Thankful Things Thursday: Turks & Caicos Bound!

That’s right. At this time tomorrow, I’ll be on a plane headed to sunny (it had better be sunny there, or I will be so pissed), tropical Turks & Caicos.

And with that, let’s kick off today’s edition of Thankful Things Thursday.

I’m thankful for English Muffins Pizzas and spinach. Last night’s dinner was, again, wildly creative and difficult to make.

Portion control? No, I don't know what that means. Thank you for asking.

Food Network, why have you not snatched me up for a cooking show yet? Ali On The Stove? Ali On The Microwave? Ali On The Run From The Fire In Her Apartment? Let me know if you’re interested. I’m on board.

Really though, this meal is so easy and so delicious and even a little bit colorful. I got super crazy with it, too, and sauteed up some onion and garlic with the spinach. I told Brian about my masterful kitchen abilities, and he called me out on the fact that I have never cooked for him, and yet I whip up incredible concoctions like spinach when he’s not around. He says I only cook for myself because I “don’t like to share food.”

You are correct, Brian.

I’m thankful for cheese. Melted cheese is preferable. My favorite kinds of cheese are Gouda, Provolone, Parmesan and Goat Cheese.

Is it legal to marry cheese? I should find out.

Is macaroni and cheese a food group? It should be. It should be the only food group.

This is the "Mac Attack" from Cafeteria. It is NOT made for sharing.

So far I am mostly thankful for food, apparently. What else?

I’m thankful I put a major dent in my credit card yesterday. OK, maybe the “major dent” part isn’t totally true, but I finally made my flight reservations for a trip to Charlotte for Becky’s bachelorette party, and made my hotel reservations for her wedding weekend. I’m excited for the celebrations to begin, because Becky and I are in desperate need of some updated “best friend photos.”

This is a photo of Becky and me in 2007. There is a really good chance we were drinking with our parents at the American Legion in Contoocook, NH. There's no way of knowing. Actually, there is, and that's EXACTLY what we were doing. You can't beat $2 glasses of white zinfandel.

We both had puffier cheeks in college…Too much boxed wine.

I’m thankful I have friends who believe in me. Sometimes I really doubt my own abilities. Not at the office, not when it comes to tackling my To-Do list and certainly not when it comes to my kitchen skills (ha, that’s a good joke). But I seem to spend a lot of time convincing myself that I’m not a good runner, and that my 1:44 half marathon PR from nearly a year ago was a total fluke.

I crossed the finish line...That means it really happened, right?

Whenever I complete a solid long run or a speedy tempo around the Reservoir, I think that I “got lucky” or that “my watch was off” or that I “just had a good day.”

Luckily, I have wonderful people in my life who convince me that I can, in fact, run another fast race someday, and I can probably train hard and power through a sub-4 hour marathon sometime this year.

It's very likely that this photo was taken at a time in the night when I said, "I suck at running," and then Lauren got pissed and Emily remained oblivious.

Yesterday I got an email from Lauren with the Runner’s World quote of the day, a gem from Ryan Hall. Lauren prefaced the email by writing, “Words of wisdom from Ryan Hall to you.”

Here’s the quote, via Runner’s World: “I constantly remind myself that resting takes confidence. Anyone can train like a mad man but to embrace rest and to allow all the hard training to come out takes mental strength.”

Lauren, Ryan Hall, you both know me so well. Because obviously the London-bound Olympic athlete was talking to me when he uttered those wise words, right? Not referring to himself…because that would be weird.

So to my friends — the ones who push me, challenge me, make me want to be a better person and a faster runner — thank you.

I’m thankful for flannel sheets. I put my super-sophisticated snowman fleece sheets on my bed the other night and I’ve been sleeping like a rock all week. A very cozy, warm rock.

Don't these sheets scream "26 year old" to you? I think so. Really though, I love them. They were a Christmas present from my brother last year. I think he did a good job. I like snowmen.

I can really only get away with sleeping in fleece sheets for a month or two each year, so now is the time to take advantage. I hope you’re doing the same.

I’m thankful my watch has been quite cooperative lately. Every morning I dread standing outside in the cold waiting for my running watch to load a satellite. But the past few mornings, it’s been so fast! And I appreciate that.

This morning I ran seven miles. My legs are ready for a rest day. They were a little heavy this morning. My goal for the run was to cover six miles and to not look at my match. I didn’t care about my pace, and I ended up surprising myself with some nice looking splits.

Not bad for a "leisurely" day.

I’m thankful for all of your support. This Turks & Caicos trip marks the last little remaining portion that brings the Hamptons Marathon and Run For The Rabbit experiences to a close. Did that sentence make sense? It was a run on, and I’m sorry.

I’m going to Turks & Caicos for a long weekend — Friday through Monday — as my prize for coming in second place in the Run For The Rabbit fundraising competition. Pretty sweet second place prize, right?


