Happy Snow Day Boston!

I hope everyone enjoyed our first major storm of the year! Today involved a lot of tea, blankets, and watching questionable decisions by pedestrians outside my window.

Okay. Time to reflect on last Sunday, one of the most epic days de ma vie. Chris and I originally thought we would be skiing last weekend, but then we remembered that my sister is a legend and bought us tickets to see Paul Pierce’s last game at the Garden on Sunday. And THEN we realized that this was the same day as the Super Bowl. And Super Sunday. So in true ‘us’ fashion, we decided to try to do everything! The Wicked Boston Triathlon was on! I still don’t think I’ve calmed down from all of the excitement and insanity, but maybe a recap will help. Here goes!

5 MILE RACE

Once we knew we were going to be in town, I found a bib for the Super Sunday 5 Miler, a race that I had heard awesome things about and knew many NPers would be running. I decided to just try to have fun with it since I was not exactly feeling race ready after our Vermont vacation and this was all very impromptu.

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Skiing can be a great workout, but it also incites crazy nacho cravings that seem to make running harder the next day. WORTH.

We arrived in Kendall Sunday morning and were greeted with a sea of neon-clad November Project runners. I knew there were a lot of us signed up for this race (I believe our team was by far the largest with 190+ people), but it was amazing to actually feel like I recognized most of the runners present. I also ran into some colleagues, which was a lot of fun. The Boston running community feels huge in so many ways, but it also starts to become a small world (after all).

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My buddy Malcolm gave me the best pre-race laugh with this photo of me waiting for a friend. “Has anyone seen the port-a-potties?”

After ditching some layers with Bag Check (aka Chris – thank youuu), we huddled up at the start. I had waited until the last possible second to take off my down jacket, and quickly started to freeze up. Luckily I was surrounded by friends who know the best way to avoid getting cold: let’s get a little bounce.

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Soon we were off, and it felt a lot like the start of most 5Ks I’ve run in Boston: tons of people cruising around, finding their spots, and making moves to reach their pace and space. I had put zero thought into this race, and I quickly realized how strange it felt to run by feel with no real goal in mind. I had vaguely told myself that an 8:30 pace would be cool and that’d I’d be happy with anything under 9 that morning.

I felt great to start, although the 5K atmosphere and my general excitement for the day pushed me to start out a bit too fast. I slowed down for the next 3 miles, and just felt a bit sluggish. I think I was just straight-up not in race mode to be honest. After realizing this, I shifted to my “just have fun” attitude for most of the race. I took some time to appreciate how much I love running in this city, and how grateful I am to be able to sign up for races on a whim and have a good time. My sleepiness was documented heavily throughout the day. Eyes closed = more thrilling!

Once we hit the final mile, I started to dig in again just feeling the momentum of the crowd. I mean, this is a race after all! My splits definitely reflect these fluctuations in focus vs. fun with ~5K pace for my first and last mile, with some smile miles in between. It wasn’t pretty, but hey…I’ve only ever run trail 5 milers before, so I kind of PRed? Sure, let’s go with that!

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At least my first mile was my fastest, which is the goal of every race. What’s that you say? Something about negative splits? Oh, damn. That’s right. Well, all I can say is it was 3 miles of fun sandwiched between race pace, and it was a great way to get moving and see so many awesome people. I also keep reminding myself that all racing experiences teach me something, and this was a great example. I had moments of letting go, moments of pushing, and felt just generally calm and positive throughout. Those happy race times are good to have in your bank, and to draw from when things get a little less fun in a big race.

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I’m pretty lucky to have friends so fast that they’re chillin at the finish when I arrive, ready to snap pics! Cred: Julia Howard

Chris and I knew we didn’t have long to hang after the race, so we tried to embrace the after party right away. It was a great time, and I’m always impressed when a race draws people to hang outside after running in the winter. NP had a party bus (or two?) due to having the biggest team, so were spoiled with the chance to warm up a bit. It was so much fun and got me pumpppppppped to head off to the Celtics game!

