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I had to write a quick addendum to my race recap after receiving the most wonderful surprise in the mail today. I forgot to mention that I decided to do a little social experiment during the race on the kindness of strangers. Rather than throw away my small Amphipod handheld water bottle when the water ran out as I normally do (those things aren’t cheap – and it was brand new), I included a nice note with my address in the zipped pocket and handed it to a spectator. E suggested that I hand it to a woman to increase the chance of getting it back – I agreed! I gave it a woman perhaps around my Mom’s age who seemed to be enjoying the race and though a bit surprised, took my bottle as I ran by and said a few words.

Although I figured I had a 50/50 chance of getting the bottle back, I certainly didn’t expect to get an enlarged photo of me taken right after I passed by (with my name on it too) and the sweetest note ever. Totally something I would do! I never doubted that the Boston spectators were amazing, but this certainly sealed the deal. Clearly a thank you note with a photo of my finish is in order!

Check it out:

Boston spectators are the best!

Thank you Spectator Joanne! Couldn’t have done this race without your support!

This is what I am sending back in response – card, the bracelet made from the limited edition 2013 Boston Marathon street banners that runners received at the expo, and a little collage of my race. 🙂

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As anyone who participated will surely agree, the 2014 Boston Marathon was one of the most inspirational, celebratory and unique races I have ever run. But before I dive into my recap, I have to say, I didn’t fully appreciate just how challenging this race is or how strong and speedy I ran last year until I was back for a second try this past Monday. Nevermind the net downhill or even the years of work it took to qualify – that course is tough!

I may be a bit biased though, as this year’s race was an unintentionally slow one for me, with a finish time of 3:56:25 and average pace of 9:01 min/mile. That’s over 20 minutes slower than my time last year and 15 minutes slower than my previously slowest marathon, which is a huge gap given that I’m a fairly predictable runner (+/- a few minutes). But more on that shortly…

Readytorace Prerace

Race morning was like an episode of deja-vu. Once again, my college friend and I were making our way to Hopkinton in the early morning before the roads closed. We picked up the same runner on the way and drove backwards along several miles of the course to another friend’s house, watching the volunteers set up aid stations and feeling our stomachs begin to churn with nervous excitement. We got to Hopkinton just before 7am and relaxed for a few hours. It was all a bit strange – there we were, the same runners in the same outfits, at the same place, taking the same group photo against the same wall; I couldn’t believe an entire year had passed by already!

This year our friend was able to drive us right up to the entrance of the athletes village, which was jam packed by the time we arrived around 9:15am. The atmosphere was electric! It was also somewhat overwhelming; as last year, I was grateful to be there with a friend. Nearly every inch of grass was claimed by runners and running gear. The Wave 1 folks were moving towards the start (~0.7M away) and everyone else was either basking in the sunshine or waiting in the insanely long toilet lines. We waited for 45min, after which it was time for us Wave 2 runners to exit the village. At this point it was still quite chilly – the sun was warm but there was a cool breeze and my friend and I were nowhere near ready to part with our throwaway clothes. Funny, because just 2omin later, I would’ve given anything to feel that cool!

photo 2 photo 4

BAA did an incredible job organizing the start this year – far more streamlined and orderly compared to last year. As we made our way to our corrals, I felt the same “I can’t believe I’m about to run a marathon” feeling, but with an added sense of pride and solidarity. I had made a mental note last year to leave a bit early for the bathroom line near the corrals and was very happy to discover that there were at least three times as many bathrooms this year – absolutely no wait! And unlike last year (and pretty much every marathon I’ve run), we weren’t waiting around in the corrals. BAA timed it perfectly so that we entered our corral and immediately began walking towards the start as the gun went off.

Crossing the start line was exhilarating; it was impossible not to feel emotional. The amount of crowd support was unreal. Last year, there was an initial big cheer and then small pockets of spectators throughout the first half, but for the most part it was relatively quiet and dare I say boring. This year, the course was lined with spectators the entire way to Wellesley. It was beyond impressive!

This wave 1 runner’s awesome Google glass video of the race gives you a good sense of the athletes village and start line experience (the whole video is worth a watch).

