2015 Boston Marathon Race Report

The 2015 Boston Marathon was held on April 20th, 2015. And to be honest, I’m not sure what can I recap that I haven’t before? Like many others, I’ve gone mile by mile of the course and placed my best tips forward. The heat wave of 2012? My amazing PR in 2013 (before hell started), the joy of being back in 2014 and then there’s 2015. Cue the womp womp womp.

Boston by it’s design is my favorite race of the year. As a running nerd, I get to hype up on the competitiveness and as a local, I get to partake in one of the Boston sports I actually like. Marathon Monday for me is better than Christmas (and not because I’m Jewish).

By the time I gave in and admitted I am injured, it was March and I had two options.

1. Take time off, take physical therapy and basically give up on running Boston

or

2. Ignore my issue, go through half assed mediocre training and run Boston anyways

yea, it’s no surprise that I went with the kick myself in the foot for a longer term injury option, all for the glory of one day.

I kept my training pretty low key this year with weekly mileage 25-40 miles versus my usual 60-80 miles in prior years. And I have to admit, I miss it. I miss the exhaustion that can only come from too many miles in a week. I know some might call be crazy, but I really love high mileage weeks and it’s constantly making me on small line of depression since I stopped. However, while I wasn’t taking a break to resolve my issue, I was running every other day to try to minimize an increase of inflammation. I’m sure someone whose smarter than me would tell me all the ways I was doing myself more harm than good, but what’s ran is ran.

I took a half day off on Friday to stop by the expo and get my hair done! Nothing says marathon Monday weekend and end of tax season like turning my unintentional ombre back to my Lucius golden (slightly orange) lockes.

So the 2015 expo? Way better than 2014! I got my number within a few minutes on Friday. I sat down and immediately examined my swag and was on the verge of tears when I didn’t see my Boston Marathon Sam Adams Bottle opener. SUPER BUMMED! I don’t keep most race trinkets, but I liked hanging those up in a special Boston marathon hook I have in my kitchen. They gave us a plastic Sam Adams cup, but it’s blah.

The expo itself had some great vendors there and I made sure to leave my money at home, but I really didn’t need more running things, as much as I always WANT more running things.

There were two things that stuck out to my visit. I stopped by Topo Athletics and tried out their shoes on a True Form Runner treadmill… it’s literally a hamster wheel that was one of the hardest miles I ran.

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They had a contest who could run the furthest in 5 minutes each day. I guess since I haven’t heard, I’m probably not the winner =)

The next VIP stop I had to make was Skirt Sports! More on my relationship with them later. Kathrine Switzer was there signing her book. She pretty amazing, and will be running Boston in 2017 in honor of her leading the way for women to run Boston. You know because before 1967, men had this theory that my ovaries would fall right out if I ran more than a 5k. Pfft men! It’s okay, now (or at least when I’m not injured), I get to run past them in a skirt.

I made a note to return to the expo and buy the book, but between a baby shower and other obligations, I never made it back to town.

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After meeting Noelle and Nicole (owner of Skirt Sports), I had to dash to a very late hair appointment. Next time, I need to take my selfies after i get my hair done.

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The streets were literally litered with runners and the city did a great job trying to pretend we’re in Spring, even though most of it still feels like winter.

Saturday, I did my last shake out run, a 4 miler and felt pretty good. A minute a mile slower than last year, but a run is a run.

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Sunday went to brunch and then a baby shower that had a amazing Italian food and I tried to control myself. I have a pretty iron stomach, but I definitely didn’t want to test my limits with pounds of ricotta (no matter how badly I wanted to eat everything).

I taped my foot (excuse my gross callous. I still haven’t made up an opinion on k-tape besides that I think it’s super expensive for what it is and how many rounds I get for $18, but the added support does feel nicer on the heel.

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And then like many others I continued agonizing over the weather as it was looking colder, wetter, windier.  I finally decided on a rain jacket for the added pockets and my favorite Skirt Sports, the Vixen.  Boston marathon 2015 (3)

A DailyMile friend said it best. It will never get NOT weird to go to sleep in my own bed, at my usual time and wake up and head into Boston, only instead of heading to work in the daily grind, I’m running a world marathon! Never.

