More To Come

Many more adventures to come, but one has to end today. This is my last day at the hospital, with this view on my walk every day. Beautiful place to visit every day, but I’m ready to move on.

Oh hey, Ivy League School.

Oh hey, Ivy League School.

Happy Friday, friends!

Just a reminder to my NY/NJ homies: It Takes Guts HIIT/Pilates fusion class benefiting Team Challenge & the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America is THIS SUNDAY! Bring $25 and get ready to get sweaty with my hot friends!

Told you. My friends are HOT.

Told you. My friends are HOT.

Now go out and run.

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My Hot Friends

Being a part of the New York City fitness community means two things:

  1. My friends have smokin hot bodies.
  2. My dates with them often start at a fitness studio or on a run and end at a bar.
What did I tell you? Sweaty beasts.

Meet Jenn and Will. What did I tell you? Sweaty beasts. But so gorgeous!

The other thing that I learned in the past 3 years is that many, many of us have IBD. Every time I meet someone new, they or someone they know has this terrible disease. And yet, we pursue our personal fitness goals. We teach the classes, we coach the clubs, we run the studios, sweating alongside one another, working as hard as our bodies will allow.

I met Jenn Seracuse from Flex Studios 2 years ago while collecting donations for my Kick Ass 5K. We quickly became friends when Jenn shared with me that she has Crohn’s disease. I met Will Lanier, the manager and a coach at BRICK New York, through many mutual friends as he battled Ulcerative Colitis last year and became the face of the Blank:Cancer campaign.

One day, we will be smarter than cancer.

One day, we will be smarter than cancer.

I somehow managed to convince these two to run a half marathon with me and raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s Team Challenge. And then I had to back out of actually running with them, but am thrilled to be their coach!

Told you. My friends are HOT.

Told you. My friends are HOT.

They’re hosting a joint event to raise money for their journey to Portland, Maine this July!

If you are around NYC next weekend, you HAVE to stop by and get sweaty with my friends. Not only are they two of the most genuine, kind people I’ve met, they are SICK fitness instructors. Every time I take Jenn’s class, I am shaking for days. They also happen to both be Lululemon Ambassadors. I mean, we were destined to be friends, right?

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Oh, and did I mention it’s only $25 cash???? With the soaring prices of workout classes these days, this is a STEAL.

Here are the details for the HIIT/Pilates fusion class:

  • Sunday, June 14 from 12-2pm
  • Dream Downtown 355 West 16th Street
  • Facebook link to the event 
xoxo

xoxo

All proceeds go toward their fundraising efforts. Bring a water bottle and a towel, you will be getting sweaty.

You really should go to this. They’re awesome. Team Challenge is awesome. And I want them to feel the love of the running community, to which they are both newbies.

Thank you friends! And happy Friday!

Now go out and run!

Getting Schooled Race Recaps

This racing season has been so fun! I have a shiny new half marathon PR and got reminded of how to properly race–cuz I seem to have forgotten in the past 2 years how to actually RACE.

Silly Abby.

So what happened in Jersey?

It was good. But I got schooled.

  • I was not at the race early enough. I took the special race train but they had LOST MY BIB so I had to track down someone to get my a freaking bib before the race started so I missed my usual 1-2 mile warm-up.
  • The weather was perfect for racing hard…until the end (or for those poor marathoners who got the sunshine). Overcast and cool.
  • I went out too fast (7:15 min/miles) and I felt great but didn’t have the miles under my belt to maintain that pace. Good news is, I can totally do that this Fall.
Up and over the only "hill" on the course. I'll be back for you, Jersey.

Up and over the only “hill” on the course. I’ll be back for you, Jersey.

  • I slowed down to my normal pace (7:40) but was exhausted by mile 9. Stupid mile 9. My nemesis. By mile 10.5, I had no gas left in the tank.
  • I maintained that pace until the last mile and a half when we turned into a headwind straightaway along the beaches along the Shore. Brutal. Ended with an 8:05 min/mile and was DONE. Like, dry-heaving done.

