Saturday, April 19, 2014

Boston BAA 5K #runboston #bostonstrong

WOW! What a weekend! We left early Saturday morning, it was cold and overcast. Yuck! We crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge....
 Passed some beautiful buildings in Connecticut....
 And finally made it to Boston! Unfortunately, we got stuck in race traffic,  and suffered a bit before we found a highly overpriced parking garage, that was right across from our hotel. Score!
 We couldn't check in, and I was volunteering at the expo, so we started the long walk to the Convention Center.
Emerson College

I remember this from the Boston 3 Day!

love this historic building surrounded by skyscrapers!

 The expo was HUGE! We walked around quite a bit before I reported to the Swirlgear table. I was given some postcards to hand out to women at the expo, so that they could find the table and see the great shirts! I walked a lot! I stopped at the wall to write my name, it was at the entrance to the expo, and it covered a lot of wall!

small small portion of the wall

hallway outside of expo

banners in the hallway made great photo ops
 After I handed out all the cards, I went back to the New Balance store to get some Boston tees for my friend and I. I was so undecided, and stalling, when lights started flashing and a voice told us that there was a threat, and we may need to evacuate. Ummmm may need? Yeah I'm outta here. I texted the hubs and beat feet out of the expo. I already bought one shirt with the hubs before he left to check us in to the hotel. I could survive on that shirt alone. I must say, the evacuation was very calm and organized, and it was called off before i got to the bottom floor. I was good though, I started back to the hotel. The emergency personnel was outside, just in case....
 Runner Swag!

 We hung out at the hotel a bit, and then went to the North End for dinner. The hubs heard about Al Dente on Yelp and wanted to try it out. I didn't need to carb load, really, but we love Italian Food, and I do have back to back Halfs next weekend......
bike racks in the North End

Eggplant Lasagna
 We had to wait outside for our table, which was odd. The man who seated us was not very talkative either. Our waitress was nice, but the hubs asked for a second beer that never ever came.....
While we waited we saw a lot of boxes from Mike's Pastry, so I googled it while we waited for our dinner. We went right over after dinner and scored some delectables. It was super packed, but we got in and out quickly and took them back to the hotel to eat.
 Our view was pretty decent, if you turned your head just so....

 Finally race morning!!! I got up early, played with my phone a bit, and got dressed at a leisurely pace. It was nice not to rush around! We walked the short distance to the Start and took some pics.

 It started right on time!
Now, for my 5K pet peeves.

  1. Please do not line up at the 10:00 pace banner if you plan to walk. 
  2. Please do not line up before the 10:00 pace banner if you plan to stop at the quarter mile mark and walk
  3. Please do not elbow me as you run by, a simple "on your right" works nicely
  4. Do NOT snicker at my tutu, being 20-something does not make you cooler than me
  5. Do not stop short in the middle of the race to hug your friend! Look before you do it, so that you do not kill any innocent runners!
For real, it was chaos! The announcements made it very clear how to find your pace banner, there were almost 9,000 runners, and I lined up at the 10:00 mark. I am more of an 11:00 runner these days,  but I always start out fast, and I KNEW that it would be like this, so I moved up. As the race started, a boat load of people filed in as we were walking to the start. I tried not to judge, but I could tell that some were not going to be running. The bottle necking was INSANE, because many of these people never intended to run.
I have no problem with walkers. I don't care how fast or slow your mile is, you cover the distance, it counts for me! 
You should never line up with people faster than you if you plan to walk.
OH and do not walk 3 abreast, it is impossible for people to pass you!!

my shins hurt the first 2 miles. I had to stop twice to stretch. At the one mile mark, I stopped to take a pic for some girls failing at a one mile selfie. 
I stopped to take this pic at mile 2.5 or so. It was the Marathon Finish. OMG we ran right over it. It was crazy emotional!

 My finish time was not good. It took me almost 38 minutes! Holy heck! All that stopping did not help, and I knew it would end badly, but I just didn't care. The hills were also present, although the announcer said it was flat and fast. Not for this Jersey girl! The whole thing was just so amazing. There were survivors run/walking it, the crowds were outstanding, and the runners (for the most part) were also amazing!
The crowd at the finish was unreal. I didn't even attempt getting water right away, I just went for the bling!

