I Need Lists To Function

Oh hey Friday. You snuck up on me there! It’s nice to see you.

Today is going to be a bit of a crazy day (aren’t they all?), and on crazy days, I only function by way of lists.

Here’s just a little snapshot of today’s “Get All This Done” list:

On it!

So yeah… I’ll work on those things. Right away.

As soon as I get done with the work day.

To continue with my listy ways, here are 5 things I’d like to share with you today:

1. I talked to my doctor yesterday. (We’re getting the health news out of the way first, because it’s getting old to talk about, I know.) He got my bloodwork results and said that my “inflammatory markers are very high.” He went on to say, “So yeah, it looks like you are definitely have a flare.” You think? We’ve now doubled my steroid dose (I’m up to 4 pills/day), so expect chubby-faced Ali to appear any day now.

This is me (and Cory Monteith, from "Glee") last year when I was on a lower dose of steroids than I am now. So expect...bigger than that.

He also said that my white blood cell count is very high (typical when I’m sick) but that I’m not anemic and my iron levels are fine. So the dizziness is unrelated, but it’s also calmed down over the past few days, which is good.

2. I am racing this weekend. As I’ve mentioned, the Fairfield Half Marathon is on Sunday. That means I’m doing a little tapering: today is a rest day (I embrace them now — I hope everyone is proud) and tomorrow will be a 2-mile run with a few striders to keep my legs moving.

Because there’s a race on the horizon, that also means I am officially into hypochondriac mode. Sure, there’s the Crohn’s Disease thing, which is an actual concern, but I’ve also diagnosed myself with a myriad of other problems this week, including a “pulled back of my knee,” “toenail pain,” “shattered spine disease” and “permanent nose boogers.” I’m sure these very-real ailments will all clear up by Sunday, but they’re on my mind for now. This is the torture I bring upon myself. I’m a mental racer. Anyone else?

3. I let my coworker pick my outfit today and I’m not thrilled about it. It’s her last day and she requested an outfit. I don’t necessarily think I would’ve gone with jeans and long-sleeves on a muggy, 80-degree day, but hey, I obliged.

Rodeo style

And if the rodeo stops by NYC tonight, I’m ready to go.

4. I’ve been kind of behind in blog reading lately (Maybe I should finally get on the Google Reader bandwagon so I can keep track of things? No. Too stressful. Bad idea, Ali.) but there are two posts I think you should all go read if you haven’t already:

Runner Blogger Friends
  • Becky’s post about deciding not to run a fall marathon. She writes: “Running makes me a runner. Marathons do not.” I absolutely love that. I think as runners we all get so caught up in racing sometimes and, especially during training, run the risk of losing sight of the real reason we run. Obviously some people are in this game to win it. I am not one of those people — I don’t foresee myself ever winning a race, unless it’s a race to 16 Handles or something. Running doesn’t have to be stressful. When it gets to that point, reel it back in. Becky is level-headed and I so admire her post today.
  • Tina’s post about being diagnosed with Colitis. This information blew my mind yesterday and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve read and re-read her update no fewer than 10 times and am still working my way through all the amazing comments people left. It baffles me that someone so healthy and wonderful can suddenly be diagnosed with something so crummy. I feel like I’m in a different boat, which almost makes me lucky: Since I’ve had Crohn’s Disease my entire life, there hasn’t been a huge adjustment period for me. Yes, the flare-ups are really challenging and oftentimes traumatic, but I can’t imagine just getting the disease now and having to learn so much about it. I’m even more honored to be raising money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation now that I know the money is going to help one more person I truly care about.

5. I need to make my race day playlist tonight and I’m so sick of all my music. If you have great suggestions, please send them my way.

Phew. Little list done — now onto the bigger lists!

TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD: Have you read a really great post recently? Something funny, life-changing, thought-provoking or inspiring? I’m planning a low-key evening and restful weekend, so I’m hoping to have some time to catch up on blogs. Share your must-reads!

Happy Friday!



0 Responses

  1. I love your list organization, but holy crap is it gnarly! Hope you’ve been able to cross some stuff off! I really loved both Becky and Tina’s posts. They remind me of why I love blogging and reading blogs so much – gathering insights and learning from such awesome people on a daily basis is amazing! GOOD LUCK tomorrow!!

