PDR = Personal Distance Record.


I am thrilled to report that I successfully ran 15.5 miles this morning. It’s the longest I’ve ever run and everything went perfectly.

Let me take you back to the beginning.

Well. Let me take you back to yesterday.

I left the office around 4 and it was raining. I was happy about that because I had a lazy evening planned.

I came home, watched Going the Distance on my couch (if you haven’t seen it, you should — it’s hilarious and sweet) and hit up Gina La Fornaria, a restaurant in my neighborhood, for dinner.

I had never been before, and I’m not sure I’ll go back. I loved all the open air seating (which was nicely covered to keep the rain out) but wasn’t wildly impressed by the food.

Still, I inhaled the entire bread basket (with extra Parmesan cheese, a nice trick I learned from a very smart friend) plus some spaghetti and meatballs. Carbo load success.

And then I got 16 Handles. Obviously. It’s getting a little disgusting how often I go there. But it’s so dang good.

I was in bed by 10:30 pm with dreams of a 15-mile run in my head.

I woke up at 5:30 ready to run.

Like, really ready to run. I can’t believe how excited I was to try out a new distance and see what I’m capable of.

I was also excited to wear new socks. What’s better than brand new socks?

I did my ab things, ate my granola bar, did my…other things…and was out the door at 6:30.

The plan was to cover 6 miles on my own before meeting up with a great group of runner friends.

I kept my pace comfortable and loved running through Central Park as the New York Road Runners crew was setting up for today’s 10K race (shout out to all of the racers today — you are awesome and congratulations).

I ran down the East Side of the park, did the lower loop, then came back up the East Side, because I wanted to show Cat Hill who’s boss.

Answer: Ali. Not the cat.

I wrapped up my six solo miles with a loop around the Reservoir. It was puddly and gross after last night’s rain so I didn’t love it, but I was happy to have a handful of miles out of the way before the second part of my running journey.

At 7:30, I met Kelly, Megan and Lindsay to cover some miles together.

As you may know, I’m still new to running with others. It scared me for a long time. I worried about being too slow, too fast, too needy, too tired, too sweaty, too smelly, too desperate to find a bathroom, etc.

Fun fact: Runners don’t care. Running with these three girls today was amazing.

Coach Cane advised that I use today’s run as a chance to start fueling during my long runs — another new experience!

I am completely freaked out by Gu products — no, I do not want to squeeze flavored gel into my mouth while I run — so I opted for Gu Chomps.

I took one after mile six and two more around mile 10.

And I liked them! They tasted good, digested fine and didn’t bother my stomach at all. I felt strong throughout the entire run and look forward to experimenting more with fuel options as I keep running. But for now I say Gu Chomps = success.

Since the race was going on in the park, we stuck mostly to the Bridle Path. It wasn’t super hot this morning, but it definitely helped being on the path and staying in the shade for the majority of the run.

Plus it’s true what they say — running with friends makes the miles fly by. We talked the entire time and I rarely checked my watch. I wasn’t concerned with which mile we were at and didn’t really care about my pace. I just knew I felt good, strong and happy.

(Hopefully the pace was good for them, too — I am by far the slowest of that bunch, and I still worry that they slowed down for me.)

Plus, together our colors were lovely and Easter-like.

We all had different mileage plans for the day, so we peeled off one-by-one. Not before getting a sweaty group shot, of course.

Yes, I tied my shirt up in a knot. It got sweaty and wet and was down by my knees, so I got my ’80s on. I’m aware it’s neither flattering nor cool. But it was more comfortable than a running sweat dress thing.

After Kelly and Megan both split, Lindsay and I did one additional lap of the Bridle Path. We picked up the pace a tiny bit and I still felt strong. When I saw my watch creep past 13.1 miles and into the 14-mile range, I was so excited.

A personal distance record was on the way!

When my watch beeped at 15 miles, I was beaming.

And I wanted to keep going.

But I knew Coach Cane might not be impressed by that, so I forced myself to call it quits at 15.5.

Man did it feel good.

Here’s the weird route we covered today:

And here are the splits, which I’m very happy with (and hope my nice coach is, too):

Now I’m back home, I took a 30-minute shower (not kidding), painted my sad purple toenails (purple from bruising, not the color I painted them) and I had some hummus, pitas and an apple.

Life is good.

I ran 15.5 miles today. And by the end, I could have kept going.

Maybe it was all the bread and pasta. Maybe it was the Gu Chomps. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m on steroids. Maybe it was the sheer rush of excitement I get from thinking about running long distances. But whichever factors came into play, today’s run went great.

