Tag Archives: Running Buddies

Boston Marathon Race Recap

12 Jun

Almost two months since Boston, and it is still on my mind every single day.

Every time I run, I think about it. Every time I hear a “boom”, I fear what it could be. Every time I hear a siren, I get chills. And every time I read something or someone talks about it, I have to hold back tears. Boston continues to weigh heavy on my mind and in my heart, and I have a feeling it will continue to do so for a while. Just as it will for the many others out there that experienced this, some not nearly as lucky as I was.

For the past few weeks, I have been debating whether or not I would write a race recap for Boston. Partially because I didn’t know if it was appropriate, and partially because I didn’t know if I was ready. To be honest, it has taken me time to even remember things from the race.

Well, I have made the decision that I am READY to write this race recap and I will CELEBRATE the finish of that race. I must remember that before 2:50pm on April 15th, I was having one of the most amazing days of my life. And I had been experiencing an amazing weekend in Boston prior.

Everything I write in this recap will be prior to 2:50pm. While much of my experience is still a blur, I do believe I have enough memories to write a pretty good recap!

Morning of the Race

5:15am on the morning of the race, I sprung out of bed. I was so darn excited! My clothes had been laid out since the night before, and I was ready to run. I got dressed, did my hair, put on some makeup (yep, I wear makeup when I race, judge away!), and headed downstairs to meet my friends.

Lulu all the way.

Lulu all the way.

I had my Girls on the Run girls with me.

I had my Girls on the Run girls with me.

At 6:15am, I saw my friends in the lobby and we had one big group hug. We were nervous but excited for the adventure to come. We took some pre-race photos with our families (we have the most amazing support systems!) and headed to Boston Common to meet our bus.

So supportive.

So supportive.

Looking our best in throwaway clothes!

Looking our best in throwaway clothes!

Mom and Dad :)

Mom and Dad 🙂

When we got to Boston Common, I was stunned by the lines. I had seriously never seen a line that long, and we had to wait in it in order to get to the starting line in Hopkinton! At first I panicked a little bit thinking we should’ve arrived earlier. The “what ifs” of not making it on the bus were going round and round in my head. Thankfully I had Stacy with me, who calmed my nerves and assured me we would make it to the start on time.

The insane lines!

The insane lines!

Happy, excited and nervous as can be!

Happy, excited and nervous as can be!

At 7:45am, we FINALLY made it to the front of the line and got on the bus. Note to self the next time I run Boston: get to Boston Common earlier!! We were one of the last buses to load up for the 26.2 mile journey to the start line.

Breakfast on the bus.

Breakfast on the bus.

Hopkinton!!!

Hopkinton!!!

Runner's

No Stopping Monday!!!

Around 8:45am, we got off the bus in Athlete’s Village in Hopkinton, MA. The sight there was amazing. It was FULL of runners and porta potties – I had not ever seen so many porta potties in my life. Photographic proof below!

CRAZY!!!

CRAZY!!!

We decided that our first order of business would be a trip to the previously mentioned porta potties before we were in an emergency situation (pretty sure I drank at least one bottle of water on the bus). We got into line, and 20 minutes later, we were still in line. All those porta potties, and they could’ve used 100 more. As we got to the front of the line, a man approached us and offered us toilet paper if we let him cut in line. Pretty smart guy if you ask me….as almost every porta potty was out of toilet paper!!

He was awesome.

He was awesome.

Diana did not cooperate!

Diana did not cooperate!

Stacy and I eagerly accepted his offer, but Diana did not…girlfriend had to go BAD and no one was cutting in front of her!!

We didn’t get out of that porta potty line until 9:30am, and by then it was time to start walking to the infamous starting line.

Pre-race jitters were in full bloom. I am pretty sure that everything on my body was shaking I was so nervous and excited for the journey ahead! When we finally got down the start (it felt like it was at least a half mile from Athlete’s Village) we found a little spot to sit down.

Follow the arrows.

Follow the arrows.

BABY GUURLL!!!

BABY GUURLL!!!

At our spot, we put Diana’s pretty pink blanket to full use. The story of the blanket could be its own blog post….we had to force Diana to bring “baby girl” (quick back story: the blanket was originally meant for Di’s “baby girl”…but Di had two baby boys, therefore “baby girl” never served her true purpose) to the start line of the race and leave her behind. We needed baby girl to keep us warm and shield us just in case we needed an emergency impromptu bathroom break (no comment on whether or not it was used for that…)

Baby Girl ended up saving the morning for us, and she will be remembered dearly. (Diana, I hope you read this so you can see that I paid tribute to your blanket in this post!!!)

