Screen shot 2012-02-01 at 8.50.39 AM

I Am A Marathoner: The Official Hamptons Marathon Recap

Date: September 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 312

Wow.

This weekend has been insane. I hope you’re in the mood for a lengthy post, because that’s what you’re about to get. In case you’re quite busy, let me summarize my weekend for you:

  • I ran my first marathon.
  • I had the best cheering section in the world.
  • I came in second place in the Run For The Rabbit fundraising competition!
  • I spent lots of quality time with my family, amazing friends and boyfriend. We ate giant cookies and drank wine.
  • I got no sleep because I have been too excited to close my eyes.

See? Ran a marathon…and got the medal to prove it.

For those of you who would like a few more details, let’s get started…

Remember on Friday when I was like, “Today is going to be super chill, I’m going to take my time getting out to the Hamptons and I’m going to outlet shop and all that jazz?”

Fail.

It took seven hours to get out to Amagansett.

So there was no outlet shopping. There was no relaxing. There was a lot of Ali stressing out and crying in the car. I wanted to get dinner, I wanted to unpack and I wanted to get a good night’s sleep.

I eventually had dinner with my fellow Run For The Rabbit crew — whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and broccoli…boring and delicious — and got to the hotel around 9:30 to check in, unpack and get to bed.

But not before a visit from two of my very best friends, who not only made the drive out to the Hamptons to cheer me on, but also went batshit crazy making “Go Ali” signs.

Meghan and Lauren, two of the weekend's REAL super stars. Good friends know that jazz hands are the way to my heart.

In true Type-A fashion, I laid out everything I would need for the next morning in an organized little pile.

Race Day essentials right here. Including some toilet paper. Just in case.

I brought along all the good luck cards people had sent me so that I could read them for extra motivation while I was getting ready. It worked.

I didn’t sleep very well on Friday night. I was excited and anxious and antsy, but when my alarm went off at 5 am I felt plenty rested.

I followed my usual pre-race routine: hot shower, granola bars, some ab exercises and applying Body Glide everywhere imaginable. Whoever said running isn’t sexy is wrong.

So it rained — no no, it poured — all day Friday, and the same weather was expected for Saturday. Race Day.

The best news of the day came when I was in the shower and my Handsome Friend yelled to me, “Hey Ali…Guess what the weather is for today?” I’m pretty sure I ignored him, but he then proceeded to tell me that, “There’s a zero percent chance of rain starting at 8 am.”

I was immediately pumped.

I met up with the Run For The Rabbit group in the hotel parking lot. It was very dark.

Yes of course I wore leg warmers right up until the moment I had to start running. Do you even know me?

We assembled into cars and we were off to the start line!

We're missing a few Rabbits, but we're a very happy bunch. Ready to run!

At this point I wasn’t nervous about running. I was happy the weather was holding out, even though it was brutally humid.

I was mostly just excited about getting to see my family! My parents drove down from New Hampshire and my brother (Ryan) and his wife (Michaela) made the trip from Boston. They got in late Friday night so I hadn’t seen them yet and wanted to make sure I got hugs before the race began.

And I did!

Yay!!! I found them!

They were a huge hit on the course in the Sweat shirts, from what I’ve been told.

So I got some hugs and well wishes and then moved into my “corral,” which was really just a tiny area marked by pace groups.

The Hamptons Marathon was incredibly well organized. From packet pickup to the start and finish lines, the organizers did a great job. The course was clearly marked, the water stations had tons of water and the volunteers were superbly happy. I yelled the F word at one water stop, apologized for swearing and the volunteer said, “You can yell whatever you want, you’re running a marathon!” So yeah. Good job, Hamptons people!

Coach Cane’s plan for me was to run the first 10 miles slowly, the second 10 miles at my marathon goal pace and the final 10K as fast as I could.

That’s good advice.

I would love to tell you that I followed it and hit the goal time he had for me.

Instead I will tell you the truth, which is that I ran the first 10 miles slowly, just like he asked, then ran the next 5 miles even slower, then had to walk all the water stops during the next 5 miles, and ran the final 10K feeling like one of those mall walkers wearing track suits. I’m not sure why, but that’s what I felt like.

It. Was. Tough.

I felt great for the first 10 miles. My legs loosened up quickly and I was maintaining a nice, easy pace per Coach Cane’s plan.

The humidity was tough, but I didn’t think about it too much. I enjoyed that the road wasn’t crowded, but I hated how boring it was. Nothing to look at. Very few spectators.

The rolling hills kicked in immediately and lasted for the first seven or so miles. Lots of up and down, up and down, but it didn’t bother me. My legs felt good and my stomach felt great!

I saw my family for the first time a little after mile three. My dad hopped in and ran with me for a bit, which I loved, and then everyone was screaming their faces off for me by the time we reached them.

Yes, my mom is using one of those duck bills that makes a duck sound. I liked it. She got it on a Duck Tour in Providence, RI.

Apparently they had a ton of fun spectating. I’m so glad. Lauren was Tweeting up a storm from my phone, so I hope everyone following enjoyed her updates!

They also liked taking pictures with my Handsome Friend, who has yet to be revealed on the blog…

Aren't they clever? Also, jazz hands.

Seeing them all in the early miles — my family at mile 3.5, Lauren and Meghan at mile 4 (or something) and then everyone together at mile 5, from what I remember — kept me feeling good and happy. I didn’t want to run past them looking like crap.

At mile 10.5, I saw/heard them up ahead.

"Oh hey, I see my family. They are nice people."

We had just split from the half marathoners, so the course was nice and empty. My loved ones seized the opportunity to all jump in with me.

"Here we come, Ali!"

I was clearly surprised.

I didn’t want to use up too much energy chatting with them, so I pretty much just kept running while Lauren screamed “ALI, YOU’RE SO FAST” and my brother commented on how disgusting my Gu looked.

(I took Gu at miles 6, 11 and 17. I ripped them open with my teeth no problem and choked them down like a champion. Delicious.)

This might be my favorite picture of my dad, ever.

I grabbed some water, most of which I spilled because I’m terrible at the old drink-and-run tricks, and I was off.

"Give me water so I can spill it all! Hurry!!!"

Then came one of the course’s out-and-backs, which I hated. To add on miles, you just ran out on a straight road, and then came back the same way. It was so boring, and at this point it was still so foggy that you could barely see six people ahead of you, let alone any of the “sights” on the side of the road.

“Sights” = a pumpkin patch at one point and a golf course later on. Super boring course.

My family stayed in the same spot for when I returned from my little jaunt, so I saw them again around mile 12.5.

This was the last time I saw them while I was still feeling strong. I had picked up my pace a bit and was happy to run by them and throw out a high five.

Approaching the halfway mark, still feeling fine.

I like high fives almost as much as I like jazz hands and leg warmers. I am a child of the 1980s, after all.

Oh you want a high five? Fine. I'll give you a sweaty one.

High five! It's nice! You know, like Borat says?

I grabbed some more water from Meghan and kept running.

Here I come, with my braid.

Thanks for the water! Make it a tequila shot next time, please!

Because, you know, I hadn’t even hit the halfway mark yet.

From here, things went from great to sucky pretty fast, and they stayed that way for a while.

I got a wretched side cramp right after mile 13. Like, blinding pain. I tried to focus on my breathing and tried that little push-in-and-take-a-huge-breath trick someone taught me once, but nothing was working.

At this point, my caravan o’ friends and family — three carloads full — happened to drive by (the course was not closed to cars), and I yelled to my mom that I had a bad cramp.

"THIS HURTS, OWWWWW!"

I saw panic in her eyes. Sorry, Mom. Didn’t mean to freak you out.

Apparently, a little while after that happened, they saw an ambulance go by and my mom immediately burst into tears, convinced that they were going for me.

I didn’t die, Mom. I’m OK. But I appreciate your adorable motherly concern.

The cramp lasted all the way through mile 15. My pace slowed significantly and things were starting to hurt. When the pain from the cramp subsided, I noticed that the bottoms of my feet felt like they were burning, and my quads and hamstrings were finally feeling the effects of those early hills.

I was not having very much fun anymore.

When I reached mile 17 I was happy because that meant I had fewer than 10 miles left.

Unfortunately it also meant the beginning of a very long, very brutal climb.

Miles 17 through 20 were uphill. Like, the whole time. And not a gradual, gentle hill. A giant, bitch of a hill.

Stupid inclines.

I tried not to let myself get defeated. Suddenly it seemed like everyone around me had slowed to a walk. I didn’t want to stop running for fear of my legs just completely dying, but at one point, the road turned and the hill just went…up. Way up.

I power walked it as best I could for about 30 seconds and sadly watched the pace on my watch continue to slow. It was discouraging for sure. I tried telling myself that “8 more miles” is the equivalent of what I ran many mornings before even going to work during training. “It’s easy, Ali! Come on!”

But it didn’t feel easy. It felt super F-ing difficult.

Around mile 19, the hill became a dirt hill. I tried to imagine that I was running on the Bridle Path like I did so many times with my morning running Sweat Squad. That mental trick didn’t really work.

