Apr
21

Boston Marathon Race Recap

I rarely keep medals but I’m never giving this one away!  The whole weekend was overwhelming in a wonderful way and I’m incredibly grateful for the experience!
IMG_8598
I laid my clothes out the night before the race.  I ended up adding arm sleeves and started the race in a throw away jacket.  It was so cold and rainy that I wore my throw away until mile 4!
IMG_8600
Here’s my race nutrition:  
I ate my Gu’s at miles: 7, 14, 21
IMG_8599
I woke up at 4am and had a small coffee and banana bread.  I added hot water to my Umpqua oats and took them on the bus with me.
IMG_8584
A huge thank you to Adidas and Boston 365 for letting me ride their bus out to Hopkinton!!!  They gave me a dry warm spot to rest while I waited for my wave to start.
IMG_8586
IMG_8583
While I was waiting for the race to start, I had the most wonderful surprise from philoSophies!  She designed our last Christmas card and sent me the sweetest good luck illustration!!!!  It made my morning and helped to settle my nerves. :)
IMG_8587
I walked over to the Athletes Village to check it out, but decided it was wise to go back to the bus to rest and stay warm instead.
IMG_8585
My wave started at 10:50.  I was so worried about the late start.  The time flew by and it wasn’t as big of an issue as I had anticipated.  As I stated in a previous post, I typically go out too slowly when I race.  I also have a little too much fun with high fives, etc…to really push myself.  So, I ordered a pace band from Races2Remember to keep me on track.  Change is scary and I was so afraid to use a different race day strategy. (Note: they customize the band for your race course, finish goal, and pacing strategy.  I opted for a 3:38 Negative Split Boston Marathon band.)
IMG_8602
Here are my actual race splits:
8:37, 8:10, 8:11, 8:06, 8:15, 8:04, 8:11, 8:17, 8:13, 8:09, 8:16, 8:07, 8:09, 8:16, 8:09, 8:04, 8:24, 8:21, 8:15, 8:16, 8:45, 8:05, 8:09, 8:17, 8:06, 8:22, 4:07
You can see that they did a really good job accounting for the Newton Hills up to Heartbreak Hill. (miles 16-22)
Finish Time: A BQ and a PR!!!! 
IMG_8589
Finish Line!!!!
IMG_8605
And lots of tear!
IMG_8606
Crowd support: It was everything I had imagined!!  The course was lined from start to finish and everyone cheered so loudly.  I loved the energy!!!
Race conditions:
Temps in the 40’s, rain throughout my race, and winds gusting up to 30mph.
I was SO cold and wet after the race. Jason met me with a hotel bathrobe…perfect!
IMG_8603
My condition:
This race hurt.  The downhill first half followed by the Newton Hills on the back half killed my legs.  Walking will be humorous tomorrow.  I had to dig deep for this one, but it was SO worth it!  I spent the rest of the day in the bed…including my meals.  Oh, and I cried a lot…at the finish, when I saw my husband, when my friends called…I was a hot mess!
IMG_8588
IMG_8591
And the icing on the cake (see what I did there?!), Bob Kennedy sent me a congratulations message!
IMG_8590
The theme for my Boston experience should be “How many times can I geek out over incredible runners?!!”
#choosejoy

Join the Conversation

  • http://rachelrunsmusiccity.blogspot.com Rachel Runs Music City

    So exciting! I’m glad you were able to do it and that you had fun on top of it. :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • http://flyingfeetinfaith.wordpress.com Jess@Flying Feet In Faith

    Congrats congrats congrats!! So happy for you!! What an incredible time and well earned. You worked so hard for this! I teared up reading your post 😉 so yay! More tears lol what an incredible experience Boston must be..here’s to hoping next year it’s on my agenda!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I’ll be cheering for you!!!!

  • http://www.RUNNINGaroundmykitchen.com Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen

    Congratulations, Jen! What an amazing race and incredible experience! I love those pace bands. I love how giddy you are – enjoy it all :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!!

  • Kelly

    Congrats!!! Sooo happy for you! Must order a negative split band!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I loved it!!

