Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Leah Runs 2017 Chicago Marathon to Support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer

Leah & Malinda are identical twins and marathon moms. They deemed themselves "Twins Run in Our Family" to share there experiences about running together to support causes they care about.

Michael, Leah's brother-in-law, was diagnosed with leukemia as a child. Michael kept fighting cancer with his inspiring Irish spirit so it was very bittersweet when he died on St. Patrick's Day 2003.

The twins' grandmother, affectionately know as GG, was diagnosed with cancer on Friday, July 13, 2012 and died on Monday, July 16, 2012.

Leah and Malinda joined Team Lemon in March 2012. Together they have raised $3,131 in memory of Michael and GG.

Leah is grateful for the opportunity to run the 2017 Chicago Marathon (her 30th marathon since 2007) to support childhood cancer research.

No donation is too small to fight childhood cancer with Team Lemon.

Donate $2 or more online: www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/93394

Or, text "LEMONADE E93394" to "85944" to donate $10 by phone

Thanks so much for your support and generosity.

Fighting childhood cancer, one mile at a time!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Make It Your Moment: Malinda's 1st Boston Marathon

“It’s through storytelling that I motivate myself. I try to come up with a story that will motivate me to get out there and attempt a goal"
- Joan Benoit Samuelson

"So many moments make up a marathon. All uniquely personal, but when looked at together they truly embody what it means to #BeBoston." - John Hancock Extra Mile

“You're alive in the moment, and the moment is truly all anyone has.”
- Greg Dulli

I've started writing this post dozens of times...

Tears come to my eyes whenever I think of all the people who helped me on my long road to Boston.

The moments that made up my marathon story were so meaningful to me that it's been difficult for me to put the experience into words

As I begin to write my story, I want to express my deepest gratitude for all the support I received before, during and after my 1st Boston Marathon.

I will continue to add to this post as I gather my thoughts. I hope that my story will inspire others in the way that so many stories have inspired me.

In the meantime, my 4 sources for memorable moments on Marathon Monday:

1) Running with Dana-Farber

I was so grateful for the opportunity to be a charity runner.

Running for a reason greater than myself made my experience much more meaningful.

Since 2012, Leah and I have been running with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer in memory of Leah's brother-in-law, Michael and our grandmother, Aileen, known affectionately as "GG" by my daughter.

Since so many of our family and friends have been and continue to be affected by cancer, joining the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge was the perfect choice for me.

It was inspiring to see so many #RunDFMC charity runners and spectators along the course.

I'm so very grateful for the 44 friends and followers who generously donated to my fundraising page. I matched all the donations that I received so together we've  raised $4,725.

As of May 2, I'm just $275 from reaching my fundraising goal of $5,000.

If you can donate $5 by May 17, I will match your gift to double the impact of your generosity.

No donation is too small to support the fight against cancer and 100% of every $1 donated will support cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

2) Music & Musicians

Music by Plastic Ants, The Afghan Whigs & Greg Dulli kept me moving during my marathon training - especially during my long treadmill runs.

While I often listen to music while running (at low volume on speaker phone), I chose to run without music on Monday so I could fully appreciate the sounds and sights of my 1st Boston Marathon.

"Tough Girls (Got To Tough It Out)" was my #Train2BQ (x 12) theme song. This was also one of the songs that motivated Leah during her painful run and kept us running together to the finish line.

I've been running to music by The Afghan Whigs and Greg Dulli for over 23 years. To receive these messages of support from The Afghan Whigs & Greg Dulli on Twitter meant so much to me.

3) Spectator Support

Many thanks to Wellesley's Munger Hall for our Scream Tunnel signs.

I made certain to show my support to all spectators cheering along the road to Boston. I shouted "THANK YOU!" until I was hoarse and high-fived as many spectators as physically possible.

Tears welled up in my eyes many times as I remembered the spectators killed and injured on April 15, 2013. I continue to think of everyone whose lives were forever changed on that tragic day.

