Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

Date: October 12, 2017 at 1:32 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 60

Every year I say I’m going to remember my blog’s birthday so I can do some reflecting. And every year, the calendar reaches mid-October and I realize that, yet again, I forgot.

I launched Ali on the Run on October 2, 2010. I was 25 years old, working at my dream job in New York City, and loving life. I had run three half marathons, but still very much considered myself a new runner. The day I finally went live, I had just unintentionally completed my longest run to date: 13.3 miles around the southern tip of the island I called home.

Most things in my life have changed since that fateful day seven autumns ago. I’ve gone from being very healthy to very sick and back again a handful of times. I’ve doubled my “longest run ever” distance six times over, and along the way overcame a pretty serious exercise addiction. I swapped out a really bad relationship for a really, really good one — one that went from a 24-hour first date to a roommate to a fiancé to a husband. I’ve been on top of the world, and I’ve found myself emotionally buried under really dark imaginary clouds.

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

Happy, but sick, but happy.

I’ve thought about retiring this blog so many times throughout the course of its existence. I’ve seriously considered how I would feel without this space on the internet to come back to, but for some reason, I keep coming back to it.

I love this community. I love every kind comment, email, or puppy-related Instagram Story that I get. I love that, thanks in teeny tiny part to this blog, a few more people in this world know about — and are perhaps more understanding of and sympathetic toward — Crohn’s disease. I love knowing that no matter what’s going on in my life, I’m not alone.

I’m really proud of this blog and everything that has come from it. I never started blogging for money, for internet fame, or for attention. I started writing here because I was happy with my life, but I felt like something was missing. I loved writing and editing all day at my job, but I wanted to write about what was on my mind. I started writing in sparkly diaries and college-ruled journals as soon as I was old enough to put letters together, and this was a way to keep that going. But more importantly, it became a place to find connection.

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

Attending my first big blogger meet-up after the National Half (still my 13.1-mile PR!) in 2011. I remember thinking it was weird!

I have met some of my very best friends because of this blog. I’ve met people who have forever changed my life for the better, and, in a way, I met Brian because of this blog. I may not have gotten picked for that Run for the Rabbit campaign if not for Ali on the Run, so that’s pretty cool.

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

This is the very first photo that exists of Brian and me together! We’re standing nowhere near each other (and everyone looks miserable), but clearly DESTINED 4 LUV.

So it’s been seven years now.

In seven years, so much has changed in my life, and much has changed in the blogging world, too. I used to love reading blogs because they felt so authentic. I loved getting a glimpse into someone’s life — someone who was similar to me or someone I found aspirational. I loved seeing what they were doing and eating, where they were running, and what races they were training for. I loved that brain-dumpiness of it all.

I think it’s pretty rare to find that these days. I don’t read very many blogs anymore. Everything now is more curated, more monetized, more SEO-driven. And when a post doesn’t fit into those categories in an attempt to “keep it real,” the realness comes with a side of “please let this go viral.”

Where does that leave me?

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

Bloggers at 16 Handles! This was a few nights before I ran my first marathon, hence the compression socks. Anyone remember how *obsessed* I used to be with 16 Handles? Pretty sure I made Brian go with me every single night the first year we were dating.

Well, I’ve never cared about what other people are doing. I never really got into sponsored posts here because it was never about that for me. Would some bonus money have been great? Of course! But the first time I agreed to do a sponsored post, it was immediately clear that those law-abiding disclaimers tucked away in every sponsored post — you know, the ones where a blogger claims that yes, she got paid to write this, but that all [favorable] opinions are totally her own — those disclaimers are pretty much B.S.

When you are getting paid to write and review a product or service, you’re getting paid to say nice things, or at least mostly nice things. As someone with an editorial background, this concept was never new to me. When you work in publishing, you’re often kindly encouraged to include products from advertisers, and to feature them prominently, or at least more prominently than non-advertisers. So when a blogger tells me that she swears she’s Paleo but that she just loves Cinnamon Toast Crunch as a late-night snack, I don’t buy it. Which is fine! But it doesn’t usually make me want to keep reading.

As the blogging world has evolved, I’ve stuck around and have mostly kept doing my thing here because I never felt like I had to change. I’m glad blogging isn’t my full-time or even part-time job because I never wanted to have to review products and include affiliate links to things I kind of like in order to keep the lights on. I have always loved feeling like people came here to read by choice and that I didn’t have to try and sell them anything. (I like to think I would be great at lots of different jobs, but never sales. I would suck at sales.)

