Thankful Things Thursday: Marathon Edition

Question: What’s my grace period for marathon obsession? I hope it’s not over yet, because in today’s edition of Thankful Things Thursday my happy thoughts are all mostly marathon related.

I think I look kind of stunted here, but that's fine.

I could talk about other things if you want, like the fact that my apartment building hasn’t had hot water in a week (showering has been a blast) or I could address that time (uh, this morning) that I tripped on nothing and bit it on the sidewalk.

But I just think talking about the Hamptons Marathon is more fun. For at least a few more days. Cool? Great.

On with the gratitude…

I’m thankful for my training. Coach Cane prepared me incredibly well for my first marathon. So well, in fact, that when I lined up to start the race — and even in the days during my taper — I never once feared that I wouldn’t finish the race. Yes, I worried about my pace and I worried about what would happen when I encountered those whorey hills. But everyone advised to “trust my training,” and that didn’t take much convincing. Coach Cane was fantastic to work with and I’m so deeply appreciative for all of his help, guidance and rapid email response time.

Look at that stud!

Coach Cane, now that the race is over, please don’t break up with me. I already miss you and your training plans…

I’m thankful the weather held out. All day Friday the Hamptons experienced brutal downpours. I was convinced I’d be running for four hours in torrential rain and winds. I was pumped when I woke up on Saturday and Brian alerted me that it wasn’t raining. Lots of people complained about the humidity that day, but I think I was so out of it and focused on everything else that could go wrong that I was just fine with rain-free conditions.

I’m thankful I started out slowly. My biggest fear was getting caught up in the excitement and letting my adrenaline carry me through the first half of the race.

We're starting!!!

Instead I checked my watch every two seconds to stay on pace and felt amazing for the first 13 miles. Slow and steady didn’t win the race, but it was a smart tactic for me.


Also, thank you Brightroom. I fully intend to steal many of your photos to use throughout this post. Watermark be damned.

I’m thankful I had no stomach problems during the race. That was, without a doubt, my greatest fear. I did not want to have to stop and…you know… Luckily that wasn’t an issue. My stomach felt great the entire time and the three Gus I chowed down on digested just fine. Looks like I win this round, Crohn’s disease.

I’m thankful for my incredible support squad. It’s like the Sweat Squad, but different. I am still in awe that my parents drove all the way from New Hampshire, my brother and his wife drove all the way from Boston and Lauren and Meghan made the trip out from the city. I feel so lucky and so blessed to have such supportive, wonderful people in my life.

We all love sweat!

Also, their signs were spectacular.

I’m thankful my friends and family were exactly where they said they’d be — and I’m thankful I didn’t have to worry about finding them. One of my biggest fears leading up to Race Day was that I wouldn’t see my family along the course. I worried that they’d get lost driving along, or that they would miss me or that they’d be so deep in the crowd of spectators that we wouldn’t make eye contact.

Yeah, those weren’t exactly problems. They positioned themselves every few miles, and as soon as someone could spot me (usually Meghan and Lauren) I would hear a scream (usually from Lauren) saying “HERE SHE COMES!!!” And then they screamed their faces off for me.

Screaming, picture taking and my personal water station. All great things. Well done, family.

Confession: I was so negatively convinced that I wouldn’t see my family that I bet Brian $50 on it.

I owe him some dollars I guess.

Like my brother said: "Fellers are easy to spot in a crowd." Also, there was no crowd. Soooo even easier!

So to my family: Thank you for being out there. Thank you for showing up, thank you for cheering and thank you for jumping up and down with those giant signs in your hands. You made me a very happy runner.

I’m thankful for Mrs. Coach Cane. That badass pregnant chick got me through the end of the race. I know I would have been disappointed if I didn’t go full out at the very end of the marathon.

Go go go!

She convinced me that I did have enough left in me to push it, and every time I watch that finish line video, I’m so proud that I attempted to haul ass to wrap up the race. I owe that to her and her genius words of motivation. I am so excited for her and Coach Cane to have their baby. I hope it’s born wearing a pair of Brooks. Somehow…magically…

I’m thankful I ran a marathon. Hell yeah I am.

I. AM. DONE. I am a marathoner. F yes.

There were times that the race was hard. Really hard. I wanted to give up. I felt too much pain. But I kept going. And I finished the thing.

