Tag Archives: Lululemon

Longview Half + Training Update

18 Nov

Last week was my last “hard” week of training. It was my third week of 60 miles, which is the most mileage I have ever done back to back. Last year when I trained for NYC, I only had one 60 mile week. This year, I knew I needed to do a couple more if I wanted to see improvements on race day.

When I started the week I was feeling pretty blah. I decided I needed an extra day off, and also needed to cut out a hard workout to get me back on track. I am so glad I did because it made the half marathon on Saturday much more enjoyable.

Part One – Training Update

Monday – Off

Tuesday – 8.25 miles at 8:46 pace. Took it nice and easy since I wasn’t feeling that great.

Wednesday – 10.25 miles at 7:44 pace. 2 mile warm up, 6 x 1 mile repeats with 400m recovery. First 3 @ 7:00, Last 3 around 6:55. Cooled down another couple miles. Had to do this one on the treadmill because it was just so darn cold outside.

Thursday – 8.03 miles at 8:09 pace. Had a few pick ups in the middle of the run.

Post run burglar selfie.

Post run burglar selfie.

Friday – 8.05 miles at 8:34 pace.

Dinner with friends Friday night.

Dinner with friends Friday night.

Saturday – 18.25 miles total (see below for more details)

Sunday – 7.55 miles at 9:00 pace. I was so cold and a tad over-served the night before at our friends house. Made for such a fun run.

Total mileage: 60ish

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Part Two – Longview Half Marathon Race Recap

Saturday was my last big long run before taper. I was so excited for this run, and also dreading it. I had 12 miles of goal pace miles on the schedule, so I decided to just run the half marathon hard and take care of the goal pace miles there.

Stacy, Diana and I started the morning with a 4.9 mile warm up. We took it nice and easy (9:20 pace).

The race was out at Longview Lake, which is a beautiful area. It was really cold, but we were lucky to avoid the snow that the weather people had been predicting.

Once we finally got started running (they delayed the race because there was a bad traffic situation), I met up with my friend Amber and ran with her. We ran the first 6 miles with the 1:35 pace group, then separated. I knew I was running too hard for a long training run, and that she could run much faster than 1:35. Once we parted ways I slowed down a bit and gave myself some distance from the 1:35 pace group.

As the miles went on I kept the 1:35 pace group in sight but ran a comfortable pace that I knew I could easily maintain. I felt surprisingly good considering the miles I had done earlier in the week.

Start of the race.

Start of the race.

Around mile 11 a girl named Jess came up next to me and told me she was going to run with me for the rest of the race. I was just fine with this since I was getting a little lonely. I also love to run with other people. Jess was really sweet and we had 2 miles of good conversation. It certainly made the last couple miles fly by.

brrrrr

brrrrr. 

As Jess and I approached the finish we decided to pick up the pace and catch a girl in front of us. I am so glad I got to meet her and run with her for a bit.

Running to the finish with Jess.

Running to the finish with Jess.

Done with the race and with 18 miles!!

Done with the race and with 18 miles!!

I ended up running a 1:35:15 half which made me pretty happy. It is really exciting for me that I was able to pull off that race after a hard few weeks. And I will say that the course was not flat. Crazy that just 3 years ago I trained hard for a half and ran a 1:36:39. It goes to show what hard work can do for your running. Dedication will pay off.

Amber ended up getting first in our age group, and I got second! That made the morning even better.

Running together for 15 years :)

Running together for 15 years 🙂

We are ready for taper.

We are ready for taper.

Splits:

  1. 7:31
  2. 7:15
  3. 7:33
  4. 7:00
  5. 7:01
  6. 7:14
  7. 7:21
  8. 7:11
  9. 7:15
  10. 7:24
  11. 7:20
  12. 7:11
  13. 7:05 (+ :57)

I am SO excited that taper is finally here and I can prepare my body for race day. I got an email yesterday stating it was 19 days away. I semi hyperventilated….

xo,

Ali

Random Ramblings

15 Nov

I had a free night, so I figured I would share some of my random thoughts and ramblings. Here we go.

