My first real boyfriend broke up with me because I was “too silly.” Later in life, I dated someone (very wrong for me, and for far too long) who told me that it was “embarrassing” going out in public with me, because all I did was ask people “too many questions.”
I’ve since managed to not only embrace both those inherent qualities, but to also turn them into a career as a writer and a podcast host. (And, along the way, fell in love with and married a guy who lists “silliness” and “curiosity” as two of his favorite things about me. Aww.)
I grew up in Contoocook, NH (shout-out if you’ve heard of it! extra credit if you can spell it!), where my life revolved around dance. By the time I was 16, I had my sights on a goal, a dream, a plan: I would become the editor in chief of Dance Spirit magazine. And so, I did. I moved to New York City after graduating from Quinnipiac University, and pursued my glossy magazine dreams.
And when I grew tired of my tap shoes, I turned to an old pair of sneakers. My roommate at the time — a Craigslist success story! — had all these medals hanging on her walls. Always a fan of shiny things and tangible forms of achievement, I asked about her “necklaces.” She explained the concept of half marathons. Of running for fun. Of running on purpose.
The next day, I was out the door for my first run, which lasted…four lamp posts. I sprinted out the door, thinking that was “pacing,” and 26 seconds later, I was gassed. But I was hooked. The following day, I tried for six lamp posts, and eventually set my sights on running the full mile to the nearby dog park.
I ran my first race, a four-miler in Central Park, a few months later, and the rest is running history. I’ve since completed six marathons, a dozen or so half marathons, and many shorter races.
As my love for running grew, so did my desire to write about it. After leaving Dance Spirit in 2014, I pursued a freelance writing and editing career. I’ve written for Well+Good, Women’s Health, Self, Shape, Runner’s World, Women’s Running, Fitness, and NBC.
It’s also why I created the Ali on the Run blog 10 years ago. My goal was to make friends and find like-minded people in my Manhattan hometown. And it worked! I have friends! It started as a running-focused blog, documenting my daily runs and eventual training for my first marathon, and has developed into something more personal. I’ve broadened my scope — and my nonexistent personal boundaries — to write more about life with Crohn’s disease, pregnancy, and life as a new mom.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 7 years old. I’m currently taking Stelara every four weeks, and though I still flare occasionally, I’m grateful for a mostly clean bill of health.
In February 2017, I decided to combine everything I was passionate about — running and asking lots of questions, namely — to create the Ali on the Run Show podcast. Every week, I interview runners about why they love the sport, how running makes them feel, and what they love doing when they’re not on the run. With more than 3 million downloads, the show is one of the leading running podcasts in the world.
I gave birth to my daughter, Annie, in October 2018. Today, we — Annie, Ellie, my husband Brian, and I — live in Weehawken, NJ, where you can usually find me running along the waterfront pushing a stroller with one hand and holding Ellie’s leash in the other.
Episode 26: My Running Story
Episode 106: I Had a Baby!
Episode 174: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Ali on the Run Show