As I approach mile 20, I saw a familiar face waiting for me in the distance.

Coach Cane!

He snapped this little gem of me as I slogged through the dirt road. Thanks, Coach.

He jumped in to run with me and asked how I was feeling. I felt bad being honest, but I told him: “I’m getting tired. I had to walk a few parts of those hills and they hit me hard. Also, the bottoms of my feet really hurt. This all really hurts.”

“Well you’re running a marathon. It’s not really supposed to feel good.”

Such a wise coach, isn’t he?

He told me that my family was waiting for me at mile 22, which gave me a little kick in the booty shorts.

Also, check out his running outfit!

EVERYONE loves sweat!

When he ran toward my family, they went totally crazy for him, from what I’ve been told. I wouldn’t actually know, though. I was busy running a marathon.

Everyone loves sweat and everyone especially loves Coach Cane.

At mile 22.5, I was greeted, yet again, but my incredibly excited, super loud and wonderfully enthusiastic cheering squad.

"What up, guys? Soooo I've been running for a while now… It's kind of getting old…"

I picked up my pace a tiny bit after seeing Coach Cane, knowing my family was up ahead. But it was still a good minute and a half per mile slower than what I wanted. Coach Cane’s time goal wasn’t going to happen, so now it was just about finishing the race proudly.

This is the face of a happily exhausted Ali.

Check out Meghan, yelling her pretty little face off for me.

The best part of seeing my family at this point was hearing Lauren scream to me, “This is the farthest you’ve ever run before!”

Getting filmed while running? Hilarious at mile 2. Not so fun at 22.5.

True story, Lauren. Very true story.

Lauren also screamed that people were still donating to my fundraising, which got me even more pumped. She yelled out the names of people who had donated and that pushed me through to the end.

I told myself that yeah, it hurt. But marathons are supposed to hurt. Running is hard. Running on hills is especially hard.

I also knew that I couldn’t let anyone down. Not myself, not my family, and certainly not the hundreds of people who donated to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation for me.

I had a 5K left at this point.

I’ve only ever run one actual 5K race in my life, and it was a turkey trot. And I did it wearing an Indian costume. So channeling that day didn’t really work for me.

I got to the final out-and-back, and saw Ben and Anthony, two of the Rabbits, running the other way. Ben makes running look easy, which isn’t fair, and Anthony’s small yell of “You’re doing great, baby” gave me a surprising boost.

After the out-and-back, I was just shy of mile 25.

I was almost about to finish my first marathon.

But it didn’t feel good, and I wanted to walk. I was hurting, and my pace wasn’t one I was particularly proud of. I wanted to finish feeling strong, but that seemed like a far-off goal.

I pictured my family waiting for me at the finish line (which, according to their photos, is exactly where they were at that exact time).

They waited for me there for a little while…

As I climbed yet another small incline passing the 25-mile mark, I saw someone running toward me.

Someone who basically saved the race for me.

I was so ready to give up, walk for a while and run the final .2 miles.

But when a 7-months pregnant woman comes running at you wearing some sort of baby bump control-top support thing, you know you better pick it up.

Coach Cane’s wife, who I often refer to as Mrs. Coach Cane, but actually has a real name, which is Nicole, ran the final half mile with me.

I cannot express how much I appreciated her in that moment.

I teared up when I saw her, because she’s super pregnant and still out running, and she came out to the Hamptons to run with me. I was overwhelmed with love, and then with fear.

“Nicole can’t see me running like crap. I better get a move on.”

She said everything I needed to hear at that point, and I didn’t waste energy by responding — I just kept running.

“You’re doing great, Ali. You only have a half mile to go. Your Handsome Boyfriend (she used his real name) is waiting for you at the finish line.”

And then I cried a little bit. I was about to run a marathon. A full marathon.

She counted down the miles, told me to control my breathing and relax my upper body. She also told me I was about to be the first female Run For The Rabbit contestant to finish. The competitive spirit in me liked that.

Then I saw another familiar face on the sidelines up ahead: my dad.

Suddenly I was blanketed by people I loved: my dad on my left and Nicole on my right. I could see the 26 mile marker ahead and I just kept running. Not fast. But I kept running.

I was too exhausted to talk, so I handed my headphones off to Nicole and she and my dad chatted. I’m pretty sure my dad told her about that time he finished my first half marathon with me (the Napa to Sonoma half marathon in 2009) and I screamed the F word at him because I didn’t want to carry on a conversation at that moment (roughly mile 13.01).

I begged for Nicole to tell me where the finish line was, because I couldn’t see it yet. “Turn left up there and you’ll see it,” she told me.

And then she gave me her wisest words of the day: “You like pictures, right Ali? I know you do. And you know what’s more badass than a smiling finish line picture? One where you’re sprinting across the finish. You don’t want to leave anything out here on the course. You go give it everything you’ve got.”

She and my dad both stopped running, I turned left and all I could hear as I approached the finish line was her screaming, “GO ALI! GO ALI! GO ALI!” And you haven’t really lived until you’ve heard a pregnant runner lady scream your name at the end of a marathon. It was incredible.

And so I pushed…

Finally, I made it to the finish.

I was ready to finish the damn thing, and I was ready to give it every single teensy amount of effort I had left.

Nicole lit a fire under me, and I crossed that finish line feeling completely drained.

No smile here. Just gut-wrenching effort.

This is me silently praying that my time got recorded.

And then it was over. I ran 26.2 miles.

My first official photo as a marathoner!

YES!

I just ran a marathon. I can stop running now.

I crossed the finish line feeling proud of myself and happy to be done.

DONE.

Official finish time: 4:13:37.

No, I didn’t come anywhere close to the ultimate goal time my coach and I had in mind. But I pushed hard and when things started to hurt, I kept going. And I ran really far.

My entire family was there as soon as I blew through the finish, which was amazing to see during the final sprint.

Why I kept running so far past the finish line, I'm not sure. I think I couldn't stop.

My mom was obviously thrilled I came through on two feet, not in the back of an ambulance. That's not my style, Mom!

I. Am. So. Tired.

My mom had requested that the first post-marathon hug be a group hug, but I didn’t to collapse on her, so I quite literally fell into the arms of my strapping boyfriend.

Post-race kisses!

Oh, you want to meet my Handsome Friend?

"Ali, when are you going to put him on the blog?"

I guess now would be the time.

There he is!

"Make it official on camera," we were instructed.

Oh snap. Making out after a marathon is GREAT.

"You just kissed a marathoner. Hope that's cool."

And then my dear friend Ben, who annihilated the race, yelled at us for being “gross.”

"Love isn't gross, Ben! Shut it!"

Guess what, Ben? You call me gross, I’ll give you the sweatiest hug of your life!

Mmmmm sweat hugs.

I hugged and kissed my family and thanked them profusely for being the best cheering section I could have ever imagined. I saw them a ton of times along the course and they weren’t just cheering for me, they were cheering for everyone. That made me happy.

As soon as I finished everything tightened up. My legs hurt, my shoulders hurt, the bottoms of my feet hurt. It was all a good hurt.

Luckily they had a dude — an Ironman, no less — lined up and ready to give me a post-race rubdown.

Ouch. Good ouch.

It wasn’t pleasant. It hurt like Hell and I repeatedly screamed at the nice man. I think I remember begging him to explain why he was trying to decapitate me, and he assured me that he was just “working out the kinks in my neck.”

I thanked Coach Cane and Nicole profusely for all of their love, guidance and help along the way.

I love my coach.

I really don’t think I could have done it without those soon-to-be parents helping me out!

Crossing the finish line felt damn good. And you know what felt even better? My post-race shower.

And then I did all the things I wanted to do: I got a cookie from Levain Bakery and did a wine tasting at Wolffer Estates.

Meghan and me, cozied up and ready to imbibe.

Mmmm wine. I enjoy you very much.

It was all perfect.

Also perfect: the New York City skyline last night.

Not bad at all.

We all drove back to the city and, while we were at dinner, I got an email from Lee, the owner of JackRabbit Sports, saying that the fundraising race was super close.

Thanks to Lauren’s amazing Tweeting abilities during the race — and your amazing donations — I had pulled ahead and was gaining on the fundraising leaders.

Apparently while I was running the marathon, Lauren was running my fundraising campaign. A slew of $26.20 donations took me into a strong third place — and not far at all from second and first.

At the beginning of last week, I had raised $9,000.

By the end of last week, I was up to $12,000, thanks to lots of “I Heart Sweat” shirt sales.

Last night, right before the 12 a.m. fundraising deadline, I secured second place in the Run For The Rabbit competition.

Wow. Just…wow.

I raised more than $20,000 for CCFA. I am so grateful, so humbled and so deeply appreciative of all the donations and all of the love and support I have received. I never thought I would see a number this big. Eventually I’ll figure out words to express how I’m feeling, but for now I’ll sum it up with one giant, from-the-bottom-of-my-very-big-heart, Thank You.

I was way too excited to sleep last night, but I eventually passed out and woke up this morning with very sore legs.