I've tried many times to express my thoughts about my experience in Boston on April 15 but I still can't find the words.

Thanks again to Mark Remy for writing "Standing Ovation" - I've read this dozens of times over the years and it still brings tears to my eyes.

4) Family, Friends & Followers

Many thanks to our family who helped us reach this milestone.

Many thanks to my twin, Leah, for running together with me.

Many thanks to our friends who supported us on our journeys.

Many thanks to my friend Elissa for her continuous support and inspiration. So grateful to Elissa for setting-up "Malinda runs 2017 Boston Marathon!" Facebook event and encouraging others to donate.

Many thanks to my friend Anne for her continuous support and inspiration. Anne ran her 1st Boston last year and wrote an emotional post about her experience that motivated me to keep trying to BQ.

Many thanks to our running friends from Charlottesville for making us laugh at the post-marathon dinner hosted by Heidi.

Many thanks to Mark Remy (Dumb Runner) for The World's Dumbest Coverage of the World's Best Marathon® and for writing about his experience as a blind guide.

Many thanks to our followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for your virtual support.

To be continued...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

2017 Boston Marathon - 90+ Runner, Volunteer and Spectator Recaps

The Boston Marathon has thousands of stories to inspire you. If you were a runner, volunteer or spectator and wrote a recap, please share your link in the comments (posted after approval) and we'll add your link to our list of recaps.

90+ Boston Marathon Recaps (listed alphabetically by blog or website)

Boston Marathon Recap – 2017

#257: 2017 BOSTON MARATHON RECAP - Another Mother Runner

My Boston Build-up as Told on Instagram - Esther Atkins on AthleteBiz

O&P student completes third Boston Marathon - Baylor College of Medicine

The Boston Marathon Story - By Jill Geer on AthleteBiz

To Boston with Love (Part 2) - The Bed Rest Book Club

To Boston with Love (Part 2) - The Bed Rest Book Club

Boston Maathon Recap - Bite My Words

Double the Fun: My Boston Marathon Adventure - Blind Beer Runner

The Greatest Reward: Meeting Brafton at the Finish Line - Brafton

Krys Zybowski Of Avon Finishes Third In Handcycle Division Of Boston Marathon

“Prove It” by @Bromka

80-year-old Calgary runner logs another fine Boston Marathon finish - Calgary Herald

Left on Hereford, Right on Boylston - Carolyn Elizabeth Mueller

Meet the Canadian who ran the Boston Marathon 8 months pregnant - Chatelaine

Boston Marathon Recap - Jordan Rose

Boston Marathon Recap - Sammy Creath

Boston Marathon Recap - Chris Weimar

Boston Marathon Recap - Dave K Jaer

The World's Dumbest Coverage of the World's Best Marathon® - Dumb Runner

Boston Marathon: Oakland Twp. runner gets better with age - Detroit Free Press

2017 Boston Marathon!!!!! - Girl Goes Running

Boston Not Yet Worth - Girl Running Crazy

‘Totally surreal experience’: Edmonton woman with rare disorder runs Boston Marathon.

Boston Marathon - Hannah Spicher
Guiding the Way: On the Streets and in Life

What It's Like to Run the Boston Marathon - Iffley Road

What Running Boston Marathon Did to My Health - Inside Tracker

Make it Your Moment - JH Extra Mile

Long-time Spectator, First-time Runner: Karen McGill’s Journey to Boylston - JH Extra Mile

Doug Laufer Boston Marathon - KOAN News Radio

La Jolla-based company helps legally blind runner finish Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon Recap - Laura J Kline

Boston Marathon 2017 Recap - Legally Liz

Week of Boston - Little Runner Girl

Boston Part II: Weekend Activities - Little Runner Girl

Boston Part III: The Big Day - Little Runner Girl

Boston Part IV: Post Marathon - Little Runner Girl

Boston Marathon 2017 Race Recap - The Lone Runner

Boston Marathon Review - Long Run Life

For Team Middlemiss of Dracut, marathon 'was such a special moment' - Lowell Sun

Boston Marathon - Hot, Hilly, Amazing :) - Magic of Running

My First Running of the Boston Marathon - Marathon and Spring

Eye Contact! - Mary Rasmusen Coaching

Thoughts from Team MTF about their Boston Marathon experience - Massage Therapy Foundation

