The Triumphant Return Of Thankful Things Thursday

Big things are happening. Huge.

On Tuesday, I ran to work! It was cold and wonderful. My first morning run!

Thanks for the gloves, Aunt Bobbi!
Thanks for the gloves, Aunt Bobbi!

On Wednesday, I fully reacquainted myself with public transportation. I rode the subway three times and took the bus once. Guess how many cabs I took? I took zero cabs. [Insert big sigh of relief from my sad, overworked, not-quite-paid-off credit card.]

From the Upper East Side all the way to Tribeca via public transportation. It took an hour, but only cost, like, $2.25.
From the Upper East Side all the way to Tribeca via public transportation. It took an hour, but only cost, like, $2.25.

And then today came. Today, I ran to work again, only this time I did it without needing to make a single bathroom stop. Do you know when the last time that happened was? Neither do I, actually. But I know it’s been more than a year since the last time I ran without stopping.

Which brings us to…

Thankful Things Thursday!

Remember this game?!

I kind of do. A refresher on the very strict and intense rules: I go on and on and on about the things in life for which I am currently thankful. Big things! Little things! Puppy things! Chocolate things! And then, in the comment section down below, you do the same. We all play. It’s mandatory. And then we are happy, thankful friends for life. We have melty cheese parties and we go running. In the opposite order.

Let’s dooooo it!

I am thankful for the day (March 18, specifically) I got to feel like myself — like a runner — again. As I ran through Central Park on Tuesday morning, I felt so happy. My stomach actually really hurt and felt nicely bloated and distended, but I was running through it. I was pushing myself ever so slightly. And I was sweating —not because of my disease, but because I wanted to be sweating.

This is what my office looked like later in the day. Sorry, anyone who wants to come talk to me.
This is what my office looked like later in the day. Sorry, anyone who wants to come talk to me.

My parents had given me a New York City Marathon finisher jacket for Christmas, and I refused to wear it because I couldn’t identify with my runner self anymore. I put the jacket on for the first time on Tuesday, and when I threw it back on to go grab lunch, the woman at the lunch-deli place was elated to talk to me about it. “Ohhh, you’re running the marathon?!” she asked me. “No, I ran it last year,” I told her, smiling like a foolhound. (Did I just make up a word? I like it!) “Wow! What was your time?!” “3:58,” I told her. “That is so good!” And then I wanted to hug her. But she went on! “I can tell you’re a runner — you have a runner body.” And with that, I floated along on Cloud 9 for the rest of the day.

My previously unworn jacket, now nicely broken-in.
My previously unworn jacket, now nicely broken-in.

No matter how long Crohn’s may take me out of my beloved park, I still remember every turn, every tree, every tiny dip in the road or slight incline. You don’t just forget Central Park. So as much as Tuesday’s run made me feel so breathless and out of shape, it also made me feel so much like my old self, navigating my way through the park like I never missed a day.

For my 22nd birthday, the guy I was dating at the time took me into New York City (I was living in Connecticut then) to take me to dinner at the Loeb Boathouse. He was so pissed that I had never heard of it. He also turned out to be a total dick, so it's fine. My mom is not going to be happy that I just used that word. She hates it.
For my 22nd birthday, the guy I was dating at the time took me into New York City (I was living in Connecticut then) to take me to dinner at the Loeb Boathouse (seen here, on the far right, and in every NYC movie…like “27 Dresses”). He was so pissed that I had never heard of it. He also turned out to be a total dick, so it’s fine. My mom is not going to be happy that I just used that word. She hates it.

I am thankful for my run this morning. It was everything to me. I felt pretty awful all night, and finally just gave into the pain when I woke up at 4:30 AM, knowing I wouldn’t be falling back asleep. It wasn’t fun — never is — but I was determined to try a run commute again. I took my time getting out the door, naturally assuming I’d be making plenty of bathroom stops between home and the office.

So I ran the bathroomiest route I could think of, winding through the park and adding a loop around the Great Lawn because I figured I’d need to use the bathroom by Shakespeare in the Park.