Lesson learned: Get to race earlier to warm-up and NEVER, EVER go out faster than your training miles.

You’d think I would have remembered this but I was just so excited to be out there racing that I didn’t want to hold back. Still, I managed to PR by 2 minutes!

PR City!

PR City!

Chicago was a completely different beast.

In the 6 weeks I spent at the hospital, my training times didn’t suffer but my legs felt tired ALL THE TIME. Day and night, short or long run, track or tempo, I felt tired every single moment of every single day.

When I got to Chicago, I knew my race was going to be slower than Jersey.

  1. It was hot.
  2. My legs were toast.
  3. I couldn’t figure out my watch.
Feeling great at mile 9 (woohoo!) but totally crapped out at mile 11.

Feeling great at mile 9 (woohoo!) but totally crapped out at mile 11.

Thank goodness JB, Ginger, and Hillary were out there to cheer me on. I’m pretty sure I would have just grabbed a cab and headed back to my hotel at mile 6.5 if they weren’t meeting me at the finish.

My splits were even (7:42-ish) and going negative until mile 11 when I was done with a capital “D”. But my legs felt like they were torn apart at mile 7. SEVEN!!! So I knew early on it would be a battle.

Good thing was, I had someone else to run for that day.

Yo, buddy. #SweatingForAli

Yo, buddy. #SweatingForAli

Those last 2 miles just beat me down. I was SO hot and my legs were SO tired and I was SO cranky. Good news is, I didn’t slow down all that much and still finished with a respectable time.

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 4.37.35 PM

Hooray for finishing!

Lesson learned: Going from sitting on my butt in class all day to standing and walking all day every day does not make for speedier times.

On the bright side, I was the 2nd female finisher for Team Challenge in Chicago!

Janella was the 1st. We became buddies at the starting line in the B Corral. Such a lovely lady!

Janella was the 1st. We became buddies at the starting line in the B Corral. Such a lovely lady!

I’m glad I ran both of these races. The PR in Jersey felt like the welcome back to running I needed after all the surgeries and illness and drugs. I had a ball with my friends and family in Chicago and wouldn’t trade getting to run as a member of Team Challenge for anything in the world.

Team Challenge New York City!

Team Challenge New York City!

If you ever get the chance to run with Team Challenge, I highly recommend you do it. There wasn’t a mile on the course that didn’t have a TC coach, mentor, or fan cheering for me and all the other TC runners.

The best part about the course was that it was an out-and-back loop and I could give a thumbs up to my teammates as we went by each other on the course. It was a sea of orange along the lake.

For Boston. For Ali. For me.

For Boston. For Ali. For me.

All in all, a successful return to running. I’m so happy. I know it’s hot and sweaty and gross out there right now and I’m complaining about it just as much as the next runner. But I’m so happy to be running again.

I’m back.

How is your racing going? Are you struggling with tired legs like I was or are you rocking it hard on the racing circuit? I know some of you are Age Group placing/winning these days. Tell me all about it!

Now go out and run.

The Results Are In

There is so much that I love about giving presents. Some people love getting presents, I love giving them.

So, without further ado and with my deepest thanks to all of you once again for helping me be a VIP Fundraiser on Team Challenge Greater New York at the All State Chicago 13.1 Half Marathon.

VIP Party!!!! Woohoo!!!!!

VIP Party!!!! Woohoo!!!!!

And the winner of the stay at Casa Heavenly in Acapulco, Mexico is….

Sara H.

There is only 1 SARA H. and you will be receiving an email from me in the next 24 hours with the contact information. Congratulations.

Just in case anyone wanted to know how the winners were all chosen:

– Donors were assigned numbers based on order of donation from first to last. There were 847 numbers given out.
– I put the limits in the Random.org number generator for the Acapulco trip first so everyone had every chance to win.

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For the rest of the prizes:

– Each prize was assigned a random number by the Random.org number generator. If a number came up twice, another one was chosen.

