Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Boston Marathon recap

I am sitting on the plane on the way home from Boston. I am not good at sitting still! I know I will be busy once I get home so this is the perfect opportunity to write this race report. I know that it is going to be emotional writing about yesterday, but I want to get it down while it is still fresh in my memory (although there are a lot of fuzzy parts!)

(Lots of pictures and the recap of the first part of my trip are all in this post here). 

I woke up on marathon morning feeling remarkably calm and relaxed. I got to sleep until a little after 5am (and got 7 full hours of sleep!) I took a shower and got dressed and ready, and took my time packing my gear bag and a bag for my dad to carry for me. I got a wonderful email from Josh and got a text from Jennifer that helped me feel even better. My Dad snapped a couple of pictures quickly, we made a plan on where he would be when during the race and where we would meet up afterwards, and then I was on my way!

I really was feeling good, and excited but calm. I had decided that the weather would be what it would be, I would do the best I could, and enjoy as much of the experience as I could. I knew that freaking out or stressing out would not help anything and I wanted to soak in and enjoy my first Boston Marathon. I also wanted to keep a positive attitude (which I did).

Rick picked me up at 7am.  We drove out to Hopkington, and in a cool twist, we ended up right behind the police-escorted motorcade of the elite athletes. Pretty cool!

We parked and got on a school bus for a short ride in to Hopkinton, and after a short walk we were in the Athlete's Village.

I was trying to ignore how hot it was just sitting on the grass two hours before we were to even start running. I am always, always cold, and I didn't even need any warm ups or throwaways. Any last hopes that the weathermen were wrong went out the window. The sky was clear and blue and the sun was HOT.

I waited on a LONG portapotty line, and then I lubed up with Aquafor and sunscreen, mixed up my Perpetuem, changed into my racing shoes, and was ready to roll.  I headed down towards the corrals. I got down there and we had to stand and wait until the first wave was gone. We were standing in the sun (there was no shade) and it was HOT. After about 30 minutes they filed us into the corrals, and again, we were standing around in the hot sun. I was already feeling overheated and we hadn't even started to run yet!

I was right at the front of Wave 2 Corral 3, and right on time (10:20am) we were off! I knew the first four miles were going to be crowded and steep downhill, and my goal was just not to go out too fast. I was pleasantly surprised to find that although it was crowded, it was not difficult to run at the pace I wanted and that things thinned out to a comfortable level of "congestion" within the first mile or so (totally different from my NY experience).

My legs felt good, but it didn't take long for me to feel hot, and to realize how difficult a day it was going to be.  As we passed mile three and the sun was beating down, I remember truly wondering if I was going to be able to run another 23+ miles in that sun and those temperatures. It is not good to be doubting at mile three of a marathon!!

Splits for the first four miles were -
7:30, 7:19, 7:17, 7:12

I have never walked in a marathon, but I realized quickly that the only way to survive was to stay as cool as possible. So I started walking through the aid stations. At each one I got two waters (one went over the head, one went down the front) and then I got a third water to sip. I drink Hammer Perpetuem, and that only lasted me until Mile 16 and then it was gone! (It usually lasts me until mile 23 or 24). Because of running out of my drink I had to start taking Gatorade on the course, which only added to my stomach problems.

Splits for miles 5-8 were -
7:36, 7:34, 7:16, 7:30

It was right around mile 9 that things started to get rough. My stomach started to feel SICK, and my head started to get fuzzy.  Rick had given me some Hammer Endurolytes to take every three miles. I took them at mile 3 and miles 6, but I looked down at my Garmin at mile 9.2 and honestly could NOT remember if I had taken the Enduroytes less than a quarter of a mile earlier! And taking them involved unzipping my handheld pouch, opening a container, and swallowing two pills. (I do think the Endurolytes helped).

I also honestly could not have told you how many portapotties I ended up in before looking at my Garmin splits, even though I normally could tell you the exact mileage I stopped at and for how many minutes/seconds. My mind got very fuzzy!

Splits for miles 9-12 were -
8:46 (first pit stop), 7:38, 8:00, 8:53 (second pit stop)

Running past the girls at Wellesley was as cool of an experience as everyone tells you. Oh the screaming! :)

At the half-way point I was still pretty happy with how I was running and the potential for a decent time (and a PR), although I could feel that the sun and the close to 90 degree temps were taking it's toll on me.

