How I Spent My Day Before the Boston Marathon

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The day before the 2018 Boston Marathon was a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

I started my day by sleeping in, assuming that I wouldn’t sleep well the night of the race and I wanted to get as much sleep as possible. When I woke up around 7:30, I got coffee from the hotel Starbucks and then pulled out some food we’d picked up from Whole Foods the day before. I prepped my usual pre-run snack of cinnamon bread + almond butter + banana and drank my collagen-spiked coffee, and I thought about what I wanted to wear on my shakeout run.

And then…

And as I was eating, I suddenly felt something hard in my mouth. At first I thought it was a hard raisin or something. But then I quickly realized the temporary crown in my mouth and fallen out. Oh, and it had cracked in three pieces so there was no attempting to get in back in with over-the-counter cement like Google suggested.

I had mixed emotions – slight panic, gratitude and disbelief. I had joked with my running friend Christian the week before that it’d be bad if it fell out before the race since it had felt funny in my mouth since they put it back in after my root canal. But, I was also VERY grateful that I had the root canal done because it would have been extremely painful otherwise. It just felt weird, but I didn’t have pain. And I was laughing because COME ON! I was already freaking out about the insane weather forecast and then my freaking tooth fell out.

I knew I couldn’t do anything about it, so I texted my endodontist (who is such a lovely person) to confirm I didn’t need to freak out. She said it’d be fine but to get the permanent crown installed ASAP when I was home. (I read after the race that Molly Huddle had to get a root canal after the race so I felt solidarity with her.)

My Shakeout Run – 4 miles the day before the marathon

I went out for my run, and uh, the wind was insane. If you’ve read anything about the Boston Marathon this year, you know the weather was historically bad. Cold + heavy rain + gale force winds (literally). On Saturday morning, there wasn’t heavy rain but instead sleet with 20-30mph winds so my face was pelted with frozen bits. I’m glad I did a shakeout run in those conditions though because it helped me feel prepared for race day by getting a little taste of it.

At one point, I ran across the bridge from Cambridge to Boston and had to purposely run as far from the road as possible because the crosswind blew me so hard at one point that I tripped over my own feet and nearly felt into the road. YIKES.

But, the run finished on a MAJOR high note: I bumped into Shalane Flanagan on my run!!! You can read about that here.

Planning My Boston Marathon Race Day Outfit

After my shakeout run, we got lunch at Flour Bakery (SO GOOD) and then relaxed at the hotel for a couple hours. I already had made a timeline for my race morning, but I re-did my clothing checklist once I decided what I wanted to wear on race day. I decided not to wear a jacket (which I probably should have), but that I’d wear a long sleeved shirt with the top pulled back over my head. That way I had sleeves but they could still see my bib in case I decided to ditch the long-sleeved top. (I was worried that too many layers that would get weighed down with cold water on my core, but I still wanted arm warmth… and I’d forgotten my arm sleeves.)

What I wore for the Boston Marathon (in pouring cold rain & heavy winds)

Nike running hat

Lululemon tracker shorts

Athleta tank

  Feetures compression socks

Adidas Boston shoes

Superfeet insoles

Garmin Forerunner 235

Not shown but I also wore this Nike long-sleeved shirt + JLab Bluetooth Earbuds + SpiBelt.

Not shown but I should have worn these arm warmers and this windbreaker.

Making a Race Day Game Plan for Spectators

After figuring out my race day outfit, my mom, Tommy and I sat down to make a game plan for their day, how they’d get to the race and how we would meet up. Spectators need plans too, especially on a day where they would be standing for hours in such terrible conditions. We decided to head to the finish line area (where we hadn’t been yet) to scope it out and then eat dinner over there.

While we originally went to the finish line area to plan some logistics, it ended up being a very cool experience for sightseeing. As we walked up Boylston towards the finish line, I got tears in my eyes and it suddenly felt very real. (I was interviewed by a Greensboro reporter, Eddie Wooten, after the race and I told him that going to the finish line the day before the race was when it hit me that I was really running Boston.)  I was glad that we had done the expo the day before so we didn’t have to squeeze that in. Read my do’s & don’ts for navigating the Boston Marathon expo here!



It was so special to be there with Tommy and my mom. My mom is the reason I’m a runner and she inspires me so, so much. She’s been running for 50+ years, ran her first race in her 60s, and has now run multiple marathons. (She now also does CrossFit!) She’s incredible!!!

Tommy’s Carhartt coat + J.Crew Sutton jeans + L.L. Bean boots || My coat + Paige black jeans + Sam Edelman rain boots + similar beanieMichael Kors crossbody bag (borrowed from a friend for this trip – thanks Meg!) + Garden Party lipstick

I’m glad my mom reminded me to take off my black coat and get some pictures with my Boston jacket!!!

Dinner & Winding Down

We got dinner at Dig Inn (delicious) and I started to get anxious about getting back to the hotel to wind down (noticing a theme here?). We got back to the hotel around 8 and I loved seeing this good luck poster that our hotel had up!


And I especially loved the notes for me!

And then it was time for bed! My nerves had decreased dramatically compared to how I was feeling the day before. I guess telling myself for 24 hours that I couldn’t change the weather, and just laughing at the lows (crown falling out, nearly blown into the street) and highs (seeing Shalane, going to the finish line with my family), it finally sunk in that I would have a GREAT time during the race no matter what my finish time was. And with that on my brain, I fell asleep and slept soundly – a miracle the night before a race.


What do you like to do the day before a marathon? Or before any race?

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    13 responses to “How I Spent My Day Before the Boston Marathon”

    1. Did you mention where you stayed? If not, do you mind me asking? And if you did, sorry for asking! And did you book around this time last year? I’ve heard from some to do that?!?!?

      • Hey Mina – I stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, solely because they had a shuttle to the busses. 🙂 I booked in July last year through Marathon Tours. They open bookings for 2019 on May 3!

    2. I’m glad you went to the finish line the day before because it’s really neat to see it before the race. Dig Inn was a great choice for dinner and you did your pre-race run on one of my favorite running paths along the Charles!

    3. How often do you replace your inserts? Do you do it every time you buy new shoes? Or can they last longer than shoes?

      • I find they last a lot longer than my shoes – I replace my inserts once I see cracks on the bottom or the top starts to pull away from the hard base. My first pair of inserts lasted through 4-5 pairs of shoes!

    4. thanks for sharing all this! I’m looking forward to Boston next year. Like another commenter asked, did you book your hotel a year out? People have told me to do that.

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