Thankful Things Thursday: Kicking Off The New Year

I am sick.

I know. Wahhhhh! My life is the absolute worst.

No. Not really. Not at all.

I just have a cold, and I’m handling it supremely well. I did not scream for Brian six times last night asking him to “bring me drugs,” “give me the good stuff,” “take my temp” and “fix meeeeee.” And then I asked him to crank the heat in the bedroom and it got so hot in there that I woke up at 3 AM thinking I was trapped in a sweat lodge.

I’m awesome at being sick. A real trooper.

(Seriously, I handle Crohn’s flare-ups better than the common cold. It’s like I don’t mind running for the bathroom, but the second I lose my ability to breathe through my nose, I’m a complete basket case.)

It’s amazing I don’t get colds more often, honestly.

[Pause for knocking on wood. Is an Ikea coffee table made of wood?]

There’s that whole “Crohn’s disease” thing, you know? And because it’s an autoimmune disease it means I have a sad, weak little immune system. Theoretically I should get sick more often because my body likes to attack itself all the time.

It makes sense that I’m ill, too, considering the past few weeks. I’ve spent an abundant amount of time on public transportation (that MegaBus must have been filled with germs, right?), I swapped out all nutritious foods for a sugar-heavy diet, and instead of using the holiday break to catch up on sleep, I used it to fight signs of tiredness in favor of extra time with Tyler.

The Feller kids. Tyler is trying to pick my nose. Keep reaching, buddy!

But, miraculously, I haven’t had a cold in a really long time.

So I can handle it.

And for that I am thankful.

Hey! Thankful!

Let’s get it on.

I’m thankful it’s Thursday. That’s cool, right? It’s so much easier to get back into the work groove when you only have to do it for three days. Though next week’s five-day work week will be killer. I probably won’t survive it.

I’m thankful the days are getting longer. I mean seriously. It’s dark when I wake up, it’s dark when I go to work, it’s dark when I leave work. But December 21 is behind us and now we’re getting more sunshine. I have yet to see it, but I believe it. And I’m excited about it.

Oh look…a dark sky. As usual.

I’m thankful I’m already getting a jump start on a few of my New Year’s Resolutions. I’m de-cluttering, people. When I get an email I’m not interested in, instead of just deleting it, I’m unsubscribing (sorry, Shop It To Me and Gilt Group — in theory you were awesome, but I don’t have time for you and I don’t even take advantage of you, so bye).

Why was I getting these emails in the first place? I’m not a man. Nor am I interested in the health of men. Sorry, dudes.

I can’t say I spent less time online yesterday, but I did start to trim my follow lists. I scrapped one whole person from my Twitter follow list (not you, don’t worry) and already ditched a blog from my Google Reader (if you have Crohn’s disease but you spell it “Crohon’s” or “Chron’s”…bye).

It feels good to start simplifying my life. Baby steps.

Tyler takes baby steps every day. Because he IS a baby. My “baby steps” are more theoretical.

I’m thankful for fun running. As everyone I know starts gearing up for spring marathons or half marathons, I do feel a bit like I should have some sort of goal or plan for the coming months. But I don’t know. I’m just not ready to commit to a training plan. I’m having too much fun being lazy and only running when I want to run.

That snowy day last week. The snowflakes were blinding my eyes and they hurt but also they were so pretty. So it was worth the pain. Poor me.

On New Year’s Day, like many others, I went out and ran 13 miles. Actually, I ran 13.1 miles. Why do I do that? Anyone else? It seems weird to run “just” 13 miles when you can bump it up .1 and call it a half marathon.

So I did a little Happy New Year Half Marathon, because 13.1 miles in 2013 is a beautiful thing to write.

Just half a marathon in the cold…and then I GOT a cold. Go figure.

I wore my watch, which I haven’t been doing. I just felt it was so crucial to hit those miles exactly. And my paces weren’t too bad considering my lack of time in the Brooks.

The great thing about living on a slight downhill from Central Park is that I always sprint at the end. Let’s call it speedwork.

