I Ran. Twice!

For the past six days, I couldn’t eat. I barely slept. I didn’t even think about running.

But yesterday?

Oh sweet, beautiful yesterday.

Yesterday I ate. I slept. And yes, I ran.

This is me, geeking out pre-run. Just a little excited.

Let’s talk about the running first, because that’s obviously — always — what I’m most excited about.

Coach Cane said I could run for 20–30 minutes. He said I had to go slow, and he said not to have a concern for my pace or distance. And truthfully, I didn’t. I wore my Garmin so I could keep an eye on the time, but for once I really didn’t give a single crap about how far I went or how fast I got there. I was just so happy to be back in my Brooks.

Hi purples! I've missed you!!!

I worked for a while during the day, and then I was exhausted by 3 PM (pathetic, I know, but hey, I’m recovering and taking easy like everyone said!). I laid down and worked from my couch, and by early evening I was ready to get outside.

I got the perfect day to return to the road. It was something like 70 degrees in New York City. Though I’ll mourn the end of legwarmer season, it felt dang good to be out in just shorts and a tank top.

Honestly, I was a little nervous to run again. My most recent run was that disastrous 14-mile attempt last Saturday, which led to a week of bed rest. Part of me thought this run would be really difficult, and that things would hurt and I wouldn’t feel strong. Another much more optimistic and overwhelmingly enthusiastic part of me thought that those days of rest would do me good and I’d immediately throw down 7:30 miles like it was nothing.

The run measured up somewhere in between those two extremes.

I didn’t want to go all the way to Central Park, so I left my apartment and headed east toward the East River (fittingly named, don’t you think?). I started slow. Really, really slow. It felt sort of weird to be running again, which is odd because I really wasn’t out of the game for that long. But my legs were adjusting and I had the biggest, most absurd smile on my face as I hopped across 1st Avenue.

Once I got to the river path, life was perfect. There were puppies everywhere and thanks to the stunning weather, Carl Schurz Park was packed with happy people. I think my first mile probably clocked in somewhere around 10 minutes. I kept it comfortable and relaxed. I didn’t want to put forth much effort. I’m trying to be as smart as stinkin’ possible about this recovery since I really can’t afford another setback.

I ended up running for 32 minutes. I owe Coach Cane two minutes of my life for going over.

Happy Running Ali is Back On The Run!

This run wasn’t easy. The few times I looked down at my watch (just to check, not to obsess), my pace hovered around 8:45–8:50. Truthfully, I didn’t feel amazing. It difficult, particularly around mile 2.5 when I started to feel a little fatigued. But I’m still not fully well, and I didn’t really expect to break any records yesterday. It was just so nice to break a sweat from something other than a fever.

Another groundbreaking development in my post-stomach flu life? When I got back from my run, I was hungry! I hadn’t actually been hungry in about a week!

I made myself a sandwich and definitely did not eat the entire box of Tagalongs. Exactly what the doctor ordered.

Then last night, I went to Brian’s apartment and I slept. I slept like a rock. I didn’t toss and turn, I wasn’t uncomfortable all night. I was just exhausted and I didn’t budge until my alarm got all pissy at 5:30 this morning.

Why 5:30? Especially on a Friday? Because I got to run again today! Coach Cane said I could do another 3–4 miles this morning, again taking it easy.

Today’s run was much slower than yesterday because I’m anticipating a potential long run tomorrow. It would have been amazing because Central Park was all spring-like and I got to wear my spring legwarmers (they’re pale pink and a nice, lightweight material), but my stomach was angry.

Maybe those Girl Scout Cookies weren’t what the doctor ordered? Oops.

So yeah, my stomach felt terrible, but I ran 4 miles in about 38 minutes, and for that I am grateful.

And while we’re on the topic of stomach-related things, you know I’m always excited to spread the word about Crohn’s Disease and the beautiful things it does, like cause urgent bathroom visits and mind-numbing abdominal pain. So when Karla, a lovely editor over at FITNESS magazine, said she wanted to write about me in an upcoming issue, I was all, “Yeah! More public talk about what I do behind closed doors! Let’s do it!”

The April issue is out now, and you should not be surprised to learn that the little writeup is accompanied by a Hamptons Marathon photo.