WSJ

This WSJ article and associated backlash is very much entertaining me. If you didn’t see the ridiculous article written by a guy that obviously doesn’t exercise or care about himself, you should check it out. Here it is.

After you read the insanity of this article and laugh at this angry man, read some of the follow up blogs and articles. It is pretty awesome. Moral of the story – Don’t f*** with runners.

Here are my favorite rebuttals:

Lululemon

I don’t really have much of rambling to do about this topic, but I want to know what you think. Obviously the CEO (or whatever that guy’s title is) is an ass. But should we stop shopping at lululemon because of it? I actually felt semi guilty wearing my lulu clothes on my morning run….

How are you reacting to the backlash of this yahoo’s remarks? I can’t lie…I see many more Athleta purchases in my near future.

First Run Post Marathon

Today was my first post-marathon run. It has been 11 days since my race, and it felt like I ran it 2 days ago. My butt pain is STILL there. I don’t know what to do…my mind tells me to be smart and take a couple weeks off the sport. But I don’t know if my brain can handle that right now.

Another thought I had while running this morning is how in the heck people run back to back marathons. I mean, seriously. HOW DO THEY DO IT? If I could barely make it 7 miles 11 days out, how do some of these people run marathons every weekend? Are they just a different breed of people? Or do they just continue to be sore FOREVER? Please help me understand.

I could write another post completely dedicated to how much I love these dumb sparkles on photos.

I could write another post completely dedicated to how much I love these dumb sparkles on photos.

The Baby Karly

My parents have two wiener dogs, and my brother has one. As soon as Ramsey and I get married, we are getting a wiener dog. My family is obsessed with these things. But how could we not be obsessed?? These dogs are so cute.

Well, this last week has been a tad traumatizing because our “Baby Karly” had to have emergency back surgery. It has been so hard to watch this previously spunky and full of life dog look so sad and be in so much pain. But she appears to be healing well and we hope she starts walking again soon.

Have you ever had an injured pet? Did they heal back to their normal selves? Did you struggle with it like we are?

LOOK AT THAT SWEET FACE!!!!

LOOK AT THAT SWEET FACE!!!!

This is all for now.

What is on your mind? Have any thoughts to the things I discussed?

xo!

Ali

and TGIF!!!

Negative Self Talk Sucks.

20 Jan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then it got worse.

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

So his response?

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

Yeah….that sent me over the edge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

————————————————————

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

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

xoxo,

Ali

Dallas Marathon Recap – Running Because I LOVE it

10 Jan

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

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

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

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

My attempt at getting better

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

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

Yay Dallas!

Yay Dallas!

Post expo photo with the bulls

Post expo photo with the bulls

Holy amazing!

Holy amazing!

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

After dinner with my Mom

After dinner with my Mom

Taking photos of the gorgeous downtown lights

Taking photos of the gorgeous downtown lights

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

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

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

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

Ready!

Ready!

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

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

Runner get set...

Runner get set…

and go!

and go!

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

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

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

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

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

Thank, Dad!!

Thank, Dad!!

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

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

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

And then I ran on.

And then I ran on.

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

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

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

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

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

Almost done!

Almost done!

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

I did it!

I did it!

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

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

So proud and excited for you, Allison!

So proud and excited for you, Allison!

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

BAM.

BAM.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and I won't forget that.

and I won’t forget that.

xo

Ali

Ten Questions Answered

21 Oct

I saw this post on Jennie’s blog, and decided to copy. Because let’s get real…who doesn’t love answering questions about themselves!

1. Best run ever?

The 2011 Dallas Marathon. It was my first marathon, and one of the best experiences of my life. I exceeded everything I thought I could do and qualified for Boston! I don’t think I have ever been so proud of myself.

It was the best run ever in a plastic bag…because it poured down rain the entire race!

Wondering about my worst run ever? Check out this post.

Following the worst run ever.

