Now What?

I started Ali On The Run so I could keep track of my running and my training for whichever races I had coming up.

So if I’m taking a little training hiatus, what does that mean on the writing front?

It means you’ll read less from Crazy Ali and hopefully a little more from Rational Ali! Yay! (Yes, Rational Ali does exist. Really. She’s cool.)

On Sunday, I was telling Brian I thought it was frustrating that I’m having a Crohn’s flare-up now because I “haven’t been stressed out lately,” and my flare-ups are almost always brought on by irrational amounts of stress.

He looked at me like I had just told him I was swearing off chocolate and 16 Handles for the rest of my life.

I’m not always so good at tuning in to my body and giving it what it needs. I said I hadn’t felt stressed lately because I had actually been getting everything done that I needed to do. My best friend’s wedding invitations? Went in the mail yesterday. Custom-designed (and hand-addressed) baby shower invitations for my sister-in-law? In the mail weeks ago and already receiving RSVPs. Work? Always excitingly busy, but I’ve been meeting my deadlines and feeling proud of my finished products.

On set at work. Relaxed, happy and getting the job done.

And the whole “My lease is ending soon and I need to find somewhere to live” drama? No drama at all. In fact, the whole process was ridiculously easy and pain-free.

The new living room! Such shiny floors! And sunlight from the east!

But I guess, overall, I am still a naturally anxiety-driven person, and with the weight of having to run a marathon in the midst of everything else being lifted, I feel like I’m in a really, really good place now.

And on that note, thank you all so much for the wonderful comments on yesterday’s post. They all warmed my little heart.

So, now what?

Well, I’m excited to return to some of my favorite classes! I haven’t been to spinning with the love of my life, Matt Pestorius, in weeks. I have missed him dearly, but I swore off his classes so I could have maximum leg strength to devote to my running.

I’m coming back for you, Matt! I love you.

I was hoping to spin last night, but I wasn’t feeling so hot, and so I went to Chisel instead. No cardio, just lifting. I’ve been taking this class for almost three years now (that sounds like a long time — am I a groupie?), but since focusing on running, I always took it easy during the squats, lunges and leg-strengthening exercises. Monday night lunges didn’t bode well for Tuesday morning speed work.

Last night, though?

Bring it on, Chisel Teacher.

OK, so I didn’t go totally all out because I felt a fever coming on and certain movements made my stomach feel…weird. But it was nice knowing I didn’t have to modify everything in favor of running.

I’m looking forward to building up some total body strength that I’ve been lacking since ditching my gym classes and lifting routines, especially since apparently my lackluster IT band is potentially a result of “weak glutes.”

I think that was Coach Cane’s way of telling me I have a bad butt.

In this photo, you can see my butt. See how it lacks any real definition or strength? Time to get some of that back. Also, this photo was taken post 18-miler, and my face is completely caked in salt. So pretty.

In Crohn’s land, last night was not so great. By bedtime (uh, 10 PM…), my temperature had climbed to 100.9, which isn’t tragic, but anything over 100 degrees tends to concern me just a little.

I then spent the night “breaking the fever,” as my mom calls it. Translation: I sweat more than I did during the aforementioned 18-mile run.

It’s basically the most beautiful sight ever. I sweat through my clothes, through my sheets, through my pillows. At one point, I woke up to use the bathroom (no surprise there), and when I came back my bed was such a mess that I slept on the couch for a while.

It was not my finest evening.

Since I’m all about self-reflection and being in tune with myself and zen and stuff during these past few days, here are a few things I am so excited about and can’t get off my mind:

  • My first run back. Saturday was so bad. My next run may be difficult, but knowing that it’s “just a run” has me completely at ease about it, whether it’s a 5-miler or a 10-miler. (Uh, probably going to be a 5.)
  • Moving! Moving day is April 14. I’m not excited to pack, but I am excited to get rid of a ton of stuff in the process. Who needs clothes? I already have four giant trash bags filled with stuff to donate. Yay for living across the street from Goodwill!
  • Classes with friends! Barry’s Bootcamp? Sure. Physique 57? That’s been on my “To Try” list for about four years but I always put it off so I could run.
  • Running with friends! I stopped running with many of my running buddies because my workouts were so specific. Now I can fun run with friends again!
  • Getting healthy. The knee, the hip, the stomach. Time to heal, stupid body parts. Go team!
  • Running shorter races. I think it could be fun to do some shorter races, like a 5K or something out of Central Park for a change. I won’t have to go crazy training and yet I can still get that “high on racing” feeling I’ve missed.
  • Loving running again. It’s going to be a beautiful reunion. In the meantime, I’ll be cheering my guts out for the rest of you.
The race hadn't even started yet. I was slightly over-eager.

