Auntie Ali On The Run

The day my brother, Ryan, and his wife, Michaela, told me they were going to have a baby, they did so by suggesting I rename my blog Auntie Ali On The Run. (It was the day after the Hamptons Marathon, I was delirious, confused and then I cried in a fit of excitement.)

So it seems only fitting that the day after I became an aunt, I get to finally blog about running again.

Oh yes, people, great things are happening. First, this:

Meet Tyler Scott Feller, everyone!

This little guy was born yesterday and clocked in at a whopping 4 pounds, 15 ounces.

Ryan, I fully approve of your delivery outfit. I Heart Sweat onesies are on the way!

He arrived two weeks early, and both Tyler and Michaela are doing great. He may be small, but he’s tough and perfectly healthy! Michaela was in labor for something like 13 hours and managed to do the entire thing without drugs or anything. Michaela, you’re a trooper, and I’d rather run a million marathons, in a row even, than attempt to do what you just did. Awesome and impressive.

I’m hoping to make my way up to Boston this weekend to meet my nephew, who I plan to make my best friend. We’re birthday buddies — mine was on May 6 and his is May 7!

Ryan and Michaela, you’re doing great already. Best of luck with parenthood and diapers and stuff. I’ll come up for the snuggling, you can do the changing and feeding.

Family photo!!!

My parents got to visit last night, and my mom said Tyler is “very alert,” and “likes to look around at everything.” She is, however, having an incredibly difficult time selecting her grandmother name, and she doesn’t like any of my suggestions. I thought my dad had settled on his grandfather name — either Grandpop, which is what we all called his dad, or Dude, which is kind of cool I guess — but yesterday my mom called me at 7 AM proposing that we call my dad “Big Papi” instead.

No, mom.

No. For so many reasons, no.

Let’s talk about running!

When was the last time I was excited about running talk?

My friends Scott & Danielle sent Brian and me this housewarming card (this is the envelope part, but you get it). When we got it, I was injured, so I smiled and then got bitter. But also, best card ever.

I know. It’s very thrilling.

Ali On The Run is, in fact, back on the run. At least a little bit.

So let me go back in time to recap my running life recently:

  • Back in February, my hip starts to hurt. I don’t think much of it. I continue running. I eventually run my first-ever 50-mile week, which I am excited about.
  • At the end of February, I get the stomach flu. I am basically on bed rest (toilet rest) for a full week. Running does not happen.
  • I start to feel better and get back on the road. Running is fun! Yay! My hip still hurts, but I’m not too worried.
  • Crohn’s disease decides to come hang out. Running again goes on a forced hiatus, and I decide not to run the Eugene Marathon as planned. I feel sadness, but also some relief. Time to recover and regain some strength.
  • I go on Prednisone, at a fairly high dosage, and the Crohn’s starts to chill a bit.
  • My stomach finally feels OK enough to let me run, and as I return to Central Park, everything on my left side begins to act up: my hip, my IT band, the back of my knee and my shins.
  • I go to ART, I see an orthopedic doctor, and I run through the pain for a few days.
  • Finally, after confirming that I don’t have a stress fracture — just tired muscles — I take a full two weeks off running.
  • I am sad.
  • I am depressed.
  • I miss running.
  • I whine a lot.
  • I cry a little.
  • I decide that without running, my life has no meaning.
  • I am not dramatic.
  • I only talk to other people who are injured. Healthy runners are dead to me. If you PR a race, you may as well have just killed a puppy. You are the worst.

Good, now we’re all caught up.

So yes, I took two weeks entirely off running. I took a bunch of total rest days, and on the days I worked out I did spinning, strength trained and learned to love Yoga On Demand. My theory when it comes to exercise videos and at-home workouts is that even if you don’t actually do the workout, it still counts. For example: If you turn on Ultimate Yoga On Demand, and then sit on your couch eating breakfast instead of Downward Dogging along, it still totally counts as your yoga for the day. Right?


