Some Things Still Need To Change

Monday! Wicked exciting.

Maybe not. But it’s not the worst thing.

To me, Monday always means a fresh start. I rarely begin anything — a training plan, a goal, a box of Oreos, whatever — unless it’s on a Monday. That’s just how my really relaxed and not-at-all-psychotic brain works.

You understand.

Thus, today is a fresh start in The Land of Ali.

And I think I need it.

No no. I know I need it.

Backing up…

This weekend was everything I wanted it to be.

DOUBLE RAINBOW ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE SKY. As seen from my bedroom. Awesome. I stared at it for like 20 minutes. I did not cry.

I went out for a little girl’s night on Friday with Kristan, Nicole and Sofia. We ate cheese and drank wine and my stomach didn’t completely rebel. It was awesome.

I went to bed late and then slept in Saturday until 8:30 AM. I really know how to indulge.

And then I ran.

I ran kind of long.

Yeah, those are totally even splits. Well done, Feller, you positive-splitting champion.

Run truth time?

This run sort of sucked.

I mean, it was nice being out. I appreciated not being injured and it was nice only having to make three bathroom stops. Yes, “only three” is an accomplishment these days.

But man, running is hard. I feel really out of shape lately, and even though I managed to throw down 8:20s on the Harlem Hills, I paid for it later.

Oh, you mean going all-out at the beginning of a long run isn’t how you’re supposed to do it? Crap. I’ll write that down.

This run kicked my butt. It was the longest I’ve run since, I think, February? So I know I can’t expect the longer miles to come easily. But I also don’t expect them to be quite so draining, especially since a few months ago I was knocking out much longer runs at faster paces without a problem.

I’ll get there.


I spent the rest of Saturday walking around the city with Brian and discovering places I had never seen. That’s always fun.

I NEVER KNEW THIS EXISTED. But it does, at the northeast part of Central Park. You probably knew that already. But I did not. So, good to know.

There was also napping in uncomfortable places. But hey, sleep wherever you can get it I guess.

You look super comfy, Brian.

And Saturday night was spent on the couch in sweatpants watching Food, Inc., which made me never want to eat meat or poultry again. So that’s great.

As for Sunday?

I was up and ready to rock at 7 AM.

It was a big day.

After more than a year of dating, I finally went to one of Brian’s bike races.

I may be out of the running for Least Supportive Girlfriend of the Year. I don’t know. They haven’t announced the nominations yet.

But I suited up in my non-bike shorts and I spent the morning cheering my little heart out at the bike track.

I guess it was a nice day.

The race was at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, which is basically “near the middle of nowhere, but actually less convenient.” It was kind of a “you can’t get there from here” situation, so we took the subway to somewhere that I don’t remember and then rode our bikes 8 miles out to the race.


Bike races are awesome, and to all my single lady friends, you should come with me next time.

The field was packed with hot biker men, and they were all friendly and nice. And wearing spandex. And sweating. And grunting.

So you’ll come with me next time, yes?


Brian kicked ass in his race. I’d love to say I was an unemotional spectator and that I kept my cool, but I was kind of a wreck. I was really nervous because the riders are going nearly 30 miles per hour, and they’re all up on each others’ wheels and it’s too close for my comfort.

That's Brian leading the pack!!! I screamed my face off at this part. Then I calmed down. Slightly.

At one point, a group of racers came by alerting the race staff that “There was a crash on 2.” I don’t really know what “on 2” means, but I know what a crash is.

Brian had just gone by, so there was basically no way it could have been him. But in my mind, he had taken a tumble and I lost my shit. Like completely burst into tears.

Bike racing is scary…for the people on the sidelines.

It was a really fun way to spend the day though, and I have the awesome racerback sunburn to prove it.

Good job, big guy! Next time, win. You're either first or you're last. (Kidding. Kind of. Proud of you.)

And after the race, we rode all the way back home, which was 29 miles, bringing me to a total of 37 biking miles for the day.

The ride home was the scariest of my life.

Riding along Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn was straight-up terrifying. The road was bumpy, the drivers on the road were angry and yelled at me, and people were constantly honking even though I was a law-abiding, out-of-their-way cyclist. It was infuriating and scary.

We rode through Prospect Park, which was lovely but packed, and then cruised over the Manhattan Bridge (pretty!) and up the West Side Highway (crowded and I hate all the people ever, especially people on rollerblades and especially children on any type of wheels).

Then we hit Central Park.

My safe place.

My happy place.

The place where I got into my first little “accident.”

