Uncharacteristic Things I Did This Weekend

This weekend was wonderful in all the weirdest ways.

Did I do all my usual things, like running and eventually showering and eating a lot? Yes, yes I did. But I also did many other things that are a bit out of character for me. Now I will tell you all about those things.

I did a long run on Saturday. And on Sunday. I know, normally I long run Saturday and then recover on Sunday. But after the whole “I’m dying of a very terrible stomach flu” thing, Coach Cane wanted to ease me back into things, and apparently “ease back into things” meant back-to-back double-digit runs. In case you were wondering exactly what Coach Cane said when I asked, “How far do you want me to run Saturday?” here are his words: “In all candor, I’m torn. If you hadn’t had a setback, I’d have you doing 18–20 tomorrow. At this stage, I feel like sending you out for that tomorrow would be counterproductive and too risky. Instead, I think the smart thing to do is to pile on some good mileage over both days of the weekend. (That’s actually something that we sometimes do with ultra runners so they get used to running on tired legs.)”

You know how I read that, right? I read it as, “I am now training you to run an ultra-marathon, because you are totally capable of doing that and, in my eyes, you are on par with ultra runners I know and train. You are amazing, Ali. You are basically the best runner ever.”

So with that little vote of confidence, I hit the road Saturday morning to cover 10 miles. I had asked Coach Cane if he wanted me doing more than 10 “if I felt good,” and he said that was fine, but, “You can’t be a cowboy. I’d rather you do 10 and feel good, and follow it with 10–14 Sunday rather than let your ambition get the best of you and then you end up back in your sick bed.”

And that, my friends, is why I have a coach. To remind me not to be stupid.

I ended up running 11 miles, zero of which felt good. I didn’t think it would be so hard to get back into the groove, but my body was tight, my hip was being bratty and I just couldn’t relax and enjoy the run. I tried to keep my pace around 9:15s, except on the last mile, at which point I was like, “F this.” Mom, just so you know for sure, “F” stands for “Fun!” Fun this!

I don't know why I'm posting these. The splits look good, but they don't describe how I felt. How I felt would best be described as "crappy." Or maybe "cranky."

I ran mostly around the Reservoir, plus one lower loop of the park, at which point I was immediately reminded that I haven’t run on anything remotely resembling a hill in, um, months. So I should probably get on that sometime before Eugene.

I was a little bummed after this run, because it was “only” 11 miles, and that shouldn’t be so difficult at this stage. I had to continually remind myself that I’m coming back from 72-straight hours of puking and doing other dehydration-inducing activities. So I think it’s OK that this wasn’t my strongest or happiest run.

And then on Sunday, I got a re-do! And it was so much better!

I went out Sunday with a way better mentality, which is a start. I told myself that regardless of my pace or how I felt, I needed to enjoy this run, or it would be impossible to get through. So I looped the Reservoir a million times, tacked on a lower Central Park loop, and completed 14 miles with a smile on my face. Seriously. I was smiling and running happy. It was nice and special. My pace was also faster but felt more comfortable than the day before.

FINALLY a successful 14-miler!

My first 14-miler of training was that sad day I ran with Coach Cane, and the second attempt at 14 resulted in a stomach flu and four days in bed. So I’d say this is a major success!

I’m definitely not completely back to normal. My stomach is still feeling way off, and both runs required a bathroom stop, which I wasn’t too pleased about. But hey, a 25-mile weekend after a setback? I’m OK with that.

Back to weird things I did this weekend…

I tried a new kind of fuel. I didn’t eat my standard amazing Entenmann’s “granola” bar before my runs. Instead I went for a way more nutritious breakfast delicacy: toast and Nutella. Yum! During yesterday’s run, I knew I might need a little extra kick along the way, and while I don’t usually fuel for runs shorter than 15–16 miles, I was happy to have a little stash of chewy candies in my pocket, which I ate (half the package) around mile 8 or 9.

Honey Stingers! They're organic or all-natural or something. I don't know. But I got Fruit Smoothie flavor.

