It’s All Coming Back To Me Now


Name the French Canadian songstress quoted in the title of this post.

Oh you’re not sure? That’s insane. Let me give you some hints:

  1. She is beautiful.
  2. She can hit notes no other singer can rival and she belts it full-out every single time. Suck it, Mariah Carey.
  3. She won the award for Best Singer & Human Ever. Award created by Ali Feller. Also voted on by Ali Feller. (Still waiting for the singer to accept the award and come pick it up at my apartment, in person, wearing sequins.)
  4. She looks really awesome in sequins. And also pantsuits.
  5. She knows all the words to the title song from Titanic.
  6. She is amazing.

It’s Celine Dion.

But this post is not about the fact that I think Ms. Dion is the most talented person of all time. Of all time. (Italics and repetition for emphasis.)

This post is about how Ali Got Her Groove Back.

THIS IS MY GROOVE. See it? That's me in the orange top and flashy pants. Wait, no...I'm behind her. So close. Photo by Steven Meyer.

Not my dance groove — my running groove and, subsequently, my life groove.

As you know all too well (because I have not shut up about it), running as of late has not been noteworthy, fun, easy, enjoyable or, honestly, pleasant at all. After a full two-week hiatus, I returned to the roads hoping to gloriously and effortlessly return to the paces I was hitting back in November, when I was training for the Las Vegas Half Marathon and, in my opinion, was in pretty peak physical condition (despite a total bonk on the race course — oops).

Well, that didn’t happen. Instead, I ran a few times and it was hard. Really, really hard. My legs felt lead-like, I was panting after a minute, and my pace was downright depressing. Naturally I got discouraged. I didn’t expect a short amount of time off to really affect my fitness level — but it did.

Dang it.

Then, I took a Tabura (African dance meets kickboxing) class on Wednesday…

KICK HIGHER, ALI. TRY HARDER. Photo by Steven Meyer. Thanks, Big Steve. Great shot.

…and my shin was killing me afterward. Too much impact. Too much excitement. I was pissed. I thought I had taken one step forward and 10 Afro-hip-shaking steps back.

Today, though, something wonderful happened. I set out to run some miles, and even though my stomach was a total mess (I took care of that right around mile 2) I felt good. No shin pain. No hip pain. I ran without music (that never happens) so I could just enjoy myself, and I wore my watch hoping for the best, expecting the worse, and convincing myself not to go all head-case if the numbers weren’t the ones I’ve dreamed of.

Were the numbers magical? No.

But were they acceptable? Oh heck yeah. Especially compared to the past few runs I’ve had.


Like I said, the second mile was the “The tennis court bathrooms better be open and OMG why are they so far away right now?” mile. Rough.

I settled into an 8:40-ish pace eventually, and I was loving life. The park was packed and gorgeous, and I did one loop on the Bridle Path and another around the Reservoir. I stopped once for water and to do my tricep dips, and I was psyched that when I started again, I didn’t get that throbbing pain in my shin that I had sadly grown used to. Instead, I just started running again, and I was fine. I was especially loving life during those middle miles, clearly.

The whole time I felt like I was working, but I wasn’t dying.

I guess it’s true: The fitness comes back, it won’t be easy at first, but all hope is not lost after a brief running hiatus.

Stop for water and tricep dips = take photo of watch with cool pace showing.

I would have loved to keep going, but like I keep saying (more for my own benefit than yours, obviously), I’m not going to push it. I had more miles in me, sure, but I want to build my mileage back up very, very slowly. I don’t think double-digits are on the plan for this week, or even next week. But I’ll get there, and when I do, it’s going to kick ass.

This is how this photo shoot went down: Ali returns from run. Ali is so excited. Brian is in bed. Ali bursts into bedroom. "BRIAN! I FINALLY HAD A GOOD RUN! MY OUTFIT IS SO BRIGHT! CAN YOU TAKE MY PICTURE? YOU KNOW, FOR THE BLOG." Brian is still mostly asleep. Ali dances. The end.

So yeah. It’s a good day.

Today marked my first solid post-injury run, and I hope there are many more to follow.

I didn’t handle injury so well. [Stop laughing and rolling your eyes, Brian, you jerk.] I’m pretty sure that if my shin, hip or any other body part flares up again, or continues to hurt, Brian might kindly suggest I find somewhere else to stay.

Luckily I have a neighbor with a puppy and I’m sure they’re just dying for company. (This is possibly true, but really it’s just an excuse to post another photo of Lauren’s pup, Parker.)

PARKER, WHY ARE YOU SO TIRED? Oh right, from all the growing you're doing. I know, it's so exhausting.

Before today, I was not in consistently great spirits. OK, I’ll be more honest: I was a little cranky.

Fine, I was a complete, psychotic bitch.

