My recap of the 119th Boston Marathon!

What a difference a year can make! I took a look back at my logs for what my goal was for last year’s Boston…I wanted to pull a 3:30. How ironic that it happened this year, and in terrible weather conditions! I like running in the rain…I say it all the time. But, I think after yesterday, it will be a little while before I head to run out on a cold, wet, rainy day.

Boston is a hard day for me (I know its hard for everyone for different reasons, I’m not trying to steal the “hard” from anybody here). Its hard to get up at 5 and not start running until 10. It’s hard to be in a car for an hour and wait for a few more until I start. My body doesn’t like waiting one bit. I find myself getting really stiff and way too in my own head. The waiting game really takes a toll on you!! Last year, I left my house at 5 am and didn’t start until 11:20…that was a LOT of waiting around!!!

This year I fared better-I started at 10:25, and left the house at 6:15. My father in law ( SHOUT TO YOU FIL, you ROCK!) has driven me into the city every year for the past 4 or so years. My husband used to take me, but my FIL is a limo driver and knows the ins and outs of the city. My husband DOES NOT, and our day used to start with me crying and getting dropped off far away from the bus I needed to be on and nearly having a panic attack that I wasn’t going to get to Hopkinton. Not exactly my preferred way to start the day…This year, with SIL along for the ride, I felt confident that we could find our way to Hopkinton–>this meant a little extra time to sleep in..that helped A LOT. Last year i got up at 4 am to leave by 5!! AH!!!!! THATS JUST SO EARLY!!!
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I seriously have on about 4 layers in this pic because I was so cold!!20150421-174709-64029815.jpg
We made it to Hopkinton by 7 am..sooo early! I hadn’t planned on being there until 7:45-8, but oh well. We were bused by shuttle from an exit off of 495 to athlete’s village. From there we were able to navigate ourselves to the areas inside that we would be waiting at. It was soooooo hard to leave SIL and I cried when we parted ways!!!

With three hours to kill until I started, there wasn’t much to do..I played on my phone….responded to some well wishes….and watched the starts of the elite women and Wave 1. The time did move quickly (but still not quick enough!)

Suddenly, I found myself in my corral and about to start. It was all really, really surreal. You spend so much time prepping for the race that sometimes the actual race doesn’t feel “real.” At least for me it really didn’t! I was VERY VERY COLD at the beginning of the race. So cold that I didn’t take off my shirt until mile 3, and even then I tied it around my waist because I didn’t want to regret tossing it(but i did by mile 7ish because its wet-ness was annoying me).

I stayed at an extremely conservative pace for the first few miles. The rain didn’t start until maybe mile 4? 5? I began to pick up my speed & I felt really, really strong. I thought I could still PR even with the wind & the driving rain. Every single mile went by SO FAST. I realize that this was my fastest Boston, but still, the way the miles were ticking on by was pretty great. I wasn’t cold until probably mile 17…this was when I also started to slow down a little bit. From a mile to mile standpoint, I really don’t remember a heck of a lot of the race- it’s really weird. I’m going to bullet point some of the things that happened (in no particular order, sorry folks):

