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“I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and discovered this tremendous strength that I had. It made me realize that so many of us have amazing gifts within us, but we’re sometimes scared to take that leap — so we don’t even realize what we’re capable of.” —Beatie Deutsch

Beatie Deutsch is a 29-year-old Orthodox Jewish mom of five living in Israel, by way of New Jersey. And she’s earned the nickname “Speedy Beatie” for a reason: Despite only picking up running a few years ago, Beatie runs a 2:42 marathon and a 1:17 half marathon. On this episode, she talks about what it’s like being the National Marathon Champion of Israel, and breaks down her monumental Tiberias Marathon win, where she not only ran a 2:42, she ran a 27-minute personal best time in the process, negative splitting the race by six minutes. She talks about being an Orthodox Jewish woman and runner in 2019, explaining her race attire (she runs with her elbows, knees, and hair covered), her values, and what it’s like looking different from other women on the starting line. Beatie is sponsored by Nike, and her current goal is to qualify to represent Israel in the 2020 Olympic Games in the marathon.

Thank you to AfterShokz for sponsoring this episode of the Ali on the Run Show! CLICK HERE for $50 off your wireless headphone endurance bundle!

Listen on Apple Podcasts I Spotify I SoundCloud I Overcast I Stitcher I Google Play

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • How Beatie became “Speedy Beatie” (3:25)
  • On winning the Tiberias Marathon and running a 27-minute marathon PR in the process (4:15)
  • How Beatie became a runner (12:00)
  • How Beatie went from a 3:25 marathon to a 2:42 (22:00)
  • What it’s like to be an Orthodox Jewish runner in 2019 (29:00)
  • What it means to be sponsored by Nike (38:00)
  • Busting common misconceptions about the Orthodox Jewish community (40:20)
  • Beatie’s message to runners who think they don’t look like everyone else (46:00)

What we mention on this episode:

Tiberias Marathon

Jerusalem Marathon

Nike Vaporfly 4%

Hamburg Half Marathon

Free Solo

Follow Beatie:

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SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!

The post Ali on the Run Show Episode 158: Beatie Deutsch, National Marathon Champion of Israel appeared first on Ali On The Run.

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Annie was born on a sunny Tuesday morning in October, at exactly 39 weeks. Yesterday, on another sunny Tuesday, she turned exactly 39 weeks — nine months — old. She’s been on the outside as long as she was on the inside.

Throwing it back to our old photo spot with our old letter board!

Yesterday felt surprisingly monumental and meaningful to me. I lost track of Annie’s age in weeks once we hit 12 (why were the weeks so easy to count during pregnancy, but so impossible to stay on top of once Annie existed in real life?), but I always had that date on my calendar so I would remember it. It seemed a lifetime away, though.

I think it feels special to me because it’s so rare to get to know someone for his or her entire life. We say we’ve known our childhood friends “our whole lives,” or that we’ve been in each others’ lives “forever.” But that’s rarely actually the case.

That’s part of what feels so special about getting to be Annie’s mom. I was the first person on the planet to know Annie existed, and I’ve had the privilege of being with her every day and night of her life so far. (Maybe I need to get out more, though?) I feel so lucky every single day to get to watch this girl grow, explore, and attempt the kinds of mildly terrifying adventures of a nine-month-old. It’s a massive responsibility, and one that I have grown to love so much. It’s still crazy that I have a child. That I’m a mom. That I am to Annie what my mom is to me.

LET’S MATCH EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES!!!

And a note: Knowing your child from birth does not define parenthood. Not at all. There are so many wonderful ways to become a parent. In no way is “being the first” or “knowing you forever” a requirement. These were just some feelings I was feeling yesterday.

So much has changed over the past nine months. I think part of why I struggled during the first few months of Annie’s life was because I was trying to fit a newborn into the life I already had. I expected to do the same things at the same times in the same way, just…with a baby. I didn’t give myself space, freedom, and permission to create and embrace a new normal. I tried to force things to look and feel a certain way without starting from scratch. In hindsight, I wish I had shifted my perspective and considered how I could fit into Annie’s new world, instead of trying to squeeze her into mine.

