Thankful Things Thursday: Yoga, Run, Braid

Happy Thursday!

I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again: This week has been a super speedy one. I can hardly even remember what happened on Monday.

So let’s keep moving right along and get down to it: Today is Thursday, and on Thursdays I like to take some time to think about the things I’m thankful for (and then I like to demand that you do the same — thank you for always obliging, you nice people).

I’m thankful for your your incredible comments on yesterday’s “I don’t think my doctor likes me or understands me” post. I was blown away! Many of your kind words brought me to tears, and I’m eager to hopefully find some time soon to find a doctor I really mesh with. For the time being I’m going to stick with my Prednisone and Remicade routine, but you all gave me a lot to think about regarding how doctors should treat their patients.

I’m thankful for Coach Cane. Do I say this enough? He’s a rock star. I met with him yesterday after work to discuss plans for this weekend’s Fairfield Half Marathon, which I’m honestly not feeling great about at all.

Race day = Sunday

You see, I’m supposed to run these 13.1 miles in Fairfield, but I’m not doing it alone. I’m doing it with the other Run For The Rabbit finalists — and alongside the camera crew.

Yeah. The camera crew…filming my every move.

These people will ALL be at the race...watching...filming...yikes.

Moves that will most likely be taking me from one bathroom stop to the next.

My racing confidence is still pretty shaken after the Brooklyn Half Marathon, which involved some solid running and some less-than-stellar Porta Potty stops. I hate the idea of being on camera and experiencing all that. Though maybe it will make for dramatic footage?

OK, back to Coach Cane.

Coach Cane

During our chat over green tea (he made me drink it), we talked about how I should approach this weekend’s race. First, he asked what I’m capable of. I said I’m not going to PR. There’s just no way I can pull that out of me considering my recent failing health.

He said that’s fine, and that we’re going to shoot for a goal time of 1:50. Faster than Brooklyn, but not as speedy as the National Half. Coach Cane said he wants me to think of the race in three parts: 5 miles, 5 miles + a 5K. He gave me specific splits to follow for each section.

A few of my favorite Coach Cane quotes from last night:

  • “The race isn’t over at 5 miles.”
  • “Stick with the script I’m giving you. Don’t improvise.”
  • “In the final 5K, all bets are off. You’re racing. Mile 10 is game on.”
  • “You don’t know how to run fast at the end because you haven’t run smart from the beginning yet.” (Oops.)
  • “Run smart, finish strong.”

It made me really happy that before we parted ways Coach Cane (who can’t be in Fairfield with us this weekend because he’s traveling) demanded that I call or text him when I finish to let him know how it goes.

If only my doctor cared as much as my running coach…

I’m thankful I tried Ki Power Vinyasa last night. Sadly, the class didn’t go as I would have hoped, but that is no reflection on the class itself. Let me tell you more…

I was invited to try this class as part of an event at Pure Yoga called “Yoga Y Vino.” An hour of yoga plus a 30-minute Spanish-influenced wine tasting? Sure. I guess I’ll RSVP to that.

Ki Power Vinyasa is a Zen-based flow class that combines martial arts, core movements and power yoga moves set to music you know and can kind of rock out to. I was into the class, especially once we got into the fast flow (I swear we powered through Warriors I, II and III about 12 times in 5 minutes — crazy fast!) and the martial arts movements.

Unfortunately, my stomach wasn’t cooperating at all. The twisting and turning just didn’t agree with me, and I was really wobbly in the various poses. I just couldn’t stick anything and I was frustrated. My joints are really achy because of the Crohn’s flare-up which also meant certain positions were really painful and I had to come down from them.

But I did get to meet some wonderful fellow bloggers and see some familiar faces!

Jess and Sam


Me and Sofia

Jess, Sam, Sofia, Dori, Melissa and everyone else — great seeing you all!

I didn’t stick around for much of the wine tasting because I felt like crap and couldn’t drink, but I thought the concept for the event was awesome. I loved that the instructor, Isauro Fernandez, said that even though he’s “from Queens” he appreciates the wines from Spain because his family is from there and he’s been “drinking wine since he was 5.” He had a great energy and it definitely came through during class.

Me and Isauro

I also made a point to sample a bit of the food before I left. Naturally. Solid dinner, Ali.

The cheese was oh-so-good
Yoga + food + wine = smart

After class I was beat — I had left my apartment so early yesterday morning and didn’t get home until almost 9:30 pm. Long day!

I’m thankful for cold showers before bedtime. A lot of people are anti-this, but I love taking a cool shower in the summer and going to bed with wet hair. I don’t care if it’s “bad for me” and I don’t care that it gets my pillows wet. I love it.

I’m thankful I didn’t have to stop during my run this morning. Coach Cane asked for 5 miles at a comfortable pace. I covered 5.5 (I really suck at mapping out my routes lately) and felt OK. Not great. But OK. It took me a while to get out the door and once I was out I was a sweaty beast.

Mmmmm morning sweat
This is my post-run shirt. I think it looks sort of cool.

The air was so thick and heavy this morning, and the Central Park Reservoir was very puddly.

