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Happy Valentine's Day!
Is Valentine’s Day a totally cheesy Hallmark holiday?
But am I totally feeling it this year?
I’ve been in a nonstop good mood for like five days straight, and that’s the longest streak I’ve had since roughly November 9. I’m going to keep riding this high, and in the spirit of the day of love, here are a few things I am loving right now.
Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who has subscribed to, downloaded, rated, reviewed, and listened to the first five episodes of the Ali on the Run Show! I am having so much fun exploring this new world. I think I forgot how invigorating it can be to take on a new challenge.
I first decided I was going to create a podcast back in October. But at the time, I was deep in a Crohn’s flare and just didn’t have it in me to embark on something new. So I brainstormed and shared my visions with a few people, but it took a while for me to get it — and myself — off the ground.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little hesitant about embracing a new outlet with which to put myself out there. I’ve been sharing my life (fine, over-sharing my life) here for seven years now, and while it’s been among the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, it has also come with its share of criticism. I’d love to say any negativity just rolls off my back, but I tend to remember the one mean-spirited comment in a sea of hundreds. (I’m a work in progress!) So I wasn’t sure I wanted to start a podcast because I wasn’t sure I was up for potential critics. I love sharing and never struggle with the act of putting myself out there — the hard part is reminding people that just because you share a lot doesn’t mean you share everything. (And reminding people that you’re just a human, doing your best every day.)
But as soon as I decided I was definitely doing this — and once I started recording — all that seemed to fade away. I am so excited about the Ali on the Run Show. I love the guests I’ve talked with, I love learning something new every single day, and I love finding new ways to share in a slightly different space. Will everyone love me? No! Of course not! I’m sure there are people who don’t like Celine Dion (GFY) or who don’t think Zoolander is one of the greatest films of our time. That’s life. And that’s OK!
I am loving the response from the first few shows, and can’t wait to release new episodes every week. This Thursday, you’ll hear from Forestbound creator (and fast runner) Alice Saunders (plus a giveaway!), and next week’s guest is Chris Heuisler, best known as the National RunWESTIN Concierge. (I cried twice while recording that episode! Chris is so good.) There is so much great stuff to come. Thanks for joining me. (You can now listen on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Overcast. Stitcher is coming soon, I swear. Having a hard time getting that one to work.)
(And I am totally open to feedback! All episodes going forward will include sign-offs instead of abrupt endings, and I will do my best to ensure the best audio quality possible. Keep it coming!)
I went for one of the best runs of my life on Saturday. It wasn’t the fastest or the furthest, but it was one of the funnest.
I’ve been really missing Central Park lately, so I planned to meet some friends there Saturday morning for a run. Most of them are training for stuff (the New York City Half, the Paris Marathon…casual), but not me! I just got to trot along and smile as we cruised down Memory Lane. I was so happy that my cheeks hurt from smiling. I ended up covering 12 miles in good company, and even made it up Cat Hill (twice!) and Harlem Hill without having to walk.
Let this serve as your daily reminder that yes, having to take time off running sucks, and yes, getting back into it is really hard and humbling. But your fitness will come back! My speed isn’t where it was a year ago at this time, but 12 miles is solid proof that my endurance is coming back, and I’m sure the speed (if I put in the work) will follow. Hooray running!
OH AND GUESS WHAT ELSE I DIDN’T HAVE TO DO DURING THIS RUN? Make any bathroom stops. The entire time. Aaaaaamazing!
3. Heading to Utah!
I leave this afternoon, and as sad as I am to leave Ellie behind for eight whole days (I’ve never left her for this long!), I’m really excited to spend some time in the mountains. It’s not really a vacation, but it’s not totally a work trip, either. (Basically, my BFF Michael is originally from Utah, and was like, “I’m going to Utah because flights were so cheap,” and I haven’t spent much quality time with her lately, so I was like, “Let’s all go!” And then I booked my flight.)
I’ll be working from her house most days, but am also planning to make time to breathe in the fresh mountain air, attempt a few runs (at altitude, will prob die), and see some friends in the area. I’ve only been to Utah once — in 2010 for two super quick Dance Spirit photo shoots — so it’s been a while.
4. Chocolate-covered strawberries
I popped into the grocery store the other day, and, in true cheesy V-Day fashion, they were selling chocolate-covered strawberries. And not like the fancy kind from a luxe chocolate store. Just really, really mediocre-looking ones. But YOLO! I bought six.
5. Cely’s blog
I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately — to say the least — with the news and feeling like I’m not doing enough or consuming enough or understanding enough. I’ve always loved Cely’s blog, Running Off the Reese’s, but I’m especially digging it lately. She’s well-educated and insightful, and I appreciate her perspective on current events. She’s also good at sharing ways people (like me!) can take action. I did the whole “call your senators” thing for a while, and nothing I called about or left messages for ended up mattering, so that felt useless. But follow Cely’s blog. She’s more informed and does a better job speaking on political issues and current events than I do.
6. Keeping a daily list of “3 Things I Did Well Today”
Brian once told me that at the end of every day, successful people will acknowledge three things they did well that day. I got into this habit at the start of the new year by keeping a journal and jotting things down throughout the day. Sometimes it’s a struggle to pinpoint three things, but other days I easily write more than five! They range from “submitted a story on deadline and not six days late” to “almost emptied the dishwasher.” I celebrate victories of all sizes. (But seriously, it’s great to look back and feel accomplished every day.)
7. New Two Dots levels!
I finally updated my app and now there are more levels!!! I’m on 1003. I know I should be ashamed, but I’m so proud. I attribute much of my success to time spent in the bathroom during my Crohn’s flare. Feeling better is great, but it hasn’t been so good for my Two Dots progress. NOT COMPLAINING, JUST SAYING.
Obviously. I can’t believe I’m about to leave her. I can’t think about it. It hurts my heart. She’s amazing. She’s my best friend.
Not loving: Beyonce’s Grammy’s performance (SORRY), being cold all the time, still relying on Ambien to get decent sleep, dry (and pimply) skin, dry (and itchy) eyes, paying extra to check a bag, the return of my sexy scalp psoriasis, feeling like I’ve written this same exact blog post 38 times in the past year. (Hence the need to pursue a new medium. The blog days may be wrapping up over here, kids…)
OK — time to hit the friendly skies! I’ll catch ya on the flip side, and by that I mean the other side of the country but slightly inland.
YOUR TURN, BECAUSE WE ARE BEST FRIENDS AND IT’S VALENTINE’S DAY: What are you loving today?!