Listen to the Ali on the Run Show!
- July 1, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 257: Nutrition Q&A with Starla Garcia, Registered Dietitian
- June 29, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 256: On the Job with Vikki Spruill, President & CEO of New England Aquarium
- June 25, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 255: Ramblings on the Run with Ali & Matt
- June 24, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 254: Samia Akbar, Fastest U.S.-Born Black Female Marathoner
- June 22, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 253: On the Job with Steph Blozy, Owner of Fleet Feet Sports West Hartford
Thankful Things Thursday: Keeping On
Monday was a rock-bottom day for me.
While it wasn’t the worst day I’ve ever had physically, on the emotional side it was definitely among the toughest I can remember. I cannot ever remember a time in my life when I just felt so defeated and couldn’t get the words “I can’t do this anymore” out of my head.
Amidst all of the incredible comments on my “I want to give up right now” post, I felt helpless. (Though seriously, the comments and stories you shared were amazing and I love you for them. Big time.) I felt frustrated, I felt tired, I felt like quitting. And I was mad at myself because deep down I know I’m better and stronger than that. I know I’m not someone who gives up when things get hard, and I’ve never been the type of person to face a challenge and scoff at it, unwilling to even try.
This seemingly never-ending flare-up is testing me in a big way. I can’t say I’m prevailing and I can’t say I’m doing “all the right things.”
But I think my total meltdown on Monday, which happened right around 1 PM at my office while GChatting with my ever-patient and understanding friend LB-who-got-married-and-became-LC, needed to happen. I needed to completely lose my shit and come home and cry and freak out for a while before I could move forward and keep trying to fight this thing.
Call it dramatic. Call it pathetic. Call it weak. Sometimes, though, maybe you have to reach that breaking point, that rock bottom, to pick yourself up again.
I spent the afternoon feeling overwhelmed by so many things, and I managed to sob my way through a Broadway show I was seeing for work that night.
I should mention that the show I was seeing was Bring It On The Musical. Turns out, it’s not intended to be a tear-jerker. No one should cry during a show featuring pom poms and basket tosses.
Since then, though, things are slightly better. Maybe not in The World of My Awful Intestines, but in my brain, where things sometimes matter more.
And so here I am, slowly picking myself up from Monday’s self-beatdown, ready to get my grateful mood going. I do Thankful Things Thursday to remember the good stuff on days when I just want to stew in my rage. Usually by the time I’m done writing, I feel all therapized (it’s a word, evil red underline, come on now) and slightly more chipper. Go time!
I’m thankful for Skype. I know I’ve used this one every week since Tyler was born, but it really is the most amazing thing to be able to ignore life for a while and just stare at the best face ever.
Everything Tyler does makes me laugh.
When I came home Monday, the first thing I did was log onto every travel site ever trying to find a reasonably-priced flight up to Boston so I could get in some much-needed family time. I was planning my escape, and I just really wanted to be home, snuggling with Ty and maybe getting some home-cooked food.
Ultimately I decided not to execute my Great Escape. I chose to stay here and deal with things instead of running away from them.
And that’s why Skype is the best thing I can think of right now.
Last night I video chatted with Tyler, my brother, my sister-in-law and my mom, who is staying with them and babysitting for a few days (lucky).
We talked for a full hour and a half, and I wasn’t thinking about Crohn’s disease or work or anything stressful. I was just laughing a lot and feeling happy.
So maybe the steroids aren’t working, but a hefty dose of Tyler On Camera is a pretty solid temporary cure.
I’m thankful I survived my first solo clip-in riding experience. I made it out for a short, easy bike ride on Monday, and it was my first time riding alone with my “OMG I’m stuck” shoes.
I didn’t fall, I didn’t wobble and I clipped in and out appropriately without supervision.
Do you know what sucks about riding alone? When you need to make an urgent bathroom stop, you don’t have a buddy to watch your bike. So yeah, I carried that sucker into the bathroom with me. It was awkward, but my bike and I are now that much closer.
I’m thankful for my friends.
