The year I ran the Boston marathon, 2007, the race was nearly cancelled because of a Nor’easter. If you don’t live in New England this means a big windy storm with lots of rain or snow. The race was finally called as ‘on’ at 4:30 AM that morning.
So I ran anyway and I landed with a time of 3:52:35.That year the time for a woman my age to qualify was 3:45:59. I ended up walking up Heartbreak Hill (the worst hill to run at mile 20 of a marathon) a little bit as my hip cramped and tightened.
I ran for the Mass General Marathon Team for Pediatric Hematology Oncology and had the best patient partner who was the same age as my son at the time – 7 years old. He is still doing awesome many years out of his treatment.
The same year I ran my best half marathon time also for the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) – a 1:42 which is a time that put me in the top 7% of women in my age group. For my body, half marathons were easier.
I have run 5 in total and I would love to again. I’ve only run the BAA half course for a half marathon and the course has changed since I ran it the first time making it a long hill down and then back up for the 2nd half. It’s intense as I learned multiple times! But beautiful as you see the wheelchair and elite racers finishing as you begin.
Today I have stories from two women running the Boston Marathon. One for the first time and another who has run multiple marathons. They’ve each described the charity they are running for and what fuels them before and after a training run. I hope you enjoy their stories!
Laura and I met at Emerson College years ago when we both worked in the Center for Health and Wellness. She is now the assistant director!
I’m running the 2018 Boston Marathon for Samaritans to raise funds to support Samaritan’s lifesaving services and to raise awareness for suicide prevention. Samaritans provides 24/7 Crisis Services phone and text helpline, suicide prevention workshops for school and businesses and SafePlace to support those who have lost someone to suicide.
For over 40 years, Samaritans have answered more than 2.5 million phone calls and been there to listen. I’m running Boston to let people know they are not alone and there is hope. I’m running Boston for those who are struggling with loneliness or depression. I’m running for life.
Today is Laura’s first Boston Marathon! Her fundraising page is here:
When i asked Laura about pre and post racing fueling here’s what she said:
I haven’t changed my diet too much for training. Usually before the long runs, I start with a bowl of granola with milk and a banana. I make sure that my dinner the night before is carb and vegetable heavy and of course I stay hydrated. I am really looking forward to a beer and burger when I finish if I don’t feel sick!
I’m with Laura on the pre and post training. The banana is great pre-fuel and was written about in a recent article here as compared to sports drinks.
Adding the granola for more carbs is essential as is the milk for carbs and protein too. Most of the time we don’t ever want to run or train on just fruit as it’s just fructose and this can spike our blood sugar quickly but can also cause a drop shortly after eating, known as hypoglycemia. Pairing fruit with other carbs and protein as Laura has is essential. Runners often feel ill after a long run as their body cannot digest at that time. The blood flow has been elsewhere and they often have crampy stomachs. I love her choice of post fueling with a burger as it’s protein and carbs and a lot of it! Beer? Chalk it up to more carbs to refuel and replenish after a hard 26.2 miles.
Heather and I met at Walden Behavioral Care when we were both clinicians there. Heather is now the Assistant Program Director of Residential! Heather’s fundraising page is here. She is running for Cycle Kids. This is her 10th marathon and 3rd Boston marathon!
I’m running for this organization having learned about them initially through Stu Koman, the CEO at Walden. I quickly learned how awesome they are, and how connected I feel to them given their mission of helping build strong, confident, healthy kids all through the fun practical skill of riding a bike! Growing up in rural Vermont I spent a lot of time riding my bike. I couldn’t imagine my childhood without this activity!
Today, I continue to enjoy biking as an adult. CYCLE Kids offers an opportunity for kids to learn about what it means to live an active lifestyle, while also learning about proper nutrition. Along with being a fun and engaging activity for kids, learning to ride a bike can build confidence and positive self-esteem; helping children make good life choices and focus better in the classroom. As a clinical Social Worker, working in a the mental health field, I believe in the importance of leading active, balanced lifestyles to support health and wellbeing. I love the idea of supporting children to gain insight into how to take care of their emotional and physical health, all while having a little fun
For pre-fueling, Heather chooses snacks like peanut butter and a banana or yogurt and nutella. She also eats for protein pancakes with maple syrup and chocolate milk. One of her favorite post training meals is this Tuna Taco recipe from Food and Wine.
Again, I’m in full support of Heather’s pre and post run choices. She pairs that ever popular banana with protein and other carbs. Chocolate milk is the best natural beverage for post fueling any workout. The protein, carbs and palatability of the cool milk and the liquid giving your muscles the glycogen it has just lost is key. Opting for the protein source post run as tuna is awesome as are the corn tortillas as more post race fuel.
Thanks to these amazing women for sharing their reasons for running today. We are with you both all the way! Run like the wind!