I barely had an appetite yesterday, which meant I was more than ready to gorge on brunch with my family this morning.

Noooo, family, don't leave!!!

Tip: Eat a ton of macaroni and cheese the day after you run 26.2 miles. You’ll be very happy you did.

I was sad my family had to leave today, but I will probably always look back on this weekend as the best one of my life. I really am overwhelmed by all of the Tweets, Facebook messages, blog comments, emails, texts and real-life hugs and kisses from the people I love. You all helped me become a marathoner, and I feel so lucky.

To recap:

  • I ran a marathon.
  • I ate good food.
  • I drank good wine.
  • I spent the weekend with my favorite people.

And in case you’re wondering whether or not I marathon peed, the answer is yes, of course I did. Three times to be exact. Sometimes you’ve just gotta go…in your short shorts.

The end.

312 Responses to "I Am A Marathoner: The Official Hamptons Marathon Recap"

Congratulations! What a great recap.

Pam B @ pamcakes and eggs says: September 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm

yay congrats!! Great recap!

Oh man. I can’t even find the words. Congrats just doesn’t even seem like the right word. It doesn’t seem big enough.

Did I cry tears while reading your recap?
Yup.
Kind of like how you peed.
three times to be exact.
sometimes you just cry while reading about how awesome other people are.

I LOVE this! I am going to run my first Marathon on October 16th — so I’ve truly enjoyed reading your training and now racing recaps! So happy for you and also for all your fundraising!

(Any chance I can still buy a shirt? :) )

this post almost made me cry…no wait I definitely shed a tear. You have an amazing way of capturing it all and I am a PMSing emotional wreck at the moment. So add those together and you get sappy tears. I am so happy for you and SO motivated and excited to run (only) a 1/2 marathon on Saturday. GO ALI!

I am in such awe! i can only hope my first marathon experience is as wonderful as yours! CONGRATULATIONS!

Ali, YOU ARE AMAZING! And you are a marathoner!!!! I loved reading this recap for so so so many reasons. I got a little teary-eyed seeing your excitement upon crossing the finish. The first marathon is such an amazing, terrifying, painful, exhilarating experience. So proud of you for keeping on your feet and finishing despite the pain, humidity, hills, pace, etc. You also have the best cheering section ever. I loved reading Lauren’s tweets and seeing pictures yesterday, I was so happy when I read you finished. Congratulations is also due on 2nd place in fundraising– that is fantastic! You are my hero. Now let’s drink wine and eat delicious food :) Can’t wait to pick up my berry sweat shirt, and plan your next take on the 26.2 distance!

Ali, you are amazing. I love how you recapped the race in this entry… your handsome friend is very cute too! you looked like a rockstar crossing that finish! you should be very proud of yourself & you definitely have enough bragging rights to last you until your next marathon! amazing job!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS, Ali!! Despite not feeling your best during parts of the race, you did AMAZING.

Congratulations, Ali!!!! I’m sure I’m not the only reader who got a little misty right along with you while reading your recap. Thanks for running for all of us C&C people out there. Means the world. Way to go! :)

It was so exciting reading the live tweets yesterday!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! First off, I think the goal of a first marathon should be just to finish, and you finished in a very respectable time. You never know what to expect for that first one and it sounds like you gave it your all. (And yay for revealing handsome boyfriend! Those photos were too funny)

You did it! Congrats (on finishing and peeing!)

You are amazing! This recap brought all of your hard work and training to life! Congratulations on an amazing first marathon! :)

AWESOME! CONGRATS, lady! Great job. So happy for you :)

Congratulations, Ali! What an amazing race and weekend! I loved reading your recap!

Congratulations!! I totally teared up reading, and the pictures of you just after you crossed the finish were just beautiful! Handsome Boyfriend definitely lives up to his moniker. I’ve loved following your journey; thank you for bringing us along with you! Your enthusiasm has definitely inspired me in my own running. Enjoy the afterglow of your amazing achievement!

Oh — and in case you didn’t know, Book of Mormon is about to be featured on 60 Minutes!

ALI!!!! I LOVED Lauren’s live tweets and I am so so so so happy for you and proud of you and impressed by you! Your time is amazing, especially for your first marathon — seriously. And especially with what sounds like such a tough course. Glad we finally got to see your boyfriend, I was wondering about all those back photos. LOVE the pic of your family running with you with the sign. What an amazing cheering team! Congrats!!!!!

Aw, Ali… congratulations! You are an amazing person and marathoner! Thanks for taking us along with you for your journey!

I just started crying reading your post! So inspiring! I’m such a sap. You are amazing! I’ve got my first marathon next Sunday and can only hope to be as strong as you! Way to go Ali!

What a GREAT recap! So vivid… I truly felt like I was right there. Feller is Stellar, indeed :) Awesome pics. Awesome words. My most absolute favorite is the finishing sequence! You ARE a marathoner! Woo HOOO!

Way to go Ali! What an awesome recap. You are so funny. I definitely read parts out loud to my husband (especially the last part) and we laughed
You made me so excited about my marathon in two weeks and even more sure that I can do it, despite my recent nerves. You are such a rockstar and should feel so awesome!

Jaime Helmick says: September 25, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Congratulations, Ali! I read your amazing marathon post with tears streaming down my face. I started reading your blog less than a year ago. You are such a huge inspiration. I love that you let us meet your boyfriend today…such a great tease!
Thank you for being overwhelmingly inspiring and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

1. Congratulations on your first marathon!! Awesome finishing time, too.

2. Your Handsome Friend is HOT. Nicely done. :)

3. It is really, really awesome how much your family and friends support and encourage you. That is definitely not something everyone has.

You are amazing! I loved your recap and I am SO happy for you!

Absolutely, the best part is how genuinely happy you look in every picture. Incredible work in tough weather on a challenging course – congrats! Looking forward to following your training for many marathons to come!

congrats!!! what an awesome recap! Hope you will revel in your glory for a while – you earned every bit (and more than one Levain cookie!)

Sherri Lambe says: September 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I have been waiting all day for your recap and was so happy to see it posted.

I read it and cried on the couch next to my bf who looked at me like I’m a crazy person – he’s not a runner, he doesn’t understand!

You have the best family in the world! You are amazing and inspiring and I am so so happy for you Ali!

CONGRATULATIONS! You are amazing and rock at running and money raising and life and finding handsome friends! I am so happy for you!!!! You just made me want to run a marathon 928239480 times more than I already did :)

Yayayayayay!!! You are a marathoner!!! I’m in love with this recap! And you!
I also remember being so ecstatic knowing when I had less than double digits to go. Your family and friends sound soooo amazing, and I’m so glad you had that support! It’s crazy how much they help you get through those miles!
P.S. I’m glad you posted a picture of your boyfriend finally!!! I approve (because that matters, right?!)
P.P.S. I reared up reading this. It’s a good thing it’s football Sunday so my husband was too glued to the tv to see me crying!
P.P.P.S. What’s your next marathon going to be? Because as you know, we are long lost sisters, so I know you want to do another one now! :)

Congratulations!!! 4:13 is AMAZING for your first marathon!!! You are a very lucky girl to have so many friends and family with you on that special day!!!

Yay!!! Congratulations!!! I just cried and laughed my way through that entire post, and loved reading it!! Thanks for FINALLY letting us meet your Handsome Friend! Once again, congrats!!!! PS Really? Peeing on yourself 3 times? Was it weird???

Ali – I have been following your training for awhile. I’m training for my second half marathon right now so your blog posts have been really encouraging for me. I ran 9 miles this morning and wanted to quit at 6 but reminded myself “that blond girl Ali is running a marathon today, I can run 3 more”. I read every word of this post and cried when you talked about reaching the end. I don’t even know you, but am SO proud of you (yes I understand that this is weird)! I’ve NEVER had the desire to run a marathon. Half Marathons are a big enough goal for me, for now. Reading this post is the very first time I have though maybe I could one day and maybe I want to. Thank you for all your posts about your training and your honesty along the way. Congrats on being a marathoner!

Congratulations Ali!! Amazing job in the marathon and in fund raising. You worked your butt off and it all paid off in the end. You should be really proud of yourself!!

The last sentence made me laugh :)

ALI! This made me cry. Way to kick your first marathon’s ass AND raise tons of money for CCFA. Thank you for being a voice for IBD and raising a whole bunch of money so they can research and get rid of Crohn’s and colitis. I’m pretty sure they will now.

I love your finish line photos — complete and utter happiness. I hope you’re still wearing your medal and basking in post-marathon happiness.

Oh, and hello to the handsome boyfriend. ;) He sounds (and looks!) like a keeper. :)

Congratulations Ali!! Amazing recap and amazing race!

Awesome job…..

So I got a little emotional reading this recap. I know we’ve never met in real life but I feel like we’d be good real life friends. You are such an inspiration… you ran your first marathon, you raised a TON of money for an amazing cause and your recap was amazing. I felt like I was part of your cheering squad. (And I was in spirit.. if you count refreshing Lauren’s tweets All. Day. Long!) Anyway, you are incredible and I’m so happy for you and your first marathon. And your Handsome (Boy)Friend is adorable and you are adorable together!!