Nine months, though. What a sweet spot.

But seriously, where have the past nine months gone?! Holy crap!

Annie is so much fun right now. She’s always had a big personality, but lately it’s all laughs and giggles and squeaks and the occasional “word.” She says lots of “da da da” and “ba ba ba” and “ah-goo” and other noises only other babies understand. She gets excited to mimic and repeat sounds back to Brian and me. If we say “El-lie,” we can see her trying really hard to say it. And she usually comes pretty close!

Much like Tinker Bell, Annie craves applause in order to thrive. She loves clapping her hands, and especially loves when we clap our hands and say, “Yay!” She also randomly started throwing her hands up in the air when we ask, “How big is Annie?” How does she know she is “so big?!” (She’s not, though. She’s still a bit of a peanut for her age, and just moved up to size 3 diapers this week. But she’s happy and healthy and, as the pediatrician always says, “on her own little curve.”) She loves people, especially other babies, and her best friends are Ellie and the Roomba vacuum. She gets very excited when the vacuum turns on, and will sit and watch it, completely transfixed, for as long as we’ll let her.

BEST FRIENDS. Ugh, I love them together. (It’s not always perfect! Annie is on the move QUICKLY these days, and Ellie sometimes wants her space. But pretty good!)

Last month, Annie transitioned over to formula. (I was exclusively pumping for her, which I stopped doing when she was around 5.5 months old. The freezer stash I had saved got her to eight months.) She had reflux when she was on breast milk and never seemed to love it, but girlfriend loves her formula! I am so happy she loves it and that feeding her is no longer a struggle!

We started giving Annie solid foods at six months, but now she is really eating, not just playing with her food. She gets four bottles of formula throughout the day, and eats solids at breakfast and dinner, and sometimes gets a midday snack. She loves her morning “smoothie” (usually some combination of fruits and veggies, which she eats using this cool spoon), loves string cheese (and she usually hands a few strings off to Ellie, so everybody wins), and loves hummus. Hummus is her favorite food. Mealtime is very messy, as everyone warned us it would be. She also loves these peanut butter packets.

Annie is a great sleeper, which is really wonderful. She usually goes to bed around 7 PM and will sleep until 6:30 AM. She’s still on three naps per day, but she’ll probably transition to two fairly soon. (But I don’t like change!)

Annie had her first swim lesson, which she hated — she loves the water but was terrified of the instructor. Poor guy! He tried so hard to be her friend, but she was just not having it! She loves the swings, and she went on the slide with me for the first time earlier this week. She is constantly on the move, army crawling, trying to stand, and easily going from being on her stomach to sitting up. It’s crazy when I get her from her crib in the morning and she’s just sitting there on her butt, waiting and smiling.

Look at all this fun!

She loves music and dancing, and isn’t content to just sit anymore. She wants to stand, wants to jump, wants to go. She also loves being around other babies and kids, which is so cute. She reaches out to touch them and laugh and look on in awe. Since she’s not in daycare yet, it’s fun to get her around other kids as much as possible.

Oh, and still no teeth! My mom jokes that I’ve insisted Annie is teething since she was like a month old. (If she is ever even remotely fussy, I say, “She’s probably teething.”) But no signs of anything really poking through just yet!

She picked this bow!

Annie’s dislikes include being on her changing table — changing her diaper is an adventure, because she just wants to roll over, constantly — and having her face wiped when she’s done eating. I am the worst, I know. Mean Mommy.

These are a few of Annie’s favorite things right now:

  • This book. There’s no chill way to say it: Annie completely loses her shit when she sees this book. No matter where it is, no matter what other books are around, she always picks this one and just gasps at it in awe and adoration. I love that. I need to get it on video one of these days. (She also loves Baby Giraffe, Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb, and Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball.)
  • These soft blocks. I build pyramids and towers, she knocks them down. And then wants applause.
  • This caterpillar. We call it her “worm,” but it has lots of fun textures and sounds and she’s enjoying it these days.
  • This toy, which is fun for when she’s playing on the floor, but also slides perfectly into the bar across her stroller, so she can play with it on the go — and I don’t have to worry about her throwing on the ground every two seconds!
  • Her Jumperoo. We don’t spend as much time in it lately, but she still loves this thing. It’s a great place to put her when I’m getting meals ready or need to switch the laundry or something. Now that she’s mobile, leaving her unattended for even a second feels risky!
  • For teething and chewing, Annie really likes these (which I keep in the fridge or freezer and then attach to her stroller with a pacifier clip) and this teether.

