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

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Boston Marathon 2011 Race Report

Got your Coffee and a snack... SETTLE IN HERE WE GO...THIS IS GOING TO BE LONG!!

Wow oh wow did that trip go by FAST!!
I was blessed to meet an amazing couple on the plane ride from Saint Louis to Boston. C and R are teachers from Oklahoma, R started running to drop weight and found some MAJOR SPEED! C joined in the fun and qualified for Boston her first time out! We talked the entire flight, I felt like we were old friends by the end of the flight and gave C a big hug. I ended up seeing C at Packet Pickup and R after the race. CONGRATS to R for 3:09:41 Finish and C for 3:45:24, BQ times for each :)

The long 6.5 hours of flying ended and Bethany HERE was there to meet me. So nice to FINALLY meet my virtual buddy. We walked to the bus, then the T and on to their place. I sped to get ready to get to the Blogger Meet up. BUMMER I missed it, guess the group disbanded quickly when there was no room in the meet up space. :( I did get to meet the AMAZING EMZ Here, will post the photo soon, she made me feel short in her high heels.
So we set out to Nike Town to sign the wall, then Texted and found Denise HERE.
Was so great to meet Denise, I was surprised at how Tall she is in a GOOD WAY.. We posed for a quick photo, chatted and gave a pre-race Good Luck Hug. The city was busy, we found a great sandwich place and settled in for Dinner.
Next day we set out to watch the 5K, go for a run, make it to get my packet, hit the Blogger brunch at 11am, or so I thought, ride the trolly tour and maybe have a few minutes to REST..
While spectating Aron HERE got my attention.. SO GLAD to meet Aron, she gave me great advice leading up to my BQ attempt and is a wealth of knowledge. Her husband had run the 5K. I think we were all a bit overwhelmed by all the activity. Bethany took loads of photos, which I plan to steal once she uploads them. Janna, Bethany and I went for a quick 2.5 mile run in the windy wind.. So pretty along the water, I nearly twisted my ankle...oops..

Then we sprinted back to get ready for the Bloggy Brunch hosted by Caution Redhead Running HERE. I should have verified the time because Morgan texted asking where we were, brunch had started at 10AM.. UGH!! I missed another fun event. I SUCK!! By the time we made it they were all checking out. I was EMBARRASSED to be so late, I usually try to get around to talk to everyone at events, but I was frazzled. Got to give Jill HERE a hug, we totally forgot to pose together :(
I was adding to my "Fun-sized" (I think Jill or Morgan coined that term) friends. My good buddy Amy texted me and said "You look so Tall in all the pictures, like you are at a Gymnastic meet." I was cracking up. So AMAZING to meet Morgan, I hope that someday out paths will cross again because I would have liked more time to chat. She has such an amazing Spirit and love for life, plus we have been "friends" for nearly 2 years... After that screw up I was feeling a bit deflated, we met some of Bethany and Ryans Friends for Lunch. Mother Nature decided to give me a pre-race gift....couple that with a cold, I was telling myself was allergies, I was not feeling well. We went back to the expo in ZOOM mode, with about 30 minutes, Gene introduced himself, which was AWESOME!! We boarded the Trolly ride for 2.5 hours. I wanted to go to the Bloggy Dinner, but I was ZAPPED, so Bethany and Ryan made a great dinner..
I NEEDED to rest but our friend Tammy had just arrived and was worried about her injury and not being able to run. So Janna and I went to meet her and decided to take her to the see the Finish Line.
The cool part was Tammy ended up getting interviewed by the local news, I was in the background, will post the link soon.
These are my Bonney Lake training partners, we all helped each other get to Boston and would all have very different Boston Experiences.
FINALLY home, I got my race stuff together as my throat felt tight and scratchy. The News talked about Tornados in NC so I texted Amanda, so glad to hear she was safe. I was going to run the Boston Marathon in the morning. I watched the slideshow my friend Lynette sent me with photos from friends, running buddies and family, it made me cry. I checked facebook, comments and emails. I felt ready.. But I still had a long way to get to the race.
We got to the busses at about 6:30AM, good thing the line kept growing and growing.. We snapped a quick photo and tried to stay warm.. WAITING WAITING I was cold and could barely breath out of my nose, I could feel cramps setting in an took a pain reliever. On the bus I chatted with some FUN people from Memphis, the ride was LONG!! We got off and found our way to Athlete's village, I used a red "Porta John" for the first time and tried to avoid the puddles. Texting Stephanie HERE to make sure we could all hang together. I had not seen Steph since Rock N Roll Seattle and I felt BLESSED to hang with her before she set out on her 50th State!! Steph was getting low on water, suddenly a water appear from nowhere, WEIRD, we said it was water from God.. I planned to paint my nails, pose for photos and have a blast, but I was too cold to do anything. Thank goodness I brought the thick blue poncho, it saved me. We laughed at the people in Bath Robes and the woman in a Fir Coat :)
Before we knew it we had to set out and didn't get to say Goodbye to Steph who was in the potty line. I heaved Bethany's Gear bag into the high window. The clock was ticking but the announcer kept saying "Don't worry you have plenty of time." Once last pit stop and I could tell that Mother Nature's gift may play a role in my day.. OF ALL THE TIMES!!! UGH!!