At 9:55am, we went to the starting line and waited to be lined up in our corral. We watched the first wave start their journey, then made our way into corral #9.

At 10:15am, I posed for a pre-race photo and uploaded it to all my social media outlets. I wanted all the positive energy I could get, and I knew my social media friends would take care of that for me. You all are the best!

"It's go time"

“It’s go time”

Stacy at the start too!

Stacy at the start too!

Race Time

10:20am, the journey from Hopkinton to Boston began. I had just crossed the starting line of the BOSTON MARATHON. Holy freaking cow. I was living a dream.

I think I ran with tears in my eyes for the first mile. I was so excited to be there, and what I was about to accomplish really hit me. In a few short hours, I would be crossing the most exciting and prestigious finish line in all of marathon world!

The first few miles flew by. The main thing I remember about these miles is how many pregnant women I saw! I ran by at least three obviously pregnant women, all with little signs attached to them that said “running for two”, or something of that nature. Seeing these pregnant women out there running a marathon reaffirmed what I always thought and knew – you cannot stop a woman on a mission!! Especially a woman-runner on a mission. If she qualified for Boston, she is running Boston and you can’t stop her!

Around mile 6 I met a girl that reminded me of myself. We were almost the same age, and had both qualified for Boston at rainy races in Dallas. We ran and chatted for about a mile, and then she pulled back because she was battling an injury and had promised she would take it easy. I still think about this girl and hope that she was able to get her finish and was safe.

Mile 9 we hit Natick and I loved how familiar it felt. I used to have a client in Natick and have been up there a few times, so I could recognize the streets. I am sad I wasn’t able to see my old clients along the course, but I understood why I didn’t. Natick had some of the most amazing crowds along the entire course. I remember running through an intersection and I couldn’t believe  how loud it was. People were screaming and cheering to a point that I couldn’t have ever imagined. I remember looking at Diana and making eye contact with her. We both had tears in our eyes because we could not believe the experience. It was incredible and I cannot wait to experience it again.

Another one of my favorite parts of this race was leaving Natick and heading towards Wellesley. Around mile 12, we passed through an extremely loud cheering section with gangham style blaring. I love that song, so I perked  up immediately when I heard it. Then I saw something that made it even better. Lined along the right side of the road were at least 15 kids jumping on mini trampolines doing the pony. I still laugh every time I think about that.

Wellesley College was everything I heard it would be. Screaming girls waving their signs throwing out their hands were everywhere. I now understand why people say to watch your pace through Wellesley, because it would be so easy to get excited and run too fast. The energy passing through Wellesley was incredible, and it was one of my top 5 moments of the day.

My favorite sign from a Wellesley girl: “Kiss ME! I’m in a long distance relationship!”

After Wellesley we hit the halfway mark. It was so fun to hit the race “milestones”, because we would make sure we ran over the tracking device at the exact same time. When we hit them we would say, “HI!” to our family and friends we knew were following us.

My brother was tracking us! Loved how it showed us as little runners!

My brother was tracking us! Loved how it showed us as little runners!

We knew if we hit them at the same time, our supporters would know our plan was working out and we were doing it all together. No matter what, we would finish this race together. That was always the plan.

Following the halfway, we started to hit our big hills. I remember thinking on one of them that it might not ever end. This is the first time in the race when I felt tired and questioned if my legs would be carrying me 26.2 miles that day.

Diana zoomed up these hills with grace, while Stacy and I brought up the back. Di was having her “A” day, I was about a “B”, and Stacy was probably a “C”. Having a B or C day on the Newton Hills was tough. But with the help of each other we would make it through ‘em.

Running by Dick Hoyt and his son. Don't know who they are? Google it NOW!

Running by Dick Hoyt and his son. Don’t know who they are? Google it NOW!

Mile 16ish.

Mile 16ish.

