Running Boston

This weekend I fell in love with Boston.

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I’ve only been to Boston one other time – I went with Girl Scouts and I’m pretty sure I was in elementary school. My only memory of this trip is a photograph taken of me where you stand behind one of those headless cardboard cutouts of a person from whatever time period you happen to be visiting – remember those? So there’s a picture of this renaissance painter/famous celebrity/indian/etc with your head, right? So I was standing at a pilgrim woman cutout…except that I was way too short to really fit, so I look like I’m being strangled by the neck of a cardboard cutout pilgrim woman.

It is both awesome and hilarious and makes me laugh just thinking about it.

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This trip didn’t afford me much free time to go sight seeing or do any of the touristy stuff, but my hotel was located in the Back Bay area, just a short walk from the Boston Public Garden and the Esplanade on the Charles River.

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At first I was a little hesitant about the weather, since it was a good 15 degrees colder than where I had come from, and I packed running shorts instead of my usual capris. Once I was outside and in the sunshine, however, it was glorious – perfect weather for running! And since the conference didn’t start until noon on Friday, I didn’t run until 1000, leaving lots of time beforehand for wandering. Saturday and Sunday I was up and out by 0700 – enjoying the perfectly crisp Boston spring air!

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As you can see, the route I took was mostly flat – straight down Boyleston street and onto the paths by the river, but there was one bridge overpass that crossed the highway, where I found some cute motivational graffiti:

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Cute, huh?

I loved having the view of the river on my one side, and the blooming cherry trees barely masking the hustle and bustle of the city on my other. I can’t imagine a more beautiful time of year to run in Boston! Another thing I noticed was how many people were out – other runners, couples walking dogs…it’s such an active city.

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(Ok, so there’s ONE person in the picture above. What can I say? I didn’t want a lot of people in my pictures!)

So, one of the first things I did after purchasing my new iPhone was get the mapmyrun app. I think I may have mentioned this before – but not only can I now track my routes live, but I can also capture my splits! I don’t know why this is so important to me – probably because I tend to be a very competitive person, even against myself. So now I can see exactly how fast I run each mile – which is good and bad. For example, my mile times were longer when I had to stop at traffic lights, and I stopped a couple of times to take pictures along the way. But there were some good times in there, too – my fastest mile of the weekend was 9:06 – yay me! (Yes, I realize this is not fast to a lot of you regular runners out there, but for me, it’s light speed.)

And the best part? I passed two people! (Trust me, when your average pace is a 9:20 minute mile, passing other runners is awesome. Although this may also be my competitive side talking.)

On my way back to the hotel, I passed this:

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I was both heartbroken and inspired by this memorial. It was on the fence outside a church, with a box of cloth strips and pens and a sign beckoning passersby to leave their thoughts and prayers for the victims. Boston has really bounced back from the tragedy last month, though. You can’t go two feet without passing a hat or a shirt or a sign announcing, “Boston Strong”, or “One Boston”. It’s pretty incredible.

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We are with you, Boston.

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One thought on “Running Boston

  1. I normally don’t comment due to the fact that I’m biassed and happen think you’re perfect. However, this is one of my favorites! These pics are amazing! I love the writing, and I love you.
    Particularly though, I was impressed at how you used your pictures to tell a story. What great photography!!

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