The verdict? Tasty, and easier to chew than the Gu Chomps. They also agreed just fine with my stomach, which is always a minor miracle. I didn’t feel much change in my energy after I ate them, but whatever. I also stashed a water bottle along the Reservoir, which is my new favorite thing to do. I feel cool when I stop to grab it and people see me and I’m like, “Yeah, what up, I have a personal hydration source right here! Don’t be jealous. Don’t steal it. Don’t contaminate it. Bye.”

I drank a juice. Normally I’m a water/milk/wine kind of girl, and whenever people tell me about how they had a juice for a meal I think they’re crazy. (Brian, are you reading this? You freak.) But on Saturday, after a spin class (I’ll get to that), I walked by Juice Generation, and everything smelled all fresh and delicious and wonderful. I was interested.

This is Juice Generation. They have fresh things, like fruits and vegetables and this thing called "kale" you all talk about.

I looked at the menu and I will admit, I’m afraid of the green juices. They look like the stuff my mom empties out of the lawn mower. So I’ll work my way up to that. But I ordered a juice that sounded like it would be good and would help my post-flu body.

I like my juices to be fruity, not vegetabley.

I ordered the “Citrus Super C,” and I am happy to report that it was GOOD. It tasted like vacation, but without the rum. I also felt trendy and cool, walking down the street with my spinning glow and my fancy juice…and my legwarmers.

It would taste better on an island, but I was fine sipping it on 86th Street. Also, I have a very stumpy thumb.

So yeah, I’m basically a “healthy living blogger” now. I also had oatmeal at one point this weekend, which I never do, but found myself craving. Who am I?

I went to a spin class in between long runs. I see you there, shaking your head, thinking I’m crazy. But I was playing around on my computer after my run Saturday, and I was on the SoulCycle website, and I found myself logged in and getting click happy. The next thing I knew, I was signed up for Bike 36 at the 2 PM class. Oops. But I went, and it actually felt really really good to spin my legs around. Was it the smartest plan? Maybe not. But did I have a dang good, sweaty time? Sure did.

I went to bed by 10 PM every night. Just kidding. That’s not weird at all.

I ate at a Vegan restaurant. I blame Kelly for this one. She swore we would all like it, and yes, as a meat-loving, fish-eating, cheese-consuming human, I can confirm that this restaurant was good. I had the lasagna, which was made with “cheese.” It was delicious and Kelly was right.

I finished everything on my To Do list.

Check, check, check, check, check!

Usually it’s just a guide, and lately I’ve been better about not being overly ambitious on the weekends. But this weekend, with Brian out of town, I knew I could be productive. Granted, the list wasn’t very crazy, and “foam roll” was on there four times, but I’m still proud I checked everything off.

I planned a baby shower. My sister-in-law is due in mid-May (two days after my best friend Becky’s wedding, which I’m Maid of Honor-ing in Charlotte, NC), and I’m getting so excited about her shower! I want it to be good. Last night I planned things. I have a color scheme. Thank goodness for Google and the website I found called “The Baby Shower Planning Checklist.”

I stalked puppies. Just kidding. Not weird. I always do this.

LOOK AT THEM GO! The French Bulldog was my favorite. So squirmy!

The weather yesterday was perfect for a walk, and my legs needed to move after running. So I walked to the East River, where Carl Schurz Park was packed with puppies playing and people being happy. I sat there looking at all the dogs I don’t own, and I tried to steal some. I called my mom to let her know I was about to steal a little dog, and she was all, “You can’t, because Brian isn’t around to bail you out of jail, and I’m not coming down there to do it.” She can be so mean. I love you, Mom, but I really don’t think you get me sometimes.


I foam rolled four times. FOUR TIMES. My legs and I are going through a bit of a rough patch. I feel like we’re out of the marathon honeymoon stage, and this relationship is starting to take some real effort. Until this point, my legs were the ones doing most of the work and carrying this relationship. It wasn’t until recently, when things started to hurt, that I realized I wasn’t carrying my weight and doing my part. So this weekend, I returned the love by foam rolling, Stick-ing and icing. I think we’re going to be just fine together, legs.

