Back to Beantown

September has been a whirlwind so far and a test of managing both the stresses that come with work, training for an Ironman, and making sure I get to spend some quality time with G. I am set to race in the Duke Liver Half Ironman which we decided to enter since it fit well in getting a good race in prior to the Ironman. We’ve been there before and enjoyed it and we plan to leave a day earlier to avoid the quick weekend we felt last year.

Thanks to Bob and Melissa at Inside Out Sports, I finally got a new ride and detailed fit. Yes, properly named ”The G” its a FELT B12 and a bike that was long overdo. They’ve been a great help in the selection process and happy not to have to work on the old one. I can now use the old FELT to pound out soley on the trainer.     

Problem was Scott and I were also set to leave for Boston on the 8th for a New Balance Conference and not return until the evening of the 11th. Then I would meet G after work on Friday and head out to Cary for the event. Oh yeah, rack up the ice coffee, Monster, and DPepsi Max!

The conference was to be held in Boston. I trained in the morning and went straight to the store where Scott picked me up. Haven’t flown in a while, but things were sweet and smooth – especially since we avoided any checked bags (and the $15 fee!). I was able to obtain an itinerary and hotel logistics to plan out my training for the days there and it would be mostly good runs in the early AM and some weights, followed by some spinning in the evening. Sleep when you can.  The weather was great when we landed and we took a quick stroll around the hood to soak up the sun. The Hotel Commonwealth was shwank! We had time before the reception so we had a mid afternoon lunch at a pub right across the street from Fenway Park. In fact our hotel room overlooked the Green Monster. The crowds were gathering already for the game and the streets fill with the aroma of sausage, onions, fries, and hot dogs – all delicious to smell (like White Castle burgers) but not to actually eat mind you. We were within walking distance from the Boston finish line so it wasn’t hard to find my bearings. Hasn’t changed much. It was a great sit-down with the boss and discuss the store, life, family, etc.

The evening reception had us meet with other Elite vendors that were invited and I was surprised to actually meet Bob from Runners Edge on Long Island. I did a Polar demo there and became good friends with the owners. Everytime I did a race out on LI they were usually around. The environment fostered a situation where you slowy met each person and got to know their business, philospohy, store ups/downs, and opinions on products we sell and don’t. The second day consisted of a tour of the plant in Lawrence, MA – about 45 minutes out. It was dreary and perfect for an indoor day. This plant was a piece of work. Outside resembles an old brick building but inside is the store, manufacturing, sports science lab (which was serious stuff and right up my alley), and business offices. A tremendous operation and one that the company is proud of - and should be. Though through certain NAFDA regulations, they can’t say MADE IN THE USA unless 70% of the product is made here, it is close to 60% and by the looks of it you have good hard working Americans making a quality product. We had the evening to ourselves so after some spinning, it had clearned up where I got to take out some Thai food and watch womens bball at the room. Oh, did I mention the bathroom? This shower head was awesome! Pair it with some L’Occitane shampoo and body wash – nuff said. Was able to get to bed by 10 so I was sure to get some sleep.

Wednesday was full of conference meetings all in the hotel and thanks to a lovely long run around the Charles River in the morning I was holding up well. Could have been the Illy’s coffee too that they had an endless supply of (in addition to food – they had you covered if you had the slightest hunger urge). They had tickets to the Red Sox game and that was the evening agenda. These people love their teams. Seriously. Security was a breeze since they screen you easily (you could bring a bag too!!) and we sat just left of the Green Monster next to the bullpens. A great game that lasted until the 14th inning of which I stayed until the 11th – then watched from the room and the comfort of the plush bed with the pillows that suffocate you comfortably.

By Thursday I was ready for home (so was Scott). Waking up at 5-5:30 again I did a good treadmill run/brick spin on the bike to get the workout all in for the day. The hallways were the longest I’ve been in and made for doing running strides. A few more quick meetings, packed up, read the paper, and the buses took us to the airport. I have to admit it was a great experience and have to thank New Balance for their efforts in making sure they were there for each store owner. Couldn’t thank Scott enough for the opportunity to come along.

Another efficient breeze through the airport and flight – even on 9/11. Scott dropped me off at the store since G was picking me up there so I finished some work before closing with Dana. Here’s where the whirlwind usually starts – assess damage from mail, calls, stuff left “to do”, finish what you can to lessen the load for the morning - get home for shower and breakfast dinner with G to catch up – then repack for the race while slowly aiming to fall on the bed. It was great to cuddle with G and end the night at home for one night. But I’m looking forward to a quick escape with G this weekend. A trip to Boston just isn’t the same without her from the usual spring fling we do there. I feel fit and ready for a test race and based on the weather it should be hot!

Happy Birthday Big Sis – Anjie!!! 


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