Boston Marathon - RunMarathon

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Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Boston Athletic Association
50F / 10C
Total Time = 3h 13m 16s
Overall Rank = 4367/27000
Age Group = 18F-39F
Age Group Rank = 377/5990
Pre-race routine:

I'm glad you asked!


I decided that since I was already flying to Boston and since I had never been to NYC I may as well make a trip of it. So, that is just what I did. I stayed in Brooklyn (Williamsburg to be specific)in a REALLY cool hostel.

I got into JFK, took the subway to Brooklyn, dropped my stuff off, changed into running gear and ran across the Williamsburg bridge into midtown. I went straight across midtown to check out the High Line ( The High Line used to be an old elevated rail road that has now been converted to a wonderful park. It is beautiful, and perhaps one of my very favorite places in the world. The juxtaposition of the High Line and Times Square is quite fantastic.

I ate dinner in the park and then headed to Times Square, checked out Rockefeller Plaza then headed back to Brooklyn. There is a really neat music venue called the Union Pool where I watched some live music then headed home to bed.

The Next morning I woke up, took the subway into Manhattan and then ran down to the Brooklyn Bridge, around lower Manhattan and up along the Hudson back to the High Line again (can you tell I love this place?)Then I had some badazz German Potato Salad on the steps of the HUGE Post Office before heading back to Brooklyn to check out the Brooklyn Brewery and a Nets game at Barclays. After the Nets game I checked out a few brew houses (notice a theme here?) then headed back to my hostel.

The next morning I had to a workout on the local track. After my workout I was cooling down and was approached by a ginormous man (who's name was Kiki :) ) who said he would like to coach me. I told him I wasn't from the area but appreciated the offer. ha!

After the workout I headed back to Manhattan to this AMAZING ramen house my cousin recommended before hopping a bus to Boston. Seriously, this trip was all about great beer and amazing food.

I managed to talk my way onto an earlier bus since I was already there. Perfect!

A little side note, the people in NY were phenomenal! They were so friendly, funny and helpful. I was very, very pleased. I know it's hard to make such an overarching generalization for 8 million people but I am going to anyhow.


Got to Boston and VERY randomly met up with my Physical Therapist friend from back in Seattle. She just so happened to be at the same bus station at the same time. We had planned to meet but had not planned the when and the where. I love it when things work out like that. We headed into Chinatown and had some beers until my cousin came and picked me up. He lives right there in South Boston near Chinatown and the Boston Common. I dropped my stuff off at his place (where I would be staying for the next week) and then we met my family for dinner (about half of them flew in that evening.)

My family was staying in a suburb just outside of the city. The next morning they met me at my cousin's apartment and we caught the subway up to the Sam Adams Brewery for the tour. After the tour we caught this little booze cruise trolley over to a bar and then jumped back on the trolley (after stopping at the store for beer) to check out some more of the city. This was a blast. After the tour my brother, sister in law and cousin and I headed across the street to a drag bar. They eventually had to head back to their place but I stuck around and chatted it up for a few hours. I tell ya, you go ANYWHERE in Boston and these people just LOVE their marathon. Everyone in the bar got my bib number and were so excited! They even alternated buying me beer and making me drink water so that I could be nice and hydrated for the race. Finally the drag show started, I watched some of it but finally had to go to bed. This was a LONG day!

Picture of my hop-hand

The next morning the fam came over again and we took the T up to Harvard to check out my cousin's alma mater. It was freezing cold and rainy though so after a VERY short jaunt through the campus we found shelter in a ... you guessed it, a brew house!!! I had some of the most amazing lobster mac n' cheese though! It was a great find. We headed to the expo to pick up my bib and everything. It had not really occurred to me that running in Boston meant anything to anyone else but my family was just beaming. My brother was nearly in tears. It was very sweet. Later in the evening I got to meet up with a fellow BTer and Manatee Brie and her husband James! I tried to talk them into going to the drag bar again with us but to no avail.

On Saturday we walked the freedom trail (and I found waffles and poutine!!!!!!!!) and then picked up my sister from the airport. Afterwards we went up to where my family was staying where they made signs for the marathon. This was hilarious and maybe a little awkward to watch them make sings for me. We went out to dinner and then I was spent and had to go home.

J (my partner) and my cousin arrived EARLY Sunday morning. They were staying with me at my cousin's place downtown so they both went and slept a few hours while I made them breakfast. After breakfast we all met up and headed to Fenway for the Red Sox game. Oh man, Fenway park was AMAZING. It's hard to describe what it was like but I just loved it! We all had our Red Sox gear on and got really into the game, yelling and screaming. It was a blast. I had my ceremonial "pre race" beer at the game. It was pretty great. Once we got back from the game we headed out to meet a friend for dinner. I had run Ragnar Miami with her and she was in town to watch her boyfriend run. You know she is good people because when she said she had a dinner reservation and I told her I had a +9 it didn't even phase her. On the way to dinner we did this hilarious family photo shoot in the Boston Common. After dinner (prime rib, mashed potatoes and a kick azz salad) we headed back and J and I watched Happy Gilmore. I found myself doing lots and lots of things that didn't have to do with running just to keep my mind off of the marathon so I didn't get too nervous. Funny movies certainly help.

