Pre-Boston #2: The night I fell in love

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I’ve only been in Boston for a couple hours, but I definitely have a new favorite city!

Our trip began the best way possible yesterday after my wonderful father-in-law dropped us off at LAX. We easily checked in to the JetBlue desk, made our way through security, and hit up the ladies’ room. As I was drying my hands, the most spunky chick looked at me and asked if the top I was wearing was Oiselle.

As it turns out, I was chatting with Jacqueline Hansen, the 1973 Boston Marathon winner AND two-time world record setter in the marathon! Additionally, she is in both the Road Runners Club of America and the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.

Naturally, I had to ask for a picture with her!

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She was beyond sweet and helpful, and she introduced me to the team of chicks she was travelling with, Jeaney and Michele, both from Hawaii!

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Both of those chicks train on Diamond Head, so they pretty much eat hills for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Heartbreak Hill: meet your competition!

That was seriously the best way to start off this trip! I was so pumped that I forced my personal paparazzi to shoot me lunging down the aisle.

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I had to! 

Don’t worry. The gorgeous lady looking super annoyed at my antics is my mom. She’s used to it. And she promptly shouted out that I was holding up the line. Woops!

The flight took a bit longer than scheduled due to two delays (I now know why people get crabby when they’re delayed on the tarmac), but it was made easier when we met three super Aussie chicks running Boston through an International Travel program! They had been travelling for almost an entire day, but nothing could dampen their spirits! They said that after last year, they HAD to run Boston this year. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture with them.

Seriously, the spirit of this marathon is so enormous and contagious! I am beginning to think that every person in the world could benefit from running or cowbelling Boston, and I haven’t even run the race yet!

The spirit continued when we touched down in Boston. We were immediately chatted up by Bostonians who thanked us for coming and wished me luck on Monday.

Thank you, Boston!

After grabbing our luggage, we hopped on the 55 to the Blue Line, then stopped at the Orange Line to get to our hotel.

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The husband had to wrangle Blondie, who wasn’t quite ready to test her balance out on the T.

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Papa made sure none of the luggage flew across the car. It’s really a tough job rolling/carrying luggage from bus to train to train to hotel!

This was the girls’ first time on both a bus and a subway, so they were super excited.

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Look at those city girls!<–kidding. Both girls almost ate dirt many times on the T. They need to learn to hang on!

It was also my first time navigating a train system since I studied abroad in Italy a gazillion years ago, so I kind of had an idea of where we needed to go, but just to make sure, when the doors of a T would open, I would shout things like “which way to the Blue Line?” and “where direction to the Back Bay?”

And you know what? Bostonians are really rad, and they helped out. They reacted very quickly, thankfully.

I think the thing I like the best about the people here are that they’re not all huggy/sweet and cuddly, but they all seem to be fiercely loyal to their city, and they are very, very helpful in the most understated way.

After we arrived at our hotel (we’re staying at the newly renovated Loews), we dropped off our stuff and ventured out to grab a bite to eat because we were all starving! At the recommendation of the concierge, we walked the couple blocks to the Parish Café on Boylston!<–I had the most happy moment when we rounded the corner onto Boylston!

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While ordering a pint, I noticed a runner chick sitting at the bar and invited her to join us.

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This chick is pretty badass. Boston will be her first marathon ever! After last year, she signed up to run Boston for the One Fund, and she has almost raised $10,000, which is her goal, but I think it would be really cool (she would say “wicked cool”) if she surpassed that amount!

You can here check her campaign site out and donate as your heart desires!

PS She has 3 days to go to reach her goal! 

Her enthusiasm and pumped-upness was unparalleled, and she made me fall even more in love with Boston! She didn’t even judge me for having my kids out to dinner at 1 o’clock in the morning!<–not the best at time changes.

Back to the Parish Café, the place is delicious. They have a ton of bottled beer, and a selection of beers on tap.

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I ordered the 26.2 (meh) and the Harpoon 100 barrel brown ipa (yum!).

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That was my first Sam Adams 26.2. I believe it’s only distributed in Boston around marathon time!

For dinner, I chose the corn cakes, and they were as delicious as they look.

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I might have to come here again and order the same thing because it was that tasty.

Well, I’m off to fall even more in love with this great city! I’ll have to bundle up today—it’s 39 degrees outside and it’s already 10’oclock. I’ll be going to the expo today, if anyone wants to meet up.

Really, I have to get my grubby little paws on the limited edition Oiselle Boston tee.

