On the way to Middle of Nowhere, NY: this bridge. See you again, November 4, you crazy bastard.

What Goes Through My Head During A 20-Mile Run

Date: September 24, 2012 at 8:35 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 76

The scene: Saturday, Ali and Brian’s apartment. It is dark outside.

6 AM: My alarm goes off. Apparently I hit snooze. My bad.

6:40 AM: I wake up. I realize I didn’t hit snooze but rather hit “off.” It’s fine. What’s the rush, anyway?

6:45 AM: I realize my stomach hurts. Not Crohnsy hurts, just hurts. Feels a little puffed out, a little unsettled, a little gnarly. Rather than dwell on that, I eat breakfast (two wholesomely nutritious “granola” bars by the kind folks at Entenmann’s) and go about my morning long run routine. Bathroom, abs, play around on Twitter, procrastinate…the usual.

7 AM: My stomach is still feeling out-of-sorts, and I notice I’m very, very tired. All that east-coast-to-west-coast-and-back-again travel from this week has clearly caught up to me.

Worth the exhaustion? Yeah, totally.

My legs feel heavy and my body feels sluggish. I debate going back to bed and moving my long run to Sunday.

7:35 AM: I crawl back into bed where Brian is snoozing. I tell him I don’t feel great. He suggests resting now and long running Sunday. I think about listening to him.

7:55 AM: I’m out the door, ready to attempt a long run.

So that’s basically how the day started, you see. I didn’t feel my best, but I certainly didn’t feel my worst. And guess what? I may not feel my best on Race Day November 4. And so I decided to try and power through.

I told myself I’d attempt six miles. If at the six mile mark I felt good, I’d knock out 20 miles as planned. But if at mile six I was hurting or having a really, exceptionally tough time, I’d call it and try again Sunday.

I knew it wasn’t ideal that my head wasn’t totally in the game before I even started running. Twenty miles is a long way to go without being fully psyched.

But then something magical happened: As I was walking toward Central Park, “waiting for satellites,” I met Robin.

Robin (who has a crazy-cute dog that looks like a happy little gremlin) stopped me and told me she reads my blog. She told me about her own struggles with ulcerative colitis and, eventually, Crohn’s disease as well. She told me she, too, loves working out. She told me about all the medications she’s suffered through, and confessed that her husband reads my blog, too, and that he has caught me (on more than one occasion, apparently) bolting into the Starbucks on 96th and Lexington (and I’m not a coffee drinker, so it’s clear what I’m running in there for).

As Robin shared her story with me, I had to hold back tears. I’m not sure if I was sad or happy or overwhelmed, but hearing about all she’s been through and all the crap she’s put up with was just the butt-slap I needed to do a mental turnaround with 20 miles on the horizon.

Robin and I parted ways and I told myself I was going to run 20 miles because a few weeks ago I couldn’t…and because, on that very morning, there are so many people out there who can’t physically get themselves out of bed or out of the bathroom to run one mile, let alone 20.

Color me motivated, man.

So yes, spoiler alert, I did make it through all 20 of those miles. They weren’t fast and they weren’t pretty. Here’s proof that they weren’t pretty:

Yikes. Where are my eyes? Why is there a layer of salt covering my face and arms? WHY WAS DUANE READE SOLD OUT OF ICE AT SUCH A CRUCIAL MOMENT?

But for the first time since, actually, one year ago today, I ran 20 miles. Here’s a little look into my crazy brain so you can get an idea of what I think about when I’m long running…

OK, I can do this. I’ll do it for Robin. I can’t believe the coincidence of meeting someone I have so much in common with as I’m mentally struggling to start this run. Cool. Thanks, Robin!

Aaaand I’m running! See? This isn’t so bad!

Hey! It’s Lindsay! She’s so fast and glamorous.

Look! It’s someone wearing an I Heart Sweat shirt! It’s Dahlia! I know her! Hi Dahlia!

Time to leave Central Park. I really need to leave Central Park. I do all my long runs in Central Park. I should go to the West Side Highway now. Yes, I will do that.

Wait.

