I’m basically going to sum up this weekend with a quote that I said to Amy on the way out to Ashland on Monday:
“I think I like Marathon Monday more than Christmas…sorry Santa.”
It’s funny because it’s true. I was kind of nervous about going up to Boston since I’ve been dealing with my back issues and not being able to run the marathon. I’ve been dealing with this for somewhere around two months, and if you’re a runner, you might have an idea of what it’s not like to be able to run. And then to drop out of a goal race you’ve been looking forward to since September.
But I love marathon weekend up in Boston, so I (wo)manned up and headed up to Boston, catching a ride with James and Tim who were driving up. The drive was pretty uneventful, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t almost start tearing up when we hit Boston and I caught sight of the Citgo sign. I wanted to be running.
Luckily we got to Somerville (home to Amy!) quickly and headed out for some drinks while we waited for Amy to get off from work…Sam’s Summer is out so that’s nice. And tasty. Amy got home and we needed to start carb-loading ASAP, as spectating is tough work. We headed to Giacomo’s in the North End since we heard the food was tasty. And the wait long. After an hour in line, we filled our table with calamari, bread, pasta, and wine.
The food was delicious, and do yourself a favor if you go…get the butternut squash ravioli. It’s like dessert for dinner…
Across the street from Giacomo’s is Mike’s Pasty, so you know we had to swing by there. And then I did a death grip on the cannolis. No one was going to steal cannolis from me, that’s for sure. They saw the Boston jacket, they knew I could run away fast. (Little do they know…)
expo (round 1) and day drinking
After waking up bright and early on Saturday morning, we grabbed some coffee and headed over to the expo. I love expos and was looking forward to meeting up with a bunch of people and generally wandering. The first stop was to pick up bibs…it felt weird to be picking up a bib that I clearly knew I wasn’t even going to try to use. Amy was worried that I might start crying, but I survived the man wishing me luck as he handed me my bib. And trying on my shirt to make sure it was the right size. (I paid a lot of money for that shirt, I’m going to wear it!)
We wandered the expo, James got his jacket, and I kept my eyes peeled for people I might know. Luckily, the other SF Ambassadors were wearing their Ambassador gear (I wouldn’t let myself pack anything that resembled running clothes…), so I was able to spot a couple. Check it out!
Spotted Nancy on the way into the expo!
And found Keith on the way out!
If any of you know me in real life, you may know that I’m a fairly shy, quiet person. Until you put me in the middle of a running expo when I will walk up to random people I’ve never met before and start talking to them. Totally normal.
Of course I had to swing by the Nuun booth, where I got to reunite with Kim, my vanmate from Hood to Coast! They had some snazzy Boston Nuun water bottles, and nuun hydration was definitely needed out on the course on Monday!
Hydration is coming! Hydration is coming!
As marathoners and spectators who know how to have fun, Amy, James, Tim, and I took advantage of the awesome (kind of…) Boston weather this weekend and did some day drinking. We had tickets for a Harpoon (my favorite beer!) brewery tour after the expo, but with some time to kill, we found a roof deck and hung out with some more Sam’s Summer while soaking up the sun.
Amy and James on the roof! We weren’t that blurry yet, I promise…
Next up was Harpoon, where we got a brewery tour and lots of samples! And fun pictures, of course.
Harpoon was delicious, although we were sad that more people weren’t carrying around their marathon bags…beer = PRs, friends.
After Harpoon, we met up with some of James’s running friends and headed to a very large dinner in the North End. We met up with them outside the expo, and as we were waiting for more people to show up, a little skinny guy ran by, to which I yelled, “OMG! That’s Meb!” So we chased him across the street and got a picture with him. His brother had hailed a cab for them, but he was nice enough to stop and take a picture with us. It always baffles me to be around a crowd that is so into running, yet very few other people noticed that Meb was walking around.
Then it was off to dinner…as we were walking, I spotted a familiar face and stopped to say hi to Amanda, who I met at Hood to Coast last year. She just ran her first Boston…high fives for her!
Dinner was followed by meeting up with Baker, Abbe, Erica, Maura, and Bryan for some drinks. It was fun to see Maura and Bryan since they moved to Boston, and I love their High Five Station sign…wish I could have seen it at mile 24, but…next year??
expo (round two) and craft time
Fact of life: I am not a morning person. I work overnight. I do not wake up early…but I can given the right circumstances. So when people told me that they’d be at the expo on Sunday morning, I got myself up and out of bed to head back over to the expo (runnerd reporting…) to meet up with some more faces before getting our craft on back at Amy’s apartment.
So I found myself back at the expo, wandering around…and then I found SF Ambassador Charlie (and his mom!).
As we chatted, I saw Abbe, Baker, and Erica scoping out the expo, so I headed around with them for a little bit.
With the lovely Erica.
After my last bit of expo fun (I held myself back from buying another, my credit card thanks me…), I started walking over towards Copley Square and I got a text from Chris saying that he was having lunch on Boylston and would be heading over to the expo that afternoon. Well…I happened to be two blocks away from where they were eating, so I stopped by for some lunch with Chris, his fiance Emily, and running buddy (Jason?). I told the hostess I was looking for a group of three, and I think she gave me a funny look when I told her I wasn’t sure if the group she pointed at was who I was looking for…it’s fun looking for people you’ve only seen pictures of!
Hopefully I’ll be seeing him again in August since he’s running Hood to Coast as well…we discovered that I met Van 2 of his team last year!
After I finally finished meeting a million people (marathons are the only time I feel popular because I’m pretty sure most of my friends are runners…), we headed back to Somerville to start our craft time. Amy and I take spectating very seriously, and if you can’t run, you might as well be on the elite cheer squad.
It was around this time that I started to feel a lot better about not being able to run. One of the reasons I was so excited about running Boston this year was that Lauren and I were going to go hard or go home and try for a monster PR for both of us. Well, we were both out with injuries and the promised record-setting temperatures were obviously not going to be prime conditions for a PR attempt. While I still wanted to be running, the sidelines didn’t sound like a bad second place. Also, it was nice to be up in Boston not really thinking about how my diet the couple days before would affect my race. Cannolis? I’ll take two.
If you’re going to be on the sidelines, you need to prep for it because marathoners need spirit…and that’s what we’re there to provide. I think Marathon Monday deserves its own post, but here’s a preview of our plan…
I told the Boston Marathoners, “I know it’s going to be on hot Monday, but just saying…”
Stay tuned for MARATHON MONDAY, which is quite possibly my favorite day of the year.