Tag Archives: Marathon Training

A post work 20 miler.

17 Mar

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

It sucked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Draining our legs.

Draining our legs.

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

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

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

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

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

Bloody Mary's.

Bloody Mary’s.

Half of the Boston Crew.

Half of the Boston Crew.

Ellen and Bran'a engagement party!!

Ellen and Bran’a engagement party!!

Hi beanie.

Hi beanie.

All instargram'ed up and pretty!

All instargram’ed up and pretty!

Mwah!

Mwah!

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

xo,

Ali

 

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A week in my life – day four.

15 Mar

Ok. So taking photos is getting old. Like, really really old. BUT I put myself up to this challenge and I WILL follow through!!!

Thursday was a pretty relaxed day. Thursdays are actually one of my favorite days of the week. I get caught up at work and usually get to do something fun with my boyfriend on Thursday nights! This Thursday was no different.

As I said earlier, I am getting a little bored with all the photo taking. Thursday I tried to take some pictures of things I had yet to take photos of. Beware…TMI ahead.

yep. Another ridiculous wake up call.

yep. Another ridiculous wake up call.

6:15am - Easy 6 miles with Diana done!

6:15am – Easy 6 miles with Diana done!

Craving a Gatorade post run. Bought one at the gas station, then realized I bought melon instead of orange.

Craving a Gatorade post run. Bought one at the gas station, then realized I bought melon instead of orange. And Melon Gatorade is yucky.

When I get ready at Stacy's, I wear my American Girl robe. I have had this thing for AT LEAST 15 years. The arms are short, but the length hits above my knees now. I can't get rid of it!

When I get ready at Stacy’s, I wear my American Girl robe. I have had this thing for AT LEAST 15 years. The arms are short, but the length hits above my knees now. I can’t get rid of it! Another thing to note….I hate bright lights in the morning. I basically get ready in the dark.

7:25am - Ready for work. Trying to wear my winter clothes before spring hits!

7:25am – Ready for work. Trying to wear my winter clothes before spring hits!

7:45-8:30am - Sit in the WORST traffic EVER!!! Remember yesterday when I said that traffic made me bitchy? Holy crap. I was RAGING when I got to work. I know for some people an hour commute is the norm, but for me it is not. I get SO sleepy in traffic!

7:45-8:30am – Sit in the WORST traffic EVER!!! Remember yesterday when I said that traffic made me bitchy? Holy crap. I was RAGING when I got to work. I know for some people an hour commute is the norm, but for me it is not. I get SO sleepy in traffic!

10am - Oats.

10am – Oats.

Lauren can make a rockin sock bun. Look at that thing peaking out!

Lauren can make a rockin sock bun. Look at that thing peaking out!

11:25am - Instagram break. Checked out fellow GOTR coach Heather's photos from her practice the night before. This girl has the BEST ideas.

11:25am – Instagram break. Checked out fellow GOTR coach Heather’s photos from her practice the night before. This girl has the BEST ideas.

11:30am - Head downstairs for meeting. Must take elevator because my TB boots are so tall I worry I will fall!!

11:30am – Head downstairs for meeting. Must take elevator because my TB boots are so tall I worry I will take a tumble!!!

11:30am-1pm - Attend the Limited WIP Kanban meeting. Kristen and I are always the only girls there :)

11:30am-1pm – Attend the Limited WIP Kanban meeting. Kristen and I are always the only girls there ๐Ÿ™‚

Eat a turkey and avocado wrap.

Eat a turkey, pepper and avocado wrap.

2:00pm - tea time.

2:00pm – tea time.

3:00pm - Some amazing friends helped me with my avocado issue from day three post!!! THANK YOU!

3:00pm – Some amazing friends helped me with my avocado issue from day three post!!! THANK YOU!

6:20pm - Leave work for dinner with friends.

6:20pm – Leave work for dinner with friends.

BEAUTIFUL weather!!! Amazing to drive with the sunroof open!

BEAUTIFUL weather!!! Amazing to drive with the sunroof open!

6:30pm - Sit in parking lot at dinner place to make Ramsey take a photo of my earrings I can instagram. Argue with Ramsey over taking 10 photos of the earring when only one was necessary. But he did do a good job on the picture and it scored a lot of likes!!

6:30pm – Sit in parking lot at dinner place to make Ramsey take a photo of my earrings I can instagram. Then I argue with Ramsey over taking 10 photos of the earring when only one was necessary. But he did do a good job on the picture and it scored a lot of likes!!

