Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It's Marathon Week - From Boston to Toledo We Take On 26.2 Miles!

This is one of the most exciting weeks of the year for me! I spent the weekend and first couple of days this week in Boston supporting my husband as he ran his first Boston Marathon! Later this week we will travel to Toledo so that I can run the Glass City Marathon! It's a busy, hectic week that is full of preparations, nervous energy and of course lots of running!

Boston - Day One

View from our room!
We arrived in Boston last Saturday morning. From landing to checking into our spectacular room at the Hyatt in Cambridge to attending the race expo to running along the Charles River to watching the marathon live, it was an awesome experience! The weather was spectacular on Saturday and my husband and I were delighted to have a warm, sunny view of the city from our balcony. We spent some time watching the collegiate rowers race and people walking, running and cycling along the waterfront.

A bit later we walked from our hotel into town to the Hynes Convention Center where they Boston Marathon expo takes place. The expo was enormous. I have never seen anything like it. It was wall to wall people - probably close to 100K. We stood in line for probably 15-20 minutes just for Steve to buy the "Official Boston Marathon" jacket. We then peruzed row after row after row of booths from every big and small running related brand you can imagine.

Cheers with Sam Adams!
Probably my favorite booth was the Sam Adams booth where they gave away samples of their 26.2 Brew! Following the expo we stopped in across the street a little pub called The Pour House where we enjoyed a couple of tall Harpoon IPAS and brunch. The food was great and we met an elite runner guy from Australia who ended running a 2:30 Monday.

Boston Day Two

Sunday was a great day as well. Steve had a little shakeout run to do so he ran the first 30 minutes with me easy and then I did another few miles at tempo with a cool down mile to wrap up. Running along the Charles River is spectacular! There is a paved trail as well as some trails through dirt and grass, which I really enjoyed. There were hundreds if not a thousand runners out this day as most of the marathoners had to get in their prerace shakeout runs. The energy during this run was electric! I really had to hold back as my first tempo mile was 7:30 and I was aiming for 8-8:15ish!

out front of John Harvard's
We spent a good part of Sunday afternoon in Harvard Square around campus visiting little shops including the Harvard Bookstore, enjoying coffee and of course beer! We had a snack and some brews at the John Harvard's Brewhouse as we caught some of the Cavs/Celtics playoff game. We picked up a couple of salads and a bomber of Oatmeal Stout before heading back to our room for the night.

We had debated going out but ended up ordering some pizza in and watching the game, which was nice and relaxing. With Steve needing to be up around 5:15 am to get ready for the race we turned in pretty early around 9:30 pm.

Boston Day Three - Marathon Day

Look at this prerace smile!
The wake up call came promptly at 5:15 am and from there it was a long, hectic, exciting day! Steve got up to eat and dress and he had to catch the shuttle from the hotel to catch the Boston Marathon shuttles. I walked down with him to get some coffee and see him off - wishing of course that I was running the race as well! After he left I finished my coffee, had a small snack and headed outside for a run along the Charles River again. It was a chilly morning as I had to run in gloves, a long sleeve and a headband. After about 6 miles I was back at the hotel to shower and get dressed. The temperature was dropping and rain and high winds were anticipated so I dressed in as many layers as I could. After eating brunch and catching some of the race live on TV at the hotel, I made my way on foot towards the race finish.

Elite women at Kenmore Square
Walking over to the race finish area it was very windy and cold. I ended up finding a place to watch in Kenmore Square where I could actually see the elites coming in. That was pretty exciting - although I had to stream the finish line to see that part of it. Logistically it was tough to get over by the finish. I was freezing after watching for an hour or so and had went to Starbucks to warm up with a coffee and snack. After purchasing an umbrella that instantly broke from the wind, I made my way toward the finish to watch for Steve and some of my teammates and friends running also.

It was difficult to get to the finish as most of the roads are closed so I was instructed by race volunteers and security to walk down Commonwealth and eventually make my way to Arlington. Once I made it over where the runners were it was complete mayhem and I could not find Steve. It probably took an hour for us to find each other and he was shivering cold. We picked up his gear bag so he could dress in some warmer, dry clothes and caught a taxi back to the hotel. His race had started out great for the first half and then around mile 18 he started to have some cramping with his quads and hips and felt freezing cold. Some of the volunteers tried to get him to go to the medical tent but he refused and kept on. Although his time was not what he wanted I am proud of him for finishing. My husband is a Boston Marathon finisher! How cool is that?! Hopefully I will be soon too!

We had planned to meet our friends Jessica & Ryan that night for post race drinks and food but Steve was not feeling too well that evening nor was I so we ended up staying in and turning in early after a beer and some food.

Boston Day Four - Headed Home

After some coffee and breakfast and getting packed up, Steve and I went for one final walk along the Charles River to say goodbye to the city of runners' dreams. We took a taxi to the airport and were back in Cleveland around 2:30pm. We did some shopping on the way home and unpacked and got our stuff ready for work the next day.

Glass City in T-3 Days

In a few short days it will be my turn to toe the line in Toledo. While the race won't be anywhere near as large as the Boston Marathon, its meaning to me is just as large. Months and months of training will come to fruition in what I hope will amount to my first Boston Qualifying (BQ) marathon performance. Maybe #4 will be the one. If not, I will most definitely persist until I earn my place at the start line of all start lines in Boston. Let's do this!

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