Basically, the park was packed, a chick was crossing the road (she had the right of way at the time), I slowed with all the other riders to let her pass, a crazy-ass dude (not wearing a helmet!) didn’t feel the need to stop, slammed into the nice pedestrian girl, knocked her to the ground, flew off his own bike and fell into me.

So really, I was fine and my borrowed bike is fine. But it took a lot for me to not kick that guy while he was down. I was also pretty shaken up. It’s frustrating that you can follow all the rules, do all the right things and be extra-careful, but then other careless people can screw it all up and hurt other people.

This is the "post-little-accident" shot, courtesy of Brian. He was ahead of me and didn't see what happened. When I gave him the story, he tried to ride back and find the guy. That didn't seem like a good idea to me, so we rode home instead.

With lots of weekend miles on my legs, I thought the best thing to do for the remaining weekend hours was nothing. I napped. I ate. A lot. I told myself I would foam roll, but then I slept instead.

And that’s my weekend: Drinking, friends, running, riding, eating, eating, eating.

It should come as no surprise that I’m feeling kind of gross after the weekend.

I’ve never been one to think about what I eat. I’m usually training for a race and I like food too much to limit it or deprive myself of it.

Lately, though, since I’ve started feeling better, it’s been a bit, shall we say, out of control?

As much as I want to enjoy eating, drinking and generally not taking good care of myself, I know that’s not a great pattern to get into.

My clothes agree, because they’ve decided to stop fitting quite so well.


Not a huge deal and nothing that needs a life-altering overhaul, but I do realize I need to make a conscious effort to start taking better care of my physical self. I said I was going to be really healthy and drink lots of fresh juice, but somehow “fresh juice” became “so much ice cream.” That wasn’t part of the plan!

Now that I’ve started mastering the “don’t be stressed” part of life, I’m moving on to the next phase.

What does this mean?

It’s easy, and it starts today:

  • I slowly increase my running mileage. Lately I’ve been running every-other-day, if that, and basing runs off how my stomach feels. My mileage has been really low during the week, and the months of March, April and May marked my lowest mileage months in years. Sad. My stomach is starting to feel better, so I’d like to start slowly upping my miles. Slowly. And smartly. I don’t want my little injuries to come back. I’ll start training for the New York City Marathon sometime in July, so until then I want to make gradual increases, that way I can go into training with a solid base.
  • I cross-train a little. Two-a-days aren’t really necessary, I’ve learned, and I don’t need to do them often or even at all. I don’t want to give up my Wednesday night spin class with love-of-my-life Matt, but if I’m anticipating a hard run on Thursday morning, I’ll ditch spinning the night before.
  • I get better on the bike. Yesterday’s ride was aggravating because of the crowds, but when I wasn’t slammed in between 12 runners, 16 other cyclists and 42 tourists, I liked feeling speedy! I want to get stronger, more comfortable and faster on the bike. I may be toying around with the idea of a late-summer bike race…
  • I bring back the daily plank. Core strength, where did you go?!
  • I stretch or foam roll daily. Seriously, Alison. Do this. I can hardly touch my toes these days. Try not to be too impressed. Brian is so good about coming back from his bike rides and stretching and foam rolling, and I just hop right in the shower and go on with my day. This is probably not a good habit.
  • I stop eating such outrageous portions. I don’t “diet,” as you know, and since the last Crohn’s flare I’m trying to see which foods aggravate my stomach and which ones don’t. My main issue isn’t necessarily the foods I eat, because I’m usually mostly healthy. My issue is that I eat so much food. I truly don’t remember the last time I didn’t clean my plate or leave a meal not feeling completely full. It’s a bit gross, and I hate going to sleep with such a full stomach. So I need to maybe stop going back for seconds and thirds of every meal. I love fruits and vegetables, and I get plenty of them, but the $7 cup of 16 Handles I polished off on Saturday…and Sunday? I maybe don’t need so much of that. I’d like my clothes to fit again, please.

The last one is probably the most important right now. I just hate feeling “gross” and since my stomach decided to slowly come back to life, I’ve gone way overboard. Last night I was “craving nachos,” so I had a ton of them, and shocking, I felt like crap during my run this morning. Well played, Ali, well played.

I swear, a few weeks ago I could see defined abs, and now…well, now not so much.

Luckily, I have a little running partner who’s just dying to hit up the Bridle Path!

He's got his Nikes and he's ready to run! Let's go, Tyler!

