Dream come true? Oh yes.

The Break I Needed

Date: March 23, 2012 at 9:05 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 64

Was yesterday my Dream Day?

Well, that depends how you define “Dream Day.”

If your Dream Day includes being super healthy, eating wholesome, nutritious foods, spending quality time with your family and going for a luxuriously long run, then no, yesterday was not that day.

However, if your Dream Day includes taking a crucial step toward health and recovery, making a reappearance at your office, simply interacting with humans, miraculously not spiking a fever every hour and making your long-awaited return to your favorite frozen yogurt joint, then yes, total Dream Day.

Oh, it also includes getting published online by one of your favorite magazines? Sure, put that on the list. Dream Day still accomplished.

Dream come true? Oh yes.

Plus a Tweet…

"Runner's World is now following you on Twitter." OK!!!

…and a Facebook post.

That's a lot of likes. Soooo you're all down with burnout too, then?

OK, I’m done now.

After I posted on Monday about my decision not to run the Eugene Marathon, I got an email from an editor at Runner’s World. I can only assume someone over there reads my blog for comic relief or as “what not to do” inspiration, and I was clearly a little shocked it was on someone’s radar. But Nice Editor Lady said she liked that post and wanted to re-publish it on the RW blog.

Since the post went up yesterday, I’ve gotten a ton of comments and emails from new readers — welcome! I hope you stick around for a while and are into sarcasm and legwarmers. I promise that I do write about running — and sometimes even racing — most of the time!

Found during The Great Apartment Binge of 2012: All 9 of my NYRR D-Tags from last year.

I’m so glad my little burnout story resonated with you. I’m also shocked at how many people I’ve heard from who can relate to the Crohn’s part of the story. This disease is madness and every time I hear from someone who has it, my heart feels sad at first (sorry you are in pain and stuff) but then happy, because awareness is so crucial.

The bigger picture right now is that clearly I have needed this break. If I hadn’t dropped out of Eugene, I’d be freaking out right now. I’ve run a total of six miles this week. Six very slow, walk-break-and-bathroom-stop-filled miles, earlier in the week, just to get some fresh air. My training would be a mess and, subsequently, I’d be panicking about Race Day.

Panic doesn’t help Crohn’s. I’ve learned that lesson over and over and over.

I’m almost glad this happened because it’s knocked me back to reality and made me re-prioritize my life. Right now, I’m focusing on the immediate upcoming events that mean a lot to me, rather than putting pressure on myself to do well in a race.

I needed this. I may be weak now, but I’m going to come back stronger.

Yesterday I spent a few hours at Roosevelt Hospital getting pumped full of Remicade, the Miracle Drug.

I told you I wore Dri-Fit clothing yesterday. Sweat right through that shirt. Sexyyyy.

My nurse was all, “Are you OK? You look gaunt.” And I was like, “Do you mean pale? Because yes, I feel pale.” Apparently, between the stomach flu and the Crohn’s flare, I’m down 10 pounds from my last visit. She saw that as cause for concern, and I told her that I had a bag of Oreos for breakfast. I don’t know why, but all I want is Oreos this week. Nothing else seems appetizing. Anyway, worry not needed, Nurse Jeanna. Love you.

So I got my IV and had a real lunch! Half of a turkey sandwich!

I figured I would take this photo in case, you know, you wanted to print and frame it or something.

As soon as I left the hospital I was all, “Yeah! I’m fixed! This is going to kick in right away! Time to live it up!”

I maybe got a little overzealous, went back to the office for a little while, and then did a SoulCycle class as a “reward for not having a fever for a few hours.” Wicked good idea, Ali. You really know how to take it slow and ease into things.

And then I got 16 Handles, because everyone knows that when you’ve got a digestive disease, you should pump yourself full of artificial ingredients. (Though the flavors I had last night were sugar free and dairy free or something. Can’t say the same for the hot fudge, which most likely does not come from “all natural sources.”)

But! I’m not complaining. And I’m not out drinking a bunch of beers or something, so I think I’m doing OK in the recovery department. Yay!

