There Were Moments of Gold & There Were Flashes of Light

This title pertains to nothing.

Well, that’s not true. It pertains to Celiné Dion, goddess of life and everything that is magical. (June 3! June 3! I’m seeing her in Las Vegas on June 3!)

Here is my favorite video of Celiné Dion:

Anyway, what’s new with you? This is what’s new with me…

Wait, first, read this. This article (which is equal parts very sad and filled with important takeaways) ties into my whole “be your own advocate” thing, and this part really resonated with me: “We are taught physicians know best. But you know when something isn’t right for you. If a doctor is dismissive, go to another one, and another one.” The bullet points at the end of the article are really good and helpful.

What else?

My life lately is writing (loved writing this month’s cover story for Dance Spirit about the wildly talented and inspiring Parris Goebel), podcasting, running, and puppy-ing. (Ellie is one and a half now, but I plan to refer to her as a puppy forever. I just love the word puppy.) So really not a whole lot is new, I guess, but life is good. It’s been very warm in West New York, New Jersey, this week, so I’m digging that.

Spring has sprung! And so have my allergies…

Running. Let’s talk about that.

I love running. Every day that I am healthy enough to run is a good day by me. And I know how cheesy or canned that can sound, but it’s so true. I don’t take a single run for granted, and I never feel like I “have” to run. I get to run, and I’m so lucky to be able to do what I love most of the time.

Strolling with my homie! I think I’ve used that caption 3829 times…

I’m currently on Week 5 of a 10-week training plan for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half. Part of me would like to PR at that race. My PR is a very outdated 1:44:48 from 2011, and while a part of me feels like I’ll never be able to hold that pace or run that time again, another part of me would really like to.

But the thing is…I’m not all-in. I have a “Run a 1:45 Half” training plan that I’m loosely following, but the plan basically starts you off assuming you’re in shape to run a 1:45 or close to it, which I’m probably not. Most of the goal paces for the workouts are a reach and I rarely hit them. I’m hitting times I’m proud of, but they’re not the times this plan says I should be hitting to run a PR. (This is part of why I pretty much never just follow training plans and always prefer to work with an actual human, but this is what I decided to try this time around.)

When your post-run jump shot gets photobombed…

When I do hit or come close to the prescribed workout paces, they feel really hard. The other day, I was supposed to do three tempo miles in the middle of a long run. The plan said to run the three miles at a 7:42 pace, and said that “shouldn’t feel too difficult.” Well, it did. I was sucking wind, and I didn’t run 7:42s. (My last of the three tempo miles was a 7:37 — because it was completely downhill.)

I’m just kind of “meh” about making Brooklyn a goal race. I don’t feel that crazy inner drive that makes me want to really go for it. I’m running, though admittedly I’m not being great about cross-training (what’s a bicep curl???), and my goal is kind of to just keep enjoying it. The minute I feel like I “have” to run or I feel like I’ll be disappointed from a “bad” or “failed” workout is when it’s time for me to reevaluate my goals. I think being bummed out about a workout that doesn’t go the way you want is fine if you’re chasing down a goal, but I’m just not up for that right now.

Do I sound like a lazy runner? I guess I kind of am right now, but I’m also fine with it. I enjoy running, especially long weekend runs with my friends, and I enjoy doing workouts, even when they’re monsters (like this week’s ladder workout). I’m just not feeling like there’s a fire underneath me that makes me want to obsess over a time goal. I’m in it to enjoy the training right now, and if that means I end up being in shape to run a PR at Brooklyn, cool! If not, it’s all good!

Outtakes! (How HAPPY is Ellie in this picture?! And always in life.)

TL;DR that part: I’m running and I like it and I am running the Brooklyn Half but TBD if I want to make it a PR attempt or if I just want to run it and see what happens. Probably the latter.

I’m also thinking I may want to run the half without a watch like I did last year. That worked well for me because it kept the race fun and kept me from getting too in my head about numbers.

And I do want to PR the 5K this year! That’s my only real racing and running goal, so as soon as BK is behind me, I want to find some 5Ks and try to go sub-23! (My PR is 23:04.)

I mean…last time I ran a 5K I finished looking FIERCE.

Meanwhile, I’ve been starring in some workout videos. Sort of. But also not really.

Clearly ready for my closeup.

Good Morning America does a Facebook Live series called “Tone Up in 20” (so catchy, I know), and even though I’m a Today Show girl, I agreed to be a part of the series with Lyons Den, my fave yoga studio. (I truly don’t know how to say no to Bethany Lyons — who will be on my podcast very soon!) So GMA asked Bethany to lead a yoga class and they Facebook Live-d it, and I was part of the class. I’m in the back row wearing a blue top and black pants. I started out in the front row and then Bethany moved me to the back. That tells you where my yoga skills are at these days.

And then, I got to take part in the launch of Daily Burn’s new Barre Harmony program. Daily Burn offers daily (duh) live workouts that are shot right here in NYC, and I was part of the shoot that kicked off the six-week program. Again, I was in the back, but this time in pink. I got good and sweaty, and I love writing for Daily Burn (wrote this one recently, if you’re looking to join a cool run club!) because I really believe in the platform. The workouts are non-intimidating, they require little to no equipment, and they’re beginner-friendly and still challenging. The Barre Harmony workout lasted 30 minutes and I never wanted to die, but I got good and sweaty and was sore the next day. GOOD JOB, ME. But also good job, Daily Burn. (You can watch the workout here.)

