4/15-4/18, 2017 - BOSTON, MA
So in my last post I raved about the BAA 5K and my new PR but the real reason we were in Boston was for Jon's Dad. He had qualified back in Nov 2015 to run Boston again... at the age of 62. CRAZY. Of course I was probably more excited than everyone else to be in town for one of the world's greatest road races.
On Friday morning, Jon took me to the airport for my 10am flight. I was connecting in NYC and then on to Boston. My flights were pretty uneventful and I was actually surprised to see a marathon runner aboard. In NYC the nice terminal was awesome and I was able to get the salad bar for lunch. PERFECT. Once I got to Boston I had been instructed to take the Blue Line to the Aquarium stop. It was easy to navigate- bus to train station- buy Charlie Pass- and then hop on the train for literally two stops. Then boom I was at our hotel. Marriot Longwharf. Super nice and a great place to get to everything. Jon's family had been visiting a friend (they arrived that morning) but met up with me at the hotel. Our rooms weren't quite ready so everyone headed over to the bar to relax. I wanted to run well so was holding off on the local beers until AFTER the race. Finally we were able to get into our rooms, I unpacked, relaxed a bit and then made dinner plans with Ethan. He's living in RI these days and drove up to see me while I was 'close.'
Ethan's an old friend from grad school days who is probably on this blog back in race recaps or other DC debauchery. It had been probably 2 years since we'd seen each other but it felt like old times as soon as we were together again. He met me in the hotel lobby and then we wandered through the markets looking for a good dinner spot. The Bostonia Tavern was a couple of blocks away and seemed like a great bet for food. Plus we were able to get seated with no wait. (WINNING) After some tasty food and lots of conversation we decided to walk around for a bit. Lots of exploring by the wharf area. Was awesome to catch up and spend the evening laughing our heads off. Nice to be around a friend again- it gets pretty isolated down here in Blacksburg. Anyway we had a great time and he decided he might come meet up with me for my long run on Sunday. About that time Jon's family was coming back from dinner too and we all retired for the night pretty early. :)
Saturday morning was all BAA5K, still excited about that PR and the whole experience. Jon's mom ran well too! So a good morning for all. Then we headed back to the hotel for showers, and to meet up with Jon as his plane was coming in that morning. Once he was there and unpacked we headed over to Quincy Markets to grab lunch. I stuffed my face with pesto mac and cheese. SO GOOD. Then it was expo time!! I LOVE expos so even though I was done with my running events for the weekend I still had a blast walking around all the booths. I was good and only purchased a spi-belt and one sparkly soul headband. I did try lots of free samples, drink the free beer and enjoy myself a ton.
We headed back to the hotel afterwards- stopped by the bar for a drink- and then rested a bit until it was time for Mexican dinner! We got to walk past an awesome Boston Strong sign, along the water, and then across one of the bridges to the restaurant. Margaritas, guacamole and tacos were on point :D. It was another early night thankfully as I had to get up at 5:30 to get my long run in before Easter brunch.
I was pretty sure I was going to be running alone because 6am was pretty early but Ethan came through for me and joined me for 7.25 miles of fun. We saw an awesome sunrise and explored lots of downtown Boston. Love running WITH people. Something I never get to do anymore but always jump the chance when I can. I said goodbye to Ethan with the hope that it wouldn't be another 2 years before we saw each other again. And then it was time to shower and Easter brunch!
We headed over to Northside Grill (one of the only spots available for reservation) and stuff our faces we did. There was so much food but it was all sooooo good. I had an omelet that came with delicious breakfast potatoes and a sweet corn muffin. I couldn't even finish it there was so much. I was so thankful I had run before this feast! Afterwards we wandered over by the water, sang a few Easter hymns, and then went for a walk to see Jon's cousin Ryan's new place. It was up on Beacon Hill. And since the weather was so nice it was a perfect day to walk. Of course by the time we made it there it ended up being a little much for Jon's dad's knee. Back by train and to the bar! We had a Duck Boat tour scheduled for the afternoon which was pretty fun. We headed near where I had run that morning and then into the river for a bit. The breeze was nice and it was a fun way to spend the afternoon. Then it was time for dinner. The plan was to drop in to one of the many Italian places but after walking around for a bit and having no luck we opted for an american restaurant that served pasta. I had a salad - it was delicious and I needed something light and healthy after all the heavy food we'd been eating. Then we headed back to the hotel, wished Ralph good luck and turned in for the night.
We were up early to eat breakfast and see Ralph off. Then was spent the morning watching some of the marathon coverage before Jon and I headed to the train to go spectate on the course. We had planned to go as far as we could (Mile 17) which was a great spot actually. Just past the half marathon and right before the onslaught of the hills. We got a nice shady spot and then cheered our hearts out. I got to see the elites fly by and then so many Oiselle women crushing it out there. Jon's family joined us about an hour later. We were all tracking Ralph, making sure he was doing ok. In case I didn't mention it earlier in the post- he had been having knee issues with a torn meniscus and we weren't sure how the race was going to go. So everyone was there cheering and waiting. We had a cowbell, some clappers, we snacked on pretzels and water and waited. And then suddenly he was there- crushing it. Making great time despite the heat, wind and his injury. We screamed so loud and I took a bunch of photos. Then we hopped back on the train to get to Mile 25.
All in all traveling to two spots was pretty easy and at Mile 25 (Citgo sign) we were able to wiggle in as people left to get right on the rail by the time Ralph came by. Still cruising! Afterwards getting to the family area took more time than anything else but finally we found him and took lots of pictures. We made the slow walk back to the hotel so he could work his legs out, had some celebratory beers and then headed up to our rooms to rest and change clothes for dinner. We also had a snack in the concierge lounge because why not?! Then seafood dinner. Conveniently across from our hotel. Yummy shrimp and tasty beer to close out the day. Back at the hotel, Jon and I packed up everything and then went to sleep. We had to get up super early to make our 7am flight home.
Boston you were great! I hope to one day come back and run you myself!!