aliontherun1 aliontherun1

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Ali Feller  Writer. Editor. Host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. Marathoner. Loves running, yoga, giraffes & Celine Dion. Has rescue puppy named Ellie.

http://bit.ly/aliontherunshow

I told @boldceo the Memorial Day Weekend dress code was "sweatpants mandatory," and he's wearing jeans and a belt, proving we have absolutely nothing in common.

Had a very special little guest on the Ali on the Run Show today! (OK, two special guests!) LOOK AT THAT FACE! This is Lily, dogter to one of my favorite people ever. I had the best time recording this episode, and you're gonna love it. Coming soon! πŸ“Έ: @bhgross

This past weekend, I got to run a half marathon in the middle of a Crohn's flare. That's me reminding myself β€” and reminding Crohn's β€” that I'm the boss of this body. And it's me letting myself have a little fun! Crohn's has taken so much of my fun over the years, and I want it to know that I'm still in this fight β€” even on days when I don't have much fight in me, and I just sit on the couch watching an entire season of Dawson's Creek β€” and I really want to win it. Whatever that means. Crohn's has made me appreciate running so much. It makes me want to run whenever I can, whether that means a lap around the block or a half marathon in Brooklyn, because I know there will still be times in my life when I CAN'T run. That's partly why I showed up at the start line on Saturday. Some days, I just want to do nothing and wallow in being sick because I feel powerless and exhausted. But this past weekend, I didn't want to sit at home β€” in the bathroom β€” feeling sorry for myself. Running with Crohn's disease is not easy, and I'm not always motivated β€” and sometimes I just CAN'T make a run happen. But Saturday was a good day. Here's to more good days.

I would love to say that after 25 years with Crohn's disease, things have gotten easier and that I've learned how to handle this illness. But the truth is that every time a flare comes out of nowhere and uproots my life, it's HARD. This disease takes its toll physically and emotionally, and I really struggle with the uncertainty surrounding it β€” never knowing how long a flare will last, if my medicine will keep working (probably not), or if they will EVER find an actual cure for this disease. It's frustrating, and truthfully it never gets easier sitting on the couch (fine, on the toilet) and watching the world go by without you. I try to remind myself that each flare is temporary, and to be grateful that Crohn's has made me a stronger, tougher, more resilient person. But I'd be lying if I said I was fine watching all my friends live happy, healthy lives without ever having to give a second thought to their health, and to not have to wonder whether they'll be able to run, go out, or just leave the apartment on any given day. Today on the Ali on the Run Show, I'm sharing my Crohn's disease story. I considered putting a disclaimer on this episode like, "If you're uncomfortable talking about bathroom stuff, I'll see you next week," but NO. If you're uncomfortable talking about bathroom stuff, you are EXACTLY who I need to listen to this episode. (Listen on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Overcast, or Google Play.)

It's been six years since I woke up at 4 AM, ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon, spent all day filming commercials for @jackrabbitnyc, had a bottle of Pinot Grigio for dinner, and then sent @boldceo a flirty Facebook message. I initiated the conversation (something like "thanks for everything today β€” filming was so fun!"), he responded within two seconds (which NEVER happens now), I mentioned drinking alone at home, he suggested drinking together IRL, and half an hour later we were at Auction House on 89th Street and stayed until the lights came on. (I was wearing jeans and a cute-but-not-slutty tank top...and compression socks. Then I lured him back to my apartment and seduced him, and by that I mean I fell asleep upright and snoring on the couch...) It worked out pretty great. Happy First Date-iversary, B-Cris. You're crazy, and I like you. Thank you for always making the bed perfectly. Let's get more dogs.

I don't know what my finish time was and I stopped keeping track of bathroom stops after #6. But I know that every time I stopped to walk, a fellow runner would ask if I was OK or would give me encouragement to keep moving. (And I was OK! I had so much fun out there today β€” I just wanted to test out as many porta-potties as possible!) I'm really glad I made it out for the #airbnbbkhalf today. The running community is so special, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it. (Big love to the #np_nyc cheer squad, as always. Thanks for the happy snap, @ohanaloverun!)