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

OK IGNORE THE FACT THAT CREEPY SUBWAY JARED IS IN THIS PHOTO. Focus instead on Apolo Ohno and me. I think I fell in love with him that day. Thanks, blogging, for the opportunity!

And as my health has wavered over the years, I’ve regularly asked myself what it is that keeps me writing, even if only every few months. I keep writing because I love getting to connect with people. I love the support. I love the community. I love YOU!

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

Blog friends in Las Vegas!

Of course, blogging, even as a very recreational hobby, comes with its challenges.

The writing is easy. The sharing, the honesty, the hitting publish — that stuff is all very second-nature to me. But it wasn’t until a year or so into my blogging journey that I learned about haters. I don’t know if there’s a better word — internet trolls? mean people? — but I will never forget the first time I got a negative comment on my blog. (And that’s not to say a single negative comment makes someone a troll! I know that.)

I remember where I was sitting when I read it on my phone. Brian and I had planned a weekend getaway to the Hamptons a few weeks before I was set to run my debut marathon out there. I was on the bed checking my email before we left to go drive the marathon course, and I remember how hot my face got when I read those words. I remember asking myself why someone would say such mean things when all I was doing was writing about my most recent marathon training run.

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

Blogging through training for my first marathon was mostly great because people were SO ENCOURAGING and nice. I loved it!

A few months later, I discovered that the occasional mean (and almost always anonymous) remark wasn’t limited to the comments section on my blog: A much larger, much more vicious community of like-minded Ali haters existed elsewhere on the internet.

I lost hours of sleep over the mere existence of that site. No one likes to read mean things about themselves. But to see a constant, steady stream of incoming comments… That sent me into a scary, anxiety-ridden place. I kept reading them for a while because I couldn’t look away. On the one hand, I wanted to just pretend the site didn’t exist. But knowing it did, in fact, exist and that I wouldn’t know what they were saying about me scared me even more.

I was younger then. I had thinner skin, and I let that shit get to me. I don’t know why. I’ll blame it on being young and lacking some level of self-confidence. I hate that I can so vividly recall the few negative comments I’ve received in a sea of thousands of incredible ones.

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

I remember someone saying that they hated this photo because I looked stupid with my mouth wide open. LOL. (I love this photo, from the 2011 New York City Marathon.)

Just like I’ll never forget how I felt the first time I read unkind words about myself, I’ll never forget the day I said “no more” to reading that stuff. For lack of lighter language, I’ll just say this: That site, those anonymous people, those comments, they really fucked me up. They hurt my feelings, they made me question my choices, they kept me up at night, and they filled me with anxiety. All of a sudden, I was constantly aware of the fact that anything and everything I put out there, from a silly caption to a dumb photo to a lengthy post about my health struggles, would be picked apart and read into.

Suddenly, this hobby I’d poured my heart and soul into was something I was so torn about. I loved sharing my life, but hated the potential for harsh criticism. And I don’t mean well-intentioned feedback about trying a different diet to manage my Crohn’s disease; I mean anonymous, angry, would-never-say-those-things-to-my-face humans writing these things. I was just a happy 20-something sharing what I thought was a very uncontroversial life on a blog as a hobby — I couldn’t fathom that people could read into things so much and dislike me, especially without knowing me, so much. I hated that this site existed, but my greater fear was that one day my mom would find it.

I can handle a little hate. But the thought that my mom might stumble across the things people were saying about me? That broke me. So on Valentine’s Day of 2012, I blocked that site from my own computer and crossed my fingers that the people who commented on my blog — even anonymously — would be at least a little more kind. (And with the exception of a few, they always have been. I am so grateful for that.)

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

Ready to run the NYRR Mini 10K in 2011! So many bloggers!

I will admit that recently, I made my way back to the site that broke me so many years ago. I didn’t let myself do much digging (more than 100 pages of material? definitely don’t have time for that), but I did take a quick peek at what people were saying because I was curious. On the one hand, I’m thrilled to be able to say that everything I read rolled right off my back. None of it hurt me or upset me, and a few people even seem to tolerate me! (Thanks, guys!) It mostly just baffled me. This Mean Girls-y stuff is seriously still going on? Seven years later?

