Monday Miles : May 14 – 20, 2018

crossfit, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

I was really happy with this week. Aside from missing one swim (my shoulders and arms were unbelievably sore after Monday and Tuesday’s workouts), I hit them all and was happy with how I felt. Plus it was a productive work week on my dissertation too, so I felt like I was walking on air by the end of the week.

5 / 14 : Lunch time swim — 10 minutes, 10 x 25 freestyle, 2 x 25 breast stroke. 300 m. Pm — Crossfit. 45 minutes AMRAP 400m run, 3 x rope climbs (I laid on the floor and pulled myself up), 400m run,  15 x clap push-ups (on my knees, because I’m not quite there yet). I ended up doing 5.5 rounds, 2.75 miles. I loved this work out. Like a lot. Probably because I could run. Romwod for mobility.

5 / 15 : Morning — very, very easy aerobic run for half hour. Stayed under 152 beats per minutes, 2.6 miles. Afternoon — Crossfit. Squat jerks and muscle ups. Neither of which I can do (yet, people, yet). I used a pvc pipe for the squats and used a box for my attempted muscle ups (my success level on those pretty low). 21 squat jerks, 7 (attempted and heavily scaled) muscle ups, 15 squat jerks, 5 muscle ups, 9 squat jerks, 3 pull-ups. This was rough. It happened. Something to keep working on. Romwod.

5 / 16 : 35 minute bike ride, 6.6 miles. Nice, relaxing work day.

5 / 17 : Morning — 3.2 miles, 9:30/mile pace. Afternoon — Crossfit. Another humdinger. This one left me shaking. 5 rounds in twenty minutes, 1 minute push-press (I used the lady bar, 35 lbs. and I was on the struggle bus), 1 minute bear walks (or you mean the Satan walk, because I’m pretty sure this walk is from Hell), 1 minute row for calories, 1 minute rest. It doesn’t look like much, but I actually thought I was going to get sick at the end. My arms were so shot. Still, I enjoyed myself. I think?

5 / 18 : Romwod. Rest. Rest.  Rest. Rest.

5 / 19 : Run. 6 miles. I was not sure how this run was going to feel. After Thursday, I was sore. I felt shot. But I tell you what, this has been one of my better runs. I could have gone faster and held myself back. I felt strong and my legs felt good. I started to get a little tired from the hills at the end, but managed to average 10:05/mile pace (the goal was not to go faster than 10 minute pace or slower than 10:30).

5 / 20 : Bike. 35 minutes. 7.7 miles. I still feel like I could run faster up the hills than I can bike them, but it is coming. I mean, I have been sticking around 35 minute bike rides for a bit now and that is about a mile improvement (one massive downhill helped…but then again, I did have to go up that hill first). I still think riding my bike is terrifying. Every time a car passes, I pray a little “thank-you.” Facing fears, people. Facing fears.

Totals : 300m swim, 14.3 miles bike, 14.5 miles run, 3 hours Crossfit.

A damn good week.

xo, Ali


Monday Miles : May 7 – 13, 2018

crossfit, lifting, monday miles, running, swimming, training, triathlon

Aside from introducing Crossfit into the rotation, it was a pretty low-key week. The pool has been closed all week, so I was not able to swim (I’m very happy to say I finally got a swim during a lunch break today). Then we headed to Frankenmuth for the weekend, so I had already planned on taking it a bit more easy with my other work outs. It turned out to be the right thing. We had a great weekend break just away from dissertation work and regular life. It was much needed.


Me, doing my “box” jumps on plates at my second Crossfit class (aside for the introductory). 


5 / 7 : Bruno and I went to our first ever Crossfit work out this evening. It was a preliminary work-out, to look at form, establish a base, etc. That said, I was nervous. Everyone was super nice and super positive. 500m row, 40 air squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups (of the girl-variety); 10 pull-ups on rings (I’m not sure what these are called, I just was at an incline under a set of rings and pulled myself up ten times). Time: 7 minutes, 3 seconds. Romwod for mobility.

