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!
My 1st Boston Marathon by @MalindaAnnHill
I'm so very grateful for the opportunity to run my 1st Boston Marathon to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
I chose to be 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.
I'm certain that 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 difficult. ;-)
So, I wanted to thank my friends, family and anonymous donors who have 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 today, my fundraising total is $3,000 and I will continue to match all donations until I reach to my 1st fundraising goal of $5,000.
Leah and I are thankful for the opportunity to run 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 who have lost loved ones to 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.
Have you ever been a charity runner? Did you have difficulty reaching your fundraising minimum? Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. (All comments are published after review).
I ran my 5th Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 9th and it was my slowest in that city by about 13 seconds. Even though I didn't have a good clock time, my trip was so special because I traveled with a very good friend who was able to run a huge negative split and PR - go Nicole!
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 for my friend Nicole 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!
On April 17, 2017, I will join hundreds of Dana-Faber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) runners who will take to the streets to participate in the 121st Boston Marathon®. The DFMC team runs and raises funds with thousands of adults and children affected by cancer in mind. From Hopkinton to Boston, we carry thoughts of thousands of adults and children with us every step of the way.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to run for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute because 100% of every dollar raised by the DFMC team supports the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Check out this short video to see how funds raised through DFMC are fueling some of today's most promising basic cancer research.
My identical twin, Leah, finished her 1st Boston Marathon® in 2013. We were reunited moments before the tragedy and deeply affected by the pain so many families had to endure.
In the years following the tragedy, I was determined to qualify for the Boston Marathon® so that Leah and I could run together in memory of those who died and in honor of those who survived.
Since 2013, I've attempted but failed to qualify 11 times while continuing to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research.
I am now more determined than ever to qualify during the 2017 Boston Marathon® while raising funds to support the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the DFMC team so that Leah and I can run together in memory of Michael, GG, Joe, Susan, Kyle and all those we know who have died from cancer.
Please join us in the fight to conquer cancer!
No donation is too small and 100% every $1 donated will help fund cancer research!
Together, we're headed toward the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer!
Thank you for your support!
Leah and Malinda are identical twins and masters marathon moms. We deemed ourselves "Twins Run In Our Family" so we could share our experiences running together while supporting causes we care about.
Since 2012, we have raised $3,052 to support Alex's Lemonde Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer in memory of our grandmother, GG, and Leah's brother-in-law, Michael.
If you are a runner, twin, and/or parent of twins, please join our Alex's Million Mile team to help us reach our mileage goal this September.
If you can make a donation, please help us reach our fundraising goal. No donation is too small. Donate $1 (or more) online or text "LEMONADE E1222069" to "85944" to donate $10 by text.
Help us fight childhood cancer, one mile and one dollar at a time!
On March 17, 2012, my identical twin, Leah, and I joined Team Lemon to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer in memory of Leah’s brother-in-law, Michael. On July 16, 2012 our grandmother, affectionately known as “GG,” died suddenly. Over the past four years we have raised awareness and $3,067 for childhood cancer research in memory of Michael and GG. We've also shared our experiences running together to support Alex’s Lemonade and other causes we care about on our blog, "Twins Run in Our Family," Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Much to our surprise, we've gained a following of runners, twins and/or parents of twins. We're often recognized at races when we wear our shirt that has our logo on the front and our tagline on the back: "If you're passing me, I'm Malinda. If I'm passing you, I'm Leah." Over the years, I've struggled with chronic illness and depression. Because of my experience, I'm truly grateful for every step and I'm determined to make my miles matter. I'd rather run in a charity race to raise awareness for a worthy cause than run a fast time. Sometimes, much to my surprise, I'm able to do both.
#Train2BQ with Team Lemon - @MalindaAnnHill's 10th Attempt to BQ at the #RnRDC Marathon on Saturday, March 12
Leah and Malinda are identical twins and masters marathon moms.
Leah and Malinda deemed themselves "Twins Run In Our Family" so they could share their experiences running together while supporting causes they care about.
Since 2012, Leah and Malinda (@TwinsRun) have raised $2,867 to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation in memory of their grandmother, GG, and Leah's brother-in-law, Michael.
Leah, the faster 1/2 of @TwinsRun, has qualified for the Boston Marathon (BQ) 4 times and finished 3 Boston Marathons (2013, 2014 and 2015).
Malinda, the slower 1/2 of @TwinsRun, has yet to BQ after 9 unsuccessful attempts:
October 13, 2013
November 17, 2013
April 5, 2014
3:56:14 (1st sub-4)
September 8, 2014
Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon
November 23, 2014
March 14, 2015
Rock 'N' Roll DC Marathon
April 4, 2015
September 12, 2015
Rivanna Greenbelt Marathon
November 22, 2015
Malinda is training to succeed at her 10th attempt (the power of positive thinking!) at the 2016 Rock 'n' Roll DC Marathon on March 12.
Although Malinda has yet to reach her 2017 BQ goal (3:55), you can help us her reach her fundraising goal - $355 to support Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer!
No donation is too small - $2, $3, $4, $5 or more is greatly appreciated!
Text LEMONADE E1121983 to 85944 to donate $10 by phone.
Thanks for your support!
The c-ville-a-thon is the brilliant idea of my coach, volunteer race director, and running store owner Mark Lorenzoni. Created as a way to encourage runners to try a variety of local not-for-profit races as well as to track one’s progress over the year, the c-ville-a-thonallows participants to design their own racing experience by running at least 26.2 miles in charity events in a calendar year.
I worked behind the scenes to create a logo, flyers, website, and social media presence for this initiative and it was a huge success during its first year.
Of the 243 people who signed up for the challenge in the inaugural event, 83 runners submitted their checklists, running a total of more than 2,500 miles for worthy causes!
Currently we have 216 likes on Facebook and 46 followers on Twitter. We hope to increase our visibility and engagement over the next year.
Since I’ve been a race addict since 2007, it came as no surprise to me that I was at the top of the leader board for total miles raced with 98.4. Andrew Hersey came in 2nd with 51.1 miles and Kristin Morgan was 3rd with 46.9 miles.
Although I didn't PR in any distances during my c-ville-athon, I was the most proud of myCharlottesville Ten Miler time of 1:16:42 which is my 3rd fastest time in that distance (and the two faster times were on the flat Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run course).
I had a few really bad races this year especially in the 5K (for me, anything 24 or above is disappointing unless it's the week after a marathon :) which was the Chocolate Chase after the Chicago Marathon). Luckily, I was able to finish off the year with two 5Ks averaging 7:40 pace on my Garmin and finish times of 23:26 and 23:05.
I created an evaluation form to get feedback and suggestions from the 2015 finishers. Here is a sampling of some of their kind words:
"Fun idea :-) Enjoy participating in local events and supporting local organizations; motivation to participate in an extra event or three during the year! "
"This was a great way to stay involved, get healthy, and contribute to some very good causes. Please do this again in 2016!"
"Thank you for hosting such a fun competition! I look forward to participating next year.”
"It looked like a fun thing to do, since I was planning to run several races already. I love tracking my progress."
"Thank you for putting this together! It's been really fun!"
"I thought it would be fun since I was running enough races. I told all if my running friends and we did discuss our progress especially toward the fall."
"This was such a good idea! Thank you!"
"Thank you for sponsoring such an innovative way to encourage race participation in the Charlottesville community. It certainly kept me motivated!"
"That was fun! Thanks for organizing it!"
"It was so pleasant an experience to run all those races and learn of this recognition."
"I thought it was a neat way to turn lots of little events into a bigger event; it was also great for tracking progress (or, sometimes, the lack thereof). I considered it fortuitous timing, since I had only been in town for some months, and found out about it while looking for races to participate in last spring. Being in on the inaugural edition seemed pretty neat, and putting the focus on non-profit races is quite nice."
Click on links below to register for the individual races. RSVP on facebook to let other C-VILLE-athon participants know which races you are running!
Download a checklist!
1st -- New Year's Day 5K
5th -- Haven 8K
12th -- Sugar Hollow Bridges 5K & 10K Run
19th -- Charlottesville Ten Miler
20th -- Fix a Leak Family 5K
Camp Holiday Trails 5K
2nd -- Zeta Run For Life 5K
16th -- Run For Autism 5K
23rd -- Martha Jefferson 5K
30th -- Montalto Challenge
Lile Mile / Pi Miler
Hoos Hea l 5K
May 7 — CHS Band/Cross Country 5K Fundraiser
14th -- Red Hill 5K
14th -- Batesville 10K
21st -- Keswick Hunt Club Foxtrot 5K
Oakland School Kids' Trail Race
Run & Remember 5K
Discovery Dash (Kids edition)
Mimi's Run 5K
Ramblin' Rabbit 5K
4 the Wounded 5K
Bruce Barnes Mile
4th -- Independence Day 5K
CTC All-Comers Summer Track Meets
Stagger Start-Predict Your Time 5K Trail Race
3rd -- Women's Four Miler
17th -- Pepsi 10K
CCS All-Terrain 5K
North Branch School Dragon Dash 5K Run/Walk
Buzz by Belmont
VSA Color Me Cured 5K
Glenmore Volunteer Fire Department 5K Run/Walk
Chocolate Chase 5K
Jaida's Joy 5K Monster Run/Walk
24th -- Boar's Head Turkey Trot
Run for Shelter 5K
James Monroe 5K
Charlottesville Men's Four Miler
Race and Taste 10k by ETF to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital
Honoring Our Heros 5K
Kelly Watt Two Miler
4th Year 5K
Monticello Classic 5K
Sponsored by C-VILLE Weekly and Ragged Mountain Running Shop.