Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Boston Marathon 2014 in Bullets

Boston 2014 was an event to be cherished.  It was so much more than a marathon.  It was history.  Love.  Community.  Strength.  Healing.  I wasn't going to write much of a blog post on this race this time. I know I mentioned it a bit in my recent post on Post Marathon Funk but I didn't give much detail on the actual trip/race.   I'm having a hard time finding the words.  I mean, how do I even go about capturing this year...this race?  My entire Boston experience was so much more than I'm ready to capture adequately but I do feel some sort of pull to process some of it through writing so a bullet post it is for now!

Lots of special little things in our bags this year.  This sticker just might make it to my car someday when I drive something other than a minivan.  And what a special idea with this bracelet that was made from one of the limited edition 2013 Boston Marathon street banners.  "It is an authentic piece of the world's most historic race.  Please wear it to honor all who were affected as well as a symbol of support for the Boston Athletic Association, the Boston Marathon and the City of Boston." 

  • What a memorable year to be in Boston for the marathon!  We drove the whole family there, stayed with dear friends, reunited with more special friends and took part in one of the most amazing races in the history of marathons!  Boston is probably my favorite city in the U.S...such a mix of beauty, history, vibrance, spirit, and charm.  It is a city I hope to return to again and again for it surely holds a piece of my heart.  
  • I haven't written much about my Boston training this time.  I've kept things quiet and taken a break from being so open with my workouts. A season in my life.  
  • This has been one of the most successful and strong training cycles I've ever had.  I had an awesome coach who planned some really perfect for me workouts along the way.  Since my plan was tailored just to me, I was able to give and take in ways that helped me avoid injury and overtraining like I have experienced in the past.  
  • I went into Boston quietly confident and peaceful.  Ready to be with friends, share Boston with my family (road trip!), embrace and soak up the love and healing that was there with Boston Strong, and run a strong race.  
  • I really had no doubts that I had a PR in me.  But as with many race day realities, things don't always go according to expectation.  
  • Boston held true to her past reputation with me and proved to be a course that challenges me like no other.  
  • I was far from racing a PR but I did run a time I was proud of on race day and I didn't let my disappointment take away from Boston 2014 as a whole.  This was my 4th Boston and my fastest one yet.  I'm proud of this.  
  • My post race thoughts on Facebook:  Thank you all for the love, support, and encouragement today! Wow! What an amazing year to run The Boston Marathon!! Truly an honor. Hard race/course as always. Lots of throwing up at mile 20 and after that, I was just happy ....beyond relieved really...to make it to the finish. 3:28:xx...I'll take it. 10 min off of goal but a Best time for this course!! So many emotions in being here. Mostly Happy and Honored!! Cheers Friends! Love Wins!! And can this running community get any more amazing???!
  • I had the ideal training schedule.  I was able to run many of my runs on a soft trail in a most beautiful place around a lake!  Very little of my runs were on the treadmill this time.  In the past, almost all of my marathon training runs were treadmill runs.  So nice to have been able to be outside so much.  Again, no excuses for not having run my best race.  Just didn't happen.  
  • At the end of this training cycle 7:20s-7:30s  felt easy and strong.  I had that pace!  Almost as if I could run it in my sleep. Seemed like a given that I could maintain a slower pace for the marathon.  But nothing is a given on race day.  
  • I could reflect all day on all the things that could have gone differently in order to run a better race but it is what it is. I didn't have it.  Again, I'm proud of what I did do on race day.  Another race.  But Boston 2014 was surely not just a race.  There was so much more to this experience than a time on the clock.   
  • Weather.  I personally though the weather was perfect!  I know some found it to be hot but I suppose it is just what you are used to and what you prefer.  It was mid 60s (I think...don't know specific temp) with a slight breeze.  My past marathons have been so HOT that this one seemed like a gift.  Boston 2004 was 87 degrees, Boston 2012 90 degrees, Newport 2011 80s, two July Marathons, and Napa Valley the second time was in the 70s.  I'll gladly take the 60s!! 
  • My race splits show that I started to struggle at mile 17 as is the case for  most people that run Boston...the hills of Newton!  I planned for my splits to be slower here but I had hoped to keep them right around 7:45. I guess Newton had other plans.  I started getting sick around that time too and managed to hold it all in until mile 20.  At mile 20 I lost everything.  I just stopped and threw up again and again until it was all gone.  This was my first time throwing up in a race.  Stupid Power Gel...I should have known better than to take that.  I thought that maybe it would go down easier since it is more watery than the other gels but I should have known not to try something new on race day.  By the time I started running again, I saw a 12 or 13 min mile.  ugggh!  Managed to get it down quite a bit and run my next mile strong but then I was toast!!  My last section of the race was at a 6:3x pace...this tells me that I had more than I thought left in the tank.  A disappointing feeling for sure!  My splits:  7:36, 7:26, 7:21, 7:28, 7:36, 7:33, 7:33, 7:38, 7:34, 7:44, 7:41, 7:29, 7:33, 7:37, 7:45, 7:33, 8:06, 8:12, 8:01, 8:17, 9:56 (PUKING MILE), 7:41, 7:57, 8:10, 8:34, 9:02 (arg, worse mile ever in a race...hate feeling like I'm going to faint!), .52 (yes, I know a marathon is only 26.2...ha!) @ 6:37 pace.  3:28:37
  • I'm honored to have been in Boston this year.  As much as I dislike the Boston course, I also love it.  It is challenging and there are so many different ways you could run it.  Fun to think about strategy for the next time.  Yes, I do plan on running it again.  One of those races/trips that has become something my husband and I look forward to.  AND we get to see friends!  
  • This was the first year that we've brought the whole family to Boston for the marathon.  It was fun and the 16 hour road trip was actually not bad!  They spent so much of their time making Boston Band bracelets.  What a great lesson in business.  They ended up selling them outside of the expo. They sold out in 30 minutes.  
This was a nice start to the road trip.   Wasn't quite like this the whole way.  Ha!  But close.  

