Thankful Things Thursday: Feel Good Friday Edition

A day late.

My bad.

Can we still get grateful though? Because I’m feeling it now more than ever. Ever, I tell you! And a Thankful Things Thursday by any other name — Feel Good Friday, perhaps? — is just as sweet. Or whatever that phrase is.

You get it.

Let’s do it.

I’m thankful for Emily. Come on, you obviously knew that was coming first, right? This girl is the reason I had the best 3 hours, 51 minutes and 20 seconds ever last weekend.

Oh look! A lovely bridge! Let’s run over it. I actually remember this part of the marathon. It was around mile 24, I think, and I was NOT feeling as good as I pretended for the photographer. I’m also pretty sure I spotted the photographer and tried to say to Emily, “There’s a photographer.” She goes, “What?” And I was all, “NEVERMIND BLASPHOO VOMIT RUNNING HICCUP.” Oh well. I tried.

I know I’ve already gone on and on and on some more about how great it was having Emily pace me during Manchester City, but it’s true. She held me back from going out way too fast, she constantly reaffirmed that — even on the tough climbs — we were “right on pace,” and she let me cruise on the downhills. Thanks, Coach Emily.

This photo was taken before the race, when I could still walk like a normal human. Four hours later, not so much.

I’m thankful for Tyler. And yeah, I bet you predicted that guy would come up second today.

Tyler slept through my big finish. I’m not even mad. Also he sleeps with one mitten in the air, which I think is impressive and unique.

I think it’s cute that he woke up last Sunday and was like, “Mom, Dad, can we surprise Auntie Ali at her marathon today? I know of a nice spot right at mile 18.”

Here is a series of Tyler photos:

Learning to ring the cowbell at a young age. Also learning to eat a cowbell at a young age.
Happy in his round thing! I don’t know what it’s called, but all you moms out there do.
F this cold weather.
OK, look at this photo and try telling me Tyler isn’t becoming slightly judgmental. I see it in his eyes. He knows I just ate an Entenmann’s “granola” bar, and he doesn’t approve of my nutrition. I CAN FEEL IT.

That’s all for now.


I’m thankful for Lauren. Tiny, badass, speedy little Lauren. On Saturday at 7:30 AM, I told her I wanted to drive to New Hampshire to run a marathon and she didn’t ask a single question. She said, “OK.” And off we went.

And then this happened. I’ll stop talking about this race soon, maybe, I promise.

I’m thankful for Evan. You want to see true love? Check out Lauren and her husband, Evan.

True love is telling your wife to pee her pants. See Lauren’s race recap for more on that.

These two Vermonters are the sweetest, happiest people you’ll ever meet and I love being around them. Last weekend, despite having just arrived in NYC from Vermont, Evan willingly turned his car right around and drove us all up to New Hampshire. We covered many miles on the road (plus 26.2 later), didn’t quite get enough sleep and always made it to our destination on time.

Evan never complained. He never said no when I said I needed another pee stop on the highway. And he took some quality photos on Race Day.

One day I will learn the art of “running with my mouth closed.” I guess Sunday was not that day.

I’m thankful for Brian. Sometimes I truly cannot believe we are still dating after all I’ve put this poor guy through this year.

I kicked off 2012 by getting the stomach flu back in March. Brian was there, waiting in my little studio apartment while I locked myself in the bathroom, crying as things came out of every part of my body (I’m sorry for that, people). He took my temperature, got me a chocolate chip muffin (it’s what I wanted!) and sat with me, never complaining that he, too, would likely be barfing and doing other stuff within hours (he was fine).

After that pleasant experience, I got injured. I couldn’t run. Do you know what happens when I can’t run? I go from mildly-crazy stressed girl to irrational psycho-bitch in about eight seconds. And then, because I was sick and injured and burnt out, I bailed on my big spring plans and ditched my goal to run the Eugene Marathon. Bummer.

We moved in together in April, and by May, I was starting to run again without pain — but I was Crohnsing hard. One month of shacking up and I was already dominating our shared bathroom.

In July, I was still Crohnsing and yes, when August and September rolled around I was still confined to the bathroom. Do you know how pretty I was? So pretty.

We weren’t going on fun trips. We weren’t doing anything spontaneous. I never wanted to make plans because I knew I’d break them. I wasn’t a pleasant person to be around, and I was aware of it. But Brian stuck around.