Playing with her worm!

I say this every month, but I really do want to freeze time right where we are. It’s so much fun — but I know we’ve got some really good stuff up ahead!

Thank you for being a part of our extended family. I always swore I would stop blogging and sharing once I had kids but here we are. Still kind of blogging. Still over-sharing. And more grateful than ever for all the kind people in this world who have supported me and my family throughout all of it.

The post 9 Months of Annie appeared first on Ali On The Run.

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“I’m wearing these massive pads that are like six inches deep and waddling around the house. I think I thought the first week would be rough. But it was a month out and I’m still rocking these massive pads. I was never told about that.”

Every week on these Motherhood Mondays episodes, I’ve asked my guests, “Who’s in your village?” I feel so lucky to be able to say that the two women on today’s show — Laura Green and Julia Berteletti — are in my village. Laura lives in Boston, and is mom to 10-month-old Jack. She’s a part-time physical therapist and the “community boss” for November Project, and is “very creative” about how she gets her work hours in while Jack does a part-time nanny share. Julia lives in Denver, CO, is mom to 8-month-old Max, and works full-time in an office while Max is in daycare. On this episode, we talk like we do every day, sharing perhaps too much about everything from breastfeeding, identity loss, and body image, to giving birth, relationships, emotional labor, and that first postpartum poop. We also talk about schedule-related anxiety, postpartum running, and guilt.

Thank you to Sweaty Betty for sponsoring Motherhood Mondays on the Ali on the Run Show! Go to sweatybetty.com and use code ONTHERUN for 20 percent off your purchase.

Listen on Apple Podcasts I Spotify I SoundCloud I Overcast I Stitcher I Google Play

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Getting to know Laura (3:00)
  • Getting to know Julia (8:20)
  • Breastfeeding and boob stuff (13:20)
  • How prepared did we feel for the postpartum period? (21:47)
  • Relationship stuff (35:00)
  • On postpartum running and body image (55:00)

What we mention on this episode:

November Project

Laura’s childbirth story via Wisconsin Notes

Kristin Mallon on Episode 136 of the Ali on the Run Show

Lauren Fleshman on Episode 103 of the Ali on the Run Show

Work, Play, Love with Lauren Fleshman and Jesse Thomas

Boston Marathon

Brogan Graham

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SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!

The post Ali on the Run Show Episode 157: Motherhood Mondays with Julia Berteletti and Laura Green appeared first on Ali On The Run.

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“It’s not sexy, but all the little teeny tiny things add up. Invest in recovery, nutrition, and sleep. That’s where you’re going to see the big gains — even though it’s not as much fun to put on Instagram. You’ll see it pay off.”

Sarah “Mac” Robinson is an elite runner, mom of two, and freelance brand storyteller. On this episode, she gets very candid about how her life — on the run and beyond — has changed since becoming a mom. She opens up about her experience with postpartum depression and anxiety, what life on medication has been like, and the stigmas surrounding postpartum mental health. She also talks about how she landed an Olympic Trials qualifying time in the marathon in 2016, what the road there was like, and what’s next in her running life.

Thank you to AfterShokz for sponsoring this episode of the Ali on the Run Show! CLICK HERE for $50 off your wireless headphone endurance bundle!

Listen on Apple Podcasts I Spotify I SoundCloud I Overcast I Stitcher I Google Play

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Sarah’s experience with postpartum anxiety and Zoloft (3:15)
  • Sarah’s running story — the high highs and low lows (20:10)
  • On trying — and trying again and again — to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon (24:30)
  • On body image as an elite runner, both before and after having kids, and “skinny privilege” (34:10)
  • What Sarah’s running looks like these days (37:00)
  • Sarah’s career, how she found Oiselle, and what she’s up to professionally (42:20)
  • Sarah’s messages to moms and to runners working on big goals (51:40)

What we mention on this episode:

Oiselle

Sarah’s Instagram post about weaning off Zoloft

Stephanie Bruce on Episode 104 of the Ali on the Run Show

Lauren Fleshman on Episode 103 of the Ali on the Run Show

Oiselle Mac Roga short

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SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!