After all these years, a lot has changed — in my life, in the blogging world, in “influencer marketing” — but I think the one thing that has stayed the same and that blows my mind is that sites like that still exist, and that people are still actively posting on them. It’s crazy to me that people read this blog (hi!) and so many others (so. many. others.) looking for things to find annoying. (I know I can be annoying, but I own it!) That people follow me on Instagram because they dislike me and enjoy seeing me flounder. That a snark-specific forum with my name on it exists, and that people sit behind their screens reading it and writing on it. That those same people follow my husband on the internet, and have invested enough of their time to form an opinion about him — and our marriage — too! (He’s amazing and I love him, and our marriage is not perfect, but it’s pretty freaking close. So don’t worry about that.)

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

Team Cristiano 4 Life.

So to those people — I know you’re reading, so hi! — I say this: Consider moving on. The next time you are tempted to spend your time reading and subsequently writing anonymously about strangers on the internet you loathe, whether it’s me or some million-dollar-making fashion blogger (my thread is so tame compared to many others), do something productive with your time instead. Give back. Volunteer. Go pick up litter from the side of the road. (It’s also crazy to me that people still litter!) Read to your kids, your dog, your grandmother. Call a loved one. Take a nap. Maybe you’re annoyed with these people because hey, sometimes they (we) do totally suck, but maybe you’re just tired! Do literally anything else with your time that will better serve the community and this scary, fragile world.

And look, I get it. I’ve read and followed plenty of people over the years that I don’t like — maybe because I did like them at one point and they changed or I changed, or just because they were like train wrecks and I couldn’t stop. And when I would read some of the negative comments people were writing about them, it validated how I was feeling. So I get it. I kind of get why sites like that exist, and I get how good it feels to commiserate with people in a misery-loves-company kind of way. But eventually, I did stop. I stopped following and reading, and I channeled my energy into healthier places. And I’m better off for it. I promise. (Reader responsibility, people!)

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

I don’t TRY to play favorites, but I would say that Emily and Lauren are *probably* my all-time favorite met-because-of-blogging friends.

Finally, I’m not perfect. I don’t expect everyone to like me. (But you should! I’m funny and I’m nice, I swear!) I am human, and I am doing my best. Some days my best is pretty impressive. Other days, my best is far less stellar. No matter, I cannot fathom hate-reading someone for years and still being invested. Our time on this planet is so limited — why spend it doing anything you hate? Go have fun. Go smile. Go be productive. Go follow someone on Instagram who does make you laugh and smile! That’s my plan, and I hope you’ll do the same. (And the argument that people who put themselves out there leave themselves open to criticism may be true, but it’s pretty lame in this case, don’t you think? Hate Donald Trump for being a total idiot and douchebag and actually putting our entire country in danger — I know I do — but hating a random 32-year-old hobby blogger seems silly.)

There is so much negativity, divisiveness, and hate in this world right now. Why add to it? I have so many more thoughts on this topic, but let’s wrap it up on a peppy, more gracious note, shall we?

To everyone who has made this community the amazing one it is, THANK YOU. I know I say this often, but even as a writer with a whole bunch of words in her vocabulary, I’ll never have enough to adequately express my appreciation and adoration for all of you. You’ve kept me going when I was so, so low, and you’ve supported me through so much. You’ve shared your own stories with me, and you’ve changed my life. You’ve become some of my best friends, whether we’ve hugged or our relationship exists exclusively in email format.

Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging

My name in lights!

I don’t know if I’ll make it to eight years of blogging. Probably not, to be honest. And that’s OK. Because the time I’ve spent in this corner of the internet has changed my life in the most unexpected and powerful way. That has nothing to do with me and everything to do with you, so THANK YOU.

Love,

Ali

Posted in Happy Things and tagged -

60 Responses to "Reflections On 7 Years Of Blogging"

oh, please don’t leave bloggging. our one sided friendship will truly be one sided.

