A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

It’s Thankful Things Thursday and it also happens to be Thanksgiving. Look at that!

I feel luckier than ever lately so excuse me while I gush, gobble and fawn over all the things I’m truly thankful for today.

I’m thankful to be home. My flight up to Boston was so easy yesterday. Thank you, JetBlue, for taking off right on time at the ripe hour of 6:11 am and dropping me at Logan Airport 20 minutes early, despite some nasty weather in both NYC and Boston. I was giddy-excited to get off the plane and see my dad, and it was so nice spending an hour in the car together catching up on the drive to New Hampshire.

I never moved back home after college. Neither did my brother. And yet, his childhood bedroom was immediately transformed into a guest room, and mine has stayed exactly the same. (Sorry, Ryan. I’m not saying Mom and Dad love me more. I’m just saying…maybe they do. Kidding. Again. Kind of.) I love that whenever I come back to Contoocook, I get transported right back to my high school days. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or not, but I love that my room is still my room. Thanks, Mom!

I’m thankful that my mom and I rocked our Turkey Trot 5K this morning. It snowed a lot in New Hampshire yesterday. Like, several inches of snow. And I don’t think my mom was necessarily thrilled when we got up at 6 am and it was 27 degrees and the roads were a little black-icy — all to run a Turkey Trot 5K race.

Rocking our Sweat shirts...because that's how you stay warm.

I can tell you that I didn’t even pack pants to run in — I need to invest in a pair this winter I guess — but we all know that even if I did have pants on hand, I still would have run in short shorts and leg warmers.

But first we bundled up.

At local races, you get nice bib numbers. Also because there are no corrals...and the numbers are alphabetical. Oh well.

My hope was to PR in today’s Turkey Trot, because how dare I just run for fun and enjoy a race? Not Crazy Competitive Ali! She doesn’t rest on Thanksgiving. So I got to the front of the line before the race started and tried to keep up…with those dang track team kids.

Ready, Set, TROT!!!

I looked down at my watch half a mile in and saw that I was running a 6:30 pace. This is why I will never negative split a race. Because I’m an asshole. And now I am an asshole who swore (twice) on Thanksgiving. The nerve.

The race was pretty small and it was an out-and-back course. I probably could have pushed harder once the finish line was in sight, but I…didn’t. I did wave to my dad though, and I did PR by a minute and a half.

These are my splits. Clearly.

My official finish time was 23:06 and I came in fifth in my age group! To my knowledge, there may have only been five people in that age group, but I’m not sure. Stay tuned. I’ll find out. I also finished 46th total. And I know there were more than 46 runners, so that’s exciting.

And my mom ran a PR, too! She finished in 31 minutes!

Good job, Mom! You make me proud!

The race was fun. The Sweat shirts were a hit with the crowd. Good thing I’m getting more…to sell…just so you know…

I’m thankful that in a few hours, I’ll indulge in a ridiculously delicious and oh-so-healthy meal. If healthy means a bowl of gravy with a side of stuffing and some cheese-covered vegetables, you bet I’m going to be extra healthy tonight. I can’t wait.

Thanksgiving is little this year because my brother and his wife are celebrating with her family (we get them for Christmas though!). So it’s just my parents and me. That means I don’t have to share any of the dark turkey meat, which my brother and I usually fight over. We’re mature grown ups. We fight over turkey.

Seriously though, I feel lucky to be able to have a plentiful Thanksgiving meal today.

I’m thankful that it’s completely acceptable to spend Thanksgiving Day in sweatpants watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and that dog show that comes on afterward. Low-key holidays at home mean casual attire, a fire and many games of Spit. It’s a card game. It’s fun. You should try it.

I have no intention of getting off the couch today. If my mom wants help in the kitchen, I’ll do that, but that’s a pretty risky move on her part. So I plan on spending my day trying to leave a butt imprint in the couch. I think I can do it.

I’m thankful for the Sweat Squad. Megan, Kelly, Susan, Lindsay, Meggie, thank you for making all those morning miles in Central Park so much more fun. This summer you got me through many long (brutally hot) runs during marathon training and I’m so grateful. You motivate me. You run a lot faster than me. You are really nice looking. I’m so glad we all met.

I’m thankful for all the people in my life who support me, encourage me, inspire me and challenge me. Between blogging and participating in Run For The Rabbit this year, I have met some of the best people I’ve ever known.

Coach Cane and Mrs. Coach Cane are perhaps the nicest, kindest, most generous and genuine humans I’ve ever met.