Although I never stopped appreciating just how unique a day it was, unfortunately it did not turn out to be the race I had hoped it would be in terms of my own personal performance. Time was never my focus this year, but I invested a lot of it into my training despite the horrendous winter and constraints of the Dietetic Internship, and I had a strong, injury-free training cycle, so I couldn’t help but have certain expectations about my finish. In other words, if I was going to run what normally is a VERY relaxed pace for me, I would at least feel good while doing it!

But hey, not every race can go as planned. My experience was a perfect example of how training runs only make up one piece of the overall puzzle, along with nutrition, sleep/recovery, stress, weather etc. Some factors are within your control, and others are not. In my case, race day happened to fall right in the middle of the hardest part of my internship. I wasn’t feeling amazing on race morning, but I got a few nights of solid sleep, hydrated/carbo-loaded as per my usual routine, and wasn’t experiencing any GI distress, so I thought I’d be fine.

Several weeks of inadequate sleep and stress, and more importantly, a stomach virus caught 4 days earlier, left me feeling more mentally and physically worn out than I realized until I was out on the course. It was also hot outside (high 60s at the start), which felt like the tropics compared to the polar vortex that persisted throughout most of my training. So while I started out at my usual MP feeling okay, within a few miles I felt surprisingly fatigued and unwell (stomach cramps, nausea). No matter what I did (the usual mental tricks, adjusting pace, hydration, gels), I couldn’t shake it off. My fellow 3:33 qualifiers, and then all the corrals behind me, were passing me right and left for miles. This never bothers me as I always pass a good chunk of them later on, but this time I knew that wouldn’t be the case. It was frustrating, but ultimately all I could do was accept how I was feeling, slow down, and take things mile by mile.

Thankfully, the crowds were AMAZING and I was able to redirect my attention (which usually is intensely focused on my own race) to everyone around me to get me to the finish line. As soon as I would feel myself sinking into my own pain and discomfort, I would come across a new source of inspiration that made those feelings seem insignificant, whether it was listening to the deafening cheers, hearing hundreds of people scream my name as if they were my hugest fans, reading the hilarious “kiss me” signs and running through the “scream tunnel” at Wellseley, hearing that Meb won (GO MEB!), passing by Team Hoyt as they completed their 32nd Boston Marathon, running alongside amputees as they conquered the course, counting down the number of miles until I would see my husband, or taking a much-needed glass of water from one of many generous spectators in between aid stations. I was really touched by the amount of support we received from the Boston community. I can’t say I physically enjoyed every moment of the race, but I felt so lucky to be a part of such a historic and symbolic event and did my best to soak up the atmosphere.

Mile20 Out on the course

RunningtoE4 Mile25 Tothefinish2

Above are a few shots of me out on the course – at mile 20 at the base of heartbreak hill (where family friends, who we stayed with in Newton last year, cheered me on), a random by the official photo company, and at mile 25 (where I gave E a huge kiss). He watched me at the same spot last year, and seeing him (after counting down for so many miles) really gave me the lift I needed to get me through that final stretch!

Running towards the finish line was pretty epic. It was funny because I was nearly there and it occurred to me, oh yeah I should probably sprint! I was so mentally and physically not in racing mode that I nearly forgot!

Check out my Garmin details to see the progression of my race. I also included a comparison of my official splits from last year and this year, just to show the drastic difference between the two. As E said to me later on re: the slowing down of my pace, “that looks like one of my races” haha!

Boston Marathon 2013  photo.PNG

After I finished, I felt very ill and stumbled about for awhile before eventually getting my medal, water, food etc. The sun was so strong I felt like I was under a heat lamp, so this year’s amazing space blanket cape thing with hood provided some nice protection. I’m glad it took E awhile to get to the reunion area because by that point I was finally starting to feel more human again; still overheated and very nauseous but in better spirits with a little water and salt in my system. Here are some photos he took when he found me!

Tough race! P1100456 P1100465 P1100463 P1100460 Finish line1

We slowly made our way to the park, where many runners and spectators were lounging on the grass. So many happy, tired, celebratory people around us! We found a nice shady spot to relax for awhile, given I was still feeling a bit unwell. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to be done with the race and to have E by my side. Lying down felt so good – it was nearly impossible to get back up!

