The Unsure Walker, Less Sure Runner

Cracking sounds skitter out beneath the sheet of ice as my feet step tentatively across the crust over the sidewalk. On this particular day, Wednesday, I’m not running out at the Chestnut Hill Avenue, I’m walking home from one of my jobs. After a pit stop to pick up an Adventure Time comic (“Candy Capers” is wonderful, by the way), and running into a friend, I’ve elected to walk home while the sidewalks remain iffy.

The coat keeps my body heat inside, which would be more useful if it were colder. My bag weighs heavily on my shoulders. Realized in the morning that I left my headphones at home, so I am not listening to any music. I have been walking for about a half-hour when my shoes start taking in water. After looking at my Fitbit watch, and realizing that I’m only 1000 steps away from my 10,000 goal, I decide I’ve had enough and want to go home.

Boston - Boston University - Green Line

Boston – Boston University – Green Line (Photo credit: wallyg)

The watch buzzes as I am getting on the train. I take it home, and give a slightly befuddled gentleman directions as I leave. All in all, feeling at peace, despite not having an opportunity to run.

Back on Track

My other job lets me out an hour early, and I have a few hours before the party we’re hosting. The combination of a friend’s report, and my cursory glance while driving to work, suggest tonight might be a good night for running down at the track.

Which, of course, means I instead putter around my apartment until it’s almost too late, then saddle up and head out. Headlamp to fend off the dark, and a T-shirt to end off the high 40s (F) weather.

The sidewalks along the way to the track are mostly passable, and mostly dry. I only start to worry when I arrive at the track and see the same crust of ice and slush that I’d encountered before. A few steps into the Zombie mission–tracking down a traitor–and I am already debating giving up. Wet feet, slick conditions, and an unsure runner lead me to head off my regular track and up to the streets.

At the top of the hill, inspiration strikes. Or, more accurately, I realize the obvious: I don’t have to run on a track.

Instead of walking home, which would be to the right, I take a left, and try to run the loop of sidewalk that surrounds the track. Which, after a few seconds, proves to be as slick and worrisome as the track I just left. I turn around before I hit the downhill stretch where I had first finished my 25-minute jaunts. Another runner is heading in the opposite direction, a braver man than I.

Getting back to the crossroads, I go left again, and start heading up Commonwealth Avenue toward Boston College–Home of the Eagles. A couple of years ago, I attended a party at a home nestled between apartment blocks, a whimsical concrete building which always served as a landmark. In my mind, it was halfway between BC and the Reservoir. So, I figure I’ll run out to that point, and come back. Should give me plenty of distance.

A few blocks later, and I suspect I’ve already passed the house. An old AT&T commercial pops into my mind, as a runner realizes he’s traveled far further than expected. I am starting to pass a graveyard, situated right by BC–much further from my house than I thought I was. I will skip the jokes about running in circles on a track.

As I reach the far edge of the graveyard’s property, and the College is in sight, I turn around. I will pass the cute girl who smiled at me not two minutes ago, although I will be going the other direction. I finish the mission as I get back to the Reservoir entrance, keep running on Zombies, Run’s “radio mode” briefly, and ultimately walk home.

A party guest has arrived, early, as I am getting back to my place–sweaty, but still triumphant. Feeling good that I have completed my first run off the track, even more so that it was far less painful than I expected.

Shirt of the Day: Venture Bros. S.P.H.I.N.X. logo
Weird Item of the Day: The ChipotleLabs App, again.

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3 thoughts on “The Unsure Walker, Less Sure Runner

  1. Pingback: Feels Good to Be on a Road Again | The Unsure Runner

  2. Pingback: Running Home | The Unsure Runner

  3. Pingback: The Ice of Boston | The Unsure Runner

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