That stride up ahead looks muy familiaro, which is Spanish for “I’m pretty sure that little hottie ran in the Olympics recently…”

Yup.

Yup.

Yes, I’m absolutely sure that’s Kara Goucher running toward me.

Should I say something? Should I wave? Should I do a switch-leap? Should I try to chase her?

No. I shouldn’t do any of those things.

Smile politely, Ali. And keep running. You creep.

Yup. That was definitely Kara Goucher.

I am definitely not going to the West Side Highway now. I am staying in the park and I will be an Elite Runner Stalker.

Hold up.

Hold up.

Another really familiar stride.

OMG it’s my favorite stride.

It’s my favorite runner.

It’s Buzu!!! Buzunesh Deba! She’s the coolest.

Act cool, Ali. Act cool.

Seeing elites training in the same park I train in will never get old.

Which way is Kara Goucher most likely to run? Do I think she’ll go onto the Bridle Path? Or maybe continue along the lower loop? Nah, she’ll probz be up for the full loop of the park. So I will do the same thing.

OK, then. Guess I’m running some Harlem Hills. Haven’t done that in a while.

So this is the west side of the park. I’ve been avoiding this and now I remember why: These hills suck. They are hurting my legs! These hills never used to hurt my legs! Why am I so weak?! I’m not even on the big hills yet! Crap.

I miss Tyler.

Tyler, you are my best friend. I love it when we cuddle. Also, what is this new habit of yours where you give everyone the middle finger? It's really rude.

Here’s the first hill in Harlem. NBD. Keep the pace steady, Feller. Don’t forget to breathe. You’ll be at the top in no time.

OMG. Familiar stride. Kara’s coming!!!

I’m saying something this time.

Definitely going to say something.

Should probably figure out what to say.

Uh oh, here she comes.

WHAT SHOULD I SAY?

[Finger point in Kara's direction. Lock in eye contact.] “You are awesome!” Kara smiles sheepishly and says, “Thank you.” That was nice of her to respond and not toss me into the bushes. Cool. Insta-besties!

Look at that! I made it to the top of the first hill, I pretty much hugged K.Gouch and I’m not dying. Mission wicked accomplished.

Buzu’s coming! Buzu’s coming! She’s so elegant. I love how she runs. Running this way was the best decision ever, even if these hills are shredding my legs!

OK, Feller, what are you going to say to Buzu? Come up with something original yet honest and memorable but also maybe hilarious. Can you handle all that?

OK, idiot, now you’re out of time because she approached so quickly. Say something!

[Finger point in Buzu's direction. Try to snag eye contact.] “You’re my favorite runner!!!” Buzu smiles. No response, but a smile was probably her way of saying, “I’m working really hard right now but I definitely want to get brunch with you later. KK, see ya then, love ya!”

That was awesome.

Hey! I made it to the east side! Happiness! Joy! Flat surfaces! I’m 8+ miles in and my legs are starting to get sleepy. But I was distracted by the runner celeb sightings and made it past the six mile mark. Guess I’m going for 20!

Time for some fuel. Fruit Smoothie Honey Stinger chewy chomps, you’re my favorite. I will scarf you down now.

Oh yeah, I’m supposed to take these with water.

Look! A magical water fountain! How brilliant and convenient!

Drink drink drink.

Hopping back onto the road. Watch out for people! There are so many people! Definitely watch out for that lady with the stroller and the dog because she is working harder than you are.

Wait…is that stroller/dog lady stopping? Is she approaching me? OK, she is definitely coming over here.

Her name is Jamie! Note to self: Remember her name. Don’t ask how to spell it because that would be weird. Assume it’s Jamie. Wonder if maybe it’s Jaimie, though. Or Jaymee. Or J-Me. Or Pjamie, where the P is silent. There’s no way of knowing.

Jamie/Pjamie is awesome. She has the digestive diseases, too! She is so nice! She is saying things that are inspiring me! She is making me want to run more!

Did I just hug her? Why would I do that? Why would I press my sweaty body up against a total stranger’s? Way to blow it, Feller.

More people I know! Meggie! Jocelyn! Sup, guys?

