I really miss daily blogging! It’s not something I can sustain right now (and hasn’t been for a while), but I do miss it. And maybe someday soon I’ll get back into a routine here.
And today, since I knocked out a workout before everyone was awake and was back home before Annie opened her happy little eyes, I have a bit of extra time to sit today. I’m not recording any episodes of the Ali on the Run Show this week, and instead of feeling calm about a rarely non-overscheduled week, I’m feeling antsy about it. Gimme all the plans and to-dos!
Or. Give me a keyboard and a blank screen.
How about a quick catch-up?
I feel pretty good right now. The past eight months since having Annie have flown by in a way I never could have expected. But eight months into life as a new mom, I feel pretty good. Physically, I feel strong and somewhat fit (more on that in a sec), with one substantial caveat: My Crohn’s disease started flaring a few weeks ago. Right now, it’s not terrible. It’s a lot of urgency and some blood where I don’t want there to be blood. It’s tolerable, it’s a little stressful, but I’m not letting it run the show. I’m rolling with it. (It took me two decades to start adopting this mentality.) It’s not ideal, but it’s not catastrophic.
Emotionally, for the most part, I feel good. I am still dealing with some postpartum anxiety, and some days — or minutes — feel easy and almost relaxing, while others are still panic attack-inducing. I’ve gotten much better at recognizing my anxiety-related triggers and communicating them to the people around me. I’m still not great at asking for help, or feeling like I “deserve” help, but it’s all a process. Most of my anxiety ties back to Annie’s schedule, and making sure our plans revolve around her naps and wake times and all that. I’m trying to ease up, but I also know Annie does really well on said schedule. I’m also experiencing a lot of the “mental load” many moms talk about. Also a work in progress. But, generally, in this moment: I feel pretty good.
Yes! Well, at Orangetheory at least. I’ve run outside probably twice in the past few months. But that’s OK! When my Crohn’s is flaring, running outside is stressful, not fun. But running at Orangetheory is great, because I’m never more than a few steps from a bathroom if needed! And I’m feeling strong again! I don’t remember what my exact pre-pregnancy paces were at OTF, but I know I’m at or close to them. For my fellow OTF-ers: Most days, my base pace is 7 MPH, my pushes are around 9 MPH, and my all-outs are between 10 and 12 MPH, depending on the day and the length. (I’ve done a few 30-second all-outs at 12 MPH on a 4% incline, which, for me, feels pretty badass!) I’d like to think that if I lined up — healthy — for a 5K right now, I could run a decent-for-me time.
I had also decided that I wanted to train for and run this year’s New York City Marathon, but now that my Crohn’s is kicking a bit, I’m going to hold off on starting to train. I never want to go into a training cycle not fully healthy, so we’ll just see what happens. It was never going to be a goal race, so if I’m able to train, great! If not, OK.
Most nights, I crawl into bed and curl up with my beloved…phone. It’s such a gross habit and I hate myself for it. A few weeks ago, I decided to swap the phone for an actual book, and it was delightful! I tore through When Life Gives You Lululemons in 48 hours and it felt so good and so indulgent to just sit and READ! (Revelatory, I know.) Most of the time, whatever I’m reading is either work-related or self-help-y. It felt wonderful to just get invested in a somewhat silly, very dramatic story without having to highlight stuff or take notes or step back and think, “OK, now how will I apply this tactic to my everyday life?” So of course, I immediately went on Amazon and ordered like 400 other fiction books. (Any recommendations?!)
Not too much at the moment, actually. (Hence missing this space so much!) Most of my writing these days is for the dance publications I used to work for. I write something for them at least every week, in print or online. But I’ve taken a big step back from assignments in the fitness and wellness space. I don’t enjoy or take pride in writing clickbait-y stories. I love writing profiles, telling stories, and really digging in — and I get to do that every week on the Ali on the Run Show, in slightly different form. So definitely more podcast-focused at the moment than writing-focused.
A vacation. A massage. A full day to clean and de-clutter. A full day to clear out my inbox. A full day to run errands, topped off with some meal prepping and planning and grocery shopping. A full day to take care of various appointments. A little more sleep.
These pants (I’m not normally a floral-print leggings person, but there’s something sweet about these). This skirt (it is, in my opinion, the best skirt lululemon has ever made; it’s perfect). This top (which is so not normally “my style,” but I love love love it). This sweatshirt (I was skeptical of the “yellow gold” color at first, but then I put it on and looooved it). This bathing suit, which is the only comfortable swimsuit I’ve ever owned. And this jumpsuit, which I found in Target’s pajamas section, but definitely wear out in public, all day, every day.
Big Little Lies. Oh, and my DVR randomly started recording old Beverly Hills 90210 episodes, so usually I’ll watch one of those while I’m eating dinner after Annie goes to bed. And surely I’ve mentioned that I discovered Schitt’s Creek earlier this summer, right? And proceeded to watch all five seasons very quickly. It is the perfect show. It’s my new all-time favorite show.
This Crohn’s flare clears up ASAP.
The eight-month-old stage. Annie is moving and scooting without being a total tornado, she laughs and babbles constantly, and she’s a very happy kid.
What’s new with you?!
Don’t tell my 4yo I said this, but that may be the cutest child EVER!! And ditto Where the Crawdad’s Sing. SO GOOD!
Favorite fiction book as of late…Where the Crawdad’s Sing. Also, Align crop twinsies!! They are the best.
It’s not fiction but Tara Westover’s Educated is the best book I’ve read this year!
Really enjoy reading your blog and recently started listening to the motherhood Monday podcasts. Thanks for so much great information and keeping it real. Annie is sooo cute!
That last pic of Annie is perfect (nice boat pose, Annie!) So much happy! And I just read My Sister, the Serial Killer. Perfect short chapters, great summer read!
For something fun and quick, I recently tore through The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and the Six both by Taylor Jenkins Reid. If you read one, go with Evelyn Hugo! It’s like a Judy Blume x US Weekly mashup in a fun novel. Daisy Jones is like a novel version of Behind the Music!
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is a wonderful book!
Ah! So glad to see you’re feeling good!
Ok, regarding book recommendations, here are some I thoroughly enjoyed:
The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
In the Midst of Winter, by Isabel Allende
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay
The Universe Has Your Back, Gabrielle Bernstein
A New Earth, Eckard Tolle
Judgment Detox, Gabrielle Bernstein
On my reading list: A true story by Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent 30 years on death row in solitary confinement, for a crime he didn’t commit (found out about him when Oprah interviewed him for her Super Soul Conversations podcast). The book is called The Sun Does Shine.
NYC that is…
Started training yesterday for my FIRST marathon. MYCM.
Hope you are there.