tonight amanda and i ran in the coldest weather yet that we've experienced as a tandem running team. more about that later.

i came in to work early (woke up at 7am) to clean up some code in order to get caught up to speed on the schedule. people were getting flu shots in the office but i was told they'd cost $15 to get one so i figured it wasn't worth it. turns out they were free for employees, but by the time i found out, i had already convinced myself it was a bad idea to get one so i didn't want a flu shot even when i heard the news. close to noontime we had a project status report meeting and afterwards i went to eliza jones to get lunch.

in all the times i've worked at the company, eliza jones and i have never gotten lunch together, at least not anytime that i can remember (i'm sure i would've filed something like that in my mental notebook). so it was quite a historical moment, like man's walk on the moon or columbus discovering the new world. anyway, she found a child's paper cutout of a ladybug on the ground and carried it with her, finally putting it on the ledge of a loading dock. i told her this was a bad idea because now the loading dock guys are going to see this ladybug, and they can either interpret it as a happy ladybug or an evil ladybug, a warning of some potential misfortune, death's calling card if you will. they will be totally spooked out by this friendly gesture, especially in these times of heightened awareness of anything out of the ordinary. a ladybug cutout lying on the steps is pretty out of the ordinary.

eliza and i went to the kendall's house of pizza. she ordered a chicken parmigiana, i ordered "the same", the food of choice for those who are too lazy to decide for themselves! i wasn't going to get another steak tips sub though, no way. those are way too much, i don't want to clog up my arteries! but they're so good!

i didn't plan on running today because it was just too cold. in the morning and afternoon the temperature was pretty good, actually somewhat balmy for such a late november season, but i heard on the weather report last night that the temperature would drop to freezing level, and by the time the sun went down (somewhere around 4pm), the temperature was down to the mid 40's with very strong cold winds that definitely made it freezing temperature with the wind chill factor. so it was under these inhospitable conditions that amanda asked me if i was running after work. i think i know amanda well enough by now to understand that that's her secret way of telling me, "i want to run today." not one to refuse such a rare request (or command, however you want to interpret it), i went into our usual song and dance before every run. you see, amanda wants to run but she wants to play like she doesn't and then wants me to persuade her to go, like it was all my idea to begin with. it's kind of twisted, we've been doing this the whole summer though, so i'm sort of use to it by now, and if it ain't broken i'm not going to fix it. but could i have added to the record that i didn't plan on running today?

and so i come downstairs after work, for more of the usual routine. amanda's looking all busy, like she doesn't have time to go out, and totally ignores me, and i'm standing there with my gym bag, and in a huff i say something to the effect of, "i can't wait for you anymore, i'm getting changed," and i go to the bathroom to do just that, and then minutes later she all of a sudden decides that, okay, yes, maybe she will run today, even though she wanted to run from the start. after we're all set, after we're all changed into our running clothes, we take off.

running clothes...at least amanda had on the long-sleeved pullover (same one from last time), i was dressed in nothing but two layers of t-shirt and a pair of running shorts. as soon as we went out, the first few minutes, it was very obvious that it was cold. of course my male machismo wouldn't admit as much in the presence of a lady, so i was saying stuff like, "this isn't cold! we're hardly new englanders! this is nothing!" all the while i'm crying like a little girl on the inside because it was seriously cold. we get to the charles, do our stretches, and start running.

it wasn't so bad once we started running. my body felt really warm, it was just my arms and hands that were freezing. my bare legs were probably cold as well, but they went numb pretty fast early on so i didn't really feel them for the rest of the run. the whole loop around the charles amanda kept on complaining how cold it was, while i kept on reassuring her that the faster we run, the hotter we'll feel. the coldest part of the course was over the mass ave. bridge. with winds over the river blowing from all sides, it was like running down a long cold wind tunnel. the only good thing was amanda and i ran the fastest we've ever ran together when we went over that bridge. we didn't even have to goad each other, but instead we instinctively knew that we had to run fast in order to survive the bridge.

i ran the whole course with my eyes transfixed on the beautiful boston skyline. if i should ever leave the company, one of the things i'll miss the most (besides the people of course) is being able to run around the charles river, day or night. i mean, this is the romanticized version of boston, with all the buildings and the lights and the reflection off of the charles river. dare i say magical? you don't even have to run, you can just take a leisurely stroll. it's an experience no true bostonian should miss.

of course it goes without saying, the run was totally asterisked. but try running in seriously cold weather! it wasn't the cold weather that bothered us though, it was the fact that we were underdressed. most of the people that ran by us had on fleece and hats and gloves. amanda and i were just wearing things we found around the office. if we were dressed more properly for the occasion, it'd be a pretty nice run.

back at the office, amanda forced me to do some situps and bicycle crunches with her. i haven't done those in well over three months, and during that time i've probably converted a lot of what use to be stomach muscles back into blubber. at my best, in my prime this summer, i could do 200 bicycle crunches. tonight, a mere 20 and i lost count too, so it might've been lower. war on terrorism? meet my own personal war on the gut. i'm putting that project on the board.

when i finally got home, on the bus ride my hands were still icy from the run. i'm not sure if there's going to be a next time though, at least not with amanda. she told me she wouldn't do any winter running.