I Promise To Take Better Care Of My Body

Last weekend, my running buddy Megan wrote a blog post about how she was being all crazy and reckless and stuff. The gist? She ran 16 miles without much breakfast, spent plenty of time throughout the weekend drinking and didn’t get enough sleep.

I remember reading her post and being like, “Dang, Megan, you’re crazy. And a little hardcore. And also crazy.”

Guess what I did this weekend?

The exact same thing Megan did last weekend.


Let’s go back in time, because I’m going to re-hash this weekend’s events, and by the end of the post let’s all nod in unison when we learn the lesson about how we all need to take better care of ourselves. Every good post ends with a lesson, just like every good episode of “Full House” ended with that instrumental music and Danny telling Michelle why, even though she’s the cutest sibling, it’s not fair for her to get all the attention all the time. Stephanie needs love, too. DJ doesn’t, because she’s too busy starving herself and rocking out on the Stairmaster. Idiot.


  • Took a fun little lunch break to go wedding dress shopping with my friend Lauren.
  • Went to an easy spin class after work even though I swore I was going to take a rest day. My bad.
  • Went to Centolire for dinner and ate a five-course meal for no reason other than “I felt like it.”

And that brings us to SATURDAY:

  • I set my alarm for 7 am.
  • I woke up at 8:30 am.
  • I freaked out about how I slept in an hour and a half on a Saturday. I realized that I have a knack for overreacting.

Now let’s pause from the bullet points to talk about the next part of my story: The Long Run.

Coach Cane had me running 16 miles on Saturday, and in my head that was no big deal. I ran 15 miles at a pretty quick pace two weeks ago, so 16 miles at a much more comfortable pace should have been no problem, right?


No, apparently not.

It was snowing in the city, which was nice, because the snow was pretty but it was reasonably warm out. I wore shorts. Obviously.

The plan was to stick around a 9:00–9:15 pace. My marathon goal pace for the Eugene Marathon is 8:45, so doing my long runs slower is the goal throughout training. I tend to suck at this because I like going faster and getting it over with.

Miles 1 and 2 of the run were pretty and I seemed to pass by every single NYC runner I know. Except Megan. And Lindsay. And Susan. And Kelly. But everyone else, totally.

Brian ran with me for a few of the early miles, before his knee decided he was done. And then I set off on my own, and the miles seemed to go by incredibly slowly.

I stuck to the main loops in Central Park, including one Bridle Path loop toward the end because I was so bored. Normally I can circle Central Park for hours and I don’t get sick of it, but something about Saturday just felt tedious.

So, so boring.

I wasn’t mentally excited about the run because I had a lot of things to do the rest of the weekend. Plus, after just a few miles, my left hip started to hurt. I’ve been told this is the result of a tight IT band, and even though it’s been a little nagging pain over the past few weeks, it never amounted to much. Saturday, though, it hurt more. It hurt enough that I stopped and stretched a few times over the last six or so miles.

Pace-wise I did fine. Honestly, I felt as if I were crawling the entire time, but my splits prove otherwise. They’re even a bit faster than I had planned for.

Saturday's splits.

Now we can go back to bullet-point style, because it’s more fun and it’s easier to read.

  • I finished my run by showing up at Brian’s apartment unannounced and begging for a hot shower. He obliged.
  • He also forced me to foam roll for longer than I would have done on my own. It hurt. And he made me do stretches, like pigeon pose.
  • I got hungry and Brian said I could order “whatever I wanted” for lunch. So I ordered two pizzas and garlic knots.
  • I spent three hours laying on the couch without any desire to move.
  • I didn’t eat dinner. I kept thinking I would eat eventually, but I never did.
  • I went to Hoboken. That’s in New Jersey. It seems so far away, but it’s actually not. A bunch of college friends were in town and they were going out in Hoboken, so Brian and I ventured onto the mysterious PATH train to join them. Suddenly, it was 2 am and I was in New Jersey and I still hadn’t eaten dinner.
My main dance move is The Hair Fling. That's really all I've got.

And then came Sunday:

  • I woke up at 5 am, pissed that I had gone to sleep in compression socks because I suddenly felt suffocated. Removing them proved to be quite the challenge.
  • I woke up again at 7 am starving. Shocking.
  • Brian and I went to breakfast. I had a spinach and goat cheese omelet and some fantastic hot chocolate.
  • I felt awful all morning. Really awful.
  • I went back to bed.
  • I woke up at noon remembering that I had to be somewhere at 1 pm: Soulcycle.

Yeah, I made it to spinning. My hip felt OK, not great, but this place is expensive and you don’t register for a class and then not show up. So I showed up, I was on the center bike in the front row, and I managed to spin my little heart out. I sweat out about a gallon of pinot grigio, and by the end of the fantastic, dance-filled 45-minute ride, I was brought back to life.

Sweat is the cure, man. I swear.

But I had to get my life back in order, because I currently have a visitor/roommate for a few days!

The one on the left. The one on the right isn't my roommate yet.