  • I took GU at miles 7, 12, and 17. At 17 my hands were so cold that they wouldn’t function very well. I couldn’t even rip the tab to open my GU & had to suck it out of a little bitty hole. I slowly sipped that one until mile 24. I typically will take 4 GU during a race- If I had a 4th GU yesterday, I would have puked.
  • I didn’t do any Gatorade. I didn’t train with it and I never felt like I needed the extra sugar to boost me up so I did just water. I didn’t stop at a single stop. I have to give myself some major credit for not stopping and managing to actually swallow the water (instead of the usual snorting it up my nose) 
  • I treated Boston like I always do-high fived and hugged as many kiddos as possible. After all, I was wearing a Children’s singlet….you’ve gotta represent the shirt in a classy manner! And I love seeing the kids out there. They were incredible!
  • It wasn’t that windy until I hit Heartbreak. Man i got cold on those hills. I wanted a blankie. Or a heater. Or to jump in a hot shower. Cold, Cold, Cold.
  • It helped to be in a faster corral. It helped a lot. My start time was earlier, and I had a lot of people around me running my paces. It was really good.
  • I didn’t stop at all…even though my stomach was rumbling and i FELT like I could GO to the bathroom…I did not. I just wanted to finish and get the hell out of the rain!
  • I will be forever impressed that there were as many spectators out there as there were yesterday. I saw Soooooooooooooo many people that I knew, it was GREAT!!! Special shoutouts to one of my blogging friends that I saw out there : Courtney!! I got to see her & got a high five from her right before I climbed the hills! And I saw my cute coach Lauren at mile 24..that was awesome to see her and hear her screaming my name!!!
  • Heartbreak was not hard at all this year. I’ve never worried about Heartbreak & I’ve always said that it isn’t a hard hill-its positioning in the course is the only difficult thing. I don’t mind hills, but I also don’t seek them out, either. At one point I forgot that I was even on Heartbreak and it wasn’t until I saw the “Heartbreak is over” balloon at BC that i realized it was all done. I do a decent amount of hills in my regular running, so I’m pleased that they were quite simple. The only reason I slowed on the hills was because I was F-R-O-Z-E-N. It was so weird- my skin hurt and it felt like someone was giving me one of those stupid Indian Sunburns that kids used to do when I was little. FREEZING.
  • I never hit a wall. My last Marathon (Baystate 2014) I think I felt defeated pretty quickly…Maybe by Mile 15-16? I never felt that yesterday. YES, I was cold, YES, I was soaking wet on every single part of my body…But I felt really, really good. My spirit never broke. There were times when I wanted it all to just slooooow down because it was flying by all too fast. (but then I would get a reality check in the form of a gust of wind and realize that this ISH needed to END)  I know that I could have pushed it alot harder if I wasn’t also so cold. I’m NOT a cold weather running gal…Give me heat & sunshine any day of the week!! At my last Marathon, I NEEDED my friend Erin to jump in with me and help me finish. Yesterday, I felt really good all by myself. It was weird and awesome to feel that.

Rounding the corner of Hereford and onto Boylston was amazing.  I saw my patient partner’s mom and stopped for a hug…LOVED that. Hugging her was hands down the best part of my day! IMG_6023Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 11.58.11 AM Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 11.58.45 AM

Before I knew it-The whole race was over! It took me a little while to find my friends and by then, I was frozen and visibly shaking. I guess I could’ve gone into the medical tent, but it really didn’t even cross my mind. I knew my girls had a bag of warm, dry clothes for me, fresh compression socks, and new sneakers. OMG. Wet socks are the WORST THING EVER. I changed at the Westin at the Children’s Hospital area…It was lovely to do this! Normally, i don’t change. I just thrown on a sweatshirt & pants and carry on with my day. This year was the first year that I’ve ever been SOOO COLD afterwards that i NEEDED to be out of ALL of my clothes ASAP.

When I turned on my phone post race- I couldn’t believe how many text messages, facebook posts, and emails that i had! I loved the hard core stalking and it was just as fun for me to hear about as i’m sure it was to be doing the stalking!!!

I’m really, really happy with this time. It’s not a PR & its not the goal i wanted/that my coach thought I would hit, but I never walk into Boston without expecting to be knocked down a peg or two from all the things that happen during the day. This was a fantastic “course PR” for me. 48 freaking minutes! (Previous PR- 2013, projected finishing time 4:08.) Pretty great! With the downpouring rain, wind whipping in my face, and being really cold for about 9-10 miles—> I’m pretty darn happy about this.

And, like I said in Tuesdays post : BQ’ing at Boston FOR Boston is pretty freaking amazing! πŸ™‚ One item down off the bucket list! 

One thing is for sure-I felt SOOOO STRONG yesterday that I have zero doubts in my mind on whether I can accomplish a sub 3:10 marathon (and someday, a sub 3:00). I know I have a lot of potential left to tap. If the weather had been better yesterday, I think I would have had a PR day for sure! It was a terrific day and I have zero regrets about anything that happened.