And honestly, the Remicade did kick in mighty quickly. I only had a few run-ins with the bathroom between treatment time and bedtime, which is a major improvement, and I went to bed last night without the chills. I must have spiked a fever at some point, because I woke up, yet again, bathed in sweat. I popped out of bed at 5 AM feeling ambitious. I’m going to stretch! I’m going to foam roll! I’m going to go for a little run!

Then I was back with a tiny fever and back in the bathroom. Also, my eyes won’t focus, which research tells me is another Crohnsy side effect. Interesting.

So, OK. I’ll take this slowly. And, as a result, I’ll recover stronger. That’s how it works, right?

Since I’m home again today — the Remicade further suppresses your immune system for 48–72 hours, so you’re supposed to lay low and not be around sick people and whatnot — you get the pleasure of reading some entries from the journals I haven’t parted with yet.

Now keep in mind, these are my academic journals, not my personal journals, so they’re far more serious and logical.

Subliminal message: I was mad at Alice. She obviously took total editorial control of our story and I was pissed. By the way, Alice is a super fast runner now, which is cool. GO ALICE! PS Alice, I'm not mad at you about the tree thing anymore. I'm sure the story came out great.

I was in third grade and I didn’t know “a lot” was two words. I deserve a time out for that.

But while I was young, I was also up on current events, particularly the Olympics.

I know what you're thinking…

I AM NOT BEHIND THE NANCY KERRIGAN/TONYA HARDING SCANDAL. My memory isn’t great, but this journal entry worries me that I had something to do with the whole broken knee debacle. I had even done my research about the bodyguard.

Let’s move on.

If you thought I always liked school, you would be wrong. Some days, at 11 AM, I did not enjoy academics.

Third grade. This is the big leagues. Time to step it up, Ali.

This entry confuses me. Was I awake at 11 PM? There’s no way. Mom, did you even give me a bedtime? What is happening with this lackadaisical parenting? Or did I skip out at 11 AM? Or is this post just not in chronological order at all?

How did I ever get a job as a writer/editor?

You’d think I would have made a career as an artist.

Hold on, the Guggenheim just called. They want this for their gallery.

Yes, I have resorted to posting entries from my childhood journals because I’m tired of writing excessively about my bathroom habits and night sweats.

Just wait, though. I have this weird feeling that as soon as I’m better, I’m going to start running again, and it’s going to be amazing. My legs are itching for speed. Or they’re itching because I need a shower. Either way, fast, furious distance running isn’t far off. Just stick with me.

I WANT TO KNOW: What do you eat when you’re sick? I’m normally a grilled cheese and noodle soup girl, but as I mentioned, this week I’m all about the Oreos, probably because I have such a tendency to want healthy, wholesome foods. Give me some ideas. Please. Thanks.

Have a great weekend!

64 Responses to "The Break I Needed"

Congrats on the publicity! Awesome, Ali – more people can read your fun blog :)

I am glad you are feeling better.. When I am sick I love grilled cheese!! In fact I love grilled cheese all the time! I think I will have it today for lunch since i can’t eat meat! Thank lady!

This post made me laugh Ali!!!

Glad you’re feeling better :)

Congrats on the article! That’s awesome!

I go for boxed mac and cheese when I’m sick, and yes, Oreos too. And lots and lots of grape juice. You know, for the healthiness…

I have my second grade journal still, and also my brother’s. We had the same teacher. It’s really funny to see the drastic difference. Mine was neat and well written and his was a huge mess. And yet he turned out to be the smart one.

Emily S. says: March 23, 2012 at 9:23 am

Hi Ali – I’ve been reading your blog for awhile but not sure I’ve ever said “Hi!” Anyway I wish you a speedy recovery. When I’m sick I love speghettios – the kind with the hot dogs – clearly I’m into the wholesome and nutritious foods too. Also thank you for posting your childhood journals because I literally just laughed out loud at my desk!

