The Ice of Boston


My foot stops sliding about 8 to 12 inches from where I put it down. I make what I think is a nice recovery, express a sarcastic, “Fantastic,” and keep running down the hill.

I am noticing that the black ice seems to be mostly on the crosswalks, and not on the painted white lines of them. It’s

Black Ice

Black Ice (Photo credit: oldmanbim)

living up to its name on the dark surface of the roads that meet Commonwealth. The frost on the sidewalks between patches of black ice, equally worrying, even if the sun has largely melted the ice that was there the other day.

The narrow miss has me off attempting math in my head. A dangerous place for an English major such as your humble narrator. I am about 6-feet tall, which is around 1.5 maybe 2 meters. A slip on the ice could bring my head down against the ground, at a rate of… Something something meters per second.

That’s as far as I get with the numbers before passing the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, where I glimpse the running track through the trees, stretching off around the corners and curves like the Yellow Brick road. The gold painted on by the sun, and the bricks in a more proto form. It looks beautiful–and at the least clearer than the roads I have been running on so far today. I turn down the embankment that leads there, past a woman with a small dog, and hit the track.

At about my usual starting point, my legs are already burning. Which, makes me want to give up, but I am determined to at least meet the 2.5 miles from the past few runs. I smile and wave at a couple of folks out for their runs in the other direction, and power through until I get to my warm-up point. Warm-up stretches now something I forget to do before I leave my house. In a way, I’m sure that connects me to more runners than it should.

The Zombies, Run mission comes to a close. This one hits you in the feels, as you hear one doctor’s tearful farewell to her girlfriend. I am rounding the corner by the larger second pumphouse when the girlfriend goes in for a second listen and the mission ends. Eyeing the slope down to the sidewalk, which has been icy in the past, I decide instead to head up the path behind the ice rink (which, I don’t want to point fingers, but I believe may factor into the icy path below) and out to the street.

I check my shoulder-mounted phone as I crest another hill, which tells me I’ve hit 2.65 miles already. I start to slow down, and then realize that the downhill is my reward for making it past the top of the hill. I run down to the bottom, past my local packie (liquor store, for non-New Englanders), and turn the corner.

As I head back up the hill to my apartment, walking this time, it occurs to me that I’m not exactly certain where I had my near miss with the pavement earlier. I should probably have that in mind. That would be wise. Maybe I will avoid it, this time.


Nope. As I pick myself up, rubbing my aching shoulder, letting my ass fend for itself, and nursing my damaged pride, I remember exactly where that patch of black ice was. The hard way.

Shirt of the Day: Spanakopita! (from the Venture Bros. episode of the same name)
Odd Pickup Today: A Sports Bra. Not the kind of thing I’d pick up for myself, obviously, although someone at the camp could have use it.

And apparently this.



4 thoughts on “The Ice of Boston

  1. Pingback: Running Out of 2013 | The Unsure Runner

  2. Pingback: Freezing Machines | The Unsure Runner

  3. Pingback: Breaking the Ice | The Unsure Runner

  4. Pingback: Randomly Recalled | The Unsure Runner

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