Thankful Things Thursday: On Powering Through

These next few weeks are all about stamina.

On the running front, sure. I will need stamina to excel in my training.

I like Excel spreadsheets.

But also, I will need stamina to get through the crazy work schedule coming up, the social “obligations” and the early morning/late night combos. So much for the whole “I’m getting tons of sleep these days, yo” proclamation I just made.

Spent? Yes, maybe a little. BRIAN, STOP TAKING MY PICTURE WHEN I'M ASLEEP. J/K, I obviously don't care. Here is the photo for the Internet to see.

Oh well. No complaints here, just good things around the corner.

In the spirit of recognizing good things, I say we should celebrate Thankful Things Thursday. Want to play? Blast off!

I’m thankful I powered through this morning’s run. Yeah, we’re talking about running first today. That’s because I have good things to report. I was tired and bad-stomach-feeling this morning (solid diagnosis, Ms. Feller), so I had sadly low expectations for my run. Sorry, expectations. You lose. I ended up having a lovely jaunt in Central Park to start the day.

Coach Cane‘s plan:

  • 1+ mile warm-up along the Bridle Path to West 86th Street
  • Two counterclockwise loops of the Bridle Path at marathon goal pace
  • One clockwise loop of the Bridle Path at half marathon goal pace
  • 1+ mile cool-down
  • Fist pump with excitement when you actually accomplish this workout

One of those instructions did not come from Coach Cane.

Now, the terrain on the Bridle Path is not quite even. There are rocks and wood chips and the occasional mud puddle. It’s certainly not hilly, but it’s not quite as flat as the Reservoir. Coach Cane said I could be “conservative” on my first two laps — his bigger concern was the negative split. “Make sure that you don’t get sucked into starting too aggressively,” he kindly advised.

Oh, Coach. It’s like we’ve worked together before or something. You think you know me so well.

Wait, you've seen this photo before? No you haven't. You're imagining things. PS, Coach Cane, let's have a photo session together soon. These year-old ones are getting, well, old. Even though we look very happy together.

Truthfully, this run did not start out so well. I took the warm-up slow, did my bathroom thing, and then picked up my pace slightly. The first two laps seemed to go on forever. I felt like I was laboring far more than I should have been, and even though I wasn’t breathing heavily, my legs felt like they were perhaps filled with lead or steel or very heavy chocolate pieces.

Then, something crazy happened.

I reversed my direction, as instructed, and started my final — and fastest — lap.

My goal was to maintain a 7:45–7:50 pace. It’s weird how easy this felt. Not effortless. I was definitely working. But it felt more natural than the first two laps.


If you’re a numbers person, here you go:

That fancy "lap" function on the watch is getting so much use lately. Laps 1 and 2 begin with the third split and continue until the sixth split. The faster splits are the third lap. But yeah, you got it. You figured it out already.

Happy Ali will enjoy a little runner’s high this morning. And then she will stop doing the weird third-person talking thing.

And now I rest until Saturday.

I’m thankful for the new black pitbull mix puppy that moved into my building. He is 11 weeks old and I have learned that his nameless owner takes him for a walk right around 7 AM every day. Oh, weird, that happens to be the exact time I return from my run.

He has little white paws and I love him. He is very friendly and mostly just excited about life in general. We bonded over our mutual enthusiasm for existing.

Am I the creep who takes pictures of strangers’ dogs? Yes, apparently I am.

I’m thankful Brian made breakfast. Mmm fruit juice. We (um, he) hadn’t busted out the juicer in a while, and this morning I wasn’t in the mood for solid food. (What is happening to me???) So Brian made pineapple and strawberry juice, and I drank it from a wine glass and it was very refreshing.

I’m thankful that even after living in New York City for five years, I can still appreciate being a tourist in my own city. On Saturday, Brian and I decided to play a game called “We live here but we know we still have a lot to learn.”

I guess that’s a long name for a game. Maybe we should come up with a new title.

We spent the afternoon on a double-decker “hop on, hop off” tour bus, learning all kinds of fun facts about Manhattan.

You think I'm the one who loves the camera, but clearly I'm not the only one.

We really did get to see some cool stuff, though. I don’t think I ever take NYC for granted because I love it so stinkin’ much and think living anywhere else would be crazy (no no, I’m sure your town is lovely even if it doesn’t have a 24-hour Duane Reade right downstairs for all your midnight needs), but I do get in the habit of doing the same things and going to the same places over and over. I have my favorite spots (Central Park, near the Met), my regular restaurants (Alta, Tony’s, Beyoglu, Luke’s Lobster) and my go-to places to take out-of-town guests (16 Handles is a must-see, I swear). It was fun to hear little facts about NYC that I didn’t know, and I would repeat them back to you here but I have already forgotten many of them.

