Saturday, February 25, 2012

breaking the yearling

it’s been a terrific february so far which is funny because when i think of february i usually think of it as that dirty, ugly-stepchild month between all the white snow that had fallen in january and the salt sand mud mix that begins to flatten the romance we just had with said snowfall.  it’s the “i’m over it” month.  but not this year.  not with no snow and pretty mild temps (here in new england, anyway).  It’s allowed for me to be pretty mobile and excited that the roads don’t have only a thin sliver of accessible concrete for which to run, and i’m not having to looking out for stealthy black ice patches that always seem to nail you when your guard is down.  I’ve run with only two layers of clothing around the charles river.  sometimes i don’t even need the gloves.  i’ve gone to shows without my winter jacket, which is unreal. seriously guys, it’s the little things:)
Nope, February was well-behaved, and kind of awesome. So seizing the fantastically mild winter opportunity was a must. I hope it was for you, too.
Earlier this month, I jetted off to LA for a fantastic photo shoot for Zipcar.  For those of you unfamiliar, it’s a car-sharing network all over the US, Toronto, Vancouver and now London (and soon Barcelona).  I’ve been an evangelist of the brand since I moved to Boston over 7 years ago, so being able to do their advertising is incredibly awesome.  **while in LA i ran into Zooey Deschanel whom I believe to be a kindred spirit because we both sing spontaneously throughout life and she has bangs and also, her character on New Girl is pretty much me.  I mean, it’s legit.** I spoke of it for hours.  
From there, it was straight from Logan to Wellfleet, MA - a beautiful town on the skinny arm of the Cape, where I met up with six other girls from CRew, our track group of awesome humans.  We had a girl’s weekend at Renee’s beautiful home right right RIGHT by the ocean.  It was insane.  We tucked in early Friday night as we all had a big long run the next day.  Most of the girls are training for Boston coming up in April. I’ve never done a marathon (but now i’m feeling the pull. we’ll get to that in another post), but have been working to increase my stamina/speed in the half marathon.  Everyone was running between 14 - 18 miles so we started off on one giant out and back. And man, was it awesome. 

I met Renee 2 miles in (she had 18 to do and I had 14).  Renee and I hit it off from the first day i stepped on the MIT track last August.  She’d been coming for a few months already, has a lot of experience on the track, played hockey in college and is just an all around super athlete and the girl is f-to-the-ast.  She is a great running partner and a great inspiration.  She’s definitely helped me understand all these workouts/pace a bit better.  It’s a whole new world!  And though it’s still a foreign language, I now know a few of the words:)  

Anyway, the long run was great.  She’d plotted this perfect and beautiful course for us that took us along the ocean, down Long Pond Road, through town center and out to the precipice and a point of land where the ocean and bay collided.  The weather was crisp and beautiful and we kept a steady, 8/m pace throughout, dipping into the 7‘s on the way back, though I’m pretty sure it was from sheer exaltation of the beautiful scenery and that we weren’t on the Charles for yet another long run:) Then it was to the ICE COLD FREEZING BEYOND WORDS pond for a 10 minute ice bath up to our waists. I'd post that picture but our faces looking tortured, so i'll spare you and share just the legs (shown here).

Wine that night.  Too much and just enough.  Conversation was easy, homemade guacomole was in full abundance, and laughter was plentiful.  We got to know each other really. well.  Soon, we were up for a 7mi easy shake out and then on our way home.  

I learned so much about these girls, but i learned so much about myself.  All six were strangers to me a year ago.  and I would never know them if it weren’t for stepping outside my comfort zone and finding a run group.  Sure, I assumed I would be challenged by the coaches and certainly by some of the runners, but didn’t think I’d connect with so many in such a special way and be stretched outside my zone not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, too.  
Here’s what i learned:  Meeting New People Makes You Bigger Inside.  

I think I’ll stop here for now, because I just want to ruminate on this fact. Because it’s been true for me.  It’s funny. every New Year, I think about what 12 months from now will feel like and it’s completely mind-blowing to think that it could be so very vastly different and so much the same.  

But there is perspective that grows like a single vine up the side of stark stark building; clinging on and bursting in all sorts of directions, growing upward most of all.  And here is where we take shape and take texture and become, slowly, something new.  And it can start in the most simple of ways:) 


*saw these guys at the paradise this week and cannot get enough. his voice is so haunting. so good.*

Watch the full video at

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