Thankful Things Thursday: Let’s Make This Quick

In the spirit of promising not to complain about being busy (so busy — this job is great but it is killing meeee) or tired (I’d like to go to sleep from now until next Tuesday, and that still may not be enough to feel caught up), let’s just get right to it today, OK?

It’s Thankful Things Thursday, dang it, and no amount of work or lack of sleep can take that away from me!

Oh look, an unrelated photo of Tyler and me. Take note, though, this is the BEST children's book I have ever read. I'm not kidding. It's so good that I cried while reading it to my little buddy. My family made fun of me, but read it and I bet you'll cry, too. Also it's about giraffes, specifically a giraffe named Gerald who JUST WANTS TO DANCE.

I’m thankful for my health, because even at my sickest I’m really not that sick. A few weeks ago, when I was rock-bottoming, I would have slapped someone for saying this. Because the reality was that I was completely miserable — and I had been for weeks and weeks — and I was convinced I was the sickest person in the world, and no one would ever feel the type of pain I was feeling, and no one understands me. It’s good that I’m not a dramatic person. Can you imagine how much worse everything would be if I had a flair for drama?

Having this disease sucks, and being told by my handsome-but-truth-telling doctor that my case is “mild to moderate” was like a kick to the already swollen and busted gut. (Though he did say that it’s “active” and “severe” in my sigmoid colon. Woo sigmoid colon, way to step it up!) At the time I thought he was insane. If my disease was only “mild to moderate,” why was I so uncomfortable and in so much pain? What does that mean for the people who have really bad cases?

And that’s the thing. Someone always has it a little bit — or a lot — worse. I’ve tried to keep that in perspective during the ups and downs of my pathetic health issues. Yes, some days are brutally can’t-get-out-of-bed-or-the-bathroom awful. But I look at how great I’m feeling now, and I’m truly grateful for that. I hate to say I’m confident I’ll get sick again, but with a chronic illness it’s likely that I’m not “cured.” I’m prepared for another flare-up to come along someday, but in the meantime I’m enjoying and appreciating these happy, healthy days.

On that note: I’m thankful for every bathroom I don’t have to use. When I was sick and still trying to run, my plans were carefully laid out each time. My routes were arranged according to which public restrooms would be open at a specific time, and it was the ultimate stressful situation when a bathroom I planned to use wasn’t open as scheduled. Now, I leave my apartment and I run wherever I want. I don’t need to pass the Starbucks on 96th and Lex, and then the Starbucks on 96th and Madison (yes, they’re two blocks away from each other and yes, I always had to stop at both). I don’t care whether or not the security lady opens the tennis court bathrooms on time (her hours seem to creep later and later in the morning throughout the year), and I don’t need to run around the Great Lawn just because the Delacorte Theater bathroom is there. It’s so refreshing.

I’m thankful all the summer dance shows are over. Yes, I like “So You Think You Can Dance”…

Hanging out after the "SYTYCD" finale with Kathryn McCormick. Did you see her in Step Up Revolution? She was all, "Enough with performance! We need PROTEST ART!" So intense.

…and yes, I liked all eight episodes of “All the Right Moves.” But when writing about the shows is a big part of your job, the shows lose their appeal pretty quickly. Mixing work and play basically just means that play becomes work. Or something. Am I speaking English? Now all the shows, including “Dance Moms,” have had their finales and I can stop attempting to stay up until midnight to write recaps about them.

I’m thankful for fall. It’s the best. You knew that already.

I’m thankful for babies in grown-up hats.

Tyler, you animal! What are you doing? You know that hat doesn't fit you!

I’m thankful I returned to Chisel this week, even if it was slightly discouraging and hurt like hell. I haven’t really done any strength training lately aside from carrying the occasional gallon of milk home from Duane Reade across the street. The class worked with my schedule this week, so I figured I’d make my way over and hope I hadn’t lost my strength. (Though really, when did I have strength? I’m not sure.)

When Angel, the way-too-excited-about-lifting-heavy-stuff instructor, said we were going to do circuits, I punched him in the throat. It just sounded too hard. But I sucked it up and did my best and now it’s Thursday and I’m still sore. I don’t know what those crazy ab moves we were doing are called — I do, however, know that I looked like a beached whale on the ground trying to do them — but my obliques have been aching since Monday night.

Note to self: Strength train more or it’s just going to get harder for you in the future. Learn, Ali. Learn.

I’m thankful for eggs.

Work travel = room service!!! Breakfast for dinner in bed!!!

The only thing I seem to crave lately is an omelette. An omelette with ham, cheese, spinach, tomatoes and onions.

