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Thankful Things Thursday: Feel Good Friday Edition

Posted Nov 09 2012 8:43am

A day late.

My bad.

Can we still get grateful though? Because I’m feeling it now more than ever. Ever, I tell you! And a by any other name — Feel Good Friday, perhaps? — is just as sweet. Or whatever that phrase is.

You get it.

Let’s do it.

I’m thankful for Emily . Come on, you obviously knew that was coming first, right? This girl is the reason I had the best 3 hours, 51 minutes and 20 seconds ever last weekend.

Oh look! A lovely bridge! Let’s run over it. I actually remember this part of the marathon. It was around mile 24, I think, and I was NOT feeling as good as I pretended for the photographer. I’m also pretty sure I spotted the photographer and tried to say to Emily, “There’s a photographer.” She goes, “What?” And I was all, “NEVERMIND BLASPHOO VOMIT RUNNING HICCUP.” Oh well. I tried.

I know I’ve already gone on and on and on some more about how great it was having Emily pace me during Manchester City, but it’s true. She held me back from going out way too fast, she constantly reaffirmed that — even on the tough climbs — we were “right on pace,” and she let me cruise on the downhills. Thanks, Coach Emily.

This photo was taken before the race, when I could still walk like a normal human. Four hours later, not so much.

I’m thankful for Tyler. And yeah, I bet you predicted that guy would come up second today.

Tyler slept through my big finish. I’m not even mad. Also he sleeps with one mitten in the air, which I think is impressive and unique.

I think it’s cute that he woke up last Sunday and was like, “Mom, Dad, can we surprise Auntie Ali at her marathon today? I know of a nice spot right at mile 18.”

Here is a series of Tyler photos:

Learning to ring the cowbell at a young age. Also learning to eat a cowbell at a young age.

Happy in his round thing! I don’t know what it’s called, but all you moms out there do.

F this cold weather.

OK, look at this photo and try telling me Tyler isn’t becoming slightly judgmental. I see it in his eyes. He knows I just ate an Entenmann’s “granola” bar, and he doesn’t approve of my nutrition. I CAN FEEL IT.

That’s all for now.


I’m thankful for Lauren . Tiny, badass, speedy little Lauren. On Saturday at 7:30 AM, I told her I wanted to drive to New Hampshire to run a marathon and she didn’t ask a single question. She said, “OK.” And off we went.

And then this happened. I’ll stop talking about this race soon, maybe, I promise.

I’m thankful for Evan. You want to see true love? Check out Lauren and her husband, Evan.

True love is telling your wife to pee her pants. See Lauren’s race recap for more on that.

These two Vermonters are the sweetest, happiest people you’ll ever meet and I love being around them. Last weekend, despite having just arrived in NYC from Vermont, Evan willingly turned his car right around and drove us all up to New Hampshire. We covered many miles on the road (plus 26.2 later), didn’t quite get enough sleep and always made it to our destination on time.

Evan never complained. He never said no when I said I needed another pee stop on the highway. And he took some quality photos on Race Day.

One day I will learn the art of “running with my mouth closed.” I guess Sunday was not that day.

I’m thankful for Brian. Sometimes I truly cannot believe we are still dating after all I’ve put this poor guy through this year.

I kicked off 2012 by getting the stomach flu back in March. Brian was there, waiting in my little studio apartment while I locked myself in the bathroom, crying as things came out of every part of my body (I’m sorry for that, people). He took my temperature, got me a chocolate chip muffin (it’s what I wanted!) and sat with me, never complaining that he, too, would likely be barfing and doing other stuff within hours (he was fine).

After that pleasant experience, I got injured. I couldn’t run. Do you know what happens when I can’t run? I go from mildly-crazy stressed girl to irrational psycho-bitch in about eight seconds. And then, because I was sick and injured and burnt out, I bailed on my big spring plans and ditched my goal to run the Eugene Marathon. Bummer.

We moved in together in April, and by May, I was starting to run again without pain — but I was Crohnsing hard. One month of shacking up and I was already dominating our shared bathroom.

In July, I was still Crohnsing and yes, when August and September rolled around I was still confined to the bathroom. Do you know how pretty I was? So pretty.

We weren’t going on fun trips. We weren’t doing anything spontaneous. I never wanted to make plans because I knew I’d break them. I wasn’t a pleasant person to be around, and I was aware of it. But Brian stuck around.

There’s a good chance my mom has already printed and framed this photo…and then stuck it somewhere behind a bigger photo of Tyler.

Finally, fall arrived. My favorite season. And with the changing leaves came a drastic change in Ali. I felt truly healthy for the first time all year. I was successfully completing my long runs, I wasn’t injured, I was promoted at work and I was on track to make it to the start line of a marathon. Life was — finally — good again.


And Brian was still there.


This past weekend, when I woke up wanting to run a marathon in lieu of running NYC, Brian was more on board with anyone. He was the one emailing the race director to make sure Lauren, Emily and I could even register. He was the one figuring out the details and he was the one getting down on the ground near the start line to take “artsy photos.” Or something.

In retrospect, those fingerless mittens were not cute. Nor did they wick away my sweat. Thanks a lot, Dance Spirit.

