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Thankful Things Thursday: On Powering Through

Posted Jul 26 2012 9:34am

These next few weeks are all about stamina.

On the running front, sure. I will need stamina to excel in my training.

I like Excel spreadsheets.

But also, I will need stamina to get through the crazy work schedule coming up, the social “obligations” and the early morning/late night combos. So much for the whole “I’m getting tons of sleep these days, yo” proclamation I just made.

Spent? Yes, maybe a little. BRIAN, STOP TAKING MY PICTURE WHEN I'M ASLEEP. J/K, I obviously don't care. Here is the photo for the Internet to see.

Oh well. No complaints here, just good things around the corner.

In the spirit of recognizing good things, I say we should celebrate . Want to play? Blast off!

I’m thankful I powered through this morning’s run. Yeah, we’re talking about running first today. That’s because I have good things to report. I was tired and bad-stomach-feeling this morning (solid diagnosis, Ms. Feller), so I had sadly low expectations for my run. Sorry, expectations. You lose. I ended up having a lovely jaunt in Central Park to start the day.

Coach Cane ‘s plan:

  • 1+ mile warm-up along the Bridle Path to West 86th Street
  • Two counterclockwise loops of the Bridle Path at marathon goal pace
  • One clockwise loop of the Bridle Path at half marathon goal pace
  • 1+ mile cool-down
  • Fist pump with excitement when you actually accomplish this workout

One of those instructions did not come from Coach Cane.

Now, the terrain on the Bridle Path is not quite even. There are rocks and wood chips and the occasional mud puddle. It’s certainly not hilly, but it’s not quite as flat as the Reservoir. Coach Cane said I could be “conservative” on my first two laps — his bigger concern was the negative split. “Make sure that you don’t get sucked into starting too aggressively,” he kindly advised.

Oh, Coach. It’s like we’ve worked together before or something. You think you know me so well.

Wait, you've seen this photo before? No you haven't. You're imagining things. PS, Coach Cane, let's have a photo session together soon. These year-old ones are getting, well, old. Even though we look very happy together.

Truthfully, this run did not start out so well. I took the warm-up slow, did my bathroom thing, and then picked up my pace slightly. The first two laps seemed to go on forever. I felt like I was laboring far more than I should have been, and even though I wasn’t breathing heavily, my legs felt like they were perhaps filled with lead or steel or very heavy chocolate pieces.

Then, something crazy happened.

I reversed my direction, as instructed, and started my final — and fastest — lap.

My goal was to maintain a 7:45–7:50 pace. It’s weird how easy this felt. Not effortless. I was definitely working. But it felt more natural than the first two laps.

I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING.

If you’re a numbers person, here you go:

That fancy "lap" function on the watch is getting so much use lately. Laps 1 and 2 begin with the third split and continue until the sixth split. The faster splits are the third lap. But yeah, you got it. You figured it out already.

Happy Ali will enjoy a little runner’s high this morning. And then she will stop doing the weird third-person talking thing.

And now I rest until Saturday.

I’m thankful for the new black pitbull mix puppy that moved into my building. He is 11 weeks old and I have learned that his nameless owner takes him for a walk right around 7 AM every day. Oh, weird, that happens to be the exact time I return from my run.

He has little white paws and I love him. He is very friendly and mostly just excited about life in general. We bonded over our mutual enthusiasm for existing.

Am I the creep who takes pictures of strangers’ dogs? Yes, apparently I am.

I’m thankful Brian made breakfast. Mmm fruit juice. We (um, he) hadn’t busted out the juicer in a while, and this morning I wasn’t in the mood for solid food. (What is happening to me??) So Brian made pineapple and strawberry juice, and I drank it from a wine glass and it was very refreshing.

I’m thankful that even after living in New York City for five years, I can still appreciate being a tourist in my own city. On Saturday, Brian and I decided to play a game called “We live here but we know we still have a lot to learn.”

I guess that’s a long name for a game. Maybe we should come up with a new title.

We spent the afternoon on a double-decker “hop on, hop off” tour bus, learning all kinds of fun facts about Manhattan.

You think I'm the one who loves the camera, but clearly I'm not the only one.

We really did get to see some cool stuff, though. I don’t think I ever take NYC for granted because I love it so stinkin’ much and think living anywhere else would be crazy (no no, I’m sure your town is lovely even if it doesn’t have a 24-hour Duane Reade right downstairs for all your midnight needs), but I do get in the habit of doing the same things and going to the same places over and over. I have my favorite spots (Central Park, near the Met), my regular restaurants (Alta, Tony’s, Beyoglu, Luke’s Lobster) and my go-to places to take out-of-town guests (16 Handles is a must-see, I swear). It was fun to hear little facts about NYC that I didn’t know, and I would repeat them back to you here but I have already forgotten many of them.

I’m a really good learner and an excellent listener.

New York, you’re the best. Thanks for being so nice to me some of the time.

I enjoy the Flatiron Building. I have never been inside.

I’m thankful for my new blue shorts. They’re very bright, and you probably know by now that I am not big on dull colors.

I know this shot is neither flattering nor cute, and I know I should paint my toes or try to pull myself together for summer and "sandal season." But whatever. Just look at the color of the shorts.

Give me neons, flourescents and anything jewel-toned and I’ll be thrilled.

I did learn a good lesson this morning, though, which is that sweat of any kind is much more noticeable on blue shorts than black shorts. Noted.

Look at Dani! Isn't she being cute with her granola? I kind of look like a giant next to her, though, and I swear I'm only 5'5".

I’m thankful for the nice people who come here and read my crap and comment or email me to share their stories. Sometimes I don’t want to blog, and sometimes I think it’s dumb that anyone reads what I have to say, because I don’t really have much to say at all. So when there’s happy feedback, it makes my heart feel good. Thanks for that.

I’m thankful I get to see one of my favorite people tonight!!! Three exclamation points. The newlyweds are in town and it’s going to be a magical evening. I haven’t seen Lauren since January, which is madness, and tonight I get to see her and make her tell me in person every detail about her life as a married lady.

Just kidding.

We’ll probably talk about running the whole time.

BRB, going to creep Lauren’s blog to find a cute wedding picture to show you:

This is great. I can't wait to Photoshop myself into this with my sweet dance moves. Brian, can you help me? Do you have Photoshop?

Have you ever seen a happier couple? Other than a picture of me with a brownie?

So anyway, I’m pumped to plow through the work day and then hang out with these two kids. Countdown: ON.

I’m thankful I’m starting to feel better. It’s a slow process and I’m eager for my next doctor’s appointment coming up. I’m hoping I like this guy and we can begin a long, special journey together. I always try to put a positive spin on things, but with all the health up-and-downs this year, it’s honestly been pretty tough.

More on that another time.

Today I’m feeling good, I’m feeling psyched and I’m ready to rumble.

I am actually not ready to “rumble.” Please, no one track me down in hopes of rumbling. I’m not up for it. I don’t even really know what this all means.

With that, let’s wrap up this gratitude-fest.

TIME FOR YOU TO GET HAPPY AND CONTRIBUTE: What are you thankful for today? The presence of puppies? Your health and happiness? New running shoes? Clean laundry? A dirty dishes-less sink and a ready-to-be-emptied dishwasher? Cookies? GO.

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