Saturday, April 16, 2011

Boston - Deuxième Journée

The marathoners are here!  Run for your lives!!

There seems to be something big happening in Boston.  Tall fit skinny runners from across the globe are walking the streets of beantown.  Stores and restaurants are triple and quadruple staffed and there is absolute gridlock near the expo because pedestrians outnumber cars 10 to 1.  Cars just can't compete.  Share the road indeed! 

This morning basically confirmed how over the top and crazy it gets on race weekend.  The expo opened at 9am. So, we waltzed over there around 8:45am to find hundreds of runners already lined up.  In the ten minutes after we arrived, hundreds and hundreds more gathered behind us.  I had a sinking feeling that it would take a long time before we got inside. And yet, when the doors opened, we were completely swallowed up by the Hynes Convention Centre.  Plenty of room for a few thousand more.   

Step one - get your race bib.  
We just happened to spot Jim and his wife Janice in the crowd and apparently Doug and Jim run a very similar pace because, in a race of 25,000 runners, their numbers are ridiculously close.  

Step two - get your race shirt.

I did not take pictures of this part because, to be quite honest, the pictures would be x-rated.  You should have seen it - it was bedlam.  Runners got their shirts and immediately stripped down to make sure they fit.  Bare chested men and bra-clad women filled the room.  Apparently when you're used to dashing behind a bush to pee, peeling off your clothes in front of complete strangers is no big deal. 

Once the business was done it was time for the expo. And, as expected, it was fabulous!  We spent over three hours checking out vendors, agonizing over what Boston clothes to buy, watching emotional race videos and trying out all sorts of electrolyte, high protein, high energy snacks.  How my blood sugar was 5.2 at the end of it all I'll never know.  

I went to the expo with a few goals.  Find my favourite running shoes at a fabulous price (done!), buy some recovery sandals because I hate wearing running shoes all the time (done! and they're purple!!),  buy another pair or two of recovery socks (done and they are SO comfy!!)

I also tried on the coolest, most comfortable running shoes I have ever put on my feet - Vibram Five Fingers.  They're supposed to be great at building strength in your feet and calves thereby reducing shin splints and plantar fasciitis - my two nemeses. 

Now I have to decide if I want to buy them.  Any thoughts running friends??

Running brings out all sorts of emotions.  Today had a few teary moments and plenty of awe but for the most part I just kept flip-flopping between two thoughts: "Omigod I want to be a marathoner" and "Damn it! I could totally be a marathoner!"  

I now have a new dream and several lofty goals but, in the meantime, it's pretty fabulous to just be here soaking it all in and occasionally being mistaken for someone who really could run the distance.  

This man, on the other hand, can definitely run the distance.  So on Monday morning he'll tie up his running shoes and become part of history...again.

And I'll be the one waiting at the finish line with a bottle of eload, some warm clothes and a wagon to pull him home.

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