Park1 Park2

We made our way to the T back towards Arlington, where there was an awesome local ice cream shop. Two giant scoops of ice cream (and a huge burger, fries and hard cider later on with friends) – that’s how this future RD likes to recover post-marathon!

ice cream2 Post-race dinner

I confess that my frustration returned the day after my race (E had to listen to me vent for a couple hours during the ride back to NYC), but now that I’ve had a few days to process everything, I’m able to appreciate that I ran a really smart and strong race that was appropriate to how I felt on that particular day. I am proud of myself for being flexible, adjusting my goals and prioritizing my health.

Despite how horrible I felt, I didn’t once stop running until I reached the finish line, which was my new goal for the race once I stopped paying attention to speed. For the first time, I wasn’t a slave to my watch or pace band, which was very refreshing. I could have pushed myself a lot harder, but instead I listened to my body and let myself run at whatever pace felt okay so that I wouldn’t end up in the medical tent (as so many others did that day). I didn’t enjoy running a marathon in shorts (mostly I wasn’t used to it), but I avoided chaffing by taking every stick of vaseline offered to me along the course (since my pre-race application didn’t last long in the heat). I took the extra time to hydrate at every water station, and in between stations too when I was able. My stomach hurt but I didn’t have real GI issues, thank goodness.

As a result of all this, I was able to finish in under 4 hours, without any major problems! I went for my first recovery run yesterday and was amazed by how fresh my legs felt. Obviously I wasn’t racing on Monday, and I also got an incredible massage on Tuesday, but still – my legs didn’t feel like I just ran a marathon! Good thing too, because I’m running the Brooklyn Half in less than 3 weeks, and then I have two 10ks over the summer (including NYC Triathlon relay) and the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall. But first – a much needed break from structured training!

And that sums up my Boston 2014 experience! I don’t think I’ll be back there to race for awhile, which makes me even more grateful that I was able to be a part of this year’s marathon. Thank you again to all my friends and family who supported me throughout the long journey to qualification and during the 2013 and 2014 races! I have so many memories across the emotional spectrum from both of my Boston experiences that I will always cherish.

Finish line 5

Marathon weekend and Spring weather (hopefully lasting this time) have finally arrived and I think all runners regardless of what event they’re working towards deserve a HUGE pat on the pack for getting through this particularly tough training cycle. For me, as I’ve blogged about previously, it’s been challenging not only because of the crazy weather, but also the Dietetic Internship, which really ramped up in intensity this past month. My taper has unfortunately been accompanied by several weeks of sleep deprivation ending with a bad stomach bug this past week, nevertheless I’m grateful I was able to complete all my long runs without any major injuries and am now here in Boston ready to tackle this historic course for a second time. My stomach is still a bit queasy here and there, but that could just be the carbo-loading!

Official jacket Last NYC run Entering Hopkinton

It felt a little weird to be back in Boston at first, perhaps because we were on the same exact schedule as last year, which brought back a flood of mixed emotions and chaotic memories. E and I drove up from NYC and arrived around 2:30pm yesterday, spent a couple hours at the expo (sadly we missed all the big names this year), paid a visit to the finish line, took a bunch of photos, and then got settled in where we are staying. I opted to wear last year’s official jacket, even though I caved last week and bought a few items from the 2014 line (pictured above) – that jacket is just SO bright.

As I wandered around, it occurred to me how much things have changed since I last ran Boston, both for me – now married and nearly finished with my internship (last year I had just found out I had not matched, which was very upsetting) – and for the race too. That underlying somber element was of course still present, however, with the sun shining and thousands of people in Red Sox and Boston Marathon gear hitting the streets, I felt mostly positivity and solidarity around me. This was clear from the goodies in my race bag and the banners hanging at the expo to the excited smiles of pretty much every person I encountered. When I visited the finish line, I felt even more grateful than I did last year to have the opportunity to support and celebrate this race. It’s bound to be a good one!

Boston Expo Number pickup Expo goodies

I’ve included above some photos from the expo and below, a few at the finish line (including one of the bombing sites – huge lines to get into the running store). I really love the finisher shirt this year (especially the “Boston as One” with the unicorn logo on the back), my new orange headband (my one purchase of the day), and the little race bag packet including a 26.2 sticker, temporary heart tattoo (which I’ll wear on my arm tomorrow) and a bracelet with a lovely message. It was a really nice touch. Good job BAA!