‘SCUSE ME WHILE THIS FAME GOES TO MY HEAD. (I’m in the back in the pink.)

In final important news, television.

I haven’t been watching a whole lot of television lately (I’ve been — gasp — reading instead), but here are some thoughts:

  • I’ve hate-watched Girls since Season 1, but I’m really digging this final season. I actually shed a few tears at the most recent episode. I love Shoshanna, Voice of Reason.
  • I miss This Is Us. I miss Jack. I miss Young Randall.
  • Scandal is so stupid. I still watch it, but these storylines are so ridiculous and implausible. Nothing makes sense. No one is likable. And yet I keep my DVR set…
  • I’ve started watching Dawson’s Creek over from the beginning. This show was my jam growing up. That season that the show was “sponsored” by American Eagle was the best because I had all the same outfits as Joey Potter. I remember the show being so risque and all about sex and it felt so scandalous but would also make me cry on the reg. It hasn’t quite stood the test of time, though I still enjoy Joey’s shifty eyes and Andie’s relatable-to-me neuroticism and everything Pacey does. And I still hate Dawson. He is the worst.
I was convinced I could jump higher than everyone else to be seen from the back row. I kinda did it!

Random thought of the day: Kindness is key. Be someone who builds other people up instead of tearing them down. And remember that one person’s successes or failures don’t necessarily define yours. (In many cases, they don’t define yours at all. But if it’s a race and one person gets first, that means you didn’t, so in that case, it’s different.)

Other random thought of the day: Littering. Why do people litter? How lazy do you have to be to litter? Hold your crap until you find a garbage can. Don’t be a jerk.

Coming soon: A post about life. Because I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately and I have some stuff I’d like to share. I’m all about that self-help life these days.


But until then, WHAT’S NEW WITH YOU? Tell me something good. And if you’re running Boston on Monday, GOOD LUCK! So exciting!



17 Responses

  1. I am on the exact same page as you, TV-wise. Missing This is Us (Jack!!!). Wondering why I am still watching Scandal (what is even happening? so ridiculous!). I even recently tried re-watching Dawson’s and was disappointed that it didn’t live up to my memory of it. I guess maybe I should stop watching TV and get out for a run that is longer than 5 mi??

  2. Ali, thanks so much for sharing that article! I had some odd symptoms about six weeks ago where I was unable to speak/read English, but my doctor ruled out a lot of stuff purely because it would be unusual for that particular thing in someone my age. But… that’s an unusual symptom, so I don’t feel okay about dismissing it as “eh a one time headache.” Trying to find a good doctor for a second opinion now, but the article you shared makes me feel a little less crazy… thank you!

  3. You training sounds like me training. I ran the Washington Heights 5K and PR’d the heck out of it kind of easily and bc it’s fun plugged that time in to race predictors…which says if I train right I should run a 1:51 half, which would be a couple minute PR. Part of me is like go for it train right and knock it out in BK. The other part of me is like ugh that will be a lot of work. So as of now I just continue to run long, do some lazy speed work, and go to bootcamp and figure if I can run hard on race day we will see what happens. Good luck with the rest of training!

  4. Wow that’s speedy! And I think it’s great getting that balance between goal running and just enjoying it – it’ll make the day so much better whether or not you get a PB. Happy running!

  5. Three “not too difficult” 7:42 miles in the middle of a long run?! Lol. As someone who seems to have a sweet spot for the 1:44 half (I’ve run a number of them, but have never been able to break it by more than a few seconds), I can definitely attest that this would be a TOUGH workout, at least for me! Everyone is different and trains differently of course, but don’t let your training plan’s idea of what should be “easy” or “hard” for you determine your goals or change what you think you are capable of! Just my random two cents.. I’m also very impressed with your jumping skills. Ha. Good luck with whatever you decide in your training!

    1. YES, THANK YOU. I thought it sounded shockingly difficult, too, especially since that’s considerably faster than half-marathon pace miles for a 1:44! So I mean…I tried! Haha. But those miles after the three tough miles felt impossible. But I’m right there with you on not letting training plans dictate everything. (Also, sweet spot for a 1:44 half? Hi, pace me.)

      1. Haha. That would be tough from across the country, but if you’re ever in Denver look me up! I’m always up for a traveling running buddy 🙂

  6. OMG -i have hate watched Girls too but loving this season. I want to meet Elijah in person! I know that he is just a character but so funny/brutal to Hannah!!! Love Shosh — breaking it all down. I had a horrible run today but evenly paced. WTF? Your podcast & interview with Sarah Conklin saved me from absolutely hating myself. Keep up the podcasting & if I could remember my iTunes password, I would write a review!

    1. HOW does Elijah not have a spin-off deal yet? He’s the best. I LOL at every single thing he says. And so glad you liked Sarah’s episode! She’s the best — glad we could join you from your “horrible but evenly paced” run! (And thanks for listening!)

  7. You should consider PPTC’s summer speed series: a 5K every other Wednesday for $5 each or $25 for 7 or 8 (a great deal even if you only make it to 2 of them). Yeah, Prospect Park is hilly, but the big hill is before mile 1, and I somehow PRed there several times.

    And I’m with you on the littering! It really bugged me toward the end of my time in NYC. Like, I’d get on my building’s elevator and someone’s random coffee cup or soda can would just be tossed in the corner. WHY.

    1. YES, I would love to do that — I actually like the Prospect Park hills! Thanks for the suggestion. If only it weren’t so FAR from NJ…

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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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