Splits for miles 13-16 were -
7:46, 7:42, 8:28 (quick pitstop), 7:37

I kept telling myself "just get to mile 15 in good shape", because that is what Coach Rick had told me to do, and that was where he was waiting for me. I knew seeing him, and hearing his voice and getting a quick pep talk would be a big boost. Sure enough, right at mile 15 I saw him standing on the course looking for me, and he quickly spotted me and jumped in. I tried to soak up his energy and positive words.

I have to say that it was the people along the course that really saved the day. There were so many spectators out with water, ice, cold washcloths, sponges, wet paper-towels, hoses, water guns, buckets, sprinklers, etc. The fire departments had some fire hydrants open and some "hydration tunnels" set up you could run through. I ran past every drop of water I was able to. Coach Rick had given me a sponge that I kept tucked in my top, and I used that to squeeze water on my neck as often as I could too. I was SOAKED. I was more wet than I was when I ran Top of Utah Marathon in the pouring rain/hail. My feet were sloshing in my shoes and my shorts kept sliding down because they were so wet/heavy. But being wet and cooling off (even if it only lasted a short time) was the only way for me to survive and keep running.

The Newton Hills actually weren't as bad as I expected. In different weather conditions I think I would have really ran this section of the course well. I am a decent hill runner and I really loved the Boston course.

Splits for miles 17-20 were -
8:19, 9:20 (pit stop), 8:11, 8:17

At this point part of my brain was saying that we were definitely going to finish and was very relieved and happy about that, and part of my brain was wondering how on earth we were going to run another 6+ miles. My stomach was just so so sick and my body felt so weak. There was no relief from the sun - I felt like I was baking - and it was just pretty dang miserable. Brutal. Brutal is the right word. It didn't help that so very many people were walking, being carted off, falling down, throwing up, going in to the medical tents, etc. It felt like a war zone at times. 

Some fun things that happened during the race -
- I had two different people recognize me from the Runner's World article while I was running
- I had THREE friends in the crowd recognize me and get my attention
- For about half a mile people kept cheering for "Wyoming!" and I kept thinking, "how the heck do they know I am from Wyoming?" I even looked down a few times to see if I was somehow wearing something I had forgotten about. After a bit I realized that a man running next to me was wearing a Wyoming shirt. There were only 23 runners in the race from Wyoming. What are the chances I would end up running right with one of them?
- My new favorite marathon sign, "You aren't Crazy, We are just Lazy!"

I found myself walking longer through/after each aid station trying to cool myself down, get fluids in slowly, and settle my heart rate a bit. I hated walking (and it was very hard to start running again each time I walked an aid station). I felt like I was quitting and giving up. I felt wimpy. I knew I had to do it, but I hated it. I had stopped looking at my Garmin because I knew it would just make me feel discouraged, but by the course clocks I knew roughly what my time would be by about this point and I  knew a PR wasn't happening. I did realize that a BQ was still possible if I held it together and didn't fall apart any further, and so I made that my goal.

21-26.2 were -
11:36 (pit stop, had to wait to get in), 8:00, 8:28, 9:43, 8:48, 8:50 and an average 7:01 pace for the final .2 (or .57 on the Garmin)

I saw that Citgo sign and knew I was getting close. I kept telling myself "two miles left" and picturing where I would be on my road to home and how easy of a distance that was. I kept telling myself I would be done running in less than 20 minutes. I knew my Dad would be right around mile 26, and I let that thought pull me in. I kept thinking about still being about to BQ in Boston, and let that push me.

I turned onto Hereford street, and heard my Dad yell loud and clear! I was so happy to see him and hear him (and I was so happy he was standing in the shade. I had been worrying about him being out in the crazy hot sun, especially since I was taking longer than hoped/planned). He didn't have an easy time spectating though. He watched one runner go down right in front of him and saw lots of people being carted off by EMT's, so of course he was very worried. He also did a lot of walking. Hearing him cheer for me was a big boost. He was great!

I made that final turn on to Boylston St., and really tried to soak in the crowds, the finish line getting closer and closer, the fact that I was finishing (and was BQ'ing), and the fact that I had survived and done it, when it was so terribly hard and it had seemed almost impossible at times during the course.

