As you’re undoubtedly aware, the 118th running of the Boston Marathon occurs this Monday. Juli, ultramarathon veteran and a key member of the customer service team here at the ‘House, will be making her way to Beantown again this year, running the race for the second time after making her Boston Marathon debut last year. We were lucky enough to pull Juli aside for a few minutes to capture some thoughts going into the race.
This is your second time running the Boston Marathon. What is bringing you back to this iconic event?
Last year was my first year running the race. I was planning on just checking it off and not running it again. I loved the actual race, it was such an awesome experience being a part of an event like that. Even so, I wasn’t planning to go back…until about 40 minutes after I finished. As soon as I heard the bombs, and found out that someone had attacked our sidewalks and our spectators by challenging the notoriously inspirational and free spirit of Boston, as well as the Boston Marathon, I knew I had to be a part of it again. I took it very personally, and I’m really excited to go back. It will be very emotional, but very encouraging as well.
How has your training for the Boston Marathon differed from your usual training?
Most of my races in the past year have been trail runs of 50k distance or greater, and it has been a challenge getting back to the road. In the last couple of months I have done more concentrated training, focusing on faster shorter distances and tempo runs. I’ve also incorporated weekly speed work into my training for the first time ever, and I’m hoping that will pay off!
What are your goals for this year’s race?
My primary goal is always the same: To do my best. Race day has so many variables, and I want to enjoy the run, the camaraderie and the course. This will be a very memorable race, and I want to make the most of it. I would like to knock a little time off of my PR (obviously!), but I’m not specifying a time goal.
Do you have a strategy going into the race?
I really love the terrain that’s on the course, so I’m looking forward to having an idea of how to pace myself. Last year I felt really consistent at the beginning and was able to kick it up a notch at the end, and I definitely want to do the same thing this year.
How do you deal with traveling across the country for a race?
This year I’m able to get out there a little earlier, so I’ll have a few days to get used to the time difference. Also, I swear by my CEP compression socks! Whenever I have to travel for a race, I always pop them on right after the race, and I also wear them on the flight to and from. I can’t believe what a difference they make.
What post-race treat are you going to indulge in first?
A corn dog. Or bacon, whichever is more readily available.
What’s your nutrition strategy pre, during and post race?
Because the race starts so late in the day, I’ll probably eat some oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. During the race I go for the Vanilla Clif Shots (usually I take 4 with me for a marathon) and on-course hydration. After the race I’ll recover with Osmo for women before finding a real meal.
As someone who has run Boston before, what kind of advice would you provide for a first timer?
Take it all in. This race is famous for a reason, and the atmosphere is unlike anything else. Make friends on the bus and at Athlete’s Village, get plenty of high-fives along the course, and remember that it’s ok to tear up a little bit when you make that final turn onto Boylston Street (especially this year). You worked hard to get here, and you never know what the future will hold, so make the most of this awesome opportunity! Oh and give it all you’ve got! :)
Thanks for chatting with us, Juli. Have a fun trip and a great race!