Friday, April 29, 2022

Part 3: Touring Boston & A Pasta Dinner

We spent Easter Sunday in Boston (and thankfully, the Easter Bunny visited us back at home a few days before). Our morning began with a Team Citgo breakfast where we ate, introduced ourselves, and visited with our teammates. It was a really great way to start out the day!

After breakfast, we walked over to the finish line area for team photos!

Our Lake Charles team members!

Shortly thereafter, we said goodbye to our teammates and continued with our day. We attempted to visit the church located at the finish line for a blessing of the runners, but there were very few seats and we couldn't find a spot to sit together. 

Instead, we walked around the finish line area, taking photos and visiting various pop-up shops along the way. I just loved the atmosphere here. Everyone was truly excited and you could feel it!

We also made it a point to visit the Boston Marathon memorial where two individuals tragically lost their lives in 2013. 

The memorial itself is a beautiful tribute!

Around 10 a.m., we wandered back over to the Fan Fest area, just past the finish line, to have a patch made for my jacket. I'd heard that Addidas was doing this for free and it was true!

Look how neat!

I personalized my patch with my name and I love it! It's a great addition to the jacket!

Another highlight of our day was the Freedom Trail Tour. We'd purchased tickets ahead of time for the noon tour and I'm glad we did. It filled up pretty quickly!

Our tour guide was great and we loved seeing several of the historic parts of Boston along the way!

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile long path through Boston, marked with a red brick line. We didn't walk the entire path on our tour, but we saw several really important things along the way!

Our tour included the Boston Commons, the graveyard where Samuel Adams and Paul Revere are buried, and the site of the Boston Massacre.

After the tour, we found lunch inside of the Boston Public Market. It was overcast outside and we were so cold, we just wanted to get inside and warm up a bit. I'm VERY glad I stuffed my North Face jacket inside my suitcase to travel. It barely fit and I almost left it at home - I would have been miserable!!

I found the warmest thing I could - clam chowder in a bread bowl. It was SO good!

After lunch, I began thinking about the race the following day and how under-prepared I was for cold weather. I was kicking myself because I didn't bring gloves with me (which is ridiculous because I always have gloves). So, I set out on an "adventure" to every CVS and Walgreens in a 2 mile radius to find gloves. I never found actual "weather" gloves, but I did find bath and shower gloves which definitely did the trick (although they were a little rough)! Instead of "hot hands", I found bodi heat patches which doubled as hot hands (if you don't take the sticky side off). And finally, after my finds, I felt much more prepared for the following day!

On the way back to our hotel, we found a carousel in the Boston Commons for Brayden to ride, which he thoroughly enjoyed! 

That evening, my friend Melissa (from Florida) was planning on arriving via train. Oddly enough, she was already on the East coast visiting a friend, so the timing worked out for her to meet up with us for the race! I was so excited to see her and catch up!!

For dinner that evening, I'd heard that there would be a pasta buffet dinner in our hotel and I was intrigued. At $30 per person, we decided the price of an uber/lyft, plus the cost of a restaurant and the time it would take us to to a different restaurant was worth the price of staying at our hotel and eating the pasta dinner, so that's what we did!

It was SO good, too!!

We ended our evening there, with Brayden even falling asleep at the table. It had been a long and adventurous day and I had a marathon to run the following morning!

Up next: The Boston Marathon!!

Check out all the Boston recaps here:

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Part 2: Traveling to Boston & The Expo

Traveling to Boston was much easier than I expected. In any and all air travel, I always tend to lean towards non-stop flights, even if it involves a little bit of a drive. In this instance, we flew out of the New Orleans airport which is about a 3 hour drive for us. Again, no layovers and I'm a happy camper! 

Our drive was incredibly easy and we arrived in plenty of time!

We flew Delta on this trip, and Brayden LOVED having his own TV (as apart from the app on Southwest). He was also incredibly happy to see the Paw Patrol move as an option!

I, on the other hand, watched "Without Limits" and oh my goodness, although it was sad, it was a very well told story. Yes, it's an older movie but it was PERFECT for our flight to Boston! I highly recommend this movie for all runners! 

