Saturday, May 10, 2014

I've Moved!

You can find me over at

Please join the fun! :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

NWHM Weekend

The long awaited Nike Women’s Half Marathon weekend has already come and gone - way too quickly! Every aspect of NWHM was awesome and I already cannot wait for next year. Here is my recap of the before, during, and after. As the hashtags state: #werunDC and #weranDC
For once in my life I was actually packed and ready to go the night before traveling (only because I wanted to blog about our plans pre-travel).
Now that we’re post-race, it’s funny to see what I thought we would do vs. what we actually did.
We planned on leaving by 7:30 but I underestimated the distance from Newark to Dover, so I was a little late picking Heather up. This actually worked out because she had time to do a Dunkin’ Donuts run for us. We started our donut ritual when we went to Florida and it’s still going strong and we have many more races lined up to do together!
Getting there was pretty seamless, Heather is great at navigating and I am pretty okay with driving in DC, which is good because I do want to live there eventually.
We found the National Harbour, parked quite easily considering the volume of people at the event, and were on our way to the Expotique and packet pick-up!

When you enter the expo your name appears on the wall!

The Expotique is unlike the typical expo that runners are accustomed to. Instead of having various brands with booths or tents set up, the Expotique has things like a Nuun sampling area, a Paul Mitchell Braid Bar, a place to design and print posters with LunaBar, a Fleet Feet Sports race essentials shopping area, as well as gait analysis by Nike and a wall for runners to sign. For once in my life I resisted the urge to buy things and exercised my patience. We picked up our packets and race shirt before even considering any purchases. As soon as we picked up our packets I knew my shirt size was wrong. We walked to the next tent over and received our shirts and were informed that we could exchange our shirts at Nike Georgetown between 6-9 pm, phew. Once we had the necessary things in hand, we headed back into the expotique and discovered that we were able to make appointments for Paul Mitchell, very exciting news. We made appointments for 4 pm and headed out to check out merchandise at Nike Georgetown, right up the block.

Signing the wall, which was moved to the race course.

Over Spring Break I checked out the Nike Georgetown store and was in awe of their displays. When we arrived at the store this time, you can imagine my excitement when I saw NWHM and #werundc had taken over the store, in addition to a DJ playing some of my favorite Jay-Z songs (I resisted the urge to say every single lyric). It was the Princess Half Marathon Official Merchandise tent frenzy all over again. Well somehow I kept myself in line; I kept hearing my mom’s voice in the back of my mind telling me “you have bills to pay.” Oh to be a poor college student. After much debate I decided on the white NWHM hat and the turquoise technical shirt with the Nike Goddess on the front. I had to exhibit some major self-control to walk past the sneakers and not “accidentally” buy them. I succeeded, but I’m kinda sad about it. Once we rounded up our gear and checked out, we headed back to the National Harbour for lunch at Sequoia.

The NWHM Blogger Brunch was on our agenda thanks to Heather for getting us in last minute. I found the event via the runDisney facebook group, then Heather contacted Stephanie from Cat Lady Runs, who was able to squeeze us in when they changed the location from Founding Farmers to Sequoia. Stephanie (Cat Lady Runs) and Roane (Love Life Logistics) hosted an awesome brunch for about 20 bloggers, some new like me and some very well established. It was really exciting to meet the women behind the blogs that I follow, especially because they were all so sweet and encouraging. We introduced ourselves around the table and I was slightly unsure of my blog title at that point in time but I think I’ve found new confidence in it because of its quirkiness (FYI, I am a hardcore Jay-Z fan if you didn’t already pick that up.)
Side note: I loved that some bloggers had business cards for their blogs. I knew this was a thing because of being a long time reader of a few professional bloggers, but I never actually received one before. It’s safe to say that I will definitely be investing in a set of my own, they’re just too cute not to!  
Amidst all of the conversation, I ended up discussing way more than just running and I was given some pretty great advice when I found myself saying, “I am trying to volunteer on a local campaign.” I was instantly corrected and was told to repeat my statement with “going to” instead of “trying to.” At first I didn’t know what to think and I was somewhat embarrassed, but then I realized that the woman was actually reaching out to me and trying to help me have more confidence in my plans for the future.
This blogger meet up was a great experience and I think it gave me a great deal of encouragement to not only continue with blogging but to keep moving forward with my education and future. I took a lot away from this experience.

