Fitness: Body by Boston

You've got resolutions. But you’ve also got more excuses than Dunkin’ has donuts, and it’s colder than an iced coffee out there. Your motivation level? Not exactly sky-high.

Illustration by Resident Alien

Illustration by Resident Alien

How often have you heard yourself say, “I should run more”? Too often, probably. Because it’s something we all know how to do, we often forget what a challenge it can be. “Running is hard,” says Sarah Anderson, endurance running coach at Boston Running Center. “We run for those days when the running feels easy, but most runs will not feel easy.” Want to make your resolve stick? Get started here.

Once Around the Block

How an avowed non-runner finally got a move on.
By Donna Garlough

I’ve always hated running, and, at least in my mind, it’s not hard to see why. I have this awkward, shuffling gait, and my breathing mimics an asthma attack. When I pass people while I’m jogging, I can read the looks on their faces. They’re thinking: I wonder what spooked that ostrich.

Then came the summer of ’09, when in the span of one week my gym membership expired and I “outgrew” (read: split) two pairs of $170 jeans. Suddenly, running’s cost-permissive calorie burn was looking pretty good. I signed up to run the Harpoon 5-Miler, to be held the following June. Nothing motivates me more than the threat of public humiliation.

[sidebar]The next day, I pulled on the paint-splattered sneakers I’d owned since college, jogged out my front door, around the Bunker Hill Monument, and back: 0.3 miles. I burst through the door, flushed and panting. “Forget something?” my husband, the triathlete, asked. “Nope, I’m done,” I told him, scowling.

Over the next six months, I lengthened my runs by a few blocks at a time. I’d get an occasional view of the panicked ostrich in passing windows, but I taught myself not to look. By October, I needed new sneakers. On Thanksgiving, I did a 5K.

As I neared the finish line the day of the Harpoon 5-Miler, my newly muscled legs took longer, more powerful strides than ever before. A few weeks later, I realized that I’d run the race pregnant. And now that my maternity jeans are packed away, I think it might be time to lace up the sneaks again. So get ready, little one: We’re going on a run. But we’ll be back in no time.

Boston’s Best Running Routes

These eight runs will take you around town, from Davis Square to the Charles River to the Arnold Arboretum.

* Start here

Running Map

Map by L-Dopa

Danger: Joggers Beware!

Running through: Downtown
Challenge: Cabbies
Strategy: Day-Glo workout wear

Running through: Fenway
Challenge: Geese
Strategy: An air-horn

Running through: The Esplanade
Challenge: Unwanted attention
Strategy: Palm-size pepper spray

Running through: Harborwalk
Challenge: Gale-force winds
Strategy: A windbreaker and goggles