2. Three words that describe your running?

Dedicated, Therapeutic, Fun

3. Your go-to running outfit?

Anything from Lululemon is a go to. I don’t have one piece of Lulu clothing that I don’t love!!

Lulu 4 life

4. Quirky habit while running?

I always run cul-de-sacs in the neighborhoods. This drives some people insane, but I love it because it can add on so many miles! I cringe when I run next to a cul-de-sac and don’t take advantage of it!

5. Morning, midday, evening?

If I don’t start my day with a run, it throws everything off (unless it is a designated off day). Few things are better than getting in miles before the sun comes up.

6. I won’t run outside when it’s…

Thunderstorming. Other than Thunderstorms I have ran in every other kind of weather. This is why a large running wardrobe is necessary!!!

Two of my go-to items when I am running in chilly weather – a headband and a neck warmer!

7. Worst injury—and how you got over it.

I have been SO fortunate over my running career to never face a major injury (knock on wood). I have dealt with plantar fasciitis (who hasn’t) and some knee pain, but both of these were corrected with KT Tape and rest.

Prior to the Dallas Marathon, I looked like this!

Maybe God has kept me injury free since I have dealt with Asthma my entire life. I have no idea what it feels like to be able to to run without breathing issues or puffing on an inhaler before each run.

8. I felt most like a badass runner when…

I run an insane amount of miles before work. This training I completed every one of my 20 plus milers before work. Which means that I started these runs at 4am. I felt like a total badass when I got to work knowing that I had already run 22 miles, while other people had only rolled out of bed to come to the office 🙂

9. Next race is…

New York City!!!!!! The day I found out I got into NYC I jumped for joy. This is my DREAM race and I get to run it in 2 weeks. I am so excited, I just want it to be here!!

10. Potential running goal for 2013?

I am already registered for the 2013 Boston Marathon, so that checks off one big race!

I am also thinking about shooting for a half marathon PR and running the Chicago Marathon this year.

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There are my answers…now it’s your turn to share yours!!

xoxo,

Ali

Holy Moly, It’s Marathon Week

14 May

Wow. I cannot believe it is here so soon.

It is officially marathon week. And as of Sunday, before 12 noon (hopefully), I will be a marathoner x 2!

Chicagoland, May 20th

If you have been neglecting my recent blog posts (shame on you), you are unaware that I will be running the Chicagoland Marathon in Schaumburg, IL. The purpose of running this marathon is to get my running buddy Diana a BQ. I will run beside her for 26.2 miles to keep her spirits high, and keep her pace right where it should be. And to be a part of the celebrations after it happens.

Diana needs to run a 3:45 marathon to get her the highly coveted ‘Boston Qualifier’ title. I have NO doubts that she can do this. She has been training like a rock star, and has been nothing but dedicated to this goal over the last few months.

By your side, all the way!!!

Preparations

My pre-marathon preparations are nothing crazy. Basically I try to get as much sleep as possible, eat well, consume no alcohol, and drink tons of water.

I also plan to spend a fair amount of time obsessing over my outfit, as well as the day-of race weather.

Currently status on those two items:

New Lululemon running skirt is in the mail. Top is TBD based on temperature (long tank vs. sports bra).

Hope I love it, seeing that I won’t really get to try it out first…..

Weather looks pretty darn hot.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

How do you prepare for big events (marathons for example)? Any tips for me, and most importantly my dear friend Diana??

Wishing you a great week ahead.

Xoxo,

Ali

Fashion Fridays – Lululemon Edition!

13 Jan

I am excited to announce that going forward, every Friday I will be doing a fashion review on the blog. The fashion review will be focused towards some sort of fitness apparel, since this is a running blog! However that doesn’t mean other fashion items won’t be sneaking their way into these reviews.

So, Fashion Friday Volume One, let’s go!

Lululemon – Run: Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve

I purchased the Run: Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve top in October for the Rock ‘n Roll half marathon. Since that race, I have worn the top to kick boxing class, and bootcamp.

