Thankful Things Thursday: On My Ever-Expanding Family

Warning: I’m in a wicked good mood today.

Yeah. Wicked — because I’m from New Hampshire. You cannot take that word away from me, no matter how far from that 603 area code I happen to live.

Good thing it’s Thankful Things Thursday.

I’m thankful for biscotti. How had I never tried this delicious treat until this week? Do you all know about this whole “biscotti” thing? It’s basically like a cookie, and for added goodness you can dip it in something, like coffee or hot chocolate or vodka, and it’s even better.

Look at all that biscotti!

One of Brian’s clients is a biscotti-maker or something of that nature, and he was doing a product shoot for them this week. That means endless biscotti for Ali. Danger, danger! But really, this stuff is good. You probably knew that already.

I’m thankful for spin class friends. Last night’s always-wonderful Crunch class with Matt, the other love of my life, was packed. Brian came, and my gym pal CJ was there, and Shayne came, too. Wednesday night spin is always fun. Wednesday night spin, with your favorite sweaty friends by your side, is even better.

I’m not thankful for push ups. I think they’re difficult and traumatizing. But the other day, when I was all, “Woe is me, my foot hurts,” I was convinced I would never run, walk or ski again. I don’t think that was dramatic of me at all. I told myself that I would use the time I used to spend running to do other things, like push ups — 100 of them a day, to be exact.

So far I have survived two days of my “100 a day” challenge. I’m pretty sure the challenge is over now. I’m already bored with it and it’s not fun. But I will say that busting out those push ups is not easy, and my arms are sore after just two days. I’d like to have tricep muscles though…so maybe I’ll keep it going.

There is muscle in there somewhere, I assure you. And look, there's Meghan in the background, yelling at me to keep running. She's so kind.

I’m thankful I no longer think I have diverticulitis, a stress fracture and lung cancer of the foot. Just a sampling of the diseases I have attached to my aching foot. Normal, yes?

My foot was at its worst on Tuesday. I took Monday and Tuesday off from running, and then ran yesterday on a soft surface (the Central Park Reservoir) and felt great. Today my foot still feels good. There’s still a tiny bit of pain on the outside, opposite of where my arch is (technical term for that, anyone?), but it’s very manageable and I’m being very cautious of how it feels.

I’m thankful Coach Cane continues to advise me. He’s such a nice man and he’s going to be an amazing dad.

A man in a Sweat shirt, what's not to love?

I’ve emailed Coach Cane a bunch since my foot started acting up, and he’s been very reassuring and very helpful. He does not think I have lung cancer of the foot. He also invited me to his team’s annual Beer Mile competition, and I’m actually kind of thinking about doing it…if only to have the opportunity to vomit all over myself while surrounded by impressive triathletes.

I’m thankful the Steroids are working. Yay! Hooray! And maybe that explains the sudden desire to do push ups…

I am, yeah yeah yeah, thankful for Central Park bathrooms again. Yesterday’s glory was short-lived. Today I got all cocky and ambitious. I went running in Central Park and decided that, for the first time since my flare-up, I’d venture beyond the Reservoir and Bridle Path, where my perfect little always-open bathrooms are located.

And what do you know? I head into new territory and my stomach goes all batshit crazy. It really wasn’t that dramatic, actually, and for you NYC runners, take note that the bathrooms near the Great Lawn on the West Side are, in fact, open at 6:30 am. And they’re clean. And wonderful.


That is the face of sheer happiness right there. Nothing gets me excited in the morning like a clean public restroom. Sometimes I look at my life and think, “Wow. That’s sad.”

I’m thankful for running in the rain. I ran 6 miles this morning at a surprisingly decent pace. My fifth mile averaged 8:15, most likely because at that point I had just stopped to use aforementioned bathroom and realized I was going to be really late if I didn’t hustle.

That is not very pretty.

It’s amazing how empty Central Park gets when it’s dark and rainy, and I loved the un-crowdedness (yes, real word) this morning. I also ran into my hardcore pal Katie, who just busted out a 3:38 finish time at the Columbus Marathon and is running the New York City Marathon next weekend. Rock star? I think so.

I’m thankful for a weekend getaway with my best girlfriends. My college friends and I are going to Fire Island this weekend. I was really apprehensive about this weekend for a while because I was feeling so sick and didn’t want to be the lame girl not partaking in the fun (fun = drinking).

Mostly normal activities when we get together.

