Tag Archives: boston

Marathon Monday – still running, still strong

21 Apr

Right now, runners are lining up on the Boston Common, waiting to get onto buses that will take them to the start line in Hopkinton, MA.  They’re filling the local Dunkin Donuts, snarling morning traffic, and stretching in the sunlight that promises that today will be a great day for running.

It’s hard to imagine that a year ago today, we had just survived one of the weirdest, probably worst weeks in Boston history.  First the bombing at the finish line, then the manhunt that kept us huddled in our houses, trying to leave the streets free for police officers.  And yet, we stayed strong.  We left shoes and roses at the crime scenes.  We paid tribute to the fallen.  And we kept running.

On Saturday, my mom and I ran the first Boston Athletic Association (BAA) event of the year, the BAA 5k.  The race usually has 5,000 people in it – this year it had closer to 10k.  We were still at the start line when they started frantically clearing people out of the way because the winner was about to come in (we left the start 11 minutes after the initial start – he came in at 13:26).  It was a powerful show of the depth and heart of the running community, to have so many people out so early in the morning to jog together.

As we ran down Boylston, I had flashbacks to a place I’d never even been – to what it must have been like for the thousands of people who were on this street last year, leaving their hearts on the pavement and seeing the finish line at the end of the road, only to have their moment of victory shattered.  It was scary to go across the finish line, even on a sunny Saturday.  I can only imagine what it will feel like today.

I am so proud of our city for how we’ve come together in this last year.  So excited for my friends who are finally going to get to finish that final mile.  And so grateful to be a part of a community that isn’t afraid to keep running with our heads held high, no matter what obstacles enter our path.  I’ll be there at Kenmore, cheering you on!

Read my blog post on last year’s Marathon Monday.

Top 13

3 Jan

I know it makes me sound like an old fart, but I don’t care: I don’t know where this year went.

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing the wrong year on letters (yes, I still write letters) and scheming for summer adventures, and now we’re back at the top of the year again, ready to dive into a new 12 months.  Here are some of the moments I’ll remember as we close the book on this journey we called 2013:

  1. Getting to see 4 great friends marry the loves of their lives and start their happily ever afters, and seeing others get engaged and plan their own bashes!
  2. Adventures with Grandma Boo Boo, including sharing our love of crafts with other people in her community and endless shopping trips to Target
  3. Two great visits to California, including an epic road trip down the coast with my sister
  4. Running my first – but certainly not last – half marathon
  5. Sitting on the couch, watching TV for 10+ hours with Katie during the Boston lockdown following the marathon bombing, and running back inside with our froyo when we heard that the suspect had been caught
  6. Finally getting to work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to do online advocacy for a cure
  7. Winning the World Series and feeling like a united city and a family, instead of a bunch of people who just happen to live near each other
  8. Awesome family vacations from Maine to NH to a cozy Christmas week in our hometown
  9. Saying goodbye to my Grandma Sugarplum, who taught me so much and loved us all endlessly
  10. Going to my 5-year college reunion and realizing, more than ever before, how much my beloved alma mater and the friends I made there mean to me.  Mount Holyoke forever shall be!
  11. Making all sorts of delicious food for my friends, officemates, and family
  12. Seeing the fight for women’s rights unfold across the country, and getting to stand with Wendy and other politicians who were standing up for women – this fight is far from over, and I’m planning to be on the front lines in 2014
  13. Having extraordinary fun with ordinary life – from our annual Oscar party to weekly breakfast with Sara to trivia nights with Katie and the gang to joining TWO social sports teams (volleyball! softball! what will I do in between??) to dinners out with friends, this year has been full of reminders of the joy that can be found in the everyday moments.

Five scoops of fun

6 Jun

Aka reason #89763 that I love my job.

Scooper Bowl 2013

Run, don’t walk, to the 2013 Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl in Boston’s City Hall Plaza – it runs from 12-8 today!

My heart belongs to Boston

15 Apr

This is my city.  My library at Copley Square with the beautiful courtyard.  My land of parks scattered with historical plaques and uneven bricks.  My running trails, my ancient subway.  My marathon.

This morning, my mom and I went running for our half marathon training.  We had 10 miles to do – my longest run yet.  When I mapped it out last night, my route had us going along the Charles, through the city – and either starting or finishing at the marathon so we could cheer on the friends and strangers who were taking on those daring 26.2 miles this year.  When she got here today, we decided to scrap that plan – we would instead head downtown and run along the river and then home.  We would cheer on the runners in our hearts and with our steps.  And when we got home, we would head over to see how our friends were doing.  But at the end, we were so exhausted that we stayed in my neighborhood for a celebratory late lunch, and we had just returned to my apartment when we heard the terrible news from Copley Square.

The people who were crossing the finish line at that hour – 4 hours+ into the race – were not elites. They weren’t in it for the glory.  They were in it for charities, to prove something to themselves and to the world.  And the people who were there cheering them on were heroes – the people who don’t just clap for the professional runners who make the sport exciting, but who instead opt to be there for the people who need them most, who need that cheer to propel them across that finish line.

