A Tough Year

As each year passes, I find myself making a grand declaration that “This was the best year ever!”

In 2005, I studied abroad in Australia.

The 12 Apostles. Actually took my breath away.

In 2007, I made sure to go all-out during my senior year of college (that mostly means “drink all the boxed wine”). I lived in a house off-campus with four of my best friends, I was captain of my kickline team and we won first place at our final competition.

Back then I could kick high. Now I can't touch my toes.

I kicked off 2008 having just moved to New York City to pursue my dream job. I was feeling truly independent for the first time in my life and I loved it.

For each year that followed, there were low points, of course, but each year still managed to wrap up as “the best.”

In 2009 I ran my first half-marathon.

Aw. Memories. Little did I know I'd get hooked on the whole "running" thing.

In 2010, I had been promoted at work and I felt like I had finally mastered that elusive work-life balance. (I would later learn to fail at this over and over, but that’s OK.)

The day I got my own office (with a door!) at work was the best day ever. EVER.

2010 was also the year I started Ali On The Run. I created the tagline “Living, running & kicking Crohn’s disease in the butt in NYC,” which is admittedly far too long and not very catchy. I remember including the Crohn’s disease part because it was something that made me a little different in a swarm of running blogs. But I didn’t think about it too much, because despite having the disease, it was hardly a crucial part of my life at the time. I never anticipated that Crohn’s disease would actually play much of a role in my life or on my blog.

Then came 2011 — arguably the best best year ever for me.

I PR’d the heck out of a half-marathon, crushing my goal time by more than 15 minutes.

I moved into my own apartment, the sweetest little studio I’ve ever seen (minus the green toilet that had flushing problems, and the shower drain that never quite functioned), and truly enjoyed being on my own for a while.

I got selected to participate in the Run For The Rabbit competition, where I got to train for my first marathon, raise a buttload of money for charity and — bonus! — meet Brian.

The best day during the best year.

2011 was so great.

Surely I thought 2012 would be “even better.”

The truth: 2012 has been the worst.

I know that’s a surprisingly un-Ali statement of negativity. But it’s been a really challenging year for me and today more than ever I’m feeling frustrated, I’m feeling sick as ever and I’m feeling incredibly defeated.

I’m not really feeling like myself at all.

I had hugely high hopes for 2012. A marathon PR in Eugene, to be followed by more relaxed training leading up to the New York City Marathon! Vacations! Spending tons of time with my friends and family! So much success!

Instead, my year began with running burnout. There was a stomach flu, which passed quickly enough, but that kicked off a chain reaction in the “my body is failing me” saga. My hip began to hurt each time I ran. Then my knee hurt, and finally there was the constant, throbbing shin pain that forced me to take weeks off from running at all.

In between the injuries, there were Crohn’s flares. First in March, starting the day I so badly just wanted to stand outside with my cowbell, cheering for the New York City Half Marathon runners.

They cheered. I scoped the Porta Potty situation.

The second flare-up came in May, just in time for my best friend’s wedding. That was super.

I managed to dance in between bathroom breaks. Yay!

Since May, I’ve never felt completely better.

In July I had another definite flare, and it just hasn’t stopped.

This weekend, Brian and I went up to the Catskills. He was doing a bike race up there, and I was just hoping for a relaxing getaway.

At times, it was relaxing. Turns out, there’s not a whole lot of excitement in the Catskills during the summer. But the weekend was also frustrating.

I was supposed to run 14 miles as part of my marathon training plan, and I failed miserably. I was also supposed to do a long bike ride in preparation for my bike race at the end of the month, but the longest I rode was 12 miles to get to Brian’s finish line, and even that required far more energy than I had in me.

My little bike came along for the ride. Too bad we didn't spend very much time together.

I was hardly the “spectator extraordinaire” I wanted to be for Brian. Though I can tell you where every public restroom is in the entire Windham/Hunter Mountain area. Impressive? Duh.

As you probably know, being negative isn’t really my thing. I can pretty much always put a positive spin on any situation.