I’m a really good learner and an excellent listener.

New York, you’re the best. Thanks for being so nice to me some of the time.

I enjoy the Flatiron Building. I have never been inside.

I’m thankful for my new blue shorts. They’re very bright, and you probably know by now that I am not big on dull colors.

I know this shot is neither flattering nor cute, and I know I should paint my toes or try to pull myself together for summer and "sandal season." But whatever. Just look at the color of the shorts.

Give me neons, flourescents and anything jewel-toned and I’ll be thrilled.

I did learn a good lesson this morning, though, which is that sweat of any kind is much more noticeable on blue shorts than black shorts. Noted.

Look at Dani! Isn't she being cute with her granola? I kind of look like a giant next to her, though, and I swear I'm only 5'5".

I’m thankful for the nice people who come here and read my crap and comment or email me to share their stories. Sometimes I don’t want to blog, and sometimes I think it’s dumb that anyone reads what I have to say, because I don’t really have much to say at all. So when there’s happy feedback, it makes my heart feel good. Thanks for that.

I’m thankful I get to see one of my favorite people tonight!!! Three exclamation points. The newlyweds are in town and it’s going to be a magical evening. I haven’t seen Lauren since January, which is madness, and tonight I get to see her and make her tell me in person every detail about her life as a married lady.

Just kidding.

We’ll probably talk about running the whole time.

BRB, going to creep Lauren’s blog to find a cute wedding picture to show you:

This is great. I can't wait to Photoshop myself into this with my sweet dance moves. Brian, can you help me? Do you have Photoshop?

Have you ever seen a happier couple? Other than a picture of me with a brownie?

So anyway, I’m pumped to plow through the work day and then hang out with these two kids. Countdown: ON.

I’m thankful I’m starting to feel better. It’s a slow process and I’m eager for my next doctor’s appointment coming up. I’m hoping I like this guy and we can begin a long, special journey together. I always try to put a positive spin on things, but with all the health up-and-downs this year, it’s honestly been pretty tough.

More on that another time.

Today I’m feeling good, I’m feeling psyched and I’m ready to rumble.

I am actually not ready to “rumble.” Please, no one track me down in hopes of rumbling. I’m not up for it. I don’t even really know what this all means.

With that, let’s wrap up this gratitude-fest.

TIME FOR YOU TO GET HAPPY AND CONTRIBUTE: What are you thankful for today? The presence of puppies? Your health and happiness? New running shoes? Clean laundry? A dirty dishes-less sink and a ready-to-be-emptied dishwasher? Cookies? GO.



44 Responses

  1. The fact that you’re asleep in that photo while holding a book about ending exhaustion is just too good.
    I’m a day behind (woops), but I’m thankful that I’m moving back to college in less than a month! This will be my senior year (yikes) & I was abroad last semester, so I haven’t seen all my college friends since December. Needless to say, I am PUMPED to get back there!

  2. Oh Ali,
    Thank you so much for writing your blog! I love to read it and it literally makes me laugh out loud. I am so thankful for its existence! But also, I’m thankful for my new home and neighbourhood and I’m going to convince my bf to take a bus tour of our city (which is not nearly as cool as New York!)
    One day I’d love to run central park!

  3. I’m thankful to be flying to San Francisco today — American Airlines willing — for Sunday’s half marathon … And to inaugurate my new I <3 Sweat shirt during the race! I've been saving it. Such discipline.

  4. Colleague who hooked me up with some biscuits for a mid morning snack – I was famished and had nothing in my desk drawer.

  5. Thanks for including me in this post! I’m thankful for my wonderful family, friends (new & old), doggie, running team, and anything that puts a smile on my face!

  6. I am thankful…tomorrow’s Friday? That’s about all I can come up with. Oh wait, after spending 2 days in DC over the past week, I am thankful I don’t live in the sauna that is our nation’s capital. Great city, WAY too hot. Oh, and I’m thankful I was home in time to catch the UPS guy delivering my new veggie steamer!

    And I’m glad to know you also have a love of Alta. I feel like that is such an underrated restaurant. It is always crowded, but I don’t hear people giving it same love as other popular spots. So yummy, and such a good time vibe — love it!

  7. I’m thankful that I (finally!) made the time to do a little summer closet cleaning! A lot of work at the get-go, but so rewarding to have an organized space and clothes to donate after!:-)

  8. Hope you have the best time ever with the newlyweds tonight! I LOVE YOUR BLUE SHORTS and I want pitbull puppies to play with!

