Off To Fire Island!

I don’t think it’s possible for me to be in a better mood right now.

I have to make this post quick because in an hour I’m meeting Lauren and we’re heading out to Fire Island for the weekend.

A view from the sand, June 2009

I love Lauren no matter what, but the fact that her mom has a house in Saltaire doesn’t hurt.

Kidding, of course. But I’m pretty pumped for a long weekend out of the city.

But before any weekend away, there’s lots to be done beforehand.

After work last night I went to the gym for an awesome spin class. I was still feeling frustrated after yesterday morning’s less-than-stellar run, so I wanted to do something I knew my body could handle.

Spinning = success.

The class was excellent and included lots of intervals — my favorite. My post-class sweat was exceptional.

Oh you want to see a photo of my attractiveness? Why yes, I did happen to snap a quick, blurry locker room photo (which I’m pretty sure is against my gym’s rules).


I’m so happy to report that after two months in my apartment, it’s really coming together. Not only do I have a coffee table now, I also have curtains that match my new bedding!

New curtains!

My mom is proud because I actually ironed the curtains before I hung them up. I’m becoming so domestic.

Now let’s talk about running, since that’s my obsession favorite topic.

Over the past year I’ve sat idly by as many of my friends diligently trained for marathons. One thing that frustrated me was hearing them talk about how marathon training took over their lives, and they stopped hanging out with friends.

As soon as I committed to the Hamptons Marathon, I vowed not to let that happen to me.

I know now is the easy part. I’m not overly exhausted because my training schedule is still totally manageable, but I want to make sure I do whatever it takes to balance my marathon life, my work life and my social life.

So far that’s going really well, and I think that’s because I have some of the coolest friends around.

Obviously fellow runnerds (yeah, run nerds, own it) understand when you prioritize marathon training over other commitments. I’m lucky, though, because even my non-runner friends have been so supportive, understanding and cool about my little lifestyle changes since I started training.

Last night I went out to dinner, and though I would have loved to drink three or four glasses of Pinot Grigio then drifted off into a silly, crazy dream-filled sleep, I opted for water instead.

“I have to run 10 miles tomorrow morning,” I explained.

I wasn’t met with an argument.

Instead: “I’ll have water, too.”

Then today, Lauren and I both took the day off so we could get out of the city early, but she was willing to leave as late as 10 am because she knew I needed to get my long run in.

Last weekend my parents just assumed that I’d have to leave the house at some point to squeeze in a 4-mile recovery run, and when I finished they excitedly asked me how it went.

My friends and family are making marathon training so much easier and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

I was so excited for my 10-mile run this morning. It was just 58 degrees when I woke up — perfect running weather!

Ready ready ready ready ready to run. I think that's an awful Dixie Chicks song or something.

I gave myself a ton of time to get ready so I wasn’t rushed and had plenty of time to eat a granola bar and let my stomach settle.

I’m happy to report that the run went great! I covered 10.5 miles and maintained a decent pace.

Not consistent, but not bad

I wasn’t really focused on my speed and I’m confident that I can pick up my pace as training continues. I never felt like I was pushing it today. I just felt comfortable and happy.

I also keep thinking about a chat I had yesterday with a particularly sweaty friend of mine:

Emily: What are you using as your half marathon goal pace during training?

Ali: 8-minute miles.

Emily: Um, why? You’re faster than that. You should be going faster.

Ali: Oh. OK. I’ll try.

So yeah. I’ll get right on that.

This morning I ran in Central Park along with roughly one billion other runners and a million or so bikers. Everyone seemed happy.

I also ran past the stage where the Go Gos were performing as part of the “Good Morning America” summer concert series.

"Free concert!"

I was excited to run past my friend Katie and chat with her for a bit. I also knew another friend was in the park biking, which helped me run just a little faster.

What? You don’t do that?

I do.

I’m so happy that my stomach stayed calm during my run today. I feel like I really needed a little confidence booster after a few awful runs.

Fred Lebow was impressed, too.

Hey Fred. You look nice today.

See? He’s thinking, “Good job, Ali! You’re going to do great at the Hamptons Marathon! Now please go shower. You look disgusting.”

All done!

Now I’m showered, kind of packed and ready to hit the road. I’ve got my sunscreen packed and a bathing suit (or 4). Time to relax.

And no, I will not be blogging while I’m away. I think we’ll all survive.

Vacation = relaxing.

You’ll get an update when I’m back on Sunday that will probably go something like this:

“I fell off my bike in Fire Island this weekend. Multiple times. I hate that you have to bike everywhere because after four sips of wine my coordination is shot. Also, I have a nasty sunburn. The end.”

If you don’t believe me, allow me to share a photo series from the last time I was allowed on Fire Island:

Seems innocent enough, right?
This is not good...
This is probably why it took me two years to get invited back again...


And people wonder why I have no interest in doing a triathlon. Do I look like a solid biker?

(Mom, I’m sorry you had to see those photos. Please don’t be disappointed. It was all Lauren’s fault… And I wasn’t drinking, just really off-balance…)

Have a great weekend, everyone!



0 Responses

  1. nice run! have fun on fire island! i’d have a really hard time riding a bike home after a few glasses… in the dark. good luck 🙂

  2. Great job on your long run today!

    I can totally commiserate with you on fear of giving up social life for marathon training life. However, it sounds like you have a great and understanding support system behind you!

  3. Have a great time on vacay! It totally makes a difference having people around that “get it” when it comes to running/fitness. I definitely have some friends who think I’m nuts! But the majority of the people around me support me. I’m lucky to have a marathoner-husband as well who always gives me positive feedback, and who doesn’t get sick of my running/nutrition ramblings on a daily basis.
    Also, I think its awesome you’re trying to balance your marathon training with your social life – that’s huge! I try and do the same because I don’t ever want to get annoyed with training.
    Anyways – have fun!

  4. Haha those photos are the best! Hope to see more after this weekend 🙂

    But its awesome you’re already feeling so much support for marathon training! I admit, the miles definitely took their toll on me last fall. I tried to balance running, work and friends as best I could but it was tough! I need to get better about weekend naps this year to be able to recover and want to spend time with friends after long runs.

    Also, friends who don’t judge when you order water or eat your entire plate and then some of theirs is the best.

  5. I am very wise. I am glad you are finally listening to me. Your 10 mile run pace was pretty bad ass.

    HAVE FUN this weekend! And PS- balance challenged people can still do triathlons, you just might end up plastering your knees, elbows and most limbs with permanent scars. But I think that battle wounds are hot.

  6. Your apartment looks so cute. Ironing the curtains makes a difference, especially with sheer curtains (they look sheer in the pictures … sorry if I’m completely off!)

    Have a great time on Fire Island!

  7. I love how supportive your family and friends are of your marathon training! I start training for my first when I get back from vacation at the end of June and my training will run through our extended family vacation at the beach. I hope my family will be as supportive as yours!

  8. Lol… photo’s are priceless!
    Ur blog is one of the best on WordPress, I don’t know if I will survive this weekend without your updates…
    Have an excellent weekend away!

  9. First.. AWESOME job on the 11 miles!
    Second.. you are so much better thenme with the curtains. I’ve been in my condo for almost 10 months.. and STILL don’t have curtains.

  10. L&A– you two are the cutest. Have a blast on FI! Ali, great seeing you this morning and congrats on a kick-@$$ run, as usual!

  11. ha ha! Ali! You make me laugh 🙂 Those photos made my morning. I like how you achieve your balance for marathon training. I’m going to take some tips from you. I don’t always manage as such but would really like to this time around for my fall marathon training plan. Thanks and have a great weekend!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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