Tag Archives: kansas city

Celebrating One Year

8 Mar

We have officially made it through our first year of marriage!

I have often heard that your first year of marriage is your hardest year, and I am feeling so fortunate that our first year was so wonderful. Not a day has gone by since March 8, 2014 that I haven’t felt like the luckiest girl in the world. And I hope Ramsey feels like the luckiest guy 🙂

Yesterday I was thinking about to our vows and reflecting the words we exchanged. In this last year, we have been through a lot. Life hasn’t been all ups this year, but we have certainly made the most of every situation and been there for each other.

For better, for worse, Ramsey has been by my side, and I his. There is no one that can make me feel better after a hard day than my husband. He knows the exact songs to play for me that will turn my mood around (anything by Bruno Mars and the Carpenters).

For richer, for poorer, we have figured things out. It turns out honeymoons and houses aren’t cheap. With the help of a fancy google spreadsheet I have made sure we stay on the better side of this vow!

In sickness, and in health, we have made the appropriate CVS trips and known when one of us just needs to be waited on hand and foot. This vow was best tested two weeks into marriage when the stomach flu hit the Mohsen house. Hard.

In joy, and in sorrow, we have also been there for each other. Joys have included a new job, new friends, vacations and adventures, running PRs, and the cutest little pup named Winnie. Sorrows have included the sickness of a Grandparent, the loss of a friendship, injuries and seeing close friends going through hard times. Through the good and the bad, we’ve been there for each other.

We plan to celebrate our anniversary together by eating our amazing wedding cake (it was so good I had our lady make us a new one for our one year), re-reading the vows we wrote for each other and spending the day together. And I am sure the wedding dress will come out at some point!

I look forward to many more years of celebrating anniversaries and reflecting on what that year of marriage brought into our lives. I hope every year of marriage can be as good as the first one has been.

Happy Anniversary, Ramsey. I love you more every single day.

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xo,

Ali

 

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2014 Kansas City Half Marathon

23 Oct

Last Saturday, I ran the Kansas City Half Marathon. This was my 5th year running this race – and it is truly one of my favorites.

The course starts in Crown Center, where I work! Then travels through downtown, around to Westport, and back through the Plaza. They do such a great job of showing people how beautiful and unique Kansas City is. I would strongly suggest doing this race if you are looking for a smaller fall marathon or half marathon.

When I started my training for the St. Jude’s Marathon, I knew that the KC Half would be part of my training. I also knew that I would love to try to PR my half, which was a 1:34:31. I ran 1:34 at my very first half marathon, which happened to be the KC Half Marathon in 2008. It also happened to be 6 years to the day since I had ran my 1:34.

Leading up to the race, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been experiencing some foot pains, as well as having a cold/bad allergies. With my asthma, any kind of cold or allergies can really knock me out, so I was just a tad (ok a TON) upset when I didn’t feel well. The week of the race, I was smart and finally got a prescription to knock out the gunk. I also got an amazing pep talk from my Mom and Stacy. They reminded me that it was just a run, and that I needed to go out and do my best. They always know what to say to me to make me feel better.

Saturday morning was a new day, and I woke up so excited to race! I decided to get up extra early to do a nebulizer treatment for my asthma, and also drink some warm coffee. I figured anything to loosen up my chest would be beneficial.

We arrived to the race around 6:15. First stop was an indoor restroom, then we went outside and I met up with my fellow GOTR SoleMates! It was fun to meet the other girls that had been raising money for GOTR. It was also nice to see some familiar and friendly faces at the booth.

Hanging with the other SoleMates!

Hanging with the other SoleMates!

After a few minutes at the tent, I headed to the start. I really wasn’t too nervous – mostly just excited to get the race started (and over with…)

At 7:05, after a little “Let’s Go Royals” chant, the race started.

I decided to run with the 3:05 marathon pacer. I figured that this pacer would be running a 1:32:3o half marathon time, which would make me extremely happy.

