Monday, April 30, 2018

Boston Marathon Spectating

When my friend Kathryn suggested I come out and visit her in the spring, I couldn't help but look at flight prices and my schedule over the Boston Marathon weekend. It was the week before my race, so I knew I'd be tapering, and it was a down period at work that I thought I could get off. Leading up to the race, I was racing almost every other weekend and working the other weekends, so the stars aligned a bit to allow me to go out and spend time with her AND spectate the Boston Marathon.

We woke up INSANELY early on Monday. Some of us couldn't sleep and were actually up at 4am (me) and passed the time by listening to podcasts of various entities predictions for the race turnout. I was still all in on Desi, but so excited just to get to witness it all first hand.

Kathryn had a friend meet us at the house to watch the kiddos at 7am, and we made our way to the train to head into the city. I was thankful I brought my stocking hat and scarf along, and super thrilled to have found this jacket at Target since I was a ding dong and packed based on the forecasted temperatures on the Wednesday prior to the race. Spoiler alert: the temps dropped considerably for my stay, and I was severely underdressed basically the whole time.

Danielle instructed us to meet her at a hotel/restaurant around mile 25 of the race course. We got there forever before her (or so it felt) and started our day ordering all the food.

Before too long, Danielle showed up, and I finally got to meet her IRL! She's been one of my longest online running friends, and definitely one of the closest ones that I hadn't met yet, despite her offering her home if I want to come race in Maine ever (side note: why are flights to Maine a trillion dollars??! Discuss.) She's preggo right now, so I might actually be able to keep up with her on a run. We used to be almost the EXACT SAME PACE for all of our runs. Like she'd run a certain time for a race, and I'd just know that I could also run that time because we were so evenly matched. And then she had a baby and got CRAZY FAST. Dear diary, if I got knocked up, would I also get super human strength?? xoxo jerbear

We settled in to watch the race on the tvs. It was pretty loud in there, so I didn't get to hear any of the commentary which was a bummer, I always love the random facts that get spewed out during the race. My brain is like a sponge for random data that no one else cares about. At one point the manager came around to tell us that we might need to vacate our table if it got super busy and I almost cried a million tears. It was raining SO HARD outside and the wind was gusting so bad that you could see the sheets of rain waving off of the road.

We headed outside for the arrival of the wheelchair leaders.

Kathryn was super photog for staying inside, securing our table (also avoiding hyperthermia) as well as being OUR official photog for the day. #perfection

Jeri how do you feel about getting to spectate the Boston Marathon?

We went back inside after we saw Tatiana McFadden to see how the women's race was shaping up. 

It was around that time that Desi was making her move to the front. Holy shit. She's taking the lead and looks like a force to be reckoned with, strength, 100%. The gals she was passing looked like they were at mile 25 and she was just starting mile 12. We made our way outside to get a good spot, and I crossed every single part of my body that Des would stay that strong and we'd get to see her rocket by us in first. *chills*

I was talking to a guy next to me as we were waiting for the women to roll through. And he was arguing with me about Desi's placement on the course. I tried to tell him that she had moved into first, with power, over a mile ago, and that I would be incredibly shocked if she didn't remain that strong through the finish, and he continued to argue with me. See the picture below of my face after she cruised by us, vs. his face. Lolz.

Here we are waiting for the women:

Oh, do you need to see another picture of me and Desi from the weekend? Here one is. :p

Just cheering on my marathon idol. 

This is Danielle's pic and I LOVE it.

I cried. So many happy tears. I think Desire epitomizes what running means to me. Through a lot of years of dedication and work, you will see what you're made of as a runner. I'll never be a *great* runner, but I love putting in the work to see how great of a runner I can be along the way.

We stayed outside to watch the rest of the woman come in. I snapped some pictures until my phone drown in the rain. Oops. That trip just got exponentially more costly, now didn't it?! I was shocked at who was coming through in the top spots. People I'd never even heard of. 

When Shalane passed me, I didn't even realize it was Shalane, and she was so close to the fence I probably could've reached out and gave her a pat on the back. Normally when you see Shalane run on TV she's such a strong force, and despite being a teeny tiny runner gal, she just exudes such a large running presence. She was so hunkered down to stay warm (I'm assuming) that I barely realized it was her.

Molly Huddle went by in a similar fashion. Her eyes looked so glazed over, I could tell she was struggling hard. I just wanted to give her a hug for body heat so she could warm up. What an insane day.

We missed the finish line on TV as we were watching these elites come through, but Kathryn took a bunch of pics while she was inside. I was super excited to re-watch the race, but someone's husband *cough* mine *cough* did NOT record the race as he promised. I was looking forward to crying, rewatching it, 100 more times.

After the lead ladies went by us, we headed back inside to warm up, order more food and tear up as we watched the Star Spangled Banner being played for Des.

