Thankful Things Thursday: It’s Been A While

Somewhere in between the madness of traveling, working and more working, I’ve seriously neglected the Thankful Things Thursday tradition.

But the “holiday” lives on! And today I’m back with plenty of things to be grateful for.

So without any pithy stories, let’s get on with it.

I’m thankful this marathon taper isn’t making me crazy. Last year I got anxious and I would sneak in little spin workouts or extra miles here and there. Sweet thinking, Ali. You’re so good at running.

This time around, however, I’m loving the taper. Frankly, I don’t have time for the extra workouts and long miles right now anyway, so the taper came at a great time. And my body seems to be appreciating the break as well. I did a spin class last night and barely touched the resistance knob on my wheel (mwa ha ha, spin cheating), and this morning I ran six “nowhere near marathon goal pace” miles.

I’m respecting the taper period because I know how much it’s going to pay off in just 10 (whoa) days. Coach Cane used to tell me he wanted me going into races “like a caged animal.” I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen at the marathon start line. Grrrr!

I’m thankful for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. The charity was one of the first resources my dad latched on to when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 20 (whoa again) years ago. Since I started taking control of my own disease, I’ve raised more than $25,000 for CCFA — so much of it thanks to your help, support and encouragement…and money. I’m eternally grateful for all the people I’ve met through CCFA and Team Challenge, and I’m humbled (and, honestly, a little horrified) that, in return, CCFA is honoring me.

The Manhattan Masquerade, honoring Ali Feller and…Brian! That’s right, kids. Brian is the newest poster child for a digestive disease. Who would’ve ever thought?

CCFA’s Young Professionals Committee is honoring both Brian and me on Friday night at their annual Manhattan Masquerade event. (And, duh, if you’re in the city and looking for a fun night out at Lavo, you should come.)

When we were approached together by the executive director of CCFA, I was admittedly very hesitant to accept the honor. I know there are so many other people who have the disease far worse than I do and triumph over much more difficult circumstances. I get sick and then I get better and that’s my story. I happened to be able to raise a lot of money because of the generosity of others — not because I did something miraculous.

Brian is being honored with me because of the awareness campaign his company did a few months ago in Rockefeller Center. He was pumped to get this recognition, and I’m along for the ride.

I’d love to say this is just a cute photo of Brian reaching to hold my hand, but I’ll tell you what really happened: We were at the Bronx Zoo after I ran the Bronx 10-Miler and I was too tired to walk. I was seriously dragging, and Brian had to drag me along. Sweet and romantic? YES.

I really am honored to be honored, and I so appreciate everything CCFA has done for me and the 1.4 million people with these diseases. So on Friday, I’ll dress up and give a little speech and, with all of you on the forefront of my mind, I’ll give a big “thank you” toast to the people I think deserve to be honored (you, in case that point was unclear).

I’m thankful for Remicade. That shit is magic, I tell you. I’m getting my IV infusion later today for the first time at Mount Sinai! I haven’t received the infusion at this hospital since getting my new doctor (I got the treatment while I was in the hospital, but never as an outpatient) and I’m excited to check out the infusion suite. I hope they have tons of blankets. And maybe snacks. And puppies. My old hospital had puppies.

It’s been so long since I’ve had a catheter in my veins. (Nurse lady, SNEAK IN THE GOOD DRUGS. I want some hormone-boosters.)

Plus, I think I’m due for a hefty dose of Remicade. My stomach has been a little off this week, and I’m glad I’ll be getting doped up before the marathon.

Now if only I could get my hands on some EPO…

I’m thankful I finally booked a vacation. According to my sophisticated records (um, my desk calendar at work), I haven’t taken an actual week-long “I’m going away for me and not because of a race, wedding or commitment for someone else” trip in four years. All my vacation days have been used for long weekends for traveling, but now I’m cashing in my last five days and going to Mexico.

Can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait.

The trip comes at the perfect time: two weeks after the marathon and a week before Thanksgiving. So I’ll basically be working for a total of 13 days in November. I’m completely fine with that.

I’m thankful I’m at a place in my life where I can take a vacation. After posting about taking a vacation the other day, I was shocked at how much time I had to spend defending myself to my friends. I got comments like, “You’re lucky you can afford to take a vacation” and “It must be nice to get time off from work” and, my favorite, “Ew, you’re going to come back tan.”

Odds of me coming back from this vacation: I’m not a gambler, but I’d say “unlikely.” And actually, I am a gambler. I love the Wheel of Fortune slot machines in Vegas.

