This past weekend two of us gals from StudiOne set out on another traveling running adventure! (Read about the first one here). This trip, Katie, member of the running group and Fit Camp, traveled with me, Sprenk, to Boston to run in the B.A.A. Half Marathon on Sunday.
We left on a Friday for the Sunday race. I've run plenty of races and really appreciated that our bibs were mailed to us ahead of time so Katie and I didn't have to worry about an expo day or transportation to get the bibs. We left Tulsa around 7am and landed in Boston in the early afternoon. The first thing on our minds was food! We found an Italian sandwich shop in Old Town and then mozied on to our Air BnB. I'd strategically searched one out within walking distance to the race start.
Thankfully, Boston is easy to travel around without a car. We each purchased a week-long subway pass for $21 and used that as our only mode of transit for the weekend. The rest of Friday we spent exploring the city (mostly Back Bay), browsing the shops and eating. We had a little happy hour drink outside on the terrace of Cafeteria and grabbed a healthy salad dinner at SweetGreen (I can't wait for one of these to be in Tulsa soon, or am hoping anyway!).
Saturday in Boston
We woke up with no alarm (amazing for two early-morning workout gals) and took our time heading to the Charles River for a little shakeout run. We'd sat so much the day before and our race route wasn't in the downtown area so I wanted to take Katie to the river trail. We ran 2.5 miles of the loop and walked the rest back to Beacon Hill for brunch. It was probably close to 5 or 6 miles in total and is not a recommended pre-race activity. However, neither of us were trying to run the race of our lives, we were there to see Boston and run a race, so we didn't mind the consequences that would come (tired legs on race day).
We grabbed coffee and brunch at a french bakery in Beacon Hill called Tatte. We then decided to walk around some more, continuing to explore one of the very first neighborhoods of the city. As we meandered our way back to home base, we stumbled on some shopping and had some classic girly fun. Eventually we headed home to basecamp to shower and clean up for dinner.
We decided to head back to Back Bay, and just stumble upon a dinner place. We asked the gals helping us at Athleta to recommend a pasta place and they sent us to Papparazzi - it was perfect. Katie and I both had the exact same thing - a glass of wine and a bowl of penne pomodoro. Because of the big race the next day, I ate a little more than I normally would have, but not enough to really feel physically uncomfortable. We walked around a little bit more before heading to bed!
Race morning was pleasantly relaxed. This was my first race since the Jack and Jill Marathon, and my first race in my new age group bracket. We were up early enough to eat a little breakfast and make sure we had time to walk the .6 miles to the park where the start was. Much to our disappointment, the weather in Boston was warmer than in Tulsa - 75 and humid.
Again, we had no pressure on meeting a certain time, or any goals to get PRs in this race so I told Katie we would just enjoy it and if we needed to walk, we would! There were over 6,000 people in a single start line race (usually big races like this send runners out in waves....that would have been nice). It was a little crowded on a paved trail course through the Emerald Necklace park system. But, not to my surprise, the crowd support from Bostonians was pretty amazing. This is a great running town!
We ran our way through the course feeling strong at some points and walking up big hills at others. We were hot and completely sweaty, I even started dumping water on my head at water stops to try to cool down. This was not the race we envisioned when choosing New England in the fall but we made it, one step at a time. The last mile of the race was wonderful. A cool drizzle had started and we got to finish by running through the Franklin Zoo, spotting giraffes, zebras and wildebeests from our trail.
I really liked this finish. We ran into an old school stadium and got to finish by looping around the last turn of a track. We couldn't hang around long because of our quick checkout time so we zipped it back to the Air Bnb, cleaned up, packed and set out on a food and mimosa mission. We took our time strolling around Boston one last time before heading to the trains for the airport.
This race was a really great reminder that they don't have to all be about going sub this time or beat that PR. You can run to explore a new city or state, celebrate friendships and appreciate all that your body does for you! Where should we take the Studio group next?!