  • http://studentrunlife.wordpress.com Jamie

    Congratulations on your race this weekend!!! Conditions were tough for this one but I think we got the best part of the day (if that’s possible) haha. Also – Im the one who recognized you from my car on Saturday!! Love your blog :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!! And, I’m so glad you yelled!!!

  • Meghan Smith

    Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you! What an amazing experience!!! Thanks for sharing this, I felt like I was there!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!!

  • Ruth C

    Bravo!!! Unbelievable, Jen! What an accomplishment!
    You are entitled to all the cheers, tears and chocolate cake you want! :o)
    Congratulations and thank you for all the inspiration you give so selflessly.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!!

  • http://www.dixieruns.com Maddie @ Dixie Runs

    Yayyyyyy!!! Amazing. I was tracking you and cheering you on! Your splits are so consistent, even over those hills. Awesome job, now time for some major rest & relaxation :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!!

  • http://leerunsdistances.wordpress.com FLRunnerBoy

    Much deserved and I’m so incredibly proud of you and happy for you Jen! What better place to PR than Boston yay! Enjoy you recovery and eat all the food and all the cake ha! 😛

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      You know how I roll! 😉

      • http://leerunsdistances.wordpress.com FLRunnerBoy

        Yeppers!!!

  • http://gretchruns.wordpress.com Gretchen | Gretchruns

    Amazing job Jen! I was following your bib and cheering you on the whole time! So proud that you met your A goal and had such an incredible experience. Great job girl!!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much for your support!!

  • http://jennyjennruns.wordpress.com jennyjennruns

    You are such an inspiration! I love the picture of you in the bath robe ? congrats again on kicking butt! And thanks to Jason for being an amazing support system to you, the spectators matter too ?

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I couldn’t have done it without him!!

  • http://motherhoodandmarathons.wordpress.com Molly@MotherhoodandMarathons

    Wow, what an amazing time!! Eat all of the chocolate cake – you earned it! I’m blown away by how well you paced and stuck to the plan on a tough course and in rainy, windy conditions! Your training obviously payed off!! Congratulations!!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!!

  • http://www.photoconciergeservices.com Teresa Cox

    SO excited for you and happy that it was more than you expected! And you can go again next year!! Woohoo!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I can’t believe I get to come back…so crazy!! I can’t wait!

  • http://thelittlegsp.com Annie at TheLittleGSP.com

    Congratulations on a fantastic race, a BQ and a PR!!!! Great job. Now rest those legs and keep eating yummy chocolate cake.. you earned it! :-)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • http://www.sarahruns26.com Sarah @ SarahRuns26

    Congratulations! You had an awesome race! I was tracking you the whole way, the negative splits on that course are incredible! Definitely something to be proud of! What do you do with all your race medals?

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I usually donate them to our local children’s hospital, but I’m keeping this one!

  • http://runningpast40.wordpress.com ooartist1234

    Sat at breakfast and read this. I saved it. You post early. I did not want to spoil the details by reading too fast. :) I followed every emotion of this post. I cried at the end, thinking of you crying crossing the line, crying when you saw J and crying when friends called. I WAS crying! Congratulations. -Liz

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I really can’t say thank you enough times for your support and encouragement!!!

  • Tracy

    Congrats! Way to power thru the nasty weather! And a killer time to boot – your an inspiration!! When do you eat your Picky Bar? Before race , during race ?

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I had it about an hour before the race. And, thank you!!!

  • http://Paleorunningmomma.com Michele @ PaleoRunningMomma

    I’ve never heard of a pace band like that and it sounds so cool! Congrats on a great race, you did really amazing :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      It really helped me to stay on track and thank you!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/591120846 Heather Iacobacci-Miller

    Awesome job! I think that’s the same pacing strategy my running buddy was going to use, she came in right around that same time. Hopefully you can walk today 😉

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Congrats to your friend!!! And, thank you!!

  • Kim K.

    BQ and a PR in those conditions = rock star status! awesome awesome job! those downhills after heartbreak are killer, but they didnt phase you! congratulations on an incredible race in our crappy weather conditions! p.s. i lived next door to bovas for a few years, including when i ran boston…nothing like having a bakery open 24 hours a day!!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!! You’re so right about the downhills. I’m sure I had some crazy form! Next door to Bovas would be very dangerous!!!

