Thankful Things Thursday: Relaxed Running Makes Me Feel Great

It’s Thursday! Be thankful! It’s Thursday! Get psyched!

My energy these past few days is off the charts. This morning I actually woke up one minute before my alarm was supposed to go off and felt refreshed and ready to run. That hasn’t happened much lately. Lately I’ve been all, “Bed, you are much kinder than windy Central Park.”

Also, it’s a good thing I “happened to wake up,” because it turns out I set my alarm for 8 am instead of 5 am. Good job, internal clock. You rocked it today.

I’m swimming in gratitude today. It’s like a deep ocean filled with happiness, laughter, puppies and Cadbury Mini Eggs.

Come swim with me, and let’s all celebrate Thankful Things Thursday!

I’m thankful someone once had the idea to sell pre-packed, pre-made, pre-ready-to-eat-immediately foods at the grocery store. Really solid work with that one, inventor. Why spend 63 seconds cooking spinach when you can just buy it at Fairway?

The thing on the left is a spinach and feta cheese concoction. This one came from the Grand Central Market. Nice find, Brian.

If you’re a very fancy person, you can transfer the foods from the store-bought containers into real human bowls. But don’t go too crazy. That seems like a lot of work, I know.

I’m thankful I got a ton of invitations addressed last night. As the official Wedding Calligrapher for my best friend Becky’s wedding, I’m honored to have this task. Last night I got through about one-third of the invitations, and I’m hoping to get them done tonight. It’s nice to have a semi-mindless project to tackle at the end of the day. Last night I got home, zoned out and wrote pretty letters.

I’m thankful I woke up to this:

Fifty freakin' two degrees at 5 am in FEBRUARY. Best winter ever.

I ran in leg warmers, shorts and a long-sleeved shirt (possibly the exact same outfit from yesterday…normal, not gross) and was too hot. I should’ve gone with a tank top.

I’m thankful for camels. They’re funny and they spit.

This camel is named Boomer. I met him in Australia. He did not spit on me.

I’m thankful I had the opportunity to travel to Australia. And I seized it right up. I studied abroad my junior year of college and spent a semester living in Surfer’s Paradise. It was incredible and life-changing and all that jazz. I cried when I saw the Sydney Opera House because I was so happy and felt so lucky to be there. And because it’s pretty and really shiny.

Magnificent. I have this photo blown up and my bathroom. I didn't know where else to put it.

It looks like it gets polished often, and cleanliness makes me thrilled.

I’m thankful I had the kind of run I’ve been longing for this morning. I don’t know if I was really longing for it, because that seems a little I’m Rapunzel, a damsel in distress, but it was a run that felt dang good.

The plan was to run eight miles, at the same comfortable pace I’ve been aiming for all week. My personal goal was to run with my watch on to track my distance, but not to look at it or pay attention to it or care about it. I just wanted to run by feel to remember how much I love running.

This worked great for a few reasons:

  1. I wasn’t bothered by looking down at my wrist. I looked straight ahead and watched the sun rise.
  2. I tuned in to my body more. I paid attention to how everything felt (good at first, heavy by the end).
  3. I remembered that I started running long before I owned a stupid watch. Yes, it’s a helpful tool. But lately it hasn’t helped me, it has just kind of gotten in my way of doing what I love. This morning, I returned to doing what I love. Even though, by the third lap of the Reservoir, I started to feel tired, and even though I was over-dressed for the gorgeous weather, I was so happy. I was out there by myself, running around my favorite place, not giving a crap about my speed.

And when I don’t care about my speed and I don’t obsess over it, I apparently do just fine:

These are today's splits. Not bad. Not bad at all.

These are right where I would have wanted them to be for today. Pat on the back, Ali. Pat on the back.

Also, when I got home and went to stop my watch, I got excited because the distance read 8.50 and so did the pace. Cool numbers. Here, I took a photo to show you:

Nice symmetry, Garmin. You look nice today. Sorry I didn't pay attention to you more. JUST KIDDING I'M NOT SORRY, HA, I WIN.

