Boston Marathon {recap}

This is not an easy post to write.  I’m actually more disappointed today than I was on Monday; disappointed that I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do (this is made even harder knowing that I likely won’t run another marathon in 2012).  I know I’m being ridiculous but I worked hard, really hard, for 15 weeks and I didn’t achieve my goal (or even my “B” goal).  It’s a hard thing to accept, even when I know I’m being ridiculous.  

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Boston Marathon: it all starts here {Hopkinton}

I’ve never been so happy for something to be over.

It was one of the best weekends of my life. 

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Bostom Marathon Expo - it's officially offical

Race Day
I woke up feeling very excited and ready.  I had trained hard for this race, but knew I had a {very hot} challenge in front of me.  I decided to stick with my goal and access/adjust as needed.  The weather was the one thing I couldn’t control, so I took the attitude of: it is what it isWhat’s talking about or stressing over the weather going to change?

It was in the low 70’s when I woke-up, and 77 degrees by the time I made my way to the start for my 10:20am departure: Wave 2, Corral 6.  It was already hot but I felt really good, and excited.  I was running THE Boston Marathon.  Miles 1-4 seemed to pass by, and by the time I reached Mile 4 I was hoping the crowds would thin out.  After all, I was running a race were everyone had to qualify, where everyone is fast.  No such luck, I spent the remainder of the race (26.2 miles total) passing people, saying “on your right, on your left, in the middle”, and dodging runners-turned-walkers.  It wasn’t fun. 

will run for margaritas

Marathon Monday Morning

I still felt really good by Mile 6, and even through Mile 9, but by Mile 10 I could tell my pace was starting to slow.  It was hot, I was thirsty, and I couldn’t keep cool (no matter how many cups of water I drank or poured on my head/neck/back).  It’s probably safe to say that 90 degrees is not conducive for running a fast marathon.  Dodging runners didn’t help either.  Even on some of my “fastest” miles – miles where I felt like I was running fast/hard effort – the pace was barely a 7:37.

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The {best} support crew a girl could ever ask for

By Mile 12, I knew I was going to finish the race (but not achieve my goal), so I slowed the pace and tried to enjoy what I could.  Wellesley was awesome – girls everywhere, screaming at the top of their lungs.  I anxiously awaited Mile 16, where my family and friends were waiting for me with {awesome} signs & cowbells.  I was so happy to see them (and actually spotted them first).  I was all smiles as I ran past them, so thankful for their love and support.  My little sister Katie jumped in and ran 2 miles with me – it was awesome.  She encouraged me and told me to DIG DEEP.  I wasn’t about to stop digging deep, even with 10 miles to go!  Mile 21 put a pep in my step – Boston College!  Adding “Mel” to my sports bra was the best decision I could’ve ever made: college students were cheering like crazy, high-fiving me, and telling me I was beautiful (there’s no way that was true given the conditions, but it still made me feel awesome).  I loved their energy.  The final miles were a bit of a blur.  It was a (slow) race to the finish and I was ready to be done.  

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My {very official} cheer crew. Note: my family solicited the support of strangers.

I cried when I crossed the finish line.  It’s the first time I’ve ever cried after a race.  I don’t even know why I was crying or what triggered the cry, but I cried.  For a couple of minutes.  Then I stopped, and cried again.  I cried when I saw my family, I was so happy to see them.  I cried this morning when I realized it was all over.  I’m a post-marathon wreck.

I’ve never run such a hard or emotional race.  I’ve never been more prepared (or dedicated) for something in my life.  When I crossed the finish line I was happy, sad, proud, disappointed, excited, and defeated.

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Post-race {i'm proud to wear my medal}

I was way off of my (sub) 3:20 goal but given the circumstances, I ran the best race I could.  I’m thankful for a faithful God, one that was by my side every step of the way, one that gave me the legs (and courage) to finish what I started to do.  He never promised it would be easy, He just promised He would never leave my side.    

{a HUGE thank you to every volunteer – we couldn’t have run this race without you!  And to every bystander who gave me ice, orange slices, hose spray-downs, cold water, wet towels – I know you used your own money and will not get reimbursed. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of it.  I (and 21,553 other runners) desperately needed it!}


Time: 3:34:35 (I squeaked by with a BQ!)
Place: 3,668/21,554
Gender: 575/8,966
Division: 471/4,580

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Oh, I {earned} this jacket!


