Boston Runcation

Earlier this month, Traughber and I went to Boston for a mini runcation. Actually, he was there for business, and I tagged along to explore the city in my running shoes. With our busy schedules and the stress of wedding planning, it was a much needed pre-honeymoon. We stayed at in the Financial District, just a few blocks from the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum.

the bRUNcher goes to Boston

On Friday morning, I started at the Fort Point Channel and ran 3.5-miles along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a string of urban parks, up to the North End, an Italian neighborhood lined with dozens of restaurants and bakeries. Afterwards, we took a train to Cambridge for bRUNch at The Friendly Toast, which included the thickest raisin bread I’ve ever seen, an egg scramble with avocado, black beans and fresh salsa and pineapple juice. Then we walked to Harvard University’s campus for a self-guided walking tour of the Harvard Yard and the campus’ older buildings.

the bRUNcher goes to Cambridge

On Saturday morning, I followed the Freedom Trail in the drizzly rain for a 5-mile history lesson. The brick-lined route leads tourists to 16 museums, meetinghouses, churches, cemeteries and other historical sites significant to the American Revolution. I started at The Langham and ran to the Boston Common, the country’s oldest public park and where colonists shared a pasture for their cattle to graze. There I picked up the brick path and continued it to each of the spots marked by ground markers as well as plaques on the sides of buildings. Some of the notable spots I enjoyed were:

gold-domed Massachusetts State House

the gold-domed Massachusetts State House

Granary Burying Ground, where Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, Boston Massacre victims and several Massachusetts governors were played to rest

Granary Burying Ground, where Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, Boston Massacre victims and several Massachusetts governors were played to rest

the site of the Boston Massacre, where biracial, escaped slave Crispus Attucks became the first casualty of the American Revolution

the site of the Boston Massacre, where biracial, escaped slave Crispus Attucks became the first casualty of the American Revolution

Paul Revere’s house and the nearby Old North Church where he hung two lanterns to let the revolutionists know the British were approaching by sea

Paul Revere’s house and the nearby Old North Church where he hung two lanterns to let revolutionists know the British were approaching by sea

and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, which many free African-Americans are buried, including abolitionist Prince Hall who founded America’s first Black Masonic Lodge.

After crossing the Charlestown Bridge the rain picked up, so I turned around before making it to the Bunker Hill Monument and USS Constitution and ran through the North End and down the Rose Kennedy Greenway back to the hotel.

boston freedom trail

As someone who enjoys exploring new cities by foot rather than on a touristy trolley, I appreciated Boston’s Freedom Trail. Other than a few places were the red brick turned to faded red paint and the street market that interrupted my run, the trail was a great way to go sightseeing and the best part was that it was free.

cheatetarian

In full disclosure, I deviated from being vegetarian and overall wedding diet because what’s a runcation without sampling the local cuisine? One night we had dinner at Panza, a quaint Italian restaurant. Note that you’ll want to make reservations to dine anywhere in the North End. All of the restaurants had lines trailing down their sidewalks, so during our 90-minutes wait for a table, we walked over to Mike’s Pastries  for cannoli. I was anxious to try fresh seafood out of the harbor and nervous about what it could do to my stomach considering I hadn’t eaten seafood in nine months. For dinner I had seafood risotto, a creamy blend of shrimp, scallops, asparagus, diced tomato and arborio rice. After dessert for hors d’oeuvres,  my fork danced around my plate, and I was too full to finish.
The next day we near stopped the New England Aquarium at City Landing, where I tried a soft shell crab sandwich. The crab was disappointing. I’m sure it was that my taste buds hadn’t missed seafood one bit because all I could think about was it tasting like the ocean.

Like all vacations, the three-day weekend wasn’t long enough. Boston friends, what great restaurants and running trails should I visit the next time I’m in the northeast?

Peachtree Road Race Recap

What? AJC Peachtree Road Race 10K
Who? 60,000 runners and 200,000 spectators
When? July 4, 2014
Where? Peachtree Road in Atlanta from Lenox Square Mall to Piedmont Park
Who? 60,000 runners and walkers
How much? $38 registration plus $12 for bling

My Finish? 1:08:27
Swag? cotton T-shirt, sweat towel and optional race medal
The Good: patriotic atmosphere and crowd control
The Bad: bands and fake finish photos

ajc peachtree road race 2014

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race is an awesome 10K that I watched growing up in the city’s suburbs and even when I worked for the newspaper. It was nice to head home for Independence Day weekend and get in a run before watching the fireworks display.