Thanks for the support, amigos! I was so annoyed that I had to defend myself for taking a trip. I can afford to take a vacation because I have a savings account I’ve never touched and my parents have an unused time share they’re willing to let me use. I can take time off from work because I bust my ass the other 360-something days of the year, and I’m using a whopping five days for myself. And hell yeah I’m going to come back with a tan.

SEE HOW HARD I WORK! (I swear I do work hard. I also stand in for lighting tests when “the real talent” is still in hair and makeup.)

Sorry if that presents a problem for you.

I’m thankful for the mass quantity of New York City Marathon videos in this world. This one is my new favorite.

K-Gouch is in it. She’s fine with me calling her that. She didn’t specifically mention it in her restraining order, so I think we’re good.
My main man Meb is in it, too. God I just want to hug him so hard. But he might break. He weighs less than I do.
Mile 1: The steepest climb with the prettiest views. Yessssss.

I’m thankful the leaves in NYC have finally recognized that it’s fall and have changed their outfits. It’s about time.

Nice little shot from the roof.

I’m thankful for this butt:

TYLER, LOOK OUT. THERE IS A TIGER ON YOUR BUTT. CRAWL AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN. Just kidding. It’s not a real tiger. Good thing, too, because Tyler can’t really crawl yet.
Nice try, Tyler. “Fall over” is not one of the Baby Pilates moves we’ve been working on. Try harder next time, please. More focus, engage your core.

I’m thankful for this face:

YOU DON’T KNOW HOW GREAT YOU HAVE IT, TYLER. I don’t see you participating in Thankful Things Thursday, do I? You just hang out, getting pushed in your stroller and getting spoon-fed and letting other people clean up your diapers, and you just play and laugh and dance and kick your feet. You have so much to be grateful for. If only you knew how to write it all down…or be potty trained.

I’m thankful I’m getting the chance to run the New York City Marathon. I think it’s going to be a good day.

On my marks…Get set…DON’T GO OUT TOO FAST, MORON.

I’m thankful for this little shout-out from FITiST.

I need a new running photo probably.

Check it out. They make me look cool.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Time to get my Remicade on.

NOW YOU PLAY, BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T DONE THIS IN A REALLY LONG TIME: What are you thankful for today? What has you psyched? What’s your favorite ice cream topping?



51 Responses

  1. Congrats to you and Brian on being honored! (this is crazy but I actually went to high school with Brian so it’s great to see how well he is doing for himself!)

    Don’t ever defend going on vacation. I am actually reading your blog from my resort in Mexico, which inspired me to comment Instead of just reading. Enjoy it!

  2. Ali- Congrats for being honored for CCFA! You do a great job raising awareness and funds to support research! You must share your secrets because I’d love to be able to say I’ve done the same for my chapter here in Metro Detroit! 🙂

    And kudos for you and taking a vacation. You’ll love Mexico. It’s my favorite vacation spot by far. Enjoy that tan…. you’ve earned it!

    Oh, my favorite ice cream topping is rainbow sprinkles. 🙂 And I’m thankful for my wonderful doctors who have helped me through my Crohn’s journey and introducing me to wonderful people in both the CCFA and UOAA. 🙂 Proud ostomate here!

  3. Great post! I wish I could run the NYC marathon! BUT I am thankful that I get to run the JoongAng International marathon in Seoul the same day as NYC. And I am psyched about running it in my new garmin (if it arrives on time). If not, I’ll be psyched to run based on feel and not based on my watch.

  4. Good Luck with NYC!!!!! I wish I could be there to cheer you on! and You certainly work hard enough to take a well deserved vacation! Who cares what others say/think of you; get it girl!!!

  5. I’m going to add another “Bah Humbug!!” at your friends projecting negativity onto your holiday! There is absolutely no need for you to need to defend yourself, and I would be incredibly bummed out if my friends reacted that way too 🙁 As an American working/living abroad I have been ruined forever by my annual leave entitlement. It’s honestly the only way I can cope with work…and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to return to the US 😉

    I’m thankful that I finally got acknowledgment from a higher-up at work for an event I dealt with the other night…all it was was two lines in an email, but it’s what I wanted to hear.

    I’m thankful for the comments and good wishes from my running group tonight about NYCM (as I’ll miss next week’s run since I fly to NY that day).

    I’m thankful for the man in my running group who says “good job girl” everytime he laps me.

    Re: ice cream topping…I now could really go for some hot fudge and a cherry. Mmm…

  6. I’m thankful that I’ll be running my FIRST 5k this weekend in Niagara Falls. I’ve never run a race before and lost about 20 pounds by doing the Couch to 5k program. I’m thankful that it’s 75 degrees in Buffalo today (it’s usually already snowing by now). I’m thankful that I found a running path I love last week and it stopped me from giving up on running altogether. I’m thankful that midterms are done and I can solely think about kicking this (pathetically short, I know) race’s ass this weekend!

