A First Time For Everything: A Treadmill PDR & A Baby Shower

Hello! Happy Monday!

I’m back in my beloved NYC after a whirlwind weekend of traveling to Boston, New Hampshire and back to Boston…and then back to New York.

Overall the weekend was wonderful — there was great food, good company and a love-filled (and cupcake-filled) baby shower for my sister-in-law.

Festive! Sandwiches! Cupcakes! Lots of green and yellow!

But on my end, this weekend also came with many firsts.


  • The first time my plane seatmate yelled at me for “wanting to sit wherever I want” (which was in my assigned seat — or wherever was convenient for her).
  • My first double-digit treadmill run. (Kind of. More on that in a moment, but I’m counting it as an accomplishment.)
  • My first visit home where I made my bed every morning, did my own laundry and didn’t leave dozens of empty water cups all around the house. My mom hates that. I think she is excited that I’m growing up and stuff.
  • Possibly the first time I woke up, wanted to run, realized things hurt and told myself “it’s smarter that I not run today so that I can hopefully run for the rest of my life.” My maturity blows my mind.
  • My first time throwing/hosting a baby shower.
  • The first time I went home, talked to my dad about things like finances and taxes and didn’t leave the house in tears. Again with the maturity and the grown-uppedness. Money makes me panic.

I will expand on these things, because I know you’re dying for more information, especially about my near-brawl on board a JetBlue plane.

My trip to the airport Friday night was flawless. I took the Long Island Railroad easily to Jamaica Station, boarded the oh-so-smooth AirTrain and got to speed through security thanks to an Extra Legroom seat. Very fancy indeed. I even had time to eat a pre-boarding sandwich.

And then I boarded the plane — excited and oddly honored to be in Seat 1A — and I stood in the aisle while the sprightly (false) old man and woman presumably in Seats 1B and 1C emptied out their 400 bags, got organized and buckled. I stood there waiting to scoot through to my window seat, which I could have cared less about. I said excuse me, the woman stared at me and snipped, “Yes?” “Oh I’m in 1A, the window seat. Since you’re already seated there and buckled, I can take the aisle. I don’t mind!” (Truly I didn’t. It’s a 37-minute flight from JFK to Boston.)

[Woman rolls eyes in the most dramatic of fashions. Ali is confused.]

“No no, ma’am, you sit wherever you’d like, really. I’ll just get up and move seats.”

It’s all very odd, she makes a big fuss, there’s a huge line waiting to board the plane, and then some dude waiting behind me as I try to squeeze out of the aisle yells at me, “People are waiting to board you know!”

Drama drama drama. Plane travel brings out the very best in people.

Now that you know that really good story, I would like to add that I actually kept my cool, smiled politely, and took my seat. When the plane landed, the woman turns to me and goes, “Don’t worry, I’ll hurry off the plane. I know you’re in some kind of rush.”



So that was Friday.

My parents picked me up in Boston, we road tripped it up to New Hampshire, we laughed, we bonded, and I was tucked into my childhood bed sometime around 12:15 AM.

I asked my mom to tuck me in, but she took one look in my room, said, “It looks like you’re already tucked,” and moseyed down to her room. Thanks, Mom.

Saturday was gym day at the Feller house! My dad is a Planet Fitness member in nearby Concord — a whopping 30 minutes from home — and I was excited to join him for his Saturday morning routine.

Here is my dad at Planet Fitness. I told him to take the photo seriously because it was "for the blog." He is very good at following rules, as evidenced by this very nice photo.

Now if you’ve read this blog for more than eight seconds, you know that I friggin’ hate the treadmill. It’s hard work and it’s a mental battle for me, but mostly I just get really sweaty and really bored and I can’t wait for the run to end. It’s not what I would describe as a “great time.”

Still, I wanted to get in some double-digit mileage on Saturday since my running has been sub-par during the never-ending flu/Crohn’s/hip/knee/shin splint/tuberculosis saga. And so, I said I would run 10 miles on the treadmill, and that’s exactly what I did, besting my previous treadmill PDR of 7 miles.

It’s up for debate, though, I suppose, because I didn’t actually run all 10 miles at once.

VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION: Does my treadmill PDR still count?

I started off with seven miles. My plan was to “take it slowly and easily,” so as not to further aggravate the various injuries or whatever, but I was bored and decided to continually pick up the pace as I ticked off the miles.

