Sunday, July 26, 2015

Running Boston

This week I took it relatively easy, considering I did no speed work, no tempo run, and only ran 18 miles total.  That doesn't mean it felt easy, though, because I spent the week walking an average of 8 miles a day in Boston.  Yep, it was family vacation week.

I had not been to Boston since I was ten, and frankly, I remember next-to-nothing about the city at that time because our family mainly visited cousins while we were there.  I did some research, and I came up with a great list of activities: Plimoth Plantation, whale watching, Salem, the Freedom Trail, lots of clam chowdah, Italian food, and walking.

This is one of the many reasons for lots of walking: Mike's Pastry in the North End.  Holy Cannoli!
We always finished our evening stroll with coffee from Caffe Vittoria

Most of my plans involved activities I knew my family would enjoy, but there was one thing I did purely for myself: I ran through Boston Commons to the finish line of the Boston Marathon. 

 The Swan Boats in Boston Commons

 It was my pilgrimage, and even though fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassador Andrew (@Andrewrunsalot) told me not to step on the finish line until I run it, I did it anyway.

This is EXACTLY how I look after running across the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Of course, this was after running two miles, not 26.2.

I reminded that young punk Andrew that I am a 45-year-old realist, and I know that my chances of qualifying for Boston are pretty slim, considering I haven't yet run my first marathon.  He told me if I keep running regardless, I'll be able to age into the qualifying time by the time I'm eighty. On one hand, that's a pretty smart strategy; on the other hand, Andrew is still a punk.

I got two morning runs in this week, and I walked my butt off for the rest of the week.  I had to, not just because I wanted to see the sights but because I ate ALL THE FOOD.  We stayed in the North End, and I definitely took advantage of the delicious Italian cuisine there.  One night we stood in line for Giacomo's, which takes no reservations, accepts cash-only, and has a line down the street every night from opening (at 4:30) to closing.
This is EXACTLY how I look when I'm standing in line at Giacomo's.

Burrata with fresh tomatoes

Lobster and shrimp with housemade fusilli in Giacomo sauce

Lobster, clams, mussels with linguini in pesto sauce

It was soooo worth it, Peeps.

We ended our week in Boston by finishing the Freedom Trail.  We walked all over Charlestown, seeing the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument.  My son decided that it would be "fun" to climb the monument.
294 freaking steps up.  294 freaking steps down
 Now, I have run the steps at the McKinley Monument in Canton, OH, a few times, and I've never been as sore as I feel from those damned steps at Bunker Hill.  Even two days later I'm having trouble descending the basement stairs to do laundry.  Luckily, I have two kids, so I've decided that THEY are going to do the laundry, and I am going to do "legs-up-the-wall" pose in the bedroom while reading a book.  Here is an instructional video if you'd like to try this yourself:

All of those steps made us hungry, so we finished our week in Boston by eating pizza at Quattro.
This is EXACTLY how I look when I need more wine because my legs ache.

Today I ignored the pain and I ran my traditional "old-blue-line" route of 10 miles and some change.  This is a loop that starts in Sand Run Park and continues through West Akron along the former route of the Akron Marathon.  I like it because of the change of scenery: Metroparks, beautiful residential neighborhoods, two country clubs, Stan Hywet Hall.  I also like the fact that my last mile is completely downhill.  This is possibly the only route I can run where I can guarantee negative splits.  

Well, Peeps, it is good to be back.  I'm going to get my head back in the game with my speed work and my race preparations.  Meanwhile, there is laundry and grocery shopping to do and children to nag.

Run happy this week, Peeps!

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