I faked some smiles along the way…

Two thumbs up for running! I'm at the top of a hill, so the odds that I'm actually happy in this photo are pretty slim.
Hills suck. Running is fun.

…but I definitely didn’t have to fake a smile at the finish.

I’m only kind of thankful for that post-race massage. That guy killed me. I am still convinced he was trying to remove my head and not “massage my shoulders.” I’m not embarrassed to show you this attractive and flattering photo:


See? Ouch.

But I guess it was good, because I’m alive now. Thanks to that guy, maybe.

I’m thankful I can walk again. I’ve pushed it a bit more than I maybe should have this week — I did spinning last night and ran six brutally slow miles this morning. But I’m feeling good and even though my legs are definitely still fatigued, I’m glad I’m not sore anymore.

Right after the race, on the other hand? I remember Lauren asking me to pose for a photo and I wanted to cry because it hurt so bad just to stand.

Feller doesn't really FEEL stellar...

I’m thankful for good wine. Brian and I (it’s so fun using his name now — so easy!) bought two bottles of wine from Wolffer Estates and I’m pretty excited about drinking them this weekend.

I will have 19 glasses of this, please.

I’m not sure what he’s going to have though. Oh snap.

I’m thankful I’m heading out of town in the most low-key way possible this weekend. Brian and I are spending the weekend in a town outside the city. Cashing in on hotel rewards points is a good idea. The hotel has a spa (post-marathon massage!) and, more importantly, a hot tub and a bar. Now I just need to find out if it’s possible to get a massage while in the hot tub and drinking a giant glass of anything.

I’m thankful for Run For The Rabbit. I somehow got chosen for this campaign and out of it I got a running coach, lots of great gear from JackRabbit Sports, a whole slew of new friends and a boyfriend. I’d say that’s a dang good deal.

Successful campaign, I think.

I’m thankful for all the wonderful comments on my marathon recap post. I am still pretty overwhelmed and can’t wait to re-read those fantastic comments whenever I need a pick-me-up. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so nice.

Kisses for him, but also for everyone!

I’m thankful for Oreos. More specifically, Double Stuffed Oreos drowned in milk. (If you stare at the word Oreo for a long time — deciding whether or not it gets an apostrophe — it doesn’t really look like an actual word anymore.)

I’m thankful I can wear jeans to work. Because any further effort today would have been far too exhausting.

Casual, comfortable and lazy.

I’m thankful for my new bag. It was a pre-marathon gift and I’m obsessed with it. I also feel a little spoiled. But it has lots of pockets, which is crucial for an organization freak such as myself.

Hello, bag. Hello, compartments.

I’m thankful I raised a crap load of money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. $20,000 = a crap load.

I’m thankful this hectic week is almost over. It’s been killer.

YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO: Tell me what you’re thankful for today! If you’re thankful for the pen you stole from a restaurant the other night, that’s normal. You should be thankful for that…even if your coworker did judge you a little bit for taking it.



62 Responses

  1. Im thankful i can run, i am thankful for a supportive family that encouraged me to run a 1/2 marathon next month, im thankful for sweet rolls, im thankful for friends, im thankful for people who i can help, im thankful for my optimism!! :)) Im thankful for your blgo and peeps like you who run and raise money for good reasons!

  2. I’m thankful for a trainer who pushes me and won’t let me doubt myself. I ran my first sub 8 mile this weekend. 7:39!! woohoo!! Thanks for a great post, and congrats! Welcome to the 26.2 club.

  3. I’m thankful for having a career I love in a field that is challenging to work in and that every day I get to use my creativity! I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. Annnddd I am thankful for bloggers like YOU who have inspired me to push myself and sign up for my first half marathon! 🙂

  4. Running is one of my favorite hobbies and I joined many times in marathon too. But your so great, I think your really inspired in running. Nice pics too, love it.

    Have a happy weekend. Looking forward always.

  5. I’ve really enjoyed all your marathon posts. It’s too big of a life experience to sum it up in one post and just move on. Glad you’ve kept posting about it!

  6. I’m thankful for my future race schedule. It’s giving me so much energy and fire. I am also thankful for your marathon recap. It has given me some much needed push to make the decision to run a full marathon next year. MCM 2012…I’ve decided.

