Tag Archives: INGNYC

TBT: The Journey to Marathon #6

17 Apr

In honor of TBT, I decided to write a little throwback post to marathons 1-5, and how I made it to #6. After I ran my first half marathon, I vowed to never run a marathon. I remember thinking to myself, “If a half was that hard, how could I EVER do a full??” It wasn’t gonna happen.

My mind was changed after watching my friend Stacy run her 10th marathon in Chicago on 10-10-10. I remember cheering from the sidelines thinking, “someday soon, this will be me. I want to run a marathon. I want to experience this excitement”

December 2011 – 14 months later, and I was scared to death at the starting line of my first marathon. Marathon #1 was so easy for me and felt so natural. I crossed the finish line and thought, “Bring on the next one baby!!!” It truly was one of the best experiences of my life, and I knew a marathon addict had been born. Finish time: 3:32

May 2012 – 4 months later, I brought on the next one. And it sucked ASS. A totally different experience than marathon #1. I had to walk. I had to cry. And I wanted to quit. But I didn’t. And in the end, I came out of it more determined for marathon #3. Finish time: 4:13

December 2012 – Marathon #3 was also a tough one. Right before the race, I got sick. The week of the race, I wasn’t sure if I could even run. I toughed it out, and ran my heart out. I had to take my inhaler 4-5 times during the race, stop multiple times to catch my breath, and shed a few tears. But after it was all said and done, I was so thankful my body could support me for 26.6 and my mind could make it too. Finish Time: 3:43

April 2013 – The months leading up to Marathon #4 were quite grouchy. I did not want to train. AT ALL. The 3 marathons before were all back to back (fall – summer – fall) and I was ready for a break. It actually took me until April to get excited. How silly that I would let my mind get in the way of being excited for BOSTON!!! I was about to run the most exciting marathon in the world, and I wasn’t excited?!?!?! This race ended up to be one of the most memorable I have ever done, and not because of the bombs. I ran this race with two people that mean so much to me. In my opinion, there is no greater bonding experience than surviving 26.2 together. Finish Time: 3:54

November 2013 – BRING ON NYC. The race I waited to run for 18 months. To say I was excited was an understatement. I trained hard, and I conquered the race. For days after this race, I was living on cloud nine for what I had just accomplished (in fact, I think I still am!!!). Finish Time: 3:21

Marathons are not always easy, and certainly not always fun. But every single marathon teaches us something. Through the good, the bad, and the really really ugly races I have experienced, I have never given up. These marathons have taught me what to means to be tough, mentally and physically. They have taught me discipline, and taught me how to set goals and reach them.

And even though I have not loved every step of these races, I can still say that after every 26.2 completed, I have said, “so when’s the next one?”

xo,

Ali

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NYC Marathon Race Recap

5 Nov

Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York

And that is how the 2013 NYC Marathon started – Frank Sinatra belting it out as thousands of runners stood on the Verrazano Bridge waiting to cross the start.

Freezing at the start.

Freezing at the start.

At 9:45am, I crossed the starting line and began my journey from Staten Island to Central Park. I knew the start would be an emotional experience, and let me tell you – it was. I fought back the tears then switched my focus to the 26.2 miles ahead.

The first couple miles were so cool (and quite windy too!). We were on the Verrazano bridge with one of the most incredible views of the city. Hovering next to the bridge were NYPD helicopters keeping us safe and waving to us as we ran by. We could feel the love of the city, and we felt safe.

Everyone told me that this race would be crazy crowded at the start and to expect a very slow first mile. While it was crowded, I don’t think it slowed me down too much. I think the main thing to slow me down was the incline. I ended up running an 8:07 first mile, which made me pretty happy.

Around mile 3, we hit Brooklyn. I could hear the music and the fans as soon as we got off the bridge. They were ready to welcome us to their borough!

My tactic for this race was to run a consistent pace for as long as I could. I didn’t really know what that pace would be, but I hoped it would be something under 8 minutes a mile (I really wanted to break 3:30). I knew that pace so well from all my training runs, and was hoping I could get into the under 8min groove and hang onto it the whole race.

