That went better than expected. When Lauren and I kept looking at our watches throughout the miles we were shocked by how good we were feeling for the paces we were going. So let’s just dive right into things…
I carb loaded more for this race then ever before. I would be fine to never eat a bagel again after the amount of bagels I went through this last weekend. I woke up at 4:45 on Monday morning with nerves and started eating bagels and drinking water and gatorade. I finally got out of bed at 6 and showered. I listened to the podcast of Deena Kastor on The Strength Running Podcast while getting ready. Her optimism is so contagious and I think she is the best person to listen to before a marathon.
We left the hotel at 6:35 and walked over to Boston Commons to meet Lauren at 6:45 to get on the busses.
Andrew made the entire weekend so easy for me. Like usual, he planned every detail and was on top of making sure I had all of the carbs and liquids I needed. I had the best weekend with him.
I said goodbye to Andrew at the busses. Lauren and I noticed we were wearing the same socks which we took as a great sign.
Towards the end of the bus ride I was feeling very carsick and just trying to keep down all of my carbs. I felt lucky that I did and I was SO ready to jump off of the bus.
We used the restrooms and sat in Athlete’s Village for about an hour before we started moving towards our corrals at 9:30. I was very happy that my teeth were chattering from being cold at this point because it meant it was going to be perfect marathon weather. Not once during the race did I even think about the temperature because it felt so perfect. The last mile I was thinking about the headwind but other than that it was a runner’s dream.
We took off our sweats and switched out into our Nikes. We stuffed our pockets with gels, my chapstick and a bottle of gatorade that I was very happy I had at mile 20. Bottles are so much easier to drink from than cups for me.
The excitement in the corrals and Athlete’s Village was amazing. This was Lauren’s first Boston and I just loved being able to be there with her. I am hooked on racing with a friend.
We passed the start line at around 10:05 (I think) and it was pretty congested for 90% of the race (to be expected)! We tried not to weave around people too much so we wouldn’t waste energy but we definitely had to weave a bit. We were able to chat a few times per mile for the first 16ish miles which helped me feel at ease about the pace we were going. It had been 2.5 years since my last marathon so I really was nervous I would go way too fast out the gate but the pace felt pretty moderate for the first 19ish miles and it wasn’t until the last 10k that I felt like I needed to work for the pace.
I saw Andrew FOUR times throughout the course. He was thinking of taking the train to see me twice but then decided to take an Uber/Lyft around and was able to make it to four spots. Seeing/hearing him each time brought me so much energy.
Lauren is SO good at fueling for races and she really helped to remind me when it was time for more calories. We took a Maurten caffeine gel 5 minutes before the start, a normal Maurten at mile 4, a normal Maurten at mile 8, a normal Maurten at mile 12, a caffeine Maurten at mile 16, a caffeine Maurten at mile 21 and I felt like I never hit the wall energy wise (each of them had 100 calories). We also had a water and gatorade at basically every aid station. It was never more than a sip or two from the cups but it was nice to stay consistent. We also dumped water on our head during a lot of the aid stations which felt refreshing and helped to get some of the sticky Gatorade off my face ha.
At about mile 18/19 I lost Lauren (she hit her A goal of 2:56 ahhhhhh) and tried to stay strong mentally now that I was on my own. Boston really is such a rolling course, it wasn’t until the last mile that I felt like we were actually running on a flat road. I would try to stay strong on the uphills throughout the course and then pick up my pace on the downhill since that is the type of speed we do so much in Utah (downhill!). I think all of the downhill training we do helped my legs to not feel too dead but my hamstrings were definitely upset in the last 10k.
I stayed focused on the mile I was in and avoided thinking about anything ahead of me. I wanted to stay as close as I could to my average pace that I had set in the first half and try to shoot for even splits.
That final homestretch felt better than it had in my previous two Boston marathons. My friend that gave me workouts/mileage for the 5 weeks leading up to Boston helped me SO much to be prepared and he told me a few days before the race he thought I would do a sub 2:55. That gave me a lot of mental confidence.
I crossed the finish line at 2:54:52 and stopped to watch for Lauren for just a minute. We hugged and cried together. Her first sub three and she did it at Boston and hit well under 3 hours.
