Thankful Things Thursday: Happy Holidays!

It seemed like practically everyone on the subway this morning had big bags filled with wrapped gifts and massive suitcases in tow. When I say “in tow” I mean “thanks for running over my big toe with your giant bag, bitch.”


That escalated quickly, and I’m sorry. My toes are all just fine, despite a few close encounters with bags on wheels.

But now here I am, ready to be all holiday spirited and tell you all the things I’m thankful for today. Let’s get down to it!

I’m thankful I’m done my holiday shopping. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, right? I actually have one or two more things to pick up, but I’m hoping to convince my dad to bring me to Target on the way home to New Hampshire. I think if I smile enough, he will oblige.

And on that note…

I’m thankful my dad agreed to come get me from the airport. Good job, Alison, for waiting until days before Christmas to book a flight home. That was smart…and totally affordable. (Nope. It really wasn’t. At all.) I couldn’t get myself all the way from New York City to New Hampshire, so I’ll be airborne up to Boston on Christmas Eve, and my nice dad is coming all the way down to Boston to pick my ass up and drive it home for the holidays. He’s a nice man.

Here I am with my parents at my college graduation. I was good and bloated after four straight years of drinking too much Franzia.

I’m thankful that I get to go home to spend Christmas with my family. A lot of people don’t get to do that. I’m looking forward to a few solid days of cookie eating and refusing to change out of my pajamas.

We have a very strict Christmas dress code: holiday-themed pajamas. No hair brushing.

I’m thankful JetBlue doesn’t charge you to check a bag. I’ll be getting on that plane with a massive amount of luggage, so I appreciate the fact that they aren’t making me pay to store one big bag on the plane. That is courteous and sadly rare these days.

I’m thankful for these delicious chocolates. They’re called “No Chewing Allowed” and they really do melt in your mouth.

You should buy some. They'll change your life. Maybe not your life, but they'll make you happy. So that's important.

I’ve already gone through more than one box of them this season…but I do not care, but as we all agreed yesterday, all bets are off in December. (Thank you all, by the way, for jumping on board the “who cares about calories right now?” bandwagon.)

I’m thankful the days are getting longer! Yesterday, December 21, was that one day a year with the fewest daylight hours. Soon I’ll be running under the sun again!

I’m thankful for Enrique Iglesias, in all his beautiful, mole-free glory.

He can sing, he can be hot...WHAT CAN'T THIS MAN DO?

Remember when Enrique had that big face mole? Well he doesn’t anymore. And look at that devious little grin. I wonder what he’s thinking.

Just kidding. I know exactly what he’s thinking. “Ali, I love you so much, mi amor, bueno, vamos a mi casa, Brian who?” Just kidding, Brian…kind of. I just think that when Enrique gets all, “I like how it feels, whoooooaaaa, I like how it feels!” I can relate to him. He is invited to my next dance party.

Also on the music front…

I’m thankful for Robyn’s song “Call Your Girlfriend.” I can’t get it out of my head. I listened to it no fewer than 10 times this morning. It’s fabulously catchy.

My final music note…

I’m thankful I haven’t heard that dang “Christmas Shoes” song yet this year. It always makes me cry. Even if I listen to it twice in a row, I will still sob. It’s pathetic, but the story about that little kid who just wants to buy his dying mom some nice footwear…oh jeez it kills me.

I’m thankful for Matt Pestorius, my favorite favorite favorite spin instructor. There weren’t too many people in class last night, but Matt still kicked our butts hard. And then he said all those things that make me love him like, “If anyone ever tries to bring you down, tell them how perfect your spin instructor thinks you are!” And in my head I was like, “OK, Matt! I will do exactly that! Hell yeah! Spin power! Call your girlfriend! Enrique!”

Honestly, what is wrong with me today? Oh right. I’m riding a six-day sugar high.

I’m thankful I didn’t give up on my run this morning. I’ve been running and spinning quite a bit over the past two weeks and, no, I haven’t taken many quality rest days. So it should come as no surprise to us all that my quads, calves and hamstrings are starting to feel just a little fatigued.

Did that stop me from getting out of bed and lacing up the Adrenalines this morning?

Nope. It didn’t.

I jumped out into the 55-degree air, ready to conquer six miles at a “super slow pace.” That was my plan, at least. I just wanted to enjoy getting some mileage in, but since I’m not training for anything right now I haven’t felt the need to go crazy with speedwork or tempo runs or any of those other fancy things you people talk about.

Instead, I just ran. I took the first mile — all uphill, and I hate that — very slowly. But then, according to my watch, I got a little faster.

This morning's splits. Inconsistent as always, but I like that last mile.

I know, that pace is nothing spectacular throughout miles one through five. I was tired, my legs hurt, and the Central Park hills felt bigger than ever.

I was wearing my watch under my sleeve so that I could check in on my mileage every so often, but I didn’t want to be concerned with my pace.

During the final mile, though, two super in-shape chicks blew past me. And I was like, “No. They are not leaving me in the dust. I can totally keep up with them.”

And I did. Rather than using that last mile as a cool-down, like I normally do, I picked it up and stuck by those strangers.

It felt good to move my legs faster, and it was the mental boost I needed. Lately I’ve been feeling discouraged and wondering if all my potential speed is gone. But today, after days of spinning and running my legs ragged, I still pushed through. And I kept up.

Watch out, 2012. I’m going to run fast next year. Or, you know, I’m at least going to try.

Now it’s time to eat brownies for breakfast. Mint ones.

NOW YOU DO IT, TOO: What are you thankful for today? Candy? Chocolate? Pie? Vodka?



0 Responses

  1. I know it’s Friday now, but I’m thankful for your blog! It always seems to brighten my day a little bit when I read it! Enjoy the holidays in NH!