Emily is in New York City at this exact moment. In honor of her visiting — and, more truthfully, in honor of one-year-since-meeting-Brian — I offered to make dinner for two of my favorite people last night. You would think that my offer to cook would have visitors feeling appreciative, but apparently not.


Seriously though, I’m following through on my “cook one new dish a month” resolution, and last night I made scallops, “risotto” (I used this recipe) and Brussels sprouts. Personally, I think everything came out pretty dang well.

Preparing the scallops.
Excited about cooking. Emily is mocking me.
So much risotto...Who wants some?

Brian and Emily said everything was “good,” but neither of them asked for seconds so maybe they were just being polite.

Dinner is served! By me!

I made dessert, too. The easiest dessert ever, in fact.

Chocolate pudding pie with strawberries and whipped cream.

New Year’s Resolution success continues!


  • I woke up and foam rolled. That’s progress right there.
  • I took Emily to work with me. She got excited when I showed her the bathroom.

That’s the weekend wrap-up, and I think there’s plenty we can all take away from the few mistakes I made.

So what did we learn?

  • I need to stretch and foam roll more. For real. Daily stretching, plus foam rolling in the morning and before bed. Twice a day. No excuses.
  • I should probably cool it on the drinking from now until April 29. Social drinking? Fine. But I’m not going to fly across the country to race this marathon with a booze-filled belly. It’s not going to help.
  • More hydration. More water.
  • My eating habits suck. Even though a lot of what I eat is actually reasonably healthy, the portions I inhale are far too large. I don’t make a habit of weighing myself, but I’m fairly certain that any number of scales would tell you that Ali Today isn’t as light as Ali From Two Months Ago. Just something to be aware of.
  • My dance moves need work.
What? You don't think my dancing is good? YES IT IS.

I do not-so-smart things sometimes, and I know that. But I’m making “Operation PR In Eugene” Priority Number One right now. Things that will derail me from that goal need to be removed from my life. It’s on.

ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD? What lessons did you learn this weekend?



44 Responses

  1. This weekend, I learned that if you run your long run on Friday night, going out for a group run that is basically a loop around Central Park (including Cat Hill and Harlem Hill) will hurt and you will walk more than you ever really want to for a 6 mile run. I also learned the only way to pass Ali On The Run is when she stops to chat and you just wave and keep on going. 🙂 It was great seeing you. I love your leg warmers, but even if I had those leg warmers, I’d probably choose to wear my nice warm winter running tights instead of shorts and leg warmers.

    Scallops are yummy. I’m glad you’re keeping up with your resolution to cook one new recipe a month.

  2. I have been having hip problems lately. I got a great message deal on groupon and I didn’t even tell the message person about my hip pain and she she asked if I had hip pain right away when she realized how tight my legs were! Moral of the story: messages are awesome!

  3. Hey Ali, just wanted to tell you how amazing your new blog design looks. I usually read it on my phone and today is the first day I’m seeing it on a computer. Brian (and you?!) did a great job!

  4. man oh man, do i need to take better care of my body! i hear you. it’s all sorta biting me in the ass since i’m not feeling sick after oh, two weeks of drinking every.single.night. i gotta chill out, yo. i applaud your efforts. and cooking skillz. get it!

  5. Lesson learned last week: REST WORKS! Not so much for my mood, but my cranky hip is much better, allowing me to run and work on my cranky mood.

    Also, as much as I hate to admit, foam rolling does help. But it hurts sooooo much!

    I was sleeping when you were running, thank you night shift. We should coordinate soon, however, because long runs are better with friends.

  6. Oh Ali, how we ALL do that. But, the best thing is you realized it! I may have dont the same thing on Sunday. What is it with us? Oh, and I love the hair fling. My move is “stomp in place!”

  7. I think your weekend sounds fabulous and maybe you’re being a bit too hard on yourself?! You killed that long run! And no drinking until late April!!?!?! That also seems a little harsh! 🙂 and I bet your scallops were delicious and Brian and Emily are just watching their calories!

  8. Nice job on your run this weekend! For feeling like you were dragging the whole time you had a pretty fantastic pace! I learned that when you run in 12 degree weather your water in your water bottle will freeze and therefore prove worthless on your long run.. fail

  9. Lesson almost learned – if I eat wheat and drink soda and drink beer my belly will appear to be about 6 months pregnant. You think this would stop me… it does not.

    Lesson learned this morning – Do not engage the weird guy at the train stop that you know is a talker. He started it, but I contributed to it, and it got all sorts of messy.

  10. That sounds like a great weekend! I am extremely impressed that you tackled risotto, that is not an easy dish to make! If you think you are having IT Band problems, in addition to foam rolling and pigeon pose (which really do help, which everyone knows is code for “are also really painful”), also google strengthening exercises for IT Band problems. I had it in my hip for like a year (usually when the weather was bad, actually) and then sure enough it showed up in my knee as full blown it band syndrome. Turns out it is frequently from a weakness in the muscles in your butt, and by strengthening those, you can help ease the hip (and eventual knee) pain. As someone who’s knee got so bad on a long run two weeks ago that I switched to Lamaze breathing to be able to walk back to my car, I feel morally obligated to pipe in and tell you to look at the strengthening exercises! If only because I wish someone had told me about it when I continued to ignore the hip . . .and the subsequent knee . . . pain.