  7. I am thankful for your blog (suck up!). Seriously, I just discovered it from Emily’s sweatonceaday link and it is just what I need to continue to psych me up for the Chicago Marathon in NINE days! I’m thankful have beaten colon cancer and have been blessed with ten years of good health. I’m grateful for my sisters who also think running a marathon is a good way to celebrate this milestone. And last not but not least, I’m thankful for my husband (who incidentally I met in a marathon training group 13 years ago. Hurrah for running romances!) who has picked up much of the weekend kid-duty as I trained this summer.

  8. I have that same Lulu bag — same color and all. Love it. But I have a million bags.
    I’m thankful:
    I have a fiance who is not scared that I have a million bags and a million pairs of sneakers — he thinks it’s funny; 🙂
    I only have a short run scheduled for this evening;
    It’s Rosh Hashanah so there’s less people on my train (Happy new year to all the Jews); and,
    I’m thankful that I have your posts to look forward to regularly.

  9. you can talk about the marathon for as long as you want! that’s the best part! I am thankful for running this week, really. it has helped keep me sane. Hope you have a fun getaway this weekend! When you return, we must:
    1. plan a run together
    2. plan a sweat squad non-running celebration


  10. I am thankful I ran the Tahoe marathon on Sunday and felt like a bad a$$ afterwards! Also thankful that I gave myself a full week off of running following the race – hellooooo sleep, I have missed you! Lastly, thankful that I got my very own surf board for my birthday and have my first surf lesson on Saturday!! Ok one more.. thankful that I start my mornings reading your blog. You are an inspiration and I love your stories!

  11. Yay for another great Ali post. 🙂 Your bag (and outfit pic) are super cute!

    I’m grateful for my family. There is so much craziness in the world, and I have the world’s most wonderful, supportive family (who I get to see one week from today)!!

  12. That bag is marvelous! Let’s see, I’m thankful for a great run this morning, for my amazing running buddies (who I’m having happy hour with tonight, yeah!) A supportive, handsome boyfriend, and a marathon to look fwd to (Marine Corps in 4 1/2 weeks!) Have a wonderful weekend getaway with ur BF!

  13. I am thankful for my upcoming marathon and having more time to do other things during taper. Taper made me crazy for my first few not so much. I am also thankful for my wonderful family and friends.

  14. it’s so awesome that you were able to raise as much money from Crohns as you did…AND that you trained for and ran this marathon when people kept telling you that you shouldn’t (and survived)! I really love your new purse too! Where’s it from?

  15. I love that bag, and I love Thankful Thursday! I have a big Coach tote that I treated myself to earlier this summer and it makes the commute so much more manageable to have a place for everything. Doesn’t hurt that I got it for 70% off!

    And speaking of restaurant pens, I NEED the pen from Mellow Mushroom, it’s the most smooth writing pen I’ve ever used…next time, you’ve inspired me to just man up and take it!

  16. I’m thankful that my dog didn’t pee on the floor last night while we were asleep! I’m not ready to call her housetrained, but I’m calling it a victory!

  17. Every time I see the picture of you with your medal I laugh a little because one of your shoe laces is untied. You are so adorable even when you aren’t trying. 🙂
    This week I’m thankful for an interview – at least it makes me feel like unemployment won’t be around forever.
    I’m also thankful for the 4lbs I lost last week. Eep!

  18. I just ordered fancy pens (okay Sharpies no bleed pens) for starting my new job next week.

    I am thankful for a wonderful husband who is walking the pup tonight so I can go spinning at Flywheel tonight to save my shins from running. What a sweetie.

  19. I am thankful for my family’s health, being able to be a SAHM, my husband, my twins, and my pup. 😉 I’m thankful that no matter what, they can make me smile or laugh on the daily.

  20. I think you can be marathon obsessed for however long your little heart desires!!

    I am thankful that it appears as if some medical issues are all cleared up 🙂 I am also thankful for Puffins. They are good. Finally.. I am thankful that Justin got an invite to a fancy shmancy fundraiser dinner to fight against hunger next week and he chose ME of all people to go with him. (Eventhough I will be up past my bed time of 9:30.)

  21. have stolen pens from fancy restaurants before. it makes me feel fancy/ totally stingy. i like the balance.

    enjoy your weekend away! a massage sounds lovely.

    i am thankful for the fact that i am employed. i’ve had a rough work week thus far, but i am still grateful to be here. and grateful for the fact that i can say that. word.