Also, here is a picture of a puppy licking a shoe:


That’s all for now.

Any questions?



53 Responses

  1. Just know that in taking time off, you’re still inspiring strangers! I’ve been reading your blog for a while, while trying to become a runner. After 4 knee surgeries and 1 broken-ankle surgery that left me with no cartilage, it’s your blog that inspired me to sign up for my first marathon in January 2013 (although it’s a Disney:) I have a lot of ties). Knowing seasoned runners have difficulties is more inspiring than you know!

  2. I am so proud of you for making a decision that works for you AND your health. If you’re interested in a fun, random race I know some of us are doing the Wall Street 3 miler with NYRR!

  3. I truly love your outlook on everything. Having Crohn’s as well I know how difficult it is to be a glass half full kind of person when all you want to do is curl up and curse the crohns’ gods.

  4. After the NYC half, I feel the same way you do about getting to take some of the classes you’ve missed. I was essentially paying my monthly gym membership to have a place to change and store my stuff when I went running in the park. Now, I’m determined to take some new classes, go swimming, and maybe even get a trainer again. I’m signed up for a bunch of races (including the More/Fitness Half), but until fall marathon training starts, I’m just running those for fun (and the 9 + 1 credits).
    I was thinking of trying Barry’s Bootcamp, too.
    Good luck with the move and packing. I’m not moving anywhere, but I need to purge some of my stuff, like race shirts I will never wear.
    I love that puppy pic.

  5. I am also an anxiety-driven person which seems normal to me but drives my husband crazy! I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself if I’m not worrying about getting something done.

  6. The dog picture is adorable and made me laugh because it reminded me of all the cute dogs I saw along the National Marathon course over the weekend that provided better support and motivation than the rest f the spectators! (Especially the one that looked like a 200 lbs bear!)
    I hope you are able to get over your flare up soon and can get back to running for the love of running.

  7. i just have to say that i love that photo of you in florescent-colored warm-weather clothing surrounded by black/gray jeans and jackets.

  8. Good for you for taking a break when you know your body needs it. Weve trained for two half marathons (ouch first and second) in the last five months and Im experiencing some burnout. I’m thinking it might be time for a break–taking it from your cue!

  9. Boooooo to the flare. Isn’t it funny how our stomachs recognize and react to our stress levels before our brains do? Mine did the same thing a few weeks ago. It’s like our insides are psychic or something. feel better!

  10. You might be my butt twin. I’m working on it. So flat. Always. The perils of distance running.

    My quads, on the other hand, are awesome.

  11. I think taking a break & enjoying all of the fabulous moments you have coming up is a great choice. You sound balanced & relaxed & happy. And, what more could you want? The passion for running will come back to you!

  12. As a fellow Eugene-bailer, I had that ‘now what?’ thing going on for a bit, too. But like you, I remembered all those things I’d been neglecting 😛 But I always have the mom-insanity to fall back on as far as (somewhat) entertaining blog fodder 🙂 It sounds like you made a really good decision. Hope you’re feeling a whole lot better soon 🙂

  13. Remember – even if it is good stress, it’s still stress. Your body still reacts. I’m glad you are taking care of yourself (even though I’m sad because I was hoping to meet you at Eugene!). Listen to your body and you’ll be back to kill this running thing soon!

    Also, welcome to the weak glute club. We should make t-shirts.

  14. I’m a pretty new reader but already totally in love w/ your blog. Anyway – just wanted to say I LOVE this post and the previous one and I am so happy for you that you are taking time to heal, reflect, and LOVE running again. Also (warning, total stalker comment…), I saw the issue of Fitness at the gym that you are in this morning and was so thrilled to see you in it! Super exciting.

    Anyway, way to go woman, rest up and hang in there. And ENJOY! 🙂

  15. I think we’re the same person in terms of the anxiety and stress factors. Good for you for getting back to fun running and not losing sight of why you’re a runner.

    On another note, I missed the NYC Half but I am running the half in Queen’s this weekend and hoping to God to PR! Wish me luck!

    Also, what is this 16 handles business!? It sounds like something I must get my hands on….. or mouth!

  16. I hope you have an amazing time rediscovering the joy of doing and enjoying it without being pushed to and by some looming goal. For me, often the goals and races provide the motivation, but that’s because of the various competing demands of life. Good luck, its spring, the park is coming into its own again, and heading into a wonderful time of year.
    And what a super coach too! Love his mentality.

