Tag Archives: grumpasaurus

I need a pep talk.

12 Jul

In ten days, I start training for my 5th marathon.

The New York City Marathon has been on my list of dream marathons since I knew it existed. Last year I trained for this race like a maniac and was beyond determined to PR it. I put in the crazy miles, ran the repeats, did the cross training and was more than prepared to break 3:30. Obviously we know what happened with the race last year, and I didn’t think twice when it was time to sign up 2013. I knew I would be there no matter what.

At the 2012 expo. I am totally wearing this number at the 2013 race!

At the 2012 expo. I am totally wearing this number at the 2013 race!

Well, the time has come to start training for this thing, and I am not excited or prepared to start running like a maniac again. In fact, I am pretty much dreading it. And I really need some of your love to get me back with it and excited for the next 16 weeks.

There are a few reasons why this training is proving a little more difficult for me to get excited about. So let’s all listen to me whine, complain and cry while I go through each one of ‘em!

  1. I am tired of training. I love to run, but I don’t always love to train. The strict schedules, the stress on my body, the fatigue – it just isn’t always fun. And if you aren’t in the right frame of mind, convincing yourself to get up at the crack of dawn 5-6 days a week to run isn’t so awesome.
  2. I live in a new neighborhood. And I have no idea where the eff I am going when I go out on runs. Last night I went for a 4 mile run, and ended up running on grass for a mile because I couldn’t find a sidewalk. (side note – I have a fear when I run on grass that I will take a tumble, fall into the street and then get hit by a car. If you don’t think I was visualizing that scenario for a mile on my run, you are kind but 100% WRONG!) I used to live in the burbs, and now I am in more of a metropolitan area. While I LOVE my new area, and my new house, and my awesome commute to work, I don’t really love the running path options. I’m not used to any traffic, and now I have to be super aware of traffic. This aspect will take some getting used to.
  3. My running buddies are far away. This is the hardest one to deal with. My girls I could always count on to meet me now live 30 minutes away. These girls are my accountability partners AND my therapists. What am I going to do without them?!?!
  4. Boston scared me. And I am not sure I am mentally prepared to run another big race after what happened there. In the days after Boston, I would’ve told you there was no way I would run NYC in the fall. But then I realized I couldn’t let Boston keep me from running a dream. Hopefully time will heal that fear, and I can put it aside in my mind a little bit, but I am not 100% certain of that right now.

So there are my 4 reasons why I am not so excited to start training for my race.

And now I need some advice, words of encouragement, and love to get me going!!!!! I beg, I plead…make me feel better and motivated 🙂

And in the next 10 days, I will be living up my training freedom with a trip to Vegas, staying up too late, multiple happy hours and wine. Lots and lots of wine.

Xo,

Ali

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“I am bored with this”

8 Oct

A very smart and clever woman recently said I phrase I have grown to love – “I am bored with this”.

Who is this clever woman you ask? Well it is Heather from the Real Housewives of Orange County (Duhhh).

 

Lately I have been inserting this phrase into my life wherever (and whenever) possible, because I think it is so hilarious (and applicable). Whether I am waiting in line at Target, attending a dull meeting or inserted into a dramatic situation I have no interest in being a part of, you can bet that I am “bored with it”.

And let me tell you – I have recently become very “bored” with my marathon training. The long runs are exhausting. The 4am alarm clocks are tiring. And the schedule I must adhere to is overwhelming.

I am so over marathon training, that I am starting to loathe it. I want race day to be here so freaking bad, and yesterday marked four weeks from the New York City Marathon. I am starting to panic that I might not be able to make it another month of these hard runs and early mornings. And that I might lose my drive and determination that I had going 2 months ago.

The first part of my training was awesome. I was running like a rock star, and breaking all my previous training PR’s. I felt like I was on cloud nine and could go out and run a 6:45 pace whenever the heck I wanted. But now? It is a totally different story.

The last two weeks have been full of semi-disappointing runs. They feel so hard, and I feel so tired. Last week I had to QUIT a speed session halfway through. I NEVER quit my training runs, so this was not an easy pill to swallow. Although I have started to feel a bit better the last couple days, I am still not back to “me”, and I am freaking out that I don’t know how to get back there, and that I won’t get back there to break a 3:30 marathon.

Now I request your help….how do I get back to my determined state I was in just a few weeks ago? And how do I get my fast legs back to running sub 7 minute miles without a problem?!

Help!! All tips, advice and suggestions are welcome!!

