See You In Brooklyn

Date: May 20, 2016 at 10:55 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 10

Tomorrow, I’ll run the Airbnb Brooklyn Half for the third time.

And in a weird turn of events, I’m feeling great about this race.

With two of my favorite guys at the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party!

With two of my favorite guys at the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party!

I have a very meh history with the Brooklyn Half. I ran it in 2011 after eating a lot of now-off-limits corn for dinner the night before. I had a great first half, and spent the second half dashing from one porta-potty to the next. It was rough. No more corn for Ali.

In 2013, I was supposed to run, but was in the midst of a brutal Crohn’s flare-up, so I had to DNS.

Last year, I followed a calculated and precise training plan — and then some. I ran more miles than my plan called for, and I didn’t rest enough. I hadn’t recovered smartly after my two fall marathons, and it wasn’t until I was three miles into the race and my legs stopped working that I realized I was totally over-trained and under-rested. It wasn’t a fun lesson to learn, but it was an important one, and it completely changed the way I run and train now.

All smiles and jazz hands at the start. All misery by mile four.

All smiles and jazz hands at the start. All misery by mile four.

This year, I didn’t follow a training plan. I started upping my mileage a few months ago, doing long runs (usually 10–12 miles) on the weekends. I ran four or five days a week, and plenty of rest days. I did short interval workouts on Tuesdays (usually three miles of 400m or 800m repeats), but otherwise most of my miles were easy ones.

With the OG NJ Track Queens, Sam and Em. I chase them in circles every Tuesday at 6 AM. It's awesome.

With the OG NJ Track Queens, Sam and Em. I chase them in circles every Tuesday at 6 AM. It’s awesome.

I didn’t wear my Garmin for a single run. I tracked my runs using the Strava app on my phone, but I was never aware of my pace while I was running. I trotted based on effort. There were times I would review my runs afterward on Strava and I can tell you that as much as I adore the app, I’m about 90% sure it tells me I’m running way faster than I actually am. So I take the data with a grain of dark chocolate with sea salt. But it’s helpful in terms of keeping a rough track of mileage.

I definitely could’ve trained harder. I could’ve pushed myself more, could’ve done long tempo workouts (but avoided them because they intimidate me), and could’ve done more strength training and cross-training. I definitely could’ve cleaned up my diet. But this was the training “plan” that worked for my lifestyle right now. Between the move, a new puppy, and a fairly unpredictable work schedule, this kept things fun without feeling stressful or like a chore.

Cleaned up diet = ham and cheese omelet, home fries, and a "side" of chocolate chip pancakes... #eatclean

Cleaned up diet = ham and cheese omelet, home fries, and a “side” of chocolate chip pancakes… #eatclean

I’m not necessarily feeling super confident about my fitness going into this race, but I’m also not worried about it. I’m not at my fittest and I’m definitely packing a few more pounds than I usually do. I’m not trying to PR tomorrow (my very outdated half PR is 1:44:48, and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to beat that), but I do want to race well and run hard.

Taking running VERY SERIOUSLY at November Project.

Taking running VERY SERIOUSLY at November Project.

I have one big goal for tomorrow: I want to have a good day.

I want a day where things click and feel good. I want to enjoy running and racing, and I want to finish feeling proud and exhausted. I want to represent my team well. I don’t have a specific time goal, but I would be thrilled to run sub-1:50.

Is this the only shirt I own?

Is this the only shirt I own?

I’ll be racing without a watch, which has worked well during my last few races. I find I’m better able to check in with myself and enjoy the race rather than constantly checking in with where I’m at pace-wise. I’m able to dictate my own race instead of letting a GPS device do it for me.

So that’s the plan-less plan. Run hard. Run happy. Stay out of my head. Don’t be afraid to let it hurt. As long as my stomach cooperates, I feel ready to rock.



Good luck to all the other 27,000 runners out there tomorrow. Don’t throw away your shot. Run hard, run happy, finish fast — and look for Ellie at the finish!

See you at Coney Island!

Comments (10)
Started the day today with six 800-meter repeats. I hate 800s. Give me 12 400s over six 800s any day.

Ali Lately

Date: May 10, 2016 at 10:49 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 14

Sometimes I like to blog about important things, wordy things, and emotional things. Other times, I just like to be more mindless about it all, vomiting my words all over the internet. Today is one of those latter times. Here’s a […]

Later, haters!

Talk Thirties To Me

Date: May 5, 2016 at 6:37 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 44

People say life gets better in your thirties. I may only be one year into the age group, but I am all about this decade. The year I spent as a 30-year-old was the best year of my life. Yeah, […]

Posted in Happy Things and tagged , , -

Fridays With Ellie: One Month In West New York

Date: April 29, 2016 at 11:00 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 17

This week has felt very, very long. Nothing remarkable came my way, just the usual work work work work work (TM Rihanna) and lots of writing with some conference calls and events thrown in. I don’t know why I’m so tired […]

Posted in Ellie! and tagged , , -
Happy and healthy with no core strength whatsoever.

A Crohn's Update + Life After A Clinical Trial

Date: April 26, 2016 at 7:40 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 17

If you’re new around here, hi! I have Crohn’s disease. Here are a few posts that’ll bring you up to speed on my history with the disease: My history with Crohn’s disease The mental and emotional side of Crohn’s Enrolling […]

Adopt Don't Shop

Adopt Don't Shop

Date: April 25, 2016 at 7:19 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 34

Today’s post is a little different than usual, if I have a usual. But I wanted to write about a topic I have become increasingly passionate about over the past few months.  I have made it no secret that adopting Ellie was the […]

Views of New York from West New York.

Running Lately

Date: April 19, 2016 at 8:07 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 20

I’ve mentioned in my last two race recaps that running hasn’t been a priority for me lately. That doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my beloved activity altogether. I’m still running! But between the move and an ever-increasing workload (that’s a good thing!), […]

Posted in Running and tagged -

MORE/SHAPE Women's Half-Marathon Recap

Date: April 17, 2016 at 8:05 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 12

I ran the Shape Women’s Half-Marathon as a member of the media, so I was given a complimentary bib. No one told me I had to say good stuff about the race — or even write about it, actually — […]

The prettiest time of night!

Fridays With Ellie: The Happiest Puppy Around

Date: April 8, 2016 at 5:31 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 13

This has been a week, I’ll tell ya. Everything is fine and dandy and jazz hand-y, it’s just been a bit busy and a lot stressful. (Telltale signs of stress, no matter how much I try to deny it and claim […]

Posted in Ellie! and tagged , , -
What a crew!

Scotland Run 10K Recap

Date: April 4, 2016 at 8:25 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 22

I don’t remember why I signed up to run the New York Road Runners Scotland Run 10K this year. I can’t recall when I signed up, I just know it ended up on my calendar somehow. I’m guessing it was after receiving […]