I’ve Been Thinking…

I am so freakin’ excited to be back at work today.

After three days of working from home, I was starting to go a little stir crazy. I had left a semi-permanent (I guess that would make it…temporary) butt-dent in the couch, I started talking to Dylan, Donna, David and Kelly like they were my real friends, and I learned that you cannot, in fact, have a competitive game of Yahtzee when you are the only player.

So yay! Today I get a sweet little dose of human interaction. I’m wearing a skirt and a real bra and everything!

I’m not feeling much better, truthfully, but just getting out of the apartment makes me feel slightly more alive. Believe it or not, I do prefer working from my desk to working from my bathroom.

Just kidding, Brian. I totally did not bring my laptop into the bathroom at any point yesterday so as not to disrupt my work flow. That would be gross.

In between important tasks like working, bathrooming, catching up on “Dance Moms” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” and watching videos of Tyler…


…I also found myself thinking many deep, life-changing thoughts. Since it’s a Friday and it’s summertime, I don’t think you should do much heavy thinking today. And so let me ease any fears you had about reading this blog and assuming you would get some good, quality, thought-provoking content. No no. Not here. You have come to the wrong place, my friends.

Let me take you for a little tour of what’s been happening inside my brain for the past few days, as I’ve endured solitary confinement in my little Manhattan apartment.

I don’t like race recaps without finish results. I don’t care about the expo or what kind of beer you drank at lunch the day before. Show me your splits. Tell me how you felt. Let me inside your head. And then tell me your final time so I can calculate your pace and analyze. That is more fascinating to me than knowing how sleepy you were when your alarm went off or seeing a picture of your pre-race peanut butter banana toast. Just kidding. Almond butter.

I love reading race recaps, and the ones I enjoy most are the ones with lots of specifics about how your legs felt, what that side cramp at mile 13 did to you, and how it affected your pace. That’s just me.

Not all babies are cute. I will not coo at every baby I see or meet. I can’t do it. These days, my Facebook feed is littered with photos of ultrasound babies (never cute), newborn babies (often scary and/or slimy) and babies that seem to be mid-poop. Some of them are crazy adorable, but others are not, and I cannot force myself to comment and say that your baby is so cute when really it kind of terrifies me. Instead, I will say tactful things like, “OMG she looks like she’s going to be so smart!” or “Wow! He’s so small!”

Tyler, however, is adorable and there has never been a child as perfect as Tyler.

Oops, another Tyler photo. Here he is practicing his Irish step dancing. He's a natural. Watch your back, Michael Flatley. There's a new Riverdancer in town.

Scientology is completely insane. How is it 2012 and people still believe this science-fiction stuff? I know I’ve ranted about this already. But I can’t stop thinking it and I’m so fascinated by this “religion.” I’ll save you all from my religion rant, because I don’t want to offend people today (maybe we can schedule that chat for another day when I’m feeling extra sassy). Last night I watched Brian Williams talk about scientology on “Rock Center” and I was really sad when the segment ended. He did not talk enough about the aliens and the levels.

Little known fact: My BFF Emily and I once tried to enter a Church of Scientology to try and learn about it. But we were giggly, and so we didn’t get past the front doors. They frown upon that. It was a sad time. I really wanted to learn.

This was post-scientology attempt. Emily does not seem bothered by the fact that we did not become one with Tom Cruise that day. I, however, seem annoyed. I also specifically remember not brushing my hair that day.

It really creeps me out when grown humans refer to their parents as “Mommy” or “Daddy.” Please stop.

I just don’t understand how people willingly do things like smoke cigarettes or go tanning. I’m no expert on health — some nights for dinner I just eat many scoops of peanut butter and chocolate chips — but I don’t recall reading any studies recently about the benefits of smoking or baking your skin. When I was at the hospital on Wednesday getting Remicade, “Good Morning America” was doing this special on tanorexics — yes, there’s an actual term for people who are obsessed with tanning, so that’s swell — and these chicks were seriously delusional. They didn’t even look good! They were orange and not at all sexy. Mmm leather skin. Yummy!

