6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Boston Lessons Learned and Pictures

*****I realize I have not announced Winners of the Giveaways yet... so Sorry will get to it this afternoon.

I always learn something, from training runs to Marathons, I am so new to running that I don't know what I don't know until I come across it. I learned sooooo many things in Boston. I thought it would be fun to list my Lessons Learned along with the AWESOME photos from MarathonFoto HERE.

Tall Mom Boston Marathon Lessons

  • Do not make it a quick trip. Especially if you live in a different time zone. Your body will need time to adjust and with so many fun things to do, having extra time will leave you room for rest and downtime. I suggest arriving on Thursday Night or Friday morning and leaving on Wednesday.

  • Go to the expo multiple times, listen to the speakers, get autographs and get in on running with the Legends.

  • Watch the 5K and Mile races on Sunday, bring so food and a seat, avoid being on your feet as much as possible on Sunday.

  • Take the Trolly tour to get to know the course and be off your feet. Bring a snack and your water.
  • Visit the Finish Line and take pictures. It will be set up early on and is magical to visit. You will be zoomed through on Race day so this is your chance to cherish it.

  • Find the Tortoise and the Hare statue and the Boston Marathon bronze Map nearby, very cool!

  • Buy your "T" pass the night before the race and get to Boston Common to take the buses around 6:30, the lines will be LONG but they move pretty quick.

  • Dress WARM for before the race!! Go to Goodwill and buy a winter coat with hood as your toss away, the sun may be out but the Boston wind will chill you to the bone. I wore a thick rain poncho and gloves with my toss-away clothes and was so glad I had it
  • Listen to the Announcements in Athlete's Village, they will tell you when to leave and where your gear check bus is.

  • SIT DOWN AND EAT!! Use the time in Athlete's Village to prepare your mind and body for the race. It will be a lot of waiting, so be sure to bring something to sit on a find a comfortable area.

  • Check a bag, it is super easy. Bring lots of snacks for Fuel and be sure to pack a comfortable post-race outfit.

  • There are Port O Johns near the start Corrals with short lines, you will have time to GO if you give yourself a few extra minutes.
  • Smile for the cameras!! As you can see there are loads of photogs along the course and they love it when you ham it up for them.. I pulled out all of my poses, double thumbs up, high five wave, flex, etc.. CHEESE BALL!!
  • Do Not Overdress or you may end up tossing gear that you love.. I was so sad to lose my Moeben Sleeves at the 10K check point :(
  • Prepare for a HILLY course, practice downhill and long uphill climbs. Walk if you have to. Everyone worries about Heartbreak Hill....really it is a progression of hills from miles 16 to 20.5, with Heartbreak being the last in that group. There are hills the whole course. In order to be fully prepared seek out any hill you can find during your training.

  • Have a good playlist to help carry you through the rough patches. Only wear one earbud and be prepared to not be able to hear your music in the LOUDER areas.

  • Carry your own water via handheld of fuel belt, the water stops are BONKERS. There are families along the course with water jugs who are HAPPY to refill and it only takes a few seconds.
  • Be sure to properly fuel along the way and the days leading up to the race. I highly recommend eating oranges and Popsicles along the course... YUM!!

  • I only noticed one Powergel station along the way, so pack your Gu and make sure not to drop them. There were countless Chomps, Gus, and water bottles along the course people had dropped by mistake.
  • Don't Stress about your TIME!!! If your body poops out, try to enjoy being there. At the end of the day the Finish Time does not matter. It is the experience.

  • Your Garmin will be a bit WACKO on race day, don't trust the pace it says, may be best to change the view to Overall pace. Or if you are DARING don't wear a Garmin at all..
  • Talk to people!! You are able to meet some unique people on the plane, the buses, in the airport or just around town. You will know who the Marathon Runners are the day after the race.. DON'T BE SHY!! I made 3 new friends because I talked and I am so glad I did!!

