Tag Archives: Family

Post-Boston Thoughts

15 Apr

I have so many thoughts going through my head right now, and so many feelings.

I would normally start my marathon recaps with the everything that led up to the race. But this post will have to be different. This post, I need to start when we crossed the finish line.

Diana, Stacy and I crossed the finish line in 3:54. We held hands as we crossed, and hugged as soon as we were past. We were so happy to be DONE with this race. It was hard. Our legs were sore, and we weren’t feeling so hot.

We kept walking towards the water, med tent area, medals, and family meet up. We got our medals, and continued to head on to the family meet up.

When we arrived at family meet up we had been walking for about 5 minutes. We were beyond tired and all we wanted to do was lay down in the room. We took a minute to get some post race photos, and then things changed.

at most, 30 seconds before things changed.

at most, 30 seconds before things changed.

Boom.

We all heard it, we all felt it.

Boom.

Another one. My heart started beating rapidly. I knew those booms were not ok. I looked around me, everyone had a look of panic on their face. Seeing a huge group of people with a panicked look on their face was so scary. When I am scared, I like to look around and see calm. When I looked around today, I saw terror. We were scared.

Some people said, “oh it was nothing! just scaffolding falling!”. Another said, “well it is patriots day, it was the cannons!”

I knew it was neither. What we heard was bad.

Then the sirens rang, and we saw police officers running. We immediately started walking. We didn’t know where, but we were moving. I then checked twitter and saw my biggest fear. Two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. My God, we were just there.

Before the bombs went off, my legs were on fire, I didn’t think I could go any longer. After the bombs went off I could’ve taken off in a sprint. Amazing what adrenaline will do for you.

We made it back to our hotel, which scared me. Our hotel was one block away from the explosions, but at least we would be inside. We got in, and within 15 minutes we were evacuated. We had nowhere to go, so we sat outside on a sidewalk across the street. Then they made us leave the sidewalk. We followed the masses and kept walking.

Nothing but emergency vehicles.

Nothing but emergency vehicles.

Finally we arrived in a little neighborhood nook. It was the cutest area and felt cozy. We found a spot on the ground and huddled together. There were so many runners wandering around, many that had not had the opportunity to change into warmer clothes. They looked like they were freezing.

Good samaritans in the neighborhood brought out blankets, coffee, orange juice and food. They offered their homes to anyone that needed to use the restroom. It was one of those moments when you say to yourself, “people are good.”

Doing good things.

Doing good things. He had such a happy heart and happy soul.

After over an hour of sitting on the street, we needed warmth. And a sweet woman named Marguerite saved us. She invited us into her home, fed us cheese and crackers and even gave us some beer. Another moment thinking, “people are good.”

Our spread at Margarets.

Our spread at Margarets.

After over an hour of invading Marguerite’s home, we decided to try to make the trek back to our hotel. We knew the lockdown was over, and had a route of streets we could take to get ourselves there.

We walked back and made it. We were so grateful to be back into our hotel with our possessions (and with a shower!!!). We settled into our rooms and just had some time to reflect. And I needed this time.

So many emotions.

So many emotions.

You look outside the windows here, and all you see are flashing lights and police. It is eery.

Around 9pm, we went to dinner in the hotel, as we were not able to leave. We sat at our table together, and decided we were going to put away our phones and talk about our race and our adventures that day. We had some fun stories to tell. However we were not able to focus on anything but the bombs. Every conversation went back to that.

So many people have said to me, “you should still be so proud, you ran Boston!”. But honestly, I could care less about that right now. I am not grateful for my medal right now, I am grateful for my safety and my families safety. That is what is important.

I keep thinking about the what ifs. What if we had not finished when we did? What if we were not with our families when the explosions went off? What if, what if, what if.

I thank everyone right now for their support. I am ok, but many are not. Please send that support to those who are still missing family members, were injured, or lost their lives.

xo,

Ali

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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? 🙂

Do you have ways that you handle your stress?

Or ever have to fix your perspective or priorities?

xo,

Ali

Marvelous Mondays – January 28th 2013

28 Jan

Happy MONDAY!!!