Bethany and I settled in, I tossed my clothes, fixed my shoe and with 13 seconds to go took a deep breath. The crowed moved slowly to the start. (Photos taken from Denise HERE, Thanks Denise)
I generally can remember things with great clarity, but alas the Boston Marathon is one big jumbled mess in my mind. I recall bits and pieces but cant seem to make it all formulate a full race. From Mile 1 I knew something was OFF. I felt EXHAUSTED and STARVED! My mind was ready to run, but my body was fighting me. Generally I don't get tired until 16ish, and I was already tired at Mile 1!!! Oh boy.. Bethany was with me, I didn't want to tell her I felt horrible and worry her. Someone said "Are you Tall Mom?" her name was Alisha (I think?) and we talked for a while as she zoomed by. I would get passed a lot.

I was holding back to make sure I did not go out to fast, but really I could not have moved any faster. The town sign for ASHLAND shone bright and I thought "That would be a good name for a Girl," hehehe Muscle Man may be in trouble I was thinking about baby #3 while running.
  • Mile 1= 8:27, Mile 2= 8:12, Mile 3= 8:19, 5K 26:02
I thought about my friends, family and those tracking me as I hit the 5K timing mat. My Goals whirled in my mind, I knew that the BQ was out I did not feel well, I hope I would get a second wind and ate a chomp. I let Bethany out of my sight, I felt defeated and was not willing to drag her down with me.
  • Mile 4= 8:18, Mile 5= 8:20, Mile 6= 8:10, 10K= 51:56
At mile 4 I wanted to quit. How could this happen?? Why was I so tired?? SNAP OUT OF IT MEL!!! How could I go on for 22.2 more miles? I didn't have it in me, I was not strong enough, I was not going to Finish the Marathon, there was no way!! I dug deep pulling out every mental trick I had. The fans along the course were AMAZING! Smiles, awesome signs, cheering so loud that my ears were ringing, water, oranges and popsicles..
  • Funny things I remember: A sign that said "I see Fast people" looked like a movie poster, Santa, a Patriotic Cross-dresser, Stay Puff blow up, and more...
I was getting really HOT!! I wanted to keep my Moeben HERE Sleeves but I was too hot, I took them off, carried them for a bit, tried to put them in my pants and nearly lost them down my pants, I was sad to toss them at the 10K timing mat.

I have to admit I was pitiful, defeated, but most of all ANGRY!! I had worked so hard for this, taken so much time from my family and friends, early mornings, life dedicated to Running...and on race day my Body didn't show up. My worst fears were playing out, I was not enjoying the Boston Marathon.
  • Mile 7= 8:15, Mile 8= 8:30, Mile 9= 8:37, Mile 10= 8:48, Mile 11= 9:06
I wanted so badly to stay in the 8's and Finish sub 4, I worried about my Finish time, but I was STARVING. I saw a man in a Team Autism shirt get an Otter-pop style popsicle then pull off to walk and eat it. I followed his lead. The cold popsicle tasted so GOOD, I wanted more. My bottle was getting low so I stopped at a family with water jugs in a Red Wagon. They smiled from ear-to-ear to fill my bottle and wished me Good Luck. What an experience to feel like you make someone's day by taking what they had to offer. So many people cheering and offering things along the course made this race so special. There were also people who gave me great perspective, the Blind Runner, Team Hoyt and the woman with a prosthetic leg, their strength was infectious.

