Thankful Things Thursday: On Learning To Do What’s Best For Ali


So remember yesterday when I wrote about “the night sweats not being too bad” and how I luckily “didn’t totally sweat through my new sheets.”

I take it back.

I take it all back.

Oh, beautiful bed. I'm sorry I treated you so poorly last night. Blame Crohn's. I always do.


I’m Crohnsier than ever today, and while I’m not thrilled about it, I am willing to focus on all the wonderful things in life. And there are plenty of wonderful things in life.

Let’s talk about them: Thankful Things Thursday time!

I’m thankful for all your nice comments on yesterday’s post. There were some great suggestions in there, but mostly what I took away from my therapeutic little writing session yesterday is that I need to start putting myself, and my health, first. I love doing things for other people, but I can’t do so much anymore if it means I’m going to suffer as a result. Then nobody wins!

I’ve decided that June is going to be The Month of Me. I don’t think that sounds narcissistic or selfish at all.

But really, January through May has all been so intense and each day has had so much packed in, and so I can’t be all that surprised I’ve been sick and breaking down. In June, I have far fewer social obligations and that is instantly calming.

In June I will learn to say “no.”

In June I will only travel if it’s because I really want or need to.

In June I will make time to relax.

In June I will stretch. And do yoga. I swear.

Mmmm feels so good. Photo by Steven Meyer. Thanks, bro.

In June I will continue to eat my feelings.

Oh, massive quantities of dairy isn't beneficial for Crohn's disease? KIND OF DON'T CARE. Want to eat ice cream in bed.

I see nothing wrong with that.

I’m thankful I’m still able to run. There was a very short period when this was not the case. Remember? I was a little injured? I think I may have mentioned it, like, once. I don’t know. I didn’t make a big deal about it. DRAMA-FREE ZONE.


So even though the runs I’ve gone on the past few days have included many “oh shit this is about to get bad real quick” stops at bathrooms, I’m still running in between stops, and that is something I’m truly grateful for.

Yesterday I was on my way to the park and had to run into a luxury building on 5th Avenue to beg a doorman to let me into a bathroom. He escorted me down to the laundry room and let me into the bathroom — and when I exited I discovered that he had been waiting outside the door for me the whole time. Sorry, dude. But also thank you.

There was also an urgent “Please, Best Buy employee lady, let me into your employee-only bathroom that is locked with a key pad,” stop when I ran out for lunch yesterday.

It’s all good.

Eventually my stomach won’t hurt, and I’ll be running just fine. In the meantime, I’m thankful it’s happening at all.

I’m thankful to have a childhood best friend.

Becky and me at her bachelorette party two weeks ago!

I have known and been best friends with Becky since we were four. We went to school together, danced together, and she was the one who got me drunk for the first time…

…and she spent that fateful night cleaning up my gin vomit that I managed to spew all over my mom and dad’s house.

That’s friendship, right there.

Becky's on the left, I'm on the right...and that's Kerry in the middle. Hehe.

On Saturday, Becky will get married, and I’ll get to be the one standing up there next to her. You know, in addition to her fiancé. He’ll be there, too. He’s great. And tall. You know how much I like tall people.

Our pre-wedding schedule is jam-packed, and my goal is to make sure Becky has fun. Bonus if I have a good time, too, but that’s not really what I’m concerned with. It means a lot to me to know that Becky and I have been friends for most of our lives, and that despite living in different cities since we were 13, we’ve stayed close.

I’m thankful — and so excited — I’m seeing my parents this weekend. Heck yeah they’ll be at the wedding, too. Even though I just saw them last weekend for a few hours, I can’t wait to hug them again.

I’m thankful for Tyler!!! My brother says he’s breathing better!

If you are sick of little Tyler photos, I will punch you. HE'S PERFECT.

It’s so crazy that my brother is a dad — and a pretty good one, it seems! Though really, it’s not that surprising. When we were young, Ryan spoiled the crap out of me. He would make money by being all entrepreneurial (he would run a lemonade stand or whatever, and I’d play with Barbies inside) and instead of spending the money on himself, he’d use it to buy me presents.