I finally parted with my favorite pair of Express jeans. We went through high school and college together and fell in love early on. These jeans are soft and they’re basically sweatpants. Also, the front zipper is crooked. For three years I thought my belly button was crooked, but no, it’s the pants. Sadly, last year I got over-excited during a particularly competitive round of Wii Jousting and the pants split right from the crotch all the way down to the knee. It was tragic, and in the spirit of moving and cleaning out most things I own, I finally parted ways with my beloved sweatjeans.

I got crafty. Despite basically having a broken knee, Brian is insisting on running the New York City Half Marathon this weekend. I’m excited for him, and so I bought poster board and big fat Sharpie markers, and last night I made some box letters of enthusiasm.

Does this sign embarrass you, Brian? I hope not. I also plan to add glitter.

My plan is to be the best spectator on the course.

I cooked. I know, this is getting to be a long post. Thanks for sticking around. I’m almost done. So, Brian has been out of town since Friday (and there’s an excellent chance I gave him a sweet stomach flu just in time for his trip to Orlando — yes, I realize I’m an ass), and so I’ve been on my own for meals. It’s a scary thing, really. But last night I made a pasta concoction inspired by my friend Brianne (whole wheat pasta, some oil, Parmesan cheese, little tomatoes and tons of garlic, which I’m pretty sure I over-browned), and on Friday night I cooked a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. I’m probably going to start a food blog.

I made pancakes. When I was training for my first half marathon, I most definitely did not lose any weight.

Those singlets are so flattering. Also, I ran in a cotton tank top and I'm pretty sure I cried in the shower. But also I was drunk.

I remember my first “long run,” which was one lower loop of Central Park. That’s about 1.79 miles. I did that run, went home, made a massive batch of chocolate chip pancakes and spent the entire rest of the day in bed. I was living the life, man. But after that first run, I got into the habit of ALWAYS making chocolate chip pancakes after weekend runs. Eventually, when I got to half marathon #3, I got sick of the pancakes. Yesterday, though, I was craving them. And so I made some. And they were just as magical and chocolatey as I remember. Good call, Ali. Really, really good call.

I watched 60 Minutes. Sunday nights are usually reserved for catching up on the DVR’d shows from the week (Modern Family, 30 Rock and definitely not Dance Moms). But with Brian out of town, I promised to save those shows for his return (he totally loves Dance Moms, I swear). I found myself missing my dad, and so I watched his favorite show. I figured he was watching it himself at home in New Hampshire, and so it was basically like we were watching it together. Love you, Dad. Miss you. Come visit me soon…like after I move and need all my electrical wires neatly staple-gunned to the wall. See you then.

That wraps up my weird, out-of-character weekend. This morning, I got to return to normalcy by waking up and running. Well, more like waking up, witnessing my stomach throw a complete fit, running half a mile, stopping at Starbucks, and then running some more. But you get it.

Coach Cane said I could run three of the slowest miles of my life to get things moving, and that’s what I did. I’m actually pretty sore from this weekend, which is a great feeling. Also, the sunrise along the river this morning was incredible. I took multiple photos because it was so pretty, and because I was moving slowly, so why not?

Sunrise Photo #1.
Sunrise Photo #2.
Sunrise Photo #3.

I love life.

It’s a good day. It’s a good week. I don’t have the flu anymore! Have I mentioned my appetite is back? Oh right, I did. The pancakes proved that point I’m sure.

Have a wonderful day! Happy Monday!

AND BECAUSE THIS IS A FUN GAME: Tell me something you did this weekend that was out-of-character, like not running, or waking up before your alarm, or going on a spontaneous trip, or stealing a puppy, in which case, TELL ME HOW YOU PULLED IT OFF.



53 Responses

  1. Love Juice Generation. It won’t be long before the people there know me by name.

    On a healthier note, my out-of-character experience of the weekend was baking cookies from scratch.

