Boston Weekend

What a weekend!!  Ran the Boston 1/2 Marathon on Sunday, October 10, 2010, 10-10-10, finished in 2:08:28, not too bad, slower than my last half by a couple of minutes, but I did walk 3 times, just didn’t care about my time that much since I knew I wasn’t going to PR or break 2 hours.

From the beginning – my friend Eric who I work with lives in Ft. Lauderdale and we ran a race together last year, this year we had planned to run a relay in Las Vegas, but it fell through so back in July or June we decided on Boston.  One, we had a place to stay and Two, it was 10-10-10. 

We flew into Boston on Thursday, our flights were about 20 minutes apart so we met at baggage claim, we haven’t seen each other in almost a year, nice reunion!  We called Eric’s friend Jake to pick us up and headed to Jake’s condo.  Such a big, beautiful city!!  It was nice having someone who actually lives there tell us about everything and how to get around. 

On Thursday night Jake took us down to Newbury Street, we walked quite a bit and there were tons of people out, lots of super nice shops.  We went into the official running store which I can’t remember the name, something Marathon, it was on Boylston Street, but not far from there was the actual finish line for the Boston Marathon, it was pretty cool, I wanted to get a picture, but traffic was bad.  We ended up eating dinner at Back Bay Social Club, menu was pretty limited and I had Pork Chop with fingerling potatoes.  It was the saltiest dish I have ever had, burned my throat it was so salty.  On our way home I had an upset stomach, great….. and if it had taken any longer I might have had an accident.  It was not pretty, I think I was poisoned.

Friday Eric and I got up and ran 5 miles, the night before Jake showed us the route we should take and we did great, here are a couple of shots from our run.

We ran on some sort of path that went around Castle Island, there was not a Castle, but some sort of Fort.  The wind was a little brutal, but it was a really nice trail with great views and everything was still so green!

Jake dropped us off at Quincy Market on his way to work, Eric and I set out.  We hit the Boston Public Library, OMG, beautiful!  It was like a movie set, so much marble, murals, opulence.  We headed over to the Prudential Center to get tickets for the Duck Tour, it’s something Eric had been talking about, I was reluctant, but it was really great.  We got tickets for the noon boat, but had to be there at 11:30 and got back at 1:30.  We were starved, ate in the Prudential Center at Paradise Bakery, it was delish!

We just started walking, not really sure which way to go, we walked some on Newbury Street, then headed to the Market and the old churches, we ended up walking through the Boston Common a beautiful park area which was still in bloom with flowers, green grass, tons of people.  Walked past the State House which is beautiful and ended up at the Old Granary Burial Grounds, the headstones were so old you could barely read them.  Paul Revere was buried there along with Mary Goose who is thought to have been “Mother Goose”.  It was a little creepy, but for some reason I like graveyards, the headstones are interesting to me.  There were several tours going on so it was hard to get around.

We went inside the Omni Parker House Hotel, very opulent, I thought there might be a gift shop inside but we never found one.  We saw the Old State House where the Declaration of Independence was read and got a few snapshots, unfortunately my battery died and I had a disposable camera so no pics to share right now.   Across the street was Faneuil Hall Marketplace, lots of shops, diners, street performers, it was so nice outside, but we were both getting tired.  We did go into a few shops and ended up in Banana Republic where I bought a couple of things.

Jake had called Eric and was going to meet us around 6pm so we were just walking around the marketplace and found Bill Rodgers running Store, I think I met Bill Rodgers too, it had to be him, we talked about running a bit and there were tons of articles about him all over the store, about the Boston Marathon and other running events.  I didn’t want to come right out and ask him “are you Bill?”  but I think it was.

We met up with Jake and ended up walking more, we were close to one of the hospitals, Mass General I think, I thought we would never sit down!  We ate at a small mexican joint and after the stomach incident the night before I was eating bland for the rest of the trip.  We had to walk some more to get to the T, I wish I had kept my Garmin on to see how many miles we walked, it was a bunch!  My legs were feeling stiff.

We didn’t do a thing Friday night, we were pooped.  Saturday we did not run, my legs were too tired and we had a busy day planned.  We were heading to Samuel Adams Brewery for a tour!  We met Christian one of Eric’s friends there around 11:00, the tour didn’t last that long, but was interesting, it was not as “grand” as I expected because they don’t do any bottling at that facility, it is more a R&D type facility.  We did get to test taste beer, well I don’t drink much and only took a few sips, but most people had 3, the max.  They sent us on our way with souvenir glasses and the gift shop waiting.  Christian took over driving and we didn’t have to use the T anymore on Saturday.  We ate at Doyle’s in Jamaica Plain which was really good and then headed over to Harvard Square, interesting place.