Way to set me up for a lifetime of high expectations, Ry.

I’m thankful for really bright toenail polish. Currently sporting: hot pink. It makes me happy.

I’m thankful for my runner friends who like cheese. Again, Ali, with the dairy. Come on. Learn a lesson. I wasn’t exactly at my best last night, but I did go out with some of my favorite runner friends for a night of beer and cheese. I opted out of the beer, ate the cheese and then had to bail early when my stomach was cursing my poor dietary decisions.

I’m thankful for Brian and his unwavering patience and support. Sometimes I am seriously shocked he continues to live with me and put up with my shit. I admittedly haven’t been easy to deal with over the past few months, and he has stood by me.

My mom LOVES taking pictures on her iPad. She's so fancy. I keep telling her the pictures look blurry, but maybe it's just me?

Last night, I went to bed just after 11:00.

Brian didn’t come to bed until 2:30 AM.


Because he stayed up to finish stuffing, labeling and stamping envelopes so all the Sweat shirts could get in the mail before we leave for Charlotte this afternoon.

So many shirts, ready to go.

Seriously, Brian?


I am so incredibly grateful that he did this. Mind = blown. I feel better leaving for a few days knowing the shirts are all out of the apartment and on their way to their sweaty owners. Enjoy! (And thank Brian. I seriously had so little to do with all this.)

That’s all for today. I’m on a 4:30 PM flight down to Charlotte and then wedding weekend begins! My fingers are crossed that I don’t Crohn’s at the alter. (Just kidding. I already promised Becky that wouldn’t happen. Yikes.)

Have a great weekend!

AND SHARE, BECAUSE YOU KNOW I LOVE TO HEAR IT: What are you thankful for today? Cheese? Eating in bed? Old friends? New friends? Not having Crohn’s?



56 Responses

  1. I’m thankful that my tall friend Phoebe found my half-empty (but still good) bag of peanut butter MnMs on the top shelf of my kitchen! Now I have a delicious indulgent snack again! 🙂 Good luck at the wedding, I can’t even imagine having a stomach attack as a bridesmaid!

  2. Just got home from a really tough, semi-disappointing race this morning. But what was greeting me from my mailbox? None other than my I <3 SWEAT shirt! Turned my frown upside down!!

  3. Ali, you are amazing! I love this post. I’m not sure where to start, so I’ve made a list:
    1. The pic of you eating the ice cream is uh-dor-able.
    2. Whoa, Brian! Way to bring chivalry BACK, bud! Well played!
    3. I am so thankful for my life, my health, my people. I am also thankful that I have found your blog because you have INSPIRED me to do something that I had given up on years ago – to run 50 marathons by age 50! Wish me luck…


  4. LOVE that Brian is such a huge supporter and more than that, a true friend (and love of your life) all rolled into one. Its amazing what a difference having someone like that in your life can do for you. Have an awesome time this weekend and ps -June is gonna be flippin’ amazing for you, just sayin’ 😉

  5. I’m thankful for… My parents for giving me great holidays and for giving me food, clothing, and shelter My teachers for giving me an education My friends for helping me and just being there.

  6. Ali, I only just recently found your blog and I am crazy about it! But totally not in a stalkerish way. I love your perspective on life. Hope you have a great time at the wedding! I am so immensely grateful for many things, but today especially for 2 long-time girlfriends that I have known for 30 years. We get together once a month and they totally fill up my cup.


  7. I too am thankful for my childhood best friend! Friends since daycare and she’s coming to visit tonight 🙂 Nothing better than having a friend who’s known and loved you forever.

  8. I’m actually (somewhat) thankful to HAVE Crohn’s. It’s been 13 years since my diagnosis and having a chronic illness has influenced my life for the better. I make good decisions about how I treat my body. I eat healthfully 95% of the time. I stopped judging other women for being “too skinny” –they might be sick too! I’m always the designated driver so who knows, maybe I’ve saved a life! I volunteered at a Crohn’s camp and tried to hard to be a cool yet role-model-worthy counselor. I encourage people to talk about “poo problems.” I’m an advocate! I am the runner/triathlete/fit chick you can’t believe has A DISEASE. And Goddammit, I love blowing people’s minds about what healthy looks like.

