Boston Marathon 2012–The Run Between Water Stops

The word of the day is “ow”. You’d think that it would be my muscles that would be hurting the most, but no, it’s actually my toenails. They hurt so much it was hard to sleep last night.

As SO many of you know from tracking me all day yesterday, I finished the Boston Marathon in what was my slowest ever marathon time on one of the hottest Marathon Mondays in recent history. THANK YOU for all of your support.

I spent all day Sunday agonizing on whether or not to defer, an option put out by the Boston Athletic Association because of the extreme heat. On Sunday afternoon I was fairly certain I was going to skip the marathon until 2013.

But after heading into town for a Sam Adams 26.2 and The ALLY Foundation pasta party, seeing the finish line set up, and remembering that I did train for this, I got up bright and early Monday morning. It was already hot when I left the house at 5:55 am. I was scared.


Over the next few hours my fears started to melt away. I was lucky to be given VIP access for the buses and athlete’s village which got me on the bus with past Boston Marathon winners, plus a nice comfy spot inside in Hopkinton while most runners had to hang outside in the rising temperatures. It was very nice. In the VIP tent I also got to meet a few new people who were fun to chat with and made the time pass. Everyone was a little nervous and planning on being smart.

One of the worst parts of the day was walking to the starting corrals and waiting; they were in direct sunlight, and the walk to the start is uphill. Once that gun went off, we crossed the start, and I just started to run, my goal being to drink and walk at each water stop. At each stop, I grabbed a cup of Gatorade and two cups of water, one for drinking and one for dumping over my head. Along the way, the amazing people who live or were cheering along the route sprayed us with hoses, handed out ice, water, and snacks, and made the run almost pleasant. I never let myself feel thirsty or hot because of the support that was available.

All along, my legs felt great. I had taken almost three weeks off of running due to knee pain, but my knees never hurt. I was actually a little frustrated at points because I felt as though I could push myself harder; I was breathing fine and feeling good. But I promised my mom I wouldn’t end up in the medical tent, or worse, and I practiced restraint. I also saw several people laying on the sidewalk or being taken off the course on stretchers. Every time I saw that I took a short walking break. I hope everyone is ultimately okay.

It only started to get tough in the last few miles as Brookline and Boston definitely had fewer garden hoses than the suburbs! But the college students along the way were absolutely amazing. I have to say that if it was a competition, Boston College and other students in Brookline/Boston definitely beat the Wellesley women, who seemed much quieter this year!

The last two miles of the marathon flew by. I walked a little more in this time because I was feeling hotter and drier and did not want to have to stop with two miles to go. When I rounded the turn at Hereford and Boylston, I saw my husband and friends waving and threw them the hat I had been wearing. I didn’t want it on in my official photos. I also almost got knocked down by a man who decided to run across my path waving a giant flag, hence the face in the below photo.

I was all about finishing.

Lots of people were walking the last .2 miles, and I can’t blame them. Boylston Street was a scorcher; the tall buildings did not offer as much shade as I had hoped. It felt like an eternity, but I made it.

Boston Marathon 2012

With all of the water stop walking, plus a quick stop in Newton, I finished in 4:45. I was roughly trying to add 1-2 minutes per mile to my pace to make sure I didn’t get too hot, and it worked well. Overall it’s not my best time, but I felt great and stayed safe which were my goals for the day. There will be other days to run faster.

The BAA volunteers and staff were incredibly kind, helpful, supportive, and well-prepared. My family showed so much love and concern leading up to and after the race, and I am grateful (and sorry for making them worry so much!) The spectators, including my friends and family, were godsends. They made me love Boston so much yesterday. All of the runners slogging along together on a scary-hot day made me feel part of something bigger than myself; we were truly all in it together.

If you were on the course, sent me an email, text, Facebook message, tweet, or any other form of encouragement, thank you. I took each and every message and put them toward toughing it out. And I am very glad I did not defer. Smile

Back to regularly scheduled food blogging tomorrow!

