Back in Boston

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Last month Chris and I got back from a much need vacation to Boston.  Boston is one of my favorite cities ever and a reason for that is because it is such an amazing place for running.  Having worked there five times in the past couple years, I know the city pretty well.  It gave me a chance to show Chris around the city that I love so much.  It also allowed me to continue my training runs without getting lost.

On our first night there I decided to run with the Nike Run Club.  If you have been following my blog then you know that I used to run with Nike when I worked in Boston.  They didn’t have the long runs like I used to do, but they did have what they call a home run at 6:34 pm.  The home run is either a 3 mile or 6 mile run.  Our hotel was about a mile from the Nike store so I decided to do the 3 mile run along with running to and from there to make up five training miles.

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When I got to the store, there was a tent outside.  Apparently there are a lot more people that do this run then the long runs because the sidewalk was packed!  I checked in at the tent and was directed to the side where they had water and Gatorade.  I grabbed a Gatorade and drank it right away.  Shortly after that we started.  We were directed to a park a block away where we were led in a warm up.  That took about 15 minutes and then we broke into groups for the 3 and 6 miles.

The course was an out and back along the Charles River Esplanade.  On the way back I missed the turn so one of the pacers caught up with me and we ran back to the store together, chatting the whole way.  I love these Nike runs because the running community there is so great and it gives me a chance to run with others rather than running by myself like I normally do.

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The next morning I got up and did a short run around the river before sightseeing.  The weather was 55 degrees and perfect!  My pace wasn’t the greatest, but I was busy taking in all the sights.  It felt like I never left.  I remembered all the turns, landmarks, and street names.  Boston was still as beautiful as ever.

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I skipped a day of running and then got up at 6:45 am the following day to complete my long run for the week. I had about a month until the OUC Orlando Half so my long run was an hour and fifteen minutes with a ten minute cool-down (my Garmin plans are done by time, unlike using mileage with Nike +).  That time allowed me to run almost nine miles at a 9:33 pace.  Like the other morning the weather was nice and cold!  Even with the cold weather I had to remove my arm warmers after only a couple of hours.  I was surprised that after a year the same water fountains were not working!  Come on Boston!  I did have a very enjoyable  run through the Common and around the river.  Running around the Charles river as the sun rises above the Boston skyline has to be one of my favorite things to do.

Later that day I had the chance to show Chris around the river.  It was extremely cold there on the edge of the water, but he enjoyed seeing the sights.  It was my last time to visit my favorite running spot before we had to leave the next morning.  I know I will be back someday and Boston will be waiting there for me when I return, hopefully as I am crossing the Boston marathon finish-line.  Who knew this Yankee fan would end up loving Boston so much.  Farewell, until next time, my beautiful city.

 

The Freedom Trail Run

wpid-20150823_111944-1.jpgThe Freedom Trail is a path through downtown Boston that passes by 16 historical landmarks.  When I was here in April, my boyfriend and I walked the entire trail all the way to the Bunker Hill Monument in the freezing cold, and then we had to walk all the way back when we were done; it was a long day.  When I tried to find a local 5k to run in I always came across the Freedom Trail Run so I decided to look into it.  It is just as it sounds, a run along the Freedom Trail, but they also stop at the landmarks along the way.  It is a run and tour all in one!  It sounded like a ton of fun so I signed up for this morning’s run.

The Freedom Trail starts on the East side of Boston Common, which is over a mile from my apartment.  I decided to make that part of my run so I ran all the way there.  When I arrived I was greeted by a nice man who happened to be one of the tour guides.  I signed in and then talked to some fellow Freedom Trail Runners.  Most of them were visiting Boston and thought this would be a fun tour to accomplish on their trip; I completely agreed!  What could be better than running, sight-seeing and history!

Before we started running one of our three tour guides talked to us a little about the Freedom Trail, and gave us some history and interesting facts.  After that we began running!  I had my Nike app running and would pause it when we stopped somewhere so I could map out where we had been and see how fast we were traveling.  The first couple stops were cemeteries, one of which had the final resting places of Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams.

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Old State House

Tour Guide on Boston Massacre Site

Tour Guide on Boston Massacre Site

We visited many places including:  The Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King’s Chapel Burying Ground, Old South Meeting House, The Site of the Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere’s House, Old North Church, The Bunker Hill Monument, and The USS Constitution.  Each time we stopped it was for a couple minutes or so while one of the tour guides told us facts about the area or landmark we were at.  As someone who loves learning about history, this stuff was very interesting to me!

11893930_931294056908639_7415106562791424140_oOne of my favorite parts of the run was running up the hill towards the Bunker Hill Monument.  We could see the monument from the street below down a long and steep incline.  One of the tour guides was going to count to three and have us race up the hill.  At three I resumed my Nike app and then took off.  I was doing great at first and then about halfway I regretted my decision to take off so fast.  From the bottom the hill looked a lot shorter than it actually was.  It felt like it went on forever!  Needless to say, I did not win the race but I think I did pretty good with an 8:16 pace up a steep hill.  When we all got to the top we took another group photo in front of the monument.  Then we were told that this wasn’t even Bunker Hill!  Bunker Hill was the hill next to it and when they built the fort all those years ago they built it on the wrong hill.  We were actually on Breed’s Hill and the official battle was called the Battle of Bunker hill on Breed’s hill.

After we left the monument we had one more stop to make:  The USS Constitution.  This ship was huge!  It was actually on dry land because they were cleaning it, something that they do every 20 years.  We didn’t go inside, but they do offer tours.  Next it was time for our free drink!  There was a $40 registration fee for the tour so a drink, a t-shirt and a ferry ride were included.  We went into a market and were allowed to select any drink that we wanted; I chose a chocolate milk. Nothing like a nice cold chocolate milk after a run.  Once outside of the market we received our shirts, then off to the ferry!