  • http://montrealrunnermom.wordpress.com Jennifer Florence

    So amazing!! Congratulations on such a huge accomplishment!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • A different Jen

    You ran Boston! You get to say that forever now! Congratulations on your great time, and thanks so much for sharing all of this with us.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!!

  • http://milesandblessings.com/ milesandblessings

    AMAZING!!!!! Perfectly executed!!!! I was jumping up and down for you :)!!!!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      That means so much…thank you!!!

  • paria@momontherunsanity.com

    Getting a PR in those weather conditions is so great! The teary-eyed picture is the best….the good kind of cry is just the best.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      It was such an overwhelming feeling at the finish. Thank you!!!

  • http://charissarunning.wordpress.com charissarunning

    Congratulations Jen! What an amazing experience to cherish for a lifetime :) You ran a great smart race!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!!

  • http://www.runningnreading.com Running ‘N’ Reading

    What a great recap, Jen; I’m so thrilled that you had such an amazing experience. I wished the conditions had been a little better for you all, but I knew you’d be smiling through the whole thing. Congratulations on the PR and NEW BQ!!! Woo hoo! You are my inspiration, friend!

  • http://gravatar.com/suzysuzyheather Suzy

    Holy cow. That pace band was spot on, even despite the head winds and rain! Imagine what you could have done on a calm and clear day!!! Congrats, and I’m so glad you had such a great experience in Boston. :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!!

  • http://notyourmamasmarathon.blogspot.com Kelli

    I am so happy for you! What an incredible race. Congrats!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thanks!!!!

  • http://www.minutespermile.com mary @ minutes per mile

    CONGRATS! amazing finish, especially given the course and race conditions. you rule.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!!

  • Betsy

    Wow, congrats Jen! I’m not one bit surprised you had such an amazing race, and so glad it turned out so well for you! This recap exudes the joy of the day and was just so much fun to read. Hope you’re able to walk today, see you soon hopefully!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thanks so much!!!!

  • http://alsoranagain.com alsoranagain

    Fantastic race, Jen! I’m especially impressed considering those rough conditions. You inspire me to BQ again this year. :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Love that…thank you!!!

  • Angie

    How amazing! Awesome job!!! Your recap gets me emotional as a runner. There is nothing like it and you have to feel so proud! You earned every piece of this accomplishment! Thanks for allowing us to share in it with you through your blog. You’re inspiring to me :-)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Wow…thank you so much for your kind words!!!

  • http://movinitwithmichelle.wordpress.com Movin’ it with Michelle

    OOOOOOOOOOOOO I cried reading this! So happy for you, Jen!!!! Congrats!!!!!!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!!!

      • http://movinitwithmichelle.wordpress.com Movin’ it with Michelle

        You are such an inspiration to so many. xoxo

        • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

          Thank you!?

  • http://50by25laura.wordpress.com 50by25laura

    Huge congratulations, and way to stay right on pace!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • Carrie T.

    Congratulations! I love reading your blog and seeing the steady, progressive training- and how it pays off. Great run and what looks like a great experience in Boston!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!!

  • Cathy M.

    Woohoooooooo!! I am SO CRAZY proud of you for that amazing PR AND BQ!!! You have worked for it and every moment of the celebration is totally deserved! High five, flockstar!! Cheers!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much for your kind words!!!

  • http://thelastdoughnut.blogspot.com Paige

    I found your blog this morning, through Hungry Runner Girl. Your Boston recap is awesome! I am a slow to mid-pack runner, and I would absolutely love to qualify for Boston one day. My PR for the marathon distance is 4:41, and the qualifying time for my age group is 3:45. I highly doubt that I would ever make up that much time, but I am going to try, try, and keep trying! Maybe by the time I am 80 (if I can still walk), I will be able to qualify. For me, training and staying in shape are the best parts of running, and the racing is just the icing on the cake! Thanks for inspiring me today!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much for reading my blog!!! I never thought I’d be a Boston runner. My first marathon was 5 years ago and my finish time was just over 5 hours. I mostly run for the love of it and social time with friends. This was just the icing on the cake!

