Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

The spectacular weather continued Monday, so since I was stuck inside an office for the bulk of it, there was no question Henry and I were running in the evening. Since my running schedule has been so haphazard of late, I really haven’t been doing long run recoveries or many straight up easy runs, so that’s what I set out for last night.

I changed at the office so I could make the quickest and most seamless transition (bringing Henry home and upstairs in his car seat so I can change generally ends with a tantrum and no run), so after daycare pickup, we headed right to Southfield.

Southfield, as I’ve mentioned before, is in my world, the road that Dan built. My college friend Dan is an engineer who, a few years back, built a gorgeous road and shared-use-path (he told me that’s what it’s called) through an old naval base near my house. I run there constantly. It’s convenient, pretty, and more or less flat. It’s also almost always windy as hell, which is annoying, but probably good for training.

Last night was a doozy in the wind department. As a result, the run itself was easy, but my arms got a solid workout from hanging on tight to Henry’s stroller, trying to steer it straight-ish ahead on the shared-use-path. Some of the trees along the way didn’t fare so well.

Everyone I came across was a in a really good mood last night, waving hello and swapping friendly remarks, which I attribute to us finally reaching spring here in New England. I joke about it a lot, but after seeing a message from my sister yesterday noting that between 70 degree weather, the Red Sox home opener, and Marathon Monday just one week away, everyone was smiling, I once again asserted that there’s no one in the world happier than a Bostonian when spring strikes. The relief is palpable. We made it.

Henry fell asleep for a nap within minutes of starting, so I plugged along and thought about the Red Sox home opener ceremonies that, without fail, makes me cry. I don’t know if it is hormones, being a new mom, or just the level of sentimentality I feel for this city, but I was a hot mess yesterday. From Tom Brady and crew with Lombardi trophies, to Jane Richard singing the National Anthem, to all of the incredible gestures for Pete Frates and his family, there was a lot to digest and to be grateful for last night.

I thought about the Richard family — about Jane standing in front of that sell out crowd and singing with her classmates — knowing that this week marks two years since they lost Martin. I thought about the way she stood apart from the rest of the choir, dressed just a little bit differently, and wondered what she thought and how she felt, if she will always be apart or different and whether she wants it to be that way. Whether she’ll look back and be glad it was or wish it hadn’t.

I thought about Pete Frates and how diminished he looked since the last time I saw him: a new father, and husband, a young man who still has his mind, but who’s body has failed him completely. I wondered about that very real sensation of being trapped. Of what he thought yesterday and what he’d like to say, to shout. Of what its like to be a symbol. I thought a lot about his wife and what the world looks like from where she stands. I thought about what their daughter will think and know, and then, what I would want Henry to know if I should ever be in that same position. Nik thinks I’m being morbid when I think like that — maybe I am — but then you see people not so different from yourself.

Unsurprisingly, the miles passed quickly and felt easy, with my thoughts and heart feeling so heavy. I was buoyed, of course, by the friendly cyclists I crossed, of the women walking their dogs who smiled and waved, of other runners out enjoying the night. Running builds such a great sense of community and it crops up right when you need it, in my experience. I gave tight hugs last night, and counted my blessings.

5.5 miles in 52:33, for 9:33 pace.

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