The Magic of Saying your Goal outloud

Ali Cummings of Sudbury Ontario was the second place female in the 2017 Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Full Marathon. An active runner and fitness enthusiast, Ali stays active all year long running with the Sudbury Rocks!! Run Club as well as participating and teaching classes at her local YMCA.  Ali enjoys coming to Winnipeg to visit her sister and family, and loves the marathon’s fast, flat and friendly race allowing her to surpass her goal time by three minutes.  We hope she joins us again next year to knock out a new PR.

Why do you run?

Running is more than just keeping fit for me.  It’s social (a lot of my friends and family run), it’s an escape from a long day; it’s exploring (my city or others)… It’s my happy place.

If you could run any race what would it be?

I’ve wanted to run the Big Sur marathon so that is high on my list because I’ve heard how scenic it is and I’ve never been to California. However I have a goal of completing all the majors, and so far, only have Boston under my belt… not sure which one I want to do next!

What is your favorite post-race meal or snack?

The thought of food after a race is really difficult for me; I usually have a pretty upset stomach from pushing myself to the limit in the last few kilometers.  However, I had a Popsicle after Manitoba and it was pretty delicious!

What is your number one method for injury prevention?

Cross-training, because I must admit that I am not consistent with stretching.  However, I used to have hip flexor issues and I have not had an injury since I was consistent with cross training. Teaching a core class is perfect for my running – and by teaching it, I can’t skip it.

What advice would you give to someone who has just started running?

Join a running group or find a friend who wants to run too.  A running group is a fantastic way to meet people and stay accountable and keep it fun, plus you learn new routes even if you’ve lived somewhere your entire life.

When you think about setting goals for yourself, what’s the process like? How far in advance do you try to plan for?

My goal setting is usually based on getting a personal best.  For the Manitoba Marathon, I went into it wanting a personal best, but more importantly sub 3:19:59.  I said my goal out loud to as many people would listen and I’ve been talking about that for about six months. I like to jump from one goal to the next to keep myself motivated.

Do you have any pre-race rituals (food, organization, activities, etc.)?

I almost always eat toast with peanut butter and banana in the morning. The day before is about drinking lots of water and the night before I get my outfit and my bib ready. The night before Manitoba, we went to BDI for ice cream which was so yummy – definitely not part of my normal routine, but maybe it should be!

What was the most challenging race you have ever completed and why?

Most challenging was Toronto Scotiabank Marathon in 2016.  I had a really good summer of training, but decided to run with my friend who was going for a 3:30.  She couldn’t keep it up and told me to leave her (so that felt terrible), and then for me to finish in 3:30 was a real struggle.  It was humid and just not my day, I felt like garbage at the finish line.  Definitely not my best and really motivated me for Manitoba.

Do you have a personal running hero or mentor?

My younger sister, Hailey, motivated me to get into running.  She ran in university and I admired her speed, effort, and performance. It’s been amazing to run marathons together and I will always admire her strength and determination. My mom is another inspiration: how she balanced training for marathons with four kids and a full time job is absolutely amazing!



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