I woke up at 7:00 and had most of my stuff prepared. My outfit, my throwaway layers (two sweatshirts from a friend and pajama pants), my peanut butter pita bread for the busy).  Left the house at 7:30 and got to the Bus loading area by 7:50 thanks to Tony. had a short little walk to get to the bus loading and was sitting in anxiety by 8am.

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As I looked around the other runners on my bus, it was 95% women, which personally, I thought was pretty cool! The ride to Hopkinton was easy, and I was in the village by 9AM with more than 30 minutes to wait until I can start heading into my corral.

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I usually like to roam a little, stretch my legs and see what’s there. But it was a bit chilly and wet already in the grass field. Instead I found myself a nice corner against some barrel than blocked the wind and sat/napped a bit more.

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It’s the runner or homeless person guessing game

As soon as they told us wave 2 can start in their corrals, I went in. The bathroom lines in the village are always insane, and I know there’s some before the corral loading area so I was holding out for that. Downing a bottle of vitamin water through the bus ride was taking it’s toll.

They did set up something new this year. Usually when they start loading the waves, the corral system is kinda a free for all, where I have never been able to get to my actual corral. It’s 8,000 people! This time, they put us all in this caging area, and like us go in 2 corrals at a time so for the first time in my 4 year history, I actually made it to my corral!

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The time in the corral flew by because before I knew it everyone around me was running!

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The thing with Boston Marathon is that if you start with your corral, you are literally running with others at your best PR pace. I qualified with a 3:22 and so did everyone around me and they were gunning to beat it. Trying to take it easy was damn near impossible without being trampled. I stayed to the side and tried to not freak out about everyone passing me. Even with trying my best to keep it slow, my first 5K ended up being a 7:45 pace.  Last year I would have credit to be that slow as I was trying to go 7:15, this year was the opposite. I was really trying to keep an 8:30ish pace.

By 10K, I was getting a little bit more into my rhythm. I was trying my best to not get intimidated about everyone running by me. I saw a girl with crutches doing the race in worse shape than me.

Here’s the thing about Boston. We all qualify to get there at our best. What shape we show up to to actual run varies across the board. I did take walk breaks earlier than I ever would have in the past. People kept beating my back with words of encouragement. I did appreciate this spirit and on any other race, I would have dug deep and pushed on. However, on this day, I didn’t want the dig deep to push through the pain to lead to more pain later on. I know my logic makes no sense to a sane person, but it had it’s own flow to how I was justifying what I was doing.

By mile 8 it started to pour, and any time it would slow down to rain, the wind picked up. I remember after the 10K mark, just telling myself it’s another 20 mile training run. I’ve done them in more misery with less desire than today. I told myself to ignore the crowd, ignore all the other runners, and just get it done.

Sometime after mile 15, I started to get really cold and stiff up. There was a medic tent every mile and I would eye ball it each time. I contemplated stopping by for something warm, but I also wasn’t sure if I would continue if I stopped and DNF was not an option for me today. I have no shame in DNFs, but there’s just certain things you don’t DNF unless it’s life threatening. For me that’s Boston.

At mile 19, I finally saw my friend Sonia. Before that I saw my roommate at mile 7 or so and for the most part, unlike other years the race was a bit lonely. The weather made most people decide to go to work instead of partaking in day drinking. I couldn’t blame them. Hell, if I wasn’t running, I would be crawled up in bed on a day like this.

The hills of Newton came and went, and to be honest, compared to last year, they didn’t feel too bad. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t feel like a slide either. But I guess since I’ve been struggling to get myself moving since mile 10, the struggle on the hills didn’t seem any bigger than the struggle on the flats.

Nothing get’s me happier than hitting the 21 mile mark or so around Cleveland circle. After living in the area for so long before I moved to Malden, there’s a certain comfort in knowing that I’ve walked this path soo many times in college, from sober to drunk, from friendly to a, shit the T stopped running and now I gotta walk home. I know that from Cleveland circle to Kenmore can be done. I can outline the terrain in my mind from memories alone. And then there’s the comfort of passing by so much familiarity only instead of alone, I’m surrounded by all these other strangers form all over the wrong.

around mile 23 is Coolidge corner, where I spotted a bunch of friends from the area on the left and they took this photo!

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I may be pale, I may be tired and cold, but if I see a familiar face, I put on a good show 😉

Our other friend was on the other side because crossing for spectators was impossible. I’m excited for him, as he’ll be running his first Boston next year!

