May 01

The Rundown – Searching for the Joy in My Journey

You know I don’t sugar coat around here so I’m giving it to you straight – – the last two weeks have been a struggle and I find myself searching for the joy in my journey. I’m not talking about being deliriously happy to push through grueling workouts because that’s just insane, no I’m simply talking about the desire to continue working toward a goal and finding meaning it in day after day and week after week. I lost my mojo for a bit and even contemplated taking the rest of the year off. The scariest part was, when I thought about letting go of qualifying for the USAT World Championship team, I felt nothing but relief.

WEEK OF APRIL 24, 2017


The only time I have felt good in the past couple of weeks has been on the run. It makes sense, since that is my happy place, the place I find I can relax and feel most confident, most like myself and most comforted. Those of you who run will understand. Luckily for me, there was a lot of running on my training schedule which improved my mood.

The running weather most of the week was crap but I’ll take warm rain over snow and ice any day!

And no, I didn’t actually run in this jacket. I haven’t gone completely off the rails.

Monday – 40 minutes with 10 second excels before swim | 5.86 miles

Wednesday – 6 miles easy before swim | 6.3 miles

Thursday – speed work at Orangetheory | 3.2 miles

Saturday – 20 minute run off the bike | 2.7 miles

Total = 18.06


This was a down week for biking but I still had my long ride and run on the weekend. My coach is loving my power meter and, I have to say, it’s infinitely better than my heart rate monitor and I can gage my workouts a lot better. Yes, I’m becoming a bike nerd, deal with it.

I also finished the S-Town podcast during one of my trainer rides and it’s so worth the listen! Such a fascinating story and so well told. If anything made me feel better about my life, it was this podcast.

Tuesday – Tempo ride | 17.6 miles

Saturday – Long ride and run brick | 37.8 miles

Total = 55.4 miles


I had a lot of time in the pool this week and, I was still getting over my cold in the beginning which made for some ugly breathing. I somehow made it through and turned out a few good swims. I was pretty down about everything so I was just trying to get through these workouts and check them off the list. Not a good place to be but, I give myself credit for actually doing all of them when I kind of just wanted to go home and curl up with Star instead.

I did that later…

Monday – Endurance form after run | 2,300 yards

Wednesday – Endurance 11 after run | 2,600 yards

Friday – 25’s Hard after run | 1,400 yards

Total = 6,300 yards or 3.5 miles in the pool y’all


At least this was a great week for food! I ate very well at Mohegan Sun in Bar American (where we saw Chris Rock!), was able to do some shopping at Whole Foods prior to Orangetheory class and have been making this deliciousness at home for lunch most days…

Half a whole wheat bagel, two eggs over medium, goat cheese, red peppers and spinach:

Unfortunately I didn’t have any fun food festivities over this past weekend and instead had disgusting pizza at a horrible indoor trampoline park for the boys’ birthday party. God I love them so much. Speaking of…


Talking to enthusiastic runners! Every couple of months the wonderful owners of Fleet Feet in Longmeadow invite me to speak to some of their running groups. If you’re local and are looking for fun, diverse and motivated groups in the area – – Fleet Feet is where you can find them!

Of course my ego is fed 10 fold by Jill, one of the owners, who gives the most over the top introductions for me and I love her for it. This past week I spoke to the No Boundaries group about the importance of strength training and how to make it super easy and (somewhat) fun.

Also, my neighbor randomly happened to walk by the store as I was pontificating and was utterly confused. It was hilarious.

I also met my husband and boys afterward for dinner at a great burger place next door and treated myself to a tasty cocktail for all my hard work. I also sampled their Veg Burger for the first time and seriously, it was delicious! The burger is handmade with sunflower seeds and quinoa and they make it slightly crispy on the edges, topping it with goat cheese, avocado and other sloppy yummy goodness.


Chris Rock.

His show was not funny and it was super disappointing, but that wasn’t even the worst part. The worst part was the confiscating of our cellphones prior to being let into the arena. Apparently this was stated on his web site or wherever you buy the tickets but, one of the perks of my husband’s gambling problem is we get complimentary tickets, so we were completely unaware. The line to get in was longer than I have ever seen it and I’ve seen Justin Timberlake, Coldplay and Aerosmith there.

The line is snaking around the corner!

We were told the reason was they were trying to put every single person’s cell phone in a locked bag, provided by the arena, before you could enter. Um, what? Sorry Chris but I’m not trying to video your show and stream it all over the internet but I do have a dog with a sitter and two kids with one and I can’t be unavailable for two hours because you’re paranoid about pirating.

Naturally, instead of complying with that nonsense, we shoved our phones down our pants and smuggled them in.

Get over yourself Rock.