Finish line 3 Boming site Finish line 2

Finish line 4 Finish line 1

I honestly have no idea how tomorrow will go. I am not fighting off injury as I was last year, but I also am less fit and not as well rested. I’m guessing I may be around 3:40-3:45ish, depending on how hard I feel like pushing myself (my slowest marathon time is 3:41:52, to give some context). Either way, I am trying something different tomorrow that I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. I will not be using a pace band, and I will also be covering up my Garmin (I still want to track the run but want to prevent myself from checking my splits) so I can attempt to run “by feel.” I know I’m not going to beat my hard effort from last year (3:36), but I’ve always been curious to see how I would run if I really listened to my body. It will be unsettling and will take a lot of discipline and trust in myself, but I’m excited to try it out. Even if I end up running a more relaxed race and don’t push myself very hard, I’m very interested to see what my splits will look like. I’m generally a pretty steady runner but maybe it’ll help even more – or not.

Race day is predicted to get up to 68 degrees, which is a tad warm for my taste. I’ve run every marathon in my compression tights thus far but last year I regretted that decision within a few miles of the start, so it’s time to finally try out 26.2 miles in shorts. I love my Lululemon shorts and have run many long runs in them over the summer, but my body has changed since then and I haven’t worn them for more than 9M recently…so I’ll have to slap on a ton of body glide on my thighs and hope for the best!

Here are a few more photos from the weekend, including my friend’s adorable puppy, all my gear ready to go and me this afternoon after my last pre-race run!

Carbo loading with Tessa gear check shakeout run

It’s already late afternoon and I have a pile of work to do for my program, but hopefully I can relax a bit tonight too because mentally, I’m feeling pretty worn out. I also have a really early morning tomorrow despite my 10:25am start (wave 2). Like last year, my friend is driving us out to Hopkinton (where we hang out at another friend’s house until closer to race time), and the roads close a bit earlier this year due to heightened security. We’ll probably also have to do a bit more walking to get to the athletes village, but that’s ok. My parents aren’t here this year (they are taking a break after last year) but I’m excited to see E at mile 25 near the Citgo sign, where he cheered for me last year too. I also will have a few other supporters along the course, and have no doubt the crowds will be even louder than usual. I certainly will be needing the encouragement!

Lastly, E and I found out that we got into the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I can’t say I’m psyched for NYC summer training, but I do love fall marathon running and am looking forward to running a new marathon with E, especially one near his hometown. It also means I have another racing opportunity coming up should I want one, which takes even more pressure off my performance tomorrow.

Good luck to everyone running tomorrow! I’m excited to get out there and experience what I can only imagine will be an incredibly unique race.

Happy Thursday! I hope you are all enjoying the gorgeous Spring weather this week. Unfortunately, I have been stuck inside the library all day every day but it looks glorious out there. Only 19 more days until the semester is over and I can finally relax and finish planning my wedding (although I suppose those two things don’t usually go together…sigh).

I decided to turn my previous blog post on my Boston Marathon experience (which I edited quite heavily, for those of you who read the original) into a condensed essay to send to Runner’s World, and it was published online in the “Other Voices” blog this morning! I’ve never written anything for RW before, so I found it quite exciting to see my piece on the homepage, even if you have to scroll down a bit to find it.

You can read my essay here. I’ve also included the text below.

Runner's World essay

I’ve been focusing on qualifying for the Boston Marathon for over two years. On April 15th, I found myself in Hopkinton at last. I had spent months training for the rolling hills of the course and was confident that my body was prepared for the challenge ahead. Little did I know that the real challenge would be the emotional rollercoaster I would experience that day, and in the days that followed. Nothing could have prepared me for that.

I am deeply grateful to have finished safely, and that my loved ones were not harmed. Yet I was one block away, hundreds of people were injured and I can’t help but replay Monday’s events in my mind.

Sounds of the explosions were misunderstood and dismissed at the time, and then of sirens, which did not register from too many years of living in NYC. The overwhelming flood of concerned calls and messages alerting me of what had just happened. Disbelief – who would possibly bomb a marathon finish line?

