Guess how many friends I made on the subway this morning?
I was the girl with the suitcase.
It wasn’t even a crowded train, but people still loathed the presence of my little brown bag on wheels.
I did, however, get to sit down next to a lady who was reading that book you’re all talking about, 50 Shades of Grey, on her Kindle, and I definitely creeped and read it over her shoulder. I guess I get all the hype. I read about two sentences and felt scandalized.
As you may know, today is a major holiday, and that is Thankful Things Thursday. Holiday is a term I use to describe made-up celebrations that occur weekly in the brain of Ali Feller. Play along, won’t you? If you’d like the day off from work in order to really celebrate, let me know and I will write you a note. Signed, Ali On The Run.
OK, let’s do this!
I’m thankful that at this time tomorrow, I’ll be on my way to the beach. They say April showers bring May flowers (I think “they” are the same people who make up stupid expressions like “It’s raining cats and dogs” and “Chocolate is not a dessert food”), but apparently April hotness brings May showers. So while it continues to rain in the northeast, I’ll be headed south to enjoy some festivities in the Carolinas.
I’m flying down to Charlotte tonight and spending the weekend celebrating May’s bride-to-be: my best friend, Becky!
She’s getting married in two weeks (holy crap), and this weekend is, though I despise the term, bachelorette time! The great thing about Becky (OK, there are lots of great things, but I’ll just highlight one right now) is that her idea of fun is the same as my idea of fun: wake up, break a sweat, spend all day eating and laying on the beach with drinks, have a good dinner, be in bed by midnight. So that’s basically what we’re doing this weekend, with a bunch of her friends down in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. The weather, which I’ve been stalking like it’s a marathon weekend, is predicted to be in the mid-to-high 80s.
I’m thankful for tacos. In honor of Cinco de Mayo this weekend, I’d just like to point out that I really like Mexican food. Nachos, tacos, quesadillas and fajitas are my go-tos. No sour cream, please. That stuff grosses me out like mayonnaise.
I’m thankful for the pretty flowers that are everywhere right now. Springtime is here, people, in case you haven’t noticed.
I’m thankful every time I get a seat on the subway.
That being said…
I’m thankful for the people who give up their subway seats for little kids, pregnant ladies and the elderly. People who don’t do this are total A-holes. Manner up, society. What’s wrong with you? If I see a bunch of healthy-looking people taking up all the seats, and then spot a 16-month-looking pregnant woman standing, I observe. You’ll notice that all the sitting people are avoiding making eye contact with her. Suddenly, many of them happen to be “sleeping” or totally engrossed in that “Dr. Zizmore will cure your acne” advertisement. It’s disgraceful. One of my favorite things to do is call people out on it. More than twice I’ve been standing and asked someone who looks like they need a seat, [loudly] “Do you want to sit down? I’m sure someone will get up for you.”
I’m thankful for my new face washer! This little birthday present came in the mail yesterday and I’m wicked psyched to try it. I’ve been wanting one of these forever, and it helps that it comes in a bright, flashy color.
I’m thankful that in the midst of a kind of crappy spring, I have a new place to live, and I like it a lot. I’m finally all done with my old apartment — I’ve turned in the keys, emptied everything out and had the place “inspected” by my super. (He basically walked around, said something in a language I’m unfamiliar with, and then left. I’m going to go ahead and assume whatever he said translates to, “Expect your security deposit back in the next few weeks.”)
Things are coming along quite well in the new apartment, mostly because I’ve been out of town so Brian has been cleaning and nesting. I contribute by sometimes remembering to water the plants.
But really, as I’ve gotten frustrated about various things — getting sick, getting injured, feeling a bit overwhelmed with life in general — the fact that I love coming home kind of makes me forget about everything else. At least temporarily.
I’m thankful I spent some time with some old friends this morning, even if we didn’t have the greatest time together. Which old friends, you ask? Oh, you didn’t ask? Well, let me go ahead and tell you anyway, because now is the part of the post where I transition from talking about SO SO SO HAPPY THINGS to talking about the fact that, yes, I’m still slightly injured.