The post Ali on the Run Show Episode 156: Sarah MacKay Robinson, Elite Runner appeared first on Ali On The Run.

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“There’s a fear of the foundation we’re standing on having too many cracks in it.”

Dr. Molly Millwood is a clinical psychologist and licensed psychotherapist specializing in marital therapy and intimate relationships. She’s also the author of the just-released book, To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, & the Modern Dilemma. On this episode, Dr. Millwood expands on many of the new-mom-related topics she covers in her brilliant book, including guilt, shame, missing life before baby, marriage after baby, gender roles for new parents, and social media. Dr. Millwood lives in Vermont with her husband and two sons.

Thank you to Sweaty Betty for sponsoring Motherhood Mondays on the Ali on the Run Show! Go to sweatybetty.com and use code ONTHERUN for 20 percent off your purchase.

Listen on Apple Podcasts I Spotify I SoundCloud I Overcast I Stitcher I Google Play

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What tends to hold new moms back from going to therapy (8:00)
  • The shame and guilt surrounding new motherhood (13:00)
  • On missing “life before baby” (21:00)
  • Why no one is talking about what their romantic relationships are like after having a baby (25:00)
  • How couples can improve their communication when talking about tough stuff (34:30)
  • On expectations (40:20)
  • How social media affects new moms (44:50)
  • Some of the most common reasons women come to Molly for therapy (48:00)
  • What does a first-time therapy session actually look like? (54:00)

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SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!

The post Ali on the Run Show Episode 155: Motherhood Mondays with Dr. Molly Millwood, Clinical Psychologist appeared first on Ali On The Run.

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Hi!

I really miss daily blogging! It’s not something I can sustain right now (and hasn’t been for a while), but I do miss it. And maybe someday soon I’ll get back into a routine here.

And today, since I knocked out a workout before everyone was awake and was back home before Annie opened her happy little eyes, I have a bit of extra time to sit today. I’m not recording any episodes of the Ali on the Run Show this week, and instead of feeling calm about a rarely non-overscheduled week, I’m feeling antsy about it. Gimme all the plans and to-dos!

Or. Give me a keyboard and a blank screen.

How about a quick catch-up?

Baby ponytail!!!

FEELING

I feel pretty good right now. The past eight months since having Annie have flown by in a way I never could have expected. But eight months into life as a new mom, I feel pretty good. Physically, I feel strong and somewhat fit (more on that in a sec), with one substantial caveat: My Crohn’s disease started flaring a few weeks ago. Right now, it’s not terrible. It’s a lot of urgency and some blood where I don’t want there to be blood. It’s tolerable, it’s a little stressful, but I’m not letting it run the show. I’m rolling with it. (It took me two decades to start adopting this mentality.) It’s not ideal, but it’s not catastrophic.

Emotionally, for the most part, I feel good. I am still dealing with some postpartum anxiety, and some days — or minutes — feel easy and almost relaxing, while others are still panic attack-inducing. I’ve gotten much better at recognizing my anxiety-related triggers and communicating them to the people around me. I’m still not great at asking for help, or feeling like I “deserve” help, but it’s all a process. Most of my anxiety ties back to Annie’s schedule, and making sure our plans revolve around her naps and wake times and all that. I’m trying to ease up, but I also know Annie does really well on said schedule. I’m also experiencing a lot of the “mental load” many moms talk about. Also a work in progress. But, generally, in this moment: I feel pretty good.

Outdoor music class! So fun!