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If you’re interested, Oiselle will be set up within the City Sports booth, and Kara Goucher and Lauren Fleshman will be signing fan cards tomorrow from 11-1!!!

I’m going to a Red Sox game tonight! Anything I must absolutely know/eat?

What is your favorite city?

Are you a car/taxi/public transportation person?

What is your favorite snack?

I need your help: Pre-Boston post #1

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It’s Monday, you guys! I’m leaving in THREE DAYS for what will hopefully be a super cool trip/marathon to remember. This means that I ran my last double digit run on Sunday, a cool, easy, breezy 10 miles, faster and easier than I’ve run a 10 in a good while.

You want to know something funny? I think I know why it was unusually easy. I decided to start drinking a bottle of water first thing in the morning, then one after(ish) every time I pee, and guess what! A well-hydrated runner is an efficient runner! It’s science.

That whole Cheseboro Half Marathon/dehydration fiasco has instilled the fear of the hydration gods into me, so I’ve been all up in my water bottle’s face lately. I mean, the last thing I want to do is write about how I’ve been banned from the running world because I spent more time in the porta-potties than on the road from Hopkinton to Boylston St. That’s against all the rules of Boston/running/Darwin.

While my hydration routine is definitely lacking (and should be given priority), the first nutrition thing I do as part of my pre-marathon routine/ritual/hocus pocus is a caffeine fast. I’m all about science, right?<–I don’t teach science.

Starting last Monday, a few hours before I faced a class full of bright-eyed middle school cherubs staring at me confusedly because they were awaiting an answer/response/some sort of feedback regarding whatever whoever I called on said, I glanced lovingly at my Nespresso machine, and made sure it knew it wasn’t her, it was me.

Luckily, my students are super rad and reassured me that the same thing happens to their moms even when they have had their coffee. So sweet.

I’m still going to hold on to the theory that my little pre-marathon caffeine fasts are beneficial come race day.

Other than functioning on negative levels of coffee (I shed almond cappuccino tears after watching the ridiculously inspiring Shalane Flanagan interview on 60 Minutes yesterday, hence the negative levels), tapering has been relatively relaxed and low key. (If you know what’s good for you, you’ll watch Shalane’s interview. Double bonus: It’s with Anderson Cooper<–LOVE HIM!!!)

However, it wasn’t until Saturday that I came to the realization that I am running the BOSTON MARATHON!!!

On Saturday, the fine folks over at Future Track, a local running store that also happens to carry Oiselle, invited Boston runners, former runners, qualifiers, and future qualifiers and their families for a Boston Sendoff Party!

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I bought the marathon Tabloid Tee while I was there. Some things are just too great to pass up.

Adidas sponsored the event that brought about six of us local Boston runners and our families together to celebrate our journey with good conversation, tips, and food.

First, the area adidas rep chatted about what a big deal it is to be a Boston qualifier. Then, a runner from last year spoke about how different Boston is from anything else and about her experience last year, which drove home the fact that I am actually going to do this. Listening to her speak was so emotional. She brought #bostonstrong to my reality. Let’s just say that I am honored to be a member of the runners who will come together next Monday to share in the spirit of humanity. It’s not even a running thing any more. It’s a collective let’s-be-strong-and-rad-and-badass-together thing.

Before dinner, Future Track’s Boston Ambassador, a super cool chick named Wendy, all but pinky swore that we are going to be best friends forever.

Actually, she offered to email all of us who were at the party to meet up post-race for brews.

Same thing.

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The lovely adidas rep gifted each of us runners with an official Boston spike bag which I’m 110% positive I’m going to fill with loot from the expo on Friday.

Finally, it was dinner time.

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With my favorite pasta dish.

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I don’t know why it looks like there’s gold in the penne. Maybe it was magical pasta that made my 10-miler the next day go so well!

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Proof that I eat salad once in a while. My mom was there. She can vouch for me.

After dinner, Phil, the owner of Future Track, took pictures of everyone with their BQ race and time.

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How cool is it that a local running store would reach out to the community and throw a celebration party?!?! Pretty ridiculously cool, if you ask me. They’ve got a new regular customer, that’s for sure! Word is they have group runs that end at a local brewery. Why have I not known about these?!?!

Now, I need your help. I’m a rookie at Boston.

What Boston course tips do you have?

Where do i HAVE to eat?

Where are the awesome places to take the kids?

What should my family do while I’m running?

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