The Dumb Things I Do

It’s an intriguing title, right?

I bet you’re thinking to yourself, “What moronic things has Ali done today?”

Don’t worry. There’s a whole list.

After a weekend of working, I managed to plow through another work day yesterday with relative ease. I escaped the office right at 5 PM, just in time to make it to an evening Chisel class at the gym. A smart thing I did was half-ass all the “hard” stuff. I pushed through the glute, arms and abs sections, but when we were told to do crazy jumps up onto our steps (oh yes, there are steps involved — is it not 1992 anymore?) and super-deep squats, I basically marked it.

Do you know why?

Because I didn’t think killing my quads last night would help with the speedy run Coach Cane had planned for me this morning.

Now that you know that I am, in fact, capable of making semi-smart decisions from time to time, let me tell you about all the other crap I do that makes me furious with myself.

First up: that whole “I’m going to cook a new-to-me meal once a month” resolution I made at the kickoff to 2012.

Why would I force myself to do something I hate? I hate the kitchen. I hate grocery shopping. I hate carrying my groceries home, and I hate putting them away. I do not enjoy slicing or chopping things, and I definitely don’t enjoy trying to figure out why the recipe I swear I followed (and that the recipe-creator swore would taste “OMG so good”) came out tasting like a dirty foot.

And yet I refuse to give up on my New Year’s Resolutions.

Yesterday was July 30, and I still had not cooked a single “fancy” dish all month. So I trekked to Fairway, picked up some supplies and hauled them home in an attempt to feed myself and Brian, who had several delivery establishments on speed-dial should I fail to produce something edible.

Look at all that prep work. I'm like Julia friggin' Child. Or Strega Nona. Remember her, from that little kid book? She loved spaghetti.

Since I’m pretty much incapable of cooking something even remotely complicated without a recipe, I followed this guide from Smitten Kitchen. I’m sure all you foodie people know all about this blog, but I did not, and it’s kind of awesome. The recipes don’t seem impossible, and that’s important to me.

I wanted to make something summery and light and easily-digestible (um, Parmesan cheese maybe not so much, but it’s cool), and this meal hit the spot.

That’s something food bloggers say. “This hit the spot.” Other common phrases I’ve found include “Yum!” and “Soooo good!” and “Done.”

Honestly, as much as I whined and complained about cooking one measly meal, this was incredibly easy to make and it tasted pretty good — which is excellent, since I will be eating leftovers for the next two days.

Look at that plating and that garnishing. Pasta + Parmesan cheese + lemon zest. I ZESTED STUFF. Get me a book deal. Or a Foodbuzz sponsorship, please.

I also made Brussels sprouts, which isn’t a new-to-me dish, but they were on sale.

The "before" in the oven shot...
...and the "after" extra-crispy shot.

So while I’m not thrilled with this resolution, I guess ultimately it’s not so bad…even if I do procrastinate cooking every single month.

Other dumb things I’ve done: Well yesterday I mentioned doing this century ride in August, right?

There's no turning back now. Or I will just lose a bunch of money.
Sooooo I guess I'm in...

Fun fact about that is I still don’t have a bike.

This was my initial response on the registration page. But then I worried they wouldn't accept me into the race, so I changed it to "TBD." I'm so formal and polite.

I’ve been training on the loaner from Coach Cane, and I desperately want my own bike but I haven’t quite made it to a store to make a purchase. Coach Cane says the guys at his bike shop will “hook me up,” but the shop isn’t in Manhattan, so I have to make my way there sometime next week.

Why would I sign up for a bike race without having a bike? Right. The dumbness.

But also, the website for the North Fork Century is hilarious, and I couldn’t resist clicking and giving them all my credit card information.

Funny examples found on the race registration page:

ARE YOU ALL READING THIS? No complaining, even at mile 80 when your butt hurts and you have to pedal 20 miles out of the saddle to avoid butt cheek bruising.
Am I easily amused? Yes. Is that a bad thing? NO.

Adding to my To-Do List: Purchase bicycle.

Maybe you’re wondering why it’s a Tuesday morning — a morning when I typically do speedwork of some sort — and I haven’t mentioned running.

That brings us to Moment of Dumbness #3: skipping my morning run.

Cooking, bike races, sleeping instead of running…I hardly recognize myself anymore.