    All of your friends who were down on you about being able to go on vacation should probably think about how hard you work everyday to overcome your illness and have a successful life, career-wise and personally. And then they should maybe stop talking for a while. Just sit the next few rounds out.

  7. My first real “I’m not visiting family on this travel trip” still involved my mom and my first half marathon in Hawaii. Glad you’re making it to Mexico. I hope it shines for you. 🙂

  8. I think I recognize the resort in your Mexico pictures! If you are staying at Azul Sensatori, you are gonna have a great time! My friend just had a destination wedding there a the end of September. Fabulous vacation!!! 🙂

  9. oh love those jealous people 🙂 enjoy your honor, your hard work, your tan and keep being a blessing to others 🙂

  10. I’m thankful that I am going to Austin, TX this weekend for my friend’s bach party. Pretty pumped bc I’ve never traveled west of Missouri! Yes, I know, I am very well traveled.

    1. PS: I cant believe people give you shit for taking time off for vacation?! A week off work can do amazing things for your spirit! And like even if you didn’t have a timeshare to use, you can book at trip to Mex for under $1k! CHILL OUT PEOPLE! And do get a tan. Do it for me, as I will be here, in the midwest, not getting a tan.

  11. Congrats on your night of honor!! And awesome how much money you have raised for CCFA! Yeah!!

    I am SO thankful to be coming to your fine city next week!! I’m beyond excited and even excited to do a solo trip, doing what I want when I want! 🙂 Yippee!!

  12. Congrats about your honor!!! That is amazing! You simply don’t know how many people you have supported through being open about your struggles Crohn’s. I am thankful today for my grandparents, both the one living and the three that have passed. They were amazing and I can’t imagine how different I would have been without their influence.

  13. Wow, I can’t believe people would be such Debbie Downer’s about your vacation. LIVE IT UP! Enjoy every minute!
    Today, I’m thankful for coffee to keep my eyelids open.
    Good luck at the marathon in 10 (!!!!) days!

  14. Congrats on the honor! That’s super cool!

    Sucks you have to defend yourself to your friends, you’d think they of all people would understand. Perhaps they don’t travel a lot for work and realize that work trips are not like vacations. Though…didn’t you get a trip from CCFA that you and Brian went on because you raised so much money for them? I would think that counts as a vacation for you…because you weren’t there for work or for an event. You went on a vacation to relax so it’s not been 4 years since your last “relax” vacation.

    I am thankful that I’m going to Dublin with my Irish boyfriend over Christmas! I get to meet his whole family (after being together for 3+ years). It’s our first international trip together and will be our longest vacation, 7 days!

    Also thankful that my baby niece (7 months) is standing really well and will be walking soon!

      1. Yes, the Turks & Caicos trip was unbelievable, that was in January and it was amazing, but you’re right: It was a long weekend. This is the first full-week vacation, which is why it’s a big deal to me. (And the trip was from JackRabbit Sports, not from CCFA. If a charity sent me on a vacation, I’d be questioning where my fundraising dollars were going!)

        1. Hey girl, take that full week!

          In Europe, it’s crazy how many vacation days people get! My boyfriend’s family goes away 2-3 weeks at a time, about 3-4 times per year. They don’t understand why our vacations are long weekends once every year and we don’t stay for longer. Um…we have money to make to pay for bills…

  15. glad this is back! my favorite topping is cookie dough. it makes me really sad when 16 handles doesn’t have it.

    enjoy that vacation, but please wear sunscreen. gracias.

  16. Yayyy for vacation! Be sure to get one of those beachside massages, PERFECT for post marathon!!
    I am thankful for cool fall weather & the changing leaves that make autumn running so fun. Also thankful that I’ve rebounded so quickly after my marathon on 10/13 (was running 3 days later partially due to the fact that I felt i needed to do something to counteract all that “oh I just ran a marathon so I should eat all the FroYo and brownies I can find” feeling)
    What is your costume for the Masquerade??

    1. High five for a strong recovery — and congratulations on the marathon! I hope it was the best day ever. No costume for the masquerade — just a dress with tons of sequins. I figure that’s festive, right?

  17. I’m thankful that MCM is in 3 DAYS because I’d probably burst if I had to wait another week. Taper CRAZIES and anxiety.
    I’m thankful that people donated to the charity that got me a bib for MCM.
    I’m thankful that my best friends in life will be spending the weekend in Rehoboth with me in December.
    I’m thankful that your blog always makes me smile!
    Congrats to you and Brian on the CCFA honor. It is very much a deserved recognition. Hope it’s a fabulous night for you guys!

