Questions, Questions


What a week! We logged another 22 miles, including a ten-mile long run in the driving snow! Our team coach, Rick Muhr, wanted us to get in some hills, so he had us come out to his hometown of Grafton, which is indeed quite full of rolling hills – and cows! And turkeys! Alas, this was on Saturday, when Massachusetts was hit by a heck of a storm, so we slipped and slid our way up and down those hills nearly blind. At the end of it all we were exhausted, wet, and had some pretty awesome bragging rights.

In other news, my good friend and teammate, Nandi, thought it would be fun if I answered some questions about who I am, why I run, and what I really think of poutine. So here you are – a brief, terrifying glimpse into the woman behind the Menace! Imagine all questions asked in the voice of a small blonde diabetic librarian-in-training. The color of this voice is purple.

why do you run?
When I started, in the spring of 2007, there were two reasons. The first is that I’d left the gym I’d been going to when I left my previous job, and needed to find a new way to work out. The other is that you, my dear friend, had mentioned the fun runs ’round the Charles River and I thought, well, I used to run, I could do that – could be interesting. I ran my first race right before my 30th birthday and haven’t looked back. Why I continue to run, however, is a little different. I mean, yes yes, exercise and companionship and all that, but what I’ve come to enjoy about running (and yes, as previously discussed, I DO enjoy running) is the fact that it feels very real. I can feel myself getting stronger, I can see improvement when I commit to the training. I also like the way it gives me challenging but achievable goals! Finally, it improves my mood – I’m more relaxed and energized if I keep up with running throughout the week.

favorite book character?
I’ve been re-reading Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain books recently, a series I really enjoyed as a kid, and it reminded me how much I like Princess Eilonwy, she of the red-gold hair. She’s brave, she’s brash, she’s not about to sit on her bottom and be saved by the men in the books, and best of all, she’s a red head! Plus the gal can turn a phrase: “If you don’t listen to what somebody tells you, it’s like putting your fingers in your ears and jumping down a well.”

favorite comic?
This is a tough one, since I like so many different kinds of comics for so many different reasons. My favorite on-going series is probably Fables, a book about fairy-tale folks living in the real world. My favorite super-hero book, however, is James Robinson’s Starman, which I recently received in it’s entirety for Christmas! It’s about a rather reluctant hero named Jack Knight and how he learns to live up to his title, and it’s also a great crash-course in DC’s Golden Age history. I would recommend it to nearly everyone.

the one thing you cannot live without?
Is it too hokey to say the people who love and support me? If it is, I’ll go with a really good jog bra. The marathon would not be possible without it.

best food experience?
Ooh, a question about the actual point of this blog! I’ve had a lot of great ones, but the best is probably the first time I ever went to TW Food. It was for summer restaurant week, and the food was all very fresh and vibrant. I just remember being struck by the starter, a zucchini soup – it was so full of bright green flavor. Restaurant Week menus tend to be a bit similar and to be perfectly honest, a bit mediocre, while this was clearly the chef bringing out his A-game.

best run?
The Hollis Applefest. I beat my half-marathon time by 8 minutes, it was an absolutely gorgeous day, and the entire town of Hollis, NH was out cheering us on. Not to mention that at the end there was apple crisp!

weirdest run?
No runs stand out as being particularly weird while running them, but there was one run this summer which we finished by going to Quebrada for a coffee. While there, an old man said “I bet you two ran 3 miles today!” and we informed him that no, in fact we had run 6. This flabbergasted him, and he said, “Well, I bet you want to run the Boston Marathon, then!” and we told him that in fact we’d just been accepted to a team and were (at that point, unofficially) in training for Boston. He nearly died with delight and followed you, Nandi, around the coffee shop, crowing to anyone who came in about your accomplishments. That was pretty danged weird.

wurst run?
I have to agree with your answer to this over on your blog, although Hilly Snowstorm 2010 may now have beaten it. There was a similar terror of being struck by a car, coupled with being blinded by the snow, which was lacking on the 9-miler of doom. That said, it was NOT 90 degrees outside, and since I feel wretched when I run in the heat, the summer run might still be slightly worse.

