Boston Marathon 2013- Boston Strong.

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Today’s Workout- 60 minute Runner’s Core class at Running, Etc.

Run for Boston 2.62 mile run at Running, Etc.

Last Tuesday as I waited to board my flight home, I sat next to a retired Sheriff at the Logan Airport who was on his was to D.C. to speak to Congress about gun control. We talked about the previous days events and I told him in the most hopeless voice that I never thought the suspects would be caught. I said “There were thousands of people there yesterday, I couldn’t even move to find my friends. How can they be found? It’s a needle in a haystack!” He looked at me and said “I promise you they will find who did this.” A week later I wish I could thank him for that. I wish I could thank and hug every Boston Police Officer, FBI Agent, First Responders, Fireman, Hospital Workers.

When I wrote my last post I had a huge dark cloud hanging over me. I was so angry, sad, and bitter. I could not think about any good part of that day without picturing the horrible side as well. When the suspects were caught though I felt stronger and I didn’t want their evil deeds to take away the good in that day. So I will recap that race a bit and I will remember the POSITIVES. Here is an online article written by Jon Leiding that talks about a few friends and I. Reading his words were one of the first steps for me to shake that dark cloud away.

What I Should Be Telling You About the Boston Marathon

I flew into Boston on Saturday around noon, met some amazing friends at the airport and before hitting the expo we checked into (in my opinion) the cutest hotel in Boston, the Kendall Hotel. It’s located in Cambridge close to the train. They serve an amazing breakfast (included) so check it out Boston 2014ers. The expo was an absolute madhouse. Usually I buy nothing at expos but I left with a backpack and t-shirt. My hoodie from the last time I ran Boston is still in good shape. I committed a Boston sin and never bought the jacket. I just never wear jackets…ever!

Group Run with Chanthana, Scott, Jenny, Kevin.

Sunday, Race Eve, was a fantastic day. I am truly blessed to have some amazing friends to run races with. We chill out at the hotel, we eat meals together so no one is ever alone to stew about the race, but mostly we make each other laugh. I did run two shake out runs along the river each day. It was gorgeous and I could see the Citgo sign on every run. Love that sign. I was a huge ball of nerves all weekend. My legs were not feeling bouncy and I am positive it was from nerves. Never before had I been so nervous for a race. Luckily my FAVORITE old school, elite marathoner Coach Dave Symonds was in town to watch his son and I race. He has been the biggest influence on my running career and just to see him was wonderful. He is from Boston and when I was in high school would talk about the Boston Marathon often. He wore a Boston Red Sox hat EVERY day. He had run a 2:35 on the Boston course back when there were no barricades. He said running up HeartBreak Hill the crowds would be so narrow that they would touch you….crazy! He also told me something that stuck with me the entire race. He said that he also PRed every marathon he ever ran. I took that to heart and because I want to be just like my running idol (him!) knew I would do everything I could to keep my PR streak alive.

Coach Dave Symonds, Kris, Doug Symonds

Race morning was fantastic. I slept much better than I had before the Twin Cities Marathon. The hours in Athletes Village were cold but fun. Hanging out with friends before the best marathon in the world is nothing to complain about and before we knew it, it was time to line up. I was in Corral 2 and had no trouble at all walking in and lining up in the back of the corral.

My first mile I was a bit slower than we wanted. It is downhill so while we want a slow first few miles, the downhill would negate some effort a bit. We wanted 6:22-25ish and it was a 6:33 mile because I was boxed it. I could not make my way weaving around people and did not want to waste any extra effort trying anyway. After that I was able to ease into a good pace. The crowds were incredible right away and lasted the entire 26.2 miles. I know you’ve heard it 1000 times but really the spectators at Boston are incredible. I feed off that energy. I took three Gu gels during the race at miles 6, 13, & 18 and alternated water and Gatorade at every other aid station. They had aid stations every mile and that was excessive for me. In the future I will go back to 4 gels because I think I needed a bit more during the race.

I hit the half at 1:24:13 and soon after that saw Coach Symonds and his wife. It was the boost I needed to get my mental frame of mind ready for the hills. The hills destroyed me. Last time I ran Boston in 2010, I was living and training in Seattle. I remember thinking Heartbreak Hill was a joke. This time I was embarrassingly slow up Heartbreak. I tried to stay relaxed and not freak out when I was passed 4-5 times on the hill. Once I got to the top though I was able to get back on pace. My favorite mile of all was just after 21 when we hit Boston College. The roars from the college students there were INCREDIBLE. My best advice for Boston is to wear something that stands out. My black runderwear and hot pink Running Etc. singlet stand out and I get tons of attention. At Boston college the drunk boys were screaming in my ears and yelled “MARRY ME!” I’m a 33 year old mother of 3, if you scream at me like that on the outside I’ll bashfully be all “Oh stop!” and on the inside I’ll be “HAPPY DANCE! YOU ARE THE BEST!” πŸ˜‰ It was a race highlight for sure and I dropped a 6:11 mile in the excitement. From then on I am really proud of my pace. Coach Hadley had pressed in my mind that we must switch to predator mode in the last 10K and I did just that. Every ounce of my body was exhausted and wanted to quit but I made myself keep my eyes up and lean forward. The results say that 5 girls finished in the same minute as I did but that was chip time. Every girl I could see I made it my mission to pass and just like Twin Cities I think I did that. Even still I knew I was cutting it close to sub 2:50. I had as close to chip time as I could on my watch but math in the last 10K is not my strong point. Okay, math is never my strong point. At mile 24 I started to panic and was giving everything I could. That last stretch down Boylston when everyone is posing for pictures I was sprinting like a crazy girl! I crossed the finish line thinking I ran just over 2:50 and I was so upset. I found Coach Symonds and instantly was transformed into a 16 year old again and cried like a baby. Then I cried like a baby again when friends told me I made it under 2:50 and ran a 2:49:58 for 44th female. Those two little seconds made all the difference! I still am in shock that I am a sub 2:50 marathon runner. I wanted it SO badly and worked hard for months for it so to have that dream come true….I was on cloud 9 on Boylston Street….for awhile anyway.