Pros:

The top is great! It is lightweight, and breathable. It also is a great moisture-wicking fabric, therefore you can wear it in hot weather alone, or cold weather as a layered item. It is soft, long, durable, and moves great with your body, which makes it a perfect top to wear to bootcamp/kick boxing class.

Yep, you have seen this top before!

Cons:

It is hard to think of too many cons for this shirt, other than the fact that it is a little pricey ($58).

The only negative thing I have to say about this top is the fact that it rides up a bit when I am wearing it. This issue could possibly be corrected if I got a larger size, but I have yet to try one.

Should you buy one?

Yes! I already plan on adding more colors of this top to my running collection, and possibly the long sleeve version if I can save some money. It is a great top, and so far seems very durable after the many loads of laundry it has been through.

And a little fashion bonus…

I doubt you could notice, but the most fabulous part of my outfit above are the Kate Spade earrings I am wearing. I always try to add a little pizazz to my outfit, and when I’m working out it’s no different.

A big thank you to my wonderful friend Brianna who gave me these awesome earrings for Christmas!

Thank you, Brianna!!!

Wishing everyone a fabulous Friday!

Until next time,

Ali

Race Logistics: What Goes into the “Perfect” Race?

6 Dec

There are many things that I was not able to share with you regarding the marathon in my recap blog. In this post, I plan to share all the behind the scenes scoop that made this a great race for me.

First stop, Hydration.

Pre-Race: I drank and drank and drank in the days leading up to this race. I was trying to be as hydrated as possible. My secret to staying hydrated and drinking as much as possible is my camelback water bottle. I have the kind with the straw, it is a life saver. Thank you #ET11 for giving me that bottle.

I also drank one Nuun the night before the race. I am getting used to their taste and starting to enjoy them!

Pre-Race, Morning: I had a half a cup of coffee before the race. I always do this and think the caffiene helps. Then I sipped on a bottle of water up until the start, probably about 10 oz total.

During Race: The marathon course had approximatley 23 water stops. I stopped for water or Gatorade at 2o of these water stops (switched off at each one). The only ones I skipped were 1, 9 and 25. Hydrating during the race is VERY important in my opinion. Even if you are not thirsty, you should still force the water. You will need it eventually.

Next up, Fuel.

Pre-Race: I ate pretty healthy the day before the race. I was not about to be adventurous and try something crazy. For dinner I had pasta and bread, with a couple bites of chicken off my Mom’s plate.

Pre-Race, Morning: Before the race I had a peanut butter Zone bar. Unlike the RnRSTL race, I actually ate the entire thing this time. That made a difference.

During Race: I packed my pockets full of Vanilla GU for my race fuel. I had a GU at miles 8, 13, 18 and 23. I believe if you properly fuel, you can prevent yourself from crashing.

Post-Race: After the race I had half a bagel. Probably was not enough but I was too cold to eat anything and could barely hold the thing in my hand!

Now let’s go with – Asthma prevention.

I have asthma, and always have. I don’t know what it is like to run without it, which is good in my eyes (I don’t know what I am missing out on).

Pre-Race: I took 4 puffs of the inhaler about 15 minutes prior to the start.

During Race: This was the first time I have ever had to take my inhaler while running. I needed it though, and I needed it bad. I really struggled getting it out of my pocket while running due to frozen hands, but finally did. At mile 22, I took about 4 more puffs of the inhaler. The inhaler was cold though, so I didn’t get all the meds I needed. But hey, I survived!

The lovely and fun to talk about – Chaffing Prevention.

Aquafor and unscented deodorant were my BFF’s on race day. Running in the rain meant chaffing would be highly likely. I rubbed this stuff all over my feet, legs, arms and sports bra lines. It did the trick! I only came out of the race with one tiny blister and one scrape on my leg.

The very important – Shoes and Socks.