  2. 1- I wish I had your handwriting
    2- I love how things like ‘take out the trash’ are on your list
    3- I tried google reader and couldn’t figure out how to also comment on blogs without opening them up in a new page, so I stopped. I feel like I have to return and try again.
    4- Good luck this weekend!!!!

  3. How is that your handwriting! You are like a human computer, that is insane! I like that you have my name on there — thank you SO much for your donation. Why did your last blood test not show a flare-up but this one (finally) did?

    1. I checked you off my To Do list! Yay! Hehe.

      The earlier bloodwork may have just been too soon into the flare-up that my levels weren’t elevated yet. So frustrating, but glad they finally showed SOMETHING!

  4. Hello Ali 🙂 So…where to begin. I’m a blog reader from Italy, and I love your blog 🙂 I’ve been in NYC last September and when I read about you running in Central Park it’s like I’m there again, thank you!I guess you know how lucky you are to be running there every.single.day… I sometimes run on the TM watching some shows (white collar i.e.) and pretend I’m there eheh.
    Anyhow, I love your energy and enthusiasm, your blog is so nice, and you are ( and your outfits too!) 🙂 If you don’t mind me asking, have you always been a morning person, and did you always get so little sleep??
    Have a wonderful weekend !!

  5. I read something last week-end which was totally appropriate for me at the moment. It was on the blog ‘Bun&Borough’ : http://sweetseas.blogspot.com/2011/06/saturday-morning-motivation_18.html
    I can totally recognize myself in more than one point in this list !!

    Concerning running songs, I don’t know the kind of music you like. In my playlist I have Stereophonics (my love !! ah ah ! … sorry for that), and also 2 Door Cinema Club… not always energetic songs I have to admit. Let’s say you can keep the idea for easy runs.

    Good luck for your race. I really hope everything will go as good as possible. And most important thing : ENJOY !

  6. I absolutely had to read a blog titled “I need lists to function” I am seriously addicted to making To Do lists. And crossing items off is pretty fun.

    Good luck with your race on Sunday. I am very jealous and can’t wait to read about it.

  7. 1) Umm, could I please have your gorgeous hair? Like seriously. And you looked gorge today. True, jeans and a shirt are not ideal when it feels like you are being wedged between 2 sweaty butt cheeks outside, but you looked great!
    2) I have many prednisone pictures where my face looks like the michelin tire man. I give us credit and call us rockstars for even breaking out the camera when we were on steroids. We are awesome, end of story.
    3) Totally made my day to see my name on your to-do list. (my standards for happiness are quite low ;p)
    4) No shame in OCD. Not only do I write to-do lists that rival yours, I will rewrite them if I feel my handwriting is not neat enough. Membership to my “I am type-A and LOVE it!” support group is now open. Join now, while spots are still available.
    Have a blast running the race this weekend! YOU’RE AMAZING!!

  8. Envious of how organized you are with your to-do list – but noticed “fix the toilet” is one of the tasks, and now I’m not so envious 🙂
    Haha – yes “shattered spine disease” is the worst – I get that often. Good luck this weekend! Hope you’re feeling better and the meds kick in soon.
    Do you read The Break Up Note (blog)? He is a great writer, and has lots of insightful, inspiring, and funny posts – check it out: http://www.thebreakupnote.com
    Running Playlist Suggestions? Don’t laugh – but I just made a “90’s Emo-Rock Playlist” and it totally rocks (think – Meatloaf, The Offspring, Alanis Morrisette) it’s quite incredible.

  9. Hi Ali! You are SUCH an inspiration and such a positive light in my day (I read you EVERY day!!!!) and you are going to do amazing this weekend—you have seemed to grow every week as a runner (as an outsider looking in) and you are just so fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) GOOD LUCK this weekend and know your body and don’t feel bad if you have to stop to use the bathroom—this is YOU and this is what you are running for and we all LOVE YOU for it! Here are some of my get up and push it songs when I race:
    Best Night-LMFAO
    Hey Baby (Drop it to the floor)-Pitbull
    Take it Off (Billboard Remix)-Ke$ha
    Give me Everything-Pitbull
    Up ‘N Down-Britney
    I Shake, I Move-LMFAO
    Sexyback-JT—never gets old!!!!
    Move for Me-Kaskade

    GO NAIL THAT HALF, girlfriend!!!!!!

