race reports, run

the joy of running in the rain… a Boston Marathon 2015 recap

Here I am, eleven days since the Boston Marathon,  still on a runner’s high… I hear the recovery will take 21+ days.. perhaps the post race happiness will last that long too?!

The best feeling is when you race a successful race, knowing you could have done even MORE, but held back. Let’s just say I am pumped up for Tri Season!

If you want to check out my pacing from the race, I posted about this last week.

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My third Boston was my best Boston. No doubt about it. 

This year was something special.  I didn’t want the race to end. I wish I could bottle up how I felt for 26.2 miles and remember it forever. The entire 26.2 miles I smiled, I had goosebumps… not  only because it was cold, but because of the energy of the people cheering me on!

Go Kristin Go! You Got This! Great pace! Look at her go! She’s flying!

I had so much FUN! This is what racing is all about people: HAVING FUN! I don’t know how many times I shouted ‘woooo!!!’ into the crowds, while pumping my fists into the air.. my arms were even sore post race for raising them in the air so many times and giving high-fives. I can honestly tell you I have NEVER had as much fun in a race as I did during the 2015 Boston Marathon. This is why I run, this is why I race.

Here is a little recap of how the days went down leading up to the race:

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Thanks to Kebby from Coeur for the sweet note!

Saturday before the race.

This year, my brother’s girlfriend, Sam was running  and they were in town from Chicago… She also BQ’d and is a speedster! The day started with attending the Boston Marathon Expo where we picked up bibs and purchased our official marathon jackets.  I picked up my bib right next to legendary triathlete, Karen Smyers. I took this as a good omen! Since it was wicked crowded, we didn’t stick around for very long!

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After the expo we took some pics near the finish line!

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Saturday evening

A nice carb loading dinner with family! As much as I wanted a glass of wine, I passed.  I know there are plenty of people who drink red wine before a race, but I always get nervous doing so!  Plus, I’m not a big drinker and my tolerance is literally one glass of wine and I’m good to go, ha.

Sunday morning

A 20 minute shake out run with Sam followed by a  BIG Carb loading breakfast! Give me ALL the pancakes! Then it was time to relax and put my feet up for the day.  I’m a huge advocate of not being on my feet much the day before a big race… less is more!

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Sunday came and went, and before I knew it, I was getting all of my stuff together for race morning.  So much thought had to go into my outfit this year, given the conditions.  I had never ran a race in the rain before (expect for IMMT in August, but it was warm). I took to social media for questions about what to wear and this was helpful! Given the inclement weather, it was really hard to know what to wear/bring/throwaway.  I packed a TON of warm clothes + dry shoes for after the race, knowing that I would be wet and cold!

MUST HAVES for running a Cold/Windy/Rainy marathon

  • Layers are the name of the game! 

  • A throwaway rain jacket ( I bought a cheap one from TJMAxx)

  • Gloves (preferably not cotton ones, they will get soaking wet and cold)

  • Aquaphor… lots of Aquaphor (where your shorts liner is especially and sports bra)

  • Body Glide for the sports bra

  • Clear packing tape to cover your name on your bib (if you handwrite it) so it doesn’t smudge!

  • TriGlide spray for feet… to help with blisters

  • A visor to block the rain from your eyes

  • Socks that are not cotton i.e. sweat wicking fabric

  • Arm Warmers

  • A Trash Bag.  Cut a hole in the top and put it over your head like a poncho.  Use this to stay warm before starting.  Many people even ran WITH their trash bags on… it was that cold.

  • Compression sleeves, to keep the blood flow going!

  • Don’t wear shorts.. I regretted my decision {cold quads}

race gear

Here’s what I wore:

  • Coeur Sports Run Tank in Monaco Grand Prix!

  • Oiselle Arm Warmers 

  • Oiselle Mac Rogas 

  • Oiselle Verrazano Sports Bra

  • Bio Skin Compression Sleeves

  • Fuel Belt Super-Stretch Race Waist Pack

  • HOKA Cliftons ( I swear I’ll never run in anything else ever again)

  • Gloves (cheap pair to throw away)

  • Rain Jacket (cheap jacket to throw away)

  • Lululemon sweat wicking (non-cotton) socks.  I REALLY wanted to wear my BOMBAS socks ,but given the rain I felt it necessary to wear socks that were not cotton.  This would most likely lead to less blisters. I did put on my Bombas immediately post race though!

 

Monday: RACE DAY! Let’s do this!

