On Saturday, April 12, the stars aligned, the weather gods listened and I had one freakin' fantastic day!! Oh yeah it was worth double alliteration: Freakin' Fantastic and Splendid Saturday.
The morning started like every other Saturday this winter/early Spring - with an early wake-up call for a morning run. But this wouldn't be a Tedy's Team run (because those ended the week before). I would be meeting my friend Robin (aka Westford Mommy) at the Minuteman Bikeway.
We met at Depot Park in Bedford, which is thankfully a great halfway point between us, at 8:30am. Robin had a 2 hour run on the docket so she did a nice 4.5 mile warm-up before I got there. Yeah that is why she is a 3:24 marathoner and an Iron(wo)man! :)
The weather was GORGEOUS and the Minuteman Bikeway was finally clear of snow. The Minuteman Bikeway enjoys rolling "hills." It isn't really hills, but more a constant incline and decline during the entire path. I somehow block that from my memory each time I run the path.
Robin and I haven't been able to hang out for ages since she is rocking Half Ironman/Marathon training, being a mom and going to school to be a PT. So it was great to have some quality time to catch-up.
As I said before Robin is a much faster and stronger runner than I am so I was nervous to have her run with me. I didn't want to slow her training down. But thankfully she is training at a slower speed, which thankfully fits more into my normal pace. :P
We hit the trail talking and before I knew it we were at 5 miles and ready to turn around.
Mile 1: 8:26 Mile 2: 8:20 Mile 3: 8:24 Mile 4: 8:23 Mile 5: 8:10
The inclines didn't take too much out of me, which really made me appreciate all the extra time I am putting it on the bike this winter.
I was so focused on our conversation that I barely looked down at my watch to see what our pace was. I knew we were just under 8:30. I couldn't believe how comfortable the pace was. I was having a good conversation and didn't sound out of breath while we were talking (which is always a good indicator whether you are running too fast).
As I've mentioned Robin is a huge inspiration of mine on many levels. She lost over 90 lbs with Weight Watchers and is one amazing athlete and mom. So any chance I get to pick her brain about training and racing, I jump on it. I had her sole attention out there. :P
We are actually both going to be completing The Pumpkinman Half Ironman in September (my first) so it was great to hear her thoughts on the course since she's done it before.
I also love Robin's belief that I am stronger than I think. She is 100% believes I can qualify for Boston, while I think she may be missing a screw up there. ;) But she gives me the slight flicker that maybe there is a small chance. And if not, I could still run a faster and stronger marathon than I do now.
Mile 6: 8:38 Mile 7: 8:36 Mile 8: 8:27 Mile 9: 8:20 Mile 10: 8:33
(Yeah we caught some great inclines on the way back - thanks Minuteman ;))
I felt strong during the run. I didn't feel like I was pushing the pace. There is something to taking that risk and running with someone who is a faster pace than you. Plus, I knew that if I needed to at any point, we could slow the pace back down. But as the final long run before Boston, I wanted to see what the legs had to offer. Sorry taper. :P
It was great to see Robin, especially since she was the person that found me on Newbury Street after the marathon bombings and stayed with me until we found my family.
Big thanks to Twitter for bringing us together.
What an amazing way to kick off a Saturday, huh?
After bidding Robin farewell, I headed home to do a quick shower/change before the rest of my fun plans.
But first I had to try on the super cute running skirt that Robin gave me. (Running Skirts)
"Now you can work up to all the distances on the skirt" ... hmmm I see where she is going with this. ;)
I don't usually run in any skirt besides a Sparkle Athletic skirt, but the shorts under the skirt seem so comfortable that I might have to give it a try!
After grabbing a quick lunch with the wife, I was off to The Paint Bar on Newbury St ($35 value) as part of my friend Beth's #NerdyThirty Birthday Celebration Day. As you can imagine she had a nerd theme. I love a theme, but ran out of time to properly prepare so I thought my Zensah Argyle socks would have to do.
The Paint Bar event started at 1:30 and of course I cut my arrival super close, but I made it. This was my first attempt at a Paint Bar event and I was nervous. I was told wine would be available, which would be appreciated.
Beth in full #nerdythirty garb (wig and all)
The crowd was about 98% women with a wide range of ages. Many folks looked to be either enjoying an afternoon with friends, on a date with a significant other or celebrating a birthday. Either way the crowd was lively and ready to paint.
Here is what the final product should look like:
Let's see how close I got.
Thankfully I immediately found the wine. #priorities
Thankfully our lead artist Ari did a great job painting, playing DJ and making sure we all stayed on task. :)
We all took our paper plates to the back of the room to get our paints. Again they had a nice sign telling you exactly how much of each color of paint to get. Thank you Paint Bar!
We were finally ready.
We started with the sky and I already felt overwhelmed :P but I just tried to do my best. I knew that if the painting was horrible at least people would pity me and tell me it looked okay.
After finishing the sky, grass and water we took at 15 min drying break. I looked around and noticed that every single person's picture looked different. We were able to make the water whatever color you wanted. Some liked it more magenta than blue, etc. It put me at ease to see that we all took some artistic license with it.
Thank goodness actual people were not in my buildings. You can see they were a little wobbly. Probably not structurally sound. ;)
While checking in to The Paint Bar on my social media channels to try and win a chance for a free class at Paint Bar, I had a great time chatting with the owner Jill. April 12 marked The Paint Bar's one-year anniversary at the Newbury St location. They also have one in Newton.
After another short break, it was time to add the tiny trees to the Riverfront and windows to the buildings. Oh yeah and the sun and stars.
There's my finished product.
What do you think? I was pretty darn proud of myself since the most I can draw normally are stick figures. The Paint Bar staff really does make painting something everyone in the room can do... and have fun the whole time.
Our group had some masterpieces!
The Paint Bar event took just over two hours, but the time flew. We were at the final product before I knew it. I highly recommend taking in a class at The Paint Bar if you are in the Boston or Newton area. I think the wife and I will be having a date there sometime soon. :)
After we finished our painting, the birthday girl and her crew went home to change, while I opted to enjoy the gorgeous Boston afternoon. I called the wife and had her meet me early so we could walk around downtown. It would be just her second time back to Boylston Street since the Marathon Bombings.
Enjoyed a nice beer while I waited for her
Oh and the beer was Samuel Adams Rebel IPA not Bud Light. Just for everyone's info. ;)
The wife and I had a great time walking around downtown before meeting back up with Beth and her friends for dinner at Kashmir. I was going to have my first adventure with Indian Food. We had some delicious garlic naan bread, which I knew I liked. I tried my first vegetable samosa. Eh, I didn't hate it, but didn't see any real draw to it. For my main dish, I had chicken tikka masala. I even asked for mild, but it was still a little spicy for my little palette. Overall, it was a great experience and I was happy to try something new. It has only been since joining Weight Watchers in 2009 that I have really tried to branch out in my food choices.
The conversation at dinner was ah-may-zing and it felt like I have known these people for ages instead of meeting some that afternoon.
While the girls went out for some karaoke, the wife and I took advantage of the nice weather by heading to the train then walking home.
Oh and I happened to pick up my Boston Marathon jacket before the Expo next week.
The day revolved around three amazing people - Robin, Beth and my wife - all of whom I met online. Thank you dear internet for bringing such amazing people in my life.
And Boston, thanks for being one beautiful city!