I may have squeezed her a little tight.
We walked for a bit to get our medals and out of the corrals before plopping on the cement to wait for our people.
Here were the splits—> 6:46, 6:39, 6:34, 6:30, 6:42, 6:33, 6:30, 6:31, 6:31, 6:32, 6:34, 6:31, 6:30, 6:26, 6:35, 6:21, 6:47, 6:47, 6:34, 6:44, 7:09, 6:27, 6:34, 6:40, 6:35, 6:53, 6:32 average for the final stretch. My first 1/2 was a 1:26:43 and my second half was 1:28:09 which I was so happy about considering this course with the second half being harder than the first half. During the hills and heartbreak hill I tried to not look at my watch and just be fluid and let the miles happen. I knew I had a downhill once I reached the top of heartbreak. Once I was at the top, I pushed my hips forward which forces my feet to try to keep up with my hips. It’s my favorite downhill trick, it really activates my glutes.
I kept thinking about how much I wanted a sub 3 back in 2010 when I was training for Boston. I ended up not being able to run the race because of femoral stress fractures due to underfueling and overexercising. I kept getting emotional and tearing up throughout the course feeling so much gratitude for the road that it took to get here. Andrew sure changed my world.
We said goodbye to Lauren and hit up the hotel to hurry and get ready before going to the airport.
I could not get enough salt after the race. I wanted to just pour these packets on my tongue ha.
Now to talk about all of the tangents that I didn’t put into the race recap that I still want to talk about:
*I had a few side aches (I’m guessing from all of the gatorade that I’m not used to) but I would put pressure on the cramp with my fingers for a minute or two (pretty hard pressure) while running and they would go away.
*Hearing the Wellesley girls from a mile away will always be shocking to me no matter how many times I run Boston. The crowds are unreal along the whole course, it is magical.
*This was my first time being sunburned during a race… I had sunscreen on my face but spaced putting it on my arms.
*I found about 50 houses along the course that I want. So many beautiful homes.
*The taper is crazy. The week leading up to Boston I felt so terrible. Running 2 easy miles on Saturday felt hard but somehow it all comes together. On Sunday I was in my hotel bed from 2 pm on (I even ate dinner in bed ha). I felt so exhausted but amazing on Monday.
*I followed Deena Kastor’s example and found joy wherever I could when things felt hard. It changes my brain in a flash when I do this. From the trees to my love for Maurten gels to watching everyone’s form around me…
*Those tracks in the road at around mile 22 almost tripped me, I forgot about those. They are so tricky when you are exhausted but I probably wouldn’t have noticed them if they were in the beginning.
*Taking a month off last October because of my plantar fasciitis was a really good thing for me. I think breaks like that every now and then really help us in the long run.
*I smiled when I hurt… it forces the flow of happy hormones.
*I absolutely felt the benefits of sea level coming from altitude. My cardio was not the hard part, it was definitely my legs when things really hurt.
*The Peloton and strength training (peloton app… anywhere from 5-30 minute classes five days a week) are things I will keep doing forever, I think they made a huge impact on my training.
*I also loved having a short marathon training cycle after building up strength for a trail race. It was a change compared to anything I have done before but I loved it.
*I saw Shalane Flanagan and Adrianne Haslet (the amazing woman that lost her leg in the Boston bombings) along the way and it made Lauren and I both very emotional.
*The Vaporflys are worth every penny in my opinion. I don’t even know how to adequately describe them but they made me feel like I was flying. I had zero plantar issues during or after.
*We met Meb the day before the marathon and he told us over and over again to be patient on the course. He told us to wait until mile 17 to push it and it was fabulous advice.
*Now to figure out what is next after I take at least a full week off. I’ll be using the kids as my alarm clock, resting as much as I can and letting my body recover.
*I’m really happy I decided to just go for it even though it kind of seemed crazy after such a short cycle. What’s the worst that could happen?
*I’m so grateful for Amazon giving me this chance to go race Boston!
Who raced yesterday and how did it go?
How long do you take off after a marathon?
Ever seen a running pro in person? WHO and WHEN?
Best part of your last few days (I feel like I haven’t had updates in forever from you)!