The Thirteener Manifesto

Five miles into what turned out to be, in perfect coincidence, a thirteen mile trail run, my friend, Dean, still running perkily after completing a tough 100 mile race a week before, an insanely hard 50K two weeks before that, and nabbing a fifth place finish at a 50 miler the previous month, said, a […]

Girls on the Run 5K in Chicago

When you get an email from one of your oldest friends asking you to join her and the nine-year-old who calls you Auntie Rachel to come to Chicago for her first 5K, you can’t not go. Earlier this fall Val sent me a message about a conversation she’d had with her daughter Ivy that morning. […]

First Steps

Let’s begin by admitting that when you start, it’s bloody awful. After you lace up your new running shoes for the first time, step into your short shorts with the built-in panties, pull on a tee-shirt made of recycled plastic bottles or some other technical material that will, eventually, start to stink in the armpits […]

What Becomes a Legend Most?

It’s easy to spot Nikki Kimball in a crowd, even in a crowd of super-fit runners. Her auburn hair is unruly, her pale skin wallpapered in freckles. She’s boisterous, laughs easily, and loudly.  Nikki Kimball is super-fit, but also sturdy, solid, and short. Her thighs are brawny. She loves bacon and burgers. We both moved […]

Boston 04-15-13

The years I don’t go, it feels like I’m missing a party. I get texts and emails and photos in the weeks and days before the race. I get invitations to gatherings and receptions. I feel left out. And then, on race day, I sit at the computer and look up bib numbers. I read […]

How I Like My Eggs

There are a few good reasons to watch the 1999 movie, The Runaway Bride. They are: Julia Roberts’ laugh, Richard Gere’s hair, and the bit about the eggs. The movie is about a woman who molds herself into whatever and whoever the man she’s currently with wants her to be. She eats eggs the way […]

My Year as a Fifty-Year-Old Sponsored Athlete

Used to be, I was the youngster. I scrambled up the professional career ladder of scholarly publishing so fast that I often had a hard time getting people to believe that yes, I really was an editor from Oxford University Press, not a graduate student. I had to devise ways to make sure that wait […]

Verklempt at the Races

When I worked in college admissions, one of the most damning things we could say about a student was that he had the “Ds”: determined, diligent, dedicated.  Students with the Ds get the work done. They don’t slack off, they tend not to complain, they’re the little workhorses of their class. So what was the […]

My Best Running Buddy

On the rare occasions we run together, it’s generally only for a few miles. She will urge me on ahead or turn around before I’m ready to go back. During our too-infrequent visits, she will wake and run early in the morning, come home to find me still logy from sleep and foraging through her […]

Nine Titles Thinking About Title IX

Because I never played sports, because I went with my feminist mother to 1970s rallies and women’s groups, because I attended a fancy-pants college on financial aid and wanted to believe that the world was fair and meritocratic, and because I was naïve and narcissistic, I hadn’t thought about how or if Title IX affected […]