5 / 8 : Morning — 4 miles at aerobic heart rate. I’m trying to make sure that my runs stay easy, especially if I know that I’m going to be doing more sprinters, faster anaerobic work outs later that night. Afternoon — Crossfit. 8 x 100m rows; mobility; wod for time — 40 calorie row, 40 kettle-bell thrusters (used a 10 lbs. dumb-bell), and 30 no push-up burpees. I did this in a little over eight minutes. Romwod.

5 / 9 : 35 minute bike-ride. 6.6 miles. I am still loving my bike rides, not so much my bike though. Romwod.

5 / 10 : Morning — 3.2 mile run at around 9:20ish pace. I still haven’t uploaded my garmin watch, so I’m not exactly sure of the exact pace. Afternoon — Crossfit. AMRAP 100 single-unders (I need to work on my jump rope skills); 6 calorie row/bike; 20 mountain climbers in eight minutes (I could only get through two rounds…that jump-rope).  21-15-9 deadlifts and box jumps. 55 lbs. for deadlift and my box was more like a few plates stacked on top of each other. Things to get over: Box jumps freak me out. I’m always worried I’m going to sprain my ankle. Romwod.

5 / 11 : Romwod.

5 / 12 : FRANKENMUTH! Rest. Well, we did walk around a lot, but we also ate a lot of fudge and schnitzel.

5 / 13 : Rest.

Total : Run 7 miles, bike 6.6 miles, 3 Crossfit sessions. Not much, but I knew it was going to be a busy week with travel and looked forward to some rest.

On to the next week!

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : April 30 – May 7, 2018

monday miles, training, triathlon

For the most part, I took it easy this week. I felt pretty stiff and tired until the weekend. I tried to stretch it out and so other things than running. That is, I took out my piece of you-know-what mountain bike for rides and got in the pool. Aside for Thursday, when I got caught in a downpour and thunder storm, I run slowly and just enjoyed being outside.

I feel, for the most part, recovered this week. I don’t plan on running too much more, but I’m hoping I’ll feel less stiff and tired while running. I’m doing something completely new tonight and going to CrossFit, so I’m sure that will be interesting. I’m in a quest to get stronger, but I find that when I lift weights on my own I’m about 99.9% that my form is all wrong, so I get “stronger” sure in the fact that I lift more weights, but then usually the next thing you know I have a chest injury (which happened last year). From what I’ve read about it, Crossfit is controversial for runners (for good reason too), but I’m only hoping to make it a twice a week thing rather than an every-single-day-it’s-my-life thing. Something different. Something interesting. We’ll see.

4 / 30 : JasYoga Hips and Hamstrings reset. Foot mobility: 20 times pick up golf ball with each feet, toe yoga for 2 minutes each foot, roll out on golf ball 2 minutes each foot.  Romwod for mobility. Still pretty sore from all the hills from the half-marathon on Saturday.

5 / 1 : This was my first swim work out in over ten years. Ten minutes. Swim to one side, wait 45 seconds, swim to the other side, wait 45 seconds, repeat. 250 meters. I thought I was going to run 4 miles after this. Hilarious. I was on the treadmill for 35 minutes, ran for only twenty minutes, ultimately moving 2.7 miles. Hip & IT Band mobility. Romwod.

5 / 2 : Another new thing. I road my bike. JasYoga Pre-Ride Warm-up.  30 minutes bike, 5.8 miles. JasYoga Post-Ride Reset. Rolled out quads, hamstrings, foot mobility. Romwod.

5 / 3 : 3 mile run. It was kind of drizzly outside, but told me it was only going to be light rain. And then, the deluge. Rain. Hail. Lightning. I did not bring a phone with me, so I could not call Bruno. I stood underneath an awning on campus until the right moment to sprint home and sprint I did. Still got my three miles in, though. Romwod.

5 / 4 : REST.