Did you have a good weekend? I sure did! DEG company party, long run, dinner with cousins, super workout Sunday, and meal planning made my weekend awesome.

This week I have a few things to be excited about. Here we go!

Overnight Oats

I did my first experiment with overnight oats last night. I did layers of plain greek yogurt, oats, bananas and strawberries, then poured almond milk and chia seeds on top.

Before and After.

Before and After.

I was a little nervous to try it this AM, but was pleasantly surprised by how yummy they were. I can’t wait to change up the combo tomorrow and try something else new! I hope to figure out a couple different recipes and post them here.

8 Minute Abs

Yesterday I started doing 8 Minute Abs again. I am going to Florida in a couple weeks, and need my stomach to be ready!

I have been doing the 8 Minute Abs workout for years. Seriously…my BFF Nicole and I used to do this workout from a VHS tape. And I totally had a 6 pack (I was also 15 years old and weighed 98 pounds..of course I had a 6 pack).

I am obsessed with the 90's people in the videos.

I am obsessed with the 90’s people in the videos.

I will try to post progress pics the next few weeks of the abs. Please disregard the tired face.

Cousins Dinner

I am still randomly giggling over dinner with my cousins on Saturday night.

We went to Ponaks, which I believe to be the best Mexican in KC, MO. And most awesome of all during the dinner?? My cousin Erica let me put on her engagement ring!!!! OMG I am obsessed!!!!

Soooo pretty!

Soooo pretty!

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What are you looking forward to this week?

And what super fun things did you do last weekend?

xoxo!

Ali

Negative Self Talk Sucks.

20 Jan

Last season at Girls on the Run, we had a lesson about negative self talk. And we discussed how girls are particularly bad at this behavior.

Negative self talk is just like it sounds – telling yourself negative things you believe to be true. And for us girls, most negative self talk revolves around the way we look.

“I’m not pretty enough”, “I’m not skinny enough”, “My thighs are too big”, “My hair is too short”, etc.

The reason why I am telling you about this, is because yesterday I had a very bad negative self talk day. And it all began in the fitting room at Lululemon.

My boyfriend and I stopped by Lulu so I could buy some new treats to replace items I had returned for Christmas. I stepped into the fitting room, and tried on some of those tight booty shorts. I thought they would be good for spin.

Well…..that was a big mistake. I couldn’t even step foot out of the room in those babies. I was appalled. I was starting at my legs in disgust, and could not stop looking at spots of cellulite on my thighs. How did I run 10 miles that morning, and have cellulite on my legs?!?

The above situation was step one of the breakdown. After this, I started staring at myself in the mirror even more, and noticed two lovely blemishes smack dab on my forehead.

So the count for negative self talk comments now stands at 2.
1. Cellulite
2. Acne

Then it got worse.

I finally gathered the courage to walk out of the fitting room wearing a striped tank, and running tights. I wanted to get some feedback from the boyfriend and see if he liked it.

So his response?

“I like the pants, but I am not sure the stripes on that tank are quite your thing”.

Yeah….that sent me over the edge.

Now I was battling cellulite, acne and unflattering stripes. And my poor boyfriend was just trying to be helpful when he told me the truth (now he has learned to first find out if I like it, then offer an opinion).

I got dressed (after starting at the cellulite again), and stormed out the of fitting room. Ramsey was semi oblivious and asked if I was ready.

“No, I am NOT ready! Because I have to find a top that flatters me!!!!”.

Whoa. I just snapped at my boyfriend in Lulu, after having a meltdown in the fitting room. What an eventful afternoon.

Finally, I pulled myself together, stopped pouting, and picked out another top that was “my thing”. Then I came clean to Ramsey about why I was freaking out. Of course he was supportive as always, and told me all the reasons why I have n0thing to worry about. It was sweet.

He is so amazing. He will give me a pep talk, AND photoshop my zits out of our pictures!!!

He is so amazing. He will give me a pep talk, AND photoshop my zits out of our pictures!!!

Moral of this story: Negative self talk sucks. It is not productive, and not beneficial. It is also very unhealthy. And I must find a way to overcome it.

