This Time Feels Right

As soon as I crossed the finish line at the Hamptons Marathon, I was ready to sign up for my second attempt at 26.2.

I set my sights on the Eugene Marathon on April 29, but I didn’t fully commit to the race until well into 2012.

I wanted to run Eugene. I really did. I wanted to experience a glorious track finish, and I wanted to achieve my sub-4 hour time goal.

But then, as you may recall, spring got a little crazy. I got a little sick. My body got a little deteriorated.

I took on too much, and I accepted that my lofty goals would have to be put on hold. While my friends ran the heck out of the race and had “the best day of their lives” that day in April, I was in my apartment, sick and injured. And yes, completely cranky, bitchy and super fun to be around.

Looking back, I was never fully invested in Eugene. Yeah, I was excited, yeah running is cool. But I don’t remember ever having that “This is so right” feeling. So when I bailed on the marathon, which was sad, I still knew it was the right thing to do.

Now, a few months later, I’ve found that feeling.

I’m running the New York City Marathon on November 4, and I can say wholeheartedly and with conviction that this feels so right.

I haven’t started training yet — the race is something like 19 weeks away — but I’m getting my mind and body prepared, and I think we’re all on board this time.

I’m significantly less excitingly busy, I’m learning to better manage my stress, and I’m focusing on what’s important rather than dwelling on the trivial things in life (um, endless To-Do Lists and unpacked moving boxes — sorry Brian, those boxes are trivial, I’ve decided).

I’m back in New York today after one of the most wonderful weekends I’ve had in a while.

Tyler, why are you crying?! We all just want to love you!

I spent the weekend in New Hampshire with my family, eating a ton of good-but-not-at-all-healthy food, bike riding, swimming and, best of all, forcing my nephew Tyler to be my best friend.

"Hi, Ty! I'm Auntie Ali, and I love you more than I have ever loved a bowl of ice cream, a pair of new sneakers or a coupon for 20% off at Bed Bath & Beyond."

I tend to get caught up in the whirlwind craziness of New York City all the time. There’s work, there are training plans, there are fun commitments and not fun commitments, and there’s public transportation. There’s always so much going on, and it took me a long time to realize just how crucial it is to take a big step back — or a jazz square, if that’s more your style — and re-prioritize.

Part of the reason I’m so excited to begin marathon training this time around is because I feel like I’m better in tune with my body and what it needs to stay healthy.

The biggest factor for me in staying healthy is being un-stressed. When I’m anxious or worked up, I get Crohnsy, and blah blah blah. You know how this goes. We all do.

This weekend was so completely stress-free. Being in New Hampshire will do that to you.

The Land of the 603. That's the area code for the entire state. I love it.

I didn’t have cell phone service for three days, I was totally unplugged, and the only things that mattered were cuddle time with Tyler and making sure my ice cream bowl was constantly full.

In this picture, we are snuggling. Tyler was awake for like, 10 whole minutes this weekend. His life is awesome.

Brian and I drove up to New Hampshire on Friday, and as soon as we pulled into my mom and dad’s driveway, everything was right in the world. I wore sweatpants. I was adequately fed. I drank good wine. I didn’t quite catch up on sleep, but who needs that, anyway? We’re young.

We saw a bear in the backyard, and as always, we checked out the latest results from my dad’s hidden backyard night vision motion sensor camera gadget.

OMG a deer. Sweet.

The backyard camera captures all movement and wildlife, so also, this:


Now, I’ve talked about the food I ate.

I’ve talked about being a non-stressed version of myself.

What’s missing in this post here at Ali On The Run?

Ali On The…Run?

Ah yes.


I haven’t talked about actually running in a while, now have I?

That’s because I haven’t been doing it.


She’s fine.

She just ended up taking a little running break over the past few days.

She’s been busy.

Priorities. I have them.

Really, though, let’s talk about it, because this is important. I think.

I didn’t plan to take a running break. It just kind of happened.

I’ve been running decently high mileage throughout the past few weeks, and the running has been going quite well. After being out for a bit, I finally felt like I was getting back into my groove and starting to pick up some speed.

I wanted to build base mileage before NYCM training started — and remember, so far I’ve just been doing this on my own. No one has been coaching me. I’ve just been messing around, enjoying running and doing whatever feels good. So don’t necessarily go out and do as I say or as I do.

I ran early in the week last week, and my body was starting to feel fatigued. Specifically, my left foot was feeling a little achy. As soon as I noticed tenderness — it wasn’t really pain, just a little tightness in my inner arch — I stopped running and hopped on my bike.

You can't really tell, but I was on a hill here. I was also on mile 34.5 of a 35 mile ride and wanted to be out of the saddle and in the pool.

Well, “my” bike that I’m borrowing. I swear I’m buying one soon.

I rode on Thursday.

I rode on Friday.

And then, I rode on Saturday and Sunday, too.

Dirty socks.

I love running, and it’ll always be my first-choice activity, but I haven’t missed it during these past few days.

So I took that as a sign that I needed this mini break. It’s been almost a week since my last run, and I’m excited to get back into my Brooks. I’m pretty sure my lower body is excited for that, too. Bike shorts may be padded, but after riding 151 miles last week, my crotch is ready to run again.

I’m sorry I can’t think of a more ladylike or nice-sounding word, so “crotch” will suffice.

151 miles for the week. Biking!!!!!!!

I love riding. And I’m excited about mixing it into my marathon training this time around. It gets my heart rate way up but in a way that’s far kinder to my joints. I like that. I think it’s good for me. But then again, what do I know?

Absolutely nothing.

I think we’re all caught up now, right?

To recap:

I took almost a week off running. It may end up being a full week depending on when I decide to lace back up again.