5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:24:27 0:48:30 1:12:35 1:37:33 1:43:09 2:03:16 2:30:28 2:57:35 3:23:30

Race Weekend
Boston 2012 was one of the most fun weekends I’ve ever had!  My best fans were in town: BJ, my mom, my little sister Katie, best friend Allison, great friend Julianne, running partner James and favorite rep John.  I felt loved and am so thankful for their support. 

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Boston Marathon Expo: mom, mel, and katie

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Post-marathon margaritas (&drinks)

We had fun, and laughed a lot.  I bought more BAA branded apparel than I know what to do with.  We ate at great restaurants.  We enjoyed the city and walked around Boston Commons {I could live in Boston}.  We drank Starbucks, margaritas, wine, and beer.  We ate delicious dessert.  We had FUN.  I loved every minute and didn’t want the weekend to end. 

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Post-marathon dress, drinks, and compression socks

Final Thoughts
I am forever thankful to everyone for their love, support and encouragement (family, friends, facebook, tiwtter, blog followers).  It wasn’t an easy race – but I pushed through and NEVER gave up.  I thought Boston 2012 would be my last marathon, but someone has bigger plans for me.  There will be a re-match and I will get my (sub) 3:20.  DIG DEEP.

will run for margaritas
BJ, thank you for supporting my {racing} dreams!
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  1. Great job on the race! I know you’re a little disappointed, but I think you did a fabulous job.

    It’s funny that I know James! We have a mutual friend and were recently in a wedding party together. Small world, huh? I’m impressed that you run with him, he’s freaking fast!

  2. Despite the circumstances you still ran a decent time. I know that it wasn’t near your goal, but I admire you for “digging dip” and giving Boston everything you had. I know if I would have been running on Monday I would be lucky to break 4:00. Heat and me do not mesh well! It looks like you had a wonderful Boston experience with your family. Loved the photos! I hope that you had more then 1 margarita because you deserved it!

  3. congrats gurl!! You should be happy with that finish, in all that heat! You ran an amazing race. Congrats!

  4. I think you did amazing! I can only dream of BQ’ing! I had a few friends run BM and most of them decided to just enjoy the race and not shoot for a PR. The conditions were so awful! You should be proud of yourself. And you even BQ’d again! That is great!

  5. I know you didn’t reach your goal of sub-3:20, but I am beyond impressed at the time you ran. Given the circumstances, you ran an OUTSTANDING time – heck, you were the 575th female to cross that line. Check what that # ran last year and that should put things into perspective for you. I do understand the disappointment of spend so much time, energy, and sweat working towards a goal and then coming up short – even worse, in a way, since there were circumstances outside of your control.
    Are you against signing up for another marathon in a few weeks? You are fully trained and it might be nice to have that redemption race!!

    • Michele, thanks so much for your comment! It was not an easy race; and I’m ready for a rematch 🙂 The 575th woman in 2011 ran 3:19:09. Wow – what a difference 1 year and 90 degrees will make, ha!

  6. AMAZING job – don’t beat yourself up – it’s still an amazing time!! Congratulations!

  7. Congrats! I know you missed your time goal, but you did a great job pushing yourself and finishing at hot tough race!!!

  8. Seriously, congratulations! You ran through hell and back and ran amazingly well. I haven’t read a single blog post yet in which someone quailified for Boston during this year’s race. No one did. Elites dropped out. And the fastest of the fast and top runners in the WORLD finished the race TEN WHOLE minutes slower than the pace of last year.

    You have more marathons in you and there’s no doubt that you’ll get under 3:20. Boston is a tough course to begin with and then add on the heat and it’s a recipe for disaster.

    Keep on digging deep and kicking butt. And please keep inspiring the rest of us to try to do the same.

    • Heidi, thanks so much for your comment. I’m definitely a roller-coaster of emotions, but deep down I know that I ran the best race I could given the circumstances. There are more in my future 🙂

  9. Melody! So proud of you for this accomplishment! I loved tracking you during the race (what else would I be doing on a Monday morning at work?!). You’re an inspiration to all of us ladies at our fun runs on Mondays and can’t wait to see you soon.


  10. I’m proud of you 🙂 You will get your re-match xoxoxo – HE doesn’t promise it will be easy but in the end it’s worth it.