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

Chicagoland Marathon Race Recap

24 May

This post is very difficult to write, and one that I am not excited to be writing. It will most likely be lengthy and filled with emotions. So saddle up, readers…hope you’re ready for this bumpy ride!

Saturday

Saturday morning I was up at 4am, and out the door by 4:45 headed to the airport for my 6:30am flight. I had planned to be in Chicago at 8am, and hang out and wait until Diana and her husband Lee arrived at 10am.

Well, those plans changed. Following a very delayed flight, and changing flights 3 times, I finally made it to Chicago at 4pm in the afternoon (Diana and her husband were there at 10am, in case you were wondering). I arrived at the hotel in Schaumburg, IL just in time to leave for dinner. I was raging, and ready to punch someone (preferably an American Airlines worker). But I made it.

7am at the airport. I am doing a great job of hiding my anger!

Diana, Lee and I had a lovely dinner (they are so sweet to let me play 3rd wheel all weekend), and got plenty of carbs stored up in our body. We visualized the race together, and spoke about how amazing it was going to be when we crossed the finish line under 3:45, and earned Diana a BQ.

Stuffed and happy!

Loving our new shirts!!

We were all so positive, and so upbeat about the race. We KNEW things were going to work out. It wasn’t an option for them not to.

Following dinner we headed back to the hotel and got everything ready for the race. We pinned our numbers on our shirts, planned our GU stops, marked down where Lee would be spectating us, and had one last pep talk.

Ready to run!

Foot is all taped!

I got back to my room, and got in bed. I was happy and excited. I had really good feelings about our race, and the 26.2 miles we faced in the morning. I wasn’t worried about the weather, and the fact that it was supposed to be unseasonably warm. It was all good…and it would all work out. Because as I said earlier – it had to.

Sunday – Pre-Race

I shot out of bed at 5:45am on Sunday. I was ready to run. After getting myself prepared and compiling my gear, I walked down to Diana’s room. Diana was nervous, but excited as well.

The weather was on TV in her room. I saw that it was already 70 degrees at 6:15am. I slightly panicked, and then shut off the TV. I told them there was NO reason to watch. We could not control the weather, but we could control our bodies (so we thought…).

Our next stop was the starting line. We headed outside and got in the car. I sarcastically yelled, “OMG it is so chilly out here!!! Why didn’t I bring my sweater???”. Truth was, it was very warm. But we refused to acknowledge it.

Following a photo shoot, we got to the start. We were so excited and nervous, but we were ready. This race was going to be our race today. No doubt about it.

Staying in the shade for as long as possible.

Heading to the start.

Can you spy Di and I?!? And the bitchy lady in the background that kept making fun of us for our “overly matching outfits”?

Sunday – Race Time

We crossed the starting line, and hit our watches. Mile 1 was a warm up mile to get our bodies ready. We would let people pass us, but we would see them again soon once we were in the groove. The temperature at the start: 76 degrees.

The course was two loops, with multiple out and back sections.

The first few miles went by pretty fast. But one thing was clear: it was HOT. I had sweat dripping down my face 2 miles in. I am not a big sweater (and besides…girls glow), so I knew this wasn’t a good sign for the 24.2 miles to go. But I ignored it.

I kept Diana and I on pace according to our pace bands. We were hitting our miles, and we were on track to run a 3:42.

Staying positive!

oh hey!

Then, it got really hot.

Around mile 10 Diana said to me, “Ali, I am so hot. Why is it so hot today?” I replied, “Di, I know it is hot, but we have to deal with it. We have to fight through. We can beat it”.

Then we saw Lee, who handed us ice cold bandanas to wrap around our necks. These felt amazing and were finally a relief from the warm weather. We continued to take water at every water stop, and tried our hardest to get fluids in our bodies. We were doing everything right. But the heat was quickly getting to us. And there was very little relief from the sun beating down on us.

That bandana around my neck and sports bra was ahhh mazing!

The halfway point in this race was brutal. We had to run next to to the 13.1 finish line, and keep going to do it all over again (A few weeks before the race, the course was changed. Due to the course change, we would be running a two loop marathon. I am going to throw it out there now that two loop marathons should be illegal).

Diana was becoming very overheated, and dizzy. I grabbed us two bottles of water and opened one for her. We stopped, and I ordered her to drink. Between the two of us we drank two bottles of water in about 2 minutes. We started running again, and I was able to grab another bottle of water from Lee. I kept forcing Diana to drink more while we were running, as well as myself. I was worried about her. In all of training runs and hard workouts, I had never seen her in this state.

