Thankful Things Thursday: Keeping On

Monday was a rock-bottom day for me.

While it wasn’t the worst day I’ve ever had physically, on the emotional side it was definitely among the toughest I can remember. I cannot ever remember a time in my life when I just felt so defeated and couldn’t get the words “I can’t do this anymore” out of my head.

Tired girl. Dirty feet. Brian made me wear socks to bed. Something about being "filthy."

Amidst all of the incredible comments on my “I want to give up right now” post, I felt helpless. (Though seriously, the comments and stories you shared were amazing and I love you for them. Big time.) I felt frustrated, I felt tired, I felt like quitting. And I was mad at myself because deep down I know I’m better and stronger than that. I know I’m not someone who gives up when things get hard, and I’ve never been the type of person to face a challenge and scoff at it, unwilling to even try.

This seemingly never-ending flare-up is testing me in a big way. I can’t say I’m prevailing and I can’t say I’m doing “all the right things.”

But I think my total meltdown on Monday, which happened right around 1 PM at my office while GChatting with my ever-patient and understanding friend LB-who-got-married-and-became-LC, needed to happen. I needed to completely lose my shit and come home and cry and freak out for a while before I could move forward and keep trying to fight this thing.

Call it dramatic. Call it pathetic. Call it weak. Sometimes, though, maybe you have to reach that breaking point, that rock bottom, to pick yourself up again.

I spent the afternoon feeling overwhelmed by so many things, and I managed to sob my way through a Broadway show I was seeing for work that night.

I should mention that the show I was seeing was Bring It On The Musical. Turns out, it’s not intended to be a tear-jerker. No one should cry during a show featuring pom poms and basket tosses.

Since then, though, things are slightly better. Maybe not in The World of My Awful Intestines, but in my brain, where things sometimes matter more.

And so here I am, slowly picking myself up from Monday’s self-beatdown, ready to get my grateful mood going. I do Thankful Things Thursday to remember the good stuff on days when I just want to stew in my rage. Usually by the time I’m done writing, I feel all therapized (it’s a word, evil red underline, come on now) and slightly more chipper. Go time!

I’m thankful for Skype. I know I’ve used this one every week since Tyler was born, but it really is the most amazing thing to be able to ignore life for a while and just stare at the best face ever.

I like your leotard, Tyler.

Everything Tyler does makes me laugh.

When I came home Monday, the first thing I did was log onto every travel site ever trying to find a reasonably-priced flight up to Boston so I could get in some much-needed family time. I was planning my escape, and I just really wanted to be home, snuggling with Ty and maybe getting some home-cooked food.

His new favorite hobby is eating his hand. He loves it.

Ultimately I decided not to execute my Great Escape. I chose to stay here and deal with things instead of running away from them.

And that’s why Skype is the best thing I can think of right now.

Last night I video chatted with Tyler, my brother, my sister-in-law and my mom, who is staying with them and babysitting for a few days (lucky).

Tummy time with Mom!!! She's going to hate this so much. But it makes me happy.

We talked for a full hour and a half, and I wasn’t thinking about Crohn’s disease or work or anything stressful. I was just laughing a lot and feeling happy.

So maybe the steroids aren’t working, but a hefty dose of Tyler On Camera is a pretty solid temporary cure.

You are a good drug, Ty.

I’m thankful I survived my first solo clip-in riding experience. I made it out for a short, easy bike ride on Monday, and it was my first time riding alone with my “OMG I’m stuck” shoes.

I don't remember the last time I bought a pair of shoes that were not made for sweat-inducing activities.

I didn’t fall, I didn’t wobble and I clipped in and out appropriately without supervision.

Do you know what sucks about riding alone? When you need to make an urgent bathroom stop, you don’t have a buddy to watch your bike. So yeah, I carried that sucker into the bathroom with me. It was awkward, but my bike and I are now that much closer.

I’m thankful for my friends.

Photo taken moments before a gallon of granola-filled Chobani took a nose-dive onto the floor. Oops.

They’re the best. I’m always thankful for them, but I’m especially thankful to have such great, understanding people in my life when I’m sick. They make the crappy times less sucky, and the good times even better. Nice work, friends.

It’s also just nice not having to explain myself.

I had a bunch of girls over for a long-overdue brunch fiesta on Saturday, and as awesome as it was having my apartment filled with cool girls and great food…

Brownies! Treat! A pancake bar! Is this not the healthy fare you serve at YOUR post-run brunch parties? Whatever. Get on board. They're the healthy fats...Totally.

