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Posts tagged ‘Massachusetts’

My Story About Living in the Boston Area Last Friday

I originally wasn’t going to write this, because it’s sooooo dull! But then I was thinking about all of the people who read this blog regularly enough that it feels like we’re friends (the 2 of you?) and you might live far enough away that you haven’t heard a ton of these stories from all of your friends/family/neighbors like I have.

This really all started because Jill and JoggingJeans.com sent me an e-mail last Friday (when the city of Boston was on lockdown for the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – aka the second Boston Marathon bomber). Jill so sweet that she was checking in to make sure I was alright! I was fine. But it really made me think about how we worry about people we’ve never actually met because they feel like real friends! If this happened in Pittsburgh, I would have been worrying about Jill.

So if anyone has been curious about my “harrowing ordeal” here it is:

Timeline of my day on Friday:

6:05 am – My wonderful boyfriend woke me up to let me know that the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority – aka our public transportation) was shut down for the day. He wanted my opinion on if I thought he should drive to work (because he normally takes a train into Boston). I’m not a morning person and my response was a groggy mess.

6:15 – T gets an e-mail from his office letting him know that the city is locked down and his office was closed for the day. He then mentioned to me that since he works in (an area of the city aptly named) “Government Center” – his sidewalks have been flooded with Homeland Security and FBI employees with weapons literally hanging off of them all week. I’m glad he didn’t tell me that sooner… (By 7: 05, my boss had sent me a text telling me to work from home even though our office is in the suburbs, she didn’t think it was work commuting on that kind of day).

6:20 am – T reads the news story about the first shoot out in Watertown that mortally injured the older brother.

We are both so grateful for the timing of our move! We moved way out to the suburbs on April 1st! Our rental was one block from Watertown. Whenever I used to talk about my favorite running path (that I walked a block to), that was in Watertown!

To be honest, I felt completely safe the entire time – because we were so far away (at least… 30 minutes feels far away).

I did spend a lot of the day reading my friend Stacy’s Facebook feed though. It turns out that she lives 5 houses away from where the second kid was found hiding in that boat. Stacy had SWAT teams in and constantly outside of her house starting at 2 am on Friday morning. She also said that she felt safe the entire time and the only major bummer was that she couldn’t order pizza delivery! That’s Stacy’s sense of humor for you!

Maybe we wouldn’t have felt as safe if this had gone on for an insane amount of time or if they had never found the culprits. But less than a week of craziness really wasn’t that unbearable.

Things that have driven me a little crazy though:

I hate hearing the news describe Watertown as “a sleepy little hamlet,” “a peaceful, out of the way suburb,” etc. Don’t get me wrong, Watertown is awesome and I recommend it to anyone as a sweet place to live. But a hamlet, really? Watertown is by no means “back woods!” It literally borders Boston! Here is the description of Watertown from the town’s website:

Watertown population

Sure, it’s no Brooklyn, but it’s also not a cow town for goodness sakes!

Also, I hate that politicians feel free to make comments like this:

Politician Tweet

Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, to be fair. However, I imagine most of the people inside the “perimeter” were happy to have SWAT teams!!! And as a civilian, I’m glad other civilians didn’t have massive assault weapons – I would have been worried about the safety of the SWAT men and women! But that’s just me. I’m not trying to start a political debate. I just wish others wouldn’t say something so callous while our city felt a little under attack… just saying…

I have loved all of the outpouring of wonderful from all over the country. Runners holding races to honor the marathon victims. Any sports team or media outlet that said everyone was a Boston sports fan that week. Anyone with a sign saying “Boston Strong,” “We are Boston,” or anything else the felt like love towards the people of Boston. Thank you all! It was so appreciated!

Also, I find things like this enjoyable:

And I think that includes all of the federal agents who helped as well!

 

So thank you for your concern! We’re doing well here in Massachusetts and invite you to visit! We’re safe! And despite the rumors, we’re actually kind of friendly… 🙂

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Rove the Cove 5k

I ran a 5k on Saturday. Since you haven’t heard of this plan yet, you’re probably thinking it was pretty impetuous. It sort of wasn’t, but I had a lot of mixed feelings about it beforehand. “The Cove” is a park/playground in one of the suburbs west of Boston, along the Charles River. Specifically it’s within walking distance of T’s sister’s house. She is the one who told me about the 5k… months ago. Jen (that’s right, my wonderful boyfriend’s sister and I have the same name) is the soccer coach for her 10-year-old daughter’s team. At one of the games, Jen told me that she was trying to recruit the girls on the team and their moms to all run the Rove the Cove 5k (as it benefits the community association… and I wouldn’t be surprised if the town soccer teams have something to do with the community association). When she told me this, I wasn’t quite sure if this was an invitation to join or if she was just telling me about it because she was excited. (This is where my mixed feelings about the run started.)

