Thankful Things Thursday: Summer In The City Edition

The sun is shining. I woke up smiling. Summer is almost here. It’s Thursday.

I don’t know how today can possibly be a bad day.

Hopefully you all feel the same.

Before we get down to business, let me just say Wow! I love love loved the comments on yesterday’s “I am finally a runner even though I run half marathons and still denied calling myself a real runner for a long time” post. Not only was I amazed at how few of us resonate with the Runner label, I thought it was hilarious that we’re all so quick and willing to labels others as Runners but so hard on ourselves about it.

One of my favorite comments came from Lauren:

“I’ve run for the better part of my life and yet it still took awhile for me to consider myself a ‘real’ runner – because I didn’t run as fast or as much as the runners I looked up to. I had to realize that the beauty of running is that it’s so individual. We all might have different speeds and goals, but the common bond we share from just loving running is what makes us all runners.”

It’s so true — regardless of paces, goal times or mileage, the passion for running is what brings us all together.

I also appreciated how many of you commented on the fact that I’m gross and wear my workout clothes multiple times before washing. Keep in mind, however, that I’m not totally disgusting. When things get pretty smelly, they go into the laundry basket!

So here we are, on this beautiful, Thursday, and I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for. In true Ali On The Run/Thankful Things Thursday fashion, here’s what I’m smiling about today…

I’m thankful for summer in the city. Sure, New York City empties out every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the privileged population heads to the Hamptons, Fire Island, Martha’s Vineyard and beyond. But one of the great things about not being a privileged one (though I am super lucky to have a friend with a house in Fire Island!) is that you get quiet time with the city. I’ll be traveling a bit this summer, but my focus is on staying in town to get those long marathon miles in. Exciting life, I know. I can’t wait to explore NYC on the weekends without the crowded messes.

I’m thankful that I can go out without a jacket. Last night I spent a few awesome hours walking through Central Park (no, Mom, not alone, and it wasn’t even dark yet — relax). It was amazing. There were people everywhere, from runners and bikers to people with puppies. It was the perfect night to walk around wearing a sundress, not needing a jacket.

I’m thankful for street art. De La Vega is still going at it in Central Park, and after sticking to the Bridle Path for my runs for so long, it was fun seeing the new spots he’s been getting crafty on.

I’m thankful for outdoor dining. People in NYC go crazy for restaurants with outdoor seating. I swear as soon as it hits 40 degrees people start putting their tables and chairs out. After walking all through the park and the Upper West Side last night, I ended up getting dinner at Beyoglu, which has quickly become one of my favorite spots on the Upper East Side. I loved sitting outside and people watching with a glass of wine (kind of classy) while stuffing my face with hot bread and hummus (definitely classy).

I’m thankful for the Central Park bathrooms. Honestly, the stomach issues are getting a bit old. I’m tired of writing abou tthem and something tells me you’re tired of hearing about them. (Hence the goal to find a cure for Crohn’s Disease.)

About halfway into my 6-mile run this morning, my stomach — yet again — kicked in and made me feel like keeling over and quitting running for the rest of my life (not really, I’m just dramatic today). Seriously though, it was quite painful and I’m glad I was near a bathroom. I had a really hard time with Coach Cane’s plans for this morning, which included one lap of the extended Bridle Path a little above my half marathon goal pace, and one lap of the Bridle Path at my half marathon goal pace. The exhaustion from the past week has really gotten to me and it’s affecting my training, so I know I need to focus on more sleep and taking good care of myself. It’s way too early in the game to feel so run down!

I’m thankful for the Central Park Bridle Path. I love that I’ve been running there more lately (per Coach Cane’s orders polite recommendations). I see an entirely different breed of runner on the Bridle Path versus on the running road.

I’m thankful for familiar morning faces. I love seeing people I recognize out running in the morning. It makes me feel like there’s this great community of early risers, and I love feeling like I’m part of it.

I’m thankful for lilacs. They are my mom’s favorite flower and they come out in the springtime. Walking through the Flower District this morning made me feel a little homesick and nostalgic for New Hampshire.

I’m thankful for easy summer outfits. Getting dressed today required two things: a top and a skirt. No layers necessary. So simple.

I’m thankful for yoga. I haven’t been in forever and I think I will cry if I don’t go tonight. My body is craving some serious stretching. I would like to spend 10 minutes in Downward Dog, please.

