Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Boston Marathon 2017 {Race Recap}

Monday Funday!

I woke up at 5:40 Marathon Monday morning and ate my trusty belvita biscuit. I got all my stuff together and walked with L over to the buses. As we got out of the elevator in our hotel we ran into Bart Yasso. I knew it would be a good day after that. I was calm but super excited that I would be running the Boston Marathon in a few short hours!

I was optimistic that it would somehow be cooler in Hopkinton than Boston and that I would be able to execute my race plan. I never looked at my weather app on Monday- I didn't need some dumb excuse to blame on a poor race before it even started. I had put in a lot of work to run this race- at the very least I was going to enjoy nearly every step. {achievement unlocked}

I said goodbye to L and got on a bus. I sat next to a girl from Toronto and we had a lovey chat on the hour long ride out to Hopkinton. We had both completed triathlons- it was so nice to pass the time chatting away.

We pulled into the drop off area and went our separate ways. My original plan was to meet at a house across from the school where my friend was- but I couldn't get past security, so I sat on the ground in the athlete village for a while. I eventually got up to take a photo with the famous "It all starts in Hopkinton" sign. I scampered off to use the portalet one last time before it was time to head towards the corrals. I ate 2 more Belvita biscuits at the village.

Just before the start of the first wave, there was a flyover of F15's. We were warned multiple times this would occur by the announcer. The announcer was hilarious. He kept saying how they were only asking for wave 1 (red bibs) to head to the start- and if you didn't have one to stay in the village until it was your time. And if you wanted to run in wave 1, you need to run faster to belong there.

Rip Get Lucky shirt.

Soon it was time for the wave 2 folks to head towards the start corrals. I sprayed myself with sunscreen and dropped my Get Lucky shirt at a clothing collection site. The herd moved slowly towards the staging area in the parking lot. I was a big ball of emotions.

The walk ended at the parking lot where we stood for 10-15 min before being herded to the start line.

It felt like the walk took forever to get to the start line. It was .7 miles- everyone for the most part was quiet. It was a great time to go over my race plan one last time and think about the mantra in the meditation from JasYoga I had been using- I now.

I was full of emotions standing in the start corral waiting to start my journey to Boston. The corral was full of younger women and some older guys- expected since we were placed by qualifying time.

As we shuffled to the start line, I was overcome with emotion. I was finally here, I was healthy. This is it!

Goal A- have fun, PR
Goal B- have fun, BQ
Goal C- have fun

Had I looked at the temps, I would have readjusted to simply "have fun" because 75 degrees is not ideal to run a marathon..

I took off towards Boston and monitored my watch every once In a while. My goal would have been to run 7:45's the first 5k, but my pace was low 8's-8:20. I knew at this point the heat would be a big factor for the race. I continued to run smart and not push it- especially on the downhills. I didn't want to blow out my legs in the first 10k of the race.

Around 9-10 miles into the race, I caught up to my BFF's boyfriend, E. Running into him gave me a bit of pep in my step- while the crowds were amazing, the heat was starting to wear on me. We chatted and I felt more consistent in pacing and effort- and banished the "omg so hot" thoughts out of my head.

Running through the Wellesley scream tunnel was intense. I kissed a few girls on the cheek- when in Boston... I wanted the full Boston experience.

We hit the halfway around 1:50, and I was feeling good, but warm. It was around halfway that I started dumping water on my head at every aid station.

It was so nice running without headphones- I would talk to people as we passed by. Around mile 17 we ran into V and I gave her a big wet hug! It was around this point that I thought to myself, Carnage. We were passing people instead of going with the flow or being passed. There were also more and more folks walking.

The Newton hills were hilly, but not as bad as I expected. Whatever I did to prepare worked (loads of squats and stairs). Around the hills I got a popsicle from a spectator- nectar of the gods. I ran through sprinklers and fire hydrants spraying water on the road. The water felt great especially when a good breeze came by.

I saw L and friends at mile 22 and gave him a big hug and kiss. For the duration of the race I had a big goofy grin plastered to my face. It was hot, yeah, but I trained hard and felt relatively good running. I gave hugs to some spectators who held up "free hugs" signs. Why not!? I high fived 100's of people on the journey from Hopkinton to Boston. Around mile 24 I started to speed up and zoomed it in to the finish. Seeing the Citgo sign made me cry.

