It’s crazy to think that this was my SEVENTH Boston Marathon!! How insane is that… and also, how did that happen?
The first time I ran the Boston Marathon, I was living in Florida.
The first time I ran the Boston Marathon, I had only run three marathons.
The first time I ran the Boston Marathon, I didn’t have a blog.
The first time I ran the Boston Marathon, I had no idea what to expect.
All those things have changed a ton over the past nine years, and despite that last one, even knowing what to expect when going to Boston doesn’t take away any of the specialness of the fact that you are there and you are running THE. BOSTON. MARATHON.
So, let’s talk about the 2019 Boston Marathon
Life has been a little crazy over here. We got engaged and in that same week, I accepted a new job for a baller company (more on that later) and dealt with a ton of life changes all at once. I worked from Santa Barbara the first week of April, which, can we just talk about how beautiful it was?
What does all of this have to do with the marathon? Well, let’s just say that my mind wasn’t exactly focused on this year’s race and overanalyzing my training, the weather, every step of the way. Don’t get me wrong! I was super excited and honored to be running the race; my focus was just a little bit different compared to other years that I’ve run the race.
I don’t think the excitement hit me until the Friday before we left… when I knew that the latest snowstorm wasn’t going to cancel our flights (remember last year, there was a crazy snowstorm in Minnesota that Saturday… and a ton of people didn’t get out? Yeah, not cool).
We got into Boston late on Saturday and met up with Jen and her husband for some dinner and dessert. I have been told that the night before the night before of the marathon (so Saturday night) is the most important night for sleep so I took advantage and slept in as much as possible.
Then it was off to the expo and all the fun that goes along with that! Luckily, it wasn’t as packed as Jen said it was on Saturday (the line was wrapped around the block). We spent a long time in line waiting for the Brooks vending machine…
…and won some little swag from Brooks but didn’t get the free shoes! Bummer.
Otherwise, the expo was pretty uneventful — I was on the hunt for some arm warmers and a trucker hat because at this point, they were predicting rain like we had in 2018, but just a little warmer.
We left there and went to Rabbit, where I got some arm sleeves, and then headed to Marathon Sports, where I got a trucker. Both were going to be useless on race day, but little did I know…
From there, we hit a patio to relax for the afternoon and headed to dinner with Jen and her husband before our last sleep before Boston!
Every other year, I’ve stayed at the Westin or the Intercontinental, so this was new because we were at the Hyatt Recency Boston, which as so close to Boston Common and a quick walk to the buses!
Jen and I met up at 7 a.m. that morning and were greeted with this:
GREAT. A repeat of last year, is all we could think as we walked to the buses, dodging puddles and trying to keep our feet as dry as possible.
Once we got on the bus, it tapered off a bit… and by time we were in Hopkinton, it felt a little humid. Luckily the Runner’s Village wasn’t as muddy of a mess as it was last year! (And P.S., I DID remember my watch this year… thank you everyone for the AM texts to remind me, ha!)
I snacked on an everything bagel and a Honey Stinger Waffle and they were calling our bib colors to head to the start. Jen and I were both in Wave 3 and seriously, it makes it so much better to have a friend that goes through the bus ride, Runner’s Village, and to the corrals with you.
We started out together, even though Jen had some awesome goals in mind.
And now about the actual race
I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do and I knew from previous years, that it’s a trap to go out too fast when you’re running Boston… your legs feel fresh, there’s SO much excitement, and there’s that downhill. But, that hurts in the future, so I tried to keep it as slow as I could for those first few miles.
8:22, 8:03, 8:06, 7:56, 8:16
At this point, I could feel the humidity… and honestly, was just hoping that it would start pouring on us. My feet were already soaked from the AM and it would have felt pretty good. I had my arm warmers rolled down as far as they would go and started to make it a priority to get Gatorade and dump water on my head at every single aid station.
8:00, 7:59, 8:06, 8:00, 8:11
I think I was overzealous at this point but, like I said, it’s hard to hold back with all the excitement and when you’re feeling good! The clouds shifted and the sun started blazing through.
Which, for a girl that just went through a long Minnesota winter, not the most ideal running conditions.
Funny story: When I hit mile 10, I was super confused because I swore that I was on mile eight. Does this happen to anyone else while they run? But so happy it was not.
8:15, 8:10, 8:14, 8:57
And… this is when it all came crashing down. I don’t think I’ve ever crashed so hard in a race before (except for maybe my 50 miler). I got a terrible side ache and tried not to walk for a few yards, but it was hurting SO bad that I knew I had to. So I did. I think I took in wayyy too much fuel (the fear of the sun) and it was catching up to me.
I walked for a bit, and then started running. I made a deal with myself: I could be miserable and hate everything until mile 16, and that’s when I had to get things back together.
And I did! I told myself that I could walk through the water stations and that once I got past Heartbreak, no more walking because Brandon was somewhere around there and I didn’t want him to see me walking. #marathonlogic
9:29, 9:06, 8:51, 9:24, 9:36
I always forget how stinking hard the Newtons are… and Heartbreak is just as hard, but kinda not because you know you are over it… literally… at that point. And I love running past all the college kids!
8:32, 8:25, 8:35
At this point, I was feeling great and starting to get my head back in the game. I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to see Brandon, so I was looking for him from 21-23, until I saw him right after 23, and boy, that was such a good distraction! The miles really flew by and it helped to get my focus back. Future spectator strategy?
I finished pretty strong and it was awesome to have some energy left in me and not feel like death like I have in the past.
I finished the 2019 Boston Marathon with a 3:45.25!
My goal for this race was to run a 3:45 or better, and I hit it right on the head. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to describe how amazing it is to run this course, even if it is a tough race day. And, how the minute you are done, even as you are hobbling back to your hotel, how you can’t wait to do it all again.