That’s what she said?

I’m thankful “So You Think You Can Dance” starts back up tonight. It’s the best summer show and while, yes, I have to watch it for work, I also watch it because I love it. It’s also how I find great new songs to download.

I’m thankful for nice boys. That’s all.

I’m thankful that I don’t have to run a race this weekend. Coach Cane has me running 8 very manageable miles on Saturday. No problem, Coach. I’m happy that I don’t have to get up super early (though I’m sure I still will) and I’m glad I don’t have to be pinning a bib to my shirt before I go out. Just me and the open road.

NOW YOU GO: What are you thankful for today? There are roughly a million things you could say, including how the humidity is helping your hair, something great you brought for lunch or the fact that it’s a long weekend coming up. All acceptable responses.



0 Responses

  1. What a great list of things you are thankful for! I love that first pic of central park and the graffiti pic, so sweet!

    I’m thankful it’s nearly the weekend.. and nearly my summer vacation!

  2. I’m thankful that I got to see my group of senior English students celebrate their last day of high school today. I love watching the kids get older and (slightly) more responsible!

    I’m also thankful for tonight’s SYTYCD! Love your photo with Cat Deeley. She (and her endless collection of amazing outfits) is amazing!

  3. I’m thankful for the cruise I’m going on next weekend. I’m really stressed out financially (contradictory to my first sentence, I know, but the cruise is a gift from the boyfriend’s parents) and am rather concerned about my money-related woes, so it’ll be nice to be forcefully unplugged for a week. Looking forward to relaxing and trying not to worry about anything for a few days.

  4. Sorry your stomach is acting up! I don’t have Chrohn’s but I have a recurring stomach problem so I know how that can ruin runs (and regular life!).
    I’m thankful for a free 15 minute massage provided by my company today for their “health & wellness week”

  5. Yay for all of these things!! Outdoor dining, summer outfits, and being without a jacket are definitely on the top of my list this time of year. And I’m happy to hear “nice boys” on your list 🙂

  6. I’m thankful for meze. I’m thankful for incredible waitresses at meze restaurants. I’m thankful for accidentally finding out that there are fellow runners at meze restaurants, and bonding over marathons with said runners. I’m thankful for spring flowers. I’m thankful for morning runs that leave me feeling fantastic for the remainder of the day. I’m thankful for sleep.

    And I’m thankful for this blog, for being inspiring and reminding me to be thankful!

  7. I’m thankful that the nasty weather we’ve been having is forecasted to clear out of Chicago tonight… leaving us with sunny skies for Saturday’s Soldier Field 10 Mile race 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. I’m thankful that I spent an hour early this morning scopeing out a dog park along the river valley for a photoshoot next week (my job involves working with dogs). It was so beautiful out, and everyone was so friendly!

  9. Love it! This is fun. I’m thankful for sweaty runs (makes me feel more accomplished), avocados, chardonnay tasting especially good when it’s warm out, the fact that my husband is also a runner and that he doesn’t get sick of my daily running/nutrition banter, and the fact that my boss hasn’t yet commented on the fact that I might be wearing flip flops at work today. 🙂

  10. As always, I am thankful for your blog!
    I am also thankful that my family and friends and I were safe from all the tornadoes that went through Missouri yesterday and over the weekend. Not everybody was as lucky as me though. 🙁

  11. I’m thankful that most of my neighbors have their sprinklers on at 7 a.m. during my morning run. It’s hot down here! (For those who don’t know, I’m in Texas, not hell.) I’m also thankful for post-run popsicles, and my brand new Garmin that I ordered on sale last week!

  12. Hi Ali! I’m thankful for my office closing tomorrow at 3pm in honor of Memorial Day Weekend yeeyy! Also for my cocker spaniel who loves nothing more than greeting us all when we arrive home after work/school!

    I am just wondering- what is the reason that Coach Cane has recommended running the Bridle Path rather than the pavement for your training? I’m a runner too, and have a history of knee injures- so I’m wondering if it is because the dirt path is better on your joints? I might just have to switch up my pavement route, I don’t want to be immobile by 30! Thanks!

    1. Knee pain is exactly the reason! When I first met with Coach Cane I told him that while I had never had a specific knee injury, my knees do often tighten up and cause me some pain. So he has me running on the Bridle Path often, which has a softer surface and is easier on my joints. I recommend it!

