Hey, remeber that time I ran to Boston?

I wanted to write you a long narrative of all the the things I didn't get to tell you from the road.  About how we lost our car in Manhattan because we were running to Good Morning America (they did a story on our run!) or how we sat in a parking lane in Philly blowing our horn for a full minute before we realized it was a parking lane.  I wanted to share all the miss adventure of our night runs, almost all my runs were at night.  I ran through sketchy New Jersey in the dark! I want to tell you how I cried because Jason FaceTimed me on a run. When Alex saw me on the screen he started crying that he missed me, which broke my heart. Or how I thought I was going to be murdered by some pot heads playing hacky sack.  Everything, even hacky sack, is scary when you are running alone at night in an unfamiliar area. I want to share all the details of our trip but that post would be a million miles long and I don't think I could ever really capture this trip in words.  I laughed so much this trip.  Seriously, belly laughs.  I formed amazing connections with people and made life long friends.  I was reminded that for the most part, the world is full of kind and generous people.  And, when we crossed that start line of the Boston Marathon I cried.  Running in the past has been very much a personal endeavor.  This time, this time is was different.  We were running for a greater purpose, we were running as a team and we had a huge support system.  It wasn't just me out there pounding the pavement. All those emotions came flooding over me and the tears just poured. To say this was a life changing experience is an understatement.  I almost didn't do this relay because I doubted I physically could and because the logistics of being gone for a week seemed overwhelming.  I am so glad I listened to Jason and went for it.  Being a part of this team was amazing.  As a stay at home mom it is easy to feel like an island unto yourself.   I forgot how much I enjoyed being part of a group and how much I loved being community minded.  Thank you to all the people who supported me last week.  The thoughts, prayers, donations and messages were appreciated more than you will ever know.

finish
Now the rest of my journey, mostly in pictures.

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When in Philly, one must impersonate Rocky.

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One also must consume a cheese steak in Philly as well.
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Luckily, I missed the worst of the Jersey traffic but look at this shot of Yuri's New Jersey run.  He did not run through this intersection.  Because a cop stopped him and told him he couldn't. Well, after he ran a background check to make sure he was real. 
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This is a picture I took in a scary New Jersey bathroom, because night gear is to funny not to document.  You can't pump your own gas in Jersey, most the gas stations are just little stalls with detached cinder block bathrooms.  I used one bathroom that had a broken door knob and no lights, basically is was a murder bathroom.  I'm glad it was dark so I couldn't see the blood I imagined all over the walls. I was super nervous for this run. I missed the traffic because I ran in an area with foot traffic, which is much scary than cars.  Fortunately, I wasn't alone. I was running with Trica and Yuri.  Turned out it be one of the best runs.
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This three block walk for Starbucks was the only time I was alone the whole trip.  I love people but I am someone who generally needs to be alone.  Surprising, this trip I didn't mind the constant companionship.  In fact, I loved it.
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This is me almost getting kicked out of the Museum of Modern Art Sculpture Garden.  I swear, I wasn't touching it. 
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This is us in the Trump tower doing terrible Trump impressions.
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Central Park is the best, right?
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Connecticut had the prettiest houses.  I wish I had taken more pictures.  Ben ran past farms and maple syrup taps. 
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The above photo was snapped after our night in Hartford.  We rolled in late and out early, this was all of the city I saw.  But hey, I can still say I was there . . .  right?  Also, my team really was the best. Rumor has it the other teams referred to us as the middle schoolers.  I'm guessing it was because of our loud music and dance parties.  But, that is cool they were probably just jealous that their team didn't have our awesome dance movies.  We could get down to some Brass Monkey.
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Boston Strong!  Tennessee tough! 
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Above, at the finish line with my team.  Below, signing a table at the start line for the runners.
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Boston is beautiful and the whole city was covered in love for the marathon.
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The finish line. 
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Duane from my team is a fireman.  We took pictures at fire halls all along the trip and we meet lots of nice fire fighters.  When we got to Boston we visited the department that was first responders for the bombing.  They has recently lost two firemen in a fire. Duane wanted to pay respects and give them some patches and shirts from his hall in Bradley County, TN.  The guys were so nice and let us tour their fire hall which had been in operation since the late 1800s.  They still get calls in on morose code.  And yes, I was REALLY excited to sit inside the truck.
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The food was my reward for making it.  An amazing pastrami melt from an Irish pub in Boston.  Ahh.
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The above photo is from the Marathon Coalition pasta dinner we got to attend. It was in a beautiful hotel and I loved hearing from all the runners and charities they supported.  We got to present a check to the Boston based charity "Dream Big!" at the dinner.  It was the perfect end to the trip.  I left Boston the next day and drove back with a teammate in one of the SUVs.  That 17 hour car drive may have been the ultimate test of endurance.   We had four runners stay and actually run the Boston Marathon.  Such an amazing group and such an spectacular experience.  I still remember thinking that the idea of a relay run to Boston sounded insane the first time I heard it.  I am so glad I jumped on this crazy run.  I am positive I will never regret this adventure and the bit of good we did in the process. 

In case you missed it . . . .

Here is a post about training and why I signed up for the relay.
/www.barksblog.com/rksblog.com/2013/12/run-now-relay.html
/www.barksblog.com/rksblog.com/2014/02/why-i-love-running.html
/www.barksblog.com/rksblog.com/2014/03/run-run-run-and-run-some-more.html

And here are my post about the actually run . .
/www.barksblog.com/rksblog.com/2014/04/dead-chickens-and-country-roads-first.html
/www.barksblog.com/rksblog.com/2014/04/my-redemption-day-2.html
http://www.barksblog.com/2014/04/chubby-lane-day-3.htmlhttp://www.barksblog.com/2014/04/long-fun-and-awesome-runs.html

And, if you want even more Run Now Relay fun . . . .  Ben Williams has some awesome videos on his blog.  I put his video of our launch below because it is so awesome.

Once again, thanks for the support and encouragement.  I really would have never been able to do this without such a great support system.  I am currently plotting my next running adventure but I promise you it won't be a 9 state run :).