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Likely making fun of my diesel post-race mittens. Or Survivor buff. Hard to say.
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This amazing woman casually proceeded to attend a full day of yoga teacher training after the race. ‘Yoga by J How’ coming to a studio near you! (Not to be confused with JWoww).

CELTICS

If you don’t like reading in this green color, then I don’t like YOU. Just kidding, you’re probably right. After crossing the finish and speed-partying, Chris and I jumped in our car, sped home, showered, grabbed lunch, and beelined it for THE GAHHHHDEN!!!

Basketball was my first love, which means I’m obviously a huge Paul Pierce fan. I’m also lucky to have a sister who is so organized and amazing at gift giving that she got me tickets to see him play in Boston for the last time. I wasn’t quite sure what it would be like to see him playing the Celtics in that yucky Clippers jersey, but it was AMAZING.

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I took photos at the game but they were incredibly blurry. Prob had something to do with the incessant jumping.

I don’t think you fully know who I am until you see me watch the Celtics. Chris and I briefly had a roommate when we first moved to Boston, and she happens to be one of the nicest people ever. But damn, when you get that gal in front of a Celtics game, she’ll yell at octaves you’d never image coming from her–my spirit sister. We lived together in 2012, when Pierce and Garnett were still actively bleeding green in the playoffs. Chris found it endlessly funny to come home and find his two normally mild-mannered roommates screaming at the TV (specifically Lebron James) and pacing around the living room.

This is all to say, I was very excited for this game. I admittedly have watched very little over the past few seasons, what with life being full and cable being expensive. But we could not have had more fun watching the Celtics (cough Isaiah Thomas) look so strong and see Pierce back where he belongs! He played for a bit in the first quarter, and then the crow was relentless about calling for him to come back out. Every time the DE-FENSE chant started, it immediately morphed into PAUL-PIERCE. And every slight lull was filled with WE WANT PAUL! I completely understand why people hate Boston sports fans, and all of those reasons are precisely why I love them. There is zero polite clapping and 100% heart and raw emotion, which of course comes with lots of trash talking and not exactly kid-friendly chanting. But the passion is palpable and when you’re one of our own (and you don’t betray us by going to the Yankees/Lakers/Heat), we never let you go.

Doc finally put him back in for the last few seconds of the game. The Clippers made sure Pierce got the ball and he leaned back in his not-pretty-but-pretty-awesome Paul way and put up a final 3….anddddd sunk it! I don’t think I’ve ever flipped out so hard (until later Sunday night). The crowd went absolutely insane and showed him so much love. It was the perfect goodbye. We love you, Paul!

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Obviously drinkin Dunkin

PATRIOTS

Phew, I’m already exhausted. Aren’t you?! Voices still hoarse from cheering, we snagged our #34 headbands and bolted back to the car. Chris was VERY upset at this point about the lack of chicken wings involved in our triathlon and called my dad between 2-5 times to ensure that wings were waiting for us to eat during the game. Having gone full-vegetarian last month, I was wildly unsympathetic.

We drove out to Harvard to watch the Super Bowl with my parents. I will NOT recap this game because if you didn’t watch it or hear about it extensively, you must hate football and Facebook and I will just applaud you for that. I will, however, say this:

  • Paul Pierce is a huge Pats fan and I kept inviting him to hang out with us for the game via Instagram, but I guess he had other plans.
  • We had a few too many IPAs in the first half when everything was going wrong, and then there was too much screaming and dancing during the best comeback EVAH that we had to immediately re-watch the 4th quarter after the game. And again the next day. And again yesterday. And I’m not kidding.
  • Chris ran around my parent’s house in the snow with his shirt off after the game because #tradition. I told my mom I was surprised his jeans were still on.
  • ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!
  • Gaga SLAYED and I have not stop singing Poker Face for 5 straight days.

In sum: Sunday might have been the most adrenaline-filled day of my life and my heart was pumping at full-stream from 10am to midnight. Annnd then we woke up at 4:30am to drive back to Boston for the NP Destination Deck. Thank goodness for lazy blizzard days.

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Best. Day. Evah.

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