11875237_931293903575321_6216158588696403696_oThe whole tour was a 5k and then we took a ferry across the Harbor and back to Boston.  It was a nice ride.  We all went to the top and I stood the whole time taking pictures.  We had one more group photo, and then some individual pictures and then it was time to disembark.  We shook the tour guides’ hands and thanked them and then went on our separate ways.  I stopped by Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market on the way back; I just love shopping!  After that I made my way home through the Common and the Public Gardens.  My whole trip today was about eight miles.  Running the Freedom Trail was an amazing and fun experience, and if you are ever in Boston you should check it out!

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Throwback Thursday: 2015 Boston Marathon Weekend

Since today is Thursday I thought that I would do a throwback post about my last weekend here in Boston back in April when I was working on the movie Southpaw. The weekend just happened to be Marathon weekend. If I had known that my contract would be extended until then I would have signed up for the 5k. Every time I am here I try to find a race to participate in, but there aren’t any in the city while I’m here.

Old South Church

Old South Church

Two weeks before marathon weekend I saw online that Meb Keflezighi was going to give a talk the Friday before the marathon. For those of you that don’t know, Meb was the 2014 winner of the Boston Marathon and seeing him cross the finish line that year was one of the reasons that I started running. I was working in Dallas at the time and was watching the 2014 Marathon on a live stream on my computer at work. I turned it on to catch the last couple unbelievable miles as Meb made history. So when I found out that Meb was giving a talk before the 2015 marathon I signed up to attend. It cost $25 dollars to get in and every guest received a signed copy of Meb’s book, “Meb for Mortals.” There was also a limited number of Sketchers gift bags being handed out. I was very fortunate to be able to receive one! When I arrived at The Old South Church where it was held, the line was wrapped around the building. I waited about 30 minutes before we were able to enter the building. It took awhile, but I was finally able to get my gift bag. The bag included a water bottle, workout towel, granola and other food to fuel for a race and a bunch of coupons. One of the coupons was 50% off one pair of Sketchers shoes which I later used to buy a pair of the GoMeb 3s.

Inside my copy of Meb for Mortals

Inside my copy of Meb for Mortals

After I received my bag I hurried to the restroom and then made my way into the sanctuary where they were handing out our free books. I was beyond excited and couldn’t stop smiling as I sat down at the end of one of the pews. I began looking through my goody bag to pass the time as it was already past 7 and should have started. I then began to read the book, which is amazing by the way. Finally Meb entered the room and began making his way up the aisle; everyone cheered! As he made his way to the front he was high-fiving people, including me! I got a high-five from Meb Keflezighi! He eventually made it to the front of the church where he was joined by a panel, who discussed his career and book with him. The talk itself was an amazing experience. You can find a video of it here.

High School Race on Boylston Street

High School Race on Boylston Street

The next day I had to check out of my hotel room. My flight wasn’t until later so I decided to attend the Boston Marathon Expo. I left my luggage with the hotel and then made my way to the Hynes Convention Center on Boylston street. On the way to the Expo there was so much excitement in the air! As I walked down the street I tried to take it all in. Boylston street was closed and they were having races on it, high school students I believe. There were thousands of people around, a lot heading to the convention center like I was. Now, I had only been to Disney race expos at that point so I didn’t quite know what to expect. The expo did not disappoint! It reminded me a lot of the Disney expos, just a little bigger. There were rows and rows of booths and so much merchandise. I can never have enough running gear!

runDisney Bag!

runDisney Bag!

One highlight for me was visiting the runDisney booth. There wasn’t much there but if you signed up for email notifications about future races then they give you a free runDisney bag! Naturally I signed up. I also ended up buying a tech shirt with the Boston Marathon logo on it; I figured it would give me motivation. The best part of the expo was seeing all of the runners that would be competing on Marathon Monday! I have great respect and admiration for anyone that can run a marathon. I hope I will be able to run a marathon someday, but it probably won’t be for a long, long time. After I left the convention I took a walk down Boylston street and joined the mass of people that were standing around the finish line. While standing there a couple of people asked me to take their picture and then they took my picture in return. Then it was time to make my way back home to Florida.
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On Monday I watched the marathon on the live stream on my computer like I did the year before. This year I got my Dad and Mom to watch it. I talked to my dad on the phone through some of the race as he got excited and shouted, “Come on Des, come on, you can do it!”, referring to the American runner: Desiree Linden. It was great to see my parents getting excited about watching a marathon, something that neither of them had done before. My parents, along with my sister, will be running the 5k during the OUC Orlando Half Marathon and Princess Half Marathon. I am glad that they have started to get into running and someday I hope they love it as much as I do.

Boston Running

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Watching the Yankees on the plane

I’m currently about 35,000 feet in the air on my way to Boston, Massachusetts. I travel there for work sometimes. My favorite thing about Boston is the running community. When I was up there in April I was very fortunate to be able to attend a talk from Meb Keflezighi and the Boston Marathon Expo. It was an amazing experience to be there during marathon weekend. I may write a whole post about it in the future.

It snowed almost the entire time during my last trip there. I’m glad I will be able to run around Boston without having to bundle up first. The cold did feel good once warmed up, but I would prefer not to have to worry about slipping on ice.

Boston is a great place to shop. Running stores everywhere! I plan on buying a new pair of running shoes since the Glycerins I bought up there last time are nearing the end of their life.

I’m excited to share my Boston running adventure with you. I plan on continuing my training while experiencing new running locations in the city and some old ones. My favorite is the Charles River. There are plenty of running paths around the river and there are runners everywhere! Boston is truly a runners city, but I wouldn’t trade it with Orlando for anything. I hope you enjoy my Boston posts while I am there and I look forward to going home and starting my half marathon training in September! See ya soon!