WINE at Rye!!! This restaurant was awesome. If you live in KC, you must go! It is owned by the same people as Bluestem, which is my favorite KC eatery.

WINE at Rye!!! This restaurant was awesome. If you live in KC, you must go! It is owned by the same people as Bluestem, which is my favorite KC eatery.

Beef Tartar. So yummy.

Beef Tartar. So yummy.

Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. My favorite meal!!

Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. My favorite meal!!

Wine from Edna Valley. I love Edna Valley wine because my BFF Nicole lives there!!!

Wine from Edna Valley. I love Edna Valley wine because my BFF Nicole lives there!!!

9pm - Home from dinner. Change into cozy pants. Look at the way my super tight jeans dug into my skin! It was painful!!

9pm – Home from dinner. Change into cozy pants. Look at the way my super tight jeans dug into my skin! It was painful!!

This is where we have TMI. What are those?? Oh, they are my toenails. After 3 glasses of wine I finally decided it was time to get these babies off. I barely pulled and they came right off. I think they have been on the verge of falling off for over a month. #Runnerprobs

This is where we have TMI. What are those?? Oh, they are my toenails. After 3 glasses of wine I finally decided it was time to get these babies off. I barely pulled and they came right off. I think they have been on the verge of falling off for over a month. I apologize if you are gagging right now, or if you were eating your lunch while reading this. Even I feel sick right now, however that could be due to the wine I drank last night. #Runnerprobs

10:30pm - Snuggled next to Ramsey. I'm on Tweet Deck, he's on Facebook. We are so damn social.

10:30pm – Snuggled next to Ramsey. I’m on Tweet Deck, he’s on Facebook. We are so damn social.

OMG OMG OMG I get to sleep in tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:45pm – Set my alarm for the morning. OMG OMG OMG I get to sleep in tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TGIF everyone!!!!!!!!

Ali

Boston Marathon Training – Week 6

26 Feb

Week 6 was an awesome week of training!

If you read last week’s post – you know I was slacking a bit due to vacation. Week 6 would be high mileage with cross training thrown in.

Recap:

  • 50 miles
  • 08:44 time
  • 5623 calories
  • 11 workouts

I completed one spin workout, and three weight lifting workouts.

Still loving spin class.

Still loving spin class.

Getting it done with Jillian!

Getting it done with Jillian!

Hard workouts were both completed on the treadmill due to snowstorms and crazy cold weather.

Tuesday Tempo: Ran 5 min intervals with 2 min off from mile 1-7.5. 8 miles total, 7:48 pace.

Thursday Tempo: Ran a few miles at a harder pace. 7 miles total, 8:00 pace.

Got out in the blizzard to get my run in.

Got out in the blizzard to get my run in.

The long run this week was a tough 18 miler. We had to battle snow packed roads and chilly air. At least it was sunny and my running group could all run together.

It was one of those “shut up and run” kind of days, but we got it done!!

Preparing for a long, cold run!

Preparing for a long, cold run!

Running in the Snowpocalypse

Running in the Snowpocalypse

My favorite run of the week was Sunday. My boyfriend and I headed out for a relaxing 5 miler. The sun was shining and we had the best company. So glad to be with someone that will run with me and keep me company ๐Ÿ™‚

My happy place.

My happy place.

I would anticipate this being one of my biggest weeks of training, especially for this lower key training session.

Until next time,

Ali

 

Boston Marathon Training – Week 5 (& Vacation Pics!)

18 Feb

WHEW another week of training is COMPLETE!

This week was a little tricky, because I went on vacation. I love to travel, and hate it when training gets in the way of enjoying my time. Therefore my policy is always to put fun first, and training second. I run when I can, and when I feel like it. And if it doesn’t happen, I don’t freak out.

That being said, I am shocked by how well I did!

  • 28 miles
  • 04:25 time
  • 3187 calories
  • 6 workouts

I started my week off Monday morning with spin and 4 miles on the treadmill. Tuesday was a 5 mile run with my friends.

Then vacation began. Oh happy day.

St. Petersburg beaches

St. Petersburg beaches

I started Wednesday morning with a 6 mile run along the palm tree lined roads, wearing a tank top. Wow, it was amazing.

I forgot what it felt like to run in the warm air, and I forgot how much I enjoy it (I say this now, but will surely be complaining come June, hehe)!

Selfie in the elevator.

Selfie in the elevator.

Thursday was an off day, and Friday was an easy run with Ramsey. Saturday was another off day.

Post run smiles.

Post run smiles.

By Sunday, I was SO ready for a longer run. I walked out the door, and decided I would run until I didn’t feel like it anymore or until I ran out of time.

