The MBTA (Boston’s public transportation system) is consistently great for a lot of things, including, but not limited to, the following:
- people watching
- free copies of “The Metro,” one of the best news publications in all the land
- creating time to read so that My Intellect Does Not Die (but I have a Kindle now, thanks to Lil Brother #1, so I usually play Scrabble instead of read. Close enough).
…right now, that’s about all I can think of. But we’re talking consistent things that it offers.
I take the commuter rail to work, which, about 85% of the time, is awesome. This winter, the commuter rail has been less than even remotely reliable. Whatever — the frustration caused by delays due to massive amounts of snow is (hopefully) behind us Boston commuters. What is quite bizarre, and I think you’ll agree, is that my train yesterday, when it was about 48 degrees and sunny with a pleasant, mild breeze, was canceled and that the following train was running 20 minutes late. Which meant that, rather than happily boarding a train at 4:43 (don’t judge — I have non-traditional work hours, so 4:43 is actually me staying late at work on a Monday), the earliest me and my gym bag (with our “mild elliptical” intentions) would possibly be boarding a train was 5:55.
Stupid MBTA messin’ with my life. Again.
But. Rather than stomping around like a child, I evaluated the situation like the sophisticated lady that I am. It was warm (WARM!), I had my sneaks and workout gear (well, iPod, heart rate monitor, workout capri-length pants, and a gym-appropriate sleeveless number), and I had about 68 bonus minutes. Well. I wanted to be back at the train platform at 5:35 in case the train wasn’t 20 minutes late (isn’t it cute that I thought that was a possibility?). So 48 minutes. I decided to be really wild and break my intended workout schedule for the week (I didn’t wanna elliptical anyway), so I went back to the office, changed into my stuff, threw on a too-big work t-shirt that I had laying around my cubicle, and set off to run around the half-ice-half-puddle sidewalks in the area where I work.
It was So Much Fun.
My first jacketless run of 2011. Revolutionary.
(that’s not a haiku, so don’t count beats. It’s just how I felt like writing that)
I didn’t have my mile-tracking thingy, which was sad (I’ll just make my way to mapmyrun.com and figure out how far I went), but running along jubilantly and sidestepping puddles and ice while my car-trapped colleagues sat in the horrid traffic that always happens just after 5:00 was about a million times better than waiting grumpily at an increasingly crowded train station. In accordance with the Math that I had done during the first minute-ish of my run, I ran for 18 minutes, and then turned around. I grabbed my stuff, of course, and made my way back to the train station, where I probably (read: absolutely) was rapping along to my workout jams like a crazyface. I’m fine with that. After all, I’m a sick rapper.
And yup — there it was — the stunning “WELCOME TO THE COMMUTER RAIL THE NEXT INBOUND TRAIN TO BOSTON IS WILL BE RUNNING APPROXIMATELY 20 MINUTES LATE SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE”.
The MBTA has such a way with words.
I started to stretch out from my run (right there on the train platform, whatever– anyone who was judging me for squeezing in a workout isn’t worth impressing), and then I decided that 20 minutes of stretching sounded boring and that I would get cold. So I started to run again, this time up and down the train platform, hoping that my bag, boots, and coat, which I left inconspicuously behind a snowbank, didn’t look suspicious enough to be reported to the See Something Say Something Hotline.
It took me about 2-4 minutes (you all already know that I’m not good at timing things) to run to the end of the snow-less area and back, and I did this 4 times, which was an excellent addition to an excellent bonus workout. Of course, I did this one sans-music because I feared that the train would come & I wouldn’t hear it until it zoomed past me in classic MBTA style.
When I got the train, I had burned 575 calories and my HR had been elevated for an hour, which was what I was intending for with the mild-ellipticalling, anyway. And instead of being a grumpy face, like everyone else on the train, I felt excellent and continued to unabashedly rap along to my workout-beats as the train finally brought me back home. And, don’t you worry, my muscles weren’t too tired for my awesome fitness class today.
So this wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t had my sneakers or it hadn’t been warm out. It’s kind of absurd that all of the conditions worked out well enough for this to even have happened.
Moral of the story? Sometimes uncontrollable changes in your schedule can benefit workout plans, even if they might initially seem to mess with your lovely intentions of sweatiness. It’s good to have a workout plan, but it’s also good to be flexible. And it’s also good to carry your sneakers everywhere. And your iPod. If that’s your style.
In other news, I have 3 things to share.
1) look how pretty:
2) I saved $1.39 by buying bulk sea salt to refill my little salt grinder, and I am way too proud of myself.
3) I love this tea: