Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Boston 5K

To say this post is overdue is a bit of an understatement. But I'm writing it anyway.

Getting ready for my trip to Boston was overwhelming. It was just really difficult timing with my classes. So by the time I got to the airport Saturday evening, I was feeling a little wiped. My day had been a flurry of cleaning and list-making and laundry and packing.

I called my Mom on the way to the airport. She was staying with my kids and assured me she was on her way. I called the kids to make sure they knew I loved them. And before I knew it I was in the familiar surroundings of Mitchell International Airport. I even scored a mighty fine parking spot right near the door on Level 3 of the parking garage. Things were looking up!

I was cutting it pretty close to boarding time, so I hightailed it to the gate. I had printed my boarding passes online and was only taking a carry-on, so no need to visit the fine folks at the ticket counter. I breezed through security relatively painlessly. I actually enjoy traveling alone. It is so much easier.

Turns out I was cutting it closer than I thought. I found my gate and realized I hadn't eaten all day. So I was gonna grab a sammie for the plane. No go. They were just about to begin boarding. No big. I would just get something during the flight. Again....that would be a no go. I'm so used to my three hour flight to Florida that I forgot this flight was just barely two hours. So they were not serving anything but snacks. Oh well, I could eat something once I got to the hotel.

I boarded the plane and took my super-comfy Business Class seat. Oh yea! That was certainly one of the best decisions I had made all week. When I was checking in online I saw the flight was full. I had a choice of a window seat back in the tail end of the plane or a few options of middle seats throughout the plane. The bad thing about not traveling with my kids is that I don't have the comfort of sitting next to little people who don't mind my cushyness spilling over into their seats. The good thing about not traveling with my kids is that it is much cheaper to upgrade one ticket than it is to upgrade three. So I splurged. It was worth every, single dime! The seat was awesome. The free vodka and cranberry soothed my nerves. And the nice flight attendant was practically throwing snacks at us. Not the ONE bag of pretzels the poor schumks in the back of the plane got. No. We got to choose from a basket of cookies and snack mixes. Multiple times. Its the little things that make me happy :)

So it was an uneventful flight. I got into Logan around 10ish I think. I called my friend Lynda who had flown out from California two days prior. She had a rental car and offered to pick me up. This went waaaay beyond the call of duty. She was driving in a strange city, in a strange car, at night, in the rain. She had to wait in the cell phone lot until I landed so I scurried out to the pick-up location. While I waited I called my Mom to make sure she made it to the house safely. She still wasn't there! What the heck? I'm already in Boston and she was still 30 minutes from my house. Apparently, she needed to stop to do some shopping. I gave her some flack about it, but was thankful she was almost there.

Soon Lynda pulled up. I waited at the back of the car for her to pop the trunk for my bags. I had forgotten this was a rental and poor Lynda had no idea where any of the buttons were. She gets out in the rain and had to  use the key....oops. I suppose I could've just put that in the back seat. But I did just get out of Business Class and I was accustomed to being waited on.

The ride to the hotel was a quick one. Lynda gave me the run-down of her last two days. She had attended the expo with Deb (who is running the marathon on Monday) and filled me in on the goodies they bought. We finally get to the hotel and I realize there is nowhere nearby to eat. Oh well. Thank goodness for the snack fairy. It also dawned on me that I had to get up in a few hours to run a 5k. When was this a good idea?

Now here is the fun part. I walked into the room and Lynda had already picked out her bed. There are all sorts of presents strewn on my bed. It was like Christmas! I really wish I had gotten a picture, but I was just too excited to think of it.

She had picked up my race packet for me, so that was there. The shirt was AWESOME! No advertising on it at all, which I LOVED! She had picked up a poster from the expo for me. Some samples of sunscreen and wraps and whatnot. Plus there was the Bondi Band I had "ordered" from them. They found the exact perfect one I wanted. She gave me a tech shirt from the Princess that didn't fit her and a cool hanger for my medals. It was pretty awesome. I totally recommend rooming with Lynda if you ever have the chance.

We figured out logistics for the next day and chit-chatted for awhile until finally going to bed sometime after midnight. I did not sleep well at all. It was kind of noisy in the room above us. And it rained all night. So, again, I was really not looking forward to running.

