Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

These marathons just keep getting better and better for me… It will be interesting to see how much I love them when I am 70 (but of course there will be many terrible races thrown in there along the way too, because that is how running goes and it’s the terrible races that make us really appreciate the good ones so much more).

I feel very lucky because I was able to have that Boston yesterday that I’ve always dreamed about.  2015 Boston was just not my year in a lot of ways and I went into yesterday with the mindset that I was going to GET that Boston experience that I craved.

I went to Deena Kastor’s talk on Saturday and she said something that I really loved—>  She talked about GRABBING the positive energy from the crowds/people around you, pulling that energy into yourself and GOING with it.  Each time I heard someone say my name (thank you to those that did), every time I made eye contact with another runner or person cheering, all of the high-fives and all of the signs that said ‘touch here for extra power’ gave me so much energy and strength.

Besides my hamstrings, the most exhausted muscle on my body after yesterday were my cheeks.  My smile lines were very deep by the end of the day yesterday and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  There was so much energy to grab out on that course that it made me smile for probably 94.36% of the entire race (very scientific approximation with that percentage;).

We slept great the night before the race and I set my alarm for 6:02 (because my wave started at 10:02… those numbers get me) and jumped in the shower.  I started taking showers before my races to help wake myself up a bit and get moving.  I used my dove deodorant all over to avoid chafing (which worked everywhere except for under my left arm) along with a lot of sunscreen.

One lesson learned yesterday—>  Even if I’m not racing… I need to wear the Power Bun for every race because I hate my hair touching my face or shoulders during a race.  Power Bun from here on out.

I brought my UCAN from home and drank that along with a bottle of water on the way to where the busses were picking us up.  Andrew walked with me and we tried to stay as dry as possible.

I came to Boston very prepared for a crazy storm/being cold which was nice because I used all of the stuff I brought for before the race started.

Can you believe this?   It’s like the rain paused for us to run… and we also had a tailwind too!

I found out later that a bunch of the busses were delayed because of the LIGHTNING but I stood in line for about 5 minutes (at 6:45) before jumping on a bus.

I met a really awesome girl from Minneapolis on the bus and we ended up talking the entire way to the start.

I had heard that there were bagels and bananas at the start so I didn’t bring any food (other than my UCAN) and had two bagels in one of the tents before starting.  It felt kind of strange to not be doing all of my normal marathon traditions (ie no vegetables the day before, avoiding a lot of time on my feet the day before, having all of my food prepped and eating at exact times etc) but it turned out fine to switch things up!

THANK YOU to everyone that told me to bring an old pair of shoes to the start to use before the race.  My feet were soaking wet and muddy.  It was so nice to have a fresh pair to change into (and fresh socks too)!

I switched into the Boston Launch (for my first time wearing them…) and they were AWESOME to do a marathon in.  I loved how well they worked for the race and I think they are gorgeous.


I was so happy to meet up with TinaLindsey and Mia.

We all went over to the porta-potties together and then Tina and I left to get into our corrals.  We were probably only in the Athlete’s Village for 30 minutes and it flew by!

The walk over to the starting line is probably about a half mile (I might be very wrong on this) and I tried to get into the back of my corral.  I knew I wasn’t going to be running the times that a lot of the people in that area were running (my sub 3 is what put me into the first wave) and I didn’t want to get in their way!

Right before the race got started I got rid of my throw away gear, took a nanoHyr8 and put my Koala Clip on.  I brought my AirPods with me to listen to music at the end if I wanted to (I did for the last 6-7 miles but not super loud so I could still hear all of the people) and just brought them in the charging case.  The charging case fit into my Koala Clip too which was nice because I thought that if I would have just brought the AirPods they would have run out of batteries since the race started a while after we got onto the busses (there isn’t a gear bag drop at the start of Boston).

I got to the starting line a few minutes after 10:02.  I think we all felt like a can of sardines.  It was pretty tight there for the first five miles but there were a lot of people weaving around too.

I think in my previous Boston I did a lot of weaving, but yesterday I did zero weaving and just kind of went with the flow and had people pass me.