Gia!

Where should I go next? I’m not ready for the Reservoir. I save that for my final victory lap.

Maybe the Great Lawn?

Maybe a lower loop or 10?

Yeah that sounds good.

Where did Kara go? She should have come around by now. I miss her. We forgot to solidify our plans for later.

I’m getting tired.

My feet hurt.

My knees are tight.

My back and shoulders are sore. Why are they sore?

Every single part of my body hurts now. There is pain in my earlobes.

Buzu again!!! She is drinking from a special water bottle! I wonder what’s in it! I smile at her. She continues to drink her Special Water. Again, I forgot to nail down plans for later when we can hang out in BFF Zone. NBD, she’ll probz email me this. Not worried about it.

Soooo I’m still running.

A cyclist! I know him! HI BRIAN! I am waving like a maniac. Brian does not see me. Or he’s ignoring me on purpose. Let me shout his name so he sees me. “Hi Brian!!!” There we go. He waves. That was fun.

Look! Meggie and Jocelyn again! And Meggie gave me a High 5. I love hand smacking on the run.

Time for my final fueling. I’m 15 miles in and I could go for a fruity snack.

Chomp chomp chomp.

Ugh, need water to go with these. I hate stopping. It makes starting up again too hard. But fine. I don’t want to die of over-electrolyting or whatever happens when you don’t follow the carefully-printed instructions.

There’s a water fountain. I will stop at it.

Drink drink drink.

New friend alert! While sucking down some agua, I meet Gabby. Gabby is running the Hamptons Half Marathon on Saturday. It’s her first half, so quick, everyone wish her luck! I’m excited for her.

OK, Feller, it’s mental pep talk time. You’re hurting. You’re tired. If there were an actual wall, you would have smashed into it about two miles ago. Your pace was perfect and now it’s starting to slow. From here on out, don’t worry about the numbers on the watch. Stop looking the numbers and just get through the next few miles.

Good pep talk! Next time try to include some glitter if possible, and maybe a grand finale involving time steps and something Fosse-inspired.

16 miles! Only two to go and I’ve done what I did last week. And last week was great!

It’s time for The Reservoir. Bringing in the big guns. Or whatever. Let’s wrap this thing up. Enjoy the flat, soft surfaces.

This is hard.

This hurts.

I can’t wait to take an ice bath when I get home.

Yeah, it hurts, Ali, but remember how much worse things could be. Keep your perspective. You could be in the hospital. You could be Crohnsing. You could be doing long division, and you SUCK at long division!

The Reservoir is my happy place. The Reservoir is my happy place. Enjoy this. Keep prancing. Listen to the sweet sounds of “Gangnam Style.”

18 miles! Almost there!

19 miles! Time to leave the park and get your sore booty home.

Hey! What did I say about looking at the watch? You idiot. You never listen to anyone, do you?

The final stretch! Four more blocks until my front door!

WTF, this sidewalk is so crowded! Too many pedestrians!

The road seems significantly safer than the sidewalk. Break the rules, Ali. Run the final two blocks in the road alongside the parked cars. You’ll be fiiiine!

La la la, loud music! Happy music! Almost done my run!

Wait. Is someone yelling at me?

“Get out of the road!!!”

AHHHHH OMG OMG OMG I’M GOING TO DIE!

It’s a biker! He’s going to hit me! Shit! This is it! This is how I go! Someone invite Celine Dion and Buzu to my funeral!

Keep cool, Ali. Turn around and apologize to the biker as you hop back onto the sidewalk. He’s following the rules and you are not.

What. The. Hell.

The biker is Brian.

What an A-hole.

Brian starts laughing. Brian knew I was the runner. Brian was kidding around. I was terrified. I stop as my watch beeps signaling 20 miles, and I cry a little bit. Brian feels kind of badly. Mwa ha ha. Tears work every time. But I really did think I was going to die.

Yay! My run is done! I’m home!

“Brian, wait right here! I’m going to run into Duane Reade for some ice and then we’ll go upstairs together!”

Duane Reade is sold out of ice.