The run was really nice. It was warmish when I started, but it quickly got super cold. I covered all areas of Central Park (um, minus Harlem Hills, because I’m not totally ready to kick the laziness here). Lately I’ve been loving running around the lower loop of the park, and I added in a messy Reservoir loop and a Bridle Path loop.

You can’t really tell, but this tree was covered in confetti from the night before. It was cute. This is where I do my push-ups. Meh, incline push-ups. They’re easier. Hey remember when I used to be motivated to work hard? LOL?

I was covered in mud by the end, and then I started feeling sick and spent the rest of the day on the couch.

I’m thankful I made a dentist appointment. This jaw pain has got to stop. I tried to eat some baby carrots last night and just about cried. Bring on the sexy mouth guard, dentist lady!

I’m thankful for macarons. Chocolate ones, specifically.

These deliciously fancy macarons were the favors at my friend Lauren’s bridal shower. I definitely only took one…

I’m thankful for a fresh start. I realize I’m bordering on “doing the New Year’s thing to death,” but I like it. I like the idea of a new year. It’s a bit daunting and very exciting. I don’t know what’s in store for 2013, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a hell of a lot better than 2012.


That’s all I have for today.

A thought and ultra-provocative question to wrap this up…

I’m sort of up in the air right now about this whole blogging thing. I don’t have as much time to blog as I used to, and I’m fully aware that my “content” is suffering because of it. I don’t love a lot of what I’ve written lately because it feels rushed. Plus, when I’m not training or racing, there’s not an abundance of stuff in my life worth documenting. I’m a very exciting person.

I’ve been doing Thankful Things Thursday since I started this blog back in 2010.

I’m genuinely curious: Love it or hate it? Keep doing it or move on?

I love the idea of dedicating a day during the week to be thankful and regain perspective, and doing this really helped me throughout the year when I was sick. But now the idea feels a bit…tired? Or maybe only I feel that way?

HOW DO YOU FEEL? Keep being thankful? Quit being thankful? Be thankful on the first Thursday of the month and then be un-thankful for a while? I mostly just like knowing what you’re thankful for, so do share. What are you grateful for today?



89 Responses

  1. There is one other thing I am thankful for that I don’t frequently get a chance to say. I’m very thankful for my parents. I was raised by two people who are truly one in a million. Even at a young age, my family stood by me and helped me further my weather knowledge with picture books as a little kid, and real books when I got older. They stood beside me when I told them I wanted to be on TV, and never doubted that I would be one of the lucky few who are actually able to do that. They were by my side when I graduated college…backing me up when I was trying to get a job at WTNH. They were the ones who told me to work hard at News8 for 18 months off the air, and with hard work, I would reach my goal. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been given the privilege to come in to work, and share what I love with you all, both on the air, and online. Be thankful for some of the sweetest things in life…family. Enjoy the beautiful weather, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I have never commented before but I live in the UK and am a long time reader of your blog and it is one of my favourites.
    I love the Thankful Thursday posts, so I agree with everyone else Keep Being Thankful!
    I too agree that your blog reflects how running changes as a priority depending on what else is going on and I love that about it.
    Keep blogging!

  3. Love the blog, please keep posting! It’s the only running blog I read, and the only one I refer friends to. When I ran my 1/2 PR in November (1:43) I thought to myself “wow I could totally run with Ali if she lived in Oregon!”.
    And I love the pictures of Tyler.

  4. I love Thankful Thurs! Mostly bc I’m usually in a bad mood before I read it (I’m not a morning person, what of it) and it forces me to think happy thoughts. And while it is not Friday, I will still share the things for which I am thankful (lucky you!): 1) these last 4 staycation days. I’ve spent some quality time with my bed, couch, gym and Matthew Cat. Heaven! 2) Dawson’s Creek on demand. Seriously. Dawson leery is a huge wiener, BUT I CAN’T STOP. 3) The Amtak bc it’s taking me to good ole central Illinois (aka God’s Country) for a mere $28 roundtrip (!!) to watch my beloved Illini basketball team tomorrow. WOOT WOOT.

    1. Like, I need to proof read. Should have read: “while it’s not THURSDAY”. God. All that Dawson is turning my brain to mush (I DON’T WANNA WAIT FOR OUR LIIIIIIIVES TO BE OVER).

