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Work, Run, Eat, Repeat…And Ride

Posted Jul 30 2012 9:24am

When I was trying to come up with a pithy title for this blog, I did some “inspirational research.” Basically, I looked up a ton of other blogs to see what their clever titles were, hoping something brilliant would pop into my brain. That is called osmosis.

Or not.

I didn’t do so well in science classes.

A common trend I found in blog titles was verb repetition:

Eat, Run, Read

Run, Run, Spin

Yoga, Eat, Namaste

Live, Breathe, Cartwheel

Drink, Puke, Rally

The only verb combo that seemed to accurately describe my life at the time was “Eat, Eat, Sometimes Run, Eat,” so ultimately I decided not to go that route.

But today, in looking at my weekend habits, this formula works: Work, Run, Eat, Work, Eat, Run, Work, Ride, Eat.

In basically that order.

I can’t say I woke up this morning feeling refreshed, energized and ready to tackle the week. Instead, when my nasty alarm started honking (it actually plays a sweet little song, but this morning it seemed more like a honk) at 5 AM, I swear I almost shed actual tears. I was that upset about having to wake up.

You’ll notice the “sleep” verb didn’t quite make its way into my collection of words.

It’s fine, though, because this weekend I was equal parts “Hardworking, Productive Ali” and “Marathon Training Ali.” Balance, you see.

Friday kicked off the start of my company’s annual summer conference, the Dance Teacher Summit .

This sign is proof that I was, in fact, working all weekend. Just in case you doubted me. These signs don't lie. And neither do my hips. Oh, Shakira.

The Summit is basically three days of master classes, seminars and performances. There’s a big exhibit hall, not unlike what you’d find at a race expo, only instead of Gu samples, compression gear and shoes, our vendors showcase tutus, tap shoes and anything that has been sufficiently doused in glitter or rhinestones.

It’s awesome…even if it does take place in the coldest hotel of all time.

Damn you, Hilton, and your over-eager air conditioning.

On Friday night, as much as I wanted to be in bed at 7 PM with a heaping bowl of pasta, I spent the night at the Summit fashion show, watching teeny tiny talented dancers prance down a runway in the latest and greatest spandex.

You think "Toddlers & Tiaras," I think "My job is awesome."

I finally crawled into bed around 11 PM, which wasn’t so bad, dreaming of a 12-mile run the next morning.

I had to be up extra early to squeeze my run in before spending all day at the conference, but we all make sacrifices, right?

Coach Cane kindly requested that I run 12 miles, with the middle four at marathon goal pace.

Guess what I did?

I highlighted the MGP miles, to make it easy on your eyes. I'm also very sad that I ran 13.1 according to my watch screen, but according to the actual date, I only did 13.09. BRB, GOING TO RUN .01 MILES.

Nailed it.

Yes, I realize I was supposed to do 12 miles, and OMG I did 13.1. Or 13.09.

So if I fail miserably at the marathon in November, we can all look back on this one long run and say, “Ali failed because she messed with her training plan. She overdid it, and ran an extra mile one morning in July.”

I’m the worst.

The numbers are pretty, but the run itself really wasn’t.

I’m getting frustrated with my long runs because I’m able to run for a while and feel great, and then I’m forced to make a bathroom stop. And then another bathroom stop. And another. And then I lose count, and getting started running again is difficult. Often times it feels less like I’m running 13 miles and more like I’m doing a series of 2–3 mile runs at a time. I’m just hoping this passes soon so I can get some quality, stop-free long runs under my belt. Or short shorts.

I bopped around Central Park, and it was absolutely the sweatiest run of my life. It wasn’t too hot out, but it was wickedly humid.

I love finishing my run while I'm still in the park because it means I get to take pictures. Like this one.

I laid my clothes out when I got back, and by last night they still weren’t dry.

I had about four seconds after my run to shower and get back to the Hilton. It was my first time speaking on a panel, so naturally I felt cool and superstar-ish. I talked about college dance teams and what teachers need to know to prepare their dancers for the rigors of competing on a collegiate level.

