANK YOU!

3:00pm – Some amazing friends helped me with my avocado issue from day three post!!! THANK YOU!

6:20pm - Leave work for dinner with friends.

6:20pm – Leave work for dinner with friends.

BEAUTIFUL weather!!! Amazing to drive with the sunroof open!

BEAUTIFUL weather!!! Amazing to drive with the sunroof open!

6:30pm - Sit in parking lot at dinner place to make Ramsey take a photo of my earrings I can instagram. Argue with Ramsey over taking 10 photos of the earring when only one was necessary. But he did do a good job on the picture and it scored a lot of likes!!

6:30pm – Sit in parking lot at dinner place to make Ramsey take a photo of my earrings I can instagram. Then I argue with Ramsey over taking 10 photos of the earring when only one was necessary. But he did do a good job on the picture and it scored a lot of likes!!

WINE at Rye!!! This restaurant was awesome. If you live in KC, you must go! It is owned by the same people as Bluestem, which is my favorite KC eatery.

WINE at Rye!!! This restaurant was awesome. If you live in KC, you must go! It is owned by the same people as Bluestem, which is my favorite KC eatery.

Beef Tartar. So yummy.

Beef Tartar. So yummy.

Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. My favorite meal!!

Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. My favorite meal!!

Wine from Edna Valley. I love Edna Valley wine because my BFF Nicole lives there!!!

Wine from Edna Valley. I love Edna Valley wine because my BFF Nicole lives there!!!

9pm - Home from dinner. Change into cozy pants. Look at the way my super tight jeans dug into my skin! It was painful!!

9pm – Home from dinner. Change into cozy pants. Look at the way my super tight jeans dug into my skin! It was painful!!

This is where we have TMI. What are those?? Oh, they are my toenails. After 3 glasses of wine I finally decided it was time to get these babies off. I barely pulled and they came right off. I think they have been on the verge of falling off for over a month. #Runnerprobs

This is where we have TMI. What are those?? Oh, they are my toenails. After 3 glasses of wine I finally decided it was time to get these babies off. I barely pulled and they came right off. I think they have been on the verge of falling off for over a month. I apologize if you are gagging right now, or if you were eating your lunch while reading this. Even I feel sick right now, however that could be due to the wine I drank last night. #Runnerprobs

10:30pm - Snuggled next to Ramsey. I'm on Tweet Deck, he's on Facebook. We are so damn social.

10:30pm – Snuggled next to Ramsey. I’m on Tweet Deck, he’s on Facebook. We are so damn social.

OMG OMG OMG I get to sleep in tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:45pm – Set my alarm for the morning. OMG OMG OMG I get to sleep in tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TGIF everyone!!!!!!!!

Ali

Boston Marathon Training – Week 5 (& Vacation Pics!)

18 Feb

WHEW another week of training is COMPLETE!

This week was a little tricky, because I went on vacation. I love to travel, and hate it when training gets in the way of enjoying my time. Therefore my policy is always to put fun first, and training second. I run when I can, and when I feel like it. And if it doesn’t happen, I don’t freak out.

That being said, I am shocked by how well I did!

  • 28 miles
  • 04:25 time
  • 3187 calories
  • 6 workouts

I started my week off Monday morning with spin and 4 miles on the treadmill. Tuesday was a 5 mile run with my friends.

Then vacation began. Oh happy day.

St. Petersburg beaches

St. Petersburg beaches

I started Wednesday morning with a 6 mile run along the palm tree lined roads, wearing a tank top. Wow, it was amazing.

I forgot what it felt like to run in the warm air, and I forgot how much I enjoy it (I say this now, but will surely be complaining come June, hehe)!

Selfie in the elevator.

Selfie in the elevator.

Thursday was an off day, and Friday was an easy run with Ramsey. Saturday was another off day.

Post run smiles.

Post run smiles.

By Sunday, I was SO ready for a longer run. I walked out the door, and decided I would run until I didn’t feel like it anymore or until I ran out of time.

I made it 10 miles before I had to get back to reality. It was a glorious, head clearing 10 miles. The perfect way to spend the last few hours of vacation.

My week was awesome, but this week I need to get serious and step up my mileage. I can’t wait to share my great week with you next Monday!

Below are some photos from my amazing trip. Enjoy!

Post massage relaxation.

Post massage relaxation.

After an incredible dinner in St. Pete's.

After an incredible dinner in St. Pete’s.

Valentine's Day breakfast

Valentine’s Day breakfast

mmmmmm

mmmmmm

Valentine dinner

Valentine dinner

Drinks at the Postcard Inn

Drinks at the Postcard Inn

We always find a photobooth.

We always find a photobooth.

Lounging. (A big thank you to my boyfriend for making me feel like a model in this photo!)

Lounging. (A big thank you to my boyfriend for making me feel like a model in this photo!)

Jump!

Jump!

He is so cute.

He is so cute.

I swear we have clothes on!

I swear we have clothes on!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Siesta Key.

Siesta Key.