And just like that, I powered through 20 miles with mostly happy thoughts. The miles were tough. I had to fight through more than a few of them, and I kind of feel like last week’s confidence-boosting 18-miler was slightly forgotten with this week’s way-too-challenging 20-miler. But hey, they can’t all be easy, right? My overall pace was 9:09/mile, which is actually right where I should be…but the breakdown was ugly. The early miles were a little too fast and the final miles were brutally slow.

After the run, I took a 2-second shower, bolted to Fifth Avenue and caught the pros wrapping up the Fifth Avenue Mile. Brian and I got some food and then I slept all day. I woke up to eat some dinner and then went back to bed.

I continued “not recovering” on Sunday but waking up in the 5 o’clock hour to go to Brian’s bike race in Middle of Nowhere, Brooklyn (Floyd Bennett Field, outrageously far away).

On the way to Middle of Nowhere, NY: this bridge. See you again, November 4, you crazy bastard.

I cheered loudly, he came in fifth place (and got his first medal!!!) and then we returned to Manhattan.

Bike riding is easy. It's clipping in and out of those pedals that's actually tough. Give me a medal for THAT.

I ran six slow and happy recovery-or-whatever miles in Central Park and came home to Mr. Fifth Place And Sorry I Scared You On Third Avenue When I Yelled At You was in the kitchen making a 12-course brunch.

Life isn’t so bad when you’re able to stray from the bathroom.

Overall a pretty solid weekend of running and resting, and a total of 50 running miles for the week!

Oh and Kara, Buzu…call me, maybe?

SHARE YOUR CRAZY RUNNING THOUGHTS! We’re all a bit delirious by mile 18, right? And sometimes even sooner…like at mile two. Tell me what goes through your head while you’re out pounding the pavement. Make me feel less alone.

76 Responses to "What Goes Through My Head During A 20-Mile Run"

HAH I loved this post, Ali! I am so impressed that you can remember all your crazy 20-miler thoughts :)

Wow, what a run Ali! I can’t believe you met/ran into so many people who know you or you know. AND you saw the pro runners. I’ve never seen any (at least not that I’ve noticed but I live in a bubble inside my head and never notice my surroundings). Anyway, great job getting 20 done. Even though it was hard you still made it sound pretty easy. I’m glad you feel well enough to run 20 like that!

Great post, Ali! So glad you are back out there again! Also, I thought it was very clever of you to tag Kara in your tweet. She’s totally going to read this and call you up! Well played, lady. Well played.

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 8:44 am

It’s more likely that she would read this and file a restraining order. But until that happens, WOO KARA MY BEST FRIEND!!!

I wish I could record my thoughts as I run! I think it’d be pretty interesting and weird. Congrats on making it 20 miles! I’m so impressed, and I’m not sure I could ever do that distance. This weekend I did 6 miles for my half marathon training, and definitely had some interesting thoughts. Thoughts like “why is that guy out playing bag pipes in his driveway at 6 pm” and “when will my knee pain hit” and “why hasn’t the knee pain hit yet” and “this grass is wet- what if I slip and fall” and “I love running! I’m not even tired”!

Inner thoughts are weird:)

Nice seeing you out there!! Glad the run went well!

Yay for 20 miles!

It’s hard to look right at ya baby! Love this post!

haha you crack me up. i did my 20 miles yesterday, and usually end up talking to myself outloud the last couple of miles.
’6 weeks ’til new york’ got me through the last mile.

an old man also told me he liked my green compression socks and that compliment alone got me through mile 16.

question for you – does those honey things you eat upset your stomach? do you recommend them?

happy monday!

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 8:49 am

Nice job with the 20! Yay NYC!!!

As for the Honey Stinger chews, I like them because they chew easily and don’t upset my stomach at all. I think they taste good, too. I recommend trying them for sure!

haha I LOVE THIS! I would do the same thing if I saw Kara Goucher I’d have a mini geek out internally and probably never say anything haha.

Haha I read this while on the bus going to work this morning. I definitely laughed out loud and got funny looks. Loved reading what your run was like! And yes, I always look for you when I’m out running in Central Park, like this Mormon but no Ali sighting unfortunately. Next time hopefully :)

Proud of you!