A) Michelle’s comment above literally made me snort with laughter
B) who are all these people with oodles of time to “hate read” and then spend however long being nasty? GROSS
C) Love ya in a totally non creepy never met but still feel connected kind of way 🙂
D) say hi to Ellie for me!
E) best NYC tip I got was from you- no bathrooms on the ferry 🙁

always love your posts and the voice that shines through. sending lots of love from the west coast. and some llama love too. <3

more ali! more ali!

that’s my 2c

xo

I think I’m still crying from reading t-rex post about her foster going back home but you have touched on so much that I feel. Sponsored posts are great for the business blogger. But at the end of the day I have never read your blog to be sold to. I’ve read it because I enjoy your writing and humor and how authentic you are to the things and beings that bring you joy. Ellie, giraffes, Celine and Brian. It’s entertainment at the most non-fiction level. I feel for you every time crohns makes you feel so shitty. I don’t have the disease but I truly pour empathy with every post you write. Watching you pick up Ellie at school makes my day because I know how no matter how sucky I feel or how bad my day was my dogs joy at being with me makes me all sorts of happy. Keep on sharing. Blogs, Insta stories….podcasts. I love all of it.

I didn’t know about T Rex’s foster kid going home! I was crying listening to the podcast, I’m not sure if i can read that post!

Aww, y’all are so sweet! Thank you for investing in me and my family. The support means so much to us!

Hey there! Long time reader, first time commentor (can you tell I grew up listening to talk radio?!), and just wanted to say …thank you! Thank you for being so open and vulnerable and letting us peek into your life for this time. I’ve enjoyed it, and I’ll miss it, but you’ve got to do what’s right for you!

Cheers – G

Noooooo yours is one of the few I still read! I will understand though. However…even little sporadic brief glimpses of your life have taught me a lot. You will continue to make an impact no matter what you do, but I do love reading. ❤️

LOVE this post! You were one of the very first bloggers I had ever read and I literally have the shirt to prove it (although my heart faded) lol! You are a refreshing breath of non-sponsored content which today means more than you may even realize. And those sites are awful, and just plain weird. I know Brian professionally (hey Brian!!! PS. I left the paving stone company!) and he’s awesome! Don’t leave the Internets ever, and keep on doing you and posting about your struggles…because we are all rooting for you!

Just another fan here. I read your blogs because I feel like we’re friends (no, I’ve never commented before) but I follow bloggers that I like and think I could be friends with in person and it’s really nice to hear from you every now and then and see what’s going on in your world.

Reading your post made me think about things a little differently. Like… you’ve made it to the big time! Isn’t that what it means when there’s an official forum/hate club about you? I think that happens to all the stars, right? So put a big smile on your face when you think about that forum/website. It means you have achieved success, and they are just jealous 🙂

I feel you. I don’t see why people spend their time doing something they “hate”. But I think you’re cool and I’ll keep reading as long as you’re writing. 🙂

I’ve heard about this site, though I guess it’s pretty good that I don’t remember the URL and that I’ve convinced myself that not enough people read my blog to start a hate-club somewhere… LOL..

but honestly, it’s baffling to me that people spend time and energy to hate and discuss bloggers. Why not move on and just go to blogs that you like and make you happy? Why “stalk” someone you don’t like?

Anyway, I found your blog a year or so ago and even though your posts have become more sporadic ever since you started the podcast (which I enjoyed but just couldn’t always keep up with), I have always hoped for another blog post… so, maybe just keep them coming every few months? Don’t stop blogging, is what I am saying 🙂

I could totally imagine being friends in real life.

I’ve been reading your blog for years. 🙂 I read other blogs too but mostly my eyes just glaze over because they seem really disingenuous these days, as you mentioned. I like that when you’re having a hard time, you’re real about it.

A lot of other bloggers will also delete comments that disagree with them even a little. I think that’s part of the reason why snark sites exist. But I’ve never felt that you did that with your blog!

Anyway, please keep writing and I will keep reading. 🙂

Hello!!! I always looked forward to your blog posts. Even though I listen to podcasts I really like the intimacy (???) of what a blog brings to the table and I have my favorites I’ve been reading “forever.” So, it selfishly makes me sad when people decide to move on with their lives. Maybe I should, too. Ha! You do You!

Don’t even think about stopping blogging, lady! I started reading just as you broke up with the before-Brian boyfriend and I still love your blog. Stuff all the haters, there are plenty of people out there who still love you! I remember, when I first found your blog it was genuinely so inspiring to me because you were a normal person getting better at running. You weren’t a pro, you were a bit like me (but younger, cuter, faster, funnier etc) and you were getting faster! I know you’ve had a stinking year but this too will pass and you will be running again…and the UK is waiting for you. xx

Longtime lurker. I can’t emphasize enough how much your blog has meant to me, corny as it sounds. You’re an incredible person for exposing your vulnerabilities, sharing your enthusiasms, allowing your humanity to be shared w me (a random reader thousands of miles away). Your blog has always been one of my favorites. I wish you SO much happiness.