I was approaching Wellsely College, WOW IS IT LOUD!! Everyone has signs "Kiss me I'm Irish," "Kiss me I'm Asian," "Kiss me I'm Gay," etc.. There was a guy who was lifting his arms and getting them all to scream, it all felt very Hue Heffner. The pavement through Wellesley was fresh and smelled of Asphault, this was the only section with any shade from the Sun. My hair was getting buzzy from spraying water on my head and the little hairs went across my face to drive me BONKERS..
  • Mile 12= 9:40, Mile 13= 8:54, Half= 1:53:28
Half Way!! Half WAY!! I could run the rest of the race in 2:00, about 9:09 pace, and still get a good time. My Spirits lifted. Maybe I could do this afterall. But that feeling was short-lived. I knew the HILLS were coming and with HILLS comes Slow running for Tall Mom. Suddenly my Ipod got really LOUD and the Wind to my back picked up..

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

I only get one shot, one shot to run Boston for the First time. This was just what I needed to hear, my legs kept moving as I grabbed an Orange or 2. At some point around there Christina HERE passed me and said Hello, I told her I was struggling and she said "Where is your head at?" or something along those lines... I replied "I don't know." I didn't know...My mind was the only thing keeping my body moving, and yet I was LOST.
  • Mile 14= 9:06, Mile 15= 9:38, Mile 16= 8:44
I sprayed water on my head and down my shirt. I was so HOT and wished I could take off my shirt but it had my race number. I felt weak and depleted, but I posed for every photog I saw. I was proud of my time up the first big HILL, maybe I could make it... Then PAIN SURGED ACROSS MY LOWER BACK... OUCH OUCH OUCH!! I pulled off, stopped and bent over to stretch. I got some relief but the pain was intense.
The crowd was loud, the HILLS are packed with people all with amazing signs, YELLING all day. Photo Above from Denise. I knew that there were people out on the course but I did not see anyone :( Along the way 2 pretty Women yelled "Tall Mom", No idea what mile marker but it made me smile. I was sad to not have anyone there just for me, I started to have a little pitty party suddenly my Ipod got really LOUD and the Wind to my back picked up..

Run fast for your mother run fast for your father
Run for your children for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind you
Can't carry it with you if you want to survive

I was not ALONE, So many believed in my and were with me. At that point I realized that My Dad (who passed away in October, 6 months before the race) was with me...he was playing with the songs on my Ipod and giving me a push through the wind. You do not have to believe this, may be a stretch for some, but I was running the Boston Marathon with my Dad!!!! I touched the tattoo I had of him on my heart and my legs started moving again.
  • Mile 17= 9:51, Mile 18= 10:18, Mile 20= 10:11
Almost up the HILLS and my back was screaming, then my calf tensed up, I grabbed a Gatorade and stopped to drink. I knew I was losing precious time, all the time I had earned the first half was dwindling with all the stops. Quick note about the water stops.. THEY ARE BAD!! Tight, congested and cups everywhere.. Not safe at all. For 10 feet after each water stop I could feel my sneaker stick to the ground from the Gatorade puddles. My right shoulder was cramping and I thought about tossing my Nathan Handheld, good thing I didn't it had my ID and $40 in it..