 They did hand out water just before the food tent, which I guzzled. The weather was perfect, and I definitely had a good sweat going by the time I finished! They handed out drawstring bags with Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, chips, a Power Bar wafer thing, and a fruit cup. Poland Spring had bottles of flavored water as well. The crowds were making me itch, so the hubs and I beat feet pretty quickly. I even forgot to take a finisher pic!
I showered at the hotel, and while the hubs checked us out, I signed the Marathon Map in the lobby.

 We decided to walk a bit before the long drive home, and I finally scored a finisher photo!

this was before the race...
Overall, it was an amazing, terrifying, fabulous, exhilarating 36 hours! I am considering trying to get in with a charity next heart to run the marathon. The atmosphere was electric, and I got really jealous of the marathoners! I wanted to stay and run!

Have you run Boston?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flat Mama Friday..... Boston Edition

Today I am blogging from the car as the hubs drive us to Boston for the BAA 5k! Yes, I am driving 5 hours each way to run a 5k! Wouldn't you? I get to cross the same finish as the marathoners! Wooooooohoooooo!
I will also be volunteering today and tomorrow for Swirlgear at the expo! What a great weekend this will be!
I will be sure to post plenty of pictures tomorrow night or Sunday!

Are you racing this weekend?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday, Yuengling Lager Jogger Edition

Friday night, the teenie and I jumped in the car so we could travel to my parents' house for the Youngling Lager Jogger. This is my second year doing this race, and Pottsville's second year hosting it! We stopped at Red Robin for dinner, but I didn't want anything too greasy. I stuck with this BLTA sandwich (Bacon, lettuce, turkey and avocado) and their "endless" fries. I will assume they were endless, as I barely finished half of what they gave me!

 I loved the handy little Ziosk they had. I paid the bill right away, without having to wait for the waiter (who of course, was very punctual anyway) and it even helped me figure the tip. Neat toy!

I stopped at the Ramada in Pottsville to get my bib, tee, and beer glass. They had an exceptional system and I was in and out in minutes! Good thing, because it was pouring! Ugh! Better at packet pick up than on race day! We had about 30 minutes to go before we got to my parents' house, on windy dark mountain roads. It.was.foggy. Like, go 5 miles per hour because you can't see, foggy. 
 I tried to get a pic the next morning but the fog rolled out before I could. The teenie and I were seriously stressed when we got there, hung out with my mom for a bit, and then went to bed!

view from my parents' log cabin
 Pottsville is a seriously beautiful, historic town! I love running here, except for the hills. We will get to that soon. For now, enjoy the view.

 Parking was free and plentiful, and it was a mile-ish walk to the start area. They had a street fair-like atmosphere with crafters, food trucks, etc. before the start. Which sits at the bottom of a one mile hill. For real. When you get to the top, you see the one mile marker. Yikes.

I didn't take the tour :(
 I placed myself at the 9-11 minute mile flag, hoping that it would be true, knowing that it wouldn't! That mile long hill isn't the only hill on the course! The race volunteers had everyone scoot up super close to the start, and were letting us go in waves of 500 every two minutes. It seemed ludicrous, but worked out perfectly. I was amazed! At a RnR event, this would have failed epically!

 Dick Yunegling started us all off, just like last year!
 No race course photos, I was too busy trying to survive the hills! I really wanted to beat last year's time, but I am chubbier and less trained this year, so it wasn't to be. I am cool with that, it was a great race, well run, and lots of fun. The spectators were phenomenal, especially the residents! Lots of signs and cheering!
 Even with my poor time, I finished in the top half. There were a lot of walkers! I posed for my obligatory beer bottle shot and then went back to my mom's house.

 I couldn't resist this pic of my mom's flamingo-bunny. The ears were all droopy from the rain the day before, but it's still pretty sassy!

We had lunch with my mom at Perkins, dropped her back home and headed to Philly for leg two of our journey. The teenie wants to go to U Arts and they were doing a production of Carrie the Musical. Tickets were only $19 for the two of us, so why not drive 2 hours out of our way, pay $20 to park, $50 for dinner, and see a show?

Drexel U

I love old buildings

we stopped at Max Brenner's for chocolate
 The play was okay. It wasn't the students' fault. Carrie should NOT be a musical. They started late and we still had to drive home so we left during intermission. Boy, was I tired!

This is my free finisher photo. Just before the finish line, some dude came from out of nowhere and leaped in front of me. SO no finisher photo for me. His, though? Perfect photo, perfect smile, and my skirt peeking out from behind him. Jerk.

On the plus side, the weather was PERFECT, the day was perfect, and we enjoyed a great stroll around Philly. So, I win anyway!

What are your plans for this weekend?