I have been reading your blog for probably 6 of those 7 years (I also have the tshirt to prove it!). I used to read tons of blogs but over the years, have let most fade away, often because their content shifted as you’ve mentioned here. But you are one that I still read, because (this might be weird) I think of you almost as a friend – my spouse even knows your dog’s name, haha! I understand and respect that you’re a real person living a real life, so I’ll get it if you leave the blogging world, but I will miss you!!

I’ve been reading your blog since almost the beginning. Love it. Thanks for putting yourself out there. That’s scary but I think it’s awesome. Hope you keep the blog up but if not I understand.

Cheers to 7 years Ali! I think I’ve read your blog for many of those 7! I don’t comment much but I’ve always enjoyed your blog, whether it’s running related, fitness, New York/New Jersey, or just life.

You’re one of my favorite bloggers that I met in real life. I liked that you just always seemed as real in person (that like one or two times I met you) as you do on the Internet.

I’d be sad if you stopped blogging, I like hearing about what’s going on with you…so I hope you’ll keep it up, even if it’s not super frequent!

You were the first blog I found when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and was totally lost! Thanks for always keeping it real and honest, I hope you keep blogging!

I’ve been following your blog for nearly the entire time you’ve been writing, as you know. My greatest regret in life is not buying an “I heart sweat” shirt (do you have extras? Please advise). I’ve always found your blog to be a breath of fresh air. Your humor and authenticity is rare in the blogging world these days! While I’ll definitely understand why if you stop blogging, it won’t be the same without you. You light up your corner of the internet, girl!

I found your site (and Sweaty’s) through that site, and now you’re both in my reader (though Emily doesn’t blog anymore, sadly) because I enjoy your blogs. Your post about meeting Celine Dion changed my mind about Celine, singlehandedly!

Longtime reader since 2010! I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog! You are so down to earth and relatable! I’m a former Jersey girl who moved to the city for college and stayed! Although you’ve inspired me to consider moving to West New York 🙂 You do you girl; whatever makes you happy! PS: Isn’t South Mountain Reservation great? Once you’re feeling better, make sure you make a pit stop at the Millburn Deli!

I love your blog, and I second everything you say on this post. Negativity and people-hating is a terrible waste of time. There are so many, many other things people can do and ways they can live. Good on you for pointing that out! :)And Ali, I will be very sad if you stop blogging. Stay well and happy 🙂 x

I would really miss your writing and updates if you stopped blogging , but all good things must come to an end some time…and you need to do what’s right for you. Plus you’ll keep podcasting, right? RIGHT?
Also, you know the deal, you have to make yourself available to meet your international readers if they ever visit NYC/NJ?!?

Take care and happy blogaversary x

I love your blog. It feels like one of the few authentic ones left. Many are mostly sponsored posts and don’t feel genuine, or it feels like the blogger hasn’t disclosed something and is shady. I don’t read many bloods anymore because of that. That hate site you talk about it awful. I’ve been on a few times and who has time for that. There’s so much negativity in this world, why purposely surround yourself with it?

Hi ali, I have pretty much the same sentiments as everyone else. I love reading your blog. I am one of those people who’d never heard of Crohns and this year I finally gave some $$ to the C&C foundation because of your influence. I have been to the hate forums and I’m always left scratching my head because I think “really? THAT is what you choose to spend your time on??” Blech. Turds.
I like your blog because it is hugely motivational to me. I’m frequently found scooping Nutella out of the jar and I’ll read a few fitness / running blogs and I’m all “fine. Geez. I’ll go for a run.” 😉 Thx for the laughs/ info/ motivation . I’ll read til you decide you’re done.