I stuck with this pacer for the first 5ish miles, then started to pull away. I was feeling good and confident. While I had a few coughs, I didn’t feel as though my breathing was slowing me down. And my legs felt great.

From this point on, I stopped looking at my watch and just ran on feel. I knew I was running a pace I could maintain, but didn’t know what that pace was. I figured it would be a great way to gauge my fitness and also practice pacing.

At mile 8, we split from the marathon and I popped my earbuds in. It was pretty sparse around me, so I decided a music distraction would be nice. The next few miles I focused on getting over the hills and to mile 10. Since I know this course so well, I knew that mile 10 starts 3 miles of some great downhills.

Mile 10-13 cruised by. I felt amazing and just tried to maintain the pace and effort. Around mile 12 I finally snuck a peek at my watch and was pleasantly surprised by the split – 6:23. I knew I was moving fast, but had no idea I was moving that fast! Eventually, I saw the 1:30 pace group and tried to close the gap as much as possible.

Running up the final hill of the race to the finish was awesome. I could see the clock and knew it said 1:30:xx. I couldn’t wait to finish.

When I hit my watch I actually couldn’t believe what I saw – 1:30:32. I just beat my PR that I had been chasing for 6 years. And best of all – it felt so good on my body.

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I won’t play it down – I was (and still am) so proud of myself. I overcame my mental and physical barrier of not feeling well and just ran the race.

“Shut up and run” is what I told myself. And that is what I did.

This race gave me confidence that my training is working and I am doing everything as I should. And I am excited to see what else this fall could bring 🙂

Splits:

  1. 7:45
  2. 7:01
  3. 7:11
  4. 7:01
  5. 6:51
  6. 6:45
  7. 6:31
  8. 6:36
  9. 6:51
  10. 7:02
  11. 6:35
  12. 6:23
  13. 6:30

Elevation chart:

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 8.56.51 PM

 

 

 

 

You can see the climbs and the downhills in my splits.

 

We wore KC Royals pride, and Ramsey PR'ed too!!

We wore KC Royals pride, and Ramsey PR’ed too!!

Celebrating by the blue fountains!

Celebrating by the blue fountains!

10 Reasons to Support GOTR!

16 Oct

This Saturday, I will be running the KC Half Marathon. This will be my 5th time running this amazing race and I am very excited.

This time however, I am excited for a whole new reason! On Saturday, I will not just run this race for me, but I will run it for Girls on the Run of Greater Kansas City as a SoleMate.

Girls on the run is a program that has been very near and dear to my heart for the last few years. I began my journey with GOTR as a coach, then moved on to the 5k committee. Now I am serving as a Board Member and loving every minute.

This program is truly amazing. There are so many reasons why I love it, but today I am just going to make you read 10 of them.

1. The lessons. Did you know GOTR is not just about running? In fact, the majority of each lesson is spent teaching our girls life lessons that will make them stronger, and more confident individuals.

2. The girls. Every girl in this program is awesome in their own way. Not only can they make me laugh, but they make each other laugh.

3. The opportunity to participate. Because of donations from people like YOU, we are able to give so many girls the opportunity to participate. Without donations, we would not be able to help these girls grow into healthy and happy girls.  

4. The friendships the girls make with each other. I love watching the girls develop friendships over the season. The coaches do such a good job of separating the girls from their cliques and friends. The outcome is a group of girls that are ALL friends with each other. By the end of the season these girls are so close. It is so cute to see them cheering for each other as we do our running exercises.

5. The bond with their coaches. Throughout the season we really get to know these girls. I have had girls confide in me when they didn’t feel like they could trust any one else. The bond we form is truly amazing and I miss them so much when the season ends.

6. Watching their progress. Not only do we get to watch them grow into strong individuals throughout the season, but we get to see them become better runners. Girls that never thought they could run a mile will shock themselves by running 2 in practice. The running aspect of each practices turns them into such confident young ladies.