But that’s getting harder every time I wake up in pain, either in my stomach or my joints, or every time I have to bail on social plans because I can’t fathom leaving my apartment. I’ve probably missed more work days in the past two months than I’ve actually attended, and I haven’t completed a bathroom stop-free run since marathon training began.

It’s defeating and it’s embarrassing, and I’m tired of writing about it. (Don’t worry, I realize that you’re probably tired of reading about it as well. I get it. It’s cool.) I’m tired of living it and I’m tired of feeling like I don’t have a whole lot of control over my own life.

I’m wildly excited to meet with this new doctor tomorrow afternoon. I’ve researched him extensively, and I’m feeling optimistic that together we’ll find a treatment plan that can kick these flare-ups away for a while.

Until that happens, though, I’m feeling pretty crushed. And I hate feeling that way. I promise I’ve tried to see the positive in all this.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

“It could be so much worse.”

“Many people have it far tougher than you do.”

“Your runs may require 400 bathroom stops, but at least you have legs and you can run.”

Trust me, I’ve tried. Those little sayings aren’t doing the trick anymore.

I realize how much I’m whining, and I realize how trivial my problems seem. I recognize that at the end of the day, I still have a great job, a roof over my head and clean Brita water chilling in my fridge. I have an incredible family and wonderful friends, and I’m surrounded by good people who understand (or at least sympathize with) what I’m going through when I get sick.

I also know that, in spite of its difficulties, 2012 hasn’t been all bad.

This year is challenging me and teaching me a lot. Being sick forces me to re-examine my priorities, and it makes me look at things a little differently. I’m learning to go easier on myself (um, and others…) and I’m learning what’s worthy of my stress (work, money, making family a priority) and what’s not (everything else).

2012 has also brought some great stuff, so now that I’ve whined my little heart out, let’s remember the good things…

A new apartment with a new roommate who is hot and likes to cook.
My best friend got married! I was there! I Maid of Honored!
I can't possibly label 2012 as "completely shitty" when it was the year that brought Tyler into the world. He is magnificent.

So that’s what’s been on my mind. I always said I’d keep my blog happy and positive — but I also said I wouldn’t lie to you. As much as I want to be like “I’m still sick, but it’s OK because I know I’ll get better!” right now I’m stuck in a state of frustration.

I’m sure I’ll snap out of it soon enough, and then I’ll get to re-read this and wonder why I was such a pissy brat. For now, though, I’m declaring 2012 as a rough one.

My hopes are high for the rest of the year, though.

It’s going to get better.


I hope so. Because I really hate complaining.



81 Responses

  1. Ali, I don’t usually leave comments, but I had to say, you’re post here really encompasses what most of us battling Crohns or Colitis feel on a regular basis. When youve been so positive for so long, and yet things don’t seem to be getting better. You begin to wonder if there is an end in sight, or if you should accept this way of life as your own. Yes, of course it could always be worse, for all of us… No matter what our circumstance, everyone is dealing with something. However, most people don’t realize what a physical illness can do to your body, your life, your ambitions, and your future. I just got home to California yesterday after a month long stay at the Mayo Clinic in MN for my 12th surgery in the last 4 years. It was the hardest surgery so far, and I have yet another surgery in November to finish what we started with this one. I try to be optimistic and think positive. Most of the time, I can and do. But in recent months, it’s been extremely difficult to be positive when I don’t see an end in sight.

    Sorry for the novel, I just wanted to tell you, you’re not whining. And as much as you hate writing about it, none of us are tired of reading about it. And for some of us, it really helps us to, not only connect with you, but to see that we’re not alone in our brief moments of Crohn’s defeat. Thank you for that, and please don’t stop writing about it.

  2. I respect and appreciate your honesty. I read your blog to see whats on your mind. And sometimes life is just crappy. I also know from reading your blog for over a year and a half, that you are strong and resilient. You will kick 2012’s ass. You still have over 4 months. You got this!

  3. You are allowed to complain Alli, it’s rough when you don’t feel well & you don’t know when you’re going to feel better. Hang in there though! You are still a rock star in my book 🙂

  4. Vent until it makes you feel better…and when it doesn’t, that’s when it is time to move on.

    I know it is AWFUL when you’re in the moment, but it is completely normal (and really, very healthy) to have a bad period, a bad year even. It is in the struggles, the disappointments, the frustrations that we do our best learning, growing, changing. If it were always good and getting better, you probably couldn’t really appreciate it. And when things get better (and they will), you will look back and appreciate this tough period. You’ll just know that you were better for having survived it.