Those journals are absolutely hilarious. I love looking back at old assignments and journals and thinking “wtf?!” Thanks for sharing; they made my day. Wouldn’t it be nice if life was still like 3rd grade. I don’t even make it to 11pm as a 24 year old.

WOW, YOU’RE TOTALLY FAMOUS! it is completely awesome that RW posted you. Congratulations!! Think you definintely deserved 16 handles for that accomplishment. and to make you feel better of course (i hope it did).

Once again, pure comedy on the journal front – you can’t even make that stuff up.

Whenever I’m sick, I always crave spaghetti bolognese or lasagna and freshly squeezed OJ. And they NEVER help. So don’t listen to me.

Stuff the oreo into a chocolate chip cookie for some variation. You won’t be sorry.
Also, if you have found and are eating the 100th anniversary oreos with the sprinkles in the frosting, please tell me where you found them!

Well for stomach issues I hear that bananas and peanut butter taste the same coming up and going down. That alone would make me not eat it if I was sick.

Toast, plain rice, broth, etc. However if I have a craving, I completely go for it.

I was going to say that you look pale in the pictures, but I was thinking it might have been the lighting. I hope you feel better quickly.

I completely lost it when I saw the Tonya Harding entry. Just lost it. My boss is looking at me funny. I’m sure he likes me a lot right now, woop woop.

Those journals are classic!! Feel better soon!

I saw the Runner’s World tweet and I was so happy for you! Congrats!!

Way to go with the RW re-post; you’re a superstar now! :) BTW, your journal entries make me crack up inappropriately at work. Thank you so much for that. :D

Jeez. You deserve a vacation! Honestly, you deal with being sick super well. I hope that this flare up will pass quickly.

Congrats on the RW features! Your positive attitude is so refreshing in the face of things that would probably make me miserable. I’m definitely a grilled cheese & italian ice kinda girl when I’m sick. :)

Jocelyn B says: March 23, 2012 at 9:37 am

When I saw the Runner’s World tweet yesterday I was like (outloud), “Hey! Ali’s famous!” and my boyfriend says, “who is Ali?”. Awkwardly I responded, “er… this blogger I read? She’s a runner?” He’s like, “you’re a weird stalker”.
Clearly I need real friends…
Congrats on the Runners’ World post. That rules. Also, I hope you feel better.

This post completely made my day!! I loved all the journal entries! :)

AmandaRunsNY says: March 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

Congratulations on getting published on runnersworld.com! That’s amazing!

Also, the journal entries are great. You should share more. Also, don’t throw them away…think how great it would be to share them with your kids or grandkids one day.

This post cracked me up. I still have my academic/personal journals from third grade, and this makes me want to read them again. Hope you start feeling better soon, and congrats on the RW publishing! :)

Congrats on the RW re-post! After highschool – when running lost it’s fun – it took me 8 years to figure out running for fun was the whole point in the sport to begin with.

THIS IS THE BEST BLOG POST EVER. More journal entries, please.

AHH that would be my dream day too! Congrats on being published Ali – you totally deserve it! And also I eat carbs when I’m sick. Just straight up pita and oatmeal and bread.

Congrats on the Runner’s World article!!

When i was sick this week.. I couldn’t eat anything without throwing it up. When I could stomach something. It was Popsicles. A day of only popsicles. It is okay because they were made with “real fruit.”.

bahahah those journal entries made me actually laugh out loud! so cute. when I’m sick I actually tend to get super hungry, unlike most people who lose their appetite. I like to make smoothies or eat pizza. :)

Please continue to post these journal entries if you have more. Especially if any more of them have passive aggressive 8yo jabs at your classmates. On a side note, in 6th grade I accidentally turned in my personal journal on the day we were supposed to turn in our school journals (I used to carry it in my backpack so my sisters wouldn’t find it at home). I can still remember the feeling of absolute dread/mortification when I saw it returned in my cubby a week later.

Also, congratulations on the article! That’s really something to be proud of.

