The Boston marathon was an amazing experience! The weather was not the best, but much better than a hot, humid day. Overall, everything went well and I did better than expected, considering how my training got derailed earlier this year.
I wrote my race plan over a week in advance and was well prepared with nutrition for the trip and the race. A few of the things I did to ensure I could stay on plan while traveling.
· Requested a refrigerator in my hotel room
· Researched healthy restaurants in advance of trip
· Found the nearest Whole Foods so I could buy things to have on hand in my hotel room
· Packed travel snacks (raw nuts, Uber bars, jerky, avocado, raw vegetables, greens/protein powder/collagen mix, coconut and MCT oil, sea salt, dark chocolate, almond butter)
· Packed supplements for race preparation and recovery
Arriving in Boston was incredible! The city truly celebrated the marathon. I was like a kid on Christmas morning as we headed to the expo. Seeing the finish line gave me chills and I could see myself crossing it on Monday.
I didn’t change much with my typical dietary intake in advance of the race. Being fat adapted, I don't require a bunch of carbohydrates before an event. We ate at an amazing restaurant on Saturday night (Davio’s) which had wild caught fish and organic dishes. On Sunday I went to Whole Foods and picked up some sautéed vegetables, a sweet potato and a piece of salmon. The sweet potato was the only additional carbohydrate I threw in to ensure I had enough glycogen for the race.
I was set for the night so I sent my boys down to the hotel restaurant for a little quiet time to mentally prepare for the race and set everything out for the morning.
On race morning I only had green tea since our room did not have a coffee maker. I drank a packet of UCAN with protein shortly before I left my room. It was looking chillier than expected and high winds were predicted so I swapped my shorts for capri tights, which was a really good decision.
The bus took longer than expected to get to the race start so I only had time to hit the bathroom before heading to my corral. The timing messed up my plan to grab some coffee in the village. Coffee helps with energy and fat burning so that likely hurt me a bit at the start. I took a packet of Vespa about 30 minutes before the start.
Before I knew it, I was in my corral and we were off. The road was freshly wet and crowded so it was hard to get in a normal stride. I felt a little flat but the crowd helped to keep me from going out too fast. I grabbed water at the first aid station and took my amino acids and salt tab.
I was moving along at a consistent pace and followed my race plan to take ½ Vespa at hour 1:10. My back was starting to hurt badly at mile 9 so I decided to walk for 30 seconds at mile 10 and I felt much better. I decided to continue with that approach every other mile and went through the course in my head. I found my friend Heather and she looked great! We both had the same injuries earlier in the year so we were excited that we made it to the start line. The running pack was not really thinning so I just tried not to zig zag too much. The crowds were amazing, especially when we hit Wellesley! I took ½ X2 at hour 2 and started to really get into a groove at mile 15. I was feeling better and better and ready for the hills to start at mile 17.5. Once they did, it felt good on the legs to change to an uphill grade. I took ½ Vespa at hour 3. I kept wondering if each hill was heartbreak but they didn’t seem that bad. When we did hit heartbreak hill, it still wasn’t bad just a bit longer. I took ½ X2 and settled in for the last part of the race.
As we came onto Commonwealth and Boylston, the crowds were amazing! The cheering sounded so loud and I started counting down the miles. I noticed that the bottom of my feet were sore. Had they been sore in other marathons? I was not sure. I kept with my 30 second walk on the even miles but skipped it at mile 24. I can push through anything with cheers like this! My friend Heather came upon me and I was so excited to finish together. She was running faster than me so I just pretended there was a string pulling me along. I saw Klavs and Magnus about .5 mile before the finish. Even though it was raining they were all smiles and screaming for me. I felt so happy and fortunate for their support!
Crossing the finish line was incredible! I missed a PR by almost 3 minutes, but I finished faster than expected and well ahead of my qualifying time. The volunteers were wonderful to be out there in the rain and definitely took care of us. We were so thankful for the mylar blankets. We didn’t hang out since it was so cold, but went back to our room to celebrate. Klavs surprised us with some Veuve Clicquot, which was well deserved! I had some, along with my recovery drink.
Sushi is still my favorite recovery meal and Douzo did not disappoint! Shockingly, I did not have blisters after the race, but most of the marathoners were limping along in some way or another. Again, the city did not disappoint, everyone we encountered congratulated us on the race.
I was really sore for about 2 days but then started to recover. My recovery is not optimal with IM WI on the horizon, but I’m doing my best to foam roll, stretch and scale back the workouts when needed. My inflammation was minimal and that is likely from my nutrition. In the end, I took in only 90 calories over the entire race and requalified for next year!
The next day was all about my fabulous race supporters. Magnus got to set the plans for the day so we did a duck tour and hit the aquarium. Got to give back love and support to those that support us!