RUNNING

Yes! Well, at Orangetheory at least. I’ve run outside probably twice in the past few months. But that’s OK! When my Crohn’s is flaring, running outside is stressful, not fun. But running at Orangetheory is great, because I’m never more than a few steps from a bathroom if needed! And I’m feeling strong again! I don’t remember what my exact pre-pregnancy paces were at OTF, but I know I’m at or close to them. For my fellow OTF-ers: Most days, my base pace is 7 MPH, my pushes are around 9 MPH, and my all-outs are between 10 and 12 MPH, depending on the day and the length. (I’ve done a few 30-second all-outs at 12 MPH on a 4% incline, which, for me, feels pretty badass!) I’d like to think that if I lined up — healthy — for a 5K right now, I could run a decent-for-me time.

I had also decided that I wanted to train for and run this year’s New York City Marathon, but now that my Crohn’s is kicking a bit, I’m going to hold off on starting to train. I never want to go into a training cycle not fully healthy, so we’ll just see what happens. It was never going to be a goal race, so if I’m able to train, great! If not, OK.

READING

Most nights, I crawl into bed and curl up with my beloved…phone. It’s such a gross habit and I hate myself for it. A few weeks ago, I decided to swap the phone for an actual book, and it was delightful! I tore through When Life Gives You Lululemons in 48 hours and it felt so good and so indulgent to just sit and READ! (Revelatory, I know.) Most of the time, whatever I’m reading is either work-related or self-help-y. It felt wonderful to just get invested in a somewhat silly, very dramatic story without having to highlight stuff or take notes or step back and think, “OK, now how will I apply this tactic to my everyday life?” So of course, I immediately went on Amazon and ordered like 400 other fiction books. (Any recommendations?!)

Also reading quite a lot of children’s books…

WRITING

Not too much at the moment, actually. (Hence missing this space so much!) Most of my writing these days is for the dance publications I used to work for. I write something for them at least every week, in print or online. But I’ve taken a big step back from assignments in the fitness and wellness space. I don’t enjoy or take pride in writing clickbait-y stories. I love writing profiles, telling stories, and really digging in — and I get to do that every week on the Ali on the Run Show, in slightly different form. So definitely more podcast-focused at the moment than writing-focused.

CRAVING

A vacation. A massage. A full day to clean and de-clutter. A full day to clear out my inbox. A full day to run errands, topped off with some meal prepping and planning and grocery shopping. A full day to take care of various appointments. A little more sleep.

WEARING

These pants (I’m not normally a floral-print leggings person, but there’s something sweet about these). This skirt (it is, in my opinion, the best skirt lululemon has ever made; it’s perfect). This top (which is so not normally “my style,” but I love love love it). This sweatshirt (I was skeptical of the “yellow gold” color at first, but then I put it on and looooved it). This bathing suit, which is the only comfortable swimsuit I’ve ever owned. And this jumpsuit, which I found in Target’s pajamas section, but definitely wear out in public, all day, every day.

But I really want HER suit in my size.

WATCHING

Big Little Lies. Oh, and my DVR randomly started recording old Beverly Hills 90210 episodes, so usually I’ll watch one of those while I’m eating dinner after Annie goes to bed. And surely I’ve mentioned that I discovered Schitt’s Creek earlier this summer, right? And proceeded to watch all five seasons very quickly. It is the perfect show. It’s my new all-time favorite show.

HOPING

This Crohn’s flare clears up ASAP.

LOVING

The eight-month-old stage. Annie is moving and scooting without being a total tornado, she laughs and babbles constantly, and she’s a very happy kid.

SOMEWHAT HAPPY KID.

What’s new with you?!

The post Life Lately appeared first on Ali On The Run.

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“You are never going to be the woman you were before, and that’s great. Because this woman you are now is so much stronger, more powerful, capable of doing so much more. But you’ve gotta give her some time and space to heal and figure things out a bit.”

Hitha Palepu has many titles. She’s an entrepreneur and the CEO of Rhosan Pharmaceuticals, the author of the book How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip, an angel investor and advisor to women-led and women-focused start-ups, the creator of the blog Hitha on the Go, and the brains behind #5SmartReads on Instagram and in her popular weekly newsletter. She’s also a mom to four-year-old Rho and seven-week-old Rhaki. On this episode, Hitha, who lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, opens up about the realities of motherhood, her decision to have children (it wasn’t a given!), and her experience with postpartum depression and antidepressants.