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Tags: Boston, Boston Marathon, running

  1. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    This is so inspirational! I’m so glad that you were able to finish while also staying safe. What an accomplishment, Meghan!!


  2. Erica @ In and Around Town’s avatar

    You did such an amazing job! It was just hot out yesterday, so staying safe and hydrated was the best way to go. Congrats on such a job well done!


  3. Justin’s avatar

    Congratulation Meghan! I was cheering you on right as the runners come up the hill on Comm ave after passing underneath Mass ave. I had never seen so many people walking there before. Finishing any marathon is an accomplishment, but in that heat, I think you should feel just a little bit better about finishing, and finishing safely. Great job!


  4. Michelle’s avatar

    So, so, so proud of you! Can’t wait to celebrate with you on Thursday!


  5. Bridget’s avatar

    Awesome Job!!!! Hey that’s a great time, heat or no heat! This is kind of making me want to run it…someday :) Sounds like it was a great experience you’re always going to remember!!


  6. Lena H.’s avatar

    You did a great job — great work on running smart and finishing strong :)


  7. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    Congratulations, Meghan!! You’re a rockstar. What an amazing accomplishment, especially in the brutal weather! Hope your recover soon. xoxo


  8. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    Congratulations! It sounds like you made the best out of it and tried to stay as positive as you could given the extreme heat. You’re amazing and I hope your taking the day today to recover and relax. Congrats again!


  9. nicole @ I am a Honey Bee’s avatar


    Good thing you paced yourself because of the weather. I saw a lot of people go by on stretchers.

    You def need a pedi once your toe nails feel good. Big reward!


  10. Raija’s avatar



  11. Daisy’s avatar

    you are amazing. congratulations!!!!


  12. Kelly’s avatar

    Wow, I am SO amazed by you! I was hot just standing yesterday! :) I’m so glad you were safe about it because that is obviously what is most important. Also so glad that the BC students were out in full force for you… if it’s anything like when I was there, the hot days just bring out more yelling madness. Congrats!!!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Running past BC students was the only time I got choked up during the whole race. They were just so passionate and kind to every single runner. They could definitely see that everyone was struggling, and they totally responded!


    2. Elizabeth’s avatar

      Nice recap! I enjoy reading about the actual experience of being a runner. Congrats!!! And I can’t even imagine the toenail pain :P


    3. Michelle Collins’s avatar

      Congratulations!!!!!! That must not have been easy, especially given the weather – I know I couldn’t have done it. Great work!!!


    4. Colleen @ Culinary Colleen’s avatar

      Congrats! I probably would have given into the heat and deferred!


    5. Kimmy @ Lighter and Local’s avatar

      You are awesome! Congrats on such an amazing achievement!


    6. Megan’s avatar

      Such a great post! You already know I’m so proud of you. I’m glad you still ran but that you decided to play it safe. Sadly I couldn’t be there to watch in person this year, but I’ll have plenty of vacation time to take it off in the years to come!


    7. Jessica’s avatar

      Thanks for sharing your story! I’m glad that it was uneventful (as far as bad stuff happening!) but still satisfying. Congratulations again for a job well done!


    8. Ranjani’s avatar

      Congratulations! You should be so proud of yourself. I am in awe of everyone who ran yesterday


    9. Eric’s avatar

      I am so proud of you! you rock – and considering the conditions – everyone won yesterday – it was awesome watching the athletes support each other and the outpouring and energy from the crowd.

      Everyone who participated have so much grit and determination and mental fortitude – seriously impressive.

      So Proud! you achieved so much Monday.


    10. Kim K’s avatar

      i asked michelle today how you did – CONGRATULATIONS! i give you so much credit for plowing through 26.2 miles in that heat. you are a rockstar. enjoy the cocktails tonight!


      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        Thank you!!


      2. Molly Galler’s avatar

        So proud of you! On the hottest day of 2012 you were a marathon finisher! Bravo!


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