Dear 2017…

Dear 2017,

It’s so nice to make your acquaintance!

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about you. I’ve been sick for a few months now, so I didn’t know if 2017 would be the year I stayed sick — or worse, got sicker — or if it would be the year I got to make some kind of comeback. I was just going to let you start out quietly and figured we’d see where we ended up.

Now it may be only four days into this new year, but I’m changing my mind.

I say 2017 is going to be great. 

New Year’s Eve walk with Ellie! She splashed me!

I say 2017 is the year I will make a comeback. I can already feel it coming.

I say 2017 is the year I’ll stop hesitating and start actually doing. Because if you can, you must, right?

And even though I said I was “so over New Year’s resolutions” in recent years, I’m feeling them this year. I like having goals and things to work toward, and I like making lists. I’m craving a challenge. And so, dear 2017, here’s what I want to accomplish over the next 12 months…

Our New Year’s Rockin’ Eve!

I WILL get healthy. 

This is, of course, my top priority. And while some of it may be beyond my control and in the hands of medicines and doctors, I’m doing what I can on my end to ensure this happens ASAP. I’m taking probiotics and vitamins, I’m getting plenty of sleep, and I saw an allergist to confirm I don’t have any underlying allergies that may be exacerbating how I feel (turns out, I’m allergic to dust mites; I don’t have any food allergies, but that doesn’t rule out food sensitivities or intolerances). I know firsthand that without your health, the other stuff doesn’t really matter. So I want to cruise down the road to recovery, and then I’ll tackle this whole list!

Ali at the allergist! Brian came with me, and good thing he did, because all those little arm pricks they gave me made me almost pass out!

I WILL ditch dairy for a full 30 days. 

Resolution already in progress! I love cheese. I love pizza. I love ice cream. But I don’t love how I feel after eating most of those things, and with an already upset stomach, I know I’m not doing myself any favors but eating that stuff. So I’m going dairy-free for the month of January in order to see how I feel. Stay tuned.


I WILL run the full 6.1-mile loop of Central Park, and then I’ll get a massage. 

I’ve been dying to do this for months. I always treat myself to a massage after I run a marathon. But after running NYC, I still didn’t feel well enough to lay on a table and have someone touch me for an hour. (Fine, maybe 90 minutes.) I knew I’d be uncomfortable and wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy it without worrying about bolting for a bathroom. So as soon as I’m ready, I’m going to go run that full loop of my favorite park, and then I’ll get a massage. It’s going to be the best day ever.

I WILL get off the roads and onto the trails.

Specifically the Long Path. There are lots of trails within driving distance of my New Jersey home — but I almost always stick to the waterfront because it’s convenient. (And, yes, totally flat.) This year, I pledge to explore unfamiliar terrain.

I WILL launch my podcast. 

I’ve been talking about doing this for the past two months. I have plans and a lineup of guests and all these ideas, but I haven’t executed on it. I blamed being sick, but come on. I can do this from the comfort of my home — where I do pretty much everything — so 2017 is the year this happens. (Tune in! When the time comes.)

My first guest will probably be Ellie. She has a lot to say.

I WILL try to PR the 5K.

When I’m back up and running, I would love to break my PR of 23:04 — and would love to go sub-23.

This is not my year to run a marathon. As much as I love training for marathons, I don’t want to put that physical stress on my body this year. (So this fall, when I’m feeling great and want to register for one because I’ve forgotten how I feel right now, remind me of this!) I want to run and race shorter stuff this year! I’d love to nab a fresh half-marathon PR since mine is from 2011, but it’s hard to declare big running goals when I’m still confined to the bathroom for a decent chunk of every day. So we’ll see. But I’m feeling the 5K.

The last time I ran a 5K! Definitely will need to find some dog-friendly ones around here…

I WILL hit that number I want to hit in my savings account.

I’m super proud of the progress I made in my savings last year, and have big goals for this year.

I WILL establish a team of doctors I love and trust. 

