Weekend Lead up to the Boston Marathon (AKA Teaser Post)

What a weekend! I’m sitting on the train now reflecting on a wild and busy weekend in Boston. It has been two years since I ran this race and it is still just as exciting as the first time I came for the marathon 3 years ago. There is just something very special about Boston, and this time was even more special since we got to see the women’s Olympic trials. The whole weekend was just nuts, go, go, go, and go some more. Definitely my style but probably not the best pre race strategy when you are trying to set a hefty PR.

The train ride in was actually pretty relaxing and other than being extremely long and having to eat crappy expensive food it was not too bad. I actually liked the fact that I had a day to not worry about anything and just relax. We got in late Friday night and headed straight to Kim’s pad. She kindly let us crash so that we wouldn’t have to spend another 200+ for the extra night at a hotel as we wanted to hit the expo first thing Saturday.

Kim is just as fun and adorable as I pictured. Totally my kind of gal. We had a good time “catching up” and eventually we crashed for the night.

Saturday we were up bright and early and headed for the expo. We picked up our packets and technical (yay!) long sleeve shirts and then it was time to shop and look for free goodies. The expo wasn’t too bad first thing in the morning and we managed to even get our gait analyzed without a wait. Apparently I pronate more than I thought. (I’m wondering if it was exaggerated as the treadmill had you running at 10 minute miles, anyone know if you pronate more the slower you go?) It felt comfortable but watching the ankles in slow motion was painful!

I behaved relatively well and only bought a pair of capris and a jacket. We had some fun filling out the annual wall, this year they had little tags that once they were all hung up would spell out Impossible is Nothing. Eventually we headed for an early lunch at legal seafoods and I got my salad that I have been craving since the last time I was in Boston. It was everything I remembered it to be. Quite tasty. After lunch it was off to the duck tours. This time our tour guide was Hardly Davidson, an ex member of a scooter gang. I love the duck tours, corny and informative, how can you beat that?

After the duck tour Kim had to leave us to get ready for her duathlon. Unfortunately we didn’t get to hook back up after that but next year for sure we will plan out the weekend better so that we can get our party on.

Daisy, Katy, and I headed out for an easy 5 miler along the Charles River. We threw in 5*25 second strides and otherwise kept the pace easy. It was a great night for a run and a ton of people were out.

Hopped into the pool for a little bit before getting ready for dinner. Hit the puma party real quick for a free raspberry hefeweizen and some schwag then it was over to Vinny Ts for our club dinner. We had way more people there than anticipated and as usual were packed in like sardines. I had another good salad and enjoyed listening to the guys talk the regular smack before the race.

After dinner it was off to the grocery store to buy the goods for Sunday’s pasta dinner. I got the honors of helping 5 guys pick out goods for the huge party the next day. After much indecisiveness we finally managed to get everything we needed and were headed back to McGinty’s with the goods. We thought it would be smart to try and cart the groceries as far as possible since we had a really full cart. But unfortunately as I surmised the carts were rigged to stop when they got a certain distance from the store and we lost a pasta sauce when the cart abruptly stopped and all the groceries on the bottom rolled out. Smooth. But other than that and leaving some bread crumb trails behind us we successfully got everything back without too much whining from the peanut gallery ;)

Then it was finally back to the hotel to get some sleep. Daisy and Dawn were out partying late but I managed to get to bed right after shopping, and got a decent nights sleep before it was up first thing for the women’s trials.

The women’s trials were just amazing. Getting to see so many fast women up close was such a neat experience. I couldn’t believe how close they would run to the curb. I would be so nervous about getting tripped on accident. Deena Kastor was just awesome. I knew she was going to win even with the huge lead Magdalena opened up. I was so excited to see Deena come around the corner by herself on that fourth loop as she pulled way ahead of the lead pack and eventually chased down Magdalena. What an amazing race!

After moving our way through the crazy maze of people we ran into the expo so Daisy could get some gloves and I could get some sunglasses and arm warmers. Someone had said it would be chilly in the morning and I didn’t think the singlet would cut it. Had to settle for some men’s arm warmers that were slightly large but they gave me $10 off. Found a pair of sunglasses that fit and matched the outfit and then we jammed out of there, the expo was out of control busy and I felt like a sardine once again.

