Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston Dreams

     I was supposed to be there. This was the year. Boston Medley. The Boston 5k in April, 10K in June and Half in October. Run the Boston 5K and then spectate at the marathon. I'm pretty sure I would've been standing right in front of Marathon Sports. It's my favorite store in all of Boston. I probably would've still been at the finish line after the winners came though. Why not?
     I suppose that's why I had so many concerned friends. They were pretty sure I was in Boston Monday. Emails, Facebook messages, even a text from the ex-boyfriend to check on me! But I wasn't in Boston. I guess, thankfully, I decided I wouldn't have enough money to do three trips to Boston this year. But in my heart of hearts, I still wish I was there.

     I first fell in love with Boston the weekend of my best friend's wedding in April 2006. She was getting married in New Hampshire but the town was super close to Boston, so I drove in for a day trip. This was the first time I had ever been to Boston. And yes, I drove in Boston! Some would say that's craziness! But I survived and even found my way around easily. I went to the most popular, easy to find location that I knew of - The Boston Common & Public Gardens. And oh yea, I ate at Cheers too!
     Since then, I have been back every year starting in 2009. During the Summer of 2009, I was lucky enough to visit Boston for longer than a day during a business trip. I was traveling with a group of two work friends and was in charge of all the food and fun! It was a whirlwind trip blended with work and play, but I knew then I needed to see more! I returned in May of 2010 to just strictly play and explore. Oh yea, and to attend my first game in FENWAY PARK! And what better first game in Fenway than Red Sox - Yankees!
     That summer of 2010 I also started getting "serious" about running and again, Boston came to mind! Rumors started floating around about a Boston 10k and in the Spring of 2011 registration opened. I was so anxious! I remember trying over and over to get in to the site! Then when I finally got in, they said my application had to be approved! I freaked out when I got in - I was so happy!!!
     So in June of 2011 it was back to Boston - this time, to RUN! The thought of being able to run part of the Boston Marathon course was almost too much for me! Actually running it, was simply amazing! The Boston 10k course is beautiful! Running through the best parts of the city - Commonwealth Ave, BU campus, Fenway, Kenmore Square. Just awesome! Read more about my first year here in Dreaming of Boston.
Crossing the finish line, bag check bag, telling mom I finished & rounding the corner on Comm Ave.
Relaxing after the race in the Common, medal pics & random new friends!
     I knew after my first race that I would have to return every year! This would be my streaker race - a race run on the first year it's offered and then run every year forward! Also during this trip I decided to drive the Boston Marathon course. I wanted to see every part of it that I had heard about! Now, I should let you know that at this point I had yet to run any distace longer than 10 miles. I was starting training in July for my very first half and full marathons! And here I was driving the most historic marathon course in the US! I drove to Hopkinton, which seemed like such a long drive!! I followed a map similar to this one - Boston Marathon Course - and searched for all of the landmarks, wanting to take my own pictures of all of them! Here are a few...(I really should do a full post on this...)
The storied START line in Hopkinton...
       Spirit of the Marathon, Ashland Clock Tower, Framingham Train Depot (with a train!), signs to the screaming girls of Wellesley!
Johnny Kelley Statue, Boston College, Citgo Sign (Fenway), and finally the FINISH!
     I ran my first marathon in February of 2012. It took me 5 hours and 30 minutes to run my first marathon. Ironically, with the stops for pictures & wandering, it took me 5 hours and 30 minutes to drive the Boston Marathon course! Pretty cool, I thought!

     So I returned to Boston in 2012 for year two of the BAA Boston 10k...
Boston 10k 2012 - winner Kim Smith, top center
     And I will return this year for year three. This year, many of my friends will be running along with me, from Boston and from all over the country! It's sure to be EPIC! Registration opens May 1st. If you are able, it is a great race and a lovely little vacation for the summer! And if you need any suggestions on what to do in Boston, well, I can give you a week's worth - at least! - of fabulous places to see, eat and tour!
Freedom Trail Run - Run and learn the history!
4th of July 2011 - history, baseball & fireworks on the Charles with the Boston Pops
Pick one, I promise, you will be very happy!

     I fell in love with the history of Boston, learning and seeing more and more each year. The history of our country, our beginnings, started there. Those streets are where we fought to be independent. When Boston says they are strong and resilient, do not doubt them. I love this city. I love it's people. I cannot wait to get back to Boston this summer!
Boston Qualifying time...
     And oh yea, now, I'm planning on qualifying for the Boston Marathon! Before, I figured I'd just run for a charity and get in that way to run it one day. But now...Well, things are different. I also feel like maybe doing the charity thing is a way I am wimping out. Maybe I really can qualify! I have a lot of time to take off my marathon finishing time but if I train and stay focused and positive, I know I can do it. I also have an unbelievable support team here in my running community and virtually around the world via Twitter. It's absolutely amazing the friends I have!
     So, the goal: by age 50 (I'm 39), qualify to run Boston. I've got plenty of time!
     See you in Boston!


  1. Really enjoyed this post (especially all of the photos!), as fellow Boston lover. My Mom grew up in Wellesley and I spent many summers up there with my grandparents and extended family. The 10k really sounds fabulous - definitely adding it to my bucket list of races! -Christine

    1. Hope to run with you and maybe even mom one day!

  2. I have only been to Boston once, its an amazing City. We LOVED monica's just walked in, best Italian meal we have had! Thanks for this ..

    1. Totally agree! I just walked in to Monica's place too! Great story about their family if you take the Boston North End food tour! Glad you enjoyed it! Come back!!!

  3. I have a friend that just moved to Boston. I can't wait to visit her. Looking forward to reading your recaps as you progress towards a BQ! Good luck!!

    1. Thanks girl! If you need a list of places to play in Boston, let me know!

  4. I LOVE this post. The pictures are amazing.

    I dream of qualifying for Boston some day.

  5. Love your pics. My goal is to qualify by 50 too! I'm hoping to go sub-4 in the next 2 years, then I just have to hold it there for a while, haha!

    1. Yay! Maybe we'll both qualify the same year! So much fun!

  6. I read this last week and never got around to commenting... I LOVE this post! Cannot wait to cheer you on when you run the Boston Marathon. xo

    1. Thank Jill! Can't wait for Peachtree when we can all see each other again!!! Miss you!