Last night, in an act of total narcissism, I went back and re-read a bunch of my blog posts from when I was building up my mileage and training for my first marathon. It was kind of joyful reading about all those feelings — the physical and mental — I encountered during that training cycle. Training for any race is special, but training for your first marathon is just the best.
The posts got me pretty amped to hit the ground running this time around. It may not be my first marathon, but it’s been a while since I’ve attempted a 20-mile run — and beyond — and I’m excited about it. I’m also excited so many other people out there are training for races, whether it’s the New York City Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon (hi Dana!), or a half-marathon. Who says running isn’t a team sport? “We’re all in this together.” —High School Musical
Beyond kicking off marathon training this week, here’s what else is shakin’ in West New York. (That’s the real name of my town, BTW. Apparently a lot of people have been thinking I was kidding and just calling it that so I still seem like a New Yorker. But I swear, my address reads “West New York, NJ.”)
Sweating: I did yoga yesterday and did a Track Tuesday workout this morning. Full training recap to commence at a later date, but so far, so good. Now if someone could only force me onto a foam roller…
Oh, and another thing! I want to work as many races into my training as possible! I loved running the Party With Purpose 5K last week, and I’d love to do more 5K or 10K races, either as tempo workouts or as all-out races when possible. So if you have a favorite summer or early fall race in the New Jersey area, let me know! Let’s run it together and then have a pizza and puppy party!
Watching: So You Think You Can Dance, for work, though I’m kind of loving this season. I’ve known Tate since she was a teeny tiny dancer and I have zero doubts that she will (or at least should) win this season. I watch Odd Mom Out because I take the same Sunday SoulCycle class as Jill, the show’s creator and star, and I think it’s funny. The episode where they were trying to get Hamilton tickets was fantastic.
Eating: This oatmeal bake for breakfast. I make it on Monday and it lasts me all week and I love it. I’m also eating turkey sandwiches on potato buns for lunch. (The most nutritious lunch? Not necessarily. But it’s summer, and I crave these soft, easy sandwiches.)
Writing: About running, chafing, and dance. A few recent favorites…
- “I Tried 7 Ways to Prevent Chafing While Running And This is What Actually Worked” for Self.com (including Ellie’s Self.com debut!)
- “The 76 Best Pieces of Advice For Runners, From Runners” for FitnessMagazine.com (there’s so much good stuff in here)
- “The Runner’s Guide to Cross-Training” for Well + Good
- “8 Things I Didn’t Expect When I Was Expecting—And Running” for FitnessMagazine.com
- “15 Things Every Runner Should Do on Race Day” for FitnessMagazine.com
Loving: Having a pool. I really highly recommend moving to New Jersey and living in one of the condo complexes with a pool. It’s great for post-run dips, Summer Fridays with friends, and late-night hot tub sessions.
Learning: French! Because…
Traveling: To Paris! I’ve never been to Europe, and Brian and I tossed around the idea of going to Paris for a long weekend sometime. I decided to start stalking flight deals and finally got a great price last week (the day before the very sad and heartbreaking attacks in Nice…), so we’ll be going to Paris in September (anniversary trip!).
I’ve been using the Duolingo app to learn French so I can hopefully at least be somewhat conversational when we go, and I’m loving giving my brain some love by learning a new skill. It’s been a while!
Seeing: CELINE DION ON FRIDAY. I can’t think about it too much because then I cry. But this is literally going to be a dream come true. And I don’t use the word literally lightly. You know this story, right? OK, I’ll tell you.
It was the summer after sixth grade. My best friend Becky slept over my house so we could stay up all night trying to win Celine Dion concert tickets from the local radio station, 95.7 WZID. If you were the first caller when you heard a Celine song come on the radio, you won. We stayed up all night trying to win. Finally, early Sunday morning, we heard that first note of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” and we were the first callers!!! The DJ immediately asked, “OK, you’re our first caller — and are you at least 18 years old?”
Sweet, innocent young Ali couldn’t lie. So I screamed into the phone, “No, but let me go get my mom!!!” I ran upstairs to get the phone to my mom, blubbering incoherently, but by the time I got to her, we heard the DJ live on the radio — announcing someone else as the winner.
I shit you not, Becky and I cried for a week straight after that. We didn’t get the tickets because I couldn’t tell a lie, and our brothers have never let us live it down. But on Friday, Celine is performing on the Today show, and I will be there. (Mom, make sure you tune in!)