I made it 10 miles before I had to get back to reality. It was a glorious, head clearing 10 miles. The perfect way to spend the last few hours of vacation.

My week was awesome, but this week I need to get serious and step up my mileage. I can’t wait to share my great week with you next Monday!

Below are some photos from my amazing trip. Enjoy!

Post massage relaxation.

Post massage relaxation.

After an incredible dinner in St. Pete's.

After an incredible dinner in St. Pete’s.

Valentine's Day breakfast

Valentine’s Day breakfast

mmmmmm

mmmmmm

Valentine dinner

Valentine dinner

Drinks at the Postcard Inn

Drinks at the Postcard Inn

We always find a photobooth.

We always find a photobooth.

Lounging. (A big thank you to my boyfriend for making me feel like a model in this photo!)

Lounging. (A big thank you to my boyfriend for making me feel like a model in this photo!)

Jump!

Jump!

He is so cute.

He is so cute.

I swear we have clothes on!

I swear we have clothes on!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Siesta Key.

Siesta Key.

Have a fabulous week, friends!!

xo,

Ali

Boston Marathon Training – Week 4

12 Feb

Week Four of training is COMPLETE! Woohoo!

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

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

Post Cross Training - Love these Activewear USA pants!

Post Cross Training – Love these Activewear USA pants!

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

Less than 67 days now!

Less than 67 days now!

Our long run was 16 miles, and although I rested up and hydrated well the night before this race, I was still struggling. I think the hardest part of it was the cold wind on our faces. At least everyone in the group was hurting on this run and it wasn’t just me ๐Ÿ™‚

Post 16 miler and happy as could be.

Post 16 miler and happy as could be.

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

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

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

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

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

XO,

Ali

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

Hospital Hill – When Should Training Begin?

10 Feb

Hello to my Hospital Hill runners! This is my 2nd post in my Hospital Hill blog series, and I am already excited with some of the people I have connected to in this process.

Tonight I’d like to talk about your training plan, specifically when you should start.

For many people, half marathon training can be intimidating and stressful (for good reason though, it is a major commitment!). But I want to help you feel like you can manage the training and succeed at following your plan.

The Hospital Hill race is a little under 4 months (17 weeks) away – 111 days to be exact!

Most training plans follow a 12 week program, however sometimes you will see 16 or 18 week plans. I always prefer a 12 week program to avoid burnout and to keep things fun. To me, 12 weeks is doable, where as 16 or 18 weeks sounds crazy.

In the weeks prior to my 12 week training kick off, I like to get in a couple runs a week and some cross training. This will give you a nice base to start your training and will keep you from feeling like you are completely out of shape when you begin training.

I would suggest having a base of 10 – 15 miles per week before you begin official training. I also like to use the month before training to focus on strength and cross training. Prior to kicking off my last training session, I spent a lot of time at the gym doing Body Pump and Spin. I loved mixing it up with these two classes and have really loved the results from them. Another great workout option are at home DVD’s. Jillian Michaels can be your BFF as well as biggest enemy ๐Ÿ™‚

If you choose to go with the 12 week plan I prefer, your official training should ideally kick off the week of March 4th.

My next post will be focused on the types of runs you should incorporate into your training, and an example of my ideal training schedule.

Please feel free to email me, or comment with any questions you have! I love to hear from you all ๐Ÿ™‚

xo,

Ali

photo

 

Marathons are Like Relationships

13 Jan

Following my Dallas Marathon experience, I decided that marathons are like relationships.

So hear me out.

When you train for a marathon, you put your heart and soul into it, much like you do with a relationship. You devote many hours to it, and feel the negative effects when you neglect it.

You also spend insane amounts of time dreaming of the outcome of your hard work. For marathons it would be crossing the finish line in a PR, BQ or goal worthy time. For relationships it would be the wedding with the perfect white dress and gorgeous centerpieces.

And when marathons and relationships don’t go your way, the effects are felt almost the same.

Within the last year, I have been through a relationship that didn’t go my way, and two marathons that also didn’t go my way. And with both cases, I had similar feelings afterwards.

With my marathon I thought to myself, “Wow. I trained for this thing for 5 months, put every ounce of my body into it, and did not get close to the outcome that I desired.”

With my relationship I thought to myself, “Wow. I worked for months, poured my heart into it, wasted tears on it, spent many late nights devoted to it, and did not get the outcome I had thought would come.”

And then with both, I had the realization I would have to completely start over. Back to square one. Back to the drawing board.

