Friday, September 23, 2016

Fall Garden

This summer the flowers in my garden did pretty well considering the drought and really hot temperatures.  The following are some of my favorite shots from the summer.































Thanks to these little plants I had some great fresh lettuce salads for most of the summer!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Running

As the first chill of fall has entered the air, and high schoolers have begun fall sports, my own training and racing is also picking up accordingly.  Catching occasional glimpses of the high schoolers out training often causes me to reflect back on my own high school running.  In high school I would often wonder where I would be at in running by the time I was in my 20s and 30s.  At the time, Deena Kastor had run 2:19 for the marathon and Paula Radcliffe was still at the height of her career, having run 5:09 pace for the marathon.  Thinking of those times/paces always helped to put my own times into perspective and also helped with pushing through hard workouts, knowing that even my best workouts must have paled in comparison to what they were doing.  Now that I am on the other side and looking back at where I have been, I now draw some of my motivation from the efforts and accomplishments of high school runners.  While I was playing tennis at Cold Spring yesterday afternoon Newton South was hosting a cross country meet against Acton-Boxboro.  I didn't know there was going to be a meet there and we arrived after the varsity races, but we got to see the JV/freshman races.  It was impressive to see how many runners actually compete, as I estimate there were probably close to 70 or so runners from both teams who competed in what is not always an easy or enjoyable sport.  I now count myself lucky to be able to still be running at a competitive level and am motivated by the pure effort that all of the runners put into their races, whether fighting for the win or trying to complete the race with a strong effort.
After a Class A XC meet in the snow with
Mr. Martin, my Newton North coach

Although I have had some setbacks, have not always performed as well as I have hoped for, and have spent some time in recent years injured, the sport has provided me with countless opportunities and adventures.  From running in college, to racing at big track and road races, to running in some really cool places around the country, to simply being in a routine of heading out the door every evening after work/school to get in a run or workout, running has been more for me than just times and stats.  When I started off in the sport in high school I would often read about or hear from my coaches and others the mantra that running is about enjoying the process and not just the results.  At that time I was never really fully able to understand what was meant by that since I thoroughly enjoyed both the daily process of training -- whether an easy run or grueling workout -- and the results that I got from it.  I was also lucky to be surrounded by coaches who provided an enjoyable atmosphere where enjoying the process was not hard to do.  However, looking back it's easier for me to understand since I have now seen many athletes who don't enjoy the process, which makes the sport much more challenging.

Also, as I mentioned in my last post, I am looking forward to some fall road races and will do my best to update with a race report after each.

Friday, September 2, 2016

End of Summer Update

After a busy and fun summer of working hard at the New England Innocence Project, I am back in school!  Running is going well and my current racing plans include the Tufts 10k, possibly the CVS 5k, and a late fall half marathon.  For most of the summer on Fridays Tom and I have driven out to Concord Center and have run from there, stopping for a jump into Walden Pond after a few miles.  For the first time there's a chill in the air today so we sadly may only have a few more mid-run jumps left for the year.  I have been steadily getting into better shape since I started this training cycle around the end of June and I am looking forward to some cooler weather for training after this brutally hot summer, which brings me to my next topic.  Today I went over to the Charles River to explore the drought conditions.  After breaking so many heat and lack of rain records over the past few months, we are in a drought, which has recently been upgraded to "extreme" and the Charles is showing signs of that status.  The pictures below were all taken in either Newton or Watertown.  It was only a few years ago when the big rainstorm caused the river to flood many of the parking lots and businesses along its banks!



If you go check out the conditions watch where you step as there are a lot of broken bottles lying around.


For years the trunk of this tree was submerged. 





The water at this spot was only about 2-4 inches deep.

A meadow has grown in the middle of the river. 



This bird was hanging out by the waterfall and I was told it is a juvenile black crown heron. 

You can see the waterfall in the distance 
There's only a trickle of water flowing over. 

The geese enjoy lining up on the top of the waterfall and they are often like this when I run by. 

The juvenile's parent came over to watch him.  Apparently when he was younger his parents were with him all the time. 

Look closely and you can see the two herons.  The adult heron blended in surprisingly well. 

This is taken from the suspension bridge in Newton.  Less water means it's easier to see fish and turtles swimming around. 










Friday, July 1, 2016

Summer Update

It's been a while since I've last posted here, so I figured I would do a photo update of what I've been up to.  I'm currently back to running and have been interning full time at the New England Innocence Project this summer. 

Also, we have redesigned the TDT website, so you can have a look by clicking here!  Check us out if you're a middle school or high school athlete looking for summer training!

I had lots of strawberries at my garden this spring. 



I've been working at the New England Innocence Project in Boston this summer and have enjoyed walking around the city during lunch. 
A blue button flower in my garden.
Tom and I hiked Mount Manadnock last weekend
A view from the top of Mount Manadnock.  Apparently on a clear day you can see Boston. 
A swan at the Public Garden in Boston. 

My radishes grew really quickly and tasted great as a salad topping.



The lupins were in full bloom at Acadia National Park in June 

I returned to racing after a while off and started off with the Newton 10k. 

When we were in Bar Harbor in June it was very foggy.  This picture is taken from the sandbar that connects the main part of town to a small island.