  11. Congrats! There were lots of tears to be had for me too. It was emotional. It’s still emotional and its been days! You should be so thrilled with your time, that’s amazing! I’m glad you loved the city I call home, Boston is awesome and so fun!

  12. Melody I think you did great!

    My advice:
    “Keep running the race set before you with endurance”- Hebrews 11:1

  13. I’m so proud of you. You are a ROCK STAR! ’nuff said.

  14. beka brown says

    Melody – I teared up just reading this! I know you are disappointed but I know you will come back stronger! Thanks for sharing this journey with us!

  15. Even though you didn’t hit your goal it sounds like you did a helluva job! Congrats on being a part of the Boston Marathon 2012!!!

  16. Congrats! You still fared really well! Most people I know were way more off their goal times..that is probably why you were passing everyone! You should be proud!

  17. Feeling disappointed is not ridiculous , you put your heart and soul into preparing for this race and it was not what you envisioned. I think all to often we do not allow ourselves to feel. I am so sorry for your frustration, but it does NOT define you. What defines you? You are inspirational to others, brave, strong, tenacious, kind and a beautiful person. I am blown away by your time Melody… that would be impressive on a perfect day and given the extreme conditions it is awe-inspiring. I am so excited that you re-Q’ed cause I am planning on a post race Marg next year and trust me, we will be celebrating your sub 3:20, this I am confident of. Congratulations ! xoxo

  18. You did amazing! You ran a tough race in even tougher conditions and still had a BQ qualifying time. Um total awesomeness! You should come out to AZ and run the Tucson marathon. It is mostly downhill, bet you would get a sub 3:20 for sure:).

  19. GREAT job!! To run a BQ race under those conditions is incredibly impressive. You are an inspiration! I have read a lot of race reports and it seems like you fared very well compared to many other runners. You should be PROUD.

  20. Melody, you are incredible. When I heard of your time I was so impressed. I also had a sub 3:20 goal for Boston and I barely finished under 4 (3:58) with all the walking and crying I did. I was so scared because of how hard it was to run in that heat. My breathing was off and things were so blurry. Hardest experience of my life. and girl, you did earn that jacket ( I have the same one). You are one of the strongest runners I know that ran this year. Seriously, awesome time considering the war zone out there. It was BRUTAL. Hugs to you beautiful you!

  21. I know you’re not happy with your goal, but it seems like you did really well in the heat (and managed through it better than many other runners). The thing I love about running and marathons (and races in general), is that there will always be another, with different weather conditions, and different highs and lows to manage through. Maybe another one in a few weeks or month even?? 🙂

    Congrats on a great finish! 🙂

  22. congratulations on running an incredibly smart race on a tough day. I was stalking you online and every time I saw a split, I said, sounds like you are being smart. SMART. you finished with still a pretty killer time and you didn’t give up. sounds like a victory to me.

  23. OMG YOU DID AMAZING! I know you had a different goal in mind, but many people deferred or had to walk because it was so hot. You hung in there and still BQed! Next year will be better, and you can keep your head high knowing that you did something most cannot do.

  24. While I get that you didn’t have the race that you wanted, I’m also a bit surprised that you’re so disappointed. All we can do is run the best we can under the circumstances, and you did that.

    RNR National Half was similar for me (though the weather wasn’t even HALF as bad as what you faced). When I finished that race, I had a time that didn’t reflect what I was capable of for a half. But..I knew that I had run the smartest and best race that I had in me that day, given the weather. Frankly, I think you should feel the same about your race. 😀

    I was seriously thrilled, watching your splits.

    • Thanks Cris! I think I’m just disappointed because I likely won’t run another marathon until 2013 (probably fall) and selfishly, I don’t want to wait that long! It was an awesome weekend, though and I wouldn’t change anything about it (okay, maybe I’d change the weather 🙂 ) See you soon!

  25. Congrats on finishing the race! I had a very similar experience where I started slowing at mile 9 and everything fell apart. Anyone who finished Monday is a winner in my book. Double congrats on the BQ!

  26. Congratulations! It’s my dream to run the Boston, but that is a few years down the road. While you may not have met your goal time, you still accomplished something that only the BEST runners have a chance at doing! Be proud of that!

  27. Wow, congrats to you! You were flying for those conditions- that heat is no joke. I would have felt the same way- so disappointing to not have a chance to prove yourself after working so hard for it! You’ll get that sub 3:20!

