boston road

inversely proportional

wednesday

4 weeks til Boston, we’re tapering

10 easy paced relaxing miles in the park tonight in a suddenly winter-like temp in 20’s, it’s only temporary but I didn’t like it.  But the start of taper is going well.  Was home today with some free time, had a beer, and it knocked me out a little bit.  Been pretty good about alcohol intake during the past months of training, and looks like my ability to handle it has gone down…maybe inversely proportionally to my ability to handle mileage…

in the mix

tuesday

5 weeks til Boston

Though not as hard as along the Atlantic coast, the snowstorm hitting the northeast barreled through Buffalo today, leaving difficult footing for a 12 miler to the park and back that felt more like a 16 to 20 miler, tired arms and legs.  I always say the snow is Buffalo’s equivalent of high altitude.

Looks like I’ll be doing the Syracuse Half in a couple of weeks, at the end of March and the start of the taper, the timing looks right, a good long training race just a few weeks from the marathon.

A running friend from Boston, who I’ll be staying with for the marathon, was nice enough to post the above chart from New England Runner mag, info I wasn’t aware of, listing the top Boston qualifiers for each age group from these states, tickled to be listed 3rd among the ‘senior’ category (not thrilled with the label), the 50-59 group from New York state.  Just glad to be in the mix, that’s all I ask for heading into the race, then it’ll give me a chance to do something in the age group on race day.

3

There are no limits to how a sport like hockey can make you feel. There are no apologies necessary for any of those feelings. Not outside on a New Years day in Massachusetts, not any time or any place your team skates onto a sheet of ice and the puck drops in the centre of it. It is the agreement we all concede to when we decide a game means something to us. That we can’t claim to have a stake in success without being present for the agony too. That by rights, we won’t be able to celebrate with them unless we endure every bit of the struggle along the way. So we fasten ourselves to their path through the labyrinth of the season. At times, invigorated by their incomparable gifts, charmed by their charisma and cool, and inspired by the evidence that they care more than we might ever know.  Never more so than the two cases at hand and this rivalry that began so long before they ever put on a pair of skates.  This was always the story of much more than just two teams.  More than just the chronicle of their road to an outdoor spectacle.  It was a testament to how many different ways hockey can make you feel.  And to tribute to the notion that in this game, you never know what just might lie ahead tomorrow.

Northeastern University Freshmen Packing List, 2015

Hello future Huskies!!

Now that July is about half way over, many of you are probably starting to think about packing up and moving to Boston for your freshmen year, since it’s only about ~a month and a half~ away. Pretty soon, it’s going to be time to plan the road trip route, buy your airfare, and make the hard decisions about what to bring to college.  Like Andy in Toy Story 3, you’ve got a whole room full of sentimental necessities/crap you never got rid of, and pretty soon you’ll have to decide what stays and what goes.

As surprised as you surely are, forgotten essentials oftentimes aren’t the problem that new freshmen face when they move to college.  Instead, it’s the overbearing monster of too much stuff that simply won’t fit in your residence hall which becomes the real challenge during Move-In Day.  So, before you go and buy the complete Dorm-Home Makeover set at your local Target, consult the below list for the things you should, should not, and should really think about bringing to college.

*Note: bolded things are things you should bring from home.  Everything else? Get it in Boston, unless you already own it/it’s easy to move. More info below.

Should Bring:

  1. Clothes - This is self-explanatory, but beware: oftentimes, pre-made college packing lists will get really specific about what to pack.  Don’t follow them.  You don’t need 10 nightshirts, 10 socks, and 4 different types of jackets: all you need are the clothes you regularly wear and you’ll be good to go.  If you have 30 pairs of jeans and only wear 2 of them, donate the rest and call it a day.  Make sure you have a few pairs of warm weather clothes, but remember that it will probably be between 20F - 60F during your entire freshmen year, so a mix of cool weather clothing is probably best.  At the end of the day, if you have a big winter jacket there’s nothing more you’ll desperately need.  Know that the built-in closets in freshmen residence halls are pretty big, so do bring all your favorite outfits….just don’t over do it. Gotta look chic, but also gotta save some space. 
  2. Rain Boots - I know this technically fits in the above category, but I can’t stress it enough: Boston is rainy in the fall, so you need to make sure you have more than a single pair of Toms to wear to class.
  3. Mirror - You wanna look good? Know that there isn’t a mirror in your room, and you probably won’t want to go to the bathroom every time you want to check yourself out. 
  4. Comforter - Make sure it’s warm! I recommend a Twin XL Down Duvet, and cheap duvet cover. You’ll thank me in the winter. 
  5. Twin XL sheet set. 
  6. One or two pillows 
  7. Twin XL Mattress Pad 
  8. School supplies - Since you won’t be at home, also remember to get things like hole punchers, tape, scissors, etc.! 
  9. Lamp - Whether it’s a floor lamp (which I recommend) or a desk lamp, you’ll find that most freshmen housing have fluorescent lights which aren’t always the best.  I have one collapsable floor lamp and it’s the only light I use. 
  10. Bulletin Board - Throughout the year, you’ll accumulate tons of papers, flyers, info brochures, etc. I used a bulletin board to organize everything over my desk, which also helped to save space and fill up empty walls. 
  11. Collapsable Clothes Hamper
  12. Laundry Bag 
  13. Laundry Detergent and Dryer Sheets
  14. Shower Caddy 
  15. Hangers
  16. Towels/washclothes 
  17. Bathrobe 
  18. Alarm Clock 
  19. Surge Protector 
  20. Extension Cord 
  21. Trash Can 
  22. Fan 
  23. Cleaning Supplies - Don’t go crazy with these, because it’s mostly for incidentals.  However, getting some Clorox Wipes or some Febreeze is usually a good idea. 

Maybe Bring, It’s Up to You:

  1. Area Rug - For me, this is absolutely something I needed since most freshmen residence halls have tile floors.  To protect you from the chill, I would definitely suggest a rug.  However, if you don’t think the tile will bother you, then save yourself the space and go without. 
  2. Iron/Ironing Pad - Only bring one of these if you frequently wear clothes that have to be ironed.  Otherwise, leave it at home. Some people would suggest you bring a hand steamer, but in my experience they don’t work that well. Also, note that I wrote an ironing pad, not an ironing board. Pads can just be laid on the floor, and take up way less space. 
  3. Posters/artwork - Good to have, but only in moderation.  Don’t bring every single movie poster for every single movie you’ve ever see.   
  4. Drying Rack for Clothes 
  5. iHome/Speakers for Music 
  6. Desk Organizers for Pens/Pencils/etc. 
  7. Hair Accessory Caddy for Blowdryers/Straighteners/etc. 
  8. Egg Crate - Highly recommended! Put it under your mattress pad and your bed will be extremely comfortable.  However, again, it’s definitely not necessary. 
  9. Throw Blanket
  10. Under-the-Bed Organizer Drawers - Usually a small, plastic chest of drawers or a series of bins, these are really the only pieces of “furniture” that you should be bringing. Everything else, the university will provide for you. 
  11. Keurig Machine - Remember, you’re not allowed to bring any other type of coffeemaker! 
  12. Photos of family and friends 
  13. Calendar or White Board 
  14. TV - Up to you, but definitely bring a small one if you want it (I’m talking like 15 inches).  You won’t have a ton of space to put it, you won’t be able to attach it to the wall, and you probably have Netflix on your computer anyway.  Know that your freshmen Common Room will have a TV in it that you can use, but if you do decide to have a TV in your room then the University will provide cable and premium channels for you for free. 
  15. Over-the-Door Hooks - Use it for towels or jackets or anything you’d like, but make sure it’s thick enough to fit over the door! 

Should Not Bring:

  1. Christmas Lights - Fire hazard (lame) and your RA will make you take them down. 
  2. Mini Fridge/Microwave - Fire hazard, you’re not allowed to bring your own.  If you want either, you can rent them both from the University for $100 for the entire year. Split it with your roommate. It’s a pretty good deal.
  3. Cooking Appliances of any kind - Doesn’t make sense, you don’t have a kitchen.  Also, your RA will make you get rid of them. 
  4. 3M Sticky Hooks - They don’t work on our walls!!! I don’t know if it’s the humidity or the type of paint, but they’ll all fall down and just won’t work. 
  5. Furniture - As said above, you won’t have space! The University will provide everything you will need. 
  6. Crazy Collections - I knew one girl who didn’t have space in her closet for the 19 designer bags she brought to school her freshmen year.  I also know someone who brought a whole bunch of succulents (you know? the plants?) as decoration, and was shocked when he didn’t have endless table space in which to arrange them.  Be very reasonable about any “extras” you bring, and remember: you’re living with another person. 
  7. Bedbug Repellant Anything - When you begin shopping, you’ll see that there are specialty college items sold to be “bedbug repellant.”  Because Northeastern provides all your own furniture, this isn’t a problem.  If you buy these bedbug repellant things, you’ll simply be wasting money. 
  8. Curtains - Just unnecessary, don’t bother. 
  9. Anything labelled as a “dorm accessory” - LOL don’t buy these things. Don’t be the freshman who shows up with a “dorm chandelier.”
  10. Bed Risers - At Northeastern, your beds will probably be lofted to 3 or 6 feet.  Do not bring your own risers, because a). you won’t be allowed to use them and b). if you do, your bed won’t sit in them right so your bed will probably collapse.  It’ll be like Step Brothers, except it won’t be funny and you’ll probably have to go to the ER. 
  11. Ironing Boards/Vaccuums/Large Cleaning Supplies - You won’t have space for these, and you don’t need them.  If you need a vacuum, you can borrow it from the RAs. 
  12. Books from Home - Now, if you have a few things left on your summer reading list, bring them.  However, between textbooks and everything else you’ll naturally acquire, know that you won’t want to be bringing a whole library with you.  Leave them at home. 
  13. Any kind of kitchen utensils - If you have a Keurig then bring a few mugs, but otherwise just limit yourself to paper plates and utensils.  Remember: you won’t have a sink in which to wash these dishes, other than in the bathroom! 
  14. Decorative Pillows - These will be thrown on the floor Day 1 and will never not be in your way again.  Kick’em to the curb. 
  15. Extra Chairs - Yeah beanbags are cool, but there isn’t room.  Those bungee chairs at Target are cool, but you’ll never actually sit in them.  Leave extra chairs at the store. 

Getting Stuff in Boston

  1. Bed, Bath, and Beyond - 401 Park Drive, Boston (Highly recommend the BB&B College Lay-Away Program! Go to your local store and ask about it)
  2. City Target - Opening in Fenway in August
  3. TruValue Economy - 219 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston 
  4. CVS - 231 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston


And there you have it! Do you think I forgot something? Is there something you have questions about? Let me know, send me a question, and good luck packing up! 

restoration

sunday

6 weeks til Boston

I learned a long time ago that I have to run.  All the appurtenances - Boston, New York, medals, trophies, PR’s…- are simply valuable by-products, scraps that can be used for a tasty broth.  My body requires running as much as it does a liver, to rid itself of the toxins of the distant past, through every perspiration, exhale, to restore the body as they would a fresco from the Renaissance, inch by inch, layer by layer.  And it’s come a long way.

The progress continued today, through extra daylight, with a smooth 16 miler in the park, running into a friend, a local elite master running with his little boy, a sweet scene, we caught up briefly on our running, he wished me luck in Boston, then we each headed back home for dinner.

Bar fight
  • Drunk Bostonian: *goes to punch another guy in the face, accidentally hits Adrien*
  • Adrien: *eyes tear up and he stumbles back*
  • Nino: *completely trashed* h-hEY YOU JUST HIT MY FRIEND
  • Alya: Nino, it's ok, let's just get Adrien-
  • Nino: NO. IMMA FIGHT HIM
  • Alya: Nino, no- NINO WHAT ARE YOU DOING
  • Nino: *stripping* IM GETTING READY TO- TO FIIIIGHT
  • Alya: PUT YOUR CLOTHES BACK ON
  • Nino: NO *unbuckles belt and drops pants*
  • Alya: NI-NO
  • Nino: *whispers and holds up fists* ni-<i>yes</i>
  • *after fight, back at hotel room*
  • Adrien: Nino, why did you strip in the bar?
  • Nino: *face in pillows* it makes you lighter ... *passes out*
  • Adrien: ... Thank god Marinette and Alya were there
feeling like a marathoner

saturday

5 weeks til Boston

14 miles in the park on a sweetly warm overcast day, an easy pace with no additives.  We went out last night after the tough 16 miler, had some Pho, a Vietnamese stew with veggies and lean beef, just what I needed, with a couple glasses of red wine, and that was all she wrote for me, slept through the night and then some.  Felt better but the residue of marathon training remained during today’s recovery run.

After running and a shower, sat down on the couch for a moment and realized I’m starting to feel like a marathoner, all the sweat along with any excess matter washed and trained away, and what remains are just the solids, the bones and muscles…bare like a marathoner.