  5. keep being thankful, please! I’m thankful for your blog (I’m a day late on this one, sorry about that) and thankful for committing to Team Challenge again in 2013 (even though my sneakers have barely seen daylight in the past year… training is probably going to hurt… ignorance is bliss?).

  6. And though I already commented on this post yesterday, I thought I’d add that I vote you absolutely keep blogging. I just know that if I ever met you in real life you’d be exactly like you are on the blog, and that makes me keep reading. But I agree with one of the other commenters above in that if you’re having a tough week and not thankful for much or you feel like you’re pulling teeth, don’t post for a week! I think we all understand that there are time we’re just having a difficult time pulling ANYTHING to be thankful about, and it doesn’t make us not happy about our lives or ungrateful in general.

  7. LOVE Thankful Things Thursday! Please keep it! I might have to join in this year to make myself more thankful for all the blessings in my life. 🙂

  8. Well, I’m honestly not a huge fan of Thankful Thursdays, but I WILL say that you are probably the only blogger I would be able to tolerate it from because you’re THAT GOOD.

  9. That’s a pretty smokin’ fast way to start 2013! I’m sorry you’re sick, but if it makes you feel any better I think 78% of everybody is sick right now. Thanks for the reminder to make a dentist appointment, eat some macarons, and figure out how to blog when I just don’t wanna

  10. I love your blog!! I discovered it about 6 months ago. I was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s and recently started running so I totally relate to your blog!!

  11. I say (and only because you asked) treat blogging like running. Don’t overthink it, be thankful when you want, and take breaks (not the bathroom kind) when you need them.
    One blogging trick that helped me was writing shorter posts. Apparently they’re supposed to average a 250 word count (according to who?!), and I generally bat 1,000. So, it doesn’t aways work, but when it does, it’s magic…or something like that.

  12. I don’t think I’ve ever commented, but I love your blog. You are one of three I always read! You are so funny and make me laugh. Tyler is adorable!! Hope you feel better soon!

  13. Keep it! I look forward to reading it every week. It reminds me to be thankful for even the little things… The person that held the door for me when i was running late, my mom that sent me an email to just say hi or the coffee guy that knows my order without me having to say anything other than “small coffee” (half decaf – half regular).

  14. Posting only when you have something to write about is not a bad thing. Blogs are very time-consuming (I rarely update my own personal blog because most days when I have free time I’d rather run or nap) and lots of filler just gets skimmed-through anyways.
    I enjoy reading about your training and races, so my vote is to keep updating us about your running/biking/racing. I am personally not a fan of Thankful Things Thursday and once-monthly would be a better frequency IMHO. It’s nice to reflect on what you’re thankful for once in awhile… today I have been thankful every time I feel my baby kick – let’s me know he’s doing OK and eases my anxiety.

  15. As say, as long as you have things to be thankful for, keep ’em coming! I second your gratitude for the days getting longer. WOO. I calculated the date when I will get out of work before the sun sets. February 15, in case you’re wondering. 🙂

  16. Ali, I have been reading your blog for a little over a year now and I love it. It is so refreshing to read a running blog that also includes an abundance of real eating, real problems, real running and real life. Just like many others, your Thursdays are refreshing to read and so much better than old school photos of people (#TBT). Keep running and keep writing!

  17. I’m thankful for your blog…I guess I would say, only do Thankful Things Thursday posts when YOU feel like it. So, if a Thursday rolls around and you’re not up to writing – don’t! That seems to make sense to me.

    Keep writing, you are so fun to read.

  18. You might have already heard about this before, but Cold-Eeze is seriously a godsend. I used to get respiratory infections and colds at LEAST three times a year (yay, asthma) and then my friend who is spleen-less told me about Cold-Eeze. He swears by it. You just suck on these delicious (not really but I pretend) lozenges every two hours if you feel a cold coming on and it shortens the duration. I actually have been using it for prevention at my office because the women I work with only like to call in sick when they’re NOT sick so people are constantly spreading germs around. I just take one or two a day when someone around me is sick and I haven’t been sick since February (a miracle, seriously). Just thought I’d offer it up if you hadn’t heard of it before!

