I’m happy to be back in my routine! Christmas already feels like it was months ago. It’s nice to be home, unpacked, laundry-ed, settled, and back into a groove of sorts.
Brian was traveling for the first part of this week — with the car — so Annie, Ellie, and I were mostly house-bound, which is just fine since despite aiming for a low-key holiday season, Annie came home with a whole host of new toys to play with! (I am grateful for them and for our very generous loved ones!)
Her current favorite toy is this puzzle (she sees it and screams “PUZZLE!”), these stacking cups (though any would work), and all of her stuffed animals. I have been a stuffed animal lover my entire life — I don’t care if it’s childish! I love them! — so it makes me super happy to see Annie snuggling with her stuffed friends and giving them hugs and kisses. There’s just something very sweet about it. She likes to point at them and say their names. (“Gonga! Baby! Elmo! Cuddles! Neigh!” Neigh is what she calls giraffes. We have no idea why. This started a few months ago. Every time she sees a giraffe, she points and says “neigh.”)
As for the rest of the week!
ON THE RUN: I ran 6.2 miles on Monday and felt great! This was my longest run in a while, and my first outdoor run of the year. I think 6.2 miles is my happy spot. Long enough that it feels worthwhile, but not so long that I’m beat up afterward. I was hoping for another nice run on Tuesday, but instead I got 1.4 miles in and took a tumble. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen on the run! It was no big deal — I tripped over myself or over a piece of sidewalk, and just sort of bit it. I ripped my shirt because I caught my fall with my hands, and the shirt has thumbholes, so it just ripped a bit. And my knee got a teeny tiny bruise. It was more scary than painful! And it’s going to be 60 degrees in New Jersey this weekend, so hopefully I’ll get an outdoor run in at some point!
AT ORANGETHEORY: Wednesday’s workout was fun because I hadn’t been in a few days and was excited to be back with my 5:15 crew! Thursday’s workout just about killed me. It was a run/row, and the first block was to run a full mile before heading to the rowers for 800 meters. Our coach suggested using it as a sort of time trial for the mile benchmark workout, which is coming up next Friday. (!!!) At first I was like, “Nah! I will just jog today!” But of course. There I was, bumping up my pace. I came nowhere near my goal time. I want to run sub-6:00, and I ran around 6:41. But it took so much out of me! So I am still going to go for my sub-6:00 goal next week, because why not try?! But it may not happen! It’s going to be really hard! And that’s OK!
ON THE PODCAST: Rachel Gersten. She’s a therapist, so there’s lots of therapy talk in this one, plus some really tactical, practical, affirming tips and advice for dealing with anxiety, burnout, and “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life.” We talk about her lifelong battle with chronic pain, and how running has actually helped.
LISTENING TO: Ty Haney, founder and CEO of Outdoor Voices, on How I Built This. A while ago, I listened to this podcast episode, which got me to really drill down my Google Calendar. Honestly, a lot of these tips aren’t really attainable if you have children. I would love to time block and have a gloriously indulgent two-hour morning routine to ease into the day, for example, but that’s just…LOL. But it did encourage me to get more specific with my calendar, and so far it’s working really well. And this morning I listened to this episode with Ed Mylett, and it was so good. I love pretty much anything he says, and so much in this episode resonated with me, especially the tips about being a better listener.
WATCHING: Jeopardy, Greatest of All Time! I love that those three guys are buddies. It’s so fun to watch! Also Flirty Dancing. It’s so so so cheesy, but I love cheese and love and dancing. And Schitt’s Creek! The final season! I am devastated. I never want it to end. It’s the perfect show. I’m so happy it’s back for now, though.
ANNIE: Is a delight. This is a really fun age. (She’ll be 15 months next week!) She’s certainly developing some toddler-like tendencies and has strong opinions, and I kind of love that about her! She’s happy, and that’s all I want for her, today and for the rest of her life.
WORRYING: Did I make a mistake by not enrolling Annie in daycare sooner? Should she be starting a twos program in the fall? Oh wait, she can’t, I missed all the deadlines for them. I love and am obsessed with our part-time nanny. I ask her to be my sister wife at least once per week. But last weekend, a dad at Orangetheory made a comment about how “kids who don’t start daycare right away struggle with the transition later.” I can make most Annie-related decisions in a snap by going with my leaky gut. But the bigger ones, like about school and who she’ll spend her time with…those ones are tough for me. I definitely wasn’t thinking ahead to fall, and then did some Googling and realized everything around here is already full for fall anyway. And also quick question, how do people afford these things?! (If Annie does part-time daycare or twos or something similar, it’ll only be for like three hours. I’ll still need and want Stef, our nanny! So Stef picks Annie up and watches her for a few hours while I work. So…we pay for school and a nanny! I know, veteran parents are like “uhhh, yup, that’s how it works!” It’s just wowowowow $$$$$$$.) I have more thoughts on this, but I’ll spare you. Just…take it with a grain of salt. I’m not freaking out. But I am thinking.
OK UPDATE: I just had a great call with my BFF who has three kids and feel better about everything. I’m good. Decision made. All set!
EXCITED ABOUT: A LONG WEEKEND AWAY! I need a vacation. A break. I’ve never been away from Annie for a night. I love being there when she goes to sleep and when she wakes up. But I’m ready for some me-time. So my BFF Michael and I booked a weekend trip and we’re going somewhere warm and it’s going to be so good for everyone! Annie will get some really great quality one-on-one time with Brian, and I’ll get to sleep without a baby monitor next to me, and will take care of no one but myself for 72 glorious hours! I’ll miss her. But we’ll all be just fine!
THIS WEEKEND: No plans! Crazy! But hey, local friends, if you’re around next Saturday, January 18, come to lululemon Garden State Plaza at 11 AM! As an ambassador (more on what that means on next week’s episode of the Ali on the Run Show, by the way), I had a photo shoot over the summer and now they’re blowing that photo up larger than it probably needs to be, and they hang it up in the store! (If you’ve been to a lululemon, you probably know what I’m talking about.) And next Saturday at 11 AM, they’re “unveiling” the photo! So Brian and Annie and Ellie and I will be there, and they were like “invite your family!” and I was like “my family lives so far away!” So if you want to come be my family for a day, I’d love to see you there!
Have a great weekend!
OH AND! I put this out on Instagram Stories last week, but now that I’m blogging more regularly again, I’d love to know what you love reading about most! I’m not planning to change anything here. It’ll still be very stream-of-my-consciousness, writing about whatever I need to get off my sad, downward-pointing, postpartum chest. But if you especially love or crave certain types or types of posts, let me know!