Two weeks without running sucked. I hated starting my days inside, either sleeping or on a spin bike, instead of looping the Reservoir. It just wasn’t my style and I guess I was kind of a total brat during this time. The fact that Brian and I are actually still dating blows my mind because he most definitely got to witness Non-Running Ali the most, and while I like to think she’s pleasant and delightful, his words of choice would more likely be, “bitchtastic” or “horrid” or “evil.”

I ran last Thursday, and it was OK. Truthfully it wasn’t great because I was still so sore from a Harley Pasternak “squat your heart out” class the previous Tuesday. But I was happy to be running.

By Saturday, I was in Kiawah Island, and though my hip and shin still didn’t feel completely pain-free, the soreness in my calves had gone away, and I was eager to try running again with these bad boys:

I guess they're not "bad boys" so much as they are "Brooks Adrenalines."

I got new shoes, and I swear they are already making a huge difference. They’re still the Brooks Adrenalines I’ve loved for three years, but they’re a half size smaller. They feel so much better, and I have now run in them three times. Allow me to tell you every single detail of the times I ran on Saturday, Sunday and this morning.

Saturday morning I ran with Becky in Kiawah.

Becky and I used to do duos together at dance competitions, and our "signature move" happened to be double cartwheels. After some sangria, we attempted them on the beach. THIS WAS A TERRIBLE IDEA. This is the only photo you get.

We ran six miles at an average pace of 8:50. How did it feel, you may be thinking? It felt OK. My hip was fine. My shins were fine. My new shoes felt amazing. But whoa, my endurance. Turns out, going from high mileage to no mileage does take a tiny toll on you, particularly if your name is Ali Feller, which mine just so happens to be.

The run was tough, though I attribute much of it to the heat. We didn’t start running until well after 8:30 AM, and it was a scorcher out there. I haven’t run in heat since last summer, so this came as a shock. The pace didn’t feel as comfortable and easy as I would have liked, and I got attacked by bugs and have the bites to prove it, but man was I glad to start my day with a running sweat! Things were tight, but they didn’t hurt.

I spent the rest of the day doing as little as possible. Maximum recovery time.


Sunday was my birthday, and though I realize I shouldn’t run on back-to-back days right now, I refused to not run on my birthday. Also, I woke up at 6:45 AM, and no one else was up, so I entertained myself.

Here’s a fun fact: I had never run on the beach before. So I figured, why not do that on my first day as a 27-year-old? That’s a great plan, Ali! Good thinkin’.

Hello, birthday views. You're nice.

I ran four super slow miles. I had no idea where I was going and I wanted to keep it easy, but again I didn’t feel pain. I couldn’t stop smiling…and also wiping the sweat out of my eyes.

This is the beach. It was empty. There were tons of dead jellyfish everywhere.

I didn’t run yesterday — I took a Chisel class instead, to keep strengthening all my weak, pathetic muscles. Something kind of amazing happened, yesterday though, and I’d like to share it with you.

Since things started hurting, it hasn’t just been running that puts me in pain. Walking hurts. Standing up from my desk chair hurts. Walking down a flight of stairs hurts like a bitch. So imagine my delight yesterday morning when I reached the subway stairs and prepared to brace myself as I’ve been doing — and then realized I didn’t have to. I walked down the stairs pain-free. “Hot damn,” I thought to myself. “Was that a fluke?”


But then throughout the day, I could stand up from my chair somewhat gracefully and walk to the water cooler without a limp or a hobble. That, my friends, is improvement. So naturally I was psyched to run today. I’m back in the city and was dying to hit up Central Park. Have I ever told you that I like it there? I haven’t? Oh, I have. OK.

I ran 6.25 miles this morning. That .25 is important. The first four miles were all done at a sub-9:00 pace, and mile three even clocked in somewhere around an 8:30. I know I shouldn’t be wearing my watch right now or even caring about my pace — and I really don’t — but I wear my watch because I’m obsessed with tracking my mileage.

The final miles were barely under 9:00s, and the last mile may have been slightly over.