I love my GI, I really do, but I’m not super satisfied with his new office. It’s impossible to get an appointment, even when the doctor himself sees my insides and says I’m super sick and need treatment, and once I do get an appointment, it feels rushed, because he has 320 other patients to see that day. That’s not acceptable to me, especially considering how much all this stuff costs, even with good insurance. I know “the system is broken” and blah blah blah, but I am convinced there are doctors out there who are willing and able to spend more time with their patients and will ensure they get the treatment and care they need. I’d love to keep seeing my guy, but also want to shop around a bit and see what New Jersey has to offer. (I also need to do this for an OB-GYN, a dentist, and a general practitioner. Recommendations very much welcome!)

Being NOT AT ALL DRAMATIC at the allergist.

I WILL see La La Land.

Just because I haven’t yet (I’m afraid of movie theaters, ugh) and really need and want to. This isn’t so much a resolution as it is just a thing on my to-do list.

I WILL see Céline Dion perform in Las Vegas. 

It’s ridiculous that I haven’t seen her show, and I want to make sure I do while she’s still doing her residency at Caesar’s Palace. Maybe this summer. Or whenever it’s cheap to go to Vegas.

This all seems reasonable enough, right?

Ready? Let’s do this.

#seenonmyRUN (!!!)



I TOLD YOU MINE, NOW TELL ME YOURS! Got any 2017 resolutions in the works? 



30 Responses

  1. Earlier this year I wrote here that I was going to run the half marathon in Queenston, New Zealand. I did! it was awesome. 2:06, slow but such a great run.
    I’ve decided this year I’m going to try for the full marathon, I’m so scared of failing I’m not telling anyone….except you Ali, keep it under your hat. 🙂 You and I are going to have a great year, I can feel it.

  2. So pumped to read about your goals! I’d LOVE to see Celine in Vegas (it’s definitely a dream of mine!). My goals for 2017:
    -Run my first 10k in 5 years (already signed up!)
    -Learn to cook more meals and use my slow cooker
    -Have a fabulous wedding (July 2017)
    -Be persistent about getting Dr’s appointments and making sure I advocate for myself and my situation.
    -Listen to your podcast….DUH!!!! SO excited!

    Keep the awesome posts coming (and the pictures of Ellie!)

  3. Loved the post and love your goals!! I feel that 2017 will be a great year for you, too 🙂

    My goals include:
    -Breaking 1:30 in a half marathon [may be a bit extreme since my PR is 1:35 but we will see]
    -Saving $15,000
    -Play my piano more
    -Drink less during the week [week 1…CHECK!]
    -Get to work earlier around 8am [week 1… CHECK!]

  4. Goal #1-GET HEALTHY! I’ve been relying on other doctors and medications for too long and have decided to take things into my own hands. Doing my own research and searching for doctors that will take the time to figure this out for me. It’s been a LONG 4 years and I need my life back and I’ve decided that this year will be it! January 2018 will not be spent on a liquid diet in and out of the bathroom, it will be spent among friends drinking champagne and being silly! Other goals include purging things before moving into a new home and getting that home clean, ready, and fixed up to make it ours. Good luck to you! I have a good feeling about 2017 😉

  5. 1. Stay healthy. In remission since July 2016!
    2. Any distance PR is nice but I mostly want a PR in my 10km distance: a sub-54 minute
    3. Eat more veggies. I love carbs but sometimes I feel like that’s all I eat. They are so awesome!!!
    4. Weight training / core strengthening. This is completely lacking in my training and it can only benefit me. Any advice?
    5. ALI ON THE RUN PODCAST?!? Totally on my list!

    PS. After your dairy-free month, you should try lactose-free products (Not sure if you have tried before). I am very lactose intolerant but all the products you can get that are lactose free, it’s pretty awesome! Even ice cream! 😀

  6. I can’t wait to listen to your podcast!

    My goals for 2017 are to write down things that make me happy every day (I bought a planner just for this purpose), get something published online somewhere, and find a new job (I’m currently pregnant, though, so this is proving to be tricky).

    I hope this year is great for you!

