The Boston Marathon 2016 – Race Recap: Part 1

It’s all about timing, right? Nothing like a complicated trip itinerary that runs like a well oiled machine. I’ll take all the credit. But only because it went as well as it did.

A flight to Boston direct cost a shit load of money. And being as it is so tight around here already, trying to get us there via that route was going to break the bank. I had a companian ticket available through Delta, but they only allow you to use it on certain flights. None of which would get us to Boston when we wanted to be there.

So, I did the next best thing. I chose the closest airports and did some comparison shopping.

We could have flown into New York, and taken a shuttle to Boston, but I couldn’t get the timing right. We’d have been sitting in an airport for 10 hours at least. And this won’t work for my husband.

So, I opted to try Hartford, CT. To my surprise, it was just $220 for a round trip ticket, and they’d allow me to use the free companion ticket! Now I just had to get us from there to Boston.

Not so easy.

The only way to do it was to rent a car. But I didn’t want to have to park a car. Afterall, we wouldn’t use it except to get to the airport and back. And it would cost close to $50 a day just to park it in the city.

Off to Priceline.com to search one day car rentals. Yep…they got them! You just have to find the deals…and the coupons. And determine which cars can be returned within walking distance of the hotel. Done…done…and done.

Time to go!

(I forgot to take my photo before we left the house, but I took some selfies at the airport. My husband just rolled his eyes and pretended not to know me.)

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Like a well oiled machine, I tell you. Like a well oiled machine. We left the house at 7:45 am, were blessed with TSA Check tickets, on time flight, rental car shuttle waiting at baggage claim, super easy vehicle pick up, easy drive to Boston with NO traffic, and a 4:30 pm arrival time. Hertz was right across the street from the hotel. We parked the car, dropped the key in the slot, and wheeled our luggage to the hotel. We checked in with just enough time to hit the expo so that I could get my bib before it shut down at 6 pm. Unlike the 5 mile hike we had to make in Chicago to their expo, this one was just a mile and a 15 minute hike…with no foot traffic.

It was chilly when we arrived. I refrained from wearing my 2016 Boston Marathon jacket just yet. After all, I’m superstitious like that. I didn’t want anything to go wrong…didn’t want to jinx it. So, I wore my 2014 jacket. We were to meet up with some Secret Running Peeps (a running group on Facebook) at 6pm…at a bar…which made my husband giddy. He couldn’t wait to get a beer in his hand. And I couldn’t wait to get him out of the expo. They are just a little too much for him to handle. But he was good about it. And I was appreciative.

No lines, no waiting. I got my bib and my finishers shirt, and then we got a photo. 2016-04-16 17.46.52We tried to walk around a little bit, but it was severely crowded. A quick walk through was all we could manage, and we decided it would be easiest to just return in the morning to do some browsing.

Weaving out of the conference center, we headed out to meet up with my VRF’s.

Like clockwork, I tell ya.

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After meeting up with the peeps, after the hugs, and the obligatory beer (I did not imbibe), and the photos, my husband and I were off again. It was nearly 7:30 pm and we hadn’t eaten much all day, except for a few hard boiled eggs and some cheese and nuts that I had brought along on the airplane. We stopped at a liquor store along the way, intending to get a bottle of Jack Daniels, but the prices were outrageous! I have never seen my husband NOT buy anything from a liquor store. But he walked out as quickly as he walked in. This wasn’t going to happen tonight. I had to stop at the drug store on the way back because I needed some bottled water and rubbing alcohol so I could put my Rock tape on the night before the marathon. The drugstores were nuts…and shelves were empty. We grabbed what we needed and went back to the hotel, dropped our stuff upstairs, and ate and drank at the hotel bar. Gosh, it was good. I even had a cocktail with my husband! Who wants to drink alone?

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It was a long, busy day so we called it early and headed up to the room. Since I still had the symptoms of the sinus infection, I wanted to get into the shower and drain as much as I could. I was still having the headaches. The only relief I got was from standing under a warm shower and just letting the fluid flow. Gross. But effective.

After a little TV, and some bitching about the hotel room, we were in bed by 10 pm.