I feel so lucky to have someone in my life who has seen my at my all-time worst and has continued to support me and stand by me. Maybe one day he’ll get to see me at my best, too.

Gush session over.

Marathon flowers from Brian. It’s shameful that my boyfriend is better at arranging flowers in a vase than I am.

I’m thankful for my mom. As soon as we discovered that the Manchester City Marathon was a thing that existed, I had no doubt in my mind that we were set for lodging. Lauren was all, “Call your mom just to make sure it’s OK if we stay there.” Seriously? My mom was thrilled to take us in, and for that I’m so grateful.

She was so concerned about my post-race body temperature and kept putting that dang space blanket on me. Do you know what feeling I hate? Getting sweat all over a thin piece of foil and then rubbing it all over my body. Woof.

She solidified her Mom of the Lifetime status by driving to Manchester on Saturday to register all three of us for the marathon, and then doing cute things like folding towels for everyone and leaving them on their various beds. She also did not complain or seem to care when Brian decided to toss his glass of red wine all over the dinner table (and himself).

I told Brian his shirt looked cool like that, but he didn’t agree. Now it’s a plain old boring off-white shirt again. YOU COULD HAVE SOLD THAT DESIGN TO ABERCROMBIE, BRIAN. Or Hot Topic. Remember Hot Topic? I wasn’t allowed to go to that store when I was younger.

Instead she just hopped over to the washing machine all happy-like and continued making sure we had full bellies and clean laundry.

I’m thankful for my dad. Even if he is a total Tyler hog.


I’ve never met a prouder grandfather. My dad has always been my greatest supporter and my biggest fan (and, at times, my toughest critic — when I was dancing competitively, he was the only one who’d give me a brutally honest post-performance report, and never shied away from telling me that “I’m better on my right than my left”).

The best thing I saw on the MCM race course was my dad standing off to the side at mile 18 holding Tyler. It was the happiest I have ever seen him.

Oh look, all my dreams just came true. NBD.

I’m thankful for Ryan and Michaela. They surprised me. Also, they made Tyler. And when I found out the marathon was canceled last Friday and Ryan knew I was upset, he got right on Skype and let me sit there and watch Tyler in silence. I was a mess of emotions and confusion, and it meant so much to me that Ryan and Michaela were right there, doing exactly what I needed: showing off their kickass son and letting me watch him bop around.

I’m so, so thankful the New York City Marathon was canceled. There’s nothing more to say about this topic. It’s been discussed to death and I’m exhausted from it all. But I’m so glad this race didn’t go on. I’m glad I didn’t have to decide whether or not to run it and I’m thankful the race’s resources ended up going to good use.

I’m thankful the Manchester City Marathon took us in with open arms, warm hearts and plenty of start line Porta Potties. The race organizers did an incredible job accommodating double the amount of people they were planning for. The race was exceptionally executed and I loved every single minute of it. Nice disguise, blessing.

Also, free race photos. Who does that?

Apparently there was a stealthy photographer hiding in a tree along the race course. And apparently while I run, I ponder the meaning of life while looking far into the distance.

I’m thankful for cheese. Thanks, Lauren and Evan!

Dinner tonight will be a grilled cheese sandwich made with ALL THE CHEESE.

I’m thankful I’m going on vacation. Brian and I leave at something like 4 AM tomorrow for a week in Mexico. Goodbye forever.

I have no guest posts lined up for you. I don’t have pre-planned posts to publish (who has time for that?) and I do not plan to entertain you while I’m away. I trust that you’ll survive. I know I will.

I’m thankful election season is over. Facebook friends, I like you. Most of you. Some of you I don’t even know, actually — did we meet at a bar at some point in college? Perhaps we bonded over Stoli Salads at Side Street Bar & Grill? Regardless of whether I like you or only kind of like you or barely even know you, I do not care what your political views are. Furthermore, I don’t want you trying to impress them upon me. An overly-confident “I’m right all the time and anyone who disagrees is wrong” Facebook post isn’t going to change my political opinions — it’s only going to make me think you’re a little obnoxious.


See you in 2016.

Seeing this Tuesday night was pretty cool.

I’m thankful “Full House” has become a crucial part of the Nick at Nite lineup. It’s on for, like, four hours at a time. Remember the episode where DJ dates Viper from Uncle Jesse’s band, The Monkey Puppets? Classic.

I’m thankful the snow in NYC has already melted.

Central Park, being creepy.

That was weird, right?

OK. I think we’re good.

To conclude: I’m pumped about life right now.

I hated 2012 for so long. I was more than ready to kick off 2013 and I wanted to forget this year even happened. Despite the amazing things that came my way — moving in with Brian, Tyler being born, landing the job I had wanted since I was 16 — I had mostly negative memories associated with 2012.

But then last weekend happened. My perspective changed completely.

“What is this word, perspective? What is art? Are we art? Is art, art?”

With one great race and one weekend with friends and family, I regained perspective. I remembered how lucky I am. I saw how, even on my very worst days, I have so much to be grateful for. As much as I preach it every Thursday, sometimes I need to actually step back and practice it.

So now I’m off for what I think is a much-deserved weekend away.

Later, kids! Have a good one!

BUT BEFORE I GO: Tell me what you’re thankful for! Please! I need to know before I go.

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