Heartbreak Hill was something I feared for months. Mile 20 is one of the hardest miles of a marathon, and knowing we had a huge hill to face at 20.5 was terrifying. But guess what? I ran up Heartbreak Hill and didn’t even know it! At the top of the hill I saw a sign that said “You just conquered Heartbreak Hill!”. I didn’t believe it. I had to ask the give girl running next to me (remember…Di was A, I was B, Stacy was C, so we weren’t together at the top!) if I really just ran up Heartbreak Hill! She confirmed that I did, and when I saw Diana I screamed “WE JUST RAN HEARTBREAK HILL!!!!!”.

The last few miles of this race were miles of survival and getting to the finish. The downhills started to hurt far worse than the uphills because of the pounding on our already sore hamstrings.

We knew our families planned to be between mile 24 – 25, so we were on the look out. By this time of the race, we were hurting BAD. We were hurting so bad, we weren’t even talking anymore (that means it was BAD!). It was really a moment of thinking, “every step is one step closer”.

Mile 25, we saw our families and it was so exciting!!! We heard them yell and saw their excitement for us. We ran to them and got our high fives and the last bit of encouragement we needed.

ahhhhh hi!!!!

ahhhhh hi!!!!

I love our faces here. You can tell we were so tired, but so excited.

I love our faces here. You can tell we were so tired, but so excited.

We love you!

We love you!

The best support group!

The best support group!

After passing our cheerleaders, we had our eyes and minds on the finish.

We approached Boylston Street, and knew we were so close. The volume of the cheering on Boylston was incredible and I soaked in every step.

As we got closer to the finish, we veered towards the right side of the street and embraced our hands. We threw them up high in the air, and celebrated the finish exactly as we had planned.

The happiest photo.

The happiest photo.

The entire race went as planned and was one of the best experiences ever. For the first time ever, my running buddies and I all three ran a race together. And it was the best race we could’ve possibly run together.

I will be proud of this finish and celebrate this finish. I will hang my finish line medal in my home, and reflect on the amazing time we had during those 26.2 miles.

And I will run Boston again.

Xo,

Ali

 

Top 5 Moments of the Race

  1. Passing the Starting Line
  2. Wellesley
  3. Seeing Our Families
  4. Running 26.2 side by side with Stacy and Diana
  5. Crossing the most exciting and famous finish line in the world of marathons

 Splits:

  1. 8:31
  2. 8:33
  3. 8:38
  4. 8:20
  5. 8:48
  6. 8:23
  7. 8:35
  8. 8:41
  9. 8:21
  10. 8:32
  11. 8:37
  12. 8:35
  13. 8:40
  14. 8:48
  15. 8:45
  16. 8:32
  17. 8:53
  18. 9:02
  19. 9:07
  20. 9:10
  21. 9:47
  22. 8:53
  23. 9:07
  24. 9:33
  25. 9:14
  26. 9:43

 

More photos from the weekend (before the bombings)

The finish line on Saturday. I cried when I was taking this photo. So excited to be there.

The finish line on Saturday. I cried when I was taking this photo. So excited to be there.

14445 - my new lucky number.

14445 – my new lucky number.

:)

🙂

Excited!

Excited!

Glad they talked me into a jacket!

Glad they talked me into a jacket!

Cheers to us.

Cheers to us.

The whole group.

The whole group.

laying on the finish line. Dirty, but fun :)

laying on the finish line. Dirty, but fun 🙂

We did it!

We did it!

Mom and Dad.

Mom and Dad.

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Stacy’s Story of the Boston Marathon

22 Apr

My very dear friend Stacy has shared her feelings about Boston. I thought Stacy’s account of what happened was very well written, and described the experience just as I would have. I want people to hear her story and experience, because through this I have found that the more blogs and stories I read that I can relate to, the better I feel.

Stacy is the reason why I ran Boston in 2013. She inspired me to become a marathoner the day I watched her run the Chicago marathon in 2010. On April 15th, 2013, Stacy, Diana and I crossed the finish line holding hands as happy as could be. We had never run a race side by side the entire time, but for this race that had always been the plan. And I am so thankful that we were able to experience it all together.

Stacy's 10th Marathon on 10-10-10.

Stacy’s 10th Marathon on 10-10-10.

This is Stacy’s story.

I am not a blogger or even a good picture taker anymore, but wanted to write
down my thoughts while they are still raw and engraved in my head. Getting to
Boston is a journey. It’s not something that happens over night. I got to
share this event with Ali and Diana. However, this is my second Boston
Marathon and nothing can compete with your first. I thoroughly enjoyed
watching them enjoy their very first magical Boston.