Treadmill Take 1: 7 miles in 55:42, with a picture to prove it.

My stomach was feeling lumpy — that seems like an appropriate word — so I hopped off the ‘mill, made a quick locker room bathroom stop (more convenient than Central Park!) and did some tricep dips while my dad got his ab machine workout on.

And then I went back to finish up and knock out three more miles.

The plan was to do three "cool-down miles" which turned into three "get these done as fast as possible" miles.

Yes, you can see my reflection in the treadmill. Probably my best look yet.

I will say that as much as I’d rather run outside, I am a little bit proud of myself for sticking on the treadmill for so long. I zoned in, played my music as loudly as possible and tried to entertain myself with people watching.

I also just like hanging out with my dad, and even though we didn’t technically work out together, we did meet up by the arm machines for some fun. My dad took pictures. Again, “for the blog.”

"How much weight am I supposed to put on? 40 pounds? Is this supposed to be hard? I'm on Steroids."
"I AM A BEAST. I AM LIFTING 40 WHOLE POUNDS. ARGHH!!!" I'm glad this photo exists.
"OK, this is better. Dad, do these gym lights make me look pale? No? That's just the color of my skin? OK."
I think you get the point by now. I lifted, and have four photos to prove it. Great blogging. Someone get me a Pulitzer...for blogging...and gym photos.

So I did some running, some lifting and, believe it or not, some stretching. I wanted to hang out at the gym forever because there were so many pretty yellow and purple machines, but I had a busy day ahead that involved outlet shopping.

That was a success. Everything in the world was 40% off.

Question: How do I get my landlord to give me 40% off my rent? I’m starting to border on “past-due” territory and that scares me.

My mom also let me drive, which was not scary for anyone involved.

I used to LOVE driving...fast. But after about two seconds of living in NYC and relying solely on public transportation, I quickly forgot which pedal is for the brakes. Good skills, I know.

We spent the rest of Saturday doing baby shower prep work, and by that I mean my mom made banana bread and zucchini bread and I ate a lot of junk food. Also, my dad showed me his “really cool new toy” which is a camera that takes pictures of “motion” in the backyard.

This is New Hampshire, people. Get entertainment wherever you can.

While there were no cool photos of moose trekking through our backyard or bear fights in the pool, there was one really cool shot of exciting wilderness activity:

Yes, Dad, this camera WAS a good investment. Really awesome.

If you look closely, you’ll see a wild beast moving by the bird feeders. His name is David. He cannot be tamed. Do not feed him.

I woke up Sunday really wanting to do another run. It was crisp outside, I had my compression socks ready to go and I had spent lots of time icing various body parts on Saturday. But I took one step out of my bed, my entire left side hurt, and I said to myself: “Self, do you really want to run today, or do you want to run forever?”

So I didn’t run.

I’m trying to be smart. I want millions of pats on my back.

I did still break half a sweat though, thanks to some Exercise On Demand.

A bassinet is the perfect makeshift "chair" for glute exercises. And yes, my left IT band is sweetly bruised from the Graston therapy. I think it looks badass.

I did 8-minute abs, 8-minute “booty blast” and some sort of Latin Dance Fiesta Party Boom Boom Clap. It was taxing.


The highlight of the weekend, and the reason for this trip home, was to throw a baby shower for Michaela, my sister-in-law who is adorably pregnant with a baby due on May 22. I’ve never been an aunt before, so I took this all very seriously.

No cupcake left behind.

Also, we may have gone a little overboard with the presents. My dad was not super impressed when we told him we needed help packing the car.

You're good at numbers, Dad, but I think your real skillz are in "car packing."

The shower was at Michaela’s neighbor’s house outside Boston, and everything went perfectly. At least I think it did…I hope it did! I know that I ate a lot and there weren’t too many leftovers, so to me that is a sign of a successful fiesta.

Me and Michaela and a bear that will be bigger than the baby for at least five years.

Plus, the fruit water was a hit. I was psyched about that.

It was all very spa-like...with paper cups.

Eventually I had to leave the shower to fly back to NYC, which was uneventful, and last night I got to be reunited with Brian, who finally returned from his Italian vacation. Thanks for coming home, Bri! I’m glad we are still dating despite my unhealthiness.

And I know you’re wondering, “But Ali, while you were home did you have time to scour your childhood home for more Third Grade Ali journals? They are so fascinating.”