These are my friends, and I have missed them:
Yes, I ran today.
I gave myself a full two-week break — that’s even longer than the doctor initially suggested, which was 10 days! — and today decided to try out a little run to check in and see how things felt.
Turns out, I’m still injured, and kind of out of shape. It was my shortest and slowest run in as long as I can remember, and it felt like one of the most difficult. But I kind of didn’t care.
I was nervous to run today. Obviously I secretly hoped I’d lace up, hit the road and magically feel no pain. I wore my watch to make sure I didn’t go over five miles, but I didn’t plan to push the pace. Part of me assumed I’d warm up, get going and somehow settle into sub-8:00 miles.
You may think I’m naive or “stupid,” but I like to think of myself as simply optimistic and hopeful.
I walked to the park so I could warm up a bit, and then did some dynamic stretching, which I never used to do. I started to run, first on the road for just a few minutes and then on the Bridle Path. My stride felt weird and my form just felt off, Kim Smith style.
Honestly, what ached the most were my calves, from that dang Harley Pasternak class I did on Tuesday! They’re so sore! So it was tough trying to dismiss that tenderness and focus on whether or not my hip and shin were hurting. And they were, just a little.
Part of me felt frustrated that I was slow and that after two weeks without running I am not magically cured. A much bigger part of me just felt so happy to be out there. I’ve missed Central Park so much, and though I don’t have plans to return just yet, I know that with some time, patience (I hate being patient) and smartness (I hate that, too), I’ll be back on the Bridle at a pace that’s significantly faster than today’s.
I’m thankful for GChats with LB and emails from Kristan. They are both pretty serious, majorly talented runners. They’re fast and stuff. And they’re smart. They also both happened to be injured right now, so I am reaching out to them constantly for advice, sympathy and to commiserate. They’ll give me tough love, they’ll tell me what I want to hear (sometimes) and, best of all, they can relate to being sidelined right now. The two of them have dragged me out of some pretty foul moods over the past few days, whether they know it or not, and I’m so grateful for that.
And it’s funny: I can give both of them all the advice in the world. Not about running, because that would be ridiculous, but just about making a comeback, about how everything will be OK, and reassuring words of that nature. I have so much faith in these two, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they’re both going to come back so freakin’ strong. I try really hard to convince them that that’s true.
So question: How do I take my own advice? I suck at that. I’m all, “LB, you should really do some core work and foam roll more and honestly you’re sooooo amazing and when your body is ready you’re going to run a marathon in like 45 minutes and set a world record.” To myself, though, I’m a little more, “Ali, you may never get better, so you should really work on developing some other skills and hobbies, like perhaps space. You could learn about space. Maybe find a way to go there. Call NASA. Reignite the space program.”
I’m thankful for all of you, too. Your comments, your enthusiasm, your honesty, your reassurance — it’s all wonderful and makes me really want to get better so I can prove something to myself and the rest of the world. I don’t know what I’d be proving, but I’ll figure that out, and it’ll be awesome.
And since I like you all so much, how about a giveaway winner?
Oh and by the way, my mom is pretty pissed that I eat yogurt now. She angry-texted me yesterday, and I have proof:
So sorry, Mom. SO SORRY I AM THE PICTURE OF HEALTH NOW. It’s OK that autocorrect didn’t fix the word “thoght.” Still love you!
The random winner of a case of Chobani is…
I counted all the way to 105, and…
Congratulations, Megan! Get your spoons ready and make room in your fridge — there’s some Chobani coming your way! Or at least, there will be soon. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your address, please.
And thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. I loved your happy thoughts.
Now it’s time to bust out some work and then hop on a Delta flight down south.
Have a great day, everyone!
AND YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO: Tell me what you’re thankful for today! Remember, this is a REAL holiday, so take it seriously.