Because I knew what to expect I can tell you that things were smooth and
normal. We walked about a mile to yellow school buses and waited for about
an hour. We rode on the bus for another hour. We arrived to Athletes Village
and quickly moved another mile into the start area. We took a moment to sit
on our blanket and get prepared for the race. We eagerly lined up in Diana’s
corral. We were each in different corrals, but had a pact so share this
moment together no matter what. No solider left behind was our motto. Silly
girls, but we meant it. I was thankful for that because this solider had some
tired legs early on.(The next wave back would have placed us in harm’s way
or we would have been pulled off the course.)

We started the race like clockwork and ran taking in every mile of Boston.
My race was hard. Diana and Ali were soaking it and I was containing any
negative thoughts of my tired legs or the fear I had of the Newton Hills to
come. We made it all the way up Heartbreak Hill without even realizing it.
Diana lead the way while Ali and I followed. At that point I knew I could
make it in under 4 hours. This was a mental barrier I needed to break after
my last Boston in 09.

The girls teased me because the oddly quiet Stacy became positive and secure
at mile 24. I knew the crowds would get even bigger, louder and that I was
about to share a part of history with two of my closest friends. At mile 25 I
said, “Ladies, enjoy this last mile together because it may be the last time
we share a marathon where the three of us run side by side!” I became the
cheerleader for my two Boston first timers after they had encouraged me for
most of the race. I apologized for being the tired solider and they looked at
me and said, “You are why we are here!”

We ran down Boylston Street side by side and hand in hand at the finish. The
race was finally over. We just completed the Boston Marathon together! Our
clock time was 3:54:35. We took our time getting our medals, photos, and foil
blankets. Our legs heavy and minds eager to find our family. Jeff was our
point man for the family reunion. That was his job and he did it well. He
spotted us and quickly help Di and Ali find Lee, Ramsey, Mark and Nancy. It
felt great to hug him and be with our group again. We got on our warm clothes
and started taking some pictures to capture our accomplishment.
Suddenly, a loud explosion occurred.

Later we were able to see that the clock time was 4:09 when the bombs went off. About 15 minutes after our finish.
Our clock time read 4:00 despite our chip time of 3:54:35. My
heart sank and I felt confused. We looked for excuses and Di of course had an
answer. Must be part of the celebration. Ten seconds later a second
explosion occurred. My eyes began to water and I prayed immediately for God
to allow me to make it home safely to my son Caden. I had no idea what was
going on, but feared that if there were two explosions there could be many
more. The thoughts of 9/11 rushed into my head and again I just prayed that
we could get home safe. Please God let me get to raise my son. Those were
the thoughts in my head. Our group was scared, but fairly calm.

Stacy's sweet Caden (and husband too!)

Stacy’s sweet Caden (and husband too!)

Our goal was to stay together. The guys were problem solving and I was
following. I wanted to call my mom and tell her I was safe. After much
confusion and a lot of wandering we made it back to the hotel. It was if the
pain from the race was erased and we were in fight or flight mode. Making it
back to the hotel felt safe, but we were evacuated soon after. We were still
in shock so somehow this seemed ok. Just a normal procedure. We followed
directions and left. It was one of those moments where you think what should
I take. I grabbed my ID, credit cards, phone and wedding ring. This sounds
awful, but I wanted to have my ID on me in case something really bad happened
and someone needed to know who I was. Yes, I panic and think of the worst
sometimes, but this was like nothing I have ever experienced.

We headed out to the streets and were asked to move further and further back.
I still didn’t recognize the depth of all that was going on until sitting
outside in my sweaty race clothes and realizing that we no longer had the
luxuries of a shower, toilet, food or security. This sounds shallow, but we
hadn’t eaten since 9 AM. I hated to worry about that kind of stuff knowing
lives had been lost and that an act of terrorism had occurred. The unknown
and the inability to fix a situation and no control are very overwhelming.
The phone rang with calls from the media. It was crazy to think people were
wanting to talk to us. I talked to a former high school classmate from the LS
Journal. As I am on the phone with him I see Special Operations, HAZ MAT, the
bomb squad and countless police and emergency vehicles swarming by our hotel.
We stayed in the Copley Square Hotel which was being searched and was now
being called part of a possible crime scene. The FBI is on the streets, men in
army fatigues….. This was very scary.