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and then the final 5K. The final 5K is always like a scene in slow motion. There’s lots of crowds and cheers, and you want to keep putting on the show, but I never pace myself well enough to not feel like death at mile 24. I guess that’s why I keep running this race year by year. Each year hoping for something better out of myself.

I don’t know how it happened, but I somehow missed Tony and Adrienne. They were in Audobon circle and I kept looking for them. Tony had dry socks and Adrienne had her amazing cookie waiting for me. Two things I was ready to kill to get my hands on and didn’t see =(

As I was going towards Kenmore, I saw Tony’s family and group bringing me a little extra energy for that final 1.5 miles. As I went to Boylston, I searched the crowds for anything familiar as I still couldn’t find Tony or Adrienne, but to no luck. And just like that, as I couldn’t imagine how this race could be going any slower, it ended.

I crossed the finish line with many others. Just another race in the running crowd.

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I think because of the cold, they took pity on the runners, and instead of making me walk the rest of the Boylston down to the gardens just to come back up to Clarendon, I was able to cut straight into the John Hancock tower. My office lobby was packed with runners and family. Usually they kick anyone without a pass out, but I guess the cafe saw the cold as great business so they let people hang around. I changed, sat by a co-workers space heater and slowly ventured back downstairs to meet Adrienne and Tony where I finally got my cookie, but no socks! Tony left them in the car which was all the way in Alston. We met up with more friends at Sunset so some margaritas, nachos and burgers. Because nothing says Marathon, like nachos and tequila.

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Net Time4:10:14

Overall 20559/26610

Gender 8595/12022 (Female)

Division 4490/6011 (F18-39 Age Group)

It’s not the best time, it’s not the worst time, but I can proudly say it’s my time and it was earned through the struggle, sweat and joy.

2015 Boston Marathon Week Events

Ahhh… I filed my taxes and it’s not the end of my tax season tunnel time where I can return to the more fun things in life… like more running and more thinking about running.

Speaking of which… my favorite week of the year is about to start!

That’s right, we’re in the weather checking zone of the Boston Marathon!

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One day, I would love to run a PR at Boston, and do something impressive, but until then Boston is about fun for me. Always been and always should be. The spirit of running just takes over Boston and I absolutely love it! Suddenly everything is all about Boston Pride and running pride and all the fun stuff. I’m not into a lot of other sports so I miss out on the spirit of that during most seasons (Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, yea meh not my thing, except Hockey, go Bruins!).  It’s a great time to be a runner the week before and after Boston and it”s an even better time to be partaking in it all surrounded by friends and family since I’m local to the area.

The week before Boston, all the running related legends come into town and I want to put together a little weekly recap of what’s out there. If I missed anything, let me know!! If you’re planning on attending any of these, let me know!

I tried to keep most event with free stuff and free food because you know where my priorities are at. I did include a few paid events in town as well.

Tuesday, April 14

6:00-9:00 p.m. – Adidas Event: City Sports Back Bay (480 Boylston Street). Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon Director, will speak followed by a 2-3 mile shake out run. After the run, join us for a FREE pasta party courtesy of Adidas. Limited details and other events here

6:30 PM – She Runs Boston 1st Run of 2015 and shopping event hosted by Athleta (92 Newbury Street). Facebook event deets here. I hope to stop by this one.

Thursday, April 16

6:00-9:00 p.m. – Brooks Lobster Event: City Sports Back Bay (480 Boylston Street). Stop by City Sports to celebrate the launch of the new Brooks lobster shoe. Enjoy a 2-3 mile fun run followed by FREE lobster rolls, a live DJ, and raffle prizes. All attendees will receive a special gift from Brooks. Limited details and other events here

Friday, April 17

2:00 PM – Boston Marathon expo opens! http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/expo-and-number-pick-up.aspx 

5:00 p.mAsics Store (328 Newbury St.) Bring your friends for an evening shake-out run hosted by Olympic medalist Deena Kastor and Runner’s World Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso. Evening will include:

· Fun run offered to runners of all levels
· Post –run refreshments
· Race day tips from Bart + Deena
· Chance to check out the latest Asics apparel and running shoes
· Secure bag check during run

FREE ASICS Gift Bag for the first 50 runners who attend.