Thank you to Sweaty Betty for sponsoring Motherhood Mondays on the Ali on the Run Show! Go to sweatybetty.com and use code ONTHERUN for 20 percent off your purchase.

Listen on Apple Podcasts I Spotify I SoundCloud I Overcast I Stitcher I Google Play

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Getting to know Hitha — on the decision to have kids, having help, breastfeeding, and parenting unapologetically and gratefully (1:50)
  • On the transition from one kid to two, and how Hitha is doing right now (23:00)
  • On resentment (27:50)
  • Hitha’s experience with postpartum depression, and the breaking point that got her to therapy (33:00)
  • How Hitha “recalibrated her mental state” (42:30)
  • Talking “balance” and identity loss in motherhood (45:40)
  • Hitha’s take on mom guilt (52:40)
  • Hitha’s message for new moms (56:00)

What we mention on this episode:

The Motherhood Center

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SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!

The post Ali on the Run Show Episode 154: Motherhood Mondays with Hitha Palepu, on Postpartum Depression, Breaking Points, & Parenting Unapologetically appeared first on Ali On The Run.

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“If you are struggling, it does not mean that you are failing. It does not mean that you’re doing something wrong. It just means that you are coming up against some hurdles, whether they’re physical or mental or emotional, and it’s important to listen to those and try and understand what’s underneath them. But by no means do they imply that you’re not going to achieve your goal. You just need to see them as part of the process. Struggle is just as important as the elation and the sense of fulfillment that we all get after a great workout or a PR.”

David Willey spent 14 years at the helm of Runner’s World magazine. But after announcing his departure from the brand in 2017, David went off the grid. On this episode, David’s back on the grid, opening up about what made life for the past two years “outlandishly fun, intentionally challenging, unexpectedly hard and depressing, and newly regenerating.” David talks about his time at Runner’s World — the highs, the lows, and the part of the job that had him ambushing runners on live television during the New York City Marathon — and talks about his take on the brand now. He talks about his old dog and his new dog (we both shed a few tears there), his battle with Lyme Disease, and how he fulfilled his decade-long dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

Thank you to AfterShokz for sponsoring this episode of the Ali on the Run Show! CLICK HERE for $50 off your wireless headphone endurance bundle!

Listen on Apple Podcasts I Spotify I SoundCloud I Overcast I Stitcher I Google Play

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • How David got the job at Runner’s World, and why it was a dream job (3:45)
  • David looks back at his favorite Runner’s World covers, stories, and adventures (10:00)
  • Why David left Runner’s World after 14 years (18:40)
  • All about David’s “Moonshot Marathon” (24:30)
  • Why David says Runner’s World readers get so heated online (32:20)
  • What it’s like interviewing runners live on the course during the New York City Marathon broadcast (35:20)
  • Does David still read Runner’s World? (43:15)
  • David looks back on his time with his dog, Trucha, and his book proposal in the works (45:30)
  • On an unexpected battle with Lyme Disease (56:30)
  • David’s message to runners who are struggling right now (1:05:10)

What we mention on this episode:

Runner’s World covers through the years

Mary Wittenberg on Episode 98 of the Ali on the Run Show

Joe Holder

Julia Lucas

“A Very Good Dog” — David’s editor’s letter about his dog, Trucha

Camp Canine

The Runner’s World Show podcast

The Human Race podcast

The Hive Life podcast

Neely Spence Gracey on Episode 42 of the Ali on the Run Show

Bayshore Marathon

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SUPPORT the Ali on the Run Show! If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Spread the run love. And if you liked this episode, share it with your friends!

The post Ali on the Run Show Episode 153: David Willey, Former Editor in Chief of Runner’s World appeared first on Ali On The Run.

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My mom and brother came to visit last week. It was so great having them both here, for many reasons, but one thing stands out.

On Wednesday, we drove to Dresher, PA, to surprise my grandmother (Honey!) for her 95th birthday. It was a really nice day, and when we got back to our apartment, we bathed and fed Annie, walked Ellie, and then ate dinner after putting Annie to bed.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEY! (Honey is the one on the far right. In case there was confusion.)