The first half was all in Brooklyn. We saw a number of different neighborhoods and many different people and cultures. I tried to soak it all in and enjoy every minute. I wore my Garmin that doesn’t show overall pace, but just my overall time and mileage (to avoid over thinking and obsessing on pace). When I knew I was reaching a mile marker I would try to check and see what pace I was hitting. Pretty much everything I saw the first half was around 7:35-7:45.

Half of the race DONE!

Half of the race DONE!

I will say I did have a few moments of worry the first half of the race. From the minute I crossed the starting line, I had this annoying pain in my butt. I had been experiencing this nagging pain for quite awhile during training, and hoped my taper would force it to go away. Well, it didn’t. I kept hoping it would either go numb or go away (umm yeah it never did).

Another issue the first half of my race was my asthma. This was another thing that had been bothering me over the past few weeks and I was pretty worried it would affect my race. At mile 9, I had to take my inhaler. I NEVER have to take my inhaler that early in a race, so this was a reason to be worried. I told myself over and over again not to panic. I also told my asthma that I wouldn’t let it ruin my race. I would conquer the marathon even though my breathing wasn’t the best. Letting the asthma win was not an option.

Hitting 13.1 miles in this race was huge for me. The first half was over, and I could evaluate my pace and body.

I crossed the half point in 1:41:52, which was right on target for a big PR. And most importantly, I felt positive and knew my body could make it another 13.1 at a good pace.

The race tactic for the second half was to ‘keep on keepin’ on’ and continue exactly what I was doing.

When we hit the Queensboro Bridge around mile 14 I was a little intimidated. I had read a lot about this race and knew this was a hard part. You are all alone on that bridge and you face an uphill. This was one of the first miles when I felt like I had already run an insane amount of miles. I got myself up the hill and then made my way down. I knew that my family was waiting at the end of the bridge, and I wanted to keep going hard for them!

Exiting the bridge was very exciting, but I will say not as exciting as I had expected. While there were a TON of people down there, for some reason they weren’t screaming as loud as I had expected. It even took a couple runners pumping their arms to really get them going. After that, they got loud for us and welcomed us into Manhattan (anyone else that ran notice this?).

Turning onto 1st Avenue was awesome. The crowds were loud and you could see a sea of runners in front of you. This was also the first time I got to see my family – Ramsey and my soon to be sister Sarah! I LOVED seeing them and gave them a huge smile and huge thumbs up so they would know I was having a good day and felt great.

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Yay!

Feeling good!

Feeling good!

Right after seeing my family, I had to do few more hits of my inhaler. Again, this did not make me happy but I refused to let it screw up my day. Thank God for my Lululemon Stuff your Bra tank. Because of that tank I could keep my inhaler right on my chest and not have to fish it out of my belt. While it certainly looked a little odd bulging out of my bra, it probably saved me a few seconds on the day.

My mile splits continued to be consistent and on track for my PR.

Mile 18.5ish was crazy exciting because I got to see some of my NYC blog friends!! They screamed so loud for me and it was awesome. It was so fun to be in a city away from home and have people supporting you. Seeing them gave me an extra boost and another reminder that I could do it – and I was going to do it!

Thank you Michele for the photo!!

Thank you Michele for the photo!!

Aside from the 13.1 mark of the race, mile 20 was another BIG milestone. I was actually excited for mile 20 of this race. I knew once 20 hit, I could start picking up my pace and hit it hard to the finish. And when I still felt good at 20, I knew I was going to have a great day. I actually said to myself multiple times – “F the wall!!”

The support in the Bronx was pretty great. Everyone was cheering and yelling and was there to get the runners to the finish line. There were also some pretty great spectator signs.

When we left the Bronx and hit 5th Avenue, I knew it was time to get serious and focus on the finish. Only 5 more miles and I was done.