I wore my Brooks Ghosts on race day, I love those shoes. The socks I wore were purchased at the expo and were super duper cute. They were pink and even had a little runner girl on the top. I knew I needed to run in a dry fit sock so they didn’t soak up the rain as cotton socks would. This was a very good decision.

I will say that by the end of the race my feet were killing me. My shoes were soaked and it felt like I was running on cement.

This blog isn’t named ‘Miles with Style’ for nothin’ – Race Clothes.

I touched base on this briefly in the first post, but not as much as I would have liked to.

The bottom half: My Lululemon capri pants are the best things ever. And they are cute. I am obsessed and in love with these pants. I would suggest everyone to invest in a pair. They also had pockets big enough to hold 4 GU’s and an inhaler. Pretty amazing.

The top half: I wore my favorite Lululemon sports bra top under my long sleeve shirt. This thing is snug as a bug and so comfy. It is also very supportive, therefore I don’t have to wear two sportsbras. And that meant one less layer that would get soaked on race day.

Over the sports bra top was my lilac Lululemon top. I never planned on wearing this top, but I am SO glad that I packed it. Out of everything I had, this top reacted the best to the water and was really amazing during the race. It has thumb holes and another pocket for added convienence. And the best part about the top are the ruffles on it! It is so stinking cute!

If you read the first post you already know that I ran 24 miles in a plastic bag. That thing was a lifesaver and I totally made it cute!

My head: I bought a new Nike dry fit hat the day before. It was perfect!

To keep my ears warm I wore a bondi band that I borrowed from Diana. Stacy said fleece would be too hot, so I went with something more lightweight.

My hands: I started the race in pretty rainbow cotton gloves. Well after spilling on myself at water stations and getting soaked in rain, my hands were freezing. When I saw my Mom at 15 I stole my Nike dry fit gloves off her hands. They were amazing.

 

Well, I believe that wraps up most of the logistics that went into having the perfect race. I don’t think there is a need to go back through the months of training, but obviously that was the majority of what went into the “perfect race”.

So, do you have any questions about these items? Or do you have any suggestions for future races? I always love to hear what other runners do, so please share!

Have a great evening!

Ali

I Had the Time of My Life! Race Recap – Dallas Marathon

6 Dec

This weekend was one of the best weekends of my life, and I cannot wait to share it with you. This blog post will be a little long, but I hope you enjoy!

Let’s get started.

Friday

Friday evening Stacy, Diana, my Mom and I arrived in Dallas. We got settled in our hotel and then headed down to the bar to enjoy a beer (consider it last minute carbo-loading).

VIP in our Suite!

After the drink, we went through our many clothing options for the race. We knew it might rain, but we wanted to be prepared for everything. Next up was sleep, which we knew was very important! After I scolded the girls for chatting too much, we went to bed and had sweet dreams about the days to come.

We could have opened a running store.

Saturday

Saturday morning we got up and went for an early morning jog around downtown. Our goal was to run for 20 minutes, and enjoy the new scenery. The weather was pretty annoying – warm, humid and WINDY. My hat actually blew off my head a couple times, which I knew was a bad sign for the next day! We were able to enjoy downtown Dallas though, and see part of the Christmas parade!

Following the run, it was Expo time! We got to the Expo and I was like a little kid in a candy shop. It was just so much fun! I cannot even explain how exciting it was to pick up my packet from the “Marathon” line. I felt pretty cool! And I felt even cooler when the workers all screamed out and cheered that it was going to be my first marathon (first timers wore a different bib color)!

My first marathon expo in my cute new running top!

The best investment from the Expo was some KT tape. I hadn’t ever tried it, but my Mom thought it would be a great idea seeing that I had been having some major leg pain the last couple weeks. They got me taped up and sent me on my way. I felt better immediatley!

Very colorful KT tape.

After the expo, Diana, my Mom and I headed to the Northpark Mall for last minute shopping. I needed a new hat and Diana was looking for a jacket. We found a hat, but no jacket. Then we headed back to the hotel.

