My Boston Marathon 2014 – RACE report

 Monday, April 21, 2014 –  I finished my 30th marathon – my 10th Boston Marathon and  after the tragedy of the bombing, lives lost and the people injured in the bombings last year — it was time to take back that finish line! I am so proud to be a part of that healing, and so happy to experience the Boston Strong spirit every inch of that 26.2 mile course. Beyond that to be so incredibly supported by my friends and family — watching me, tracking me and cheering me from afar — it was an amazing experience I will remember for a lifetime!





  • Weather – Started out as 32 degrees in the car ride in at 6 am — the wind was cool when we were in Athlete\’s Village, but once on course about half way it began to feel pretty hot in the high noon. High 69° Lo 36°
  • Warmup – No – unless you call milling around Athlete\’s Village warming up. I couldn\’t find my team mates or Boston friends, but I tried until I realized I could burn up all that saved energy….
  • Clothing: Oiselle black skirt, Zensah Pink Jog bra, WMDP \”Baby Blue\” singlet, CEP compression socks
  • Magic Slippers: Adidas Boston 4 Purple (they are now officially over 500 miles!) — these babies feel like bedroom slippers now and were absolutely perfect, light and fast!
  • Medal — My 10th Boston Marathon is in the books. Love the Boston medal and the satin sash that it hangs on……


  • Water: Plenty of water stops and enthusiastic volunteers! These volunteers are always smiling and encouraging — along the entire route. It was such a joy to get to the water stations just for their encouragement. 10 stars!
  • Fuel: 1 Gu, 1 Accel Gel — tried the PowerGel Chocolate one for the extra boost! On course supplied at about mile 15 (it was all a blur). This is where it went wrong for me and I need to figure out a fuel plan that includes \”food\” with much less sugar content. This is the first marathon where ingesting a gel every 4 miles did NOT work and my stomach cramped up. 🙁
  • Food: Hawaiian Rolls that are incredible! Too much sugar made me sick on course so I avoided most all the other treats offered except the Terra chips. 🙂 Lots of water!

I had it all together – mentally, physically strong – prepped adequately with miles and was ready to go. My first half rocked! I was flying, smiling, happy waving to the crowds — the entire route lined with cheering smiling fans. I wrote my name on my left arm so people were yelling my name! Priceless. 🙂 Steve & Samantha saw me in Framingham, bottom of Heartbreak Hill and one other spot. It all becomes such a blur when you are out on course. But I do remember the beginning of the Newton Hills when WMDP team mate Sara Hadler Smiarowski cheered me, ran with me and gave me the great news of Meb\’s win!


What went wrong you ask? I had the late wave, leaving at 11 am and I really don\’t think I had \”breakfast\” — just coffee, almonds and a few Stingers. My diet was so pristine (I gave up all sugar but fruits & veggies) and I had not ingested gels or aids during my runs and when I did in this race the sugar made my stomach cramp up and I felt like such crap the only thing that helped was to bend over.

I hit the portapotties 3 times and med tent twice.It was hard to get up once I sat down and i knew it from the past, your legs don\’t want to stop. At one tent I waited long enough to almost to get bouillon or something to feel better. I was going to finish though and kept looking at my watch to see what I could make up. I remember less than 2 miles from the finish bent over talking to this little 5 year old boy telling him of my sick tummy from the sugar that I ate and it was really hard to run now…. but I picked up and pushed to the finish. Still feeling pretty good about my time, but so wanted to feel good to the end and it just wasn\’t my day in the heat and with the cramps.  I could barely pick my feet up off the ground heading up Heartbreak Hill and all the encouragement from the crowd just kept me going — they were all a \”god send\” at that point for me. I beat myself up thinking about how I wish I had performed better after all that effort to drop my weight to be light and fast, I think changing the GU and PowerGels to raw honey and stingers and maybe even not ingest as much. But the pre morning meal needs more thought for late starts. My Manchester and Hartford marathons from last fall qualify me in a faster wave for next year already (crazy me ran 4 marathons last year).

\"Screen \"Screen \"Screen The passion of the crowds was just overwhelming and I really pushed myself to the finish as hard as it may have been to do. My step son Stephen and his girlfriend Colleen were there in the Respect the Process tshirts around Cleveland Circle, but at that time it was truly a blur.  So happy to have all the support yelling Go \”Western Mass!\”  I remember with less than a mile bending over to feel better and stopping on the right side of the street, this little boy walked over to me to see if I was ok (he was probably 5). I told him I ate too much sugar and my stomach felt very sick. But I knew I needed to pick myself up and run to the finish as it is just around the corner!

I will figure this nutrition issue out and I will do it again! I love this race and the energy was out there 100 fold more than ever this year! I love this race, the people, the runners, my team mates that ran with their heart and souls and performed at such high levels. Truly amazing marathon to be running! Proud of all my friends that ran and did so well — I will hit it home next year — I swear!


The sentimental part of this marathon I will remember is the finish where I look for my family (Steve & Samantha), with tears in my eyes, so happy to have finished. My friend Sasha, her son and partner Pat were there at the finish area — so great to see them and they made the effort to see I was ok — knowing I was hurting…. Then to hobble over to the Park Plaza where my friends Charlie and family offered me the chance to take a shower. Matt West returned this year again and also opened that same opportunity. Because we knew where we were going at the Plaza, having been there in years past — we made it.

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I saw Jacques at the hotel recovering — she ran a 3:19 – A PR for her! How exciting! Her excitement and positive nature is always a great plus for me!

The most important thing of all is that my best friend, my love, my number one fan is there for me every step of the way — I ran as fast as I could to meet him at the finish and seeing his face on the course taking my photo and yelling at me to kick it in just fuels me to be my best. I am the luckiest girl in the world! His dedication in getting up with me at 5 am to bring me to the start even though I don\’t start until 11 am, then to drive all around and be there for me along the course is just incredible. With Steve by my side – anything is possible.


On to the next! 

What\’s on your marathon bucket list?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Nancy Cook 2021

About Nancy

Nancy Peck Cook is a trainer and speaker who has presented in front of large and small audiences for the past 25 years.  Her work as an executive and volunteer trainer for the American Cancer Society during the growth of the signature activity Relay For Life trained professionals to be more confident and successful in their roles. 

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