Due to the late race start at Boston (for my wave it was 10:25 AM) you don’t have to wake up at the a%& crack to get to the race.  I woke up at my normal 5:00 AM time, wide awake and ready to go! I threw on lots of layers to ‘throw away’ before the race started, that would keep me nice and warm.  This included Todd’s fleece pants, an old fleece jacket, my Heat Blanket from Boston last year,  etc… I was warm and toasty!!

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Sam and I met at the train station at 6:30 AM to take the train to the Boston Common, where we caught our bus to take us to the race start. We boarded the bus at around 7:30 AM and it took us about an hour to get to Hopkinton.  It’s a long drive where the nerves definitely are settling in…. you literally drive while seeing signs on the highway for ‘Framingham’,  ‘Wellesley’  and ‘Newton’ which are on the race course. We arrived in Hopkinton at around 8:30.

Once you get to Hopkinton the buses drop you off at Athletes’ Village. Athletes’ village is comprised of two giant fields lined with porta potties and runners waiting for their  wave/corral to start! There were a few tents to protect people from the cold, but they were already packed by the time we got there. SO many people… SO much excitement!!

We a few space blankets and sat on the grass (Boston tip: go to the further Athlete’s Village, not the first one… it’s closer to the corrals). Just as we sat down, a reporter from Runner’s World Magazine came over to talk to us, asking if we wanted to answer some questions .  Of course we said yes! It was reporter, Mark Remy from Remy’s World… here is the post called the Village People.  It was our little brush with ‘fame.’ 🙂

 

photo courtesy of Runner’s World

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After our ‘interview’ Sam french-braided my hair (critical for hair staying put in the rain, strongly recommend this!) and then I got in the ‘bathroom’ line. The line literally took 30+ minutes and by the time I went to the bathroom, they were announcing Wave 2: Corrals 5-8, which included my corral (6). All of the men were just peeing into the bushes, not fair! The good news is, there is another group of porta potties right at the start corrals!

10:25 START gun goes off!

It was cold to start, just waiting in the corral.  I remember standing there and all of a sudden a HUGE gust of wind came, we got a preview of what we were in for! I started off wearing gloves and a cheap rain jacket to throw away. I kept my fleece pants on until the very last minute, when I gave them to a volunteer.

The start was slowww…. but it was good because it forced me to go slow in the beginning! I was getting impatient but I told myself to hold back and not weave in and out of people…. it stays PACKED until about mile 5 when it opens up.  My first mile was my slowest.. 8:00 on the nose. I was supposed to be doing a pace in the 7:30’s at this point.. but I didn’t get too hung up on it, I stayed relaxed.

At around the 5K point, the rain began… and didn’t stop… the kind of sideways rain that even an umbrella on the sidelines wouldn’t help

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At around mile 5, the sea of runners got more spread out (like it does every year) and I finally had some space to find my rhythm. I had my nutrition plan going and my pace was dial-in.  This is where I shed my rain jacket.. but then it started to rain, go figure! It then rained… and rained… off and on… sometimes very heavy,… but I was in such a zone that I didn’t even notice it, I know that sounds crazy… later on though, I was wishing I still had that jacket..

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I kept cruising to the half marathon point where I clocked in at 1:40 (My second half was 1:39)

It was COLD and raw…. so raw that I wore gloves until mile 13, and I had wished I kept them on the entire time. However, they were soaking wet, I think I would have lost that battle either way.

At this point in the race the crowds really pick up!! Around the half marathon point is Wellesley College, where the girls are screaming! The sound is so loud that it sounds like a concert from a mile away.. it really gets you pumped up! It’s easy to get excited running through this section.  My advice would be to take it easy around here, you still have a ways to go.

I knew my family was at mile 17, so I kept kept that in the front of my mind ‘just get to mile 17’ I find it really helpful during a marathon to have ‘check points’ in mind… thinking about the next thing to look forward to keeps you going!

Once I approached mile 17, as the years before, I knew where my family would be standing.  There is a slight downhill going by Newton-Wellesley Hospital, so they can see me coming down the hill.  As I rounded the corner I saw a giant head poster.. OMG it was my head blown up on poster board!! It was hilarious and I almost peed my pants when I saw it.  I wanted to hug everyone in my family who was watching, but I wanted to keep the momentum going! I blew them a kiss and continued on my way… still laughing about my giant head on the sideline!

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And here I am SOOOO happy after seeing my family!!

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Talk about a boost!!

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I continued towards Heart Break hill, which I dominated… practice makes perfect. The four times I trained on Heart Break during the Winter helped prepare me for this day.  Heart break hill seemed easy. I just thought about my training, so many times on that hill, I knew how to tackle it… focus… success!!

