Tag Archives: Friends

St. Jude’s Training Update

10 Nov

It’s been awhile since my last training update.

Things are still going great with my St. Jude’s training. Since the KC Half, I have picked right back up with my training. There have definitely been some hard days the past couple weeks, and a few aches and pains. But overall, I feel strong.

Last week was one of my hardest weeks yet. I think that 15 weeks of training is catching up with me and my body is ready for that taper. I just keep reminding myself I only have one more week!!

Here is a little recap of training last week…

Monday: 10 miles at 8:05 pace. I had 3×2 miles at half marathon pace on the schedule and I just could not get myself there. My legs were pretty tired from a hard 20 miler two days before and no rest day in between. I ended up doing 2×2 miles, with only 2 of them being at half marathon pace. I figured I would take what I can get and my body was telling me to take it a little easier.

Tuesday: 7.5 miles at 8:50 pace. Easy and relaxed miles around the hood.

Wednesday: 11 miles at 7:43 pace. Treated myself to a treadmill run for this workout. Ran two miles warm up, 8 miles right under 7:30 pace, and a mile cool down.

Thursday: 8.5 miles at 8:37 pace. Great run with my Thursday run group.

Friday: 16 miles at 8:22 pace. Did my long run for the week on Friday because I was going out of town for the weekend. Overall the run was good, however I was having some major leg pains by the end of it. My piriformis issues have been acting up a bit the past couple weeks and really bugged me during this run.

A celebatory selfie after 16 miles before work.

A celebatory selfie after 16 miles before work.

Celebrating Hannah's baby BOY!

Celebrating Hannah’s baby BOY!

Saturday: 7 miles at 7:54 pace. Ran with my friend Erin before leaving for a relaxing weekend at my parents farm house.

Sunday: OFF!!!

Woke up to this gorgeous view at the farm.

Woke up to this gorgeous view at the farm.

Total mileage: 60

Hope you have a wonderful week!

xo,

Ali

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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 🙂

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?

I’m Back!

13 Jun

Since Boston, I have taken a little blog hiatus. Partially because I have been really busy, and partially because I didn’t know what to talk about.

Life has been really busy lately, but busy in great ways. Family, friends, work and a new home have been occupying most of my time. And after my 7 week hiatus, I am ready to add the blog back to my list of items filling my time. And in a few weeks, I will also have running back on my list of priorities.

After each of my half or full marathons, I have taken a break from running. I have a tendency to get burnt out with the sport, especially with the time training consumes. If I don’t give myself a break, I fear that I will lose my love for the sport and not enjoy it as much.

In a month, I will start training again. But until then, I will most likely be writing blog posts that aren’t as much about running, but more about life!

Here are some highlights of my life in the last few weeks:

Celebrated my friend Laura getting married!

Celebrated my friend Laura getting married!

Experience what a professional photo shoot is like!!

Experience what a professional photo shoot is like!! (This was for the July issue of Runner’s World. While this photo did not make the paper version, some of my other photos and quotes did! It was a really cool experience to be involved with)

Partied with friends for Stacy's 40th birthday!

Partied with friends for Stacy’s 40th birthday!

Celebrated my Girls on the Run group running their 5k!

Celebrated my Girls on the Run group running their 5k!

Met baby Charlotte :)

Met baby Charlotte 🙂

Spent time with my family in Kentucky

Spent time with my family in Kentucky

BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!!

BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!!

Accidentally got beat by Ramsey at the Hospital Hill half marathon!

Accidentally got beat by Ramsey at the Hospital Hill half marathon!

Celebrated Ramsey's 30th birthday with friends.

Celebrated Ramsey’s 30th birthday with friends.

Took professional photos with my Grandma Clark, all her grandchildren, and all the quilts she handmade for each of us.

Took professional photos with my Grandma Clark, all her grandchildren, and all the quilts she handmade for each of us.

Talked about my underwear in the July Issue of Runner's World!

Talked about my underwear in the July Issue of Runner’s World! Be careful what you say in an interview! hehe!

 

I hope your last few weeks have been wonderful as well!

Thank you for all the continued support and love. You guys are the best!!!

xo,

Ali

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

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

Calling KC Area Runners to the Drumm Run!

19 Mar

3-19-2013 5-38-10 PMWhat are your plans this weekend? If the answer is, “not sure” or “no plans”, I now have a plan for you!

Join other Kansas City area runners and myself on Saturday, 23 March at 9am for the Fifth Annual Drumm Run 5k and 10k!!

The Drumm Run is a 5k/10k event, for participants of all ages and athletic levels.

It is low key, relaxed, and most importantly – FUN!!!

The swag is great too – long sleeve shirts! – and the entry fee is pretty darn low at only $35 a pop (for either the 5k or 10k). You will also get to run through the grounds of Unity Village, which is one of my favorite places in the area.