Saturday night was intended for carbo-loading. We had dinner at an Italian place, then walked back to the hotel. Of course it started pouring down rain on the walk back, but we all toughed it out.

Dallas, you are pretty.

We made it back to the hotel and the obsessing really began. What the heck were we going to wear?! At this time, the rain chances had gone up to 100%. I would be running my first marathon in the rain, and there was no way around it. I was trying on every potential outfit and throwing water on them. I needed to see how things reacted. The running skirt was out, it stuck to my legs as soon as it got wet. A couple other shirts were out because they held in the water. I then decided what my outfit would be: Lulu capri pants and my purple Lulu long sleeve top.

Ta-Da!! By the way that purple top was never in the running to wear, but I am glad I packed it!

One thing had still not been figured out, and that was how the heck we were going to stay semi-dry for the first few miles. Then Stacy had probably one of the top 5 best ideas of her life…she said, “Do you think we could make our expo bags into vests?”. We all looked at the bag and collectively said, “I think we need to give it a try”. I then cut holes for arms and a hole for the neck. Next thing to do was try it on for size. It was a tight bit, but we got it on. Then Diana and Stacy got theirs on as well.

We got them on!!!

Lifesaver.

We colored them up, added our race numbers and our names, and the saying, “It’s in the bag”.

It's in the bag baby!

It was then time for bed. We needed to rest up for our big day. Little did I know that it would end up being one of the best days of my life.

Sunday – Morning

5:30 am and the alarm woke us up. The big day was here, and of course it was pouring down rain outside. Looks like mother nature wouldn’t be on our side today, but we knew that the last 5 1/2 months of training would be. We got dressed, put on our rain gear and headed down to the lobby.

My Mom snapped a few photos and gave us last minute hugs and words of encouragement. We put on our ponchos, and headed out to face the rainy day.

Pre-Race, Pre-Rain

Now check out those vests! Thank you, Stacy!!!

Rain, we are ready for you!

Totally was not my idea of the perfect marathon outift.

We arrived at the race around 7am, an hour prior to the start. One last bathroom break was in order, as well as some stretching. Around 7:45am we headed to the start. Stacy and I got in our coral and saw Diana off to hers. We said our goodbyes and wished each other luck. The biggest race of my life was about to begin. Bring it on.

Sunday – Race Time

At 8:05am, Stacy and I crossed the starting line. We hit our watches and got in the zone.

The first 3 miles were miles of dodging. I have decided that I am an expert dodger though, and can work my way through any crowd. We ran our first two miles slow: 8:49 and 8:37. The third mile was fast, right at 8:02. Our pace goal was about an 8:15, but we did not want to get too greedy in the beginning. I was insistent that we take advantage of the downhills, and it seemed that we kept hitting them.

Miles 4 and 5 were miles made of rain. It started raining hard. So hard that the only option was to laugh. I kept saying to Stacy, “Are you freaking kidding me?”. Although it was raining we still ran a good pace. 8:11 and 7:49. We were feeling great.

Miles 6 and 7 were the miles of mansions. We ran through some of the most amazing houses, and I couldn’t stop looking! Maybe that is why mile 6 was an 8:16. Mile 7 I was starting to get over the awe of the homes and hit a nice 8:01 mile.

Mile 8 was the mile of the river. Why? Because we ran through a freaking RIVER. Dallas had been in a drought, and you could tell. There was standing water everywhere, including in the streets. We were dodging water puddles left and right. I really put my good jumping skills to test! Mile 8 was a solid 8:04.

Mile 9 was mile of the tummy. My tummy hurt, but I was not going to admit it. I still don’t want to talk about it, because the race really was perfect. Mile 9 was an 8:25.

Miles 10 and 11 were miles of the “groove”. It was still raining, but Stacy and were trucking along at a solid pace. We were happy and enjoying ourselves and we got in a 7 minute groove. We ran 7:54 and 7:48.

Mile 12 was the mile of the lake. This is when we really started to get to know White Rock Lake. This is also when Stacy and I started to part ways and seperate. Mile 12 was an 8:01.