But now I’m feeling good, I’m excited and I’m very much looking forward to a long weekend out of the city.

The last time we all got together was back in February. Note to self: See friends more often.

I’m thankful for a Thanksgiving getaway to New Hampshire. I finally booked my flights home yesterday. It sucked. It costs a fortune to get anywhere and that makes me sad. But as soon as I clicked that eager little JetBlue button, I felt relief. I can’t wait to see my parents and eat some stuffing. And I talked to my dad last night, and he agreed to drive me to a local turkey trot on Thursday morning. Costumes not guaranteed this year.

Do you not wear Indian costumes at your family Thanksgiving? I do.

I’m thankful my brother and I have gotten so much closer as we’ve gotten older. We pretty much hated each other when we were growing up. Sad, but true. We’re only 19 months apart — he’s older — so I was only one grade behind him at school. We would get in some seriously heated arguments over who got the front seat in the car (neither of us — my mom banned us both eventually), who got the “better” serving during dinner, who was smarter (me…right?), who did better on the SATs (him), who was better at sports (him, no contest) and who stole the alcohol from our mom and dad’s liquor cabinet (not me, I swear to this day).

But eventually Ryan and I started growing up and getting over ourselves and actually getting along. And I kind of like him now! He is an incredibly loving big brother, he’s so supportive of everything I do and he sends me funny text messages in the morning.

It's OK that you have nightmares about running, Ryan. It happens.

I’m thankful that Auntie Ali sounds kind of adorable!!! OK so remember I kept saying how the Marathon Weekend was the best weekend of my life? Obviously that’s in large part due to the fact that I ran 26.2 miles and my friends and family were there to share the entire experience with me. But there’s more!

I was excited to run and they were all sharing a secret...

So the race was great. We’ve been through that. After the race we all went to Wolffer Estates, a winery out in the Hamptons. It was lovely, but Michaela — Ryan’s wife and my kickass sister in law — wasn’t drinking. She said she hadn’t been feeling well, and I was so self-absorbed that I thought nothing of it.

You, however, probably see exactly where this is going.

Leaving the winery. Michaela is not drunk.

Michaela didn’t drink at dinner, either, which was a little weird because I know the girl loves a glass of vino, but again, self-absorbed post-marathon Ali wasn’t really interested in the details.

Then, at brunch the next day, Brian and I met Ryan, Michaela and my parents for brunch. Ryan and Michaela were sitting together all cute-like, and we sat down and Ryan said, “So how do you feel about re-naming your blog Auntie Ali On The Run?”

And I was like, “Oh Ryan, that’s so dumb. I’d need a new web address, and it doesn’t make sense, and where are we going to brunch, and OHMYGOD!!!” I’m so slow. And then I cried.

Here we are after brunch. I don't look excited, because my legs hurt and stuff, but I was pumped.

Ryan and Michaela are having a baby! I’m going to be an aunt! Michaela didn’t want to tell me that weekend because she didn’t want to “take away from my marathon” and to that I told her “she is F-ing insane.” It was the very best icing on the marathon cake. I am so happy for them and I have already bought presents for the baby. They’re not going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl — suspense! — so for now we’re referring to it as “Bump.” Bump Feller. I’m going to spoil that kid rotten and I can’t wait. Congratulations, Ryan and Michaela! Thanks for making more Fellers. Just what the world needs!

We're an excited bunch!

I’m thankful that I love my job. Lately every day has been really stressful. I’ve debated pulling my hair out at times. But at the end of the day, every day, I am very passionate about what I do. I’m very grateful for that.

I’m thankful for every time it rains in NYC and I make it to the office unscathed. Umbrellas are dangerous weapons. Rain brings out the worst in NYC commuters.

I’m thankful I’ve finally learned to adopt a one-day-at-a-time mentality. I’m not a professional yet, but over the past few weeks I’ve been more “get a few things done today and move on” and less “everything needs to happen today, immediately, or you will die and the world will end.” It’s suiting me quite well, I think.

I think that’s a wrap for today. Lots of good stuff happening. Wicked good stuff.

YOUR TURN! Tell me what you’re thankful for today!