Along with getting in a great run, you will also be helping an amazing cause.

3-19-2013 5-11-53 PM

I urge you to consider joining in for this event and helping with a cause very near and dear to my great friend and running buddy Stacy!

And if you can’t join the race, please consider donating to Stacy’s volunteer page – Caden4Kids. She is almost halfway to her goal of $500!!! And trust me….you want to click this link to see the cutest 5 year old in town.

Hope you’re having a great week!!

xo,

Ali

3-19-2013 5-11-09 PM

A post work 20 miler.

17 Mar

Two weeks ago, Diana and I ran 20 miles after work.

It sucked.

I have done a few 20 milers before work, and I thought that was crazy. But I now know that 20 miles post work is even crazier.

The main thing dictating the post work run was the St. Patrick’s Day Fun Run on Saturday morning. This is one of our favorite races in Kansas City, and we were not going to skip this race due to a silly 20 miler. Another factor was that I had an engagement party on Saturday night and figured it would be a late night out with friends. Sometimes these long runs can be really hard on my legs (I get really bad leg cramps and nerve pain) and make me so tired I can’t stay awake past 8pm.

I arrived at Diana’s around 5pm on Friday evening. I changed out of my work clothes into my favorite Target outfit and we headed out the door by 5:15pm. We decided the easiest and safest option would be to around her neighborhood. While this is easy because we know we won’t get lost, it is not easy because it can be very hilly.

The first 10 miles were all hills. Our legs were burning from a day of being on our feet and our stomachs were growling from not eating enough between lunch and the run.

At mile 10, my watch beeped “Batteries Low”. Funny I thought, because “Batteries Low” was exactly how I felt. I was tired from the week and my legs were dragging from the hills. I was also a little dehydrated from my happy hour(s) the night before. I would not suggest wine flights the night before a 20 miler.

Evidence of the wine flights. Cooper's Hawk was a blast...if you haven't gone there you should!

Evidence of the wine flights. Cooper’s Hawk was a blast…if you haven’t gone there you should!

Lauren and I drinking our wine and laughing at the local KC Weatherman photo bombing our pic.

Lauren and I drinking our wine and laughing at the local KC Weatherman photo bombing our pic.

The sun began to set and we continued to stay focused on pounding out the miles, as well as not being hit by cars.

I am sure that everyone driving by us either thought, “You are running on Friday night? Get a life!”, or “Get off the roads you crazy women!”

At mile 15, we made a pit stop at Diana’s house to get a new watch for back up. I was shocked that mine still wasn’t dead, but we couldn’t count on it to last us the entire 20. We also couldn’t count on my RunKeeper app to tell us the correct mileage. I was shocked to see how off the distance was (it was almost a mile behind my Garmin).

The last 5 miles we stayed on flat roads and focused on getting it done. Our conversation had died down a bit, which really was due to how tired we were getting.

When the watched beeped 20, we had a mini celebration. We were so happy to be done with this run, and even happier knowing we could just have FUN the rest of the weekend.

We waddled inside Diana’s house, grabbed our drinks and laid on the floor with our legs up (btw – draining your legs is the best thing ever. If you don’t do that, you should. It really helps me with my leg cramps and nerve pains).

DONE!!! And the just like my legs, the watch never died either.

DONE!!! And the just like my legs, the watch never died either.

Draining our legs.

Draining our legs.

When I got home from Di’s, I was beyond exhausted. I took a warm shower, ate some eggs, then got into bed and called it a night.

Did this run suck? Yes. But am I so glad I got this run out of the way on Friday so I could have fun with friends the rest of the weekend? YES!!!

Here are some photos from the weekend, that made the crazy long run worth every since step.

Ready to run St. Pat's Day race! I'd say our time of 36 minutes was pretty impressive, especially being 13 hours post 20 miles!

Ready to run St. Pat’s Day race! I’d say our time of 36 minutes was pretty impressive, especially being 13 hours post 20 miles!

Bloody Mary's.

Bloody Mary’s.

Half of the Boston Crew.

Half of the Boston Crew.

Ellen and Bran'a engagement party!!

Ellen and Bran’a engagement party!!

Hi beanie.

Hi beanie.

All instargram'ed up and pretty!

All instargram’ed up and pretty!

Mwah!

Mwah!

Please share your crazy long run or hard workout experience! I love to hear from people that are as nutty as me.

xo,

Ali

 

Boston Marathon Training – Week 4

12 Feb

Week Four of training is COMPLETE! Woohoo!

This week was actually my highest mileage week of training so far, which is odd for only running 38 miles. Most of my other Boston Marathon friends are doing 60-70 mile weeks! More power to them!!

I continue to use a lower mileage approach and cross train as much as possible. Hopefully this approach will get me through Boston and allow me to have FUN while running with my friends.

Post Cross Training - Love these Activewear USA pants!