Forgive me if I don’t talk about the rest of the day. I really have no desire to talk about it. I am VERY grateful out of ten plus friends running and finishing at different times, we were safe. I want to thank you ALL for your support, well wishes, and concern this past week. Thank you for reminding me that it is okay to focus on the positive and wise to push the negatives aside. I appreciate it so much! I will post again soon with details about my recovery period. Take care!

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26 thoughts on “Boston Marathon 2013- Boston Strong.

  1. Hey Kris, I’m so glad you posted your recap. I, too, have managed to separate the horrific events at Boston from the race itself, and have found that I’m able to talk freely about my race and how it went, without dwelling on the events that followed. I have many of the same experiences from the race as you, although I was almost an hour slower. πŸ˜‰ Once again I found the expo crowded and hot and it actually gave me a headache that lasted most of Sunday. I didn’t buy the jacket either – looks too much like my 2009 jacket that I rarely wear – but I got the hoodie which I love, a couple of t-shirts, unicorns for my boys, and a travel mug for my husband. In hindsight I’m glad I bought so much but lugging it around was a pain and so I left the expo soon after. Didn’t even wait around for Dean Karnazes, who I had planned to get to sign my North Face 50K shirt! I, too, found the boys of Boston College my biggest supporters and mile 22 was definitely my fastest! Anyway, I am rambling. Congrats on your amazing run.

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    • The unicorn and mug combo (did you see them stuffed together at checkout?) was the cutest thing ever. I almost bought them too! I regret not buying the new hoodie like you did. I am glad you had a great Boston trip up until the events. We deserve to remember the positives!

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  2. I’m so happy we can celebrate the moments that made us happy almost all weekend. You ran one heck of a race and you finally got that sub 2:50 that you’ve worked so hard for. To many more tequila shots to come πŸ˜€ I think I’m just going to celebrate for the next month to make up for it. What do you think? Good plan? πŸ˜‰

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  3. Congratulations girly. I’m so glad you were able to separate yourself from the events and write a recap of how things “Should” have been had everything been safe that day. I’m glad you got the sub 2:50 at Boston too, I know it means a lot to you.

    I honestly don’t blame you not to buy the jacket. If you weren’t going to wear it, why bother? May as well put that money toward next year’s marathon right?

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  4. Pingback: Boston Marathon 2013: Race Recap & True Celebration | We Wander And Ponder

  5. Great race review! Congrats on a great race. Enjoy that PR you earned it…and all girls are allthe same when it comes to that attention πŸ˜‰ I can hear Lindsey now saying it…

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  6. I kept clicking refresh, refresh, refresh on your split times, muttering “Come on, Kris! You got this! GO GO GO GO GO GO!” My office mate sweetly listened as I kept rattling off the times of my really fast friends. You and your buns are to many of us what Coach Symonds is to you: inspiring.

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  7. Kris, you truly deserve this PR and do not let the events take that away from you. That was a great race and I am SOOO proud of you and your sub 2:50 marathon. You continue to inspire me and I truly cannot wait to see you run in trials in 2016 because I know you will be there. As your self proclaimed runderwear sister, I cannot wait to be back in VA Beach and hopefully have the honor (yes HONOR) of running with you.

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  8. Congratulations on an amazing race! I am in AWE of you — you are a huge inspiration to me. I want to run faster, push harder and set more ambitious goals after reading this!!

    I wrote my race recap a couple of days ago and, for me, that ended up being my belated celebration. It was a healing process to get it all out — the good and the bad alike. I hope you are on the road to recovery and enjoying being a sub-2:50 marathoner!

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  9. i loved running by the college boys so much….i ran it last year when it was 90 degrees in a hot pink sports bra and pink and gray booty shorts! I was dripping in sweat but I felt pretty good about myself after running by them! haha

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  10. YES! Congrats! I knew you could keep the streak alive! I know the great day was overshadowed by the horrific events, but I’m happy you were able to write this post and find happiness because you deserve it.

    I’m going to be living through you as I do my 4 miles easy every day until I have this baby. Keep the GREAK WORK going! Love it!

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  11. Thank you for sharing happy moments! It’s so great to hear the good that happened before the terrible. Congrats on sub 2:50! You’re a rock star!!

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  12. Sooooo PROUD of you Kris for going sub-2:50 in the marathon!!! You just continue to inspire me!!! And definetly stick with the 4 gel game plan I think that’s a smart move. I still a marathoner in his diaper (no big boy pants yet haha lol) but I went with the 4 gel plan for my first marathon and it work like a charm. Once again congrats and enjoy your recovery!!! I guess a sub-2:49 marathon is next up for you and I know you’ll get it!! Run Happy!!! πŸ™‚

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  13. I LOVED reading this recap – I love all of your race recaps, and blog posts for that matter:) I knew you would get that sub 2:50 and I’m so glad that you worked for it and made it. You are a gifted marathoner and I look forward to watching you continue your amazing marathon PR streak!

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  14. Love the story! πŸ™‚ I laughed on the part about the college boys screaming “marry me”. I would probably blush. πŸ™‚

    I’m glad you are safe! I was there too during the marathon weekend events. Good thing we decided to go back home to Ohio on Sunday, or we would have been there too at the finish line watching the marathon.

    Stay safe! And happy runnings! πŸ™‚

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