  2. They look like the stuff my mom empties out of the lawn mower. Hilarious! I”m with you on this.

    Beautiful pictures.

    Out of the ordinary on the weekend? Went to a chili fest and ate a ton of chili.

  3. Out of character: I also tried new fuel (digestive issues make this experiment scary, don’t they) and it worked great! No stomach issues, so encouraging. On a less enthusiastic note, I tweaked/strained/did something not cool to my knee, so I’m laying off until I figure out what’s up 🙁 I’m so impressed you did back-to-back long runs after being so sick! Way to go, and Eugene is flat, so the no-hills thing is whatever.
    Well, that’s what I’m telling myself about it.

  4. BTW the green juice is a bit scary at first. BUT once you get going on it you will be amazed at how awesome you will feel. I started it about a month ago and it’s crazy how much better I feel. I have way more energy and don’t get tired during the day. It only works for me when I consistantly have it for breakfast every weekday. I was totally grossed out by the green at first. It’s still not my favorite thing but the feeling/effects are worth it. Go for the GREEN!!

  5. mall trip with my friends!! It was very fun! Sadly, this is an unusual thing for me to do…seeing as I can’t drive yet. I also ran 5 miles even though I was tired. i was really proud of my self!
    I am amazed that you can run that far after being sick. I am also amazed by your very neat handwriting!

  6. Those photos are indeed great! Did you take them with your iPhone (I think you have one)? They kinda look like the photos that people blow up to a ridiculous size and hang behind their couch. I like.

  7. I ran my first race of 2012 and had my first double digit Saturday of my marathon training. I haven’t raced or ran over 9 miles in a few months. Felt great to be racing on the roads again. Glad you’re feeling better!

  8. I clipped into my bike for the first time and didn’t have a panic attack, so I think that qualifies as uncharacteristic. I was also social for three straight nights, which is shocking.

    Also: Dance Moms!!!

  9. I never set an alarm on Sunday’s, but am always up by 8 am ready to tackle the day. Well yesterday I slept until 10 AM! Yes, I understand it was daylight savings time, but still. I haven’t slept until 10 am since I was a teenager. But it also made my time-crunched and I had to miss out on my run. Atleast its a taper run before my race next weekend.

  10. My uncharacteristic thing? Planning 2 different friend things on a Sunday ! I went to the MOMA in the morning and then took to the train out to Brooklyn for brunch. Over-committed and exhausted? Yes, but totally worth it. Oh, and I took my first ever double yoga class too. You know, to de-stress from all that good friend time.

  11. Sounds like an awesome weekend! Out of character for me…hmmmm? I took a run without dogs. I have five so one is usually with my when I’m running and I run with dogs for a living so it’s nice to run by myself sometimes.

  12. My uncharacteristic thing: I asked a 4 year old if she was wearing an Aurora dress in the middle of a very public space, thus admitting my ridiculous, non-age appropriate knowledge of Disney movies. Now you all know…

    Mmmm…candle. I can’t wait to have more early bird dinners for us old ladies!

  13. Yay for your back 2 back long runs. Sounds like a great weekend. Oh and I like your handwriting on your to-do list, it’s so nice and neat 🙂

    Uncharacteristic thing – running 7 miles this morning, on a Monday…I never have time for such mileage before a busy day at work but I made time! It was wonderful!

  14. I ran right past my turn around point for my Saturday morning run and added another 0.6 miles to my planned 3 miler because I was feeling good and the weather was awesome.

    Skipped Sunday’s run because polishing off a bottle of champagne on Saturday night with my best friend who was visiting for the weekend sounded like a lot more fun!

  15. Yay toast and nutella! Long run breakfast of champions! 🙂

    Uncharacteristic thing: I ran 9 miles in the pouring rain on Saturday morning, only because I agreed to go with BF and friends (had it been a solo run, I totally would have bailed!). They were slow and soggy and made me appreciate today’s solid and dry 8 miles that much more.

