New York City Marathon Training: Week 8


That’s pretty much all I can say to recap Week 8 of New York City Marathon training. The week started in Vermont, took me back to New Jersey for a few days, and wrapped up in Los Angeles, which is where I am now. (Watch the So You Think You Can Dance finale tonight, and let me know if you spot me in the audience! You probably won’t…but go ahead and try. It’s a fun game!) All this recent travel has been great, but it’s taking its toll for sure. I miss my routine, and am eager to get back home — and to a doctor.

I've been to L.A. lots of times, but I had never seen THIS!
I’ve been to L.A. lots of times, but I had never seen THIS!

My stomach is getting progressively worse, which is damn frustrating. Here’s how it affected the past week of training.

Monday, September 5: Easy Run (8 miles)

This was Brian’s last day of the Green Mountain Stage Race, and the final stage of the race takes place in downtown Burlington, VT — one of my favorite places to run! After he finished the race, I hit the waterfront path for eight easy miles. I only had to make one bathroom stop, and I dropped my pace down to a 7:45 final mile. It’s so frustrating that my legs are feeling so good but that my stomach is holding me back from letting them fly. I’m just happy I was able to run at all while in Burlington. I love that cute city.

The Cristiano crew! I look happy and healthy!
The Cristiano crew! I look happy and healthy!

Tuesday, September 6: Easy Run (6.2 miles)

Brian, Ellie, and I spent a very long day in the car driving back from Vermont. Vermont is so lovely, but so, so far away. After getting home and unpacking, I forced myself to get out for an easy run at 6 PM. I had to make two bathroom stops almost immediately after starting, which brought me down a bit, but I powered forward and was rewarded with a beautiful rainbow sprawling over the Manhattan. After reaching my halfway point, I turned around and cruised home, making for another fast finish. That’s the good thing about running: If I can get myself out the door and through the first few miles, which often include a bunch of stops and discomfort, the second half is usually much better.


Wednesday, September 7: REST

This wasn’t supposed to be a rest day, but after waking up at 4:30 AM to get to a shoot for work and not getting back home until after 8 PM, there was just no way I was getting out to attempt a stop-filled run. I was exhausted from being on my feet all day (and trying to stay professional / not let the crew and talent notice that I was running off to the bathroom constantly), and while I would’ve loved to go for a kickass night run — especially since the shoot was with a certain professional runner I happen to adore and admire — I was beat.

Hard at work on set.
Hard at work on set.

Thursday, September 8: Easy Run (9 miles)

I don’t even remember this run, actually. I know I didn’t get out until later in the day since morning running is mostly impossible right now, and according to my training notebook I made “lots of stops in the first half,” but otherwise I guess this was just a normal, uneventful run. Solid mid-week mileage, though.

This is nice.
This is nice.

Friday, September 9: Physical Therapy + Long Run (11 miles)

I tried to get this run done in the morning, and when that didn’t happen, I vowed to try again in the afternoon. Little did I know it was shaping up to be a scorcher in NYC. I went to physical therapy at Finish Line where I got the full spa treatment: working the kinks out in my legs and glutes, supervised foam rolling (or else I can’t be trusted to do it), some heat treatment, and 20 minutes in the Normatec compression sleeves. Those are amazing. I loved it.


After PT, the plan was to get out for my long run, which was supposed to be 13 miles. At this point, it was 2 PM and 90 degrees, my phone was dead, and the only thing I’d eaten all day was a Larabar for breakfast. Needless to say I didn’t feel great about this run going into it, but I wanted it to be a success.


I started at Finish Line, ran over to the West Side Highway, and then ran south to the tip of Manhattan and back up. I was making constant bathroom stops, I was overheating, and I felt horrible. I tried so hard to get to 13, but when I got to 11 miles — and was right near the ferry that would take me home — I called it. I just couldn’t make it another step.

Ellie doesn't care that I cut my run short.
Ellie doesn’t care that I cut my run short.

Saturday, September 10: REST

My flight to L.A. wasn’t until 12:30, so I woke up early to attempt a short run before sitting on a plane all day. Well, that didn’t work. I got out the door, and had to immediately run to the grocery store across the street to use the bathroom. When I tried to run again, I found myself right back in the bathroom. I could’ve kept trying, but I didn’t have it in me. I let myself feel sad for myself for five minutes, then crawled back into bed with Brian and Ellie.


Sunday, September 11: CorePower Yoga Sculpt (60 minutes)

In a perfect world, I’d spend my mornings in L.A. running along the water in Santa Monica. In reality, I convinced my friend to go to CorePower Yoga with me, and had to make two bathroom stops on the walk to class. One of them was in a church. While it was in session.