To me, you are perfect.
To me, you are perfect. Even when you are open to traffic for a few hours each day.

But I didn’t.

And I didn’t need the Boathouse bathrooms either, or the Bethesda Terrace bathrooms, or the playground bathrooms, or any of the bushes all throughout the park. I was all set.

Remnants of the NYC Marathon finish line. The blue and yellow stripes survived the winter. How cool is that?
Remnants of the NYC Marathon finish line. The blue and yellow stripes survived the winter. How cool is that?

Before I knew it, I was plowing through the masses in Times Square, and then I was at work. I made plenty of “catch my breath” stops, a few picture-taking stops and a handful of stop-light stops. But I never made a bathroom stop.

OFFICE BATHROOM SHOT! Remember theeeeese?
OFFICE BATHROOM SHOT! Remember theeeeese?

I kind of can’t believe it.

I’m thankful for online episodes of “Billy on the Street.” Oh god, it’s so funny. Do you watch it? I hope you do. Let’s watch it together. I fantasize about running into Billy Eichner in the city and getting “quizzed in the face.”

I’m thankful for good sunrises.

So you think you're really pretty?
So you agree…you think you’re really pretty?

I’m thankful I abandoned my lifetime-long habits of list-making and workout-logging. How exhausting was all that? Life is actually easier without those things. For me, at least.

I’m thankful for the subway!!! I rode it so many times yesterday! Yesterday was my first cab-free day in actual months.

I’m thankful every time I remember to bring my phone charger to work, because this sucker keeps dying on me by like 10 AM daily. Why must that happen? Life can be such a struggle sometimes.

I’m thankful for my friends. I’ve got some goooood people keeping me kickin’ right now. There are the ones who have been known to console me tirelessly on GChat (I imagine I can be a bit exhausting sometimes), the ones who can complete my rarely-relevant movie or TV show quotes via text, the ones who live right next door and let me barge in with zero notice, and the ones on the yoga mat or spin bike next to me. You all know who you are and I loooove you.

I’m thankful for work perks. Rhyming! I saw Aladdin on Broadway last weekend and went into it thinking Disney movies-turned-stage-shows aren’t my thing. Aliiiii, you were wrong again! It was so good. I loved it.

I CAN SHOW YOU THE WOOOORLD. Shining, shimmering, spleeeeendid. Tell me, Ali, now when did you last let your heart decide? Classic.
I CAN SHOW YOU THE WOOOORLD. Shining, shimmering, spleeeeendid. Tell me, Ali, now when did you last let your heart decide? Classic.

If you have kids, you should take them to see this show. They’ll love it, too. And by “kids,” I also mean “30-something boyfriends who claim to be hardcore cyclists who take life really seriously but who have soft spots for a genie who emerges from a lamp and sings a song called ‘Friend Like Me’…”

I’m thankful I get to see my family next weekend!

Two of my favorite boys. The only people missing from this picture are Brian, my brother and Enrique Iglesias.
Two of my favorite boys. The only people missing from this picture are Brian, my brother and Enrique Iglesias.

My cousin is getting married to the cutest, coolest girl (she’s this tiny beast of a runner — I will never even attempt to run with her) and Tyler has a tiny suit for the occasion. Good times all around. We’ll be raging in New Jersey (false — I do not “rage” these days) and I’m reeeeeally hoping I’ll feel OK enough to run some boardwalk miles while I’m there.

One of my favorite places to run: the Ocean City boardwalk (I prefer it in the summer, like in this picture, but late March will do juuuust fine)
One of my favorite places to run: the Ocean City boardwalk (I prefer it in the summer, like in this picture, but late March will do juuuust fine)

I’m thankful for every good minute I get right now. I take nothing for granted.

I’m thankful Thankful Things Thursday came back today. It’s a sign of changing times, my friends.

Getting pumped up with the drug-cebo! Though I think maybe we can all kind of assume or agree that I may have actually gotten the drug?! And that it juuuust may be working...
Getting pumped up with the drug-cebo! Though I think maybe we can all kind of assume or agree that I may have actually gotten the drug?! And that it juuuust may be working… Also, sorry if this photo grosses you out. Dad? You OK?