Hello, fog. I remember that time you ruined the Tanner's trip to Disney World on Full House.
NYC, is that you?

My legs were nice and dirty by the time I was done puddle jumping.

Sexy runner? Sure.

So the run was fine. It wasn’t fast. I didn’t feel great. I contemplated stopping a few times but powered through because I was already running incredibly late.

And when you’re running late, you have to find other ways to cut back on your getting-ready time in the morning.

Which brings me to my next point.

I’m thankful for easy outfits.

Skirt from H&M, top Aqua from Bloomingdale's

Today’s is nothing special and nothing you haven’t seen several times before. But it took me less than a minute to get dressed today, so boom, done.

I’m thankful for braids. Gwen Stefani rocks them and I try to do the same. She inspired me today.

Man she is cool.
Kind of the same? But with puffier eyes?

Now how do I get her abs, too?

I’m thankful for graph paper. I really like writing on it.

I’m thankful for inky pens. Not the ballpoint kind. The fine-tipped kind. They’re so fun.

I’m thankful that after this weekend’s half marathon I don’t have any races scheduled. I need a racing break.

I’m thankful for sushi. I think I want to get it for lunch today.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I’m so thankful for all of the incredible donations people have made toward my fundraising efforts for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. The past month has been pretty tough and I can’t wait to start feeling better. Seriously, they’re going to find a cure for this crap soon, and it will be because you all helped. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

YOUR TURN: Tell me what you’re thankful for today.



0 Responses

  1. Your braids look adorable!

    I love the advice Coach Cane gave you about racing smart from the beginning. I’ve truthfully never run a smart race, so I’m going to take that advice for myself too. Good luck this weekend! Whatever you do out there will be enough…and not just enough, amazing! Good luck!

  2. I love reading your thankful posts! I am loving your braids…I am also thankful for braids because they are a quick, easy way to get ready with wet hair in the morning. I also love inky pens…my favorites pens are Sharpie pens. I am also thankful for YOUR coach, because by reading all your posts about him, I feel like I am learning so much about running too!

    I am so sorry for all the health issues you have been facing. You are truly an inspiration for continuing on without even hesitating! You are helping so many people!

    If I don’t get a chance stop by your blog tomorrow, good luck Saturday at your race…I know you will rock it!

  3. Sleeping with wet hair is bad for you? I do it every night! I am an evening workout/night shower kind of gal, and I always jump in the shower right before bed and sleep with my wet hair in a ponytail or bun, and then I blow it dry in the morning (my hair is super thick, so it still wet enough).

    Today I am thankful for my little dog, who makes me laugh every single day. I rescued her almost a year ago and she’s the best thing ever. We have a new game where I blow a little raspberry on the top of her head and she gets all excited and wiggles around and gives me kisses. What? That’s totally normal!

    I’m also thankful for Target, where I can spend a little money on tubes of pretty pink lipstick and a pad of GIANT (huge, seriously) Post-It notes and feel very, very happy!

  4. I so appreciate your positive attitude! Life isn’t easy, but it seems like you’re working to make the most of it! Great job and keep it up!

  5. Good luck this weekend! You’ll do great!

    This week I’m thankful for long late nights that fly by because you’re with really really good friends, and for new connections that turn into new friends.

  6. it was great to meet you last night, ali! so sorry you had a tough class, but i loved that you were all smiles afterward. 🙂

    today i’m thankful for summer weather (even if my hair is 100% out of control today), my amazing friends, and being a part of the wonderful nyc blog community.

    lots of luck on your half this weekend – you’ll be running right by my hometown!

  7. I love your casual reference to the Tanner’s. reason #592359 why I like you 🙂 Coach Cane seems like such a great guy, and I’m using his strategy for my next half!

    Today I’m thankful that it’s my Friday, I get to go to sunny LA and see one of my besties get married, and that I actually had a good week at work. Hope you’re feeling at least a little bit better today, Ali! And let’s plan a run next week!!

  8. Great post! It’s really wonderful how positive you are when you are feeling crappy. An inspiration to the rest of us! I am thankful for Zumba and Zumba got me back into fitness and BodyRock has shown me how to really tone my body.

  9. So many things I want to tell you/comment!!! Maybe we need to meet up in person, so I don’t clog your comment section, hehe.

    First of all, I’m so sorry about your doctor woes…I had my DENTIST who is 70 yrs old and has probably never run a step in his life tell me to stop running before I “ruin my knees”. Ugh. I actually have a really great general physician here in Manhattan – he does everything from OB/GYN exams to consultations about sports medicine. AND he really focuses on homeopathic cures and integrative medicine (he used acupuncture to cure back pain for me). His name is Dr. Deganhardt from Chelsea Sports Medicine and it’s creepy how many people I’ve referred to him, hehe.

    Bummed I didn’t get to join you ladies for wine and yoga last night – was stuck in el office till almost 10pm, eww. I’m looking forward to seeing you this weekend in CT! Since it’s mid-summer (i.e. hot and humid), I’m not planning on racing. I was actually planning on running a similar 5-5-5 plan as Coach Cane recommended. Maybe 5 miles at slower than marathon pace, 5 miles at marathon pace, and then 5k at HM pace. And at least we get to end at the beach, right??