Congrats Ali. You deserve all the mac n cheese in the whole world =)

xo Marie
Chocolate & Wine
Big Fan from Boston!

Great job! Im pretty sure I was running next to you for quite a few miles! I could tell by your sweat shirt cheering squad! :)

I cried yesterday during my run while watching the live tweeting from Lauren and now I cried thinking of my own first marathon coming up! You are AMAZING!!! Thanks for taking us through your marathon journey and hopefully we will see other ones :) Nice looking boyfriend as well, finally!!!!

Congratulations!!!!!
This post was so insiprational! Hard work and committment to training pays off and you are proof! I can’t imagin how proud you feel!

Melissa Burton says: September 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm

What a great recap! Glad you had a fantastic race. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog as you’ve trained for this event. Your spirit and dedication is really wonderful and I look forward to reading about your next running adventure.

And without meaning to sound like a leacherous old woman (who is married) your “handsome friend” is hot!

I’m running my own first marathon in less than two months. I think you rocked that marathon!

Especially loved the “DONE” pic. :) Just the look of sheer joy and also exasperation on your face is amazing.

Congrats! Looks like you had a fantastic support team in place and great (albeit tough) race. You rock!

Congrats, Ali! On the awesome running AND the amazing fundraising. So glad it didn’t pour on you! Up next…NYC next year??

Q: Did the belt just hold your bib or anything else? How did you carry your Gus/Chomps?

You are my hero, Ali!!! (And how are you smiling in EVERY one of these pictures? I would be grimacing/crying most likely!)

You did awesome and you have so so much to be proud of. Great job with the fundraising. And your handsome friend is hot!!

I just cried. Seriously. Such a great, honest recap. I can relate to so much of it. My first marathon as you know was a small marathon where the course was boring but my family could easily get around to see me. I had the same feelings you did after the half way point.

But finishing strong is amazing and I’m so happy you crossed that finish line giving it all you had. I love the reveal of the boyfriend! You guys are precious. Your family is amazing and you are such an inspiration to so many of us which is why so many of us wanted to donated to such a worthy amazing cause.

I love that there is no talk of your tummy in this post. This makes me happy. I’m glad it listened to you!

Someday we need to run a marathon together and crush 4 hours. Something I know we are both very capable of.

But most of all I’m psyched about your attitude. You ran a marathon in crazy humidity and you preformed so well. I’m so proud of you Ali! So so proud!!

Oh, and if you want to run the most amazing marathon of your life with the best fan support in the world, run New York : )

tears here down in Texas for you Ali!!! I might just marathon pee in your honor in chicago in 2 weeks :)

great job and yes, he IS handsome!

You are incredible!

Eeep, congrats! What a great, totally honest, and inspiring recap.

My Sweat shirt just came out of the laundry. I kind of feel like I broke a vow by washing it, though.

Such an accomplishment and an inspiration. Congratulations Ali!

I know you don’t know me, but I am so proud of you!! Reading your race re-cap totally made me cry. I’m running (or walking/crawling/dragging myself across the finish line) my first marathon in a few weeks, and reading about your experience makes me so happy for you!! You kicked that marathon’s ass :) *jazz hands*

Congratulations on such an amazing race!!! You ran a marathon & you sure did rock it!!!

WAHOO!!! COngrats girl! Nicely done :)

Congratulations Ali!!! You did amazing!! You’re such an inspiration, and this recap of your marathon is beyond inspiring. You worked so hard, enjoy all that mac n cheese! :P

Wonderful!!! I, too, am teary eyed. Congrats, Ali! You trained hard and deserve this special moment. You are such an inspiration!!

Congrats! I hope to finish my first marathon sometime soon and you inspired me!

Thanks for making me cry on a Sunday night as I am trying to relax. Actually.. really.. thank you. You are amazing and inspirational. The humidty was OUT OF CONTROL this weekend I cannot imagine accomplishing all that you have accomplished. Running a marathon.. kicking Crohns in the bootay… raising more then $20,000 … freaking AMAZING! On my run this morning I wanted to die at some points.. but I often thought of you.. and how you ran26.2 miles. 12 is nothing compared to that!

So incredibly happy for you (and happy we got to meet your handsome friend. :) )
And one more thing. I had a dream that I decided to take the train to the city to run in central park with you. weird.

First a huge congratulations!
I also hate out and backs. Those sections to make the course longer sound awful. And I feel for your mother when she thought you were in the ambulance. Been there worrying myself.
And just remember ………there is no bad time for a first marathon. Besides which I think your finishing time was awesome!

Congrats Ali! Amazing job on a hilly course in humidity now you have a time to beat in your next marathon. You earned the marathoner title. Your family and friends are amazing, A+ for the cheer squad! And handsome boyfriend really does live up to the name :)

I’m now pumped for my next marathon in 2 weeks, this was the perfect recap for me to read heading into the taper, thanks!

Oh man, Ali. That was quite possibly the best race recap I’ve ever read! I am so so so emotional reading this and knowing how far and how hard you fought to get to that finish line is nothing short of amazing! You are awesome! I’m sorry but that finishing time is AMAZING!! You killed that race in my book, I hope you know you killed it in your book too. Congratulations lady!!!!

Oh Ali. Only you can make me tear up and then laugh out loud in one post. This was perfect. I was so inspired following your live tweets (your friends are awesome), because you are AMAZING. You deserved this awesome experience/weekend so much and I am so, so happy for you! And I’m totally blown away with how much $$ you raised and how many supporters you have! You rock, my friend.

When is the next marathon?? And, I miss you! We must run/hang soon!!

Congratulations on a great marathon! I love your race recap. Sometimes the best experiences can’t be relived in just a few words and your story of your marathon is amazing! I was following along with all the chatter on twitter during your marathon-it was great!

Ali! I am so freaking proud of you. (I know I’ve told you this approximately 3000 times already.) I didn’t have any doubt that you would dominate the marathon, but I am so proud of how well you did despite a little bitch of a course. Your diligence in training totally paid off. I’m also really glad your stomach was completely fine. I think it knew better.

Also, finally revealing your handsome boyfriend (even though I’ve met him :P) in your marathon recap post is a cute touch.

Loved following your race yesterday, and have been looking forward to this recap all weekend. Congrats, marathoner Ali!

Ok, so I can’t stop re-reading some parts of this recap because it’s just so good. The marathon truly is an amazing experience, and the first one is one you’ll never ever forget. Those last .2 miles are so full of emotion – it’s insane!

Congrats on your finish!

i feel like ive been so invested in this great (true!) story and now it’s all, what will i do with my time?!! ha! Congrats girl…been silently lurking and wishing you luck through this journey and I’m just so happy for you!

Well done.

Inspiring!

CONGRATULATIONS, Ali!!!!!!!! You are a freaking marathoner… and you managed to look extremely attractive in ALL of your photos……..HOW DO YOU DO IT?!?!? You are so motivating and such a wonderful person. I am so so happy for you. Lots of love and congrats your way. And I’m so happy you have such a nice handsome boyfriend :)

Congrats Ali!!!

Congrats Ali! It has been so fun, motivating and inspiring to watch you achieve your goals. GMAT wait to see what you accomplish next!

Ali’s a marathoner! Ali’s a marathoner! Ali’s a marathonerrr!!!!!
I so excited for you because I’ve read your blog religiously EVERYDAY of your training. Seriously you’ve inspired me SO much. I’m only 16 (probably one of your youngest readers) and in the past year I’ve ran a 5k, 10k, and currently training for my first half marathon (Hartford Half). I also have a dream to live in NYC and be a writer. Like I want to live in NYC soo badly! I’m so glad that you got to run a marathon with lots of loved ones there supporting you. On top of all this I just wanted to say Congratulations! You did stellar!!!

Congratulations!! This is awesome and I cried a little reading it!

Wow, Ali, you had me thisclose to tears. What a recap. Glued to every word and so impressed at how hard you pushed. You did amazing! And yor boyfriend? Super handsome and he looked so proud !!!!

So amazing Ali! Wonderful recap & the Man Friend is adorable!

Congrats Ali! I’m so happy for you :) Races don’t always go as planned, but your amazing recap showed running is about do much more than the finish time (and umm yours was still awesome!). So glad you had the time of your life and raised so much!

Oh Ali! I began reading your blog right at the start of your marathon training. Reading about your training, struggles, and food-fests have been amazing and I tears were pouring from my eyes as I read this recap. I am so incredibly proud, jealous, and inspired by you! CONGRATS!!!!!

PS.Mr. Handsome Boyfriend is quite an accurate description!

CONGRATULATIONS, Ali! I cried, reading your post. You have such a way of describing things that makes me feel I was there. Thanks for sharing pics of your boyfriend; it was awesome to “‘meet” him after hearing all the wonderful things about him; it was just icing on the cake. All the love & support your family and friends provided was awesome! You are such an inspiration! LOVE your blog!