  19. I love your start on your New Year’s Resolutions! I’ve made a few small ones & one big one, like I always do. So far, so good 🙂

    As for TTT, it’s YOUR blog. We’ll keep reading it whether you’re thankful or not!

  20. I hope you keep blogging even if you give up TTT. I have been reading running blogs for about a year now and I find yours thought-provoking with a sense of humor. I am thankful that yours (of all the blogs I read) is the most literate and grammatically correct.

  21. Can I just say, your blog is still great without training schedules or marathons to be talked about. Cause you’re a normal person & that’s appealing to people that you know a balance! I love thankful Thursdays 🙂

  22. At the risk of being shot down by other commentators, I am kind of torn on the Thankful Things Thursday. Like everyone else, a weekly reminder to be grateful even in tough weeks is much appreciated. But at the same time, sometimes it feels like you’re having a tough week and don’t really fancy being thankful but feel obliged to be. I mean that nicely, I hope it sounds nice. If YOURE finding it a pain in the bum to do, maybe do it monthly – things you’re loving this month and things you’re thankful for. But if TTT makes YOU thankful, then keep going because we all do need the reminder!

  23. No pressure or anything, but since you asked – I love thankful things thursdays! And I love that your writing makes running life fun, obstacles be damned.

    I’m thankful today that my daughter rocks the house, and although my hip was a wreck yesterday today it is much better and I’m moving on.

    btw – Love your new page banner.
    Cheers & Happy New Year!

  24. Please don’t stop writing Ali! I live for the days when I see that you have a new really motivates me to keep running, even if you’re not 🙂

  25. Even if Thankful Things Thursday has to go, please keep blogging! I look forward to my ten-minute break every day when I get to check in with the Internet and remind myself there is a world outside this office, full of positive people doing positive things– like you!

    And, as my friend just gave me a jar that I’m supposed to fill with things I’m thankful for throughout 2013, I need the inspiration!

  26. Thankful!! I agree with the person that said – if it’s a pain – don’t do it. We miss you when you’re gone, but we keep checking back in!! Take some tiem to rest & enjoy! We’re thankful for your humor!

  27. I agree with everyone who has said to do Thankful Thursdays if/when it works for you. People (and their blogs) evolve over time and what felt right a year ago may not be what you need today.

    And since it’s Thankful Thursday, I’m thankful for half price holiday candy. Forget starting the new year healthy, please pass the chocolate.

  28. I love Thankful Thursdays, but you can’t force it if you’re not feeling it. I love your blog, running or not, so I hope you keep blogging as often as you want to! Today I’m thankful that my dog is in better health (had to have her ACL repaired), and I’m thankful for a new year filled with new possibilities!

  29. I love Thankful Thursdays but definitely don’t do it if you don’t feel like it. I don’t come here for the running because I’m not a runner but still love your content. Today, I am thankful my husband took this week off for my b-day and that we are able to spend time as a family. I am grateful for our health, my twins, and pup. I am thankful my nieces & nephews enjoy spending time with us and that they are here for a sleepover.

  30. This is my vote for keeping the TTT! I started reading a year or two ago and have actually found comfort in reading about your stomach woes as much as I enjoyed reading about running.

  31. I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now and I have to say that I look forward to your Thankful Things Thursday posts because they remind me to reflect on my own life and all that I’m thankful for. Keep it up!!

  32. Today, I’m thankful for REALLY deep things! I’m thankful that when I went to Whole Foods this morning, my living social coupon that expired like a year ago still rang up with the full $20, instead of the $10 it was supposed to be after the expiration date and I got my whole foods for free 🙂 I’m also thankful for your brother’s comment on this post, it was really funny! I think you should only post when it feels organic and skip the times when you’re busy and it feels forced. But who am I to say, I blog like once a week, maybe 😉 HOORAY for a New Year’s Day Half Marathon! You’re a machine and I love it.

