Thankful Things Thursday: On Staying Positive

Hello there.

It kind of feels like this entire week has been Thankful Things Thursday-ish. Every day I’ve felt compelled to push aside the negative, annoying things — remember, the Crohn’s/colitis/dysentery plague I’m fighting off — and focus solely on the great things in life.

And yes, there are more great things than frustrating things. I promise.

So on that note, I’ll jump right into it, because despite the fact that I’ve spent the majority of the past two weeks in various bathrooms, I’m feeling pretty pumped about today.

I’m thankful that I’ve made it to the office all week! The Steroids seem to be taking their sweet time to kick in and get me fully back to a healthy state, but last week I could barely get off the couch, and this week I’ve survived full (long) days at the office. Improvement! (Though, of course, I would rather be working from the comfort of my own couch…and pajamas.)

I know this flare-up may take longer than I had hoped to go away, but I also know that I’ve made significant positive developments in one week, so at this time next week I should be good to go!

I’m thankful for advice. All of the knowledge, tips and tricks, whether or not it will all work for me, is very much appreciated. Some people have told me to “only eat vegetables” and others say “vegetables kill my stomach.” Everyone is different, and I get that, and I’m doing my best to figure out what exactly my body can take. In the meantime, I’m completely fascinated learning more about the lovely digestive system every day.

I’m thankful for Lauren. She came to my marathon and I think that is awesome. Who does that?

That's Lauren on the left. She's a nice girl.

Plus, she emails Crohn’s disease directly, which is cool. A sample from yesterday:

Dear Crohn’s (and possibly colitis),

Stop screwing with Pancake’s tummy. (Yes, she calls me Pancake. There’s a story there, but I can assure you it’s not very interesting.) She has a lot of food to eat next weekend. And if you ruin her fun times, I will destroy you.

Without love,

Lona (Yes, I call her Lona. Also not an interesting story.)

Lauren, thank you for being such a good friend. I’m grateful. It’s always nice to surround yourself with fantastic people. It’s even better knowing they will always be there for you when you need them. Lauren is one of those people.

I’m thankful I live in NYC where I get to see famous people sometimes. I’m not big on the celebrity bandwagon because frankly, I just don’t care very much about total strangers who happen to have lots more money than I do. I’m not bitter. Clearly. But on Monday night, I left the gym and some dude on the sidewalk slammed into me, and I was like, “WTF man?” And then I looked up and it was Adam Carolla. You know, from “Love Line.” Did no one else watch that show on MTV? It was so scandalous. People stood behind a curtain and made sex confessions to Dr. Drew. And then yesterday on the subway I was getting off the train as Scott Adsit from “30 Rock” was getting on. Cool. Celebrities. They’re just like us. Except, you know, richer and better looking and stuff.

I’m thankful for exercises that are fun. I hate push-ups. Hate them with a passion. I also hate lunges. But there are things I love doing, and for that I’m grateful. Crunches (yeah, yeah, they’re apparently pointless I’ve been told, but you get to do them laying down!), tricep dips and planks are my favorites and I somehow get through them with a smile on my face.

I’m thankful for Matt, my always-enthusiastic, never-in-a-bad-mood spinning instructor. I didn’t feel great going into yesterday’s class, obviously, but his attitude made me temporarily forget about my ongoing war with my stomach. I felt fine during all the seated portions throughout class, even though the standing parts weren’t a blast. Still, when Matt Tweeted me after class, my day was complete.

Personal Tweets are the way to my heart. Also sweat.

Yes, I am a total teacher’s pet. Always have been. Not ashamed.

I’m thankful to have a training buddy! It’s been tough not working with Coach Cane after months of being under his very careful direction. I miss him. I am enjoying not having such a strict running regimen since, frankly, I wouldn’t be able to stick to it right now anyway. But I’m really excited that Brian is training for his very first half marathon, and that I get to train alongside him! It’s much easier waking up in the morning when you’ve got someone else to sweat with.

We are awake and we are running!

