Friday, November 27, 2009

Boston recap

So as you may remember, a few weeks ago I went to Boston for the weekend. My family lives there and I spent a lot of time growing up there, so it's definitely my second home. While I was there I met up with my spark besties - Heather and Stef. Stef lives in Boston and Heather in Albany, so they were both much closer to Boston than to Texas, which made perfect sense why we met up over this trip!

We really didn't get the ball rolling with picture taking (hey, we're all new bloggers!) until we ran our 5K on Sunday morning. Saturday we did spend part of the day in Boston.

Me and Stef (and my HUGE jacket because I was freezing!)

Heather and Stef

Heather and me

We really had a wonderful day in the city. We went to a neat little cafe called The Parish Cafe. It was incredible! Stef and I ordered the same sandwich and afterwards realized how stupid it was for us to not split it. We also walked around Newbury street and went into Paper Source and Victoria's Secret!

Sunday we awoke BRIGHT and early to run our 5K. We ran the Luv2Run Boston 5K in Soldiers Field park in Cambridge. This was Heathers and my second 5K and Stef's first. Let me tell you that I was SO nervous for this 5K. My previous 5K I ran with Matt back in September and I finished the entire thing without walking in about 45 minutes. But I had been training like crazy for that race and not so much for this race. Prior to this race, I hadn't been running consistently due to that little foot injury I had. My main goal for this race was to stick by Stef's side and NOT to walk.

When we arrived, there were not many people there. We checked in and received our race bibs and took some pictures in the parking lot. As soon I saw my race bib, I started feeling better about the race. I was #19, which is the number of my MOST favorite baseball player - Josh Beckett of the Boston Red Sox. Having #19 on my bib and running in Boston, I started feeling a little better about the race. This must be a good sign!

I was cold and refused to take off my hoodie until I had to!

Next we figured out that the race was sponsored by RoadID. Welllll, I had my RoadID on and so did Stef!! This was definitely sign #2 of a good race.

RoadID Power!

Stef and I sporting the RoadIDs together.

We finished taking our pictures in the parking lot...


The three of us!

... and then we walked briskly around the parking lot and stretched some. Everyone was lined up at the finish line which was NOT the start line, so right as the race begin everyone running the race had to walk together a little ways down the sidwalk to the start line. The buzzer went off and we started running! Stef and I stayed to the back as much as we could and let the rush of runners pass us. Heather was a little ways above us, but kept circling back to catch us. We three had already established that since Heather runs MUCH faster than Stef and I, that she would run ahead and we would stay towards the back. Finally I motioned for Heather to keep going and she went on her merry way.

Now it was just Stef and I and after the initial rush of people flew by us, I looked around and realized we were basically at the end of the pack. This was a little disheartening for me. I figured there would be people walking some of the race and we definitely wouldn't be the last to cross the finish line, but it sure started to look that way. I guess that's the difference with racing in Boston since it's SUCH a running town!

The other hard part about the race was the course layout. The course was NOT closed, so we had people whipping by us on bikes, with dogs, running, etc. There were no water stations, no markers to show you how far you had gone. We had no clue what time we would finish the race in until about 5 minutes before we crossed the finish line. It was really frustrating. Also, the two of us were definitely running too fast. We started out WAY too fast (I think we were trying to keep up with Heather some) and had to tell each other to slow down in the beginning. We definitely should have said it again to each other, but didn't. I didn't want to slow down or walk because I wanted Stef to have the best first 5K possible and she didn't want to slow down because she thought I was ALREADY running too slow. No way sister, I was trying to keep up with you!

Of course we didn't realize this until the end of the race, but it was good nonetheless. Neither of us walked and we were both able to sprint to the finish line at the end and pass a woman who was running/walking the whole race and being rather obnxious. Seriously when we would catch up with this woman, she would take off - only to walk again a minute later. She was being very rude about it too - we were NOT trying to beat her, we were both simply trying to finish the race.

So Stef and I crossed at 40:45, almost a 5 minute time difference from my first 5K. I was SOOOO proud of Stef. She did a fantastic job. I was also VERY proud of Heather, who finished in about 35 minutes. That's incredible and I definitely can't do that!

Post race after grabbing gatorade and some fruit to calm our stomachs

Stef's dog Tyson was there to cheer us across the finish line too!

It was a fantastic race and I am so pleased with the outcome. Even if only 2 people finished behind Stef and I, the three of us chose to wake up early on Sunday and run instead of sleeping in and eating room service. We also chose to stay in Saturday night and eat a healthy pizza dinner and go to bed early instead of staying out drinking all night. That's really all that matters. And I'll take 5 minutes shaved off my 5K time any day! Here's to hoping I can shave 5 minutes off the next one and be in Heather's time bracket!!

I can't wait for my next 5K!