Then again, I do things like “willingly eat all the sliders.”

These were from that time Brian and I got dinner at The Plaza and pretended to be classy.

So I guess I should stop criticizing.

People keep saying I should do a triathlon because I’ve added cycling to my running routine. Do you know what I say to those people? “No thank you. How are you today?” Maybe eventually this will change — I once said I had “no desire to run a marathon” — but for now, a triathlon doesn’t appeal to me. I’m not very fish-like and it would be hard to get through the cycling and running portions of a triathlon if I had previously drowned during the swim.

Unflattering things in life include bike shorts.

It’s hard to transition into a bike helmet and padded shorts when you are actually dead….you know, from the drowning.

When you work from home and keep SoapNet on in the background, you see tons of commercials for shingles. Not shingles like what you put on the roof of your house. Shingles like the “chicken pox for adults” disease. The commercials have all these old people being like “I thought only older people got shingles, wahhhh.”

Fun story, grandmas and grandpas: I got shingles when I was the ripe age of 23. I could not get out of bed for five days and my roommate had to bring me my meals. (Brilliant thought I just had: On Sunday morning I will tell Brian I have “The Shingles” in an attempt to get breakfast in bed. The only cure for shingles is chocolate chip pancakes. No one tell him otherwise.)

I still stand by my statement that shingles is the worst thing I’ve ever had. It’s so uncomfortable and so painful and there’s nothing you can do, except beg your doctor for more Percocet.

Ah, memories.

I need to remember that the New York City Marathon will only be my second marathon. It’s so easy to look at other people and compare our goals — and then I remember I’m being stupid because many of my friends are heading out this fall for their third, fourth, fifth and 26th marathons. That’s out of my league, man. I’m on numero dos. I truly believe experience plays a huge part in marathon improvement, so I know it’s important to have ambitious but not overly-lofty goals for NYCM in November.

Last picture of this bridge, I swear. For now.

I know a lot of people gunning for sub-4:00 marathons in the fall, and it’s important for me to remember that they’ve got way more experience than I do. So if I go sub-4, that’ll be amazing, but there is obviously a chance that won’t happen for me this time around.

Speaking of running (I’m always speaking of running…or Crohnsing), I ran yesterday! It took me a very long time to make this run happen because my body simply would not cooperate. I thought about postponing the run or skipping it altogether, but I knew that if I could just relax and get out the door, I’d be OK and maybe I’d even feel better afterward. My first attempt was around 1 PM, peak heat time, and I walked out of my apartment, took three steps and came right back inside. The ol’ stomach wasn’t ready.

So at 5 PM, I tried again, and it worked! Yeah yeah there were stops along the way — only three, and just one of them was scary-urgent — but this run was fantastical. Fantastical, I say!

I’ll show you numbers that mean nothing:

These are splits. I should have used my lap button my watch. I will likely never learn to utilize this function.

And an elevation chart for fun:

Rolling little hills, you felt flat to me.

People in NYC are always like, “OMG Harlem Hills, those bitches, so long, so steep, ate them for breakfast, suck it, Harlem.” I really don’t think the hills are so bad. In general, I’m a terrible incline runner. But yesterday’s workout took me to the hills:

  • 1-mile warm-up to West 102nd Street
  • 3 clockwise loops of Harlem Hills (clockwise, in my opinion, is the easier way to go — you go up two hills instead of one, but they’re far more gradual and, I think, shorter) at marathon goal pace
  • Pick it up to 5K pace each time across the 102nd Street Transverse (How boring is this if you don’t live in NYC and have no idea what I’m talking about?)
  • Cool-down, good times

I loved this run.

Really loved it. As in, “marathon goal pace feels so easy and I’m flying and this is what runner’s high feels like!!!”

Seriously, post-run I was all runner’s high-ish for at least five minutes. Victory!

Why so great?

Well, like I said, marathon goal pace felt oddly effortless. In fact, I was faster than MGP for most of the run, both on the downhills and the uphills. Oops. I’m not sure what my 5K pace should be, but I’m thinking I should aim for 7:20s or faster, since my 5K PR (not an all-out effort, just a pre-Thanksgiving jaunt) clocked in at a 7:27 pace back in November.