This morning, after some not-too-pleasant trips to the bathroom (keeping it sexy, always), Brian and I hit up Central Park together. I had to make several stops throughout the run, which was so frustrating, and I’m annoyed that I wasn’t able to hang onto the pace I would have liked. But I know that once this disease is out of my system for a while, I’ll be crushing my goal pace, and Brian will probably appreciate not having to make all those stops. I covered 5.5 miles, the weather was humid and when I wasn’t stopped in pain, I loved every minute of that run. Seriously.

I’m thankful I’m not traveling this weekend. This will be the first weekend in as long as I can recall that I won’t be packing a suitcase! I can’t wait. The plan is to lay low, try to get a decent run in Saturday morning and get plenty of rest. I’m honored to have been invited to Mrs. Coach Cane’s baby shower on Saturday (she’s my hero) and on Sunday Brian and I are doing a food tour of Greenwich Village, which was a Christmas gift from my parents last year. Steroids, you hear that? Kick in by Sunday, because I’ve got food to enjoy.

I’m thankful I ran a marathon. Despite the fact that I post at least one marathon photo every day…

Am I even moving in this photo? I don't think so.

…I still have trouble acknowledging that I did, in fact, run 26.2 miles. At one time. For fun. My legs seem to finally be recovering, so that’s good, too.

I’m thankful for leg warmers. I’ve been wearing them home from the gym every night. And then I run errands while wearing them. And then I wear them over to Brian’s. And he doesn’t know it yet, but I’m developing a small collection of leg warmers at his apartment. Oops.


Leg warmer season is here, people. Embrace it.

I’m thankful for good bras. Yeah. I am. That’s an easy one.

I’m thankful it’s shaping up to be a beautiful day in NYC. Seems the rain is behind us and a gorgeous weekend is in store.

I’m thankful for people who look like their dogs. They are hilarious.

And just like that, another day that could have been sucky is looking up. Crohn’s disease is so lame for thinking it even stands a chance against me. What a joke.

YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO NOW: Share your own thankful thoughts! Happy to be tapering, upcoming marathoners? Appreciative that you have a job? Glad you have family nearby? Excited that it’s almost the weekend? Get down with your grateful selves. I’m embarrassed I just said that. Have a nice day.



0 Responses

  1. Creeped on over from Sweaty Emily’s blog. One of your thankfuls really hit home. A good bra – HELP! I’ve tried so many sports bras, but nothing is what I’d consider “good.”

    Enlighten me. Please.

  2. These Thankful Thursday posts are amazing. Seriously. They make me pause & think of all the things I have to be grateful for, even when things aren’t so great.
    I’m thankful that my parents are visiting for my college’s parents weekend (and I’m thankful that that means I get to use their money to buy groceries, hehe). I’m thankful that I don’t have TOO much work to do this weekend, since my computer crashed Wednesday & I’m stuck using the ones in the library. I’m thankful that Thanksgiving is a little over a month away! (Super random, I know, but who doesn’t love turkey & pumpkin pie??)

  3. Ali sorry to hear the steroids still haven’t kicked in yet! Hoping you wake up feeling much better!

    Today has been a hard day to be thankful but I am lucky to have found your blog and your Thursday tradition. Especially on hard days its good to remember that other people are struggling too and that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. So thank you to you!

    Also I am thankful to the man in my life who is the best and is always there for me.
    Thankful that I have the greatest family
    Thankful for my grandmothers home made tomato soup recipe! Dinner yum yum!
    AND Thankful that I am FINALLY making it back to NYC this weekend for a short but sweet vaycay!

    On that note I am super excited about being able to do my runs in Central park this weekend so what would you suggest? What are your favorite loops? Also I am a night runner normally, how late is too late?

    1. Yay running in Central Park! You’ll love it. I’d stay stick to the main 6-mile loop (you can make shorter loops out of it by cutting across the park at 72nd Street or 102nd Street) and try not to run much later than 8 pm. Before that you should be good to go and surrounded by lots of other runners and cyclists. Have so much fun!

  4. Creepy comment of the night: last night, I was walking home on the UES and I noticed a girl wearing leg warmers and I looked up and it was you! You seemed involved in a conversation so I didn’t want to interrupt, but yeah, hello neighbor!

