Running is Breaking My Heart

lifting, monday miles

I was once asked by someone if I always treat life like I’m a circle peg pushing through a square hole. As in, if a situation is just not working, do I just keep pushing, pushing, pushing in hopes that it will eventually work? I’m totally guilty. Giving up is lazy. Quitting unthinkable. So I just keep pushing that circle peg hoping it will eventually fit through the square hole.

For years I have wanted to be a runner. And I was. I have run a few half-marathons. I ran one marathon. But every time I built any sort of speed or heavier mileage my body would just break down. I tried everything. This has been on-going since 2012. It is 2017. I’m still dealing with it. Pushing that circle peg into the square hole.

So, I declare here that I quit. I quit running. The amount of stress that is adds, the heart break when things always inevitably begin not to go well. I’m done. I mean I’ll always run, but for now plans, dreams of training for anything longer than a half or 10k, I’m putting on ice.

I took a running break at the end of 2016 and focused on lifting weights instead. Strangely, I had the complete opposite experience than I do with running. It is hard, of course. But I improved rapidly. I love the bar bell. I did not feel like I was pushing a circle peg into a square whole — instead, it just fit.

But of course, when comps were over, I started running again. I still lifted weights as a complement to running, but not as its own focus. And of course, I lost all my strength gained. And then inevitably, became injured from running again.

So all last week, instead of running miles, I mainly just yoga’d and went to my body pump and cycling classes. And this week, instead of running, I’m starting a weight training program. I’ll lift three times a week, go to my body pump and cycling classes of course, and yoga — but running, aside for the running the weight training has me do, well, it has broken my heart too many times and I think it is time to move on.

xo, Ali

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things : February 12 – 19, 2017

favorite things

So a little late this week, but with turning my dissertation proposal draft in and visiting my mom in Detroit, it was a busy week.


So without further ado, here are my favorite things for this week!

Anything that gives Voltaire a hard time brightens my day.

I’ve been thinking a lot about budgeting lately, probably because I just spent oodles of money shopping the other day.

Also from Design For Mankind, how she wrote a book. I love this. It is a good reminder that consistency is key.

How to have a happy relationship.

I need to start incorporating these habits.

A good reminder.

I always need reminded of this. Also, her tale about the fanfiction story hits a little too close to home.

Things I need to quit doing.

I hope you all had a great Sunday and a great weekend!

xo, Ali

Prototype 1 : Returned

dissertation, graduate school

Prototype 1 has been returned. I’m such a paranoid neurotic that once I received the email, I called Bruno to check it and tell me what it and the comments in the document said. It is what I expected. It still needs work, but I’m heading in the right direction. In a way that is a relief. Better that than, “I have no idea what you are talking about. This does not seem plausible at all.” Or, “This has been so overdone.”

And now, we begin proposal stage 2, where we work on Prototype 2 — which I think I will turn in March 15, a nice, auspicious day.

Plan of attack:

  • Be more organized with my reading. I’m fairly organized. I have a list, but I don’t really have a reading plan. Once I get done with something I just pick something else kind of haphazardly.
  • Think more in terms of things to get done, versus hours worked. I’ve been keeping track of my time spent on Rousseau hours, but while I think this is important — 10,000 hour rule and all — I’m not actually sure if it helping g.s.d. (get shit done). So I think I am going to come up with “goals for the week” type of thing.
  • Write as I go. I didn’t do with prototype 1, because I was just trying to accumulate information, but I’m thinking Tuesdays and Thursdays I’ll focus on writing as well as research.
  • French. This keeps getting punted. I’ll get worked up about other things I need to do and French becomes not a priority, but it is & it should be.

So really — just be more organized, write more, French more. Do more.


xo, Ali

Good Music is my Musical Taste


Currently my favorite playlist is the Spotify “Your Top Songs in 2016” playlist, ensuring that when they do the same for 2017 — all the same songs will certainly be there.

If its good, I’ll listen. I like every style of music, provided well, it is good. I have no real genre preference. However, what this means — when these compilation lists are made, they make very little sense. My musical taste seems, well, schizophrenic.

And so, as proof, here are the first ten songs, when I press shuffle on my top songs of 2016 playlist.

  1. Hello Hooray — Alice Cooper : makes sense. Billion Dollar Babies is one my favorite albums.
  2. Dramamine — Modest Mouse : the lone Modest Mouse that I like. I tried to listen to the album this song is included on, but no. Still don’t like the band, I guess we’ll all float on.
  3. View from Heaven — Yellowcard : Ocean Avenue was the favorite album of my eighth grade and freshmen year — but so far we’ve moved from Alice Cooper to Yellowcard. Ok…
  4. Two Weeks — Grizzly Bear : For whatever reason, like Modest Mouse, liked the song, didn’t care for the band.
  5. Tennessee River — Alabama : What a classic. I love Alabama. But yeah, we’re starting to get a big genre turn to country.
  6. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher — Jackie Wilson : This song reminds me of Bruno. It is no wonder it is often played. But, right after Alabama though? Excuse me while I recover from musical whip lash.
  7. Time Warp — Rocky Horror Picture Show (the original) : And now we’ve experienced a musical warp.
  8. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) — Talking Heads : One of my favorite songs of all time. But what is the similarity between Alabama and Talking Heads? Jackie Wilson?
  9. Seventy Times 7 — Brand New : Another high school nostalgia addition.
  10. White Rabbit — Grace Slick & the Great Society : Not the Jefferson Airplane version, I’m surprised. But honestly — is not the opening to this song the greatest thing you’ve ever heard? — and with this we’re finished.