On another pre-race nutrition note, I had been putting rotten milk in my coffee all week!! I had noticed it looked a little cottage-cheesy in my coffee but thought it was just curdling because of the hot water. Apparently not. My sister sniffed the jug of milk and nearly passed out.

Event warmup:

Woke up and could already hear the news helicopters circling above Boston Common. Grabbed some oatmeal and coffee and headed out to catch the shuttle. The lines were ca-raaaaaaaa-zy! It took me about 50 minutes waiting in line just to get on. I didn't care though. It was amazing to be around all of these people who were here to run the effing Boston Marathon!!! Finally I got on the shuttle. This is where I just wanted to disconnect for a little while (and not freak out about the fact it takes 1.5 hours for the shuttles to cover the distance I would soon be running.) I put my headphones in and just let my mind wander (no, I'm not telling you what I was thinking about ;) ) I was jolted back to reality when someone accidentally opened the emergency door on our bus and the driver had to pull over.

Finally we got Hopkinton and got off the shuttle. I looked to the woods on the right and could literally see scores of runners pissing in the woods! Ohhhh runners. I walked into the athlete's village and immediately found a porta. Some of the best advice I had gotten was my friend Ann's boyfriend told me not to worry about hydrating until I got to Hopkinton. I was SO glad. I may have peed my seat on the shuttle. Anyway, I ended up going 3 times!

Full disclosure: my sister in law and I had been taking pictures of our feet when we went to the restroom all week (don't ask) so I took a picture of my feet in the porta. There was a small square of TP on the floor and she commented back, "I hope that TP doesn't stick to your shoe for the race!" As it turned out, there was no other TP and I had to use that tiny little square off the floor! Ahhh runners.

Anyway, after my 3rd time in the porta it was time to head out to the corral which is a pretty long walk from the village. I dropped off my stuff at the bus with my corresponding number and made my way to the street. About half way to the coral I ducked the fence and went and did some warming up on the side street. Once I was finished I ran into my training partner Andie from back home in Seattle. I couldn't believe it!!! She was the one person I hadn't been able to meet up with in Boston and here she was, in a crowd of 20K+ We were able to chat all the way to the coral and then we parted ways.

  • 3h 13m 16s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 23s  min/mile

I felt calm and collected when the race started. The city had been so welcoming I was just excited to run this thing! I had a huge smile on my face from the first second we started.

The thing was, yes, I have been training very diligently but this fits into a much bigger plan. Today, April 15, 2013, I was not going to win the race. All I needed to do was run back to Boston and enjoy myself on the way. Of course I needed to make it all the way back, and the quicker the better but that was it. No pressure. Do you know how liberating that idea is?

The portion of the course from Hopkinton to Ashland is very steep. My goal was to take the first 5K very slow and relaxed and run the hills as smooth as possible. I feel I can give myself a huge pat on the back for a job well done. I felt like I was hardly touching the ground. I wasn't even breathing out of my mouth. The crowds were thick immediately. I LOVED it. I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea that these people took time out of their day to come and cheer us on! I was just smiling my azz off.

The families lined up in Ashland were so sweet an energetic. I passed the clock tower feeling energetic and alive. Next I passed Framingham station and knew I was getting close to the 10K mark where I would take a gel and where I knew you all would get the first split. That idea was very exciting. I saw the photo mat somewhere in here too and did a beautiful heel click (see below.)

I made it through Natick and was feeling fantastic. Some kids were playing Beyonce and I did my best "Put a Wring On It" This backfired a little because I think all the guys thought that I was indicating I was single.

I was getting very excited as I knew the Screech Tunnel was coming up. I was also gathering my strength so that I wouldn't be persuaded by one of the Wellesley girls to cross into the dark side. An old man caved and made his way along the row of beautiful women getting as many kisses as he could. It was hilarious. The women were so enthusiastic and beautiful and their signs were hilarious. I definitely slowed a little reading them all, yes READING. Well, alright, mostly reading. Some reading.

The halfway point was coming up which meant I could take another gel and you guys were getting another split! I felt smooth and efficient and full of energy. I started chatting with a guy along the way. He was from Cleveland and was raving about how much he loves Seattle. We were talking about how absolutely wonderful the spectators were.

We crossed the Charles River and were in Newton and I knew it was hill time. I was passing people like crazy on the hills. I should mention that my BQ was 3:22 something so I was starting in a little slower wave. What was especially wonderful was the way the people were cheering. Sure they were cheering us on but they were paying special attention to those who were struggling up the hills. It melted my heart.

I got to mile 17 and knew my family would be in sight soon. I was just giddy. As I approached the 90 degree turn onto 30 I saw my family and just went nuts. I did the Usain Bolt, the Mo Farah and my own version, the Adrienne (which is like the Mo but an "A" instead of the "M") My brother ran along side me with his gopro and I gave high fives. It was great.

