Saturday, January 5, 2008

13 miles/ mile 13

The weather conditions were just perfect (sunny, high 30's) for our 13 plus mile run out of the Mt. Auburn Club this morning. The club is approximately 2 miles from mile 22 on the Boston Marathon course. At that point we run down the hills to the Fire Station on the corner of Comm. Ave and Rt. 16 only to turn around and run back up those three lovely hills. My approach to running the hills is to pick up the pace and just get it over! And that last hill always seems so long. Runs of 13 -15 miles is a nice distance. It doesn't take too long (of course that is a relative term) and afterwards I'm not that sore. Runs longer than 16 tend to hurt, particularly in the lower back, and quite frankly I begin to get bored. Thank goodness for the DFMC camaraderie and lively conversations during those last dull miles.

Further down the course, at mile 13, is a wonderful independent bookstore, the Wellesley Booksmith, where I worked as a children's bookseller for close to 6 years. It's great to have my personal cheering section at the half-way point each year. I work a shift now and then, usually during the busy holiday retail season, so I continue to honor myself with the title of "children's bookseller". And there are some wonderful "intermediate" (that means ages 8 to 12 ) fiction with running themes. I am always on the look out for good fiction featuring strong girls to include in my list of books for the running and reading program I have developed for pre-adolescent girls called Fit Girls. I actually used the DFMC model when developing Fit Girls as it also combines personal fitness with community outreach. Running, fundraising and community outreach is a GREAT (and fun!) way to build confidence and self-esteem in both adults and children.

My most favorite kiddie running book is Heartbeat by the fabulous award-winning author, Sharon Creech. Running is the one constant in twelve year-old Annie's world as she deals with a variety of changes, including the birth of a sibling , the distance of a friend, and her grandfather's illness. Runners and readers of all ages will appreciate this small gem of a novel.

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