And by ‘Mormon’ I mean ‘morning’…. Thanks autocorrect

Congrats on 20! I have to say that when I’m delirious I also start thinking about personal safety. I start thinking that if someone is going to jump out of the bush in broad daylight while cars are passing by I’m going to have to book it to escape. Then I start wondering how long I could outrun someone that hadn’t been running 7, 8, 9 miles…etc. It’s very productive in no way at all, but it does take up some miles. I also like to wonder where people are going when they’re pulling out of driveways and neighborhoods. I also kind of look at cars judgingly as I run in a way to put out an “I’m running and you’re driving” kind of way (totally joking, but I always feel like that’s the look people are giving me when I’m running). And now I sound like a nut. Have a great Monday!

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

I THINK ABOUT THAT, TOO! I’m like “OK if I get attacked now it’s fine because I’m only one mile in and could probably outrun the attacker, at least for a little while.” But at mile 19? Oh heck no. I’d be dead. Totally rational. Not at all creepy.

love this. although i am surprised to find that you don’t like long division… i would have thought you’d like all the lining up of the numbers and decimals all neat and orderly.

Woohoo! It was great meeting you out there, and thanks for the encouragement about my first half marathon! I’m picking up my race packet for the Hamptons Half after work today and I’m crazy excited. Someday I’ll be doing a 20-mile training run but right now that seems unfathomable…way to go!!!

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 8:53 am

SO EXCITED FOR YOU. You are going to be awesome. I’m glad we’ve hung out twice this week. New friends!

Fantastic post!

My long run thoughts this weekend consisted of me trying to convince myself it was not 98* and I was not going to die of heat stroke. However, it was actually 98* (why did I wait until noon to run?), but I luckily did not die of heat stroke. Close call though.

If I’m doing a out an back run I convencie myself I only have do 5 miles(if I’m going for 10). But then once I get 5 miles out I have to run back.

Ha. On my 1 mile run this morning (in my defense, on my way to a barre class!), my thoughts were as follows:

It’s really nice running when nobody is outside.
The weather is gorgeous.
Ooh, a Mercedes dealership. Would I ever buy a Mercedes? It seems like a lot of money to spend on a car.
I should try to wake up early more often, I don’t know why I always think it’s so awful.
God I really need to walk.

Hahaha, you are so funny. Great post :)

Great job on your run!!! Now let’s talk about The Secret Race. I read it after you mentioned it on here. Then I read it again and now I am obsessed and want to hear all of your thoughts on it!

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 8:54 am

BOOK CLUB. The biggest questions: By the end of the book, did you like Tyler Hamilton? And did you like Lance? EVERYONE IS A DOPER.

I LOVE Tyler and HATE Lance!!! I only hate Lance because he told on Tyler when he was doing the same thing. I don’t hate any of them for doping, but the guys who walked away so they didn’t have to are really admirable. I think my favorite character was Haven. I wonder what she is doing now.

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 9:05 am

See now by the end, I hated both of them! I liked Tyler for so long and admired his drive, but at the end I thought he came across as totally whiny and woe-is-me. And yeah, Lance was a total dick. That whole scene in the restaurant? CRAZY. Haven was my favorite too! Poor thing put up with so much. I loved her and I was kind of happy when she and Tyler got a divorce because she should be happy and not worrying about covering up a doping scandal. I COULD TALK ABOUT THIS FOREVER. Let’s invite Haven to join our book club.

hahaha. I love that Haven has stayed so far away from the media in all of this. I would love to know what she thinks about it all but I respect her much more for not selling out.
My husband thought Tyler was super whiny too. I am pretty whiny myself so maybe my standards are lower. Also, I knew nothing about pro cycling or Tyler Hamilton before reading so I did not have any expectations for him.
In my obsessive research, I found this article from Lance’s ex-wife. I think I would like her. I agree with this article in so many ways and it kind of makes me dislike Lance a little less.
http://www.glamour.com/weddings/2006/07/kristin-armstrong

So funny!!! I have to control my thoughts when I run…if I think about missing my Mum, I start getting weepy and then I can’t breathe!! I haven’t run 20 for a long, long time though….wow wow wow.

