A while back, I was deciding which half marathons to register for that are outside of NY. Why, because I haven’t been to many states outside of NY. I’ve been to CT, PA, NJ, VT, FL, and recently NV and CA. 30 years and that’s it!? What kind of American am I? It then hit me, why not register for out-of-state races to give me a reason to travel, and run around these new lands in the process. Naturally, I chose a neighbor state; Boston MA and registered for the Boston Run to Remember, and got more than just a race experience.
I recently realized that treadmills are a good tool for running 5Ks (even 10Ks). They provide speed/incline control and other perks such as: weather proof (no wind, rain, snow, or ice), provides a nice place to put a water bottle, no traffic to take a minute or 2 from you, and no sudden cracks or things to trip on. With a zero incline, I wanted to truly measure my 10k speed. Without any breaks, I ran a 52 min 10k (my best yet). In time, this should be 50 min, maybe even 45 min, we’ll see. Although it can get extremely boring, the treadmill makes a good training tool to assess ones’ performance.
What was originally just a race turned into a 3 day Boston trip. My wife and I took the greyhound bus from NY and arrived in Boston on Friday afternoon. We stayed at the Seaport Hotel which was cool because it was across the street from the expo and the start/finish line of the race. There was a hotel discount for those running the race. And finally, I didn’t need to deal with baggage checking at a race. After a long walk around Quincy Market, North End, and some ofthe wharfs, we went back to the hotel and crashed. I managed to squeeze a 30 min treadmill before dinner; had to keep the muscles alive.
Saturday began with a buffet breakfast, then the Aquarium; a good idea since it was upper 80s outside. Legal Seafood was across the street, so we went there for lunch. We then walked the freedom trail to Boston Common. All sweaty and tired, we headed back to change because the ghost tour at 8pm awaits by Faneuil Hall. We were in a group of 40 or so, walking on some freedom trails, but getting some interesting Halloweeny type tales and several behind the scenes stories along the way. There is an actual hotel room (Omni Parker – 303) where staff and guests are either slapped or punched by a drunken ghost every now and then. After an attempt to have dead souls switch a flashlight on, we headed back to Seaport and had room service dinner. A big salad and baked potato for me, carb it up! Its almost midnight and only a few hours left for sleeping, argh.
6am, yawn, but hey, the starting line is right outside the window, ahhh the life. 7am, I’m running with a 5,000 runner mob, yay! The first few minutes is my favorite part of a race, its like embarking on a journey into the unknown with a sea of people for no reason! I feel like a little kid who broke free from his parents’ grasp, running to the park with the slides, swings, and other kids. This is why I run, to feel like a kid again, to be free. The city buildings are a mile away, I can’t wait to get there alongside these crazy people. After mile 3, it was another 3 mile path to Harvard U along the river, then back. I felt the heat and some minor shin pain; maybe this won’t be a PR for me. I saw a fellow jogger blogger RunToMunch, she was already 10 minutes ahead of me on the return path, she kicks ass. Once I reached the return route, I somehow felt numb to pain, bring it on! Mile 9, 10, 11, back in the city center, the end is near. Whoa, I just noticed my time at mile 12, can I PR again after PR-ing last weekend?! On to the main seaport road to the finish, at mile 13, I ran like I just robbed somebody. 1:54:32, PR! Yesss!
The party just started. I booked an 11am brunch cruise on the Odyssey ship docked at Rowe’s wharf. What a lovely surprise, lunch BUFFET! I had 1500 calories to make-up for, nom-nom time. Many people aboard were celebrating something, so in my case, this was a celebration for the race. And then came the victory cheesecake! Great food, great views, great time, Jon recommends. And of course, one last walk around town before its time to pack our bags.
Back to NY the following day, and the real marathon training begins…