Confusion as I walked 4 miles parallel to the deserted race course – where I had just run with such hopefulness and determination – trying to get back to where I was staying. Heartache as I spoke with stranded runners who weren’t able to finish their race, even though that meant they were safe! My medal hung heavily around my neck with shame, tucked beneath my bright yellow marathon shirt. I couldn’t part with it, nor could I be proud of it.

I felt numb as I watched the news later that evening. I couldn’t – and still can’t – wrap my head around what happened. The physical symptoms of racing have long faded, but the pain, anger, sadness, guilt, pride and other emotions that I have been feeling over the last two weeks are deeply woven into my Boston debut.

While driving to the expo, it occurred to me that somewhere along the winding path towards achieving my BQ, I had lost sight of the actual goal – to run in Boston! Of course I was eager to experience the famed crowds, conquer the Newton hills and earn that amazing unicorn medal at the finish…but if I am honest with myself, it was the challenge of qualifying in itself that had been pushing me to the start line. I wanted to prove that I could run fast enough to gain entry into one of the most honored and historic marathons, to belong to this special club of “serious” runners who wore their official Boston Marathon jackets on long training runs like badges of honor.

After several failed attempts, I finally joined that club at the finish line of the Chicago Marathon. My mantra throughout this race had been, “I want it more than I fear it,” the “it” being a BQ and whatever physical pain I had to overcome to reach my goal. I remember seeing my parents at mile 25 and yelling to them, “I’m going to BQ!” The emotional impact of that statement, as I heard myself say it aloud and knew in my heart, my legs and my tears that it was true, was indescribable. Finishing that race was a spectacular moment – sheer joy and surprisingly, not much pain. Within 30 minutes, I registered for one of the last spots to run the 2013 Boston Marathon.

It was on Boylston Street while visiting the finish line that it finally hit me: I was about to run THE Boston Marathon! I felt proud of my accomplishment but also humbled and inspired by the myriad official race jackets that surrounded me. I had only qualified by two minutes, but I had worked hard for my acceptance and it was time for my 26.2-mile victory lap!

What struck me most about the Boston start was that despite being a major race, it somehow had a small community feel to it. The atmosphere reminded me of any number of UK towns where I used to run local races while living in London, where my dream to run Boston emerged. As I waited in my coral, I felt a unique connection to the runners around me; we all knew what it had taken to get to Hopkinton.

Everyone told me to “enjoy every step” and I tried, but it was a tough course and a good chunk of the middle miles were unpleasant. The euphoria I experienced while passing through the “wall of sound” in Wellesley and again at BU snapped me out of my funk. My pace jumped as I felt a surge of energy from the deafening cheers. I embraced the physical pain while repeating my new mantra, “with heart and courage move I.” I had borrowed this phrase from a Native American friend while she was discussing similarities between modern marathon runners and the Ridge Runners of California coastal tribes. I no longer “wanted” anything as I did in Chicago – I simply let my heart and legs guide me towards the finish, one step at a time.

The final miles seemed endless, but I felt strong as I sprinted to complete my first Boston Marathon. I didn’t get that same feeling as I did in Chicago, nor did I achieve another BQ, but I was proud to have run my second fastest marathon that day.

It took me 25 minutes to reach the reunion area, where I found my family and snapped a few exhausted but happy photos. That’s when we heard the explosions, and everything unraveled into the tragic and disturbing situation we all know too well.

I no longer see the Boston Marathon as just a symbol of athletic achievement. It represents the physical and emotional hills that accompany all of life’s ambitious pursuits- the pain of failure, the joy of success and the multitude of emotions in between. We embrace these worthy challenges and even in our weakest moments, we somehow summon enough strength and courage to reach our goals. It may take several tries, and at times we may lose faith, but with the support of loved ones and others sharing our path, we keep moving forward.

As much as I can’t help but care about my time (I am a runner after all), it’s everything else that keeps drawing me back to the marathon distance, and particularly to the Boston Marathon. I will be at the start line on April 21, 2014 – that is, of course, if I can get in!