  11. I also need to recovery better after workouts!! After my long run on Saturday I didn’t eat until until several hours later. Also my sleep habits are atrocious…. I need to make a better effort!

    ps I can’t believe you wore shorts! Although actually the temperature was pretty pleasant…

  12. I commute to Jersey City every day from UES, and my commute is quicker than when I worked downtown at the World Financial Center! Sounds much farther than it is, right? I admire your ability to work out when you feel like crap. I wish I had that ability!

  13. Okay now I’m bummed cause I’m pretty sure we were in the park at the same time Saturday morning and I didn’t see you! Lame.
    Lessons learned this weekend – it’s not okay to do a long run, not eat lunch and dinner and then drink your body weight in beer. It’s also then not okay to be so hungover on Sunday that you don’t move off your couch or eat until dinner, when you inhale a cheeseburger.
    Time to learn some moderation I think?

  14. I totally saw you running on Saturday morning! But I didn’t want to be a crazy person and yell something ridiculous like “OMG ALI ON THE RUN!!! I HEART SWEAT!!!”

  15. I learned that 1) I need to save more money (for the OLYMPICS!), 2) I need to eat a little better (Just because its $1 for 2 cookies I don’t need to eat both cookies), 3) I need to not procrastinate anymore (seriously, if you saw my schedule, you’d know why, 4) I need to stop saying I hate my life/I hate grad school.. it’s hard but hate is a strong word.

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  16. Foam rolling does help a lot. I also found icing and stretching throughout the day is useful. And actually when it is hurting I use KT Tape for a few days. I don’t know why but it seems to put things back into shape. I know not something you want to be dependent upon but it can help work things out if you try it out for a few days…

  17. I began Saturday with the idea I would run 14 miles, then I saw your Tweet about running 16 & got the number 16 in my head. So I ran 16 miles. I ran a 9.20 pace, I was supposed to run 9.30-9.45, but like you I just wanted to cruise through it comfortably & get it over with. I learned the more fit I become the harder it is to hold myself back & REST! 😀

  18. This weekend, I relearned the miracle that is foam rolling. . I foam rolled the crap out of my IT bands after my “long” run of 8 miles on Sunday. I hate doing it, because all I want to do after running is shower and sit on my couch, but it was sooooo worth it. Hip/band/knee feel stellar today. 🙂 I have 2 foam rollers in my little APT, so I have zero excuse not to do it EVERY DAY/ I’ve GOT to take care of my lil IT band to have any chance pull off 2 half marathons this spring and 2 full marathons this fall!

  19. That sweatshirt is ALMOST as amazing as the pink zip-up pajamas. Almost. Tell Emily that I hope she enjoys having an entire box of Puffins to herself. And if she falls asleep on you while you’re trying to have your nightly reading time, you know who to call. I’m always up for some dramatic readings of our favorite bedtime story.

    Also, I think we need to go on long runs together. Mine have not been the greatest.either. And I don’t even have not taking rest days and drinking too much to blame for it…

    1. Little known fact: there are NO puffins in the house. Apparently Ali didn’t want them all over her floor. Rude.

      Another little known fact: I stayed awake last night! It was my most impressive bed time performance yet.

      And yes, WE MISS YOU.

  20. Hoboken is a fun time! I used to live there. Running along the river is beautiful, I think that’s what I miss the most actually. And I guess the happy hours 🙂

    I know you know this, but be careful with IT band stuff! I know from personal experience that it can get really bad if you don’t take care of it. Foam rolling = key! Strengthening the glutes also helps – lots of single leg squats and lunges!

  21. Similar to you, I ran 14 miles and then went to a Pilates Reformer class on Saturday. Sunday my legs hated me. Foam rolling made me want to cry. But the class was free and who passes up free classes? Definitely need to learn to ease up on that though

  22. ahaha, obvi i love this post. i tried to be a little better about fueling and recovery this weekend, but umm it didn’t always work out. i ate 6 (yes 6) slices of buttered toast before my long run because that’s basically the same thing as a bagel, right? also, i really need to go grocery shopping. needless to say, i probably should have waited more than an hour to go running after that. for the first 4 miles, my stomach was like WHOA that is a lot of bread. good think i’m cool with gluten.

    and then that night i drank scotch to re-hydrate! after some coconut water of course.

    lessons learned: allow time for proper digestion, maybe drink a little less alcohol. also coordinate with Ali on long runs because mine was lonely and kind of sucked.


  23. I love that you’re able to pick on yourself, admit your faults and still tell us everything instead of leaving it out because it didn’t fit the “plan”. It’s nice to see some blog who is willing to admit that life happens and happens often but we can still find ways to deal with it 🙂 (if any of that made sense…)

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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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