  18. Congratulations! Being honored by CCFA) and featured by FITiSTS. You earned both!

    Great job booking a vacation! Sometimes, it’s hard to step away but it is necessary. And haters gonna hate so just do your thing 🙂

    I’m so glad things are going well for you!

  19. That’s so cool that you and Brian are being honored, and at a masquerade ball no less!
    Today I’m thankful for group runs – I went to my first ever Lululemon run club last night along the Hudson River and it was so much fun to chat with other runners.

  20. Congratulations on your honor! And I agree with everyone who has said you should not have to justify your vacation. It’s (more than) okay to make things like taking a vacation a priority. Today I’m thankful for friends who have been supportive of my marathon training, especially when some family members have not been. I’m also thankful that there are no events/commitments related to my cousin’s wedding this weekend. I’m not even in the wedding and I feel like it has taken over the whole month.

  21. I can’t believe people are trying to make you feel bad about taking a vacation. You don’t have to justify yourself. Come in France, you wont have to justify yourself, believe me ! People are just jealous. So make sure you post LOTS of paradisiac pictures on the blog when you come back 😉
    Also, congratulations to you and Brian. I guess it’s a strange feeling to get honored !

    And, finally, I’ll get into the “Thankful things Thursday”. This week, I am thankful for running a great half-marathon last Sunday in 1:44.30. 🙂
    And I am thankful for this amazing feeling afterwards that I kept for a few days. More of that soon, please !

    1. I was going to say the same thing about coming to France. I went on a date with a guy who gets 9 weeks per year! 5 days in Mexico is something you thoroughly deserve, your friends should be ashamed.

      1. 9 weeks ! That’s a lot, even for France. We normally have 5 weeks per year (it’s the law). And, then, depending on the kind of work you do you can also have compensation days. The legal weekly worktime is 35 hours, but most people work longer hours and so, there is like a convention between you and the employer. You work longer hours but you have x days off per month in addition to the normal vacation days.
        Sorry, that’s not the point of the post ! 😉

  22. Dude, I really like your blog, but going after your readers is kind of tacky. You do seem to be on vacation all the time, and people were just saying they were jealous of how much time you can take off. That’s not really the case for most people in this country.

    1. Going after my readers? I didn’t get nasty comments from readers. I specifically said I was defending myself to my friends, not on my blog.

  23. You deserve a vacation and honestly, it’s YOUR time and YOUR money! We aren’t friends, but I’m excited for you! I love Mexico! 🙂 I’m excited to go to Hawaii to visit my boyfriend (he’s moving there for a job). My mom is coming along so it’s not the romantic trip we were hoping for, but I had promised a few years back that we’d go to Hawaii together. Funny how she doesn’t remember what she had for breakfast, but she remembers things like this. 🙂 It will still be FUN!

  24. I have never taken a week-long relaxing vacation before! My honeymoon in June will be my first. I originally planned to do it for Cape Cod this summer but a lot of really sad things happen so that trip got moved back and shortened. Anyway, I’m so excited for you to run NYCM and I might have said this before but I am also jealous. Also, it is very amazing that you and Brian are being honored. Congrats! I’m thankful for having a car, Regina Spektor shows, Chipotle (oh wait, I am just listing all the things I did last night).

  25. Congratulations on your CCFA honor!! You absolutely deserve a vacation, have a blast and get super tan!

    I’m grateful I start to taper this weekend!!

  26. So cool that the CCFA sponsored a night for you!! I live in Boston and they always hold great events to raise money. I’ve been following your blog for a little while now and have gone through a lot of the same crap (literally) with this disease, so I appreciate your honesty about all you’ve been dealing with. Have a blast at the party! You deserve to have fun : )

  27. Congrats on the honor!! Can’t believe people are miserable enough to hate on you for taking a vacation?! I thought that’s why we work, to afford the luxuries like vacations!!

  28. Congratulations on your CCFA honor — raising $25,000 is nothing to sneeze at, girl! You absolutely deserve the recognition. And a vacation!!
    I’m thankful that one of my very best friends gave birth to a healthy and adorable little girl yesterday. I got to hold her last night and it was definitely love at first sight! Now I need to find some of those tiger pants for her, those are so cute!

  29. wow congratulations on getting honoured! hope you have an awesome party! it is completely deserved considering how much you have done to raise awareness of this disease. Also well deserved? your holiday to mexico. I can’t believe you had to justify yourself! they’re all just jealous, i reckon. you make sure you have a fabulous time!

    1. ps. also tyler is outrageously adorable and i don’t throw that out there lightly; I tend to think most babies look like a jowly version of ET.

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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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