  2. If you think the Christmas Shoes song is a doozy try the latest from Martina McBride called I’m Gonna Love You Through It. I heard it and was like wTH? man, it’s Christmas! Geez!

  3. Which spin class do you do? I just took one at Pedal NYC (new gym) last weekend and loved it, so I’m thinking I may start spinning more in the new year.

  4. I am so, so thankful that my winter break starts tomorrow. I’ll have over 250 papers to grade over break, but I can grade them in bed. Surrounded by cookies. That’s not so bad, right?

  5. ‘Christmas Shoes’ always makes me cry too! When the little boy doesn’t have enough money at the register, I lose it. Every. Time.

    Have a safe trip to New Hampshire and back to New York over the holidays! Merry Christmas!

  6. This makes me laugh! I had avoided hearing Christmas Shoes just until a minute ago. Here I am, tearing up at my desk.

    Thank goodness it’s my last full day of work! Tomorrow I have a half day and then I’m off until 2012! For now, I will just keep tearing…

  7. and you just met somebody new…and now its going to be me and you…

    Best song ever.

    P.S. – That spin rant totally made sense to me, maybe its a spinning high thing, thats what I am thankful for. Spinning highs.

  8. those chocolates are one of the reasons i love the holiday shops – free samples! I’m thankful for some time off over the holidays and that I get to go see my fam tomorrow. And that we are not having a blizzard this year. And for the sweat squad, obvi.

  9. I heard the Christmas Shoe song the other day while driving to Toronto, I cried like a baby…that song kills me every year.

  10. I normally listen to Christmas music from Thanksgiving straight through New Year’s, but I swear that Christmas Shoes songs STALKS me and I just.can’ So I’ve been avoiding the holiday stations until this week.

  11. I despise that stupid Christmas shoes song too, and my brother forced me to listen to it while we were stuck in the car yesterday. I really don’t like it… really REALLY don’t like it:)

  12. I’m thankful to be home too. Although I’ve been becoming a wimp. I stepped out in to sunny 55 degrees weather in shorts and a t shirt and thought it was too cold to run. I did it. And it wasn’t too cold to run, but now i’m dreading being back in freezing upstate NY.

    And Christmas shoes has got to be the saddest song ever. I cry every time. I even watched the movie, which was even sadder. I don’t even know why I watched the movie. I’m a glutton for punishment I guess. Christmas shoes is up there in sadness along with the wordless montage in the beginning of UP.

  13. WTG on the last mile. That’s a legit way to train, speeding it up toward the end of a run. Good for racing when you’re speeding up on tired legs.

    I have to confess that I sometimes race people in the park, too, though I tend to race dudes who’ve clearly passed me because I’m a girl and can’t hang on. I’ve gotten some great tempo runs in that way. And, of course, I have to pass anyone wearing Vibrams. Not sure why….

  14. I am thankful for spending time with my family…that’s the very best thing! Then I’m thankful for my new running shoes that are a present from my husband!!! And I’m thankful for the coconut cherry chocolate cookies I am going to make tomorrow. They’re the BEST!

  15. I am thankful I had vacation days to take around Christmas, I’m loving not working! I’m thankful that its still super warm here in Ohio for Demember, I am actually REALLY thankful for this! And I am also thankful for great music and a sexy Enrique Iglesias!

  16. I am beyond thankful that I decided to use the rest of my vacation days for all of next week. I will be spending time with family and also finally settling into my new apartment, which I moved into yesterday (apparently the shortest day of the year).


  17. I’m thankful to be reading this post from a lounge chair in the sun (in SPF 60…) surrounded by my family. I never want vacation to end.

    I’m thankful I didn’t quit during my “run” this morning. It was so painfully slow that I started to worry that the old people walking their dogs would pass me. But I kept going, avoided being passed and am glad I stuck with it.

  18. I am thankful I have today off. Even though I did do some work I did it from Andy’s couch so it’s not so bad. I am also thankful of my mom’s jewish tradition of going to the movies on Christmas. Actually look forward to it. And thankful Andy is coming this year! Have a great time with your family!

  19. I’m thankful we got to Florida last night and the weather forecast is 81 every day 🙂

    So sad we won’t be in NH this year to drink woo-woo’s and get a Scotch tasting. Miss you! xoxo

  20. Nice job on that run without looking too much at pace! you still did great, of course. I SO wanted to run this morning, but told myself that, plus two barre n9ne classes tonight is probably too much, even though I am still tempted, at this very minute, to do it anyway 😉 I am thankful for peanut butter and toast. Seriously the best combo ever. 😉

  21. This post made me laugh out loud. There were so many things that I’ve done in the past couple days too! Those “don’t chew” chocolates are delicious. Did you get them at one of the holiday markets they have up in Columbus Circle and Union Square? My mom and I also did a little dance yesterday when we realized it was the last day of it being progressively darker during 6 a.m. runs.
    I’m thankful for those things, plus no more finals (until next May), sleeping as late as I want, and the 55 degree weather. Maybe it’s global warming but I hate being cold so I’ll take it happily!

  22. I’m thankul that Christmas is almost here and I’m taking tomorrow off from work. I’m thankful it’s warm, even though I think it should be cold in December, especially now that it is Winter, and every unusually warm day makes me think of poor polar bears swimming and swimming with no ice in sight.

    Have a very merry Christmas Ali!!!!

  23. thankful for this warm december morning and that i can be heading out for a run in my i heart sweat shirt for the first time!!! thanks for the speedy shipping.

  24. I’m thankful it’s winter break, I’m home for the holidays and christmas is in T-3 days! Holy cow! It came fast! I’m also thankful for a fully stocked fridge and chocolate covered strawberries. 🙂

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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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