7. The hilarious things they say. These girls are so funny. They make each other laugh, and they make me laugh. One of my favorite GOTR lessons is when we talk about gossip. During this lesson we share examples of times we have been gossiped about. In one of my lessons, I had a little girl raise her hand and say – “This boy at school started telling people I was an elf”…then she really killed me with….”I mean, I know I am really short but I am not an Elf!!”

So funny. And look at the confidence we helped her gain to stand up for herself to that annoying little boy 🙂

8. The positive behavior we encourage. Let’s face it…some days it is really easy to be negative. GOTR teaches the girls how to unplug from our negative “cord” and be positive individuals. I always say that this program did as much for me as it did for these girls.

9. The steps they take towards healthy living. Not only does the program encourage girls to be healthy emotionally and physically, but we teach them smart ways to eat. At the end of each practice, a healthy snack is served. With a new partnership with Door to Door Organics, these girls get to try organic fruits and vegetables that they have never had the chance to try. By providing them with these snacks, we hope they continue to make these healthy choices outside of practice.

10. The season ending 5k. After a season of life lessons and fun runs, the girls are ready for their season ending 5k. At this 5k, the girls really get to celebrate their accomplishments. Watching these girls work so hard at the 5k is amazing. When they cross that finish line you see a sense of pride in them that was not there when they started the season just a couple months prior.

EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS!!! 

$10 buys a healthy snack

$35 buys a girl a pair of running shoes

$135 puts a girl through the program

Without donations from people like YOU, girls do not get the opportunity to participate in this program. So many of these girls need the guidance and support this program offers.

DONATE NOW!!!!! Pretty please?

I promise you, your money is well spent.

And if you don’t believe me….just look at a few pictures my husband snapped at the last 5k. If these don’t show happiness and confidence, I don’t know what does!

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Ali

 

P.S. DONATE

Marathon Training – 11 Weeks Left!

22 Sep

Only 11 weeks to go until the St. Jude’s Marathon.

Last week’s training went pretty well. I had a couple hard workouts, and a long run that pushed me harder than what I have been doing this training cycle.

Monday: 8 miles at 7:46 pace. 2.5 mile warm up, 2 miles at 7:03, .5 recovery, 2 miles at 6:55, 1 mile cool down. This was a great workout and I really enjoyed it. I will admit that I cheated and did it on the treadmill. I just had zero motivation to run on any hills. I promised myself that the next time this workout comes around, I will suck it up and run on the road.

Tuesday: Off day for running. Did 25 minutes of abs and arms. I am making it a goal to do this twice a week. Sometimes it is so hard for me to add in other workouts when I am running so much…but I know it is SO important.

Wednesday: 8 miles at 7:32 pace. 2.5 mile warm up. 6 x 800 @ 3:03-3:07 pace. 2 x 400 @ 1:31 pace. Hard workout but overall felt great. Happy to see my 800 pace getting faster over the last few weeks. Lightning put me on the treadmill again. But I didn’t mind it. Law and Order SVU is such a great distraction!

Thursday: 7 miles at 8:12 pace. Easy morning run with Amber and Erin. The miles fly by with all of our chit chat!!

Friday: 5.54 miles at 8:45 pace. Great little run with Ramsey.

Saturday: 15 miles at 8:01 pace. Ran with the old Runner’s Edge group. I forgot how much I missed going to the run group! Ran 5 miles warm up, then 8 miles “hard”. 7:28, 7:13, 7:31, 7:11, 7:19, 7:22, 7:06, 7:20. Cooled down for 2 miles. Felt really good and enjoyed catching up with my friend Krista! I hosted a little breakfast after the run, which was fun too! I am sad we can’t do that every weekend!

Sunday: 5.58 miles at 8:50 pace. Super relaxed run with Ramsey. We even stopped a few times to enjoy some plaza scenery and explore the tepees at the Nelson!

Total Mileage: 49.12

I could definitely feel this week of training as I ran hard again this AM. But I am reminding myself that pushing harder is what will make me stronger. Even if it might nearly kill me 😉

Other than ALL the running, I had a really great week!! Monday night I got to spend with old coworkers and celebrating my husbands next big adventure.