Coach Cane and me at the Hamptons Marathon. Yes. A marathon photo. Don't act surprised.

Not only have they both helped me become a better, smarter, stronger and faster runner, they also make me want to be a better person. That’s cheesy. I know that. But it’s true. They’re just really good people and I love having them both in my life.

Mrs. Coach Cane has a name and it is Nicole. Just so you know.

And then there are the people I’ve met who make me want to run faster, and the people who make me want to write better. You all make me think. Thank you.

I’m thankful for Brian. Is it terribly lame if I say he’s “one of the best things that’s happened to me” this year? Ugh, it is, and I know. But it’s true. I’ve laughed more, smiled more and stressed less in the past six months than ever in my life.

Here we are dancing. Because why not?

Brian is so good to me, and not just because he cooks most of my meals. He does other great things, too, like running with me and helping me create a fancy little “I Heart Sweat” shirt purchasing site. He’s a good person. I’m glad we met and I’m glad I got drunk and sent him a Facebook message that one night. I’m trying really hard not to mess this up. Again, stay tuned.

I’m thankful for my health. More than ever, I’m so grateful to feel healthy. Do I still have Crohn’s and/or colitis? Yup. Sure do. It’s in there somewhere. But it’s no longer flaring up, and that brings me all kinds of physical and mental relief.

Here I am with some Porta Potties. Normal for the past few months.

I’m thankful for the Steroids. I’m thankful for the Remicade. I’m thankful that I can go for a run — heck, I can sleep through the night and I can simply leave my apartment — without freaking out about where the nearest bathroom is. It’s a wonderful feeling.

I’m thankful for hot showers on cold days. More specifically, hot showers on cold days after cold runs. Sorry if I used up all the hot water today, family. I couldn’t get out!

I’m thankful for Central Park. Every time I run somewhere else, I think about how nice it is to have six car-free miles — plus a Reservoir and a Bridle Path and countless little side trails that I’m consistently unable to navigate — right down the street from my apartment. I love doing my training runs in Central Park and I love racing in Central Park.

Race to Deliver!

Sometimes I think I’ll leave New York City. And then I go for a run in the park. And then I don’t think I’ll ever move…

I’m thankful for my family. Now how do I convince them to move to NYC?

Dad, come live near me and we can hang out ALL THE TIME!!!

I’m thankful for fuzzy socks.

I’m thankful for long-sleeved shirts with thumb holes. Genius, no?

I’m thankful for you, the people who read my blog. I love your comments, your thoughts, your feedback and your insights. I smile every single time I get that email saying “You have a new blog comment at Ali On The Run.” I get excited to see who the comment is from and I love reading what you have to say. Thank you for sharing and for reading. Let’s hang out sometime.

That’s my list for now.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

NOW SHARE YOUR THANKFUL THOUGHTS! What are you thankful for today?



0 Responses

  1. I’m thankful you are selling more Sweat shirts! And I agree- there is nothing better than spending Thanksgiving in sweats watching the parade and dog show. 🙂

  2. I was JUST thinking the other day about how my mom left my room the same from when I was in highschool and how my brother’s room became the sewing/storage/guest room the minute he left. I always thought it was because they loved me more, so I am glad you confirmed that I am not the only one 🙂
    Once again, your blog always makes me smile! Congrats on your PR!

  3. Even though I bought one of your I heart sweat shirts (which I love, btw), I have never actually read your blog before today. I’m enjoying it! Glad you had a good holiday.

  4. I’m thankful for my family, friends, my pets, my ability to run, and so much more! I love how you feel about Brian, I have felt that way about my husband the entire time I have known him.

    I’m really glad that you are going to be selling more I <3 sweat shirts, I have one already but I need some more and for my family members too!

  5. Um, I’d love to hang out sometime…can we?! 😉 You can be an honorary sister, I swear. I LOVE this post, and how happy you are. You totally deserve it and I especially love what you and Brian are cultivating together. You sound happier than you’ve ever been and I’m sure he is a big part of that. he seems like a genuinely GOOD guy and there just aren’t too many of those out there. A big heart goes a long way, doesn’t it? happy thanksgiving Ali!! (belated…)

  6. so glad crohns remains at bay! and congrats on your pr!

    my boyfriend and i rode our bikes down to the long beach turkey trot so i could run at the beach with a few friends. i was so thankful for the clear skies and cool air. i got 10k to enjoy a gorgeous view of catalina island, the sparkling blue pacific, pelicans diving into the water and some funny turkey trot costumes! after the race, we all had some pre-feast mimosas in the parking lot. then i spent the whole day cooking and the whole night eating! i was thankful to have my mom, dad, brother and boyfriend stuffing their faces with me while we made fun of (er, watched) “the number 23”.

    let us know when those i <3 sweat shirts are ready to go. i've been dying to get one (or two)!

