I guess the decision of whether to run inside or outside has been taken out of my hands! Basement/garage ceiling currently being cut up because of a leaky pipe…bye, treadmill, hello, frozen.
First blister-free run in forever!
I ran my last half marathon in Reeboks that I’ve had since 8th grade, because they were the only shoes I had tried that didn’t murder my feet. The soles were basically worn through, but it was that or hobble around after the 3rd or 4th mile.
I have the WORST feet in the world - they’re super flat and super wide, and I’ve tried on SO many shoes and brands to try and find shoes that didn’t give me blisters on my arch. Specifically, left arch. Asked specialty running stores, in NY, in London, no use. Tried new socks, tried double-layering…nothing.
So it feels SO NICE to finally have a pair of shoes that doesn’t kill my feet!!!! And meanwhile, here’s the aftermath of the accumulation… [ok, some of these were bought for working out and aren’t actually running shoes..”working out”… the colors were cool…]
Long time no see! Will hopefully be blogging again this upcoming new year - making plans to get my college classmates involved with Charity Miles, especially since a lot of people will (hopefully?) be starting their own running journeys this year, but more on that to come…
Just wanted to share this article I read today on Runner’s World called “So I Went for a Run” (you can read it directly on the site if you click here).
So I Went for a Run
Spoiler alert: Things got better. When you’re a runner, they always do.
I was angry, so I went for a run. And things got better.
I was confused, so I went for a run. And things got better.
I was exhausted, so I went for a run. And things got better.
I was lost, unsure, empty, afraid. Certain that whatever was left of my sanity had snapped, had come untethered and floated away, to a place so high and remote that I would never see it again, and that even if I did, I wouldn’t recognize it.
So I went for a run. And things got better.
I felt like things could not possibly get worse, so I went for a run. And things got better.
(Another time, I felt like things could not get much better. I went for a run. Things got much better.)
After enough miles, over enough runs and enough years, I realized: No matter what, no matter when, or where, or why, I can find my shoes and go for a run and things will get better.
And that realization? Just knowing that?
It made things better.
I had posted earlier about Marine Miles Kerr, who had lost his 5k in order to help a little boy finish out the race (click HERE to check out the picture), so I figured Wounded Warrior Project would be a great charity to run for in honor of that. Run turned out to be a bit of an unexpected history lesson!
The Wounded Warrior Project honors and empowers wounded warriors by providing special programs and services, while also seeking to raise awareness and support in society for the wounded service members.
As of June 2013, they’ve provided over 40,000 Transitional Care Packs (TCPs) for injured servicemen and women who are evacuated from field hospitals to larger military treatment facilities and have over 33,000 alumni from their programs (to learn more, visit their website at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/).
blurry picture of the same memorial
The man who I asked to take a picture struggled a little, but finally managed to get one non-blurry picture (have yet another video of me standing awkwardly and smiling - check out last time it happened HERE). But as I started to put my headphones back on and prepared to continue my run, he chased me down and asked me if I even knew what the memorial was for.
Sheepishly shook my head (the inscription on the statue had only said when it was dedicated!) and got a history lesson from the British guy.
Apparently, the Bomber Command Memorial commemorates the over 55,000 members of the Bomber Command crews who lost their lives in World War II. The bombers were easy, slower targets which made for the extremely high casualty rates (Wikipedia says 44.4%)! The usage of the bombers during the war was pretty politically controversial, so they didn’t get their own memorial until last year. Pretty saddening :(
Wellington Arch - commemorates British victories in the Napoleonic Wars.
Hearing that from him at the beginning of the run made me wonder about all the other monuments I was running past, so I’ve captioned the rest with the information. Made for a very, very, very long, and pretty somber run.
Royal Artillery Memorial - commemorates the close to 50,000 casualties in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, WWI.
Made it to the Hyde Park after these three memorials, and did a quick run through the park because it was getting dark, fast.
Everyone in the park seemed to be a couple - even these ducks (+ all my photographers but the first)!
Pretty lonely, dark run back home - definitely had misjudged the time by a lot and couldn’t see in front of me very well by the time I had gotten back out of Hyde Park.
Ran past one final memorial which reminded me a bit of the Vietnam War Memorial -
Australian War Memorial - lists the towns and battles from WWI and WWII that Australians served in (23,000 + towns and 47 battles), commemorating the 100,000+ casualties.
Was realllly tempted to take this last bike home and call it a night, but I realized that it would’ve been a bad idea because 1. Londoners drive on the left side of the road - how does that even WORK 2. The roads intersect from like six different directions 3. Helmet(!?) - I’ve crashed before…
[These bikes are EVERYWHERE in London and super popular to get from place to place (in case you couldn’t tell from all the missing bikes from this rack) - and it’s only 2 pounds to borrow one!]
Made it home ridiculously late and pretty humbled by the run; would never have really stopped to think about the history behind the monuments had that first man not stopped me. Wonder how many people pass by the same way every day…
Hi and welcome to all the new readers!! Sorry for the lack of posts in the past week, but it’s been absolutely insane here! I’m flying out from London in less than two days and it’s been so hectic trying to cram in everything, with friends visiting / soccer matches / last-minute sightseeing etc.
Man U v. Wigan!
can’t leave Britain without having tried afternoon tea!!!
Been fitting in runs any spare minute I’ve been able to grab - running the long way to the train station to pick up my friend instead of taking the subway, running to slightly farther away grocery stores to get food. Just a little bit crazy…thought I had all the time in the world in London and suddenly I’m going home and back to Yale in a little over a week?!