I crossed the finish line and my final stats were -
Time - 3:37:48
Overall - 4184/21554 finishers (top 19% overall)
In Gender - 729/8966 women (top 8% of women)
In 18-39 age group - 592/4580(top 13% of age group)

As I walked through the finish area I got water, the heat sheet, medal, and a snack bag, and we got funneled out toward the street where the family reunion area was. There were people in bad shape everywhere, and there was even a line of wheelchairs waiting to get in to the medical tent. I was grateful I was feeling ok physically (very exhausted, but ok).

As I started walking towards the Westin Hotel where I was going to meet my Dad, I let myself have a good cry. I knew that no one would want me to feel disappointed and I don't like crying around people, so I kept my sunglasses on and just cried while I walked.  To be honest, I was feeling disappointed, and I was frustrated and doubting myself and my abilities. I felt like I had taken a big step backward instead of forward.

I got close to the Westin and pulled myself together. I looked around out front and there were lots of other people, but not my Dad. I borrowed a phone and sent him a text to tell him I was going in to the hotel, and just before I did I noticed a family face. It was Merhawi Keflezighi, Meb's brother! I knew him from running on Meb's charity team last year in NY, as he is Meb's agent (and he is one of the nicest people you could ever know). I called out his name and he turned around, and surprisingly he recognized me immediately. We started talking and I realized that there was someone standing off to the side waiting for us to stop talking. I looked up to be polite and realized it was Meb! He recognized me as well and I gave him a big hug and congratulated him on his Olympics Trial win and wished him luck at the Olympics. I told him all the kids were routing for him when the race was on TV (except for Shorty, who loves Ryan Hall). :)

Meb asked about Josh, the kids, and my Dad and it was just a really nice moment. My one regret about the expo was that I hadn't gotten to say hi to Meb, so it was such a neat twist of fate to run in to him and Merhawi.

I went in to the Westin and got a round of applause when I went in to the suite for Rick's runners. My Dad found me and we headed upstairs to one of the two hotel rooms that they had set up for runners to use to shower. It was a beautiful room and it was heavenly to get out of my damp uniform, take a shower, and put on clean, dry clothes.

My body was the worst it has ever been after a race! I was sunburned in quite a few place (despite putting on a TON of spf50 sport sunblock), my feet were like raisins from being soaked for so long (although miraculously I didn't have any blisters) and the Aquafor was no match for the heat/water because I chafed like I have never chafed before. (And chafing hasn't ever been an issue for me). The shower was pretty painful! The worst sunburned area I have is my right hand. It is puffy and swollen today even. Ouch!

I talked to Josh and Pam quickly and got some texts and Facebook messages from Jennifer. If you didn't see this post of hers, you need to go see it. That is the kind of friend she is! On top of that, she was texting with Josh throughout the race. I am not sure who was keeping who calm (or who was getting who more excited???) but they both had a lot of fun. :)

ALL of the Facebook messages, blog comments, emails, etc. were so very uplifting and mean more than I can say. THANK YOU to all of you who took the time to say something. I am very, very grateful for all the kind words and encouragement and very humbled by the outpouring of support.

When all the runners had made it in, the suite had cleared, and everyone was packing up and leaving, my Dad and I said good-bye and went to dinner.   I had a burger and fries and then some fabulous bread pudding (my favorite treat). Since I hadn't eaten before the race and had just had some fruit and pretzels afterwards, I was STARVING.

This is the bread pudding. Yes, it was ridiculously big. Pam loves to get a "happy picture" of me eating something good after a race, hence the extra big smile ;)
After that we were back at the hotel and I talked to Josh and Pam again, we watched the news, and then it was off to bed.

I actually slept really well, and was pleasantly surprised when I got out of bed feeling pretty good this morning and not nearly as stiff as I usually am. I went for a short, slow, easy, three mile run and felt better and better as the run went on. It always hurts me to take a deep breath the night/morning after a marathon and after I go for a short, easy run that disappears. My body feels very tired overall, but nothing specific hurts (besides the sunburn!) and my legs feel pretty dang good.

I enjoyed a slow morning with my Dad, we went and had some delicious Ethiopian food (and ate way too much), and then he dropped me off at the airport.