Oh my goodness Ali, I can not put into words how proud I am of you (but I am going to try). ;)

I’m sure that this sounds super creepy to say, but stick with me for a second. ;) I feel that for the beginning of your training, you and I were connected in some sort of weird way- both of us training for our first marathons. I found myself having a lot of the same feelings and I could definitely relate to you. Of course my journey ended too soon due to injury, but you continued your journey. Sure it was difficult to read about some of your training runs, but your spirit, determination, and happiness are what really pulled me through this injury.

Yesterday I was thinking of you all morning- during my morning bike ride, during my Girls On The Run coaching job, etc. I knew you were out there and you were finally accomplishing your dream, something that you dedicated 20 weeks of your life towards, and I knew you were going to be amazing, regardless of any time. When I saw the tweet that you crossed the finish line, I teared up, not because I was sad, but because all your hard work paid off.

You did it Ali and I really couldn’t be more proud and excited. This is just the first of many marathons for you. Thank you for taking us on your training journey over the past 20 weeks and I look forward to following your further adventures.

Stay amazing Ali! And go drink a lot of wine this week! :D

P.S- The (boy)friend is so handsome! Does he have any single friends in Florida? ;) Kidding…sort of.

CONGRATS! How exciting & incredible – fundraising & running! Great recap & kudos to your team of family & friends who support you. Keep it up, girl!

way to go ali! Your a Marathoner and that’s so awesome! So happy for you!

Ali, In true blog stalker fashion i have been waiting to hear about your race and followed you through the tweets (thanks Lauren awesomeness!). I am so happy for you. you did absolutely amazing and your time was awesome and what a course. WOW!!! Be proud oh my goodness wow! My first is MCM and I am struggling with what to do on the peeing thing. I would love some advice or even a post on it. Go in the shorts? Not go in the shortS? good the bad the ugly! HELP!

How about it?! I just ran my first yesterday also. I found a porta potty around lmile 6 to pee in, but none after. Mile 13-20 were a downpour of rain, so I peed my pants and I think the rain washed it away. It was the weirdest feeling. I may not have done it while running if it wsn’t raining, but…..I would love to hear more from Ali.

Congratulations! What an amazing and fun recap. I seriously got teary eyed. :) Such a great day!

Congrats Ali! It has been such a blast watching you train and complete your first marathon. You should be so proud of yourself!!!!!

One of my favorite marathon race recaps ever!!! Congratulations, Ali!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Ali!!! Welcome to the marathon club! You rocked it! I think 4:13 is an awesome time!!! I knew you would do great! You and your boyfriend are too cute together too- glad to see him revealed!

Congrats!!! So thrilling and exciting! Amazing recap!!!

So Happy for you!!! Congratulations, Marathoner Ali!

so proud of you! CONGRATS, MARATHONER!

just really wanted to say thank you times 1 billion for all of your inspirational training posts. they have seriously meant the world and really inspire me to keep running my face off. Thank you!

have a wonderful week!

Congratulations! Amazing job on the race and great recap! So happy for you and for all those you helped with your fund raising. Well done!

SO many awesome things about this post.

1. HOLY I love sweat shirts. You have some seriously amazing people on your team, girl.

2. YOU ARE AMAZING!! Best race recap ever. And you did awesome.

3. YAY for making the handsome boyfriend official!!!

Congratulations!!!! that was such a wonderful recap to read. I’m so glad you had such a positive first marathon experience. Your family, friends, and boyfriend are AMAZING at cheering!!! Such a special day! Relish your accomplishment…you have earned it! And super awesome job with the fundraising too!!!!! Wow!!! You are definitely an inspiration and I have loved watching your journey! Would love to celebrate your accomplishment with you! 16 Handles? Drinks????

CONGRATS ALI!!!!!!

This almost made me cry too! I am so happy for you. You trained hard for months and completely kicked butt in this race. Congrats on an amazing finish. You should be so so proud of yourself! I hope you take a few days off to rest up and bask in the awesomeness of running your first marathon!

Wow Ali! Great recap, way to dig deep and finish the race with an AMAZING finish time for your first marathon!!!!

Your recap brought tears to my eyes – it’s a great feeling isn’t it? I cried when I finished my first too….Congratulations, you rocked it!

Is it bad that I was excited to finally see Handsome (Boy)Friend more than I was to see if you finished???!!! (Because I obviously know that you finished since you’re a rockstar, but this clif hanger you’ve been fostering these past weeks with the HBF is torture!) Congrats on all accounts.

Congrats!!! I seriously teared up reading this. Way to be brutally honest and prove you can do anything you set your mind to!

Ps I’ve gotta know, was it son weird to just pee while running?

Congrats again! You’re a marathoner!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! YOU have SO much to be proud of! (An incredible race, despite its challenges, and an inspiring fundraising effort…just to name a few…..) Thank you for the inspiration and wonderful recap! Now the most important question – when is the post marathon party?!!?

Congratulations! How incredible. Thanks for taking us through your day. I laughed, teared up and cheered you on while reading!

Congratulations! Great recap. I almost teared up myself when you said you shed tears when Mrs. Coach Cane told you your boyfriend was waiting for you at the finish. :)
I hope you take some more days off before you go back to your spinning classes and killer ab classes at the gym.

Seriously, this recap is amazing!! Your story is incredible – I was so excited watching your tweets come in yesterday!! Take all this time to soak everything in. Congrats!!

Congratulations Ali! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, but I’ve never commented, but I figured what better way to come out of lurking status than by commenting on this epic post? I SO admire you. You should be so proud of your training and becoming a marathoner! I only started running a few months ago, and I can barely slog my way through a 5K, but your blog inspired me each and every day to get off my butt and keep running. Thanks for the inspiration and CONGRATULATIONS again! :)

just brilliant, ali. i’ve a tear in my eye reading your recap. well done girl. you did absolutely brilliantly!

lindsay x

You’re so so amazing ali! You rocked it! There aren’t too many marathons with less “sights” or spectators, so your next is sure to be more scenic unless you pick Anchorage.

Great job! You are a Marathoner. Technically, you ran way past the finish, so you even qualify as an ultramarathoner.

Congratulations!! You should be so proud of your finish time, that is so impressive for your first marathon!! I hope that marathon high keeps you smiling all week!!

How cute are you and your handsome (boy)friend!
This is definitely the best race recap I have ever read. I’m so so so happy for you and just smiled through this whole post.
I think the funniest picture is the cop picture….he was totally checking you out :)

Wow, Ali. I loved reading your recap. Yesterday was so humid. You, lady, have a very respectable time! Be very proud! Your handsome friend is indeed very handsome!
So happy for you!

You’ve got me Google searching “how to pee during a marathon.” I think I’m more impressed with that than anything!

(Just kidding — YOU RAN A FREAKING MARATHON!)
My turn?

Congratulations! You ran a marathon. You raised over $20K for a charity. Very few people can claim either of these; your passion and excitement helped you to do both. Amazing job!

SOOOOOO proud of you, Ali! Great job!! You are so inspiring :)

Wow- totally amazing Ali!
what a great inspirational story and recap.
Congrats!!! :)

I’ve been refreshing all day hoping for this! So inspiring. Whilst reading Lauren’s updates (and seeing photos), I never, ever in a million years would have thought you felt anything but incredible the whole time you were running. Maybe it’s like childbirth and (without re-reading this) you’ll look back on it and think, man I felt awesome – I’ll do this again like 8 more times! (Or not) I definitely also cried reading this – when I read about your dad running with you (both times) and about Mrs. Coach Cane. You rock!! I knew you’d kill it. Congrats! Can’t wait to proudly sport my “I <3 Sweat" shirt when it arrives :)

ahahahahaha I LOVE the ending Ali…so so so YOU! Congratulations on finishing your first of many marathons (I am just sure of it). You did amazing and loved every bit of this recap. And congrats on the fundraising. I hope you celebrated a whole lot because you definitely deserved it. Congrats a million times! :-) Oh and nice seeing that handsome friend of yours ;-) Handsome indeed!

congrats. That must feel great. I am running my first in 3 weeks in Baltimore.. any advice. Check out my last blog entry at jerseystrong.wordpress.com. I need help! lol

Congratulations!!! I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning of your run for the rabbit campaign. I feel like your blog is a great book, that I just CAN’T put down, but then… I’m forced to. I’m only allowed to read one page a day… and I want to read it all at once!

Way to go!!! And, glad we got to see the handsome friend finally!!! Very handsome. :)

Ahhh such a well written recap!! I have loved following your whole marathon running journey via blog posts and was reading the tweets all Sat. CONGRATS!!! you did so great. Oh and your boyfriend is super cute- way to go!

Congratulations! I don’t know you and I’m not a runner, and I still loved reading this and am so happy for you! Great recap. :)

Hi. I’m a blog lurker, not in a creepy way. I just love to read your blog because of your sense of humor, personality, and love for running. I just wanted to finally comment and say CONGRATULATIONS of kicking marathon ass!

i’ve followed your blog for awhile, first time commenting…congrats on a great marathon debut!! wonderfully written report too-definitely makes you feel like you’re right there running along!! may there be many more great marathons to come for you!

