Boston Marathon: The Weekend

I usually don’t like to break my race recaps into multiple posts, but Boston was about so much more than just the race that I want to do justice to the whole experience (without writing a novel in one post!).

Going into the weekend, I was excited, nervous, emotional, anxious and ready. Take all of the emotions that go into a big goal race and multiply them times ten because it was BOSTON and it even more important it was Boston 2014, where the entire world had eyes on the city and the marathon. I am honored to have been able to be a part of such a momentous race and to enjoy the weekend with so many friends and my family. It was definitely an unforgettable experience.

Friday 

Brad and I flew out super early in the morning. Once we arrived and dropped off our bags at the apartment we rented for the weekend, I went for a run along the Charles River. I got my first glimpse at the Citgo sign and my legs finally felt really good, which was a welcome change from the sluggishness I felt all week.

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Gray & windy day, but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face!

Shortly after the run and quick change, my parents arrived and we all went to the expo. Picking up my bib was emotional because the Boston Marathon was a LONG time in the making for me and having my family there made it the perfect experience.

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Making sure the shirt fit!

The expo was crazy crowded and kind of exhausting, but I got my jacket (and other Boston goodies!), said hi to a few friends (heeeey Nuun peeps!) and just tried to take it all in. The atmosphere was absolutely electric, the volunteers were amazing and it was obvious how excited everyone was.

After the expo, we went back to the condo to relax a bit before heading to dinner and the Red Sox game. It was cold, but we had a great time! How could I go to Boston and NOT visit Fenway?!

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Saturday 

I woke up exhausted. The early morning flight, late night and being on my feet all day wore me out. We relaxed in the morning before heading to the North End to go to Quincy Market, Fanneuil Hall, the Wharf, etc. It was cool out but beautiful and sunny and we had a really nice time taking in Boston.

We met the Chicago crew for lunch back near the finish line area and it was fun to see everyone and share their excitement!

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Photo Cred: Chanthana

After lunch Brad, my parents and I hung out until it was time for our Duck Tour to start. This is something I claimed I would never do in any city, but my cousin lived in Boston for 5 years and swore it was a good idea. And I figured what better way to see the city and stay off my feet, right??

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After the Duck tour (which was actually fun!) I went across the street to meet Molly and Jess, at Copley Plaza for some (decaf) tea and lots of catching up. The time FLEW as we chatted. These are two of my favorite people who are such an inspiration to me and the time with them filled my heart with so much happiness.

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Photo credit: Molly

By then it was almost time for dinner {in the same building} so I waited for my parents and Brad to meet me and we ate a nice, carb-filled dinner at Legal Seafoods. Dinner was quick and I was back home in bed by 9. It was an amazing but tiring day after already being exhausted from the day before. Looking back…this is might be a contributor to at least part of what happened Monday, but I am not sure I would change any of it because taking in Boston with my friends and family was a really important part of my experience.

Sunday

I slept until 9 a.m. and woke up refreshed and energized. I relaxed at the apartment in the morning before meeting the Chicago crew for a shake-out run in Cambridge. It would have definitely been easier to run from the apartment to the same place along the Charles, but again, taking this whole experience in with my friends was something that I wouldn’t trade for anything. We had a super easy run and it felt good to work some tension out with a ton of laughter!

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This picture was NOT coach approved.

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After the run, I finally had a chance to sit down with Kevin to talk race strategy. We had a really great talk and for the first time since I arrived in Boston, I found myself getting really, really excited to run as he walked me through the course and the plan. While the strategy scared me a little, I completely trust Kevin and I truly believed that I was fit enough to execute.

I finally made my way back into the Back Bay Area for lunch, then headed to the apartment for some downtime. Brad went out for beers with Manny, my parents went sightseeing and I had all afternoon to myself to just relax. It was exactly what I needed to try to get focused and mentally prepared for the next day.

That evening we went for another quick dinner and were back home before 9. I got my tail kicked in a few rounds of cards with the fam and finally laid down to try to sleep around 10:45. It was probably the single worst night of sleep I have ever had…totaling maaaybe 3-4 hours max.

Monday – Pre-Race

I was relieved when it was finally time to get up. I got dressed and ate in the dark, while smiling at all of the texts and tweets that were already flying around. The nerves hit me like a ton of bricks that morning and the distraction was more than welcome.

A little after 6, I walked to Molly’s hotel to take a taxi together to the Commons. We easily found Jenny, Chanthana and Lauren and made our way to baggage drop then the buses!

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Looking homeless in throwaway clothes at the Commons.

The bus ride was long, but we spent the whole time chatting and it was so.much.fun! I absolutely LOVED being there with some of my best friends…all of whom had run this race before and were able to share bits and pieces of their experiences with me.

Once we arrived at Athletes’ Village, we made our way over to where Kevin and Scott were saving a sunny area for us. The atmosphere in the village was buzzing. Everyone was excited and enjoying the pre-race nervous energy. It was a large contrast to the moment of silence for the 2013 bombing victims where the whole place went quiet. It was very touching and a little sobering. I reminded myself to keep them all in my thoughts throughout the rest of the day.

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Despite being cold in the early morning…the temps warmed up FAST.

We got settled and just tried to chill out, but since bathroom lines were growing steadily, we ended up spending a majority of our time there. The second time I went up it took nearly 45 minutes. This is also when I knew it was getting really warm because we were standing in the sun and I was getting hot enough to take off gloves, hat, etc.

A little before 10 a.m., the announcer started calling our waves and it was time to go! Hugs and well wishes all around…and after a little talk off of the ledge from Chanthana, Lauren and I were headed off to our corral.

The Race: Coming soon…

 

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in Chicago, family, friends, Goals, Race reports, Races, running, training, Travel, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Boston Marathon: The Weekend

  1. ErinAMG says:

    already so much love in this RR… and you haven’t even raced yet! :) eeeek!!!

  2. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast says:

    How awesome that your parents could come, too! It was such a perfect weekend weather wise. Can’t wait to hear more!

  3. hyedi says:

    Haha, I said the SAME thing about duck tours but did one the last time I was in Boston. Can’t wait for the race recap!

  4. I love that you are breaking up your race report and sharing all the details! I know all the sight-seeing and everything you did in the days beforehand might not be best practices pre-race, but I think it’s great that you are looking at the experience of the whole weekend and didn’t stay locked up in a hotel room the whole time :) Can’t wait to hear more!

  5. elizabeth says:

    omg. I had to do a duck tour in seattle with TNT before my first marathon. I had said the same thing…but it was very entertaining!! let’s discuss the height you can get in your jump pic. insane. so glad there were good memories as far as taking in the experience. and 3 of my most favorite people in the universe were in one place. xoxo

  6. Pingback: Boston Marathon: The Beast |

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