Friday night we had the best job ever – being food judges at the Plaza Art Fair! We tried so many amazing restaurants and crowned Gram and Dun as Best in Show. If you haven’t had the chance to go to Gram and Dun, I urge you to head down to the plaza and give it a whirl. The cocktails alone are reason to make a stop.

Official judges.

Official judges.

So much food.

So much food.

Saturday I hosted a little dinner party with friends. We all take turns hosting dinner and have a theme for the night. So far we have had Italian night, sushi night, and as of Saturday we’ve had Kansas City night! I got BBQ from OK Joe’s and Q39, Dessert from Andres, local wine and beer, and vodka distilled in KC! It was such a fun night.

Sunday we headed back to the plaza art fair to walk around and admire the art. We had quite the strong margaritas as we were walking around and ran into quite a few friends. Overall it was a great end to the week.

Post run homemade waffles.

Post run homemade waffles.

I am craving this again right now.

I am craving this again right now.

Gorgeous.

Gorgeous.

How is your training going?? Any fun plans over the weekend?

xo,

Ali

What’s Next….St. Jude’s Marathon!

9 Sep

Well it is official. Marathon #7 will be the St. Jude’s Marathon on December 6th!!

My decision to run this race was based on a few different factors. The first one being that I LOVE St. Judes. It is an amazing Hospital that does wonderful things for their patients and families. The fact of running for something that really mattered made me excited.

The next factor was the timing of this race. After Boston this year, I needed a break from training. My body was tired, and my mind was equally as exhausted. I am not someone that can train back to back to back. I need a break….or at least a couple weeks of doing nothing. The fact that this race is in December gave me more time to heal and mentally prepare for another training.

Third factor – I get to run this race with two of my favorite running buddies!!! Stacy, Di and I have not done a race together since Boston 2013. We love to run together, travel together, and spend time together. This marathon will be such a fun weekend trip for us girls. I am already so excited for a weekend away with my friends – and our favorite cheerleader of course (my Mom!)

Right now, I am at week 8 of training. The first 3 weeks were quite relaxed and just focused on the miles and building endurance. During the first 3 weeks, I averaged about 25 – 30 miles a week.

Week 4 of training is when things ramped up. From week 4 to 6, I put in about 45 miles a week with one speed workout a week. Long runs averaged 13 miles each.

Last week was my first week of 2 hard workouts, plus one long run. Right now, my long runs are up to 15 miles.

A quick look at last week’s training is below….

Monday – Off (too tired from Dev’s wedding the night before!!!)

Gorgeous bride!

Gorgeous bride!

Tuesday – 5.66 Miles easy (8:30 pace)

Wednesday – 8 miles at 7:45 pace. 6 x 800. 800 repeats were all between 3:09 to 3:14. I had to do this run on a treadmill, which was a bit interesting. Other than thinking I was going to fly off, I really liked it. I got to watch an episode of Law and Order and the treadmill controlled my speed…which ensured I wouldn’t miss any of my times.

Storms in the morning brought the most amazing sunrise as I left the gym.

Storms in the morning brought the most amazing sunrise as I left the gym.

Thursday – 7.11 miles at 8:17 pace. Great run with Amber and Erin.

Friday – 9.35 miles at 7:51 pace. This workout was interesting. And by interesting I mean it was HELL. I was supposed to do 4 x 1.5 mile repeats at half marathon pace (7 min/mile is what I use as my half split). After the first repeat I knew I wouldn’t make it to 4 repeats. I ended up doing 3 repeats right at 7 min pace, then an 800 at 7 min pace, and a 400 just below 7 min pace. My body was just not feeling it.

It was so hot I ran in a sports bra. I NEVER do that.

It was so hot I ran in a sports bra. And I never have the courage to do that. Proof the heat made me delirious.