Mile 23 is when shit got real. I was starting to really hurt. My ass was ON FIRE (remember the pain in my butt, yeah still there), I had to take my inhaler AGAIN and I just wanted to be done. This is when having my name on my tank was the best decision ever. Everyone in the crowds was yelling “Go Ali!” and supporting me.

When I turned into Central Park at mile 24, I knew the race was coming to an end. At this point I was thinking, “one foot in front of the other. keep on moving. you can do it”.

At mile 25, I saw Ramsey and Sarah again. I struggled to wave to them and couldn’t really say anything back. I was hurting so bad. But I knew I was still keeping a strong pace and on track for a huge PR.

“Keep on going, you are almost done”

ouch ouch ouch ouch

ouch ouch ouch ouch

I wore my 2012 bib on my back.

I wore my 2012 bib on my back.

GET ME TO THE FINISH.

GET ME TO THE FINISH.

Turning onto Central Park South was another huge moment. I knew I had one more turn and then the finish would be there. I saw my watch beep Mile 26 (my Garmin was off about .4 from the real mile markers due to all the weaving I had done) and couldn’t believe my split – 7:16. I was booking it, and even though I hurt I was still staying focused and very strong. It was great to see that I was going faster than I had thought.

Right after mile 26.

Right after mile 26, with my Boston Strong temp tattoo on my arm.

As we turned back into the park, I started giving it everything I had. I pumped my arms like I never have before and had quite the mean face determined face going on.

Get it!

Get it!

I saw that finish and had my eye on the prize. I ran harder than I could have imagined possible to get my body across the finish.

I think this was right before the finish line.

I think this was right before the finish line.

And then I was done, and promptly hit my watch.

Holy crap. 3:21.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I DID IT!!!!!!!

As soon as I could think straight, I got out my phone and texted Ramsey. This conversation makes giggle and also makes me emotional. I was so tired I couldn’t even text a sentence. But I wanted him to know I was happy, and I was alive. I think he figured it out. (and yes, he is the most supportive soon-to-be-husband ever).

This makes me smile and I realize it is so sappy.

This makes me smile and I realize it is so sappy.

Then I called my parents. As soon as my Mom picked up the phone, I started crying. I told her I did it and she said, “I know you did! We are so proud right now!!!” Then she told me that my Dad and her were shocked at how perfect and smart I ran the race. My Dad got on the phone and swooned over my negative splits. Negative splits are ALWAYS a reason to celebrate!
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As I hobbled through the park to the family meet up (longest walk EVER!!!) I called Stacy and Nicole to tell them I was ok and that I was so happy.

Seeing Ramsey and Sarah at the family meet up was amazing. They hugged me and helped me put on my warm clothes. Then we posed for a few pics before limping hopping onto the Subway.

As I reflect on this race I am still in total awe that it worked out so perfectly. I did not let my booty pain slow me down, and I didn’t let my asthma mess me up either. I knew I had a good training and was capable of running great on Sunday, but an 11 minute PR and a 3:21 were not expected. I really couldn’t be happier or more excited. This also means that I get to go back to Boston in 2015!!

The NYC marathon should be on everyone’s “bucket list” and I hope to go back and experience this race again. A huge thank you to all the supporters (near and far) for all the love. I felt it the whole time!

Official time: 3:21:19
Overall Pace: 7:40

Splits:

  1. 8:07
  2. 7:30
  3. 7:36
  4. 7:35
  5. 7:51
  6. 7:42
  7. 7:44
  8. 7:40
  9. 7:45
  10. 7:29
  11. 7:47
  12. 7:40
  13. 7:42
  14. 7:35
  15. 7:30
  16. 8:03
  17. 7:18
  18. 7:25
  19. 7:38
  20. 7:33
  21. 7:16
  22. 7:22
  23. 7:21
  24. 7:45
  25. 7:20
  26. 7:16
Damn I am proud of these splits!

Damn I am proud of these splits! (click on this to make it bigger)

A New York State of Mind

30 Oct

I am currently sitting on my couch all cozy listening to the rain with the song “New York State of Mind” on repeat. I might be getting a little teary too.

