BOSTON MARATHON TRIP WITH THE FAMILY!
What an exciting time! I am running the Boston Marathon on Monday April 17th and my family got to come along to cheer me on! I did not think it would happen, but all my boys (with the exception of McKay who is on a mission in Russia) got to come! And, I have six friends who are also coming to cheer me on all the way from Utah and Maine! We are going to have a girl's trip after the race. This is all just SO great!
We headed out on the red eye on Wednesday night. I wanted to sleep on the way, but it was difficult. I did watch a couple of good movies. The guy I sat by (Eric) was also running the marathon. He served a mission in Boston as well and so he told me some good places to go eat. It was his first Boston also. He was a nice guy.
We arrived!!! At 5:30 a.m. The airport was very welcoming to the runners. There were posters everywhere. I have a feeling that is just a taste of what Boston is going to be like! While we were waiting for the shuttle to take us to the rental car place, I met a cute lady (Mitra) wearing a Boston jacket who was from South Jordan and so we got talking about the marathon and next thing I know I see my boys and Dave go by on the shuttle without me! (Hence, the look on my face in the bottom right photo above) Geeze! They said they thought I got on....hmm....so I had to get on the next one and meet them there, but it gave me more time to chat with cute Mitra. We got our car and wasn't sure what to do since we couldn't check in to our hotel until after 2 pm. Dave decided to drive the marathon course. It was quite a drive to Hopkinton where it starts but we made it. It was good sleep time for the tired jet lagged boys.
This is the famous It All Starts Here sign. Hopkinton was much smaller than I expected. We got some photos at the start. It was chilly!
I posted a photo on Facebook and my mom's cousin Cathy reposted it with a caption that I think made me feel good, though I don't feel 55...but I do like the young part! ;)
|As we drove the course, the nerves started to get tense. This course is loaded with hills! I do not like hills! Not even kinda! I was beginning to get discouraged. A lot. We then drove the Newton Hills. Oh boy. Heartbreak Hill was the lesser of four evils. It's just that it's the last of the four where you are tired and done with hills and then you get the longest one. I kept saying, "Yikes!" I was seriously wondering if I would crash and burn on this course big time. People always say, "Don't drive the course!", but I feel more prepared for what to expect when I do. So I am glad we did even though it made me a more nervous.|
|Saw several purple houses here!|
|We arrived in downtown Boston and actually found a parking place right at the finish line! What are the odds?!!! We took advantage of it and all got out of the car to check it out. They were finishing the finish line and we got to watch! They use vinyl - not paint! They repaint it every year but for race day they use this nice vinyl. One of the ladies in charge gave Dave a piece of it. It was very interesting to watch.|
Crazy to think on Monday I will be crossing this! That gave me chills!
I was able to talk the fam into getting a photo. Sky said I got one photo of him for the entire trip and so I told him this was the one I wanted ↓ (we should have been on the other side of it! Hello!
|This countdown sign in front of Marathon Sports which is where the first bombing happened right at the finish line. Hard to fathom that really happened. This was all at Copley Square. |
It was fun watching the window washers!
|*A few city sights. *I found a penny! A couple actually. *The subway *A homeless guy telling Taylor how good looking he was. hah *We decided to use our Go Boston passes and took a Trolley Tour. It took us basically on the Freedom Trail, but we didn't get out at the stops. The history of this town is so amazing! I learned so much! Sky chose to do the New England Aquarium which was also on it. We then did a harbor cruise to the USS Constitution. We parked our rental car and had to pay $25 which was a steal of a deal. Crazy!|
We then went to the Prudential Tower Sky Walk. ↓ It was amazing!
Wow! What a spectacular view! Love all the Brownstones in this city! I could see the famous CITGO sign that is on the marathon course. When you get to it, that means you only have one more mile to go. I saw a lot of marathon jackets today. It's so fun to have this instant bond with others wearing them. It's like we are old buds but haven't even met.
It was fun learning about Boston. So many things I had no idea about. The history here is THICK!
We then walked part of the Freedom Trail and made our way to Little Italy. We ate at L'Osteria (the guy on the plane told me it was good) and he was right! No salads with your meals here. Just bread and the main course. You can add one for about $8. I carb loaded with my fave lasagna!
We walked to Paul Revere's House as well. It was interesting. Mike's Pastry Shop is FAMOUS here and it was in Little Italy and so we stopped in for some Cannoli's. HOLY CANNOLI they were good! The line was out the door! But worth the wait!
We then headed to our hotel. It was the HI in Somerville. It wasn't bad. It felt SO good to have a soft bed. We were supposed to have a roll-away bed, but nope. Sky slept on the floor in his makeshift bed. We were all BEAT! It was one busy day with a lot of driving and a lot of walking on no sleep! Next time, I need to find a way to get a room as soon as we land so we can rest for a bit. And, unfortunately the maid woke us all up around 6:30 a.m the next day! Ugh!