Spectating the 2017 Boston Marathon - Mastering Running

The Boston Marathon - Megan O'Brien

5 Things I Learned Running a Marathon With a Blind Friend - Men's Health (Mark Remy)

BOSTON MARATHON RECAP - 3:16:21 - Michigan Marathoner

Blake Russell, Marathon Mom: Lessons learned from Boston - Monterey Herald

Sixty Newbury Students Volunteer at Boston Marathon - Newbury College

Boston Champ Juggles Marathons, 5 Kids, Kenyan Farm - NPR

Boston Marathon 2017 Race Recap - Organic Runner Mom

Running Boston: A dream with a finish line - Positively Brie

Boston Marathon Recap - Rhode Runner

Fits Race Recaps - 121st Boston Marathon - The Right Fits

The Boston Marathon Part 1 - The Road Less Run

The Boston Marathon Part 2 - The Road Less Run

Boston Marathon - Rocks on a Fence Post

What We Loved About the 2017 Boston Marathon - Run Blog Run

Weekly Recap - April 17 - Recovering from Boston Marathon - Run Canvas

Boston Marathon Featured Runners Follow-Up - Run Canvas

Boston Marathon Recap & Course Description - Run Eat Repeat


13 Reasons Not to Run the Boston Marathon - Runner with Reiselust

Left on Boyston - A Runner's Sole

Endless Pain, Five Seizures, and 26.2 Miles of Never Giving Up - Runner's World

The fun story behind the man who ran a 2:35 Boston Marathon in plaid - Running Magazine

The Boston Marathon Recap - Running Boston and Beyond

Boston Marathon 2017 Recap - Running Fabulously

The Run of Champions: A Recap of the Boston Marathon ’17 - Running with Faith

2017 Boston Marathon Recap - Running in T Shirt

Boston Marathon 2017 Race Recap - Running Wife

Boston Marathon Team Recap - Rogue Racers

Recap Boston Marathon 2017 - Sara Bozich

Race Recap - The Boston Marathon - Simple Fit Life Colorado

Boston Marathon Race Recap - Sugar Runs

Racing with Diabetes at the 2017 Boston Marathon - Team Novo Nordisk

2017 Boston Marathon Recap - Team Shenanigans

Boston Marathon Week Part 1 - Terry Runs

From Boston with Love - Tracksmith

Twins Run Boston 2017 - Leah's Race Recap - Twins Run In Our Family

Make it Your Moment - Malinda's 1st Boston Marathon - Twins Run In Our Family

Twins Ran Boston Marathon to Support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - Twins Run in Our Family

Boston Marathon 2017 - QBS Companies

Watch “How Does it Feel? 2017 Boston Marathon” - Vimeo by Abbott World Marathon Majors

2017 Boston Marathon with Achilles International - Wife Mother Runner

Boston Marathon - Women's Running

Video Shares Runner’s Experience Finishing The Boston Marathon - Women's Running

2017 Boston Marathon Recap - YouTube

Racing the Elites in Boston - Zensah

Monday, April 24, 2017

Twins Run Boston 2017 - Leah's Race Recap

No words can express how grateful I am to my identical twin sister for sticking by my side for one of my most difficult marathons ever. Despite one bad thing after another sabotaging the race I had trained months for, I was determined to spend most of the Boston Marathon not wallowing in how badly I was feeling (both physically and emotionally), but being appreciative for the support of my sister because without her the entire experience would have been so much worse and not nearly as special and memorable.

My biggest post-race regret is wondering if I’d adjusted my goal before the starting line, could we both have actually enjoyed the time from Hopkington to Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston? Was it ever possible for me to have a relaxed, celebratory, long run to Boylston Street? Or was I doomed to experience extreme discomfort and struggle to finish no matter what?