Saturday – 5.22 miles at 8:37 pace. This was such an awesome run. It was a gorgeous morning (FINALLY) and I just absorbed the amazing day.

Night before run at Treads and Threads.

Night before run at Treads and Threads.

Post run breakfast at Happy Gillis in KC.

Post run breakfast at Happy Gillis in KC.

Sunday – 15.05 miles at 7:57 pace. Long run for the week was on Sunday due to my crazy schedule. I usually hate waiting until Sunday for my long run, but this week I loved it. Sunday mornings are so peaceful and it was made even better by amazing weather. I tricked my husband into running 10.5 miles with me, which included 4 hard miles. Those miles clocked in between 7 – 7:30 pace. So thankful that I am married to such a great running buddy.

Proof.

Proof.

Total mileage for the week: 50.39 miles.

It is my goal to post my weekly updates on my blog….so we will see how that goes 🙂

Are you training for anything right now??

xoxo,

Ali

Getting Back in the Groove

21 Jul

The last couple weeks, I have been getting back into my running groove.

My hip is feeling much better, as is my weird foot pain I was experiencing. According to my PT, I have an issue with my SI joint. It has probably been that way my whole life but recently started bothering me due to a couple factors…

  1. Sitting too much. Apparently when I sit down, my pelvis tilts incorrectly. This is why I have nerve pain and the deep aches mainly while I am at my desk or driving my car.
  2. Not stretching and strengthening. When I up my mileage, I get lazy with everything else. I do less ab work, I stretch less, and I stop caring about the other important areas to train.

My awesome PT told me I can start running again. He isn’t concerned I am going to injure myself, or cause damage we cannot fix. But he has told me many times that healing and fixing this issue is going to take a lot of time and effort.

I have been very careful with my ease back into running. After taking 2.5 weeks completely off, and another 1.5 weeks super easy, I knew I had to go easy on myself. All of my runs have been a conservative pace – about 8:45-9:30 pace. Whatever feels good that day, I go with.

My mileage has been relatively slow to pick up as well. First week back was only 7 miles. The following went up to 15, and last week peaked at 29. All easy paced.

This week I hope to reach between 25-30 miles with a hard work out thrown in. Since I am not officially training right now, my focus is building back my base so I am comfortable when it is time to start. I have learned my lesson in the past of starting a training program without a base. Doing that has caused injuries, and will cause an injury (at least it does in my case…)

I am trying SO hard to continue my strength training and stretching. I dread this every day, but when I do it in front of trashy TV it goes by so much faster! I am also trying not to sit down as much. This can be really hard during the day at work, but luckily drinking water like a maniac leads to lots of potty breaks, which means I get up all the time. Another thing the PT suggested is sleeping on my back to keep my pelvis aligned. That part isn’t so fun 🙂

I am confident if I keep doing what I am doing I can come back to my training stronger than ever! And possibly, reach new running goals this fall (those are TBD!)

Other than all this fun stuff above, things have been pretty calm over here!

Drinks at the pool!

Drinks at the pool!

Have you read this book??? SO DARK.

Have you read this book??? SO DARK.

Fiery Stick event in KC.

Fiery Stick event in KC.

Sweet Winnie the Pooch all swaddled. Love our baby!

Sweet Winnie the Pooch all swaddled. Love our baby!

That is all for now!

xo,

Ali

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

{Yowza} Broadway Bridge Half Marathon Recap

16 Sep

About a month ago, I made a last minute decision to run the Broadway Bridge Half Marathon in Kansas City. I had a few other friends running, and thought it would be a perfect way to get my long run in for the week while getting in some “race pace” miles (anything at 8:00 or right under). I also thought it would be a great way to trick myself into running 13.1 miles hard! (Is it just me, or do races always seem easier than if you would just go out to run hard??)

In the days leading up to this race, I kept hearing how hilly this course was. I am not a wimp when it comes to hills, and sometimes I really like hills. So I considered this fact an added bonus of running the half. Now I will get hills, race pace and a long run in! Could it get any better?!?!