I am so excited for the NYCM to be here, and I am so excited to be in New York on Friday. The trip could not come soon enough.

Today, my blog friend Doug sent me a list of questions and asked me to answer them for a blog project he is working on. The questions were about NYCM and my thoughts, feelings and goals towards the race.

As I sat there reading those questions and thinking about my answers, I reflected on how thankful I am to be running this race. This race has been nearly 2 years in the making, since I first received my acceptance January 2012. I have dreamt about this race, visualized this race, and planned this race. And on Sunday, the race will finally be here.

New York is not the only thing I have been thinking about though. I have been thinking about Boston too. A lot.

Boston will forever be a part of me. The experiences in Boston will always stay with me, and the memories of what happened will always live in the back (and sometimes front) of my mind. Boston changed me, but it changed me for the better.

The experiences there showed me what is important in life. And it showed me how precious life is.

I am not just lucky that I got into the New York City Marathon, I am lucky because I am able to run the New York City Marathon. I have my health. I have my strength. And I have my support system.

To me, this race on Sunday will be a celebration of what our communities (running, cities, nation, etc) have overcome this last year. We have stood strong together through hurricanes. We have been brave for each other through horrible attacks on our nation. We have stuck together through it all, and we will continue to do so.

I am not scared anymore to run on Sunday. I am excited. And I am ready.

On Sunday, I will run for the victims of Sandy that are still recovering from the aftermath of the storm.

On Sunday, I will run for those in Boston that continue to be affected – mentally and physically. Especially those that cannot run anymore.

And on Sunday, I will run for me. I will run to prove to myself what my body is capable of. I will run to see the pay out of the hard training. And hopefully, I will run to a big fat PR on the clock.

xo,

Ali

At the 2012 NYCM finish line.

At the 2012 NYCM finish line.

Race Recap: KC Half Marathon

22 Oct

The Kansas City Marathon is one of my favorite races.

In 2008, the KC Half Marathon was the first half marathon I had ever done. I trained relatively hard, and went out there having no clue what I was doing. Originally my goal for the race was 1:45…well, I shocked myself and ran a 1:34. To this day, that is still my half marathon PR.

This year was my 4th time running the race, and my 6th time being down there for all the action. Like I said, I LOVE this race. The city is beautiful to explore and people come out to cheer you on. It is also usually a perfect fall day.

I decided that this race would be my final “long” run before the NYC Marathon. It was perfect timing being two weeks out, and Ramsey was registered too – which meant I would get to run the whole race with one of my favorite running buddies (awwwwwwwwww).

Our goal was to beat 1:50, which would give Ramsey a PR and allow me to run a good pace before NYC (not too easy but not too hard). I was very excited to run and to be there for Ramsey to beat his goal!!

I wore my favorite socks at the race!!!

I wore my favorite socks at the race!!!

We got to the starting line right on time, and I was able to say hello to a few friends that were running too. We all hugged and wished each other luck, then Ramsey and I parked ourselves next to the 1:45 pace group.

One of my favorite pre-race moments was when the National Anthem played. There were some issues going on with the audio, and part of the way through the Anthem the music went out. Instead of the crowd losing patience and moving along, everyone started singing. And we sang until the Anthem was over. I got chills, and choked up. Not sure why…but something about it was so moving. We were all united as one, and ready to conquer the miles ahead.

A beautiful morning in KC!

A beautiful morning in KC!

The first few miles of the race were slow. Some of the biggest hills of the race are in miles 1-4 (which includes one of the biggest hills in KC!). We ran these miles conservatively, and chatted about the course and what was coming up.

Miles 5-8 were fun because they go through one of my favorite parts of the city – The Country Club Plaza. We also got to see our friends Adam and Amber out cheering. This was definitely a boost for Ramsey.

Miles 8-10 are more hills. And they suck. If you run the KC Marathon, these gremlins hit you right at mile 21. If I am cursing them in the half, I can only imagine what my friends running the full were experiencing.

Once we got through mile 10, we had a 5k left. I was giving Ramsey non stop pep talks and chatting his ear off. But he liked it (whether he admits it or not!!)

