“I Want” Vs. “I Need”


If you were one of the lucky ones who got to enjoy a three-day weekend, welcome back! I hope you took advantage of that extra day off and did something awesome, like went skydiving, or slept past 8 am.

If you didn’t have a long weekend, I’m sorry. I hope you still did something awesome, like called in sick to work.

I had yesterday off, and from Friday until last night, my weekend went like this: spin, eat tacos, run, eat, eat, drink, college reunion, eat, run, eat, eat, see a movie, eat during the movie, eat, run, eat, see a dance show.

Mmmmm friends and beer followed by meatballs. That's an ideal night right there.

Gluttonous? You bet.

I ate a ton this weekend, and drank as much, too. But I feel absolutely zero guilt — even with a bathing-suit-needed vacation on the horizon — because every single thing I ate was delicious. There was not a single mediocre meal in the bunch.

My dining choices this weekend included stops at places I’ve been dying to try all over New York City: Cafe D’Alsace (go for brunch, get the croque monsieur), The Meatball Shop (get the pesto meatballs, they are fantastic) and The Smith (the best mac and cheese I’ve had in my life).

For all you food bloggers out there, I honestly don’t know how you photograph your meals. As soon as my meatballs were put in front of me, I devoured them. It amazes me that you all take the time to pose your food and take pictures of it, because I see food and go all animalistic (Apparently this is not a word? Red squiggly line, I don’t like you.) on it. Power to you for having self-control.

What else?

Well, during my run this morning, I found myself thinking about the things in life that I really want, which forced me to question how to get those things, and also, which things in life do I want and which things do I need?

I do all my deepest thinking at 6 am with sweat dripping into my eyeballs. Don’t you?

Here are some things that I want, countered by the things that I actually need:

I want to eat whatever the heck I crave. I try to be all, “Crohn’s disease doesn’t own me, I own it,” all the time. If I want a giant plate of fish and chips, I should be able to have it, right?

I need to be more careful, because when a little bit of corn sneaks into my veggie burger, I will pay for it the next day. Last night at dinner I ordered a veggie burger. I crave those sometimes. It’s weird for me. I took a few bites of the burger, which was delicious, and then I saw it: corn. Corn is one of the foods I definitely cannot stomach. I mean, can anyone really digest corn well? I don’t think so.

I ate the entire burger, because in my head a few pieces of corn in a burger wouldn’t be so bad. But as I ran this morning — six slow miles through Central Park — I was miserable. I had to stop to use the bathroom, and I was in all kinds of pain. It may or may not be because of the corn, but either way I need to be cautious about my food choices and maybe cool it on the sweet potato fries.

I want to work hard and run a spring marathon. I’d also really like to shave a whopping 14 minutes off my first marathon time, bringing me across the finish line in less than 4 hours.

Can I power walk my way to a 3:59 marathon? That is a race strategy I will strongly consider.

I need to take more rest days, then. I ran a lot over the weekend, mostly because my gym options were minimal and I wanted to work out. I did spinning on Friday afternoon (excellent use of a lunch break), and set out for some sort of long run on Saturday morning.

Saturday's splits

I ran to Central Park, met up with Brian for a few miles and then somehow picked up the pace toward the end. I was actually pretty psyched about these splits.

I ran again on Sunday — five slow miles — and then returned to the park yesterday for eight “nothing too fast or special” miles.

This was a "blah" run.

I wrapped up the running this morning with six slow miles. Now my legs are ready to rest. I know that if I want to run forever, I need to run a little less now. It’s tough because I really, genuinely enjoy running. But I need to cool it on the miles just a little. My knees are feeling achy and I should probably become a little friendlier with my foam roller.

I want to be able to attend every social event coming up in 2012. There are so many engagement parties, weddings, bachelorette parties, bridal showers, baby showers, ski trips, dinner parties and birthday parties on the horizon, and in an ideal world I’ll be at every single one of them with a big present and an “I’m here to party” attitude.

Look at all the fun we're having!