It was an incredible weekend and experience. I love the city of Boston and I love the Boston Marathon. I am hooked! The time spent with my Dad and Pam was wonderful and uplifting. Meeting so many inspiring runners was a very special experience. Seeing Amanda and Robin was great! And, I got Ethiopian food and bread pudding. :) Next year I want to do it all over again, and bring Josh. :)

So how am I feeling now? I know that the conditions were brutal. I know that everyone's times were slower than they hoped and that everyone had to adjust their strategies/goals. I know that my time was decent considering the temps and that just finishing yesterday was an accomplishment. I am not going to feel disappointed anymore, and I am not going to feel discouraged. I had worried about letting a lot of people down, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I can't help but wonder if I could have pushed myself harder, stopped less, walked less, and done better, but I guess I will never know. I did learn a lot yesterday, and can now say I have run a marathon in just about every weather extreme possible! I will certainly never forget my first Boston Marathon and look very forward to running it again and again.

I am going to take what I learned in Boston and add it to the training I have done and the training I will do and keep moving forward. I have just under 8 weeks until the Utah Valley Marathon. :)

Congratulations to ALL of the runners in Boston yesterday. I was amazed at the spirit, heart, and determination I saw in all of the runners out there.


June said...

love your race recaps!! It's too bad you didn't get the Boston you had planned for, but sounds like you really made the best of a potentially nasty day. Onwards and upwards to Utah! :)

Majda said...

Congratulations again to such an AMAZING job Erin! Please, don't feel disappointed or discouraged any more. You rocked it! Have a good, well deserved rest with your family!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Erin!
As a fellow mom runner who has also lost a lot of weight, I really have connected with your running story and have been SO amazed at your accomplishments! You are simply inspiring, and your story pushes me to do more every day. You are a warrior, to BQ on a day like it was Monday, and you earned every second of that time! It may not have been your picture-perfect Boston, but you should be proud of your performance!! When elites are dropping out of the race, that is no joke. Can't wait to follow you to Boston 2013!!


BumbersBumblings said...

Congratulations!!! I actually had tears reading through it! What an amazing feat in such extreme temperatures! So inspirational!

Jen@runfortheboys said...

I know this must have been very emotional to write - lots of insight here. Love it all and am SO PROUD of you!!!

Laura said...

Congrats for being smart and getting through the race! You are so my hero even more so than before!

Teamarcia said...

You know, you do what you can with what the day brings. You did a beautiful job in brutal conditions, Erin. Be very proud! Congrats!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Erin, you were incredible. I am so impressed with you. And what a rich experience overall. So many amazing opportunities, people that love you, and signs that you are well on your way to Olympic Qualifying. A highlight of my race was seeing you at the start. I was already having a hard time even then. Soon into the race, the tears came for me and I struggled the entire time. No sleep the night before always makes me emotional and then to have such a brutal wicked hot day. You did so great!! Really proud of you. We all are. And I can't believe you're not sore. My body feels AWFUL. I suppose walking for miles and miles and miles yesterday didn't help recovery either. :) Rooting for you Erin!

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

Really agreeing with you on this recap - the spectators were the only people with any cold water, they did save the day!
And I agree that the Newton area actually seemed like one of the easier parts of the (not too bad) course.
Good job sticking it out and finishing strong. It wasn't an easy day to run.

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

Really agreeing with you on this recap - the spectators were the only people with any cold water, they did save the day!
And I agree that the Newton area actually seemed like one of the easier parts of the (not too bad) course.
Good job sticking it out and finishing strong. It wasn't an easy day to run.

christa said...

Awesome Erin, you are always an inspiration!

Michelle said...

Oh Erin. I am glad you let the disappointment go. I knew just sitting in athlete's village that time goals were going to have to go out the window. You, your body, Josh and your kids are thankful that you made it across the finish line. There were so many stretched out across the road who didn't "listen" to their bodies.
I have a nasty sunburn on my right shoulder and the right side of my face. I put on a TON of sunscreen, but I also soaked myself in water every chance I had. Wish I could've bumped into you, but it was great knowing you were "there". Thanks for the recap. I feel exactly the same. What a day! Loved every step though and soaked in the crowd....they certainly got me to the finish line. Congratulations!

Kris @ www.kris-lawrence.com said...

Wow, what a great recap and a humbling read. I can't imagine what that heat must have felt like on a day where everyone wants to be at their best. Thanks for sharing! I love love love Moms trying to qualify for 2016 blogs. Happy to have found yours.

Samantha said...

You should be so proud - it makes me tear up a little reading this! I'm sure you'll run a PR in 8 weeks!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I think nobody expected the weather that day but it seems that most people including you realized to make the best of it and do it smart. Congratulations!

abbi said...

Congratulation on getting through a very tough race!

SWMom said...