Truthfully, I was shot. I kept telling myself that it was OK, and I was thrilled about just being able to run at all. I know that’s huge right now. I was a little discouraged with how difficult it felt, though. I guess I naively expected running to come back naturally as soon as my injuries settled down, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I’ll need some solid conditioning, because although I’ve been spinning my little heart out, that doesn’t seem to translate directly to the roads.


The plan now? I’m not convinced I’m “better,” and I want to keep being extra cautious. I have no races on the horizon right now, so there’s no need to jump back into high mileage, no matter how good I feel. I want to keep icing, foam rolling, stretching, yoga-ing and taking good care of myself, because if things hurt during New York City Marathon training, I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up living alone in that apartment in the sky. No more pupcakes for Ali.

Too cute to eat. Last night I ate two and I felt so guilty, because I had secretly named each of the puppies and felt badly for digesting them.

In final news, thank you to everyone who voted for Ali On The Run in the Fitness magazine Fitterati competition! I’m honored (honored = wicked excited) to have been named the Readers’ Choice winner in the “Best Inspirational Blog” category. I’m glad my talk about Crohn’s disease inspires you…or something.


So that’s Tuesday for you. To recap: I am an aunt, my nephew is small, I can run a little bit again, my endurance is shot to shit, pupcakes are delicious and I’m excited to be a member of the Fitterati. Also, you may now refer to my dad, the former “Mr. Feller,” or “David,” as simply “Big Papi.”

UPDATE ME: What’s exciting in your world today?



48 Responses

  1. OMG, baby Tyler is so cute and tiny. I want one! Well, maybe not right now…I think a baby would get in the way of my running and ice cream-for-dinner lifestyle. But seriously, congrats! And I’m glad you’ve been able to hit the roads again. xo

  2. NOTHING is as exciting as Tyler. Congratulations to all of you!! But I did get a Sourdough pizza today in SF so that was exciting for me!!!

  3. “If you PR’ed you basically killed a puppy” — love it. I got to some dark places when I was injured, can totally relate. I wasn’t dramatic at all either.

    Glad you’re getting back to it a bit.

    Spinning did help keep some of my fitness up, but not over many many miles and sometimes my body would (and still does) think whoa whoa whoa, what is this pounding?! This is weird? What are you doing?!

    Those pupcakes are adorable, btw.

  4. Congrats to your bro/sis in law, and to you for becoming an aunt! You’ll be a great one:) It is fitting that “i love sweat” is in a labor and delivery room. Fantastic:) A little piece of you there too…

    Those brooks adrenaline (same color) carried my through my first 1/2 marathon this past weekend. They’re so comfortable!

  5. Congrats on being an aunt! It’s so fun! Spoil the shit out of that little guy! Also, pretty shoes! Glad you are starting to feel a bit better!

  6. Wow, busy few weeks. Amazing how little babies come into the world. My son, who was never that small, probably even at conception, was 8 lbs 8 oz. He is already 47″ and not even 4 yet, hence taking after dad, the big guy who runs way too much. Always tough to get back to the groove after a setback, but I really enjoy your blog, even as a guy 🙂

  7. Want to know what’s funny? I stumbled upon your blog after following a Tweet from SkinnyRunner about the Fitterati awards…

    I saw this post and said to myself “Hmm.. that guy (your brother) looks a lot like this guy I went to college with… and you know, his wife looks really familiar too like Michaela who I took classes with…” Well yes, they are all one in the same. Hahha I just nearly fell off my chair. What a small, small world.

    Blogs have truly brought the world closer together! I look forward to reading more of your blog, and congrats on the Fitterati award!

  8. Just found your blog on fitness mag! Yay for NY runners! I live in Brooklyn now but used to live on the upper west side. I loved running in central park and miss it a lot. Im thinking about doing the Hamptons marathon this fall but no for sure plans yet. But if I do I will look for you!

