New York City Marathon Training: Weeks 10 & 11

My first zero-mile weeks.

The past two weeks have been rough — on the marathon training front and beyond.

Weeks 10 and 11 of New York City Marathon training should’ve been my highest-mileage weeks thus far, but instead I didn’t run a single mile. Not only that, but I didn’t do much of anything. My Crohn’s continues to flare — and it’s getting a little worse each week, unfortunately — and during Week 10 I threw a surprise wisdom tooth surgery into the mix. It felt a lot like being kicked when I was already down, but the surgery recovery wasn’t terrible, and my mouth feels much better now than it did before surgery. We’ll count that as a victory!


Then, I spent Week 11 in Paris, which sounds amazing and lovely and wonderful and dreamy, and at times it was, but for the most part, I was uncomfortable and spent a lot of time agonizing over finding the next nearby bathroom.

So fitness-wise, there’s not much to recap from the past two weeks, but it’s tradition now, so here goes…


Monday, September 19: Yoga (75 minutes)

In spite of having a ton of still-mysterious-at-that-point jaw pain and a crazy headache, I willed myself to yoga in hopes that it might make me feel better. It didn’t, but it was nice to move around a little.

Tuesday, September 20: REST

Wisdom tooth surgery! I spent the day drugged, delirious, and sleeping.

Putting this on the internet feels like a good idea.
Putting this on the internet feels like a good idea.

Wednesday, September 21: REST

Post-surgery. No movement.

Thursday, September 22: REST

I wanted to be OK enough to go to yoga or something. I wasn’t.

Friday, September 23: REST

Again, I was hoping to make it to a yoga class at some point, but that didn’t happen. I did, however, go to an Anthropologie near me to get stuff for Paris and cried when the sales associate wouldn’t let me use their bathroom. (Thank you to the kind people at the Ulta next door with the big, beautiful, available restroom.)

Saturday, September 24: REST

Another day, another failed attempt to make it to yoga. But, again, I went shopping, because I don’t own a “light jacket” and wanted one for the trip. So I went to J.Crew and, naturally, I found myself mid-shop and in need of a bathroom immediately. I asked the sales girl if I could pretty please use their employee restroom because, “It’s an emergency, and I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t, and I have Crohn’s disease, and I know the closest restroom is at Bloomingdale’s, but I am not going to make it, and I promise I’m going to buy stuff when I’m done.” She said she wasn’t allowed to let me use it, and I begged and started to get tears in my eyes (ugh), and she said she’d “ask her manager,” and I basically just followed her and used the bathroom anyway. And then she waited outside for me the whole time I was in there, which is not embarrassing at all.

Sunday, September 25: REST

I hoped to go to yoga or something before our nighttime flight to Paris, but that didn’t happen. Bummer.

Three glasses of wine pre-flight = sleep the entire way to Iceland.
Three glasses of wine pre-flight = sleep the entire way to Iceland.

In sad summary…




TOTAL MILEAGE: 0 miles. 

TOTAL ICE CREAM: One little carton of Talenti. I didn’t even want it, but after getting my wisdom teeth out, ice cream was pretty much all I could handle. It was the Belgian Chocolate flavor. I would’ve preferred mint chocolate chip.

TOTAL ALCOHOL: Three glasses of wine at the airport on SundayI know I shouldn’t drink when I’m flaring because alcohol has all kinds of inflammatory properties, but I feel best when I’m a little buzzed, TBH. So screw it. It calms my mind and body, it seems.

What went great: I made it to one yoga class! I am basically superhuman.

Where I need to improve: In my intestines.

Motivational quote that best summarizes Week 10 of training: “Turtle.” —Alison Feller on Laughing Gas


Monday, September 26: REST

Tuesday, September 27: REST

Wednesday, September 28: REST

Unless riding little cruiser bikes around Versailles counts?

Up in Versailles just workin' on my fitness...
Up in Versailles just workin’ on my fitness…

Thursday, September 29: REST

Friday, September 30: REST

Spent the day on an airplane. Used the bathroom 8+ times in the air. Lovely.

Saturday, October 1: REST

Also constipated from all the cheese and stuff in Paris, apparently. Do you know what’s worse than having a Crohn’s flare? Having a Crohn’s flare and being constipated. So much pain. So uncomfortable.