I’m thankful tomorrow is a rest day. My legs are ready to chill. While I love love loved today’s run, I did definitely feel wiped by the end, not because of the pace but simply because I’ve run for the past seven days in a row. I usually cross train in there somewhere, but this week’s plan called for higher mileage, so I ditched the spinning and Chiseling and spent lots of quality time looping the Reservoir. Tomorrow I’ll let myself fully recover, and then I’m gearing up for 18 miles on Saturday. That’s a lot of Reservoir loops (10, in fact, plus the run to and from the park).

I’m thankful for giraffes. They’re not funny like camels, but they’re stunning. And so tall.

I met this giraffe on a wild safari in Africa. Or at The Philadelphia Zoo. Whatever.

Giraffes are my favorite. Also llamas and/or alpacas.

I’m thankful for my sister-in-law, Michaela. Today is her birthday and I love her. She’s one of those genuinely nice people that never wants someone to go out of their way for her. She just wants everyone to be happy.

Here is a photo of Michaela giving me instructions at her rehearsal dinner, the night before the married my big brother. She's totally not yelling at me. She's too nice for that. And I was totally running late that day and didn't have time to blow-dry my hair. Looks awesome, right?

Michaela, I hope your day is magical and filled with happy baby kicks! Thank you for carrying around my future niece or nephew for all these months. You’re going to be an awesome mom and you’re a perfect sister. Happy Birthday!

I’m thankful for this giant ad near Herald Square. Oh I am so thankful for this ad.

New apartment search criteria: Find room with view of THIS.

Yes, Brian, I think you are better looking than David Beckham. That’s the truth. You are just not on a billboard. Get on that.

I’m thankful for the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.

This is a cupcake.

Genius! And delicious. And practical. And nutritious.

I’m thankful for GChat and good friends who get me.

Good friends know the importance of bright outfits.

I think I’ve done this one before. Still applies. The rules of Thankful Things Thursday are that 1. I’m allowed to repeat myself, and 2. THERE ARE NO RULES. This is fight club, baby.

What is wrong with me today? Who keeps putting drugs in all my foods?

I’m thankful I can stand up and sit down without pain. My hip is feeling much better. I’m foam rolling a lot, I’m doing my best not to sit cross-legged at the office and I’m looking forward to taking down 18 miles on Saturday. Here’s to feeling good and running long!

Thank you for reading my blog. I like you.

On with the day! Have a great one!

YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO NOW, THANKFUL PEOPLE: Tell me what you’re grateful for today. I assume you’re all thankful for Cadbury Mini Eggs, so you don’t need to include that. It’s implied, always. I’m thankful I don’t have to do this “Lent” thing you’re all talking about, because from what I’ve gathered via social media, it sounds like a terribly restrictive crash diet where you can’t eat sweets, French Fries or human food. No thank you!



52 Responses

  1. I am thankful I have costochondritis… not a hole in my esophagus like I naturally assumed. I am also thankful that my doctor didn’t tell me I had to stop running… even though in all fairness heavy breathing is rather painful. And peanut butter + chocolate makes me giddy.

  2. Thanks for the shoutout! Also, that picture of us always makes me laugh because I don’t know what we were discussing, but my gosh, it really does look like I’m about to strangle you!! Too funny!

    1. You were telling me that I was in charge of counting the cards at the end of the reception! And stashing the gifts in my hotel room. I remember it CLEARLY! I was awesome at that job. I totally didn’t steal any of your gifts…

  3. I am definitely also thankful for Cadbury eggs and Cadbury mini eggs, both versions! I’m also really thankful I’m headed to orlando tomorrow for the princess half!! 🙂 Glad you had a great run today!

  4. I’m thankful that I have tomorrow off. And all I have on the agenda is an easy pre-race run and a hair cut!

    I lived in LA for a few years after college, right off of Wilshire Blvd, and there were always drool-worthy billboards there. Definitely improved the quality of life in the neighborhood. 🙂

  5. I am sooo thankful for Cadbury Mini Eggs!!! I was daydreaming of them earlier today and now you mention their awesomeness. This is clearly a sign that I need to go get some Mini Eggs ASAP!!!
    PS I really really really love Cadbury Mini Eggs.