Then, around 8:30 PM, Ryan, Brian, and I went downstairs to check out our building’s golf simulator. I’ve never golfed before (I love mini golf, but I’m so bad that no one ever wants to play with me — how sad!), but my brother loves golfing and brought some clubs, so we grabbed some wine and hit the virtual links. I was awful, and for every 40 swings I hit the ball once. I was really bad. So bad. But it was so fun, and we laughed a lot, and it’s rare my brother and I get to hang out without the mini humans around (LOVE THEM, THOUGH), so this felt like a treat.

We came back upstairs (my mom stayed in the apartment with Annie and Ellie, don’t you worry), and I felt awesome. Even though I had just swung a club so hard and so wrong that I broke my shoulder, and even though I only hit the ball six times in total and the computer forced me to “move on to the next hole” every time, I was so happy.

I sat down on the couch with my mom and wondered why I was so excited over such a tiny, 30-minute-max adventure.

And then I realized: I had left the confines of my immediate apartment after 7 PM. I’d had a stress-free outing that didn’t revolve around working or baby things or mom things. I had adult conversations about adult things. I wasn’t checking the baby monitor every few seconds. I didn’t have the faint sound of white noise from the nursery buzzing in my ears. I went “out,” my baby was taken care of (for free! by someone I trust!), and I felt relaxed.

Perhaps not the ultimate revelation, but it felt pretty monumental to me, and that feeling has stuck with me.

Look at us, all relaxed!

Now, before we get all TMI levels of honesty here, let me preface this post by saying that things are really good right now. Annie is at a great, super fun age. The warmer weather means we’ve been able to go on more hiking and swimming adventures with Ellie, which means she’s been happy. Work is good. My health kinda sucks (Crohn’s flare; more on that another time, blah), but I’m rolling with it. I’m cooking dinner most nights. I love our nanny (she’s with us part-time; four days a week for the first half of the day). And I’m very grateful for all the good in my life.

At eight months postpartum, I have found my confidence as a mom. I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve accepted that I never will. I’ll always find something new to question, to second-guess, to Google. We’re in a good routine and a good groove, and even though I know it’ll probably change soon, I’m enjoying where we’re at.

WE ARE HAVING FUN!

But if I’m being honest…

I’m lonely.

I miss my friends.

I feel trapped inside after 7 PM.

Annie goes to bed at 7, and it’s nice having those evening hours to do stuff I need or want to do, like cook dinner, clean up from the day, record and edit podcasts, or do other work. But with Annie asleep and Brian often not home until late (or at all if he’s traveling), it means that after 7 PM, I’m in — and usually alone — for the night. It means missing out on the summer concerts that happen right outside our door every Thursday, not taking advantage of the sunsets along the waterfront, and missing birthday parties, happy hours, and other after-hours activities that make summer especially delightful. I’m working on finding some local babysitters who can hang here when I’m really craving an outing, but right now I’m finding it hard to justify paying someone so I can go for a walk or sit outside and read a book.

And honestly…

I’m really jealous of people who have family close by. I know we’re lucky to even have family, and to at least be in the same general region. But my parents are a five-hour-or-more drive, and Brian’s mom is a three-ish hour drive. I really envy people who are able to have weekly dinners with their kids’ grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I wish that, when I felt lonely, my mom could come over and watch Big Little Lies with me, or watch Annie while Brian and I went out to dinner. (I always miss my mom, in particular, but I am especially craving her company since having Annie.)

My crew! (Not many adults! Or people who speak. Or anyone who doesn’t need some daily poop-related assistance.)

I’m working really hard and I’m really genuinely happy, but something is missing, and I think that something is adult human interaction. It’s why instead of going for a solo run most days, I go to Orangetheory. It’s a little less convenient and sucks more time out of my day, but I get to see people, and that fuels me.

It’s also why I Insta Story a lot. Maybe too much!

I don’t want to lose my identity. It’s been easy to let motherhood consume me, but I’m craving conversations about things other than nap schedules and eating solids and “is this normal?” I need and value those conversations, but I hope I remember how to talk about other things without it always leading back to mom things or baby things.