Ok fine, the worst part was after all that, the show was not funny. I expected to be cry-laughing, the way I was for Sebastian Maniscalco. Not even close.

We left early for two reasons:

  1. The show was not funny.
  2. On the way out we would have had to wait for everyone to get their damn phone unlocked from their bag and it would have taken hours!

The best part of the night was our dinner at Bar American and seeing Chris Rock eating there with some of his family. He was much more entertaining in a seated, mute, position.


You may have read about this or have seen it in the news but this incredible murder happened right here in my sleepy town. I only knew Connie Debate casually, from the pool at the YMCA, but our entire community was completely outraged when the news broke about this almost two years ago.

It was so completely obvious from the beginning that her husband shot her and then lamely tried to make it look like a home invasion and, it was an agonizingly long wait for him to be arrested. I cannot tell you how happy I am that her FitBit gave the concrete evidence they needed to finally put her scumbag husband in handcuffs.

And, because I can’t just leave you with that awfulness, I will give you yet another stellar recommendation for a book! I have to say, my book club is hitting it out of the park with these selections. I usually give a massive eye roll to the young adult genre but Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is awesome, awesome. It’s a quick, intense read that has a lightness and hopefulness about it that can only come from being in love when you’re 18…and you can’t leave your house…and have actually never left your house.

The only downer was I guessed the plot twist. I’m usually not that clever but you should read it just to see if you can figure it out. It was definitely one of the most interesting books I have read in a while and perfect for summer reading. Oh and I think they’re making it into a movie so you can always just wait for that. #lazy


While it’s heating up here in Connecticut, my dad and stepmom are traveling in Vancouver and Banff! The pictures are stunning but are making me tremendously grateful for spring and summer.

A small Cuban in a big hat. That’s my dad.

My post on Wednesday will go into more detail about me wrestling my training demons and what I see happening in the coming months. Stay tuned and happy freakin’ Monday.

How was your week?

Are you finding joy in your journey?

Have you ever had to hand over your cell phone for a show?


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  1. CARLA

    “I felt nothing but relief”
    Some Ive followed through with the quit and others Ive stuck it out because I knew in my heart it wasnt QUIT TIME.
    I get it entirely (and DO NOT GET CHRIS ROCK. It’s time to just let go of some of the control I guess? 2017 is hard with all the technology but we can’t control everydamnthing. Even when we think we can.)
    CARLA recently posted…My experience with an intuitive reading.My Profile

    1. vita88

      I so appreciate you saying you understand and been on both sides of the quitting equation. We shall see where my heart leads me…
      And yes, time to let go of control – – speaking as a complete control freak – – you cannot possibly start confiscating cellphones in public places, it’s absurd.

  2. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    Even though we are in two totally different states of our athletic goals, I feel ya. This week I have been feeling that I just need to forgot about running. It does nothing but hurt me. But then I think of what running gives me when it’s good. Damn. I sound like I’m in an abusive relationship! Anyway, I’m glad you found the joy in your runs. And Chris Rock. What’s up with that? Smart thinking of shoving your phones down your pants. Lol!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Last Week’s WorkoutsMy Profile

    1. vita88

      It’s exactly like an abusive relationship!!! When it’s good – – it’s SO good 🙂 Let’s hope we can become better at partnering with running (and swimming and biking) instead a vicious circle of love/hate.

  3. Hollie

    We are in very similar mentalies right now. Running isn’t bringing me enjoyment and it’s been such a breath of fresh air to just relax and not worry about it.
    Hollie recently posted…The “I Didn’t Workout” Training PostMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I know we are and I hate that we are but at least we understand one another 🙂 Thanks Hollie!

  4. Susie @ Suzlyfe

    I hate that you are at the “nothing but relief” stage. That just sucks. I have never had any desire to see Chris Rock in person, so the fact that the show was atrocious doesn’t surprise me. Maybe you should just start comparing everything to that show and everything will be awesome in comparison?

    1. vita88

      That is the best positive spin ever!! Thank you!

  5. Laura

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. I usually feel it after a big race, and remember feeling this way after the fall marathon. Not into running, totally okay if I never race that far again, and needing a big shift. With time, it came back – but if it gives you relief to think of dropping a big pressure goal, I’d go with your gut. Especially if it persists for a few weeks. You’re certainly not letting any of us down!
    Laura recently posted…NJ Half Marathon Race RecapMy Profile

    1. vita88

      That’s part of the problem – I would understand it better if it was coming after a big goal race but I’m only weeks away from my first big race of the season!! And thanks for the advice about going with my gut – it’s never wrong, is it?