So really, you all helped make this trip happen, by supporting me and my fundraising efforts for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, and for that I am eternally, deeply grateful. Can you all fit into my suitcase? Because I’ll totally bring you along. Brian won’t mind, and I think we’ll have an awesome time.

I’m very much looking forward to a weekend away. I can’t wait to lay on my butt and do nothing. I’ll hopefully still run a bit — in a tank top! — while I’m there, but I definitely will not be blogging or checking email. It’s a vacation. No Internet allowed.

I’m thankful for glitter. It’s so sparkly!

I’m thankful for 2012. It’s a pretty good year so far. I get anxious that it will be impossible to top 2011, but we’ll see. I’m optimistic.

I’m thankful for glue sticks. So much cleaner and easier to use than that Elmer’s crap that makes a mess and then hardens on your fingertips. I hate that.

I’m thankful for this puppy picture:

No, this is not my dog. Is it yours? Can I borrow it...forever?

Brian sent it to me with the subject line, “Planking for 5 minutes.” Apparently he thinks this is what I will be attempting with my “hold a plank for 5 minutes” New Year’s Resolution. That should be easy enough, right?

And with that big list of gratefulness, I’m off to a photo shoot (Knicks City Dancers!) and then hopefully hitting up a yoga class before I pack my bathing suit and jet off to the airport in the very early hours of the morning.

Have a wonderful weekend — talk to you on Tuesday!

SOME THANKFUL THOUGHTS BEFORE I GO, PLEASE: What are you thankful for today? Puppies? Ponies? Peonies? Pasta? Play-Doh? Privacy? Piracy? Pirates? Potato chips? Push-ups? (No, definitely not push-ups. I hate those awful things.) Pluto The Disney Dog? Pluto The Non Planet? Alliteration?



56 Responses

  1. I’m so glad I found your blog! My fiance Travis has Crohn’s Disease and is a marathon runner. I’ve been raving about it for the past hour and have insisted that he read some posts by shoving the laptop screen in his face. We’ve both felt so alone in this as we haven’t come across too many people that have Crohn’s or Colitis and are still active. Thank you so much for creating and updating this blog.

  2. My livestream feed is broken, called Spike, but they’re as responsive to my needs to watch the reality show unfold as they are to booking flight reservations. Send updates ASAP. <3 your biggest fan.

  3. Okay…I actually AM thankful for pushups! Mainly cause I am a Crossfit newbie and they are one of the few things I can actually do well/as prescribed. This comes, weirdly enough, from a summer stock production of Pippin my first year of college. Our director said, “Alright, because of this show, I have no time for the gym. So you guys are my workout.” So we did pushups for warmups like every day. who says theatre is for wimps?

    Enjoy your vacay! Plank like the puppy on the beach!!!

  4. Have so much fun in Turks and Caicos!! I am so jeals – it’s going to snow in NYC this weekend, you know.

    I am thankful for coffee after a late night, when my legs surprise me and feel awesome on runs, for friends who will listen to me complain/whine/vent about my dating life, and for the working (warm!) radiators in my apartment. Even if they make obnoxious knocking and hissing noises because of the steam heat….

    Please come back with a tan. And drink something with an umbrella in it for me.

  5. I am thankful you posted that stunning picture of me! Short hair and chubby cheeks are oh so sexy! Haha. Have an AMAZIG trip!!!

  6. I am thankful that University of Washington gave us a second snow day. I am even more thankful that I am a graduate student and not a person with a real job because real people don’t get snow days. I am NOT thankful for the reasons for the snow day (snow + ice + Seattle = SHUTDOWN) but I am grand I didn’t have to risk my life on the bus!

  7. Have a fantastic time…deeply jealous. It has finally become winter in the Bay Area and I need to run 11 miles on Sunday. I’m English, I used to be good at the rain. Now I am a California Lightweight!!!

    Today, however, I am thankful for:

    * Etsy, which has allowed me to buy gorgeous handmade presents for three new babies that have appeared this week! And a FAB bag for my forthcoming birthday

    * New trainers (with purple laces) which no longer make the pin in my shin (from broken leg skiing) ache when I run

    * The rain, as I get to dress my toddler son in his amazing yellow raincoat AT LAST!! When we bought it, he was 3 months old and we lived in the North of England. Now it finally fits, we live in California and he never gets to wear it. I may have bought myself a matching coat as well.

    * Oooh and I am thankful for finishing my first scarf. I just need to cast off, which is filling me with fear.

    Have a great trip. And Brian? He sounds so lovely. He is dishy too.

  8. Oh god, not push-ups.
    In my karate class (tonight = first night as a red belt), there’s a guy next to me who said last week:
    “If I had 100 dollars for every push-up I’m able to do tonight correctly (which is supposed to be like 30 or 40), I’d have 50 dollars.”
    Totally agree with him.
    Please don’t correct my grammar – I know it’s coming! But I’m quoting. And yes, I corrected him.
    Have a great trip!