Sadly, I didn’t get to see SIL finish. 😦 I’m still pretty sad about that. I’ll spare you the really long story and just tell you that my original plan was to stay and wait for her to come through. There was a little confusion between my brother in law and I after I finished, and it turns out that I wouldn’t be able to get to the finish line to see her because the finish line areas were all blocked off, and SIL’s family had special bleacher seats that you needed an ID to get into & had passes with their names on them. I would have had to wait in the family meeting area alone (my friends couldn’t stay because one of them was catching a plane this morning to warm, sunny Florida!!!) So i ended up by going home with my girlfriends and stalking her hardcore on the app to see where she was! She is doing FANTASTIC today and I’m SO PROUD of her finish! You can read her recap here…its amazing! In hindsight, its probably a good thing for my body that I didn’t stay. Even in warm dry clothes – I continued to shake until I got into the shower, & woke up with a ridiculously sore throat and head cold Tuesday morning.

Here are some great shots of SIL!!!!

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I said this on my facebook but it is really worth mentioning again too: it takes alot of people to train for a marathon. It isn’t just the runner. It’s my husband who puts up with all of my races and doesn’t blink an eye because he knows it makes his wife happy. It’s my family & friends who go to all of my marathoning stuff so that i feel supported. It’s my friends who are willing to wait outside in the rain for HOURS so that they can see me finish. It my in-laws who drove me & SIL into the start of the race. It’s my MIL who takes the kids for my SIL every year so that she can go into the city to see me finish. It’s the constant support from well wishers on facebook ,twitter, IG & here on this little blog! It’s so, so many people who help you along your journey. And for THAT I’m truly blessed and grateful. It takes a community to train for a marathon, that is for sure. So thank you to all of YOU who are always coming along this big, beautiful journey of mine!

Congratulations to all who completed the 119th running of the Boston Marathon: You did so on an absolutely terrible day! I’m proud of you all!!!

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60 thoughts on “My recap of the 119th Boston Marathon!

  1. Congrats, Congrats, Congrats!!! Were you also in 2/7? The wind was definitely a factor in this race. I loved the rain though, wish the wind didn’t hold us all up a tad.

  2. awesome job girl! I”m just coming out of zombie mode… I literally slept for two days straight and probably could use a few more… but I am def hooked on boston and I am sooo happy that I finally got to see you.. I feel that we will see eachother a lot more in the future….

  3. You look so happy!!!! I love all your pictures! Congrats again on such a great race!! Hope you feel better and have fun celebrating πŸ˜€

  4. You are one good lookin’ girl!! Smooch!! Congratulations on a terrific race!! You looked so happy and so amazing in all of your pictures!! Your energy is phenomenal!! Fast girl!! XOXO

  5. It has been so much fun reading everyone’s recap of this fantastic race!! I am sorry that it was so cold and rainy, but you handled it like a champ. So cool that you BQ’d there too!!
    It just sounds like an awesome weekend- CONGRATS!!! I had so much fun watching it! Enjoy the week of celebration and soaking it all in – you deserve it πŸ™‚

  6. did you get any tail wind? i thought of you when i ran a whopping 4 miles on monday and was practically blowing backwards. and youre so little! were you able to tuck yourself behind any larger guys to help block the wind? great recap and i love your photos, you just look so happy and make it look so easy πŸ™‚

    • I didn’t really notice a tailwind… I really like tailwinds since they just push me forward-I think I only notice headwinds!!! HAHA I tried to tuck myself behind some tall people but I seemed to pass alot of them so it really didn’t help much! If only my husband was a runner too…then i would be SET!! πŸ™‚
      Thank you again for stalking!! xoxoxo

      ps…what’s your next race?? we are BOUND to meet up at some point!!! Runner friends=awesomeness!!

      • tailwinds are the best! we are doing the spring classic 5k this sunday (i haven’t run a stand alone 5k in years and years, only in sprint triathlons), then the harpoon 5 miler, and we just signed up for the newburyport river half marathon on may 31st. have to find a few more halfs this year. also i want to run another full, and the bf is looking to BQ, so maybe the loco marathon in NH. whats next on your racing docket?