NOW YOU DO IT! YOU PLAY, TOO! What are you feeling warm and grateful for today? Acceptable answers include food, pets, the first day of spring, and things that make you sweat. Unacceptable answers include any and all mentions of Crohn’s disease. Tell me something gooood.



88 Responses

  1. I’m thankful for spring and warmer weather coming back! YAY!!! I’m stalking the beech-trees right now, they are so gorgeous when they go green! (Gotta be soon)
    I’m thankful for my parents. I’m faking a vacation right now and chilling at their place.
    I’m thankful for running. And exercise in general – makes me feel so good. And seeing progress is awesome.
    And a bunch of other stuff. Just found your blog (minutes ago), and I like the spirit! 😀

  2. Ali,
    Thanks for this! I stumbled across your blog and have so enjoyed reading your posts. Yesterday was a Thankful Thursday and today is going to be a Freakin’ Fabulous Friday! Have the best day and enjoy the run!

  3. Hi Ali!
    I came across your blog a few months ago and I absolutely love it! I also love running and found your blog very interesting. I read in one of your previous blog posts that comments help you keep going…so I just wanted to tell you that I’m French and enjoy reading your blog ! Even here in France you have people who support you and find you very brave and inspirational! So never give up!! I know you’re going to win this fight! And you’ll be able to run a marathon in Europe soon! 🙂 Take care, Sophie

  4. I’m behind, but I don’t care. Mostly, I’m pumped that you’re feeling a bit better (and hopefully still are!).

    Today (almost the NEXT Thursday, but whatever) I am thankful for:

    1. Air conditioning.
    2. My W/F lunchtime spin class. I get so excited about teaching them every week.
    3. French fries. Because, why not?
    4. Husband home from business trip!
    5. Sports bras. Because regular bras are just not worth it.

  5. Yay! I am thankful you’re feeling better!
    I’m also thankful for the hot yoga class I’m going to tonight, which I know is going to sort out both my achy muscles and my cluttered mind.
    And I am thankful for chocolate chip cookies 🙂

  6. Thankful that reading your post reminded me to log my sneaker mileage from yesterday into my calendar =) You might be done with lists and logging but I’m still chained to the apps on my phone.

    Thankful for easter candy….I’m currently in peeps/jelly beans heaven

    Glad you’re feeling a bit better and that you’ve been able to resume the pub transport and run-commutes….must really feel liberating!

  7. I am late to the thankful thursday post as it is Monday but so happy to read this post of yours. it is nice to see old Ali shining through. So good to see you running and how happy it is making you.
    Last thursday was my 3rd wedding annivarsery and i am thankful for a wonderful husband. It was leather so go a beautiful handbag. you can all go be sick now!!

  8. I am thankful awesome friends and the poodle I am always thankful for the poodle who doesn’t give me dirty looks when I sing to him

  9. So very happy for you! Wishing you continued healing and improvement 🙂

    My kids and my husband are giving me the warm fuzzies right now. So thankful for that. And so thankful for modern medicine 🙂

  10. I am thankful that you are doing well. I haven’t seen your blog in a while and was thinking about you and just decided to check it out today. Hooray for you! I am also thankful that my winter long (small) injury seems to be gone and I am also back to running. And thankful for the director of the Football Hall of Fame Marathon (April 27) who allowed me to defer my registration for the half to next year. I’m going to volunteer and look forward to my 2nd marathon in September. (Akron, OH) Happy Spring!!!

  11. First of all, I’m thankful you’re back and feeling better and posting this again. I love TTT—always a good reminder to focus on the positive, which is obviously not always easy!

    I’m thankful that I get to teach such an incredible group of kids in an incredible community. My school had their annual basketball fundraiser last night, and it was such an awesome reminder that my job is the most rewarding one I ever could have signed up for. I’m a lucky girl.

  12. I’m thankful for my health, and the fact I get to eat cake all weekend because it’s my moms birthday!

    Soooosososooo happy to read a thankful Thursday post! Keep up the work drug-cebo!