And I could have run another 10.7 miles.

I can run a marathon.

And I will, on September 24.

See you then.



0 Responses

  1. Awesome job, Ali! Glad the Chomps worked out for you and bright colors for running are always a good thing!!!

  2. You all look so adorable! Very nice job coordinating the colors 🙂 Congrats on the PDR, Ali! That is such a great feeling. I remember very well training for my first marathon and each week being able to run 1 more mile and how exciting and fun that was. It’s a wonderful accomplishment that leaves you feeling so good after. I love your last couple of statements – you can totally run a marathon and the fact that you are confident you could have run 10 more miles is a great sign!

  3. If I can teach you one thing in life, I’m happy that it’s about the importance of good carbo loading with a more-than-healthy dose of parmesan cheese.

    And, um, HOLY AWESOME PDR. Congrats on a bad ass run with a bad ass pace. You’re a rockstar runner.

  4. THis is sooo awesome and inspiring!So happy for you!!! I love those Gu Chomps, the gel scares me too. I hope i can do this tooo eek I have never done more than 13 and i know it is coming

  5. Great job Ali! Who runs 15 mi for the first time, keeps a smile on her face, and holds awesome splits? Oh you do! Seriously amazing job! I’m so glad your stomach didn’t act up!

  6. Yay for your new PDR! i love those Features socks. They make them in green with light blue accents (just like your running outfit today). I hardly ever wear green (doesn’t look good with my olive skin tone), but I bought those socks and when I did I thought that you’d like them based on all the photos you’ve posted of your green attire! You should get the ones in green!!!!

  7. 1). Congrats on the PDR! Hooray for the runner’s high!
    2). I loved our run this morning – those miles FLEW by! And the pace was perfect for me too.
    3). Let’s for real make it a regular thing! Both the bright color coordinating and running together 🙂

  8. Congratulations! I’ve been reading your blog for a bit now and really enjoy it – am just now getting into commenting so way to go on your run today, you’re really inspiring!!!

  9. Awesome job with the run! You did it and yuo should be proud!!! you can definately do the marathon, you are a good little runner… speedy like a rabbit!
    You will find you inhale more and more carby food as the distances of your run’s increase and you wont care… It’s called fueling so you get away with it…
    You not only ran 15.5 miles, you look like you enjoyed it too!


  10. Major congrats!! What a great recap and I loved the colors of everyone’s shirts. I’m new to running with others too, but it makes long runs SO much better!
    Keep it up…you’re going to conquer that full!

  11. Awesome job!! You kept great splits for 15 miles especially in the heat. Imagine how great the temperature will feel on race day 🙂

    I also inspired that you are willing to go to restaurants solo. You are bad ass

  12. congrats ali!!!!!! so so great! i’d loveeeee to run with you guys…… but i’m scared too….. if you ever need a buddy for an easy run (like….. 9-9:30 pace) let me know!

    and YES i agree with you about gina. went there for my bday last fall- the ambiance is great because it’s so cute inside and is right on 2nd Ave. but the food/service was not so hot!

    enjoy multiple 16 handles trips today and congrats again! 🙂

  13. 1. I like Gina la whatever its name is. I can’t remember the food, because I went there after a few cocktails, but I like that it looks like a Lilly Pulitzer store.
    2. I LOVE Feetures socks.

  14. Congratulations on your PDR. Your attitude was phenomenal throughout this entire post and it got me feeling really awesome, too! I only ran half as much as you this morning.. but I am loving every second of following you on this journey.. ups and downs! Congrats, again!

  15. Nice run! Some of my favorite lady runner bloggers, together in one run? Maybe I could join you for a froyo date during NYCM weekend??

    And yay on the chomps! I’m a fan of chews, but will forever stay away from the gels.

  16. I am so so excited for you!!! I am even more excited that it felt so easy and you rocked out such an awesome pace. You should be seriously impressed with yourself… I am!!!!! Once you run a 20, you can start figuring out goal times but I’m so optimistic for you, you are going to kick AS@#@%#!!!!

    Awesome job Ali!!!!!! 8:46 pace! WOW!

  17. Wow. That made me want to go run. A mile, not 15. But that’s super impressive! Hopefully your coach won’t mind toooo much 🙂

  18. Holy shit you are so fast. You did 15.5 in the same time as my half marathon PR AND you could have kept going. You are my hero. I love the bright colors on all of you! Congrats on a great run!

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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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