The concierge at the hotel gave handed me the Boston jogging map but didn't let go of it right away.
"So... when are you planning on running?"
"In the morning..."
"OK, but... it's gonna be pretty nasty out there..."
It had been two days since the last snow storm, but there was still a lot of snow on the ground. My hope was that the paths were clear enough that I could experience the legendary running paths along the Charles River.
The concierge was not optimistic. Through a combination of words and facial expressions, he suggested that a sane person might consider one of the perfectly good treadmills in the hotel health club as an alternative.
I managed to get the map out of his hand and had a look. Paths on either side of the Charles with numerous crossings allowed for loops off virtually any distance desired. It looked like about a 3 minute run from the hotel to get there. I really wanted to go.
The next morning, Christmas Eve, I woke at 6AM. I would have to head out right away in order to get my run in before we had to get packed and head out of town. I contemplated the pitch black darkness and the possibility of ice on a strange route, and I headed to the health club, head hanging in shame.
When we finally got on the road, we selected "go home" on the GPS, and it guided us along the Charles toward the highway. From Memorial Drive, it was easy to see that the running path was completely impassable.
I couldn't help but think that the roads of Central Park (home, sweet home) had to be completely clear by now. Boston -- bah humbug.
The next day I verified this with a beautiful Christmas morning run in the park. A few hours later we were airborne, headed for Japan. With 13 plus hours in a tin can ahead of me, it gave me great comfort that I had some outdoor miles under my belt. I'm not talking about treadmill miles. I mean real running, where you move forward, climb hills, feel the wind and see the world.