I am always good at talking my friends off a ledge when they are feeding their brains with negative self talk, and I am also good at teaching my Girls on the Run girls that they should not be critical of themselves. But for some reason when it comes to me, sometimes I just can’t get those bad thoughts out of my head.

Today, I am much better and feeling quite happy. But I know that it’s only a matter of time until the negative self talk comes back, and I have another meltdown (hopefully not in a Lulu fitting room!!).

At breakfast this morning with my Mom and Aunt, sporting my new Lulu pullover.

At breakfast this morning with my Mom and Aunt, sporting my new Lulu pullover.

————————————————————

Now I ask you – how do you deal with negative self talk?

And how do you love yourself for everything you are, instead of focusing on the things you are not?

xoxo,

Ali

Dallas Marathon Recap – Running Because I LOVE it

10 Jan

Wow, I can’t believe that it has been over a month since I ran the Dallas Marathon, and that I still haven’t written my recap! Usually I am so prompt, but with this one, I have been procrastinating. However I procrastinate no more….here it is!

When I signed up for Dallas after the NYC fiasco, I was excited. I also had a good feeling about it. I had ran the race before, and felt that I knew what to expect. All I needed to do for this race was stay healthy and injury free. Obviously I had to keep up my running as well, but I knew that wouldn’t be a problem!

Staying injury free prior to the race was not an issue, but staying healthy was. I got sick the week before the race with horrible respiratory crap, and with my asthma it was a nightmare situation. I tried everything I could to stay positive for the race and not let the illness affect me. I took drugs from the Dr., got a ton of sleep, took time off work and tried about every home remedy possible. I knew my breathing on race day wouldn’t be perfect,  but I did know it would be manageable (after all, I have had asthma my entire life, so I know what it is like to race with it).

The Plan! Complete with steroids, nebulizer treatments, inhalers and mucinex.

My attempt at getting better

We left for Dallas on Friday afternoon, and arrived early evening. Everything about the trip was going well, and we were able to go out and have an awesome dinner in a fun area! Friday night I went to sleep early and slept like a rock, waking up on Saturday feeling happy and refreshed!

Saturday morning, Ramsey and I met his friends Brian and Allison and headed to the expo. I was SO excited to meet Allison in real life, since we had been instagram and twitter friends for quite awhile. Allison and Brian were running their first half Marathon (A) and first full marathon (B), so they were the perfect people to hang with all day! We went to the expo, and then to lunch at an adorable little restaurant. After lunch, Ramsey and I headed back to the hotel for a little relaxation.

Yay Dallas!

Yay Dallas!

Post expo photo with the bulls

Post expo photo with the bulls

Holy amazing!

Holy amazing!

Following doctors orders, I brought my nebulizer to the marathon with me. I was so mad that I had to bring that damn thing, but I was going to do whatever it took to not let my breathing get in the way of a PR worthy marathon! I took the nebulizer before dinner, and immediately felt better (breathing wise). Once we were back from dinner, I took it again and attempted to settle in for bed.

After dinner with my Mom

After dinner with my Mom

Taking photos of the gorgeous downtown lights

Taking photos of the gorgeous downtown lights

Boy, was that one awful nights sleep. I was a nervous wreck. I was so wound up to the point that I was having a full out anxiety attack and thought I was going to pass out (hard to do while laying down, but I got really close). I remember laying there thinking that all I wanted to do was go to my parents hotel room and have my Mom hug me and tell me it was going to be OK (Moms are so good at that, especially my Mom).

During this panic attack, I was thinking about the past 21 weeks of training, and how badly I wanted to have a good race. Then I couldn’t help but let my breathing issues and the heat (it was supposed to be low 60’s to 70’s) come into my mind. The fact was, I was so scared that I was going to have an ashtma attack while running and die (seriously). I couldn’t stop envisioning myself falling down on the course and ending up in a med tent. It was AWFUL! I pride myself on not being a “mental runner”,  but that night, I was going mental. I don’t know what came over me that made me such a mess, but whatever it was needed to go away.

After a while of this I began playing the “how much sleep could I possibly get game”. You know that game…the one where you stare at the clock and start subtracting the hours. Yeah, I was playing it for a few hours. I think about the 4 hour mark I finally fell asleep.