The idea that someone would take this day, this remarkable moment of people coming together and surrounding each other with friendly competition, tributes to athleticism and endurance, testaments to challenges and triumphs – and turn it into a tragedy baffles me.  We are better than this, humanity is better and we can do better.  The pictures of people running toward the blast, helping runners, picking each other up off the ground, prove this.  I am grateful that my loved ones are safe following this terrible violence, but I know there are people still waiting for news or dealing with this tragedy personally.

What we lost today at that finish line was a sense of security, balance, and peace that should come from a unifying event like this.  But what we gained was resolution – we will look after each other, we will carry on, and together, we will take on the evil in the world and drive it out with good because really, there’s no other choice.

Resources:

If you’re in Boston for the marathon and need help, please leave a comment below and I’ll do what I can!

 

Goodbye, 2012

5 Jan

2012 brought lots of laugh, heartache, delicious food, new challenges, and adventures.  And really, if that isn’t the stuff of life… what is?  In the past year, I:

  • Got a promotion
  • Lost 10 pounds (more to go!)
  • Spent an awesome amount of time with my Grandma BooBoo who moved to New England from Florida at long last
  • Got to celebrate my sister’s engagement to Wes
  • Rode in a tiny plane for the first time
  • Visited Chicago for the first time (with hopefully many more trips ahead)
  • Saw my first Great Lake (ahoy, Michigan!)
  • Sat in the exit row of a plane (YES REALLY AND IT WAS SO SWANKY)
  • Spent evenings out, morning at yard sales, and days of adventure with my awesome Boston friends
  • Became a Massachusetts voter
  • Helped elect a great woman to serve as MA’s first female Senator – soon to be the senior Senator from Massachusetts.  Go Elizabeth Warren!
  • Made and ate some amazing food
  • Visited the White House and the West Wing for the first time
  • Attended the weddings of my awesome MoHo friends Jill and Isabel
  • Celebrated the engagements of Katey, Ashley, and Pem
  • Graduated from Boston’s New Leaders Council Institute
  • Ran 2 races with my favorite running partner – my mom

All that, and more made up my 2012.  Now I’ve got even bigger plans for the year ahead – stay tuned, more on that tomorrow!

The art of cliff diving

28 Aug

Who thinks “You know that building down by the water?  The art museum that overlooks the water?… Let’s go dive off of it.”

Red Bull, that’s who.  This Saturday, they got 14 divers from around the country to take the plunge off the roof of Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) into the Boston Harbor.  I’m still debating which piece of that is crazier – the 95 foot dive or the destination.

Also crazy = trying to attend this thing without your riot gear on.  I headed down to the seaport via silver line, where I got my first taste of the insane crowds when we all crammed onto the same bus.  And it got even worse when we got closer to the water – all those nights of pushing my way to bar bathrooms, weaving between crowds and carefully eyeing the least-hazardous path paid off when I made it to a simple patch of grass and got to sit and watch the festivities.  I made some new friends and had a perfect view of the water, the clear blue sky, and the perilous platform from which the divers would be launching themselves.  Perfection.

The competition itself started late – all the materials boasted a 4:00 dive time but in reality, the practice dives were even later than that and by the time I left at 6:15 we were only 1 round into a four-round head-to-head matchup.  It was exhausting even just to watch, but amazing and a great post-Olympics thrill for zero dollars.

The divers have to land feet first, and complete a series of flips and spins in the air.  Even when they land as gently as possible, their bodies make a horrible belly-flop noise when they hit the water – people easily get hurt in this sport.  Not surprising, given that divers can reach speeds of 65 miles per hour before they try to stop in the span of 10-12 feet – that’s like driving down the highway and then stopping your car in the length of your car.  Except it’s your body, so there’s no airbag.  As soon as they hit the water, the divers come right back up making the OK sign to let the rescue scuba crew nearby know that they’re still in one piece.  All was well on Saturday, thank goodness.

 

I fully recommend checking out this free event next year – keep these tips in mind when you go (and look for me there!):

  • Head out early (unless you don’t mind being carried along with the crowd) – aim to be there no later than 3.
  • Bring a sweater.  It’s cold by the water!  But wear sunscreen too.  Always.  :)
  • Don’t compromise on your view – there were plenty of places to sit if you looked hard enough, and it would have been a LONG time to stand.  That being said…
  • Consider the tides when choosing your seat.  You are sitting by the ocean, at the end of the day.  We saw a whole bunch of people lose their seats as the water came in and covered the rocks where they had been sitting.
  • Bring your camera – so many great photo ops and the extreme number of dives done (4 each for the 14 divers in the first round alone) that you have time to perfect your technique.
  • Meet up with friends before you get there – you won’t be able to hear anything or go anywhere deliberately once you get near the area.

One final shot for good measure/ to inspire you to join me next year:

Hope to see you there!

