Saturday, March 6, 2010

RunBoston: 2010 Boston Marathon Charity Runners

Thanks to all you DFMC runners, and to all other runners out there raising money for a cause, be it for cancer research and care, the research and care for another illness, sports equipment for underprivileged youth, boys & girls clubs, shelters, hospitals...whatever your cause, you are doing something important.

Jared and I aren't able to run the marathon this year, but if you are running on behalf of one of the many worthy groups that are out there, let us know at RunBoston, and we'll set you up with a half-price tour.

In the meantime, keep chasing that unicorn.

10.2 Miles of Dialogue

At long last, I've signed up for a race. This means I've got something to train for, and something to make me get those dull weekday miles in. The long runs on yawning Saturdays and Sundays have never been an issue...take last week's 8 miles with Al and Jared (half on trails, half on streets) as a perfect example. During those miles, Al managed to talk me into running the half-marathon option at the Eastern States 20 on March 28. By "talked me into it," Al reminded me this morning of how the conversation, which happened earlier this week, actually went:

Al: Hey, you want to run the Easter States half marathon?
Abby: Sure.

She twisted my arm, in other words. I'm happy, though, to have something to train for. I feel as though my body and soul have been yearning for the extra miles these past few days. I don't know if it's seeing all the hopeful marathoners out there, my upcoming nuptials and a need to ensure the dress fits the same as when I bought it, or the warming spring weather--but whatever it is, I'm loving getting out there a bit more.

Today, I talked Al and her boyfriend, my friend Aaron, into hopping the T out to the Woodland stop, so that we could run the last 9 miles of the marathon course, then finish up another mile or so through the heart of Boston.

My beloved dropped me off before heading off to a wilderness first aid training course, and I waited at the T with jittery anticipation. When Al and Aaron arrived, we were off, and I was happily babbling away along the miles. Luckily both are fairly patient sorts, or at least tactful enough not to tell me to shut my trap as I'm cheerfully rambling while pushing the pace up Heartbreak Hill.

Abby: So the crowds are SO thick here--Aaron, you are going to have so much fun at the marathon! See, guys, this hill isn't so bad! Right, Al?
Al: Ugh.
Abby: Do you want me to just be quiet?
Al: Noooo.....
Aaron: [panting]

All in all, the miles were fantastic--today's spring weather has Beantowners near 50 degrees, and it was a beautiful set of miles (see my happy runner's soul at right). I fought to keep from pushing the pace a little harder, and Aaron was a good sport, despite what I think might have been a challenging speed for him at times (but then again, he did have to run another two miles after Al and I). The end result was a gorgeous, gorgeous run, and that dizzying and delightful runner's high that comes from having achieved a nice long distance (about 10.2 miles), and knowing you still have some left in the tank.

To top it off, Al and I swung by a Starbucks for a hot cup 'o' joe, then grabbed a tasty breakfast of bagel and over easy eggs at a local diner en route to the T. I was able to enjoy my delicious hot beverage (Black Gold! Texas T!) on the subway ride home--a ride punctuated by an odd conversation with an elderly stranger...

Man: Did you just go for a run?
Abby: Yes, I did!
Man: Did you run across the bridge? [the train was going over the Longfellow]
Abby: Oh, no. I met some friends at the Woodland T stop, so we actually ran from over there [pointing]. We ended at her house, and now I'm taking the train home; I live that way [pointing again].
Man: I used to run. I need to exercise more, start again.
Abby: It's good. Keeps me from getting stressed, makes me feel alive and alert.
Man: I walk across this bridge. I usually start smoking pot on this end, then when I get over to the other side, I smoke pot on the other end, before I come back.
Abby: [Beginning to think the conversation has taken a turn for the odd] Oh....well, that's not very good for you! [Nervous laugh.]
Man: No, pot's good. I don't smoke, you know. Pot's not so bad.
Abby: Well, to each their own!
Man: I'm going to Central with my art. [Gestures at his satchel, then at his bag] And some laundry.
Abby: Oh, that's really neat that you're an artist. May I see them?
Man: [Takes out art work with a flourish] I do abstracts.
Abby: Oh! Those are very nice. How did you do them?
Man: I did this one with marker. This one I did with pens. [Gestures at the first one, which I suspect had coffee spilled on it at one point] I did this one with markers too.
Abby: Well, they're very nice. Good luck with your art.

The conversation ended when the man, Michael, as he introduced himself, got off the train with his laundry and art satchel, and wished me a wonderful day. I can say that I've certainly had some odd conversations with people before, during, and after running, but this one might be right up there in the top ten. [Remind me sometime to tell you about the man who walked up to me at the end of a run to tell me he was wearing ladies' underwear...]

In any event, I had a fantastic run today, and was able to enjoy some good, albeit odd, conversation, and the company of friends in the sunshine of spring.