5 / 6 : Easy, easy, easy 8 miles. Walked 1 mile, ran 6 miles, walked 1 mile. I used a heart rate monitor to follow and boy. I tell you what. I know I’m not the fastest runner or even the medium-est (I know, it is not a word) runner, but I’m very slow aerobically. I need to work on that. Like a lot. Despite the slow crawl of a pace, I had a great time.

5 / 7 : 30 minutes, bike. 6.1 miles. This time I took a hillier route. I can run up hills faster than I can bike them. Something to work on for sure.

Total : Swim: 250 m. Bike: 11.9 miles. Run: 13.7 miles.

xo, Ali


Monday Miles (Race Week Edition) : April 23-29, 2018

monday miles, running

It is done. I had an amazing experience on Saturday running the Trail Weekend‘s half-marathon. It was truly the best and favorite race I have run thus far. I am so excited to write all about it. I have so much to say. I plan on writing my race recap tomorrow, so for now, here is the week leading up to the race.

4 / 23 : MTV Pilates, Romwod for mobility.

4 / 24 : Morning — I had pretty bad insomnia the previous night (is insomnia ever not bad?). I felt terrible, but my run ended up feeling pretty ok. I kept having to tell myself to “slow down there, buddy.” 3 miles. JasYoga Hip Strength Stability. Afternoon — Yoga for Stress Relief (lack of sleep-induced meltdown) and Romwod.

4 / 25 : Jasyoga hip mobility. 2 mile run (you mean I cannot do more?). Romwod.

4 / 26 : JasYoga Hip Strength Stability. 2 mile run. Romwod.

4 / 27 : Romwod. Plenty of legs up the wall. I ate salmon with sweet potatoes and zucchini for dinner. I drank some Tea Forte Retreat tea and sat in the bathtub with lavender salts while I re-read one of my favorite essays on writing by Ann Patchett. Bruno slept upstairs in hopes that I would sleep more soundly. I still managed to sleep terribly.

4 / 28 : 13.4 miles. I know that is a little over a half-marathon, but you’ll get to read the full story tomorrow!

4 / 29 : JasYoga High Mileage Reset, lots of legs up the wall, Romwod.

Total : 20.4 miles. Each one filled with endless gratitude.

And now, I’ve got a chicken, a whole freaking chicken, waiting for me in the oven.

xo, Ali



Monday Miles : April 16 – 22, 2018

monday miles, running

Here we are! The last Monday Miles before Saturday’s half-marathon. My first race in almost two years!

I woke up this morning super excited. Like irrationally excited. I have been sans-coffee for about a week and the amount of energy I had was a miracle kind of excited. I keep thinking of the plan for Saturday morning. I will wake up at this time. I will eat this. We will leave for Pinckney at this time. I will probably have an itinerary for Bruno by Wednesday. Would it surprise you that I’m type-A?

This week included three runs (finally). I have some new shoes. My feet feel mostly pretty good. I had a good massage on Friday, so I am ready to go.

4 / 16 : AM – Yoga with Adriene, True Day 11, Soften. PM – Romwod for mobility.

4 / 17 : AM – 3 x 45s plank. 50 clamshells. 2 x 15 fire-hydrants. 40 minutes cycle. Throughout day – 3 x 20 pick up golf ball with foot. 3 x 20 calf raises. PM – Yoga with Adriene, Day 12, Center. Romwod. Lots of icing of left foot. Better? But still cranky.

4 / 18 : 40 minutes cycle, 2 mile run. Hips, IT Band, Core. Romwod.

4 / 19 : 3 mile run. Hips, IT Band, Core.

4 / 20 : Romwod.

4 / 21 : 10 miles, baby. I was not planning on doing this, but figured why the hell not. I purposefully kept it slow, went the hilly route, and mostly felt good. I was tired, but I think that had to do more with running later in the evening after a day of running around.

4 / 22 : Jasyoga Sunday Reset.