Answer: Yes it could get better! Add the insanely humid 85 degree weather to the mix and we had the perfect race to test me physically AND mentally!

My attitude about this race stayed extremely positive, and I was actually really excited to run it. I love hometown races, and this race was one going through quite a few places I had never ventured to before (including the downtown airport). Even when I walked outside the morning of the race and felt the weather, I remained excited. Call me crazy, but I was totally ready for the torture to come and knew it would do nothing but help me in NYC.

Pre-race photo with Sally and Amanda!

Pre-race photo with Sally and Amanda!

The first few miles were semi flat, with a few rolling hills. The bad thing about these miles was the sun beating down on us. I think I was sweating 3 minutes into the thing, and I don’t usually start sweating until at least a mile or two in!

Mile 6 was the first BIG hill. I remember thinking “one step in front of the other” all the way up that hill. And when I finally made it to the top, we were blessed with a mile of all downhill. I cruised through the mile and knew I had to use it to my advantage, as one of the biggest hills in Kansas City was waiting (I ended up running a 7:37 split!).

Chatting with Candace!

Chatting with Candace!

All smiles on the broadway bridge!

All smiles on the broadway bridge!

Mile 8, we hit the monster hill. I decided I would try to run this hill like a hill sprint and hang on to a solid pace for as long as I could. It was my goal to run under 8 minutes this mile, and it took all of my guts to make that happen! When the Garmin beeped a 7:54 mile, I had a BIG smile on my face!

Right after conquering the big ass hill.

Right after conquering the big ass hill.

The last 5 miles of the race were all about survival. This hills were brutal, the sun was HOT and my legs were getting VERY heavy. I just kept trying to hit under an 8 minute mile, which would result in my “goal time” of 1:45.

For Mile 13, I decided to put all my energy into it and see if I could make it my fastest. My old bootcamp teacher would always tell us that the workouts we did when we were the most tired made the biggest difference. So I figured I might as well try to run my last mile the hardest I possibly could!! There were a couple BIG hills that last mile, and when the watch beeped 7:28 on mile 13, there might have been a tear in my eye from being so proud of conquering them!

I ended up finishing in 1:44, which was a 7:52 overall pace. If I want to PR NYC, I need to run this pace for 26.2 miles…so I would say this was VERY good practice.

This was by far the hardest half marathon I have ever done, yet I would consider it my second best half marathon ever completed. Not because of the time, but because of the mental toughness I was able to fight through. The heat sucked and the hills were never ending. But my attitude remained extremely positive the entire time. Sure, I would’ve loved to run closer to 1:42 or 1:43, but I can’t be anything but proud of how I ended up.

I strongly believe that your time does not always dictate your performance. Sometimes it is your mental strength that will determine how well the race went. While a 1:44 will show up on paper as my time and won’t look that great comparative to some of my other half’s, it does not make me feel less of my performance. That thing was freakin’ HARD. And anyone that made it through all 13.22 miles (yes, adding on the extra .12!!!) is a rockstar in my book!! No matter what your time was, you should be proud of that finish 🙂

DEG runners.

DEG runners.

Congrats to my friend Noreen on her first half!!! (red shorts)

Congrats to my friend Noreen on her first half!!! (red shorts)

Stacy and Di were there too!

Stacy and Di were there too!

3rd in my age group!

3rd in my age group!

Splits:

  1. 7:49
  2. 8:06
  3. 8:29
  4. 8:07
  5. 7:48
  6. 8:14
  7. 7:37
  8. 7:54
  9. 7:53
  10. 7:40
  11. 8:06
  12. 7:41
  13. 7:28 (.22 1:44)

Have you ever done a race that was not your best time, but made you so proud?

Did you run Broadway Bridge???? And did you survive??

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?

Hospital Hill Race Recap

19 Jun

June 1st, I ran my second Hospital Hill Half Marathon.

Last year at this race, I had the most fun I’ve ever had running, and this year was almost as good.