Not only did I get to meet an awesome group of bloggers, but I also received a bag full of stuff to try out along with a few products I chose from the raffle! I will be reviewing and even giving away a few products so stay posted!

I still have a lot more to say about NWHM but I wanted to finally get a post out about the beginning! Please stay tuned :) 

Run Happy, 

Friday, April 25, 2014

DC, I'm Coming!

I'm just about all packed up and ready to go for Nike Women's Half Marathon Weekend 2014 and I couldn't be more excited! Once again, I am traveling with the best race partner ever, Heather.

Our tentative schedule:
7:30 am - leaving Delaware for my favorite place ever!
9:30/10:00 am - Packet Pick-up & Expotique
12:00 pm - Blogger Brunch at Sequoia
Afternoon - No specific plans but I have lots of ideas
5:30 am - rise & shine!
7:00 am - #WeRunDC
11:00 am - Hopefully we will be done and headed to brunch somewhere!

I'm trying this new thing called packing light, turns out i'm awful at it.
My biggest problem right now: which Lululemon skirt shall I wear?

I couldn't forget my race-day essentials so I made sure I laid everything out.
I'm using Cliff Shot-Bloks for this race instead of Gu or gel and i'm quite happy about it.
I just can't stomach the texture, I much prefer to eat something similar to candy. I also have Sport Beans, which I have not tested out on a training run so I might not use them.
I have KT Tape packed for just incase, Body Glide because it's a necessity, my hand held water bottle which I also keep my inhaler in, and my SPI-belt for my phone/keys/money/fuel.
For the Princess Half, I made the mistake of carrying Nuun with me, which disinigrated and made a big mess, so i'm so excited that NWHM is sponsored by Nuun and I don't need to bring it with me!
Oh, and how could I forget my Feetures?! Just looking at their color makes me happy.
For pre and post race stretching I have my foam roller, thank goodness I made that investment at Fit2Run in Disney, it's seriously saved me from a lot of pain.

Is anyone else last minute packing for NWHM? I know there's more procrastinators out there ;)

Run Happy, 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Nike Women's Half Marathon DC 2014

In less than a week I will be running through my favorite city at the most beautiful time of the year!

However, I do have to admit that I am not prepared for this race in any way, shape, or form. After I got back from Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I had every intention of keeping a legitimate training schedule this time. But once again, I didn't follow through and I am sitting here wondering how I am going to do this race.

Before the Princess Half Marathon I truly had no idea about what 13.1 miles truly looked like. Sure, I was intimidated for my first half marathon ever, especially because of my lack of preparation, but I was mainly just excited to be there! I really can not help but to think of the positives when it comes to doing a race because I really just run for the fun of it.

My outlook has not changed, I am still just as excited. This time around I am curious to see the outcome because although I have not properly trained, I will at least not be doing a 10K before like I did for the Glass Slipper Challenge. I am hoping for a better time that will potentially give me pretty solid insight on my ability to run 13.1 miles at this point in my life. Now that the 10K variable is removed from the equation, I am hoping that my body will be more capable.

For my next race, I need to invest more time and energy into training and actually try to get results out of my hard work.

In completion of the NWM DC, I will just be happy to have my Tiffany's necklace and the satisfaction of another 13.1 miles under my belt - not to mention 13.1 miles in one of the most picturesque places around. The political/nerd side of me is going to be way to excited to be running through our nations capital!

Is anyone else excited to #runDC next weekend?

Run Happy, 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Run DC to Eat DC

It seems the only time I can sit down and write a post is late at night when I should be trying to improve my already pitiable sleep cycle. But not tonight; sleep can wait but this post cannot, as it is long overdue!

In honor of the Nike Women's Half Marathon DC 2014 being exactly one week away from today, here is my long overdue post on my spring break expedition to our beautiful capital.