    When I’m struggling with life, one of the things that I like to do is re-watch The Last Lecture. Randy Pausch knows how to give just the right kind of inspiration and motivation, and suddenly things just seem more clear.

  5. I’m sorry that this year has been so rough. It went downhill when I moved to Brooklyn, didn’t it? Hah! Kidding. Sort of… 🙂

    You are 100% allowed to complain, whine, and/or be cranky – this HAS been a tough year. But I think it’s going to get better. Tyler told me so.

  6. Hugs. THis year has been awful no good for me too 🙁 I started the year not coming back from an injury (still not), got my dream job that stressed me out that I was so sick for a month I couldn’t run, rolled my ankle too so missed my goal race (bye 120 bucks), Tendonitis in my foot ran with a swollen foot all spring, running burn out but managed to get it together to run my first 50 finished had fun great race, but way under what I should have done, finished couldn’t walk for 2 weeks with tendonitis, then stomach flu, then back, then ankle/heel infection and now a raging case of burnout where running makes me have anxiety attacks I feel so guilty for hating it from the Midwest drought heat that I blame. No where near your year, but if I was in NYC I’d come crack a bottle of wine with ya and we could cry while watching Molly Ringwald and Julia Roberts movies!

  7. Ok, just something to look at, I don’t want to be pushy or anything but what has really made a huge difference for my Crohns bf has been the SCD diet! He is unable to take any of the immunosuppressant meds, so not many options and this has really helped him, completely off steroids at the moment (yeah!) It may seem kind of overwhelming at first but like I said it has really worked for him!! Research it! Lots of support on FB as well for the diet.

    Ok, I’ll shut up and I hope you feel better!! If you have any questions e me and I’ll put you in touch with my bf! 🙂 And he runs too!!

  8. I’ve been reading your blog for the last month and this post inspired me to comment. I can’t begin to imagine what having Chron’s is like. However, my mom has it and even though I’ve personally (and thankfully) never experienced the pain of a flare up, I have some remote understanding of how absolutely horrendous flare ups can be from watching her go through them, which makes it all the more amazing you’re able to get out of bed during one, let alone run! Complain away. Sometimes it’s healthy to vent. I do have some crappy (no pun intended) GI problems and on days that my alarm goes off at 5:30 and I feel bad and I’d rather just stay in bed and feel sorry for myself, people like you and my mom make me say, if they can get out and run, so can I. And I do. So thanks for that.

  9. I’m sorry you are going through such a hard time with Crone’s right now. I hope the new Dr. is able to get your body back on track. Sending lot’s of healthy vibes your way!

  10. Oh Ali, I can only imagine how you feel. I really hope your new doctor is able to work out a good treatment plan and you will be back to normal-crazy Ali 🙂

  11. it is totally understandable to feel down. It amazes me that you keep so cheerful when I think I would be cursing all the way to the bathroom and back. It is far easier for people to say things like ‘chin up’ or ‘tomorrow is another day’ but I really believe in the ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’ and am certain you will get through this blip of horrid chronsing (is that a word) and run a sub 4 hr marathon someday. Good Luck!!!! and try to keep smiling!

  12. Yup, things have been and are difficult for you so far and now. Hang in there. I really don’t know how you feel and I cannot imagine being in your place. Sending prayers and thoughts your way.

  13. Ali,

    Hang in there! I began reading your blog last month after a friend suggested it to me. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s three months ago (after months of pretty awful symptoms… it’s amazing how far I will let things go in order to avoid the doctor’s office). My doctor and I haven’t found the magic combination of meds and lifestyle changes to control my symptoms yet. I can totally relate to the desperate search for a public bathroom (not always the easiest task in NYC), but the biggest struggle for me has definitely been coping with my symptoms at work.