A special thanks to my pal Jen who emailed me this bright and early today!

Have I truly “conquered” Crohn’s? No, of course not. I still very much have this disease and I’m reminded of that every day. It never goes away.

But it’s always interesting talking to people I don’t really know about having Crohn’s because it makes me reflect on the disease in a way I normally might not. When Karla was interviewing me (over the phone, while I was at my office — not at all awkward), I found myself talking about what a blessing Crohn’s has been because it’s introduced me to so many incredible people and made me step outside my comfort zone almost every day.

My comfort zone being the bathroom.

Sorry I’m so attractive, Brian. Try to be OK with it.

Crohn’s is also the reason I started running, which seems crazy, but it’s true. Three years ago, I saw an ad about running with Team Challenge. I thought it sounded cool, I bought sneakers, I signed up (at JackRabbit!) and here I am. Still running. Still Crohnsing. Still feeling very, very lucky.

I’m lucky I can run. I’m lucky I’m going to be totally healthy again soon.

Life’s not bad.

In fact, it’s kind of awesome.

And on that overly-perky note, have a wonderful day and a divine weekend!

SHARE YOUR SWEAT PLANS: Since I probably won’t be throwing down any magical PRs or ultra-hefty miles, tell me what you’re planning to accomplish this weekend in the workout zone. A long run? A taper? A spin class? A bar crawl?



51 Responses

  1. Wow! Congrats on the article! That is awesome. 🙂

    I’m glad you are feeling better. That bug had you down hardcore. Yay for getting sleep and getting back to your normal routine!

  2. You’re fantastic, and you have a magazine article to prove it now! BAM!

    I’m running my last long run of my half marathon training today; race day is in a week! WOOT!

  3. Ali! You are the most adorableest blogger ever!

    Glad you’re feeling better AND glad you got the nautical/french-looking Lulu tank that I covet. One of us should have it!

  4. Congrats on the magazine article! That’s amazing!
    The first picture you post in this…post…reminds me of the picture you had up for your old layout!

    Happy weekend-ing!

  5. Just finished an easy 10.6km run with some friends this morning – great start to the weekend! Good to hear that you’re well again.

  6. No long run this week as it is a low mileage week, but I get to make up for the low miles with an awesome 8k on Sunday! Also, I will be doing some sweaty upper body and core work tomorrow! So glad you are feeling better and great job on the article!

  7. Congrats on the article. I attempted 20 miles today, but failed at 12. I have been sick and my body could not handle going further. Sometimes it is better to listen to your body and heal than to push it and feel yuckier. The 12 felt good though!

  8. You’re a celebrity now! Yay!! Fitness magazine now… next stop Runner’s World! 😉 (PS – love the first picture in this post. That’s a happy girl right there!)

    I’m not planning a PR at my race this Sunday – but you never know… the special powers of running in (leprechaun) costume might be magical…. 😉

  9. Famous!! Awesome article Ali…you are so humble about it 🙂 Big congrats! Glad you’re feeling better also, nothing like a little sickness-induced perspective to help you appreciate running all over again, you have a stellar outlook on it all. Also, I LOVE that tank top. I think I’ve seen it on Lululemon’s website before? Good choice. Tomorrow I’ll be doing a 22 mile long run which I’m already anxious about…rest day today in preparation. Have a great weekend!

  10. My first long(ish) run! 3.5 miles hopefully tomorrow with a serious sweat sesh in vinyasa yoga on Sunday. Good luck on your long run!

  11. Look at you, you’re famous!! That’s awesome, congrats! Hope you’re eating enough to recover from not eating all week! Now I feel less bad about eating my whole box of tagalongs. 🙂

  12. Yay Ali!! glad you got to run! Sucks when our bodies have to so drastically tell us to slow down before we listen…excited about your article in Fitness magazine:) I love the tank tops you wear to run (they seem longer), what brand are they??
    Have a fabulous weekend!!

    1. Thanks, Erin! I love these shirts, too, for the main reason that they’re so long! They’re Cool Racerback tanks from Lululemon. They also make “extra long” ones, which is cool.

  13. We really appreciate your honesty and candor, Ali! You are a star and we’re so happy to share your story (and also so glad to hear that you’re feeling better)!