Love this blog – one of the happiest! You’ve gotta be all kinds of awesome for keeping all that sunshine going for 20 miles. Kara and Buzu are surely telling a story about an fantastically inspiring runner who’s got her happy on. :)

Ali, you are wonderful. That is all. From a new reader and new runner.

I love this post! While I’ve been training for the Chicago Marathon this year I’ve been training with a group. I did three 20 milers (I am now in the taper!) and I thought out loud a lot and they were baffled with my randomness. But hey! gotta stay entertained! Might as well keep others entertained as well : ) Happy running

This was a great post! I really enjoyed it and laughed out loud at times. How thrilling to see Kara and Buzu! I ran 12 all through Scituate, MA on Saturday for my half training with a great running buddy and we had the best time. It was the most enjoyable run of my training. Beautiful scenery, great conversation, etc… You did a great pace for your 20 miler! You will do great in NY.

Woah crazy famous people run!!! And that’s a solid pace for 20 miles. I have pretty random thoughts, and I am totally guilty of assuming that everyone who passes me is not running as far as me. I’ll also entertain crazy thoughts about how nice a quick swim in the Hudson would be right now. Do not worry, I never act on these moments of delirium.

I absolutely love this post. Very funny!. I love how you had so many celebrity sightings. I finally did 18 miles this past weekend and yeah I think that was how the conversation in my head went…and maybe at times not so much in my head. LOL! I have 22 next weekend and I just do not know how I will get the courage to do it and how I will survive…but I will definitely remember this post.

My last long run was two weeks ago because last week I had a 5K race and this past weekend I had to cut it short because the weather caught me off guard and I wasn’t prepared for the literally limb-numbing rain, so I’m totally itching for a long run and why do I have to wait till Saturday?? T_T

I try not to think too much on long runs because when I do think I’m not lucky enough to be as positive as you. :P I do as much as I can on trails/in wooded areas so I can admire the scenery while I run, and the thought that probably goes through my head most often when I’m trying to encourage myself is, “This isn’t any harder than the last mile” or “You’re not any more tired now than you were last mile,” whether it’s a lie or not. :P The thought of going farther than last time also helps keep me going.

I almost never run into people I know while I’m running. Totally jealous!!

i usually try to imagine i’m something thats really good at running when I’m really hurting- like a horse..or even my dog…but usually when I’m scanning my mind for amazing running animals something else pops into view like a pigeon and then i’m like ‘ i’m like a pigeon’ and that’s not helpful at all as they are not known for their grace and athleticism.

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

I read this at my desk yesterday and laughed hysterically, and then read it again just now and I’m giggling again. That is amazing. YOU ARE A PIGEON. I love it.

I saw you running the great lawn 1/5 mile circle on Sunday morning and I had the same ‘celebrity runner’ sighting jitters. In the end, I didn’t say anything…I didn’t want to interrupt your run. So =, basically your on the same level as Kara G.

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 8:57 am

Whaaaat?! Say hi next time! Run with me! I was shuffling along doing my “recovery run” and would have happily stopped to chat and look at puppies for 12 hours!

So funny that you mention puppies, I actually had a puppy in my bag! A puppy Pomeranian.

I’ve been running in central park for three years and I’ve only seen you twice. If I ever see you again, I’ll make sure to stop you, but my magic 8 ball says: ‘outcome unlikely.’

You are definitely not alone. My thought process goes something like:

‘Ooh this is really good I like the air I like the running I like my tunes life is GREAT!’

‘Meh, is that an injury ache or like a my shoe doesn’t fit right ache? Let’s just stop for a sec to retie the shoelaces’

‘La la la I’m bored let’s people watch. That dress looks fancy … I wonder what I would look like if I had a dress like that. And Kate Middleton’s body.’

‘Kate Middleton … British … Oooh, Downton Abbey is on …’

‘OOOH attractive looking runner going by … suck in stomach, run about 10x faster pretend I’m having the time of my life training for a 3hr marathon’

‘Gotta catch breath. Sprinted too fast.’