Hey, Ali. Been reading your blog for awhile, never commented. I have Crohn’s disease, diagnosed almost 2 years ago. I start my first dose of Remicade this Wed. A little nervous! I can’t wait to start running again…I’ve been too sick to really run. Your blog has totally inspired me to start working toward a goal of running again, especially to get ride of all my Prednisone weight!!
Probably terrible for you, but I ALWAYS crave a Cherry/Coke slurpee when I don’t feel good. Followed by a bagel with Nutella.

I LOVED your article!! And am so glad you are already embracing this break. I am glad you got some treatment and are feeling better!

Awesome journal entries!!! I remember reading my high school journals not so long ago and being so jealous of the Juniors because they could drive. I was (am?) such a dork!

Oh and Way to F-ing Go on Runner’s World. I saw that Tweet yesterday and was so excited for you!

I absolutely love these middle school journals! I think I have some of my own that I now need to dig up. I used to be penpals with my cousin (she lived 20 minutes away) and we both kept the letters that we wrote to each other. Those are some of my favorites and I don’t know if I could ever throw them away…

Congratulations on the Runner’s World feature – that is so cool!!! Of course there’s lots of super strong, super fast, distance running and even strong sprints up hills in your future. The oreos will fuel you. Breakfast of champions.

Soft bread and Milo (by Nestle – it’s a chocolate malt drink; I add some milk to it as well).

Take it easy and don’t push it too fast. Those journals are just amazing!!! You could seriously write a book with those entries.

Wishing you a restful recovery! Congrats on the RW article, that is pretty awesome! I like nothing but crackers, soup and OJ when I’m sick. Oh and cheese, yes lots of cheese.

Silvia Bennett says: March 23, 2012 at 10:50 am

Congrats on your published story! The “Eugene” part caught my attention since I’m from OR, so I thought this must be interesting, let’s read! Hope you are recovering well, sounds like it…enjoy reading your blog! I’m having a bit of a burnout moment, so reading your article was good. Thank-you.

Hope you’re feeling better soon! I always crave simple carbs when I’m sick, so I give myself license to eat all the chocolate peanut butter puffins I want….

You’re famous you’re famous! You totally deserve it! And so glad you’re on the road to recovery!

Glad you are feeling better! And FREAKING CONGRATS on the RW shout-out!

ALSO: how in the h-e-double hockey sticks do you have room for all that stuff you save (ie magazines, journals, shoe tags from races)?! I’m guessing our apts are about the same size and I have ZERO room for that stuff! However, most of my “collectables” like that are in my closet at my parents’ house. Literally every time I go home my mom asks me to “please look through and get rid of some of the stuff in your closet.” I have yet to do this… and the last time I really lived with my Ps was 2000, before college. Ha. Sorry ’bout it, mom and dad.

Wow! Congrats on getting published! That’s awesome!
your diaries are really funny. Please continue to resort to posting them! They crack me up! :P
When I’m sick I eat granola and bananas and sometimes almonds. And I drink orange juice.
But most of the time I eat nothing.. :P

Congrats on your Runner’s World article. While I think Oreos are perfectly accpetable, When I’m sick I want crackers and warmed up honey :)

I love that Runner’s World picked up your post! How AWESOME is that?!

For Valentine’s day, I baked chocolate chip cookies with oreos inside. That happened. Perverse.

Congratulations on the RW article about your decision not to run Eugene! It was a beautifully written piece that obviously struck a chord with many people (myself included!). I hope you have a great weekend! Oh, and it’s National Puppy Day! Check out these AMAZING photos: http://blog.sfgate.com/hottopics/2012/03/22/happy-national-puppy-day/.

That entry is so freakin’ rad. You can write the pants off of damn near anything, lady.

I leave you with a quote from a high school journal of mine:

“May 27 [2002] – Ran 5K Memorial Day run in 26:08 – not bad. Feel sad because I think I was mean enough to Mr. Eftychiou to make him unnominate me for a writing award, which is upsetting. So basically I’m a useless bitch.”

hoping you recover fast, ali! i am so pumped that you were published in runner’s world. i too am a huge fan of that website & i was so excited to see your article there!

what i eat when i’m sick: soup and a lot of crackers. maybe i’ll make a smoothie to sneak in some nutrients, but most of the time i just park my ass on the couch with soup. i’m not talking just one cup either. it’s like a full pot of soup to drown the germs in ;) i’m sure my boyfriend appreciates this.