Even though I was struggling for miles and miles, it gave me a boost to see how excited my twin was to be there ... hi-five'ing hundreds of fans, smiling as they called out "GO TWINS RUN!" "LOVE THE SPARKLE SKIRTS!"

I competed in three races before Boston that predicted I was in shape for a 3:42-3:51 marathon (two ten milers in 1:21 and 1:20 and an 8K in 38:53). So I felt relatively confident that under the right conditions I could run my A goal of 3:52, especially since I had previously run Boston in 3:53 in 2013 and 3:52 in 2014. Not only did I have those race performances to boost my confidence, but for the first time in leading up to the Boston Marathon, I had run five long runs of 20 miles or more on the roads, the longest being 24 miles. My final long run was my strongest and fastest and I truly believed I was ready to move past my disappointing performances in Boston 2015 and Chicago 2016 when I ran 4:08 and 4:07. It seemed like an eternity since the last time I achieved my goal in a marathon - Chicago 2015 when I ran 3:49:56 to BQ for 2017, but I was hopeful I could finally break my bad streak of "failures".

The first thing that derailed me on race day was a blister on the top of my right big toe. I can’t believe how something so small can hurt so much, and I’ve never had a blister develop so soon into a race. I was trying to adjust my gait to not exasperate the pain, but it was of no use.

 After 5K I knew a time goal was out the window, but our pace didn’t really start to tank until after 13 miles, that’s when I realized it was going to be a long, painful day. I was near tears confiding to my sister, “I can’t believe I trained so hard for this and it was all for NOTHING!.” Unfortunately, it wasn't just the blister that I had to endure.

As the miles went on my piriformis was seriously hurting me (and I had endured three dry needling sessions a week prior to the race hoping to calm down the area), I got some serious chafing under my right arm and I felt really hungry early on despite eating more prior to the race than I ever had before and taking gatorade at nearly every stop. I had no energy and felt tired by mile 14 and it just kept getting worse every mile thereafter. I was running 11-12 minute pace and wasn't even stopping for a walk break. This was the first time I actually "ran" through the Newton Hills without stopping for a lengthy walk break.

I shared my race photos with a co-worker who asked if I always run with my hair down. Not usually! That’s a clear sign of me giving up on time and hoping for some decent race photos. That’s also why I always run a marathon with lipstick in my pocket. I started reapplying as I was slogging up Heartbreak Hill and a spectator laughed, “Look at her! She’s running and putting on lipstick!” I did so one more time at mile 25 in the portapotty with the added benefit of having a mirror.

I’m so grateful for the amazing spectators who bring plenty of food for the runners, especially along the Newton Hills. When I saw Sour Patch Kids listed as an option on a poster board filled with types of snacks, I doubled back and asked for a bag, screaming “thank you so much! I love you!”

Soon after that I grabbed a bag of pretzels and nearly broke down in tears when I saw a message was written on the plastic bag, “I BELIEVE IN YOU!” That was the only photo I took along the course – a picture of that bag in front of my sister running ahead of me. My husband thinks that kind of motivational stuff is corny, but I NEEDED that so much at that point of the course. Those random acts of kindness is what makes Boston Marathon Spectators the best in the world. I hope I have the opportunity to be a be part of that amazing cheer squad next year.

Random thoughts -

Before the race a group of guys were offering cans of beer. I stopped for a novelty photo of me pretending to grab one. One guy yelled, 'No taking pictures if you're not going to drink it!" Wondering if maybe I should have taking that can. :)

Early on when Malinda started to complain about it being hot before stopping herself, I said with a chuckle, “The sun is giving me energy!” Yeah, right. 😊

A picture is worth a 1000 words and everyone sees something different. One of my fave pictures from the race got these different reactions from two of my friends:

- “Malinda looks all happy and shit and you look near death.”

- “Looking good! A true jock.”