It took us forever to find a parking spot, we walked around the campus and the square where all the people were gathered, got a great cup of coffee at a place called J.P. Licks, ice cream shop.  Took some nice photos…..

Library at Harvard

 After Harvard we headed back into town and Jake’s condo, cleaned up a bit and then headed to dinner, pasta of course, the night before the big race.  Jake had a restaurant picked out, but I can’t remember the name.  I had a chicken Panini and soup, everyone else had pasta and then we headed home after our mile walk back to Jake’s car, parking was horrible.

Race day!  Jake had a couple of friends that were coming to house and we were all going to ride together over to UMass where a shuttle would pick us up and take us to the start.  The race was to begin at 8:30 and we were leaving Jake’s at 7am, this made me nervous since I had no idea how long any of this would take, but luckily it all worked out.  The morning was clear and chilly around 44, I threw on a throw away shirt, mittens and headband.  We took the shuttle to the start, Jake’s friends had bags to drop so we waited on them and then headed to the start, we couldn’t even get in the chute it was so crowded, I took this shot looking back before the start.  Well, the second picture.

Ready to Run

The race –  I ran alone, which I don’t really like, people in Boston are not like people in the South, we talk to everyone, not so much up north.  Eric was trying to get under 2 hours and I knew I probably wouldn’t so he took off.  I didn’t know Jake’s friends so I didn’t run with them, I was on my own.  The course was pretty much an out and back and it started off downhill, not a good sign knowing you will have to go back up. Very nice scenic course called the Emerald Necklace, through several parks.  I kept a really good pace through about mile 8 and then ugh, I didn’t care, walked 3 times after that, but still finished in 2:08:28, not bad, could have done a lot better.  Found Eric when it was over and we went to pick up our finisher’s shirt, nice tech long sleeve Adidas shirt, which I promptly lost somewhere.  Pissed about it too.   Still.  We waited on everyone to finish, took a few snapshots and headed back on the shuttle, when we got back to UMass Jake had locked his keys in his car, ugh, not what you want when you are ready to get home.  We had to call a cab, luckily Jim had money on him, none of the rest of us did.  Saturday afternoon we headed to The Top of The Hub, 52nd floor of the Prudential Building.  Nice.  Expensive.  My diet coke, $3.75 and no free refills, I had 2.  But you pay for the view.  We ended up going to SOWA, it was an outdoor Market in South Boston, it was really neat, lots of vendors with hand crafted items, lots of food trucks, I pigged out on a pulled pork sandwich and searching for something sweet.  We walked some more to some old church, can’t remember the name, but at one time it was the largest church in the US.  We were all tired and headed home. 

Monday was our last full day and Eric and I planned on going to Salem, Mass.  We had to catch a ferry and it left at 10am, we left the house at 9am and barely made it, we had to switch trains twice after we walked 20 minutes to the first train.  It was a great ferry ride though, took about an hour and there was a great guide on board who was a wealth of knowledge. 

Boston skyline from ferry

Once we arrived we had until 3pm to get back, our first stop was the House of Seven Gables, we decided to take the tour, it was very interesting, but nothing like I expected, glad we did it.  We then headed into town, of course we were starving!  We ate at Gulu Cafe, it was so good!  We walked around and never could find all the neat stuff we wanted to find, the best part was a memorial for the 20 people put to death because they were found guilty of being witches.  Very unique memorial.  We went into several shops, got a few souvenirs, walked around the whole city and headed back.

Once we got back to Boston I wanted to go to the Union Oyster House for souvenirs, it’s the oldest running restaurant in the US.  Then we headed over to Beacon Hill, OMG, I might move there if someone would give me a house in that area, super chic, loved it over there.

Louisburg Square

Acorn Street - Beacon Hill

Now it was time for us to find our way home, we were successful!  We found the nearest T station and didn’t have to switch trains and made it home around 6:30pm, pooped again.  Time to pack.  It was a great trip, but I was ready to get home, I missed my little BOJ and my own bed!

Yesterday I was so excited to keep my little BOJ, Stephanie brought her over around 1pm and she was so good, we took a walk in the BOB, she was just in the best mood, I guess she missed her Grams!  Kim came over when she got off work and I think she was just as excited to see her as I was.  Here is a cute picture.

BOJ - 4 1/2 months

Now we are getting ready for Kim’s Ultra, she will be running her first 50-miler this weekend, eeeekkk!!!  I plan on running the last 14-15 miles with her, should be interesting, report to follow!