  16. Out of character: went out in West Village without a plan and stumbled into a really cool club. Of course, I went home early (not like old days), but still haven;t done that in a long time.
    But when it works out, the city is the greatest place in the world!

  17. I too, went to bed before 10 each night this weekend… made the whole “day light savings” thing a lot better. Also, it was glorious to sleep 10+ hours each night! I also had a C-Machine smoothie after my run on Sunday. I think it saved my life. I think an ice bath would have also helped, but then I remembered my freezer doesn’t have an ice maker and i wasn’t about to walk to 7-11 to get a bag’o’ice. I watched 60 Min too (ha!). It made me want to re-learn advanced calculus from the Khan Academy. 😉

  18. I only just recently started “running” (I’m doing C25K) and I ran outside this weekend which is definitely uncharacteristic. I like my treadmills with my Friends hour long block. But, yes, I have to admit, I loved running outside.

  19. Out of character: Stayed out until 3am on Saturday dancing at a Russian dance club. Definitely never done that before — fun, but made me have to postpone my 10-mile run until Monday morning. 🙂

    Also, I should also put “foam roll” on my to-do list 4 times — my date with my foam roller is long overdue and my IT bands are screaming for it.

    Glad to hear you’re back on track after that terrible flu!

  20. Those sunrise photos are awesome. Uncharacteristic of me: I ran in Central Park. Twice. I live in Astoria, so I usually stick to the park there. But I went there last weekend, and again this weekend. It was glorious.

  21. First of all, congratulations on being back in!
    Second: you have a typewriter handwriting! Amazing. I only ever met one other person with a handwriting like yours. It took her f-o-r-e-v-e-r to write. Is that the same for you?

  22. I am so excited you liked it!! And I will go back with you any time… because you have to try the carrot cake. Uncharacteristic: i didn’t quite do a long run this weekend. that kind of sucked. But I’m glad I got to see you twice! glad you’re feeling better, friend. One thing I love about the time change is that we get to see those sunrises again for a while. Love.

  23. Out of Character: I met a friend for frozen yogurt on Saturday and DIDN’T GET ANY. Who AM I?!! (But, I made up for it on Sunday with my most expensive 16 handles purchase to date…..)

    And next time you need more of “the slowest miles of your life” hit me up. For serious.

  24. So happy to read you had a fabulous weekend of running! Even if the first day was hard, it was still, without a doubt, FABULOUS (since running always is)

    My out of character moment: going for an actual bra fitting. At a real bra store. And then buying some that are my size. If only you knew me, you’d know this is a newsworthy event. Although the real excitement will be if I don’t wait 4 years to do it again.

    Oh, and I PR’d a race. Despite zero speed work since… October? Go me.

    1. Congratulations on the PR! Unexpected ones are always so excited. And while I’m at it, congratulations on the bra fitting! Hehe. In all honesty I’ve always secretly wanted to get one, but never take the time to do it. So good for you!

  25. I used those fuel bites throughout marathon training. Clif shots and Gu chomps are so hard to eat. I liked the Stingers so much more.

    My out-of-character activity? Making brownies from a mix. I usually refuse to buy mix, because they’re so easy to make from scratch. But on Sunday night, brownie mix brownies sounded perfect. And they were.

  26. I stayed up until like 6am. I haven’t stayed up quite that late in some time. That is when all you crazy morning runners were already up running. Weird.

  27. I didn’t act like a psycho and get to the gym before 9 am on Sunday. In fact, I laid in bed and read my book, took an hour to drink my coffee, and made stuffed french toast sandwiches for my boyfriend and myself. It made me wonder why the heck I don’t do this EVERY WEEKEND.

    Oh, and I’ll totally help you steal a puppy. Two if you want.

    1. I fully support crazy bird’s nest hair. Less money spent on haircuts = more money spent on running clothes.

  28. Not in character: I went hiking. With outdoorsy people who like the wilderness.

    In character: I stuffed my face and drank beer to “refuel” when I got done. And then ran 15 miles.

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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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