Listen to the Ali on the Run Show!
- July 2, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 258: Feel-Good Friday with Claudia Thompson, President of Claudia Connects
- 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
I've Been Thinking...
I am so freakin’ excited to be back at work today.
After three days of working from home, I was starting to go a little stir crazy. I had left a semi-permanent (I guess that would make it…temporary) butt-dent in the couch, I started talking to Dylan, Donna, David and Kelly like they were my real friends, and I learned that you cannot, in fact, have a competitive game of Yahtzee when you are the only player.
So yay! Today I get a sweet little dose of human interaction. I’m wearing a skirt and a real bra and everything!
I’m not feeling much better, truthfully, but just getting out of the apartment makes me feel slightly more alive. Believe it or not, I do prefer working from my desk to working from my bathroom.
Just kidding, Brian. I totally did not bring my laptop into the bathroom at any point yesterday so as not to disrupt my work flow. That would be gross.
In between important tasks like working, bathrooming, catching up on “Dance Moms” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” and watching videos of Tyler…
…I also found myself thinking many deep, life-changing thoughts. Since it’s a Friday and it’s summertime, I don’t think you should do much heavy thinking today. And so let me ease any fears you had about reading this blog and assuming you would get some good, quality, thought-provoking content. No no. Not here. You have come to the wrong place, my friends.
Let me take you for a little tour of what’s been happening inside my brain for the past few days, as I’ve endured solitary confinement in my little Manhattan apartment.
I don’t like race recaps without finish results. I don’t care about the expo or what kind of beer you drank at lunch the day before. Show me your splits. Tell me how you felt. Let me inside your head. And then tell me your final time so I can calculate your pace and analyze. That is more fascinating to me than knowing how sleepy you were when your alarm went off or seeing a picture of your pre-race peanut butter banana toast. Just kidding. Almond butter.
I love reading race recaps, and the ones I enjoy most are the ones with lots of specifics about how your legs felt, what that side cramp at mile 13 did to you, and how it affected your pace. That’s just me.
Not all babies are cute. I will not coo at every baby I see or meet. I can’t do it. These days, my Facebook feed is littered with photos of ultrasound babies (never cute), newborn babies (often scary and/or slimy) and babies that seem to be mid-poop. Some of them are crazy adorable, but others are not, and I cannot force myself to comment and say that your baby is so cute when really it kind of terrifies me. Instead, I will say tactful things like, “OMG she looks like she’s going to be so smart!” or “Wow! He’s so small!”
Tyler, however, is adorable and there has never been a child as perfect as Tyler.
Scientology is completely insane. How is it 2012 and people still believe this science-fiction stuff? I know I’ve ranted about this already. But I can’t stop thinking it and I’m so fascinated by this “religion.” I’ll save you all from my religion rant, because I don’t want to offend people today (maybe we can schedule that chat for another day when I’m feeling extra sassy). Last night I watched Brian Williams talk about scientology on “Rock Center” and I was really sad when the segment ended. He did not talk enough about the aliens and the levels.
Little known fact: My BFF Emily and I once tried to enter a Church of Scientology to try and learn about it. But we were giggly, and so we didn’t get past the front doors. They frown upon that. It was a sad time. I really wanted to learn.
It really creeps me out when grown humans refer to their parents as “Mommy” or “Daddy.” Please stop.
I just don’t understand how people willingly do things like smoke cigarettes or go tanning. I’m no expert on health — some nights for dinner I just eat many scoops of peanut butter and chocolate chips — but I don’t recall reading any studies recently about the benefits of smoking or baking your skin. When I was at the hospital on Wednesday getting Remicade, “Good Morning America” was doing this special on tanorexics — yes, there’s an actual term for people who are obsessed with tanning, so that’s swell — and these chicks were seriously delusional. They didn’t even look good! They were orange and not at all sexy. Mmm leather skin. Yummy!
Then again, I do things like “willingly eat all the sliders.”
So I guess I should stop criticizing.
People keep saying I should do a triathlon because I’ve added cycling to my running routine. Do you know what I say to those people? “No thank you. How are you today?” Maybe eventually this will change — I once said I had “no desire to run a marathon” — but for now, a triathlon doesn’t appeal to me. I’m not very fish-like and it would be hard to get through the cycling and running portions of a triathlon if I had previously drowned during the swim.