    Before reading your blog, I felt so alone in my struggle with this disease. I don’t know anyone else with Crohn’s and it’s a difficult thing to discuss with even my closest friends (I call it the TMI disease). Sorry that this comment is more about me than you, but I wanted to express how much of an inspiration and comfort your blog has been for me. Thank you for being so open. Stay strong! <3

  14. hang in there, friend. things will get better. i hear wine and cheese helps. okay, that might not be true, but happy times with friends help. and cheese is cheese, sooo yeah. give and take. LOVE.

  15. I read your blog every day, but I rarely comment. I wish I could give you a hug! I think you are super inspiring. It would be so easy to just give up and blame Chrons, but you keep going every day. And I admire you for that!

  16. Ali, I think you’re the best. Feel better, I think sometimes you need a mini-break from feeling positive all the time, you know? To fill your bucket back up. Good luck tomorrow.

  17. keep your chin up girl!!! i also had a fabulous 2011 and had the highest of hopes for 2012, all of them to pretty much be crushed within moments of ringing in the new year. You are an amazing girl and have so much strength. fingers crossed the new doctor will be exactly what you need! keep complaining if you need to, that’s what we are here for!

  18. Ali, I love your blog. It is one of the only ones out of the over a hundred (I have a problem) in my google reader that I read every single post, and it’s not because you’re positive all the time. You are super positive when the situation warrants it, and can be viewed in a positive way, but it is is because you are real, and honest.I hardly ever comment, but I wanted you to know that I’m so sorry that your health is so crappy right now. I also wanted to let you know that I appreciate you–your blog, your humor, and the fact that you are always real. Don’t apologize. It’s posts like this that remind all the readers who are constantly inspired by you, that it’s okay to have bad days, and that no one is perfect all the time, and that is MORE inspiring than any 100% happy blog. Get well soon!!!

  19. I’m with you; 2012 can bite me. Since it’s actually impossible to set fire to an entire year — especially because it’s only August — I recommend baby animal photos and naps. Fingers crossed for the new doctor and for 2013 to be a better one.

  20. Ali you are so honest and real and that is why I read & heart your blog so much! I have digestive issues too, and boy it really curtails so much of your life. I am way more of a cyclist than a runner, and have had to abandon some pretty big events I signed up for this year, in addition to having to abandon the Chicago Marathon ( I didn’t really need that $150….NOT). 2012 totally sucks for me too. I had such high hopes for this year, especially since I turned 40 this year. You are not alone, but know that you help and inspire so much people to get back up and at ’em even though we all keep falling down. Hugs!!

  21. Sometimes in life to get through the worst parts you have to acknowledge they’re bad. Not a thing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself for a bit and then getting back on the positive train.

  22. It really is ok to be pissed at your circumstances, especially when the situation calls for it. Hopefully this doctor kicks ass and you feel better soon!

  23. I have no idea what you’re going through, but I do know there’s always an end to everything. It can only go up from here. *knock on wood* Good luck at your MD appointment!

  24. That fucking blows. No matter all the “bright spots (hello, Tyler!) your shit is your shit. Hope 2012 turns around for you ASAP.

  25. Did you get a bike?! Or are you just borrowing that one?
    Also, can I just say that Tyler is one of the CUTEST babies I have ever seen? Some babies are cute only because they’re small (when in reality, none of their features are cute at all..), but Tyler has been adorable since the beginning!
    Just throwing that out there.

  26. Good luck with the doctor visit! I hope it works out. Its okay to not be happy and positive all the time. The reason there’s such spectrum of emotions is so we can feel them.

  27. Hi Ali! It sounds like your body is rebelling against increased stress. You’ll adapt with the help of a doctor and perseverance. It’s always darkest…. 🙂

  28. Even though your year may not be going so well and you hate whining every day, take some solace in the fact that there are so many of us who empathize and feel the exact same way. Not that I don’t want you to be back to your old self and crushing every single run, but it makes me feel better to know that all runners have their slumps, usually through no fault of your own (or at least not one you can control). I’ve been beset by various injuries, sickness, etc. the past month which has reduced my running by almost 50% and it leaves me feeling down. Times like these I can’t stand reading the blogs of runners who are healthy and whose biggest complaint is that their 8:00/mph pace was SO SLOW for them as they breezed through 15 miles. Thank you for being human and reminding all of us that ups and downs are going to happen. A highlight reel of all the good things you’ve experienced never hurts either!