Going to try to attend this too! Facebook details

6:00-9:00 p.m. – Converse Event: City Sports Back Bay (480 Boylston Street). . Join City Sports for an awesome event sponsored by Converse. Enjoy free giveaways, a live DJ, and refreshments. Limited details and other events here

7:00 p.m.Harvard Book Store and Runner’s World welcome Skechers Performance elite athlete MEB KEFLEZIGHI, winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon, 2009 New York City Marathon, Olympic Silver Medalist, and founder of the MEB Foundation, for a discussion of his book Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think and Eat like a Champion Marathoner. The evening will be hosted by Runner’s World Editor-in-Chief DAVID WILLEY, who will be joined on the panel by 1968 Boston Marathon champion and long-time Runner’s World editor AMBY BURFOOT, TCS New York City Marathon Race Director MARY WITTENBERG, and Meb for Mortals co-author SCOTT DOUGLAS.

Lots of cool people will be there but the event is not free. $25 will get you in and a copy of Meb’s new book that I think is presigned.

Tickets can purchased online only.

Saturday, April 18

9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Boston Marathon expo opens! http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/expo-and-number-pick-up.aspx 

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Janji Shakeout Run: City Sports Back Bay (480 Boylston Street). Prepare for 26.2 with Janji and City Sports! Join us for a short shake out run followed by refreshments and a Coach Greg McMillan meet and greet. Limited details and other events here

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Join Meb Keflezighi and coach Greg McMillan and learn the secrets to Boston Marathon success! Meet and greet from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lenox Hotel, 61 Exeter St. at Boylston, Dome Room, 2nd floor. All attendees receive a free UCAN sample pack and autographed photo of Meb! Please register at: generationucan.com/bostonmeb  I’m hoping to stop by this!

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.City Sports Back Bay (480 Boylston Street). Customize all of your official Adidas BAA apparel at City Sports! Limited details and other events here

12:00 p.m. – Best-selling author Christopher McDougall (“Born to Run”) will be in town on marathon weekend promoting his new book, “Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance.” There’s a free run involved but then a 2PM & 7PM event that require tickets. More info on Facebook event!

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Lululemon (337 Newbury street) Marathon Mantra Henna – Running The Boston Marathon this year? Come join us in store and have your favorite running mantra (henna) tattooed on your arm! There is no better reminder to stay focused and motivated as you cruise over heartbreak hill than glancing down to see your favorite words of inspiration. No appointment necessary and tattoos will be given on a first come, first serve basis. See you there!Facebook details

2:00-5:00 p.m. – New Balance Fresh Foam Event City Sports Back Bay (480 Boylston Street). Celebrate the New Balance Fresh Foam Limited Edition Boston shoe with City Sports! Stop by our back Bay location and try on a New Balance Fresh Foam and receive a free grilled cheese from Roxy’s Grilled Cheese!

4:00 p.m. – Tracksmith: Please join us on Saturday to celebrate the release of METER Magazine Issue #01.

METER is a quarterly journal of reportage and gorgeous photography that re-establishes a connection between the sporting heritage of running and its current group of participants and fans. Meet some of the contributors and enter a raffle to win limited-edition prints of some of the featured photography.

Sunday, April 19

8:00 p.m.  – Land’s End & Runners world – Come run with the Editors of Runner’s World, including Bart Yasso and Elizabeth Comeau, and check out the new activewear line from Lands’ End! Light refreshments will be served after the run. Location:  Sheraton Boston, Backback Ballroom A, 39 Dalton Street, Boston, MA!Facebook details

9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Boston Marathon expo opens! http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/expo-and-number-pick-up.aspx 

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Janji Shakeout Run: City Sports Back Bay (480 Boylston Street). Prepare for 26.2 with Janji and City Sports! Join us for a short shake out run followed by refreshments and a Coach Greg McMillan meet and greet. Limited details and other events here

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.City Sports Back Bay (480 Boylston Street). Customize all of your official Adidas BAA apparel at City Sports! Limited details and other events here

Monday, April 20

It’s race day, come cheer me on! Outfit of the day will be posted to Instagram! I am starting around 10:30 and hoping for a 4 hour glory finish if all goes well. Simply text my Bib Number 11887  to 234567 using your US mobile phone for all the details as I slow down mile by mile in my usually glory.

Tuesday, April 21

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.City Sports Back Bay (480 Boylston Street). Medal engraving at City Sports! Limited details and other events here