0 Responses

  1. Yayyyy, it’s my favorite post of the week! I love that Coach Cane invited you to his team’s beer mile competition. that is hard core – i’ve never run one myself, but i’ve spectated plenty.

    hmm, things i am thankful for….SOUP, friends (like you!), and the fact that my foot didn’t hurt during my tempo run last night. xo

  2. Hi Ali! It is now Friday but I have a thankful thing to add. I am thankful for friendly strangers in NYC! I just went for a run in the park…I live about 2 avenue blocks away so I like to walk over, do my run in the park, and walk home. I was all done with my run and on my way back when I saw a heart-meltingly cute puppy about half an avenue block ahead of me, so I did what any normal person would do and sprinted up behind the puppy and his owner and then casually walked past them and asked if I could pet him. His owner let me and was very sweet about it. I now have a new puppy friend. He had a sweater on. It made my day!!

  3. Congrats Auntie Ali!! How exciting!! 🙂

    Your relationship with Ryan sounds a lot like my relationship with my sister. There was only a grade in between us and while we got along pretty well through high school, we also had some massive fights. It’s pretty amazing how well we get along now. Gotta love family!

  4. CONGRATS Auntie Ali!!!! I have a niece and a nephew and LOVE being an aunt. Unfortunately they live in Germany and I miss them TONS. Enjoy every minute with Bump Feller!!

  5. Hi Ali! I was in New York a few weekends ago for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. While walking we passed Jack Rabbit Sports and 16 Handles–I was so excited, it was like a celebrity sighting!! Congrats on the Auntie title, you’ll be fabulous! Thanks for writing and motivating!

  6. I’m right with ya on being thankful for becoming close with my older brother! We had a normal relationship when we were kids–some bonding, mostly bickering–but when he went away to college (he’s 2 years older), we suddenly became much closer. Now we text everyday and he’s one of my go-to people to vent about life. Love big bros!

  7. ha you actually have 3 arches in your foot…medial arch (the inside of your foot), the lateral arch (the one you have pain in) and then your transverse arch underneath your foot…so to answer your question, you’re having pain in your lateral arch.. probably a tendinitis of some sort 🙂

  8. I just laughed out load (I am in a cube…not even a cubicle, so this was very awkward) because it just clicked that everyone is referring to your shirts as sweat (space) shirts, not sweatshirts (no space), which is what I kept reading, and then thinking, “wait, what? no, those are Tshirts, not SWEATshirts, right? Right? Or are they some super new clever material that Ali invented, cause she probably could do that, New Hampshire people are smart, but wouldn’t a shirt like that be heavy and too warm …” yah, it’s been an ordeal, and I was confused.

    Also, I said wicked to a client today, as in “wow, wicked cool, man!” and he just stared at me.

  9. I’m thankful for my brother too! With us, it’s always pretty much been me WORSHIPPING the guy cause he is pretty damn amazing. Thankfully, when he got older, he finally realized that I too am the sh**. Now he lives in NYC and we hang out sometimes and, oh yeah, i call him every time i have a meltdown. Yeah, he’s the best 🙂

  10. Yay for so many things to be thankful for! I am thankful that we are having a Halloween party this afternoon for a bunch of littles (my sons and about 12 other kids!). Can’t wait to see how cute they look AND eat lots of candy!

  11. I say wicked and I’m from Long Island. Weird.

    Grateful for not having a stress fracture, although tendonitis in my foot 9 days before the marathon pretty much sucks, I know it could be MUCH worse 🙂

  12. Haha who stole the alcohol, I also had no part in that! I did have a part in getting you into your lady bug pajamas though 🙂

    I’m thankful I have a job, and that we have protestors outside the building who we get to make fun of all day; it’s definitely made the day more entertaining! I’m also thankful that our engagement photos will be ready next week! Lastly, I’m so excited for your brother and Michaela! They will be amazing parents!

  13. Awww congrats to your brother and Michaela! You are going to make a rockstar aunt!

    Today I am thankful that it is technically my Friday and I am flying to Pittsburgh tomorrow to visit my sister and run a Halloween 10k with her. I am also thankful that I found orange leg warmers to wear because it is going to be freeeeeeeezing!

    I am also thankful for this blog. Your writing makes my day!! Please don’t ever stop 🙂

  14. congrats on becoming an aunt, that’s fabulous news!
    today i’m thankful for… caffeine, walks in the rain, going to jamaica (on vacation) soon, and the workout two days ago that my legs are STILL sore from.
    i hope you have a great weekend 🙂

  15. “Thanks for making more Fellers. Just what the world needs!” I wholeheartedly agree. Congrats to you guys – that’s so exciting!! I’m also in a wicked good mood, and I hope it lasts. I’m thankful (a little?) that we get to leave the office early and go bowling in Union Square as a “team building” thing. Better than working, right?