favorite kind of wurst?
Cheddarwurst!

advice to a new runner?
Sign up for a race! Having something that you’re working toward will keep you training, even when it’s hard or the weather is less than ideal. Also, try to find a partner or group with whom to run. Running alone can be meditative and relaxing, but it can get boring pretty fast. If there’s someone you can chat with the time and miles will fly, plus it’s someone to be responsible to – another way of making yourself stick with the program even when you’re not so inclined.

best saying for a tee shirt?
Make Me a Sandwich! People are just tickled to death when I wear that one.

favorite kind of eggs?
Poached. They’re a pain in the neck, but totally worth it if you get it right.

favorite indulgence?
Spending an entire day in my pajamas. Like today!

favorite little person? (photos appreciated 🙂 )
Little People Shelf 1

This picture has my two favorites – Serpentor, second from last on the top shelf, and Jack Knight, aka Starman, also second from last but on the fifth shelf. Jack is a favorite for reasons described above. Serpentor, on the other hand, is just so cute for a ruthless tyrant! How could you not love him?

what do you find most rewarding about your job?
Absolutely the fact that I believe that Boston Partners in Education helps children succeed who might otherwise fall through the cracks.

if you were an animal, what would it be?
Probably an owl. They’re kind of clunky looking but they are fierce predators who could tear your face off if pushed.

favorite beverage to order in a bar?
The Blood and Sand. I just think it’s magical that you mix together cherry brandy, orange juice, and Scotch, and the end result is not only palatable but delicious!

favorite beverage to make?
Forever and ever a Manhattan.

what is the thing that is inspire you to keep you going for 26.2 miles?
Pure, unmitigated stubbornness.

what are your feelings on poutine?
Poutine is an absolutely amazing invention and proof that the Quebecois know what they’re doing when it comes to food. Think about it – french fries are topped with brown gravy and salty, wonderful cheese curds? Who wouldn’t love that? Only someone who hates joy.

So there you have it, folks! My feelings on a myriad of topics – I’d be curious to your own answers to any and all of these questions. Thanks as always for all of the support, it really helped me tackle those hills this week!

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9 responses to “Questions, Questions

  1. This was a great idea for a blog and the questions were excellent! I really liked your reason for why you continue to run and the fact that you would be an owl. I don’t know why but I feel thats good to know about you.

  2. Starman is a great comic. I actually enjoy the family dynamics between Jack, his father, & his dead brother better than the villain smacking. You might wind up with a Starman splash page on your wall if Mr. Menace & I can work out a deal.
    My favorite little person is the Plastic Man as a mailbox.
    Plas as Mailbox 2
    Such an original idea. If I was still doing illegal tagging like I did 20 years ago, I’d paint a real mailbox like Plastic Man in homage.

  3. great post, nandi! like gary, i LOVED your owl answer! it made me laugh aloud, and since it’s before 7:00 am, that’s a feat. also thanks for the little people pic– it’s my new wallpaper.

  4. I’m dying to try poutine. I hear The Harvest has it.

    • theredmenaceeats

      I’m a fan of having it in a fast-food establishment in Montreal, per its roots, but I bet Harvest would have a pretty tasty, if fancy, version!

  5. I wasn’t sure which books I wanted to check out from the library before my break ends. Now I feel I must revisit Prydain!

    And you aren’t kidding about those owls! My dad (65) still has a nasty scar on his leg from an incident with a barn owl when he was 13! In other words…I promise to be sweet as sugar with you!

  6. I love poached eggs,who am I kidding… I love eggs in general, and agree they are a bit of a pain. Then I bought these a few years back and never had another problem

    http://www.amazon.com/HotSpot-EggShell-Silicone-Egg-Poacher/dp/B000WSF5DC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1263747372&sr=8-2

    Well worth the $8

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