Eventually we headed back outside to see some of our friends. Randomly, I was at the same location that Abbe was at to cheer for Baker, so it was cool to get to see him fly through.

We hung out for quite awhile and then quickly realized that at some point, we had to head back to relieve Kathryn's friend from watching the kids. We had a 2pm train option or a 3:30pm train option with an hour trip back out to her house. I wanted to stay all the live long day, but we headed back. My soaking wet jeans, socks and shoes weren't too angry about that. I do regret missing all of my friends that were running the race, but I was so thankful to get to witness so much of the race, that it was more than fine.

Kathryn had a friend doing the race and she was on pace for us to get to see her at mile 25 before we had to sprint for the train. We gave ourselves an exact timeline as to when we had to abandon our cheering posts, and we saw her with mere seconds to spare. What a wild weekend. 

I'll leave you with a random pic from the medical tent at the end, of our Boston Marathon CHAMPION. <3

Friday, April 27, 2018

USATF Outdoor Championships

In January it was announced that the USATF Outdoor Championships was going to be held in Des Moines, IA this year again. In 2013, my mom and I went to spectate in a trillion degrees and had so much fun! Minus the part where our hotel was sold out and Orbitz oversold their rooms and we didn't have anywhere to stay. Ugh. Still not over that.

Anyway, as soon as I heard the news, I made it my personal mission to make my way back there to watch and cheer on the Bowerman Track Club. After getting to spectate the Boston Marathon and meet my marathon idol, Desi, it's now my personal mission to meet as many of the #bowermanbabes as I can.

wannabe #bowermanbabe
I had to finagle my work schedule, and beg my boss for the Friday off, but I have a hotel room and cannot wait until June. Who else is going to be there and wants to geek out with me?!?!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Boston Trip Part 2

Saturday we slept in nice and late and once we got moving, we realized we needed to really hustle if we wanted to make the train into the city. We hustled and were on our way. Because we were rushed to get going, I hated eaten and by the time we got into Boston it was 2pm. PANIC! I was so hungry. 

When we got off the train we immediately were looking for a restroom for Kathryn, and I recognized the mall that we had gone to with delicious pizza last time I visited. We hustled through and found ourselves a spot at the bar for some food. I was so hungry I thought I was going to be ill. I ate a little and couldn't even enjoy my delicious beer. After we ate, Kathryn accompanied me to the floor of the mall by an entry way so I could sit and see if my stomach would calm down so we could enjoy the day.

I finally was feeling a little better, so we made our way outside to check out some of the running stores nearby. I wasn't super impressed by any of the apparel at the expo and I really wanted a memento from the weekend. The stores were so jam packed that I walked in and turned right around. Plus they were selling all the same gear as the expo. Some day I'll buy all the Boston gear, but it'll be a year that I qualify and run it. Not a spectating year.

We made our way toward the finish line to snap some pictures. As I was snapping here and there and doing my best to stay out of the way of others who were trying to take their commemorate photos. Kathryn nudged me and pointed to the side, asking if the people over there were important.

Um, yes. Desi Linden is someone I would consider "important". Shalane, Molly, OMG OMG OMG! I saw that Desi was taking some photos, so I freaked out and asked her if she'd take one with me as well.


II thanked her for taking a picture with me and told her she was going to kill it on Monday, and that I couldn't wait to watch her win it.

And then I proceeded to cheese and freak the eff out. Hi, my name is Jeri and I have zero chill.

There was a crowd around Shalane, so I hung out near the back in case I could get an opportunity to take a picture with her as well. Within a minute or two they all left. We happened to just be there at the exact right moment. They took a giant press photo together before they left, and I did my best to photobomb it, but I haven't been able to find it posted anywhere. That would be the coolest.

I also wanted a picture with Molly, but she was hanging back from the fencing, so I didn't want to ask, since it seemed like she didn't want the attention or just wasn't feeling up to it. 

We snapped up a few more pictures and then walked to Kathryn's friend's hotel to meet up for a drink and some catch up time. Kathryn humored me and listened to me explain to her why all those women are such a big deal. :)

Eventually we made our way back home for some relaxing time, my stomach never did feel 100%, so I was really thankful that on Sunday I felt back to normal. I do not want to spectate the marathon with a wonky stomach! No thank you.

We ate at a delicious lunch spot, and I found some much needed vegetables. Honestly, this was the best meal of my trip. I want to eat that salad every day for the rest of my life.

Also it was snowing, so wtf. Meanwhile back in SoDak, they had 12 inches, so I shouldn't complain about a light dusting I guess.....

After lunch we ran to Target so I could try to find a jacket to wear to spectate the race, and then we hung out having girl time--nails, bubbles and crappy reality tv. Yes please.

Throw in some kiddo snuggles on the couch, and I'd say it was a darn good lazy day!