  5. I’m thankful that my marathon taper has started because I’m ready for the marathon!
    I’m thankful that I have a job even though some days I wish I could just stay under the covers and I still hold out hope that I’ll win Lotto or MegMillions and never have to work a day in my life again.
    I’m thankful that one day I stumbled upon your blog because you are so inspiring and just an all around great person.
    I’m thankful that at least once a week (on Thursdays) your blog makes me take pause and think of what in my life I’m thankful for.
    I’m thankful that you have Brian to help you get through your Crohn’s/Colitis flare up.

    On your tour of the Village, I hope you get to the East Village and check out Big Gay Ice Cream. They opened a store up earlier this year (on East 7th between 1st and A). I haven’t been to the store, yet, but I’m a BIG fan of the truck — so good (try the Salty Pimp).

  6. Im thankful for hot chocolate, cider donuts and the I heart SWEAT shirt I got in the mail today! Horraayy!
    Feel better Ali!

  7. I’m thankful I’ve found your blog. Been reading since just before you ran the beast (ummm marathon). Love it. Love you!

  8. I am thankful that my parents arrive from England tomorrow. I haven’ seen them for six months and I seriously cannot sit still.

    I am thankful that the California sunshine is hanging on to spend a week with them, at least. They don’t get much sunshine in England.

    I am grateful for my bible study group of amazIng women, with whom I spent a fabulous morning today…and now I will clean this house till Mum thinks I live like Martha Stewart!

  9. I am thankful that I’m tapering and this is the time my allergies or a cold decided to kick in, instead of during my 20 mile run last weekend. I’m thankful for Trader Joe’s healthy and affordable YUMMINESS. I am thankful that my puppy likes to be a snuggle bunny.

  10. I am thankful for the beautiful weather we ended up with this afternoon. This morning was dreary and misty and this afternoon was gorgeous! Also, thankful that I got my a$$ in gear to do a core workout today for the first time in about 2 years! 🙂

  11. I am thankful the weekend is almost here and it looks like it will be beautiful weather! I will be running the last 10 miles of the NYC marathon course and then attending a TFK breakfast. Fun running times.

  12. I would love to hear more about whether you have leg warmer brand preferences. I love them, too, and hadn’t worn them for a while but just recently came in to a pair of “Tube Flops”. Totally LOVE them. They seem like they’d be your kind of thing. And now I need some more leg warmers, too, but I don’t want bulky scratchy ones…

  13. I am thankful that tomorrow is a professional day at my school, so I can finally catch up on stuff (it’s incredible how much work you can get done when there are no students in the school).

    I am thankful that I made a huge pot of chili last night. This means dinner is ready for me when I get home!

    I am thankful that I have a boy who loves me dearly, even if he does live eight hours away. Long distance relationships blow, but they’ve taught me oodles of things about myself.

  14. I’m thankful I have a new blog and that I found yours!

    This may be totally wrong in your case, but when I was having stomach issues and no one knew what was going on, my doctor tested my blood for h.pylori- and found it. I don’t know how I got it, but with 2 weeks of antibiotics, I was better. I know you have other troubles though, so I hope you kick some stomach butt.

  15. I am so thankful for your thankful posts because they inspire me to be thankful as well.

    I am thankful that my legs are sore because that means I actually got to lift weights again! (and it was the lunges. and I hate them too)

    I am thankful that my husband loves me.

    I am thankful that my dogs didn’t wake me up last night. Even if she did pee on the floor last night. Twice.

  16. I’m thankful for the new guy in my life. I’m thankful for the iphone update. I’m thankful for my last 2 classes being cancelled today. I’m thankful for my friends who appreciate me. I’m thankful for aleve cause my joints are feeling like those of an 80 year old. I’m thankful for my mom whose birthday is today! and in that case, her twin sister too!