Love reading your blogs, as always. Thank you!! I found your blog right after I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s, and although we had met many years before, it was almost a gift that the Universe gave me again. A familiar face, with a familiar diagnosis. In a world where I once knew no one with Crohn’s, I have now found a whole community. (And ran my first Team Challenge event because I read every blog you wrote on the your experience.) I have found so much strength in my own journey because of reading about your strength. Your impact on my life, and I’m sure those of others, will be one of those “moments of impact” (think the movie The Vow). xoxo

Hi. I’m some dude in Nebraska who has absolutely nothing in common with you, except I have ulcerative colitis and I’m a sometimes-runner. You’re one of a few blogs I’ve read continuously over the past 5ish years. I admit that I get on the nameless site once in a while, not to post, but to read. I don’t know if anyone deserves that, and I’m not defending them, but yours was somewhat tame compared to some others. I never read yours much, though, because I didn’t want that. For you, or me. I think your a great person, pretty, honest, fun (duh.) OK, I’m starting to sound stalker-like, which I swear I’m not. Just know people care. Even dweebs like me out in the middle of nowhere. Don’t do anything because of what others want, though. Peace!

SO MANY THROWBACKS! I miss that sweater I am wearing at 16 Handles. Also, pretty sure it was made by Juicy Couture.

I’m so happy I stumbled on your corner of the internet and met you.

PS – I first met you IRL at the end of the mini 10K in 2011!

xoxo

You WILL make it to year 8, we will have more Ali & Ellie adventures, OK Brian can be in them.

Thank you for this little corner. Thank you for always being honest. Thank you for being true to yourself and your readers!

THANK YOU! I have been reading for the last 7 years, I appreciate your candid honesty and all that I have learned from you. I don’t comment often, have never reached out but always read and I love when I see Ali On The Run pop up in my inbox, I look forward to opening the blog and following along for all these years! I would miss it and you and your family…(is that a little weird?) I hope you stick around but If not, thank you for all the times you were!

Another semi-lurker here.

I really enjoy reading your blog because…
you are real (I’m with you on those sponsored posts)
you’ve educated me about crohn’s, which is appreciated
Ellie always makes me smile

You do you, and what works for you. If you continue to blog, I’ll continue to read. If not, that’s OK too. Do what makes you happy! 🙂

Like others here, I’ve been following along since before Brian was your Handsome Friend, and yours is one of the few blogs I still read – for many of the reasons you’ve identified! Obviously do what’s right for you in terms of whether you keep blogging or not, but I didn’t know about Crohn’s disease and now I do. So thank you for that!

I think you’re awesome, and inspiring. And reading your blog always makes me laugh &/or smile. I don’t understand the mean comments honestly on any site – to me it feels like bullying. Just don’t read it. Anyway – thank you for 7 years!

Stacy Dylan says: October 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Thank you for blogging for the past 7 years. I really enjoy reading about everything that you talk about. I can’t believe that people actually spend all this time trolling, hating, being negative, it is so disheartening. I am sensitive so I understand how it could affect you but it is really on them to figure out why they feel the need to be like that. Such a waste of time an energy.

I came upon your blog by sheer luck when I looked up something about how to dress for winter running, can you believe it? I’m from Brazil, so I had no idea how to do it (btw, I now live in Edmonton, AB, so I had to learn the hard way). Anyways, I stumbled upon a post of yours on how you went to a meet with the NP crew in January in shorts!!! That caught my attention, so I believe the post was on how you clearly didn’t know how to dress for winter running – how Google led me to that, I don’t remember, but I am very glad it did. I have been reading your blog and following you on IG for a couple of years and I really admire how honest you are, how you can laugh at yourself and the way you look at life. So thank you for sharing with the community. I also remember when I commented about wanting your granola recipe and you emailed me that (thank you) and that my husband once emailed you asking for a running gift idea for his then fiancé. It’s amazing that you are this helpful when this is not even your full-time occupation. I do appreciate everything you had made available for so many people to enjoy. I truly hope you won’t stop blogging because of haters (honestly people, who has time for that?? Life’s too short). I would very much like to continue reading your posts. However, in case you do stop, because you know, sometimes things change in life and that’s natural and cool too, thank you for everything

Hi Ali! I moved to California (from Boston) in 2010 and somehow found your blog very early on. From your first marathon training posts to I NJ and eating breakfast with giraffes! (Probably not in that order but I remember all of it.) Oh.. and podcasts. Congrats on all that you’ve done and who you are. I appreciate this little corner of the internet and have always enjoyed reading what you have to say.

Hi Ali! I moved to California (from Boston) in 2010 and somehow found your blog very early on. From your first marathon training posts to I <3 Sweat T-shirts to meeting Brian to NYC to NJ and eating breakfast with giraffes! (Probably not in that order but I remember all of it.) Oh.. and podcasts. Congrats on all that you’ve done and who you are. I appreciate this little corner of the internet and have always enjoyed reading what you have to say.