Shauna called and text me and told me she had a bit of a situation. When I called her, she informed me they had the flu at their house but we were still more than welcome to come. She just wanted to let me know so I could choose what to do. I really don't want to compromise my race by getting the flu right before. Yeah, that would be bad! We decided it wouldn't be worth the risk for me to get the flu after all this time and money and planning and so we decided we would find another place to stay. In the end, it actually was a blessing in disguise because it made it so we could attend the Red Sox Game as well as me being able to get my photo taken at the Finish Line with the Utah Runners - both which I felt so bad I was going to miss because we would be in Maine.
Taylor found us a room for the night in....drumroll please....
RHODE ISLAND! I laughed and laughed, but it was actually only an hour away for 1/3 of the price. I was up for anything and so it was settled. But first, we spent all of Friday in Boston. Dave and I took the subway from our hotel (pretty much in the ghetto) to Boston to attend the Expo. We were in Somerville and the subway was..... interesting. There was a ton of people on it.
|Subway... from the ghetto. You can see on my face (on the left) that I was a little apprehensive. However, it turned out to be one of the best experiences of the trip. I sat by an older man and I was asking him directions on what stops we needed etc. He saw my marathon jacket and started to ask me about the marathon and telling me things about it. Then about five other people who were just sitting around us started to join the conversation. It was great. They were all asking me about the marathon etc. When it was our stop, I stood up and they all said, "Good luck!" then I heard loud clapping. I turned back and they were all standing and applauding me as I got off! Are. You. Kidding. Me? TRUE story! I was so surprised! Only in Boston would a marathoner get a standing ovation on the subway! Wow! I like this place! A lot! :) I feel like a ROCK STAR!|
We made it to the expo. It was in a huge building. The first thing I did was get my packet and bib. We took the obligatory photo of me taking it from the volunteer.
And then some photos of me holding it up. Both are mandatory pictures if you are running the Boston Marathon. hah Not really, but everyone does both. Most post them on Facebook, but if you post your bib the way I am holding mine, you could get disqualified because bandits will copy them and then run the race. One year, there were almost 29 people with the same bib number because it was posted on social media. You can post if you hide part of it with your hand.
|We ran into Robin and Grant. I feel bad I didn't get a photo with her! She took the one on the left of me when I saw her. Yes, I was excited to see her! We got one of Grant and I as well. I ran into Mitra from the airport, the lady I met at the Lucky 13, and the older man (Senator) I met at St. George last year, and I asked him (he's in his 70's). I asked him to tell me honestly how bad the course is compared to Utah marathons. He smiled and said it's not too bad and I will love it no matter what because of the crowds. That made me feel better, (I think) but who knows. Everyone is different.|
The expo was SO FUN! I loved shopping and seeing all the cool things for running. Dave not so much. But he was patient while I looked. I thought I lost my phone and a bag, but ended up finding both. Whew. I got my photo with Ryan Hall (one of my running heroes) and then tried on my shirt to make sure it fit. The entire event was a lot of fun and huge! So many people selling things. They were showing the video of the course with commentary on how to run it as well.
I made my own mantra (below). I wrote it out and then had to run to get the computer to generate it. It took forever. I probably ran a whole mile! Hah
We walked over to the Runner's World store (temporary) and listened to Bart Yasso, Ryan Hall, Amby and a girl I didn't know, talk about running the course. It was informative. I got to meet Bart Yasso (I also saw him when I was running the race - he was spectating at mile 20-ish) and I told him he was the reason I was there because I incorporated his Yasso 800's speedwork in my training and that's when I got faster. He told me that I was the reason I was there because I did the hard work. He was very gracious. The boys were touring Harvard in Cambridge and so we grabbed some lunch in the mall. The gelato was so heavenly!
I got these ↑ sunglasses free! Check out what they say on them! Pretty cool! I got a photo of the most famous left turn in running....Hereford and Bolyston. Right on Hereford, left on Boylston. Then the boys picked us up and we stopped at Kelly's Roast Beef and had dinner. It was pretty good.
We got tickets for the Red Sox game that night and so Sky dropped us off at Fenway Park. He didn't want to go. Crazy kid! We had a great time. It was packed! I saw a lot of marathon jackets. It was really cold and so I wore my coat. They lost but no one cared because it was just fun being part of the game in the famous Fenway Park!
|Check out the photo bomb! Hah!|
Fun time with the Red Sox!
Sky picked us up and we drove to Rhode Island. It was pretty late when we arrived. We stayed at the Marriott.