  13. I drove to work this morning feeling exactly that way. The sun was shining, the humidity was low, and it was a gorgeous day. Sounds cliche, but I really am soo soo thankful for my husband. It’s like he just gets better each a everyday. 🙂

    I just now read you post about not feeling like a runner. I often feel this way. I can totally identify with not “feeling” like a “real runner. I think a lot of people view me as a runner and geez I’ve already run a marathon and I spend most of my free time running or thinking about running, but I still am just hestitant to claim the title.

  14. I’m thankful for my brand-new husband (of nearly 3 whole weeks!).

    And speaking of boys–it sounds like maybe you have one in your life?? Regardless–I hope you’re happy!!

  15. I’m thankful I found your blog. Your writing style is so much fun to read and I love the inspiration I get for my own training. I am mostly thankful because in one post I read you recommended the Juno Sports Bra – umm life saver! I LOVE it. I’m about to buy one in every color. I am also thankful I finally bought body glide – double life saver.
    Happy Running!
    p.s. I totally re-wear running clothes… gross, I think so too. It seems no matter how many draws full of workout clothes I have I still have one or two outfits I just want to wear again and again.

  16. I’m thankful to have discovered this wonderful community of running bloggers recently. I’m also thankful to have just experienced such a great weekend with family and friends at a wedding last weekend.

  17. I am thankful for …
    – Bringing my lunch every day this week (hopefully tomorrow, too!)
    – Getting my first chance to host a giveaway on my blog shortly! (Check back in a week or so!)
    – Returning to a run club that I’ve visited on and off over the past year last night
    – This amazing blog community that I am learning more about every day
    – Finally ordering my Garmin! YES! 😉

    Ali, you said that you see a different breed of runner on the Birdle path vs. the running road — in what way?

  18. I love lilacs too and they also remind me of NH 🙂 They don’t grow that well in the south. A couple years ago we planted some and the leaves have come up every year, but no flowers til this year when we got two blooms for the first time, which made me incredibly excited! I’m hoping eventually we’ll have some big lilac bushes!

  19. I’m thankful that despite the craziness that has been my life, I managed to squeeze in a couple of workouts this week – makes all the difference in the world! …

    …and that the sun was shining this morning ….

    ….and for GChat peptalks thanks to wonderful friends. Yes, we’re all busy, and yes we live in different parts of the country, but a typing heart to heart is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.

  20. I’m thankful that today is my Friday and that my weekend will be filled with friends and fun, finishing with a relaxing Monday by the pool.

    Have a fabulous day and long weekend!

  21. I’m thankful that on this very fun and relaxing Memorial Day weekend we’re staying in the city and that I only have to run 7 relaxing miles. Now, onto my real question, where is the bridle path in the park and how long is it? I’d love to run that tomorrow for a change of pace. Is it flat or hilly?

    1. The Bridle Path basically runs around the Reservoir. I’m not sure what the exact distance is on it. It’s mostly flat with some little hills on the west side.

      1. The loop around the res is 1.55, the lower loop below that is just over 1.6, but there is a route if you stay on the path and go up to 102 and then down to 63 and back to the engineer’s gate is about 6.7.

  22. Hey, not sure if you would like a running date for Saturday morning, but I was planning on running about 8 miles in the park around 8:30am. I am on the west side and could meet you at engineer’s gate for a full loop of the bridle path (the 6.7 route)?

    1. I’m actually probably avoiding Central Park on Saturday for a change of pace. But I’ll let you know when I figure out a plan and maybe we can work something out!

  23. Why would the humidity help anyone’s hair??

    You need more rest! I am almost certain that is contributing to your stomach acting up.

    I am thankful for outdoor dining as well. Last night I finally got to sit outside and enjoy a giant margarita and guacamole. That is all I have been wanting! I’ve never been to Beyoglu but now I HAVE to go there!!!! Making that a priority, thank you!

    I love when the city empties out. I am thankful for a much needed long weekend.

    I am also thankful for mini-vacations.

  24. You forgot “I’m thankful for Bryant Park Yoga with Social Workout friends and drinking at the Ginger Man after getting our sweat on together.” Are you going?? vonhottie put info up on the site.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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