Sunday, October 2: Yoga (60 minutes)

I made it to yoga! A miracle! I needed to try and do something, so I made my way to Lyons Den and survived a 60-minute class. Some poses are uncomfortable on my stomach (like Floor Bow, ouch), but I was thrilled to not have to leave the room and use the bathroom at any point. And it sure beat sitting at home on the couch (or toilet) and crying.

And Week 11 in sad summary…




TOTAL MILEAGE: 0 miles. 

TOTAL ICE CREAM: Some vanilla ice cream shoved into the middle of some profiteroles. #noregrets


TOTAL ALCOHOL: A decent amount. I drank champagne pretty regularly while we were in Paris, and it was the best I felt during the whole trip.

What went great: I made it to one yoga class again! It wasn’t the 20 miles I was supposed to run, but it did feel a little victorious.

Where I need to improve: In my intestines, and probably on my outlook, which has become increasingly dark-cloudy.

Motivational quote that best summarizes Week 11 of training: “In order to fail, you have to try.” —Alison Feller on Laughing Gas

#TBT to when training was great. Remember?!




15 Responses

  1. Oh man, that’s terrible when they won’t let you use the restrooms!! Trust me, if you had a small child with you, they would have let you. I don’t think I was ever turned down at a store when my kids were toddlers. Very unfair for you!!
    Sorry your training has taken a down turn, but I’ve got my fingers crossed it will be awesome in the near future! Also looking forward to reading all about your Paris trip. 🙂

  2. “Where I need to improve: in my intestines”


    Dayum, this sucks. I assume you have a great specialist and they’re doing everything they can to help…so frustrating…when are they going to approve that trial drug on to the market?

    1. The trial drug unfortunately still has a long way to go before it can be approved. I believe there’s still one more round in the actual trial, and then it goes through the FDA approval process. According to my doctor, that all takes a few years. Insanity.

    1. Yes, Ally’s Law is great! But unfortunately most employees — even in states where the law exists — aren’t familiar with it. So I’ve actually been places and said IT’S THE LAW, you have to let me in, and they look at me like I’m an idiot. Ugh.

  3. That JCrew bathroom story made me so angry! You still manage to be funny and inspiring, despite going through such a tough bout right now. Charlie and I loved meeting you today! Seeing you made our day. Hang in there, Ali!

  4. I’m sorry to hear your having such bad flareups, that’s terrible! Definitely don’t beat yourself up about missing workouts, it’s a miracle if I hit all my workouts every week and I don’t even have Chron’s!

  5. Ugh, so sorry to hear this Ali and am rooting for you!! I am signed up for the NYC Marathon also (with a charity no less), but just got a stress fracture (I have a 20- and an 18-miler behind me so it sucks this injury happened so late in the game…) and have to defer until next year 🙁 Hope you’re able to do it (you have a way more solid base than me as I am a new-ish runner, so I’m sure you’ll be great!) but just wanted to let you know I understand how much it totally sucks to be so close and have sh*t happen like this!! You’re not alone… best of luck to you!!! Super frustrating but we’ll all come out better and stronger on the other side (is what I hear!)

  6. I’m sorry but what the fuck is wrong with people and their super strict restroom policies?! Do they want you to go in a dressing room, because that’s what happens a lot when people can’t use a toilet!

    I got ice cream once at UDF and asked to use their restroom and was denied. I was 9 months pregnant at the time, after begging I walked outside and stood outside my car and peed my pants. Obviously nowhere near as bad as what you deal with! I hope you feel better soon! Did you have to stop getting that clinical trial medicine?

    1. Yeah, part of me gets it, like OK, you don’t want your restrooms to be for public use. But come ON, people, if I’m asking, it’s clearly an emergency. Do they think I *want* to have to use their bathroom?! Also that’s ridiculous that at nine months someone wouldn’t let you use their bathroom. Absolutely ridiculous. (And I would have LOST IT on those people, so power to you for keeping your cool.) As for the trial, yes, unfortunately the trial ended in April, so I’ve been off the drug since then. Now it’ll go through the [very long] FDA approval process before they can release it on the medical market.

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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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