I can honestly say I never thought I would be writing that I woke up in Rhode Island this morning! But I did. Visiting Rhode Island was never on my bucket list, but now that I have visited it, I realize it should have been. It's a nice little place. We enjoyed our hotel immensely! It was so nice to stay at a Marriott. Sad thing is the hotel was three times nicer than the ones I have in Boston but a third the price.
We stopped at IHOP for breakfast and it was yummy. I enjoy watching the amount of food my boys can put away. I would love to try! Wouldn't we all? ;) They can eat and eat and not gain an ounce! That would not be the case with me! I usually only eat half of what I order they eat the rest of that too (or Dave does). I think if I was granted one wish, mine might be to eat whatever I want and not gain weight! Hah
I love how my boys interact with each other. It's so fun to watch them as adults and how they genuinely love each other and like to be together. They can get silly at times, but it's so fun for me. It brings me so much happiness. It's one of my greatest joys to see what great men they have become. I love being with them. I thank my Father in Heaven every single day for the wonderful people I get to call my sons. I know every mother thinks this about her children, but these boys truly are some of the greatest humans that have ever lived. They have such good kind hearts and are just good people. There is nothing more a mother could wish for or hope for. And they are hilarious as well. We are continually laughing when we are together. I need fun in my life and they provide it in droves! I am beyond blessed. I often wonder what antics would be going on if Tyson were still with us. He would most likely be the ring leader. LOL
Taylor napping on top of the Jeep. ↓
We really weren't sure just exactly WHAT to do in Rhode Island and so I did what anyone would do and asked Google for ideas. Then I text my friend Shauna who lives in Maine for some suggestions. Interestingly enough, they were the same. So, we did a few of the things both suggested.
We went to Newport and saw some pretty cool sights. Check out the house on the top left that looks like it has lighthouse as part of it! And more purple houses! (top right) I've seen so many! Newport has a cool bridge and some amazing shells at a beach. I also saw several small lighthouses. New England has SO many lighthouses! They are EVERYWHERE!
I have forgotten the name of this beach, but it was by the Cliff Walk where the mansions are. It was VERY windy and cold.
We also drove around and looked at the Newport Mansions on Bellevue Avenue.
Newport was the summer playground of America's wealthiest families, including the Vanderbilts, the Morgans, the Astors among others. They would summer here in the 19th century, usually for only six weeks! Yeah, these are mostly summer homes! You can tour them, but each tour is at least an hour (per mansion!). Um, that wasn't happening with my travel buddies. Now, maybe if I was with my friends, but guys just aren't into that. Maybe someday I will get back here to see the insides!
This ↓one is called Rosecliff and The Great Gatsby was filmed here:
It is definitely my favorite! And not just because Robert Redford was there! :)However, there is one mansion I am sure they would go in! Taylor Swift has a mansion in Watch Hill which is only about 30 miles from Newport. We didn't go because we had no idea where it was. We should have done our research to just take a peek at it. Here is a photo of it from the internet: ↓
One of the highlights on our trip was seeing WAYNE on the billboards. hehe Our rental had Virginia plates. Who knew Virginia is for lovers? ;)
We ate at Rhode Island's Little Italy (I guess lots of New England cities have Little Italy's). The food was great but I can't remember the name of the restaurant!
We stayed at another Marriott but this time it was a Courtyard Marriott and not quite as nice. Dave and I headed to Walmart to grab some Easter treats since tomorrow is Easter!
I will forever cherish my two nights and one day in Rhode Island. Great times!
The Easter Bunny actually showed up in Rhode Island! Imagine that! Not sure how he found it, but he did. I'm sure my boys were not too impressed, but the bunny comes no matter where we are and as per tradition, he scattered treats all over the floor.
My boys are just not into "treats" anymore. They all eat the healthy stuff instead of junk, so I tried to buy some protein bars and stuff they would eat. (I mean the Easter Bunny did.) But Dave still loves the treats, so he was happy with the stuff they won't eat. We checked out of our hotel, grabbed some breakfast, and then drove back to Boston. It was only about a 45 min. or so drive. I saw MORE purple houses!
|A few of the sights in downtown Boston. We somehow miraculously found a FREE parking spot (unheard of!) by a Catholic Church that was holding Easter Mass at the time. Someone had just left the service and we snagged their parking spot. We felt BLESSED! It saved us about $35 for parking in a garage! Check out the Priests we saw just walking down the street. Also check out the two pennies I found in two different places (both in bark) downtown!|
|Boylston was hopping this morning! Must be because it was Easter! Okay, that was bad...I know, but couldn't resist. ☺|
|I tried to get a photo at the Finish Line. It was packed! Everyone else had the same idea!|
|I was lucky enough to bribe my boys into this one too!|
I really wanted a jumping shot, and we actually got one without me even kicking anyone in the process. So many people! You could feel the energy (almost electricity) in the air! People were oozing with excitement! What a great place to be the day before the race! I would have felt terrible had I missed it.
|Pretty sure I won't be feeling like this when I actually cross this line tomorrow! But I know I will be inside!|
|My crew patiently waiting in the marathon grandstand while I met up with the Utah Runners for the group photo.|
It took a while but somehow we all gathered together for a group photo. We are doing the U sign for UTAH in the bottom shot! The energy in this crowd was crazy high! I was trying to get the entire group to move back a bit so we could see actually see the finish line in the photo. But then my photographer didn't capture it anyway. Oh well. We were right on the Finish Line.
