Ask Ali: Newsletter Edition
What can I say? I love an AMA!
Annie and me, celebrating the Ali on the Run Show’s sixth birthday! It was a busy weekend: dance class, Paw Patrol LIVE in Boston, Annie’s school Valentine’s Day dance, and a birthday brunch to celebrate my dad’s 65th birthday. It was busy, it was exhausting, and it left me feeling very lucky to have so much to celebrate right now.
After a very on-the-go weekend, it was nice to have a relatively chill week here on the home and work fronts.
Annie’s bedtime has been [mostly] better this week. (I, too, have slept better as a result!)
We enjoyed a nice, low-key Valentine’s Day at home. Brian made steak, which is part of my answer to the classic Ali on the Run Show “Sprint to the Finish” question of “What would your last meal on earth be?” (Full answer: warm bread with butter and a little bit of salt, Brian’s steak, the entire Sugarfish “Trust Me” menu, the pink peppercorn mafaldini from Lilia, chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream, and a good glass of Prosecco to wash it all down.)
Speaking of answers to questions…
This week has truly been boring. Not a bad thing! But I haven’t watched anything fun, I’m not reading anything noteworthy, and I have no new-to-me-and-maybe-to-you recommendations to share.
I do, however, have a big ol’ pile of Ask Ali questions that I haven’t gotten to yet!
Last year, I did one or two Ask Ali episodes per month on the podcast. And my goodness, are people split with their opinions on these episodes! (Thank you, listener survey!)
Some people love them. So many people actually said these are their favorite episodes of the show. (This shocks me, TBH.)
Others are meh. Some skip them altogether.
Some like when I read the questions and answer them myself. Others miss the old voicemail style. (617-446-3966, hit me up!) Some prefer a co-host. Others don’t.
A classic case of “you can’t please everyone, no matter how aggressively you try, Ali!”
You know what I like?
I like reading the answers to questions! Do you? Great! Let’s do it.
What’s the best non-running-related vacation you’ve been on?
Brian and I went to Kenya for our honeymoon. We spent seven days on safari (Samburu and Masai Mara) and a handful of days on the coast, and then Brian surprised me with a night at Giraffe Manor. It was perfect. A total dream come true. We are dying to go back someday with Annie.
How has marathon training been going? (Popular question!)
It’s going great! I enjoyed a pretty perfect 14-miler in Boston two weeks ago, and then did not enjoy a really hard 14-miler at home last week. Today, as you’re reading this, I’ll be out attempting 15 miles. I’m excited! I need to keep working on fueling before, during, and after these monster runs. But I am liking the process, and as I said a few weeks ago, I’m really loving the rest days! They feel good.
How is the house coming along? Are you feeling settled?
Yes and no. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that home ownership means there will always be things to do, projects I want to tackle, projects I want Brian to tackle, and more. Some rooms are done, beautiful, all set. Others are works in progress (like my office). And some (two, specifically) are still filled with unpacked boxes. But it’s home.
Would you ever write a book? (Please oh please!)
Probably not. I have a few ideas (none are personal — I have no interest in writing any kind of memoir or book about myself), but writing a book does not appeal to me. I am, however, all for all of the amazing women-authored books coming out in the running space right now! Alison and Lauren and Christine and Kara and Des, oh my!
What is your favorite part of your morning routine?
When Annie wakes up and yells, “MOMMY!” and I go into her room and she pretends she’s sleeping, and then we snuggle for a bit. (And then she usually pretends she’s either a baby or a cat, so we do…whatever that is.)
When it’s your turn to make dinner, what are you making?
Salmon bowls. Or pasta. OK, usually pasta.
What does Annie want to be when she grows up?
Timely! This morning she told me, “When I’m a grown up, I’ll go to Canobie Lake Park.” Usually her answer is “a unicorn.”
Who would you want to interview you for your post-marathon podcast?
Great question! Katie Couric! Oprah! Robin Roberts! (Surely they would be interested, right?) Or someone fun like Jess Sims! Oh oh oh or Ellie Kemper! (Seriously, good question. I’m sure I’ll do a post-marathon recap episode, and would love for it not to be a solo session. So you tell me in the comments! Who should I bring on to ask all the hard-hitting marathon questions like, “How many bathroom stops did you make out there, Ali?”
Are the Citius guys as nice as they seem?
They totally are. I love any opportunity to collaborate with Chris, Kyle, and Mac (and the rest of their team!). Chris has become a good friend (we’re headed to Atlanta next weekend for the Publix Atlanta Marathon Weekend broadcast!), and Kyle has become a really helpful sounding board when it comes to the business side of ~all this~. They do excellent work. I’m a big fan!
Do you record intros / ads in the middle of interviewing guests, or do you go back later?
I record them separately, after the conversation has been recorded. It’s good to have context, and to understand what kind of conversation the ad reads are being placed into. If the conversation is about, say, someone losing a family member or going through something particularly challenging or upsetting, it can be very jarring to suddenly hear that intro music and a peppy read about why I love UCAN / Tracksmith / New Balance / Vuori, etc. (I do love them! I just like to be mindful of the tone of the conversation whenever possible.)
This week on the Ali on the Run Show:
Love on the Run with Emily Infeld & Max Randolph: OK, not the full Love on the Run Week as in years past, but still a hefty dose of all things “awwwww” with Emily and #MaxCrushMonday. They talked about how they met, how they eventually started dating, how Max proposed, and how they made long-distance love work.
Deirdre Keane, 2023 World Marathon Challenge Women’s Champion: You probably remember Deirdre Keane, the pediatric ICU nurse from New York City who was featured on Humans of New York, talking about how losing her dad (an avid runner) to cancer inspired her to become a marathon runner. In this episode, Deirdre returned to the Ali on the Run Show to talk about her latest, most intense challenge to date: completing the World Marathon Challenge by running seven marathons in seven days on seven different continents — and being the fastest woman to do so in 2023.
Take good care of yourselves. Take good care of each other. Stay hydrated. And whatever you’re going through, keep going.
Your post-marathon interview should be done by Kiera D'Amato or Molly Seidl
Emily Halnon should be your post race interviewer.