  9. Congratulations on the little one! Being an aunt is so much fun. I remember when my nephew was born, I was so excited holding him in the delivery room. Until a big man came in and started screaming at some other woman in the hospital that he was some child’s baby daddy. So yea, that was scary. It’s a good thing your brother had the baby outside of the scary NYC streets. I’m currently waiting for niece and nephew #2 and 3 (on the same day, woo!) so this def. pumped me up.

    Another big congrats: that you’re back out and running. As someone who had to take a full month off for a stupid piriformis muscle last June, I can assure you: the endurance comes back a lot quicker than you think. There was like a 1 week hump before I was crushing 7 milers like they were nothing. You’ll be there soon! And yes, I wanted to punch everyone who I saw running. It sucked.

  10. Excitement for the day? I got to leave work on time and am on schedule to make it to my BMF (British Military Fitness) class tonight which is purely focusing on core. Last week I couldn’t actually sit up by the end, so it’ll be interesting to see how tonight goes!

    And those pupcakes are RIDICULOUSLY cute.

  11. Congrats on becoming an aunt! I cannot stop laughing at that envelope! I love it so much. Um and also that your Dad has no been dubbed “Big Papi.” I pretty much cannot stop laughing.

  12. I think this line from your post should be your mantra for your 27th year: “I had no idea where I was going and I wanted to keep it easy, but again I didn’t feel pain. I couldn’t stop smiling…and also wiping the sweat out of my eyes.” No plans, keep it easy, no pain, but sweat a little too. Sounds like a good start for the year.

  13. Tyler Scott is so adorable! Congrats on your new title of “Auntie Ali.” 🙂 And those pupcakes look delicious. My birthday is September 24th.. you know… in case Brian is feeling generous! Good luck in all your upcoming running – I’m glad to hear you are recovering well! Even though it’s too hot for legwarmers now… maybe I Heart Sweat sweatband headbands? Just to keep up with the 80s running gear!

  14. Congrats to your brother and sister in law! NO drugs? She is my hero too! Love the name, and he is so cute! little peanut! Welcome to auntie-hood! And yay for running on the beach and running, period, again. Slow and steady, right?? For me, I head to Atlanta today for a social media conference – that’s exciting, right?!

  15. I love the puppy cupcakes! What a nice bf you have. I would have felt guilty eating them too, I’m glad I’m not the only one that becomes attached to inanimate objects 🙂

    PS: Yay Running!

  16. Congrats, Aunt Ali! I know you will have so much fun spoiling him!

    And I’m in the same boat as you – I haven’t ran in approx 1 month. I feel sad, fat, lazy and gross. WAH.

  17. Congratulations on your new nephew! And wow – you have been through a lot and live to tell about it. Way to go…you are definitely an inspiration!

  18. Congrats Auntie Ali! So exciting! Today I’m going to tackle a hill workout. Wish me luck, gonna need it. And I might just be going to the hill and staring up at it…

  19. I’m excited because I bought a single serve blender and get to start making myself smoothies! Sure, my first attempt at using it was comical and my husband had to come to my rescue, but then I had delicious cherry/blueberry/raspberry/blackberry cold liquid goodness.

  20. Congrats Auntie Ali!!! (And Ryan and Michaela) Although I’m a bit bummed you have to stop calling him “bump” now…..

    Also – I had an “Aunt Sister”, so I think the sky is the limit on family names….

  21. Congrats on winning the reward, and pain free stair climbing, and oh yeah, becoming an Aunt too!

  22. BABIES! Yay! Happy aunthood to you! And congratulations to a very happy Ryan and Michaela. I bet your parents are THRILLED! 🙂

  23. Congrats on becoming an aunt!

    But, grandmother name indecision – gah! My brother and his wife also recently provided my parents’ first grandchild, and my mom STILL hasn’t landed on a name. She hates anything with “ma” in it, so I suggested “GrandJan” (her name is Janet). She is coming around to that, but it has been an ongoing conversation since January. Why the stress, grandmas?

  24. With all the great news, I can’t wait for your Thankful Thursday Post! Congrat! Also, it’s great your nephew already knows that sweat is great! (babies can read, rigth?) 😉

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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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