  10. Holy jeez, your handwriting is so neat!! My to-do lists are never that neat or organized – very impressive. I can’t wait to hear how the half marathon goes – I have a feeling this is going to be a great race for you, especially with all the pointers your Coach Cane has been giving you.
    Also, I’m glad to hear you talked to your doctor, and I know you’re not psyched about the meds, but your face will be just as beautiful 🙂

  11. I’m mad at you because you didn’t give Cory my phone number, but I’ll get over it. I will cheer from you during my 20 miler on Sunday and try to will the gods of stomach issues to pass them along to me and leave you feeling, calm, cool and ready to ROCK 13.1 miles!

  12. 1. You seriously have one of my new fav blogs
    2. onto the running play list
    Nicki Minaj- super bass
    Phoenix- 1901
    Phoenix- Lisztomania
    LMFAO- basically their whole sorry for party rockin album
    MGMT – kids
    MGMT – electric feel

  13. Lots of wonderful things lately. I won a giveaway from Jogging Concierge, SYTYCD this week was full of amazing routines (the results were sad though…4 ppl gone) and I see on your to-do list that you have to “Call Brian Foley” and I had a friend named Brian Foley in college. Weird. This weekend is a mix of low-key (gym and sushi with my sister tonight followed by a grad party), gym with the boyfriend tomorrow and a boat party later on in the evening and Sunday we are celebrating my mom’s 60th and I’m cooking her all of her favorite foods. Should be fun. BTW – how did you meet Cory Montieth??? (And you don’t look puffy, you look beautiful!)

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

    1. That’s such a funny coincidence! Wonder if it’s the same guy!

      I met Cory Monteith at the Glee Live tour last year. I was there for work and we were backstage after the show. He was very tall and very sweet.

  14. Your handwriting is spectacular! Seriously….way amazing. Do you write quickly, or is it slow and precise? Weird question…maybe. I just always wonder that when I see super neat handwriting. You may not be loving your outfit today, but I think it’s pretty cute. Maybe a little hot for summer though?

    1. I write slowly! It’s frustrating, but I’m too anal not to make things neat. I do have a few different “fonts” I use — when I’m writing quickly at the office it’s not as neat as my To Do list.

  15. Completely agree with others re: Google Reader. A lifesaver! Mine is overflowing no matter what though, so if that stresses you, don’t do it 😉
    As for fun things at this moment? Listening to the Tiffany station on Pandora. OMG so good, and getting me through a Friday! off to NYC this weekend with my sis for a wedding and I cannot wait. We both wish we could meet you and other fun NYC bloggers but alas, it’s literally a 24 hour trip 🙁 GOOD LUCK ON YOUR RACE!

  16. I’m afraid of Google Reader. I don’t know how to use it, and I’m afraid that if I try it, I’ll never stop reading blog posts.

    I’m shipping up to Boston – Dropkick Murphys. Even if I’m about to kneel over and die, when this song comes on I MUST KEEP RUNNING.

  17. I couldn’t live without google reader!


    I wanna Go-britney
    Stop the Party-busta rhymes
    All the lights-kayne
    square dance-eminem
    born this way-gaga
    anything girl talk 🙂

  18. good luck this weekend ali! wishing you a great race and a strong stomach. enimen’s ‘lose yourself’, black eyed peas ‘i gotta feeling’, goo goo dolls ‘how far we’ve come’

  19. Til the World Ends (Britney femme fatale remix w/Nicki Minaj & Kesha)
    Sleazy (remix, Kesha w/Andre 3000)
    Take Over Control (Afrojack w/ Eva Simons)
    My Body (Young the Giant)
    Sorry for Party Rocking (LMFAO)

  20. WHOA. Your to-do lists put mine to shame!! Incredible.
    And thank GOODNESS someone else self-diagnoses the week of a race! I’m doing my first triathlon tomorrow and have become a mental freak- I may or may not have had I’ve had a pulled hamstring, Achilles tendonitis, and completely off electrolyte levels in the past 3 days (…my mom is getting tired of the phone calls). Here’s to hoping our brains calm down 🙂 good luck this weekend!!