Never grab a shot of alcohol if you think you might spill it on yourself. I must have run almost 6 miles smelling like beer and that was not pleasant. ☹

Nothing is more exciting than running into someone from your hometown. I saw another Charlottesville runner early on in the race and we both agreed it was a day to give up on a time goal. With less than a mile to go, a very speedy Linda Scandore, passed us and said hi on her way to a 10th place Age Group finish and another BQ, surpassing her goal time. WOW!

Power songs that I played over and over –  “Tough Girls (Got to Tough it Out) by Plastic Ants, “Alright” by Aaron Sprinkle, and “In this Together” by Apoptygma Berzerk

Many thanks to our family, friends, runners and others who donated to Malinda's Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge fundraising page.

It's not too late to help Malinda reach fundraising goal by Wednesday, May 17. If you can donate $5 by May 17, we'll match your gift to double the impact of your generosity. No donation is too small and 100% of every $1 supports cancer research.

Thanks so much for your support!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Twins Ran 2017 Boston Marathon to Support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

It is accomplished - twins ran and finished the Boston Marathon together!

We wanted to thank you so much for all your support on our road to Boston.

Together we've raised $4,515 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

It's not too late to help me reach my fundraising goal of $5,000 by May 17.

If you can donate $5, I'll match your gift to double the impact of your generosity.

One hundred percent of every $1 donated to Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge supports cancer research.

Thanks again for all your support!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Twins Run the 2017 Boston Marathon

So proud of my twin for being part of the Boston Marathon in almost every role possible ... as a spectator, a volunteer, a qualifier, a charity runner, and an assistant race director for the Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon helping to give other runners the opportunity to become Boston Bound.

In a week I hope we will be celebrating running 26.2 miles together without any expletives, but certainly some tears. Love you and proud of you, Malinda.  

If you can, consider a small donation of $5 to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - 100% of every $1 donated to Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge supports cancer research. 

Thanks for your support!

Monday, March 20, 2017

2017 Boston Marathon Countdown

Four months ago today, I qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon at the Philadelphia Marathon by finishing in 3:46:13 (personal record).

Four weeks from today, Leah & I run the 2017 Boston Marathon together. Leah is a time qualifier and I am a charity runner with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge.

If you can, please consider donating $5 to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I will match all $5 donations to double the impact of your generosity.

No donation is too small and 100% of every $1 funds cancer research.

Thank you so very much for your support.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Malinda's 1st Boston Marathon: Running to Support the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

I am so very grateful for the opportunity to run my 1st Boston Marathon to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

I chose to run my 1st Boston Marathon as a charity runner with #RunDFMC because 100% of every $1 donated funds cancer research.

Asking people to donate money has never been easy for me - even though I've been running to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer since 2012.

Fundraising is more difficult for me than training for the 12 attempts it took me to qualify for the Boston Marathon - and that was extremely, extremely difficult. ;-)

Thanks again to my friends, family and anonymous donors who have already generously donated to my fundraising page.

Because your support means so very much to me, I've matched every donation to double the impact of your generosity.

As of March 15, my fundraising total is $3,940.

I will continue to match all donations until I reach to my 1st fundraising goal of $5,000.

Leah and I are grateful for the opportunity to run our 1st Boston Marathon together in memory of Leah's brother-in-law, Michael and our grandmother, who my daughter affectionately called GG.

As we run, we will be thinking of our many friends and family who have been affected by cancer.

If you have not already donated, please consider donating $5 to my fundraising page.

No donation is too small and every $1 donated will help us go the distance to conquer cancer.

Thanks in advance for your support.

Are you running the 2017 Boston Marathon?
Are you a time qualifier and/or charity runner?
Have you ever been a charity runner?
Did you have difficulty reaching your fundraising minimum?

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.
(Comments published after review).

Monday, November 21, 2016

2016 Philadelphia Marathon, Half Marathon & Rothman 8K Race Recaps

Many thanks to all the staff, volunteers, spectators, runners and police officers at the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday. I was blow away - pardon the pun ;-) - by all the support!