HEARTBREAK HILL!!! HEARTBREAK Indeed... I wish I could say that I found a second wind and sped up the last monster, but I couldn't. I was depleted, running on fumes, everything hurt and I couldn't get my mind to focus. I ate a Dove chocolate and more Oranges as I walked. People were darting onto the course to run with their loved ones, I looks left and right for a familiar face, knowing I would not find one. I felt a push on my back, a beautiful Woman Taller than me put her hand on my back and said "Get Goin Tall Mom," oh how I wished I could. I decided to jog until I found another popsicle.
  • Mile 21= 10:51, Mile 22= 9:28, Mile 23= 9:16
After the SLOWEST mile yet I knew I had less than an hour to go. I tried to do the math to see if sub 4 hour was still in reach.. What is 9 x 3??? 21, no, 25, no, 27, yes....hmmm can I run 9:00 minute miles?? probably not, what is 9:45 x 3?? Lord who knows?? Just keep running. 30 minutes left and I had no idea how I would do it. I saw a med tent and thought about stopping. Suddenly my Ipod got really LOUD and the Wind to my back picked up..

It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In the maze of her imagination

You love this town
Even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you

It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day

The wind blew the cups in the area making the most amazing display and sound. Like a wind chime, the cups were plastic and small, not the green cups along most of the course. I was in awe of the sight, of all the things to be etched in my mind, Cups?!?!?! At that moment I felt my Dad again, Just keep going Mel.... Just Keep going does not matter how fast you will make it.
  • Mile 24= 9:49, Mile 25= 9:33
I saw the Citgo sign and the One Mile to go sign, my Garmin read that I was .2 more than I should be.. UGH!! I tossed that out of my head, I could do it. I was going slow but I was making progress, I would have to run an 8:00 mile to finish sub 4 hours... I did not have an 8:00 mile in me... At that Moment I let it go.....I would Finish just short of my goal, but I would Finish. Suddenly my Ipod got really LOUD and the Wind to my back picked up..

I have got so much to give, I swear I do
I may not have nine lives, this one feels brand new
Yes, I've lived a good one, I have tried to be true
There are some things I never realized till I met you
How the wind feels on my cheeks when I'm barking at the moon

There is no home like the one you've got
'Cause that home belongs to you
Woo, woo, here I come, woo, woo, back to you
There is no home like the one you've got
'Cause that home belongs to you

A Song from Bolt I added for my Kids and Muscle Man. Thanks Dad!! I was headed Home, I could make it. I walked way more in Boston than I wanted to, but I would RUN this last mile for my Family, I was strong enough to pull it out.. Good thing I decided to jog because the DRUNKS on the Boston College road were yelling at people walking, not very nice.. I wished that Muscle Man could see me, he is my #1 fan and so proud of me. Turning on to Boylston I was almost there.. Almost to the Finish of the Hardest Marathon I had ever run. Tired from Mile 1, ready to quit by Mile 4 and I was going to Finish!!
  • Mile 26= 9:36, Mile .49= 8:30
I pointed to Heaven as I crossed the line and hope that all who were watching could see me Finish. I dug deep and did not give up!! Yes I let my time goal escape but that didn't matter, I made it.

FINISH LINE!!! I was zombie, the pack of people was so tight.. What I do remember is the Medals, I picked a pretty young lady with a dimpled smile. She put the medal around my neck and I turned away. Tears flooded down my face and suddenly the world melted away....I could feel my Dad giving me a HUG, I could smell him, the crowd was gone and I was with my Dad... I felt him say "I am proud of you, Mom, Jayne and Jon. Keep going, I am with you." People probably thought I was CRAZY!! I am not sure how long I stood there motionless, it felt so GOOD to feel his presence.. Suddenly he was gone and I was ALONE, in a sea of people but alone. I posed for 2 photographer, hehe wanted to make sure I got a good picture. I started to feel nauseous so I sat down, got pestered by a med guy with a 2 minute warning.. What did he want me to puke on someone?? I ate a few bites and made my way to the gear bus and to find Bethany. Cruel Trick I thought my bus was #1 on the right but it was the last bus on the left. I ran into R from the plane, he told me about he and C's great BQ finishes, saw Memphis from the Bus and then a familiar face.
Denise had a great time taking pictures and finished a few minutes after me.. I sort of wished I had found her and ran her pace :) I teared up "That was soooo hard!" We hugged and parted..
I found Bethany and soon after Janna. I wanted so badly to have a great story of how I had the perfect day... but really through the struggle I found something more, I ran a Marathon with my Dad's Spirit....he knew I needed him... Thanks Dad!!
Official Time: 4:01:26
Overall Place= 14,617
Gender= 4,954
Division= 3,391

**I did not edit this, I am sure there are loads of mistakes. Lessons Learned, more pictures and post-race thoughts soon :) Thank you ALL for joining me on this Journey.


gba_gf said...