  7. “My spirit never broke” that made me grin real wide…girl I don’t think your running spirit ever breaks and that is what makes you so strong! Congrats again and way to kill it.

    • i actually laughed out loud when i read your comment because that is true!!! sometimes-I feel like I get really depressed during a marathon and just want it to be over…that never happened on Monday and that was probably the first time I have ever felt that feeling!! Thank you so much, Molly!! πŸ™‚

  8. Great recap on a really tough weather day. I was stalking Tara (I’m one of the Spellissy cousins on her dad’s side) on the tracker website when I put 2-and-2 together and realized you were her SIL and started following your times too. I lived on Boylston when I was at grad school at BU (and worked at Children’s) and my heart will always be in Boston on Marathon Monday. Congrats on a great race!

  9. amazing.!! sounds like everyone’s experience just went by too fast.! only Marathon I hear that happening with πŸ˜‰ must be that amazing.

  10. Congrats to both you and your SIL on such an amazing race at Boston! I watched it online and just seeing the rain and hearing about the wind made me feel cold – and I was so impressed at all the runners pushing forward so hard in that weather! Now hopefully all of your future races have clear skies, no wind, and pleasant temperatures πŸ™‚ I hope your headcold and sore throat go away soon!

  11. Congratulations!! What a great recap. I watched the race on TV and couldn’t imagine how miserable it felt to be running 26.2 in that weather… it’s great that you felt strong and fast in spite of it! Those photos of you hugging your patient partner’s mom are so great, and it’s awesome that that moment was captured on camera! Congrats on BQing at Boston!!

  12. Aw, that part about your friends and family made me teary eyed. It’s so true! That kind of training takes so much time and commitment even when you’re not out running. I need to thank my own family more for that. Also, wow, northerners saying it was so cold means that I’d absolutely be in the medic tent for shock if it was me. Congrats again for doing so well and having such a great attitude come rain or shine!

  13. Love your race recap! My race was similar – kept my throw away hoodie for the first mile I think. Then, tied around my waist and it was so heavy (wet sweatshirt!), but I didn’t want to regret losing it πŸ™‚ I’m just glad it was functional, and not a bath robe or something like some people had at AV. I had a great surprise at the end of the race when I finished – check out my blog if you can (www.techchickadventures.com). The BAA wished me happy birthday!
    Congrats on your great course PR. That rocks!! I didn’t PR, but was so happy I ran a strong race. I gave it my all, and that’s what counts.

  14. Congrats congrats to you and to SIL! What a race in such craptastic conditions. I’m pretty sure that the race this year would have been my worst nightmare. I hate being cold, I hate being wet, I hate wet shoes….. NO. But you pulled out a big win πŸ˜€ And you’re qualified for next year, which is a way bigger deal because I’ll be there πŸ˜€

    • I want to hug you 84,000 times πŸ™‚
      Wet shoes and socks are AWFUL BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
      YES it IS a big deal!!! I plan to use my 3:28:07 time from Baystate (since it was Oct 2014) to get into 2016 …we would be like RIIIGHT next to one another….#pauseforamomenttothinkhowawesomethatwillbe

  15. Once again I’m sooooo proud of you Nicole and I must have been channeling my inner twinnie because today unbeknownst to me I wore my black compression socks for my mile repeats lol πŸ˜‰ and I knew about the weather conditions you guys were dealing so finishing that race with that time and those conditions screams ROCK STAR! 100% πŸ™‚ and as far as the 3:10 and sub 3:00 marathons … it’s not a matter of if but only when for you!!! I have complete confidence in you! πŸ™‚

  16. Congrats on an AMAZING race Nicole! I tracked you and was so happy when I saw you finished in a fantastic time. I know the weather was awful but you rightfully kicked butt! I LOVE the second to last picture of you. You simply look so happy and that’s what running is all about πŸ™‚

  17. I can’t imagine running a marathon in rain and wind! You ran a nice even race considering what was going on weather wise in the later parts! And what an amazing course pr! So cool that you have all these different boston experiences and each has its own special story. Huge congrats once again!

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