Congrats!!! Your bro’s forecast was right – 100% success! I love how you finished with a smile on your face.

Also, I really love how after you wrote about pregnant lady that you say “So, I pushed” — haha, get it? Pregnant lady and pushing?!? Ok, just me…

Again, CONGRATS! You should be so proud of yourself and all the hard work you put in – it paid off!

Oh ps – the out and back thing you described reminded me of New Jersey Marathon – so just a thought if you ever consider that one…

W O W. CONGRATS ALI!!!! This was hands down one of the best race recaps I’ve ever read. Enjoy your recovery !!!

ALI, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! I love your recap, ha love you and the boyfriend, I love how you waited to show him until now, perfect timing! You give me so much hope and inspiration. Thank you so much. Keep running, keep smiling, you have no idea how much you inspire others. Way to rock it girl!!! xo

Congrats girl! You did awesome. Yay for unveiling handsome bf. Can you share the story of how y’all met now?!

More importantly, did your mom do an i heart sweat tshirt change in the middle of the marathon? Haha.

You are SO amazing! CONGRATULATIONS! Be proud.

you are a machine. congrats!!!!!!
xoxoxo

Best race recap that I’ve read in a long time! You are amazing along with your family who was there for you the entire time. You make me believe that I can run a marathon one day, so thank you :)

ps- your handsome friend sure is handsome! :)

I got the chills and almost cried reading this. You are incredible congratulations!!!!

Wonderful race re-cap and photos! I got a little teary-eyed lol! CONGRATULATIONS!!!
And I agree your handsome friend is indeed very handsome :-)

It’s been so wonderful watching you be selected for Run For The Rabbit and then training for your marathon. Congratulations on a marathon well ran! I’m so happy for you!!
This was a very well written recap – I cried and laughed a ton. Your family loves you soo much – it’s written all over their faces. :) Congratulations again, Ali! Well done, my friend!

Just cried reading this post. I’ve been reading for a few weeks now and I really felt like I was there. You’re incredibly inspirational and the Handsome Boyfriend is VERY handsome! Your whole family seems wonderful and thanks so much for blogging–it’s part of my morning routine at work.

First marathon, hills, lonely stretches and still finished in 4:13, AMAZING!!! Raising over $20,000, may be the sweetest icing on the cake. On my group run today we all shared our similar struggles of our first marathon but you know what else we shared, was our perfect marathon. The day that everything fell in place. And even though you didn’t hit Coach Cane’s goal time I’m not sure your day could have gotten much better. You family and friends are awesome and I can only imagine how proud they were of you. Thank you for being so inspirational and bringing a smile to my face everyday. You are a rockstar, now enjoy the rest, feast, and extra time to hang out with that very handsome boyfriend.

YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Your recap brought tears to my eyes. I am so unbelievably happy and excited for you! It has been a pleasure following your marathon journey, and I can’t wait to read about your next adventures. Thank you for sharing your incredible story with us! You’re an inspiration! :)

CONGRATULATIONS Ali!! Loved hearing your story, truly inspiring!! Any chance we can still buy shirts?

Awesome race, Ali! I loved the race recap, especially all your photo captions – hilarious! Running a marathon for the first time is so emotional. You rocked it like a champ!

Congrats Ali!! I LOVE your blog and I am so proud of you!! :)

This is the best post ever! I was moved to tears by your recap, not just because of you completing your first marathon, but also from all the love around you this weekend.
Congratulations on making it!
PS your boyfriend is so cute and your dad is adorable!!!

:)
this makes me so happy.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!

I think it was the perfect timing to share your handsome boyfriend! Congratulations on the race, Ali!!! Go Ali Go!

SQUEEEEE!!! This post made me tear up!!!! I am so proud of you (and so glad I got to be one of the last donations as you crossed the finished line, along with another awesome sweaty emily!) You are amazing and such an inspiration and awesome job on the Handsome Friend! He is a keeper!!! CONGRATS!!!

Dude. CONGRATULATIONS!! I was thinking about you all day on Saturday and obsessively tracking your race. did you see my tweet at 5am? hehe – i woke up “in the middle of the night” for a pee break and decided to check twitter.

i am so so proud of you. the course sounded hilly (and uhh HUMID), but you stayed strong. marathons are a crazy beast – you never know how you’re going to feel as the miles go by, but staying tough mentally and not giving up is so important. hope you’re resting your legs and getting ready to party-party. with me!

Wow! That is a truly amazing experience! Congrats on your journey and making it through to the very end!!!

Oh my God, amazingly fantastic! So inspiring and congratulations!!! (Sorry for not making much sense…)

Loved the recap, the enthusiasm and the honesty. Seriously knowing that it is going to be hard makes it much easier to deal with when it does. Great job, and the fundraising was amazing as well. Managing to raise that much money whilst starting a fashion movement is truly staggering!

*Note to self, don’t read marathon recaps at work… You will get emotional and collegues will ask why you are crying… Oooops…

What a great recap and what a great run! Like so many others, I got a bit teary reading that. Congratulations on a great effort.

Congrats Ali! You are such an inspiration! You have kept me so motivated through my marathon training. Thanks in large part to your inspiring posts I cant wait to run the NYC Marathon soon!

Oh I just loved this post! I was seriously tearing up at my desk just a few minutes ago, nothing like feeling weepy on a Monday morning because of fellow runners kickin’ ass! So awesome that so many of your family members and friends were able to support you in person!

love the race report (i totally teared up), love the photos (i totally teared up again), love it all! congratulations ali!!!! what an incredible journey! thank you so much for sharing!

Congratulations! You are such an inspiration and I loved reading your recap.

rock starrr you are. $12K for crohn’s?! well damn. this course sounds MISERABLE with all those miles out and back. whyyyy?!?! i’m sure on a much more entertaining course you’ll have an even better experience. great job, lady. drinking soon. oh, and the handsome friend really is handsome! ;)

Congrats, Marathoner Ali!!! I absolutely loved this post – I just sent it to all my running friends who are not active in the blogosphere. I read this as I was walking to work and kept getting choked-up…when your dad ran with you, when your family and friends formed a pack around you, when you said how badly it hurt… then when I read the part about Mrs. Coach Crane running up to you, I just started wiping away the tears hoping no one would see me. So incredibly happy for you… can’t wait to see what’s next!

Congrats, girl! I loved reading this post and definitely teared up. I thought of you on Saturday morning when I stepped outside– that humidity was no JOKE! I’m so proud of you!!!!!!!! ALL of the pics are adorable!! Also, I love Lauren and her support of you. I want to get drinks with you two ladies. Soon. Also, I am going to make you run with me again. Soon.
xoxoxo!!!!!

What an amazing recap…brought me to tears, I’m such a sap! Congratulations Ali, you’re story is truely inspiring. I’m running in my first half mary on Saturday, when I’m feeling weak and wussy like I’ll try to think about you pushing through your 26.2 like a bad ass!

Oh my gosh – I loved this!! Ali – I am so proud of you I’m in tears! I loved reading about how supportive your family and friends were the entire race (it was fun to see Lauren’s tweet updates) and you showed us all what a rock star you are!!

Congratulations marathoner!! You pushed through a tough race and totally dominated!! The course sounds so difficult, but you didn’t let any of that stop you. You are an inspiration to so many people, I hope you know that!!

Now rest up, eat lots of 16 Handles and let your legs recover. :) Congrats again!

Oh man, Congratulations! This totally made me tear up and reminded me of my marathon. The part about your family being there and cheering with you…especially the part where they run the end with you is my favorite part of all.

Congratulations Again! Your story has really reinvigorated me to run my second marathon!

1) CONGRATS!
2) Your time was amazing! Especially for a course with little spectators… just think how fast you can/will run a race like NYCM with people everywhere cheering you on the WHOLE way!
3) YAY! You are a marathoner!

Congrats Ali!! You did AMAZING!! We were following all the tweets on Saturday and watched you kick some serious asphalt!! CONGRATS MARATHONER!!!

Congratulations marathoner, and what an amazing recap!! I am running my first marathon this sunday (6 DAYS ARG!) and found myself welling up with tears of a) pride for you b) fear c) more pride for you d) excitement e) sheer terror f) even more pride for you. Well done well done well done!!! What an amazing time as well, you kicked that marathons arse.

Congratulations! That is an amazing speed for your first marathon! You really did an awesome job.

I loved reading your recap. It’s so great that you had such a motivational squad of friends and family cheering you on. And I love the pictures of you kissing handsome friend at the end of the race. So cute :D

Congratulations! That is an amazing speed for your first marathon! You really did an awesome job.

I loved reading your recap. It’s so great that you had such a motivational squad of friends and family cheering you on. And I love the pictures of you kissing handsome friend at the end of the race. So cute :D

CONGRATS!! Awesome recap!! I’m running a marathon next weekend and your post totally pumped.me.up!