I'm all choked up... and i'm so proud of you. You rock Mel. I don't even have words today...

Congrats on your Boston finish!

Marlene said...

SHOOT!! on my way out the door and don't have time to read. Can't wait to snuggle up on the couch with a hot chocolate to read it tonight. :)


Denise said...

great report, mel, even if it wasn't the day you were hoping for. so glad i got to meet you and give you a hug at the finish. everyone, not only your dad, is proud of you!! congrats!

Velma said...


sandi said...

It may not be the day you imagined but you did great.
I have no doubt your Dad was there giving you a gently nudge and encouragement.

Great post!


yup, I ate a whole cake while reading that ;) Congrats on your Boston Finish! You overcame all the challenges before you and proved just how strong you are. I am beyond proud of you.

Unknown said...

I've never commented before (I read you all the time), but damn girl, I am sitting here crying (at work, luckily my office-mate is off). I tracked you on Monday, and wondered what was going on, and I figured it was just one of those days where it didn't come together. But, oh how it did... that moment at the finish line with your dad there? We each get so few moments like that in life. Running 26.5 (!) hellish miles to feel the spirit/presence of your dad - WOW. He was there.

Long-distance runner, former collegiate basketball player (NEC, early 90s)

Julie said...

Wow, I'm a regular reader of your blog and I know C and R that you met on your plane ride! I live in Oklahoma too and went to high school with C. She was also my sons teacher. :-) Very cool. So proud of her...and of you. Great job!!!

ShutUpandRun said...

Nice job, it was not easy, but you DID it!

Marissa said...

oh my goodness, I love this play by play post. I had tears in my eyes at the end...ahh, your Dad must be SO proud :) beautiful story of such an amazing event in your life...CONGRATS TO YOU!!!

I feel sick after running 4 miles, I can't even IMAGINE 26.2! geez!!!

ajh said...

Good for you for sticking with what sounds like an extremely tough race. How great that your father's spirit could help you!

Indi said...

Perserve and endure! And that you did!! While it may not have been what you envisioned, I hope it will still be something very special as you fought hard for it! Congrats!!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful, inspiring race report. Now, if I can borrow your half marathon split time for May 1, then I will be very happy!

Anonymous said...

totally crying. totally smiling. I LOVED your recap with the little "sound bites" that pushed you on. I'm so glad you ran with your dad, you were not alone...

Melissa said...

Even though it was not "your day", thank you for sharing a beautiful and honestly transparent race report. Congratulations on your 1st Boston!

Anonymous said...

nothing about that was easy. and I agree about the sticking road through the water stops! so proud of you Mel! I didn't exactly have the race I was hoping for either but you pulled through, sucked it up, and still had a pretty killer time by my book!

Anonymous said...

nothing about that was easy. and I agree about the sticking road through the water stops! so proud of you Mel! I didn't exactly have the race I was hoping for either but you pulled through, sucked it up, and still had a pretty killer time by my book!

Run with Jess said...

What an inspiring read. My eyes filled with tears, and I just want to reach out and hug you! The disappointment after hard training is so hard to swallow... but you really did awesome! I'll steal your times anyday! Most importantly, you pushed on and FINISHED BOSTON!! Congratulations Mel and thank you for sharing what had to be a difficult post to write.

fancy nancy said...

This post was so inspiring!!! You struggled through one of the hardest marathons out there but you DID NOT QUIT!!! My eyes flooded with tears when you described being hugged by your Dad. I'm sure he is VERY proud of you Mel!!!

Jill@Run for the Hills said...

Maybe you had a tough race so your Dad could be with you this whole time. If it would have been an "easy" race, would you have felt him as much?

I think you ran your perfect race.

Congrats, Mel!

PS. Your 10k time is way wrong. 8-9mm doesn't equal a 1:18 10k. :)

Running, Loving, Living said...