  • Thank the Volunteers, give High Fives to the fans along the way, and wave to the people. You are a celeb for a day, what a fun feeling!
  • Pack your patience!! With 27,000 people you are always in a line, in a large group, waiting, hardly moving, it can be overwhelming. If you do not like crowds this is not the race for you. In most races eventually the group thins out, that does not happen in Boston, you will be in a PACK most of the race.
  • Even if you feel like DYING, ham it up for the FINISH LINE!! You may never be here again, show your pride, this is the line you have been running for months, years to make it to. This is your moment. I finally got the Tall Flex on Film!!

  • Stay near the Finish Line. There is a a lot to do and it is by the expo and most pre-race activities. Sheraton seemed to be a good place. When you are done with the race it is nice to wander around and not have to get back on the T or a bus. Most things are within a close walk to the Finish, so pick your hotel wisely.
  • Bring your Good Camera, I didn't and I ended up not taking many pictures. Not for the race of course, but while around town.

  • Sign the wall in Nike Town and get your medal engraved on Tuesday for FREE
  • Have friends and family to share the time with. Do not go totally alone. Having my Blogger friends and training partners to share the excitement with really made the event. I WISH that my Husband, Mom and Sister could have made the trip. It is really special to have someone there cheering just for you.

  • Post Race Milkshake!! Nuff said!!

  • If you see something you like in your size BUY IT or at least try it on. Size spans go fast and you don't want to miss out.
Above all ENJOY THE RACE!!


Shannon (IronTexasMommy) said...

Great suggestions! Glad you had such a wonderful experience... The photos are awesome!

Denise said...

i think no matter how many we run, we'll always walk away learning something new.

i love the race pics, shows how determined you were out there!

Kerrie said...

Good tips, lady! Love the Tall Flex! I need a signature finish line pose. Let's work on that, K? ;)

Denise said...

silly! i have a bunch more pics to put up, was going to put them in another post by themselves! i love the pic of us!

jillieb2 said...

Congratulations! Your photos and comments about the Boston Marathon are great!!

Marlene said...

This is such a good collection of advice. Definitely book-marking for when my time comes. :) Thanks for taking us along on the ride with you, it's been a pleasure. XOXOXOXOXOXO

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

You are so throughtful to share this advice Mel! I bet it istransferable to most BIG TIME marathons too.

Your race photos tell the whole story! Love them!! Such a special bucket list item!!!

Carlee said...

What an awesome post; hope to use your advice sometime soon!

Love the photos!

Jennifer P said...

What great advice - not just for Boston or marathons, but ALL races. My rule is to always pack nutrition and water on runs of any distance. You never know what is going to happen.

Congrats and bask in your BOSTON glow!

Joy Blaylock said...

Love the pics--they tell a universal story of the feelings experienced in a marathon!

Janice {Run Far} said...


I giggle because I always hit up the goodwill before a race. I love these pics... all of them.

Elizabeth said...

thanks for sharing--hopefully one day I will be there! i love that you share your pics. even the ones you may not love :)

TLB said...

Love all the photos! :)

gba_gf said...

I love your lessons learned. I have from the first marathon you ever ran, to this one, and all the ones you run in the future, let's just assume I will love them too.

You are so great. Thankyou for sharing your positive energy and spirit with all of us. Congrats again Mel, you are a Boston finisher.

Molly said...

I finally caught up on everything, SO happy for you! Congrats on being a BOSTON FINISHER!!!! : )

Amy said...

Great pics and great lessons! Congrats again!

5 Miles Past Empty said...

Great list of lessons!! mabybe someday I'll be able to apply them to boston!!
Your pics are GREAT!!

kimert said...

Great advice! I will never run Boston but I sure loved reading all of this. Love your pics too!

Little Miss Runshine said...

Great lessons learned! I always learn something new after a race. And it's great to hear what other people learn because we experience different things! :)

KK @ Running Through Life said...

Love the photos! Congrats Mel!!!!!!!!!!!