I always thought I hated running in little Contoocook, but I DON'T! I DON'T!

Or Not

Date: October 8, 2013 at 7:56 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 69

Having not posted in two weeks indicates a multitude of things:

  1. I’m busy. I just haven’t had time to sit down and write anything.
  2. I have too much to say. It’s hard to pick back up with something after you’ve dropped it for a while. You go one day without blogging, and then two days, and then two weeks. Where do you pick up from there? I’ve had a hard time figuring that out, I guess.
  3. I’ve been feeling oddly more private lately. In addition to the reasons above, I’ve also just sort of felt like keeping quiet, which is really weird for me, right? I normally like to share every detail of my run splits, my fro-yo toppings and my Crohnsing, but I haven’t felt that urge to share for a while.

But here I am today, ready to ramble!

And I’ve got two main things on my mind:

[Another list...]

  1. My stomach.
  2. The New York City Marathon.

As far as the stomach goes, for a while I was psyched to be feeling better. I never actually got better, but I saw dramatic improvement over a period of time. First I could get off the couch, then I could leave the apartment. Eventually I could try a spin class, and not too long after that I could actually stay on the beat for at least part of that spin class. Finally, I began running again, which was so hard in every sense of the word. It hurt, it felt awkward and it was more of an effort than I ever knew.

Summertime in Central Park...feels like a lifetime ago.

Summertime in Central Park…feels like a lifetime ago.

But eventually that got easier, too.

I started with a half-mile “run.” I built up to a 1.57-mile loop of the Reservoir, and worked my way up to a 20-miler two and a half weeks ago.

This just never gets old. To me at least. I realize you're probably sick of the same Reservoir Sunshine photos over and over. Sorry.

This just never gets old. To me at least. I realize you’re probably sick of the same Reservoir Sunshine photos over and over. Sorry.

Running never felt easy, per say, but it felt good, in every sense of THAT word. Emotionally, being back in Central Park did wonders for me. And physically, I started feeling stronger and I wasn’t heaving at the onset of every tiny incline.

All the while, my stomach was never amazing. I still had to stop during every run, at least once. Usually way more than once. But I didn’t ever care, because I was still out, which was more than I could say for the previous seven months. So the stops at Starbucks, then another Starbucks, then back to that same Starbucks, then at the Great Lawn, then at the Great Lawn again, and then at the tennis courts, never seemed too daunting.

Running toward the bathroom = accidental speedwork.

Running toward the bathroom = accidental speedwork.

Plus, my paces were apparently pretty impressive (for me), all things considered. I was consistently running sub-9:00 miles, even averaging around 8:45s for that 20-miler.

Yeah…or not.

I’ve been running using my MapMyRun app on my phone. I always assumed it probably wasn’t as accurate as running with a Garmin, but I banished that watch in a corner back in January and had no desire to whip it back out. When I run with a watch, I stare at it and obsess over it, and coming back from a very loooong hiatus didn’t seem like the time to willingly induce mental torture.

So the app.

It seemed to work well enough. There were times during my first mile when it would signal early — I know Central Park and those mile markers far too well — or it would tell me I was running a pace that seemed downright unreasonable. (Kicking off a 5 AM run at an 8-minute pace? Probably not.)

Yeah I'm gonna have to call bullshit on these paces.

Yeah I’m gonna have to call bullshit on these paces.

But overall, I didn’t question it much.

Then, last Friday, I had an 18-mile run to do (before work, which I’m not sure I advise…) and I decided to find my Garmin, charge it up and see if the results were comparable.

Turns out…

They weren’t.

Slowest 18-miler I've ever run. Ah well.

Remember Garmin watch shots?! Everyone loves these, I KNOW.

My “low 8:00s” and “long run average of 8:45s” were now much closer 9:30s.

And that’s fine. It’s not that different — only around :45 per mile. But the difference between seeing 8:xx and 9:xx is noticeable to me.

Except that for a month or more, I’ve been thinking I was right back at my old paces, and I thought maybe that would mean I’d be able to run the New York City Marathon without making it a personal worst, and rainbows.

This is the best photo I have ever taken. This is real life. This is the best reason to wake up in the morning.

This is the best photo I have ever taken. This is real life. This is the best reason to wake up in the morning.

If I had known I was running a slower pace all along, it would be fine. But I was tricked! So then I felt sad.

I can see you shaking your head.

I can hear you saying, “Ali, stop being crazy. Stop being hard on yourself. You just started running again.”

YES, I’m thrilled, seriously thrilled, to be running again. I’m happy to be out of the house, off the couch and in the park. I assure you I am beyond grateful every single time I get to run. This weekend, especially, I was hyper-psyched to be putting one foot in front of the other.

I found a TRAIL in my own hometown in New Hampshire!!!

I found a TRAIL in my own hometown in New Hampshire!!!

A TRAIL!!! I RAN ON A TRAIL!!

A TRAIL!!! I RAN ON A TRAIL!!

I’m just surprised. In a not-awesome way.

So there’s that. And I’ll be sticking with the Garmin now. (I ran with it over the weekend, too, just to see what it would tell me, and the paces stayed consistent. At no point was I running what I thought I was running with the MapMyRun app. Ah well.)