Things I’ll get around to blog-wise:
And overall, hoping to run for every charity Charity Miles currently supports (and blog about it!) by my half-marathon on Saturday, September 14th!
Just returned from Paris, which, in case you can’t tell from this first photo, wins for most beautiful city ever - accordion players on the street corners, artists sketching along the river, quaint cafes with crepes and macaroons, and narrow cobbled sidewalks everywhere.
Also no one works on weekends. This includes the police force…
…which is sadly extremely relevant. Because along with its picturesque everything, Paris also has pickpockets. Everywhere.
La Tour Eiffel, also known as where my friend got pickpocketed.
Beautiful day Saturday ended awfully when my friend got pickpocketed at the Eiffel Tower metro station and lost everything - passport, wallet, credit cards, ID… :( No police around, and the lady at the ticket window said that only one (far away) police station was even open. So frustrating!! And then we almost got pickpocketed the second day in front of the Arc de Triomphe.
Definitely made me a little nervous for my Sunday night run in Paris - actually ended up taping the apartment keys to the inside of my running shorts and holding my phone instead of leaving it in my pocket like I normally do. Yikes.
On a lighter note, I had a pretty silly reason for choosing the charity for my Paris run.
Pigeons. Parisian pigeons are the fattest pigeons I have ever seen. I wish this picture did them justice. Think about the pigeons you typically see in cities and double the size. I swear half of them couldn’t even get off the ground. They just waddled everywhere and a couple of the little kids chasing them were getting dangerously close to running them over.
So I ran my Charity Miles for Partnership for a Healthier America, which works with First Lady Michelle Obama and in conjunction with the Let’s Move campaign to help end childhood obesity. The nonprofit also works to bring together leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit spheres.
Set off, and saw surprisingly few runners out on my loop across three bridges in Paris despite it being a gorgeous day out.
Lover’s bridge - couples write their names on the locks and toss the keys into the river! Great for the couples, bad for the river…
Failed to disclose this earlier in the blog, but I actually am really, really awful at photos, especially solo ones(!) and generally avoid them at all costs. I never know how to pose in them. Awkward leg, awkward arm, awkward foot, awkward everything. This blog is basically the only reason I have pictures at all of this summer that include me in them. Case in point: counted a total of four non-running solo pictures from two entire days in Paris (two of which I’m including here!).
the squat handhold
the toe point
But thankfully, I found my picture-posing American inspiration in Paris!!!
The one and only, Thomas Jefferson.
Doing the TJ in front of the Louvre
the TJ in front of a Parisian monument I can’t name.
But anyways, running through Paris was absolutely incredible!! The views along the river and through the monuments were stunning, and I definitely have to admit that I stopped a lot on my run to just take it all in.
RAN UNDER THE ARCHWAY OF THAT MONUMENT FROM THE LAST PICTURE, AHH.
The areas and streets around the landmarks were all pretty uncrowded, which was a welcome change from running in London. The Parisians were also SO happy to be taking pictures for me, once they actually understood what I was trying to ask (verdict: six years of French = pretty much useless).
Finished off my run by almost taking out a couple on the super narrow sidewalk in front of the apartment. Did get a thumbs up and a wink from the guy walking the other direction that witnessed the near-miss.
Not sure I’ll be returning to Paris anytime soon, but definitely a really memorable experience! Crazy that I only have a week and a half left in London too - feels like I’ve been here forever, but somehow not at all.
Definitely not a fan of selfies, but didn’t really have a choice today because 1. posting this pre-run 2. definitely won’t have time to stop and take pictures during my run 3. even if I could, not sure if I’ll have internet for the next three days
I’ll get around to writing about yesterday’s run soon (sorry, sorry), but my train leaves for Paris in less than an hour so I only have time for a really quick one!!
Today’s run is inspired by the runners I’ve seen in London. (There are SO many runners here!!!) I usually don’t bump into many on my actual runs since I’ve been doing them after 8 at night, but they’re all over the place at more normal times.
So what’s so different about London runners?
I would guesstimate at least 75% of the runners I’ve seen here (if not more!) run with backpacks - running backpacks, tiny backpacks, school backpacks, hiking backpacks…but BACKPACKS. EVERYWHERE. Definitely not something I’ve seen in America.
One of the runners here said it was because a lot of Londoners get their runs in on the way home from work, so that way afterwards they’d get home and be able to jump in the shower and eat dinner and be done for the day! Such a cool idea!!
trickier: can you spot this runner?
this one’s hiding too!
running so fast…
awesome couple running together!
But yeah, these were all taken within the span of maybe an hour? As to why I have them, they’re from my first day in London when I was sightseeing after class and literally taking pictures of everything possible. Was also super confused why they all had backpacks (but now I know, and you all know too!). Also was suffering from a little bit of not-running guilt and figured hey, taking pictures of people running is almost the same thing, right? Right.
Me that day, in front of some castle thing, with backpack but definitely not dressed for running…
But have less than an hour to go before my train leaves for Paris, and the station is 2.5 miles away! Need to get my run in for today and realized upon waking up super late there was no way to do that unless I got my run in true Brit style.
Lastly, and most importantly: I’m running for World Food Programme (WFP) today, an international charity that fights hunger worldwide. It’s part of the UN system and in addition to providing food for an active and healthy lifestyle in impoverished nations around the world, also provides a huge amount of humanitarian food aid after emergencies.
Wish me luck! (and bon voyage?)