Claire is a graduate student in Clinical Nutrition at New York University, a Road Runners Club of America Certified coach and author of personal running and nutrition blog, The Fight and Flight Response

I also wanted to share some screenshots of my official race photos. Some of them turned out really well and it brings me some comfort to see so many smiles.

Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 10.53.58 AM   Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 10.56.46 AM   Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 11.01.10 AM   Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 11.01.25 AM   Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 10.53.32 AM   Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 10.54.32 AM

Last but not least, I am excited to report that I will be coaching the Gilda’s Club NYC marathon team again this year! If you’re interested in joining, shoot me an email (thefightandflightresponse@gmail.com) – we have 27 spots available, it’s for a great cause and I promise we’ll have tons of fun.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

I just received FANTASTIC news – my acceptance into the 2013 Boston Marathon!!!!

I registered as soon as I got my iPhone back from my parents after finishing on Sunday in 3:33:18, but I wasn’t sure if I would actually get in and didn’t want to get my hopes too high after my failed entry back in 2011. I knew I had 2014 in the bag, but never would imagined that I would be running Boston this Spring!

I’ve been working towards this goal for over two years now. I qualified in NYC, the times changed, I registered and then didn’t make the cut. I had a string of injuries and after a pretty rough race in Portland last year, felt somewhat discouraged. Finally, in Chicago on Sunday, I PR’d by over six minutes, smashed my goal to BQ and finished feeling so strong I now have confidence that a sub-3:30 is in my future. This is pure redemption – and I can’t tell you how good it feels. Think that smile on my face says it all!

It’s tough to focus on school right now as I bask in my post-marathon glow and continue to process all of the amazing things that have happened in the last five days, but I’m trying my best. I have a very challenging three months ahead and now that Chicago is over, I can really focus on my studies and take a mental and physical break from many months of hard training. My one last hurrah will be a 90min recovery massage this afternoon – then time to buckle down.

Congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend! I will be taking a short blogging hiatus – but stay tuned for my Chicago race recap and other news!

It feels so good to be home, particularly because I won’t be here for long.

I arrived very late Wednesday night from Boston via Dallas and spent yesterday relaxing, unpacking and simply enjoying being in my own space again. I had a wonderful, action-packed five weeks on the road but by the time my departure date rolled around, I was craving my own bed. I also couldn’t wait to see this:

Nothing like walking to my local beach, soaking up some sunshine and listening to the soothing sounds of the waves. Back in California, at last.

I’m about to drive up to San Francisco for Sunday’s North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon but first wanted to fill you in on the rest of my multi-city tour!

My Thanksgiving weekend with E’s family was awesome – great company and incredible food, I couldn’t really ask for more! I somehow managed to squeeze in an 8 miler on Saturday – my last pre-race “long” run – which was challenging after a bit too much food and booze, but I pushed through. I also got a chance to make my Triple B pancakes on Sunday, which I think won me a few extra brownie points! I didn’t have blueberries and we didn’t have time to let the batter sit, but they came out great (or at least everyone seemed to love them) which made me very happy.

After our pancake brunch, it was time to drop E at the Boston airport to head back to London. This was our third goodbye and was particularly sad since we don’t yet have our next visit planned, but hopefully we will see each other sometime in January.

I couldn’t get a flight home until later in the week. I was a bit travel weary by this stage, but I was excited to spend time in Boston and visit some London friends who had moved there over the summer. My only relatively recent trips to the city were for Harvard-Yale games back in college, and as you can imagine, not much time was spent sightseeing!

I decided to spend most of my two days in Boston exploring the city on foot. I was fortunate enough to be staying somewhere very central – a mere five minute walk from Symphony Hall, 10 minutes from Newbury street and 15 minutes from the MFA – so I made the most of it.

After an easy four-mile run and some lounging around, I had lunch with my friend at BU in the student union (he works at the university). It felt strange to be around so many students, particularly since they were mostly undergrads, but I guess that will be me quite soon! That was the first of many campuses I crossed that day. It’s pretty amazing just how many schools there are in Boston. I felt like I was moving from one type of sweatshirt to the next every ten minutes. As a Yalie I feel like a *slight* traitor saying this, but I imagine it must be pretty fun to be a student in Boston.