Step 1: Pick up #airbnbbkhalf bib. Step 2. Get Outback Steakhouse tomorrow night. Step 3 is to show up at the Brooklyn Half start line on Saturday, and I'm still TBD on that one. But I survived getting to the Expo, so that's a win (there are mist fans all over, which are great for cooling down and airing out whatever is sweaty, like your armpits or upper lip), and I'm feeling pretty confident about my Outback skills. As for the race? I'll decide Saturday at around 5 AM. So far, Crohn's has the upper hand, but I'm definitely still in the fight. (Photo shoot by @nyrr's finest, @etfeeney21.) #psyougotthis

I ran today! I left my watch at home, ran to the track, and then ran some loops until I wanted to come home. Five-ish steamy miles later, I was sweaty and happy and didn't even care that I made four bathroom stops along the way. (Pictured here: the bathroom at the track, which NEVER lets me down. This was stop #1...and #2.) Getting out the door during a Crohn's flare always counts as a big victory, so YAY ALI YAY. #glamourshots

One of the most important lessons I've learned over the past few years is to not let my identity be too consumed by any one thing. After I started running, I was Ali on the Run. And at work, I was Ali, Editor in Chief. But when I got too sick to do either of those things (thanks, Crohn's disease), I felt completely lost. It was like my entire identity had been taken away from me, and I had a really hard time getting through the day without running and work. I didn't recognize myself and I felt like I didn't have a purpose. Since then, I've tried to make sure I always have something ELSE to turn to β€” something that can't be taken away from me, or that I can fall back on and into and that I love just as much. Over the past few weeks, I haven't able to run much and didn't really get to complete my Brooklyn Half training, and that's hard and makes me sad. It's hard to watch all your friends get together for morning runs while you're confined to the bathroom, or to look on as people get faster and you're just exhausted 24/7. But I know there's more to me than just being on the run. There have been some lows lately with my physical and mental health, but I'm trying to find SOMETHING to smile about and sink my teeth into every day. Some days it's having Natalie Morales as a guest on the Ali on the Run Show. Other days it's filing three stories before 8 AM. πŸ™Œ Or it's just saying "I can't do anything today" and going to the spa with a friend. But I think there's always something. #workinprogress

Coming soon to the Ali on the Run Show: @nmoralesnbc! I had so much fun recording with Natalie Morales today (at 30 Rock!) and can't wait to share this episode. We talked about everything from training for a Boston Marathon qualifying time while working at the Today Show to how she handles reporting on massive tragedies and delivering the news while still being a sensitive human (and mom of two). She talked to me about the whether she's ever felt pressure regarding her appearance, told me about her all-time favorite story to cover for Today, and got honest about how to handle haters. There's much good stuff in this one, and it was an honor, a pleasure, and an absolute blast getting to spend some time with one of my journalistic idols. (Bonus: Natalie runs in @hokaoneone! Double bonus: Hung out in the 30 Rock lobby with Sterling K. Brown.)

Pro tip: Don't have Crohn's disease. Because one minute you can be on top of the world, living a lovely life in New Jersey with a nice husband and a sweet puppy, training to run a half marathon, and kicking ass at work and beyond. And THEN, Crohn's decides you've enjoyed THAT long enough, and comes out of its hiding spot (right before that half marathon you wanted to run!) to just totally F things up. Part of me can't believe I'm flaring again β€” back in this place of constant, urgent trips to the bathroom and feeling an insurmountable amount anxiety, exhaustion, and sadness. Another part of me isn't surprised at all. Life, man. At some point I'll be ready to do the thing where I extol all the lovely values and lessons I've gained and learned from living with a chronic illness. But right now I'm focused on mapping out all the bathrooms between my current spot and 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where I'm about to record an episode of the Ali on the Run Show. (Like INSIDE 30 Rock. In the Access Hollywood studios. Any guesses?!)

At 12 years old, I could lift my best friend over my head. This morning, I almost did two push-ups. (This is my all-time favorite dance photo. Favorite costume, favorite pose β€” this was our signature lift β€” and favorite mid-nineties fabric backdrop.) HAPPY FRIDAY TO THE WORLD. We made it and only missed like 13 deadlines along the way!

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