I’m thankful my Garmin lies to me. Or does it? I don’t know. This is why it’s important to run by feel, people. I’m typically a slave to the watch, and I believe whatever it tells me. Oh, I’m running a 3:03 mile and it feels easy? Damn right I am! God, I’m so fit.

All week my runs have felt pretty tough. My body is tired for sure and I’m glad I’m not running extra long this weekend. I’m also excited tomorrow is a rest day because I need it. I attempted mile repeats on Tuesday, and they were a bust.

Miles two, four and six were supposed to be 7:30s-7:45s. Are those the numbers you see above? No. Are they close? Not really. Go Ali! You're so good at running!!!

I was way off my target pace and it was aggravating. Yesterday I set out to do some “easy miles,” and without looking at my watch I “easily” cruised along at marathon pace, even finishing the run significantly faster than marathon pace. What? You make no sense to me, running.

Then today the plan was to do a tempo run of sorts, and I use that term lightly because no matter how hard I try to understand, and no matter how many people I ask for definitions, I still don’t fully comprehend “tempo run.”

The goal was a warm-up (two miles) plus three miles at a “tempo pace” (WTF?) around 8:00/mile, and then the best part, the cool-down. And the water fountain stop.

Man did I struggle with this. The first mile was fine. But as the second mile ticked off, I had to make a detour. Part of the Reservoir was closed, forcing me down on the Bridle Path. Now if you’re familiar with the Central Park Bridle Path, you know that the ground is uneven and there are rocks and boulders and it’s basically like running through an obstacle course kind of but not really. Also it was still completely dark at the time. So there I am, attempting 8-minute miles (which is too hard for me these days, FYI) on an unsafe terrain, by myself, in the dark. Recipe for disaster.

I survived, but my watch told me my pace had dropped to 8:50s. Fine. Whatever. I tried to keep pushing, but mentally I felt defeated. Eventually I brought my pace back down to 8:15s and I felt like I was working. I finished the final mile on East Drive and around the Great Lawn and managed to get back down to my goal pace, but again, it felt challenging.

Then, go figure, I upload my Garmin stats and I see this shit:

The "tempo miles" are pretty obvious to pinpoint, but in case you disagree, let me help you: I sped up for miles three, four and five. You're welcome for clarifying.

It makes no sense. The watch shows 8:50s, the data shows something way better. I don’t know who to believe, so let’s just call this workout a “sweet attempt.” Now onto the next.

I’m thankful for photo booths. Because what’s more fun than a photo booth?

So my cousin had a photo booth at his wedding...and we may have gone slightly overboard. IT WAS FUN. Leave Britney alone.
This was our first journey into the photo booth. Clearly we didn't know there was going to be a second picture. Idiots.

I’m thankful for my new toy: a bike trainer! A few weeks ago I Tweeted to the world that I want an indoor bike trainer. Much to my surprise (and elation!), a few people responded being like, “Meh, I have one, I don’t use it, do you want it? I give away free stuff, NBD, I like nachos.” Um, yes I do want your bike trainer. Thanks.

Last night I met up with Jocelyn who presented me with a large, beautiful box with a brand-new, unused bike trainer inside. Is she the best or what? Though of course before I could even get the thing in the door at home, Brian had already set it up with his own bike and then proceeded to ride the trainer for two hours. I used that time wisely by doing work and eating half a jar of almond butter (plus dark chocolate chips) on the couch. Also “Full House” was on and it was that good episode where DJ fires Kimmy Gibbler from the school paper, but at the end they get to be friends again.

So Jocelyn, thank you for the wonderful gift that I will apparently not get to benefit from because Brian is a Bike Trainer Hog. Rude.

I’m thankful for these two (three) crazy kids:

ALL MY FAVORITE PEOPLE IN ONE PHOTO. Well, minus Brian. And Ryan. And Michaela. And Becky. And Lauren. And Celine. Close, though. Close.

My mom and dad are celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary today. They did the whole “high school sweetheart” thing, and they’re still in love and they still make each other laugh. And now they’re grandparents, which is apparently the best thing ever. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never done it. But they seem pretty psyched about the whole thing.

So mom and dad, Happy Anniversary! Congratulations on sticking together for all these years, and thank you for falling in love and getting married and having me. You’re the best people I know.


That’s a wrap, folks!

SO NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: What are you thankful for today? Chocolate milk? Halloween candy? Your new iPhone? Your ability to wear Dry-Fit clothing to work?