When I woke up Sunday, I was feeling nervous, but ok. I got dressed, ate a banana, took my medicine, and headed out the door. I was happy and excited to face the race, but was most excited to cross the finish line. My parents were there to hug me goodbye, and my wonderful boyfriend was too. I am pretty sure I couldn’t have mentally made it through the weekend without those three people. They were amazing!

Ready!

Ready!

On the shuttle to the start, I made friends with a super sweet girl named Bobbie. Bobbie was running the half, and had also been signed up to run the NYC marathon!! After we figured this out, we had a little connection and stuck together until the race started.

When the race gun went off, I knew it was a little hot and kind of humid, but I was going to ignore that. I was there to run my 26.2 miles, and hopefully run it under 3:32! I was NOT willing to let my asthma and the weather control my race. I was going to do the best I possibly could!

Runner get set...

Runner get set…

and go!

and go!

Around mile 3, I was already dripping with sweat. I remember thinking, “this is not good”. I was also slipping on the pavement because the humidity made the roads slippery. 3 miles in, and the race felt harder than it should. I knew that it most likely wasn’t going to be my PR day, but that didn’t mean it still couldn’t be my day.

When I reached the 10k, I started to panic a tad. My legs hurt already and my breathing was too labored. Up until the 10k I was running my race I needed for a PR, but then I decided it was time to slow down. My mind started racing and my heart was pounding. I remember thinking, “Holy crap. I am hurting this bad and I am 6 miles in. How in the HELL am I going to run 20 more miles!!!”.  Also the realization that I would not PR and that I had many miles to go was a hard pill to swallow. A big part of me wanted to stop and quit. But a bigger part of me wanted to FINISH.

The first half of this race was by far the hardest half marathon I have ever run. It included a number of pep talks, water cups thrown on my body and muscle cramps in my legs. But once I got over the 13.1 mark and realized I was over halfway through, my attitude changed. It was like passing the halfway mark flipped a switch in my brain. I would not be defeated by this race as I had been in Chicago last May. I would run 26.2 miles, and be really proud of myself while doing so.

The theme of the first half of this race might have been defeat, but the theme for the second half would be triumph.

At mile 18, I saw my cheer squad. I was SO excited to see them, I about stopped so I could jump on them and hug them. I needed to see their smiles, and feel their love. My Mom jogged next to me and I said to her, “Mom, today isn’t my day to PR”. And she so sweetly said, “I know it isn’t honey, but is ok! You are doing amazing!”. When I saw my Dad, he gave me a big high five, and I told him that I was hot, but I was doing ok.

Thank, Dad!!

Thank, Dad!!

Happy as could be (at least at mile 18 of a marathon)

Happy as could be (at least at mile 18 of a marathon)

Next up to run by me was my boyfriend. I told him as well that it would not be my PR day, but that I was really ok with it. I wanted them to know that my attitude was really positive and that I would be happy with whatever I did, as long as I crossed that finish line.

And then I ran on.

And then I ran on.

I am actually very thankful that they got lost (whoops!) and didn’t see me the first half of the race. Had I seen them in my panic mode I know I would’ve cried and made them all worry about me. Seeing them at mile 18 was perfect, because I could let them know I was happy with whatever came of my day, and my asthma would not be killing me – yay!

When I hit mile 20, I knew that my heart would finish that race for me. My legs burned so bad, but I was able to keep a solid 8:20ish pace going. I continued to remind myself that I was running this marathon because I LOVED running, and that I was running this marathon for ME! My time didn’t matter anymore and it does not define me as a runner. What defined me as a runner was having the strength and courage to keep on going when I felt so bad, and had so many obstacles thrown my way.

At mile 24, Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Stronger’ came on my ipod. Immediately, I had tears in my eyes. As cheesy as it is, this song got me through a really hard time in my life last spring. I would listen to it blaring and sing it with my running girlfriends on our morning runs. In a way it felt like they were there with me, running alongside me cheering. Hearing it during mile 24 made me so happy, and reminded me of how strong I have become – emotionally and physically – over the last 6 months.

