I Am Not Sick

Good morning!

It’s a beautiful day in New York City — and it’s the first day of summer!

The sun coming up over the Central Park Reservoir

I can think of no better way to start the day than with a Central Park run.

But we’ll get back to that.

First I will tell you that I made something good last night. It didn’t agree with my stomach (nothing does these days) but it was dang good and I was proud of myself.

A typical dinner in the life of Ali is pasta with jarred marinara sauce. Basically the easiest thing in the world. I am a total waste in the kitchen. (I’m an excellent taste-tester though — take note, NYC people who like to cook.)

So last night I got all crazy. I microwaved some frozen spinach and added it to the bowl of pasta.

Am I a genius?



And I’m certainly no chef, and I will never convert to being a food blogger (you’re welcome, online world). But this meal was filling and delicious and I have a ton left over for lunch today.

Chef Ali. You should probably not call me that.


So like I said, this meal was magical but it made me feel like crap afterward (something to look forward to again post-lunch today I suppose).

And here’s the thing: I’m on Prednisone. A low dose of Prednisone. And in my mind I’m saying it’s working. Yesterday I talked about being dizzy, and I don’t know what’s happening there. It’s just a mystery at this point. I’m hoping to make it over to the doctor today to figure some things out.

But I’m tired of writing about Crohn’s Disease and I’m tired of writing about being sick. All my life, despite having this disease, I’ve never considered myself to be a “sick” person. When I get my Remicade infusion every 8 weeks at the hospital, I sit in a room with people who are sick. People who have to go through intense rounds of chemotherapy and people who have had massive, life-changing surgeries.

I refuse to be sick.

So I’m not.



See? This is not the face of a sick girl.

Wear a favorite dress = don’t feel sick.

Obviously it’s not that simple, but I’m working to find a balance between giving in to the disease a little bit — by cutting down on two-a-day workouts, for example — and continuing to live my normal life.

Last night I went to the gym to get in my Coach Cane-instructed cross training workout. I did a Chisel class and felt surprisingly good. When I didn’t think about the fact that I was dizzy, I felt fine, which further confirms my suspicion that so much of how I’m feeling is mental and stress-induced.

I bring it on myself. Silly Ali.

After Chisel, I decided to do a little spinning. I hadn’t been to a Monday night class in a while and it felt so good to be back. I didn’t turn up the resistance as high as I normally would have, but when I was in the zone, pushing those pedals around the bike, I wasn’t thinking about Crohn’s or dizziness or the race I’m completely terrified to run this weekend.

I just forgot about being “sick.”

I promise I’m not in denial. I know I have a disease, I know I need to take care of myself. But I also know that dwelling on the same issues day in and day out will only drive me crazy, not help me feel better.

After the gym I ate my magical pasta concoction (all you legitimate food bloggers must be shaking your heads at me right now) and then felt like crap for a little while. No big deal.

I continued feeling not-so-hot for about an hour this morning, but eventually felt fine enough to hit Central Park for a 6.5 mile tempo run.

Here’s what Coach Cane wanted me to do:

  • 1 mile warm-up
  • 1 mile at half marathon goal pace, 1/4 mile at slow pace (repeat three times)
  • 1 mile cool-down

The verdict? Success!

This was another confidence-boosting run. I hit my half marathon goal pace (which right now is 8:00/mile) each time and held onto it for the full mile. I was pumped.

Of course, my confidence was somewhat shaken around mile 4 when I had to stop and use a bathroom.

Still, I felt great about this run. I’m accepting that the Fairfield Half Marathon this weekend may involve bathroom stops, and I’m OK with that. I’m slowly learning that not every race is a PR race, and that some races are just for learning. We’ll see what happens.

Central Park was alive and exciting this morning.

A bridge near the Reservoir
Reservoir path
Bridle Path (had to cut across it to get to the bathrooms!)

As I wrapped up my run in the park, I saw this little guy!

So cute

You know it’s going to be a good day when you have a pug sighting before 7 am.

You also know it’s going to be a good day when you drip sweat all over your hardwood floors and don’t care, because it makes you feel awesome.

