Sports Road Trip Diary: Boston
I had this idea for a trip I wanted to do last year, in the fall. I was going to drive to Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington DC and see friends and hockey games in each city. Then the lockout happened, and I ended up flying to DC and just hanging out with awesome people instead.
I was determined to do it this year to make up for it, but my budget both in terms of time and in terms of money forced me to postpone the New York/New Jersey part for a bit, although I still want to go see my friends there because it’s been too long.
Anyway. The plan turned into Boston, Philadelphia, DC, home for a week, Detroit, back home, and a collapse from exhaustion.
Two cool things I didn’t know when I first started planning this trip: that there was a BAA half-marathon the weekend I would be in Boston, and that instead of being a basement team as had been predicted, the Red Sox would be playing in the ALCS. I was just going to come for a hockey game, but it turned into so much more.
First, the half:
This is one of the more stupid things I have done in my life. My right knee has been bothering me ever since I danced all night on it at an amazing wedding a few weeks ago. It had been getting better to the point where I was running on it, but given that I was in the taper phase of my training, I hadn’t been running as much. Anyway. It took me almost ten hours to get from Montreal to Boston Friday night because of holiday traffic, and my knee was sore again on Saturday. But when I woke up the day of the half marathon, I felt fine, even though I probably hadn’t slept enough. I figured I could totally handle it.
Well… Uhhhh… No, I couldn’t. I was in pain by the fourth mile. I nearly quit four times. I wanted so badly to drop out of the race I cried. And then I cried because I didn’t want to be a quitter. I was so mad at myself and I felt like I was failing. It was dumb. I probably shouldn’t have tried to finish, but I did finish, thanks to a wonderful person I met on the course named Erica and the EMS folks who wouldn’t leave us. Honestly, I would say that a major chunk of the run felt awful but the finish line when you’re last is an amazing experience. I would have never planned to be there but now that I have been there I feel like I should tell everyone to finish last at least once in their lives.
And also, I have to say: the course was beautiful and I would highly recommend it, but also, the BAA, the volunteers, the medical staff, the police and the city of Boston were just amazing. I’m so grateful to have experienced a race in Boston.
And I have now finished two out of two half-marathons that I have attempted.
Now let’s talk about our Red Sox feelings:
Yeah so ALCS Game 2. A playoff game at Fenway. Which sounds pretty cool on its own, but then you add in what happened at the game and it was the best baseball game I have ever been to and one of the best sports experiences I have ever had.
You can’t really compare a baseball playoff game atmosphere to a hockey playoff game atmosphere because they are both incredible, just in different ways. But loud is the same in every sport. I still can’t believe I was there for that.
And finally, the hockey game:
Detroit beat Boston, which used to be a good thing, but now that they’re in the Flortheast division, it’s not so satisfying to watch anymore. But as much as I hate the Bruins, I love, love, LOVE games at TD Garden. The game staff do such a great job with music and amping up the crowd and it’s always a good time. I’ve been to two matinee games in a row where the Bruins have lost and the crowd was amazing anyway. So, yeah, hate the Bruins, but go to a game here.
So this is long enough already and I have to sleep. Philadelphia is next. It’s going to be really hard to beat Boston though. Thank you so much, Boston friends. I had an amazing time in your city. I love you all.