YAY! I am so glad you lived it up and got to experience so much in Boston! We are super proud of you and I will continue to look up to you as both a Mom and a Runner! You are an inspiration! Travel safe, recover quick and enjoy telling your kiddos the entire story. CONGRATULATIONS!

Anonymous said...


I have been reading your blog for awhile now- and I'm a huge fan. I kept following your bib # during the race on the Boston Marathon website. I was cheering for you and praying for you. Even my husband came home from work and asked, "Did your girl you follow make it?" ha ha ha.

Great job- just to finish- in brutal conditions like that is something to be so proud of.

I LOVED watching the Marathon recap that night- watching the winners finish was amazing.

Get right back on that horse today and keep your next goal in front of you!!!!!!!

Today when I run - I'll push harder- knowing you ran for your life in Boston.

Hugs from a fellow Wyoming girl (I live in Michigan now)

Renee said...

This post made me cry. You are so strong! I was thinking of you and praying for you all morning. You are such a rock star and an inspiration.

I signed up for the MCM in October. It will be my first full marathon.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I never comment on any blog, but wanted to reach out to you. I was in Wave 2, corral 4...just behind you. I wish I had spotted you! The way you describe how you're feeling, the doubts, the questioning and the "revising" of how you did, how you ran, and what you "should maybe" have done to run faster...I totally get it. I'm doing exactly the same thing to myself as are many many other runners. I'm 44 and was hoping for a PR also in Boston. I knew, standing there in the corral, sweating and waiting to start, that it was madness to expect that kind of miracle. All I can say is that this "bad taste" that we have in our mouth will go away when you have your next race and perform at your level of training and preparation. And you will.
It's nice to be philosophical and try to figure out "why" and that it all means, but really, I think taking on this sport means accepting that sometimes, things just do not go as planned. It's not your fault, it just is.
Rock on.

Christy MyDirtRoadAnthem said...

Great job Erin, i a so impressed with how well you did in that heat..AMAZING! I kept pulling the website up at work to track different runners and was so inspired Monday by how everyone persevered, especially you.

Congrats on a race well run!

Missy said...

So inspired by your journey! To accomplish all that you have and continue to do...simply amazing! Blessings to you!

misszippy said...

You know I think you rocked it in impossible conditions! It was absolutely brutal--I was like you--in those first few miles, I truly questioned whether or not I could run the whole thing. And I also kept losing track of when I took my fuel. It was just hard to keep it all together in the heat.

You survived, you did an amazing time given the circumstances, and you should be very proud. It was not an easy day for anyone. You will be set up for big things in a few weeks!

MCM Mama said...

Congratulations on your finish! You are amazing and should be proud of doing so well in those conditions, especially given how much cooler it is where you train.

I can't wait to see where you go from here.

Shana said...

You did great, Erin! I was praying for you when i thought you were runnung.

Cari Mugz said...

This post made me cry... I did the thing where they text me when you reached certain points.. I thought about you all day! You are one of the most amazing women I have ever met. You are such an inspiration to so many of us! My favorite part is when you wrote.."this is my First Boston Marathon" there are many more to come.. and I can't wait to follow you at all of them!

Zaneta said...

LOVED reading your recap!! CONGRATULATIONS!! You are an amazing runner!! I almost teared up a few times reading this... You're such an inspiration!! :) I'm sure you'll never forget BOSTON 2012! :)

Liz said...

You are truly incredible. I love telling my running friends about you and how much you have accomplished in a few short years. Its amazing and that was a really, really great race. Thanks for the detailed recap. I almost feel like I was there.

Julia said...

I really enjoyed reading your recap...thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. I know I don't know you very well and only through the blog...but I felt so proud of you as I was reading it. You stayed SO strong throughout and it sounds like you ran a smart race considering the heat, etc! You should definitely not feel like this is a step back. I am sure that you learned a TON from this race that you will carry with you forever. And next time you are running Boston...you will CRUSH it for sure! You still had a fantastic time and pace! To me you are an inspiration...your hard work, dedication and the speed you have gained so quickly is simply amazing to me! I am running Utah Valley as well so it would be fun to meet you :) Congrats Boston Marathoner! You are amazing!!

Sarah said...

Congratulations again! You earned every bit of that bread pudding and more! A friend did the Boston on Monday and even with his extensive heat training said it was nasty and brutal. Good luck with your training and I hope next year's race is overcast and cooler.

Kathy said...

