So I just got a roll of kinesiology tape in the mail yesterday, and was pretty pumped to try it—it’s stretchy and light, and you apply just a few strips from muscle insertion to origin so that when the tape pulls on itself, it reduces the need for as much muscle contraction and allows for rest and recovery. The roll I got is bright yellow with biohazard symbols on it, and it looks about as ridiculous as I hoped it would. And thankfully it proved quite functional—coupled with my new, slightly more supportive Brooks Adrenalines, my posterior tibial tendonitis was completely at bay.
I started out by heading over the BU Bridge to Commonwealth Avenue, which provided a super sweet and compact view of the entire Back Bay and downtown. There was even a plane spearing up from Logan Airport over the whole scene, and it was very calendar-esque. I was initially planning to immediately head towards the Fens, but I decided to go down Commonwealth Avenue and out into Allston instead, without much of a plan. I don’t go down this way very often, and it was refreshing to see new things. I was parallel to the B line, and for a whole mile I stayed in time with the same Green Line train that had a dude in it wearing a hat that looked like Where’s Waldo’s. Also the conductor sort of looked like Sean Connery (old, not young). It would pull ahead on the straightaways but I would always pass it at the intersections. Playing train tag is actually pretty fun, and I learned that the B line is so terrible that if you instead just run at a medium pace, you will get there sooner. D'oh!!
I recognized the intersection with Harvard Ave, so I decided to follow that south into Brookline before I went out too far into Brighton and got lost (it’s happened before). Coolidge Corner was a lot more commercial than I had expected (always imagined it as kinda hipstery), and totally clogged with Christmas shoppers. Overall, very Christmasy in town; I saw 7 cars with trees on them. Once I could spot the Prudential again, I knew which way to head to get back into familiar territory, via Beacon Street. The C line follows this way. I had always sort of written off both the C and the B as slow and ineffective, but I was actually passed by a bunch of trains, thus confirming that the C is in fact much faster than the B (not exactly high praise, but still). I realized that I will revisit this road during the actual race, which was a bit of an overwhelming thought.
A short detour through Longwood Medical Area brought me to Huntington Avenue. Still a lot of college kids everywhere, but definitely a lot fewer rugby shirts and a lot more Doc Martins. The John Hancock building was reflecting the blue sky and clouds in the awesomest way; did you know that there are 10,344 window panes on all faces combined? Huntington took me right to Copley, where I passed the Public Library with all its flags half down. Nelson Mandela was certainly on my mind. He’s one of those people whose awesomeness is so inspirational, and also really rubs in your own mediocrity. Earlier I was internally whining about the injustice of work politics, which gets tough to validate after remembering the fact that Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years (YEARS!!), and then still insisted on forgiveness over vengeance. And led the emancipation of South Africa. And was elected president in the first multiracial election. Talk about getting slapped in the face with perspective. What a guy, what a humanitarian. He can go on the list with Abigail Adams.