You can’t fake a marathon!

On Sunday morning I did my taper “long run” for Boston. I ran 10.5 miles in Bloomington, didn’t wear a watch, just ran easy. It was a beautiful morning and my legs felt fine, just a little tired from last weeks half marathon/20 miles. I normally do a standard 20, 15, 10 taper for long runs going into a marathon (give or take some miles on that 15 & 10). Given my weird, unstructured training and since you have an extra day or two in there since Boston is on a Monday, I did my 20 two weeks out for this race. I think I did a taper this way one other time- when I was training for my first post baby marathon.

I haven’t been following a plan since I aggravated my hamstring in February.… it’s been more like I have an idea of what I want to accomplish for the week and go with it. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, no speed work, just keeping it real making sure I’ve got the distance in without injuring myself. And I’ve pulled way back on the running distance adding in two bikes and a swim most weeks in replace to be nicer to my body.

You know us Hein’s like to lay our goals out there for the world to see. So, if I had to give my best guess- I’d say I’m good for a 3:25 marathon in Boston if I want to work for it. I’m being realistic here. Before my second surgery I had built really great mileage and speed and was hopeful I could shoot for a PR in Boston, but things crumbled a bit after that, which is funny since it was much less intense (physical & emotionally) than surgery 1. Oh well, can’t plan these things. Roll with what you’re given right?

SO, I have two options for the race:

Option 1:

Run hard. If I’m smart in the first 13 miles, and don’t try to think about how fast I WANT to be able to run right now, I’ll be good to run strong the whole race. I would go out around a 7:45-7:55  pace and see what happens. I very much want to run even, strong and happy. I understand the importance of keeping it cool the first 16 miles and then I’ll do a reality check for what I think you can do for the next 10 miles. I also don’t want to awkwardly hold back on all the downhill at the beginning though-it’s been a long time since I ran this course but have ran it on the Boston treadmill at my parents house and man those hills are REAL. While I was a very inexperienced marathon runner the first time I ran Boston- I can very clearly remember the damage those hills did on my quads and how painful the second half of the race was. Specifically running downhill was painful at the end. Starting around the halfway point if I remember correctly… oh boy.

I’ll have to go with what feels right at the time. If a couple miles in the beginning there are a bit quicker than my plan that’s ok. Take me away hills, take me away. No big headedness running down them though. Just running comfortably. I’ve been fortunate to get a decent amount of runs in Bloomington, and while they weren’t speedy, they had a lot of hills to prepare those quads!

This option will hurt in the last 6 miles because I’ll be working for it. And once I get it set in my head what I want to run, I’ll probably try to stick with trying to run it even or negative split.

Option 2:

Just have fun. Run comfortable the whole race and care nothing about pace. Soak up the whole experience with minimal pain the race. Just enjoyment. If I go with this option, I presume I’ll run around a 3:45.  This option is tempting- because it would be FUN and in the end who cares if I run a 3:25 or a 3:45. If a PR was on the line, it’d be a different story. It’s not.

I can’t say what I’ll want to do once the race gets started- it’s easy to say I’ll just want to run easy and have fun (I plan to have fun whether it’s easy or not) but once the races starts, I might want to work hard and push. We’ll see. I think Ashley and possibly Dan and I are going to start together-Ashley is in the same game as my right now- had some injuries. Hopefully we’ll figure it out together- BUT, you’re not allowed to run 2 steps ahead of me the whole time Ashley- if we run together, you run next to me!! (Brandon will appreciate that comment)

And this is the truth: 

“Running is just the work you put in and the clock. You can’t cheat yourself. If you don’t put in the miles, you can’t go to the starting line thinking you’re going to pull a miracle out of nowhere. You get exactly as much as you put into it.”  – Desiree Linden (Davilla)

Right on. I know what I’ve put in, I know where I stand. I know where I was last year when I ran my 3:13 and Monday is not the day to go after it because the work simply isn’t there. While the work isn’t there though- I am a stronger, and smarter runner now. Experience is a BIG factor in knowing how to race- you learn something new after every marathon. I’ll let you know what I learn from this one.

If you want to track me you can do so here– my bib number is 9168. I’m not promising anything extra ordinary, but it will be fun to know friends & family are tracking. I WILL think about it and it WILL make me happy knowing you’re there.

Here is a video of my running down Bolyston Street in 2009- one of my slowest marathons to date: 

Below is a picture before Boston 2009 when I had no clue what I was getting myself into with those downhills. (I so clearly remember looking for Glenn, Brooke and my parents on Boylston street and when I saw them just pointing to my legs because they hurt so bad!)