  17. I’m glad you’re hanging in there. The more I read your blog, the more I identify–partly because I have ulcerative colitis, too (when you described your Crohn’s it sounded awfuly familiar). I also notice that no specific certain foods are always good or bad–it really depends for me, not just on my particuar physiology but on the day, time, and the whole week’s worth of meals. Sometimes I need lots of vegetables, sometimes bland foods, sometimes more white carbs or potatoes. Never corn, though. o_0 What I hate most is the way I simultaneously lose my appetite and sense of taste and feel deep-down hungry/dehydrated. Gah.

    Re: famous peope, I once passed Chris Noth (of Sex and the City fame) running around the reservoir. I coudn’t quite place him, so I dida doubletake and spent the rest of the run trying to figure out how I knew him….

    Great photo, by the way. Actually, your form looks pretty good! You don’t curl your shoulders forward at all.

  18. I’m thankful that I will hopefully have some answers soon about my sciatica and next steps so I can get back on the road in my Sweat shirt! 🙂 And I am thankful for my husband. He is kinda awesome and I love him very much. (Sorry if that’s too mushy.)

  19. Thankful that I got over my dog’s death (as sad at it is) and got myself another puppy, as it makes me happy to have ‘somebody’ to come home to. I think you’d love her!!!

  20. * I am thankful that I just came from a rocking personal training session. I did some awesomely hard stuff and felt good that I powered through.

    * I am thankful that my easy run before personal training is getting faster, but it’s still easy feeling. More time on my feet = more confidence that running won’t kill me. Unless I trip into traffic.

    * I am thankful that when I came to work someone had bought Dunkin’ Donuts. Boston Cremes are the best thing in the world. I love living in the Boston area because there is a Dunkin’ Donuts every block, but I also love that I never have to buy one for myself – they show up in the office just enough to fulfill those cravings.

    * I am thankful that today is free lunch day at my company. Pork ribs, corn bread, yams, and plantains are on my menu! (And maybe sweet potato pie).

    * I am thankful that although it’s still a rainy day outside it’s still somewhat warm. This is the nice temp time, not too hot, not too cold. I’m enjoying it while I can.

    * I am thankful for the best voice mail message I got this week. My brother called me, and halfway through had to pause to let my two year old niece get on and say “Hi Aunt Sue!” and “See you!”. That baby is being saved forever.

    On the not-thankful side I am regretting the fact that I dressed for the gym and packed my work clothes instead of the other way around. I forgot underware. And a belt. And had to walk up the stairs from the T, knowing that I was giving the beginnings of a plumber’s crack.

  21. I am thankful I am moving back to Florida right before winter starts and won’t have to worry about these cold temperature coming up!

    I am thankful for having a treadmill, because I probably wouldn’t have started “running” (and by that I mean trying to run) if I had had to do it on the roads first. Although that’s coming up, so stay tuned.

    I am thankful for having found your blog, which led me to some other cool fitness and running blogs, which helped and STILL help motivate me to get off my butt and work out! Yay!

    I am thankful for getting to spend a really fun awesome laid back ENTIRE WEEK with my boyfriend next week. (We do the long distance thing.)

    I am thankful for really good friends and family who supported me for almost five months while I lived in Ecuador and wasn’t making any money. They rock! Now I’m really broke again, but still THANKFUL!

    🙂 -Reese

  22. For some reason I am thankful that you share the same name as my dog. I was NOT aware that was your nickname. And I think that is AWESOME.

    I am thankful for a new career change coming shortly. Oh and for flowers. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time someone was THOUGHTFUL to me. I almost wanted to send them back in confusion.

    Happy Thursday to you, Ali!!

  23. I am thankful for free food in the office.
    I am also thankful for a good bra.
    I am thankful for cupcakes — always!
    I am also thankful for this taper, although that can change at any moment.
    I am thankful for Kate Winslet.

  24. I am a beginner jogger. (I started 2 weeks ago) I jogged 2 1/2 miles yesterday. That is what I am thankful for! 😀

  25. Can’t believe it’s already Thursday again 
    I’m thankful for good food (like my perfect dinner yesterday)
    I’m thankful it’s fall and soup-time
    I’m thankful for all the beautiful fall colours
    I’m thankful for not being sick (when all my co workers sneeze and cough)
    I’m thankful for listening to a good podcast while running

    Hope you feel better soon!
    Love to read your blog!

