FAQ

Comment(s): 19

So you found your way to Ali On The Run, but perhaps you have some questions. Allow me to answer them for you! And if there’s anything else you want to know, click here to send me a message or email me at aliontherunblog@gmail.com.

ALI ON RUNNING

Running the New York Road Runners Scotland 10K, April 2011

How did you get started running?

I moved to New York City in December 2007, a few months after graduating from college. I grew up dancing so I always assumed I would hate running — nothing about it looked fun to me. But when I got to the city I was poor and I didn’t want to dance anymore. So one day I put on a pair of sneakers and hit the path along the East River near my Spanish Harlem apartment. I started running at 102nd Street and barely made it down to 96th Street — that’s about a quarter of a mile — before I was completely winded and out of breath. I didn’t hate it though, so the next day I tried again, and went another block. I slowly started to build up, knowing that if I ran a full mile I would reach the nearby dog park. Whatever motivates you, right?

What do you wear running?

In the summer, I like Lululemon Groove Shorts and Cool Racerback tops. The shorts don’t ride up and the shirts aren’t too tight and are nice and long. I also love these Saucony shorts. In the winter, I swear by this GapBodyFit jacket.

What kind of sports bra do you wear?

Wearing the right sports bra is crucial! After years of under-boob chafe suffering, I finally discovered the Moving Comfort Juno bra. Now it’s the only one I’ll wear — I own it in a whole bunch of colors.

Do you wear a running watch?

I own and occasionally run with a Garmin Forerunner 110. It picks up a signal quickly, the battery lasts fairly long and I’ve never had a problem with it.

I want to become a morning runner but I can’t get out of bed. Any advice?

I’m a natural morning person — not everyone has to be a morning exerciser, though! For a while I used to leave my alarm away from the bed so that I had to get up when it went off. I find that once you make morning running a habit, it just becomes part of your daily routine. Remind yourself that getting out of bed is the hardest part. It sounds lame, but it’s true. Don’t let yourself make excuses. Hear the alarm, get your butt up and start sweating.

Do you have any tips for new runners?

Start slowly. Don’t set crazy expectations, like time or mileage goals. Run for the fun of it. If you hate running, that’s OK. You don’t have to do it just because it seems like “everyone else is doing it.”

ALI ON OTHER EXERCISE

This is something different…

What exercise do you do other than running?

Yoga, indoor cycling and outdoor cycling. I’m pretty much up for anything except workouts that require needless jumping in place (jumping jacks, burpees, high knees — no).

Why did you stop dancing?

Although I danced competitively my entire life, I never wanted to be a professional dancer. Instead I chose a career in the dance industry that didn’t require me to stuff my sausage-like feet into pointe shoes. Dance classes are expensive in New York City, and though I’m always up for the occasional (easy) hip-hop or tap class, I’m well past my days at the ballet barre.

How do you stay motivated?

I read lots of blogs! Click here for a few of my favorites. I’ve developed awesome relationships through blogging with lots of like-minded people. The encouragement and support in this community is incredible. I’m also lucky because I genuinely like running and working out. You can’t look at exercise as a punishment or as something you have to do. Find a workout you like — whether it’s boxing or Bikram — and think of it as a treat for yourself.

ALI ON RECOVERING

Slightly exhausted…

Do you take rest days?

Yes! Before I started training for the marathon I viewed rest days as lazy days. Now I know my body needs to recover in order to grow stronger. I didn’t get that for a long time — now I do. (Preach time: Take rest days. Don’t try to be a hero. Don’t “feel OMG so lazy” on your days off. Take them and enjoy them. You’ll be better off in the long run.)

What is your foam rolling routine?

I use my foam roller to roll out my quad muscles, my IT bands and my butt. I started foam rolling when I was running a lot and having knee problems. Foam rolling has done wonders for my knees!

ALI WITH CROHN’S DISEASE

Remicade Day!

What is Crohn’s Disease?

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 7 years old. It’s a chronic digestive disorder that basically causes miserable stomachaches, a whole lot of time in the bathroom, high fevers, fatigue and joint aches. Click here to read more about my life with Crohn’s.

Does having Crohn’s Disease affect your running?

Um, yeah. Big time. Some days I can get through a dozen miles feeling fine, but other days my stomach kicks in after one and I find myself bolting for the nearest bathroom. I always plan my runs around where the bathrooms are located.

How do you treat Crohn’s Disease?

There’s no cure. Boo. I’ve tried many drugs and diets to control my symptoms, without much luck. I’m currently enrolled in a long-term clinical trial.

ALI AT WORK

Covering “So You Think You Can Dance” auditions for work!