  13. So happy to hear things are good!
    I’m thankful for a week of pain-free running (have been dealing w/ a pesky pain in my ankle/foot, but seems to be getting better!) I’m also thankful for a runcation coming up soon – can’t wait to get out of town, do a race, and explore a city with a friend!

  14. I’m so glad you are getting better and running-horay! I’m very thankful I that I have two whole foods and a shake shack within close proximity to my living quarters (I sound like such a pig). Have a great weekend, you definitely deserve it!

  15. OOPS, clearly I didn’t read the very last part. Pretend I didn’t mention that word… Sorry… It has been a beautiful day and I was happy to read this.

  16. You said, “I take nothing for granted” and that resonates so deep within me. I have had Crohn’s for half my life now and I learned very quickly how to cherish everything. I wish you the best of luck with everything and hope you continue to feel well. I enjoyed reading this and thank you for sharing.

  17. Thankful that your feeling better!!!!! And that its finally getting slightly warmer/less polar vortexy!! (thats a word no?!)

  18. I’m grateful they tolerate my 7 week old at the barre class childcare! I’m just trying to get back and SWEAT my way back!
    I am also grateful you’re feelin’ better lately.

    Also, puppies. Who isn’t grateful for puppies.

  19. I am late to the game I know…

    However, I am so grateful that you are finally feeling well enough to write this kind of post again! 🙂

    I am also grateful that it is Friday, sunny outside and that it smells like spring. Does not take more than that to make for a great day.

  20. I am so happy for spring and melting snow!! Mostly right now I am so happy for you!!! You sound so so great. Keep looking up. Good things will come your way.

  21. Yay!!! I’m thankful for the return of Thankful Things Thursday! And I’m thankful that I’ve gotten back to running after a few months off. This week has felt so good! I’m thankful that it so far hasn’t been as hard to get back up to speed as it was to begin running. I’m thankful that I have a 10k that I’m working towards, and that I have a couple buddies who talked me into signing up, despite my recent slacking. THANKFUL!

  22. “So you agree… you think you’re really pretty?” Loved that 🙂

    I am thankful for SPRING and so happy for you that you ran. Also, please don’t stop blogging 🙂

  23. YYYYAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 I am so happy for you!
    I am thankful for…this post!
    And macaroni cheese!
    And the fact that my Crohn’s is letting me go for long runs outside in the beautiful springness!! ‘Tis so pretty out there, even if it IS freezing!! 🙂
    And right now I am also thankful that the car that I was just about to buy has died in spectacular fashion…before I signed on the dotted line and bought it!! Phew, close call!!
    Have an awesome time in Jersey! x

  24. Yay yay yay! I am so happy for you!!!
    I am thankful to have come out of the slump I was in yesterday, have tackled laundry and urgent work stuff today.
    I am thankful for the sunshine outside, and for the magnolia buds ready to burst on the tree in our garden.
    I am thankful for my love, who is so incredibly patient with me and my moods and exhaustion etc. Good one, he is.
    I am thankful for being alive, and feeling alive!

  25. I have followed your blog for awhile – I just wanted to say that I am glad your feeling better. I hope you have a good time in Jersey. You will be back on your feet in no time .

    Looking forward to continuing to follow your adventures!

  26. I’m thankful that you are feeling better and posting more often! I’m also thankful that almost all the snow has finally melted here (NW Ohio) and I can now run without face planting. 🙂

  27. Thankful for happy, smiling Ali!
    And thankful that the haze is gone! Just a tad sad that we didn’t get to run MWM (

  28. AHHHHH! SO happy that you’re feeling a bit better. Today is the international day of happiness- so I’m thankful for that. We could all use a little more. I’m thankful that I didn’t get lice from my kids at school today (ack!), I’m thankful for my beautiful boy who says “I lo lo mama” and my sweet pup snoring next to me 🙂

  29. So thankful you are feeling better, and I am so thankful that my son is finally feeling better that we got out to go running with our running group twice this week, so happy he is finally getting better too!