Congratulation! SO inspiring. Those conditions sounded positively miserable - you ran hard and smart which is very impressive. Re-BQ in all that heat - WOW!!!

Laura said...

Wow, huge congrats to you! That is an incredible time for those circumstances. Brutal definitely sounds like the right word! I love that you're already excited for next year. :) Go smash your time in Utah!

Mark Matthews said...

What can I say that hasn't been said, other than you nailed a great description of the Boston experience, and thanks for letting us relive vicariously through you. Yes, the Wesley girls are fun and almost a parody of themselves, and you did a wonderful job of describing the unique crowd and experience. It must have took some incredible mental strength to change your goals on the fly. I've seen folks faint and fall flat on their face in the marathon heat as if they've been shot by a sniper. This is a dangerous sport.

BTW, I tried the Hammer electrolytes once, and literally threw up on my mouth. (Blogged about it here: http://markmatthewsauthor.blogspot.com/2012/04/magic-elixers-running-to-eat-and.html)

So, is NYCM your next? I would say wait for me at the finish, but by the time I got there you'd be tired of waiting.

Rene' said...

Love this recap! You did wonderful Erin...and you do write an incredible race report. Many of my friends who ran chalked everything up to the heat. You had a great race! Congrats!

Annette@(running)In the Right Direction said...

WOW! You are truly inspiring. I think you did a fantastic job espcecially that you were smart and did what your body was telling you...and your time was RIDICULOUSLY good! Did you see your percentages??? (obviously lol). Loved the recap...loved how you ran it...can't wait for the next!!!!

Lisa said...

Isn't it the rule of thumb that for every five degree rise in temperature above 60°, your pace can be up to 20 to 30 seconds slower per mile? Truly! I live in the desert where the coolest morning temps during the summer can be 87-90 degrees. The ONLY way I can make it through runs is by constantly drenching myself as I run through sprinklers along my route. Even then, my pace is sooo much slower, and I cannot run far. My “long” runs in the summer usually max at 8 miles. The fact that you ran an entire marathon in that heat is beyond incredible, and the fact that you not only ran it, but BQ’d again, is nothing short of amazing! I truly feel there is nothing more you could have done….the heat is just one element that is a bear to conquer, and you DID!!

Valorie D said...

I watched and posted your times on my facebook page. I don't know you and I was so proud!

I really appreciate you posting your disappointment and moving forward. The Ogden Marathon will be my first and there are times I feel great and times I am so disappointed with myself. To see someone of your ability also go through these emotions really helps someone like me just starting my marathon journey. I really appreciate you sharing that part of yourself and want you to know it really helps other people to see you acknowledge it and move forward and feel proud of what you did. You did fantastic!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Thank you for the heart felt recap and you brought tears to my eyes. Good thing no one is around to see it since I don't like people seeing me cry either.

I think you and all the runners in Boston did amazing! I truly believe by you truly demonstrated what it means to be a runner and how to run start. I would have been disappointed initially too but in the end, it is running smart that means the most. You have demonstrated that and you could never let anyone down by being the best you that you can be at that exact moment.

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cynthia said...

Congratulations Erin. You did amazing considering the conditions. I loved following your training to Boston. You are an inspriation!

BigHappyFamily said...

Congrats! Boston was a beast this year.

Jill said...

You are one incredible woman and an outstanding runner! You did exceptionally well in those brutal conditions and I am so very, very proud of you! Wear that medal with pride, you deserved it!


jlern1 said...

I, like so many others who commented above, cried when I read your recap. I prayed for you and am so glad you were able to finish and BQ! It seems universal for all of us who run to have a race here and there where we doubt ourselves. I hate that feeling. But you are so mentally tough, I know you will bounce right back! Enjoy some recovery time and it will be good to hear about your next training : ) --Jenny

Becky at Prairie Runner said...

Erin, my fifth graders and I tracked your race. We were always so happy to see your split and see that you were doing so well! You overcame some of the worst running weather ever - that has got to feel pretty good mentally!!! You are so tough! Way to go and enjoy some good ole rest now!

Suz and Allan said...

Loved your recap! Sunburned hands can be so painful. Hope it's feeling better! Enjoy getting back home and hanging out with Josh and the kids. I know they must be so proud of you!

Terzah said...

Great detailed report! You did so wonderfully in this race (and you MUST have been wet to have been wetter than TOU :^) ). Congratulations and like I said I think you will look back on this race as the one where you were at your strongest so far!