…I still felt pretty rough. There were multiple times throughout the gathering when I found myself abandoning my pancake-flipping duties in favor of quality time in the bathroom. I don’t think anyone cared. They still got their pancakes…eventually. (Me on the other hand? Pancakes have officially made their way onto my Do Not Eat Ever list.)

I’m thankful for the most productive work week ever. I don’t really know how this happened, but I actually finished my work To-Do list yesterday afternoon. Blame the steroids I guess.

I’m thankful I still have something like 14.5 minutes of fame left.

They fixed the spelling of my name. Turns out, you just have to send many emails and people will listen to you. BOOM. Fame. I'm gonna live forever!

I had one line on Tuesday night’s episode of “All the Right Moves.” My mom has never been more proud.

I’m thankful for the good days, the good minutes and, yes, the occasional good runs. Running! There’s something we haven’t talked much about. And with good reason: There hasn’t been much of it, or much of it that’s noteworthy.

I’m trying to actually give my body the break it so obviously needs. Coach Cane and I are working with a very rough plan so that I can still try to get miles in without killing myself, and without doing anything Dr. Cool Guy Who Is Nice, Too wouldn’t approve of.

So for the past few weeks, it’s mostly “try to run without stopping” rather than “try to hit this specific pace” or “try to go as fast as possible without dying or puking.” Most of the runs I’ve attempted have not been entirely stop-free. It’s frustrating, but I kind of don’t care. I still love being out there, and I’m not caring at all about marathon training right now. (Really. We’ll talk about that more another day.)

Running in the morning is tough because that’s when my stomach is usually in the worst shape. But usually by the evening it’s a bit more settled. So last night I set out hoping to accomplish some sort of run.

I’m still a little high from it.

This was not the plan.

It’s amazing to me that some days I can’t fathom getting out of bed or going beyond the bathroom and other times, like for one hour and 18 minutes last night, I can run nine miles and feel kind of incredible.

Coach Cane kindly suggested trying for a 1-mile warm-up, 6 miles at marathon goal pace (8:45 or whatever, who cares about the marathon?) and a cool-down.

I had to stop at a lovely church bathroom on the way to the park, .25 miles into the run. But after that? I was stop-free.

Let me repeat that: I was stop-free.

I did the entire workout and the cool-down without a single stop.

Yes, I realize that’s how you’re supposed to run. But that hasn’t really been my style lately.

I ran around the Great Lawn a million times (roughly) and I ignored my watch. I didn’t want to care about my pace, even though I had a plan I was supposed to follow. I just ran comfortably, and comfortably turned out to be a bit faster than marathon goal pace.

At one point I looked down and saw my pace clocking in around 8:30, and I knew I should slow down to keep the workout at what it should be, and then I said “screw it.” Criticize all you want, say I didn’t actually accomplish the workout goal. I ran, and I felt good and I didn’t stop and it was just…good.

I don’t think this run is “a sign” of improvement. I feel the same today as I did yesterday, and the bathroom happenings are still pretty ugly. But that makes me appreciate the occasional good moments so much more.


I call this "Tyler & The Ducks." I guess if he ever starts a band, that's what he can call it.

I’m thankful for my boss. We had a great meeting yesterday and she’s so understanding about my health issues. It makes everything so much easier knowing she’s not judging me for missing time as needed.

Let me wrap this up by saying I realize people have problems far greater than mine. I have a crappy disease that, for 20 years, really didn’t affect me all that much. For that I feel very appreciative. My luck and good fortune in life isn’t lost on me.

I’m thankful for a lot of big things (family) and plenty of trivial things (having a dishwasher). I’m thankful I can have days where I cry and yell and freak out (and scare people, probably), and I’m thankful I can follow those up with days where I just feel really lucky for what I have, good health or bad.

Today is a thankful day. I have now exceeded my quota for number of times I’m allowed to use the word “thankful” in a single post. Sorry.

YOUR TURN TO DO IT: What are you thankful for today? Make it something really good.



48 Responses

  1. Ali, our daughter (25) has Crohn’s & just went through almost exactly the same experience with the Prednisone. It turned out that since her small intestine was already so inflamed with a flareup, she was not able to absorb the oral Pred, so it was not doing any good. She finally went to the ER, they admitted her and put her on an IV steroid for 5 days, then restarted the Remicade at a higher dose. She’s been doing great ever since. Three weeks is a long time to be on steroids and see no improvement. If you haven’t already, please escalate this & make sure that your doctor understands the situation, that your body is not responding to it. Once they figure out how to get the inflammation down, you should feel 100% better. Praying for you, and thankful for your blog.

