Friday, January 29, 2010

trainging - by the numbers

1 - the number of women runners i've seen pop a squat in someone's front yard in Newton. that's what you get for having an unreal house on comm ave i guess.

161 - cumulative miles run so far!

2 - pedestrians i've seen eat pavement, one of whom fell face first but, displaying an unbelievable dedication to her coffee, managed not to spill a drop! i pointed it out to her as i ran by but she didn't find it funny... pretty sure her chin was bleeding.

5 - old men that absolutely SCHOOL me every week on our runs.

6 - days i'll be on vacation in san diego next week!!!!!! i might "forget" to train...

3 - children under 6 that i've seen walking down the sidewalk legit completely alone. Not lost or sad though, completely confident in their street prowess. One was dressed like an adult, purse and all, at first i thought she was just a tiiiiiny old woman.

4 - the number of different snacks suzanne liedel, the Brigham & Women's fundraising coordinator, puts out for us at Newton Corner to fuel up - trail mix, pretzels, swedish fish, and some other candy i can't remember!

1,224,213 - Hasidic jews that roam the Brookline sidewalks every Saturday

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Knight in a Shining Black Maxima

First off - hi mom! thanks for becoming a (the) follower of my blog. my mom writes a really funny blog for her pug Paco, Paco's Pugtails.

Contrary to popular belief, not every 10.5+ mile run in the middle of the New England winter is easy breezy. Every now and then you wake up and know that that day is going to suck. Instead of heading out in a cloud of "i can do this!" you shove your feet into your sneakers and reluctantly bumble out the door. I had my first today-is-going-to-suck morning last saturday.

I tried my best to get excited and pump myself up, putting reggae on my ipod, wearing my favorite running outfit, and taking my camera with me to snap some on-the-run pics, but i knew i was in for it when, a good three minutes into my run, i had a flash of genius thinking i could just stop to "tie my shoe" and then by accident get knicked by a slow moving car's bumper and roll myself down Beacon Hill straight into Starbucks, treating my wounds with a iced coffee treat. I pictured a lot of Starbucks customers and employees circling around me, someone yelling "GET THIS GIRL AN ICED VENTI NON FAT NO WHIP 2 PUMP MOCHA ASAP! AND A CROISSANT!!" while others ran to create a fort for me with couch pillows and blankets from concerned neighbors, setting me up with a laptop and free wifi so i could sit in there for hours watching arrested development and its always sunny reruns drinking coffee on the house.

I had to shake that lavish and totally realistic day dream and go on. I persevered through Kenmore Square, past BU, Coolidge Corner, and finally into Newton Center before my emotional struggle turned into a physical one. Every now and then over the past couple months my foot has fallen victim to the plantar faciitious monster - an evil, unrelenting pain that can only be compared to the feeling of stepping on a rolly-ball mouse and doesn't go away if you ignore it.

So, at Newton Centre, I had to call it quits. Crying like a pathetic little girl, i asked the high school girls working at a nearby bakery named "Pie" (read: "Tortue for Runners without Wallets Dreaming About Coffee and Pastry Therapy") to use their phone so i could wake up my boyfriend and beg for his rescue. A little groggy and with limited enthusiasm, he answered my call for help and drove to Pie to save me - my knight in a shining black Maxima.

I got in the car and cried like a pathetic little girl, apologizing for making him come get me, and, through my tears announced like the emotion-eating female i am "im getting dunkin donuts because im sad."

So, moral of the story is:


The Cold, the Pale, the Ugly

If you've lived in Boston during the winter, you've seen them... lycra-clad shadows coming out of the woodwork early on weekend mornings. Not a deterrent exists in their world - not cold, not wind, not sleet, not snow, not rain. They take up space on the road when the sidewalks are covered in ice and travel in packs, practicing their sadistic Saturday ritual trudging through Newton, Brookline, and Boston. Bundled up in hats, scarves, mittens, yet leaving little to the imagination in body-clinging spandex, they are Boston Marathon trainees.

For years I would look out my window during snowstorms, cursing the psychotic runners slipping and sliding along the unplowed roads. "Jesus Christ, just take a break!" I'd say, climbing deeper into the pillows and blankets in my bed. Why would anyone ever want to train in the miserable New England winter weather, with their eyes bloodshot from the whipping wind, hands blue from the cold, so far from anything warm and cozy.

But, suddenly as the flip of a switch, I turned 24 and I felt envious. I wanted what they had - drive, ambition, a goal. I wanted to run down Boyslton in mid April, exhausted, trembling, my winterized legs exposed in the early spring day, so typically Bostonian - glistening white from months of hibernation.

I've joined the cult. Now it's me, running down Beacon street at 8:00 a.m. on Saturdays, one amongst the pack, nose red, breath steaming. There's something inside pushing us, tricking us into thinking a 7-miler isn't enough of a workout. It wakes us up in the morning, pushing us out the door and down the street. It starts the fire inside at mile 13, causes the anxiety at a missed workout, leaves us wanting more. It is pure masochism. We are sick, sick people, looking forward to weekly bouts of self-invoked torture. And all the while, we do it with a smiling eyes.

So here I am, in with the cold, the pale, and the ugly and looking 26.2 miles ahead.