Lo and behold: My experience of DC through food. 

 These are my a few of my favorite places to eat in DC, among some new favorites. I fully intend on eating brunch at Ted's Bulletin next weekend while I am in town, if not brunch, I suppose a Cherry Blossom Pop-tart will suffice. Besides Ted's Bulletin, I am really hoping to try out Founding Farmers, 2Amy's Pizza, and Baked & Wired. Of course I will absolutely need a Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake from Good Stuff Eatery at some point post-race.

Does anyone else get overly excited for post race food like I do? What about strategic planning?

Run Happy, 

- Ali 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Break in Washington D.C.

As much as I would love to be spending my spring break in the sun and sand, like many of my friends, I am quite excited to be spending a few days in Washington DC next week!
My boyfriend and I are driving to DC next Wednesday and we are staying with his sister.
Being that I am a PoliSci and Public Policy major, it kind of makes sense that I am highly interested in DC; I dream/hope/plan to live there one day, preferably ASAP!
I usually make it to DC a few times every year, most often in the spring.
This April I will actually be going to DC twice, for spring break and for the Nike Women's Marathon DC 1/2! Because I usually only have a few days to spend in the district, I like to plan, plan, plan, ahead of time.
Oddly enough, the only aspect of planning that I am good at is when it involves food, shopping, or fun activities.

Here is a run-down of what we are trying to accomplish on our 3-day trip. Which is really going to be more of a 2 day trip when we consider travel, sadly.

Day 1: 
Leaving DE and arriving to DC late afternoon.
I am obsessed with Georgetown University thanks to the College Prepster blog, written by the brilliant Carly Heitlinger, (who will definitely be famous one day & I am proud to say i've been a religious reader for the past few years.) Given my fascination with Georgetown, we will definitely be spending some time there.
My places of interest in Georgetown pertain to my two favorite pastimes: shopping & eating.

Shopping: Georgetown Running Co.  I remember looking through the window of this store on my last trip, prior to my running addiction. Now that I run I think I may benefit from their expertise in the area of running gear. Another athletic store on my list is City Sports, which is not unique to Georgetown but i've never encountered a City Sports anywhere else. Reebok FitHub is a definite stop on our list, but mostly for my CrossFit loving boyfriend, although i'm interested to see what is there (and I want to try CrossFit, someday.) We can't forget Lululemon, J.Crew, Zara, or Vineyard Vines...but please God, grant me self control if I end up in any of those stores. 

Food: Luke's Lobster - I have always wanted to try an authentic Maine Lobster Roll, so this is a must! There is a location in Penn Quarter as well, so if we don't get to the Georgetown one, I will still have a chance! An absolute favorite of mine is Good Stuff Eatery and their toasted marshmallow milkshake that is to die for; they recently opened a Georgetown location in addition to their Capitol Hill flagship location, Crystal City, and a new store in Philly!  Did I mention that I love pie? Well there's a place called Pie Sisters and their menu is calling my name. Others on my extensive restaurant list (which I will make a tab for soon) include Serendipity3 for their trademark Frozen Hot Chocolate, and The Tombs - but we'll probably save that one for my 21st Birthday in September.

Day 2:
Well we can't just shop and eat all the time, so we're making it a point to finally visit George Washington's Mount Vernon; i've never been and Will hasn't since he was younger. Given that I have never been and honestly do not know any details, I will hold off on this topic in effort to provide a more informative post about such a great historical landmark.
In addition to visiting Mount Vernon, I presume we will have a good part of the day left over and I know I would love to run in DC before I have to run 13.1 miles there! I am really hoping it warms up some and we have good running weather - not to mention it is our spring break, so spring weather would be quite wonderful! Running around Capitol Hill would be a beautiful way to start the day, can you imagine starting everyday that way? I'm hoping to end day 2 by walking the monuments at night, something I have always wanted to do.
Considering that i've never experienced Mount Vernon before, I am not sure of restaurants in the area. If we run near Capitol Hill, I would love to go to Ted's Bulletin on Barrack's Row. It is home to the best homemade pop-tarts ever, and mac 'n' cheese grilled cheese; an experience I had on National Macaroni and Cheese Day in 2013.