  22. That bag is super cute!!!! I heart pockets. I’m thankful today for my family (parents are in town, holler!), a fabulous roommate, and that my boyfriend is safe and sound right now on his deployment.. OH, and that Target wasn’t insane yesterday and actually had all the items I needed to get for his care package!

  23. I’m thankful for only 3 miles tonight so that I can hopefully kick this cold that I have! I’m also thankful that I have a job where I get to sit at a computer during my off time so that I can read your blog posts 🙂 Today turned out to be a pretty easy day at work, I’m a sign language interpreter at a college and almost all of my classes turned out to be tests, score for sitting there reading “Born to Run”!

  24. I am thankful that I found your blog! I love it… I feel like I know you and your writting is so honest and simple its like we are having a conversation. I love the marathon story, I love the introducing boyfriend story. I recently started a blog and your inspired me to make it public so maybe someone will stumble upon mine and enjoy reading it as much as I do yours.
    I do have one question… did you really pee your pants a little bit during the race? I have alot of bathroom issues while running (mainly #2 and have totally come out of the woods with one less sock, or thank goodness for home construction sites that have port a johns outside for the workers). I look forward to more and Congrats again!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you like reading 🙂

      As for the pee…Yeah that happened. Three times, actually. It was just a little bit, but I didn’t want to stop, and the sweat washed it away fast anyway. If I’d had to do…more than pee…I would have stopped for sure.

  25. I am thankful that you post so much, Ali! I love reading your updates in the morning. I started reading a few weeks ago while you were still in the thick of marathon training and anticipation (a girl in the UK actually pointed me towards you in a discussion group on!) and it’s been a big inspiration to me in my own training. Also your blog cracks me up.

    I’m so happy you introduced us to Brian! Your recap posts about the marathon and your Handsome Friend have been way better than any televised season finale. Can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us this fall! : – )

  26. I’m thankful I survived my run this morning. Apparently my town forgot to turn on the streetlights last night and I left without my headlamp (stupid)…. it was awesome running my first 4 miles with no visibility. Reflective vests are not so reflective in the pitch black. Also, it started pouring on me. But I’m thankful I got 9 miles in anyway and didn’t get hit by a car… YAY!

  27. I’m thankful I found your blog out here in the blogosphere. (A part of me kind of feels quilty that I’m adding to it with my own blog. Hopefully, it’s worth someone reading as well.)
    And I’m thankful for the miles I get in every day. I’m not in marathon shape, or even as good as I was for my half, but the 10k last weekend made me believe I could be. Someday.
    And of course, for a husband who loves me and tries to keep my spirits up as I sit here day after day with no job.
    (P.S. Since Thursdays tend to be difficult for me for some reason, I may steal this idea…)

  28. Love the bag! Also, I meant to ask… all the times I saw you running clockwise on the loop, was that so you could see Brian going the other direction? I love all your marathon pics and I am actually very jealous of them, and of your cheering squad. You did so great and yes, you can still drag this out a bit longer. I know I will! I still want to know that restaurant you recommended to Brian that he went to that first night.

    I am thankful for….
    Rosh Hashanah – HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    A sweet boyfriend
    Getting through much of marathon training (knock on wood)
    Coffee (Happy National Coffee Day!)
    Photos (of myself)

      1. I prefer clockwise too for the same reason, but I wasn’t sure if that was your reason or not! Ah yes I have been to Beyoglu based on your suggestion actually! i liked it, I also like Marmara for Mediterranean on 93 and 3.

        1. I have always run CP counter-clockwise (by always I mean I have absolutely never run it clockwise). When you both say that you prefer the hills clockwise, what do you mean? Are they easier, more challenging, more scenic, etc?

          1. The scenery is the same, since you’re just running in the opposite direction. Though you’re running against most of the flow, so the people watching is definitely better!

            As for the hills: If you run the loop clockwise, you’ll hit two hills up in Harlem. But rather than one steep uphill, it’s two longer, more gradual uphills. It’s definitely still challenging, but I prefer it.

  29. I’m thankful that I can run again without PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 It’s going to be a slow process gaining back my endurance (um hello…3 miles today in physical therapy nearly killed me!) but I will get my long mileage back.

    P.S- I can’t get over how cute you are Brian are together and your story is seriously out of a movie! 🙂

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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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