  7. LOVED reading all of your extra special thankful thoughts on Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for this year too – especially for my health, my sisters, my niece, my husband (who I adore more by the second) and for wonderful supportive friends IRL and bloggy variety. I feel so loved this year. It feels awesome!

    PS. it was freezing yesterday at our race too, and I had pants on, how did you run in shorts???

  8. I’m thankful that you posted yesterday so that I have something to read while i’m working in my cube today. 🙂 I’m also thankful that my parents bought me roundtrip tickets for me to fly back to Chicago, just for the day to work, so that I could spend the rest of the weekend with them. After a a few hours in the office and stop at the APT to feed the kitten, I’ll be flying back to Michigan! And then driving back to IL on sunday 🙂

  9. I am thankful for this blog of yours and for the fact that I started blogging, because it has introduced me to one of my favorite people (that would be you!).

    Congratulations on your 5K PR!! I hope you enjoy the rest of your time with your family!

  10. Great post!!! I am thankful I won my turkey trot (it was only me but my legs were FAST today!!) And I’m thankful that I’ve almost watched ALL of the Thanksgiving Friends episodes!!

  11. Hey Ali,
    I’ve followed your blog for a while, and have decided to comment and start my own! I admire your positive attitude in dealing with pesky Crohn’s flares. I too am dealing with a pesky ulcerative colitis (or Crohn;s — “they” are trying to determine that now – opposite of you!), and the prednisone is lovely (sarcastic tone here). Reading your positive posts on staying active and healthy while dealing with Crohn’s is inspiring.
    Congrats on running an awesome Turkey Trot. I’m doing a 5k Santa Shuffle in a couple weeks….and future plan to run a half marathon in May.
    Cheers to Colitis/Crohn’s and running!
    Happy Thanksgiving from north of the border!

  12. I love this post! I’ve been reading your blog a few weeks and it’s inspired me to start a blog.

    Congrats on the race!

  13. Why are all of your thankful things at me expense, the room, dark meat, etc?! For the record, your room is still the same because you have so much crap that mom is too overwhelmed, whereas my room was always neat and clean. “Just saying.”. Happy t-day!

  14. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Today I’m happy for my fantastic bf, loving family, and things like shelter/food/heat that I sometimes take for granted.
    Enjoy your turkey dinner 🙂

  15. Is it lame to say that I’m super thankful for the inspiration that your blog gives me? If I’m not feeling good and considering not working out I think, would Ali do it? Then get your butt out of bed and go. You have to at least try and then you can come home if you poop in your pants. 🙂 There is only one bathroom along my route (cause I live in the middle of nowhere) and it is always locked. But the fact remains the same… you inspire me and I like that. Happy Thanksgiving to you and you’re whole family!

  16. I love this post! I am so thankful for you guys too! To talk about running with, but also anything and everything not running 🙂 Nice work this morning. I was jealous of everyone turkey trotting! Your mom is completely awesome and adorable. I’m thankful for my mom, who is a fantastic marathon cheerleader/spectator (and also my sister), and my health. And for Fairway, which made my Thanksgiving preparations oh so convenient and (hopefully) delicious. Happy T-day my friend!!

  17. I am thankful that I was able to run this morning, that there’s a turkey in the oven, that my family is here, and that the dog show gets aired on tape-delay on the west coast so I can watch it after football. I’m also thankful for the cat in my lap, moisture-wicking clothing, and the continuing good health of most people close to me.

    ALSO, I saw a guy running in Golden Gate Park this morning who looked exactly like Coach Cane. Unless he’s flown to San Francisco for the holiday, I doubt it was him, but it made me giggle.

  18. Awesome post! I’m a new NYC runner-blogger (only been running for a year) and am so happy to see how supportive the NYC running community is. I hope to get involved one day! Happy Thanksgiving. I love your blog.