Thankfully, we also made it to the Boston airport and to our hotel without any difficulty. The only snafu was with our first Lyft call. We were waiting in the Lyft/Uber specific pickup area and the driver "arrived" but wasn't anywhere near us and did't know how to get to us. That's the second time something along those lines has happened to me which is rather odd but oh well. It worked out for the best because our second driver was AMAZING! She talked the whole time and gave us several tips about the city. She might have almost kicked me out of her car for admitting that I am an Astros fan...but it was all in good fun. We had several good laughs and it made for a good ride to our hotel!

We quickly checked in to our hotel (the Hilton Boston Back Bay), then crossed the street to visit the Expo. We only had about an hour and a half and I wanted to see it all!

Being at the Expo made this experience feel all the more real! I truly couldn't believe that I was about to run BOSTON!!

Still in disbelief!

At first, I was super confused by the Expo because it seemed really small when compared to others (like Disney)...then we went down a hallway and turned a corner and WOW - we found the rest of it!! 

We spent the entire hour and a half browsing the Expo. I didn't purchase much as I'd bought the jacket prior to leaving home. After dropping our bags off in our room, we set out to find pizza...and pizza we found!

I was shocked this restaurant wasn't busier but I wasn't complaining one bit! The pizza was very good!

After dinner, we decided to explore Boston by foot a bit and also stop for ice cream if we found it. Well, we found it, and while eating outside, it began to slightly drizzle on and off. We truly didn't think anything of it.

Continuing to wander, we wanted to find the Boston Marathon memorial, but found the actual finish line instead!

Taking photos here in the rain was truly a magical experience! I couldn't believe we were mostly alone!!


As soon as we finished our photos, the sky literally let loose and it began to POUR! As we left the finish line area, I went one way and somehow Jason went another. I thought he was following me to an overhang to get out of the rain but he totally wasn't. To make it even crazier, my phone was dead and I had Jason's in my pocket, so there was no way to contact him to see where he went!!

Thankfully, he realized he was following the wrong brown haired girl in a Boston jacket and stopped on the corner of the intersection he was standing on. I'm not sure how I found him exactly, but I'm thankful I did!! 

Back in the room, we were drenched and I thought it was hilarious! At least it made for a fun "adventure" for the night!

Up next: Citgo Team Breakfast and Exploring Boston!

Check out all the Boston recaps here:

Monday, April 25, 2022

Part 1: On The Road To Boston

How to summarize an experience that you never thought you'd ever partake in over the course of a few short blog posts is mind boggling to me, but here we go...

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Right before we left for Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend, an offer was presented before my by my employer. A local company, Citgo, was the fuel and gas sponsor for the Boston Marathon in 2022 and planned to bring a team of healthcare providers, first responders, and teachers to join their associates along with them to run the Boston Marathon. So, I received the application, quickly googled to make sure I would finish the race in a timely manner, and hit submit. We went to Disney World and I waited...and waited...and didn't hear anything. With only six weeks until Boston, I assumed I didn't get in, and I was ok with it. (A little disappointed, but still ok with it.)

Much to my surprise, I received an email the following week, welcoming me to Team Citgo to run the Boston Marathon!! My heart wanted to explode and I might have screamed out loud right there in the hallway of our department! (Sorry, coworkers!)

Now, with only 5 weeks until the big day, I knew I had to get my training amped up! I'd already run three half marathons since December, so I had up to that distance under my belt. Ultimately, I decided to add a 16 miler and a 20 miler to my list and a few longer runs in between.

My training plan each week was to keep at least two shorter runs on weekdays and one longer run on weekends. This worked incredibly well until my 20 miler. I didn't feel it at the time of running, but after the soreness wore off, my right hip began to bother me. It wasn't an intense pain, but I definitely knew it was there. So, I iced, heated, ibuprofen'd, biofreezed, and did everything I could to help it chill out. With only 2 weeks to go until race day, I knew I should probably not run on it any longer, so I did only one very easy 2 miler in the week leading up to Boston. With that, I hoped my efforts would be enough!

I am so very thankful that Citgo chose me for this incredible opportunity! It is truly one I will never forget! 

Stay tuned for more from our travel day, time at the Expo, sightseeing around Boston, and the race itself!

I'm still in serious disbelief...I just ran Boston, y'all!!

Check out all the Boston recaps here:

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