Running Fashion- November 3rd 2014

Running instead of cleaning my room…I know. Can you tell I found a camera tripod?

Running instead of cleaning my room…I know. Can you tell I found a camera tripod?

3 miles,

Cambridge

33-39 degrees F

It’s that time again…daylight savings, random frosts, snow that incites New England veterans to react like they’ve never seen weather before…This day I ran with mittens and two layers under the traffic cone I call a marathon jacket. The air warmed enough to make me regret one of my layers by the end of the run—sometimes there’s no way to win, either because of the changing air temps or changing body temps. My Running Fashion absence during the summer wasn’t due to a lack of material (I prefer running in the heat!) but a belief that the fewer half-naked photos of me on the internet, the better.

On this run, I only passed female runners- confirming something my ma said recently- that most runners are female. Upon returning home, I checked the statistics. According to Running USA, 57% of race event finishers are women. Men still lead as the majority of marathon participants. Don’t be afraid of the distance, ladies! As a group, we excel in distance, especially the ultramarathons.

Have you seen Runner’s World & the Running Time’s “What to Wear” Calculator? If you’re not experienced in how many layers to throw on based on the mercury, pull up this handy website. You enter the outside conditions and your physical conditions and it spits out recommendations. I’ve found it to be pretty accurate, thanks to one of its questions: “How do you like to feel? Cool/In Between/Warm?”. Try it out!

What if I Trained Non-Stop on Interstate 95?

This idea came from my friend J Strobel, who suggested I have a map marking my “progress” across the country. This map is a visual representation of where I’d be if I ran on Interstate 95 from my house, straight south. (I had to “run” a few miles on Route 90 West in order to reach Interstate 95). The miles keep adding up, usually 30-45 miles a week, so my progress is quite visible.

In two days, I’ll complete Week 13 of training. With this week completed, I will have run 43 miles this week and 299 miles since I began in December. In terms of hypothetical if-I-ran-south-on-95, this places me in the little Bordentown Township of New Jersey, crossing over Route 206.

Training Sightseeing

I run and train in Boston and Cambridge and have access to some fantastic views and small visual treasures.

View of Boston & the Charles from MIT. An old shot from the 4th of July, 2013

View of Boston & the Charles from MIT. An old shot from the 4th of July, 2013

James Miller, you may notice, was killed on the day of the battle of Lexington and Concord. The battle was the military start of the Revolutionary War. The British troops (what was supposed to be secretly) planned to capture arms hidden by the militiamen of Concord.

The fabled night rides of Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott alerted the militiamen, ordinary citizens of greater Boston, of the prospective British movement. On the morning of April 19th, the redcoated regulars were met by a force of 500+ minutemen on the Lexington green, and there the first shots were fired. Various engagements and retreats continued into Concord, Somerville, Cambridge and eventually Charlestown and Boston.

This day Massachusetts remembers with Patriots’ Day, celebrated on the third Monday of April. Patriots’ Day is always the day of the Boston Marathon.

This fantastic graffiti marks the halfway point of the Mass Ave Bridge, as measured in Smoots. Smoots are approximately 5’7″, or the height of Oliver Smoot, an MIT student who in 1958 measured the bridge with his body as part of a frat prank. The Mass Ave Bridge measures 364.4 Smoots + 1 ear. And Hell refers to MIT.

This fantastic graffiti marks the halfway point of the Mass Ave Bridge, as measured in Smoots. Smoots are approximately 5’7″, or the height of Oliver Smoot, an MIT student who in 1958 measured the bridge with his body as part of a frat prank. The Mass Ave Bridge measures 364.4 Smoots + 1 ear. And Hell refers to MIT.

This was a 7-alarm fire in Back Bay in February that totaled the building, evicted 40 people, caused $2.5 million dollars in damage and sent a fire fighter to the hospital. Don’t smoke and don’t throw your butts in the trash, dummies.

This was a 7-alarm fire in Back Bay in February that totaled the building, evicted 40 people, caused $2.5 million dollars in damage and sent a fire fighter to the hospital. Don’t smoke and don’t throw your butts in the trash, dummies.

Runners Who Inspire

There are many female runners that I admire. The sheer power that oozes from their bodies is a thing of inspiration. The first time I watched the 2012 Olympic 4×100 Relay, I cried from excitement. Re-watching it still spikes my adrenaline. Here’s a link to the youtube recap:

Photos originally by Harry Trask of Boston Traveer. Credit AP Images

Photos originally by Harry Trask of Boston Traveer. Credit AP Images

There’s the obvious choice of Kathrine Switzer, the infamous first woman to run the Boston Marathon with numbers. She says in her biography regarding the sign up:

We checked the rule book and entry form; there was nothing about gender in the marathon. I filled in my AAU number, plunked down $3 cash as entry fee, signed as I always sign my name, “K.V. Switzer,” and went to the university infirmary to get a fitness certificate. (source)

There were 741 runners in the 1967 Boston Marathon. A few miles in, race director Jock Stemple noticed Kathrine’s gender and assaulted her, screaming famously, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!” Kathrine’s coach Arnie and boyfriend Tom were also running the race. Arnie screamed back at Jock and when he wouldn’t cease trying to rip the numbers of Kathrine’s body, Tom body-checked Jock hard enough that he flew to the side of the road. Kathrine describes feeling humiliated, terrified they were going to get arrested, and finally, enraged. She finished the race with bloodied feet, (way ahead of her boyfriend) to a crowd of a few people and several more reporters.

© Romeo Gacad—AFP/Getty Images

© Romeo Gacad—AFP/Getty Images

Above is another woman that ran before my time. Florence Griffith Joyner was the dominating female sprinter of the 1980’s. She was famous for her custom designed running spandex and long nails. She was extensively tested for steroid use but was always found clean. Flo Jo died at age 38 from a seizure. The above photo shows her running the 200m at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. My favorite quote from Flo Jo is as follows:

“When anyone tells me I can’t do anything… I’m just not listening any more.”

Credit: AP Images

Credit: AP Images

Finally, the woman that inspired me when I was little: Uta Pippig. This unstoppable German woman won her third Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day in 1996 with a time of  2:27:12.6 and a menstruation situation throughout.  I was all eyes when I was little- I wanted to run the Boston Marathon because of Uta Pippig. She ran through discomfort and absolutely dominated.