And of course there is so much more to this race than anyone’s time on the clock. Everyone will be honoring the victims of 2013’s race and I’ll be thinking of that from start to finish. Thankful that I get to run the Boston Marathon.



Do you ever run marathons just for fun? No caring about your time?

Have you ran Boston? What’s you favorite part?

Do you have a goal to get to Boston? What are you doing to achieve that? (I love coaching runners who have that goal!!)


  1. Great post, lots to think about, and you are being smart in all that you are considering. I have only run one marathon, and it was going well until I overdid it on the caffeine. I know I would have run a sub 2:40 without that. I think it is so important to just trust your body, you know what feels right, and just know that you should settle into a pace for the 20, and then race those last 6 miles.

    It is so special you get to race Boston this year, and I am sure the atmosphere will be wonderful. I hope you reach your goal, and I look forwrad to seeing how you do 🙂

    I hope to someday run there, and in answer to your question about marathons for fun…maybe someday, but not now , my sponsors may get mad haha!

    1. Lindsey Hein

      Thank you Tina!! Holy smoke 2:40, that’s amazing! I see you run for the Saucony Hurricanes- that’s awesome. A local runner here from Indy Whitney recently joined that team- do you run with her? She’s so sweet. 🙂 I agree, Boston will be special no matter what and thank you for the comment! If I were in your shoes, I’d stick to racing them for now too!! 🙂

  2. Have a great race Lindsey! I am sure the atmosphere will carry you a bit as well, no doubt that it will be even more intense then years past. I look forward to tracking you and reading about your experience.

    As far as running Boston, since I run all road races for fun, I highly doubt I will ever qualify. (Maybe when I’m 90ish) In the meantime I am working on a few finishes on the trails and hope to make it to Western States in the next few years!

    1. Lindsey Hein

      Thank you Jess! I’m really excited about the atmosphere, should be a lot of fun! WOAH, western states- that would be amazing! I know you’re a trail girl! I think I need to join that fun sometime soon! Hopefully we can meet at Mohican when you & Glenn run this year!

  3. bethp262

    Both great options! I’d probably tend to go with option 2 and just enjoy the day. 🙂
    I have run Boston and that is basically what I did–just ran comfortably and soaked in the atmosphere, high-fived tons of kids, etc. I think my favorite thing about Boston is the whole community vibe to it. I love seeing families out along the course and little kids cheering…of course the college kids are pretty fun to run by too!
    Will track you and send you cheers from afar! Have a great race!! (and weather looks pretty perfect too at this point!)

    1. Lindsey Hein

      You are smart Beth- I think that’s a good idea… am leaning toward that decision, we shall see!! I’ll be high fiving kids no matter how fast or slow I go! Thanks!!

  4. Thanks for posting this it helps to know I’m not in the half injured boat alone. I’m right there with you on the injury thing. I was all set to do something special at Boston until I squatted to low with to much weight on my back and BAM, pulled groin and derailed plans in an instant. I’ve been flailing around for the last 6 weeks or so just trying to maintain enough fitness to finish Boston and I have about the same plan. Start conservative and work the pace down in the second half if I can but make sure to finish. No PR’s this time so I might as well enjoy the experience.

    1. Lindsey Hein

      I’m sorry to hear you are injured— GRRRR! Did you end up running Costa? Enjoy the experience and there will be another race to do something special that’s for sure!!

  5. Both options seem great – but race day will let you know how you should handle things. I’ll be one corral behind you, so I’ll be looking for you…see if I can snag a high-five before the gun. Good luck!!! You’ll be awesome.

    1. Lindsey Hein

      Hey Michelle!! Long time not talk kinda!! I hope so- would love to see you and that cute little bump that’s happening!! Have so much fun and enjoy our prego 26.2!!

  6. I cant wait to be there! I wish a 3:45 marathon was an easy race for me 😉
    I would love to run Boston one day but it just seems so far out of reach for me right now.My last marathonw as 4:40 so I have a looooong way to go.
    Will be tracking you via text, hopefully I see you! Best of luck!!!

    1. Lindsey Hein

      Hey Patty! So exciting that you will be there! Time is all relative- everyone’s got their own reference for what easy and hard is- but I very much get what you are saying! Little bits at a time and you’ll get down to a time you won’t believe! 🙂 Thanks for tracking and cheering- maybe we’ll somehow see each other in a sea of 35K people!! 🙂

  7. Hi Kim!Hoping Mr. SSS is feeling btteer now. Hope you will get a chance to stop by the Tartan Parade in the next few days. I know you love plaid too!Blog issues are resolved.(And that’s not an April Fool’s joke!)xoxAlison

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