The answer is a resounding YES.

Oh good. Crafts.

My parents have saved everything I’ve ever done. Lucky them.

But not just Third Grade Ali. We’ve got First Grade Ali, too, who thought her writing was original when, in fact, it was not at all.

No, Ali, you did NOT write "Where Is The Bear?" Nor did you spell any of it correctly. Nice try. Zero points for originality.

But I have to give some credit to First Grade Ali, because she was super into religion and culture.

Oh you're having trouble with the translation? It's a HANUKKAH star. Kind of. Also known as a "Demented Star of David."
This piece of art is currently being negotiated for a major sale at an Indian Museum somewhere. It was inspired by Sacajawea and also Pocahontas.

OK, we’re all caught up now, I think.

I have no grand tales of a morning workout today. Instead I slept in…and didn’t shower. Don’t worry, I’ll sweat later, and I’ll tell you all about it in explicit detail.

YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THIS CONVERSATION: Tell me one of your weekend firsts! First race? First unexpected PR? First time forgoing a workout in favor of extra sleep (I’m fine with it)? Tell me! I’m nosy!



66 Responses

  1. Oh man, I fly on short flights almost every week and it can be absolute hell. People on airplanes are crazy. I also threw a baby shower for the first time over the weekend. It was cinco de mayo themed, co-ed, and we drank a lot, because we had it at our favorite bar. Also wanted to say that the 3rd Grade Ali and 1st grade Ali really brighten my day and crack me up. Keep those coming.

  2. I’m glad to know that your braids date back to the 1st grade! Your plane story is hilarious…I find it highly amusing how flying brings out the absolute WORST in people. I once got stuck in a window seat next to a couple that refused to let me out to go to the bathroom because “I was young, I could hold it.” 20 minutes later, they were less than enthused when I actually stood up and climbed over them. The audacity!

  3. yellow and green = gender neutral baby shower (ie not finding out the sex?) or just like yellow and green — burning questions over here.

    I ran 9.3 miles – a new, post injury PDR! Can I start counting stuff as P.I. (post injury) like AD and BC?

  4. First 18 mile run. Or 18.6 depending on whether you think mapmyrun is more reliable than my in-and-out of reception garmin. I go by mapmyrun, it was definitely 18.6, by evidence of how much I wanted to die.

  5. This weekend was the first time I’ve had to leave hot yoga before the class was up. I’ve been going 2-3 times per week for 3 months, and even when it is hot or I feel dizzy/nauseous, usually some water and rest do the trick so I can get back on my feet and finish the class.

    Not so on Saturday.

    We had a new instructor who actually ruled…except that she didn’t realize with 47 people crammed into a heated room, it will get hotter and hotter and possibly require the door to be opened often throughout the class. I was one of at least 6 people who fled for dear life around 40+ minutes in.

    Possibly this was compounded by me stupidly running out of water when I knew I shoulda refilled…or perhaps doing a CrossFit team WOD that morning and a CrossFit Endurance (running) WOD about 9 minutes before yoga.


  6. I ran my first half-marathon this weekend! Not an actual *organized* half-marathon, but 13.1 sweet, sweaty miles. I also baked creme egg Easter brownies for the first time. BALANCE!

    I think 9 miles is my treadmill DPR and it was only bearable because Mean Girls was on TV.

    Loving these elementary school journal entries! And I’m glad your plane ride back at the end of the weekend was psycho-free!

  7. Random question, somewhat unrelated—but how do you like running in spandex shorts? I’ve always worn looser ones, but I’m curious to try something new. Do they ride up? Do you have a preferred brand?

    1. I ALWAYS run in tight short shorts. Sorry, people running behind me. My favorites are a pair of Sauconys (not sure the style) and the Lululemon Reverse Groove shorts, which I own multiple pairs of and swear by for running, yoga, spinning, date nights, work, everything. If you buy them in the correct size, they shouldn’t ride up. Though on exceptionally hot days, I am a fan of Body Glide, just to be safe.

  8. I had an unexpected PR this weekend, but it’s not my first since I almost never expect to PR, but have in the past.

    I LOVE little Ali’s journals. 1st grade Ali had some very creative spelling.