  29. You are wonderful and adorable. Thank you for sharing that things are sucky because when positive people admit that things are hard, it gives us all the opportunity to ROOT for you!

    Considering doing RnR Las Vegas for Team Challenge in large part because of your awesomeness, btw.

    <3 from California!

  30. It’s good to vent…sometimes things just suck. In 2010, my crappiest year in a long time, I saw a posting on Jezebel about making a “F-you” list…I made one of my own. Wow, was it cathartic. http://jezebel.com/5721528/fuck-you-2010

    I’ll leave you with a good quote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”

    You are kind, and you are fighting!!


  31. Girl! I get it. Sometimes Crohns teaches you these awesome lessons and you can say that it has made you a better person. Sometimes Crohns is just there and you learn to live with it. And Sometimes (and by sometimes I mean A LOT OF TIMES) Crohns SUCKS major!!! But you’re not alone. And even more by living it publicly you are making so much of a difference. I’m thankful for the stranger girl in NYC with the blog who makes me feel like she’s not so much of a stranger. 🙂 Keep it up, you’re strong, and p.s I think your FAB. and Awesome. and FUN. and way cool… etc, etc, etc.

  32. I think you’re more then a little entitled to be frustrated with 2012 so far. I can’t imagine how it feels to battle with Crohn’s, or any other disease that is constantly lurking, but I do understand the frustration of injury. Last summer I had just started training for my first marathon when I threw my back out at work and could barely walk after. The pain served as a daily reminder of how limited I had become and my inability to actually stand up straight. I lived on muscle relaxers and pain killers for months until the PT FINALLY helped me recover months later. But even a year after, I still get twinges and moments where my range of motion is limited, and within seconds a feeling of dread washes over my body…I start thinking, “Oh God, please not again!.” I have no miracle cure for how to get through it (other than leaning on the wonderful support system you have around you) but I do know that even on miserable days now, I appreciate the ability to run more than I ever did before. I think the only advice I can really offer is to say that you don’t have to feel positive 100% of the time. Frustration is normal; it means you care a lot about running and biking and hopefully one day very soon you’ll be able to leave the frustration behind because you’ll be healthy.

  33. I feel like it’s totally lame and cliche to say I know how you feel, but I sort of know how you feel. I don’t have Crohn’s or anything like that, but I just graduated college and the job search in this craptastic economy has been wearing me thin. After months (MONTHS!) of looking and getting rejected, things are finally starting to pick up.

    As tough as it is, just keep going and doing your best. Things will eventually get better, and you’ll be back to your positive self in no time. You won’t be stuck in this rut forever. And there’s nothing wrong with complaining a little. Sometimes you just have to let it out!

  34. ((HUGZ)) ! And wine. 🙂
    And a big, “I hear ya, girl!”

    I’m pretty solidly optimistic too, rarely wasting a lot of energy and time being down, but trouble with my hip this summer is just awful. When people try to give me the platitudes, they clearly haven’t been paying attention, because hey, if it’s bad enough to get ME down, then it’s the pits!

    Here’s to our boot straps… and our right to groan a little when we’ve gotta!

  35. You are totally entitled to your feelings. I try to spin everything in my life so that I realize how lucky I am, but truth is you can be the luckiest person in the world and still be going through a rough patch. Stay strong and you will get through it!

  36. Yes, hang in there. And I agree with whoever said above about making your goal just to finish NYCM. I was injured during some of my first marathon training last fall, and finished more than an hour behind my goal. But I finished.

  37. Just from what you’ve put on here, it strikes me that you’ve had a rough year. I’m so sorry. Being long-term-poorly will definitely take the sparkle out of a girl yet you manage to sparkle still. I do so hope the doctor tomorrow turns out to be the genius you need.