  9. I’m thankful that’s it’s almost Friday, that I’m going to NY to dance next weekend, that I’m about to go to the gym, that I might be getting a job at school for the semester, and that my summer job, the National Dance Alliance, is flying me to Texas next month to work All-Star Nationals!! Free trip plus pay? I’m there and very thankful!

    Have fun in the Caribbean and take lots of pics to share!!

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  10. hooray, your trip is finally here! Very excited for you. Get lots of sun and rest (because Ryan Hall said so) and can we please run together when you get back??

  11. That is, indeed, an amazing second place prize. Hope you enjoy lots of sun and non-20 degree weather. And perhaps some macaroni and cheese as well, haha 🙂

    P.S. I wish that’s what a plank was. I would do wayyy more of them .

  12. love the american legion shout out. hahahahaha I love small towns. my friend had her high school graduation party in our town’s legion. the best. enjoy the sun – we’re expecting 6in of snow in chitown tomorrow – i’d kill to be on a beach this weekend. wahhhhh.

  13. I feel like everyone I know (not that I *know*) you is going to Turks and Caicos this weekend. Very weird. So I’m an not thankful that I will be in snowy Boston, but I am thankful for an impromptu Wednesday night out last night. My head might not be, but my social skills are

  14. Have an AWESOME time in Turks & Caicos, it is totally on my bucket list to visit one of these days. Totally jealous!

    I’m thankful that my week in Cali for work is coming to a close – I am exausted, mentally and physically – but it’s been worth it because I now know without a shadow of a doubt that this new job was the RIGHT move for me. YAY for that. And YAY for big hugs from the hubs when I land in Boston tonight.

    PS. LOVE that quote from Runner’s World – so effing true. Resting is frickin hard to do.

  15. Yes – of COURSE Ryan Hall was speaking directly to you. And when an Olympic marathoner speaks, you should listen. Okay??

    Also, at my wedding we will have a special ceremony for you and cheese. No, that won’t be weird, and I’m sure Brian won’t mind.

    Finally…I am on my way to New York so that I can hide myself in your suitcase. I can curl up really small.

  16. I love your thankful list! Glitter and sparkle makes life so much better, doesn’t it? I hope you have a fantastic trip and enjoy your time in the sun and on the beach!

  17. Have a GREAT trip! And I LOVE the KCD, I was part of the team a few years back that worked on their re-branding, super great bunch of people. Have fun!

  18. Have a great time in Turks and Caicos!!! So jealous! I need to get out of this cold weather ASAP. Luckily my trip to Costa Rica is only 5 short weeks away! I guess that’s what I’m thankful for today…and the fact that tomorrow is Friday and my plans are to relax at home for once in my life.

  19. I love the snowman sheets and I am insanely jealous of your trip. I’ve never been anywhere tropical before! I’m thankful for Thursday night TV, Refine Method, Sunday football (I no longer recognize myself), couches, eating food on couches and weekends.

  20. I’m thankful that the cold that seemed to be looming yesterday didn’t get infinitely worse overnight as they tend to do! I can breathe pretty well right now! Also you inspired me with your 5 minute plank thing, although I’m doing it on a much lower scale- maybe 2 min? Anyway I’m up to a minute and 25 seconds!

  21. I am thankful for my friends – old, new, local, out of town, internet, etc…. I’m really lucky I have the support system that I do.

    I’m thankful I made it out last night. Good friends, good times and tater tots makes for a very happy me.

    I am thankful for gchat & I’m SO thankful its no longer blocked.

  22. I’m thankful for my new gorgeous down coat with a pillow collar and a beautiful cream color….and even more thankful that I found the exact same coat yesterday in a more practical navy color and exchanged it. 🙂 Thanks Macys! My morning commute was so cozy, like being wrapped in a duvet.

    P.S. I had those same sheets in high school! How funny. Right now I have fleece sheets on- if you like flannel sheets, you will be obsessed with fleece sheets.

  23. Cafeteria mac and cheese! The best. Hope you’ve tried their red velvet cake, too.

    I’m thankful I ran a sub-4 hour marathon! Because if I hadn’t, I would probably be debating a spring race. And I need a break, yo.

    Have a great vacation!!!

  24. As an English teacher, I am always thankful for alliteration. Thanks for asking!

    I’m thankful that I’m only taking one graduate course this semester, and that it seems interesting and relatively light on the workload/readings. I’m also thankful that my boyfriend, who lives six hours away, is coming home tonight, for a glorious four-day visit. Woot!

    Have a GREAT trip!

  25. I am thankful for my treadmill this morning. I know I know I am working on the hardcore outside mornin thing. I am getting better at the long run outdoors in the freezing cold but still working on the early dark morning. My hat is off to you. Has a great vacation!

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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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