For the past few weeks — OK, fine, months — I haven’t really been digging the whole Thankful Things Thursday. Last week I even considered bagging the whole “tradition” because it felt “tired and forced.” And sometimes, yeah, that’s true.
Today I’m totally feeling it. My thankful thoughts are flowing like crazy, and I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with the fact that it’s finally not raining in NYC, and also the fact that my body is starting to once again function normally.
Want to get grateful with me? Let’s do it.
I’m thankful to be featured on the Women’s Running Magazine blog today. I know what you’re thinking: Why the heck would they feature Ali? She just took, like, a month off running, and she’s only done one marathon, and it wasn’t even that fast, and also she kind of has no idea what she’s doing beyond putting one foot in front of the other.
Yes, those thoughts are correct. Thank you for thinking them. But I guess the kind editors over at Women’s Running find those traits endearing (or the joke’s on me, I’m not sure), because they chose to profile me as part of their weekly “Blogger On The Run” series.
I’ve said before that I know I’m not the fastest runner, or the least likely to get injured, or the smartest or even the most dedicated. But I do love getting out there, and I’m honored that someone — a reputable magazine, no less — considers me a part of this really cool running world. I never thought I’d see the day…
So check out the interview if you’re so inclined. They let me talk about my love for mango-scented soap, which, yes, actually is related to running. I swear.
Also, Women’s Running likes to give away free stuff, and maybe you’d like to win something today?
Today’s big giveaway is two Lady Speed Stick Women’s Half Marathon Race Registrations, plus VIP party tickets. One for you and one for a friend. I think that’s a pretty sweet deal. Your winning entries are valid in any of the race’s four locations: Bloomington, MN; Nashville, TN; Scottsdale-Tempe, AZ; and St. Petersburg, FL. To enter, go to the post and leave a comment. You can also share the post on Twitter or Facebook for additional entries. Good luck!
I’m thankful I’ve learned to run without music. I never thought this would happen. Music was a major crutch for me. I used it to drown out the sounds of my heavy breathing — OK, call it what it really is: panting — and because I just genuinely enjoying rocking out to some High School Musical every now and then. (I tried to think of a “cooler” example than HSM, but nothing was coming to me because, well, my playlists aren’t very “cool.”)
Lately I’ve been switching it up, and I’m shocked at how much I love running headphone-less. I don’t breathe quite as heavily now as I did when I first started running, so that’s not a big concern anymore. (Mom, are you reading this? I dare you to run without your headphones.) Sometimes the music, no matter what it is, just seems too loud. I like quiet runs these days.
I’m thankful for watermelon. It’s so delicious! I can’t believe I claimed to “not like it” for most of my life. I thought the texture was weird, because you know how sometimes it tastes sort of crumbly? Whatever. I don’t even care. This fruit is fantastic.
I’m thankful to have so many people in my life I can learn from. I’ve found myself hanging out with a lot of really fast runners lately. I think it’s awesome that they’re willing to be friends with me.
Last night, I joined Nicole and Kristan in Central Park to watch Nicole’s boyfriend, Gian-who-qualified-for-the-Olympic-Trials-like-it’s-no-big-deal, run the JP Morgan Challenge.
When I say we watched him run the race, what I actually mean is we watched him win the race.
What a beast. He came in first place. It was so exciting to watch. We caught him on the west side and then dashed over to the east side to see him coming through, at which point he had dropped anyone running even remotely close to him. It was a blast and I screamed as loudly as possible.
So while I love hanging out with Kristan, Nicole and Gian because they’re fun and cool…
…I also like being around them because they teach me so much.
They’ve all been running for far longer than I have, and I’m very eager to learn more about how to be a better, stronger runner. They have a wealth of knowledge, and they’re kind enough to share it with me.
Also, they let me bring my cowbell to the race last night and acted like they weren’t completely horrified by my “race spectating outfit and accessories.” Such good people.
I’m thankful I redeemed myself in the kitchen last night. I made a second attempt at “fluffy scrambled eggs,” and I’m pleased to say I nailed it. Totally. Thanks to advice from several people to “add a bit of milk,” and also I calmed down my over-eager scrambling. I watched some YouTube videos that indicated I should just gently move the eggs around instead of karate chopping and dicing them with my lime green spatula.
Duly noted with delicious results.
I wasn’t kidding when I said I was becoming a food blogger. Look at that plating! It’s stunning! And the way I positioned the plate near a lamp for optimal lighting? Genius, I say.
OK, I just checked, and it seems food bloggers like to post many, many photos of their food, even if it is the same dish. Luckily I took two pictures, so here is the other one, which was taken from an angle called “above:”
I’m thankful Brian the Repairman fixed my squeaky wheel. Or maybe it was a squeaky chain? I don’t know. But the other day when I rode “my” bike, I noticed I had a new squeak, and I had a feeling that wasn’t ideal.
This morning, Brian kindly got out of bed at 5 AM to grease up my chain. I appreciate a man who is willing to wake up and get his hands dirty so I can go for a joyride in the park. I promise that as I start riding more, I’ll learn how to do these things myself. I also promise to buy my own bike, since I’m still borrowing from the generous Coach Cane & Nicole & Simon family.
Eventually my little ride was good as new, and we spent 16.4 glorious miles together, cruising around and having fun.
On that note…
I’m thankful for bike shorts. I finally bought some — I don’t know what brand or what style, I only know the tag said “Sale” — and I’m impressed with the comfortable difference they made during my ride this morning. My crotchal area hurts significantly less today than after other rides.
Great investment, even if they do make me feel like I’m wearing a diaper when I stand around in them.
I’m thankful things seem to be falling back into place. Work is good. Running is good. I’m taking care of myself (notice I took today off running, because I’m trying to mix it up and be responsible and not be injured). I’m not stressed about a dang thing. I’m happy and finally — OMG finally — feeling healthy.
Thanks for being so patient with me while I made my way back to my happy place. I know it took a while. I know I was kind of a cranky ho for a while. But I’m back!
TELL ME YOUR HAPPY THANKFUL GRATEFUL THINGS! What are you psyched for today? Dark chocolate chips? Lessons in food photography? Your family? Your dad? (Father’s Day is Sunday, don’t forget!) Today is Flag Day, so maybe you’re thankful for Betsy Ross? I know I am. She did a heck of a job.