There’s a good chance my mom has already printed and framed this photo…and then stuck it somewhere behind a bigger photo of Tyler.

Finally, fall arrived. My favorite season. And with the changing leaves came a drastic change in Ali. I felt truly healthy for the first time all year. I was successfully completing my long runs, I wasn’t injured, I was promoted at work and I was on track to make it to the start line of a marathon. Life was — finally — good again.


And Brian was still there.


This past weekend, when I woke up wanting to run a marathon in lieu of running NYC, Brian was more on board with anyone. He was the one emailing the race director to make sure Lauren, Emily and I could even register. He was the one figuring out the details and he was the one getting down on the ground near the start line to take “artsy photos.” Or something.

In retrospect, those fingerless mittens were not cute. Nor did they wick away my sweat. Thanks a lot, Dance Spirit.

I feel so lucky to have someone in my life who has seen my at my all-time worst and has continued to support me and stand by me. Maybe one day he’ll get to see me at my best, too.

Gush session over.

Marathon flowers from Brian. It’s shameful that my boyfriend is better at arranging flowers in a vase than I am.

I’m thankful for my mom. As soon as we discovered that the Manchester City Marathon was a thing that existed, I had no doubt in my mind that we were set for lodging. Lauren was all, “Call your mom just to make sure it’s OK if we stay there.” Seriously? My mom was thrilled to take us in, and for that I’m so grateful.

She was so concerned about my post-race body temperature and kept putting that dang space blanket on me. Do you know what feeling I hate? Getting sweat all over a thin piece of foil and then rubbing it all over my body. Woof.

She solidified her Mom of the Lifetime status by driving to Manchester on Saturday to register all three of us for the marathon, and then doing cute things like folding towels for everyone and leaving them on their various beds. She also did not complain or seem to care when Brian decided to toss his glass of red wine all over the dinner table (and himself).

I told Brian his shirt looked cool like that, but he didn’t agree. Now it’s a plain old boring off-white shirt again. YOU COULD HAVE SOLD THAT DESIGN TO ABERCROMBIE, BRIAN. Or Hot Topic. Remember Hot Topic? I wasn’t allowed to go to that store when I was younger.

Instead she just hopped over to the washing machine all happy-like and continued making sure we had full bellies and clean laundry.

I’m thankful for my dad. Even if he is a total Tyler hog.


I’ve never met a prouder grandfather. My dad has always been my greatest supporter and my biggest fan (and, at times, my toughest critic — when I was dancing competitively, he was the only one who’d give me a brutally honest post-performance report, and never shied away from telling me that “I’m better on my right than my left”).

The best thing I saw on the MCM race course was my dad standing off to the side at mile 18 holding Tyler. It was the happiest I have ever seen him.

Oh look, all my dreams just came true. NBD.

I’m thankful for Ryan and Michaela. They surprised me. Also, they made Tyler. And when I found out the marathon was canceled last Friday and Ryan knew I was upset, he got right on Skype and let me sit there and watch Tyler in silence. I was a mess of emotions and confusion, and it meant so much to me that Ryan and Michaela were right there, doing exactly what I needed: showing off their kickass son and letting me watch him bop around.

I’m so, so thankful the New York City Marathon was canceled. There’s nothing more to say about this topic. It’s been discussed to death and I’m exhausted from it all. But I’m so glad this race didn’t go on. I’m glad I didn’t have to decide whether or not to run it and I’m thankful the race’s resources ended up going to good use.

I’m thankful the Manchester City Marathon took us in with open arms, warm hearts and plenty of start line Porta Potties. The race organizers did an incredible job accommodating double the amount of people they were planning for. The race was exceptionally executed and I loved every single minute of it. Nice disguise, blessing.

Also, free race photos. Who does that?

Apparently there was a stealthy photographer hiding in a tree along the race course. And apparently while I run, I ponder the meaning of life while looking far into the distance.

I’m thankful for cheese. Thanks, Lauren and Evan!

Dinner tonight will be a grilled cheese sandwich made with ALL THE CHEESE.

I’m thankful I’m going on vacation. Brian and I leave at something like 4 AM tomorrow for a week in Mexico. Goodbye forever.

I have no guest posts lined up for you. I don’t have pre-planned posts to publish (who has time for that?) and I do not plan to entertain you while I’m away. I trust that you’ll survive. I know I will.