I'm currently gathering my thoughts to share the long story of my 22nd marathon. In the meantime, here's the short story:

Since 2013, I failed 11 attempts to qualify for the Boston Marathon (BQ). On Sunday, November 20, I finally succeeded at my 12th attempt and qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon at the 2016 Philadelphia Marathon!

I'm so very grateful for every opportunity to help fight childhood cancer one mile at a time with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation's Team Lemon. Thanks to all who have donated to our fundraising pages since we started running with Team Lemon in 2012 in memory of Leah's brother-in-law, Michael, and our grandmother, GG.

I'm also very grateful for the opportunity to run the 2017 Boston Marathon with Leah as a charity runner with Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (#RunDFMC) to support Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

No donation is too small to help fight cancer & 100% of every dollar raised by the #RunDFMC team supports the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,

Any donation is greatly appreciated. And, I'll match every donation until I reach my first fundraising goal of $5,000. Donate $2 (or more) here: runDFMC.org/2017/malindah/

Did you write a race recap? Share your link in the comments and we'll add to our lists.

Philadelphia Marathon, Half Marathon & 8K Reviews on Facebook facebook.com/pg/PhiladelphiaMarathon/reviews/

Rothman Institute 8K

Rothman Institute 8k; Race Recap by Mastering Running

Philadelphia Half Marathon Recaps (listed alphabetically by blog/website)

Philadelphia Half Marathon on BibRave.com

Philadelphia Half Marathon Race Report by The Daily Fitness Journal

Going with the Flow - Thoughts from the Philly Half Marathon with Coach Teresa

Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.44) by Fueled by LOLZ

Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap by Lisa Catton

2016 Philly Half Marathon by Love Life Surf

Philadelphia Half Marathon Recap by Scoot A Doot

Philadelphia Marathon Recaps (listed alphabetically by blog/website)

Philadelphia Marathon Review by BibRave

The Philly Marathon by Candid Celebrations

Relax: Nothing is Under Control by Dashing Whippets

Following Philly Marathon City Official Review New Features by CBS3 Philly

Philly Marathon Recap and Reflections by Dietician Jess

Philadelphia Marathon Recap by I'd Rather Be Strong Than Skinny

The Running Life: Back from Philly, LaFave looks forward to checking off more marathon races

Philadelphia Marathon Race Recap - Part 1 by Lively Chicken

Philadelphia Marathon Race Recap - Part 2 by Lively Chicken

My 4th BQ Finally a Reality - Philadelphia Marathon Race Recap by Mere the Runner 14

Philadelphia Marathon Review by Minnesota Don

Philadelphia Marathon on Philly.com

Never too late - Becoming a runner at 64 on Philly.com

Attack survivor, 69, conquers Philadelphia Marathon in racing wheelchair, with helpers

2016 Philadelphia Marathon Race Recap by Planes, Trains and Running Shoes

Philadelphia Marathon - Miles Change You by Race Pace Jess

Philadelphia Marathon by The Road Less Run

26 Things I Saw During the Philadelphia Marathon by The Road Less Run

15 Photos That Define Philly Running by run215

Philly Marathon Recap by Run With No Regrets

A Principal, Her Dad, a Marathon, and a Sweet Tale of Thanksgiving by Runner's World

Philadelphia Marathon Race Report: Vomitphest and a Lesson by Running and the City

Race Review; Philadelphia Marathon by Running with Music

When Life Hands You Lemons by Summer Runs the World

What Nobody Tells You About Training for a Marathon by You Make You

Runners Help Man Cross Finish Line at Philadelphia Marathon by 6abc

Half Marathon & Marathon Recovery 

Fall racing season is over....what should I do next? by PR Training

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Overcoming a Bad Race - @LeahCville's Lessons Learned at the 2016 Chicago Marathon

I ran my 5th Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 9th and it was my slowest in that city by about 13 seconds.