We were given blankets by strangers on the streets. Our group of 8 debated on
what to do, where to go. That quote about how you respond in a crisis can
identify your true character kept running through my head. I just kept
thanking those that were kind to us. Eventually we were welcomed into a home
of a perfect strangers. Feeling very skeptical I was hoping she really was a
good person. You hate to go there, but like I said I do over think at times.
She was amazing. Offered us drinks and snacks. Very humbled by her kindness.
We were able to contact our hotel and return at about 7:30. I am a little
foggy on time. We finally got a hot shower and got to eat about 9:00 PM.
It’s the little things that mean a lot at this point.

I felt safe back in our hotel and eager to just get home. I interviewed with
channel 9 news at 6:30 AM. It was a little emotional to re-cap the event and
I can’t stop thinking of the “what ifs”. Thank you for your congrats, but at
this point it feels selfish to think about the race. I am grateful that I
finished and was with my family in such terror. I would never want any of
that to overshadow what those felt who lost loved ones or the heartbreak of an
8 year old boy dying. This is something that I have seen on TV, but have
never expected to be a part of. The reporter asked me, how do you make sense
of this happening. I really don’t make sense of it. There is no rationale
behind such evil.

My whole play on lucky number 13, running my 13th marathon
in 2013 and flying out on the 13th may not be so lucky. However, I am a glass
half full person and am going to look for the positive. It could have been
much worse. Part of my journey that started in 2008 to first qualify for
Boston was to not take life for granted. Believe in the best and seize the
moment. My ending journey in 2013 has the same message. Believe the best in
people, seek out the good and be thankful for your moments. Thank you God for
getting me home safe with my husband, friends and to be a mommy. If I can do
that I am happy. I hope next year Boston is shining even brighter because you
can’t dim the light for people who have hope, faith and believe in the very
best.

Could not imagine being with anyone else!

Could not imagine being with anyone else!

A Boston Marathon Pasta Party

10 Apr

Last Sunday, I attended a dinner for all the local KC runners making the adventure to Boston.

This dinner was put together by a local KC runner, Greg Hall. And it was the perfect way to kick off the Boston Marathon festivities!

Placemat signed by the Boston Bound KC runners.

Placemat signed by the Boston Bound KC runners.

So many awesome people in this room!!

So many awesome people in this room!!

First of all, Greg is awesome. He planned this entire event so the KC runners could meet each other and share our stories. Again, THANK YOU GREG for putting this together and giving us all the opportunity to meet each other. It is so much fun to have dinner with 40 other people who share the same passion as you.

Greg reading some stories.

Greg reading some stories.

Our awesome name tags!! Which I am hanging on my desk this week :)

Our awesome name tags!! Which I am hanging on my desk this week 🙂

Aside from being introduced to each other, another great thing about the night was hearing the stories of our fellow KC runners. The adventures people have experienced and faced to get to Boston are truly amazing. There were SO many great stories, and here are a few of my favorites:

  • The 24 year old guy that was never the “best runner” in high school, but will be running Boston with a bib in the 300’s. That means he is really freaking fast (I think it was somewhere around a 2:35 marathon).
  • The US soldier who was deployed last year prior to his dream marathon, and didn’t get to run Boston. So he went out on the base and ran a 1 mile loop 26 miles while the Boston Marathon was going on.
  • The guy who ran his first Boston in 1969 and only paid $2 for his entry. He has completed many Boston’s since, and plans to continue to run Boston every 5 years. (He also had his first Boston marathon shoes plastered and brought them to the dinner!!)
  • The lady who ran her ass off through so many marathons attempting to qualify, and finally got her BQ. Hard work and determination will always pay off.
  • The guy who went from running an over 6 hour marathon to now running under 3:15 (and I am SOOOO excited that he has shared his training plan with me! Thanks again, Jeff!)
He runs really really fast.

He runs really really fast.

Ran on the base. So incredible.

Ran on the base. So incredible.

Shelled out the $2 entry fee in the 60's.

Shelled out the $2 entry fee in the 60’s.

Feeling super embarrassed to stand up and tell my story. A public speaker I am not!

Feeling super embarrassed to stand up and tell my story. A public speaker I am not!