Mile 11, 12 and 13 we really picked up the race. Ramsey wanted to finish, and I was going with the flow! I knew we would break our goal of 1:50, but wasn’t sure how close to 1:45 we could manage to get…

Before we knew it, the end of the race was in front of us. I really wanted to do this adorable finish line photo of us holding hands, but Ramsey was having none of that. He was focused and wanted to get past the finish. So there went my frame-worthy photo opp 😉

Finish time: 1:45:50ish

I am CRAZY proud of Ramsey and how well he did. He really toughed it out on those big hills and never gave up (mentally or physically).

Post Race photo with Ramsey!

Post Race photo with Ramsey!

I will be back to run the KC Half Marathon next year, and I suggest that you consider it as well.

Splits:

  1. 9:01
  2. 8:17
  3. 8:40
  4. 8:10
  5. 7:50
  6. 8:10
  7. 7:47
  8. 7:59
  9. 8:03
  10. 8:03
  11. 7:27
  12. 7:15
  13. 7:27

Judging by these splits, we ran a very smart race!

And a quick shout out to some of my friends that ran this race and PR’ed!!! Lee ran a 3:24 marathon, Amber ran a 3:14 marathon, and Krista ran a 1:33 half. Wow….I have some FAST friends!!!!!!! I am still in awe over their times!

Did you run last weekend? Have you done the KC Marathon or Half Marathon?

xo,

Ali

Lola trying to wear my medal after the race.

Lola trying to wear my medal after the race.

NYC Marathon Training Week 11 & 12

14 Oct

Two more weeks of training done! I can’t believe how fast this training cycle is going and that it is already time to start tapering.

Week 11

Week 11 started off a little rough. I had been very lucky not to have a bad week of training, but this week was a bit of a different story. I think I was totally worn out from my 60 mile week and my body really needed some rest.

I always say “listen to your body”, and I did just that. I was supposed to have 3 hard runs this week, but I cut it back to just two. Sometimes you have to adjust your plans and do what is right for you. Which is usually much easier said than done 🙂

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 6 miles at 9:17 pace. I declared this the worst run of my training so far. Wow, it sucked. I didn’t want to get up, so I started too late and knew I had to cut it short. I think I was mentally “off” from the start, and then when my legs didn’t want to move fast I was thrown off physically. Overall, a terrible run.

A horrible run with mismatched socks.

A horrible run with mismatched socks.

Wednesday: 7 miles at 8:51 pace. I took this one nice and easy. I was a little scared after the previous days run, so this one would be a relaxed pace.

Thursday: 18.25 miles at 8:29 pace. I had to do my long run during the week due to 5k’s over the weekend. I ran 11 alone and 7 with friends. No goal pace miles in this run. Just ran for the distance.

Celebrating my one month countdown!

Celebrating my one month countdown!

Friday: 6 miles at 9:10 pace. Recovery run with Ramsey. I love our morning runs together!

Saturday: Pumpkin Run 5k – 19:29, 6:06 pace! I WON the females! And I PR’ed!!!! I think I need to write a blog post dedicated to this run, because it was so freaking exciting. And I am still smiling over that PR. (I also ran 1 mile warm up/cool down)

HOLY FREAKING COW!!!!

HOLY FREAKING COW!!!!

Sunday: John Glasser 5k, 8:30 pace. Ran with Ramsey and Adam. It was a chilly, but gorgeous morning!

Total Miles: 44

Week 12

This week was my last peak week of training. It was my goal to get to 60 miles again, but I ended up doing 58.

I went into this week feeling great. I think all of the easy miles the week before were good for me.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 8 miles at 7:52 pace. Fun track workout. 12 x 400 with 200M recovery in between each repeat. I never stopped the entire time on the track. All repeats were either 1:29 or 1:30.

Gorgeous morning on the track!!

Gorgeous morning on the track!!

Wednesday: 8 miles at 8:01 pace. Early morning run with a couple friends.