Post Cross Training – Love these Activewear USA pants!

Hard runs this week consisted of 6 miles of hills (and these are HARD hills), and a 7 mile run with 4 at a faster pace (mid 7’s). The tempo run was on the treadmill due to stormy weather. *GASP* I am starting to really like the treadmill….

Less than 67 days now!

Less than 67 days now!

Our long run was 16 miles, and although I rested up and hydrated well the night before this race, I was still struggling. I think the hardest part of it was the cold wind on our faces. At least everyone in the group was hurting on this run and it wasn’t just me 🙂

Post 16 miler and happy as could be.

Post 16 miler and happy as could be.

I continued to have healthy eating habits this week, and didn’t drink much alcohol at all! This is definitely the healthiest I have been during a training session, and I have felt great. My energy levels are up and my cravings for sweets are decreasing! WIN!

My favorite faux dessert - ricotta cheese, agave, dash of vanilla and handful of choc chips.

My favorite faux dessert – ricotta cheese, agave, dash of vanilla and handful of choc chips.

Today I head to Florida for vacation. I will be gone through Sunday and hope to get in some great runsplorations to share with you. I am glad my week is a “recovery week”, because who knows how much training I will get in down there!

Have a great week, everyone! And thank you for your continued support throughout my training. I really appreciate it.

XO,

Ali

P.S. The Earbag giveaway was…Jasmine!!!

New Workout Adventures

30 Jan

Since I ran the Dallas Marathon last month, I joined a gym and have been trying out new workouts.

I LOVE trying new things when it comes to working out. I have always thought that changing things up gives your body an extra boost and really helps you see results. It also helps you from getting burnt out mentally on just one sport (i.e. only running).

My new workout adventures include three things.

First up, Spinning.

I have always wanted to try spin. I thought it looked fun, and really hard.

3

I try to do spin 2 times a week, and have been loving it. The classes are fun, and the music is super motivational. I also love that we do it in the dark at my gym!

I have heard that Spin is really good for your fast twitch muscles. I am really interested to see if this proves true when I do my next speed workout.

Next stop, Stairmaster.

Holy crap, this thing is so hard.

2

I sweat down to my fingers when I am on this thing. I really like to add this on to the end of my workouts or after I run. Sometimes I make it past 20 minutes, other times I manage 10.

But at all times, I am basically hanging on for dear life while sweat drips off my body.

I try to do at least 2 days on the stairmaster a week.

Lastly among the new workouts, Body Pump.

photo

Body Pump has become my favorite workout of all of the new ones I have tried. I LOVE how strong Body Pump makes me feel. And I mostly love how much of a difference I can already see.

My arms are more toned, and my booty seems to have an extra umph to it!

5

I try to make it to Body Pump 3 days a week. I ran my fastest half marathon when I was doing weight training, and I think it could really help me with my upcoming races.

I have also really loved doing all these new workouts with my good friend Kara! It has been so much fun to start our mornings together!

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Do you have any new workouts you love? Or have you tried any that I am doing?

xoxo,

Ali

Boston Marathon Training – Week Two (& Party Pics!)

27 Jan

Week two of Boston Marathon training went well!

I have been trying not to follow any kind of schedule in an effort to avoid burnt out. I have been running when I feel like running, and getting in my long runs as I should.

I have also been cross training a TON. Spin, body pump and the stairmaster are my new best friends. I love changing it up and trying new things. And I hope that this cross training will help with my speed and body tone.

Total miles for the week clocked in at 36, which is not too shabby when I think about the fact that I didn’t focus on running too much. Cross training workouts for the week stood at 6 total. 3 body pump classes, 1 spin class and 2 turns on the stairmaster.

  • 36 miles
  • 06:04 hours
  • 3687 calories
  • 12 workouts

This week’s long run was at the trail, and way too early following my company’s annual party. I refused to not have fun at the party and enjoy myself. So I prepared myself in advance for a tough Saturday morning run.

The theme was speakeasy, aka flapper era.

The theme was speakeasy, aka flapper era.

I dressed up, Ramsey did not.

I dressed up, Ramsey did not.

Sparkles were very popular!

Rockin my fake hair. I love that stuff.

The party was a BLAST!! And I should really consider all the dancing as another workout. The people I work with are amazing!!!

6:30 am came WAY too early on Saturday morning, but I wanted to get the run done so I could go back to sleep.

I met the girls at 7:15 and we started our run. I forgot my Garmin, so I actually have no idea what our pace was or how fast we ran. And I love that. NYC training had me obsessed with pace and checking my watch, but on Saturday I got to enjoy the run and chat with my friends.

Feetsies.

Feetsies.

I hope for another successful week of marathon training the next 7 days.

And I am really excited to try some new recipes and incorporate healthier foods into my diet as well! If I come across anything good – I will share it with you!

xoxo,

Ali

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