I said it on your story, but I’ll say it again: I really hope you don’t stop! I love this little space on the internet and without your hilarious running posts, I doubt I would have made it through NYC training. Keep on keeping on!

Sending love! Thank you for sharing.

Ali,

A friend told me about your blog when I was newly diagnosed with Crohn’s because we are the same age and I was also hugely into running then. It was such a revelation. Now, I’m pretty darn healthy, but I still get bummed sometimes and you are such an incredible inspiration.

Also, I remember kind of early on in my readership, like 6 years ago (?), when I commented on a post and you responded! That really knocked my socks off!

Even if you do stop adding new content (please don’t 😉 I do hope that you will leave all of the existing stuff up. Your writing makes me happy and I love your real, thoughtful take on life!

-Leah

PS. Thanks for introducing me to T-Rex Runner! I’ve always wanted to foster and have loved reading about her experiences!

Have loved and read for years. I’ll be sad to see you go, but you have to do what’s right for you and if it’s time to end then I’ll read the final and wish you all the luck in the world. I too keep my blog real. Sometimes I’ll think about SEO, but it’s always secondary to what I want to write. I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with haters. Several years ago, the NYTimes included many members of my family (myself included) in a very hurtful article. I read every single comment and was soon in tears. These people didn’t know me, didn’t know my family, and were saying things that were so unfair, much like the article itself had done. It was hard to get over but eventually I did and I’m so glad to know that you’re in that place too. Well this is now an essay so bye 🙂

Hi Ali. As I struggle to find the “perfect” words to “perfectly” capture the amount of gratitude I have for your little space in the internet, I’ll simply say – thank you.

I have both loved you and hated you. NOT in a mean spirited way, but in a “how does she make life look so easy” kind’ve way. And what you have taught me (so wise) is that nothing about this shit is easy. We’re all just…figuring it out. But you make it so HUMAN. You so bravely created this space for yourself where you get to be a human being and said to the world around you “hey, come join me.” I feel sorry for those people that feel the need to bring others down to make themselves feel better. It’s that insidious fear of “OMG someone is genuinely happy, I need to suck their happiness so they don’t see how fucking miserable I am in this world.” I have complete faith that no one (absolutely no one) that is sitting at home wasting time writing mean things on the internet is “living their best life” #blessed. I need to believe that or else wtf are we fighting for?

I also suffer from a (very different) “invisible” disease. Some days (especially in the beginning of learning to live with it) I felt like shouting at the world WHY ME? Most days I now whisper to the world “thank god it’s me.” It has taught me to find the gratitude in any situation. How to show someone empathy and compassion for what they could be going through that I can’t see versus judgement and criticism. It has helped me learn how to like myself just as I am (and maybe some day that will grow to love).

We are all a little luckier for the people like you that hold their heads up high and show us little human Bambis how to be a decent person in this world. For 7 incredibly generous years, from my heart to yours, thank you.

Thank you for being so open and honest and sharing your story. I’m so sorry you have went through this with haters. Thank you for staying strong and rising above and continuing to share your life and stories!

I love this, Ali. This blog community is such a unique thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a sentence with someone IRL, “my friend XYZ did this the other day” & then immediately panic thinking, “should I mention that XYZ lives on the other side of the country & we’ve never actually met?!”
But the truth is, the bloggers that are the most real are the only ones I’ve kept following over the years, and the only ones with which I’ve ever felt a true connection. I’ve read our blog for years & sadly have also come across that nasty site where they say all the terrible things about bloggers. Even though my boring little blog has never been mentioned, I have spent hours poring over the things that people have said about others and absolutely canny believe the things that people TAKE TIME OUT OF THEIR DAY to bitch about. It’s always been easy for me to say, because I’ve never been the topic of their horrid conversations, but I’ve often thought that people that have this sort of time of their hands to use for the sake of simply being cruel, are not people whom have opinions that I should care about.
Idk why tf I keep rambling here, other than to say that you’re awesome, and I’m glad you don’t let those haters get to you anymore. And if you were to quit blogging, I’d totally get it. I would miss vicariously meeting tons of cute puppies & all of my SYTYCD idols through you, but I’d get it. Happy blogiversary!