After that it was off to lunch in Cambridge with Kurt. We went to a cool little café in Cambridge named Zoes and after a bit of a wait we were seated for some great food. I opted for a big lunch since I am not a huge fan of the pasta dinners before big races. I had a huge plate of sweet potato fries and a Belgian waffle with strawberries as well as half a strawberry smoothie. I’m not sure how I got it all in but it was completely satisfying and didn’t feel like too much. Interesting enough I saw a Michigan Ultra runner at the café who won the North Country Trail Marathon the last two times I have gone up there and he had come in second at JFK this year to Wardian. (Update apparently he either didn't race Boston or didn't finish as I couldn't find him in the results, perhaps just in town to watch the trials?) Very nice guy, real laid back all three times I have chatted with him.

Kurt and his wife were kind enough to get us back to our hotel and we got ourselves around for a light jog before heading to dinner. It was crazy windy out but very sunny so Daisy and I had a nice little run. We cut it short since we had to get to dinner and both of us were still a little full from lunch.

Dinner at McGinty’s was great. It was nice to just chill out, eat some grub and enjoy good company. Our friend’s daughter is a singer who performs in Vegas and she treated us to a private performance of a few of her own original songs and some favorites. Very cool way to wind down for the evening. We headed back to the hotel and got our bags ready for the morning and after some girl talk we were all tucked into bed by 11 PM.

I slept pretty well and woke 5 minutes before the alarm at 5:15. Took that as my cue and hopped in the shower. We got all our gear and headed over to McGinty’s for breakfast then took the cab over to Boston Commons. The bus ride as always took forever and they dropped us off pretty much as far away from the church we go to as possible. I finally started to get nervous about the race on the way over. You can’t help but get excited with all those runners on the bus getting geared up for the race.

So we took our long hike over to the church and made a few porta potty stops put on the sunscreen and gels pinned to my skirt then headed to the start. It had been overcast and chilly but as soon as I got to the coral the sun came out and it got warm. Had to ditch the arm warmers as they were too big to have on my wrists the whole day and I knew I would get irritated with them stuffed in my pocket. So I made a $20 arm warmer donation to the homeless, someone is going to look sweet in those navy blue arm warmers! Realized really quickly that pinning the gels to the shirt waist band wasn’t going to work either, apparently getting down to my fighting weight put my skirt on the loose side in the waist so I unpinned the gels and stuck two in my pocket and opted to carry the other too. At least it gave me something to do while we waited for the 10,000 people in front of us to get through the start line. I did my best to move up spots as we walked slowly towards the start. I knew it was going to be a rough start for me as I was seeded at 3:29 and I wanted to go out around 3:20 pace for the day. I really didn’t want to be weaving in and out of anymore traffic than necessary.

As has happened before when I was at Boston the crowd starts to jog towards the top of the hill before being slowed to a walk again and finally picking up speed and crossing the start line. I was just so excited to finally be starting the race I had worked so hard for the past 10 weeks (not to mention all those miles I had logged last year in hopes to run a 3:25).


Kurt in Boston said...

Great race, E!

Pics from Zoe's.

Brian said...

I just finished reading janet's post. She has the abreviated version. Sounds like you all had a blast.

duchossois said...

Nice first chapter...I want to read the rest of the book. ;-)

Had a great weekend with you and the other 'Train Tramps', and all the SERC folks.

Kim said...

what a kickass weekend, but too bad we didnt really get to party together. there will be a next time for sure!!

i was wondering how your gel situation was going to work out!!

you girls had terrific weather for the marathon! cant wait to read your race report.

solarsquirrel said...

Was the guy you saw the one who had just recently had the baby? (From NCTM).
I'm anxiously awaiting the full Boston recap!

Brian said...

I love reading stories from Boston! I reserved my room for next year already!! Can't friggin' wait!

The Salty One said...

Oh did you work hard and it payed off. What's 2:51? Nothin' a flatter course won't take care of. I am so proud of you for hanging on with those hamburger quads and I can't wait to slog some recovery miles with you really soon!

Cliff said...


i hope u had a great race :o). looking forward on the race report.

Anonymous said...

Hey Elizabeth,

Its Dave M. - I really need to figure out how to have that neat sign/name and pic so I don't have to be anynymous all the time....but anywho -

Fantastic effort on your PR - I think in years you'll look back at this PR and see a slow (for you) time...your getting so strong and fast every race it seems.

Your writing is really great too - you make the must routine acts seem adventerous and crazy fun...that really is a great gift.

Great job again and fantasic superduper PR!!