    1. That is very helpful, thank you so much for sharing! My doctor and I hadn’t discussed oral steroids, so I will absolutely give him a call about that and see what he thinks and if that might be an option for me. I really appreciate it, thank you. And I’m so glad to hear your daughter is doing better. That’s great!

  2. i’m not going to lie, I didn’t get much farther into this post than the words “Bring it on the musical”. I was a cheerleader in high school and when this movie came out my friends and I were so obsessed we could quote it word for word. And who doesn’t love a good musical? Seriously too much amazingness all together.

  3. I am thankful that while you were hitting rock bottom, you took the time to make MY week a little better. I found a very exciting package in my mailbox last night 🙂 You are a good person. I love it more than you can know, and I’m sure you’ve heard this many times, but you should bottle up your handwriting and sell it.

  4. Thankful for this post… I’m experiencing similar things right now and, frankly, hearing you bounce back a bit helps remember not to reiterate “I can’t do this” for a few minutes.

    1. That is the chair – the recall was because infants were falling off countertops when parents left them unattended. Rest assured he is never placed at a “high elevation” or left unattended in the chair!

  5. I am thankful that I still have 9 days before my half to train, even though I think I need 9 more weeks.

    Having to deal with chronic disease is like bad relatives visiting…you wish they would go away, but you know they are staying. I try to focus on my successes such as finishing a great run like you did (except you are way faster) and that I wake up in the morning to my 4 year old son and family, with a great job and roof over our head. My heart condition is just my burden to the rest of my life.

  6. I’m thankful I made it out of my latest depression “flare up” and feel much better since Tuesday. And I’m thankful I’m off tomorrow and my boyfriend and I celebrate our 4 year anniversary!

  7. I’m so thankful that my new roommate/superawesome friend, is my roommate. We made chicken prosciutto panini’s the other day for dinner. It was lovely.
    I NEVER could have done that with the same ease with my previous roommate. I’m so thankful she moved in.

  8. Oh I am so glad you are pulling yourself through. don’t apologize for your post the other day (which I finally just read!) or feeling the way you feel. You are well within your right. This is a huge mental and physical test for you, and it’s going to be very trying, very very trying. Awesome job on the 9 miler, you still kick a$$. don’t forget that.

  9. I’m thankful that I get to spend the weekend in NYC…I just need to finish mapping out every I need to go at eat at (such a complicated task – so many choices!)

  10. I’m really glad you had a 9-mile run. I’m thankful to be flying home to see my parents, my brother and littles sis, and my sister with the big baby bump! Yup, I’ll be an aunt soon!!!

  11. I am thankful for my health. A lot of people take their health for granted and that’s easy to do when you have no idea how hard living with a chronic health issue can be. I really admire your ability and desire to push through a tough run even on days when you don’t feel great and have to make multiple stops. Some days, I feel like giving up when my runs get tough or I’m having a bad day but I always think to myself, it could be so much worse. I am very fortunate to be in good health and I appreciate it. My boyfriend has UC, and luckily lately he has been doing well, but when he’s having a flare up, I see how hard he struggles. Its ok to feel defeated and overwhelmed sometimes, you’re only human, and you put up with a lot more than people in perfect health have to – so don’t beat yourself up if you feel like giving up sometimes. You are a strong and determined person- you may have some slow downs at times, but you will get through it. You conquered the Hamptons marathon and run amazingly fast paces on a regular basis (I wish I could keep up with your pace!). Keep your chin up- you’ve got this 🙂 I’m inspired by all that you do.

  12. I’m thankful that I get to sleep in tomorrow morning! I’m thankful that I get to see the chiropractor today to get a tune up before H2C and have him look at my wonky shoulder that hopefully is just tight and not torn but if I have to have surgery it better be this year because I already met my deductable. (not a run on sentence in case you were curious). I’m thankful that I passed the test to become a level 1 crossfit trainer. I’m thankful that after my dog escaped the other night I got him back safely.

    Side note – Ali, I love your blog. I’m sorry you’re having a sucky time and I hope things get better soon. Screw the haters.

  13. I’m thankful you’re back!!!! I’m thankful that the Hunger Games is out so I could make my husband watch it twice over the weekend. I’m thankful for the funniest toddler ever and, having read your post, I’m even thankful for being slightly constipated 😉

  14. I’m thankful for the 30 minutes left before I can leave work 😉

    And thanks for sharing through your blog, it’s really inspiring. I really hope you’ll get better soon.

