Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Morning running in Boston

This past weekend, Brian and I headed to Boston to visit my college roommate.  It was great to visit my friend and see the city, but I also was finishing up my last big week of half marathon training and needed to fit in a super long run while in the city. 

At first I was going to run Saturday morning but after a long drive and a late night exploring Boston on Friday night and an early morning planned for Saturday, I decided to reschedule the run for Sunday.

Friday night we headed to the North End for a great dinner at Antico Forno which is a great Italian restaurant! After eating, we walked down to the docks to see the beautiful skyline and I actually figured out how to use my camera at night!  Once we had digested enough, we headed back up Hanover street to get some dessert!  We stopped at Vittoria Caffe for some coffee and I had a cannoli while Brian had a giant Lobster tail.  They both were the best ever.

We then made our way farther down the street and stood in line at Modern Pastry for some take home goodies!  In that bakery, everything looked delicious - we got more cannolis, a torrone and macaroons.

Saturday we were up bright and early to get some breakfast at a local bagel shop and then head over to the aquarium.  I had been there before but Brian had not and we spent a while seeing all the fish, sharks and turtles!  Afterward we started walking again and made our way from the North End to Boston Common, Boylston Street and Newberry Street. It was so amazing to walk everywhere - something we are definitely not accustomed to.  For lunch, we stopped for a quick but delicious bit at Joe's American Bar and Grill and then continued our walking tour.  We walked towards the Charles River and crossed the Harvard Bridge.  At this point I was paying very close attention because this was the area I planned to run on the next morning.  The bike path by the river was amazing and I could not wait to get out there and run.  From there we walked through MIT (a college I could only dream of attending).  It was pretty obvious that school was back in session since there were a thousand bikes outside one of the MIT buildings.

Once we arrived back at my roommates apartment, we lounged a bit before taking the walk to Harvard for dinner. The area around Harvard was buzzing with people and it is just a gorgeous area.  We stopped for dinner at Border Cafe which has awesome chips and salsa.  I even splurged and got a margarita with my fajitas!  After dinner there was more walking to digest all the food we had consumed so that we could make room for frozen yogurt at Pink Berry!  They had so many different kinds of Fro-yo, it was hard to choose but I finally decided on the Chocolate hazelnut with brownie bits!

We consumed our frozen yogurt as we walked back home and I was ready for bed since I knew I had an early wake up call the next morning.

The best part about being in Boston was that the sun rises early than it does at my home.  The sun was up at 6:10am on Sunday which made my 6am long run start time that much easier.  I had studied the map so many times, written out directions and had my phone so I set out for my 17 miler (with 3 miles at HMP).  It was beautifully quiet as I ran down the streets - I ran through Harvard again and onto the Charles River bike path. 

I was pretty much alone for the first 8 miles and then suddenly the bike path was filled with more and more runners.  I was following this one girl for a very long time.  At the Harvard Bridge, I crossed and headed back.  I am pretty sure I saw the Citgo sign that everyone talks about seeing during the Boston Marathon.

As I finished off my miles on the bike path, I started in on my half marathon pace miles.  The 3 miles to home were my 3 miles at HMP.  I was pretty worried about this part of the run - my legs were tired from all the walking (5+ miles) on Saturday and I just did not have a lot of energy.  I decided to just try and take it one mile at a time.  I managed to get through 2 miles at 7:15 pace so I pushed on for a third mile.  And that is when I got lost.  I missed a turn and was pretty lost for about half a mile.  I had to stop and get out my phone to check where I was.  A little back tracking and I was headed in the right direction.

It was slightly scary for a few minutes there on the run because NOTHING looked familiar and I was at mile 16 of my 17 mile run so I was not exactly able to think the clearest. Thankfully I made it back home and wasn't too lost!  It was a great run and I am glad I got to explore more of the area while on the run.

After the run, I quickly showered so we could get on our way to another day of sightseeing.  Sunday we decided to take the drive up to Portland, Maine and see the area.  Brian and I had never been to Maine so we were excited to visit a new place and my college roommate really wanted to take us to this great restaurant. Sitting in the car for 2 hours was not exactly the best thing for my legs post run, but we did more walking in Portland so I wasn't feeling that bad.

Dinner was at Fore Street in Portland and it was the best food I have had in a long time.  And also some really good wine!  I definitely recommend that if you are ever in Portland, make a reservation and treat yourself to dinner there.  It was well worth the drive.  Plus Maine is just beautiful.

Monday, we packed up our things and headed back home after a wonderful weekend.  I did manage another run around Harvard before I left! It is just so beautiful there to run and I love having sidewalks and other runners around!  Totally different than what I have at home - no sidewalks and very few other runners out while I run. 

Fitting in runs while on vacation (even a mini weekend getaway) can be tough but I am glad I have an understanding husband and friends who helped me to make my visit to Boston even better!


Marlene said...

That's a serious run in a new city while on vacation! Way to get it done. Sounds like you had a great time soaking up all of the sights and bites. :) LOVE Boston!

Kim said...

You guys fit in so much! That is awesome! What a wonderful vacation!

I love it when I travel somewhere and have to get a run in and the sun is up early... or out later if I am running in the evening! :)

Are you tapering for your half now?

Elizabeth said...

I love Boston! That sounds like such a fun trip! It's great that you got to run in a new area. Always fun to change things up.

Anonymous said...

Boston is a great running city...they should have a race there someday.

Jamie said...

Looks like you had a great time! Beautiful photos!

Anonymous said...

Amazing how you fit the runs in - good job!! LOVE the pictures, so beautiful!

Glenn Jones said...

How interesting. I was in Boston over the Labor Day weekend too, moving my daughter into an apt near Harvard!