    PS if you wear a diaper on your runs, most people will not notice. If they do, whisper, “Bike shorts…” like it’s a big horror your cute threads are in the wash.

    Bounce back and kick ass, Ali!

  9. 1) I am very very thankful for Brian posting my Tshirt off today (or maybe yesterday) because I am very excited about it.

    2) I am very thankful for a smidgen of self-control as regards food this week as I have lost a few pounds. Shallow I know, but most pleasing.

    3) I am very thankful for Pampers size 6 as my enormous toddler slept through the night last night and didn’t drench himself in pee. Potty training time, methinks.

  10. Aww, Brian = sweetest.

    I’m thankful that my fiance left enough dinner left-overs for me to take for lunch. I fully expected that he’d eat it for dinner after he got home from work at 12:30am but instead she left me a sweet note saying to take it for lunch. It’s the little things! 🙂

  11. Congratulations to Becky! Ali, you’ll be a great maid of honor. Way to go Brian for getting all the Sweat shirts out and yay for Tyler breathing better (cute kid).

    Have a great weekend Ali. Try to relax and enjoy it.

  12. i am thankful for this blog- reminding people to be grateful for everything they have! I am thankful for brian packaging up those shirts! I am thankful for my gym outdoor pool being open extended hours this weekend, that i have a job, that i have 2 weeks of summer vacation, that ART has allowed me to run again, and that the sun is out today and weekend is expected to be beautiful!!

  13. I’m thankful that I can read about someone else’s Chronsing problems and know that I’m not alone. (We should get together sometime… It has been a good couple decades since we’ve last hung out). I’m also thankful for the I Heart Sweat shirt that will be arriving in my mail because of your (and Brian’s) efforts. Rock on!

  14. I’m thankful that today is my Friday! Taking a four day weekend to go do the Portland Half Rock’n’Roll with the hubby. We’ve been busy and stressed since…well, probably the end of March. It’ll be so nice to have some time to just hang out and relax.

    Congrats to Becky!!! And keep the Tyler photos coming.

  15. I’m thankful that I modified my race schedule this summer. Being injured SUCKS but I feel a wave of relief not having so many races hanging over my head.

    I’m thankful that my husband is working on his application to become an army warrant officer. I’m so happy there’s finally movement on this dream of his.

    I’m thankful that when my Jack Ass Terrier escaped from the yard last night and we didn’t know it that he came back to the front door and barked. He’s home safe and sound, even though he’s in trouble and is on yard restriction.

  16. I am thankful that I live in New York. Work is taking me back to Wisconsin in a little over a month. I have loved and cherished my short time here. This is the most amazing city in the world. Enjoy Charlotte! and have a blast at the wedding!!And thank you, Brian for getting the shirts out 🙂 We are all thankful for that!

  17. At this moment I’m thankful for my loving husband whose probably had the most difficult time in his life for the past 8 months. Which all stared 4 months into our first year of marriage, coincidence? I’m thankful for my loving friends and family and I’m thankful I have this fantastic, inspiring blog to read every morning – which reminds me that no matter how bad things seem, always try to find the bright side.

    Thank you Ali!

  18. I’m thankful for Ali posting so early so I can read it on the subway! I’m also thankful for slightly crazy combinations like kimchi, egg, cheddar cheese, and pork belly!

  19. awww! Brian is such a good guy! totally something M would do for me too. SO CUTE!! That just made me swoon FOR YOU 🙂 June should be a kick ass month. Embrace it!

  20. Back in January I got super ill in the midst of my session at my BMF run club. Of course it was dark so no park toilets were open. The instructors offered a tree (uh, no) but in the end one of them took me to the nearest hotel and we begged a doorman to let me in. That hotel? The Dorchester? My outfit? Oh so appropriate with running tights, bright blue shorts, a long sleeved top, my I Heart Sweat tee, and a wooly hat. I totally fit in. But it was the nicest bathroom I’ve ever been in, much less ever been so ill in!