At about .9 miles into the race there was a guy with a sign that had an arrow and 25.3 miles written on it which made me laugh.  The signs were AWESOME this year.  I wish so badly I could remember more of them but so many of them made me laugh.  Another thing that made me laugh really hard was a volunteer at about mile 15.  She was yelling out ‘FREE GATORADE’ with a cup up in the air and it made me happy.

Boston and my ultra were completely different experiences.  Boston had me talking to people and seeing people every step of the way.  During my ultra I spent a lot of miles alone.  I was so happy to meet readers along the way and for the first 10ish miles I had different people to talk with which I loved.

I did kind of eat like my ultra though.  I wanted to take food from people along the course and enjoy the treats…

I had three huma gels (starting at mile 4) along with part of a glazed donut, twizzlers, oranges, half a banana, swedish fish and a popsicle from spectators.  I also took another nanohydr8 at mile 14.  At each aid station I had water or gatorade or both.  During those final miles I dumped water on myself (and poured ice into my sports bra) because I was feeling pretty hot!  The ultra training taught my body to handle eating a lot of food during the race other than gels.  I didn’t have any stomach issues and I’ve learned over the years I would much rather over fuel than under fuel so I kept the calories coming until those very final miles= much happier races for me.

Loved running by the water!

I took my arm warmers off at mile 1 (there was nothing cold about yesterday during the race… hallelujah!!) and held onto them until I saw Andrew at mile 8.  These arm warmers are good luck charms so I did not want to lose them.

Andrew took the train to mile 8 and was able to see the elite women and men pass by.  I was so excited to see him, stopped for a kiss and he jumped back on the train to get back to the starting line which he made it back to with about 30 minutes to spare.

I could hear the girls at Wellesley from a half mile away.  THEY WERE AWESOME.  I could not believe how loud they were.  I jumped over to the side to slap their hands and loved it.  Up until this point there was a lot of downhill and some small rollers too.  I told myself to just run comfortably and knew that with the way the course is set up I would have a positive split (but hopefully not a huge one).  It was tempting to go out faster than I did, but I knew I would blow up if I did that because I have the endurance side down from the ultra and I had done very little speed work.

I told myself if I wanted to try to pick it up it would be in the last 10k.  I wanted to just soak in the experience and have so much fun until then.

From here I didn’t take very many pictures but I was happy that heartbreak and the other hills didn’t swallow me alive (like they did in 2015).  I focused on my form and the people around me and got up them.

During the last few miles I decided to see if I could pick up the pace, but that just equaled staying around the same pace as the previous miles which I was happy about.  I kept high-fiving kids and felt tired, but not the wall that usually happens during the marathon for me… I think it was because of all of the fuel I took in (and from ultra training).  My body was more than ready to be done at the finish line though… don’t get me wrong, I was very tired but the wall was not hit.

I saw Andrew in the stands (thanks again Jenn for that pass) and could not believe how loud the crowds were.  Absolutely amazing… those crowds yesterday were SO so great.  Thank you x a million to all of the spectators and volunteers.  They inspired me to get out and volunteer/cheer for our races at home.

The last little push!

Those last miles were very warm (coming from training all winter in the dry cold) but I wouldn’t trade the race conditions for the cold/rain/head wind that we were planning on having.

My last few races I’ve gone straight to hanging out on the ground so it was nice to just keep moving and walking to cool-down instead.

I walked for about a half a mile before I found Andrew at the family meet-up area.  Once I stopped running and I was in the shade… I got cold FAST, but so excited to see Andrew.

I’m in love with this medal.

14 seconds is my lucky number… St George I finished in 2:59:14.

Here are the mile splits from my Garmin:  7:31, 7:24, 7:46, 7:31, 7:54, 7:34, 7:38, 7:51, 7:56, 8:01, 7:58, 7:58, 7:53, 7:58, 8:12, 7:48, 8:23, 8:28, 7:49, 8:15, 8:20, 7:25, 7:50, 7:55, 7:44, 8:14 and my garmin says I ran a 5:56 average for the last .4 (I didn’t run the tangents great) but I’m not sure how accurate that is.