Right on Hereford and left on Boylston gave me all the feels. I had to hold back the ugly cry- plus it was extremely difficult to run and cry at the same time. The finish line seemed to take forever to get to- and then it was over. I collected my medal and water and took a picture.

I was ecstatic about my time of 3:42:01. I felt like I ran a super smart race despite the crappy weather. If I could run a 3:42 in the heat, then I could certainly BQ no problem in better temps.

One of the many conversations E and I had was about effort in races. I know that at best, in a marathon I'm operating at 80%. I tend to want to feel comfortable the entire time- save for the last bit when I know things can't go wrong. Also, I want to avoid the med tent. It got me wondering what I would truly be capable of if I embraced the tough times more.

Post race and post shower L and I went to Row 34 for a delicious seafood dinner. Then we went to Bukowskis where I continued the celebration with a Sam Adams 26.2 brew.

And then continued the celebrations with a Marathon Wheat from Start Line brewing- they are out of Hopkinton and recently opened in November.

The brewers happened to be sitting next to us at the bar and were super nice. Their IPA was also delicious

These past 18 weeks flew by- I can't believe it's all over now. I can't thank L enough for supporting me to achieve this dream. It's been amazing.


•Salt tab pre race
•Gu at mile 4.5, 10, 15, 20
•Salt tab at mile 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 23
•Carried bottle of Osmo until mile 13 when I finished it- usually I still am drinking from my handheld until like 20!
•2 popsicles on the course
•Mile 13 started dumping water on my head
•100's of high fives given
•Smiles the whole way.

This was one of the most fun races I've ever run. I'm happy I ran a smart race and didn't try to PR or kill myself out there. So many awesome memories. I hope to return and run Boston again. 💛🦄💙


  1. Congrats, gal!!!! I loved following you on race day. You did really well -- heat be damned! I'm so glad you had such a positive experience. No doubt you'll be back (if you want to return, that is)! Congrats again on a great cycle, a great race, and just for being great, haha. xoxo

  2. Congrats! Yes, you ran a super smart race and your early pace adjustment paid dividends later. You had the most even splits of all of the runners I was tracking that day. All of your splits were within 40 seconds of your average pace - which on a hilly, hot course is very impressive. Plus you managed to work in a selfie, tons of high-fives, kisses and hugs! Definitely was a smart move not to wear headphones. You were able to talk to other runners and hear every one of the crazy cheers and "race sounds" around you. Why tune out a huge aspect of the greatest day ever? Anyway, I imagine those Popsicles were so refreshing in that heat. It's always surprising that so many spectators use their own cash to provide refreshments to runners. I guess that's kind of like the old school Boston Marathon back when they didn't have aid stations except for whatever the spectators provided! Anyway, congrats again on your accomplishment, I know you tried a few times to get in via a time qualifier and were oh so close, so finally making it and finally getting to put that medal around your neck must be so sweet!

  3. Congrats on a well-executed race!! I always feel that if you cross the finish line smiling, you did a good job. But, that is an interesting question, what happens if you're willing to leave it all on the course and cross the finish line with nothing left? Is it worth it? Would it be harder to rebound and start training for the next race? Would you risk injury? A good question for a seasoned coach :)

  4. Loved this. You got some great race shots, too.

    Congratulations! I got chills reading this.

  5. I love this recap!!! I read it twice. I did run a smart race despite the weather. I love that you had a positive attitude throughout the race and made sure to enjoy it. My goal is to one day BQ as well. It will take me years but I will get there.

  6. Huge congrats to you!!! I really enjoyed tracking you during the race - echoing other comments, I can't believe how solid your splits were with that weather! I'm sure that threw a lot of people off (like all the carnage at the end). Knowing what your A and B goals were, I was worried you would get frustrated or discouraged, so I'm happy to hear you had such a good, positive race! All of your training really paid off, and you look strong and happy in all of your photos :)

  7. Congrats on a great race! I am so happy you had a good time and could finish feeling good - definitely because you realized right away you had to run a bit slower than planned due to the weather.

    Gosh, I wonder what percentage people can push it and hang on at a marathon! 80% seems hardcore to me!