Throughout my Boston training, I also served as a blogger for Hospital Hill. Due to some crazy life events, I couldn’t blog in the few weeks leading to the race, but luckily, I was able to contribute in other ways.

My friend Sally is the volunteer coordinator for Hospital Hill, and hooked me up with a job at packet pickup. I always thought it would be fun to work packet pickup, and the job did not disappoint. While handing out the bibs for the 10k race, I was able to talk to many people preparing for their first race, running their first 10k, trying to PR, and friends I had met online but never in real life (including Crystal, a KC native living in Cape Cod! Go visit her blog, she is so sweet!). It was such a fun experience and I can’t wait to work another race.

Our picture from last year made it up at the expo!!!

Our picture from last year made it up at the expo!!!

Another perk at packet pickup was that I switched out Ramsey’s 10k bib for a half marathon bib! I knew he wanted to run the half, but the race was already sold out when he registered. When a lady at packet pickup asked me if I knew anyone that would want to switch her half bib for a 10k bib, I quickly snatched up the offer!

Morning of the race, Ramsey and I were excited and ready to run!!

We have completely lucked out the last two years when it comes to weather. Humidity has been low and temps have been manageable. You seriously could not call for a better June race than we have had in ’12 and ’13!

At the starting line, I met Stacy, Kerri and Andrea at the 1:50 pace group. Ramsey started a little behind us (SO I THOUGHT!!!) at the 1:55 group. We were full of energy and ready to run.

40 and FAB!

40 and FAB! And fast too!

However, I cannot lie….I was a little bit nervous for this race since I hadn’t run a ton since Boston. I definitely did not train to be able to run this half…and if I made it the 13.1 miles, I knew it was because of two things: A. someone high up was on my side…OR..B. I had enough endurance from Boston to get me to the finish.

The gun went off and the girls and I continued to chit chat (I am sure Greg is shocked by that statement!!). The first few miles went by relatively fast, but as expected were pretty hilly. Andrea and I stuck together, and Stacy and Kerri also stuck together.

Andrea and I. You can see Kerri in the background too!

Andrea and I. You can see Kerri in the background too!

At the halfway point, I remember thinking to myself, “There were NOT this many hills last year!!!”

I am sure that feeling was due to the fact that I was in much better shape last year at the race than I was this year. (Note to self – always respect the distance you are about to run! You can’t”wing” it like you used to!! )

Andrea and I ran together for about 11 miles. It was so fun running with her because we always talk about running, but we have never actually ran together. She did awesome. Especially considering she had been sick the week before and I could tell she was still dealing with some respiratory crap (way to go, Andrea!!!).

The last two miles, I ran alone and soaked in the KC scenery. Although this race is hilly, it is still my favorite race in KC. You get to see some of the best places in this city and around every corner are more people cheering you on. And while there are some killer uphills, you get some of the best downhills you will experience in a race!!!

Hi :)

Hi 🙂

Focused to the finish!

Focused to the finish!

Speaking of downhills, the downhill finish is the best part. I let my legs pull me down the hill, and across the finish line. I believe my time was a 1:51 or 1:52….I never even looked. Sometimes you just need those races where you run how you feel, and not for the clock.

After I crossed, I immediately started to look for Ramsey, Stacy, Kerri and Andrea. However, I did not see any of them.

I made my way through the chute, and felt my phone ringing. It was Ramsey! I thought to myself, “oh good! he finished not too far behind me! Maybe he PR’ed”.

Yeah, Ramsey PR’ed. And somehow, he had managed to beat me!!!!!!

Yes, I am excited and proud, but I was not expecting him to beat me (he totally snuck by me at the start!!)! Sheesh, I have created a monster 😉

I am maybe still holing a grudge!

I am maybe still holing a grudge!

Overall, the race was great and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

The crowds in KC were supportive, and the race organizers did a great job. You can bet that I will be back at Hospital Hill in 2014, and I urge you to be there as well.

And Ramsey….it is ON in ’14!!!

xo!

Ali

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