I had huge plans for today.
I was going to tell you about how I’d just had three mostly great-feeling days in a row, and I was going to tell you about how I went running this morning and stuff.
Slight change of plans.
Instead, I’ll tell you about how I really did have two pretty good days! And then, so far, a not-so-hot one.
But I’ll take two good days, and I haven’t abandoned hope that today can still be stellar. It is only, like, 6 AM right now. There’s still plenty of time to spend outside the bathroom!
And that is why we have Thankful Things Thursday…because it’s cool to get grateful.
I’m thankful for Tuesday. Magical, magical Tuesday. Because guess what I did on Tuesday? I went running. OMG I went running. Coach Cane asked that I give running a shot if I felt up to it. He requested four stop-free miles. If I couldn’t do it without bathroom-stopping, it wasn’t worth it. I had to feel completely up for it, and I could not “even remotely approach marathon goal pace.”
I came home after feeling mostly OK all day at work. I was excited to try a run, but I was also pretty nervous. After a few really rough days, I didn’t want to get kicked while I was down. I already have enough bruises and scrapes.
I got into my running gear and I sat around for a little while. I wanted to make sure my stomach was as settled as possible before I left the apartment.
Finally, I got into the elevator and descended to the ground floor.
And then I came back up.
I panicked a little. I wasn’t ready.
So I came back to the apartment, re-visited the bathroom for a bit, and then tried again, this time more mentally and physically ready.
I left the building and forced myself to take deep breaths. You would have thought I was about to run a marathon, not “four really really really slow miles.” I take things seriously.
I planned to walk the whole way to the park instead of running right away. It usually helps to warm up my body and get things moving. Or whatever.
As I walked toward my happy place, I passed the Starbucks that’s a block away from my apartment — and I didn’t stop to use the bathroom.
Then I passed the second Starbucks that’s just two blocks past the first — and I didn’t stop there, either.
Yes, there are at least four Starbucks locations within a five-block radius of my home.
And then I was standing in Central Park on East Drive, ready to run. I was so freakin’ nervous. I just so badly wanted it to go well. I wanted to get through four miles without stopping, and that hadn’t happened in a really, really long time.
I started to run up toward the Reservoir. I’m not sure you can really call it “running” — more like just shuffling my feet around and grinning like a fool — but it happened.
Soon, I had completed a full lap of the Reservoir (1.6ish miles) and was starting a second loop.
I finished that loop, too. And kept going.
I was so slow, I was taking it so easily and I had the biggest, dumbest smile on my face the whole time.
I ran 4.45 miles without needing a bathroom break.
Thank. Friggin’. God.
It wasn’t fast. It wasn’t special. It certainly wasn’t the type of “huge” run I would have liked to be doing just 12 weeks out from the marathon. But it was huge for me.
As soon as I got home, I texted and GChatted everyone who would listen to The Tale of Ali’s 4-Mile Magic. I was happy. Really, really happy. I spent the rest of the night laying down and “stretching” and being as lazy as possible.
I’m thankful for Wonderful Wednesday. Yesterday wasn’t so bad, either. In fact, yesterday during the day was the best I’d felt in a while. I was even able to run in the morning! Again, Coach Cane is just asking that I get out for little miles right now without stopping. It’s not worth exhausting my body and pushing it through a 7-mile run if it means I’m going to be in the bathroom every half mile. I guess that’s not good “marathon racing strategy.”
I was able to wake up and run yesterday morning, which I’m psyched about because mornings are notoriously bad for me. My body wakes up and my stomach goes all crazy. But yesterday was another good one.
Again, I ran so slowly. But again, I got through it. I did have to make a Starbucks stop on my way to the park, but once I started running I felt pretty good. I’ve found that being into the run mentally makes such a big difference. If I think about stopping or my stomach hurting, I swear it brings it on. If I’m able to zone out and be distracted and think happy thoughts, I’m not worried about my proximity to the tennis court bathrooms.
Yesterday I powered through five miles, stop-free.
Stop what you are doing and congratulate me on my impressiveness.
I spent the rest of the day “recovering” from my big beastly run at a photo shoot. It’s costume season at Dance Spirit, so I was able to bask in my post-run glory in a sea of sparkles.
And then I laid on the couch all night eating awfully bland foods and watching “So You Think You Can Dance.” I’ve got this “take it easy” thing locked down.
I’m thankful for Coach Cane’s unwavering patience. I fully recognize that I am not the ideal running student. I try to be good, but my body often doesn’t cooperate and we have to shift our plans frequently. But that nice coach of mine keeps checking in and isn’t pushing me or making me feel badly for being sick. That’s cool. I like him. And I want to make him proud.
I’m thankful for the subway. Is that really true? No. I hate the subway. I hate when it’s crowded and I hate all the moronic things people do on public transportation. (If you are leaning your entire body against the pole, how am I supposed to hang on??? Please share!) But last week, I was too sick to even think about taking the subway. I was terrified of being underground and getting trapped where I couldn’t get to a bathroom. When I’m not feeling well, I’m especially irritated by smells and crowds and basically everything the MTA has to offer in the busy commuting hours.
Last week, I took cabs to and from work every single day. It was a bad one for my bank account, but it was necessary.
I took the subway without even thinking about it. And I survived. Little things like this may seem tiny, but they feel huge to me.
I’m thankful for my bike!
It’s still so nice and shiny, even after I crashed it twice. I haven’t taken it out again since Sunday. I miss it.
I’m thankful for Tyler and his health. I hope he is healthy forever and I think about that every day. Also I just wanted to mention him here so that I can show you how cute he continues to be.
This weekend, when I was feeling particularly miserable, spending a bit of time video chatting with Ty made me forget about the stupid stuff I was going through. I got to wave stuffed dragons in his face and be silly and relax. I think that is a stronger medication than steroids.
Probably not, though. These ‘roids are pretty wild.
I’m thankful for this improvement, even if it is only temporary. As I mentioned, I had two really good days and then I woke up at 4 AM today feeling un-awesome. My stomach was messy and I felt nauseous. I’m sure it’ll pass, but instead of continuing my running streak, I’m currently working on my couch-sitting streak.
It’ll be fine. I’m optimistic. Finally.
I’ve tapered down from the steroids slightly — down from 60 mg/day to 55 mg/day — and the side effects from the pills haven’t been too bad. I’m trying to control my rage (even Brian might agree that I’m doing a pretty good job with this this time around), I’m not too bothered by the sleeping difficulty and my face hasn’t ballooned into a full moon just yet. In due time…
I’m thankful for this puppy:
I don’t know this dog, but I do know that I happen to be dating someone who is even more obsessed with puppies than I am. I didn’t realize that was possible. But at least once a week I get a text from Brian with a picture of a dog he does not know. I’m OK with it.
Also, I hate pet stores and they make me so sad. I can’t go into one without crying and wanted to rescue all the pups from their sad crate lives.
Time to go chug some water and hydrate the heck out of this day. Woo! Optimism! Happy thoughts! No Crohn’s!
TELL ME YOUR HAPPY THANKFUL PUPPY THOUGHTS: What are you grateful for today? A special friend? Chocolate milk? Your clean apartment? Tell me every single detail of your good life.