What do you do for work?

I am the Editor in Chief of Dance Spirit magazine.

Do the people you work with know about your blog?

I tried to hide it for a while, until I really found my voice on the blog and figured out what I wanted it to be. Now many of them know about it, but I don’t broadcast it at the office. If they discover it on their own, that’s fine. I don’t write about work much, so there’s no conflict.

ALI ON THE BLOG

Why did you start blogging?

I had been reading various blogs for a while and in October 2010 I finally decided to start my own. I write constantly at work, but I wanted an outlet where I could write freely about whatever I want. I also wanted a way to document my running. Another huge reason I started blogging was to meet like-minded people, and I couldn’t be happier about how that’s worked out for me. I’ve met incredible people!

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?

19 Responses to "FAQ"

Caroline says: May 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Ali,

So glad I discovered your blog, I have ulcerative colitis and it can be an absolute nightmare- I’m a police officer so going out on the beat can be very stressful! I’m learning to exercise and eat right for me.

Caroline

Ahh I heart you! I’m also runner who has yet to conquer her first marathon. (Checked off the first halfer last month) I’m actually starting a website that finds the best runs all around the world. I’ll be in NYC in June and would love love love to hear your thoughts on what the best runs in NYC are. Would you be up for grabbing coffee when I’m there?

Hi Michelle! Email me at aliontherunblog@gmail.com and let me know when you’ll be here. I’m sure we can arrange something!

Ali you are so amazing!!! I love your writing style and all your quirky random thoughts. How in the world do you find the time – and brainpower – to write in your blog every single day!? and I’m shocked to find out you just started blogging last October. Your blog seems so well-developed and thought out, as if you’ve been at it for years.

Ah! I love SYTYCD!!! So jealous. And def. going to read more about chron’s and remicaide days….brings back some awful memories. Keep fighting the good fight, girl! So glad to have found you – i wanted to connect with more people who have live the life we live, so if you know any (esp. in the blogosphere) please send them my way!

I live in DC and ran the 2011 National Half Marathon too! Just found your blog. Think it’s great! :)

So happy to have found your blog. I have run a number of half marathons and also have Crohn’s disease. I can totally relate to running a route that passes by bathrooms. Why aren’t there more bathrooms?! I have been sick for a while and am on prednisone for a flare and have been stressing over whether I should be training while on it. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have completed a number of half marathons and I, too, want to run a marathon some day!

you seem to exercise quite a lot every day – how do you have time for it?? I’ve found with longer runs I have to stretch before and stretch after and roll out – it takes me forever to go on a 6 mile run! I can’t imagine doing that and a second workout and still going to law school and getting everything else done! Haha so basically, what’s your secret??? And good luck on the marathon!

I wake up very early! I set my alarm for 5 so I can be running by 5:30 or 6. I am back at my apartment to shower and get ready at 7, am out the door by 7:45 and then work until 5. Sometimes I’ll take a class at the gym after work, then I eat dinner around 8 (later than I’d like) and manage to survive on very little sleep! There’s no secret — just sleep deprivation, which I don’t advise!

I think you should update this, Marathoner! :-)

“Have you ever run a marathon?
– Nope — but I will soon! I’m currently training for the Hamptons Marathon on September 24. I’m ridiculously excited with a little side of nervous.”

I just started reading your blog. Congrats on your first marathon! I loved reading all about it. You have inspired me to run a full marathon someday!

I’m very curious… why is it that there is always a grey haired guy behind you in race pictures with peace signs??? In almost every race… it’s like that guy is stalking you. It looks like the same guys too…

Any leg warmer recommendations? The mornings are getting pretty chilly!

I like Harmonie and Body Wrappers. All the brands I wear are made by dance manufacturers!

Thank you!

Has anyone ever told you you look like Blake Lively?

I just happened upon your blog when searching for ‘crohns disease and marathoners’. I, too, am a runner with crohns and am contemplating my first full. I’ve run 3 half marathons without problem, but like you, am always very nervous about ‘tummy issues’ mid run. I usually do not eat on mornings before a race and don’t do any water stations. It has always worked for the half marathons, but I’m worried that I will not be able to stay fueled up and run out of gas if I do that for a full. How do you handle energy with the full? Do you do Gu or any other energy supplement? Any advice, suggestions would be great!

I experimented with fuel a good amount when I was training for my first marathon. I don’t fuel for anything shorter than 16 or so miles, but when I do fuel I like Gu Chomps (strawberry, yum!) and I tolerated the Hammer Gel (chocolate) and Gu (mint chocolate or chocolate) OK. They didn’t bother my stomach, but I won’t lie to you and say they taste good!