I know, you wish you could have been there because it sounds so riveting.

And then I took a lunch break and went to F.A.O. Schwartz.

I love it here. I love all the stuffed animals. I like touching every single one to see which is the softest.

I bought Tyler presents.

I did not buy Tyler a Patrick the Pup because he already has one, thanks to Lauren. It is so much bigger than he is.

I will never buy anything for myself again because shopping for Tyler is so much more fun. We Skyped last night.

In case you forgot what Tyler looks like, let me remind you:

He just stares at the computer screen. Last night I sang to him and it made him stop crying. You can call me The Baby Whisperer. I am not available for hire because the only baby I like is Tyler. Sorry.

Oh, this is a running blog?


Saturday night was a late one back at the conference, but again, it was fun, so I’m OK with it. I sat behind Mia Michaels and every time I saw her phone light up I tried to peek and see who was texting her. Sorry that I have nothing cool to report back. My eyes aren’t so good.

And that brings us to Sunday, where I spent much of the day back at the conference listening to seminars and watching Mia’s classes.

So many people. So many fans.

I finally left around 1:00 because Coach Cane had big plans for me: A 40-mile bike ride.

Do you know how difficult it is to get excited about riding 40 miles alone in the middle of a steamy afternoon?

This ride was filled with mini panic attacks.

I didn’t get out until 2:30, and at that point the city was packed. I need to start doing my longer rides out of Manhattan, because I put so much effort into dodging tourists and it took a major mental toll on me. I was getting angry, I was weaving and I hated having to slam my brakes on every two seconds.

I did a loop of the park and then made my way over to the West Side Highway, which was much more tolerable. I rode up to my new favorite spot at the little red lighthouse…

Yeah that doesn't look so good. And the lighthouse looks a bit crooked, don't you think? The Leaning Tower of Lighthouse?

…and then the rain came.

Luckily at this point I was at mile 30, so I didn’t have too far to go. The rain felt good, even if it did prevent me from being able to see.

I’m proud of myself for pushing through this ride. I really almost quit after that first loop of the park because I just wasn’t feeling it and I was frustrated. My pace was nothing remarkable, though I know I could have been much quicker had the route not been so crowded.

By last night I was beat. Brian’s friend is in town, so it was another not-early-enough-to-bed evening. Hence the pending tears when I had to wake up this morning and get back on the bike.

I rode 21 miles this morning and I’m pretty sure it was my slowest ride ever. I didn’t even try. I wished my bike had a motor instead of pedals. I was sleepy and my butt hurt from yesterday’s ride. Whine whine whine. Life is so hard.

Overall I’d say that’s another week of successful marathon training in the books. Since I’m incorporating cycling into my weekly workouts, my running mileage hasn’t been exceptionally high, but that’s what the month of September will be for.

Maybe I didn’t mention the real reason behind all the cycling, in addition to not wanting to get injured from too much running:

So yeah. I'm doing this.

That’s happening in August.

Have I mentioned that? Just a little 100-mile bike ride I’m going to be doing.

Back when I was injured and couldn’t run, I knew I needed something to look forward to that wasn’t running-related. I watched Brian do a century ride and naturally thought to myself, “That doesn’t seem so hard. I could do that. And then go to Levain Bakery.”

So that’s the plan. Ride 100 miles on August 26, and then ditch the wheels for quality time in the Brooks.

My goal for the ride is just to get through it. I’m not aggressively training, but Coach Cane assured me that as long as I can get in a 75-mile ride beforehand, I can get through 100 miles. No big deal. And it should be fun. I’m excited.

Now you know all about my weekend and my grand life plans. This weekend involved too much “work” verbing and not enough 16 Handles consumption.

I haven't had hot fudge since last Thursday. Pathetic.

I won’t say it was a major fail, but I can’t call it a complete success. I have my priorities, after all.

LET’S PLAY A GAME: Your weekend in verb form. Go.

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