Day 3:
I am currently dreaming of touring the U.S. Capitol Building, which is apparently possible by contacting your State Senators or Representative. Being a constituent in the second smallest state might actually pay off in this case. Tomorrow i'm going to use my time between classes constructively to try to make this happen! Incase you were wondering; yes, I am extremely enthusiastic about politics and it may or may not reflect on my blog, often.
If the Capitol tour does not go our way, I have a back-up plan! The Library of Congress has tours, we haven't been through the National Gallery of Art together, and there is also the National Portrait Gallery, which I love. Last time we were around Capitol Hill, Will and I went to an awesome used bookstore called Capitol Hill Books, which we both liked for the cozy atmosphere. There is also Politics & Prose, a Bookstore and Coffeehouse which is rated as the Best of D.C. by 2013 Readers' Choice.

I cannot wait to come back with better pictures and more information to share about my favorite city (or district)! Now that i'm doing this from a blogging perspective I have so many ideas on how to record my trip! Please, if anyone sees this post and knows any great places in DC, let me know! I would love to hear from my readers!

Run Happy, 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Princess Half Marathon Week(end) 2014: Days 6 & 7

All good things must come to an end, including Princess Half Marathon Week(end) - which is technically just a weekend but we turned it into a week.

So here are the last few bits of my February 2014 Disney World vacation, or run-cation would probably be more accurate.

On our sixth day in Disney World we finally got to do the Magic Kingdom! This was also the day after our half marathon, and the monday after an entire weekend full of running! The pain was real but we trudged forward and spent an entire twelve hours inside the Magic Kingdom and it was absolutely wonderful.
What a beautiful and bright day!

We got our fast-passes first thing and started tackling our to-do list. I won't bore you with the details, but we pretty much went on every ride in the Magic Kingdom and Space Mountain happened not once, but twice! We went to Columbia Harbour House for lunch, a quick and easy counter service restaurant. I had fried shrimp, so healthy, I know. A few hours later we tried Dole Whip for the first time ever and neither of us are fans. Although, we did get orange Dole Whip with pineapple juice, so i'm thinking we went wrong there. For dinner we did counter service again, but this time in Tommorowland at the Terrace Restaurant. I had the Citrus Shrimp Salad and it was probably the healthiest thing I consumed during out entire trip. For dessert, we had waffles from Sleepy Hollow and I was deeply saddened to find out they were not Mickey Mouse shaped, because everything tastes better when it looks like a Mickey head. At night we saw Wishes and it was a beautiful sight as always. We were actually shopping in the Emporium and realized the show was about to start, so we obviously had to run out of the store like five year olds and get as close as possible. Yep, that happened. 

We also stayed for the second round of the electrical parade, finally rounding our day out to twelve long hours. It still wasn't enough time! Leaving the parks on your last day is heartbreaking for me; I seriously feel withdraw. 
 Our very last day in Florida was spent rather unproductively with an attempt at laying out by the pool but deciding it was just way too hot. We did at least make it to Downtown Disney because we didn't need park admission. We spent half of the day there, wandering around the shops like the first day, eating Ghiradelli icecream, spending too much money, and then eating dinner at Bongos which was actually really great and I believe often underrated. 
Then the really sad part came...packing. If you ever thought you were bad at packing then you need to see a video of me packing. It's a process that begins with me sitting on the floor next to my suitcase, staring at it in hopes that it will pack itself. Eventually I start to throw things in, getting to the point where i've wasted half of my space by not effectively rolling my clothes. It usually ends with me on top of my suitcase, gripping the zipper like my life depended on it and trying with all of my might to close the thing. To conclude, I always end up with a larger carry-on than what I came with, often resulting in various bags all over the place and unintended drama at the air-port. 
Oh, and our flight home was delayed - insult to injury to say the least and that was on top of the fact that the temperature was approximately fifty degrees colder in Delaware. 

So basically, life sucks after leaving Disney and we're already planning our next trip for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in October. 

Run Happy,