  14. I am right there with you. I am about to head out on my first run in over a week, thanks to this stupid flu.

    Glad we are both on the mend!

  15. I’m doing my taper long run on Sunday! Last long run before my half marathon! Otherwise, I’m resting. I’ve been attacked by the common cold and I’m hoping it doesn’t spread any farther than my nose/head.

  16. You are awesome, and I’m loving your attitude through all this and glad you’re making yourself a priority! I ran a marathon last weekend am just enjoying my workouts this week/end; this afternoon starts with a Zumba class, tomorrow I’m volunteering at a St. Patrick’s race and taking a pole dancing class for my friend’s birthday! Hoping to sneak in a rainy afternoon run on Sunday! Have a great weekend!

  17. yay for running again! So glad to read you’re feeling better 🙂

    I’m running in an 8k Sunday when I PR the eff out of that race I’ll dedicate to you since you’re such an awesome running inspiration (and your blog is one of my faves 🙂 )

  18. 1) Congrats on the shout out in the mag – you’ve inspired so many people and it’s great to see the word spread even farther bc of the magazine! 🙂
    2) I have a 12 miler on tap, which is my longest run in like…. a year. I’m pretty pumped. Weather looks stellar for my little jaunt along Lake Michigan! YAY. And BOO to the water fountains still being shut off. I might try your trick and stash my bottle somewhere along the running path!

  19. Planning a long run (long for me = 6 miles) either tomorrow or Sunday, depending when I can squeeze it in. Glad you’re feeling better!

  20. No prob on the scan! I was excited to see you in my magazine this morning! Tomorrow I have spin and cardio-kick box back to back and then family coming over. I’d like a nap in between but not sure time/kids will allow for that.

  21. OMG! that’s awesome – I actually get Fitness magazine for free ( have no idea why) and I AM SO EXCITED to open it up and see you!! yayy. and congrats on the running and taking it easy, friend. Hopefully next week you and i will both be well enough to get in some miles together?

  22. I’m do glad to hear you’re over the flu and back on your feet. I’m glad you’re listening to Coach Cane and taking it easy for now. That Coach Cane is strict! You owe him two minutes of your life?! Is that like the Justin Timberlake movie? LOL.
    I’ll have to check my Fitness magazine for the article. Way to go Ali! 🙂

  23. Love the article!

    This weekend it will be SUNNY and not BELOW FREEZING in Boulder, so I’ll spend as much time as possible on my bike or running on trails. I can’t wait!

    1. I love this top! It’s one of my current favorites. It’s a Cool Racerback tank from Lululemon. An investment, but a cute one!

  24. You really are an inspiration and I look forward to your hysterical posts every day! Glad you are feeling better! This weekend in the fitness department, I’m going to tackle my first Bikram class. Ahh! I’m an avid yogi but for some reason this class makes me very nervous. K, off to hydrate! Have a great long run tomorrow!!

  25. Congrats on the article! It’s always a great opportunity to talk about illnesses that aren’t as well known and raise awareness about them. Enjoy your runs. I won’t be doing a long run this weekend because I’m still battling shin splints:(

  26. I have a long run (5 miles woo!) scheduled for tomorrow morning and I’m so antsy to do it. After a sweaty and long dance rehearsal last night, i’m resting today from cardio and “fueling” for some 5 mile long fun bright and early! Goal: Do it in under 55 minutes!

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & WIne

  27. Ali, I am so proud of your Fitness Mag appearance! That is really awesome. I’m glad you’re starting to feel better. No workout plans this weekend since I will be away, but I got to sweat every day this week from Monday to Friday so I’m good to go!

  28. I’m glad you’re feeling better, Ali!! Being sick totally sucks. I’m sure after this weekend you will be almost back to normal.

    I’m going to try and get back into yoga… It’s so hard to find English speaking yoga classes abroad that I’ve been majorly slacking. I can’t let that be an excuse though! I am going to search for some yoga classes I can download online or a Bikram studio where I know the sequence by heart already!

  29. Love the article Alison! So entertaining and encouraging! I am going to buy the April Fitness issue…can you autograph it for me?? 🙂

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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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