It’s hard to transition into a bike helmet and padded shorts when you are actually dead….you know, from the drowning.
When you work from home and keep SoapNet on in the background, you see tons of commercials for shingles. Not shingles like what you put on the roof of your house. Shingles like the “chicken pox for adults” disease. The commercials have all these old people being like “I thought only older people got shingles, wahhhh.”
Fun story, grandmas and grandpas: I got shingles when I was the ripe age of 23. I could not get out of bed for five days and my roommate had to bring me my meals. (Brilliant thought I just had: On Sunday morning I will tell Brian I have “The Shingles” in an attempt to get breakfast in bed. The only cure for shingles is chocolate chip pancakes. No one tell him otherwise.)
I still stand by my statement that shingles is the worst thing I’ve ever had. It’s so uncomfortable and so painful and there’s nothing you can do, except beg your doctor for more Percocet.
I need to remember that the New York City Marathon will only be my second marathon. It’s so easy to look at other people and compare our goals — and then I remember I’m being stupid because many of my friends are heading out this fall for their third, fourth, fifth and 26th marathons. That’s out of my league, man. I’m on numero dos. I truly believe experience plays a huge part in marathon improvement, so I know it’s important to have ambitious but not overly-lofty goals for NYCM in November.
I know a lot of people gunning for sub-4:00 marathons in the fall, and it’s important for me to remember that they’ve got way more experience than I do. So if I go sub-4, that’ll be amazing, but there is obviously a chance that won’t happen for me this time around.
Speaking of running (I’m always speaking of running…or Crohnsing), I ran yesterday! It took me a very long time to make this run happen because my body simply would not cooperate. I thought about postponing the run or skipping it altogether, but I knew that if I could just relax and get out the door, I’d be OK and maybe I’d even feel better afterward. My first attempt was around 1 PM, peak heat time, and I walked out of my apartment, took three steps and came right back inside. The ol’ stomach wasn’t ready.
So at 5 PM, I tried again, and it worked! Yeah yeah there were stops along the way — only three, and just one of them was scary-urgent — but this run was fantastical. Fantastical, I say!
I’ll show you numbers that mean nothing:
And an elevation chart for fun:
People in NYC are always like, “OMG Harlem Hills, those bitches, so long, so steep, ate them for breakfast, suck it, Harlem.” I really don’t think the hills are so bad. In general, I’m a terrible incline runner. But yesterday’s workout took me to the hills:
- 1-mile warm-up to West 102nd Street
- 3 clockwise loops of Harlem Hills (clockwise, in my opinion, is the easier way to go — you go up two hills instead of one, but they’re far more gradual and, I think, shorter) at marathon goal pace
- Pick it up to 5K pace each time across the 102nd Street Transverse (How boring is this if you don’t live in NYC and have no idea what I’m talking about?)
- Cool-down, good times
I loved this run.
Really loved it. As in, “marathon goal pace feels so easy and I’m flying and this is what runner’s high feels like!!!”
Seriously, post-run I was all runner’s high-ish for at least five minutes. Victory!
Why so great?
Well, like I said, marathon goal pace felt oddly effortless. In fact, I was faster than MGP for most of the run, both on the downhills and the uphills. Oops. I’m not sure what my 5K pace should be, but I’m thinking I should aim for 7:20s or faster, since my 5K PR (not an all-out effort, just a pre-Thanksgiving jaunt) clocked in at a 7:27 pace back in November.
During my third trip across the Transverse, my pace was a sweet 7:05.
I hate the bathroom stops along the way, but it’s amazing how for minutes during these runs I can feel so stinkin’ good. I can’t wait to feel better and be able to crush these runs without having to ask the pool attendant lady if I can cut the line for a “bathroom emergency.”
It’ll happen. And it’ll be awesome.
And today I rest.
My final thought: I’m thinking about quitting my gym and joining a yoga studio. Wouldn’t that be weird? We’ll see.
Time to work and be social and pretend I’m not Crohnsing! Have a great day and a wonderful weekend! Wear sunscreen. Run. Sleep a lot. Eat watermelon.
AND SHARE SOMETHING GREAT: Any lingering, random thoughts from the week? What’s been on your mind? Let it all out. We can discuss your deepest thoughts, feelings and concerns. This is the perfect place for that.