Mmmmm sweat for breakfast

No? Just me. Fine.

Lastly, want to hear something hardcore? So that crazy coach of mine — the beloved Coach Cane — honors the longest day of the year annually by hosting the No Sleep Til Brooklyn Century ride in Prospect Park. This 100 mile bike ride starts at 7 pm and includes 30 laps of hilly Prospect Park.

Yes, I know, I have posted this photo before. Sorry I don't have a million shots of me and my coach.

It’s basically my nightmare, but this group of badass riders, led by my own coach, will be riding until 1 am. So hop on Twitter and send @joncane some luck (not that he needs it) and love. He’s going to be up late tonight.

HERE’S AN UNRELATED TOPIC FOR US TO DISCUSS: It’s the first day of summer! What are you most excited about for this summer this year? My season will revolve around marathon training, but I’m also hoping to squeeze in fun activities along the way. Bronx Zoo? Day trips to the beach? Game on.



0 Responses

  1. I love your blog! It is so positive! As for summer… I’m looking forward to the many festivals going on around Seattle all summer long. Nice and free! Perfection!!! And farmer’s markets!!! And training for my marathon : )

  2. I love your pug obsession. You know, if you see one, they make you run faster. I PRed at the National Half after seeing a pug AT the START line. I knew it was going to be a good race.

  3. Sometimes it’s mind over body.. I hope you get to be 100% soon! The most exciting for me this summer was going back to the States to see my friends and some family which I hadn’t seen since 2009! I was soooo homesick and it definitely made my year being back for a couple weeks. I love Europe and all but there’s nothing like home!

  4. i look forward to eat excessive amounts of ice cream this summer.
    oh and i guess i should train for the hamptons half. haha

  5. Marathon training is at the top of my list too. I am going to try to schedule and map out some long runs that conveniently end at/near a beach. I hear that a run from my apt to City Island is only like 12 miles. Totally trying this.

  6. Hi Ali,

    It seems we’re going at the same pace, I would be happy to run with you in park. I have the same disease (
    lighter than you though and completely stress related, but my grandmother almost died from it last year) and I live in the same building as Megan !

  7. The Bronx Zoo is free on Wednesdays! I go to Fordham University & my friends & I are have been so lucky because usually we don’t have class on Wednesdays!

  8. Good to see you this morning and glad you had a great run!! You were so cheery and brightened my day 🙂

    And seriously, I want to plan a trip to the Bronx Zoo soon! We need to coordinate schedules. I love summer already – I’ve been relaxing and doing more things/seeing more friends since I’m not in class and it is amazing.

    Also, loved this post and you continue to inspired me 🙂 Hope all goes well at the docs today (which I think I saw on Twitter… is that creepy?)

  9. Great run this morning! I think that pasta looks delicious– I’m also not a master in the kitchen but feel accomplished anyday I can pull together a quick tasty meal, better if it involves leftovers! I love your outlook on being ‘sick’, yes it is a part of who you are, but it is not ALL of who you are. Looking forward to hearing about the race this weekend!

  10. Hi Ali! I wonder if you have given thought to using yoga/mind-body stuff in general to help you manage stress? I know you do yoga sometimes, but I use it several times a week to help me manage my depression/anxiety, and I’ve found that the focus and detachment I learn on the mat helps me handle life off the mat so much better. And I’ve read a ton of articles recently (like this one: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-mindfulness-meditation-brain-weeks.html) about how good meditation is for all kinds of mind-body problems. If you don’t like yoga enough to do it more frequently, then even a short daily meditation has all kinds of benefits.

  11. Ali, you are awesome! I love your honesty and outlook. Great run this morning. I’ll have to remember this workout from Coach Cane for later in the summer. My summer will be similar to yours with marathon training at the top of the list.

  12. Okay, first of all – what the heck is that guy doing in the pic of the bridge near the Reservoir? He looks like he’s about to hurdle over the side haha I hope not! Secondly, I love your attitude! SO refreshing, and so needed on a Tuesday. Get ’em girl!