In my head I was thinking, “how many people running this race were on a nebulizer last night?? And how many of these people had to stop and take their inhaler 3 times during the race?? And how many had the LONGEST training EVER because their original race was canceled?!? I bet not many!!!” I wanted to scream out, “I AM STRONGER!!!!” because that was exactly how I felt, but I refrained in order to avoid looks from spectators 🙂

Before I knew it, the finish line of the race was approaching, and I was so excited!!! Then I saw my cheering squad and got all sorts of emotional again. They were standing there cheering, and I felt an insane amount of joy running through my body. People have seen my photos of the finish and said, “awww you look so happy in this picture!” and I quickly tell them that it was because I was so happy! I wish I could bottle up that feeling I had at that moment and give it to people who need a little extra umph to get through something hard.

Almost done!

Almost done!

Crossing the finish line felt amazing. I couldn’t do my usual sprint due to my shortness of breath, but I finished as strong as I could (and of course with my arms thrown up in the air).

I did it!

I did it!

I quickly walked to find water cups (shame on you Dallas for not having water bottles for the runners), and then heard my name being called. Ramsey had run over to the finish to find me and we had such a sweet little moment holding hands through the fence. If only I had the energy to crawl over that thing so I could get a big hug!

Upon entering the after race complex, I ran into my new friend Allison (mentioned above), who was on cloud 9 after finishing her first half marathon (GO ALLISON!). She was so proud of herself, and I loved hearing her race story. Seeing her happiness and runners high after her first half marathon reminded again why I run – because I love it.

So proud and excited for you, Allison!

So proud and excited for you, Allison!

I finally met up with my boyfriend and parents and we exchanged big hugs. For some reason I felt like I needed to apologize to them for not running the race I wanted to, which is so silly. They told me that no matter what time I run, they will always be proud of me – and that is why I have the most amazing support system ever. I did want them to know that although my day didn’t turn out as I had wanted it to, I was still really really happy and so so proud of myself. Another marathon medal was earned!

BAM.

BAM.

He is amazing. He will even wear a shirt with a high heel on it to support me.

He is amazing. He will even wear a shirt with a high heel on it to support me.

When I got back to the hotel and checked my phone, I was overwhelmed by all the love and support waiting for me. I can’t get over how many people congratulated me on a finish and checked on me to see how I was doing. All of that love and support never goes unnoticed or unrecognized in my eyes, so thank you VERY much for everything!

The rest of the day was for traveling home, drinking beer and eating a ton of food (my favorite post race ritual). Overall, I was in a great mood and my spirits were high, which surprised me. Had you told me a month before the race that I would not PR or hit my goal, I probably would’ve punched you and then cried. But that day, I was perfectly content. As I said earlier, my marathon time will not define me as a runner, but my spirit and determination in the sport will.

Thank you again for all the love and support these past few months! I owe you all big time!

Splits (and pace)
5k: 24:22 (7:52)
10K: 49:20 (7:57)
Half: 1:47:26 (8:12)
20 Mile: 2:49:22 (8:28)
26.2: 3:43:08 (8:31)

and I won't forget that.

and I won’t forget that.

xo

Ali

2012

31 Dec

2012 was a roller coaster of a year.

It started off at the bottom, and has since worked its way up to the top – with some bumps along the way.

2012 taught me many life lessons, and showed me what I am made of.

I had moments of extreme heartbreak, followed by moments of happiness that I had not ever experienced. I’ve never had a year filled with so many tears and sorrows,  yet so much happiness and so many smiles.

Among my favorite memories are my many trips. Below is a little snapshot of where I was this year.

nye

Santa Fe, Vegas, Louisville (times two!), Chicago (times two!), San Francisco & Napa, Central Coast CA, NYC, Dallas.

I look forward to seeing what 2013 brings, and pray that it is a little more stable then 2012 🙂

Thank you for your continuing support and kindness. Happy New Year!!!

xoxo,

Ali

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

NYC Marathon Training – Week Ten

15 Oct

This was a week of redemption for me following the awful experience of week 9 training.

Week 10 began strong, and also gave my legs some time to recover. I knew that it was important for me to give myself some rest, and listen to my body.