Great job!!!

runner_girl said...

Also crying! Such an amazing race! Way to push through, Mel!

Alanna said...

This totally made me cry. It may not have been the race you were going for, but it was definitely the experience you deserved! I love that your dad was with you. :)

Emz said...

Such a great RR.
Such emotion. Love. It.

Loved. Meeting. You!!!!!
Awesome job & btw----so with you on the water station thing.

Bethany + Ryan said...

AWESOME race report Mel!!! I'm s proud of you for pushin through. It was so much fun getting to spend my weekend with you!!!

Sam's Minions (aka parents- Angie and Brian) said...


Carrie said...

What a day, what a race you had!! There are tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

Good job, Mel. :-)

Tricia said...

Tears streaming down my face as I read this.seriously.

Hugs and congrats!

Heather Cacak said...

Congrats, Mel! I don't think I've ever left a comment before, but love reading your blog. You are an inspiration to us all. :)

Coy Martinez said...

Good Job Mel! You ran the hardest race of all! The mental race and you beat it!!

Paul said...

Hey TM,
Sorry it wan't a great race for you but it was Boston and you finished! I do not have the genes to run a Boston pace so I won't be doing that. 8)

Sometimes the body does what the body does and you have to go with the flow and not fight it.

Re: race numbers...I never pin them on my shirt...blocks airflow on solar plexus prevents change of shirt etc.

I pin it on the leg of my shorts..that's what the ultra guys do..you fold it up to make it just the number first.

You could pin it to the side of your running skirt.

Anyway, hope you are all healed up and thinking about your next race!

Joseph Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin Miller said...

I have 6 days until I find out if I got into the NYC lottery...otherwise I'm running for charity. Your post made me feel so much strength Tall Mom! I have tears in my eyes. I've done 4 half marathons but the big "M" is always looming as an unattainable goal. You showed me, even on a bad day, you can power through!!! Oh yea, and BTW, all your songs (Except for the one from your family) are on my marathon list. Dog Days are Over belongs to miles 24-25 and Beautiful Day belongs to miles 25-26. Thanks for sharing

Joy Blaylock said...

That is such a beautiful tribute. In the end, it is far more important to have had this amazing time with your Dad's spirit...that beats any PR, any day!
You don't know how often you inspire me. Almost daily, when dragging, as a tall mom (6'0) and pastor, I think of you Mel and dig a little deeper. Thank you for sharing your heart and your inspiration with us all. You are far more triumphant than you will ever know! Congratulations.

Joy Blaylock said...

Official Time: 4:01:26
Overall Place: 14,617
Overall Experience: PRICELESS

Laurie said...

So cool. (You had 33 comments and I almost wasn't going to comment because of that, but I know you'll probably have 33 more before I even get this typed out so I may as well make it 34.) Way to power through a tough tough race. You should be so proud of yourself. You've been through a lot over the past year... simply amazing!

Pam @ herbieontherun.com said...

Oh, Mel...

I had to stop reading a couple of times and blink the tears away.

I don't comment often, and I know you and I have never really communicated, but please know that I admire you. In so many ways. Even more so after reading this.

Congratulations on your first Boston finish.


Mary Nevin said...

this is a beautiful story, you write with such an authentic voice. i'm sorry the day wasn't perfect, but it so much more inspiring that with numerous reasons to quit, you didn't. that's what makes runners and the marathon so amazing and inspiring. thank you for being your wonderful self. I'm a new follower and I adore your blog! I'm just getting into running and voices like yours are oh so inspirational for me!! Happy Thursday!!

Serenity and Style

Unknown said...

Congrats, Mel!! That Boston finish is YOURS forever, no matter what that day brought you. Way to dig deep and make it happen. Way to go!!

Lisa @ Eat.Pray.Run. said...


MCM Mama said...

Congratulations on pushing through even if it wasn't the race you hoped for.