I need to prioritize. There’s just no way I can do it all. I’m slowly learning that. Not only is it financially unfeasible, it’s also just a little too much for me. There are certain events I wouldn’t miss for the world. Then there are events that aren’t going to make the cut. There’s a lot of travel involved in 2012, and I swear I spend more time on JetBlue.com than any other website.

I will make sure I am at the events that matter most. Family comes first. Yes, Lauren, you count as family. You too, Becky. After that, it’s a toss up.

College friends are multiplying!!!

I want my landlord to lower my rent. He wants to raise it.

I need to accept the fact that, despite my persistence and begging, that is not going to happen. My rent is rising. I need to figure this one out.

I want to leave for vacation on Friday with an empty inbox.

I need to get in the habit of reading an email and responding to it immediately. I’m terrible at this. I read emails on my phone, save them for later, tell myself I’ll respond “as soon as I get to a computer” and then never actually make that happen. I’m confident I’ll be more efficient and productive if I can make this little life change.

I want to get more sleep.

I need to go to bed earlier.

I want to cook more.

I need to grocery shop more.

I want to go skiing this year. I got some excellent gear for Christmas. Now I need to put it to good use. I love skiing but hate that it’s not a year-round activity. There are only so many winter weekends up for grabs!

I need to pick a weekend and go. If I keep debating when and if I’ll go skiing, it’s never going to happen. It’s the same thing every year. I need to buckle down and make plans so that I can hit the slopes.

I want a clean apartment.

I need to buy a vacuum.

I think that’s all for now. I want to sleep all day, but I need to get to work.

Have a great day!

AND IF YOU’D LIKE: Tell me something you want and something you need. I like these conversations we have.



41 Responses

  1. I am so guilty of reading emails on my phone, saving them for later to delete or reply to and then I find my gmail box overflowing… I’ll probably never learn… 😉

  2. I love that your “slow” miles still range in the 8:30 – 9:30 range. Nothing over 10. Fantastic. I WANT to run like that! Therefore I need to do more speed work and find a good race weight. It seems so difficult though. So I guess I need some confidence and need to up my motivation!

  3. I WANT to find running friends in NYC & get over my fear of morning runs solo…

    I NEED to be patient and til then enjoy the treadmill and Us Weekly/Kardashians to make the best of it…

  4. I want to run again.
    I need to be patient while my bones are healing..
    I want an iphone.
    I need to save money to pay taxes.
    I want to run.
    I need to be patient.

  5. I want to travel anywhere and everywhere…especially somewhere WARM
    I need to pay off my credit card. 🙁
    I want to find the love of my life!!
    I need to enjoy being single while it lasts because some day I will wish I only had to worry about myself.

  6. I so envy New Yorkers for the endless restaurant choices, not to mention Central Park–my favorite place to run.

    Yeah, making choices is no fun. All about priorities and zipping up the big girl pants.

  7. I want to sign up for run races, but I need to find a job before I can make any plans. You would think, oh yeah I have all the time in the world to train now. But shoot, I don’t have any money to sign up for races and don’t know where I’ll be living when I find my new job. And I wish I could eat whatever I craved, whenever I craved it, but that is not an option for me either. Boo!

  8. I’m totally with you on the responding to emails as soon as you get them. My inbox is a black hole of emails I haven’t responded to yet.
    I WANT to have fun, run well, and travel this semester.
    But I NEED to get good grades and finish my study abroad applications before any of that other stuff can happen!
    Lesson of the day: spend your weekend doing your homework and not lying around in athletic clothes watching coverage of the Olympic Marathon Trials.

  9. I want to find a career I love and enjoy, but I need to find a job NOW! I also want to start training for a race, but I need to become un-injured first. Boo!

    Good luck with the apartment/rent situation. That’s so frustrating, I’ve been there! I usually try to bribe the landlord with something, haha. (It worked!)

  10. Great long run over the weekend! So speedy! Also, one word: Roomba. Best. Purchase. Ever. What is better than a robot vacuum that vacuums your house every single day?! Loveliness.