By mile 15, we faced the realization that a Boston Qualifying time would not be happening today. Realizing this was heartbreaking. And having to admit it out loud was even worse. We had worked so hard, and Diana deserved that BQ so much. It just wasn’t fair.

On another note – this course totally sucked. We had to share this tiny little path with bikers and recreational runners/walker/children. It was ridiculous!!!

We stopped and regrouped (while chugging more water). Then we decided there was a new goal today: finishing.

I never imagined that I would make it a goal of mine to finish a race. I was stupid to think it would never be something I had to solely work towards. I may have a gift and natural ability, but that doesn’t mean a marathon finish will always come easy (and boy did I realize this during the race). No one is entitled to always have a finish. And I will never forget that.

We had no idea that our tall friend wanted to hug!

Around mile 17, Diana was feeling 100 times better, and I was feeling 100 times worse. My legs were cramping with the worst leg cramps I had ever experienced. I was so hot, my asthma was terrible and I felt like my body wouldn’t work anymore. I kept making Diana stop so I could stretch out my calves. I urged her to go on without me, but like a true friend – she stayed by my side.

When my watch beeped mile 18, Diana asked which mile we had completed. I replied with 18, and she responded with, “Shit…the race hasn’t even started yet!!!!”. Every marathoner has it drilled into their head that the race starts at mile 20. And we had nothing to do but laugh when we thought about that phrase. Our race started at mile 1. No doubt about that!!!

Trucking along at mile 19, and kind of hating life.

Mile 23 came, and I started to have a complete meltdown. I made us stop once again, and I started crying. Running is my “thing”. It’s my constant in life. Running is always there for me. Running I can always do. Life might throw me curve balls (and I have received way too many lately), and I deal with it by running. But during this race, running threw me a curve ball too. And I wasn’t handling it well.

Trying with all of my strength to stay positive.

Diana was so supportive, and got me through me through my cry fest. I couldn’t have kept going if it wasn’t for her.

Finally we saw the finish, and it was the most excited I had ever been to see a finish line. We pumped our legs as hard as we could, and got our bodies across. We smiled through the heartbreak of our missed goal, and managed to take a pretty darn good picture to cap off the race.

YAY! And please notice that apparently it was too hot for spectators to come out.

Accountability partners until the end!!! And I also look like a giant in this photo. I am only 5’4…I swear.

Official time: 4:13:43

Sunday – Post Race

Although we were happy to be done with the race, we were very upset. We hobbled over to a curb and sat down. We drank more water (I swear I drank at least two gallons of water in a 4 hour period), and took a moment to just sit and reflect.

Couldn’t have finished without you!

I got out my phone and was floored by all of the sweet messages from friends and family. Everyone is so thoughtful, and I am beyond thankful. I then checked the weather. It was 88 degrees. 88 degrees is hot if you are walking outside. We were running a MARATHON. No wonder we were dying.

It turns out that only 102 women and 154 men finished the marathon. This was significantly lower than the number that signed up. Many runners opted for the half marathon due to the heat.

The biggest surprise of the day was that I somehow managed to get 3rd place in my age group!

Double medals!

The best way to describe the way I was feeling is mad. I was so mad that the weather sucked. I was mad that I watched Diana put months of training into this race and it didn’t work out. I was mad that we lost control of our race due to the heat. And I was mad that I totally blew up the second half and felt like I held Diana back from running faster (Di, I know you are reading this yelling at me right now!).

We headed back to the hotel and got showered and packed up. Then we checked out and went to lunch. Chicago pizza hit the spot, and the huge beer was even tastier. Although we were feeling blue, we were keeping our heads up. Diana was staying so positive, even though she was sad.

Lee was the best cheerleader EVER!!!

We finished off the weekend with more awful traveling. After two cancelled flights, we checked ourselves into a Holiday Inn at 2am, and got about 5 hours of sleep before we had to go back to the airport and try it all again (American Airlines, I HATE YOU!!!!!). By the way, when you are sad, tired and physically feel awful, the airport is the last place you want to spend 8 hours of your life. By Sunday night I was snapping at anyone who looked at me the wrong way.

Post Race Thoughts

After I finally made it home on Monday afternoon, I was still upset, and Diana was too. It made us sick that the Chicago weather on Monday morning was 50’s with overcast skies – near perfect weather for a marathon. In all of our efforts to find good out of the weekend, we simply couldn’t. There was no positive spin to put on the race. Everything about it sucked.

Although I should be celebrating my 2nd marathon finish, I continue to be saddened by the thought of a missed goal. And mostly, I am sad for Diana. She deserves that BQ. She worked so damn hard. It just isn’t fair.