GREAT job, Miss Marathoner Ali! Way to beat the hills, humidity, and finish with such amazing support! I have very much enjoyed following your journey and can’t wait to see what you will do next! Can’t wait to get my I Heart Sweat shirt in the mail too!! SO proud of you!!!

Congratulations! What a great recap and an amazing life memory for you! I even got teary-eyed reading everything! I was looking forward to reading this this morning, and you are definitely one of my favorite blogs!

Ali that’s a BAD ASS finish time!! Congrats and welcome to the marathon club!!! :D When is your next one??

I just totally cried reading your recap. GREAT job! :)

Congratulations!! What an amazing recap. You look so beautiful and strong in your running pictures! :)

Congratulations!!! This brought tears to my eyes, and I’m at work! Trying to hide it :) But that is so awesome that you had such a wonderful, supportive cheering section!!

This is actually the first time I’ve been on your blog, but CONGRATULATIONS! Hottie boyfriend too. :)

Wow, you are extremely impressive!!! This just got me really motivated…my debate lately has been between signing up for a full or a half…and you may have convinced me to do the full!!!!! Congratulations!

Congrats! This recap is so awesome, I actually got teary eyed… in my cubicle.

This post totally made me cry–like 6 times! Congratulations!!!!

Awesome blog from a Marathoner! :)

Ahhhh congrats Ali!!!!! You’re a marathoner!!!

I cried through most of your marathon recap…because I know exactly how it feels! Congrats girl!!!

so proud of you like you have no idea!!! even though we’ve never met, and i only started delurking a few days ago (as a whole bunch of other people did, based on the number of comments alone!). and thank you for the boyfriend pics, i can sleep sleep in peace now :).

CONGRATS ALI!!! You are AWESOME and so inspirational!! Hope you are basking in well-deserved marathon glory! (Also, I don’t think a blog has made me cry before today, so way to go on that one too :) )

I love this. I love this.I love this. I love this.I love this. I love this.I love this. I love this.I love this. I love this.I love this. I love this.I love this. I love this.
I was debating whether to prepare for a half marathon – but you’ve totally given me the encouragement to just do it! So I am planning to do the San Fran half next summer.
Also, I kept checking in with your blog all weekend for the update. You’re kind of awesome. . . and I don’t even know you.

You rock Ali! Well done – you are an inspiration!

Pingback: Reasons to Smile |

PHENOMENAL JOB! Way to keep going when you were physically exhausted. Resiliency & fortitude at it’s finest. Hope your legs are feeling better and you’re taking some time off. Congrats on becoming a MARATHONER!

also, this post made me so excited/anxious/emotional for my first marathon that will be in the spring. yay!

Yay! What an awesome job you did!!! What I love most about this race recap is how real it is, you shared your victories and your struggles, and of course, made me cry (in a good way). Congrats on your first marathon, you are kind of a big deal!! :-)

Alexis Cooke says: September 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Congrats!!! This makes me really excited for my face in November and December :) I smiled the entire time i read this post and your handsome friend really is handsome.

Congrats! I bawled, of course. CONGRATS!!

That was such a great recap! Thank you so much for sharing your story! You rock girl! Congratulations :o)

This is an amazing recap!!! Good for you!! I teared up a couple of times!! I know what hitting that wall is like! Also, you look so good after running the marathon. Your top doesn’t even look sweaty! I wish I could look that good after running that much!!! Congrats, this is such a huge accomplishment!

CONGRATS!!! The first marathon is the best one! You will never forget the faces of the loved ones cheering you on. It gives me chills reading this and reminds me of my first marathon! YOU DID IT!!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Love this recap – you’re hilarious. And awesome.

CONGRATS!!! This totally made me tear up and I am so impressed with your hard work and dedication. You’re also definitely an inspiration to me during my training!

oh my gosh what a huge amazing, wonderful support crew you had!! you did an amazing job on race day, but more importantly leading all the way up to that you are a total inspiration!

Well as always I’m late to the party, ha but CONGRATS!!!!

And selfishly, it makes me feel better that you felt awful during parts of the race. I was beginning to think I was the only person on this internet world that felt like death during my first attempt at a distance race!

You’re awesome Ali! Loved the recap … you had me laughing and crying. I’m running my first marathon in NYC on Nov 6th and following your blog has been an huge inspiration and motivator. A big huge congrats on becoming a marathoner!

Like so many others I definitely cried reading your post. Congrats on the successful marathon!

What a wonderful recap! I’ve been so inspired by you and your dedication to training. Gives me hope when I get out there and run my first marathon myself.

Congrats! I don’t know you but I am proud of you! I hope to one day be able to say I’m a marathoner as well!

That was amazing!

I cried!

I only know about your site, from reading, losing weight in the city, but that was beautiful.

I just want to mention, the tears are still on my face.

Congrats to you!

Congratulations! I definitely cried reading this, which makes me a big fat loser, but also makes you incredibly awesome. Be my best friend?

You are amazing and such an inspiration!!
After I pop this baby out, I’m going to start training for a race. Maaaybe not a marathon just yet. But someday :) And in large part it’s all thanks to your blog. So, thank you for being so awesome and congratulations on marathon #1!!

CONGRATULATIONS! I know this is a little late, but I followed the tweets all day Saturday and read this on Sunday evening after I finished my first 70.3! You did awesome and toughed out a really hard race!! Looking forward to hearing all about the decision for #2!

You inspire me! Congratulations on running your first marathon!!! I was smiling through this whole race recap. You are amazing!

Congrats on an amazing first marathon Ali! You have an incredible support team too! Family is really the best!

PS…Handsome Friend/Boyfriend really is handsome!

I’m really inspired by what you’ve written! Next weekend, I’ll be running my first half-marathon and I feel stronger going in after having read what you’ve recorded here. I guess it takes a village?!

This is so inspiring! You got me inspired to start running all over again!
What an amazing recap!! :)

I started crying about 2 lines into this post and didn’t stop the whole way through. I just completed my first half marathon this weekend and it was also a life changing experience. But I didn’t have the overwhelming support you did. You’re very lucky to have such an amazing family.

Awesome. And, I’m not stressing out about the upcoming 5K I’m running anymore. :)

Congratulations!! Very inspiring. I am running my first half-marathon this Saturday, and signed up for Marine Corps Marathon–it helps to hear about the experience..Thanks again!

4:13?!? Your 1st marathon? Incredible! i’ve run 11 marathons, my shortest was 5:01! My 12th will be 4 dec 2011. Wish me luck!

What a great blog post! Thank you!

I got emotional reading this and of course, I don’t even know you. What an amazing job on running, writing and photos.

Awesome post Ali! Inspirational!

What a wonderful story! It made me laugh and cry. What a proud day for you and your family. Congratulations!

Congratulations on your marathon!!! I stumbled up on your blog and since my name is Allie and I run also I read it.
What a great post… I love the family and friend support you had! That is awesome that they were able to see you so many times! And I loved the boyfriend reveal…. Congrats again!
Allie

I LOVED this!!! I seriously almost cried twice; I’m running my first marathon in November and want to also race for charities, you are amazing!

great post and story – thanks for sharing this

-grace

Great post – I laughed and I teared up a bit! :)

Congrats on a great marathon!

I really can’t think of a better way to celebrate running a marathon than a cookie from Levain. Awesome story.

Congrats on the marathon! My goal is to attempt to complete one next year

I love the fact that you not only completed the marathon, but you did it with a smile on your face the WHOLE time!! Wow! :D

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I was one of those following on Twitter and hoping that someone was telling you how we were all pulling for you :) Congratulations on an EXCELLENT finish (you killed my first marathon time by a lot) and a fabulous race report to boot.

Many congrats! Time is not important in the first marathon. You did it!

Congratulations! Welcome to the Marathon Club! You dominated the race and I am sure you are already seeking out your next challenge.

Congrats! Welcome to the 26.2 club…only 1% of the world can say that they’ve run a marathon. How cool is that? Are you hooked now?

Oh my gosh this is an incredible recap…with the best ending!!! Finish line hugs and kisses are so awesome :) I am so happy for you – that you ran a marathon, raised so much money for a wonderful cause, and had a great time doing it. You deserve all of the excitement, encouragement and of course good food you can get, Ali! Congratulations!!!!

Awesome marathon description. My longest is a half, though am coming around to the idea of attempting a full. Congratulations. Am reading “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” at the moment, a great book on running by Japanese novelist, Haruki Murakami. You should check it out.

siSTAR wowwwwwwwww

Just recently found your blog, love it…you are so inspiring! Huge CONGRATULATIONS on running your MARATHON!!!

Great Job! and a great story. Thank you.

Great job Ali! The furthest I’ve ever run was maybe 2 and a half miles..? Yeesh that’s not so good. I wish I could do that! Well, congrats, you should be proud!

Allie~
http://howficklemyheart.wordpress.com

Congratulations on your race and fund raising. And for toughing it out. If marathoning was easy anyone could do it. You’ll never forget your first time, as they say.

I also ran the race and remember passing the ‘Feller is Stellar’ sign. Delighted to have learned the inspiring back story.

