Monday, January 13, 2014

Long Run, January 11th: Riverside Run

After waking up multiple times in the night to pound glasses of water before crashing back onto my pillow, I was pleased to find that, come 6:45am, my decision to consume the liquid equivalent of two loaves of bread the previous night was not going to haunt me too terribly. Despite my overindulgence, I was feeling pretty ready as I made my way over to Nicole's house to carpool to Kenmore. Moreover, I was so relieved to finally have the weather on my side again. If you live near anywhere, you are familiar with the fact that this past week was unfairly cold--in fact, our first hill workout on the Boston Common on Tuesday night was in probably just about the most brutal cold and wind I have ever experienced. But today could not be more different. The air was damp and misty, and it was already mid-40s. The snow piles were steaming, and the only downside was that the freezing cold ground was producing huge patches of very invisible black ice on the wet sidewalks. I almost wiped out several times just at a walk.

Shortly after Nicole, other Nicole, and I arrived at Joint Ventures, the group headed down into Kenmore station to ride the D train out to Riverside ("ride the D"...yeah, gets me every time). Although our first attempt was thwarted by the T driver, who was some kind of dangus. These green trains are like little two-car nuggets, and it pulled all the way up to the front of the platform. The throng of us began to walk quickly over to where the trolly was, and as the massive crowd neared the doors, they promptly slammed shut. One runner banged on the door, since there were obviously like 50 of us trying to get on, but the driver ignored us and scooted away down the tracks. Uh, what? So we were a little late getting to Riverside, but I think we were all thankful to have a bit more time to wake up.

A sizable number of people had decided to commute on their own and meet us on the platform. It was there that I ran into Katy, one of our alternate runners who we are all hoping will get a bib sometime in the next couple months. Training for a marathon that you may not be able to even run in (not to mention being on call to jump into fundraising potentially very late in the game) is a whole new level of selfless, in my opinion. The two of us took off together on the journey back to Kenmore, amidst hundreds of other charity runners from many different training programs that were also practicing on the course. I felt like I was a part of a rainbow of runners, with everyone's brightly colored athletic tops and jackets dotting the road ahead of us as we navigated up and down the Newton hills. Getting close-ups of the dozens of runners who passed us going the opposite direction began to trigger some major running shoes and clothes envy, as well as brand guessing. Adidas. Nike. Nike. Under Armour. Brooks. Nike. Lululemon (nice). Athleta. Saucony? Nike....

Katy was great company, although I probably did most of the talking. As we dodged black ice on Comm Ave, we discussed injuries and our mutual interest in the human body and the physiology behind our various pains, past and present. She has hip issues, while meanwhile my right leg was busy cramping up from top to bottom. She admitted that it seemed not ideal for an alternate to be dealing with injuries, but we both agreed that everyone has their problem areas. By the time we were cruising into the BC area, I was busy reliving my epically idiotic blender disaster and she shared an equally gruesome finger injury tale that involved getting her ring caught on a basketball hoop. All in all, the ten miles flew by without much effort (maybe I have last night's liquid carbo-loading to thank for that), and as we arrived into Kenmore Square we were cheered on enthusiastically by some randos leaning out their 3rd-floor apartment window. A trainer at Joint Ventures held a complementary Runner's Yoga session soon after we arrived, so the next half hour found me flopping around on the floor trying to fight my hamstrings into poses with intimidating names like "fallen warrior" and "one-legged frog" (I was not successful). Proper stretching is an area in which I am "Developing Skills," which is a 3rd grade report card way of saying that I have nowhere to go but up (once upon a time I received a DS in the "fine motor skills" component of Phys Ed--that's actually the real reason I picked running). But hopefully incorporating that into my ever-growing running routine will help loosen up my right side and help keep strain off my ankle, which is so far holding up with a little TLC from Dr. Hagan, thankfully.

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