Your childhood journals crack me up! I want to go try and find mine (because like you I also like to save stuff). I do know that in 1st grade I often wrote ‘is’ as ‘si’ and ‘it’ as ‘ti’, and they said I didn’t have dyslexia.

when I am sick, all I want is Sprite!

First of all, congrats on getting published at Runner’s world! And secondly, I love having porridge when I’m sick. It always makes me feel better.

Noodles. Spicy noodle bowls are the best. Tortilla soup (really spicy) is also good. I suppose neither is that healthy, but at least toritlla soup has some veggies in it!

That is awesome–I am super jealous of your Runner’s World camaraderie. Also, finding old journals are the best–I like the ones from junior high that highlight all the boys I was in love with and analyzing every smile or “nod” in the hall. pretty sure they never did either to me.

That Runner’s World thing is VERY exciting. Get it, Ali!

When I’m sick, I can’t stomach anything except wheat English muffins, peanut butter, and bananas. I mean it. I survive on that stuff for DAYS.

Congrats on Runner’s World. In my opinion, it’s not just the burnout story or the remicade pictures that got everyone’s attention. It’s your enthusiasm for life (running and beyond) and your willingness to share your story that keep your readers coming back for more. Thank you for your blog and feel better soon.

Congratulations on Runners World! I’m loving the journal entries, they are hilarious :)
Hope you feel better soon.

Yeah on Runners World. How cool is that?

On the sick days what shall I eat part? Whatever you feel like. If my stomach bugs me I go for porridge and toast and tea. That seems to work for me. If you like Oreos right now, that’s fine too because that’s what is need. I would say it needs the calories right now if you lost 10 pounds.

Published on Runners World!!! Congrats! Thats awesome!

Ali,
I found your blog from the Runnersworld piece. You are hilarious, girl! So glad i stumbled upon your blog!

Oh goodness I haven’t been sick in a very long time (knock on wood) but I hope you feel better! Oreos sound like a pretty good sick food to me :)

Hi Ali! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now but I don’t think I’ve commented yet. I love your running tales and sarcasm! Although I don’t have Chron’s, I have my share of super fun digestive issues that have taken me some time to figure out and I’m still working at dealing with. I’m a fan of the BRAT diet when I’m feeling like that. Bananas, eggs and toast or potatoes, rice and sorbet if I need a treat :) hope that helps!

Congrats on the runner’s world love!!
I usually eat soup when I am sick…standard campbells chicken noodle. Or saltines.

ahaha, i love old journal entries. let’s drink wine and have dramatic readings of them. sound good?

i hope the remicade kicks in soon, so sorry to hear your stomach is still misbehaving :(

i do like the sound of those oreos though! i’ve been doing real well with nutrition lately – for example, i had a frappuccino, banana bread, and beer for dinner on thursday. picture of health, right hurrr.

Elizabeth says: March 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Holllllaaaaa! Awesome feature in RW. Total celeb status! I like grilled cheese when I’m sick too. Except my mom always made it open faced in the toaster oven with a tiny bit of mustard between the cheese & the bread. So that’s how I roll when total comfort food is needed – even to this day. It’s the next best thing to having mom take care of me!

Glad you are starting to feel better – but don’t rush it. You are right that rest and recovery are SO important. And people will continue to read even if you are taking a little running break.

HA! This totally made my day. Phew I’m glad you’re still not mad at me about the whole tree thing. Also.. funny timing because last night my dad brought out a book of poetry from 1st grade and next to a poem written by Joe Grogan about Jupiter I wrote in “STUPID!!!” with an arrow pointing to his name. Oh how I would love to go back and observe our elementary school dynamics/romances/friendships! Actually .. maybe not.

Also .. thought you might be into my current favorite running song ..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VFzJLK51cs

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