When a marathon doesn’t go your way, you can’t just run another one the next weekend and get the outcome you had wanted (unless you are a running freak). When a relationship doesn’t go your way, you can’t just go on a blind date the following Saturday night and meet the person you’ll marry the next week (unless you are a celeb or you make really bad decisions).

In both cases, you have to come to terms with the fact that you will be starting over and the timeline of reaching your dream will be extended.

Someday, I will break 3:30 in my marathon. I am just not sure when that will be. My body and mind need time to recover from Dallas and process what it will take to work towards that goal again. Although I will be running the Boston Marathon in April, I am not sure an under 3:30 marathon is in the cards there.

And someday, I will wear my perfect white wedding dress and have the most perfect centerpieces that are talked about for years. I am well on my way to this dream, and my heart and mind tell me that I will never have to “start over” with this process again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

How do you deal with a marathon that doesn’t go your way? Or a relationship this doesn’t go your way? What helps you accept the fact that you have to start over?

Wishing you a great week ahead!!

xo,

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,ย  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”,ย  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!!!”.ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Help Wanted: The Perfect Playlist

5 Dec

Hi friends!

I am happy to announce that I am feeling much better than I was yesterday when I posted about being sick and miserable. It seems that I have turned the corner and I am now on the road to recovery. I actually got out this morning and ran 4 miles, which felt incredible.

Anyway…onto the point of this post.ย 

I have decided that I will wear my iPod in the Dallas Marathon. I am not usually an iPod wearer in races, but this time around, I will be. First of all, I have no buddies to run with me and I might get a little lonely. Secondly, I think I will need the added motivation when I get to the hard miles. I have a big goal ahead of me, and will need all the extra help I can have to get me there!

So this is where I need your help.

I want YOU to give me songs to put on my perfect playlist.

It could be your favorite workout song, our favorite song together, or a song that you would just like me to listen to.

You can comment on this post with your song (please include your name if you want some credit), text it to me, tweet it, orย Facebookย it. I only ask that it’s upbeat and will take some of the 26.2 miles of pain off my mind!

(Last year, I saw Meggie do this before she ran a marathon and I thought it was genius. I told myself that I would totally be copying her idea when the time arrived. Thanks for the idea, Meggie!)

I look forward to hearing your choices and being able to think about you as I am conquering this race!!!

As always, thanks for the support!!

NOW….GO!!!!!!

xoxo

Ali

Determined to Get Well Soon

4 Dec

Dallas is quickly approaching, and as of last week, I was more than ready to run this race. However today, it is a different story.

I have been a total germ-a-phobe the last few months and have done everything I could possibly do to not get sick. All of my precautions worked, until last Friday…

When I woke up on Friday morning, I knew things were not good. You know that feeling you get right when a cold is setting in? Well, I had it. With my asthma, I get knocked out by a cold. For me, I know what it entails, because I have been dealing with it my entire life. A cold means I get a respiratory infection and it means I spend at least a week hacking and coughing and feeling miserable (I know, poor me!!!).

With my big race on Sunday, you can imagine why I am freaking out a little bit. I have been training for 21 weeks for this race (which is over half of a pregnancy btw)! I want to rock this race, and run my heart out on Sunday. And the last thing I want is for my breathing issues to get in the way of that.

As soon as I felt the illness coming on Friday, I called my Doctor and got two of my inhalers refilled. I thought I would be able handle it with those and not have to go in for more medicine. Well, yesterday I had to give in an actually go into the Doctor for additional meds.

I am now operating under a full on “Get Well Plan”. Included in this plan is a ton of rest, lots of fluids, Emergen C and plenty of medicine.

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

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

I cannot believe I am actually putting this photo online...this is what a nebulizer treatment looks like!

I cannot believe I am actually putting this photo online…this is what a nebulizer treatment looks like!

I am on Day Two of the plan, and still feel like crap. However I can tell that I am starting to get a little better.

Tonight I was feeling completely stir crazy and decided to get my bike out and ride stationary in the living room. Not working out since last Thursday was making me nutty. I had to sweat a little, and I am so glad that I did!

45 minutes on the bike felt incredible!!!!

45 minutes on the bike felt incredible!!!!

My hope is that by Thursday I will be able to run, and by Sunday I will be able to rock my race! Sure, my breathing won’t be back to normal, but I do think it could be manageable to run a good race.

I welcome all tips and tricks you have for a breezy and fast recovery!

xoxo,

Ali

My little snuggle buddy Karly has certainly helped be feel better!

My little snuggle buddy Karly has certainly helped be feel better! My Mom has been quite the help too!ย 

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