I crossed the river and walked along the Charles river to Cambridge. I had hoped to run along the river but it was more convenient to run around the park close to where I was staying (right near Simmons College and the MFA), so walking was the next best thing. I was of course reminded of Haruki Murakami’s book, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.” I read that book three years ago when I first started running again in London and loved it. I also couldn’t help but think about the Boston Marathon – the sadness returned for a moment about not being able to run in 2012, but quickly faded. I know I will be back to run there someday.

I wandered up into Cambridge and across various campuses, including Harvard’s. Such a different feel from Yale – it was interesting to sit down and observe all the students walking by. I can’t wait to be a student again! I should be hearing from NYU regarding my application any day now…

On my way back down Mass. Ave. approaching MIT’s campus, I caught the most incredible sunset. The photos do not do it justice.

Dusk on the river was also beautiful and quite peaceful. Having a day to myself for the first time in weeks was very refreshing.

The following day, I explored Newbury Street, Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall, Brookline and various other parts of town. I couldn’t help but stop in the Nike store, which was AWESOME. I wanted everything but am proud to say that I managed to control myself and only look. Once I get into school, I will reward myself with a new running outfit! 🙂

Beacon Hill was very cute – there were so many runners out and about, presumably because it was lunchtime and I was quite close to Boston Common. I caught a few doing a hill workout – looked pretty intense!

I managed to snag a last minute ticket to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform – an amazing seat for only twenty bucks! I was pretty tired after so much walking but really enjoyed the concert. Inspired me to get back into playing my oboe again…

After a morning race pace run on Wednesday, I had a couple hours before my flight to visit the Museum of Fine Arts. The MFA has been on my list of museums to visit ever since I studied Art History at Yale and I loved it. Unfortunately my visit was slightly rushed but I managed to see nearly everything I wanted to see, including a wonderful Degas exhibit. I found it particularly cool that they had a conservation room on display, and enjoyed lunch in their cafe:

And that concludes my short but busy trip to Boston! Stay tuned for more details on my upcoming half marathon in San Francisco – I am feeling very out of shape and have no clue how I will fare on this difficult course, but I’m excited nonetheless. Have a great weekend!

Welcome to FFR

Hi, I'm Claire! I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (MS, RD, CDN) and a Road Runners Club of America certified coach. This is where I share my latest adventures in running, racing, food & travel! If you'd like to work with me, please visit my professional website, Eat for Endurance.

My PRs

Marathon (Chicago): 3:33:18
Boston Marathon: 3:36:14
Half-Marathon: 1:37:21
10M: 1:14:52
10k: 44:52

My latest photos

Grateful for quality time this week with my little pumpkin! 🎃😍 Happy Monday from California! I haven’t posted any running pics for a long time as I’ve been dealing with a hip injury for the last few months (and zero running for the last 5 weeks). 😓 I haven’t run a race, even a short one, in over a year - so different than how I imagined my postpartum running life to be. It makes me sad that I can’t run especially while in Santa Cruz, but I’m trying to stay active in different ways, be diligent about my PT, and remain positive even though the road to recovery feels endless at times. Yesterday, E and I went on a beautiful beach walk in the morning and then I did a hike with a friend and our babes in the afternoon, where I normally run in Nisene. I miss running but hopefully will get back to it soon, stronger than before! Baking “for the baby” tonight (so I say as I gobble up these delicious treats). Made mini pumpkin muffins (and a few mama sized ones), recipe adapted from @babyfoode. So easy to make - I added full fat Greek yogurt and almond butter to include some healthy fats. I think Arielle will love these - if for some crazy reason she doesn’t, more for me!! 😂 Nice work on tonight’s dinner, @trailz.io!! So good I’m going back for seconds. Veg bake with layers of eggplant, red onions, tomatoes, zucchini, ricotta, breadcrumbs, & spices with arugula on top. 👌🏻 Surprise package in the mail today! Thx @rxbar - stoked to try out the new gingerbread flavor. Speaking of, how on earth is it already the holiday season?!?! #rxbar Love @siggisdairy triple cream yogurts - perfect to satisfy a craving for something sweet and indulgent while providing 9g protein, relatively few calories (170), and calcium. The chocolate flavor was so delicious! #dailysiggis

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