Miles 13 and 14 were the miles of seperation anxiety. I started to get sad that Stacy and I were no longer running together, and that we most likely wouldn’t finish this race together. I started thinking, “Who am I going to talk to for the rest of the race? Who will encourage me?”. Miles 13 and 14 were 7:54 and 8:02.

Mile 15 was the mile of the GLOVES! I gave my mom an extra pair of gloves just in case I needed them. We actually practiced signals where I would point to my hands if I needed the new pair. Well, I needed the new pair! My hands were wet and FREEZING. I spotted my Mom in her big yellow rain jacket (aka the Crab Catcher/Deadliest Catch) and started waving my hands. Well, she didn’t see me. She actually didn’t see me until I was standing right in front of her screaming, “GLOVES!!!”. I ended up pulling the gloves right off her hands and threw my wet soggy gloves back. Thanks Mom! Mile 15 was a 7:54.

Miles 16, 17, 18 and 19 were miles of new friends. I ran these miles with three other girls that were all about my age. We chatted, and everyone had the same goal: a 3:35. 3:35 would qualify us for Boston. Which was always my super top secret goal. These girls were great, and got my through my seperation anxiety. These miles clocked in at an 8:02, 7:58, 7:49 and 7:54.

Mile 20 was the mile of “All by myself” (sing that…). I felt alone, but great. We were out of the lake and on to the city streets. Everyone says that the race starts to hit you at mile 20…well I was not willing to experience that “hit” today. Mile 20 was 8:00.

Miles 21, 22 and 23 were the miles of hills. Now let’s get this straight, I thought this course was SO easy. There wasn’t a hill I couldn’t handle and hadn’t run on in almost every training run. These were the biggest hills I would encounter though, and they were approrpriatley named the “Dolly Parton Hills” by the race. These miles were 7:58, 8:31 and 8:24.

Mile 24 was the mile of the bag. Remember the bag we made into a homemade vest? Yep, I was still wearing that thing at mile 24. I kept pushing off my time to take it off. I just couldn’t part ways with it. I decided that mile 24 would be my time to lose the bag. I ripped it off like the incredible Hulk and kept on running. Funny thing is that Stacy saw my bag laying on the ground a few minutes later. This was her que to remove her bag as well, and she ripped hers off. Mile 24 was a 7:59.

Mile 25 was the mile of rain. Ok, so technically they were all miles of rain, but this was hard rain. I kept thinking, “why did I take my bag off?!”. I got through the mile though and ran a 7:57.

Mile 26 was the mile of finishing. I kept thinking, “Ali, you are almost done. You can do this, and you will do this race fast. You are so tough and you will finish. You are almost there”. Mile 26 was a 7:48. Not too shabby.

Mile 26.2 was where I hit the finish, and accomplished something amazing. Mile 26.2 I crossed the finish line. And I crossed that finish line in 3:32:12 according to my watch. Holy crap. I just ran my first marathon, and I qualified for the Boston Marathon.

Here is my proof.

Sunday – Post Race

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I was overcome with emotions. Yes, I cried. I couldn’t believe it. Then I pulled myself together. I would not be celebrating until I saw Stacy cross that finish line. Then I saw her! I hobbled over to her and we hugged and screamed! We shared our times and together yelled, “Oh my God!!!!!” while jumping for joy! Stacy ran a 3:37. She beat her PR by 7 minutes, and also qualified for Boston (again). We both couldn’t believe what we had accomplished!

After we celebrated for a minute, it was time to get warm. Those foil blanket things were not doing the trick. We headed in a building and took a post-race photo. Then got our finisher shirt and hit the snack line. After that we went to the family meeting area where my Mom and Stacy’s family were waiting. We found them and before we could really cheer for ourselves we had to get dry. My Mom had dry clothes and we headed behind a curtain to change.