  11. I want to stay at home in California and enjoy the summer weather all the time.

    I need to go back to New York to school. So I can hope to have a reasonably paying job someday.

    I got spoiled by Cali weather. Shorts running in 65 degrees? Yes please! Not so much the below zero running.

  12. I want to train hard and rock 13.1 this May — not with a ridiculously speedy Ali time, but a fast one for me, sub-2:30.
    I need to get my behind (and, obviously, feet) to a podiatrist ASAP to figure out the foot pain that’s been plaguing me for the past few months; otherwise, there’s no way I’ll get to May well-trained and injury-free.

  13. I want to travel more! I need a nice tropical vacation! I have a trip coming up to Galveston for another marathon so I’m hoping the weather cooperates down there and it is nice and beachy!

    I need to clean my apartment…hopefully this weekend I can tackle that.

    Sounds like you have had some good runs lately! I definitely forsee a sub 4 in your near future! You have it in you!

  14. I WANT to play in my new apartment all day long, get coffee, go to the gym and be as lazy as I was yesterday.

    I NEED to get ready for my first day of the new semester.

    The second one is not nearly as fun as the first.

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  15. The Smith does have bomb-ass mac and cheese, but have you tried Cafeteria’s, missy? Gives it a run for its money!
    I WANT to eat mac and cheese all day, every day.
    I NEED to stop eating whatever I want because my fav J.Crew jeans are now too tight. Sad.
    I WANT AND NEED for my foot to get better ASAP!

  16. I want to eat everything I crave too, but sometimes, as you said, eating what’s delish and not mediocre is the key…because it’s worth it and not a waste of calories etc. I need to stretch, but I want to slack off. Same goes with abs. I need to work on those, but want to push it aside. (bummer on the rent increase, that sucks…)

  17. I want to find my perfect dream job and apartment and feel totally happy.

    I need to stop planning every second of my life and enjoy things the way they are now.

    Okay, thats a lofty one.

    How about, I want to eat breakfast. I need to get off the couch and make it.

  18. I need to run tonight to keep up with my training. I want it to not be raining when I need to go for my run.
    I want the arch in my right foot not to bother me anymore. I may need to go to the pediatrist. 🙁
    I want and need to plan my vacation to visit my little nephews.
    I need to train for the Empire State Climb Up (or whatever it’s called. Sometimes I want to know what possessed me to sign up for that lottery.
    I want winter to really come with snow and all, but I need it to be warm out so that I can run comfortably outside.

    1. So I was totally going to bail on my run this evening, then I remembered what I wrote in the comments to your blog. I need to train and I wanted it not o be raining and I wanted my arh not to be hurting. Well, it wasn’t raining and my arch felt fine. I was in the subway station and exited to go back up to my gym and change Ito running gear and hit the park for my run. I’m glad I did it, but I wanted to have worn lighter clothes because it was pretty warm, but I need to not complain because it was a January evening and it was warm.
      Well, thanks for the motivation to stick to my training schedule tonight.

  19. I can’t believe it’s already time for you to renew your lease, feels like you just moved in! As for corn, it doesn’t get digested, so that should answer your question. You are so hardcore with all the running. I’m jealous, I miss running . . . but not enough to bundle up. Or go on a treadmill. I LOVE The Smith. Best tomato soup, and that dip on the homemade chips… mmmm.

  20. I went to the Meatball Shop during me and my BF’s Christmas vacation in NYC… OMG, the pesto meatballs were AMAZING!!!! I got them over the roasted vegetables and they were divine. Wish they opened up one in the Netherlands… NYC has the best foodie scene ever.

  21. Prioritizing is so hard for me. I tend to say yes to everything.
    The shark vacuum is great and on sale at Costco right now. Also, the meatball shop’s sliders make me love life-I AM a food blogger and have never been able to get a good picture of it.

    As for your rent? Brooklyn is cheaper? Landlords are asshats.

  22. I hear ya on the cooking and grocery thing. We buckled down yesterday after work (yes, I was one of the lame ones who went to work) and bought all the items we needed for the week…phew!!

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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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