A gorgeous day in Back Bay. And my mind does turn to everyone serving — or who has has served — in unfathomably different circumstances. There is a memorial on the Commonwealth Avenue mall, at Dartmouth Street, to 17 some firefighters (I think that is the number) who died in a Back Bay fire years ago. All day today, fire trucks have come to park nearby and groups of fireman have wiped down the memorial, or have just stood and looked. It is very moving. Just as the police officer who ran the entire half marathon carrying an American flag yesterday — drawing applause the whole way — was moving. I think a day as beautiful as today makes us even more grateful for others who choose more perilous and, most important, selfless, walks of life.
Believe it or not, the half marathon went much better than expected. When we were lined up at the start, the announcer said it was 87% humidity — yikes. There were 8,000 other runners (supposedly), which is always motivating, and Ellen and I were in much better shape by mile 10 at this race than the last half marathon we ran (last April) — we even managed to finish five minutes faster! I knew I was more mentally prepared for this race (if much less physically prepared), but it made for what was actually a fun race!
Tags: Isis Maternity Great Beginnings
To kick off our Memorial Day weekend, Little Bug and I went to meet our old “baby group” friends at a park for a late afternoon playdate. These women were in my Isis Great Beginnings class, about which I have written before, and they shared those first few sleepless, confusing weeks with me, as we watched our babies scream and spit up (especially mine), while we sat in a circle and learned about how to take care of them, I guess — although mostly I remember it as a place to voice insecurities and frustrations with nursing, husbands, and flabby stomachs. It sounds totally yuppie (obviously) and even slightly touch-feely (OK, very), but it was a wonderful experience, and I’m lucky to have had such a support group.
Some of us have gone back to work to varying degrees, some of us have since had new babies, but we have kept in touch, via email and Facebook. I know that some of the moms and babies see each other pretty regularly, and I miss that camaraderie. But as we marveled over the size of our kids yesterday (especially my daughter’s size 8 shoes at 22.5 months!), I realized that these friendships started off with such a shared intensity of experience that it’s quite easy to pick up where you left off.
Tags: run to remember half marathon, running
I’ve run one marathon (when 13 years younger and 13 pounds lighter), and two other half marathons. When I’m “training” for one of these longer races, I have to remember that I feel like crap until I have run for about 45 minutes. Then I feel good for about 30 minutes, and then I feel like crap again. Usually, it’s blisters, or just plain aerobic fatigue. Why do I sign up for these races? (1) I feel like I need to get in shape, and the looming challenge of a race is all that will motivate me and (2) that’s about it.
Here’s what does feel good: after you come home from an eight, nine, or 10-mile training run and are showered and have eaten whatever you feel like because you’ve just burned 2,000 calories and then and walk around ever so slightly sore in the hips for the rest of the day. Here’s what also feels good: sitting in a diner immediately after the race, salty sweat dried on your face, proudly wearing a race-issued long-sleeved t-shirt, drinking a chocolate milkshake or coffee and eating diner pancakes. And, also, knowing that a six-mile run is no longer a daunting, long-ish run, but, rather, just an everyday run.
Sunday will be tough. The longest run I’ve done while training this time around is 10 miles (for previous half-marathons I’ve gotten in 12 miles), but I will excuse this with balance this out against my full-time job. I ran 6.5 on Tuesday (felt good), 4.5 this morning (felt awful, but will chalk it up to not drinking enough water last night? I hope?) and will run three tomorrow and will try to go to yoga on Saturday morning. And will then cross my fingers!
Tags: 35th birthday, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, half marathon, iPhone
Hello! Remember me? It’s my birthday, so I’m going to use this occasion to try to start posting again. If the camera on my Blackberry hadn’t broken the last time I dropped it (iPhone here I come!), I would have posted a picture of my desk at work today, which featured a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my coworkers friends, another goregous bouquet from Winston Flowers from my dear EAPL, and a genuine Starbucks mug from the original Pike’s Place Starbucks in Seattle, lovingly carried back by Sarabclever, who knows me too well. There was a leisurely lunch at Boloco (where else?) with coworkers friends; voicemail messages from friends trying to sing happy birthday (love you KRB and QBMc!); a real, old-school birthday card from LMR (of course!); presents from my loving family, including a framed, matted reproduction of the Maira Kalman print of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (the one featured in the post below) from my incredibly talented sister (now open for freelance stationery business!). And lots of emails and Facebook messages. Plus, Tim walked in from a business trip with pizza and mint chocolate chip ice cream from J.P. Licks. And, I am drinking a Chateauneuf-du-Pape given to me by my coworker friend, Jean-Michel (and he didn’t even know it is my absolute favorite varietal!) My baby is sleeping soundly in the next room (hopefully, with her pajamas on. Her new habit is unzipping them numerous times throughout the night). I am a lucky, lucky woman.
Not to say that this birthday hasn’t been a little fraught — poor Ellen got an earful on our 10-mile run around Castle Island on Sunday (yes, the half marathon is happening Memorial Day weekend!). It’s a milestone of sorts — no longer am I in my “early” 30s. If and when we have another child, I’ll be of “advanced maternal age,” and my insurance will cover all the early pre-natal testing that it didn’t the first time around. But it has been milestone also in that it has, somewhat surprisingly, put me in touch, for various reasons, with two important people from my deep, dark past. I’ve grown a lot, and karma has won out (I hope), and attempts at closure have, perhaps, finally been satisfied. I’d rather be 35 and who I am right now than young and face-line-less.