I went on a little weekend trip to Louisville, KY this week to visit my family that lives there. That definitely offered some relaxation and fun to get my mind off training. I threw in some photos below for your viewing pleasure 🙂

Monday – Off

Tuesday – 8 miles at 8:00 pace. Ran 3 minutes hard for 6 of the miles. Overall, this was a really good run and offered a break from the track and mile repeats (which can be mentally exhausting).

Wednesday – 4 miles at 9:15 pace. Great run with Diana following her big marathon!

Thursday – 10 miles at 8:40 pace. Great run with Stacy and Emily! Picked it up for 2 mins 5 times. Probably should’ve done my pick up 10 times, but was giving myself a “break”…

Friday – 2.3 miles on the elliptical. I haven’t been on an elliptical and years, but I really enjoyed this 30 minute workout!! It offered me something different and gave me the chance to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy!!

Saturday – 16 miles at 8:37 pace. Good run in Louisville with Ramsey by my side on his bike! Hilly run but overall pretty good. Hit my 1,000 mile mark for the year on the run!

Sunday – Off

Total Miles: 40.3 miles

Betting on some horses at Keeneland!

Mom and I at Keeneland.

Aunt Holly and I at Woodford Reserve tasting some Bourbon!

One of my biggest running cheerleaders! What a trooper to ride his bike next to me for 2.5 hours while I ran!!!

Ridin’ a Wild Turkey!!

 

A Chicago Weekend

22 Aug

A few weeks ago, I had one of the best weekends of the summer in Chicago. Although this post is a tad delayed, I still wanted to tell everyone about my weekend – and most importantly show you the photos!

Thursday

We arrived Thursday morning, and immediately headed out to shop. Following a big day shopping, we got ready for dinner and our evening out.

Cheers!!!

We were so lucky to have our friend Brad as tour guide and Director of Fun. Brad runs a travel website called AbsoluteVisit. I urge you to check it out, the places he has been and things he has done are truly amazing!

Thursday evening we had dinner and Mia Francesca (amazing!!!) and then went to Second City Comedy Club. I can’t remember the last time I had laughed that hard!

Laughing at Second City

Thanks for the perfect weekend, Brad!!!

Friday

Friday was “active day”, and Brad basically planned for us to do a triathlon (yay! My first one!)

First we walked through Lincoln Park,

Seriously, I cannot get enough of this city.

Ahhhhh’ing at the Botanical Garden

RAWR!

Then we biked along lake Michigan,

Biking is not a strong skill for me.

“Love and marriage, love and marriage”

Admiring the bean.

And lastly we kayaked down the Chicago River!

This was an incredible experience.

The day was perfect, followed by a night out on the town!

The best $22 cocktail I have ever had.

Drinks at the Trump Tower (check out that view!)

Rose at Pops for Champagne!

Saturday

Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast at Toast. I tried a very interesting dish, called the “Pancake Orgy”. Although the name was weird, the meal was incredible. Just thinking about the photo makes me hungry.

This breakfast did not disappoint.

The best surprise a girl could get on vacation 😉

Poppin’ Bottles

After a day out in the city, we went to dinner at MK. MK has become one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I urge you to go there – it is SO yummy!

Striking a pose!

Sunday

Sunday morning we got up and had Brunch at our friend Eric and Melissa’s home. They were so kind to host our group, and nothing hit the spot more than homemade Eggs Benedict (can you tell I really like to eat??).

Twinkies!

Before heading out of the city Sunday evening, we had a little pizza party on Brad’s rooftop. The view was amazing, and so peaceful. I love the way you can escape the city in Chicago, without having to travel far.

My favorite pizza in one of my favorite cities.

Overall, our weekend in Chicago was fantastic. We ate, we drank, we shopped, we exercised, and most importantly – we laughed. A lot.

xoxo,

Ali

A Day of LOVE

14 Feb

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

I LOVE….

My Family

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

My Friends

Loyal and faithful friends galore!

My Running Buddies

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

My Boyfriend

Far apart but always in my heart!

My Job

Where else can you wear awesome sweaters to the office?

My Shoe Collection

and this isn’t even all of them…

My Role as Aunt Ali (Awi,I E)

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

My Running Ability

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

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

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

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

XO,

Ali

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