I Write For VICE Now And It’s Pretty Cool… Among Other Updates

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),

Ally Spiroff

Published by Ally Spiroff

I am Ally Spiroff, and what seems like seven short years ago I created a Twitter account, @runningforlife2. I tweeted how I felt and what I was doing. I tweeted about my greatest passion in life, running. I also tweeted about my other passions, food, music, movies, books, pop culture, writing, traveling, and life. Before I knew it, people (mostly those people in the running community but others too) began to latch onto my life. Then, I realized, “hey, this Twitter thing is pretty cool.” I get to write about what I love. I get to tell my story. The world around me, all of my people, get to ride along with me as I take on the world, one day at a time. People can watch me grow. I can watch other people grow. The Twitter handle has evolved into @allyspiroff over time. With it, the content has also evolved, but the same crazy woman is behind the content. :) So what exactly is my story? Who exactly is Ally Spiroff? I graduated with a Master's in Communication from Loyola University Chicago in May 2017. I was a Division I collegiate athlete there for five years, all four of my undergraduate and one of my graduate years. I graduated with honors in May 2015 with a Bachelor’s in English. In the winter/spring 2015-2016 due to a redshirt season of indoor and outdoor track, I returned to run a fifth year. Since I have always thought that it is more fun to jump over water and other obstacles than just run normal laps around the track and I like a good challenge, I am a steeplechaser by nature. I got to chase fast steeple times for one more season at Loyola, as well as run the 3k, 5k, and even the mile/1500 with my teammates that double as my best friends, sisters, inspirations, and the greatest people you will ever meet. Now, you might ask, how did I still run at Loyola if I graduated in the spring of 2015? I started the cutting-edge graduate program Digital Media & Storytelling in the fall of 2016 at Loyola. It was a two-year program, so I was blessed with another year at the wonderful Jesuit institution to finish up my Master's degree. After obtaining both my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I have become an experienced writer and researcher. Through graduate work, I have become well versed in Adobe Creative Commons software programs, specifically Photoshop and shooting and editing video in Premiere Pro, and in Google Analytics, along with other search engine optimization tools. Through an abundance of internship experience, I became extremely proficient in news editing software programs. I have lots of experience in the newsroom and writing for news producers as well as out in the field on assignment and in working with a variety of people. My experience as an undergraduate and a graduate student while simultaneously being a Division I collegiate athlete on Loyola’s cross country and track teams as well as in a variety of jobs/internships and volunteer work has helped develop my confidence, drive, responsibility, time management, sense of teamwork, people skills, communication, troubleshooting skills, attention to detail, critical thinking skills, leadership, planning skills, and even a sense of humor. I also have extensive experience with all outlets of social media. As I mentioned before, I am an avid tweeter and Instagram user, with 1,450+ followers on Twitter. I have lots of experience with creating and building content for websites. I also run the website I created for my graduate school capstone project, titled "Wise Old Women." I am on Pinterest, Foursquare/Swarm, and Facebook as well. I wrote in the arts and entertainment section of my university’s award-winning newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. You can find my running profile on the Loyola Ramblers website. You can find all about my collegiate running career on TFRRS. Of course, you can also catch me on LinkedIn. I am lucky because I get to tell people’s stories for a living online, through digital media and other means. Currently, I live in New York City and I'm the Digital Editorial Assistant at Runner's World magazine, and I'm a freelance writer for VICE's health vertical, Tonic. I really love life. I have big dreams. I do not know where my dreams will take me, but I am confident that they will take me far. I am an open book. I like sharing myself with anybody who wants to listen. I am enjoying the opportunity to further my education every day and perfect my craft. I love learning something new every single day about myself, others, and the world around me. Besides being a multimedia journalist and a city dweller, I am a literature (Hemingway and Plath are my favorites) and grammar nerd, a hippie, a music fanatic, a foodie, a concert-goer, a traveler, a huge sports fan, a fashionista, an art lover, and an urban explorer who likes natural adventures (like hiking up mountains in Alaska) as well. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I conquer it. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, though, and no matter where I go, I never forget my roots. Milwaukee will always be my city and where my heart truly lies. I have quite the eye for unique knick-knacks. My spirit animals are the grasshopper and the gazelle. When I take the Essential Enneagram Test, I am #3. I am a hard worker with relentless energy. I am everyone’s sister. I am nutty but in a way that I like it. I think that God is so good and we are blessed to get to walk this earth every day. I believe that every person has the right to be exactly who they are. I am dreaming big, with my head in the clouds, but there is still some common sense in there somewhere. ;) Turning over a new leaf in my life, at the start of grad school, I wanted to create a comprehensive website where I could connect you to all of my social media outlets. I will continue to share my running experiences and life journey through this awesome outlet we now have called the World Wide Web, and I hope that everyone continues to enjoy all things Ally Spiroff. Peace, love, and running (fast), Ally Spiroff

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