  6. Dana

    Thanks for the book rec – I like a good YA novel every so often. Chris Rock – bummer. Adam Levine called people out for recording on their phones instead of being present at the concert, but we didn’t have to give up our phones. That’s ridiculous!

    While I can’t relate to finding joy in a run, I understand about losing your mojo. I hope you get it back, or find a new mojo that works for you. Have a good week Allie!
    Dana recently posted…For my mother, on her birthdayMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I get the shout out from Adam but taking cell phones? It was just dumb and a waste of everyone’s time.
      I hope you read Everything, Everything so we can compare notes 🙂
      Thanks Dana!

  7. Wendy

    I felt relief when I announced I wasn’t going to run my marathon in June. Then I promptly continued training for it. WTH is wrong with me? I really think I need to give myself a break but that is so hard.

    I’d tell you the same, but I know you are like me and you can’t do that. Your mojo will come back.That I know. Because it always does!!!
    Wendy recently posted…The No Pressure, No Marathon Training PlanMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I’m basically doing the same thing right now and my husband is like “really? we’re still doing this?” I just keep plugging away until I can figure out what I want but I think the shift away from the pressure is the relief I feel. I know you get it 🙂 Basically, we’re both crazy! And I agree my mojo will return…

  8. Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    I emphasize with losing mojo and I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling blah about training. Your mojo will come back! I think for competitive types like you or I, sometimes we just need a break – but that break is hard because we also thrive on pushing ourselves! It’s a weird tension or balance. When I DNS’ed at my summer marathon last year, it was the biggest flood of relief. I took the summer off of formal training and I was exactly what I needed to get it all back for CIM. I’m glad your runs brought you joy!
    Your lunch of the week looks so delicious! I’ve been enjoying eggs at lunch so I may steal the idea of adding goat cheese. My favorite lunches include dairy and gluten in all their (good, natural form) goodness.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Mile Markers: Hard-Easy BalanceMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I can’t image the courage it took for you to DNS the summer marathon but look what happened at CIM!? I know you’re right about needing a break but I’m basically still “meh” after a week. Maybe I need two? I’ll figure it out I’m sure but I certainly appreciate the support and just knowing every competitive athlete goes though this!
      Let me know if you try the goat cheese! It literally melts in your mouth. YUM!

  9. Paria@momontherunsanity.com

    Ugh, sorry to hear that you have been in a funk…. Sometimes taking just a week or two off (rather than the year) is all you need…. I had not heard of that fitbit murder story. Crazy!
    Paria@momontherunsanity.com recently posted…Big White LiesMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I think you’re right about the time frame. I need to mentally give myself a break too. If I’m not training, I’m thinking about training and it’s too much.
      Isn’t that story insane? I cannot believe it happened in my town. So bizarre.

  10. Danielle @ The T-Rex Runner

    I don’t blame you for feeling burnt out and unmotivated. You push so hard all year and I’m sure eventually, you just want a break. That feeling of relief, even though it is a little scary in some ways (because it forces you to make a hard decision), is pretty telling. I hope you get your mojo back soon!
    Danielle @ The T-Rex Runner recently posted…Prague Marathon Training, Week 16My Profile

    1. vita88

      Yes! That was the scariest part – the relief. I have never felt like that but, now I’m on a little rebound so… I’m meeting with my coach on Wednesday for a cry/figure it out session so I’ll go from there. Thanks Danielle and I don’t want to bring you down before your big marathon!!! GO GET IT WOMAN!!

  11. Jen

    On a different level I totally understand this! I have never been training for a championship spot, but for me it was racing a marathon. I put a lot of myself into training for my last marathon (which was Nov 2015). It was the best training cycle tat I had ever had and I was pretty confident that it was going to be pr day. I was staying with a run blog friend who lived close and knew her way around. Everything was perfect…until it wasn’t. I know that bad races happen, I know that the fitness gained in that training cycle was not a waste. There are always other races…the thing was that I just didn’t want it anymore. I am not saying I will never go for it again, but I want to really want to do it before I decide to do it (if that makes sense). Like you said, I am not expecting to always love the really hard workouts, but I think if the joy and desire is not there then why? I decided to step back, slow down, and just enjoy it and if I want to train and “race” again great, if I want to just run a race for fun great, if I don’t want to do any races that is fine too. I have done some races (not a marathon) and was surprised at how well I did based on my training. I guess I just think why push yourself to the point of hating what you are doing…because really, then why do you even do it? I am thinking if you feel nothing but relief that is your answer :).
    Jen recently posted…The Marathon from a Spectators Perspective!!!My Profile

    1. vita88

      Are you reading my mind? This is exactly it! I always said when it stopped being fun, I wouldn’t do it anymore and, it kind of stopped. Of course it’s a lot more complicated than that but you explained it pretty well. I mean, I spend SO much time training and for what? If I don’t want it badly enough then what am I doing? Thanks for this Jen. I really, truly appreciate it.

