A few months ago, my amazingly smart sister-in-law, Michaela, passed the final part of her CPA exam.
So when my brother Ryan emailed me about planning a surprise party in her honor — to celebrate not only her new CPA license but also the end of her studying for a while — I knew I had to be there for the fiesta.
Ryan and Michaela live just outside Boston, and the party was planned for Saturday, September 10.
Two weeks before my marathon.
Dun dun dunnnn.
I stressed over whether or not to make the trip up for about a month beforehand. There were no cheap flights, no cheap train options and the bus smells like fast food, so that option was out, too.
In the end, that Handsome Friend of mine used some fancy discount code and snagged a rental car so we could be there to scream “Surprise” when Michaela arrived.
So that’s what I did this weekend. I went to Boston. And for one entire weekend, I let my mind drift — at least a little bit — away from marathon training, and focused on my super-successful new sister.
Do you want to know more? OK I’ll tell you things.
The drive up Friday night was uneventful.
I made a pit stop before hitting the road…
Why did I go there? To pick up a new AQUA (er, light blue, really) shirt!
I dig it. I hope you do, too.
We got to Ryan and Michaela’s house (she wasn’t there) around 11:45 pm and were sound asleep by midnight.
Saturday morning, thanks to the whole marathon taper thing, meant a not-too-crazy long run. Ten manageable miles, said Coach Cane. He wanted the first six at my marathon goal pace + 45 seconds per mile, and the last four miles at my marathon goal pace.
The pacing I could handle.
The route through Boston I could not.
So I called on two of my favorite Boston bloggers for a little help.
We met up at the Museum of Science on Saturday morning (Handsome Friend came too!), ready to run some miles.
Fun fact: I greeted both of them like we were best friends, but apparently we had never met in person. Crazy. I seemed to have forgotten that fact…
The run itself was pretty uneventful. Ten miles seems like nothing after months of big-time training! The route — around the Charles River — was really pretty, very flat and packed with runners and bikers. I liked the vibe.
And of course, the company was great. I loved chatting with Corey and Lauren and pretty much forced them to give me their marathon advice. They are really good runners. I was more than excited to steal their hard-earned running knowledge.
I was also sad when the run ended. To delay the “saying goodbye” part, I demanded that Lauren and Corey take jumping photos with me. It’s apparently my new favorite thing to do.
After the run, we parted ways and I took a little trip to Quincy Market. I ate a lot. It was good.
Then it was party time!
We ventured back to Ryan and Michaela’s house (she was out with her mom for the day) to shower and “help” get ready for the party. If “helping” means “sitting on my butt and taste-testing everything” then I was a huge help. You’re welcome, family.
My mom was cute and got festive by decorating the backyard with accountant-type things, like numbers and calculators.
Michaela was so surprised when she arrived, which was great. Success! She actually didn’t realize what the party was for right away and she was adorable.
The party was great. Lots of food. Naturally.
And there was lots to drink, but I stayed sober. Tapering is hard.
The best part of the day was just getting to spend time with my family. I was smiling the entire time.
I was sad to leave Boston this morning, but coming back to NYC just felt right.
I don’t want to get into writing about 9/11 because I realize that it’s therapeutic and nice for some people to share their feelings about that day, but that’s not really my style. Everyone else’s words are much more beautiful than mine would be.
I will say that running around the Bridle Path in Central Park this evening as the sun was starting to set felt so good. I ran without music and people watched as I ran. I’m sure there are people today in NYC who are afraid and of course there are hundreds of thousands who are grieving. But the people in the park seemed at peace, and it was a really nice feeling. It’s a tragic anniversary, but an important day to reflect and be thankful.
New York, I love you. Thanks for taking good care of me.