2015 Boston Marathon Recap

I arrived in Boston Saturday night and made it to the Expo first thing Sunday morning to try to avoid the crazy crowds.  I wandered around for a bit after getting my number and bought some arm warmers because the weather report was rapidly deteriorating.  Then I went to get my annual picture by the Finish Line.  It is very motivating and fun to see all the people by the Finish Line getting excited for their race the following day.

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The talk of the town was what to wear on race day due to the temperature getting colder and colder and the rain and winds increasing every time I checked the weather.  I had brought a skirt and tank top to run in, but began thinking that might not be enough. Fortunately my friend, Sheilah, that I was running with had an extra pair of capri tights and an ear warmer for me to use.  And I had bought a short sleeve running shirt for my sister at the Expo that I ended up deciding to wear.  (Sorry, sis!)  I’ve never been so unprepared clothing-wise for a race before, but the past 2 years I have felt overheated while running Boston, so when I packed to fly there, I never expected the weather to get so blustery.

The final weather report before the race.

The final weather report before the race.

Race morning was uneventful, I got up, ate a banana and some oatmeal, dressed in my race outfit plus 2 extra layers of throw away clothes to keep warm before the start.  I met Sheilah and we boarded the bus near the Boston Commons and began the long trek to Hopkinton.  It is a sobering feeling when the bus ride to the starting line takes almost an hour and you realize that you have to run the entire way back into the city!

When we got to Athlete’s Village (the waiting area until your wave of the race starts), it was cold and windy, but hadn’t started raining yet.  We decided to bypass all the crowds in the Village area and began walking toward the starting line.  We had about an hour and a half until our wave started so we stopped near a grocery store where there are a bunch of porta-potties set up and we found a small alcove area where some other runners were hiding out to try to get out of the elements before the race.  We sat and talked with some really nice people which helped put my nerves at ease.  Before we knew it, it was time to walk to our starting corral.  My super fast friend, Sheilah, was scheduled to start in the wave before me, but was sweet enough to wait around to start and run the race with me.  (You can read about our fun time running last year’s Boston Marathon together here.)

Lining up to start the race

Lining up to start the race

Seconds before the starting gun went off.  In our rain ponchos.  I don't know why we brought our sunglasses!

Seconds before the starting gun went off. In our rain ponchos. I don’t know why we brought our sunglasses!

Finally the gun went off and we started our race.  The rain began coming down so we decided to keep on our ponchos and a layer of throw away clothing to stay warm.  We ended up keeping both on until mile 24 when we decided to shed the extra layers and just get to the finish line as quickly as possible!

The race was a blast as always.  The spectators did not disappoint.  They were out there in their usual force, despite the wet and windy weather.  These are some diehard people!  I was most impressed with all the families with small children out there handing out water and oranges in their rain gear.  This is one of the things that makes Boston such an amazing race!

We didn’t let the rain and wind dampen our spirits.  While 26.2 miles is never easy to run, it is much more fun with a good friend by your side.  At points we just had to laugh when a big gust of wind would come and almost blow us backwards.  Sure the weather was not ideal, but how can you complain when you are running the best marathon in the world?

3 hours 53 minutes and 45 seconds later, we made it to the finish line in Boston, and I completed my 3rd Boston and 12th marathon!  And Sheilah completed her 6th Boston and 17th marathon!

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I want to thank everyone for all the comments, best wishes, and support.  Every time we crossed a timing mat, I knew people were getting updates and following along with us. Thank you to Klean Athlete for providing me with nutritional supplements that help keep my body going (I used the Klean Endurance Tabs and Electrolytes during the race, and the Klean Recovery after the race).  I am beyond grateful to Sheilah for making this another memorable Boston and birthday (which was the day after the race).  And I am thankful to my family and friends for their support of my training, racing and traveling endeavors.  And most of all I’m thankful to God for giving me the health, strength and ability to continue to take on these adventures.

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Psalm 118

Heading to Boston

I will be flying to Boston Saturday morning.  I can’t wait to get back to this great city.  The atmosphere of Marathon Weekend is like none other.  The energy, excitement, and spirit surrounds the city and I’m thrilled to get to participate in all of it for my third year in a row.

Here are some pictures from my first year in Boston, 2013:

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And a few pictures from last year:

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I’m off to run my 12th marathon!  For updates over the weekend, follow me on Twitter here and like Miles and Trials on Facebook here.

 

Boston Memories

Two years ago today I ran my first Boston Marathon.  It took me 5 marathon attempts to finally run fast enough to qualify for this iconic race.  The day was everything I had hoped for and more than I could have imagined, until minutes after I crossed the finish line and everything changed.

Just after crossing the finish line, Boston 2013

Just after crossing the finish line, Boston 2013

You can read more about my experience here.  I don’t need to rehash the awful events that occurred at the finish line that day.  However, I do feel the need to say that I often think of those who lost their lives, their families, and the 260 others that were injured.  I pray that God comforts them and that they know how many people care about them, think about them, and pray for them.

The tattoo I wore during last year's Boston Marathon.
The tattoo I wore during last year’s Boston Marathon.

The city has a very special place in my heart and I am blessed to be able to return this Monday to run my third Boston Marathon.

 Something my sister and I saw while walking around Boston the day after the bombings.

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Triathlete Magazine Article

I don’t feel worthy, yet I am incredibly honored to be in April’s issue of Triathlete Magazine.

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I know many people with MS who have accomplished amazing physical feats, more amazing that anything I have done, but I am happy to help spread some awareness for this disease.  It was great that the magazine hit the shelves during March, which is MS Awareness Month.  The more people that learn about this disease, the more we can come together and hopefully find a cure.

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Thank you Triathlete Magazine, Susan Lacke, and Eric Swanson Photography!

 

 

3 Year MS Anniversary

It is my 3 year anniversary this week.  No, not my wedding anniversary.  (Shout out to my husband, we are in fact coming up on our 20 year anniversary in May.  When did I get so old?)  Anyway, this week marks my 3 year anniversary of being diagnosed with MS.  It’s a bit ironic that this week is also National MS Awareness Week and March is MS Awareness Month.

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For those of you new to my blog, you can read about my MS story here.  I talk about what symptoms I had, the testing process and eventual diagnosis, and how one of my first thoughts was if I would be able to continue running marathons.  Isn’t it interesting where you mind goes in challenging times?

I’m happy to say that since my diagnosis I have gone on to run 7 more marathons, including 2 Boston Marathons (my third coming up in just 6 weeks!), and last year completed my first Half and Full Ironman races.  I never would have imagined this was possible 3 years ago as I sat in my car at the doctor’s office after getting the bad news.

Has it been an easy journey?  No, there are many days when my symptoms are acting up and I would rather not get up early to work out before getting the kids to school and going to work.  However, what I realize is that if I give in to those feelings, I would probably never get out the door to exercise.  It is rarely easy, however, it is always rewarding.

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I’ve asked myself why set such lofty goals?  The answer is that I find strength in persevering and working toward things that may seem difficult or even impossible.  I believe that God has planted the desire to set big endurance goals in my heart and will use this in some way to His glory.

I am not saying that everyone with MS should go run a marathon or do an Ironman.  I am aware that MS affects each of us very differently and that many are not physically able to do these things.  I feel very blessed that currently I am able to push my body and mind to this level, however, I know that may not always be the case.  While MS is unique in everyone it affects, it is also unpredictable and can change overnight.  What I do hope for is that along the way I can inspire someone else to work toward something they think is out of reach, whatever that may be.

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Thank you to my family, friends, and blog readers that have supported me in this journey that past few years.  I honestly could not do this without you.

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