Have a fabulous week, friends!!

xo,

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

NYC Marathon Training โ€“ Week Eleven

15 Oct

Week eleven training I was back in my game and ready to rock it. I felt better mentally and physically, and had a new outlook on the marathon.

I also came to a realization that the rest of my speed workouts should be completed in shorter sprints, or timed out by a certain number of minutes. The reason why I decided this was because I had been feeling very burnt out and overwhelmed by having to run mile splits at crazy fast paces. I was also overwhelmed with running certain track distances at certain paces. It had become too much pressure on me and made me lose confidence in my training (and we can’t have that!).

So here goes my recap for my last intense week of training!

Monday โ€“ 4 miles at 8:02 pace. Ran a lovely little lunch time run.

Tuesday โ€“ 7 miles at 8:01 pace. 3 minutes of tempo running 5 times. Was running about 6 min/mile pace on my sprints. Felt really good!!!

Wednesday โ€“ 3 miles at 8:39 pace. Followed by TRX class – which was insanely awesome this week!!!

Thursday โ€“ 22 miles at 8:27 pace. Last “long” run before the marathon. Felt great was very proud of my pace. I had actually planned to only run 20 miles, but decided to add 2 more in so I had a 22 mile training run this cycle. Pushed it harder the last 3 miles to simulate race day and running fast on tired legs (< 7:30 pace). Very thankful I had friends to meet me during the run so I was only alone for 13 miles!

Friday โ€“ Off (much needed!!!)

Saturday โ€“ 3.2 miles at 6:40 pace. Ran a 5k and pushed myself during it! I plan to have a little recap of this race later in the week. It was a lot of fun and has a funny story to go along with it! I was also the 2nd place female finisher!

Sunday โ€“ 3.5 miles. A little run / walk with Ramsey. It was an amazing afternoon the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. We had such a great time just jogging along chatting and enjoying the fall scenery!

Total Miles: 42.7 miles

Post 22 miler feeling on top of the world!!

I also wanted to share some pictures from the weekend, which was the cause of having to do the 22 miler on a Thursday.

Friday evening I went to an event where I was given to opportunity to fly over Kansas City at night in a little airplane. I am a nervous Nellie when it comes to flying in little airplanes….but luckily they gave me a bottle of champagne to ease the nerves!! Overall, the experience was amazing and I am so glad I did not chicken out!!

Holding on tight!!!

Woohoo!!!

Saturday evening I went to wedding which was such a bast! And best of all, they had a photobooth – which always offers entertainment and laughter!

Wishing everyone a fabulous week ahead!!!

xoxo

Ali

Lee’s Summit 10k – A NEW PR (and a WIN)!!

11 Sep

This last Saturday, I FINALLY PR’ed a race, and I had not PR’ed a race since I was 16 years old (your time running a new distance you had not ever run does not count).

The race I ran was the Heart of the Summit 10k in Lee’s Summit, MO. This race is really small, but a lot of fun. I love the small town vibe it holds, and the simplicity of it. Last year I was the 2nd place female finisher (to my dear friend Stacy!), so this year I was in it to win it! Last year was also my first 10k experience, completed in 44:39.

Last years first and second place finishers!

I knew that I wanted to push myself as hard as I could, and that I would be using this as a speed workout for my NYC training. My goal was to just go out there and run it as hard as I could, and PR the thing.

My alarm went off WAY too early on Saturday morning. I was at a black tie event the night before, and stayed a bit longer than I had intended. Once I got to the start of the race, my running buddies and I ran a quick 4 miles to get in some miles. Following our warm up we stretched, and lined up!

Sparkling it up at Treads ‘n Threads

As soon as I lined up at the start, I measured up my competition. And I felt pretty good about it. In fact, it looked like my girlfriends would be my strongest competition!

The race began, and I took the lead. I tried not to go out too fast, but judging my pace was really hard since I was in the lead! I pushed it hard the first 5k, then hit the turnaround point (did I mention this was a two loop 10k with 3 out and back portions????). Around mile 4 I started thinking, “ok, this is getting kind of hard, but somehow I am still leading the thing. Where are all the fast men?!”.

Around mile 5, I got passed by a guy running in board shorts holding a liter sized water bottle (two faux pas if you ask me!). I tried my hardest to hang on, but he just kept creeping past me. I ended up finishing the race in 2nd place overall, 1st place among the females. Although I was sad and let down I didn’t win the entire thing, I was still very excited I won the women’s….and PR’ed!!!!!

Splits: 6:39, 6:48, 6:52, 6:59, 6:55, 7:01 (I hate it when my last mile is my slowest mile!)

My finish time was a 42:49 (6:5oish pace), almost 2 minutes faster than the year before. And to me, that was something worth celebrating.

The 1st place – 4th place female finishers. My friends are so fast!

Way to go, Ramsey!!!!!

We made a podium!

Gettin all fancy with my iphone!

Thanks for all of the kind words following the race, and the encouragement leading up to it!!!

xo,

Ali

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

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