As for the class? It was hot, so it felt good to move in sweat, but I am so spoiled by Lyons Den and I have yet to find any yoga that compares. This class was weirdly structured, so we did some vinyasa flowing, but then we used weights and did jumping jacks, and the teacher’s energy left a lot to be desired. Still, I got to get a little workout in and didn’t have to dash out mid-flow to use the bathroom, so calling it a win.

My first acai! IT WAS SO GOOD. Is that why everyone eats them???
My first acai! IT WAS SO GOOD. Is that why everyone eats them???

Then we got acai bowls (my first!) and then we got avocado toast (not my first!), and then we explored, and then we went to the Newsies taping. Good day.

With my favorite press agent. He runs marathons, too!
With my favorite press agent. He runs marathons, too!

In summary…




TOTAL MILEAGE: 34.2 miles

TOTAL ICE CREAM: Two ice creams. A bunch of out-of-the-container spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie on Monday (my last night in Vermont, so…duh), and a bowl of Girl Scouts Thin Mint ice cream after my rough long run Friday. It was the only thing I wanted to eat, so I went with it.

TOTAL ALCOHOL: A few glasses of champagne with dinner after arriving in L.A. Saturday.


What went great: Giving my body some rest? I don’t know. Nothing felt great this week, TBH.

Where I need to improve: Focusing on what I can do. I can’t really run right now, but I could still stand to do some planks and push-ups and yoga.

Motivational quote that best summarizes Week 8 of training: “His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti.” —Eminem

Relaxy Ali in L.A.
Relaxy Ali in L.A.

Not caught up? Here’s how training has gone so far.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR TRAINING THIS WEEK! What went awesome, what went less awesome, and how soon is your race? 



20 Responses

  1. So sorry you’re not feeling well. Hang in there! I’m 7 weeks out from the Marine Corps Marathon with plantar fasciitis… so I feel your struggle! Best of luck!

  2. I didn’t see you in the SYTYCD audience, but how cool that you go to go! I was so surprised that Tate got 3rd. I thought it would be her and Kida for the top 2.

  3. I’m sorry the Crohn’s is flaring! (I’m proud I spelled it right for the first time, can never get it right!)

    Have you tried Sculpt at Uplift? It’s not yoga, but it’s yoga-inspired, and I really liked it – lifting with some flow and stretching that I need!

    Where are your sunglasses from? I keep seeing people with cool sunglasses…

  4. Just keep taking it day by day. You can adjust goals right? You have control of that. You can’t control the disease so don’t stress that part. In 2012 hurricane sandy halted the dream of so many marathoners who had the perfect training and we’re ready for that victory lap. You inspire me personally for just trying even with your many potty stops and stomach pain. Hang in there Ali. Your blog title reminds you that you are indeed on the run. Not on the sideline. Do what your body allows you to. An expression I have been thinking a lot of lately is “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift.

  5. I love that you love ice-cream. Me too! Favorite treat.
    Also, kudos to you for your hard work…despite all the discomfort and bathroom runs.

  6. I can’t even imagine what our dog would do if we had that many tennis balls in the house at once. He would be in heaven for sure 🙂 I’m not training for any big races right now, just focusing on speed some. I had a good 400 workout and did a fun 5K. I hope you start feeling better soon!

  7. So sorry to hear you didn’t like yoga sculpt (and of your stomach issues). I try and sculpt 3 times a week and it is by far my favorite workout and where I have noticed the most change in my body. The instructor can definitely make or break a class so I hope you give it another try. Corepower is coming to NYC in 2017! (I swear I don’t work for them lol. I just follow them on IG and my friend is an instructor)

    1. I would definitely go again and am eager for it to come to NYC! I think the instructor played a big part — she didn’t seem excited to be there and I could barely hear her over the music. She also never introduced herself or said hi to the class or anything. It created a strange vibe. But I’d definitely go back and try another instructor! (Also the studio was so spacious and the lobby was so lovely. I was in awe.)

  8. Sorry to hear your stomach is still bad and your training was rubbish this week. I hope it gets better soon! But either way, rest at about this point in a marathon training cycle isn’t necessarily the worst thing 🙂
    I’m on week 10 of a 16 week training plan for Dublin marathon right now with a few big 16 and 18 mile weekends coming up. What went awesome this week = going to Chicago to visit my boyfriend. What went less awesome = every run! From the rubbish tempo run, to the “long run” cut short at 5 miles, to the intervals that I abandoned to lie in bed instead….. Never mind – I made a choice to spent the time with my boyfriend who now lives on the other side of the Atlantic rather than going running! There is always next week.

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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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