These aren’t exactly “big life changes” and nothing here is shocking. Also I’ve probably written this exact post 12 other times after various “way too indulgent” weeks. But it happens, and I’m the kind of person who needs to write things down — or, you know, blog about them for the whole Internet to see and critique — in order for them to actually happen. Plus, a Monday seems like a good time to get back on track.

So here we go!

ANY CHANGES YOU’RE MAKING THIS WEEK? Eating more? Eating better? Running faster? Yoga-ing daily? Sleeping better? Drinking less? Drinking more?



45 Responses

  1. Portion control is what I’m focusing on this week – and getting my calorie burn in!

    So glad you are ok after your tussle with the biking idiot. Those can be scary!

  2. Sorry babe but I’m on the other side of eating and meal portions. I’m on the lower end of the scale and need to put on a bit of weight, or rather muscle. My trainer has been encouraging me to up it to 7 meals a day or at least have more each meal.

  3. those biking peeps are crrrazy, glad you are okay!

    this week, i am drinking less after my oh so serious (cough) birthday outing. but next week? back to wine and feeling fine, i’m confident.

  4. Biking sounds dangerous around there! But 37 miles is a very respectable distance. I would love to know more about Brian’s bike racing. A guest post maybe???

  5. I need to bring back the daily plank, too! Actually, I got the idea for it from you, and was making some progress, but was then traveling a lot with my family & forgot to keep it up. Time for an epic plank return.

  6. WOOT! Go Ali!

    I guess I want to sleep more this week, although I really don’t think that’s going to happen. Like, at all. But a girl can dream!

  7. I totally dig how you and Brian both have your “things,” but you still share them with each other. 13.1!! Awesome! And hey, even if it was rough, the fact that you can still bust that out after all the crappy (PUNS) stuff that’s been thrown at you is mighty impressive.

  8. Yay for more biking! I watched a pro bike race in Philly this weekend and it was the coolest yet scariest thing to watch! They’re soooo close together! I like ur changes, good luck!

  9. the bike accident could be worse…I once heard about a guy that fell off his bike (well, not really off, just fell on his bike I guess) onto a parked car. that would suck, and be embarassing

  10. I really need to learn how to embrace a rest day…I always plan to take one and think a few miles on my bike won’t hurt…20 miles later I guess I can’t count it as a rest day.

  11. I was feeling the same way! Starting today I’m trying to be vegan for two weeks, kick starting eating clean (the pizza with brie and mozz this weekend tasted amazing but my stomach was so mad afterwards). I’m also going to try to cut back on my fro-yo habit…so tough….

  12. I can never manage negative splitting myself. I always get nervous that if I start off too slow, I’ll still be tired at the end and then I’ll end slow too. So whatever, negative splitting. Just post your mileage backwards and we’ll never be the wiser 😉

  13. It makes me so mad that people bike without a helmet on (ahem all of EUROPE), but I fall off my bike a lot and I like to keep my brain safe.

  14. I start half marathon training in July, so June is all about the daily core work. And not stuffing my face full of crap. Little changes bring big results, right?

  15. Some good changes for you, and the biking? awesome. BAD ASS!!! I love it! Wish I could do that too, I need a road bike!! I am embracing PMS this week. ALL of it. In it’s ugly glory. Thinking it’ll help me through it ,yes?

  16. I feel the same way! I actually went for a run last week and thought I was going to pass out! I didn’t eat anything that day so that was no-no #1 but lately I’ve been feeling that nasty gross feeling, but today is a fresh start so I’m planning on doing something about it!!

  17. Funny…I was just penning a post about eating better, yoga-ing more this week. Maybe change is in the air!

    So sorry to hear about the biking accident but so happy you are okay! I hope the pedestrian was too. Having been run over by a cyclist more than once I know it can hurt! OUCH!

  18. Count me in the needing to eat better too! My training suffers when I eat like crap…like I did all weekend. Here’s to a healthier week!

    Sorry to hear about your biking accident!

  19. Hot, single bikers?! Dude, where do I sign up?!

    I totally have those weeks and then I realize I need to get my ish together with being healthier. I generally eat well too, and I can guarantee you’re definitely the hardest on yourself. Cheers to a healthy week, and getting back on track.

  20. That is an amazing double rainbow. Also, nothing infuriates me more, besides drivers who don’t respect and share the road with cyclists, than cyclists who don’t respect the rules of the road! See, I can be a good rider and driver! So why can’t everyone? You should have thrown your bike at the dude.