I always thought I hated running in little Contoocook, but I DON'T! I DON'T!

I always thought I hated running in little Contoocook, but I DON’T! I DON’T!

And my stomach? That’s been getting better, right?!

That’s another “or not” situation.

Three skips forward, two runs back?

I had gone on the steroids (Budesonide) and they seemed to do the trick. And then I most likely came off them too soon, and now I’m traveling backward. So I will probably be going back on the steroids, which isn’t thrilling but if it’ll help, I don’t care. Bring on the face puff and whatever other side effects come my way.

Puffy face from steroids? Or puffy face from just way too much food lately? It's a toss-up. Actually, it's from the food. Budesonide doesn't even have puffy-faced side effects.

Puffy face from steroids? Or puffy face from just way too much food lately? It’s a toss-up. Actually, it’s from the food. Budesonide doesn’t even have puffy-faced side effects.

So maybe I just haven’t been writing because I knew I’d sound a little too in-my-head, which tends to happen.

I’m coming to terms with my “new and just slightly adjusted” run pace. I’m not coming to terms with the fact that I still seem to be in a flare-up, even if it’s nothing compared to what I went through in the early half of the year.

This is apparently the last week of “training”—if you can call mine that—for NYCM. After that, I’ll do some sort of taper. Having not had much of a plan all along, it’s impossible to know what race day will bring if I make it to that start line.

This is the last Reservoir photo in this post, I swear.

This is the last Reservoir photo in this post, I swear.

All I’m hoping for at this point is to make it to Staten Island, to smile through all five boroughs and to get a fantastically hot meal and shower (perhaps at the same time) when I finally make it back to my apartment…however many hours later that may be.

AND JUST SO I KNOW WHO I’M LOOKING FOR OUT THERE: Who else is running the New York City Marathon?

Comments (69)
 
The way to my heart is through chocolate layer cake with my name on top. Brian knows.

This Weekend By The Numbers

Date: September 23, 2013 at 7:14 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 52

…because why use words when numbers will suffice? 10: Times I swore I was going to clean the apartment this weekend. 0: Things in the apartment that got cleaned. 5: Times I saw Buzunesh Deba, my favorite favorite favorite elite […]

 
A post-hike victory lap at a place I'm inclined to call Griffith Observatory. OUaL, that sound about right? Note the kick-ass Hollywood sign in the background.

What Fall Feels Like For Me

Date: September 16, 2013 at 7:21 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 36

I felt it so strongly this weekend. There was a chill in the air. Everything felt crisp. I could have worn shorts and a tank top or zebra-tiger sweatpants and a zip-up, and either way I would have been comfortable. […]

 
Just chillin' with my girl Cat Deeley.

The Most Valuable Professional Lessons I Have Learned

Date: September 10, 2013 at 6:23 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 51

Today marks my 6-year anniversary at Dance Spirit. I’ll always remember the day I started, because I was living in Connecticut at the time and my mom didn’t like the idea of me commuting into the city on September 10 […]

Posted in Work and tagged , -
 
At the top of the world this weekend, in more ways than one. Awwww.

The In Between

Date: September 5, 2013 at 9:17 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 55

Hi, I’ve missed youuuuuu! Really, I have. I’m here today to talk about this weird place I’m in right now — a place I’m not at all comfortable being, and not in that edgy “push yourself out of your comfort […]

 
Speaking of "magical"...

Work In Progress

Date: August 18, 2013 at 2:39 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 44

Hi! I’m happy to report that these days I’m operating at something like an 87% “normal health” rate. I wake up in the morning and my stomach says, “I’m going to make this rough on you.” But eventually, usually after […]

Posted in Crohn's disease and tagged -
 
Buy 'em now and they'll be shipped by the end of the week. Woo!

Last Chance For Sweat

Date: August 12, 2013 at 7:20 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 9

All “I Heart Sweat” shirts have been marked down. Long-sleeved shirts are now $35. Short-sleeved shirts are going for $25. Whatever’s left on the website is what I have left. If you see the size you want in the drop-down […]

Posted in Uncategorized and tagged -
 
I will never forget the first time I re-ran the entire way around the 1.57-mile Reservoir. It took me forever, or so it seemed, but I loved every painful, heavy step.

It's Not Going To Be Easy

Date: August 1, 2013 at 6:58 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 46

Returning to running after seven months of being sick and sedentary hasn’t been easy. There have been some amazing moments, absolutely. But it’s so hard. Running is hard. My body is recovering, but it’s still weak and tired — not […]

 
This photo is from 6 AM Sunday. I couldn't sleep so I walked to Central Park where I was promptly eaten for breakfast by a flock of wild mosquitos. My right leg is a bumpy, itchy mess. So pretty!

I Remember

Date: July 31, 2013 at 5:13 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 74

Last week I wrote about how when you’ve been sick for so long, you forget what it’s like to be healthy. Last week I got sparse glimpses of that healthy life I used to live. This week, though? This week […]

 
Enya.

Glimpses

Date: July 22, 2013 at 6:00 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 54

“When you’ve been sick for so long, you forget what it feels like to be healthy.” Wise words from my friend Jess, who also happens to have Crohn’s-Colitis, the disease of digestive underachievers everywhere. Back in May, when I was […]