Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Running Boston for charity?

Happy Marathon Monday! Right now I'm grouchily watching the livestream of the Boston Marathon while doing work, because I have a ton of work to do before book club meeting tonight. 

Over at Salty Running today, the question came up of what people think of Boston charity runners. Does letting in charity runners diminish the prestige of the race? 

Personally, I would not run Boston as a charity runner without ever qualifying...and I speak as someone for whom it's more likely than not that charity running is the only way I will ever be able to run Boston. (Note for the uninitiated or people who can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that there is a world of difference between me running a lot and me running fast: I would need to complete a marathon in 3 hours 35 minutes or less to qualify.) I just...wouldn't. BQing and running Boston means more to me than just getting the experience of running Boston; I feel like there's too much history and tradition there for me to not give the race the respect it deserves. 

I don't really mind if someone wants to run it for charity, as long as they respect the marathon distance and train properly for it. (And many people do!)

HOWEVER: The perceived prestige of Boston is precisely what enables the race to raise so much for charity. The bar to get in as a charity runner at Boston is much higher than getting in as a charity runner for just any old marathon, and thus the dollar amount a charity runner needs to raise is that much more, which enables charities to raise tens of millions for their various causes. In a single year. In an ideal situation, the number of charity spots would be limited for exactly this reason: scarcity enables charities to raise more per runner. 

(Tangentially: I would feel better about entering as a charity runner if I knew I was able to qualify/ had already legitimately qualified. Does that make any sense?) 

Friday, April 3, 2015

And here we are

And here we are at 34 weeks gestation and counting. It's exactly like training for a marathon, except the race organisers might suddenly spring a new start date on you that is either later or earlier than planned, you don't know where the start line might be, there are no medals at the end, and you definitely don't get rest days during training. So...ok, not exactly like training for a marathon.

I pretty much stopped running a week or two ago. I miss it, but it's just not that comfortable right now. After the New England Winter That Never Ends, we're finally (!!!) getting some nicer weather. I would go outside and walk but then I'd find myself resenting all the people running down by the river! Fortunately I'm not one of those superwomen who is going to run straight through pregnancy and do laps of the hospital parking lot - oh, who am I kidding, I don't even have anything to prove or appearances to keep up. I'm not a healthy living blogger. Heck, there's maple syrup and cream on my oatmeal, and there aren't even pictures of it. Plenty of walking to and from errands, and 40 minutes walking on the treadmill/ elliptical every couple of days does it for me.

(And then there is my nutty friend who just ran the LA Marathon, four months postpartum...)

What else have I been up to?

- Finishing up several work projects and not taking on major new ones to wind down for maternity leave (or the freelance equivalent of maternity leave)

- Reading: I got myself a public library card after securing some proof-of-residence documents. It's fantabulous! Some highlights that I've enjoyed:

Rachel Maddow, Drift - about the runaway expansion of the American military; she argues that America should return to its sound founding principles of avoiding war as far as possible.
Robert Harris, An Officer and a Spy - Robert Harris does these great historical fictionalisations of real events; he's tackled WWII code-breakers (Enigma), Roman senators (Pompeii), and now in An Officer and a Spy he writes about the Dreyfus Affair.
Pamela Druckerman, Bringing Up Bebe - An American parent in Paris uncovers the mysteries of French parenting and why French children seem so well-behaved (spoiler: French parents are firm with their children - no really does mean no - and far more chill about leaping up to tend to baby's every need). Methinks - as with parenting books everywhere - this is exaggerated a bit for book sale purposes, but there is a seed of truth in there somewhere.

- Attended this conference as a little professional splurge (you bet I will be taking that tax write-off next year); lots of discussion on where the media world is headed, as well as the nuts and bolts of telling better stories, and some lovely conversations about press freedom.

- A friend and I hit up the Harvard Museum of Natural History - which is free on Sunday mornings for local residents!! There was so much to see that we got through about three rooms of incredibly lifelike and exquisite glass flowers, iridescent bugs, giant isopods, massive fossils (my favourite was a huge fossil turtle. Its family name? Stupendymys!), and other stuff before we got hungry and decided to call it a day. I'll post some of my favourite pics later when my phone and my computer are in agreement, but we're definitely going back.