The entire group. So many amazing people in this photo!!!

The entire group. So many amazing people in this photo!!!

And now my two favorite stories, which are my running buddies.

  • Stacy, who always loved to run, but just couldn’t get her time under 4:30. After so many attempts at breaking 4 hours, Stacy turned her focus on to having a baby, but couldn’t get pregnant. Finally, while training for yet another marathon, Stacy found out she was pregnant with one my most favorite people – Caden. After a hard pregnancy, Stacy (literally) almost died in childbirth, and was in ICU for 5 days. It was terrible. However this girl is so strong and determined, that she decided after surviving that, she could do anything. And she wanted to run the Boston Marathon. After an intense training, Stacy was able to cut almost 20 minutes off her marathon and QUALIFY! The 2013 Boston marathon will be Stacy’s 2nd Boston, and 13th marathon. I can’t think of anyone else I would love to show me the way through this amazing race.
  • Diana, who wanted to spend more time with her friends and decided that running would be a great way to do this. Diana signed up for a half marathon in 2009 and rocked it. We could tell that she had natural ability, but convincing her of this was a whole different story. In 2011, Diana decided she would run her first marathon right before she turned 40. Di ran her marathon, and broke 4 hours. Obviously the girl is awesome. Following the Dallas marathon in 2011 where Stacy and I both qualified for Boston, Diana decided she would qualify too. She worked so hard, and was so determined – Running 4 marathons in one year! Although our first attempt for her to qualify was a total bust, the second attempt went as planned and she BQ’ed with a couple minutes to spare. Diana is a rock star, and I think we are getting closer and closer to convincing her of this!
"No limits, No Regrets"

“No limits, No Regrets”

On April 15th, I will cross the starting line and finish line with two of the most amazing people I know. We will run this race TOGETHER, and celebrate our hard work TOGETHER. And I cannot imagine a better way to spend those 3:45-4:00 hrs than with these girls by my side. They are like my big sisters, have taught me so much over the years, and this experience wouldn’t be the same without them!!!

xo,

Ali

Boston Marathon Training – Week ???

29 Mar

It has been so long that I wrote a recap post for my training, that I don’t even know what week I am on!

Since I am a little lost of that, let’s just do a countdown instead…..

4 weeks out from the race and I think things are going really well!! The only negative comments I have to make are that it is cold and I am starting to get really tired of these early mornings.

However those early mornings will be over soon, and race day will be here. For that, it is all worth it.

This is what 4 weeks out of training entailed:

  • 49.3 miles
  • 07:30 time
  • 5832 calories
  • 5 workouts

I ran some great miles this week, however I am in disappointed that I never got in a cross training workout. I have really enjoyed going to spin, but this week I just couldn’t get it into the schedule.

Hard days this week were mile repeats and a 22 miler.

The mile repeats went great. I ran these how I felt and pushed myself to see what I could do. When I was training for NYC, I was cranking out repeats at some awesome paces for me (6:20-6:30). I was so happy that I ran all four repeats between 6:35 – 6:45. I was feeling great and these were a great confidence boost.

The long run this week was the highest we will go in training – 22 miles.

We were fighting some pretty insane schedules with work and life, and also battling weather conditions. To deal with these things, Diana and I decided we would run our 22 miler on Thursday.

The run started at 4:30am, and ended right around 8am. It was one of the hardest long runs I have ever done, but I am so thankful we did it and had each other. I was also thankful that I have a soft office chair and could take the elevator all day at work. I was also impressed that I was only 30 minutes late (sorry, boss)!

Collapsed on the floor after 22 miles.

Collapsed on the floor after 22 miles.

Now it is officially taper time for Boston. I cannot believe how fast this training has gone and that it is almost over!!!

Finish line….I have you in my sights!!!!!

581569_618021558212651_265789862_n

xo,

Ali

A week in my life – day seven.

18 Mar

Day seven is the last day of the ‘week in my life’ challenge!!

I have really enjoyed writing these posts and sharing my life with you. I have also loved the feedback you have sent me. It means a lot to have so many people who read my blog and have positive things to say back to me.

Sometime this week, I plan to write a post on my blog about the things I learned during the challenge.

Now let’s talk about Sunday. Sunday is my lazy day. I love them so much. Without lazy Sundays, I would literally go crazy. By now you have seen that my life can be really crazy hectic. But that it is crazy and hectic doing some really fun things. On Sunday, I get to relax and do whatever the heck I want. I also get to prepare for the next week.