During my third trip across the Transverse, my pace was a sweet 7:05.


I hate the bathroom stops along the way, but it’s amazing how for minutes during these runs I can feel so stinkin’ good. I can’t wait to feel better and be able to crush these runs without having to ask the pool attendant lady if I can cut the line for a “bathroom emergency.”

It’ll happen. And it’ll be awesome.

Runner’s high!

And today I rest.

My final thought: I’m thinking about quitting my gym and joining a yoga studio. Wouldn’t that be weird? We’ll see.

Time to work and be social and pretend I’m not Crohnsing! Have a great day and a wonderful weekend! Wear sunscreen. Run. Sleep a lot. Eat watermelon.

AND SHARE SOMETHING GREAT: Any lingering, random thoughts from the week? What’s been on your mind? Let it all out. We can discuss your deepest thoughts, feelings and concerns. This is the perfect place for that.



51 Responses

  1. Not to be a party pooper, but…

    I came to you from Fitness magazine, was excited to check out your blog. Not sure why you feel the need to trash someone’s religion, but it didn’t make for a very good first impression. Don’t think I’ll be back. Take care.

    PS I’m not a Scientologist…just pro-compassion and authentic dialogue.

  2. I just came across this blog because of the Fitterati thing, and I freakin love you. Why is Scientology so weird!?

  3. I think joining a yoga studio in lieu of a gym is a great idea! I think running and yoga really go hand-in-hand, it really does shake everything out and is a total body workout.

    So glad you’re back in the office and getting a new doctor! Hope you had a great weekend!

  4. Dude, I had shingles when I was 19. NINETEEN. And to this day, it still ranks up there as one of the most painful experiences of my life. (I also had a staph infection a few years later, which was misdiagnosed for two months.) I was a music major in college at the time and my shingles rash/infection was centered all around my right shoulder blade, so I had to postpone my viola and piano juries that semester because it hurt too much to play. BUT! I played Mahler’s entire second symphony WITH SHINGLES! And by the end of the concert, I was in tears and my family was all, “Awww, look – Sara’s so emotional from the music that she’s crying.” But it was really more like, “Sara’s in so much pain, she can barely read her music and wants to die, but it’s MAHLER 2 and Mahler 2 is one of her favorite pieces EVER and there’s NO CRYING IN MAHLER.”

  5. Haha, I love your thoughts on babies! Have you ever seen peopleofwalmart.com? I wanna make a website similar to that, called Ugly Babies of Facebook. I’ve even gone so far as checking to see if the domain is available and it is. Still contemplating registering it, it make be the key to riches. 😉

  6. Okieee! I will keep those tips in mind when I compose next week’s race recap from my 5k this weekend. But I still am going to talk about what I eat… you’re going to want this stuffed shell recipe I made. I promise!

    The yoga studio would probably be great on your overall health… also connected, have you looked into massage therapy as well? If you’re not too familiar with it, I talk a lot about it on my blog being a massage therapist and all.

  7. I slept in this morning! Very very rare for a Saturday or even any day! And it was a 10 hour dreamland sleep. Guess the heavy load workouts and runs in the past few weeks caught up. Plus the weather and temps were awesome – light drizzle + cool. Then it was a leisurely brekkie. Enjoy your weekend Ali.

  8. No, not all babies ARE cute. But I think their parents are given rose-tinted glasses not to see. In my bunch of friends, one of them had a baby three weeks before me and he was UGLY! Not kidding. And she thought he was beautiful. Now he got better looking but he was an ugly baby and she couldn’t see it. So whilst I knew my son was utterly exquisite, there was a nagging fear that I was blinded by love/sleep deprivation as well and my dude was ugly too. But I know he’s not. Anyway…you do well to compliment a little more tactfully. I say that an ugly baby is ‘sweet’ or ‘cute’ which is stretching the truth sometimes but not quite lying.

    And no, don’t do a Tri. You (and I) would drown…why bother??? Run and cycle, much more fun.