  10. I also LOVE showering before bed and going to bed with wet hair. My bf hates when I do it but who cares what he thinks, AM I RIGHT?

    Also, I am jealous of your yoga + wine event and please please please do a braiding how-to. I need those braids in my life, STAT.

  11. I love love love your braids!! I should try that for work on gross days like today (in Boston) where my curly hair just likes to do as it pleases and decides not to look cute. Also – I bet you rock that half marathon this weekend! And maybe the camera crew can just give you an extra push! They are taping you doing something that not many people can accomplish!

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  12. I like your coach’s plan for you – sounds like a good one! I’ve found it can be really helpful to break up a race into chunks and have different goals/mentalities for the different parts. It’s all part of coming up with a smart race strategy that works for you!
    Today I am so thankful for my family and my boyfriend – sometimes it just hits me how lucky I am to have them support me and help me in everything that I do, and how proud they are of me.

  13. Loved seeing you yesterday. Seriously, Ali, you radiate such positive energy that I don’t think anyone had a clue that you were having a hard time in class yesterday.

    Also, I think that the whole ‘going to be with wet hair is bad for you’ is a total old wives’ tale. Scientifically it just makes no sense.

    I’m thankful for an awesome husband and baby, wonderful friends, and this fabulous blog community that I have gotten to know.

  14. great post! and great advice from coach cane, he sounds like an awesome guy! hope your tummy troubles clear up for the race.

    ps what kind of shorts are those black ones that you always post pictures of? ive been looking for ones like those forever without much luck!

  15. What a great post! and I also love the advice from Coach Cane on the half. I REALLY need to think of my upcoming half this way too. Looks like a great time last night even with tummy issues (you still look great), what a great group! Jealous! And again, love the outfit and the braids. super duper cute.

  16. The fog was fantastic. Eerie NYC runs are so much more interesting than sunny ones – we get those all the time. It was definitely a sweaty one this morning though! I’m impressed you braved the muddy reservoir – today was a concrete day for my sneaks.

  17. ali, it was great to meet you last night! so glad you enjoyed, despite the twistiness.

    i am thankful for the wonderful blog community for being awesome. and for having supportive people in my life (friends, boyfriend, family) who think i’m awesome too, despite my unemployed status 😉 heh heh.

  18. I’m thankful for living abroad.
    I’m thankful for having a family that’s so wonderful it makes me sad that they’re far away sometimes.
    I’m thankful for the mental clarity yoga gives us.

    PS – a great friend of mine, David Romanelli, runs a yoga workshop called ‘Yoga and Chocolate’ and he’s based out of NYC now. He does these Yoga/Foodie events which are SO up my ally but unfortunately he doesn’t take his workshops to Europe… yet 🙂 Check him out!

  19. Great seeing you last night! This morning was so gross for running, but at least it wasn’t pouring. I am also a huge fan of jumping onto pretty much anything soaking wet out of the shower–especially pillows.

    I am thankful for the support of all the awesome people around me 🙂

  20. All this racing is really going to make your marathon a better experience… Try to not think about your half so much and just run it… I purposely (sp) didnt even attempt to PB my last half marathon and it was one of the best half’s (feeling wise) that I had ever ran…


  21. I am thankful to be HOME! I had a great time on vacation in Cali.. but it is good to be home again. Now I just have to do all those un-fun after vacation things like laundry, unpacking, and food shopping. BOO.

    On the flip side, I also love admiring my sweat stains!

    Good luck at the half.. you will be right down the road from me! 🙂

  22. Well I’m thankful that a study I just read states that going to bed with your hair wet actually makes you sleep better! (seriously) it cools your body down. I also love it and wake up with some super curls.

  23. I’m thankful that I have tomrorow off to hang out with my best friend for her last weekend in the city before she moves to Georgia! I am also thankful that I have a job that gives me lots of vacation days 🙂

    Also: Coach Cane rules. Good luck this weekend!

  24. I’m thankful for my legs, the NYC running community and for blog friends.

    Coach Cane sounds amazing and just like the kind of person you need in your life right now. So glad you were chosen for this Run for the Rabbit thing! Great seeing you last night!

  25. The quotes from Coach Cane are awesome!

    I’m thankful for a break in the heat here in Michigan today, and for being on summer vacation for the next 11 weeks. I was well overdue for some time off from wrangling 130 students into learning every day.

  26. Wow, I LOVE Coach Cane’s advice to you on the half (In fact, I might steal it for my next half, haha!). I also love that he’s bee so ridiculously supportive and patient and understanding with you – you need someone like that in your life. That is so great. Let’s see – I’m thankful that today is my last day in the office before I head off to NYC. Work has been ridiculous lately so I could really use the break – though I’m SAD I won’t get to meet you this time around!! I promise to come back soon 🙂

  27. I am thankful for the life I have been given and everyday I wake up is a blessing! Awesome blog by the way, and keep fighting the battle of Crohn’s. You can win this one!!!

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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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