 

Anything but Misérable

14 Mar

Les Mis - our high school edition

Last night, Katie and I painted the town red – and black (the dark of ages past) – when we took in opening night of Les Misérables at the Boston Opera House.

For me, this was more than just a night at the theater.  It was a symbol of our friendship.  It was a reminder of that time 9 years ago (yes, I feel old when I say that) when we first saw Les Mis on stage (also through Broadway in Boston) with the music department of our high school.  The way we felt when the barricade folded and the stage started spinning.  The shock and awe of watching a musical – and this musical especially – reveal the fate of each character and rip your heart away in the process.

Then, the production we did our senior year of high school, where we built the barricade by hand, stayed up late sewing tri-color scarves, and scoured HomeGoods for the best silver candlesticks $30 could buy.

And then, a reminder of London, of the six months we spent there together, eating waffles in Hyde Park, shopping on Portobello Road, and deciding on a whim to go see the stage production there, buying tickets after class and eating ice cream in the balcony during intermission.

All that brought us here, to our sweet little Boston apartment with photos of our lives on the walls, a Big Ben shower curtain, and a roommate who knows how to finish whatever musical tune you start.

Now, ON WITH THE SHOW!  Spoilers ahead!

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Change one thing

13 Mar

This weekend at the New Leaders Council Institute, I was charged with giving a moving two minute speech on the topic of “change one thing.”  It made me think not only of the big picture things I want to change in the world (inequality, racism, hate, etc.) but also about all the little things I would do differently if I was in charge of the world. Here’s my top eight* list for today – what would be on yours?

  1. Lego Friends – This is what I actually said in our class this weekend.  I believe that Lego Friends embodies pretty much everything that is wrong with our country in terms of sexism.  Girls were playing with Legos before, and they’ll keep playing with them now – by creating a separate product of building blocks that are pinks and pastels, we’re drawing a line and establishing boy toys and girl toys in one of the VERY few areas where this wasn’t already black and white.  Please, for the love of all that is gender  neutral, listen to the little girls and boys who are writing to you and go back to the drawing board on this one.
  2. Its – Look, I get what we’re trying to do here, differentiating between the contraction it is and that which belongs to it, but I’m tired of these shenanigans.  Give the damn second meaning an apostrophe already so it can match basically every other possessive version of anything.
  3. The hours of the T – Attention city planners: we didn’t move to Boston because we wanted to end our nights out in time to catch the last train at 12:30.  We came here because we wanted to be young and enjoy the good life, but you’re cutting our fun short with these ridiculous timetables and silly roads that make a 5-mile cab ride cost $35.  Since I doubt we’re going to build more efficient roads, can we please get some leniency with the weekend hours on the T?  Even just by an hour or two?
  4. Cover charges – Please go away.  That is all.
  5. The prevalence of pomegranate – This is being phased out, thank goodness, but the sooner the better!  I’m allergic and I’m sick of having to stay away from shampoos, dressings, and delicious looking drinks.  I’m ready for the next big thing, and hopefully this one won’t make me break out in hives.
  6. eBooks – It has finally happened that someone offered to lend me a book… on my non-existent Kindle.  I think that the more reading, the better in general, but the hard truth is that unless the other person has the same technology, you can’t share books this way, and that breaks my little bibliophile heart right in half.  Paper, please?
  7. The return of common decency – I want to see this happen, STAT.  It shouldn’t be ok to call a woman a “slut” or “prostitute” - whether she’s a waitress who pisses you off OR a 3L at Georgetown law who wanted to talk about the need for contraception coverage in the health care amendments.  We need to all come together and remind people – and ourselves – that this is inappropriate and we can be better than that.  Also, stand up for old people on the T and cover your mouth when you sneeze, please!
  8. The lack of Food network at BSC – It’s minor, but the only regret I had in finally leaving Planet Fitness for Boston Sports Club (in all their pool-and-spinning-class glory) was that PF got the Food Network and BSC does not, which means the end to my dinner adventure inspiration.  Instead, I’m always going to want a beer at MacLarens like in How I Met Your Mother.
This list is far from complete (see below) but it’s still nice to get these little wishes off my chest in case I meet a mini-genie one day.  Never say never!  And Lego – you can expect to hear from me soon.

*Hate imperfectly numbered lists?  Send me your top ideas and maybe I’ll adopt two more!

Music Monday: One day more

12 Mar

… until Katie and I go see Les Mis!

This will be our third time seeing the show together, not counting the O2 televised version and the 4 shows we put on in high school, and I get more excited each time.  I’m a bit nervous because I hear that when it was restaged, they took away the turntable component (gaspshockawe) but I’m sure it will still be a fabulous show.  I’ll give you my review later this week!

Winter Weekend Win

18 Dec

20-degree perfection!

Not pictured: brownies that are cooling in the kitchen, the roommate who will watch very silly Christmas movies with me, and the cute boyfriend who came to cheer on us Jingle Bell Runners.

After finishing the Jingle Bell Run 5k.

Our neighbor's amazing light display. Holiday cheer huzzah!

Delicious risotto for dinner - recipe to come!

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