  12. Suzy

    Welcome to Vancouver!!!! Weeeeee! That is SO LAME about the cell phone thing. I would have hidden mine too! What a crock! So… you’re not gonna do the USA championships thing? For sure? Awe. I understand and support you no matter what. Obviously you’ll always be my hero. I want to try that bagel thing you did there, except I might rage-quit when all the stuff slides off the bagel onto my plate, because I can never eat things prettily.
    Suzy recently posted…Mileage MondayMy Profile

    1. vita88

      OMG the pictures they are sending are as if they are in heaven! I cannot wait to ski there someday…and meet up with you of course 🙂 I would say run with you but you would have to sort of walk to be at my pace!!
      And no, I’m not backing away from my goal just yet. I’m still doing all my workouts while I figure out my funk. Hopefully it’s just a hormonal phase that will pass… And, eat the bagel/egg thing with a knife and fork to prevent sliding 🙂 xoxo

  13. Nellie

    So much good stuff! First I am SO happy to see you speaking and sharing knowledge with the masses. It’s SO awesome. next Chris Rock…not shocking…the phone thing however is annoying AF. This happened to me a few years ago and I clearly didn’t read the fine print and started to take a picture because um BLOGGER and two huge burly men decended on me SO fast I had no idea what was happening. I was so scared! They immediately made me delete the photo or ‘I would be removed from the premises” well. honestly. it wasn’t EVEN that good of a show. It was just crazy. I have everything, everything ready and piqued for my upcoming trip next week. I am determined to take my face out of a screen.
    Nellie recently posted…That One Time I Practiced Yoga With Jessamyn StanleyMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I know, right??? That is just bananas and I cannot believe they accosted you like that! My SIL was texting away and I was like “woman! put your phone away!”…of course that was before the show started. I wouldn’t have minded if we got thrown out 🙂

  14. Jill Conyers

    Even before I was vegetarian I preferred veg burgers. Try a beet burger. Seriously the best burger ever if it’s a good one. I am finding joy in my journey and journeying in a way that I don’t miss it. So grateful. I teach yoga to a running group at a running store. Runners are a passionate group aren’t they.

    Have a great week Allie!

    1. vita88

      Really? I beet burger? I don’t really like beets so I’m not sure about that one. Of course, I never seen that on a menu so… 🙂
      So glad you have found your joyful journey. Mine is just derailed at the moment…
      Thanks so much Jill!

  15. Natalie

    So much truth and good stuff here friend. I have been SO tired. I know I am still recovering from the marathon, but I have a group of running friends here and a lot of them ran Boston. They are already gleefully back to double digit runs and I could barely make it out of bed this weekend. I do think we have to listen to our mind and body. You are such an inspiration to so many (me included of course!! xo) and we always support you. Give it some time – maybe you need a mini break – as in a few days off to recharge? Maybe a weekend getaway with zero kids and zero training? I know how much Nationals meant to you (means to you!), so maybe you just need a refresh.
    You two are so smart with the cell phone!! 🙂 Bummer about Chris…
    I love your Dad!!! xo
    Natalie recently posted…Boston Marathon 2017: Race RecapMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I’m sure you are exhausted! And, didn’t everyone return home and immediately get sick? Maybe you and I should take a break somewhere together and only do fun runs!! Now THAT sounds like a great idea 🙂
      Thanks so much Nat and congratulations once again on your second Boston Marathon!!!!!

  16. Ellie Pell

    Oh man Allie I feel the training woes. I finished a half on Sunday (I say finished because it definitely wasn’t racing) and am now in an off-season of sorts. I am SO TIRED from work and training was not going great. It was time to take a step back and do what I should have done when I moved a few months ago: take time off, explore my new city and adjust into my new job. Well, I guess better late than never.
    Funnily enough, I decided to do this, and then got blood work done showing that I should be doing this! Hooray I know my body’s signals!
    Just know, you’re not alone and if you decide not to race, it’s ok 🙂
    Ellie Pell recently posted…Flower City Recap and RestMy Profile

  17. Danielle

    Holy crap I’d be super peeved about the cell phone thing AND the line and most of all the show sucking. Time is precious so when it’s wasted it sucks. I guess that’s obvious lol. I can’t believe you saw him at the restaurant!!! I’ll tell you honestly I never loved him and would not go to his show. Definitely not now and not for free. Pay me for a headache and I’d still charge double!

    1. vita88

      I will definitely be more careful about who I go to see and I will absolutely be checking for the confiscation of cell phones b/c I just cannot deal with that!!

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