  38. Hang in there Ali and let it all out, sometimes that helps turn things around. While you might be feeling down, your strength and resilience inspired me to reach the goal of a lifetime. You and (early morning sweat squad) Kelly made me decide to fight through my anemia, get mentally & physically tough and climb a mountain. A mountain! (I sent you pics) Even when you might not feel your best, you’re inspiring others to be their best. Keep it up girl, I know you’re a fighter.

  39. Sometimes you just gotta get it all out, even if you hate feeling like you are complaining or whining or negative. Because honestly, you HAVE had a rough time of it health-wise and to feel that way chronically day in and out takes such a mental toll. Cut yourself a little slack, feel what you need to feel and hopefully this doctor helps you. ((hug))

  40. Ali- chin up. I can’t fully imagine what it’s like but having developed some sort of mystery stomach/digestive problem this year, that is still usolved,I have a teeny tiny insight. I too haven’t managed to run more than a couple of miles in weeks without needing a bathroom break. However, unlike you I have not persevered…instead I’ve relegated myself predominantly to the treadmill to ensure a bathroom is nearby!!! I’m pretty sure the hot guys in the weight room I have to dash through each time I need the bathroom think I am either some stupid person who just goes there to man watch or am just plain crazy, Or both!!! Still don’t know what’s wrong with me- see a new specvialist next month but like you say…it could be worse! Impossible to believe that in the moment and in the middle of it but think of the good things….I could be trés naff and list them for you like I know you (but I don’t unless blogsphere counts?) but I won’t.

    Personally I’d follow EmilyHO’s idea and just go out there and do your thing to the best you can…and if you don’t manage to do what others might well I’m pretty certain you’re still kickin their butts if you consider what they’d do if they had Crohns too!!!


  41. Guess what? You ARE having a tough time of it right now and it IS ok to vent about it here without fear that we’ll find you super negative and annoying. You are SO NOT. You always have such a positive and optimistic spirit, even in the face of the most frustrating circumstances. I am always so wowed by that. So please, feel what you need to feel before you move on from that frustrated emotion, it’s far better than bottling it up or ignoring it. And ps. I hope you find some relief soon with your health issues lately, so frustrating 🙁

  42. Hey Ali, I feel you. My foot stress fracture was my first serious injury in almost 10 years of long distance running and bouncing back has been really hard. Negative thoughts are hard to shake, but deep down I know I’ll eventually be back, and I know you will too! Good luck with the new doctor, I hope you finally find a keeper.

    1. I have to say, I’ve been so impressed with how you’ve handled your injury. I know I’m not there with you (and there may be behind-the-scenes meltdowns happening), but from what I’ve gathered you’ve come back from your stress fracture with patience and grace, and I KNOW it will pay off for you in November. Can’t wait to try and chase you to the finish line (far, far behind, but still). You’re doing great!!

  43. Ali, you are amazing! I am hoping that the new doctor will make tremendous strides in helping to control/get rid of your Crohn’s flareups. Your honesty in this post is so touching and I’m really hoping the very best for you.

  44. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

    Because when life is shitty, hugging it out makes things a *tiny* bit better. Hoping and praying this doctor puts the KO punch in the Crohn’s and provides you with some relief!

  45. This year has certainly been less than awesome, but as always, I’m so impressed at how hard you work to learn from everything and put a positive spin on even your worst days. You’ve certainly earned the right to complain — I can’t imagine how tough it must be not only to feel bad so often, but to continue to work, run, and smile through all of it. No matter what, you still manage to find the silver linings and inspire me and so many others to do the same. Hang in there — my fingers are crossed that the new doctor will be fantastic and the next 5-ish months can redeem 2012 for you!

  46. It’s fine to vent. Speaking for myself (and others), I/we love reading your blog and if your ‘whining’ got on my/our nerves, I/we’d just click away. I/we don’t. So you’re alright. Honestly. Yes, 2012 seems to be a crazy year all around. I have no other good advice than to say, stick with it, you’ll get through it. And in the meantime, know that there’s a gazillion (?!) people out there rooting for you! 🙂

  47. First off, I love you and wish I could come up there and give you a big hug!! You are always welcome to email/call/text me and complain, heck you know I do the same to you! I will think good thoughts for you and pray this doctor can help you achieve health without medicine!