    Oh, I just thought of a first I had this weekend. It was my first time in the giant colon that they have at the NYRR Colon Cancer Challenge. I got to walk through the giant colon and see what normal tissue looks like compared with “abnormal tissue.” There was a spot on the colon for Crohn’s! Of course I thought of you. The giant colon was kind of fun, and basically the only reason why I went to the post-race festivities area because I didn’t check a bag (left everything at the gym).
    I am very impressed with your decision not to run when you felt pain and your ability to run on the treadmill for so long. The only time I have been able to run for notable distance on the treadmill was when I ran intervals. Movies, TV, and music cannot save me from the boredom of the treadmill.
    Is your sister-in-law having twins? Why does she need two bassinets?

    1. 1. Congratulations on the PR. I’m so excited for you! Unexpected ones are the best. I dig it.
      2. I’m really excited that you walked through a giant colon and thought of me. Sincerely flattered.
      3. No, Michaela is not having twins. My mom got over-excited in the bassinet buying department. One of them is getting returned. One of them was gifted to the parents-to-be.

  9. First time “running” up the Sandladder, which is ~200 stairs on the beach in San Francisco, and by running I mean power-walking but WHATEVER.

    Mmm fruit water.

  10. I ran 18 miles saturday and was the first time in mileage that distance that I wasn’t sore the next morning ( I credit this to my compression socks which I wore all day long post run- even out on the town at night under my skinny jeans hehe such style!)

  11. “Self, do you really want to run today, or do you want to run forever?”

    Legit. This is something I need to say to myself so much more often. I am full on in awe of your ability to put down the compression socks and resist the temptation to run.

  12. i think your double digit run is legit! I sometimes split up my treadmill runs like that…. take a lil break to foam roll or whatever. I’m like you though, I end up running way too fast because I AM BORED OUT OF MY MIND. Oh and i skipped my long weekend because I was too hungover to run on Sunday. I make amazing life choices sometimes.

    1. Your Tweets yesterday were amazing. I felt like I was living your hangover vicariously through you and it was great entertainment. I hope you retrieved your debit card.

      1. i did the debit card walk of shame. i went to the bar in sweats, looking like a meth head…. while a bunch of people were enjoying a nice sunday funday.. keeping it classy, per usual.

  13. I love the fruit water idea, it looks so good…I’m stealing it! My weekend first included a 44.4 mile relay race called ‘Brew to Brew’ with some lady friends. It was a total blast and raised money for cystic fibrosis, oh and it was 90 degrees when it was my turn to run…on April 1st in Kansas. That was definitely a first! So fun though, I’d do it every weekend if I could!

  14. Please tell me you got the big teddy bear for your friend to hug when you’re not around…like Karen in Smash. Because I too started watching Smash this weekend, and that happened. Um. The end.

    Also a first – I ran twice this weekend! I’m still a n00b, so that’s a big deal for me. 🙂

  15. wow, congrats on keeping your cook with an obnoxious seat mate. that is ridiculous. I’m glad you had fun at home, the baby shower was a success and you took it pretty easy! I believe I did a PDR on the stairmaster this past weekend. does that count? I will admit, it wasn’t terrible.

    I miss you!

  16. The treadmill PDR TOTALLY counts. Because I said so. haha.

    First time for me? Nixing a 9-mile training run and NOT feeling guilty about it at all. AT. ALL.

    1. That makes me happy. Guilt-free is the way to be, and I’m proud of you. You seem so happy lately and I LOVE IT.

    1. Yeah, her day was ruined because she had to sit in her own seat. I EVEN OFFERED TO MOVE. It was a very strange situation. I can’t believe I stayed so calm. It was an out of body experience perhaps.

  17. I like the way you think: Run today, or run forever?

    I started watching SMASH this weekend. It’s pretty awesome. You should check it out since you like dancing and broadway. It’s sooo good.

    1. I’ve been watching it for work! I like the dancing. The story lines I’m not psyched about, but the familiar faces in the dance scenes are fun.

  18. I also have been privy to a father showing me his exciting new motion detector camera (with night-vision, no less). Oklahoma and New Hampshire really know how to party.

  19. Sounds like an awesome weekend with the fam! My PDR on the ‘mill is 7 miles. It is totally mental, isn’t it? Love the idea of getting off at 7, and then going another 3 after a little break. Might have to try that sometime!! Nice job on the baby shower! how did you manage to plan that from NY for a NH shower? impressed!