They’re the best. I’m always thankful for them, but I’m especially thankful to have such great, understanding people in my life when I’m sick. They make the crappy times less sucky, and the good times even better. Nice work, friends.
It’s also just nice not having to explain myself.
I had a bunch of girls over for a long-overdue brunch fiesta on Saturday, and as awesome as it was having my apartment filled with cool girls and great food…
…I still felt pretty rough. There were multiple times throughout the gathering when I found myself abandoning my pancake-flipping duties in favor of quality time in the bathroom. I don’t think anyone cared. They still got their pancakes…eventually. (Me on the other hand? Pancakes have officially made their way onto my Do Not Eat Ever list.)
I’m thankful for the most productive work week ever. I don’t really know how this happened, but I actually finished my work To-Do list yesterday afternoon. Blame the steroids I guess.
I’m thankful I still have something like 14.5 minutes of fame left.
I had one line on Tuesday night’s episode of “All the Right Moves.” My mom has never been more proud.
I’m thankful for the good days, the good minutes and, yes, the occasional good runs. Running! There’s something we haven’t talked much about. And with good reason: There hasn’t been much of it, or much of it that’s noteworthy.
I’m trying to actually give my body the break it so obviously needs. Coach Cane and I are working with a very rough plan so that I can still try to get miles in without killing myself, and without doing anything Dr. Cool Guy Who Is Nice, Too wouldn’t approve of.
So for the past few weeks, it’s mostly “try to run without stopping” rather than “try to hit this specific pace” or “try to go as fast as possible without dying or puking.” Most of the runs I’ve attempted have not been entirely stop-free. It’s frustrating, but I kind of don’t care. I still love being out there, and I’m not caring at all about marathon training right now. (Really. We’ll talk about that more another day.)
Running in the morning is tough because that’s when my stomach is usually in the worst shape. But usually by the evening it’s a bit more settled. So last night I set out hoping to accomplish some sort of run.
I’m still a little high from it.
It’s amazing to me that some days I can’t fathom getting out of bed or going beyond the bathroom and other times, like for one hour and 18 minutes last night, I can run nine miles and feel kind of incredible.
Coach Cane kindly suggested trying for a 1-mile warm-up, 6 miles at marathon goal pace (8:45 or whatever, who cares about the marathon?) and a cool-down.
I had to stop at a lovely church bathroom on the way to the park, .25 miles into the run. But after that? I was stop-free.
Let me repeat that: I was stop-free.
I did the entire workout and the cool-down without a single stop.
Yes, I realize that’s how you’re supposed to run. But that hasn’t really been my style lately.
I ran around the Great Lawn a million times (roughly) and I ignored my watch. I didn’t want to care about my pace, even though I had a plan I was supposed to follow. I just ran comfortably, and comfortably turned out to be a bit faster than marathon goal pace.
At one point I looked down and saw my pace clocking in around 8:30, and I knew I should slow down to keep the workout at what it should be, and then I said “screw it.” Criticize all you want, say I didn’t actually accomplish the workout goal. I ran, and I felt good and I didn’t stop and it was just…good.
I don’t think this run is “a sign” of improvement. I feel the same today as I did yesterday, and the bathroom happenings are still pretty ugly. But that makes me appreciate the occasional good moments so much more.
INTERRUPTION FOR TYLER PHOTO:
I’m thankful for my boss. We had a great meeting yesterday and she’s so understanding about my health issues. It makes everything so much easier knowing she’s not judging me for missing time as needed.
Let me wrap this up by saying I realize people have problems far greater than mine. I have a crappy disease that, for 20 years, really didn’t affect me all that much. For that I feel very appreciative. My luck and good fortune in life isn’t lost on me.
I’m thankful for a lot of big things (family) and plenty of trivial things (having a dishwasher). I’m thankful I can have days where I cry and yell and freak out (and scare people, probably), and I’m thankful I can follow those up with days where I just feel really lucky for what I have, good health or bad.
Today is a thankful day. I have now exceeded my quota for number of times I’m allowed to use the word “thankful” in a single post. Sorry.
YOUR TURN TO DO IT: What are you thankful for today? Make it something really good.