Every now and then, I’ll do a Q&A on Instagram Stories, and since I can’t get to all of the questions on there, I like to finish things up here, on my very neglected blog. So, here goes. Let’s see if I can keep these answers short and sweet! (As if I’ve ever done that…)
Tips for hiking with a little one? I want to get started with my one year old but I’m intimidated!
Hiking is one of my favorite things to do with Annie! We have this backpack, which has been fantastic for us. We bring lots of snacks, and usually let Annie out of the backpack for a bit to let her run around and get some energy out. The key is low expectations!
Best New England fall getaway?
You can’t beat the foliage up here! I highly recommend a drive through the White Mountains when the leaves are at their fieriest!
Give us a hot take or controversial opinion. (Mine: Christmas Vacation isn’t funny.)
I agree with yours. I can’t stand that movie. See also A Christmas Story, which might be my least favorite movie of all-time.
Anything you love that nobody else does? Food, music, etc.?
Honestly, for a very long time it was not cool (at least for younger generations) to like Celine Dion, but I always owned my adoration. Now she’s cool again, though!
How are you doing? Like really doing?
Really well! I’m fresh off a wonderful and very fulfilling trip to New York City (more on that here), we are headed to Rhode Island this weekend for a wedding (first wedding since November 2019!), and next week we are moving! More on that soon.
When will Brian join you for an episode again?
Hopefully soon, though I’ve been saying that since Annie was born! It’s just very hard to find an hour of time when we are both available! We are workaholics, it seems, and are really putting in the work right now. But we will make this happen, I am confident-ish! (Anything specific you want us to address?!)
Are you going to have Des’s pacer on? All your pacer episodes have been great!
Yup! I recorded with Charlie Lawrence a while ago, and the episode will finally be out next week! He’s so much fun.
Is it better for you if people listen to the podcast on Apple/iTunes rather than Spotify?
iTunes and Apple Podcasts are great for helping boost the show, especially through ratings and reviews, which you know I appreciate so much. But truly, wherever you choose to listen makes me happy!
Tips for beginner runners?
Go slow, don’t obsess over the pace, and keep it fun!
How did you pick Annie’s name? It’s so sweet — and so is she!
That story, here.
You have one TV/movie wedding or party that you can attend. Which one do you choose?
Oh, this is a fun question! The obvious answer for me is David and Patrick’s wedding on Schitt’s Creek.
Has the last year made small-town living more or less appealing for you in the future?
More. Very much more.
What’s your ideal running weather?
High 40s and partly cloudy, no wind.
Will Motherhood Mondays ever come back?
I hope so, but I’ve been saying that for two years now! It’s hard to find a sponsor for this series. Running brands won’t really buy into it — they want to sponsor episodes that are strictly about running. I’ve pushed pretty hard and have explained the value and reach of this series, but I can’t seem to convince them. I’ll keep on it!
Best races in the northeast? Want to run in 50 states but am unfamiliar with the New England area.
Come run the New England Half Marathon! It starts in my town and it’s an amazing downhill course! (I’ll either be running or announcing it this year!)
Would you ever do an ultra?
I used to want to run a 50-miler, but honestly, now, probably not. I just don’t think my body, namely my stomach, could handle the training. My Crohn’s tends to flare when I do high mileage and hard training, so it’s just not worth it to me. Sadly.
Do marriages change after kids? No one ever talks about it.
LOL. Yes. I can only speak to ours, but yes, of course it changed once we threw an unpredictable little human into the mix! But change isn’t necessarily a bad thing! (Nor is it a linear thing.)
Favorite running tights with pockets?
Tell us your muffin routine! Double batch? Freeze half? Store in fridge? Flavor?
I make a double batch of Carrot & Apple Superhero Muffins every other week, and store them in a Tupperware container in the fridge! I usually eat one before my run, and another after. (The recipe is from Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky’s cookbook, Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow, but you can find an adaptation here.)
How do you hold your phone when you’re running?
Sometimes I just hold it in my hand, sometimes I stash it in a pocket, and sometimes I put it in a Koala Clip, which I finally got for myself a few weeks ago and am loving!
