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Thankful Things Thursday: Summer In The City Edition

Posted May 26 2011 9:13am

The sun is shining. I woke up smiling. Summer is almost here. It’s Thursday.

I don’t know how today can possibly be a bad day.

Hopefully you all feel the same.

Before we get down to business, let me just say Wow! I love love loved the comments on yesterday’s “I am finally a runner even though I run half marathons and still denied calling myself a real runner for a long time” post. Not only was I amazed at how few of us resonate with the Runner label, I thought it was hilarious that we’re all so quick and willing to labels others as Runners but so hard on ourselves about it.

One of my favorite comments came from Lauren :

“I’ve run for the better part of my life and yet it still took awhile for me to consider myself a ‘real’ runner – because I didn’t run as fast or as much as the runners I looked up to. I had to realize that the beauty of running is that it’s so individual. We all might have different speeds and goals, but the common bond we share from just loving running is what makes us all runners.”

It’s so true — regardless of paces, goal times or mileage, the passion for running is what brings us all together.

I also appreciated how many of you commented on the fact that I’m gross and wear my workout clothes multiple times before washing. Keep in mind, however, that I’m not totally disgusting. When things get pretty smelly, they go into the laundry basket!

So here we are, on this beautiful, Thursday, and I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for. In true Ali On The Run/ fashion, here’s what I’m smiling about today…

I’m thankful for summer in the city. Sure, New York City empties out every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the privileged population heads to the Hamptons, Fire Island, Martha’s Vineyard and beyond. But one of the great things about not being a privileged one (though I am super lucky to have a friend with a house in Fire Island!) is that you get quiet time with the city. I’ll be traveling a bit this summer, but my focus is on staying in town to get those long marathon miles in. Exciting life, I know. I can’t wait to explore NYC on the weekends without the crowded messes.

I’m thankful that I can go out without a jacket. Last night I spent a few awesome hours walking through Central Park (no, Mom, not alone, and it wasn’t even dark yet — relax). It was amazing. There were people everywhere, from runners and bikers to people with puppies. It was the perfect night to walk around wearing a sundress, not needing a jacket.

Central Park before the sun went down

I’m thankful for street art. De La Vega is still going at it in Central Park, and after sticking to the Bridle Path for my runs for so long, it was fun seeing the new spots he’s been getting crafty on.

These fish jumped out of their bowls to kiss and be in love. How adorable.

I’m thankful for outdoor dining. People in NYC go crazy for restaurants with outdoor seating. I swear as soon as it hits 40 degrees people start putting their tables and chairs out. After walking all through the park and the Upper West Side last night, I ended up getting dinner at Beyoglu , which has quickly become one of my favorite spots on the Upper East Side. I loved sitting outside and people watching with a glass of wine (kind of classy) while stuffing my face with hot bread and hummus (definitely classy).

I’m thankful for the Central Park bathrooms. Honestly, the stomach issues are getting a bit old. I’m tired of writing abou tthem and something tells me you’re tired of hearing about them. ( Hence the goal to find a cure for Crohn’s Disease. )

This is a new bathroom I discovered. It is open early, so I like it the best.

About halfway into my 6-mile run this morning, my stomach — yet again — kicked in and made me feel like keeling over and quitting running for the rest of my life (not really, I’m just dramatic today). Seriously though, it was quite painful and I’m glad I was near a bathroom. I had a really hard time with Coach Cane’s plans for this morning, which included one lap of the extended Bridle Path a little above my half marathon goal pace, and one lap of the Bridle Path at my half marathon goal pace. The exhaustion from the past week has really gotten to me and it’s affecting my training, so I know I need to focus on more sleep and taking good care of myself. It’s way too early in the game to feel so run down!

I’m thankful for the Central Park Bridle Path. I love that I’ve been running there more lately (per Coach Cane’s orders polite recommendations). I see an entirely different breed of runner on the Bridle Path versus on the running road.

The Central Park Bridle Path

I’m thankful for familiar morning faces. I love seeing people I recognize out running in the morning. It makes me feel like there’s this great community of early risers, and I love feeling like I’m part of it.

I’m thankful for lilacs. They are my mom’s favorite flower and they come out in the springtime. Walking through the Flower District this morning made me feel a little homesick and nostalgic for New Hampshire.

Pretty and awesome smelling lilacs

I’m thankful for easy summer outfits. Getting dressed today required two things: a top and a skirt. No layers necessary. So simple.

Top from Bloomingdale's, skirt J.Crew, shoes Ralph Lauren

I’m thankful for yoga. I haven’t been in forever and I think I will cry if I don’t go tonight. My body is craving some serious stretching. I would like to spend 10 minutes in Downward Dog, please.

That’s what she said?

I’m thankful “So You Think You Can Dance” starts back up tonight. It’s the best summer show and while, yes, I have to watch it for work, I also watch it because I love it. It’s also how I find great new songs to download.

With Cat Deeley at "SYTYCD" auditions last year

I’m thankful for nice boys. That’s all.

I’m thankful that I don’t have to run a race this weekend. Coach Cane has me running 8 very manageable miles on Saturday. No problem, Coach. I’m happy that I don’t have to get up super early (though I’m sure I still will) and I’m glad I don’t have to be pinning a bib to my shirt before I go out. Just me and the open road.

NOW YOU GO: What are you thankful for today? There are roughly a million things you could say, including how the humidity is helping your hair, something great you brought for lunch or the fact that it’s a long weekend coming up. All acceptable responses.

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