Friday, May 9, 2014

Cheer Report - 2014 Boston Marathon

This past weekend was amazing. My brother qualified in Oct 2012 for Boston 2014. The events of Boston 2013 gave him more resolve to not miss 2014. We've been to all but one of my brother's marathons, so there was no way I was missing this race.

Months ago, we booked our hotel & flights. We booked 2 hotels & decided we'd check the race map before deciding which to keep. We ultimately decided on a Courtyard Marriott in Brookline (partially because it was prepaid... oops!). What we didn't realize was that the hotel was on a side street right next to the race course; perfect for spectating! We have family in MA & my wonderful aunt and uncle said they'd come to hang out with my husband and I while waiting for my brother.

We flew up on Saturday mid-morning to Boston. It was a great, uneventful flight. I'd say it was the most "fit" flight I've ever been on. Probably half the plane was going to run the marathon. It was awesome. Once in Boston, we got our bags, headed to the hotel, checked in, dropped everything off, and then headed right back out to the expo.

I love race expos. Especially BIG race expos. Adam got his bib & then came back to get us. We picked up his shirt & then went down into the rest of the expo. I ended up buying a pair of 110% knickers. I can't wait to use them. (I probably should've after today's run, but I didn't have the ice things in the freezer.) Adam bought a few peanut butter GUs. We wandered around a bit more and then headed back to the hotel.

We hit up the "Find Me Gluten Free" app for a recommendation for dinner. We decided on Otto Pizza. It was probably the best gluten free pizza I've had. Yum! We ordered way too much food & took some pizza back to the hotel with us. (We never did eat it... oops!)

Adam & Jon said theirs was like a grown-up Hawaiian pizza (pulled pork & mango)
Gluten Free pizza - pretty much tasted like a loaded baked potato. So good!
Sunday morning (Easter!), we headed to The Paris Creperie Cafe. Oh thank goodness we don't live anywhere near here. We'd probably have breakfast, lunch, and snacks there every day. The Nutella drinks are so good!

After breakfast, we headed into Boston & got on the hop on/hop off trolley tour. We got off at a couple of stops to walk around, but mostly just rode around. We had an early dinner at Maggianos (not a local place, but pasta for Adam & GF for me!). Eventually we ended up back at the hotel for an early evening in.

I'm pretty sure we all had a pretty restless night. We were all too excited for Monday. Adam got up around 5:45 & started to get ready. By 6:15am, he was out the door. We didn't stay in bed too much longer. Jon & I went out to check out the race situation before breakfast. We confirmed that we would have to be on the other side of the road in order to get to the T to get to Adam after the race.

We had a quick breakfast & I started texting with my aunt & uncle about when they'd get to us. I was getting so excited to see them. We rarely see each other & it's not always in good situations (family "stuff" and all). They got to us just after 8:30am, which turned out to be perfect. After hanging out for a little bit, we headed down to the race course. Jon & Aunt Kim went to get Starbucks while Tim & I hung out.

Around 9, we started to see the National Guard participants come through. The first guy looked like he was having a great time! The next few, not so much. Then, around 9:30, we saw the men's lead wheelchair come through. What an amazing experience.

After a while, it was the women's lead wheelchair. Such inspirations! Bill Rogers & the race director also came through.

When the lead women came through, Jeptoo looked amazing! She was so focused. We later found out that she was really kicking up the pace. It explains why the 3 ladies behind her looked like they were working hard to keep within striking distance.

Not too much later, the elite men started to come through. We had been keeping up with it online & knew that Meb was in the lead. It was so awesome to watch them. I'm still in awe of how quickly they run, even at mile 23/24 of a marathon.

After the elite women & men, the age groupers started coming in. In full force! I was shocked to see so many people running in the 5-7 minute per mile pace! This is Boston after all. We're so used to the field being spread out at mile 23 and having no problems finding my brother. What a difference! Jon was looking for Adam through the camera lens (hoping to spot him before we did) and was having issues keeping up with the crowds. My aunt saw him before we did, just as he was getting ready to pass us. Adam actually turned around to come give us hugs & say hi. It was so great to see him. He looked strong & we promised we'd see him at athlete village. Jon didn't get any pictures of Adam. (Bad brother-in-law!)

We made our way to the "T" and headed to Boston Common. The 4 of us made it at about the same time as Adam did! Guess public transportation isn't necessarily faster than running (especially if you run a 6:50 mile).

I'm beyond proud of my lil brother. He amazes me every day with his dedication to the sport!
2 of my favorites! My Aunt Kim & little brother, Adam.
Jon, Adam, and Uncle Tim
Me, Adam, and Aunt Kim
Adam looked great for having just run a marathon! We decided to grab lunch at Rock Bottom, where Adam had 2 of the 26.2 Sam Adams along with his lunch. It was hysterical. Run drunk!

After lunch, we headed back to mile 23/24 and the hotel. We couldn't get across the road to get back to the hotel, so we stayed and cheered. This turned out to be a good thing because we were able to see my friends Jill & Tim come by!

Not too much longer & we were able to get across to the hotel. Well, most of us...

The MP asked Tim if we were laughing at him (Tim) for getting caught over on the other side without us. He got stuck on the "wrong side" of the barriers a couple of times during the day, so we were laughing. He pretended to cuff him at one point, which was hysterical.

I'm so thankful for my Aunt Kim & (Uncle) Tim and them being willing to make the trip from their home to Boston to 1) spend the day with Jon & I and 2) see Adam run Boston for his first run. Such an important run in his running career (whether or not he'll tell you that). I'm beyond proud of Adam - still. If he goes back next year, we'll likely go again. I can't imagine not being there!

PS - Not related to my brother, but I love this!  Free Hugs video

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

TriFrog is a Reality!

FINALLY! I finally got around to getting TriFrog made and I love it. It only took 3.5 yrs to do it.

Molly of was kind enough to deal work with me on TriFrog to get it just right. She was so sweet & provided me a couple of backgrounds too, so I'll be playing with those in the next few days.

What do you think about the TriFrog design?