Thursday: 12 miles at 8:21 pace. I ran 6 miles before meeting up with my Thursday run friends. 4 miles were tempo pace: 7:23, 7:08, 6:58, 7:23. The rest were easy pace.

Friday: 8 miles at 9:15 pace. Super easy recovery miles.

Avoided a major disaster here.

Avoided a major disaster here.

Saturday: 18 miles at 7:49 pace. Warmed up for 3 miles, then hit it hard for 12 miles (actually 13 because I struggled to slow my pace down…I was in the groove). Tempo miles were mostly between 7:30-7:40. I felt really great on this run. I also had good company! My parents came out to the trail to ride bikes next to me while I ran. That way I wasn’t alone. Yes, I have the best parents.

Muddy trail running. And this photo was very difficult to take.

Muddy trail running. And this photo was very difficult to take.

Thanks Mom and Dad! And check out my pretty new Garmin!!

Thanks Mom and Dad! And check out my pretty new Garmin!!

Sunday: 4 miles at 9:30 pace. I was SOOO tired on this run and totally not in the mood to get out the door. But Ramsey talked me into it. And I am so glad he did!

Total miles: 58

Overall, I am happy with these two weeks of training, especially last week. My long run was a major confidence booster and I was so relieved to be able to easily hold a 7:40 pace. Not only was I able to hold it, but I was talking the whole time. I am feeling great about where I am  as I head into taper.

How is your training going? Did you race last weekend or are you racing this weekend?

xo,

Ali

A few more photos from the week (all from Instagram):

Night out with Ellen and Brian.

Night out with Ellen and Brian.

My brother's surprise 30th birthday party!

My brother’s surprise 30th birthday party!

Post run Brunch with my friends.

Post run Brunch with friends.

Droppin it.

Droppin it.

Celebrating our friend Hannah's wedding!

Celebrating our friend Hannah’s wedding!

NYC Training Update #2 + Post Run Selfies

24 Sep

Hi friends!!

Well, it has been 3 weeks since my last training update….so I guess it is time for another little recap!

Training continues to go better than I could imagine. I am staying focused, motivated, and continuing to run faster times and higher mileage weeks than ever before.

The last few weeks have looked like this:

Week of September 2nd…

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 10 miles at 8:05 pace. Ran hard on the hills. Didn’t count how many hills I hit, but it felt like a lot!

Wednesday: 7 miles at 8:50 pace. Post work run, which felt really hard. Ran with Ramsey, which was really nice!

Thursday: 5.2 miles at 8:02 pace. 2 mile warm up, 8x1min interval sprints, with 1min rest in between each. This run was SUPER hard because I am not used to running at a sprint. Crazy how “slow” your speed can feel during marathon training!

Friday: 5 miles at recovery pace – 9:30.

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Broadway Bridge Half Marathon! 13.1 miles at 7:52 pace. Read the recap here.

Total mileage: 40.2

This was a “recovery” week due to the half marathon on Sunday. This was also one of my lowest mileage weeks during training.

So thankful we can run together!

So thankful we can run together!

Week of September 9th…

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 5.25 miles at 9:08 pace. Recovery run following the Broadway Bridge Half.

Wednesday: 10 miles at 8:11 pace. Ran 6 miles hard, with hill sprints and half mile tempos. This was a really hard run, but still felt like a really great workout!

Thursday: Long Run! 16 miles at 8:26 overall pace. Ran about 8 miles at Marathon Goal pace. The rest around 9 minute miles.

Friday: 5 miles at 9:30 pace. Recovery run with Ramsey. Best way to start the day!

Saturday: 8 miles at 8:15 pace.

Sunday: Plaza 10k!! PR ALERT! 6.2 miles at 6:45 pace. Plus 1.5 mile warm up.

Total Mileage: 52

I knew I would be running the Plaza 10k hard on Sunday, so I adjusted the week accordingly. Overall, it was a pretty intense week and I continued to feel the effects of the half marathon for most of it.

Post long run bliss!

Post long run bliss!