  28. seriously…congratulations. i was in boston too obviously intending to run the race…but im 20 weeks pregnant…so i decided to defer to next year bc of the weather. it was just too hot and too risky for me..i was SO bummed. i still am…ive just been looking forward to it for SO long now…but i know next yr will be equally as awesome as this yr. it was def hot out there so great job!! awesome time!! i will see u next year!! 🙂

  29. Given the conditions, your race was fantastic! Most people I know were 40-60 minutes behind their goal time. I am super impressed that you pushed through on such a hot day. I think you have a lot to be proud of!

  30. YOu did absolutely amazing considering the conditions. WOW! I know you put SO MUCH into this training. There will be more Bostons in your future!!

    What a fabulous family!

  31. Andrea@ Running 4 Mamas Comeback says

    Nice job on your finish!! I am training for my first marathon and HOPE to finish with your time! After busting my butt last year I ran my 1st 1/2 (3 months after having my 4th!), I cried at the end when they gave me my medal. It’s crazy how emotional racing can get. It’s so mental! My cousin ran the Boston Marathon this year and had a miserable time as well! She finished but had to stop during to be treated for heat stroke! Hey bragging rights!! Nice job!

  32. I understand being disappointed when you have been working so hard for a certain time. BUT DAMN GIRL! You ran Boston! You ran Boston in horrible conditions! And you still managed a BQ time! I am so impressed and inspired! YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!

  33. You are a machine girl! You have a lot to be proud of… you are the image of the phase, “Fit is beautiful!”

    You are a real inspiration!

  34. It does suck when something we’ve worked so hard for falls short of expectations. But be very proud. You ran an amazing race under outrageously brutal conditions. Way to keep your eyes on the prize. I have no doubt you’ll be back even stronger to exceed your goals.

  35. Wow, this story is so inspirational! You have a lot to be proud of. It wasn’t an easy race, but you showed what it really means to “dig deep!”

  36. Thank you for sharing this leg of your journey with us! I look forward to hearing about your future race aspirations. This must have been so very bittersweet for you, and I think it is really a testament to your great spirit that you were able to celebrate and have fun afterward! Totally inspires…

  37. I understand why you are disappointed, but given the weather, I think you did an incredible job. I was so impressed every time a new split for you popped up. So many people just kept getting slower and slower and you stayed consistent. You ran a strong race and when it’s not 90 degrees you’ll get that sub-3:20. I think that comparison of what the 575th woman ran last year is a great illustration of how conditions dramatically changed the race!

  38. Great recap of your accomplishment. You have A LOT to be proud of–and getting to Boston is one of those things. I think we beat ourselves up when it comes to our expectations and the way we had planned for things in our minds. But you were thrown a major curve with the heat and you did your best. Congrats!

  39. Why in the world are you disappointed? You did AMAZING!! I’m sorry you didn’t meet your goal but you ran the whole thing and made an amazing time. Please don’t beat yourself up!!!!

  40. I’m so sorry you are disappointed. I won’t say that you shouldn’t be , because it won’t change how you feel…. but I think you are amazing! You are one of the most inspirational women/athletes/runners that I’ve had a chance to meet. I watched your run throughout (cutest little running people moving along the map) and you were terrific. I hope that you get a chance to run another marathon (sooner than later) because I know you can meet your sub 3:20 goal!

  41. while i can totally understand why you’d feel let down, you seriously KILLED it! i ran a half marathon in 85-degree weather last year and amost broke down. the heat is nothin’ to mess with and you still accomplished something amazing: you ran the freakin’ boston marathon. so excited for you! 🙂

  42. I know that it’s hard to look past the clock time, but girl you pushed through it and still ran a pretty decent clip. Sure it’s no sub 3:20, but your splits seem pretty consistent and you finished what may be one of the most challenging races that you’ll ever run. You’re a finisher, so congrats! There will always be another race, and you for sure will one day (hopefully very soon) get that sub 3:20.

    Congrats again lady!

  43. I don’t know why but I got a tear in my eye while reading this. Do not beat yourself up…you did amazing and you will always have another chance. Be proud of how hard you worked and what you accomplished. This will make the day that you reach your goal that much better!

  44. Mel,

    I had a huge smile as I read through this much anticipated race report. I was such the proud “long run training partner” at intervals this Tuesday talking about how mentally tough you were to finish in the time that you did. With what happened to some of the other members of CAR you should realize how great an accomplishment it was.