Total: 80 minutes cycle, 15 miles run.

Alright! Only a few more days to go!!

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : April 9 – 15, 2018

monday miles, running

Before I begin, DESI!!!!!!!!!!! Enough said, right? Amazing. I keep watching the clip of her running in at Boston today (you knew that was today, right?) and well, as a fellow American and fellow Michigander I am very happy and proud. I’m not sure how anyone could watch that and not have happy tears.

Less than two weeks to go until my half-marathon. Training last week started fine and then well, I am starting to feel like Tom Brady’s in his bubble suit in this commercial. Every twist or nudge has led me to panic. And while this is no “Madden curse,” I do feel like I have in my own way a mental hurdle to beat — that fear that every time I sign up and train for a race, that race usually ends up not happening because injuries or health blow-ups. So, yes, the fear.

On a regular three mile run on Thursday, I felt my left foot suddenly get really cranky. Like not in an achy sort of way, but in a “please stop” way.  And it was totally my fault. I made a rookie mistake. You see, with all these doctors appointments, EGD’s, an ultrasound, etc. — none of it has been cheap, so I kept putting off getting new shoes even through it very clearly was time.

It almost threw me into panic mode on Thursday and for the rest of the weekend. But you know what? I stopped myself. I bought a new pair of shoes. They will get here on Wednesday. I started sleeping in my PF boot. I iced my foot. I rolled it out. Instead of doing my runs, I biked instead.

And you know what? My left foot is not great, but it is significantly better. And it will be fine. My loathing of being on a bike? It ended up not being that bad, even enjoyable. I’ll keep working on it and whatever happens on April 28 will happen. I already know that I am not doing it for time and it will kick my ass — and I have been looking forward to that. Nothing has changed.

4 / 9 : Nada, prepared to head back to Michigan from Connecticut.

4 / 10 : Core, hips, IT band. Ran 5 miles. These miles felt really good. Also, known as the post-ice cream run.

4 / 11 : Endoscopy. All clear! But sedatives made me too tired to do much movement the rest of the day.

4 / 12 : Core, hips, IT band. Easy three miles. About half-way through this run, left foot started hurting out of nowhere. Yoga with Adriene, True Day 9, Open. Romwod.

4 / 13 : Foot still hurt, decided to cycle instead. 40 minutes (I honestly have no idea how far this was — I just was trying to burn approximately the amount of calories I would in a three mile run). Core, hips, IT band. Romwod.

4 / 14 : Home in Ohio for the weekend! Yoga with Adriene, True Day 10, Detox. Jasyoga Lower Legs and Feet. Romwod. Core, hips, IT Band.

4 / 15 : Back to Michigan! 1.5 hours cycle, .5 hour walk on treadmill. Once again, no idea the distance (well, the walk was two miles), but tried to approximate how many calories I would burn. Romwod.

Not the mileage I would have liked. I wanted to have just two regular normal weeks of training before next week Saturday, but that’s life. I’m happy to improvise.

xo, Ali








Monday Miles : April 2 – 8, 2018

monday miles, running


Independence Hall


A dud of a week. It started out fine, but with traveling to Connecticut, then to Philadelphia, then back to Connecticut, then back to Michigan, a conference, finishing up my third chapter (or chapters three and four?…more on that later) — it just did not happen this week. I know. I know. Excuses, excuses. But look, the dissertation comes first. Does that mean consequences for running? Absolutely. I’m ok with that.

That said, after two weeks of haphazard running, these next two weeks need to be consistent. April 28 is drawing near. And. I’m. So. Excited.

But, also, I’m so scared. My hamstrings are cranky. No worse than before — which I guess is good news. I have no idea what is going on. They actually do not bother me at all while running, but afterwards they feel tight. But then, the internet keeps giving me different information. Stretch them! Don’t stretch them because they are probably overstretched! Strengthen them! Don’t strengthen them! I just want to say, “Come on, dudes. We’ve made it so far. You both have been so great. We are going to run in the woods and it is going to be such a good time. You will not want us to miss it! So buck up!”