Week of September 16th…

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 10.5 miles in the rain, at 8:11 pace. 2 mile warm up, 3×2 miles hard with one mile cool down in between each set. Mile splits for my hard miles: 7:37,7:39,7:39,7:29,7:31,7:36. Plan said my splits should be 7:30, but I was struggling to hit that…I was happy with what I was able to pull off though, considering my legs were pretty tired from Plaza 10k.

Wednesday: 7 miles recovery at 9:17 pace.

Thursday: Long Run! 18.2 miles at 8:37 pace. Plan called for all miles at 8:30 pace. I ran 11 miles around 8:15, and 7 miles around 8:45 pace. Even though my overall pace wasn’t exactly what I needed, I still think this was overall a great run.

Friday: Off

Saturday: 4.2 miles at 9:00 pace. Super relaxed run, and one of those days when I was thinking the entire time – “I love to run” 🙂

Sunday: 11.33 miles at 8:01 pace. Got up and ran with my friend, Krista. She was doing her long run for the week, so I joined her for the last 11 miles. Gorgeous morning with some really great hills and solid paced miles.

Total Mileage: 51.3 miles

This week was supposed to be a 60 mile week, but it just didn’t really work out with my “life” schedule. Sometimes life will get in the way of marathon training!

Rainy run. I was SOAKED!!

Rainy run. I was SOAKED!!

How is your training going?? Please, tell me about it!!

xo,

Ali

NYC Training Update

3 Sep

Hello!!!! Wow, it has been WAY too long since I updated the blog…

Last year, I would report weekly on my training progress for NYC, and I am going to try to start doing that again going forward.

I am now on week 7 of NYC Marathon training, and I cannot believe it. I was dreading this training so much, but to my surprise, it has gone amazingly well.

During this training, I have run some of my fastest times ever, along with my highest mileage month ever (214 miles!!!!!!!!). I have learned to love running in my new neighborhood, met new running friends, and reunited with old friends I had not seen in awhile.

Overall, this training has been awesome. And as long as I don’t lose my momentum, get injured, or have a natural disaster get in my way, I should be able to run a kick ass race on November 3rd. And I am pretty excited about the idea of that!

Below is a snapshot of some training highlights so far…

First long run of training.

First long run of training.

An insanely hot and sweaty 8 miler in the afternoon. This is one of the only workouts I have slept through so far, and that is because of weather.

An insanely hot and sweaty 8 miler in the afternoon. This is one of the only workouts I have slept through so far, and that is because of weather.

12 miles with my BFF visiting from Cali!

12 miles with my BFF visiting from Cali!

Race for the Cure with Stacy! Ran a 22:07.

Race for the Cure with Stacy! Ran a 22:07.

A KILLER track workout. 8 800's, one at 3:10, the rest under. Shocked that my overall pace for this run was 7:05!

A KILLER track workout. 8 800’s, one at 3:10, the rest under. Shocked that my overall pace for this run was 7:05!

Another rockin track workout! 4 1600 repeats, all under 6:25.

Another rockin track workout! 4 1600 repeats, all under 6:25.

My fastest 20 miler EVER. 7:55 overall pace. I was one happy girl after this run.

My fastest 20 miler EVER. 7:55 overall pace. I was one happy girl after this run.

And today's run! 2 months until the race. So freaking excited!!!!

And today’s run! 2 months until the race. So freaking excited!!!!

(All of these photos were posted to my Instagram account)

Thank you to everyone who supported me through my whining on the last few posts! Looking forward to sharing my progress over the next few weeks, and I would love to hear about yours too!!

xo,

Ali

NYC Marathon: My Plan for Success

23 Jul

Two weeks ago, I wasn’t sure I was going to run NYC. In fact, I was thinking about every way I could get out of it. My last blog post even centered around all the reasons why I didn’t want to run it. To say I was freaking out would be an understatement. I was in full blown anxiety mode.

But this post will be different. And much of why it will be different is because of you.

A HUGE Thank You to everyone for all your amazing words and encouragement following the last post. I was in awe over the positive messages you sent me and I can say that you all helped me to completely change my mindset on this race.