    I am sure that with your attitude this will become an instance of “That which does not kill you makes you stronger!”

  45. girl you can’t be disappointed! a 3:34 (re-bq!) is amazing in that hellacious weather that boston had this year. i believe you will run your sub-3:20, you are quite capable. enjoy your rest and recovery so you can get back to work 🙂 congrats on your boston!

  46. Melody, when I heard your time I was SHOCKED…you are not giving yourself enough credit….you ran a 3:34 in 90 degrees? ! are you kidding me? you are SO strong…I think in normal conditions you would have run MUCH faster than a 3:20.

  47. Katie @ msfitrunner says

    Oh my goodness, you ran an AMAZING race!!! I know it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, but I just went through the same thing with my marathon, except I didn’t have intense and crazy heat. I just had a horrible race and didn’t come near my goal, a PR, or my last marathon time. It’s tough to swallow. And I cried. That is a phenomenal time and I can almost guarantee you would have blown 3:20 out of the water if the conditions were even close to being normal. You will get your goal and beyond. Just from what I read from your training, you’ve got the talent and determination- but it doesn’t make the disappointment go away. Hang in there!

  48. Hey, anytime you can run a BQ time on the boston course it’s a good day. Most BQ times are done on flatter easier courses. You still kicked a lot of ass by most peoples standards.

    I can understand your disappointment though. Keep your head high and you’ll feel better later.

  49. Congrats! You went out there and did your best – be proud of yourself!

  50. Awesome job! You should be proud:)

  51. Bill "Old Time Runner" says

    Shake it off! Your training times demonstrate that you have the speed and strength to hit your sub 3:20 goal. You are right…you cannot control the weather. I believe there were over 4000 people who opted out of the race because of the heat. If you had run last year it likely would have been 3:15 because of the tailwind.

    Take a month to recover and pick the next goal!

  52. Congrats on finishing Boston! 3:34 on a HOT day that like that is amazing!!!! You are a rock star!!

  53. Mel!

    You are such an inspiration! So glad I got to see you!


  54. so incredible!!! Congrats!!

  55. I understand that this had to be incredibly tough to write up but you should be so proud. not only did you qualify for Boston (a feat many never achieve) but you finished despite the HOT conditions. Many runners that day cannot say the same. You are an all-star and such an inspiration. i’m running my first 26.2 this Saturday in Nashville and originally had an A goal of sub 4:30 but am adjusting to the expected warmer weather conditions. I will think of you and all other Boston runners and DIG DEEP!

    • Thanks Karla – I’m feeling much better now. It was just a hard thing to accept after putting so much heart, time, training into the race. GOOD LUCK in Nashville! Have so much fun 🙂 Be sure to stop by the Brooks booth and say HI to everyone. I wish I was working the expo but not this time… Have fun – can’t wait to hear all about the race!

  56. This brought tears to my eyes! Such a good recap. I wish you luck on your next Boston.

  57. plain and simple, you are awesome. love the boston marathon, love tico, and love your dress!

  58. I love your outfit! Where can you get those beautiful compression socks? I’ts so cool!

  59. Just caught up on your blog and read this recap. It is heartbreaking not to achieve a goal. Especially a goal that you worked so hard for. I followed your training, and could see that you were in this race to PR. You seriously rocked that training.

    You will get your goal, and you will PR. Everyone I knew running that race ran so much slower than they had wanted, and expected. Your time was actually very very good compared to my fellow running friends that braved the race!

    I will be running Boston in 2013, and you should totally try a re-match with that beast 😉

    Keep your head up!!! Ali

    • Thanks Ali! I’m in a much better place these days: back to running, a new 10 Mile PR, and a new focus for the summer (shorter distances). Can’t wait for the 2013 re-match 🙂

  60. Considering the weather that year, you had an AWESOME time! I was actually running in the same race as you 🙂 I seriously thought I was going to pass out in that race (I think quite a few people did… not good).

    I came in 10 minutes slower than you and was just happy to cross the finish line and be done running in that ridiculous heat. My time was slower than I was hoping, but I was wondering if I could even FINISH at some points! Definitely one to remember.

    Great race report. You are one fast runner! And thank God that we finished 🙂

    • Hi Amy,

      Thanks! It was such a hard race – mentally, physically, and emotionally. You ran a great race too! Are you running it again this year?

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