  33. Bahaha I actually laughed out loud at my desk at work (these people think I’m a weirdo I swear)… it baffles me that people with Crohn’s spell it chrons, cohrons, crohons, etc. I think maybe I should stop sending them emails about checking their spelling…. really I should. haha

  34. I absolutely love your blog and your fun attitude. I love Thankful Things Thursday… I think it is really important to be reminded of the little things in our lives that we should be thankful for! I look forward to it every week. 🙂

  35. Hi Ali,
    I think the “Thankful Things Thursday” is a great routine on your blog. The idea behind it is nice and it always makes me look at my daily life on the brighter side… which is the point !
    Anyways, I think it would be better for you to do it only on the weeks you need to do it. You don’t have to do it every week if you don’t feel like it or have nothing really interesting or funny or worth it to say.

    And, even if you are not racing or training for a specific race right now, you are still an inspiration to me as there is far more than just running in what you share with us on your blog. So, maybe the problem is you don’t really know which direction to take concerning your blogging ? I don’t know, just a feeling…

    Have a good day 🙂

  36. Please keep Thankful Thursday’s! Even if it isn’t possible to do it every week. I love these posts from you! Happy New Year!

  37. I adore your blog, but if you’re struggling to write 5(?) times a week, why don’t you step it back and write just a few times. If your gut says get rid of your regular Thankful Thursdays, then do it. I will still tell you I what I am thankful for…
    I am thankful for all of the support I receive from family and friends. I don’t know why, but they seem to always have my back and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
    Now I’ll go read what others had to say. 🙂

  38. If you can I say keep blogging and keep being thankful. I’m selfish when I say this but it is nice to hear someone else’s perspective on this crazy flipping disease we have and how you manage it (or how it manages you). However, if you don’t have it in you – then don’t post. We’ll understand. I promise.

  39. I love your blog and I love TTT. I think if there is a week you’re not up for it, don’t post, because no sense in forcing it or writing when you don’t want to write.

    Slight change of direction or not, I absolutely still love reading your blog and hope you stick around.

  40. You are a great writer and I love reading what you have to say whether it is about running, your life, or Tyler. I would be sad if you stopped blogging all together as you are on the top of my favorite blogs list. I understand that life gets in the way sometimes so you should do what is best for you. I do enjoy Thankful Thursdays as they always remind me to look for the small but wonderful things in my life. Today I am thankful to be trying out a new restaurant tonight with some great friends!

  41. I am thankful for this website: – it basically takes all those extra ridiculous e-mails that you mentioned above and puts them into one email / day for me so that I can technically still see the 100 daily deals that come into my inbox, but all in one quick scroll. I guess the fact that more often then not I delete THAT email means that maybe I should just take the leap and unsubscribe altogether, but I like this kind of training wheels.

    As for Thankful Things Thursday – I say do it when you feel like it, but don’t stress if you miss a few. It’s probably a good way to put yourself in a good/positive mood [not that it seems like you normally need help with that :)]

  42. I do like how you TTT’s make me analyze what’s positive in my life, but don’t force it. Honestly your blog is one of the first ones I reach for in the morning, and I appreciate your upbeat (though sometimes mixed in with negative Nancy – though that B is everywhere these days:) style.

    I am thankful for the sun poking through the clouds and staying out longer, and that tomorrow is Friday!

  43. I’d say do what you want – if you want to be thankful – do it! If not, don’t! No one is going to be like “OMG she missed being thankful and it’s Thursday! ” At least I hope not. I found your blog in March 2011 and it has been my favorite read since. I’m always excited when there is a new post from Ali on the Run in my reader. There’s no junk in your blog (neverending product reviews/give aways/blahhh) and you can’t say that for many bloggers these days.

    I twisted my knee last night and I have lots of phlegm in my chest so today I’m going to be thankful for…….the sun. Yay!

  44. I am a fan of the posts but I think you should do Thankful Things Thursday when you want to and when you feel like you have enough to post about. Skip the weeks when you don’t so it will never feel forced and you won’t feel any pressure when you are busy with life 🙂

    I am thankful for my boyfriend putting up with me during the process of buying a home. He handles everything while I panic in the fetal position with wine.

    Feel better! Cheers to a healthy and happy new year!

  45. I see everyone saying to keep TTT going, but honestly, if you don’t get as much enjoyment out of it, stop.

    It’s YOUR blog and YOUR time. There’s also nothing saying you can’t bring it back whenever you feel like it.