  19. Well, I already tweeted you but then I read about how you still get excited to get comments, so …

    Here’s what I just posted on dailymile:
    Today I’m thankful …
    … that I can put one leg in front of the other, every day.
    … to have healthy, strong lungs. One of my closest friends has CF and I see her struggle to breathe when running.
    … to be married to a runner who pushes me and encourages me to keep running.
    … to see running through the experiences of a new runner and be reminded of why I fell in love with running 13 years ago.
    … to be able to go focus on the food now 🙂

  20. I am thankful for going indoor climbing today. I got a climbing harness from my Mom yesterday, cause it was my birthday.
    And I am very thankful for another present: Ive got my very own Garmin Forerunner 210. Its great. I wanted to go on a run with it today, but somehow sleept in for too long (uuups…). So I hope I will get up on time tomorrow.
    And I am thankful for your you, cause your blog is awesome and it helps me stay motivated. And you sell Sweat-shirs. Soon. And I really hope its affordable after all the shippingcosts are added.

  21. Great post Ali! I am SO excited that you are selling more I HEART SWEAT shirts because I still don’t have one and when I ran a 5K last weekend I thought to myself, “Damn, I really wish I had one of those shirts right now…” I’m thankful for my family, friends, boyfriend, Thanksgiving Day Football, and also the people who read my blog. It’s a great feeling!

    Happy Dark Meat Turkey Day!

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  22. Hey Ali!

    I have been creeping your blog for a while, so it is definitely about time I leave a comment! I love your I <3 Sweat shirts and I reallllly love your passion for leg warmers! I am inspired every day by your ability to maintain a physically active life while dealing with Crohn's and/or colitis. I have some lingering undiagnosed digestive issues (I am working on getting them figured out), and sometimes it is soo damn hard to motivate myself to workout.

    Anyways I just wanted to say thanks and I will comment more often 🙂


  23. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. You have a very blessed life. And congrats on the PR!!

    It is not Thanksgiving up here in Canada, but I am very thankful that it is now acceptable to start putting up Christmas decorations!

  24. First off, congrats on the PR! Not a bad way to kick off the eating festival, eh?

    I’m thankful for very similar things: my health, my family, my friends, my boyfriend. The things I take for granted every day and yet couldn’t live without.

    Happy T-gives!

  25. I am thankful for my moms iPad which is making this car ride more bearable! I am thankful I found the sweat squad, too! You guys keep me motivated and inspired. If not for the sweat squad (and knowing I had to get to mile 17 to see you) I may not have finished nycm or may have at the very least cried during (which I didn’t during, maybe after). Thank you for being a fabulous cheerleader all around.

    I am thankful for the advice and mentorship I receive.

    I am always thankful for my family and friends who put up with me!

    I am thankful for cheese biscuits at Jim and nicks BBQ which I will have at some point while in Alabama.

  26. Awesome thanksgiving post, Ali! Nice to read after our turkey trot this morning and before the turkey festivities begin here in jersey. You are motivation in human being form. 🙂 i am thankful fir my family and blessed life and stuffing…and so much more! Enjoy your family time and happy thanksgiving! Go kick some snow in your leg warmers, girl. You’re so bad ass!

  27. Hahah I love the line about getting drunk and FB messaging Brian. What did we do before FB?? Seriously.

    I am thankful for your weekly Thursday posts- they make me smile and remind me of all the things I have to be grateful for <3

    Congrats on the PR!!

  28. Happy Thanksgiving Ali and all the Fellers!! Great post and kudos on the PR for you and your Mom. She’s awesome if you ask me! I’m grateful for my amazing family especially my amazing kids and the man who helped me create them. And that we’re sitting here watching the parade. Also I’m grateful that you continue to share your running and life stories with us on a daily basis. I know blogging is work and I appreciate that you put that work in daily to share with us. Have a great holiday!!

  29. Ha, I’m actually stealing your idea this week. But SPIT! OMG. If we ever meet we can have a SPIT tournament and lament about our failing digestive tracts.

    Have a great holiday!

  30. Wow lady congrats on your pr!!! U r getting speedier by the minute 🙂 🙂 love your enthusiasm,positive attitude, and dedication. Have a great holiday and keep up the good work 🙂 🙂

  31. Congrats on the PR!!! I want to PR a lot more now too. You did great this morning. I also think long sleeve shirts with thumbholes are genius, and Andy was insanely jealous the first time he saw mine. Really brilliant. I love your list and I know exactly what you mean with everything you said about Brian. Same for me and Andy this year, and it really is amazing. You’re the only other person I’ve met outside my own family who also prefers the dark meat! I’m a vegetarian now so it’s kind of moot but YES it tastes so much more delicious! Have a very happy Thanksgiving!!!

  32. Happy Thanksgiving, Ali! Congrats on an awesome Turkey Trot and 2011!

    (P.S. if you tweet about the parade, use the #MacysParade hashtag … I might respond to you!) 🙂

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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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