More hills came and went. I felt strong. My coach had told me to run strong, not fast and that is what I was trying to do.

I made it up heartbreak without actually knowing it was heartbreak but once I saw the crazy Boston College kids I knew. One of them had a mini keg on their back and I saw one of the runners go over and grab a drink. I was really tempted.

Now I was into the final stretch. I should have brought another gel. Actually, I did bring another to Boston but had left it in my bag. Darn. Ah well. I knew I would slow a bit here so I just embraced the crowds and let them take me to the finish. Well, and one little other thing.

At about mile 23 or so I noticed an AWFUL smell. I looked around immediately to try and figure out who the eff farted (you can always tell.)

I immediately regretted looking around because what I saw was awful. A woman was literally crapping her shorts in front of me. All I could think about was crossing the finish line and having to mingle around with her so I hammered it. I wanted to GTFO!!!! That's when, thank goodness, I saw the Citgo sign and Fenway park.

I was pretty much at the limits of my energy stores and was running on fumes but the woman's poopy shorts were fuel enough.

I took the hard left onto Boylston and soaked it all in. The AMAZING crowds screaming and the realization I was going to finish my first Boston Marathon. I felt like everyone was there cheering just for me. I have never been so overwhelmed with emotion from a race.

What would you do differently?:

I played the whole thing fairly well. If I wanted to shave some time off I could have been less silly, remembered that last gel and run a less challenging course :) But the things that were in my control, I wouldn't change for the world.
Post race
Warm down:

I just wanted to sit down but we had to snake through the finish area to pick up our medals, recovery stuff and finally our checked bags. My brain doesn't function very well after races and I missed a turn and ended up having to go all the way back to pick up my stuff. I was SO tempted to take the volunteers up on their wheel chair offers but figured there were people who really needed them.

Again, the volunteers were just soooo nice. They seemed to genuinely care about you and what you needed. Additionally they were very informative. A+++++++ (think of that part in A Christmas Story)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

-It was a pretty tough course. The downhills were steep and relentless and the uphills were draining and come in at a difficult time in the race.

-Just need more experience running

-Learning how to really suffer

I know I have a much faster marathon in me. Just you wait.

Event comments:

Now finally, the elephant in the room. I finished before the bombs went off. The lines to get our stuff were very, very long and I had (in my post marathon delirium) missed a turn for the correct bus to get my belongings so I had to go back, against the traffic to pick it up. Definitely not the thing you want to do after running 26.2. Anyway, by the time I got my stuff and met my family at the "S" sign, it was about 45 minutes later. We walked back to my cousin's apartment and that's when we heard the BOOM then BOOM. I don't think any of us thought anything of it. I figured it was either from one of the construction site or maybe some sort of fire works. We got back to the apartment and I took a shower and stuff. When I came out my family was at the window watching all of the police and fire trucks go by. That's when my mom came up the stairs (from getting coffee) and said she heard there was a bomb. My cousin doesn't have a TV so we jumped on the internet and got all of our information from there. Once we got a slight picture of what was going on I posted on FB that we were alright. It's lucky I did too because shortly after I posted our phone lines and texting got all jammed up.

What was worse is that I recognized Bill Iffrig ( )as one of my running club mates and they were first reporting him as having been hit by shrapnel. Additionally we had a friend who would have been finishing around that time that we could not get a hold of. As it turned out Bill was fine and so were the other people we knew.

Of course this whole thing was heart breaking. I've experience a whole range of emotions and I imagine I will for a long time. But the thing that I will hold with me forever is the humanity. People acting without thinking. People running back towards the blasts to help one-another. People loving one another, complete strangers. There was an outpouring of support everywhere I looked. I will never, ever forget that. The human race is fuck off powerful in the face of tragedy. I love my fellow humans more because of this and my desire to keep running has never been stronger.

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Last updated: 2012-09-12 12:00 AM
03:13:16 | 26.2 miles | 07m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 377/5990
Overall: 4367/27000
Performance: Average
The weather was pretty damn perfect. It was sunny yet chilly. IDEAL. The one thing was a 7-10 MPH head wind which became VERY apparent in the last few miles. It was no 85 degrees though so I can't complain TOO much!
Course: The course runs through 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) of winding roads, following Route 135, Route 16, Route 30 and city streets into the center of Boston, where the official finish line is located at Copley Square, alongside the Boston Public Library. The race runs through eight Massachusetts cities and towns: Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston.[29] The Boston Marathon is considered to be one of the more difficult marathon courses because of the Newton hills, which culminate in Heartbreak Hill near Boston College.[30] While the three hills on Commonwealth Avenue (Route 30) are better known, a preceding hill on Washington Street (Route 16), climbing from the Charles River crossing at 16 miles (26 km), is regarded by Dave McGillivray, the long-term race director, as the course’s most difficult challenge. This hill, which follows a 150-foot (46 m) drop in a half-mile stretch, forces many lesser-trained runners to a walking pace.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5