    And now, a little “Friends” quote to brighten your day:
    Ross: Chandler entered a Vanilla Ice look alike contest and won!
    Chandler: Ross came in fourth and cried!

  48. I’m sorry that you’ve had struggles, and I know that me saying “you’ll get through this! You’re a fighter!” doesn’t really help much but it’s true. Also, people keep telling me that all of the unknown uncontrollable life curve balls will serve as excellent experience in patience for my type a tendencies, so maybe there’s that? Until then, go sing “it sucks to be me” from avenue q, because when life hands you lemons, you should obviously crank up the broadway.

  49. Hey Ali,

    I may admittedly be PMSing but I teared up a bit reading this in my cubicle; 2012 has been really hard for me too. It gets so exhausting getting up after falling down over and over again and repeating those hopeful yet annoying motivational phrases. For what it’s worth, it feels like a giant exhale knowing someone else is tired of it too. It doesn’t come across as whining to me, it is honest!

    And, to quote another cheesy saying, this too shall pass 🙂

  50. Where in the Catskills? I have a new found appreciation for that area after having to head up July 4th weekend to pay a speeding ticket from when I was up there skiing, lol. I can hook you up with some cool spots if you ever go back 🙂

    And you are not whining, especially since you are taking action, so yay on the Doc appt!

    1. We were in Windham. I hated it. Hehe. It was pretty, with all the mountains, but I’d rather be there in the winter than the summer when it’s a ghost town.

      1. Ya, Windham is a little boring, even in the winter, lol. If you go again, head over to Woodstock which isn’t too far, maybe 30 minutes, but so worth it, lots of shops and stuff to do.

  51. I know you didn’t ask for anyone’s opinion, but I always feel badly for you so I’ll state mine. I would throw the sub-4 idea out the window and simply aim for the completion of the November marathon. You have a unique condition that most runners don’t have, and you have to allow yourself to train differently and examine each race differently. With your disease I don’t think you’ll be able to always PLAN (probably hard for a type A personality) which races you’ll be able to run fast.

    You’re not stopping because you’re out of breath. You’re not stopping because you need a drink. You’re stopping because you have a very serious medical condition that being “strong willed” cannot conquer.

    You are only in your twenties (take this from someone pushing 40), and you have the capability (you have quite a fast half marathon under your belt). It might not be THIS marathon, THIS year. Trust me, you have got all the time in the world to nail the marathon.

    Sorry for the novel.

    1. First, don’t feel badly for me! Please. Second, thank you for the very kind, thoughtful comment. You’re right that it could be more detrimental than “awesomely ambitious” to aim for a sub-4 race in November. I’m going to give myself a few more weeks of training before I abandon the goal, but I am already preparing myself for the inevitability that it may not be my race to go big. Your comment was great. Thank you.

  52. Ali – I love your blog everyday, but these are the posts that will keep me a reader for life : you are SO honest and real.

    I have a hard time with not-so-happy and magical posts and I have learned so much from you. 2012 has had ups and downs for me too, but also has been one of the worst in many ways.

    Here’s to better times for us all <3

  53. You are so strong! You have had an amazing year and are doing awesome things without letting Crohns get you down. What an inspiration 🙂

  54. I’m here with you about 2012. Actually for me it was about June 2011 until the current. I’ve had deaths in the family, unemployment, injuries…crap…junk…and more. I’m just trying to think about moving forward. That is what I focus on. Just. move. forward. Hang in there lady.

  55. Did I tell you my brother and sister in law are having a boy this year? Our lives continue to run parallel! That means that based on some great things happening in my life, I do think the year will get better for you. Good luck at the new doctor, can’t wait to hear all about it!

  56. not much to say….just hang in there and remember as bad as things get they can turn around too; its just not knowing when that will happen that is so hard. having a chronic illness is its own very, very long marathon. Take care, Ali.

  57. Whine away…you’re entitled. I hope your new doctor cures all your ills and you rock the NYC marathon. 2012 hasn’t been my year (I broke my ankle & had surgery) and people who don’t run look at my crazy when I complain about my pain. They don’t get it. yes, I’m alive and I do not have a fatal disease but I’m not happy if I can’t run.

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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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