Finding Inspiration in the Community: Meet Ambassador Ally White

Posted on November 08 2017

When did you start running?  I have always been a runner!  There’s not really a time in my life that I don’t remember not lacing up some shoes and just going for a run.  My defining moment though, of turning a fun way to exercise into a “Sign Up For All The Races!!” moment was when a friend asked me If I wanted to run the 2012 Seattle Rock n Roll half marathon with her.  I had NEVER run an actual organized race before, never pinned on a bib, or earned a medal.  I had no idea what to expect but the atmosphere and excitement surrounding this run was amazing!  All along the course there were people cheering the runners on and running up to my first finish line is something I will never forget.  Such an adrenaline rush!!  I was hooked!  I started signing up for races like crazy and I’ve never looked back.

What do you enjoy most about running?  There are so many things I love about running I don’t even know where to start!  The fresh air, the scenery, shopping for gear, time to myself, the fitness aspect, sense of accomplishment, shopping for gear, challenging myself, the opportunities it’s given me, setting goals and then crushing them…..did I mention shopping for gear yet?  Hahaha.  Really though, I’d say that the friends I’ve made through running is probably my favorite thing.  I love sharing my love for running with like-minded people.  I hang around a great group of running friends that are supportive and motivating and keep me going.

When is your favorite time of the year to run and why?  Probably the fall.  Seattle fall weather can be really amazing!  Crisp cool and sunny….it makes me feel like I could run forever.  The beautiful colors on the trees are the icing on the cake.  

Fall is in full swing.  Do you have any tips for preparing for a fall or winter race?  Embrace the weather!!  Hahaha.

  1. Since the weather is cooler I find fall/winter the perfect time to add in more speed work or tempo runs during your race training.  Fall is a fantastic time to work on achieving a PR!
  2. I spend a little more time warming up before a run to help with injury prevention.  I like doing more dynamic exercises like butt kickers, high knees, karaokes, and jumping jacks.  I’ll also go for a 5 minute slow jog before a race to loosen up.  I tend to get really tense in the cold and a slow short jog really helps me work the kinks out.  
  3. Dress in layers…..but not too many!  No one wants to be stuck carrying around extra gear that’ll weigh you down and just be bothersome.  For me, gloves and a beanie are a must!  If it’s really cold on race day I will wear an extra old race shirt or something I won’t mind leaving behind and when I get warmed up, I can just take it off and get rid of it somewhere along the course.
  4. Be Visible!  Since there’s not as many lighted hours during the winter invest in some reflective wear so you can be seen.  I have some blinking lights by Nathan that clip onto my clothes, some LightSpur LED Foot Lights that clip onto the heel of my shoes by Nathan, a Amphipod Xinglet Reflective vest , a Noxgear Tracer 360 multicolored Illiminating vest that blinks deifferent colors and just fun to wear, and a LED Lensor Seo Headlamp.  I’m basically lit up like a Christmas tree when I run in the dark, but better safe than sorry!!
  5. Have fun!!   Sometimes my training can be hard, exhausting, and sometimes it even hurts but I always look forward to getting back out there again.  

Hydration is important any time of the year.  How do you typically hydrate and fuel for a race or while training?  Going into race day and knowing what fuel/hydration method is going to work for you is very important and training runs are the perfect opportunity to experiment with new products and when to take them.   I typically drink around 80 ounces of water on an average day.  A few days before race day or a long run I start increasing my water intake a little more each day so that the day before race day, I’m consuming around 110 ounces of water at most.  During a 10k or longer race I always wear a Fitletic hydration belt or carry one of their handheld bottles.  I’m usually not too thirsty during a longer run so I like to sip along the way and don’t always stop at the aid stations because they can get pretty crowded.  I’m not loyal to one brand of hydration drink and the ones I use are Tailwind, Nuun, and Amino Active.  During a half I will typically eat one package of chews or a gel around mile 6 or 7 and that’s it.  During a full marathon or longer run over a half marathon distance I take a chew or gel about every 50 minutes to an hour.  On my longer runs I sometimes also carry a Honey Stinger Waffle or one of their Peanut Butta Bars and eat it while running.  

What is your favorite race and what did you love about it?  My favorite race I’ve ever ran was definitely the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco in 2015.  It was a bucket list race for me and it did not disappoint!!  It was the first women’s only race I’d ever run and the atmosphere surrounding the whole weekend was just so amazing to me.  They offered a great group workout two days before the race that was taught by the Nike trainers down on a Pier by the water.  The trainers gave us a motivating pep talk after the workout that made me feel like I could conquer the world.  They also had a shakeout run the morning before the race that went around downtown San Francisco by some great tourist sites.   I met so many wonderful ladies that morning with such great stories of why they were there to run this race.  It was just….wow!  The topper…was seeing my name printed on the front window of the Nike store with all the other women that ran the race.  It was so awesome!!  The race course and the scenery during the actual half marathon was phenomenal, and conquering the giant hill that was ALL of mile ten was just such a great feeling.  It was just a truly inspiring weekend that I have yet to duplicate at any other race.  It’s not one I will forget anytime soon.

Do you have a pre-race day or race day ritual?  I do eat the same dinner before a race.  Unless I’m running out of state, I always eat a couple of slices of pizza from a local PNW chain called Mod Pizza.  So yummy and not greasy.  I like to eat about 2 hours before race time if possible.  This gives my stomach time to settle before I run.  I have two different breakfasts that I eat.  It’s either a whole wheat English muffin with spinach leaves and an egg or a piece of toast with peanut butter and half a banana.  It just depends on my mood.  I will layout my clothes and everything I’ll need for race the night before.  I’m very organized and hate to be rushed so I prepare as much as I can in advance so that race morning is not stressful.   

What’s your favorite post-race grub?  I don’t really have a favorite post-race meal or snack.  My stomach needs a while to settle after a run, but I wouldn’t turn down a donut if you gave it to me 😊

What’s your favorite Miles & Pace item or what do you like to wear while running?  While I really love all the tank tops that I run in from Miles & Pace because they are so soft and comfortable, I am a total hat girl.  I wear hats all the time and I CANNOT run without wearing one!  So, my favorite Miles & Pace item is the Black Run Trucker Hat.  I wear it with everything year-round!

Anything else we should know about you?  I’m born and raised in the Seattle area and while I know we have a reputation of being very rainy up here, it’s so beautiful with so many outdoor activities to participate in year-round, it more than makes up for the weather.  I’ve been married for 23 years and I have two grown boys.  They are my support team, or as I call them, My Pit Crew.  I don’t know what I’d do without them.  I am a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan!!  Go Hawks!!  My favorite show is Survivor, and I’ve always said I’ll eat anything as long as it has peanut butter on it :) Oh, and I really love running!!