Being injured sucks! Being injured when your friends are running the fastest races of their lives really sucks. Springtime is one of my favorite times to run (I also love fall, winter and summer) and I feared I’d miss the entire season.

On top of the non-running thing, these past few days — weeks, months — have been sort of tough. I’ve been in a funk, I’ve been stressed — probably my own doing — and I’ve been eating shit, which never makes me feel particularly great. This week I have managed to survive solely on pupcakes, and while they’re adorable and delicious, I’m feeling a little gross. Yeah I’ll say it: I have felt flabby and out of shape, and the slow, sluggish runs I endured earlier in the week did nothing to boost my confidence.

Today, my confidence is boosted, at least slightly.

I’m not breaking any records. I’m not running what most people would call “fast.” But I’ll get there — and today is the first day since getting hurt that I’ve actually said that to myself and believed it.

SO TELL ME: What gives you an immediate confidence boost?



37 Responses

  1. you are clearly a badass to a whole different level. do you see the lean in your kick?? I almost fell over each time I had to kick.

  2. Soooo happy to hear you had a good run!! Nothing can turn your month around like a few really perfect runs. Congratulations on being an Aunt!! Have a great weekend!

  3. YAY! you’re back in action! so glad to be reading your positive running stories 🙂 injuries suck a LOT (i was going to put “of (NOUN)” but i decided that might be inappropriate. anyway, glad to see you are back at it – that’s a huge confident boost!

    some confident boosters for me: getting a compliment when you’re having a bad day, or having a coworker appreciate your hard work! and having a great run. i love great runs!

  4. This is somewhat lame, but I get a nice confidence boost when I get my eyebrows waxed. Seriously, I feel better about life when my eyebrows are nicely groomed.

    And omg that puppy. So cute.

  5. have you ever tried running without a watch? when i fractured my hip and was out for months (MONTHS!) coming back was slow and and frustrating. i got rid of my watch so i wasn’t a slave to pace and making myself feel bad, and i felt so much better.

    1. Yeah, I kind of want to start doing once-a-week Garmin-free runs. I can usually zone out and not care about the pace — I wear it because I’m obsessive about tracking distance — but clearly need to learn to let go a little. Thanks for the suggestions! And glad to hear your hip has healed. Ouch!

  6. yayyyy see I told you it would come back before you knew it! I’m so glad you had a good run. Sometimes all it takes is just one. Have a fantastic weekend with little Tyler! (and see you in the park next week 🙂

  7. Yay! I’m so glad you are back to running! Way to rock it girl! I get an immediate confidence boost every single time I get a runner’s high, which is also “all coming back to me now” ’cause I was layed up with an 11 months with a lame ankle injury 🙂 Love the Celine reference. Well done 🙂

  8. Confidence booster for me always involves running and second, getting all the weeds out of my garden; so refreshing!

  9. Umm, unless you have mad Photoshop ‘skillz’ and have applied them to your newly healed leggies in that photo, you are anything but ‘flabby and out of shape.’


  10. Tyler is sad that the puppy is getting more press than he is…..he said he expects his Auntie to buy him a puppy now.

    1. Oh HEY RYAN!! Sorry my puppy is getting press, but she just hasn’t met Tyler yet!!! I’m sure you will win this weekend! Then I’ll go back to being left off the family emails, as always.
      The Left Out Feller.

  11. I’m in that same funk right now. Its a good thing I ran by myself last night because my leg pain induced hissy fit would have lost me friends.

    But you know what is encouraging? The other day we had a really tough CrossFit workout and I posted a facebook status about it (and my weight lifting PR). One of the guys from the class left a comment, simply saying “Beast.”

    Seriously, best compliment ever. In context, of course.

  12. You’re back!! You never left 😉 Just a few speedbumps, right? I love that Celine Dion song, and now it’s stuck in my head, thanks for that ;-P It’s hard to be at peace with mileage and runs and run-not’s, but you are doing just great. Hang in there, and enjoy!

  13. Cutest puppy ever.. except maybe my own puppies.

    My confidence is always boosted by a new running outfit from Lululemon, a new pair of sneakers, or having a really strong workout on the track.

  14. You may not be running “what most people consider fast” but you are running what I consider fast! In fact, you are the FASTEST running Alison F I know! You WIN!!!

  15. Babysitting, actually — when someone thinks you’ve hung the moon, it’s pretty awesome. This is provided the kids like you. ha!

  16. Yay for a great run! So happy for you, I know how good it feels after being injured. Also love your dancing pictures. Confidence booster for me is always a really great run or a hardcore Refine class where I feel like I did my absolute best.

    1. They’re Nikes! Super old, but I think they’re Nike tempo shorts or something? All I know is that they have built-in underwear, which is pretty sweet.

  17. I love you and your blog, but a little piece of me just died inside knowing that you love Celine. I….just…there are no words.

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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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