Elly said...

You are beyond impressive! I saved up reading your recap until I could sit down with a cup of tea and read it properly, and I'm glad I did. Just think how much stronger you will be as a runner after the mental battles you went through out there.
Congrats again!

Jody Hinton said...

Another great post! You accomplished quite a bit on Monday and most important is what you learned. It is from experiences that don't go as planned that we learn the very most and you will be strengthened from your Boston experience. Nothing compares to Boston, and once in your heart, you will always want to back. Congratulations and UVM is waiting for you and you are ready!

Nicole @nmh1970 said...

Great to read your account of the race. What a tough day, way to get through it! I would never have had the fortitude to get through those type of conditions. Next year will be much better for you, I know it! Rest up, enjoy your beautiful medal. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

Jill said...

Awesome job! I can't imagine running in that heat.

Andrea Hill said...

What a tear choker and touching post. I can't even imagine. I don't like reading long posts but I can always soak in yours because they just keep you going. What I love the most is that "YOU WILL BE BACK"... I knew you would and I can't imagine the ass you gonna kick next year.

Cory Reese said...

This is such an amazing, amazing race recap. Congrats on such an awesome race. You are incredible!

Kerrie T. said...

What a wonderful recap of your experience! Felt like I was right there with you (without the sunburn, of course). I'm so happy that you aren't going to be disappointed, I know you gave it all you could. Congratulations!

coach dion said...

Nice recap, now I know it was hot and that burnt up you chances of a really fast run, but I think the size of the moment also got to you!!! From the way you were writing I sounds to me like being at Boston was just to exciting, and that also got to you... So with that behind you the next one will be easy(and cooler). Let me do some maths hear... ok 11 min for the heat and 9 min for the stress, excitement travel ect. That's 20min faster, a 3h17 not bad, so next time no problem...

Enjoy the break, and we will be watching (reading) your progress thru the summer.

Ben & Michelle said...

You rock Erin... Love following your blog. You did an amazing job and pushed through a very tough race! Keep blogging and excited for the next one!

Molly said...

Erin, once again you BLOW ME AWAY with your abilities as a runner, and as a person in general : ) Congratulations!!!!!!

On the Right Track said...

It looks like you've heard it all ;) Ditto would be my response to you!! Annette (running in the right direction) and I were trying to follow you and others from school...shhh...and I am so amazed and uplifted to have witnessed and watched such strength coming from that race. Even watching the elites was a bit painful, and my heart just went out to everyone. what an accomplishment and a true testiment to how life is "unpredictable" and throws these obstacles at you at any given notice...Being able to adjust, be flexible and take notice is probably one of hte biggest lessons one could take away forma race such as this...Life, love, work, races...they will never be "the perfect conditions" and sometimes doing your best and giving your all shows up differently than in just plain numbers...they show up in you as a person!
I bet you can see it already!

Yolanda said...


I LOVE your heart. So much grit and determination! Yet I sense a very humble woman just doing what she loves. I am going to learn so much about my own journey through more time spent here with you. Thank you for being real!

I welled up many times reading your journey as well as so thrilled for you.


Suzy said...

Just started following your blog,and your comment, "... and the Aquafor was no match for the heat/water because I chafed like I have never chafed before. (And chafing hasn't ever been an issue for me)," found its way into my dreams last night. In the dream I finished my first 1/2 marathon without any discomfort DURING the race to discover an enormous chafed area on the inside of my right thigh! LOL, let's hope that's not an issue when I really DO run my 1st 1/2 marathon next February. Keep up the good work!

Michele @nycrunningmama said...

I am sorry I am so far behind in reading this - it was a crazy week!!
You did so amazing, Erin, given the conditions. I am beyond impressed that you were still running sub 8 miles until the very end and I can't believe how many port o potty stops you had to make!! LOL. You probably would have run sub 3:30 had it not been for that! HAHA
Sounds like you had a wonderful experience - looking forward to following your journey at Utah!! =)

Lisa said...

Erin, my friend and running buddy sent me this link to your blog, he wanted me to read it because he said it described our Boston so well. I loved reading it. We just ran Boston as well it was my 4th, but we had a big group of us go from Jacksonville Fl and it was some of their first. I loved reading your description, I have been asked about the race and have thought you just had to be there to experience how awful the heat was, but how great Boston is!!! Your time was great, good luck in Utah, I'm jealous I need to find my next goal.