  30. I am thankful for brightly colored socks, pets of all kind, double stuff oreo snack packs, and being in medical trials for Stelara (for both myself and for you!).

  31. Yahoo!!!! I’m a runner too-but I’ve been injured for 5 months and going to PT. This week I finally had two (short and slow) pain-free runs-with another one planned for after work tomorrow. I feel like things are finally turning around in the running department. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to eke out my half in May…

  32. Thankful you are feeling so well and running!
    I’m thankful for weekends and time in Maine at the ocean. I am NOT thankful for continuing snow.

  33. I am thankful for such an upbeat post from you – great to hear you are doing better and hope you continue on the road to recovery!!

  34. I am grateful you are feeling better, for soooooo much basketball and that I got luxury suite tix to Demi Levato and made my favorite 7 year olds bday super special.

  35. I’m thankful that you were able to share this. I’ve followed you for a very long time but never posted before until today. My heart has gone out to you each time you posted about your challenges to feel normal and run. I hope it continues. I look forward to your crazy posts about life, running and other stuff that makes me laugh. Your friend from the blog world – Gina

  36. So happy for you, Ali! I’m thankful for my family, my friends, the sunny day, and that Spring Break is only 1 day away!

  37. I have been reading your blog for awhile and love it, but this is my first comment… (I too have that C word that I am not allowed to mention here. 🙂 I am super thankful today. First I went shopping for luggage and found just what I needed at a price I could afford. Then I went to find shorts for our vacation that is quickly approaching and my favorite store had all last years summer clothes on clearance plus an additional 70% off. Score! I have many other things to be thankful for too. A wonderful husband, three beautiful girls, a home I love, and the ability to be a stay at home mom! SO thankful that you are feeling better!

  38. I’m so glad that you’re feeling better and getting some runs in. But I am most thankful for the official end of Winter.

  39. I am so thankful for my dog, Malcolm! We adopted him in November and I am 100% a crazy dog mom and totally obsessed. I am also thankful for bloggers like you who keep me feeling inspired and excited about life through your own passionate and real/vulnerable posts. Go girl!!! Glad you’ve been running and not using cabs!!!!!

  40. I am so thankful that you have a thankful thursday again and of course the office bathroom picture 😉

    And then so thankful that Calgary got some fresh snow again 🙂

  41. I’m thankful that my mom, sister and two-year-old niece are coming out to see me next week! And that my daughter and niece get to play together and begin a beeeeeautiful friendship (which I’ll make sure happens even if it kills me!)

  42. First I am so so so happy to hear about your runmutte!!

    Second I am happy that my job assists participants to raise funds for patients of Crohn’s and Colitis.

    Third I am happy that in two weeks I will be back at the Jersey Shore for a wedding and to spend time with my family.

    Fourth I am happy that My car is finally getting fixed!!

    Stay Happy Ali!!

  43. As are many others, I am thankful to see you with a smile on your face again! WoooHoo! I am thankful for Thursday, because that’s my weekly date night with my husband. I look forward to Thursday all week! I am also especially thankful for those fleece lined running tights. It’s so darn cold in Ohio. I’m hoping warmer weather is around the corner.

  44. I’m thankful your blogging days haven’t come to an end! I was sad to read you’re thinking about stopping in your last post (but also totally understand!), so I was excited to see this pop up in feedly today! Glad you’re feeling better, and hope the running successes keep happening!

  45. This was such a splendid post to read – so glad to hear that you’re feeling more like your old self!
    I hope this means you’re going to stay in the blogging world.

  46. I am thankful to see a thankful post from you!! And thankful that these posts remind me that the little things in life I complain about are just that, little things…to be thankful way more often. Oh and the weather. I am just ready to leave winter and the treadmill behind!

  47. I ready that first sentence in a Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman voice “HUGE.”

    I am thankful that the first day of Spring is here. I love spring, the nice weather always makes me go crazy and spend too much money on flowers and plants that by August will be dead. But SPRING! There’s so much optimism and happiness to it.