  13. Solid run. And hope you can get to the doctor today! I definitely believe in the mind is very powerful in illness, especially chronic illness. I’ve seen patients do so much better who think positively about their situation than those who lay in bed and feel sorry for themselves. Good for you.

    This summer, I want to read a lot of non-medical school books (nerdy, I know) and I’ll start training for NYC in July. I’m hoping to be able to enjoy the city this summer as last summer I was working 6 days/week for about 12 hours per day! I was exhausted most of the time!

  14. So glad you are not feeling sick!!

    My favorite things about summer.. is that I am working summer school.. so I am making extra money..but get out at noon every day.. and have the last week of July and the month of AUgust off! Yeah teachers!

  15. Mind over matter, dearie. But maybe skip the spinach until your drugs kick in!!!

    I’m looking forward to laying on the beach reading books. I need to make this happen, a lot.

  16. Your attitude is incredibly inspiring, Ali. I can tell you work really hard to not let CD dominate your life or how you think of yourself, and that can’t be easy when there’s usually some kind of reminder everyday. Also, I get so cranky/down when I have stomach issues, I can’t imagine having them that frequently and still being able to have such a smile on my face and enjoy my food like you do. I think whenever you get a stomachache or some other reminder that you have CD, you should think “I am amazing to be living such a full life despite that”! 🙂 Maybe sometimes it even makes you push harder because you are grateful for the times when you feel good. Just wanted you to know I am incredibly inspired by you!
    Good luck to your coach in his race!!

  17. Ali – So many people feel sorry for themselves and use their challenges as excuses for being lazy and unhealthy. You are an example of someone will takes what life gives you and kicks its butt! I think that’s awesome. You will rock the marathon in the Fall and hopefully I will as well. 🙂

  18. Again – LOVE your attitude, Ali!! You make me want to live a more and more optimistic life, seriously. And um, LOVE that dress, please tell me where it’s from?? Happy summer btw – I wish I was out and about celebrating it, it is GORGEOUS in Boston today!!

  19. I totally get the feeling bad thing and just wanting the “boom” – you’re cured thing to happen! Between low and high blood sugar levels I feel like I’m never quite balanced perfectly in the middle. Or when I do finally get that balance, something else happens to throw me back on the roller coaster.

    On a lighter note, your outfit today is my favorite! I love it!

  20. Again, love your outfit shots!! Great dress!! I am glad that you are feeling better even if you are still battling a flair up. I LOVE summer!! The long days of daylight, the early morning sun, the fresh warm air, the outdoor runs, that happy, euphoric feeling summer just BRINGS!

  21. Gorgeous day today! Do you think it was the spinach that made you feel sick? Because that is what tends to do it for me. I love summer so much. I’m excited for so many things, particularly outdoor concerts, drinking and anything else outside!

  22. I’m excited about moving to NYC and (hopefully) landing a magazine gig! And I’m excited to find new running paths, and train for the Warrior Dash Obstacle Course in August! Plus I just really want to take day trips to the beach. I <3 summer.

  23. Ali, you have an incredible knack for reminding us of what’s important and putting this into perspective. I hope your tummy is feeling better! Congrats on hitting your marathon pace- you are going to totally rock the marathon!!!
    Beyond excited for this summer… lots of hiking, beach time, and marathon training planned 🙂

  24. Happy first day of summer! I love the summer solstice because it feels like there are SO MANY possibilities for the longest day of the year. I’m smiling this morning.

    This summer, I’m looking forward to …
    – Turning 26!
    – Watching Book of Mormon (I finally won tickets yesterday for the July 1st performance!!)
    – Half-marathon training
    – Plugging away at the 9+1 guaranteed entry through NYRR
    – Visiting new beer gardens (according to NYTimes, there are over 50 in NYC now!)
    – Going to Portugal the last week of July!
    – Going to Chicago for Lollapalooza in August!

    Man oh man. I’m so excited for summer. 😉

    Happy Tuesday! Your outfit is adorable as usual (French Connection?) and I’m glad you’re not sick.

  25. Ali,

    Today, when I am feeling bad about my own struggles, running and feet issues, this helped me put things in perspective. I need and have to focus on having your attitude. Thank you. You are awesome.


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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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