With a dismal weather forecast leading into 2018’s Marathon Monday, there was no telling what conditions were going to be encountered during the 26.2 miles between Hopkinton and Boston. We caught up with Hive athlete Kaitlyn Morgan, who has three main tips she learned from racing this year’s Boston Marathon.
1) Physical: In cold, wet weather try to keep your core as warm as possible for as long as possible.
Runners packed the start in their Goodwill and “waterproof” finds. Trash bags, grocery sacks, shower caps, and medical gloves were the fashion trends of the day – all in hopes of staying dry and warm. I had managed to find an industrial-size garbage bag that came down to my toes and kept a good portion of the water off my legs and out of my shoes. Thank goodness I’m short. I had several layers on my upper body, knowing that if I kept that area warm I would be good to go for some time with the help of the trash bag at the start.
2) Fuel: It takes more effort to keep the body warm while training in cold weather, so plan to bring 2-3 extra gels or chews.
I learned that on colder days like Boston this year, you need around 300 additional calories due to your body trying to keep warm. Looking back on the race, I highly underestimated my calories. Before the race start I had oatmeal at my hotel, then a mini bagel on the bus, followed by a banana. At the start, I ate a bag of Energy Chews and continued my fueling with Honey Stinger Acai Pomegranate Energy Gels every 5 miles. Honestly, a waffle or another bag of chews would have been ideal, but I am glad I had what I did.
3) Mental: Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t, and enjoy running such a historic course.
Once the race started, it was a game of “just don’t stop.” I tried watching for town signs but was more concerned about maintaining focus and keeping up my energy levels. Climbing the hill into Wellesley, the screams could be heard from a half-mile away. And then there were girls lining the streets in their rain gear, holding signs with smudged paint, blowing us kisses. I had hit half-way. I felt fantastic for the first half and actually PR’d my half marathon, so I blew them a kiss then immediately tucked back in and kept going.
They say Heartbreak Hill will break hearts, but it was the miles that followed. After the hills sheets of wind, rain and sleet began, and with each following mile I realized I was losing feeling of my legs, hips and feet. I was also dizzy…very dizzy, so I slowed. After consuming my last gel, I got some pep back in my step. Then with one mile to go, a gal looked over at me with tears streaming down her face saying “We did it. We freaking did it!” I couldn’t help but beam. Boston was tough this year, but it was easier knowing that we were all in it together. It was a great day to witness the goodness and strength of humanity, a true testament to the human spirit.