Back story: I grew up with a little brother and we’re almost 4 years apart. Because he is male and I am female (and because my parents are pretty awesome), our relationship was never a competitive one. We always had separate interests – with the exception of liking high school drama… but it’s not like we were going out for the same parts.

Me and my little brother… when we were little.

I don’t want to create a competitive relationship with my sister-out-law (T and I aren’t legally married, so she’s not my in-law). Honestly, I would love to train with her but she and I have very different schedules. I’m a busy bee with work and theater and she’s a busy bee with her kids’ schedules. I would love to legitimately be friends with her, but we’re in very different places in our lives. So I was very worried about stepping on her toes and signing up for her race.

In the end, I decided to do it. It cost $12 for early registration, it was only a few miles from me, and I figured if she didn’t want me there, she wouldn’t have mentioned it along with “we’re trying to get as many people as possible to sign up.” Plus, I’m really embarrassed about running a 12 minute mile at the Race to Home Base 9k and I wanted to do a run that would make me feel more confident (especially before my 10k in July).

It turned out that she and her daughter didn’t run the race (I think they might have actually had soccer game at the same time), which was a bit of bummer because I would have LOVED to have run with them, but I’ll still get the chance at the Color Run.

I’m really glad that I did the run though. I’ve never done a small run before. Only 122 people finished (another 17 people signed up and “did not finish” according to the results). My next smallest race had 1150 finishers… It was a really nice vibe though (even if I was one of the slowest, clearly beaten by a bunch of 10 year olds).

I also tend to run “fast and flat” races, and even my neighborhood training ground isn’t very hilly. This was VERY hilly though! If I added up all of the flat bits, it might equal 1/2 mile of flat. And these weren’t soft, rolling hills; these were steep, aggressive hills. By mile 2.5, my calves were ready to quit. I’m taking it as a challenge though. Part of me really wants to run the course every week until I’m good at it! One really great highlight is that Jen’s husband and 6-year-old son were out on their front porch cheering on the runners! Their house was near the end of the race and I really needed some cheering at that point. It was so nice to see them! One other highlight was around the 2.25 mile mark, a 6-year-old girl was on her lawn with a cowbell, cheering everyone on! Yes!

My wonderful boyfriend didn’t make it to this race. Unfortunately, he had to take our little girl kitty to the vet that morning. We think she cut herself while crawling under a fence. She has a cut on her back that had gotten swollen, so she had to go to the vet for antibiotics and to lance the cyst. Luckily for her, the vet doesn’t think the cut was from an animal, so she’s not quarantined from other animals. Luckily for me, she’s a little miss priss and she’s more than happy to stay inside all day (curled up on the couch) until the wound heals and her fur grows back.

(Pictured here in a cape she made for herself out of a brown paper bag)

It was a bummer not to have my biggest fan at this race, but it was for a good reason. The biggest downside was that I parked too far away from the park (there is another park right next to it and I parked on that side… oops!) so I had to run with my new, race t-shirt in my hand. I usually run with a bottle of water and the shirt was about the same size, rolled up. So it really wasn’t much of an issue. And because there were so few people, no one was in jeans or a funny costume, nor did anyone have a good sign. So I didn’t feel bad about missing a  photo-op for one of my favorite bloggers, Jill.

Oh! And because the race was so small, they didn’t give prizes to the top people in age categories. Instead they entered all finishers into a raffle. And I won! (along with about 40 other people… seriously the Auburndale Community Association are AWESOME fundraisers!) But I was the second winner, so I had my choice of the table of prizes and now I’ll get to buy myself some new clothes from a local business called The Dress Shop! I’ve never been before, but I’m excited to support a small business and for new clothes!

Oh and some other good news? Despite all the hills, my first mile was 9:25! WAY better than 12! So I’m feeling better about myself… even though my total time puts me closer to an 11 minute mile.

My final stats for the Rove the Cove 5k:
Time: 33:49
Place: 102/122 (84%)

That’s it for stats… they don’t even show the ages of the other runners (unless they are under 18) so I’m not sure how I did in regards to my age group. Based on my own calculations though (ok… I counted), I came in 44 out of 55 women (6 of whom are under 18… 3 finished before me and 3 finished after me). So clearly, this race is nothing to brag about, but I’m still glad I did it.

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