It was fun to chat with Mitra, and the lady from the Lucky 13 Half. I also met several others whom I didn't know before but we became fast friends. Marathon runners always have an instant bond, even more so if they are from Utah.
|After we took the photo, Robin and Grant showed up so Grant didn't get to be in it. Lucky for him, Jared Ward was late as well and so those that hadn't left regrouped for another shot. I didn't get one, other than this ↑ one Robin sent me.|
|Robin and I finally got a photo together. I'm with cute Mitra in the top right and Grant in the bottom left. We also got some with Utah Olympian Jared Ward (bottom right and top left).He is coached by Ed Eyestone whom I went to high school with. I told him to tell Ed hello from his high school pal Jodi. When I talked to him a bit later, he said, "I'm gonna tell Ed hi from Judi?" I said, "Jodi". Yeah, he'll forget! ;) (Still kinda funny cause I was called Judi in the marathon a lot). Hah|
|The church we attended was amazing. It was right by the Boston Temple. You could see the temple from the church. It is always fun to attend a different ward in a different state. I love to people watch. After church we drove up the hill to the temple. It was beautiful.|
After the temple, we drove to Lexington where the first shot that was heard around the world was fired which started the American Revolution. The Battle of Lexington and Concord began here. It was pretty amazing to stand right in the exact spot that battle occurred. It was a very cool place to see. We went in the visitor's center and learned a lot of historical facts.
We had some fun too!
|We then found our hotel in Somerville and checked in. They were VERY accommodating to the marathon runners and had welcome signs and even started the free breakfast at 4 a.m. or maybe it was 3 a.m. just for the runners. I was so happy I didn't have to get up that early! There are perks for being in the fourth wave! When Dave and I arrived, the boys had a roll away bed in there. I had ordered one but they found this one in the hall. It became a joke the rest of the trip. Long story....|
The pre-race dinner wasn't anything like what I had imagined. First of all the line was huge! It seriously wrapped around City Hall which had to be a good mile long! I am not exaggerating. It was crazy! We almost decided to bag it. A lot of runners did. I was thinking this is the last thing runners need - to be on their feet for a long time the day before the big race. But Dave went and got in line while I stayed at Fanueli Hall for a bit and then we finally got inside. The food was put in a to-go container and it was a take and go kind of thing. They had tons of tables to sit down to eat, which was nice. We sat by some people from Germany who spoke English. That has been one of the coolest things of this experience is meeting so many runners from all over the globe! All I could think of was "what if thousands and thousands of runners get food poisoning from this meal?" Can you even IMAGINE? I am sure it has happened before. Yikes! I was blessing it while I ate it! Hah I do have to say it was pretty good! We also got tons of free snacks we could take (Tootsie Rolls, protein bars, etc). We took the subway back to the room and the nerves were starting to set in!
I set out everything I would need for the next day. My nerves were really on edge. The weather report was not good. Now it is going to be HOT HOT HOT! It will be almost 70° when I START! That is so not good! I have really worried this was going to happen and checked that dang weather forecast three times a day for two months. Not sure why, because it changed only two or three days before and one day before to show it would be this hot! It has been showing PERFECT temps for the past few weeks of 54°! Nope! Not now! I do not do well in the heat and so I was really feeling the disappointment set in because I knew that the heat is the one thing that can really affect how I do. I can still run pretty well in the rain or cold, but the heat is almost impossible to push through. It's hard to train for a hot race. ESPECIALLY when I have only ran in 30-40's all winter. I have had zero training in anything about 55°. Yeah, to say I was a bit stressed would be an understatement. But, I also realize there is absolutely NOTHING I can do to change it and so I have no choice but to accept it and make the best of it!
IT IS WHAT IT IS!
BUT seriously, it wouldn't matter if it was 90° or 20° below....
I AM RUNNING THE FREAKIN' BOSTON MARATHON!!!
To read my Boston Marathon race report and story go HERE.
To read Boston Trip #2 Sistas go HERE.
(If this link doesn't work, it's because I haven't posted #2 yet - working on it!)