4 / 2 : AM – JasYoga Hip Mobility; 3 miles; 4 x 45 s planks; 50 x clamshells; 50 x Jane Fonda’s. PM – Yoga with Adriene True Day 7.

4 / 3 : PM – 5 miles. The last mile was a complete downpour. It was awesome. Am I the only one who loves running in the rain? Yoga with Adriene True Day 8.

4 / 4 : Drove to Connecticut. Approximately 12 long hours. Can you just feel my hip flexors tightening? I know I could.

4 / 5 : Finishing that third chapter. Turned in.

4 / 6 : Drive to Philadelphia. Conferencing.

4 / 7 : Conferencing, but also Philadelphia-exploring. 3 miles.

4 / 8 : Museum exploration and back to Connecticut.

Total : 11 miles.

I am going to try not to panic for the next two weeks and you are going to try not to judge me for flopping on a long run this week.

xo, Ali



Monday Miles : March 26 – April 1, 2018

health, monday miles, running

This week was kind of a wash. I was having some pain in my right hamstring. I felt exhausted (probably due to missing some nutrients from whatever is going on with my stomach  — I mean you should see my eyes right now, I look haggard).

Plus, I’m trying to get this damn third chapter edited to a place where I am satisfied with it and can turn it in to my advisor. That is basically all I did today. How many pages did I edit? Around four. I did not even get distracted by facebook or Instagram. With almost thirty pages left to go through, at this rate I’ll turn it in the end of April. Good grief.

But I digress. It was a good week. I missed running though and was happy to get back at it today. I added some evening yoga to basically signal: ENOUGH. You are done with the day. CHILL.

3 / 26 : Did I do anything today? I seriously cannot remember. I need to start to write these things down…

3 / 27 : 3 miles with Bruno. I mainly vented about my chapter. He listened. It band & Core strength. I decided this day that I was exhausted and decided I would not run the rest of the week. PM – Yoga with Adriene True Day 1.

3 / 28 : AM – MTV Pilates, JasYoga Hip Stability; Yoga with Adriene True Day 2.

3 / 29 : AM – JasYoga Hip Stability; 100 clam-shells each side, 50 Jane Fonda’s; 30 x single leg deadlifts; 5 x 45s planks; declining sets push-ups, 10, 9, 8,…etc. Throughout the day – Around 100 squats. PM – Yoga with Adriene True Day 3.

3 / 30 : Short pilates session with Kristin McGee — this was no joke. PM – Yoga With Adriene True Day 4. Throughout the day – Around 100 squats.

3 / 31 : JasYoga Hip Stability; 100 clam-shells each side, 50 Jane Fonda’s, ?? 45 s planks. PM – Yoga with Adriene True Day 5. Throughout the day – Around 100 squats.

4 /1 : Yoga with Adriene True Day 6.

Total : 3 miles. Yes, that makes me nervous, but I know that as long as I hit my runs this week, I should be fine for April 28.

xo, Ali


Monday Miles : March 19 – 25, 2018

monday miles, running

This is the week I go back and repeat weeks 7-11 of the Hal Higdon Half-Marathon plan, finishing with week 12 at the end of April. And the most eventful difference I tried to make is to go up the mile stretch with the hills instead of going down it. Within one mile, it goes up 100 feet and it doesn’t really go down. It is just one long big hill.

Ok, this is small potatoes, right? But you have to understand something about me. I grew up in a pancake flat town where I once did a twenty mile run and I think the elevation changed only 12 feet. For twenty miles. When I moved here I thought my runs were so hard, because ah! hills! Now when I go home, my runs are guaranteed 30 – 60 seconds faster (per mile) than what they are here. So the big, scary, hilly road is a big deal. For me.

Also, if running up the same hill over and over again is good enough for Kaci Lickteig, then it is good enough for me.