  21. Those resolutions sound really sensible, I might borrow them myself actually.

    This week I just want to focus on eating healthily, exercising regularly, running 9 at the weekend and maybe getting out on my bike too, following a weekend ride. You look fab on that bike, try not to let the accident get you down!!

  22. Yikes! I’m sorry you got into a biking accident! I hope everyone is okay!

    Your splits look great, honestly, for coming back slowly you’re doing fantastic and will be back on track in no time!

    I’m starting personal training tonight to finally trim down that annoying back fat and start a better base for the NY. I’m happy to see you’ll be tearing up the boroughs as well! Good luck in your training!


  23. I’m into large portions too. And having something “sweet” to end the meal. Baaad. I’m trying to build up my water intake though, so have started carrying around the nuun cucumber mint tabs in my bag to add to water to encourage me to slurp down. Hoping it works! And isn’t 29 miles a long way to bike home??

  24. Haha I legit laughed out loud reading your caption about Brian coming in first or losing.

    I would like to just steal all of your health tidbits for the week – I feel gross after a weekend of eating, drinking and only dancing (jumping around) in a bar for exercise. 🙂

  25. ‘My main issue isn’t necessarily the foods I eat, because I’m usually mostly healthy. My issue is that I eat so much food. I truly don’t remember the last time I didn’t clean my plate or leave a meal not feeling completely full. It’s a bit gross, and I hate going to sleep with such a full stomach. ‘

    Story of my life. I’m probably to blame for most of my digestive issues. At least you still look toned and fit to me, wheras I’ve completely let things go. Ugh.


  26. The pictures from the bike race do not look like they are from NY. Where are all the buildings?

    I’m working on eating healthier too, and on cooking more for myself.

  27. Creepy… because I just wrote a very similar post on Saturday. Also creepy because I ate a huge plate of nachos last night as well. I’m in the same boat as you girlfriend – I’ll start training for New York in July, but as of the past month or so I have gotten a little indulgent on the food side of things, and my waistline is paying. I like to see June as a ‘fresh start’ per se, and I too committed to trying to foam roll on a daily basis, and stop eating like a starving hyena. I got your back..

  28. My goal is to eat healthier. Now that I am all graduated and stuff I should try to cook instead of having ramen and pasta every night.

  29. Oh my lord, I feel the same way after this weekend. But it was tons of fun, especially Friday night! Glad you are not hurt after your first bike collision! Also let’s make a pact to foam roll. We can report every day if we are successful.

  30. This sounds exactly like a post I put up this morning (which was, in turn, inspired by a post I read on Theodora’s blog last week)! I work out a lot, but between fitting in tons of workouts + trying to have a social life, I eat a lot of crap and drink a lot (hello, craft beer + margaritas). Starting today, I’ve re-committed myself to making time to buy healthy groceries, cook healthy meals, work out smart, and REST to get my body back under control. No time like the present to get back on track…if I can resist my office candy bowl.

    1. craft beer is my downfall. I (like you and Ali) ALSO wrote a similar blog post for June 1. Although I count today as the official start of it, because I may or may not have tried New Belgium’s new brew – Shift – last night….

  31. Single guys riding bikes? 100% count me in for the next one. NO JOKE.

    Good luck with the changes! I’m thinking I need to start making some changes too….A bag of potato chips in one night isn’t a good idea?? Nice job Jocelyn. Oops.

  32. I like your changes! Me – I’ve been trying to run consistently since March! I will have great weeks, then weeks I run less than 20 miles because something is hurt or I’m sick. Very frustrating! I have big plans for the Fall so I hope my body can figure it out soon! Also- strength training…….

  33. Did you get the height of your bike seat checked?It looks like its slightly too high for you (your knee should be slightly bend when you (try to) extend your leg).
    Im assuming Brian checked since he knows all about biking, and that picture is just an optical illusion!
    + you should totally do a low key bike race at the end of summer!!

    1. Yes, I had it checked at the bike shop. I’m actually putting my leg down to stop in this photo (you can see my hands on the brakes). So my leg doesn’t fully extend when I’m riding. (I actually thought about not posting this photo because I knew someone would comment on that!) So yeah, the photo is bad, but the seat height is good, promise!

  34. I am right there with ya on the eating too large of portions note. I am going to begin training for the Marine Corps Marathon in July and also need to build a better base. After last fall’s marathon and the NYC half marathon in March, I’ve really needed this Spring to take some time off while maintaining fitness in a different way (Body Pump, Jillian Micheals’ DVDs, and short runs. Bring it on, June!

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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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