You did it! You ran Boston! And you'll always have that. {{{HUGS}}}

5 Miles Past Empty said...

Wow! What an experience! But you did it! You stuck it out and finished!! I pretty much cried like three times reading this. I could relate, not any where near being at the Boston Marathon, but this is how I felt at Portland. Hardest thing in my life. The feeling of wanting to quit, I remember walking toward you and Jill...and you had no one to walk toward. I wish so bad I could have been there, to offer a ride to coffee that I know you would have declined!! Then to run with you at mile 18!! But you did it and it you did it on sheer will, inner determination and self-motivation! You are unstoppable! Your dad is so proud of you!!! And how cool to get a hug from him at the finish!!

I hope as time goes by, and it's not so fresh, you can see a little clearer just how amazing this was!!

And for the record---this so made me want to run another marathon--as awful of an experience as it was!!! The accomplishment is that much sweeter!

So glad you didn't puke!! =)


Running Librarian said...

Way to go! Great job finishing Boston!

Anonymous said...

omg this was awesome to read. boston is one big jumble of emotions for me too. i am so proud of you! you've been through so much and i know how much this means.

that said, i'm pissed i never got to meet you! sadly i was really busy all saturday. guess that means i'll have to travel to the left coast, right? :)


Joanna said...

What a beautiful post.

Marci said...

Congratulations!! Thanks for being so real and honest with your post. Your dad was most definately there crossing the finish line.

Richelle said...

Congrats! I was tracking you while at work and was so excited when I saw that you finished. Sorry that you didn't get the race you wanted, but you finished Boston! And you felt your dad's presence with you! That's all that matters.

DaphneB said...

I am completely choked up. What an amazing race report and experience for you to have at your first Boston.

Rene' said...

Congrats Mel...I love that you felt your dad throughout the race. While you didn't feel it from the beginning you pushed through. that is why you are so inspiring to your readers/friends on a daily basis. Can't wait to see what is next for you.

Jessica said...


Your recap made me get teary eyed!! Congrats Mel!!

Kayla said...

Great recap Mel!!! Way to go. You faced the challenges of the day and you are now a BOSTON Marathoner! Congrats!!

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

I'm so proud of you Mel--I teared up rading this. The feeling of pushing through when you don't feel your best had to be overwhelming! Your dad was your guardian and helped you through!

Your race reports are always so vivid! I felt like I was there!

Heather Forcey said...

This post made me cry. Partly because I am so proud of you for not quitting...even when the race was so tough. Partly because it was such a beautiful story knowing that your dad was with you. And partly because I am missing my dad today. I know without a doubt that our loved ones who have gone before us are watching from above. What an amazing day for you.

Kerrie said...

I believe your dad was there. You're such an inspiration, Mel! Thank you for sharing, the good, bad and the BEAUTIFUL! :)

Jen said...

I cried... awesome report. I am so proud of you.

Janice {Run Far} said...

Great job Mel... welcome to the Boston Club. It's a great place to be.

The BookWorm Lady said...

Congratulations on a great finish! I got chocked up reading it. Such an inspiration. I also believe your dad was there with you.

Zaneta @ Runner's Luck said...

I seriously cried reading this! You are so amazing Mel! You're dad is so proud of you! :)How aweseome that he helped you get through the marathon?!

I know you probably dont want to hear this, but i would give ANYTHING to run a 4:01:26 marathon! :)

You are such an inspiration to me! (and i'm sure so many other runners who read your blog would agree!) Thanks for being awesome!! :)

Marlene said...

Finally had a chance to sit down and read this, giving it the attention it deserves. You should see me, I have tears streaming down my cheeks. I'm sorry you had an 'off' day at the big race, but I know you got a lot more good out of it than bad.

I am SO proud of you. I know what it took to get here and I recognize those feelings of defeat and devastation when it's just not your day. But you RALLIED and dug deep and managed to push through.

I loved all your little stories along the way, even the cups - what an experience! These are the things that make it a memorable day. Keep smiling and be proud!!!

You are amazing!!!!!!!!

Kate Geisen said...

OK, your race report had me near tears. I'm proud of you. Getting there was tough, and it sounds like getting through was just as tough. They aren't all going to be our perfect races, and thank you for always posting--both your triumphs and your struggles--with such honesty. I'm running my first marathon on May 1st, and while I'll be happy for my early miles to be as strong as your slower ones, I'm going to carry thoughts of your strength with me. And "Lose Yourself" is a GREAT running song.