I’m thankful election season is over. Facebook friends, I like you. Most of you. Some of you I don’t even know, actually — did we meet at a bar at some point in college? Perhaps we bonded over Stoli Salads at Side Street Bar & Grill? Regardless of whether I like you or only kind of like you or barely even know you, I do not care what your political views are. Furthermore, I don’t want you trying to impress them upon me. An overly-confident “I’m right all the time and anyone who disagrees is wrong” Facebook post isn’t going to change my political opinions — it’s only going to make me think you’re a little obnoxious.


See you in 2016.

Seeing this Tuesday night was pretty cool.

I’m thankful “Full House” has become a crucial part of the Nick at Nite lineup. It’s on for, like, four hours at a time. Remember the episode where DJ dates Viper from Uncle Jesse’s band, The Monkey Puppets? Classic.

I’m thankful the snow in NYC has already melted.

Central Park, being creepy.

That was weird, right?

OK. I think we’re good.

To conclude: I’m pumped about life right now.

I hated 2012 for so long. I was more than ready to kick off 2013 and I wanted to forget this year even happened. Despite the amazing things that came my way — moving in with Brian, Tyler being born, landing the job I had wanted since I was 16 — I had mostly negative memories associated with 2012.

But then last weekend happened. My perspective changed completely.

“What is this word, perspective? What is art? Are we art? Is art, art?”

With one great race and one weekend with friends and family, I regained perspective. I remembered how lucky I am. I saw how, even on my very worst days, I have so much to be grateful for. As much as I preach it every Thursday, sometimes I need to actually step back and practice it.

So now I’m off for what I think is a much-deserved weekend away.

Later, kids! Have a good one!

BUT BEFORE I GO: Tell me what you’re thankful for! Please! I need to know before I go.



40 Responses

  1. I’m thankful I read this today.

    My “in lieu of NYC” Marathon will be Philly this weekend. My first. And I’m scared. Shitless , for the first time in my life (another reason I read your blog…)

    After reading your race recap, I’m so excited for my chance to run. I am SO grateful for this experience, and it hasn’t even happened yet.

  2. I came back to say thank you for this blog!

    Seriously, your race recap last week was awesome. I am also a displaced-NYCM-runner and ended up running the Richmond marathon this past weekend. I didn’t think I was ready to PR, but your killer performance was inspiring and I lined up way faster than I thought I could run….and did it! A 13min PR! So THANK YOU for the motivation and inspiration!

  3. This was a great post — made better by being on Friday? I hope you’re having a great vacation. 2012 turned out to be a pretty good year for you. I’m glad that the year turned around. I hope the rest of the year is even better.

  4. Im so proud of you and loved this post. Seriously, I can tell you are in such a better place now on various levels. Tyler is adorable and I have a simila obsession with my future nephew, Eli.

    Do you know yet if they are guaranteeing entry to 2012 NYCM in 2013?

    I’m grateful for my best friend Andrea who spent 5 beautiful hours today shopping with me and then agreed to be my maid of honor ( I just got engaged). I’m also grateful for excel because it makes my life so much more organized.

    Have a great time in Mexico!!

  5. Late to the game, but I am thankful for my first marathon – TOMORROW! Richmond watch out – I’m coming to DOMINATE. Slowly. But still DOMINATE.

  6. I’m super thankful I felt prompted to mention some of my past struggles with a friend at lunch…turns out she is struggling with the same things and I was able to help her feel like she wasn’t alone and offer some help from things I’ve learned.

    Congrats again on your race AND YOUR TRIP TO MEXICO!!!

  7. Again, you inspire me. I don’t know if it’s your silly humor, your kick-ass legs, that you live in my favorite and hometown city and consequently show photos of it, or that you are a goof ball. .. .(maybe this last point is the same as the first point I stated). BUT, you ALWAYS inspire me to run. But also you just make me happy. Stranger? InternetFriend? Onewayrelationship? I’ll take it. I think you’re awesome Feller. Can I call you that? Calling people by their last names is very SummerCamp and I reserve it for people I think are cool.

    Okay, I’m done. I know I’m being weird and gushy and it’s probably quite strange but I can’t stop. . .

  8. I’m thankful that I was able to meet up with my best friend last night for a much needed chat session….while Skype is great face to face is always so much better!

