Listen to the Ali on the Run Show on iTunes!
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Thankful Things Thursday: For Everything That Will Help Me Run A Marathon
It’s the last Thankful Things Thursday before the marathon.
Dun dun dunnnn.
It’s. So. Dramatic.
I have so much to be grateful for today — everything from helpful humans to sweaty shirt sales to, as always, graph paper — so let’s get right into it.
I’m thankful I live in a place where water is clean, free and plentiful. I’ve been hydrating like a beast lately — and yes, being careful not to over-hydrate — and I know how lucky most of us are to have accessible water at our disposal every day. It’s a little thing, but it’s a crucial thing.
I’m thankful for the wonderful friends I’ve made at JackRabbit Sports. When I got picked for the Run For The Rabbit campaign, I knew I’d develop a close relationship with JackRabbit. It was already where I bought all my running gear anyway. But over the past few months, I find myself lingering into the Upper East Side store almost every night, whether it’s to borrow an “inspirational marathon movie” or to stock up on delicious treats.
I’ve gotten to know two of the JackRabbit girls very well. Molly has been my go-to shirt guru throughout the Sweat shirt ordering process, and Amanda answers every single (stupid) question I have about fueling, running and why hills are so scary.
That photo might be blurry, or I might be a little drunk. I’m not sure.
Kidding. I’m not drunk. But I will be in roughly 49 hours.
Last night I went to JackRabbit for all my last-minute marathon needs. I was really excited when I walked in and saw this little display:
Yes, there are still shirts at the Upper East Side location! Sizes are limited, but they’re there so grab them while you can.
Before I left the store, Molly gave me a good luck present. I cried a little bit…after I left.
I felt very loved and very supported.
I’m thankful that I have raised more than $12,000 for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. That isn’t my final fundraising number, but it blows my mind that I’ve surpassed $10,000…or even $5,000. Fundraising is hard. It requires persistence, dedication and sending a crapload of emails. The process has been stressful and time-consuming, and even though I know I may not win this competition (I’m holding strong in third place right now!), I’m so proud that I get to hand over a big check to CCFA after the race.
And of course, a final push: My fundraising deadline is Saturday — Race Day. That means I still have two days to snag the top spot. If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.
I’m thankful for #137.
I picked up my race goodies last night for the Hamptons Marathon!
There was no big expo or wild pre-party. Instead packet pickup was at JackRabbit’s Upper West Side store, and it was pretty low-key. The “swag bag” is good, though!
I’m most excited about the fleece hat.
Also, I felt kind of cool when everyone waiting was in the half marathon line and I got to move ahead to the “full” line. I probably won’t feel as cool when they all finish running 2 hours before I do, but I’ll hang onto this feeling for now.
I’m so, so, so thankful for Coach Cane. He has been an incredible coach throughout this process, and he’s done much more than just hand over a training plan.
He calms me down when I’m freaking out about pretty much everything and he gives me the confidence I need before particularly challenging runs. After each disappointing race I ran this spring and summer, Coach Cane helped me learn from it. He also very kindly loaned me his pregnant wife for a morning so she could push me through the Mini 10K race.
I met with Coach Cane last night to discuss my Race Day Strategy.
All caps. Very important.
I sat down to chat and here’s how he opened the discussion: “You run the marathon, you cross the finish line and the clock reads…?”
“Um…I’m not sure…But I’m smiling!”
Turns out that wasn’t really the answer he was looking for.
Coach Cane told me to think of the race in three parts: 10 miles, 10 miles, 10K.
That would be fine except that I friggin’ hate 10Ks. So I will imagine two 5Ks that are identical.
He gave me specific paces to run each part in. He has a time goal in mind for me. If I hit it, that’s awesome. If I don’t, it’s my own fault.
A few Coach Cane-isms for you:
- “It’s a long race. You have plenty of room to play.”
- “I see smart runners do stupid shit in marathons.”
- “Those first 10 miles, it’s gotta feel easy.”
- “During that last 10K, all bets are off. You race.”
I love my coach.
I’m thankful this is all happening. I never thought I would run a marathon. Ever. I just didn’t see the fun in it. I remember finishing my first half and saying, “Why would anyone want to do that again?”
But after watching last year’s New York City Marathon, I knew I would cave and eventually attempt 26.2.
When I saw that JackRabbit was looking for aspiring marathoners for a competition, I applied immediately.
So did a lot of other people.
But somehow I got picked…
…and this has been an incredible experience. Regardless of what happens on Race Day, this has made me a smarter runner and a better person.
I’m thankful for nail clippers. What a great invention.
I’m thankful for my coworkers, who genuinely seem as excited as I am about the race this weekend. This morning I was gifted with Double Stuffed Oreos, Andes Mints and a card that says “We hope you win!”
I’m thankful that I trained in rain. The forecast for Saturday doesn’t look good. Luckily I know that rain isn’t necessarily deadly. There were many mornings during training when I woke up to pouring rain. I still ran, thinking, “What if it rains on Race Day?” Boom. Prepared. Also, this:
I’m thankful for all of you. Fine, I’m cheesy and sappy but KEEP READING, DAMNIT. I’ve been overwhelmed with well wishes this week and I promise to do my very best to make everyone out there proud on Saturday. Thank you for being so nice, so supportive and so encouraging. All the love has made this experience incredible.
I’m thankful that at this time tomorrow, I’ll be on my way to the Hamptons.
I’m thankful that at this time on Sunday, I’ll be a marathoner.
I’m thankful for lime green. It’s such a good color.
I’m thankful for the Internet and smart phones. What did we do without them? Oh right, we had to write our high school research papers using encyclopedias. Remember, you had to photocopy the page you wanted, then highlight whatever information you wanted? Because you weren’t allowed to check out the “Reference books” from the library. Insane. Life was so hard for us. Not really. But kind of.
And now I have run out of time.
YOU KNOW THE DRILL: What are you thankful for today? Perhaps you’re thankful that you didn’t spill an entire bowl filled with leftover pesto pasta all over your kitchen floor this morning. Just saying. I’d be thankful if that didn’t happen to me…