32 Responses

  1. Yay for thankful things thursday.

    My garmin lies to me too! That b*tch! But seriously, I think that the instant speed updates can be a bit crazy especially in the city because the signal can at times bounce off things, like skyscrapers, which there are a ton of here. So I always trust the downloads on the computer more. Especially if my route map, looks like the route I ran. If it has me running in the middle of the reservoir or you know on top of buildings, then I get a little suspicious.

    Keep on running lady!

  2. I am thankful for my husband for taking such good care of me when I had bronchitis this week and for pretending that my bitching about being sick wasn’t the most annoying thing ever, my dog for just being 9 lbs of adorableness, Haagen Daaz lemon sorbet, morning runs in cooler temps, and the return of boot and blazer season.

  3. I am thankful for coconut milk ice cream, a great job where I fly around in planes and work with awesome people and I’m thankful that I can read your blog and be SO jealous that you live in New York! I’ve ran the reservoir a couple of times – I even made my kids run it when we took them. So cool!

  4. I’m thankful you mentioned Kimmie Gibbler. Wow! That’s a name/character I haven’t heard in soooo long! LOL! Wonder what she’s doing now… Very cool about the bike trainer too!

  5. Right now, I am pretty darn thankful for sunflower seed butter and bagels. Also bikes. I had to take today off running and I didn’t want to do any hard cross training either, so I rented a bike for $5 and rode it to do some grocery shopping, then I rode it in a park along the river. It was a beautiful day and I had such a lovely afternoon/evening.

  6. I’m thankful that I have five interviews scheduled for my thesis research. Not so excited to conduct/transcribe the interviews, but psyched that people volunteered for them at all!

  7. Glad the Trainer is already getting some use!! FYI – I think I got it for free with my bike shoes or something on Amazon…so obviously I wasn’t too attached to setting it up! HA

  8. Thanks for the shout out! I love your parents, they are so great! Best second parents anybody could ask for!

    I’m thankful for my new Dairy-Free cookbook! I made “cream” of broccoli soup the other night and it’s soooo good!! John liked it too! Excited to make more yummy dishes!

  9. I’m thankful to be feeling better and gaining more energy day by day! Thankful to have found your blog – makes this disease more relatable, less isolating – for an active, striving-to-be-healthy woman. Thankful for your health (and handsome doctor) on your behalf. 😉 Oh, and my handsome doctor too!

  10. I also get confused by my (new) Garmin. I am not entirely trusting of it just yet. Although I am obsessed, trust may take some time! But I am appreciative of the data it spits out so I can compare it to how my run felt.

    I am also thankful for my lovely friend that just sent me a message that the weekend weather is looking up (after I saw rain I refused to look again)! Another half marathon Sunday and I don’t run in rain. Well, I do, but I won’t really enjoy it…for 13.1 miles.

  11. Happy Anniversary, Fellers!!! 31 years is a big deal!!

    Today I am thankful that:

    …someone else doesn’t really get Tempo runs.
    …for magically getting to my favorite weight this morning when I didn’t eat that well yesterday,
    …for new running gear

    A little shallow, this morning, I feel.

  12. I ran my first race ever this week! A 10K down the West Side Highway. It was brutal at mile 5 but I finished without stopping. Don’t judge my 1 hour finish time 🙂

  13. I’m thankful I made it through half marathon training without getting injured or hating running. I’m also thankful I get to – no, HAVE TO – eat carbs for the next two days with no guilt. And I’m really thankful that the forecast for Saturday is now 30% chance of rain instead of 50%! (Rookie mistake to check the weather forecast every hour? Or does that never go away??)

    1. I was just commenting that I am excited the weekend weather is looking up! And nope. 2 years running races later, I still stalk the weather report. Some times a month out. Because you know, that is 100% accurate.

  14. Happy Anniversary to your parents! 31 years together is pretty dang awesome!!

    Today I’m thankful for the simple fact that it’s Thursday, which means tomorrow is Friday!

  15. Your last line is funny because Andy bought a dry-fit BUTTON DOWN SHIRT that he is wearing to work today. The inside is like a bathing suit and the outside is like a regular plaid button down. I cannot believe this exists. I love your photo booth pictures, you all look so happy! As for the runs, I trust the data more than the watch at the current moment because the watch is busy getting info from the beams or wherever it comes from so it’s not always exact. But for the data after, it had a chance to computerize itself and be more correct, as I understand it. Or something like that. Today, I am thankful for TV shows I like, a cleaning lady who comes every other Thursday and is not too expensive, Refine Method, my newfound ability to run a half marathon in under two hours, a comfy bed and the Dave Matthews Band station on Sirius.

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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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