  21. I’m sorry about your flare up and the increase in meds, but I really hope it makes you feel better soon!! I don’t know much about the treatment for Crohn’s (so please forgive me if this is a dumb question), but is the increased dose temporary, just until you start feeling better?

    At the very least, I hope you feel better during the race on Sunday! Good luck!!

    And Google Reader really is a time-saver. It can be stressful sometimes when the posts start stacking up, but I don’t know how I’d keep track of everyone without it!

    1. Yes, the steroid increase is temporary (not a stupid question at all!). Once I start feeling better, I’ll taper down my dose until I’m off it completely. It’s a long process, but I’m hoping it’s going to work for me!

  22. I’m geeking out over your list. I think it was the pink and orange color-coding that did it for me. Those are clearly the best highlighter colors ever.

    I like how you casually post a picture of yourself with Cory Monteith. Now we know that when you’re not blogging, you’re just chilling with celebs.

    This is not a new song, but I always recommend “Just Fine” (Mary J.) for any running/workout playlist. Either 1st track or somewhere in the middle — has just the right beat and attitude to make me feel like I can power through anything.

  23. Wowww your handwriting is quite neat. Very impressive. So organized. You were already my idol but now you’re beyond that with your neatness 😉 I can’t believe you met Cory! Such a good looking guy, and you look beautiful too. Hope everything works out okay with the steroid treatments.

    You may be uncomfortable because it’s hot out, but the outfit looks great :-).

    Good luck in the race! Add the new Maroon 5 song “Moves Like Jagger” and picture Adam Levine the whole time because he is HOTTT.

    Happy Friday!

  24. First, thank you so much for the blog love. Sometimes it’s hard to make decisions about things that mean a lot to me, so I appreciate the support.

    Second, you are the most organized lady I know. I think I need you to make my lists and keep me on track.

    Third, download Seal’s “Amazing.” It’s the {ontherun} anthem. I know Seal may not be the hippest guy in town, but this song is perfect for race day.

    Rock Fairfield, Ali!

  25. OHMIGOD – CORY!!!!11111

    (Sorry, my inner 12 year old had to say that first)

    Google reader is a blessing and a curse. It keeps me up to date with all the awesome blogs; it also encourages me to follow more awesome blogs. Seriously – about 100 updates overnight. It gets terrible when I go on vacation!

    The song I’ve had stuck in my head now is Gimmie Dat by Ciara. It’s the warmup to the Body Jam class I’ve been taking and it is made of awesome.

  26. I agree, google reader is amazing! Allows me to read three times as many blog as I would otherwise. (This might not be unconditionally great…)

    The funniest post I’ve read this week was Health on the Run’s guide to working out at home: http://www.healthontherun.net/fitness/the-ontherun-guide-to-at-home-workouts/ Hilarious! But then that is to be expected from Lauren…

    I’m starting my official training for NYC marathon next week, and your blog has really inspired me a lot. I’ve always had a troublesome stomach (nothing like yours though) and the way you manage to stay positive and on track is so inspiring and helping me get out there on days when I don’t feel like it!

  27. HOW DO YOU NOT USE GOOGLE READER? I would be so lost without Google Reader. Gosh girl. If you read a lot of blogs, it’s a must.

  28. In keeping with the theme, I’m responding to your post in list format:

    1)That is a beautiful list. wow!

    2) google reader is awesome! not stressful at all (actually, just kinda sad when it gets to empty….) Its made my blog reading (eh…stalking?) so simple

    3) “Don’t Stop Me Now” always makes me happy/perks me up/encourages me when I’m running. It kind of makes me want to leep and jump, too, but I can typically control myself.

    4) as for that whole winning a race to fro yo thing…i say bring it! (I may or may not have been the girl my sorority sisters came to when they needed someone to encourage ordering froyo to be delivered at any hour….)

  29. AGREED, your handwriting is awesome! It puts mine to shame in a serious way. And I’m extremely jealous that you were able to meet Cory Monteith. You still look fabulous in the picture, as does he.

  30. I’m sorry, I’m too busy staring at your freakishly neat handwriting to come up with anything of any substance.

    Seriously? That’s your HANDWRITING? It looks printed out. (Not quite good, but it’s the truth. I CAN’T STOP STARING.)

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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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