I Remember

Last week I wrote about how when you’ve been sick for so long, you forget what it’s like to be healthy.

Last week I got sparse glimpses of that healthy life I used to live.

This week, though?

This week I’m really, deeply remembering all the most important feelings I used to know so well.

On Saturday, I remembered what it feels like to wake up with the sun on a weekend.

I remembered what it feels like to spend quite a while in the bathroom, eat a bit for breakfast and then lace up my Adrenalines to head toward Central Park.

I remembered what it feels like to start running at Engineers’ Gate.

I remembered how crowded the main drive gets during marathon training season and I remembered that it’s sometimes smarter to run with the flow of runners rather than against it — even if that means slightly less exciting people watching along the way.

I remembered what the west side hills feel like. (They hurt.)

You've got nice views, west side, but ya hurt like a bitch. In a good way. For now. Good way bitch hurting for now.
You’ve got nice views, west side, but ya hurt like a bitch. In a good way. For now. Good way bitch hurting for now.

I remembered what it feels like to have a million route options within Central Park, and I remembered every twist, turn, incline and decline on all of them.

I remembered what it feels like to finish a loop of the park and find myself back at Engineers’ Gate.

I remembered what it feels like to keep going.

I remembered the unsteady ground on the Bridle Path and I remembered the gentle left turns along the Reservoir.

This photo is from 6 AM Sunday. I couldn't sleep so I walked to Central Park where I was promptly eaten for breakfast by a flock of wild mosquitos. My right leg is a bumpy, itchy mess. So pretty!
This photo is from 6 AM Sunday. I couldn’t sleep so I walked to Central Park where I was promptly eaten for breakfast by a flock of wild mosquitos. My right leg is a bumpy, itchy mess. So pretty!

Then, 10 miles later, I remembered what it feels like to run double-digit miles. It feels amazing.

Best of all? I remembered how good it feels to approach a bathroom, know it was open for my use — and then keep running because I don’t need it.

On Saturday, I spent the morning running in Central Park for the first time since February. It was my first bathroom-stop-free run of 2013.

As soon as I finished my run — at Engineers’ Gate, of course — I texted my friend Kristan. And then, of course, I visited my dear imaginary friend Bernie and shed [more than] a few happy tears. I couldn’t wipe the silly-stupid grin off my face for the rest of the day.

Also my first time running in sunglasses for some reason. That was weird. Bernie didn't care. He's so accepting.
Also my first time running in sunglasses for some reason. That was weird. Bernie didn’t care. He’s so accepting.

My first double-digit miles.

My first entirely stop-free run.

I remembered everything so clearly — including the amazing smell of my hard-earned mango soap.

And I remembered that being healthy, if only for the span of 10 minutes or 10 miles, feels so good.

Oh and in the aftermath of my runner’s high, I remembered that sometimes really good runs can be a fluke. So to be sure this one wasn’t, I attempted to make my weekday morning run return on Tuesday.

I'm newly obsessed with the park benches. I especially loved the message on this one.
I’m newly obsessed with the park benches. I especially loved the message on this one.

7.25 miles. No bathroom stops. Countless hugs, high fives and cheers from my friends in the park, and a boy on a bike poised at Engineers’ Gate when I was done.

I stood at Engineers' Gate for 20 minutes after finishing my run. I just stood there, all happy.
I stood at Engineers’ Gate for 20 minutes after finishing my run. I just stood there, all happy.

I like remembering.

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Ali

Ali

74 Responses

  1. I remember what it was like reading the posts where you are head over heels in love with running. It’s nice to see and hear about you hitting the pavement again. Congratulations on your runs. It’s really awesome news.

  2. I was with Kristan on Saturday morning when you texted her – she let out a big hooray! And then she told me you ran 10 miles 🙂

    Congrats!

  3. Ah- I like to hear that you are finally remembering, and I hope you keep remembering for months and months to come 🙂 Make sure to easy in carefully so that you make it safely to NYC marathon day. Congrats on some great runs!

  4. HOORAY! I like this post even more than the last. So so so happy and thrilled for your return to health, Ali. It’s about friggin’ time!!!

  5. So happy for you Ali. Knew this day would come. I will never forget my first run back. Just crying and smiling and taking in all the views I once took for granted. Got tears in my eyes now just relating to you! Big steps in the right direction! Xoxo

  6. Yay, Ali!! I want to send this blog entry to you of a month or two ago to read!!! You’ve come a long way, baby.

  7. Ali. That’s amazing. We don’t know each other, but I saw you running in CP yesterday (I’m an early bird like you) you looked happy. It made me smile!

  8. 1. YAY for double digits sans potty stops!!!
    2. I’m obsessed with park bench quotes too. i recently saw this one on a bench in a park near my home: When the tides of life are flowing against you and you can no longer keep going on, don’t waste your time crying about things that might have been, just turn on your back and float.

  9. So happy to hear you are feeling normal again! Awesome job on the double digit run and its great to see you smiling again.

  10. You.Are.AMAZING!!! After everything you have been through (and are still going through) you bust out double digit miles. I am impressed and so excited for you. I hope it just keeps getting better and better.

  11. Your text about running 10 miles was the bright spot during an insanely stressful Saturday morning. I even said out loud “Ali ran 10 miles today!” because I felt like the world needed to know. I’m so proud of your progress so far! Wagon wheel.

  12. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This makes me so happy! Hope this trend continues, nobody deserves to be healthy more than you! 🙂

  13. Glad you’re back at it! I actually went to your twitter account last night to see what was up as there hadn’t been a post. Hope “Feeling Well” continues 🙂

  14. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WAHOO!!!!!!!!!

    This makes me so, sooo happy!! Hooray for recovery, for long runs, and your strength! 🙂 Good work girl!

    And just think, you didn’t even need to see a tri-pod pup for modivation – you were soaring regardless!

  15. So glad to read this post! I was in CP Saturday with the NYRR marathon training run and it was a perfect day for a run. Amazed by your persistence and resilience. Run on!

  16. AMAZING. So happy you’re starting to feel better. I’ve been training for a few weeks and haven’t even gotten to 10 miles yet so, as always, I am impressed with you. I know how amazing it feels to run when you couldn’t for so long. Keep feeling good!

  17. Hooray!! So glad you are back to running! And yeah…how do you go from sick for months to running 10 miles?! It takes me months or running to work up to 10 miles, lol.

  18. aw! It’s so nice to finally read a post like this. And the funny little captions with your pics. that you’ve passed thru the worst and are on your way to feeling good consistently.

  19. Now, what did you do there? You got me all teary-eyed with happiness! You’re awesome, Ali, and I’m so psyched for you! 😀 😀 😀

  20. Great news Ali, delighted you were able to get out and stretch your legs again! Since I’ve started reading your blog, I never take for granted the ease which i can get out and do my jogging thang-thanks for the perspective 🙂 x

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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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