My body is quickly recovering, but my mind and soul are not. After my first marathon, I was on a high for days. Since this one ended, I have been at quite a low.

Each day gets easier, but I still don’t understand why things worked out the way they did. Why did the weather have to be so outrageous? Why did they have to change the course? And why did months of training have to go to waste like that?? If you know the answers to any of these things, please let me know.

I earned you.

This marathon might have sucked, but that doesn’t mean my determination is gone. And I’d be lying if I said plans for our next big race weren’t already in the works 😉

xo,

Ali

Birthday Blues

21 Apr

It is my birthday today, and I have a bad case of the blues. I am not ready to turn 26. And it seems God has not answered my prayers to have a 25 re-do.

I haven’t felt like this about a birthday since I was turning 22. At 22, I was panicking about graduating college and leaving that life. I also had major anxiety about where life would take me and what was ahead.

22 year old me thought writing on myself was super cool.

Coincidentally, I am freaking out about turning 26 because I am not where my 22 year old self thought I would be at this age.

When I was 22, I knew that by the time I was 26 I would have this fabulous lifestyle. I would be married, living in a beautiful home that I had purchased, driving my Acura, buying Jimmy Choo shoes once a quarter (yes, I actually thought I would be able to buy Jimmy Choo shoes once a quarter for the new season ahead), and overall be happy with all aspects of my life.

So what the hell was the 22 year old version of me thinking?! Although I do have a great life…I am not married, not a homeowner, still driving my 2005 Ford Escape (no offense Scapey! I still love you very much), and I am not an owner of Jimmy Choo shoes anymore. Why? Because I sold them on eBay to make extra money!!!

I realize that I have a great life, and I have accomplished many things. I have amazing family, awesome friends, a Boston Qualifying Marathon time, a good job, a solid clothing and accessory collection, and many other things. But I am still singing the blues today.

Cheers to a year that MUST be a good one.

Hopefully throughout this day I will snap out of it. But if not, there is always tomorrow…which thankfully is just another day! And my first adventure in pacing a half marathon.

Thanks as always for listening to my rambles, and especially for listening to this cry – baby post.

Wishing you an awesome weekend ahead!

Ali

Marvelous Mondays – January 30th

30 Jan

Dun Dun Dun….it’s Monday my friends. And it is a new week ahead to look forward to.

Last week was not the happiest week ever, but this week MUST be better. I get very mad at myself when I don’t practice what I preach on staying positive. And last week I certainly did NOT practice my positive preaching.

This week, I WILL be positive. I WILL be happy, and I WILL be thankful. Got that? Ok, good. Now let’s get started and talk about the week ahead.

The Bachelor

Oh The Bachelor. You are the highlight of my week (is that sad?). I cannot wait to see what shennanigins you have in store for us tonight, and how drunk the women will get.

I also cannot wait to see if it is possible for the “model” Courtney to be a bigger B word.

“Oh, I was just there two months ago…”

“I can reach higher than everyone else”

And Courtney, please stop quoting Charlie Sheen by constantly saying “Winning!” Do you realize that by quoting Mr. Sheen in a serious manner, you are not in fact “winning”?

New Phone

I finally got a new iPhone!!! And I’m totally obsessed with her. She is white, and beautiful.

After 3 years, it was time for an upgrade. Welcome home sweetie!

Giveaway

I get to host a giveaway this week on the blog!!

If you follow my tweets, you might have an idea as to what I am giving away. I will tell you this, it is pretty dang fabulous!

I think that wraps up the week ahead. I know it will be a busy one, but that will hopefully mean it flies on by.

What are you looking forward to this week?

-Ali

I’m Grouchy and Nervous.

28 Nov

I am super grouchy, and super nervous. And I think the marathon is partially (ok, probably more than partially) to blame.

Ever since I started tapering, I have not been feeling well about the race. I feel like my mind is off. And I feel like my body is off. My legs feel weird. So weird that I actually considered placing a ‘Wanted’ add for a new left leg. Maybe while I am at it I should place a ‘Wanted’ add for a new mindset as well.

I keep hearing from people that these feelings, both mental and physical, are “normal”. Even if they are “normal”, I need to shake them ASAP. I cannot go into the race with this mentality.

Whew, so there we go – those are my feelings right now. And writing these feelings down actually did help a bit. If you know of any other things that might help me, please pass them along. I don’t know what my deal is, but I need some encouragement right now.

This grumpasaurus is signing off for the night.

Thinking happy thoughts that tomorrow goes better than today!

Ali

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