‘Oh damn, another fast looking person. Ok, speeding up, speeding up.’

‘OMG, I feel like I’m going to die.’

And then repeat this for the duration of the run. I call it interval training.

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 8:58 am

Hahahaha. That is awesome. I love your interval training method. Brilliant, my friend.

I just started following your blog and …. I LOVE IT! I, too, have Crohn’s and am in the mist of a flare. I did a search to find others who are living healthy, active lives – was needing some inspiration. I can’t wait until I’m well enough to work out again. Considering a yoga class as a start. Love your writing and love how you powered through the run. You’re full of awesome-sauce. :)

Man, I should have been doing that this weekend. I couldn’t get it up enough to get out of bed. It was my last chance. So that sucks. But good for you!

Thank you for sharing that! That just made my morning (ehhh afternoon I don’t know where today is going to!)
And congratulations on the 20!
I love the rambling thoughts. I go through the same thing on my long runs! I also need to start running CP more for celeb sightings. I would have died!

I LOVE this post. The stream of consciousness tone is great. I love Kara Goucher. I met her once. She was in town on Saturday for the 5th Avenue Mile. I don’t think she ran it. She was doing promo for Nissan.

I wore my “I <3 Sweat" shirt on Sunday and tackled the 18 Mile Tune-Up. The 8.2 miles more that I would need to run on marathon day seem like so little, but also so much. I have a 20 miler coming up soon. I don't know if I could do it all in the park the way you did. That's a lot of little hills.

I love Tyler. He's so cute, even though he gave us all the finger.

Bahaha, love this!! Unfortunately, it’s been far too long since my last long run, but I have run 1-2 miles a few days the past few weeks! Working my way back up!! These runs have one thought and one thought only: please don’t start hurting, knee, I can afford PT anymore, don’t start hurting, don’t start hurting!!!

Glad you had a good run!!!

Congrats on the 20 miler! And also, this post had me laughing start to finish :)

I had a friend once pretend to drive his car into the crosswalk of an intersection right at me while running, and then slam on his brakes and said “MOOVE”. I was so not laughing.

Is NY a small world of runners, or does everyone in NY read your blog? I can’t imagine what it’s like to see 15 people you know and then meet 3 new runners all during one run! Sounds like you are inspiring everyone, good vibes.

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 9:00 am

I think it’s a small running world, and so many people I know in the city are marathon training right now, so we all seem to congregate in Central Park on Saturday mornings at ungodly hours. You’ll see when you come here and run with me and teach me to be fast. GET EXCITED FOR THAT.

I usually end up recalling a conversation I had recently (doesn’t matter which one) in which I said something stupid and I try to think of all the non stupid things I could have said. Then I end up thinking about the people who cannot run so I continue to run, either in their memory or because of them. Then I think that I need to check my form and maybe drink some water and check my form again. Then I think whether this new Nike Dri-fit shirt was a good purchase or not – the verdict is still out on the shirt. Then I think about my knees and why the wind is blowing and to check my form again. You know… the usual things! :)

You are ridiculously funny. And I think how you addressed Kara and Buzu was pretty tame/normal, relatively speaking. I think I might have done something horrifyingly awkward like a butt slap or asking them to sign my sweaty arm.

ALL CAPS 20 MILES!

GREAT JOB 20 MILER! I definitely openly “aw” and “hey buddy” to every dog…not thinking of looking at the social cues of the owners. Plus, I can’t do math when I’m running long distances. After mile 10 I’m done with mental math!!!

You crack me up! So glad you had a good week of running & got your 20-miler done! I’m so jealous you saw Kara, she’s my favorite! I did 20 on Sunday & I talked to myself too. I usually imagine my dream wedding to Derek Jeter, haha. Too bad I didn’t have an Ali spotting. Hopefully soon!

This post literally made me laugh out loud for 10 straight minutes. I don’t usually comment on posts, but I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at one. You’re awesome.

hahaha This post was amazing! I’m glad you’re feeling so much better.