These bands sold for 2 for $5 or one for $3.  They sold out in 30 minutes.  10% of the proceeds went to the ONE Fund.  

The city of Boston was alive like I've never seen before! And getting to enjoy it with two of my closest friends?  So special!  Love these girls!  

Saturday morning.  Up early for the 5k where my good friend's daughter was running!  It was fun to be there for this event and Boston graced us with a glorious morning.  The whole weekend was glorious.  

This was incredible!  The Marathon Scarf Project.  Volunteers from all over the world made scarves to send to the Old South Church in Boston where more volunteers handed them out with a blessings of remembrance and hope.  So beautiful!! 
This was incredible!  The Marathon Scarf Project.  Volunteers from all over the world made scarves to send to the Old South Church in Boston where more volunteers handed them out with a blessings of remembrance and hope.  So beautiful!! 

Expo fun!  And getting a chance to hug sweet Petra!!  Oh, what a kindred spirit.  Such an authentic and free spirit!  Can't say enough about her.  

A marathon expo wouldn't be the same without a stop by the Nuun Hydration booth!  Always nice to see  Kim.  This year she cheered loudly for me at mile 19...I needed that Kim.  Thank you!

Meetin Kara and Lauren was a highlight of my expo time!  These girls are such inspirations! What perfect women to represent such a great company like Oiselle!  

Could spend many an hour on the Harvard campus!

Layered up in our throw away clothes and ready to head to Hopkinton! 

So happy that I got to ride to Hopkinton with this special girl!   

And we saw Petra again!!!  In line for the loo (isn't that what they say in London Petra?) 

And to think we all met through running blogs!  We truly do find our family /friends in the most unexpected of ways.  

Better than a PR!

A perfect glow greeting me on race morning

The morning we left Boston.  Seems fitting that it would be rainy to match my sadness in saying goodbye.  

One of many favorite churches...this one in Cambridge

Yes, yes, I DO love Boston!

Watch out Boston

Part of school reports on the trip home.  We learned so much!  

I love you Boston!  We'll be back.



  1. Love this! If you didn't have a chance, the Sunday service at Old South Church was truly one of my fave memories of Boston 2013.

  2. So great to read this - love all of your bullets and thoughts from the weekend!!!

  3. Congrats Amanda! You are an inspiration.

  4. I love everything about the Boston Marathon...except the Newton hills!!! Lol! You did amazing...I can't believe you booted and rallied like that! Way to be Boston Strong!!!

  5. Congratulations Amanda! I'm glad it was such a wonderful day.

  6. First of all, I took a really great picture of you in Athlete's Village and I don't see it here?? LOVED the pics. What a special trip and what a wonderful memory to have been a part of Boston 2014!!

    I did not get one of those stickers!!! I'm so bummed out! I really wanted one for my work car. (The car that makes others think, "it is definitely more likely that you will get from A to B by running those 26.2 miles on your bumper than by trying to drive them in this car!! Ha ha!)

    Boston 2015, can't wait to be back in this beautiful city:)

  7. I can't believe how strong you must be to get up and go after losing it at mile 20. I can only run that fast with my little Border Collie pulling me along. *Wish I could take her to a marathon - sure bet to win my age group :)

  8. What an amazing event. Last week my coach came home from running it and he hasn't stopped talking about it yet. I almost feel like I was there.

  9. Hi Amanda, I found your blog via a Google Blog Search. I was a Marathon Scarf Project scarfmaker and volunteer. If you're interested in learning more about what went into the project you can read about it at my blog:

  10. Came across your blog, and love your thoughts on Boston. I too, ran Boston in 2013 and 2014, and I completely agree. Boston 2014 was indeed unforgettable and special in so many ways. Congrats on your race!