  9. I am grateful that as I got to the end of this blog I realised I’d left the bath tap running!!!! Only found ur blog today after signing up for my first half marathon (aaaaah help) and its given me more motivation and encouragement – I can do this!!!! (Maybe). Jess x

  10. Forgive for I live in Chicago and not NYC…but what is the point of running counterclockwise and then clockwise…? Is it hillier one way or what? Just a ‘change of scenery’?

    P.S. I am thankful for TTT. And for the fact that my boyfriend doesn’t take pics of me sleeping. 🙂

    1. Good question! Yes, the terrain is slightly different in each direction. Though, honestly, I didn’t ask Coach Cane specifically why he wanted me to change directions. I’ll check in and report back to be sure!

      1. It’s probably not about the terrain. It’s the fact that you’re turning: if you were to turn only in one direction you’d tend to overuse certain muscles because the stress to your legs is uneven (asymmetric). That’s what lead to issues when running on a track for instance.

        Granted, there aren’t much sharp turns on the bridal path and reservoir, but still, you are turning. So mixing it up is good, and your IT band will thank you.

  11. I’m thankful for Beyoglu and their addicting bread and mezes! It was my fave place when I lived in NYC (85th & 3rd) and I make a point to get back there whenever I visit.

  12. I’m thankful for Katie C for notifying me of future 16 handles-ness. But bigger than that – biggest as a matter of fact – is my thankfulness that my mom drives up today and tomorrow I AM ON VACATION.

  13. I’m thankful for the 4″ foam mattress pad I got for 60% off yesterday. It’s going to make sleeping after a long run much better!

  14. Im thankful that after moving to France a year ago, I’m getting my first out-of-country visit tonight from one of my best friends from high school!

  15. I’m thankful my parents are visiting me in the town where I go to grad school! I haven’t seen them since April and they are currently at the beach (15 mins from my apartment!), waiting for me to get off work and come hang out with them! 😀

  16. I’m thankful I scored a seat on the L in Chicago this morning! This is HUGE and rare! And my next L train was just hanging out waiting for me! And I’m happy I totally DOMINATED a treadmill run and the thunderstorms /not be able to run outside didn’t automatically put me in a bad mood day mindset!

  17. I’m thankful for baby brie and fiber one brownies at the office!! Yes, that’s right, cheese and a brownie for breakfast.

  18. Today I am thankful for being sore and tired. I am sore because I have been actually sticking with a work out plan this week. I am tired because I was out late at the Florence + the machine last night at Red Rocks! One of the best shows I have been to in a long time!

  19. I am right there with you when it comes to bright colors. All of my work out/running gear is obnoxious. I have to be pretty conservative at work (I work in the financial industry) so things get a little ridiculous outside of work.

    I am thankful for Thursdays because it’s almost Friday which means it’s almost the weekend. Was that confusing? Probably.

  20. Hurrah for happy posts and good runs and hurrah for cute photos of Lauren’s wedding. I love her blog and her wedding post was the best EVER!
    Today I an thankful for Rory – my best friend here gave birth to a little boy last night and he’s perfect. I’m also thankful for the sunflowers cheering up my dining table and I’m thankful for Nike Plus data showing I’m getting faster. Still slow, but less slow than I was! Happy Thursday, everyone, it’s a good day.

  21. I’m thankful I ran this morning and beat the rain! Also, I’m thankful that I negative split during my run this morning. Now, if only my office could not be freezing cold.

  22. Just thought you should know I generally leave your blog for last (on my growing list of “blogs to read”) because it makes me laugh aloud and have a generally sunny disposition for the remainder of the morning.

    I’m thankful I have mobility to run! I didn’t feel like getting out of bed this morning and then I was like, “Chelsea. You can run. Do it.” And I did.

  23. I’m thankful for the surprising PR I got on a 5K I ran last night while wearing my I <3 sweat shirt. I'm also thankful for everyone in my family that came out to watch!

  24. I’m thankful I finally got out of bed this AM for CrossFit even after hitting the snooze button 17 times. Have to remind myself (um everyday) of how I feel after running or a workout.
    Also thankful for not having to go out of town this weekend for the first weekend in a while!!

  25. I’m thankful for the thunderstorms we have been having every evening and night. No watering the garden or lawn and everything is cool. Speaking of garden, I’m thankful to have picked the first of the peppers. Here in Wyoming, we are behind most people in our growing season.

  26. I’m thankful for the bag of hand-me-downs my PT gave me on Monday. BCBG, J.Crew, and Anthropologie?! And I don’t have to wash them? Yes please!

  27. So cool you took that tour. One of my best friends is a tour guide on those buses. I’ve lived in NYC for 34 years, and when I took his tour I learned new things about NYC. I live in Philly now, but miss NYC every day.

  28. I’m thankful for my supportive friends and family who let me vent, tell me everything will be ok, and don’t hang up on me/block me on gchat when they are likely getting sick of me.

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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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