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Mile 21-25 quads started to fatigue but  kept pushing on… mind over matter.. I was able to tune out every sensation I was feeling and just kept on moving. I felt like a machine!!

At this point, the crowds got even bigger… I was pumped… at times seeing 7:10 on my watch…

Once you get to ~ mile 24 you see the Citgo sign and the city on the horizon … you know you’re close… the best feeling ever!

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Then there were those last few turns before the Finish Line. R on Hereford St L on Boylston St, amazing as always… I knew I was close to breaking 3:20 and I knew I would have to push it… that final stretch I sprinted with all my might… it seemed like I would never get to the finish line (it’s longer than you think!).  I watched my garmin second by second tick tock tick tock… quads burning… lungs burning… Come on!!!

then I made it…

3:19:06!!

I did it! All I could do was put my hands up in the air and smile.

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After finishing I was FREEZING my buns off. It seemed to take forever to walk and get my space blanket.. shivering.. whining…. crying… teeth chattering… thank you to the volunteer who helped me (thank you to ALL of the volunteers!)

I look happy here (but I was FREEZING)

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Almost succumbed to the med tent because I was shivering so badly…

After what seemed like an hour of walking, I found my family where picked up my dry clothes bag. The BEST part was putting on warm clothes!!

Sam finished her first Boston Marathon in 3:32, so proud of her!

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So beyond grateful for this guy and my family…

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It’s crazy how a marathon can feel like it’s over in 5 minutes.. but this one did. Can’t wait for next year!

 

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19 Comments

  • Reply Hailey May 2, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Way to go, Kristin! I’m so glad you had such a wonderful experience and that you can now use this as some great momentum for your Ironman! 🙂 you’re rolling!!:)

    • Reply Kristin May 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Thank you Hailey!! Very excited for Tri Season.. it’s around the corner!

  • Reply Desiree May 2, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I loved reading this!! Made me remember Boston 09 marathon for me. The huge pictures of your heads that your family had was classic!! That’s Awesome!! Good tips for running in the rain too. In other news, I LOVE my Cliftons. I even talked my good friend and training partner into trying them also. She is hooked too. Now onto Ironman for you…This is YOUR year!!

    • Reply Kristin May 4, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      The big heads were hilarious!! I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw them on the course! SO happy to hear you love your Cliftons!!! I don’t thin I’ll EVER run in anything else! Thank you for the kind words!! xo

  • Reply Abby May 2, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Such an awesome recap, Kristin!! I love that you had so much fun while racing- definitely a great ambassador for the sport 🙂
    And it must be such a confidence booster knowing you PRed and still had some left in the tank.
    So cute you had that much family to cheer you on; I love the poster heads!
    Also, that Coeur tank looks incredible comfortable.

    • Reply Kristin May 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Thank you, Abby!! I honestly had the best time ever! Let’s hope my IM is just as fun! 🙂 The Coeur tank is super comfy, highly recommend it!

  • Reply Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead May 4, 2015 at 2:31 am

    Awesome job, Kristin! This is such an inspiring recap!

    • Reply Kristin May 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you Cassie!! Congrats on your recent marathon lady!

  • Reply Lee@tri*inspired*life May 4, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    So happy for you Kristin and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your recap. It is so cool that you had such a fun and fulfilling race. You post race happiness should totally last longer than you recovery!!!! It sounds like this one was extra special and one that will hold a special place in your heart. Plus, you should ride the wave of excitement and you work toward IM. On those tough training days, that we all have, think back to all these wonderful feelings and pull from them. They will keep you going, for sure!!!

    • Reply Kristin May 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Aww thank you, Lee, really appreciate your positive feedback:) I will absolutely hold this race close to my heart, as I train for my IM! You are totally right here, we need to remember what a GOOD race feels like, especially when the days get tough!

  • Reply Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles May 4, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I was reading this whole thing with my heart racing, even though I knew the outcome. I will say it again and again, YOU KILLED it and I am SO SO incredibly proud of you my friend! Now…let’s get you to KONA!! 🙂 I know you can do it! xo

    • Reply Kristin May 5, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      thank you thank you!!! Really appreciate your support, Sara!! YES now onto Tri season!!! Can’t wait!! xo

  • Reply Lily Lau May 5, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Good job, Kristin! Keep going on! Boston challenge, check 😉

    • Reply Kristin May 6, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you so much, Lily!! 🙂

  • Reply Leslie @ Triathlete Treats May 10, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Congrats!!! Sounds like the race was awesome except for the rain!! 😉

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