  9. I just spent the last 3 weeks in bed with shingles- what a horrific experience! As soon as you tell someone you have shingles they respond by saying that their 90 year old relative had it too. Thanks for making me feel that I’m a million years old (I’m only in my 30s!) . Gotta thank those immonusuppresant Crohn’s meds for this one!

  10. hahaha I love your honesty 😉
    SO WITH YOU on the ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy’ thing, drives me bonkers!!! And agree that I’d much rather hear about how someone felt during a race than what they did leading into that race. I always skim right passed the part about the expo, what they had for dinner, etc. i just wanna hear about the race!!

    And PS go for the yoga, quit the gym!!! best decision you’ll ever make 🙂

  11. I thought you hated yoga! Doesn’t your gym include yoga, so you can have the best of both worlds?

    Welcome to evening running!

  12. I am so with you on the race recaps – I really just want to know how they felt, what they thought of the course, the entertainment along the course. I don’t care too much about your prerace meal mainly because every runner seems to stick to the same things.

  13. Remember when you dropped me on the run yesterday? Thank you for not mentioning it in your blog. So humble, A.

  14. I got shingles in high school! Even my dr. was baffled. I love reading race recaps too. I just don’t know how people manage to get them up so quickly! It takes me at least a week to get mine up…sometimes longer.

  15. everyone has their demons to battle. for some its smoking addiction. consider yourself lucky that you don’t understand!

  16. Fun post 🙂

    I ride and bike too and I hate when people ask if I want to do triathlons. Why cant I just enjoy running and cycling?! I dont float, I sink so a tri isnt happening for this girl.

    75% of new babies look like aliens. Tyler is cute though.

    I call my parents Mama and Daddy. I’m from the south. It is what it is and they’ll never be anything else to me. Sorry you find it “creepy” 🙂

    My thought for the week: Treadmills kinda suck and why is it always so damn hot in vegas!?

  17. I watched the B. WIlliams (what up, hot dad?!) segment last night too. I DVR Rockcenter, thats just how cool I am. But that little machine they use to gauge your happiness or whatever is NUTS. I wanted to tweet something sassy (to steal your word) about it, but I feared I would offend someone. Ha, sensitive people. Oh and I called my dad “daddy” when I want something…. like “hey daaaaddy, can you please go get me another glass of wine?” It usually doesn’t work and he then instructs me to “never call me ‘daddy’ again.” What a poor sport.

  18. Oh I just quit my gym!!!!

    Also, I get jealous everytime I see a picture of you wearing the purple Adrenalines… I have the red pair, blue pair, but they were sold out of purple!!!

    Can I just say the GTS 12’s are so different than the perfect GTS 11’s?! The 11’s welcomed my foot and fit like a glove. When I tried on the 12’s they screamed, “Get your foot out of my body…” That didn’t make sense, but the point is I love the purple shoes!

  19. This post made me smile 🙂 I’m so glad you had a good run finally! Can you fill me in on what a remicade chair is? Also, I love so you think you can dance as well! Who are you loving so far? Happy Friday!

  20. Almond butter. LOL. Totally agree on race recaps. Talk about splits, how much you wanted to throw up, and what your time was. Way to go on your sweet hills run. I did that one a month ago and yes, it wasn’t too bad. I kinda liked it. Plus random biking dudes cheered me on.

  21. If you quit your gym, won’t you miss your chisel class and your spin instructor? Do you do core strengthening stuff on your own? Are you going to be doing that crazy version of yoga with all the body weight lifting (I obvioulsy don’t know what it’s called or know what it’s all about), like Madonna?

    I feel the same way about triathlons. I think the biking and running parts are completely doable, but swimming in open water… ! I’m happy every time I swim at the gym that I didn’t almost die (even though the pool is only 4 feet deep and all I would have to do is stand, if I ever had an issue).

    I totally agree with you about some babies not looking cute. It’s really hard when you see them in person — you want to avert your eyes.

  22. Tyler IS really a very cute little guy. A lot of babies are funny looking but he’s go it going on.

    I really admire your attempts to run even when you are feeling less than stellar. It’s tough to push through that and I think you are a champ.