I went to New Hampshire for the weekend. I loved every single second I spent away from NYC.

Tyler is the best kid ever and he loves to cuddle.

Tyler will smile for Grandpop.
Tyler will cuddle with Brian.
Tyler with cuddle with Grammy. Even if he eventually calls her something other than Grammy. Like Big Mami. Or Lil' Mama, perhaps.
Tyler will cuddle with Mom Michaela. And he will burp for her.
Frog Butt will cuddle with Ali, too.

He is unsure about whether or not he likes to swim.

Tyler, one day you'll be big enough for a life jacket. But for now, everyone will stand really really close to you and not let you move. Enjoy it. The life of a baby is awesome.

I am ready to train for a marathon. I have a good feeling about the New York City Marathon. I’m excited to get started with training. I can’t wait for Saturday morning 20-milers.

I am not excited about Gu.

But everything else: It’s go time.

Not Gu time.

I tried to make a joke.

Happy Monday!



36 Responses

  1. Yaaaayyyy for marathon training! I was so ready to be done with training but only two days after my marathon on Saturday was over and I’m already eyeing CIM!! I wish I had gotten in to NYCM!

  2. I’m so proud of how smart you were by taking days off to rest your foot! Also, you got a solid week of cross training in! 151 miles is nothing spread over a week. What’s that like 22 miles/day, so 60-70 minutes/day on average biking? That’s not much at all. If you were to run 60-70 minutes/day, would that be too much? No. Whenever I get injured, I would be in the pool or biking or elliptical for 1-2 hours a day. Why? They are non-impact exercises, so it would be impossible to get an overuse injury while doing them. If I can’t run, I try to x-train as much as possible in order to stay in shape.

  3. 151 miles on the bike in a week? As a novice cyclist? That’s just asking for a new variety of overuse injury. Cycling can also irritate the hips and ITBs. Be careful and be smarter.

  4. Your joke was funny!

    I am so so so happy for you! It sounds to me like you are ready to rock.

    Tyler could not be any cuter!! You two make an adorable nephew-aunt couple.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Excited for your return to the world of marathoning! And the bike hiatus looks amazing too!
    About the Gu-i was TERRiFiED of vomming after taking one during a run and so i came up with an alternative– dried mango! not the Whole Foods kind but the sugary, bright orange Duane Reade. and sport beans. But being a Crohnser, i was super scared. You could try mangos! Also easy to eat. But i’m sure you know as well as anyone. Have fun!

    1. I’ll probably officially start in about two weeks. I’m going to start base building mileage (whatever that means) this week.

  6. OMG, all those pictures of Tyler are adorable but when I saw him in those bermuda baby swimming trunks, my ovaries jumped in the air, did the splits, and then exploded everywhere. HOW CAN YOU STAND THE CUTENESS.

  7. I just registered for Philly, it’ll be my first marathon. I’m really excited. I’m looking forward to reading about your training. I’ve heard that biking builds a lot of strenght in the legs which will help with running.

    Good luck!

  8. YAY for 151 miles of biking in a week!! that’s awesome. i have noticed lately how much increasing my bike milage has made my legs so much stronger and therefore running for me has been going well! awesome. 🙂 tyler is such a cutie!!

  9. Yay! I am so glad you had an awesome weekend and that you are now totally ready to transition into marathon training. And I love how much you have embraced biking, that will no doubt come in handy for your runs, strong strong legs!! (and that little nephew of yours is adorable!)

  10. Cells phones were very uncool at Dartmouth when I went there mostly because I think the cell reception was limited and phones weren’t quite as cool then. So obviously we created our own cool thing: blitz, which in retrospect was really just email…Now I think everyone has a blackberry or iPhone. I love NH though.

  11. I tried my second Gu this weekend…triberry. Better than peppermint stick, I think, but still weird weird weird!

    Your weekend sounds fantastic and I’m also so glad you’ve discovered cycling as it’s so much fun!!! But NYC will be AMAZING….I wish I was doing it, but you’ll have to do it for me 🙂

  12. Gus = the one reason why I haven’t signed up for a marathon yet. And the training, duh. When I do, I plan to run completely on gummy bears. Bad idea? Probably. Your nephew is adorable; it’s ALWAYS a good idea to spend quality time with your nephew. Excited to read about your return to the pavement. Or Bridle Path.

  13. Tyler is so adorable! As for listening to your body on whether or not it’s ready to run, I think that’s the smartest thing you can do. Plus, biking!!!

  14. I’m excited to cheer you (and everybody else) on! I am already training for my cheering duties that day. I mean, multiple spots? One spot? Sign? No Sign? Cowbell? Leg Warmers? Jazz hands?

    Maybe I’ll practice on one of your 20 milers?

    1. HAHAHAHA. OMG yes, PLEASE come out and cheer for me during regular training runs. That would be amazing.

  15. Awww your nephew is SUCH a cuddler, I LOVED that time with my niece when she was that tiny. She would sleep on my chest for hours. LOVED that feeling. So calming and comforting. In other news – um hi, LOVE where your head is at running-wise. You’re in it for you, you’re running smarter and smarter and learning to really listen when your body says, lets rest a bit. I love this side of Ali I’m seeing. YAY girl!!

  16. Tyler is adorable! So sweet! It’s great that you discovered bike riding because now you have a really good alternative to running on days you need to hold back.

    1. This morning, my alarm went off so I could work out, but my legs were heavy and I felt tired, so I kept sleeping. I thought you would be proud of me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

listen to the podcast

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.
  • Post Date

related posts

That Next-Level Happy Run

“How’s your running going?” I knew that question was coming. It’s one Matt, my Ramblings on the Run with Ali & Matt co-host, and I

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.