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 20 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, after more than a decade in the NYC area, we live in New Hampshire, right back where it all started.
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