So we started at Alice Cooper and ended at Grace Slick & the Great Society. Those aren’t that far of a stretch, but throwing in the Alabama? The Jackie Wilson? I don’t know.

But I will say one thing, for each of these songs, proving my point at the top. They are good. Even the teenage nostalgia songs thrown in for good measure still have lost nothing on account of time. So what is my musical taste according to my 2016 most played list? Good music is my musical taste.

xo, Ali

You Can Drive My Car

daily life

Thursday I drove to Detroit to visit my mom who was back in the states for two days. I was only there for one night, driving back on Friday.

I walked in through the door and asked Bruno, “Is there anything I hate more than driving?”

He could not think of anything. Neither could I.

I don’t know why I hate driving as much as I do. I love cars. I have been joking around about owning a Mercedes-Benz for years. Not really a fan of the super luxury cars,  I prefer the rumble of muscle cars. I like going to car shows. My dream car is a ’67 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 in a nice black.

Back in rural Ohio, summer Sundays always seem to be the day where people drive around their old cars and motorcycles. I used to date someone who would drive around an old Camaro IROC-Z — and I loved the rumble, rumble of that thing. I loved driving around in the summer sun and although I’ve moved on, romantically speaking, every time I see people driving around in their cars on summer Sundays, I wish I could drive around in one of my own.


But I hate driving. I love being on the road. I love road trips. It is another dream of mine to do the whole route 66 (maybe in my dream Mustang Shelby?). But I don’t want to drive. I want to be the passenger.

Today, I drive an old Ford Taurus. The Great White, as I like to call her. She gets me from point a to b, but if Bruno is in the car, I never drive.

So maybe — someday — if I ever get my dream car, or even, just an old muscle car that I can enjoy the sound of the engine, I most likely will not be in the one to drive it. But instead, like that old Beatles song, I’ll tell Bruno, “Baby, you can drive my car.

Beep, beep’m, beep, beep, yeah!

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : February 6 – 12, 2017

dissertation, graduate school, monday miles, Uncategorized

I did it. I turned it in. Prototype 1 of my dissertation proposal has been turned in. Whatever happens now is out of my hands, at least, until I hear back from my chair on whether or not it is a disaster. Hopefully I hear back that it is a good start, a few things need to be changed/expanded on/whatever. *fingers crossed*

So Monday Miles is a day late again, but I felt burnt out yesterday after finishing the draft and waiting on Bruno to return to me edits. So, aside from Jaffa-ing, I gave myself a day — which mainly meant looking at apartments in NYC. Because you know, that’s what I do when I get tired of being in small town, Michigan.

Anyways, last week — mainly I felt tired. And the local ice cream place opened back up. We went three times during this week. Do with that information what you will.

Monday — 1 hour body pump class. Have I mentioned that I love this class? The instructor, I believe, is a French professor here and she is so cute. When I’m struggling, she always seems to be having a good time — so I actually smile when I am in extreme pain.

Tuesday — 5 min warm-up//30 min run//5 min cool-down — 3.67 miles; 10 pull-ups w/ 8.2 assistance.

Wednesday — 5 min warm-up//30 min run//5 min cool-down — 3.52 miles

Thursday — rest

Friday — 5 min warm-up//30 min run//5 min cool-down — 3.4 miles

Saturday — 45 min yoga

Sunday — I was planning on doing six miles, but I think with the garbage I was eating, stress about my proposal, I got about a mile and thought “eff it” and went back home. So, 1.5 miles in about 20 minutes; 30 min yoga.

Totals : 2 hours 20 minutes running, 12 miles ; 1 hour 15 minutes yoga; 1 hour other aerobic = 4 hours 35 minutes working out in six days

So yay! I got my 5x week in with 6x. My hips have been causing me some grief, so I need to remember to throw some more yoga back in. Hopefully my legs don’t feel like such a drag this week.

Alrighty — off to clean the disaster that accumulated around me while working on the proposal this week.

xo, Ali


These Are a Few of My Favorite Things : February 4 – 10, 2017

favorite things

Once again, we’ve made it to the weekend. My weekend will mainly be spent working on my dissertation proposal, with hopefully a work out and non-dissertation reading thrown in for good measure.

And without further ado, this week’s favorite things.

Personally, I like the one about not having grumpy goals.

Yup, the boring way is usually best.

Against busy.