While two weeks ago I was stressed to the max, I am now excited for the months to come and the race waiting for me on November 3rd.

Here are my top reasons why I am now EXCITED and READY to train/run NYC!

  1. I missed my running routine. Two days back at the early morning runs and I feel like a new person. I have more energy, I feel happier and I love the satisfaction and high right after the run is done.
  2. I will run for FUN. Many of you suggested I take a new PR out of my mind for NYC training, and I think this was the best thing for me to do. I will not run to PR on November 3rd. I will run to finish and have fun. With the pressure of a PR off the table, it feels like a 20 pound weight was lifted.
  3. The opportunity to make new friends. As I mentioned previously, my new neighborhood is pretty far away from my old hood, which means I am far away from my running buddies. That aspect totally sucks, but I have already been in contact with quite a few girls that live by me and would be awesome running buddies. I have also been talking to some other girls about joining their Saturday morning running club, which would introduce me to a whole other group of runners in the area.
  4. I will finally get my money’s worth for this race. In total, I have paid $532 in entry fees to run NYC….and I have yet to run this freaking race (we had to pay again if we decided to run it in 2013, 2014 or 2015). It would be a shame to throw that hard earned cash down the toilet!

So there ya go. I am excited to run NYC and know it will be an awesome experience. It will also be a healing experience.

Thanks again for all the support!!!

xo,

Ali

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What races do you have on the horizon?

How do you motivate yourself to start training?

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

Resilient Runners

20 Nov

Since the cancellation of the NYC Marathon (yes…talking about that again), I have been so impressed by the resilience of runners. Especially with the way that we never give up nor let our determination be diminished.

Throughout the training period for this race, I connected with so many runners online (mainly via twitter) and followed their progress towards the DREAM race that was the NYC Marathon. We spoke about our goals, our excitement and our fears together. We also spoke about our feelings following this announcement:

Photo from the INGNYCM Facebook page.

Many of us understood the cancellation, but were also sad that our race would not happen.

When I found out NYC was canceled I immediately found a new race, as did many of my other running friends. We would run our 26.2 mile race, and we would run it with determination following the letdown we had previously felt. Many of these girls I connected with were running for charity, and would not be letting down their donors – they would run a marathon! (I look up to all the charity runners SO much!).

I would like to share with you some stories from a few fellow bloggers. These girls all put NYC behind them, and found a new race to run.

The Newbies:

Leticia and Nadia were to complete their very first marahton at NYC. They had put in the training, and they were excited to see the results. Following the news, these girls found new races.

Both girls were able to run their marathon, and did an amazing job. Leticia had an amazing time running the Richmond marathon, and finished it with a huge smile on her face.

Nadia ran the Phillidelphia Marathon, and get this – it was her FIRST RACE EVER!! And she broke 4 hours! Holy cow, girlfriend!

The BIG PR’er:

Jocelyn ran the Philadelphia Marathon after having her world flipped upside down by that damn Sandy. Jocelyn lived in the area of of NYC that lost power, and dealt with a bunch of other super inconvenient things. I can’t imagine living without basic necessities for days.

And even after dealing with the drama of the hurricane and her life being affected in many ways, she still rocked her marathon. Way to go on the HUGE PR Jocelyn! You are amazing and so inspiring!

The Winner:

Katie had big dreams of a PR at NYC, just like I did. She had trained so hard for the race, and was looking forward to running. Her reaction to the cancellation was similar to mine, and I thank her for being honest about her feelings on her blog.

As the rest of us did, Katie found a new race to run. And boy did she run her replacement race. Katie WON her new marathon, and broke 3 hours!!! I was in awe reading her race recap. I was especially in awe looking at her photos and seeing how cute she looked the entire race. Talk about wonder woman!

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In less than 3 weeks, I will be sharing with everyone the story of my replacement marathon. I hope that my stories are just as exciting as the girls I mentioned above 🙂

and one last thought for you all (I love this so much)………

xoxo,

Ali

 

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