    1. I don’t know how a question mark ended up behind ‘Dorchester’–definitely meant a period or an exclamation mark. Posh hotels don’t require question marks! 😉

  21. I’m thankful for cold soy milk to go with my cereals and granola! It’s been super warm and humid these past couple of days.

  22. Yay! Positive Ali! Have fun at the wedding – dance your face off! Today I am thankful for my health. My good friend is undergoing open heart surgery (he has a heart condition) and it was scheduled for next Tuesday. I am thankful that he’s in the best care possible and that he went to the doctor first when he wasn’t feeling good instead of waiting it out.

  23. I am also thankful for childhood best friends. We know each other best and when we get together we still act like we’re 12.

    Have tons of fun in Charlotte! Miss youuuuu

  24. I’m glad you are so positive Ali! and brian sounds like a SAINT! I am definitely thankful for CHEESE. and a beautiful sunny day to visit Baltimore in. I hope you have a great time at the wedding!

  25. I am so very thankful for your Brian and his packaging and mailing of those awesome shirts. I’m confused am I not supposed to like cheese? Is it weird that some form of dairy (usually cheese) is in every meal? I am thankful that school is almost over, and as a teacher I can see the light of summer. Oh and for this blog making my morning just a teeny bit brighter.

  26. Never enough Tyler pictures!!! Keep ’em coming! And be sure to do something super nice for Brian…I know my opinion is solely from your blog posts BUT I think he’s a keeper 🙂

  27. I hope you have a great weekend and feel a little bit better. Those are all wonderful things to be thankful for, especially the last one about him labeling things till 230 am Wow!!!

  28. Along with treating yourself better in June, please let yourself rest more! Have fun at the wedding! I’m thankful for all the usual things: Refine Method, running outside, beautiful weather, my amazing apartment, NOT living in NYC and this really great app called CooCoo that tells me exactly what time my trains will arrive.

  29. I kind of feel like a stalker… I live in North Carolina, only two hours from Charlotte and I feel like driving up to meet you just because!!!! where is your friend getting married…. i’m gonna crash it… j/k I wont do that.. I am will be in Myrtle Beach this weekend running a half marathon with two coworker and friends who are running their first. Somehow I inspired them run a half marathon.. I am thankful for them because of their excitment in the race and reminding me that it’s about having fun and finishing. Every race does not have to be a PR.

    1. I am thankful for your last two sentences 🙂 I needed to read them to get out of my funk about my upcoming [4th] half this weekend, which I am so under trained for [because life got in the way :)]

      1. Have fun and enjoy it… Do some people watching! You’ve done the distance before aim for a PR next time!

  30. I am thankful for you! I also love that I have known you my whole life. I was thinking the other day how you are the only person who really and truly knows everything about me (doesn’t make me nervous for your toast at all! Haha) I love you and can’t wait to see you! I hope your stomach starts to feel better soon! Let me know if there is anything I can get to help you feel better!

  31. I am thankful for my husband. Even though times are tough right now, he is wonderful!
    So glad you are going to take good care of yourself.

  32. You’re fabulous. So is Brian. And so is your nephew. Adorable!

    I’m thankful for the professional day (aka a day without kids) we’re having at school tomorrow. I seriously need a full day to clean up my classroom and make it look like a tornado did not roll through it!

  33. Ali! I love the attitude in this post–seriously. And what a man you’ve scored. I don’t know if I’d give up sleep to do this for my own HUSBAND. haha. Okay, I probably would, but it would suck!

  34. I am thankful being done with my Bachelor thesis. The last weeks have been very difficult with nearly no social life, and with lots of overwhelming moments and fears to not get done in time.
    Also, I am thankful my knee feels a lot better. My last run was over 2 weeks ago, and when my knee hurted ALOT during that run, I knew I needed a break. I am thankful I was busy writing my thesis, which did not leave me with enough time to think about running.
    Last but not least, I am thankful that this time next week, I will be taking a break from studying. Only one little exam in the end of june with than be in between me and the graduation. Where did the time go?

  35. I’m thankful for being able to run even just a little bit as I recover from my injury! I’m up to 3.5 miles now when before a mile would have me in terrible pain. I’m also thankful that both my sisters are home after being away for months. Yay for family reunions!

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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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