  • Cheryl K

    Great job! So proud of you. I think I would be crying at the end too! Awesome that you got to met Shalane beforehand too!
    I have a question, how challenging was it to get water at the aid stations. I just can’t picture how it is accomplished with THAT MANY RUNNERS!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I actually walked every water stop but the last two. Boston had them really well organized with water and Gatorade on both sides of the road. I’m the worst at drinking while running so I just walk a few steps to ensure that I stay hydrated. And, thank you!!!

  • http://fitnessmeetsfrosting.com fitnessmeetsfrosting

    AMAZING!!! Congrats on a spectacular race! Love the recap!! So inspiring!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • http://laurainlou.wordpress.com lmicklich

    Amazing! Congratulations on finishing within a minute of your goal in such crazy conditions!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • http://veggierunningmomma.wordpress.com Jessica @ VEGGIE RUNNING MOMMA

    awe a huge Congratulations.!! Way to PR and BQ, that is amazing :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!!

  • http://www.thesimplepeach.com/ thesimplepeach

    Well just like we all knew…you killed it! Congrats on a memorable Boston experience and a PR!!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!!

  • http://twitter.com/AnnieInID Annie (@AnnieInID)

    Congratulations on such an amazing race!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • http://gottarunnow.blogspot.com Tina@GottaRunNow

    Your fantastic results inspire me to dig deep at my upcoming 50 mile race this Saturday. Congrats!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      50 miles is such a big deal!!!!! Good luck!!!!

  • http://www.foxrunsfast.com foxrunsfast

    Hurray! Great job, Jen!! Super impressed that you were able to stay committed to your race plan and run that PR despite definitely less-than-ideal conditions. Awesome! Hope you are still celebrating and enjoying your accomplishment!! :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much!!

  • http://www.thegirlwhoraneverywhere.com Nicole@TheGirlWhoRanEverywhere

    This is a terrific recap! Congratulations Jen! The hot bathrobe sounds like heaven. Well actually, I don’t know if you said it was “hot.” I think I am imagining that bc it sounds like perfection after a day like yesterday!!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      It felt so warm and snuggly!!

  • http://www.thelittlethingsblog.com Caroline @ The Little Things Blog

    Congrats on a race well run!! I hope you’re warming up and moving ok today! :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I’m walking slowly, but still enjoying the post-race high!!!

  • http://cupcakesandmiles.wordpress.com cupcakesandmiles

    That is so so so awesome! I’m so proud of you, girl! :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • http://comusicreview.wordpress.com Emily Swanson

    Wow Jen! AMAZING time. I would totally be crying too, and I think it’s amazing that the field has bounced back so quickly after the tragedy. That medal is a treasure, for sure. What a great memory.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      It was such an overwhelming experience! Thank you!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/675869933 Al Frazier

    I’m so proud of you. Incredible run, my friend!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      That means so much…thank you!!!

  • http://theoldfellowgoesrunning.wordpress.com theoldfellowgoesrunning

    Love the post race picture with your medal around your neck Jennifer. So much emotion in this photo. You battled rain and hills, but finished so strong.
    Congratulations, and thank you for your inspiration! :)
    ~Carl~

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you so much! It was definitely an overwhelming moment. ?

  • http://glitteranddust.com Kristen

    A HUGE congratulations to you, Jen!!! Way to dig deep and finish with a solid time. You really did an exceptional job sticking to your pace band – so impressive. What was your favorite moment while actually out on the course? (it may be an unfair question) :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      The crowd support was incredible!! Everyone cheered so loudly…especially the Welsley girls, through the Newton Hills, and the last few miles in Boston. It’s what carried me to the finish!

  • http://shesgoingthedistance.com she’s going the distance

    Aww!!! love the recap, you are totally inspiring!! I hope to run boston one of these next few years. Also–that pace band is amazing!!!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      The pace band really helped me stay “in the mile” and not get too overwhelmed. And, thank you!!!

  • http://snailpacedrunner.wordpress.com LotteClark

    Congratulations – amazing time ?

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • Pingback: Training Recap - Running 'N' Reading()

  • Pingback: Life Lately | Jen Chooses Joy()