  20. i was flying the week before xmas one year. a lady kindly asked the gentleman standing next to her if he could grab her suitcase for her as it had slid back in the overhead bin and she couldn’t pull it out. he completely flipped out on her, berating her for having “too big of a suitcase that she can’t handle.” quickly three OTHER strangers offered to help the lady. it was insane! flying makes people nuts sometimes!

  21. I ran my first NYC race! Colon Cancer 15K and despite missing a bunch of work outs because of the move from WI to here, my pace was 6 seconds/mile faster than my goal pace; I was very pleased and give full credit to the NYRR enthusiasm at this event.

  22. Oh, good ol’ NH! I’m from Goffstown, NH and it’s always a bitter sweet time when I go back. Luckily, I have a few good running trails around my sisters house in Nashua.

    Running long distances on a treadmill is brutal, I did 12 miles once and I felt insane afterwards.

  23. My weekend first was a training run with a friend. I’ve honestly never done that before, though in all honesty I’ve really only been running about a month so I guess that’s not really impressive. Anyway, we’re both training to run our first 5K so we decided to work out together. It was fun and then we had blueberry pancakes? New tradition? Oh, I think so. 🙂

  24. I skipped a race for the first time. My alarm went off on Sunday and there was no way I was getting up. No hangover, just exhaustion. I then spent the next 24 hours counting ways I can still complete 9+1…I’m not crazy in the least…..

  25. Oh man, I would have been internally raging at the audacity/stupidity of that woman on the plane. I really don’t understand how people manage to not sit in their assigned seats…when the seats are bloody labelled!! (This one gets me at the theatre all the time)

    This weekend I did my first workout (on Sunday) post-marathon last Sunday. I swear there were so many squats and lunges that I’m walking just as funny today as I was a week ago. But oh how my glutes need the strengthening!

  26. HNIKCA – :Love it! I spent the weekend packing up my entire apartment and I’m still not done… seems like a first since I don’t remember packing to move TO the city since there were no boxes involved then.

    1. I almost didn’t even post that and was going to just email it directly to you. Seriously, I saw that page and was like, “This one is for Dori.” Don’t worry, there are many more posts about my Jewish upbringing. Some illustrations, too.

  27. great work with the treadmill run(s) – that’s some SPEED!!
    well done for listening to your body too – very impressed. I hope it rewards you by feeling really good today!
    oh, I have to tell you – each month, my work showcases the work of local artists in the lobby of the building. This morning I walked in and there were about 20 huge paintings and photos of Stonehenge (and one of a jellyfish) on display. I thought of you and laughed! It’s going to creep me out every morning for the next month!

    1. You know I hate Stonehenge, and yet you bring it up anyway? Not cool. Enjoy walking past that creepy ass thing every day this month.

  28. I rode my bike all the way up the massive climb for the first time. Seriously, it’s like 20 miles long. Then I celebrated with mojitos, and proceeded to earn my first hangover in over 2 years.

  29. Ahhh, Planet Fitness. Hope you didn’t set off the lunk alarm moving all that weight! 😉 And PS -your run totally counts as a treadmill PDR! Ummm…. firsts for my weekend? I ran 10 miles of a local 1/2 course that I’ve always been too scared to run (because I had heard it was super duper hilly). Turns out, it wasn’t so bad! I kinda rock at hills. Who knew?

  30. I love your weekend recaps! My first was my first 2.5 mile jog since 2010. And if you want a REAL first, it was my first 2.5 mile jog while pushing a 1 year old in a jogging stroller. It felt great!

  31. Pretty sure I laughed out loud 3 times during this blog post!

    I have had plane encounters like that before. Somehow after booking an aisle seat (my favorite) I found myself in a middle seat with my bag on my lap…

    This weekend was the first time in months that I had no plans Saturday night, and so I got into bed at 10:30pm (I am SO cool) and slept for almost 12 hours. Apparently my body needed a break from being on the go go go.

  32. Being married to the treadmill the way that I’ve been for the past 6 or so months, I consider myself an expert on the on-and-off rules. Whatever you run in one visit (no matter how many times you/I have to hop off for a POJ break) count as total mileage for the run. Also, I watch Netflix on my iPhone for those long runs. And I count songs 2 songs = 1 mile. Makes the time go by faster. Yay IBD!

  33. Looks like an action packed weekend, Ali! 🙂 My First this weekend was volunteering at a race – I did so through my company and the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Race in DC as a Course Marshall and had a blast! 🙂

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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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