  7. Hi Ali, I’ve had Crohns for 12 years (also have RA) and live in NYC. I’ve had the same issues with my numerous doctors over the years – feeling rushed, doubting that they really understood or cared about the complexities of my disease(s), leaving me unsure about the “right” approach, etc. I now see Bradley Morganstern as my gastro and I highly recommend him. He isn’t super rushed, cares about finding the right treatments for me personally, given my situation and concerns (I’m getting married soon, so need to be especially aggressive about getting into remission). Also, importantly, he is the most immersed and current with respect to research in the field of any doctor I’ve seen. Let me know if you have any questions!

  8. I’ve just started running! So my first goal is a 5k by April 1 – I’m using the couch to 5k app and on off days biking and doing yoga for cross training!

  9. Wow, very excited to hear about your podcast, I love listening to them when I run. Good luck with the dairy. I ditched it at my dr’s request about 8 months ago and it’s made huge difference, not only with my stomach but my allergies as well. My goal for 2017 is consistency. There are so many times I have to be flexible because I’m sick, so I’m aiming to be consistent with hitting my workouts when I’m well.

  10. OMG a podcast?! YES PLEASE!

    Also, I hear you on the physician shopping. My beloved neuroendocrinologist was tapped to start up a new branch of the Mayo Clinic (so yeah, NBD), which means she up and moved to Florida. After waiting FOUR MONTHS for an appointment with a new one, he was legitimately so horrific that I left in the middle of my appointment. Finding a new one is top on my resolution list.

    Others include: Lose the weight the Cushings has packed on; pay off all my medical debt; post-surgery PR in 5k (pre-brain surgery was 20:16, post-brain surgery is 28:32); and work with my husband to finish renovating our 1838 farmhouse!

  11. You should look into a concierge care doctor. It’s the best thing my husband and I have done for our health. For a yearly fee, I have my doctor’s cell phone number, have gotten same day appointments, and always know that I will be able to talk to one of his nurses within a couple rings of the phone should I dial the office.
    A typical appointment is 45 min to one hour–I’m talking thorough! I have health related anxiety, so spending the extra money towards consistent, compassionate health care is well worth it.

  12. I’m excited about your podcast!!

    I wrote some resolutions but was too deep into PMT to actually think about them so now that nice fog has lifted, i’m going to review them again. But i’m also busting a gut for a 5k PR on Feb 5th please, the day before my birthday! 5ks are the way forward for winter!

  13. Happy to hear you’re doing a podcast! Lots of goals this year – save $, spend more time with loved ones, hit some PRs at crossfit, eat less sugar.

  14. I’m so excited to hear that you’re launching a podcast!! I will be your very first subscriber 🙂

    This year I want to break 1:45 in the half. I’m already in training and it almost seems possible!

    I really hope 2017 is the year of health for you…hoping and praying for you!

  15. LOVE all of this!! I’m feeling very motivated & goal oriented so far this year too. All the financial goals for me! And to run 500 miles this year. Aaand a sub 30 5k. YAY GO ME 🙂 Good luck!!!

  16. ugh al, i hope you feel better soon.

    my resolutions are to slow down, mentally. i feel like im always rushing either somewhere or in my head, and i want take a breather. that’s my big res.

  17. I have recently embraced the trails and I think it is so great for mental clarity. Pace isn’t a concern and I find it hard to not be happy surrounded by nature.

    I know you want NJ but my GI in the city is amazing. Seriously. Changed my life and actually tells me to call her more with questions (and I am in remission). My old Gyn is in Hoboken though AND if you want to go to Fanwood NJ my dad’s former dental practice is there (he retired a few years ago…). Sorry just wanted to throw that all out there!

    No resolutions for me except to continue to embrace having my health and take advantage.

  18. Ooh lady, I totally feel you on your dairy-free January. I’m starting the autoimmune protocol later this month (once we’re back from a vacation), which is basically paleo on steroids, to hopefully get my thyroid and chronic pain at least somewhat under control. Wishing you (well, us both, really…) lots of luck!

  19. Learning to play piano, running half marathon #5 (maybe…I often think I psych myself out with the pressure to perform, so I think I’ll just train on my own without the added pressure,) and I found a travel package to Ireland, Scotland, and England (London) that seems too good to not take advantage of. Also–would love to see my savings increase as well (although piano lessons and travel may make this point a little absurd 🙂 )

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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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