  16. I love 100 pushups a day! I have a counter app on my phone that makes it really easy to keep track so I can spread them out.

    This year I MAY have challenged everyone at my birthday party to a pushup contest and I may have demonstrated 30 full body pushups in a row to my friends there…

  17. Congrats Auntie Ali!

    Today I’m thankful for…
    My trip to DC tomorrow!
    My parents that truly love me even when I’m a hot mess.
    My puppy didn’t pee in the bedroom last night.
    My not-puppy dog cuddling with me this morning.
    QUIET office today 🙂
    And my awesome trip to DC tomorrow!

  18. since it’s a surprise – all of the ultrasounds and pictures are going to be like your pictures of Brian….shadows and pictures from the back!

  19. OMG! You’re going to be an auntie! You will LOOOOVE it! Congrats! Seriously, I love my niece and nephew soooo much. The ONLY downside to it is how much I miss them. But you will love it! I’m so excited for you!
    I am thankful for a lot of things, but one of them is that I saw your beautiful face this morning, and that you seemed like your old and happy self! Glad you’re feeling so much better, Ali! Have fun with the girls this weekend and give Lauren a hug for me! 🙂

    1. Holy crap. A guided Running Bathroom Tour of Central Park. WHY DID I NEVER THINK OF THAT? That’s how I’m going to make my millions. I’ll give you a cut of it, since it was basically your idea. Let me know when we can discuss an agreement. Celia = Genius.

  20. Biscotti is an awesome excuse to eat cookies for breakfast. So are scones.

    My brother needs to get married and have babies so I can have nieces/nephews. People seem to like them, and since my brother is four years older, my mom should pester him (instead of me) to get married and have grandkids.

    In other news, I’m thankful I don’t have a commute with crazy NYCers. Walking to work is glorious…even in the rain, since it’s only eight blocks! (And I have today off…win!)

  21. Congratulations Ali! That’s so exciting. I would love to be an aunt, but my sister is only 16 so that’s going to have to a wait a while. At least 10 years, I think
    I have running nightmares all the time! Once I dreamt that I had to run a marathon in a grocery story. I’d love to see the Freudian analysis on that one!

  22. Congratulations, Auntie Ali! That is such wonderful news. I am incredibly thankful for my rapidly expanding family as well–both my brother and I are getting married in the next year! I’m also thankful for people like you who realize that happiness is not a limited resource. There is more than enough happiness, joy, and love in the world to celebrate ALL of the amazing things that happen–running marathons, getting engaged, having a baby, etc.–and I’m thankful for people who recognize that. Have a wonderful Thursday!

  23. First of all, as a fellow New Englander, I appreciate your refusal to give up “wicked.” I’ve been away from home for five years, and I still won’t let it go.

    Second of all, I went to middle school and high school with one of your college friends (Dee). It wigs me out every time I see her picture on your blog!

    Third of all, I am jealous of your future status as an aunt. Why why why will my brother not get married and procreate already?

    What I’m thankful for today: my ability to run and my excitement about running the DC Rock n Roll half marathon. Running is damn cheap therapy, and I’m excited for a new medal. Truth.

  24. Congrats, of course, to you and them! I hope the months ahead go smoothly and every one gets all pumped about welcoming a “mystery” baby to the world. (I also want to “not find out” about any future children I conceive, but my hubs is all for knowing. He hates surprises. I love them.)
    Anyway, I’m thankful right now that I’m not pregnant…we’ve only been married 3 months and we live in a tiny apartment and I’m still looking for a job…so yea, we’re just enjoying being newlyweds for now! And I’m blogging about all our crazy moments together, good and bad.
    Oh, and my ever-growing thankful things list is here, if interested…

  25. I cannot stop laughing at lung cancer of the foot. That is going to be my new diagnosis for all health problems.
    I am thankful for opportunities to catch up with friends that I haven’t talked to in a long time.
    SO AWESOME taking spin with you again. Congrats Auntie Ali!

  26. YAY!!! Being an auntie is the BEST THING EVER. SO happy for you, Auntie Ali 🙂
    I’m thankful (SO thankful) that I’m working from home today. After 10 hrs commuting Mon-Wed this week, I almost cried when I woke up this morning to face my “commute” to the dining room table. Seriously. It’s the little things.