  6. I’m thankful for spunky legs after running marathon #4 a couple of weeks ago – and excited to be running a half marathon this weekend with my friend Ann!

    Also thankful for rest days and massages! They are magical!

  7. I am thankful that today was 65 degrees. Oh, hi, Spring. Nice to see you so early!

    I’m also thankful for the $20 box fan I bought this weekend to drown out the noise coming from my upstairs neighbors. They have been interrupting my sleep for months (yup, months), and I finally gave into my boyfriend’s suggestion to buy a fan. It works like a freaking dream, and I’ve slept through the night for the last three nights. Heaven!

  8. After scanning through all the comments, I feel like a bit idiot for saying this, but I have never eaten a Cadbury egg. Guess what I’ll be buying tonight?

    Also, I’m thankful today that I wrote my eating disorder posts and kept them up. I really wanted to retract them, but I didn’t.

    And I’m thankful for the weather too. I was smiling like a drunk sailor through my whole run this morning. I love this winter too.

  9. So! I do not like Cadbury Eggs. BUT your mention of them reminded me that it is now Starburst Jelly Beans season, and for that, I am incredibly thankful.

    And yes, I realize that Starburst Jelly Beans are now available year-round, but it’s best if I try to forget that.

  10. I am thankful for this spring-like weather…even though I’ll be stuck inside cross training today because my stupid foot hurts. And…as always, I am thankful for you, your love of bright colors, and your gchats. Also – I would be even MORE thankful if we could plan another race soon. Okay?

  11. I’m thankful for compression socks that are making my calves feel super awesome right now. I’m thankful that I have a relaxing night on the couch planned tonight. I’m thankful for leftovers in the fridge so I don’t actually have to make anything.

  12. I will take your “peanut butter and chocolate” combo and raise it – I am thankful for dark chocolate reeses cups. So thankful that my stash is now gone….sad….
    I am thankful for some really good friends who took care of me this weekend and who never judge me.
    I am thankful for gatorade – yay electrolytes!
    I am thankful that I saw some celebs this weekend. That is a super shallow thing to say, but it makes my trip to LA feel a bit more successful

  13. I’m thankful for the decline in popularity of plush carpet, ice tea, and this awesome NYC weather! Can’t wait to go for a run!

  14. people that give up some sort of food item for Lent are TOTALLY missing the point and yes, use it as an excuse to restrict or as in some cases, further restrict.

    i gave up twitter and facebook and trying to use that time towards more prayer or family time.

    people make me stabby with their stupid give up ‘this or that food’ for Lent.

  15. Yay Australia! I’m from Melbourne but have taken many family holidays to Surfers- they have nice beaches and theme parks! 🙂

    I am thankful that I have almost finished my spanish exams. Andalé!

    I love cadbury mini too. IN Australia at easter time, whole supermarket are devoted to chocolate easter eggs.. its fabulous 🙂

  16. Thankful for an AWESOME run this morning. It was one of those sneaky “I don’t wanna run today…OHMIGOD THAT WAS AN AWESOME RUN” things. Love those.

    Love the fact about giraffes and high blood pressure from Coach Cane. Makes sense when you think about it – the blood has so high to climb!

    Love free lunches at work – today was pizza, I got one with sausage, roasted garlic, and caramelized onions. I also made cookies for the office and they came out so well.

    Love the great weather. I’m in Boston and I was out today running in shorts and a long sleeve tech shirt. In February! Awesome.

    Love that it is nearly the weekend. Not that I’m doing anything, I just want it to be here.

    Love the unmentioned Cadbury mini eggs and also the creme eggs. I am sad because I know that I might miss out on half price sales of chocolate the day after Easter. Might – I’m not 100% sure of my schedule.

    Future love – my marathon training will be awesome because I will need to eat a little more. Just the little bit helps. I will have to be careful though, I know.

  17. I AM thankful for cadbury mini eggs, they are by far my favorite ever candy/chocolate in the WORLD.

    I’m thankful that I read your blog today – it’s so cheerful and for some reason I swear your energy actually projected onto me and now I FEEL energetic…and I want a cupcake.