The 10K is the largest race I’ve ever run, and it’s so difficult to get in that there is a lottery system for registration. I was fortunate enough to gain early registration and a guaranteed race number through one of the race’s corporate sponsors.

Despite having nearly 60,000 runners, the Peachtree Road Race didn’t feel overwhelming or crowded. I parked in midtown Atlanta and took MARTA, the city’s public train, to Lenox Square Mall, where the course began. Volunteers herded runners through gates to their corrals, which started with elite runners at A and continued through the alphabet to Y. The corals were spaced about four and a half minutes apart. I snuck into corral F and crossed the start line about 26 minutes after gun time. By the time I finished the race, the last runners were just crossing the start line.

peachtree road race start line

Despite breaking a cardinal race day rule to not try anything new, it was a great race. I wore a blue strappy tank that I purchased the afternoon before from Running Skirts at the race expo. The top was comfortable with its built in support bra and kept me cool.

The Peachtree Road Race is a family-friendly event with strong and consistent support from the city of Atlanta and its residents for 6.2 miles of southern hospitality. Spectators lined the streets without any gaps of encouragement, and restaurants offered snacks, pizza, beer and even jello shots to runners passing by. Many spectators and races donned patriotic costumes.

ajc prr before and after

The downer about the race was that each of the four bands along the course played terribly slow music with not enough beats per minute to motivate runners. It was disappointing considering the overall lively atmosphere. Fortunately, several radio stations broadcasted live from the sidewalks and there was a decent DJ at mile five.

Once on 10th Street, photographers hosted in the air above the road snapped photos of runners at what many thought was the finish line. So like everyone in front of me, I looked up, waved my arms at the cameras, smiled and slowed down. But the cameras were deceptive; we had to run another half mile to the finish line, where runners received their finishers T-shirts, water and sweat towel drenched in ice-cold water. Many vendors handed out free snacks, like Georgia peaches and ice cream.

2014-07-04 10.16.45

2014-07-04 10.17.33

Both of my parents ran the race too, with Dad crossing the finish line not long after me. We headed over to the Great American Roadhouse for bRUNch.

If you are looking for a 10K, join me for happy hour at the Espirit De She 10K in Atlanta on Nov. 6. There are upcoming races in Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina and Illinois. Be sure to register using promo code EDS2.

Franklin Half Marathon Race Recap

the bRUNcher

What? Franklin Half Marathon Where? rural Franklin, Tennessee When? June 7, 2014 Who? 664 runners How much? $60 to $80 depending on registration date My finish? 2:33:23 Swag? technical T-shirt, medal, peaches The Good: scenery, water … [Continue reading]

Second Quarter 2014 Fitness Goal Check In

2014-07-09 06.36.53

Contrary to appearances, I have not abandoned my blog. I'm still running, although not enjoying bRUNch as much. To prove it, and to help with accountability this year, I’m checking in on my 2014 fitness goals. 1. I am a vegetarian. It has been … [Continue reading]

Strawberry Jam

eat all the jam

This past weekend, I celebrated one more year of life with another strawberry birthday. After a morning six-mile run, my Gma joined me for a drive 30 minutes north of Nashville to Bradley Kountry Acres. I wanted to pick two quarts to play with … [Continue reading]

Bondi Band Review

2014-06-03 06.04.20-1

One bummer about late spring and impending summer is the heat, which makes runs more difficult, slows me down and sends sweat running into my eyes. Thankfully, Bondi Band helped relieve me from the heat with sent me a few of their bands to test and … [Continue reading]

How to Build Endurance

these feet were made for running

How are you? I hope all is well! I've been looking at your blog, and I've been inspired. I want to begin running. I'm not much of a runner, but I really want to make 2014 about myself, health and fitness. I figured running would be a good jump start… … [Continue reading]

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes & A Love Story

lemons make love

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope." ~Maya Angelou When Traughber and I began dating, we spent many Saturday mornings at our favorite breakfast/brunch … [Continue reading]

My Oatmeal Review

just add hot water

Oatmeal is a smart choice for runners, and really anyone interested in healthy living. Its slow-releasing carbohydrates provide a sustainable energy source during exercise, and whole grain oatmeal has a nice dose of protein, fiber and a touch of … [Continue reading]

Vega Bars Review & Giveaway

thank you vega

I’ve been a fan of Vega since transitioned to a plant-based diet and began drinking the Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake almost every day, either for breakfast or post-run. One scoop is light on calories yet contains loads of protein, fiber, … [Continue reading]