  27. Congratulations to Michaela and Ryan! She is so sweet for not wanting to take over your marathon glory.

    Today I’m thankful I dragged myself out of bed at 6:06am and went for a 4.7 mile run. It was still dark when I came back! I discovered that parks in Dublin are closed before sunrise (which is 8:15am). So I’m also thankful for the fact that we are setting back the clock this Saturday night, which means more daylight in the morning, and one-hour longer Halloween party :). Oh, and lastly, I am thankful Monday is a bank holiday here = 3 day weekend and another potential Halloween party on Sunday.

  28. Aww!! Auntie!! I LOVE being an auntie and I totally cried when my sister told me too (Jen…not Jess, obviously hehe). It is such an awesome role, and you will love every minute 🙂

  29. just wait….you think you love puppies? wait til the baby comes…you’ll change your mind 😉
    you’ll have a nephew (or a niece) who says to you something like “where are we going to warm up for the big race?” like mine did recently. He is almost 4.
    please bring back your wardrobe bathroom shots. they are always one of my favorite things about your blog.

  30. this post was AMAZING… all of your thankfulness is really catching.

    I am thankful I only have 4 workdays left as a CPA nerd
    I am thankful that somehow I manage to have really amazing friends that are more supportive than I deserve
    I am thankful that I am going to a Halloween party for the first time in YEARS on Saturday with a very cute boy.
    I am thankful that October 29,2011 is not my wedding day.

    Finally, I am thankful your blog allows me to express my feelings, not that anyone cares, but I always feel better after. Have fun with your girls this weekend!!

  31. Congratulations to your brother and sister-in-law, and you on being an aunt!

    My brother and I are only 15 months apart (I’m older) and we also fought a lot. Our lockers were right across the hall from each other in high school. We aren’t as close as I would like, but we don’t fight anymore so that’s a step in the right direction!

  32. Ahhh! Congrats to your brother! My brother had a baby in April and I am OBSESSED with the little guy!!! Being an aunt is so, son sooooo fun! 🙂

  33. Ahhh congrats on bump feller! (And basically everything else awesome listed above) Sorry I missed out on the spin party 🙁

    This week I’m thankful for…
    -getting away with my high school best friends for a wedding in an area with no cell service. No distractions, no nonsense, just quality time with quality people in gorgeous surroundings. I’m a sap.

    -oxygen. While @ said wedding in the Rocky mountains I decided to run. Apparently being 8500+ feet above sea level makes that hard?! Thin air or whatever? Who know?! (Oh everyone?! I’m an idiot?! Ok) so I did it (well, I walked a lot) and it was gorgeous, but I appreciate being able to breathe normally here.

    -good friends who know me well.

  34. I’m thankful for your blog. It’s funny, witty and loaded with honesty about running and life and I need that when I’m sitting at work, hating that I’m there, wishing I was doing anything else. You and sweaty Emily help me get through my morning!

  35. I’m thankful my brother and I have gotten closer too! My little brother and I have always been super close, but my older brother and I HATED each other growing up, a lot like you two did. Now he’s so protective and an extremely loving brother, and I get random text messages referencing FRIENDS from him all the time. I don’t know why…. 😉

  36. I love your thankful thing posts!!! last night i had book club with my best friends, and i am so thankful to have them in my life…and i’m thankful that i will be able to spend a lot of time with the babies that they will be bringing into my life!

    oh, and def do beer mile – it is so much fun! (just get ready to burp a ton!)

  37. AHHHH yayyy mazel tov on the baby!!!!! Don’t be surprised if I make a similar announcement within the next year. Also, how have you never known about biscotti??!! Crazy girl. I took my run to the treadmill because I had to run really early and it was dark and rainy and I get scared when the park is empty. Anyway.
    For Andy. Aww.
    For a job that like yours can be stressful but at the end of the day I love. A year ago i was in such a different place.
    For pajamas. I only take them off to run and to go to work.
    For puppies. I’m visiting my niece puppy in January.
    For my family. So lucky to have a sister-in-law who has always been like a sister to me from the moment I met her.

  38. This has been a tough week for me.. tragedy in my community.. but it gives me reason to be thankful.. for my life.. and for the lives of my students. I am thankful for their laughter.. and their love.. and thankful for the strength that has gotten me through this seemingly never ending week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

listen to the podcast

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.
  • Post Date

related posts



Answering questions about my dream home, dream podcast guests, and dreams for the future.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.