So, congratulations, Sara H.! And congratulations to the rest of the winners of the prizes:

  • 60 min massage: Alicia P.
  • Lululemon Gift Card: Bob S.
  • 1 month Virtual Training with Hot Bird Running: Heidi L.
  • 3 DryBar blowouts: Cherie J.
  • 3 DryBar blowouts: Linda P.
  • BIC headbands: Michele K.
  • Erica Sara gift card: Kat Sherrell
  • Exceed Fitness 5-pack of classes: Beth I.
  • FHitting Room 5-pack of classes: Bevan M.
  • Flywheel Sports 10 class gift card: Hillary D.
  • Great Bowel Movement Tech T-shirts: Jenn S.
  • 1 month of Hot Bird Running training: Heidi L.
  • Oiselle shirts: Jocelyn B.
  • Pedal NYC 5-pack of classes: Sharon P.
  • Picky Bars sample pack: Kathy S.
  • Pilates Pro Works 3-pack of classes: Kelly T.
  • Race Pace Wellness 1 month online coaching: Mike D.
  • Revolve Fitness 5-pack of classes: Leticia M.
  • Same Edelman shoes: Debbie B.
  • Sparkly Soul headband: Karen M.
  • Today’s Miles 5K t-shirt: Paige C., Heather C., Sarah McG., Rachel S., Nicole B., Bernadette C., Christopher R., Sarah C., Christine Y., Kristen C.
  • Uplift Studios 5-pack of classes: Lanae R.
  • Women’s Running Magazine 12-month subscription: Nancy Jones
  • Stella & Dot Party: Elena M.

All of you will be receiving an email from me so I can get you your fabulous prize!

Congratulations to all of you and, again, I cannot thank you enough for your donations, your participation in my Kick Ass 5K, and your support along this journey. Thanks for getting me to the finish line.

"Hey everyone! You guys are awesome, just so you know."

“Hey everyone! You guys are awesome, just so you know.”

You guys rock!

Now go out and run.

Ready or Not

I can’t wait to get back to blogging regularly. I have had SO many adventures these past few weeks, some I can share and some I cannot, but all really great stories that I can’t wait to write about.

In the mean time, I’m trying to rest for the big race tomorrow. Apparently, my body is ok with that since I fell asleep everywhere I sat down yesterday.

Airplane ride...zzzzzzzzzzz.

Airplane ride…zzzzzzzzzzz.

But this weekend is all about something you guys have been reading about forever. Tomorrow is my first half marathon with Team Challenge. This race isn’t about me.

This race is about everyone who has been touched by Crohn’s or Colitis.

Taking Steps with friends for all of you!

Taking Steps with friends for all of you!

This race is about all of you who reached out and shared your stories with me about you or your family member or a friend with IBD.

So many cupcakes, so little time. And all for a great cause!

So many cupcakes, so little time. And all for a great cause!

This is about my friends who can’t participate in their lives because they’re too sick.

This is about the runners who trained for this race but who are sidelined because one of the major side effects of IBD drugs is that it makes you susceptible to every other virus in the world and OF COURSE you came down with pneumonia this week while on Remicade.

Wish you were here in Chicago with me!

Wish you were here in Chicago with me!

This race, for me, is a love song to my family, to my friends, to my doctors and surgeons and nurses and PAs and RDs who fought like Hell alongside me. And this race is about all of YOU.

You who ran the Virtual 5K and donated to my fundraising page and helped me become the ONLY VIP fundraiser from the Greater New York team.

Party! Party!

Party! Party!

So, THANK YOU! I look forward to running my heart out tomorrow with all of you on my mind as I push for another PR in Sweet Home Chicago.

And by the by, you can donate through TONIGHT to still be entered in the amazing raffle I’m having. $20 = 1 raffle entry. Donate here immediately  You do not want to miss out villa for 10 in Acapulco. And who knows? I may just hit $8000 by the time I toe the line at 7am Central Time tomorrow.

You never know.

You never know.

Now go out and run!