    I’m also SO SUPER THANKFUL that the indoor bike trainer I ordered arrived. Spin classes in my guest bedroom, woohoo!

  18. I am thankful for the iced coffee I just polished off, the awesome bike ride that I had this morning, and the marathon that I’m running next weekend!!!

  19. Oh my gosh, mini eggs! I need to pick some up, ’tis the season.
    I’m thankful for vacations and having accrued plenty of it so I can take a vacation day before my vacation. I’m also thankful for Mickey and I hope to see him on vacation.

  20. I’m thankful that my coworker (I jokingly refer to as my domestic work partner) who literally just choked on lunch didn’t die. it was a horrible few minutes… thank goodness for the Heimlich, the ambulance and for my other coworkers who kept her calm during the whole ordeal. Choking is super scary! Chew carefully 🙂

  21. Just bought Cadbury Mini’s last night!
    I’m thankful for a really positive and speedy running partner that is going to help me get through 17 miles on Saturday. I’m also thankful that my daughter is on a Beauty and the Beast kick so I have an excuse to watch it too!

  22. Cadbury Mini Eggs!!!!! I have a BIG bag at home (got it at CVS) and a small (10 oz) bag in my desk drawer in my office….. 🙂 I am thankful I run and ran 7 miles this morning so that I can eat CADBURY MINI EGGS!
    I’m thankful that your blog includes fun photos of giraffes and Becks…..

  23. I’m thankful for bicycles with cute bells that in my mind say “Look, I’m riding a bike!!!” and hopefully not “I’m rude and this is my way of telling you to get out of my way!” 🙂

  24. Can you teleport some of your energy to me? Because I slept almost 10 hours last night and I’m struggling to keep my eyes open.

    I am totally regretting not stocking up on Cadbury Mini Eggs when I first spied them in January because I can’t find them ANYWHERE now! Gahhh!

    I am also thankful tomorrow is a rest day because my legs still feel dead five days after last weekend’s half-marathon.

    I don’t think I’ve ever given anything up for Lent…I’m a terrible Catholic, haha.

  25. Yay, Australia! When I worked in the city (of Sydney) I would run a route that took me around the Opera House every single day. I loved it so much. Any plans to come back?

    I’m thankful that today is Friday here and therefore practically the weekend. I’m thankful for my friend who I run with every Sunday morning. And I’m thankful for Easter too – because it means school holidays and I’m a teacher 🙂

    1. I’m DYING to come back. I’m sad I never made it to Uluru/Ayers Rock, and I really want to do an extended trip to New Zealand and Fiji!

      1. Hey Ali!
        This is my first time to comment on your blog:)
        I actually live in Australia now w my fiancé- we moved here a year and a half ago from Texas. We love oz! You should come run a half with me here!
        We are actually in Byron Bay now for the wknd, which is about an hour south of surfers paradise. We live in Brisbane. I’m drinking my flat white now at a local cafe, catching up on your blog and a few others. Thankful for your blog! Good luck this sat on your long run.
        Ps- I’m going to run the gold coast half (maybe full) on july 1. You should come!! 🙂

        1. HOLY CRAP I WANT YOUR LIFE. Is it going to be awkward when I show up in July? Or will you embrace me?

          And I spent a few days in Byron Bay! We may or may not have taken a day trip to crazy Nimbin as well…

          1. Haha! I’m going to email you! Just took a pic of a nimbin tour sign for you:) I would love it if you came!!!!
            I may be running NYC again in nov so we could talk oz talk in NYC if I get in:)

          2. I’m running the Gold Coast Half too! It’s the nicest run – hey, Ali should come and run it too, what do you say, Ali?! 😉

            PS – Fiji and New Zealand are the most beautiful places! I could easily live in either . . . dreaming of coconuts in Fiji and mulled wine in NZ right now . . .

  26. I’m thankful that I get to do a half Ironman this year! And I’m thankful that I don’t have to do Lent, though I think I more than made up for it with 18 years of “8 days with no bread, legumes, cookies or candy, cereal, soy products, or anything with anything that isn’t a plant” during Passover.

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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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