A Goal = 3:55:00 or under
B Goal = 3:59:59
C Goal = finish and still be excited to train for Boston 2017 w/ @malindaannhill

I've qualified three times for the Boston Marathon on this course, but due to a less than ideal training cycle this summer plus a September filled with a serious sickness, extreme stress, and frighteningly low mileage, I knew hitting my A or B goals would be a stretch. However, my coach encouraged me to try because I did have a decent time at the Women's Four Miler in early September.

My plan was to go out with the 4 hour pace group and try to run a negative split. The only time I've done that was in 2008 when I ran the 1st half of the National Marathon in 2:00 and 2nd half in 1:54. I was hoping I could pull that off again, but unfortunately I just didn't have the energy. Should I have started even slower so that I could have at least run a negative split even if my finish time might have been over 4;10? I'll probably obsess & regret that when the ruminating and race dissection phase starts!

The only good thing about this year's race is I didn't feel any serious pain like I did in 2011 when I ran my first Chicago Marathon. After finishing in 2011, I wrote a post about needing a medal for dropping out because I really should have stopped running that year. So even if I felt tired and could barely life my feet off the ground at times, nothing really hurt (except MY PRIDE!)

I started more slowly than I have ever in any marathon in the past 6-8 years, but I just got slower. Sometimes sh-t happens. When you have a bad race it makes you appreciate the good ones even more. Last year I hit my goal of under 3:55 by 4 secs (3:49:56 which got me into the 2017 Boston Marathon!) and I was happy for about one hour, then I started criticizing myself because I didn't run a negative split and I didn't run even faster. This is how my mind works. Even when I achieve something, I dissect it and tear it apart. So I guess it's a little comforting to feel badly about doing badly because that actually makes sense! :)

When I was getting my post-race massage in the Balboa Tent (that experience is worth every penny!), I decided I wasn't going to end Chicago on a disappointing note. Now that I'm a "legacy" I've got guaranteed entry into the 40th running of the Chicago Marathon in 2017 and I plan to be there for my 30th and final marathon. Yes, I mean it. I've been running marathons since 2007 and it seems fitting to end my marathon "career" 10 years later with my two favorite marathons - Boston with my twin sister in April and Chicago with 40,000+ fellow runners.

One final note: When I realized I wasn't going to run under 4 hours I saw a man pushing a running stroller. He had a memorial on his back for his wife who died of ALS in July 2016 and in the stroller was a framed photo of her. I couldn't hold back the tears when I saw that. It put my "failure" into perspective. I had submitted a motivational text before the race, "Each mile's a gift! Negative split!" and seeing this man persevere through this race without his wife reminded me that indeed each mile is a gift. I'm so grateful to have been able to run so many miles with so many people I care about and who are important to me. Thanks so much to my coach, Mark Lorenzoni, my twin sister, Malinda, and all my family and friends for supporting me all these years!

​- leah

Random Notes:

Thrilled to see Joan Benoit Samuelson in the 15th floor lobby at the Hilton Chicago on Friday.. My coach told me to tell her he and Cynthia said hi next time I saw her, but alas that didn't happen. :(

Excited to see Deena Kastor sitting in the lobby of the Hilton on Saturday. (really should have had made a bingo card for celebrity runner sightings!)

Disappointed and annoyed at myself for not having a question prepared to ask Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski at the Balboa Tent before the race. ACK!!!!!!! (also regretting not getting a photo of the huge platter of meat at Belly Up before Nicole and I devoured it on Friday!)

Ecstatic to get to shake hands with Florence Kiplagat the winner of the Chicago Marathon (and realized I also saw her at the hotel like 3 times the previous two days)

Happy that Rock City Skirts saw me on the course and took some pictures of me wearing the custom skirt they made per my request! :)

Loved the view from the ladies bathroom at the Signature Room. Wow!

Enjoyed the Wendella Original Architectural Tour the day before the race.

Overjoyed I caught a new Pokemon on the course!

Random Photos:

Here are more resources on dealing with bad races: