15 Random (Useless) Facts This Friday

I have some thoughts today that I’d like to share, but I can’t seem to find a way to make them all cohesively blend together into one big “cue the Full House end-of-episode music, it’s time to learn a lesson” theme.

So instead, I will give you the classic move of making a list and calling it “content.”

Are you ready? Let’s list-make.

1. I still don’t own a bike. I still really want one. My hula hoop isn’t cutting it when it comes to cross training.

THIS IS NOT A BIKE. IT IS NOT THE SAME. Sorry for yelling.

2. I really like it when I’m at a subway station that has the local and express trains in both directions on the same level. Then, when all four trains pull up at the same time, I feel like the world is complete.

3. I like it when people ask me for directions and I can actually help them. It makes me feel like a New Yorker and not just a girl who moved here from New Hampshire and secretly wishes the city had more llamas prancing around.

4. My shin hurts. Kind of a lot. I had that great progression run yesterday, and I felt really good and strong the whole time. My shin felt a bit achy by the time I got to work, but I iced it and elevated it and decided I would resist hopping around on one leg. I saw Dr. Levine yesterday afternoon to get ART-ed and Grastoned, which as always felt fantastic.

This photo stays on my phone because I always forget which floor Dr. Levine's office is on. Seriously, I forget every single time. My memory sucks. Except when it comes to "Saved by the Bell" trivia. Zack and Kelly's song on the jukebox was A12 and I will NEVER forget that.

Dr. Levine and I both noticed that my body is significantly tighter this week than last week. That’s not surprising, since I ran 15 miles over the weekend — longer than I had run in a while — and admittedly haven’t been as diligent about foam rolling and Stick-ing my legs throughout the day because I’ve been out of the office running around a lot this week.

I came back to work after my appointment, and not long after my shin just sort of spazzed. I think perhaps these are called “shin splints,” which is the fancy medical term for “F, I think my leg is about to fall off.” I limped around for a bit, iced some more and eventually the pain went away. Today it’s not too bad, but it is definitely not a day for running.

5. I am not sure I get the hype with epsom salt baths. Last night I got super zen. I did a Yoga for Runners On Demand workout in the comfort of my living room, with the lights off, and I was not embarrassed when Brian happened to come home in the exact moment that I was contorting myself into plow pose.

Oh you’re not familiar with plow pose? Let me explain it to you: You lie on your back, and then hoist yourself up onto your shoulders, and then dangle your legs up and over your head. If you are wearing the shortest shorts known to mankind (bright blue, spandex and incredible — thank you, job!) and a baggy shirt that rides up when you’re upside-down, this pose will not be super flattering to onlookers. You’ve been warned. Sorry you had to witness that, Brian.

Anyway, after my “yoga session,” I decided I would take an epsom salt bath, because people say it helps with recovery or something.

This is the bathroom. Sorry I didn't iron the shower curtain, Mom, but those wrinkles are gone now. Nothing a little steam can't fix.

I don’t really know. But it just felt like a regular bath to me. It was nice and I relaxed and I got really hot and really bored after about six minutes or less, though I can’t say my legs are magically recovered. I thought epsom salt baths were supposed to be magical and instantly fix anything that might be ailing or in slight pain, but I guess that’s not the case. The “eucalyptus spearmint” scent was delightful though.

6. When I look back on old blog posts and see how many terrible self portraits I not only took of myself, but then posted on the Internet, I am slightly horrified. Then again, when I look back on almost any post, I find something about it that makes me question, “Why, Ali, why?” For example, yesterday when I thought I was cute and clever comparing myself to the chipmunks in Cinderella.

Turns out, those were mostly mice. Nice try, Ali. Next time try referencing Alvin, Simon or Theodore.

My point is, I’m wearing a pink skirt today, and I’m posting a photo of it that I took in the gym locker room this morning, simply because the skirt color makes me happy, and maybe it will also make you happy. Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know what you’re into.

No, I did not pack a brush or make any attempt to do something nice with my hair today. No, this is not a high quality photo. Yes, I felt dumb taking a picture of myself in the locker room.

So that’s that. I just don’t think I can have a bad day when I’m wearing this color.

7. I took a spin class this morning. It was nothing special. It felt good to move my legs and I kept the resistance pretty low. Sort of an “active recovery day” if you will. I got to the gym really early, so I had lots of time to do a few of my favorite things, including butt exercises (strengthening those glutes!), foam rolling, tricep dips, stretching and planks. I PR’d in side planking this morning.

2-minute side plank. Next goal is 2:30 side plank. Eventually.

8. I love taking the AirTrain to JFK airport. It runs really smoothly and I think it’s fun when it starts going really fast. Like a roller coaster, only with luggage.

9. I feel my best in gym clothes. Fancy dresses don’t do it for me. Give me a tank top and shorts and I’m all “Confident Ali.” Add a little sweat glow on top of that — maybe a Garmin tan on my wrist — and I’m ready to rock.

10. I love seeing really really really tall people and really really really big dogs.

11. I hate standing still on escalators. I always walk up them. You get where you’re going twice as fast and don’t feel quite as lazy. It’s a great solution. Double time! Also, I refuse to get on the moving sidewalks in airports. They go, like, six feet.

12. I used to think “IM me” was a pickup line about how it’s cool to be yourself. When I was in fifth-ish grade, AOL was new and it was really cool to go online. Remember? You had to dial up and it was the worst thing in the world if someone at your house picked up the phone while you were trying to connect. (Unless you were “rich” and had more than one phone line in your house. You lucky, lucky child.) Anyway, we had a family screen name at the time, because I wasn’t allowed to have my own yet, and I remember my best friend Becky would come over and we’d go into those chat rooms that AOL had. Every now and then someone would be like A/S/L? And if they liked what you responded (“Definitely 18/F/my mom says I can’t tell you that”), they’d say, “IM me.” Up until about last year, I thought that meant “I am me.” I always wondered why I was supposed to be impressed by this. OK, so you’re…yourself? That’s awesome. Psyched for you, man.


You knew that already, I realize. But I was a fool. I never IM’d people. I never had those private conversations. I thought everyone else was stupid for using the same lame online pickup line. Also, I was 12. I wanted to talk to people about dance, not dating.

Please stop judging me.

13. Often times the first thing I think about in the morning is what I’m going to have for dinner.

Maybe I want fish tonight. I don't know. IT'S A BIG DECISION.

I feel like a lot of my day revolves around what’s for dinner. If I know I’m going to have pasta, that means I won’t also have pasta for lunch. It all trickles down throughout the day and it’s all connected. This morning, on my walk from the gym to the office, I called Brian — it was 7:30 AM — to discuss what he wanted to do for dinner tonight. He didn’t even come up with a response. He didn’t even care. And now it’s all I can think about, and I’m most likely going to start a list of “possible dinner options” as soon as I have a moment.

14. I need new sneakers. I think part of the reason I’ve been having some pain could be because my shoes are too big. I tried on a few pair last night, thinking maybe I should switch it up, but ultimately I decided I’m going to stick with the Brooks Adrenalines, just a half size smaller.

LOOK HOW PRETTY. But not for me.

Next paycheck, I know where you’re going!

15. Life is good. Really really good. My shin hurts a little, but I’m healthy and the sun is out and I’m going to have a turkey sandwich for lunch. I just don’t see anything wrong with this day.

DO WE HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON? I like random facts. Let’s hear yours.



48 Responses

  1. Ali, I can’t hula hoop to save my life. It just slips down my hips all the time. Do you think I just have the figure of a boy or should I be gyrating more wildly?


  2. A nice lady gave me those exact same purple shoes for free about a month ago because she was too embarrassed to return them, haha! They are pretty…

  3. i thought the same thing about “IM me!!” everyone wrote it in their profiles and i was like “okay…. well so M I.”

  4. I definitely need new trainers and for the first time and thinking about having gait analysis to get the right pair instead of going for the cheapest potion!
    I am completely obsessed with dinner from the moment I wake up! I need to plan it before I leave the house (but then part of that is having kids!) and think about food all day!!!! I’m going to work on my sugar obsession soon but I need to tackle one thing at a time!
    I went to my first ever spin class today!

  5. Your IM story reminds me how my mom thought LOL meant “Lots of love” until about a month ago. She was signing all her emails “LOL, Mom”. Then we kids intervened and she was like, “Oh, I thought LMFAO was for laughing”. Oh, mom.

    Worst is when people block the escalators!

  6. Just have to say that I was at the airport and just saw your little blurb in the new Fitness magazine. It was great! congrats!

  7. I know this is anti-minimalist, but for the injuries, have you considered orthotics? Born to Run be damned, I got orthotics from an Orthopod and have remained uninjured since. No runner’s knee, no shin splints, no ITB issues. Our mileage and quite a few of our races times are very similar (it seems like you do quite a lot of middle distance running 7-10 miles, and that’s my favorite way to run as well).

    Just a thought, although probably not a popular one!

  8. I love giving directions! I’m like, YES, I do live in this place! Let me share my knowledge with you! Of course I also have a terrible sense of direction, so sometimes I have to swallow my pride and admit that I have no idea.

  9. Get a bike!!! You’ll love it! And then you’ll get a bike trainer so you can ride indoors in the winter.

    I used to wake up in the morning and ask my mom what was for dinner. It drove her crazy! Now, if I mention dinner before 5pm, my boyfriend thinks I’m a nut job.

    We are the normal ones!

  10. One time a guy asked me online if I used AIM and I said “no, I use a sonicare and Tom’s”. I had no idea why he was asking me about toothpaste and then I couldn’t understand why I never heard from him again.

  11. Isn’t this running through injury getting little silly? If you have issues with shin splints or the onset of it, simply icing it and thinking you are ready for a run is not the brightest idea.
    Why not take 3-4/6 weeks off running and let them heal and then start again from scratch. When I say scratch, it means starting with 12-15 miles a week and adding 10-15% per week for next 6 weeks.

    I have seen runners get stuck in the cycle or injury/reinjury for the whole year. I would be rich if I get a dollar every time I hear runners declare themselves injured and fit after two days off + Icing. I am sure you are paying your doctor to hear something similar. Else, ask coach Cane.


  12. Ahhh I love express stations with the express and local trains next to each other. That is the only time I will switch. I live on the ues also and sometimes i take the local home instead of the express when I’ve done an intense work out at the gym and don’t want to climb the extra set of stair hahaha. is it lazy even though i worked out??

  13. Today I discovered there is a town in New Mexico actually named “Truth Or Consequences” and I was SO EXCITED by this that I had to text all of my friends telling them we HAD to visit.
    Also, I used to eat entire bags of microwave popcorn for meals. Now I go for the snack size as an appetizer.

  14. RF1. RF means random fact.
    RF2. Guess what PM means
    RF3. I got a new song yesterday
    RF4. You’re still reading this
    RF5. Ali, I just used you’re, not your
    RF6. I can’t remember what I had for dinner yesterday
    RF7. This is getting boring
    RF8. I’m going until 15
    RF10. Your STILL reading this.
    RF11. I hate mechanical pencils.
    RF12. I’m gonna stop saying RF now because you know these are random
    13. I gotta clean off my desk from these plates and cups
    14. Staring at the submit comment button
    15. Now I get to click it

  15. I agree wholeheartedly with #9. I feel SO PRETTY when I’ve just worked out and am all sweaty with post-workout glow. Like a princess in a ballgown or something. Sometimes I’m actually startled when I look in the mirror post-run and realize I don’t look as gorgeous as I feel.

  16. Running really does make me feel so much better. Yesterday I had an early conference call so my early morning run got pushed until today (though a rest day probably was fine) and I was all stressed… err… what is the new word for that excitedly busy yesterday. Anyway, I went out today (which was probably dumb because I’m racing on Sunday but I digress) and logged the miles and really did feel so much better. I thought that people who said they had a runner’s high were, in fact, high but now I get it. Seriously, doctors should prescribe a couch 2 5K program for people who are depressed – it’d probably work wonders for all kinds of things!!

  17. i ran boston on monday and seriously within 2 miles miserably realized my shoes should’ve been replaced before the race. how did i not feel this earlier??? duh.

    i go through the same morning routine about breakfast depending on dinner, etc etc. we’re a bit dramatic, no?

  18. IM me = story of my 5th grade to (sadly) Freshman in college years. Hmmm IM. Hmmm dialup. The the shin pain stuff, I would say go to a running store and have them find you knew shoes. Get fitted. I generally think about dinner at least 24-48 hours in advance. What if it involves stopping at the store?? Will I want to roast something that takes an hour?? Sooo necessary to think about days in advance.

  19. I laughed while reading about “IM me”. I used to go into those awesome AOL chat rooms as well and I could never figure out what all these people were talking about. I would think the same thing. “Good for you, but why do you keep tellling me?”

  20. I’ll take your obsessive dinner thinking and raise you a day. I usually plan out my dinners two days in advance. I know I’m only cooking for myself so usually the answer is “leftovers, but like you, I need to play the rest of my meals around, you know, another meal. Oy.

  21. I hate hate hate standing on escalators too! I get so annoyed when i get stuck behind tourists that don’t understand how to stand on the right. Also, I’m always thinking about dinner. Sometimes, even as I’m eating it, I’m planning the next one. It pays to plan ahead!

  22. Bahaha, I completely forgot about those crazy chat rooms on AOL. That’s so creepy we went in those, and sort of embarrassing haha.
    Fact: I do the exact same thing with John asking about dinner. He always just stares at me like I’m crazy and says he doesn’t care. I don’t understand why at 5am he’s not concerned about what’s for dinner!
    Fact: My future husband is really really tall…and you get to see him soon!
    Fact: Cycling is awesome, get a bike! Then let’s go on a double date vacation and bike around somewhere!
    Sad Fact: I miss you!!!!

  23. Random Fact: In a past job at christmas time I would answer kids letters to Santa Claus. Canadian postal code H0H 0H0

  24. Hahaha I had to laugh out loud about the whole “IM me” thing. I used to think the same thing! I would always respond and be like “cool!”. Ohhhh AOL.

    Hope your shin feels better soon!

  25. maybe the chipmunks you thought you were referring to were really in Enchanted. That half cartoon, half real person movie with that “Happy Little Working Song” song where all of these animals come out and help her make a dress. Maybe those were chipmunks?

  26. I never take moving sidewalks either and lately I’ve found myself silently judging those that do and racing them. Also I don’t think about dinner much, but my entire morning in consumed with thinking about what I’ll have for lunch.

  27. Get a bike! I have a Trek Lexa and I can’t recommend it enough. I named her Lexi and we’re basically bff’s everytime we ride. Conversations usually go something like, “Lexi, please don’t let me fall or crash or die, please please please.” Other than the time she gave me a flat during a duathlon, she’s been great.

    Haha, see I love seeing really really really tall men walking really really really small dogs. Or the best was when I met someone had two dogs, a giant monster dog named something like fluffy and a tiny dog named butch.

  28. +1 to the reallly really big dogs. There is a HUGE St. Bernard that lives near me and I want to steal him every time I see him although I don’t think he’d fit in my apartment.

  29. I also feel my best in workout clothes. So I took an epsom salt bath after one of my really long runs and within minutes my heart was racing and I felt like I was going to die. It turns out Andy tried to murder me by pouring way too much in the tub, and that is exactly what happens when you do that.

  30. Fact: I also feel the best in gym clothes! Seriously- tank top, shorts, and sneakers is all I need to feel good! Sure I like to get dressed up not that it happens often, but I always find it uncomfortable after a while. Too many thins like why kind of bra or underwear or something annoying. Workout clothes are much simpler. Put them on- go. Easy as that.
    Fact: I can’t remember the simplest things for my day like putting laundry in the dryer- but stupid movie quotes, yah I remember them all. Thanks recall- so helpful when I have wet laundry sitting there for hours.
    Fact: my morning also consists of what I’m eating for dinner… 🙂

  31. Hope your shins feel better! I definitely need new shoes too. Since I only have 1 class on Fridays, I have big plans to stock up on essentials at the running store later – new shoes, Nuun, and gels. I’m really gonna be sad when college is over in 2 weeks, and I’ll have to be useful on Fridays again.

  32. Fact: before I started tapering, my left shin hurt like a bitch. I, of course, convinced myself that I had a stress fracture. fortunately, after I reduced the running and iced, the pain went away. I am not really sure of the point of my comment…except, we have shin splints in common!

    also, happy friday!

    and i miss you.

    i have big plans to come hang out and run with you and Jacqui on the UES this summer. and by “hang out and run” i mean “eat cheese and drink beer”.

  33. If you want to see really, really tall people you should visit the Netherlands 🙂 They are like, the second tallest country in the world. Case in point: My (Dutch) boyfriend is 6’1″ and is the shortest of his friends???

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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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