Where’s the first place you want to take Annie to visit when things open up?
Anywhere! We haven’t traveled with her at all! I’d love to do a fun beach vacation, and of course want to get her to Disney World, since she is obsessed with all things Minnie Mouse.
Did you sign up for the Mini 10K, or will you announce?
I will be doing pre- and post-race coverage and interviews on camera (!!!) for the NYRR livesteam / broadcast!
What’s your best advice for getting into race announcing and expo panels?
Advocate for yourself! Ask! Reach out to race organizations and tell them you’re interested in doing this. Study and observe what you see being done at other races and events so that you can kind of figure it all out — there are no classes in race announcing, after all — and then tap into your network and see who can help you make this happen!
If you could ask Ellie three questions and get real answers, what would you ask?
- Are you happy?
- Does anything hurt?
- What can we do for you to make your life even better?
If you could dedicate your life to solving one problem, what would it be?
Wowowowowowow, where to even begin? Homelessness or hunger, probably.
Are you looking to stay in NH?
For another year, at least, yes.
Favorite breakfast food?
Those Superhero Muffins, every day going on three years straight now.
Have you ever hired a running coach? Would you say it’s worth it?
Yes and yes! It depends on your goals, of course, but I have found it so helpful in the past. I’m not working with a coach right now because I’m not training for anything and am just fun running. But I first worked with a coach (Coach Cane!) when I was training for my first marathon, and I don’t think I could have done it without him. It was so helpful having someone else create a training plan for me, adjust it as needed, and really encourage me as I worked toward my goals in unchartered territory. He pushed me when I needed to be pushed, and reeled me back in when I wanted to do too much and surely would have ended up injured. Plus, he helped me get so much stronger and faster, and I loved having someone hold me accountable.
Second dose today? How did you feel after the first? Any side effects?
These questions are old now, but yes, I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the end of April, and I am officially fully vaccinated. I had no side effects after the first shot, and after the second one I was super tired and had a headache, but it was short-lived and well worth it.
If you could only dance one genre (hip hop / jazz / etc.) for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Impossible question! Probably hip hop / commercial jazz, because it’s the most fun to perform. Give me that iconic old-school Britney choreography, baby!
What is something you’re excited about right now?
Moving! Next week!
How can we watch the Olympic Track & Field Trials?
An official broadcast schedule (I assume it’ll be on NBC) hasn’t been released yet, to my knowledge, but this article has helpful information and will likely be updated accordingly. Cannot wait!!!
If you could re-live one day, what day would you go back to?
The day Annie was born. It was such a blur. I would love to meet her for the first time all over again. Other options include our wedding day, and the 2019 New York City Marathon, when I got to be a finish line announcer for the first time.
Who are some of your dream podcast guests?
Katie Couric, Annie Murphy, Celine Dion.
One thing you know now that you would go back in time and tell yourself as a new mom?
You’re doing great. Seriously. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You’re doing an amazing job. You’re a good mom.
How did you get runs in as a new mom? Especially when she was mobile and could get into things.
5:15 AM Orangetheory classes. I would wake up extra early to pump (ugh, hated it), then I would take an early class and be back home before Annie was awake. On the weekends, if I didn’t do an early OTF class, I would run outside and Brian would be home with Annie. And, eventually, I started taking her in the jogging stroller with me! (We have this stroller and I love love love it.)
Tell us about your dream house.
Lots of natural light, on a hill, where I can see the sunrise every morning. Lots of windows. High ceilings. New appliances. A big kitchen. Hardwood floors. A really big shower with excellent water pressure. A big yard with a deck and / or a porch. Lots of pretty trees and flowers around the yard. A really cozy living room for entertaining. And Brian, Annie, and Ellie, all snuggled up with me in a big bed.
Hey, Ali! Loved this nice get-to-know you session; thanks for posting it here on the blog since I sometimes miss out on Instagram! It’s so nice getting a glimpse into your life and how your fitness routine has changed since Annie was born. I’m happy to hear you’re still getting your runs in; in a few years, I hope she’ll start to join you, haha! Best of luck with everything and I hope that you enjoy every minute of being a mom. Each moment is precious!