    All the best from over the sea to you!

  26. I’m thankful for friends met on the internet who turn out to be wonderful and fun and motivating and inspiring and not creepy at all! 🙂 I’m thankful I got to hang out with a bunch last night.

    I’m thankful I’m getting away for a long weekend where there is no cell phone service. A weekend with good friends, gorgeous surroundings and totally stepping away from other distractions/stressors should be wonderful, relaxing and liberating.

  27. You’re so fantastic, Ali! I’ll push my grumpy mood aside and be thankful for:
    1. my sweet weimaraners, who are always excited to go for a run!
    2. our spin instructors must be kindred spirits – my guy is so positive that i will go to his hour-long class after a 10-mile run!
    3. co-workers who tell funny stories about almost being bitten by an ostrich, and when you laugh at them, they wait for the moment you leave your computer and put a photo of a baby ostrich as your background!

    Have a great day!

  28. I love your thankfulness! As for celebrity sightings, I think you’re kind of like a celebrity – I’ve never met you, yet I see you all the time (on blogland, instead of films and tvs), and know a lot about you (from your blog, rather than trashy magazines) and if I were to ever meet you, I’d totally want to say “OH MY GOSH, YOU’RE ALI ON THE RUN! I THINK YOU’RE A LEGEND!” except I’d probably be too starstruck and instead would come across all shy and lame.
    Today I’m thankful for helpful coworkers – they make a boring job so much more bearable! and coworkers’ birthdays -> birthdays = CAKES!

    1. Haha! I promise that if you met me in real life, your first thought would be, “Why didn’t Ali bother washing her hair today? Or even brushing it?” and also “Ali, do you always sweat this much?” And then we could be great friends.

  29. I wish that I had a running buddy. At this point, however, I do not. I need to get a few more active friends in my life, I think. Today I’m feeling thankful for: Earl Gray Tea Lattes, getting the chance to speak at a college last night, the polka dot high heels I’m wearing today, my space heater, and all things fall! Oh. AND that I completed my first official race last Saturday!

  30. I am so oblivious to everything around me, so I am certain I have walked right past many famous people and had no idea. I’ve been living in Manhattan for 5.5 years and the only celebrity I know I saw was Nicole Kidman (with Keith Urban) in Starbucks near my apartment when I first moved here. Never saw anyone else, but really I just never noticed them. That is not counting Tina Fey but I saw her on purpose because I heard they were filming 30 Rock outside my office (at Rock, so, duh) and I went outside to see her.


    Thankful for….
    – Tapering, yes you guessed it. I love knowing that I completed the hardest part of training because if I can run 20 miles at a time (twice!) I am sure I can run 26.2. Not worried.
    – Painful sports massages. I had some pain at the very bottom/back of my left foot that was worrying me, but after my expert massage it went away. YES.
    – A challenging job.
    – Sundays. I used to hate Sundays because it meant work was coming soon, but now that I have a weekly fun Sunday routine of laying around and watching football with a boy, I look forward to them and like them.
    – Candle 79. Nachos tonight. Enough said.
    – French toast
    -The fact that Comfort Diner has re-opened (see French Toast above)

  31. Had my first run after a week of ankle resting (kind of over did it) with my wonderful wife last night. We planned on doing 3.5mi at an easy pace which turned into 4mi at an easy pace and we chatted the whole time. I’m thankful that I got to do that and that, today, my ankle still feels great!

  32. I LOVE that you have a running buddy in Brian now! I love love love nothing more than sharing my rundates with my husband, it’s so awesome to sweat it out together, catch up on our days, etc. Quite the bonding experience (even if you do have to make random bathroom stops, still sexy in my book hehe).

    What am I thankful for? That the forecast for Sunday’s half marathon looks AMAZING!! Sunny, low 60s, no wind, perfect fall day. I am SO HAPPY. And you better believe I’ll be running with my I Heart Sweat shirt on!!!

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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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