Sunday

Ahhh! Slept in…well, a little. I got up a 7:20 am local time to find my husband already up. I didn’t have the best night’s sleep as he was snoring a bit, and it was so warm in the room. I had to get up at 2:00 am and take an advil for my head and turn on the air conditioning. I managed to fall back asleep a little after 3:00 am, thank heavens.

We did our morning showers, and I drained my sinuses yet again. Then we were off for the expo by 9:30 am-ish.

It was still rather chilly in the morning, and we realized as we stepped outside that somewhere the night before, my husband had lost his jacket. More than likely, he left it downstairs in the hotel bar, but when we went to retrieve it, it was gone. The hotel said it hadn’t been turned in. So puzzling. Who would want his 20 year old outdated Columbia jacket? I mean, come on! Needless to say, this meant another task for the morning. The hunt for a new jacket was on…one that didn’t cost an arm and a leg…which wasn’t easy to find. But we couldn’t get started on it until the shops opened at 11 am.

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So, we headed to the expo first. We entered a different way this time, and I saw the wall with all the marathoners names on it. Of course I had to find mine! Pretty neat! We did a little browsing around until the crowds got to be too much. So we left at about 11 am. I didn’t buy anything additional. There were tons of samples to be had, but I had none…since they are all sugar laden. Yuck. Why does everything have to have so much damn sugar…and gluten?

We hit the stores in search of a cheap jacket, which we finally found at Nordstrom Rack. The funny thing was, after all the time we spent in search of it, as soon as he put it on, he said the wind went right through it. Completely ineffective. Well, I guess that is what you get for $17.

The next meet up was with the Boston Bound Bloggers at 2pm. With plenty of time on our hands, we had some lunch (I was hoping for a late breakfast, but it had already ended) and then back to the hotel to drop off a poster and some samples that I had been given at the expo. My husband laid down for a little nap, and I put together my race outfit, figured out a way to get my name on my bib, and got my #flatme photo out of the way.

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On our way back to the meet up, we got some more photos at the finish line and a few other points along the way, including the big welcome sign where 2 years ago, I got a photo with my sister, who came along for the journey the first time!

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The weather was truly gorgeous, despite the cool temperatures. My husband said the finish line was like a cult gathering. He was more perplexed by what he saw this day than at any other race of mine he as been to. I had to explain to him that this was  it…the MECCA of all the races…the one every runner aspires to be a part of…Boston. Yup…pretty cultish indeed.

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Not all the Boston Bound Bloggers were in attendance, but I did get to see Michael Scott of Run Nerds Rock and Jody Stoops, of Cross My Heart Fitness, Sara Wendt, Vickie Knox… While this happened, my husband ran my phone over to the Apple store to have the battery checked. He was happy to do it. 😉

Again, like last night’s group, we hugged, chatted up a storm, took a photo, and went our separate ways.

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My husband and I didn’t have a plan together for the rest of the day yet, except to try and find another liquor store, which might have lower prices than the first one we visited. But it didn’t happen. Instead, he ended up getting a six-pack for himself to have at the hotel room. After that, it was back to the hotel room to drop that off and get it on ice before coming up with a dinner plan. We’ve been walking a good part of the day and at this point, I wasn’t surprised to see we had amassed about 6 miles. And we weren’t done yet.

Tapeo

Back out the door and back on the road. This time dinner was the objective. Our first choice was actually closed. Closed…on marathon Sunday? Seemed very odd. But in retrospect, probably a good thing, because our second choice had some great eats and some yummy cocktails. It was a tapas bar on Newberry Street called Tapeo. Most excellent small plates. We ate outside in the sunshine! Typically, I don’t drink before a race, but it was still early, and I decided I just wanted one. It might calm my nerves a bit, too.

But I ended up with a tummy ache that took the fun out of the rest of the evening. My husband was looking to eat some more, I think, and I felt kind of bad. But I was ready to pack it in, get my stuff together for the run, and get to bed. I was pretty beat up. We had put in over 9 miles of walking that day! And I had to run 26.2 miles in the morning. It was almost time…

Stay tuned for The Boston Marathon 2016 – Race Recap: Part 2

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