  15. I am thankful that I discovered that the dress I’ve owned for 2 years has pockets!!! I SWEAR they didn’t exist before!!! OMG dresses with pockets are awesome! On another note, I had a break down at the office yesterday and about some stuff in my life. Right before the full out tears came, I mumbled “I have to buy yogurt” (WTF? I didn’t actually have to but I felt I needed to return with yogurt so now I have A LOT of yogurt) and found myself sobbing in the grocery store talking to my mom. Oooopsy

  16. I’m thankful for quiet days in the office. Work has been so busy lately, that it’s sort of a relief to sit down and have nothing to do but administrative tasks!

  17. I’m thankful the temps have cooled down a bit in the mornings here (like below 75, angels are singing!) and I’ve been able to run a little faster this week! Here’s hoping I can finally practice my marathon goal pace next week.

  18. I’m thankful for my BFF 3,000 miles away back in Buffalo, NY. I made a surprise trip back there last Wednesday to surprise her for her 30th birthday and it was spectacular. We’ve both been going through a lot lately and some quality time together was just what needed. I’m 100% with you on loving friends who you don’t have to explain yourself to – there’s something unbelievably therapeutic about being with them.

  19. Tyler is adorable! Was your mom trying to show him how to be on his tummy? 🙂 I’m thankful for the men/women who fight for our country. We found out on Monday that my brother will be deployed to Afghanistan in 3 weeks. He’s in IT, so he’ll be on base the whole time. I know Afghanistan is supposed to be the Palm Springs of the Middle East, but it’s still scary to think about my little brother being out there. Also grateful that FALL is around the corner!!!

  20. I’m thankful for hot tea, lavender and every run! So happy to hear that your mood is shifting. Hang in there girl!

  21. Glad to hear that you got to run successfully—I know that was probably a huge, huge mental boost (and hopefully a sign of good things to come!)

    I am so thankful for my life circumstances this week. I had a moment the other day where I realized I’m pretty damn lucky: I have a great job that I love, I’m living in an area that feels like home, and I have great friends, family, and a wonderful boyfriend. Do shitty things happen every now and then? YUP. But overall, I’m very, very lucky and pretty thankful for all of it right now!

    Oh, and chocolate. Always chocolate.

  22. I’m thankful that I got up and ran 3 miles this morning when it would have been so much easier to sleep in next to my man, even though I should have run 7…

    I’m thankful for birthdays, I’m turning 35 tomorrow and while I was freaked out about that number last week, I have decided this week to OWN IT! Hope that doesn’t make me too old for blogs 🙂

    1. Happy Birthday Tomorrow! Do something fun and awesome. Age is just a number. And a silly one, at that. Hope your day is great!

  23. I have been following your blog for awhile but have never commented… I’m thankful for this post! I have been dealing with Celiac and associated auto immune issues forever and am starting to feel completely overwhelmed by it.. Having weekly rock bottom days… inconsistent running/bathroom emergencies..etc. I could relate to this post so much and I appreciate your honesty about the situation and that your luck and good fortune aren’t lost on you. What a good way to say that, I think I needed a good reminder.

  24. Tyler and the Ducks = best band name ever!

    I’m thankful for…actually waking up at a decent time this morning, because as the clock ticked towards 5 am and I was still awake, I was beginning to fear I’d never get my sleeping schedule back on track.

    I’m also thankful for the annual leave allowance I have at work, and that I’ve been able to take this week off.

  25. I’m thankful that after almost 3 weeks at my boyfriend’s parents house, we’re finally going home tomorrow!! (That sounds horrible, but yeah, I’m very thankful we’re leaving)

    1. GENIUS. Ideas like that are why I’m proud to call you my brother. Just make sure Tyler remembers to stay true to his friends. He shouldn’t abandon them no matter how hot the record label executive happens to be. Stupid Mindy, breaking up the group… We should start looking into getting Tyler a Buddy Band, by the way.

    1. It was great! I really liked it. Cute, fun, definitely worth your time and singalong skills. (Really, I think you’d like it. Very peppy, perky, leaves you smiling.)

  26. Congrats on the stop-free 9 miles! HUGE milestone!

    I am thankful today for iced coffee that doesn’t suck, Cool New England weather that doesn’t make me feel like I live in Florida, and the fact that even though I think my knee is messed up it’s continued to hold up during runs. Looks like the half marathon will happen!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

listen to the podcast

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.
  • Post Date

related posts

Crohn's Disease Q&A

Crohn’s Disease Q&A

This post is sponsored by Project Baseline. As always, I write what I truly believe in and stand behind, whether I’m paid for it or

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.