Since I was first able to understand, experience, partake in and appreciate being a spectator of the Boston Marathon, I knew I wanted to eventually run it. I had always loved being active as a kid: I was the tomboy who played basketball with all the boys on the blacktop, I loved physical education, and being outside. The activity that linked all of the aforementioned together was running. I absolutely enjoyed the mix of hearing my feet on the pavement, hearing the beats of music in my ears from my headphones, seeing the sights I was running by and through, feeling the sun on my face, the snow in my hair, the rain on my forehead; it was phenomenal. I felt like I was flying. I felt like I could run forever and never stop.
In high school, I played competitive field hockey, and during the off-season I would spend lots of time either in the fitness center, running, or taking group fitness classes. At the end of high school, I made a promise to myself that someday I would become a group fitness instructor, and I would also run the Boston Marathon when I turned 20 years old.
By the time I was 18, I had run no more than 13 miles, given that I would always get terrible cramps either in my abdominals or in my legs. When the cramping would occur, I would usually stop to walk and stretch, and then keep going. I was 19 when I ran my first half-marathon, knowing the next year I would run Boston. I had to. It was my goal.
In December of 2016, I applied for a number through a scholarship foundation. A meeting with the director, some paperwork, and a congratulations handshake later, I had my number for the 2017 Boston Marathon. I would turn 20 less than a month before the race. I recall asking the director an absurd amount of times, “This is it? I have a number? I am running the 2017 Boston Marathon?” He reassured me a countless amount of times. I was thrilled. I did not want to stop hearing the sentence: “Yes, Diana, you are running the 2017 Boston Marathon!”
About a month later, I joined Heartbreak Hill Running Company. The next week, I signed up for a class at their treadmill studio. The class was amazing: an incredible amount of energy, challenging hills and sprints, a clean, state-of-the-art treadmill studio with phenomenal, motivating and inspiring instructors. It was after my first class that I saw an advertisement for HOTSHOT. I bought two. At my next class, I consumed the shot 30 minutes beforehand. The taste was amazing: it consisted of the perfect balance of spices and was immediately energizing. I am an individual who does not like to consume products that do not contain natural or recognizable ingredients. This product was what I had been looking for: the best of both worlds. HOTSHOT provided an immediate confidence boost. I went into the hour class, and felt amazing. I did not stop once to stretch, or relieve any tension or pain from abdominal or leg cramps. The next long run I did, I took a HOTSHOT 30 minutes before, and set an unofficial PR for my half-marathon time. During my longest long runs, I would start by drinking a race day meal, and then a HOTSHOT. I would run approximately 15 miles, take a HOTSHOT, consume water along the way, and finish my longest long runs strong. HOTSHOT was all I needed. The product is a miracle worker, a confidence booster, an extra kick of strength.
Come Boston Marathon Day, I was stoked, overjoyed, and extremely anxious. I had butterflies and could not wait to experience the course, a dream of mine that was at my fingertips, soon to become a reality. I packed my HOTSHOT: one for 30 minutes before the race, and one for mile 13. I included some dried banana chips from Shalane Flanagan & Elise Kopecky’s Run Fast. Eat Slow. for a little bit of extra fuel, just in case I needed it. The entire day was magical and majestic.
I can’t stop thinking about what an incredible day it was. Even in the worst moments when I wanted to stop, those were the BEST moments. It was unreal. I cannot wait to run again. I cannot wait to see where my running journey continues to take me, HOTSHOT in hand.
MORE ON THE HOTSHOT BLOG
Taper Time: Taper now for your best marathon performance.
The Road to Boston 2016…and 2017: Jennifer Harkins’ story.
Boston Marathon: Each race is a change to challenge myself.
Shalane Flanagan’s Road to Marathon: Read about the Olympians transition from track star to champion marathoner.