OMG you are histerical! I would’ve said the same darn things to them if I had run into them! My friend Ari from Ari’s Menu and I are running Ing NY, too, so I hope we run into each other there! (so many people, prob not likely, but it would be so cool!). Great job on 20 miles! We have 18 this weekend….it will be a new PDR for both of us. Take care of yourself, and keep us the great training!

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 9:01 am

Yayyyy NYC Marathon! I want to see you! New best friends!

Yay! Let’s try to make it happen! I’ll follow you on Twitter and we can Tweet when we’re there and maybe grab coffee or something! I made a mistake and put 5 hrs as my estimated finish time when I should’ve put 4.5….it’s my first full and I was scared! We’ll probably be nowhere near the same corral. I am so excited!

So good to see you out there – hope you enjoyed that high five!!! I did. Powered me through my next few miles.

Ali!!!! It was sooo great to finally meet you in person!! And of course Dakota (our little gremlin!) absolutely loved you too! Great job on your 20 miles! I hope you got my email to you about the stuff we had talked about, if not, let me know and I’ll send it to you again!!! So great meeting you again and talk soon!!

AliOnTheRun says: September 25, 2012 at 9:01 am

I did get your email, thank you so much! Promise to respond ASAP!

Im so honored to have been mentioned in your blog!! but seriously, all that motivation on saturday came from you Ali, you are so strong and such an inspiration to so so many people! And any time you want to come play with Dakota she is ready!

Hahaha this post made my day. Happy to see you knocked out 20 miles! Tell Kara I say hi.

I love reading your blog! This one was so cute and your ” inner thoughts” were a riot.
I am training for my 2nd marathon, hope I can have some fun experiences along the way like you. :)

I love this post! Congrats on your 20 miler and on becoming BFFs with a bunch of elites. Your runs are so much more eventful than mine. My highlights usually involve getting honked at by dudes in Tapout shirts driving rusty Neons and getting the occasional whiff of pot smoke. Guess I need to find a new route!

Amazing! Keep up the good work! Also, I need to start looking around more in CP instead of spiraling into my tunnel of pain. Was out there doing 16 Saturday morning, and didn’t see any cool people!

The wonderful Jackie from bloodpooptears.com and girlswithguts.com shared your blog with me. I’m glad she did. I have a 20-mile run coming up on Saturday and this was just what I needed to get pumped up. Positive thoughts, positive thoughts…

Thanks, Ali!

Woo-hoo! You are back on the road. This post made me wish I still lived near CP, so we could have mid-run meet ups. Kara Goucher doesn’t know how lucky she is!

Very funny. Enjoyed reading this entry.

Very funny and I can totally relate to your inner monologue.

Ali, I am running my very first 20 miler in a week and a half and loved reading this post!!! It reminded me of all the thoughts going through my head during this past weekend’s long run. Except I didn’t get to see Kara Goucher (my hero)! Congratulations on your 20 miler, you are going to kill the race!!

First, cannot believe you saw Kara Goucher. So jealous. And I totally laughed out loud with “insta-besties”…too funny! If you start hanging out with her, can you introduce me too?
I give you so much credit for doing your 20 in the park. I have such a hard time focusing there so I tend to run the loop hugging the water around lower Manhattan. My thoughts on the long run range from “OMG, this is so easy, I am going to crush the marathon. I mean, despite my usual 9 minute miles, I could probably pull out 8′s on race day…why not…this is so easy…” to “I am the slowest, weakest, most awkward runner in the world. I am so tired. I suck. This sucks. Wait, is that a squirrel? Or a rat? Ugh, I should just take the subway home”…
20 miles, no matter how you tackle it, are long, hard, and you are a rockstar!

Hey lady. So five seconds ago you were in the hospital and now you’re running TWENTY F*CKING MILES. Can we please take a moment and recognize that you’re amazing? Cool thanks!

Hi- good guess, it’s “Jamie”…but maybe I’ll run with the Pjamie thing – kind of like it. Fabulous to meet you – and my tummy troubles are at least the kind that eventually (supposedly) go away – c diff – which makes you my hero for running and smiling through something chronic!

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