April 19. Arrival to Boston. We made great time, leaving at 5am and getting to our hotel in Westborough at about 12:45 pm. Jamie had a nap (he had driven most of the way ) and my very restless kids starting tearing the two bedroom apartment to shreds. It started with hide and seek and turned into tag, and I decided that we needed to get out of there. We headed into Boston to pick up our bibs and hit the expo. My parents were NOT making good time, so we had to take them with us. Note to self: two kids under the age of 6 at an expo who have spent the majority of the day strapped into a seat belt watching movies on the iPad is a bad, bad idea. They decided to run their OWN marathon in the convention center. We lost them a few times. They hid behind the expo curtains. Susanna almost knocked over one of those 50 foot high booth dividers. Sooo.... we headed back to the hotel and gave up on dinner. My parents were there when we got back, and hadn't eaten either, so my mom and I headed out on route 9 to try to pick up some food as well as Easter treats. We ended up getting lost. Got back to the hotel at 10pm with beer and pizza. Probably not the BEST carb-loading strategy. Got the kids to sleep, played Easter bunny and finally got some sleep myself a little after midnight.
April 20. I had every intention to go to a church for Easter, but that didn't happen. Instead, we celebrated in our hotel, including a fabulous brunch in the lobby (with a lot of other runners -- about 109 of them, I believe.....) and then headed out to a park so the kids could burn off some energy and hunt down some plastic eggs. Loved the little New England town we were staying in, and met a family from Hopkinton who was just fabulous. They had a little girl Susanna's age and we played and chatted for an hour. They said nothing ever happens in Hopkinton except the marathon! I got a text from Tuan that said he was at the expo and that he'd decided he would run with me. I had made plans to run with some of the people from DC Road Runners also hoping for a 3:30ish pace, but hadn't yet met up with them (actually, I had yet to run into ANYONE I knew) so Tuan and I decided we'd stick together and start with the other two if we actually found them.
We got back in the car and headed to Boston so my parents could do some sightseeing and we could pick up Tuan. We decided to drive the course. All 26.2 miles. This is probably not a good idea to do the day before running it. It was hilly. It took almost an hour to drive it. My daughter was complaining about how far it was. At about halfway, she whined "I HATE BOSTON! IT IS SOOOOOO FAR AWAY!" I turned to her and said "Mommy and Daddy have to run there tomorrow." She looked at me like I was crazy and said "Mommy, why would you do that when you could drive?" Yeah, that's a very good question, isn't it. Then we hit the Newton Hills, and I decided there were actually four of them. This did not look like an easy course.
We had a hard time finding parking and only got a space we had to get out of by 6 (it was 4pm at this point), so we split up and Jamie and I met Tuan and decided we'd walk to the athlete's dinner and stop and check out the finish line area on the way. We stopped on Boylston and tried the 26.2 Brew, which I REALLY liked and was bummed it was the day before the race because I would have liked to have more than a couple of sips (Jamie drank most of it) and then walked to the athlete dinner to get in line. Except we couldn't find the end of the line. We walked around the block... and the next block... and the next block... and the next block... and still hadn't seen the end of the line. I guess if you offer free food to 36,000 .... It was cold. I was hungry. My husband was really hungry and really cold and these are the two things that turn him into a gremlin. I felt very sorry for Tuan because at that point, I think we pretty much almost got divorced right at Boston City Hall (this was, of course, my idea to partake in this dinner... he wanted to just eat at Unos on Boylston.... poor Tuan!) so we went down to the train station and discovered that there wasn't another train going back to Ashland for like two hours. Soooo..... we called my Mom and she agreed to pick us up at Boston College, which was still like 20 miles from our hotel. We got on the train and met a family who had gone to the pre-pasta dinner. They had waited in line for an hour. They said the food was quite good (salad, rolls, pasta, 26.2 brew.... all free...) and were carrying the dessert goodie bags containing Lindt Easter Bunnies and Toblerone bars....I was really, really, really hungry now.
At BC, we found a little pizza shop that served pasta. It was greasy and not very good, but it was food. We finally got picked up at 9pm, and were back to the hotel by 9:30. I spent some time getting my race outfit ready, started getting really nervous, freaked out a little more, and finally got to sleep.