Unknown said...

Mel, that was amazing! :) You should be so proud of your day - and I know your dad was watching you and smiling... he is super proud of you too!

Lisa said...

You made me tear up!! I do believe your Dad was with you, helping you get through that tough day that he knew meant so much to you. I'm so happy for you that he was with you and you crossed the finish line with him there. While it was a hard day, congratulations on achieving your day. You really faced adversity and conquered it!!

Christina said...

I can't tell you how happy I was to meet you. Reading your race report I realize how hard of a time you were having but your pacing stayed up (relatively) through the end. I ended up fading at mile 18 and had a rough time through the end. I haven't had the heart yet to look at my pacing but will do that soon. You did an excellent job and ran BOSTON! We did something many people only hope to someday do and we actually did it!

Aysha said...

Such a great recap of your Boston Marathon Experience. You had me in tears; I totally believe your dad was there with you. Way to perserve Mel and finish the race!

Cynthia said...

Amazing recap. You can definately feel the emotion just in reading it. What an amazing feeling knowing your dad was right there with you. Congrats!! You are an inpiration!
I happened to log onto the live finish line broadcast and about 5 minutes later I saw you cross the finish line! It was so awesome :) YOU ARE AWESOME

The Jesse said...

what an amazing recap. you are such a strong and inspiring person. i was tearing up reading this post. congrats on your first boston finish --- you're now a boston marathoner --- even if it wasn't the perfect day, you were strong & determined and finished! congrats again :)

Suzy said...

Congratulations Mel! You overcame a lot and did fantastic given the circumstances. I am certain your dad was with you the whole way.

Aron said...

CONGRATS Mel on pushing through a very tough race and still coming out with a very strong time! You did amazing :)

It was SO NICE to meet you at the 5k that day! I think it was meant to be to meet ;)

Unknown said...

I'm late, but am so proud and excited for you. Your dedication and determination is so admirable! And, your post almost had me in tears.

Congrats on such an AMAZING achievement!

Winks & Smiles,

Mark said...

Will probably never get to Run the Boston Marathon myself, but a trip out to watch it would be fun too. Congrats

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

I'm so glad you did go ahead and race Boston this year! So worth it.

ldmclaugh said...

Congrats on your Boston accomplishment! I need to get some compression socks. With my long legs and incoming veins, I need to purchase some. Good work!

Unknown said...

great race report. Your virtual friends were cheering for you every step of the way. Congrats on the finish. Love the photos.

Jenn╩╗s Adventure╩╗s said...

What an insanely AWESOME experience!! I hope to one day spectate, let alone participate!

valerie said...

I read your race report, wrote a comment, and couldn't post it then... whatever I could say was just not enough. We lost my husband's Dad suddenly just over a year ago, and I could feel your emotion every step of the way. Thanks for sharing your heart - it was so fun to follow you through Mom vs. Marathon FB page. You rock!

Finallyfit2011 said...

Oh my goodness - this was so nicely written! I don't even "know" you & it brought tears to my eyes. I always get so choked up reading these amazing stories of the marathons! I can't even imagine running one -maybe some day? :) GREAT job!

Finallyfit2011 said...

I left a comment on your Boston marathon post! AWESOME!

Finallyfit2011 said...

Posted to fb :)

Finallyfit2011 said...

POsted to my blog!

Finallyfit2011 said...

Posted to twitter!

Dana said...

I'm not sure if you'll get this or not. Found your blog when I did a Google search for RRCA certification...read the post you made after the course and popped over here to see if you'd say anything about the "run slower to run fast" strategy...but if you did, I missed it. Did you train slower than you were used to? Did it work/not work?

Sounds like you had an "interesting" Boston experience. Also sounds like we are kindred spirits! Looking forward to reading more of your blog. :D

RunnerBecky said...

Incredible race recap. Thanks for sharing. You described what running is all about: the ups and downs, highs and lows. It is a mental feat like none other. So inspired and encouraged! http://thedirtroadrunner.blogspot.com/

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