That was a fantastic post to read, from beginning to end. Thanks for sharing – it was touching, funny and sweet all the way through. Congratulations on your marathon and on being freshly pressed!

This is amazing. I loved, loved reading this post. This is exactly how I imagine my first marathon will go one day (well, minus some of that excruciating pain you describe, hopefully). Congratulations on being a marathoner and raising so much money for such a noble cause.

Great job on your first marathon.!

Awesome job! It’s an incredible feeling. Enjoy the afterglow.

Bad News Banker says: September 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I love it! Super post! My first official marathon picture is on the front page of my blog. I felt the same emotions you did and cried several times during my first marathon. I suggest running the Disney Marathon. It is not boring!

Congrats on finishing your marathon!! It’s been amazing following your progress these last few months, and your final total for fundraising…wow. Also amazing :)

mistermcconnell says: September 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Righteous. I think if I had attempted this I would have died after about a mile and a half. Especially with all of the hills and inclines. My pineapple sized calves would have exploded. :D

You are definitely an inspiration to me. A friend of mine recently asked me to train for the San Diego Rock n Roll 2012 Marathon – I told her I’d train but I wouldn’t do a marathon. And now, thanks to your post, I’m thinking differently. It’s like a year away. So…….solid maybe? LOL, you have changed my mind though. I think I can do it.

You’re awesome! Good job, applause for being a Good Example of a Human Being. :)))

AMAZING!!!! Great job!!!! That is so exciting!! I am hoping that a marathon is somewhere in my future!!!! Also congrats on being freshly pressed! especially with such a big accompishment like your first marathon!!!

MARATHONERRRRRRR for life!!!! You did amazing girl. Seriously. Your first marathon is all about the experience and about running further than you ever have before. You don’t get that back again and I am so glad you had such a great experience. Loved your report, loved following you on twitter that morning and CONGRATS on the seriously HUGE fundraising! 20k is just insane. Amazing :)

Wow, congratulations! Loved this recap of your very first marathon! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, too!!! :D

ok. i don’t know you, but i’m so proud of you. love the story, and love your heart, and you’re smiling in every picture…whilel running a marathon. that seems almost more impressive than the marathon itself. my face would likely be a massive frown with the potential for tears streaming down. anyway, good job! keep it up!
http://www.icouldntmakethisshitup.wordpress.com

Oh my Gosh! Congratulations! That is so so so SO amazing! I know I’ve read your blog for the first time now (and what a great way to start!) but yous o have a new subscriber! Also, I can’t even imagine what a marathon feels like. I had to push through for a 5k (which is a trot for you, dear! Amazing!). But I do have an ultimate goal to do a marathon. I think it’d be the most amazing and beautiful experience ever.
If running a 5k almost brought me to tears over the personal growth and love from strangers I, again, can’t imagine an actual marathon.

Congrats again!

you are amazing girl, your life is a beautifull like bird, succes for you…

Congrats on your accomplishment Ali. You will always be proud of it.

amazing………….!!!!

Congrats!! Nice job on running a marathon and congrats on some seriously fabulous fundraising!

Congratulations! I Love your post Miss Ali. I was totally all out smile while reading your post. I felt you pains and enjoyment in your marathon while reading and looking at your photos. You two makes an adorable couple. Love love love. Stay happy Miss Ali:))

Congratulations !Follow your post,the exciting scene of the race seems to be happening in the front of my eyes.

Nice to meet you here in your post. I am a 10KM runner. You did well than me.
Congrats on your marathon and being on FP.

Congratulations!!!! My first marathon is coming in November and reading your post was inspiring. I will admit I teared up when you wrote that “running a marathon is hard.”– It is hard! Training for it is hard! It’s like signing up for pain– good pain– but pain. I will definitely be following your blog. Congrats again!

Great post and congrats on your run! I am running my first marathon Nov 13 in Marathon Greece. I have never ran a race before, in fact, until training the farthest I had ran was about 4 miles… training is tough but this post is really inspiring! It makes me wish I had some family to cheer me on, but at least my husband will be running with me! Thank you for sharing!

Super Congratulations! I cried all through reading this post, nicely written! I dont even know you, but Im proud of all your achievements.

Chatter Master says: September 28, 2011 at 6:11 am

This was one of my favoritist (?) blogs EVER! How beautiful, fun, funny, handsome boyfriend, beautiful family…. and YOU RAN A MARATHON! An accomplishment like no other! Congratulations! Great job writing this too!

Great post! I’m running my first marathon next weekend, and I’m terrified. Reading your post gave me hope that i’ll actually finish. Congratulations to you on this monumental achievement!!!!

oregonoutdoordude says: September 28, 2011 at 8:01 am

Awesome, way to work it!

Congratulations! I’m preparing for a 5k so I can’t even imagine running 26.2 miles! That’s really impressive.

allofmywords says: September 28, 2011 at 8:55 am

You are truly an inspiration. I’m training for my first 1/2 marathon and now your post has convinced me to go ALL the way with a full! Good Job!!!

BRAVISSIMA!!! CONGRATULAZIONI OLTRE CHE PER LA MARATONA ANCHE PER IL TUO STUPENDO SORRISO. Ciao da Osvaldo (Italy)

I cannot believe that you raised $20,000! What a superstar! And I’m jealous of your cheering sections. My tendency to run races very far away from home means that I usually have a cheering sections of zero. Great post – I’ll re-read it if I ever decided to run another marathon :)

Great recap!! We are about to run our first full marathon in November and this has definitely inspired us!! Thank you!!

Congratulations! And also, congratulations on being FRESH PRESSED WOO

Congratulations on finishing your first marathon! That was an awesome time for your first time. You should be proud

Hey Ali,
CONGRATULATIONS on crossing the finish line and being FP!!! You’ve achieved 4 HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENTS BACK TO BACK.
1. You ran your first marathon
2. You got FP
3. Your fundraiser was a success
and # 4
You got a big hug from your boyfriend,when you were still sweaty!!!! you go Ali!!! Your family must be commended.
I can appreciate your zest and motivation. My son is five yrs old and Autistic. I would move heaven and earth to support him. Please visit http://jacquirose17.wordpress.com
I write poems through as seen through his eyes. I want to increase Autism Awareness.
Again thanks for sharing your story. I won’t stop!!!!

Wow! I know you’ve already had a TON of comments, but I just wanted to tell you that this post literally brought tears to my eyes! I’ve done a half marathon, but a marathon is something I for sure want to do in my life. I’ve always said…”someday” but I think “someday” could be sooner than I thought. I loved reading this. It was honest and funny and made me feel both scared and excited about my future 26.2. Congrats!!!

You are awesome! That’s a wicked fast time… I’d totally do a full marathon if I was a fast as you are. :)

Love this! Congratulations. This made me cry.

You are right – it is a long post…..but totally worth it! I am not a runner, but I felt like I was right there with you! I felt your pain! Congrats on finishing your first marathon. Will you do another? I was recently at the Army Run in Ottawa (Canada) to cheer on a friend, and had so much fun, I felt like I wanted to do one! Luckily, the Army run is only a half marathon – perhaps more my style!
Check out the post if you ever decide to do another one and make a weekend out of it – Ottawa is lovely and the atmosphere for the Army Run is crazy! Cheer squads line the street the entire way!
http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com/2011/09/18/army-run-ottawa/

Awesome. I’m running a marathon in November. I’m shooting for under 4 hours. We’ll see…

Oh my gosh! This is AMAZING! Congratulations! Loved reading this, so wonderfully descriptive, felt like I was there cheering for you! Way to go! :)

Pingback: Merf In Progress

I wish I enjoyed running this much. Congrats

Major respect! I ran the great north run in the UK 2 weeks ago and that was a killer so well done! Fantastic finish time as well!

Congratulations! You are now a part of the 1% of the human population that have run a marathon. I ran mine a few years ago and it was tough. But nothing helps more than having friends and family support you especially when you’re about to hit the wall. Awesome!

I am WAY behind in reading this, but I just needed to comment to say that you are totally awesome and you know the entire blogworld is SO freaking proud of you!! Congrats on being a MARATHONER!!

CONGRATS!!! I love the shirts and your family’s enthusiasm! also seeing the guy at the end :)

Congratulations! I too love the shirts. The support of your family, friends, boyfriend is just amazing. Thank you for a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Congrats!!! Welcome to the club! Now…when is the next one? Because I know you’ve probably caught the bug, now :)

Loved the pictures!

Never thought that a marathon recap could be this touching. :)
Congratulations!

So inspiring! I’m running my first marathon in March and hope to be able to run and recap as beautifully as you!

Well done Ali! I have only run to marathons, the third one will be in 5 days. But I believe nothing will be better than the first marathon. Check out my story here http://runninginlate20s.blogspot.fr/2012/08/what-happened-in-davos-swissalpine-c42.html

Christina says: May 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I read this post with tears streaming down my face. I was so happy for you! I love the pictures and especially loved your victory finish. Such a great and inspiring post.

Leave a comment

required