Valentine's Day morning, we put on our screw-shoes and went out for an icy 5-miler, the last run in my step-down week (Week 4 of the NJ half-marathon training). Nik's ankle is sore in the Achilles area, so we left the dogs at home. As soon as Nik put on her screw-shoes and started to walk, she felt the ankle starting to nag her. She suspects it may be because her screw-shoes are an old pair of Brooks Dyads with close to 400 miles on them -- she normally ditches them just after 300 or so. I told her she could cut it short if she needed to, but she said she'd power through it.
Me, I had a spectacular run. We took one of Nik's usual 5-mile routes, a beautiful one that takes us to downtown Fall River, over to Kennedy Park, and along a boardwalk that winds along the edge of the Taunton River. We ran past some dude in a doorway downtown holding a purple left-handed BC Rich Warlock electric guitar, just holding it around his shoulder -- couldn't take a picture of him, unfortunately, even though it would've made a spectacular portrait. Someone else in a doorway (lots of people in doorways that day) told us it was a great day to go jogging. It was -- I felt pretty strong and confident throughout the whole thing, settling comfortably in the 11:30 to 12:00 pace range for long stretches. That qualifies as "fast" for my slow ass.
Some patches of ice and snow (particularly on the hills) threw off my average, and we stopped for a while to take pictures of seagulls perched on sheets of ice floating on the river, but we still managed to finish the 5-miler in just over an hour. Overall I tend to be more interested in how I feel than my pace, and in that respect it was a huge success for me. But Nik's ankle is still hurting -- she's changed her NJ marathon plan to make sure she won't put too much stress on it.
Nik and I have joked on the podcast more than once about how crappy Fall River is, about its crime and garbage and slummy neighborhoods. But there are days when it's actually pretty.
This is in an industrial area of the waterfront, by a huge mill. I think it's abandoned. Most of the mills in Fall River are empty, but the buildings are weirdly pretty in an Industrial Revolution kind of way.
Unfortunately, photography flattens out cityscapes like this. When you're here on Ponta Delgada Boulevard looking over the highway, you can see some pretty nice Fall River highlights -- the old Durfee clock tower, a church steeple, mill smokestacks ... the on-ramp to 195...
Part of the 5-mile route also takes you under the Braga Bridge, which connects Fall River to the (mildly) swankier people in Somerset.
This boardwalk takes you from the Battleship Cove area all the way to Bicentennial Park about a mile away (past that big red building).
A seagull giving me a clever little "Go F yourself" look.