Despite my best intentions of getting “a ton” of sleep last night, that didn’t happen. My 9 PM wishful bedtime thinking turned into almost 11 PM, and when my alarm went off at 5:00 this morning I couldn’t handle it.

I snoozed.

I snoozed more.

And finally I told myself that just this one time, I needed sleep more than I needed to run.

I know that perhaps you’re thinking to yourself, “But Ali! That’s not a dumb move! You listened to your body, you practiced moderation, you healthy living blogged!” Sure, it’s true that I probably did need that extra 45 minutes (woo hoo) of sleep, and that’s great.

But also dumb, because today’s workout is important — no junk miles today — and now I have no idea when the heck I’m going to do it.

Honestly though, I realized something on my walk to work, as I scrolled through my Twitter feed filled with posts like “I worked out this morning, I’m so awesome!” and “Nothing like waking up to 7 miles to start the day!” with a billion hashtags to follow: I didn’t care all that much about sleeping through my run.

A year ago, I would have flipped my shit and beat myself up. Today, though, I’m OK with it. I’ll do my best to get my run in later, but if I had run this morning, I’m confident it would have been a disaster, and that would have discouraged me even more. I’ve never completely missed a run during training, and I don’t plan to start now, so I’ll figure something out. Also, there are some things happening in my stomach that I’m not happy about, and my doctor’s appointment with the new guy is still a week away, so until then I’m trying to be all chill and relaxed about stuff.

We’ll see how long that lasts.

Finally: If you need a break from Olympics-watching tonight (as if there’s such a thing, you bunch of addicts), tune in to “All the Right Moves” on Oxygen at 9 PM. You can see me making my primetime television debut…kind of.

On set with the "All the Right Moves" cast. Immediately after this shoot, I had the stomach flu for a week. Weird.

I’m sure as the series plays out, there will be more dumb things I do…on network television.

The show is about Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini and Teddy Forance, three best friends/roommates starting a dance company in L.A. Our photo shoot with the company members in February was actually their first day of filming the series, so on tonight’s premiere episode you get to see my hand (holding a little Flip video camera) in one of the opening shots. There’s a ton of footage from our shoot in there (they were on the cover of the May/June issue of Dance Spirit), and there’s a slight chance I have actual speaking lines in upcoming episodes.

Just kidding. They totally weren’t “lines.” This is “reality TV” after all…

Happy Tuesday!

THIS IS A FUN GAME THAT YOU SHOULD PLAY: What are the dumb things in life you like to do?



36 Responses

  1. dumb things i do #1: drink too many beers while watching the women’s gymnastics finals even though i planned an early morning 6 mile run for tomorrow

    dumb things i do #2: openly weep whenever america wins gold. the national anthem just gets to me man.

  2. Ali, what gym do you belong to that has the chisel classes? Also, I’d like to bike more to cross train but only have city access- where do you go in the city on your long rides- just the park and west side hwy?

    1. I belong to Crunch, which has tons of classes. Check it out! As for cycling in the city: During the week I stick to Central Park. On the weekends I usually venture to the West Side Highway — I’ll ride down to Chambers Street and then all the way up to the GW Bridge. You can go even further north, up to the Cloisters, and I plan to do more rides on Route 9W, which you can get to by crossing the GW. It’s very biker-friendly because it has really wide shoulder lanes.

  3. I drink 9 beers while cooking, then attempt to break dance on a concrete roof. Then I drink strange, can’t-buy-it-here alcohol and take shots before bedtime.

  4. I usually brag about not buring… This weekend I forgot to wear sunblock during my race on Saturday and during my 8 mile hike on Sunday… needless to say I am now in Sunburn city… Ouch! Atleast I have super sexy tanlines… not.

  5. LOVE that you signed up for a bike race without a bike! I bought a car that was a standard once-even though I couldn’t drive standard-because it was cheaper than the automatic! (Needless to say, I learned how to drive a standard pretty quickly when I had to get to work the next morning!)

    Definitely post more about your soon to be bike buying adventure! I want a bike soooo badly! I run, I swim, I spin…and I want to do a tri, but I have yet to find a tri that involves spinning, so I think I’ll have to buy a road bike. I feel like it’s such a huge investment though so I keep holding back. Maybe I should follow your lead and just sign up for a race so I have no excuse to not buy a bike! 😉

  6. I sometimes stop my Garmin to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom. I know this hurts me when trying to figure out race pace, but I still do it.

  7. The best part of riding in Glenn’s rides are the emails he sends throughout the year, again, jealous I’m not riding!!

  8. I bet I’ll see your arm. I’ve been super excited for “All the Right Moves” since I heard about it. I heart Travis Wall. 🙂

  9. you need freshdirect! they deliver groceries right to your kitchen. I’m serious. changed my life. it totally negates the whole “carrying groceries home” deal. Plus they have amazing “heat and eat” and “throw on a pan and it’ll be delicious” meals. I sound like an infomercial, but seriously, their meals got me through law school without becoming grossly obese.

  10. And I am the opposite; after reading about everyone else’s YAY AMAZING runs in the morning on the internets for far too long, I finally decided that if everyone else could do it, I could, too.

    The dumb thing I do is continue to drink iced coffee even though it rips up my stomach. Worth it, most of the time.

  11. Dumb things? Ohh probably continuing to insist on working out in the morning even though I go to CrossFit in the afternoon and complain about tired legs.

    and continuing to buy starbucks every morning even though I have a perfectly good coffee maker.

    and chewing gum even though it makes my stomach feel like crap

  12. The bike race things are hilarious…did they really put all that? LOVE it. I’m also excited about your new bike when you get it!! And well done for not stressing about a missed run. You’ll be doubly focussed tomorrow…that’s what I find on the many days I run after a MISSED run!

    I haven’t done anything dumb at all today…but it’s only 7.45 here and I have plenty of time 😉

  13. Dumb thing I did this morning (or every morning, rather): ignored the bus schedule and decided that yes, I do have time to stop for coffee, and yes, I will TOTALLY still make the bus on time, and OF COURSE I will still make it to work on time. Buses wait for people who stop for coffee, right?

    Although today, with only 3 steps of “running” for the bus, I caught it on time, coffee in hand. Just barely.

  14. Hahaha, I love your description of food blogger phrases. Another common one that drives me crazy (in a bad way): “the addition of X really made the Y flavor/ingredient/dish POP.” I have no idea how a flavor can pop in my mouth unless it comes attached to a pop rock or carbonated beverage. Thanks for this post, it made me smile and laugh to start out my day.

  15. Dumb move: Skipped my morning run also. Except instead of an hour extra of sleep it was an hour of hitting the snooze every 8 minutes (not sure why my phone choose 8 for the snooze delay) and everytime i hit it wishing I had just dragged my butt out of bed “but its too late NOW” thinking.
    OH WELL, trying to figure out when to do it today/tonight!

  16. I limited my facebook feed and only follow nerdy twitter-ers to avoid the morning barrage of “up before sunrise for a half-mary!” posts. I also stopped going online as soon as I wake up. I’m psyched that you were able to skip this morning’s run and not care; reading about ___’s super-healthy meal of juice following her pre-work long run still makes me feel really badly about my slacker morning at the coffee shop and chocolate chip cookie breakfast.

    RE: signing up for a race and not having a bike…you’ll find one in time! And it’s been really cool to read about how quickly you’ve gotten into biking. I love it, too, and manage to get some decent miles in, although I ride a fixed gear in denim cutoffs instead of a roadie and lycra shorts.

    1. That’s a pretty smart strategy. I need to learn how to hide hashtags that drive me nuts… I KNOW THERE’S A WAY.

  17. Dumb things I like to do: spend all my money on work out clothing and races so that I don’t have enough money to eat food. How am I supposed to run in races and train if I can’t eat? Problems.

  18. The race registration copy is hilarious! I love when organizations can have fun doing something that is typically standard. You were NOT dumb by sleeping. Sleeping is amazing. Skipping one run won’t matter, and you can do it another day. Please don’t worry about it. I do dumb things every single day and constantly beat myself up and cry and go crazy, so you sleeping is nothing compared to that.

    1. Yes!!! I didn’t think anyone but my mom would get the reference! Tommy DePaola, the author, totally came to speak at my elementary school.

  19. I love the initial response to the bike description. I am also notorious for getting myself into things before I’m entirely prepared (like signing up for things without the proper training materials). I like to claim that I do it to motivate myself, but I think it’s really because I am impulsive.

    Side note: I also slept through my run this morning. Sometimes you just have to sleep. 🙂

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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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