Tapering is pretty boring, so I’ll spare you the details of the 45 miles I ran, other than ONE workout. Then, I’ll get to the fun stuff…carbo-loading. If there’s one thing I’ve mastered in the last three years, it’s eating. I’m pretty good about cooking really healthy meals for myself, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t crave a good burger/pizza/curly fries about once a week. Note: fries actually taste better off someone else’s plate. But, the workout. My coach uses this as a baseline workout at the start and end of training…and if I’m training you (hi Kristen, Alex, & Sam), you’re also getting this workout twice.
Week 2 I did the following – 15 min warm up, 15 x 1 min @ 6:15, 1 min easy, 15 min cool down
Week 19 I did the following – 15 min warm up, 20 x 1 min @ 5:55-6:09, 1 min easy, 15 min cool
If you think it’s easy, try it…it’s the worst. But it’s a great workout.
OKAY SO FOOD. If you’re not from Boston this is super important. If you aren’t satisfied with all of the options that I can guarantee are great (because I’ve eaten all of it), then message me and I can help you out. Try googling “best pasta joints” in Boston and I can assure you, you will miss some of the best places Boston has to offer. Why? Because just like you are stopping by many of the ‘burbs on the marathon route, there are many different areas and neighborhoods surrounding downtown Boston that you will regret missing.
If you’ve heard of this small joint, tucked away in residential East Boston, then you’re probably a Guy Fieri fan. If not, you’re not alone, as most Bostonian’s haven’t been themselves. It may be true that it is difficult to snag a reservation, but it is far from impossible to ride the train (or Uber) to Flavortown. Here’s what you need to know about Rino’s: 1) You need a reservation, but you can only make a reservation for 6 people. So if you aren’t coming with 6 people, you should make friends now. Craigslist ad recommended. 2) My friends and I had a standing reservation because the lobster ravioli and gnocchi are that good and because we fell in love with our waiter, Zane. 3) If Zane is your waiter, you should read the menu and know what you want to eat – but you can never order without knowing the specials. If you doubt me, you can call Zane and ask him how he feels about my group. You can expect an, “It’s ALL great!” response, followed by an eye roll if you’re not ready to order. You’re family at Rino’s Place.
You may think that the best pasta can be found in the North End, and yet again I was proven wrong by Babbo Pizzeria in the Seaport. Snagging a reservation was shockingly easy and they deliver, in case you are feeling particularly immobile pre-race day (me!). I was definitely tempted by the pizza menu, but my friend insisted that their pasta was a hidden gem. Well, good thing I listened. It was perfectly al dente and fresh and a good size, for an even more reasonable price. Pro Tip: If you download the app “Seated,” you can get money back on your reservation. It works for lunch reservations through 5 PM. Totally reasonable time for a pre-race feast!
I am drooling looking back on my photos from Fig’s. And if you think I’ve only been once you are mistaken. Again, another gem that is not in the North End, but can be found on the main street in Beacon Hill. The restaurant itself is small, with the option to do take out. I like sitting in the restaurant itself so I can make eyes at the men preparing the pizza in the wood-fire oven. So far it hasn’t gotten me free pizza, but I haven’t given up yet. Most people recommend the fig and prosciutto pizza, but I honestly haven’t tried it. I am a truffle fiend so I was all about the truffle pizza. Surprisingly, the pizza that steals the show is the Red Sox. If you’re coming all the way here, you might as well embrace everything Boston related anyways, right? Their slogan is “never trust a round pizza” which I fundamentally disagree with. But, I do have full trust in their rectangular ones.
The main reason that I also trust round pizzas is because of Ernesto’s Pizza. The original Ernesto’s can be found in the North End. They are also on GrubHub (ordering from my bed ftw) and in Assembly Square in Somerville (quick drive, Uber, or train out of the city). The chef, Juan Ventura says that the Chicken Ranch pizza is the most popular order. I make my own pizza with garlic, ricotta, and meatballs (creative rights go to Zack DB). You can’t knock it until you try it. Mostly because there is no way you can knock it. It’s that good. The pizza is a bit pricey, but in the words of my coach, “WORTH EVERY CENT!”
As an Armenian, I would be remiss in not including the best Armenian spot in the Boston area – Belmont to be exact. My whole life, the best and most authentic Armenian food (besides from my mother and grandmother) was found at church. There, the motto is, more butter, more better. And, “you no eat meat. That’s okay I make lamb!” My go-to pre-long run meal is the chicken kebab dinner which includes a hefty portion of rice pilaf, some greek salad, grilled veggies, and the best chicken you’ve ever tasted. If you’re down for some red meat, then you have to try the Losh Kebab, which is essentially an Armenian hamburger made of out, you guessed it, lamb. Ani’s is take out and does deliver to some areas of Boston!
Let the taper crazies and carb loading begin. See you in Hopkinton!