I laughed when people commented that my Monday post was insane, because I knew that eventually the Sunday post would come around and you would all get to see just how lazy I can be!

Here we go with Sunday. Thank you all SO much for following me on this little adventure.

10am - I wake up. Without an alarm. Feeling so refreshed. I did sleep 11 hours after all.

10am – I wake up. Without an alarm. Feeling so refreshed. I did sleep 11 hours after all.

10:45am - Home from a donut stop. I was in HEAVEN!!!!

10:45am – Home from a donut stop. I was in HEAVEN!!!!

All that was left from those two big donuts.

All that was left from those two big donuts.

11:30am - In a sugar coma. Lay on the couch and surf channels. See that Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Pt. 1 is on TV. Get really really excited. Like I said yesterday. I love these movies.

11:30am – In a sugar coma. Lay on the couch and surf channels. See that Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Pt. 1 is on TV. Get really really excited. Like I said yesterday. I love these movies.

1pm - Find our that Sisterhood of the Traveling pants Part 2 is on again. Get even more excited. I think to myself, "This is the best Sunday ever!!" Then I fall asleep while watching the movie, wake up when Ramsey gets home from his 10 mile run! Way to go, Rams!!!!

1pm – Find our that Sisterhood of the Traveling pants Part 2 is on again. Get even more excited. I think to myself, “This is the best Sunday ever!!” Then I fall asleep while watching the movie, wake up when Ramsey gets home from his 10 mile run! Way to go, Rams!!!!

4pm - East a lunch/dinner at Noodles and Co. One of my Sunday rules is that I refuse to wear real pants unless necessary. If you see me wearing jeans on a Sunday you have just witnessed a rare sight.

4pm – East a lunch/dinner at Noodles and Co. One of my Sunday rules is that I refuse to wear real pants unless necessary. If you see me wearing jeans on a Sunday you have just witnessed a miracle.

4:45pm - Stop by Lululemon after lunch/dinner. Buy a gift for a friends birthday. Feel myself being judged by the lulu staff because I look so terrible. No one even offers to help me. Feel like Julia Robert's in Pretty Woman. "I got money to spend in here, people!!!"

4:45pm – Stop by Lululemon after lunch/dinner. Buy a gift for a friends birthday. Feel myself being judged by the lulu staff because I look so terrible. No one even offers to help me. Feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. “I got money to spend in here, people!!!”

5:15pm - Get in the car, find my missing Garmin in between the seats!!!!

5:15pm – Get in the car, find my missing Garmin in between the seats!!!!

Stop by Russell Stovers for dessert. This place is my heaven.

Stop by Russell Stovers for dessert. This place is my heaven.

6pm - Eat some pretty freaking amazing ice cream. Anyone added up how many grams of sugar I have had today?

6pm – Eat some pretty freaking amazing ice cream. Anyone added up how many grams of sugar I have had today?

Read about the Kansas City pasta party before Boston!! Get really excited about meeting the other KC runners going to Boston!

Read about the Kansas City pasta party before Boston!! Get really excited about meeting the other KC runners going to Boston!

6:30pm-9:45pm - Write 3 blog posts, work and tweet.

6:30pm-9:45pm – Write 3 blog posts, work and tweet.

9:45pm - Start to wind down for bed. Hopefully I can fall asleep after my day full of being lazy :)

9:45pm – Start to wind down for bed. Hopefully I can fall asleep after my day full of being lazy 🙂

XOXO!!!

Ali

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

 

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 🙂

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…It Has Begun!

21 Jan

This weekend, I ran my first official training run of my Boston Marathon training.

I will be running Boston this year with two of my incredible running buddies – Stacy and Diana. Stacy and I qualified December 2011 and Diana qualified September 2012. For Diana and I, this will be our first Boston. For Stacy, it will be her 2nd.

On Saturday morning, I met Emily, Diana and Stacy for a nice 10 mile run. We ran one of our familiar routes, and had some amazing chats during the run. Sometimes you just need to have some girlfriend time and talk to your friends about life!

We didn’t run fast for us (about a 9:40 pace), but we did have fun. And for Boston, our goal will be able to have FUN.