I miss my husband. We haven’t taken a true vacation in nearly four years — since our honeymoon. (We did go to Paris for our first anniversary, but I was so sick that, unfortunately, the trip was a bit of a bust.) I’d love to find a way to get away with him for a little while.

This was my first time getting a little drunk since Valentine’s Day 2018!

And so…

I made a list of Things I Want To Do. These aren’t to-do list things. They aren’t work-related or Annie-related. They’re things I want (or need) to do for myself. There are treat-myself things on there, like “get a pedicure,” “get a facial” (I’ve had one in my life and kind of want to do it again), and “relax and read a book.” (I’ve been trying to read more, but it’s a page or two here and there when I get a chance throughout the day. And usually the books are work-related, not fun fiction reads. I want to just sit under a blanket, wearing cozy socks and a sweatshirt and no bra, and just read something fun and intriguing. I’ll probably fall asleep, but still. Imagine!) Then there are things on the list that are important and overdue: annual (overdue) skin check at the dermatologist, embarrassingly overdue dental cleaning, get marriage license because I’m still not sure whether Brian and I are actually married… And all these things should be high priority, but I can’t justify using childcare hours for anything other than doing my job right now, and they aren’t things I want to do with Annie in tow. I’m not complaining — just assessing. The weekends are when Brian is usually around, so I want to spend that time with him and our whole family, not off running boring errands and getting my moles checked. (Any advice here? Lay it on me! I know I probably just need to make a sacrifice somewhere if I want some “me time,” but any other secrets to success?)

Finally, if I’m being honest…

Yes, things are good. Yes, I’ve found my confidence. But I’m still dealing with some postpartum anxiety. It’s so much better now, but it’s a work in progress. I’ve learned what my triggers are — pumping was a huge one, and eliminating that around the five-month mark was life-changing for me — which is helpful, and I’m trying to get better at communicating my often high-strung feelings with the people closest to me so they’re aware.

Annie gets a bath every night. I SHOULD TAKE A BATH EVERY NIGHT, TOO!

I met with a potential babysitter yesterday, who is available to do the occasional afternoons, evenings, date nights, or Mondays (I currently have no childcare on Mondays). She was really lovely, and Annie adored her. The next step, of course, is actually committing and getting some days on the calendar — whether it’s to get work done or sit outside and read a book — and taking a bit of action. And not feeling guilty for doing that.

And figuring out, once and for all, how to get that damn marriage license.

The post The Loneliness of New Motherhood appeared first on Ali On The Run.

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“Everything I thought would happen did not happen.”

Sashea Lawson is perhaps best known by her social media moniker: “Sassy Fit Girl.” Sashea is a mom to 2.5-year-old Skye and three-month-old Marley, and on this episode she talks about what life is like right now as a toddler mom and newborn mom. She talks about why she’s been so vocal about making a slow return to fitness after baby number two, and opens up about recovering from two c-sections, her first baby’s emotional NICU stay, and the pressure she felt to breastfeed. Sashea, who has eight sisters and two brothers, owns and runs a marketing and entertainment company with her husband, and they live in West Orange, NJ.

Thank you to Sweaty Betty for sponsoring Motherhood Mondays on the Ali on the Run Show! Go to sweatybetty.com and use code ONTHERUN for 20 percent off your purchase.

Listen on Apple Podcasts I Spotify I SoundCloud I Overcast I Stitcher I Google Play

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Getting to know Sashea (1:30)
  • Did Sashea always know she wanted to be a mom? (8:30)
  • On recovering from two c-sections, and the importance of postpartum recovery (10:15)
  • How prepared did Sashea feel for the postpartum period? (20:30)
  • How Sashea’s feeling at three months postpartum (25:40)
  • What Sashea’s marriage is like since having kids (30:00)
  • A look at the highest highs and lowest lows of new motherhood, including a scary NICU stay (35:50)
  • Sashea’s message to moms in all stages (47:50)

What we mention on this episode:

Orangetheory Fitness

Velcro swaddles

Alysia Montaño on Instagram @alysiamontano

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The post Ali on the Run Show Episode 152: Motherhood Mondays with Sashea Lawson AKA Sassy Fit Girl appeared first on Ali On The Run.

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