I think we got up around 5am or something stupid like that. I got all primped up. The irony of drying my hair before I went out in the rain to run 3.1 miles was not lost on Lynda. She just shook her head and looked the other way.

So lets speed this up......no breakfast, short walk to train, 25ish minute ride into downtown, found friends near the start line, rain had pretty much stopped.

Deb was there to support us which was super awesome of her. We were also meeting up with a Massachusetts friend who was running with us. (Well, really running in front of us!) I was tired, but really enjoyed the excitement of the city. You could feel the energy and anticipation all around. And it wasn't for this race. It was for Monday. And everyone knew it.

The three of us: Lynda, Tracy and I waited for the race to start while Deb found a place near the finish. Lynda said how she only has about 40 seconds of run in her at a time. I was totally cool with that. There would be no PR this go-round. She urged me to go ahead if I felt like it, but I was more than happy to take it slow and easy this morning.

The race started and Tracy was gone like the wind. After about two blocks I realized I might not have 3.1 miles in me after these last few days of hell. I was beat. So the walk break came quickly for me and Lynda. I enjoy city races. You get to see so much from the those streets that are usually packed bumper to bumper with cars. The crowds and volunteers were awesome. We were eyeing the jackets they were wearing knowing we'd get hooked up with some ourselves the next day.

Right after the first water stop we encountered a nice little hill. Neither of us were amused. We talked, we ran, we walked. I'm not sure it really qualified as a "run". But I was suprised at how much effort I had to expend to lug myself those 3.1 miles. My laxidasical training and lack of sleep were catching up with me. But I was so enjoying the scenery and I wasn't gonna beat myself up about it. This was just a different kind of run for me. By the time we neared the finish line I was ready to just be done. So when Lynda got all geared up to run again, I was ready to take off. But no sooner had we taken two steps than I looked over to my left and she had stopped. And with a face as serious as I'd ever seen, she says, "I only had two seconds in me that time." Oh man! I still laugh out loud thinking about that. It was hysterical!

About 50 minutes later we crossed the finish line. Deb was there to cheer us on. Tracy had finished long before us. We shuffled into a tent to get out medals. Which were very cool. Here is a picture of the finish line before we started.

After getting our medals we hooked ourselves up with some bagels and fruit and were off to find the Westin for brunch.

Since we were volunteering with the Liver Foundation the next day, we were invited to brunch with the runners. I was just so happy to see food and wasted no time in filling a plate. It was great food for a buffet. The program was a little long, but I was happy to sit. There were a couple speakers from The Biggest Loser there. They would be running the next day. I know one of them was Patrick House. I forget the other girl's name. Elizabeth, I think.

After brunch we said goodbye to Tracy and Deb and went to check out the expo since I hadn't been there yet. It was crazy busy, but I just wanted to check it out. Lynda talked me into registering for the Wine and Dine there in order to save the $10 active.com usually charges. Plus the price increase had happened the day before and they would let you sign up at the cheaper price. So I HAD to do it. Plus I got a runDisney tote bag out of the deal. I love me some free stuff. Other than a stop of the Bondi Band booth, I just didn't have it in me to fight the crowds. So we headed back to the hotel to shower and rest.

I will tell you all about volunteering at the marathon in my next post. It was truly an amazing experience. I was so inspired and overwhelmed by the whole day. I met remarkable people and witnessed the power of human determination up close.


  1. Yay!! You're back!! I've missed you, girl!! Excellent race report, by the way! :)

  2. Thanks, Nora! Its good to be back :)

  3. I'm pretty much hungry now - after all these times when you didn't get to eat! :)

    So cool that you ran Boston! ;) Congrats!

  4. FF - Right? It was kind of an ongoing theme for the weekend. I totally made up for it on Tuesday though. I had lobster pie and clam chowder for lunch and a big ole steak for dinner. It was spectacular!

  5. 2 seconds was all I had, but you'd be so proud of me now, I'm up to 15 to 20 seconds out of every minute.

  6. That is some good progress, Lynda! I, on the other hand, seem to be doing a little back-sliding. Too bad you didn't live closer so we could train together.

  7. 20 seconds out of most minutes just got me a 3:39 finish at the Disneyland Half. Wine & Dine, here we come!

  8. I had to search through your blog to find this post again... I'm totally registering for this race once it opens and I'm freaking going to Boston this year!!