I’ve been keeping an almost-daily journal for about 15 years now. I like the idea of having different focuses for every day, especially Friday’s.

I am a compulsive book buyer.

Things to accomplish in 2017? Become a laundry master.

Lopate on Hemingway’s letters.

I like this advice.

In world news, this is horrific.

The importance of scandal in Christian reading.

The best line I’ve ever read in a race report : “Teach me about the Constitution while we run,” I coughed, like something out of a Jane Austen novel.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

xo, Ali

Musings on Prototype 1

dissertation, graduate school

I’m turning in what I am lovingly referring to as “Prototype 1” after this weekend. Prototype 1 is a draft of my dissertation proposal. I do not expect it to accepted, but I do expect it to be close and I hope to have a better idea of where I am at and what I need to do to be where I need to be — if that makes any sense.

I finished the Confessions and have mainly been focusing on secondary lit this week, which is not my favorite thing in the world, but is necessary.  So things are chugging along, maybe not at a swift pace, but at a pace where I’m certainly not sitting still and I’m certainly thinking plenty.

Currently, I have four fears. All of them related with 3 & 4 being the worst.

  1. Basically being asked — is this it? As in, what did you [as in myself] even get done?
  2. Being so far off from where I need to be, that it is an utter disaster that I have to start from scratch.
  3. Being thought lazy.
  4. Nobody wants to work with me anymore.

These are all worst case scenarios and I know I have been working hard. But, you know, it is always a question on whether or not it is enough. Damn that word : enough.

Knowing that this is just a draft helps take the pressure off, so that helps. A lot.

But, I have to get back to it. Prototype 1 may be a mere Prototype, but she is an imperious mistress.

xo, Ali

28 Before 28

goals, Uncategorized

Back when I had a blog called SocraTeas, I would make lists of new things to try before I turned another age. This is different than resolutions or goals — it is all new, whether reading a new book or trying a different food. Some of them are already provided for me — getting married will be new! — but I thought I would renew the tradition of writing this lists for Reveries of a Solitary Jogger.

  1. Get married.
  2. Travel to Europe.
  3. Sail across the Atlantic on the QM2.
  4. Read the Chronicles of Narnia.
  5. Try to make my own sushi.
  6. A CrossFit class.
  7. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life (I actually suspect this has been on a previous list).
  8. Go sans-sugar for a month.
  9. Try red lipstick for serious.
  10. Read a 2016 bestselling novel (theory student reading mainly dead white guys & classic novels).
  11. Go to Frankenmuth!
  12. Attend an opera.
  13. Make pickled beet eggs.
  14. Get my concealed-carry license.
  15. Watch the Godfather.
  16. Read a biography of a recent American president (let’s say either Bush 1 or 2, Clinton, or Obama).
  17. Cook something involving turnips.
  18. Visit Northern Michigan — Traverse City area.
  19. Run a trail race.
  20. Go sans-Facebook for Lent 2017 (given the political climate, this may not be much of a sacrifice..).
  21. Get a pedicure.
  22. Read a philosopher not read in my graduate program, perhaps something by Hannah Arendt.
  23. Try a capsule wardrobe for three months.
  24. Go to a yoga class in an actual yoga studio instead of my YouTube videos and YogaGlo.
  25. Go to a Nascar race.
  26. Cook my way through an entire cook book.
  27. Write a short story (not new, but also not done since elementary school — get those creative juices flowing).
  28. Read a book on economics. I know this one will be “meh,” but you know, civic duty and all.

xo, Ali

Birthday Weekend in Chicago

daily life, music

I probably posted too much on instagram & facebook about what a nice weekend I was having, but when your life is pretty much sitting at a desk in Michigan, you get excited when you get out and actually do things. And so everyone has to hear about it.

Bruno gave me my birthday gift on Thursday night. I was sitting at my desk and he text me, “Look up.”

And lo & behold, there it was.


Confession : I have a morbid sense of humor. On one of our first dates, I told Bruno that I wanted to hang this painting in the bathroom, you know, to startle people. Now it is hanging above my desk — working on Rousseau and reading about the French Revolution adding a whole new level of appreciation.

We left for my aunt’s house on Friday — enjoyed some classic family style beef and noodles and a beautiful birthday cake. My cousin Jack and I had an epic dance battle.

On Saturday after a delicious pancakes, bacon, eggs & more cake breakfast — Bruno and I went to Chicago. Ate at this delicious restaurant — highly recommend the octopus — which was so good I did not take pictures.

We didn’t do much in the afternoon, just walked around and stopped at a coffee shop to do some reading. Still feeling full from lunch, we ate a few snacks in the restaurant in our hotel and went off to the opera house.


We could not have had better seats for the Chicago Voices concert. We were in the second row of the opera house. Both the seats and the music were phenomenal. I would be lying if I said that I did not get watery eyes throughout the whole concert. Plus, I discovered some new favorites like Kurt Elling & Shemekia Copeland.

All in all, a great weekend.

xo, Ali