  48. I’m thankful you’re back on the roads again!! I’m also thankful that today is both the first day of spring and free macaron day. I’m thankful I have tickets to see Aladdin on Broadway for my birthday – so excited! Glad you loved it!

  49. awesome post!

    I am thankful it was warm enough to wear a skirt to run this morning, and that At some point soon it will not be pitch black my entire run.

  50. I am thankful the sun is shining and that the track was FINALLY clear for our workout this morning, even if it was still cold! And I am so happy to see this post! Sounds like maybe I need to take my 9 yr old to see Aladdin?! Hope you continue to get out there and enjoy SPRING!!!

  51. I am so happy you are feeling more like yourself!!!

    I’m thankful it’s my birthday this weekend!! 29 not so fun but still time to celebrate! I’m also thankful I found a dress for my engagement photos next month!

  52. I’m so happy for you! I fingers-toes-and-earlobes-crossed hope this is your big, shining “moment everything changed” moment!

    I’m thankful that, despite the repeat snow situation we’re experiencing this month in DC, the weather is calling for sunny and 70 on Saturday. Sunny, seventy, and Saturday might just be my three favorite “s” words.

  53. I am sooooo glad you had an awesome day! Woot! Keep it up! I am so thankful for a good day for me, too! And sunshine. It’s my favorite.

    Also, I ran a 10k LAST Saturday. I PR’d! Yay! So, there’s that, too.

  54. YAY! I’m happy you’re feeling better and running again!

    Can you tell us more about the run commute? What kind of backpack do you use? And do you pack all of your work stuff in it? I want to try but I dont know how to make it work logistically….

    1. Happy to! It takes a bit of planning ahead. I use a Gregory backpack (this one: and it doesn’t fit a TON of stuff, but you can get the essentials in there. I pack my wallet, keys, deodorant and whatever I’m planning to wear that day. I keep shoes at the office, and sometimes I’ll leave my makeup/brush there the day before, too. You just have to plan ahead a bit (my office doesn’t have a shower, which basically just tells you that I’m disgusting…I just sort of clean myself up in the bathroom and go about my day). I wouldn’t be able to fit jeans in the backpack, but a dress or skirt/top combo rolls up nicely and fits just fine!

        1. Can I add… I bike to work sometimes, and my office doesn’t have a shower either. I keep a bottle of Witch Hazel at the office, and a bag of cotton balls. It’s a really easy way to clean up and keep the sweat stink away! I couldn’t do without it in the summer.

  55. So so so so so so so (times a million and twelve) happy for you!!!! And to continue the happiness, today I am thankful for:
    -the sunshine! it has been rainy and gross here and today it’s sunny and warm!
    -health. never taking this one for granted.
    -my first sub 10 minute mile of the year yesterday. (i’m a super slow runner, i take what i can get)

  56. I am feeling really thankful for this post – it made me so happy for you. Just be gentle on that body of yours though…ease back into it? But every run that you get to do makes me really happy for you.

    Today I am thankful:
    – that the (lovely) dog we’ve been dog-sitting went home yesterday. He is delightful but it’s so nice not to have to pick up poo.
    – that I got to run trails yesterday and didn’t see a rattlesnake
    – for car-washes (see note ref dog above)


  57. Weee! I like this game. I also like melted cheese and Billy on the Street!

    Today I am thankful for the gym near my house with a pool and spin classes. I’m thankful for my loving family, boyfriend and silly fat cat. Also thankful for audiobooks and waterproof ipod cases that will come in handy while cross training in the pool.

  58. I am thankful that you are feeling like yourself again!!!
    Also so am I.. and being yourself is pretty GREAT!!

  59. I am thankful that YOU have so many things to be thankful for today!!
    I’m also thankful for a sunny first day of spring down here in DC 😀

  60. thankful for the first day of spring and mother nature allowing the sun to come out!!!! also thankful for this post!!! glad you are doing better!!!!

  61. I am thankful that you are proof that there are in fact people on the internet who know that it’s “for which I am currently thankful” and not “that I’m thankful for.”

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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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