So yes, the week of the hill. Mostly I felt good. I’ve done this before, so the confidence was there. I was not worried I would not be able to do the mileage. It felt so routine. And that feeling, that beautiful routine feeling, was exactly what I have been wanting to reach.

3 / 19 : You know the drill. MTV Pilates & MTV Yoga.

3 / 20 : 3 miles, easy. IT Band & Core. Clamshells, fire hydrants, a million bridges.

3 / 21 : 5 miles. This felt like such a good run. Plus, I went about a minute faster on my fifth mile than I did on my fourth mile, just because I felt that good. 9:18/mile average. Lifted weights after: 3 x 10 kettle bell swings @ 20 lbs., 3 x 10 single-leg Romanian dead-lifts — no weight, balance first; 3 x 10 assisted pull-ups (about 72 lbs. assistance?), 3 x 10 push-ups. IT Band & Core. .4 mile run back to the house.

3 / 22 : SICK

3 / 23 : SICK

3 / 24 : I was sick for like a good two hours for this run, but I still did it. I felt good actually. 9 miles. My only goal was to stay under 10 minute pace for the most part, and I did, averaging 9:52 pace. It felt like it went by quickly. Ain’t no thang. Only nine miles.

3 / 25 : Still not feeling the best, but feeling better. 3 miles. Here’s something weird about running. Double-digit miles can fly by. Three miles are my least favorite runs. They feel so slow. Like, I just want to get it done and out of the way. Come on three milers, we need to make peace. Related: Shauna Niequist on three mile runs and rough drafts.

Total : 20ish happy miles.

xo, Ali




Monday Miles : March 5 – 11, 2018

dissertation, monday miles, running

Well, I was not so sure how this week was going to go. If you asked me on Friday, even, I would have said the miles just were not going to get done. I had been having stomach problems for over a week, visits to the doctor, the hospital, a migraine on Monday, and perhaps worst of all, almost no dissertating was done. C’est pas vrais! 

Friday afternoon, I found out the ultrasound was all clear and my bloodwork showed that I was getting over a virus. I did not (and still do not) feel that great, but I was no longer yacking. I felt unbelievably anxious and grumpy. Around four-ish on Saturday, I though I was just going to do what I could to make it happen. I did Wednesday’s 5 miles on Friday, Saturday’s 11 miles on Saturday, and Thursday’s 3 miles on Sunday. It was not pretty. But it got done.


Saturday Pre-Run Power Pose.


3 / 5 : Nothing, nada, zilch. Not necessarily a recovery day, though. I did spend the day chasing down my two toddler nephews.

3 / 6 : 3 miles. IT Band & Core.

3 / 7 : Where everything begins to go downhill.

3 / 8 : I’m dying, Egypt. Dying.” Also, so much time in the walk-in clinic, the hospital, just waiting, waiting, waiting.

3 / 9 : 5 miles on the treadmill. Even though it was fine out, the treadmill just felt safer. This was fine. It happened. 3 x 10 push-ups, 3 x 10 assisted pull-ups, IT Band, and Core.

3 / 10 : I took some time to work as much on my dissertation as I could in the morning and I did something I never do. In fact, I kind of hate doing. I ran my long run in the afternoon. I told myself I only had to do six and could decide from there. Two miles in, feeling bloated, heavy, just blah, I was certain that I was not going to be able to do it. Well, guess what, I did it. It happened. I felt like a walrus the entire time because I felt so bloated and, frankly, exhausted the last two miles, but man, I was in a good mood the rest of the night. 11 miles in average 10:17 mile pace — which, for feeling like hell, felt pretty good to me.

3 / 11 : 3 miles. Slowly trudging around. I was sore. Yoga with Adriene for Back and Hips.

This week was a reminder to quit being so precious. Things don’t have to happen exactly how they are supposed to (i.e. running in the morning, not afternoon) do to get my runs in. I need to (must) apply the same thing to dissertation writing.

xo, Ali