Friday, November 4, 2016

Lady Liberty runs NYC Marathon

The NYC Marathon is this Sunday, and it looks like one longtime city resident is going to lace 'em up to run 26.2 miles! I hope you enjoy my latest cartoon!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Everybody's Shovelin'

The Greater Boston area got hit by Winter Storm Linus and the shovels and snowblowers are out in full force! Brian Boylston of Boston gets some shoveling help from his Spartan Race-loving neighbor J-Face in this cartoon!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Olympian Shalane Flanagan returns to Marblehead

I got to interview Olympian and Boston Marathon elite runner Shalane Flanagan after the Back the Track 5K in Marblehead, Mass., on Saturday. (Photo / Mike Fitzgerald)
Shalane Flanagan, an Olympic bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters who has finished in the top 10 at the Boston Marathon the past two years, returned to her hometown of Marblehead, Mass., for a fundraising 5K on Saturday. I was there to cover it for the Lynn Daily Item. Here's my story.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Interview with Shalane Flanagan

My interview with Olympic runner Shalane Flanagan ran in the Lynn Daily Item today. She's returning to her hometown of Marblehead, Mass., for a fundraising 5K to benefit the track complex. Here's the link:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Warm day heats up in Nahant

Running on Nahant Beach in Nahant, Mass., on Sunday, with a Westie catching up. (Photo / Laura Arena)
Sunday afternoon, Laura, Daisy and I went to Nahant Beach for a 2-mile walk. We parked in one of the spots along the causeway and walked across the sand. A gentle surf meant practically no waves on the light-blue waters.
With the Tides Restaurant behind us, we walked toward Lynn, passing the Halfway House on our left. Daisy found her friskiness, exchanging sniffs with an Irish wolfhound that leaped up to paw me. This friendly red dog was one of many we saw with their human companions.
Quite a few runners and walkers also showed up, some in sweats like me, but others in shorts. I did a few sprints and Daisy joined me for at least one. It was good to see the little ball of white fur scampering over the sand.
I have fond memories of this beach from summer running clinic sessions with James Green of Marblehead, who placed second in the 1959 Pan Am Games. I told Laura that the Ward Bathhouse on the Lynn side always seemed to hang in front of me forever on the run back during those clinics. I also enjoyed the swims through the surf and the runs along the causeway at the Thursday-night Nahant Beach Triathlon, not to mention the pizza from the Tides at the end-of-the-season party.
A few kites fluttered in the sky as we neared the Lynn bathhouse, with seagulls riding the waves. We decided not to go all the way across. I pointed out to Laura the stone steps along the seawall that marked one end of Coach Green's own training runs ... three miles to the Tides and back, four times total, for 12 miles. She said she thought Nahant to Swampscott along the beach might make a good run and maybe I will try that sometime.
Well, we did get to Nahant to Swampscott, albeit by car. We parked by the Swampscott Yacht Club and stepped out onto the beach. A friendly dog wagged its tail at Daisy, then ran at full speed over the sand. The setting sun cast an orange glow onto the clouds and over the water and Laura took a sunset shot.
It was good to revisit a favorite running spot in Nahant, and to see the sunset in Swampscott!

The sunset by the Swampscott Yacht Club in Swampscott, Mass., on Sunday. (Photo / Laura Arena)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Great trails on Great Lakes

This past weekend, we had the chance to visit Lake Ontario, the easternmost of the five Great Lakes. Irondequoit Bay, on the southern shore, offers a beautiful spot for a trail run.
Laura and I were in Rochester, N.Y., for my nephew's baptism. We decided to go to Abraham Lincoln Park, a 20-minute drive away. The 182-acre park was renamed (from Irondequoit Bay Park East) on Feb. 12, 2009 to honor the 200th birthday of Honest Abe. Among its amenities are running trails.
Greeted by a bearded collie mix named Sarah at the parking lot, we walked the steep concrete hill down to the trails. Concrete changed to earth and the familiar natural obstacles -- rocks, ruts and roots -- that I remembered from the Lynn Woods Reservation back home in Massachusetts.
The descent was difficult but we were rewarded by the sight of the bay and its gentle waves running across to the shore. The water was clear as we looked down from a boat ramp. It felt colder along the shore, but the sun came out for a stretch to glimmer on the water.
I did several sprints to a nearby tree and back. I didn't want to go further on the trail because it was waterlogged. At least the running warmed me up. It also felt inspiring to run along one of the inland seas of North America.
Later, we drove along the Seaway Trail, a National Historic Byway, to the Webster Park Campgrounds for a wider view of the lake. It was amazing to see no shore on the horizon as larger waves crashed onto the beach.
Running is popular in the Rochester area in general. We saw runners along the Erie Canal the next day, as well as on the roads. There's a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot and a 5K at the springtime Lilac Festival. We look forward to our next visit!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Drink Your Veggies

Diet for runners, and for people who exercise in general, has always been one of the areas on the fitness spectrum that is a source of mystery to me. I have always been fond of the McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts food groups.
That said, for the past few mornings, Laura has returned to making her famous "green drink," and we have been drinking it as part of breakfast.
"It's supposed to be a cleansing drink," she said. "It gives you energy. It's refreshing, hydrating, with essential nutrients that are easily absorbed by the body." These nutrients include vitamin K and bioflavonoids.
She compares it to a smoothie, and there are times when it definitely feels more solid than liquid (including Wednesday, when the air made it bubble). Its cool taste makes it
a refreshing, cleansing way to start the day.
She said you can play with the ingredients, but remember the fundamentals: a green, a healthy oil and a protein.

Laura's Green Drink Recipe:
1 cup apple cider, fruit juice or water
1.5-2 cups raw kale or other uncooked greens
1/2 to 3/4 cup blueberries or other berries
1 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp deep sea fish oil
1 tsp agave nectar or honey, or to taste
1/2 cucumber (optional)

Put everything in a blender. Yields 6 cups. It's good for a couple days. Or you can make a smaller amount.