What I Know

With the New York City Marathon just a few days away, my life seems filled with unknowns.

I don’t know what I’m wearing yet. The top I bought months ago is surely too small.

I don’t know if I want to run in compression socks or legwarmers.

I don’t know what I’m going to eat the night before the race.

I don’t know what I’m going to eat the morning of the race.

It appears as though I have a sick addiction to sunrise photos. Sorry.
It appears as though I have a sick addiction to sunrise photos. Sorry.

I don’t really know what time I should be getting on the ferry.

I don’t have throw-away clothes to bring to the start line.

I don’t know if I’ll know anyone in my start corral.

I have no idea what to do about snacking during the race. Nothing agrees with me. Everything is the worst.

I don’t know where Brian will be spectating.

I definitely don’t know where I’m going to find him afterward. Or how I’m going to get home.

The road to the finish...and the long walk home.
The road to the finish…and the long walk home.

I don’t even know what I’ll want for my post-race meal.

And I don’t know if there will be a post-race celebration or a post-race…something else.

But what I do know is this: I’m taking a cab from the Upper East Side down to South Ferry on Sunday morning. I’m getting on the Staten Island Ferry, and then I’ll get on a bus that’ll take me to the Start Village.

I’ll wait around in the cold, I’ll go to the bathroom at least 39 times and I’ll try to make some friends.

Then, some number of hours later, I’ll get into my corral.

I’ll hear Frank Sinatra’s voice singing “New York, New York.”

Go time.
Go time.

And then I’ll start to run.



57 Responses

  1. Ali!!! I will be thinking of you all day!!! I’m so excited for you!! You are such an inspiration to everyone that reads your blog…you’re doing this!!! Hooray for you! This will be your middle finger up to Chrons:) You’ve got this!!! I’m so proud of someone I’ve never even met, so proud!!! Good Luck:)

  2. Hooray!!! cheering so hard for you lady from Maryland!!! Take that marathon and be proud no matter the results 🙂 You got there and that’s what matters 😀

  3. It’s so amazing that after all you have been through this year you can still stay so positive! I think your positive outlook is going to get you through that race:) And you should start planning your post race meal so you have something to look forward to!

  4. I SAW THAT SIDEWALK CHALK QUOTE! I made a mental note of it. Hmmm must have been along the last 10 miles of the marathon route because i saw it last weekend when we ran it starting from QB bridge. =)
    I’m orange wave 4 corral 61 but i’ll prob move back to corral 64 to stay with 4:45 pacer. If you are in wave 4 let me know. I’m bringing an entire roll of TP in case you need some =) I can bring you a sweatshirt or something to toss if you need.

      1. thanks! you too! I post a verrazano bridge pictures on instagram all the time. If you search #vzbridge look for the ones posted by sweatoutthesmallstuff. I have some beautiful sunrise shots. We all know how much you love sunrise shots. It should give you a little “inspirashhhh”

  5. How to say this in a way that will feel as supportive as the intention behind it…I hope running NYCM is a joy-filled experience for you 🙂 I hope the pit stops are fast and few and far between. I hope you are smiling the whole way, knowing you GET to do it. And I hope you remember that, participate/finish or not, you are still loved and valued. You don’t HAVE to do this to prove anything to anyone. You are beautiful and amazing just because you’re YOU. I truly get the place you’re in, I really really do. That said, your decision to run concerns me. I say that from a place of deep caring and compassion. I have no doubts that you CAN do it…

    1. My decision to run/walk/crawl/whatever I have to do isn’t one I’ve taken lightly. I think I’ve made it very very clear how grateful I am to be running at all — I don’t take a single step for granted, even on the bathroom-stoppiest runs. I’m not doing this to prove anything to anyone — others or myself. Running this doesn’t really change anything. It doesn’t mean I’ve somehow conquered Crohn’s disease, or beat it. It just means I have been signed up and paid to run this race twice now, and this time I’m going to try and do it. I fully anticipate having to make stops and take walk breaks if needed. I’m fine with that. It’s not a PR race, I’m not wearing my Garmin and I just want to go have a fun day after having lots of not fun days this year. Thank you for your support; no need to have concern over my decision. Really, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? The run isn’t going to kill me or make me worse. The worst-case scenario is a pants-shitting one. And yes, the plan is definitely to smile the whole way.

  6. So amazing Ali! I’m in wave 2, blue, corral 19. If I see you, I’ll be sure to say hello and re-introduce myself and give you a big good luck hug!!!

  7. It’s going to be awesome. And the only thing I’m sure of re: race morning is that I have a pretty sweet Illini slanket to keep me warm on Staten Island.

  8. You will figure it all out. Plenty of food at the start. Dunkin donuts usually. Steal Bryan’s clothes for throw always. 🙂 buy some kind of balloon for Bryan to hold sponge bob or something so you can see him.
    Hope you have a great race. You deserve it.

  9. This makes me very excited for you! I will be all the way in the back. Wave 4 🙂 If I do see you I will be sure to say HI so you can have someone to talk to 🙂 BEst of luck!!!

  10. You know that you will have hundreds ( yes I believe you have that many supporters) cheering for you both in NYC and around the world!! With your positive attitude this is your race! Good Luck and can’t wait to read the recap!!

  11. I’m in your corral – Wave 1, Corral 17. I’ll be n a blue dashing whippets jersey and either plaid lulu shorts or pink oiselle shorts, probably white compression socks and blue mizunos 😀 Say hi if you see me – I have blonde hair.

  12. Enjoy the race and remember that despite how bad this year has been health wise you are still running and you will finish! Good luck Ali!

  13. What wave are you in?? This will be my first full, and I would love to see a familiar face (you know like the internet stranger kind)!

  14. so excited for you… and so jealous……. i can’t wait to do this !!!!! can’t wait to hear your recap… you WILL rock this!

  15. You can be sure of one more thing too…that hundreds of people you’ve never met will be wondering how you’re doing and cheering you on from around the world.

    Yay, Ali! It’s flipping happening.

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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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