  17. I have a month membership to Crunch? Spin? Maybe a run, too? 16 Handles?!?

    That puppy is AMAZING. I want a dog, but it would be fair! (to the dog)

  18. I’ve been feeling the same way lately. I am training for a race and miss having more variety in my workouts and being able to go off how I feel. I love running, but I like to do so many other things too. I am never going to be a person that wants to run 7 days a week. 2-3 times is good enough for me.

  19. You sound so much happier in this post 🙂

    I have the same problem with sweating when my IBS flares up – it’s just horrible…so embarrassing when I have to change the entire bed every night because of it. I really empathise with you there, even though IBS is obviously nowhere near as severe as Chron’s.

    I’d love to see you try some 5Ks – I bet you could do so well in shorter races, as you have some fab early splits. Shorter races often place less strain on the digestive system too – I know a couple of runners who have dropped down from marathons or half-marathons to 5 and 10Ks and seem a lot happier and healthier all round (one had colitis, the other diverticulitis)


  20. I think you should add some barre classes in to your rotation 😉 Will help ‘weak glutes’ and strengthen the opposing muscle – IT band! It has helped me immensely with my running and overall leg and glute strength. Anyway, I am glad you are feeling refreshed and ready to tackle all the goodness in life 🙂

  21. Sounds like you are going to have some awesome months in front of you! I’ve been doing a little of the same thing after being in marathon training for 9 months. My marathon wasn’t what it was supposed to be, but I decided just to have fun again instead of tackle another (better) one right now. Enjoy all those classes and running with friends again!

  22. I think you’re lying. I get the feeling you would LOVE PACKING because you can organize! And label! And fold things nicely! And all that jazz. But that could just be my poor imagination.

    Shorter races are the sht. Do them. You can wake up hung over and still bang them out … not recommended, just saying. It’s possible.

      1. Damn. I didn’t know anyone actually read my blog when I was posting. I’ll have to get back into it. Swear! (But not on anything since I clearly haven’t been able to stick with it …. yet. The key word is “yet,” people.)

  23. Yay for you! Love your attitude. It sounds like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders – that’s always such a great feeling for me. Have fun doing all those things you didn’t get to do while training!

  24. You can booze more now too!! As long as “college Ali” doesn’t make a reappearance! It is always nice to take a break. And don’t lie, you’re totally going to get into triathlons now…

  25. As a recently new member to the Chrons club, I am the ultimate night-sweater. For the longest time I thought it was my husband emitting massive amounts of body heat making me sweat through everything even in the middle of the winter. He was happy to learn it wasn’t all his fault, ha!

    After almost burn-out from two marathons this past fall, I’ve found it’s nice to run on my own terms, and do other things as well instead of being so incredibly focused on having to get out there and complete X amount of miles. Spring is the perfect time for a break like that!

  26. Now that I’m done training, I’m excited to do a lot of the same things you are: fun classes, no pressure runs, smaller races (I need to find a 10k ASAP. I’ve never done one!)

    I’m excited to hear about your new adventures, in running and otherwise!

  27. I used to belong to that Crunch and see the women in that Chisel class before it let out and wonder why the hell anyone would want to take that. Ha! Obviously I know better now. See you at REFINE????

  28. Yes to all of this! I really like rational Ali. I think she’s going to have an awesome spring.

    Have fun and spin/chisel/bootcamp/etc to your heart’s content! 🙂 I always feel like I am in better “all around” shape when I’m not training for a marathon. I use the long runs/speed workouts as an excuse to drop all other forms of activity…or at least to half-a** my way through them. When I actually start using other muscle groups, I find that the extra lifting/core work helps me get faster in my shorter races. (who knew?!)

    And if you have any leg-warmers that you’re donating – I’m your girl.

  29. Hurrah! I freaked out a little that you might be quitting blogging, so I’m massively relieved that you’re not (you’re not, are you?). And super glad you’re looking forward to running again – that’s defniitely a step in the right direction already! Cheers to running without a plan!!

  30. That puppy is THE BEST. I want to take it home.
    It sounds like you’re in a really great place and have a great perspective on running and on life. Nice going! I wish I could be so rational!
    Definitely enjoy your freedom from a training schedule. Looks like you’re going to be having a blast!

  31. I think your blogging software is broken. It seems to have deleted “take a trip to DC to eat cheese, run, and sing Celine Dieon” from your bulleted list of things you’re excited to do. Strange. I would recommend calling customer service.

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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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