At this point, my Mom thought that Stacy and I ran a 3:36 and finished together. When she said this I was quick to correct her. “Mom, I ran a 3:32! I qualified for Boston!!!!!!”. She jumped up and down and we all cheered! Stacy shared her amazing time as well and said, “Nana, we are going to BOSTON!!!!”. It was so exciting and such a priceless moment. I am so glad she didn’t know my real time and that I got to share that with her. Then I got to call my Dad and tell him too. He was just as excited and surprised as my Mom was. That news was the best I had ever shared, and I felt so accomplished and happy.

Sharing my news with Zack, and oh so cold!

We knew Diana would be finishing soon and we would all be reunited. I am not sure if you recall, but Diana just ran her first marathon 5 weeks prior (RnRSTL). This marathon would be for fun, and she wasn’t focused on her time so much. We were all reunited and she told us she ran a 4:09. She was happy and upbeat, as she always is. She also had a good race and felt great, aside from being so cold and wet.

We had to rush back to the hotel and get ready for a flight home. We couldn’t stop talking about the race and how excited we were. We are all on a runners high and nothing was going to bring us down. I was amazed at all the support waiting for me on my phone when I checked it back in the room. I had numerous messages of good luck and well wishes for the race. I couldn’t wait to read them all and respond, after we got out of room!

We had a few moments of downtime and took time for pictures in the hotel lobby before the flight home.

26.2, we go all the way!!!

Accountability Partner. Wouldn't have gotten out of bed all those mornings without you!

BFF's

Love you "sister"!

The best Mom in the world. Thank you for being my biggest cheerleader all these years.

We got to the airport, had dinner and a beer, and headed home. What a great day.

Post Race Thoughts

Yesterday was probably one of the best days of my life. At this time, I am having trouble coming up with any day that was better than yesterday was. I don’t think I have ever felt so happy or proud. I enjoyed every moment of that race, and never had a thought of doubt go through my head. I get emotional thinking about this and still can’t believe that I conquered a marathon. I did something that so many people dream about, and I did it pretty fast. I also achieved another dream and goal, which was qualifying for Boston.

I had the time of my life yesterday, and will forever cherish the memories I made during the race.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported me and encouraged me. Your words meant so much more than you realize, and I cannot wait to return the favor someday.

xoxo,

Ali

Now what shall I wear?!

1 Dec

WEATHER UPDATE: Rain likely, mainly before noon. Cloudy, with a high near 46. North wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Tonight I packed for my Dallas trip, and saying I am prepared is quite an understatement. I have at least 5 outfit options for the race. I will be prepared for any weather between 3o – 90 degrees. Rain or shine, wind or snow, cold or hot. Fingers crossed the weather is somewhere in the middle of those scenarios.

I named this blog miles with style for a reason – I love running, and I especially love running in cute running clothes. Below I have included photos of some of my potential outfits. As of now, the weather forecast is saying “a 50 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 45. North northwest wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.” (lovely, huh?)

The options:

Outfit #1, This is my “Cold Case Scenario”. The Nike jacket is waterproof and lined, I also have a matching short sleeve Nike top to wear under it. The Nike shorts are there incase it is a warmer rain. Lulu pants are there for a colder rain. If it is a cold, windy rain as they predict, I will be wearing this outfit.

I am pretty obsessed with this jacket.

Outfit #2, This is my “Best Case Scenario”. I love this Lulu top and the capris are the most comfy things ever. If it is 45-48 and not raining, I will be wearing this outfit.

I wore this top in the 2010 KC Half Marathon.

Outfit #3, This is my “Warm Case Scenario”. Lulu skirt I ran in the Rock in Roll half and a black tank I wish I would have been wearing in the Rock in Roll half. If it is over 50, I will be wearing this outfit!

I love the bum ruffle on this skirt.

Now that you have seen the options and rationale behind each, what do you think I should wear?!

On a side note, I received some of the sweetest cards from my friends today. One of my favorites was from Lindsey. I love the front of it. It made me smile so big!!

Your good thoughts are working wonders for me, as always – keep ’em coming!

xoxo,

Ali

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