    Have a great weekend!

  23. you crack me up. i completely agree on two of your points:

    there are such thing as ugly babies. sorry, there just are. i’ve said it as long as i can remember: ‘if my baby is ugly, i’m not going to act like it’s not’. the good news is they usually grow out of the rat-like stage.

    can’t stand unrealistic race recaps. there is no way you ran 26.2 miles and felt f*cking fantastic the whole time. let’s be honest; i want to here the guts & glory as well.

  24. I DID go into a scientology church with a friend at age 14. We wanted to take their stupidly long personality test. And then they tried to hire us. We said “how old do you have to be?” and they said “well how old are you?”.


  25. Hah, I completely know what you mean about babies! Seriously, it’s like once you hit your mid-twenties Facebook becomes flooded with them… and boy, not all babies are cute. I mean, they probably have cute personalities… just not faces.

  26. I love this post!

    First of all, don’t get mixed up with Scientology, seriously, you go into a church and they will SUCK you in and you will never be able to leave, it’s like a cult. Be happy you guys couldn’t get in.

    Also, I completely agree with the race recap thing, I just don’t get it when people don’t post their stats, I love looking at that stuff.

    I have a friend who uses Mommy and Daddy too much and it drives me crazy.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  27. i love the word Crohnsing. wondering what my mom would say if I told her to stop ulcerative colitising. (she’d probably tell me she didn’t pay for my U of Michigan English education to turn all words into verbs.)

    advanced apology: i will not stop posting pictures of almond butter and raspberries, because EVERYONE should care about that. (sarcasm. still not stopping. i like close-up pictures of food.) and i don’t run with a watch. watches make me sad. races make me happy. talking in rough estimates makes me very happy. though i do love reading other people’s technical race jargon!

  28. So with you on the tanning thing. Maybe this is because I can’t actually tan so I just turn more polka dot-y and/or red and red is for hair, not for the face. But, I may or may not have friends who refer to me as “Coppertone Amy” (think smokey the bear…) and former coworkers who have implied that my sunscreen collection might fill the hole in the ozone layer.
    Also, I can’t stop thinking abotu the fact that I want to run another half but have not gone for a run in over a week. Makes SO much sense, right?

  29. Quitting the gym is kind of scary (it took me a year of not going because I was consistently going to a boot camp, spinning, and the pool, to finally quit the gym), but it’s actually really liberating! Do it!

  30. Oh Ali, I feel like I could have written so much of this myself (except for the part where you run way faster than me even in the middle of a flare up).
    #1) Generally for race recaps the first thing I do is scroll to see the finish time. If I don’t see it I generally skip the whole darn thing. Sometimes people will post pace per mile and not the finish time, but I am not reading blogs to do my own math. Sorry.
    #2) Not all babies are cute. My babies are cute. Tyler is cute. But I also have FB friends who post pictures of their kids where I have to comment on what a cute shirt it is wearing.
    #3) ITA on the whole “Mommy” and “Daddy” thing.
    #4) Katie Holmes seriously looked like a total zombie during her marriage. Scientology is wacked.

  31. Ok, stupid question, but how do I get my splits from my Garmin? I don’t post my splits because I don’t know how! Help! Also, I had Shingles when I was 28. Not fun (and not just for old people)!

  32. I will also be “running” NYC as my second marathon, and improvement comes with experience as you said. I am trying to break the 6 hour mark, haha. I am totally freqking out about the bridges as I live in Florida, land of the flat…
    Good luck training!

  33. I love race recaps that give an accurate description of the course. I really don’t care what you ate before, during, and after the race. I do not understand the make out session with the medal shot either. Also–Expos–not interesting. It’s like writing about every mall in America.
    They were organized and had great vendors—you don’t say!

    (I say with this a recap post linked. Irony, I get it.)

  34. My old roommate and I tried to go to a Scientology church once too, just for funsies, but apparently you need to get some kind of assessment to see what level you’re at, or something crazy, when you first go – and that assessment cost $120??!! We went to Starbucks instead.

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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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