I’ve been reading your blog off and on over the last few years and as a sometimes-runner with an invisible chronic illness , you’ve inspired me to keep running when I can.

It’s completely amazing to me that people take the time to hate-post about anyone, and I’m so glad for you that you’ve found a more healthy way of dealing with it.

I love your blog (and now podcast – I’ve been listening while I run!) and it’s been amazing to be on this journey with you for so many years. Whether you keep blogging or not, thank you for letting us have a little peek into your life. I hope for us, that you keep blogging. Mostly, though, I hope for you, that you do the right thing for you.

Happy blogiversary!

I have really enjoyed following you and hope you’ll stick around in the blog space, but if not, I’ll keep following you on Instagram or wherever else your journey might take you! This post really resonated with me as I have been blogging for almost 6 years and have thought so many times about stepping away from it (for whatever reasons), but somehow I always keep coming back, simply because I really do enjoy it so much! Happy blog birthday! 🙂

I found your blog in 2013 when I was googling Crohns disease. My husband has it, and he was incredibly poorly in hospital at the time. You cheered me up, and you have educated me in what it feels like for him having such a horrible disease. Because, well I know he feels like crap, but you are just far more eloquent than him! We are fortunate enough to have the NHS looking after him – he is currently on a clinical trial for some drug with a cool name. IDK. But you remind me how lucky we are to have such an amazing service. I started running in part through inspiration from you and I am signed up for my first marathon next April. You got me trying Hokas!
I cannot understand why there are so many sad sad people out there who feel that their calling in life is to media stalk people like you and Brian and then critique your lives. It is odd that they can’t see they go far beyond the crazy.
Basically, you are amazing. Ellie is amazing. Brian seems amazing, and I hope so much that you finally stop flaring very soon. xx

hi Ali,

Really love your writing! it’s funny and fiesty and has inspired me during hard times! Hope to read more of your writing! 😄

As a fellow sufferer I was so glad to have found your blog. It has helped me so much. I just don’t feel so alone in this. As for the haters, it is hard to ignore them. Not really sure why people have become so hateful, but I believe at some point this type of behavior will not be tolerated. Enough people are working on being part the change. Hope you continue blogging as I would hate to think these stupid idiots silenced your warm & insightful message.

Your writing is excellent, and your insight is always so wonderful, whether you’re talking about Crohn’s, running, life, whatever. So many people are rooting for you each and every day, me included. 💕 I hope you keep writing and showing love to the world in such desperate need of it.

Keep on blogging, Ali. You’re doing a good job.

Oooh, the thought of you not blogging makes me so sad! 🙁 I’ve loved watching your life from afar (Texas, to be exact). I’m also a runner, former dancer with a chronic illness (Multiple Sclerosis). Reading your truthful posts, both ups and downs, has helped me so very much get through my own ups and downs!
Whether you’re still blogging in June or not, I’ll be in NYC and would love to meet if you’re in town! 🙂 Big hugs across the miles!

Just wanted to say that I loved this blog since I stumbled upon it in 2011. Whether you continue or not, you have created so much joy and happiness as a result of sharing your stories! You have a LOT of fans! Keep doing you girl.

I hope you keep blogging! Your writing is fun and honest, and contains coherent thoughts. Not to mention proper grammar and punctuation – a rarity these days! Whether you’re writing about Ellie, running, or Crohn’s I always learn something and feel like my time reading is well-spent. I can’t say that about very many bloggers anymore. Either way, I’ve loved reading about your journey.

Love your honesty and how true you stay to yourself. Found you when I was at a low point w Crohn’s and couldn’t have been more excited to find someone my age that I could relate to. Now here I am coming back to your blog as I’m up late at night worried about this disease, medications, the future, and so on. You make me feel happy and shine some light on the dark tunnel. Keep on doing you…I’m grateful for the courage it takes to simply share the good, the bad, and the ugly! ❤️

I can’t tell you how much I’ve loved reading your posts over the years–your honesty and vulnerability is refreshing (as is your commitment to long posts, not just blurbs), and I keep coming back to reread. Your blog helped me tackle my own body issues, educate myself on IBD (just participated in my first Spin4Crohn’s event!) and it inspired me to keep writing. While I hope you don’t ever stop, I know all good things must come to an end. Thank you so much for sharing your little corner of the internet with all of us; you’re awesome. Cheers!