I won’t lie – I am not super stoked at the moment to run Boston. Of course I am excited for this amazing experience, but I am not excited about training for another marathon. My forever long training this fall has me a tad burnt out on the sport.

I love to run, but I don’t necessarily love to train. There is a huge difference between running when I want to, and running because I have to.

The Boston Marathon will be a fun race for me. And will be one I do to enjoy. No, I do not foresee PR’ing, but I do foresee having a ton of fun!

There will be many more posts to come about Boston. I look forward to sharing all of the experiences as well as ups and downs of training with you!

xoxo,

Ali

10 miles complete, with big smiles on our faces.

10 miles complete, with big smiles on our faces. Can you spy the “Boston Qualifier” sign behind us? Diana still has it in her yard. She is so proud and I love it!!!

A letter to the Running Gods

21 Sep

UPDATE!!!

In case you were wondering how this turned out…check out the photo below (she needed to run under 3:45)…

…I’d say she kicked some booty!!!!! (AND she already received the news that she is in for Boston 2013!)

——————————————————————————————

Dear Running Gods,

I need to send you a little prayer, and I really need you to answer this prayer.

My running buddy and dear friend Diana will be running her 4th marathon on Sunday, and will be making her second attempt at qualifying for the Boston Marathon at Quad Cities.

Diana is amazing, and so deserving of a BQ. She has worked her butt off through training, and would have qualified last May had the Running Gods not thrown us a little curve ball (ahem, this tragic marathon experience). Diana’s determination and drive never ceases to amaze me. She is beyond dedicated to this sport, and wants her BQ so darn bad. She is also one of the best running buddies in the whole world!

Please do everything in your running power to give her fresh legs on race day, cool temperatures and the mindset she needs to break 3:45. And to the readers of my blog – I ask that you send these positive thoughts to Diana as well.

I cannot wait to share the exciting news of a BIG BQ!

xo,

Ali

YES you are! (Di and I from the KC marathon last year)

Lee’s Summit 10k – A NEW PR (and a WIN)!!

11 Sep

This last Saturday, I FINALLY PR’ed a race, and I had not PR’ed a race since I was 16 years old (your time running a new distance you had not ever run does not count).

The race I ran was the Heart of the Summit 10k in Lee’s Summit, MO. This race is really small, but a lot of fun. I love the small town vibe it holds, and the simplicity of it. Last year I was the 2nd place female finisher (to my dear friend Stacy!), so this year I was in it to win it! Last year was also my first 10k experience, completed in 44:39.

Last years first and second place finishers!

I knew that I wanted to push myself as hard as I could, and that I would be using this as a speed workout for my NYC training. My goal was to just go out there and run it as hard as I could, and PR the thing.

My alarm went off WAY too early on Saturday morning. I was at a black tie event the night before, and stayed a bit longer than I had intended. Once I got to the start of the race, my running buddies and I ran a quick 4 miles to get in some miles. Following our warm up we stretched, and lined up!

Sparkling it up at Treads ‘n Threads

As soon as I lined up at the start, I measured up my competition. And I felt pretty good about it. In fact, it looked like my girlfriends would be my strongest competition!

The race began, and I took the lead. I tried not to go out too fast, but judging my pace was really hard since I was in the lead! I pushed it hard the first 5k, then hit the turnaround point (did I mention this was a two loop 10k with 3 out and back portions????). Around mile 4 I started thinking, “ok, this is getting kind of hard, but somehow I am still leading the thing. Where are all the fast men?!”.

Around mile 5, I got passed by a guy running in board shorts holding a liter sized water bottle (two faux pas if you ask me!). I tried my hardest to hang on, but he just kept creeping past me. I ended up finishing the race in 2nd place overall, 1st place among the females. Although I was sad and let down I didn’t win the entire thing, I was still very excited I won the women’s….and PR’ed!!!!!

Splits: 6:39, 6:48, 6:52, 6:59, 6:55, 7:01 (I hate it when my last mile is my slowest mile!)

My finish time was a 42:49 (6:5oish pace), almost 2 minutes faster than the year before. And to me, that was something worth celebrating.

The 1st place – 4th place female finishers. My friends are so fast!

Way to go, Ramsey!!!!!

We made a podium!

Gettin all fancy with my iphone!

Thanks for all of the kind words following the race, and the encouragement leading up to it!!!

xo,

Ali

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