This weekend I fell in love with Boston.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
(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:
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.
We are with you, Boston.