Friends!!! Happy week after Fourth of July. I hope the holiday season and the whole month of July, my favorite month out of the twelve, is treating everyone well. This summer, I have started freelance writing for VICE’s health vertical, Tonic, which has been amazing. My editor is super cool (like, I totally want to be her when I grow up) and is willing to help me grow on this journey I like to call my professional career. I recently wrote a story about athletes and raw eggs, which was inspired by Alexi Pappas’ recent independent film Tracktown. It was super interesting to learn about these topics from nutrition and food science experts, and I am super excited to have some new published work out there! Check check check it out.
Other updates on the exciting life of Ally Spiroff? I have been hustling very hard every day to make this whole “real job thing” happen. I make the move to NYC at the end of the summer, which I think will double my chances of landing a job and getting my foot in the door. Until then, I will keep hustling like no one’s business. Can’t stop, won’t stop. As the summer speeds by (slow down summer, slow down!), besides the job search grind I am enjoying my time I have left in the Midwest with family and friends and, of course, ramping up the running game again after some time off post half marathon.
If you follow me on Twitter, you heard about the half marathon I raced in June, but I will say a few words on it in case you missed the updates. It was the first half marathon I raced, which doesn’t even make sense. Who debuts in the marathon before the half marathon? I guess when you run 14 miles every Sunday for your long run the past five years during your collegiate running career, you forget about the half marathon.
It was a 90/90 summer day, as I like to call it: 90 degrees and 90% humidity. These conditions, along with the extremely hilly course, did not exactly translate to anyone running fast times. I knew going into the race that it would not be the day to run a super fast time for my first half marathon and that I should probably chill in the first half of the race if I wanted to finish strong the second half. This plan sounded great in my mind and I even talked about executing it on the starting line with my high school and college friend/rival who was also racing, but this plan was easier said than done. Especially because I am Ally Spiroff and my number one mistake in racing is going out too hard and dying in the second half of a race, it is always easier said than done. I am extremely competitive, and many times I let my mind and body get the better of me in the beginning of a race and it burns me in the end.
Well, let’s just say that hot and humid Saturday morning was one of those days. My friend/rival and I are too competitive to just chill together in the beginning of the race, so we took it out pretty hard in the first few miles. She is at the peak of her collegiate running career and coming off of an awesome season, so she was probably more fit than my retired collegiate self. I ignored this fact and went with her, running our first few miles under 6:00 pace. I could not hold this pace, plus I was feeling the humidity and the hills by the end. I fell just short of the win, and I congratulated my friend and rival on the W.
You live and you learn, though, and some of my best races have come because of mistakes made in previous races. What I love about myself is that I always go for it, but I need to remember to save that drive for the end of the race and not the beginning. As I head into my NYC Marathon training, I am going to take this disappointment with my half marathon and turn it into fuel and knowledge. I wasn’t sure I was going to race another half marathon before NYC, but now I have my eye on one about a month out from the marathon. It will be a great fitness test, and I am looking forward to much cooler temperatures and a flatter course. I know what I am capable of in the half, and I would like to go for it. Bang!
Last update I wanted to give anyone who is invested in my graduate school capstone project, Wise Old Women. My last living grandmother, who was a part of my project, joined The Big Man and some other great people upstairs in heaven on Thursday. She went peacefully and was surrounded by family. She lived a beautiful life for over 90 years and was an amazing person inside and out. She will be missed greatly by many, but it makes me smile when I remember that she is finally at peace after suffering the past few years. It also makes me smile to know that I have a new angel that smiles down on me every day with that signature smile of hers. If you missed reading about her the first time around, you should definitely read about her now. I want her legacy to be known to all.
As always, to all of my followers/readers/people who are randomly coming across this post on their news feeds but still took the time to read it, thanks for the love. I appreciate it more than you know. Talk to you guys soon!
Peace, love, and running (fast),