    I would be sad if you quit blogging altogether though 🙂

  46. I too am a fan of your blogging, regardless of topic, and TTT. Reading these Thursday posts have always made me pause and come up with at least one thing I’m thankful for. Today: starting sessions with a new personal trainer who is going to make me hurt so good.

  47. I love Thankful Thursday! Everyone can use a reminder to be thankful for both the big AND the little things and you do a great job of reminding us. 🙂

  48. I <3 Thankful Things Thursday. I appreciate being forced to find the positive in the week, whether its been an awesome one or not. I could be all nice and be like "oh, Ali, do whatever you want. its your blog. its your life" but instead I'll be selfish and be all "if you don't keep this going I'll just send you weekly emails with my thankful list. so you may as well post the blog entry because you'll never escape my madness anyways!" kidding. sorta, maybe, maybe not? 🙂

    and with that, this week I'm thankful for my family, for being able to spend a week of quality time with my family in Spain, and to the fresh start that 2013 gives me

  49. I love your blog and Thankful Things Thursday (it reminds me to be thankful too), but if you feel the need to cut back, then you should, if for nothing other than your sanity. Take a little break from whatever and come back to it when you’re ready.

    Your blog should be like your runs–it should be fun for you. 🙂

  50. I love that the days are getting longer too! Sometimes I run past you in Central Park and one day I am going to wave lol! You are going to be this crazy girl waving to me!

    I am thankful for a new start. 2013 is going to be my year! I am staying positive!

  51. I say keep being thankful! 🙂 I am thankful for student teaching this semester and almost being done with school!!

    Ps. Love reading your blog 🙂

  52. Your pace was awesome, for having been running or not! Congrats! And I had similar favors at my wedding this summer. Some people forgot about them and we ended up with a month’s supply to take home with us. It was *terrible*.

  53. 1) thank you (and Michaela) for posting the most un-flattering picture of me on the couch ever.
    2) did you cut my blog from you list!? I’m pretty sure my readership went from 1 to 0….suspicious
    3) Tyler doesn’t have to reach that far to pick my nose….cause I have a big nose

  54. I hope you keep writing! Your blog is refreshing, because i feel like it has more substance than so many others out there. You write about real life, not just your running stats and what you ate for breakfast everyday. Those things can be fun too, but i like your variety. It adds balance, and I think people can relate to it because of it.

  55. I say do Thankful Things Thursday when you want to, and skip on on weeks you don’t. Then it won’t ever feel forced and there’s no pressure to write if you are too busy. I am thankful for my new dog, Larry Q. Gray! He’s so sweet and loving and cuddly and I just love him so much already. He has a cold too by the way, and is taking antibiotics. I feel so sad for him because having a cold is the worst. I had my second of the season 2 weeks ago.. Feel better!

  56. Hi Ali! I will say that since you’ve stopped training/racing I skim your blog a lot. I’ve thought about unsubscribing, but you’re pretty likeable :), so I’m still here, but it does seem like it’s lost a bit of “direction,” if you will. You’ve said before that sometimes you’re forcing yourself to churn something out just to keep the blog active and I hope if that’s not fun or you’re not enjoying what you’re writing that you don’t keep doing it, because I think it shows/translates to your readers. I’m not a ginormous fan of thankful things Thursday, but if YOU like it, then that’s all that matters. Cheers and hope your 2013 is happy!

  57. I am always a fan of taking the time to be thankful for things! Especially here where sometimes people can be so miserable, cutthroat, etc. and it can get the best of you (or maybe only me? ha). I think we need to have a sweaty/non-sweaty date soon, ok??

  58. Hi Ali,
    I discovered your blog a little over a year ago, and I always enjoy reading your posts. I love that your blog reflects your ever-changing relationship with running amongst the rest of your life, and Thankful Things Thursday has caused me to stop and make my own lists many times. All of this is to say, that I don’t think it’s a worn-out exercise, and I hope you keep blogging!

    Oh, and today I am thankful that I got to drink French Press coffee and read blogs while it rained outside instead of going to work.

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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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