Saturday, November 23, 2013

Long Run, November 23rd: Canines and Couples

Let me begin this by saying that I have decided to dedicate Saturdays as my long run days. As of mid-December, I will be often doing my longer runs with the rest of the Samaritans team, as we partake in the John Furey Marathon Training Program. However, for the next few weeks, my runs will be done solo.

Anyway, this morning my run took me through one of my favorite routes (technically I can hardly say it was morning, as I didn't manage to leave my Inman Square apartment until a bit after noon). I was pleased to find that the weather was mid-40s, so I could forgo the gloves and full-length leggings. I took it slowly initially--for the past month I have had a bit of mild tendonitis in my ankles that flares up now and then. I am thankful to have just started seeing Dr. Hagan (my new chirohusband) at Khalsa Chiropractic, who was very confident that he can sort me out over the next couple months with a combination of soft tissue work and strengthening exercises. More updates on that to come. In the meantime, I am trying to take it a bit easy, although it can be tough to rein it in at times. Hence I tried to keep it to just 8 miles today, and will slowly increase the length of my long runs over the coming weeks.

The best part about running through downtown Boston is just about everything. I see all that is weird, interesting, humorous, and delightful. Not to mention the snippets of conversation I overhear, if I don't crank my headphones too loud. Today I followed Broadway Street down to MIT, and journeyed over the lovely Longfellow into the downtown. I am still a bit salty about the construction on the bridge, which forces pedestrians to cross via the side that faces Charlestown, a view that is not nearly as epic as that from side that looks over the Back Bay. After a few reps up Beacon Hill, I made my way over to the Greenway by Haymarket and headed south. As someone who was new to Boston just last year, I was never able to see that area back when the Central Artery carved its way through the North End. It is almost impossible to imagine a giant highway looming over the parks and fountains that line Atlantic Avenue, although I believe it was probably quite heinous and I enormously appreciate the open space that rerouting 93 underground has afforded. I love reading about the Big Dig and all the problems that plagued its progress. Did you know that they had to use artificial permafrost to stabilize the ground as they dug beneath the tracks at South Station, and that the tunnels still have thousands of leaks? I paused for a moment by South Station to watch a lone middle-aged man who was playing with his incredibly athletic German Shorthair Pointer on the grass. A little girl in a pink jumpsuit stood nearby with her father. Probably only about 4 years old, she was screaming excitement at the sight of the doggie when it subsequently looped over to her and dropped the tennis ball at her feet. She hesitantly picked it up and tossed it as hard as she could (it went like 10 feet, but the dog didn't seem to care), and thus a new friendship was formed. Both men watched as the dog repeatedly brought it back, and I doubt either the girl nor the dog would have ever tired, but eventually her young dad dragged her away.

I often make sure that my runs take me through the Common and/or Public Garden, as there are few areas in the city that I find as lively. The Public Garden was Couples City as usual, so I did not even bother trying to jockey my way over the little bridge that spans the pond. Instead, I was able to follow the footpath around the perimeter, past a gaggle of toddlers climbing on the infamous ducky statues, the metal heads rubbed shiny gold from so many little hands touching them each day. A couple in front of the pond attempted to maintain an "I love you" pose for a professional photographer, but kept having to stop and rein their fat bulldog into the picture, who obviously was not feeling the amour and kept sulkily leaning out of the shot. I saw George Washington in all his Red Sox glory, decked out in a jersey and sporting a bushy red beard. As I passed, I wondered whose job it was to put that up there.

On Commonwealth Avenue, I was distracted by the 6 or so ladders on each block, each containing a disgruntled-looking dude wrapping yards of white string lights around the branches of all the trees. Christmas is appearing everywhere it seems (I also caught a glimpse of the huge tree at Faneuil Hall earlier, and skaters have already taken over the Frog Pond on the Common). Passed a man walking an incredibly ancient and crusty Dachshund in a small red coat, who had flattened its squat little body against the grass and was stalking a fatty squirrel. Naturally it failed spectacularly at catching it, and as I passed I heard mercilessly mocking the poor pooch from up in a bedecked tree. Commonwealth avenue, for those who have never traversed it, has statues on every block from the Public Garden to Mass Ave. Today I stopped to read the quote alongside the dignified figure of Abigail Adams, taken from a letter to her husband. It read:

"In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."

Basically, she was a badass, and I got chilly just reading that. One my way home via Massachusetts Avenue, I contemplated her stance for women's rights and felt lucky to be living in this age. If it were even just 1971, as a woman I would not be able to run the Boston Marathon...crazy stuff.

Anyways, that's it for this week. Check back for my musings during daily runs, and for updates on my fundraising progress. Goodnight!


Welcome to my new blog! As of November 13th, I have learned that I had been selected by Samaritans, Inc. to be on their 2014 Boston Marathon team! I am overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation of the tasks ahead. For the next five months, I will be intensively training for the 26.2 miles, and also pushing to reach the ambitious $10,000 fundraising goal that I have set for myself. The money raised will go towards the invaluable work that Samaritans mission to prevent suicide and support survivors. Given that I am relying on a huge network of family and friends to help me reach this goal, I want to use this blog to provide all my supporters with weekly updates on my fundraising and training progress.

Please check out the tabs above for information regarding my story about why I am running for suicide prevention, and information about Samaritans and their work.