  9. I love Tyler pictures…he’s so freaking adorable!! Have a fabulous, more than deserved vacation! I’m thankful I am going to Hawaii in 69 days to run the Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon…and then stay for a week vacation:)

  10. Lovely post! I am thankful for my mom who let me sob on the phone on Tuesday (pretty sure she actually was crying with me but didn’t want me to know that), I am thankful that I found a white button down top in x-small at Ann Taylor for $10 (super reduced they are not the new price FYI), I thankful that I treated myself to Thai food last night

  11. I’m thankful that I felt strong at last night’s run club.

    I’m thankful for the holiday I had in NYC this past weekend with my friend. We’d never traveled together before, but the weekend was epic and really rejuvenated my spirits!

    Also, how people manage to arrange guest posts or pre-scheduled posts just boggles my mind…I can just about keep up with reading blogs and doubt I could maintain writing my own, much less organise those kind of things. Have a great holiday!

  12. Thankful for virtual google hangouts with high school friends that don’t laugh when I raise my hand to ask a question.

    Congrats on the marathon time. Have a wonderful vacation!!! Hope to see you at Crunch soon.

  13. I am thankful for the weekend! And for your thankful posts, which always serve to remind me that I have a lot I need to stop taking for granted.

    Have you seen that they are making a Boy Meets World sequel? I’m not sure if you were a fan, but it was a huge part of my formative years.

  14. Enjoy Mexico!! Best guacamole EVER there!
    I’m thankful for my family today, just for being hilariously amazing. I’m also thankful that my run felt so great today! Gotta love feel good runs on feel good Friday!

  15. Enjoy your vacation! I am thankful for may dad, who has endless patience and does things like give me shot blocks and Body Glide for Christmas. I’m also thankful for everyone who has worked so hard to restore power to all the areas hit by the storms. And I am thankful it is Friday, because this week just needs to end.

  16. Oh man, I can’t tell you how spot on some of our thankful things are. I just watched an episode of Full House, the one where Stephanie goes for a joy ride with those losers from DJ’s high school. And I probably lost about 5 friends during the election season. I don’t have time for closed minded people, no matter what side they are on.

    I’m thankful for sticky notes. I don’t know how I would remeber anything from my grocery list or uploading reports.

    Also, congrats on the shout out in runner’s world!!

  17. I loved this post! I wanted it to go on for several more pages, but you have a plane to catch 🙂
    I am thankful for my new dog. She really brings my other dog out of his shell (both are rescues, and my older dog had a terrible previous owner, so he’s quite timid) and is so cuddle-crazy. It’s like going to sleep with two furry heating pads that really want to kiss you and tell you it’s 4:00 a.m.

  18. I’m thankful for your awesome thankful posts! You rocked the marathon and make me want to sign up for one tomorrow, despite the fact I’m no where near even my half-marathon shape I used to be in… I’m also thankful for my husband and our new house. I love being able to blast music or do cardio inside whenever I want!
    Enjoy your trip!

  19. Have a great time in mexico. Today I am thankful for my three boys in the bed as I read this… Husband, son, cat! I am thankful for washing machines… We have a house full of guests. And I am thankful for free apps as motivation for potty training!!!

  20. I’m thankful I convinced two of my friends to do Jingle Bell Jogs with me in December. I’m pretty sure that the only thing better than running will be running with jingle bells on my sneakers and a santa hat on my head.

    Have a great time in Mexico!

  21. I did a thankful post today! Love FUll House!

    I am thankful I am going home to see my family this weekend, who was affected by Sandy. I am going to help my family clean up and volunteer in the town. So excited!

  22. Nice Saved By The Bell reference! I’m thankful for being in a car right now on my way to Richmond to relive my marathon glory!

  23. Great post ali! Have fun in Mexico. I’m thankful that I have a much needed day off! I’m thankful that Barry’s Bootcamp kicked my butt last night. I’m thankful for my awesome sister-in-law to be, who has gone to way too many wedding dress fittings with me. I’m thankful for great blogs like yours!

  24. I also was not allowed at hot topic when I was younger! Also, it was next to a “cool” store that I desperately wanted to shop in but couldn’t shop there either because I was too short. Sad corner of the mall for Amy. Anywayssss…. I’m thankful that my parents haven’t hung up on me when I’m being dramatic, I’m thankful that I have heat and electricity and water again, and I’m thankful that my grandma is coming to visit this weekend!!

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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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