Boston Marathon Q&A: Caroline Burkard

Local runners get ready for the big day.

This post is part of our Boston Marathon Q&A, where we ask local runners about their journey from the streets of Boston to the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. 


Caroline Burkard at last year's Boston Marathon. Photo provided.

Caroline Burkard at last year’s Baystate Marathon. Photo provided.


Name: Caroline Burkard
Age: 24
Residence: Medford, MA

What did your training regimen look like?
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I would go to the gym where I would work on an elliptical for about forty-five minutes and then move onto abdominal work for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Every Tuesday and Thursday I would run between five and eight miles. Saturdays were always my long run day; runs usually measured between 10 and 22 miles.

What was the hardest part of training?
The hardest part of training was the cold weather! Because I’m originally from California, I’m not accustomed to running when it’s twenty-five degrees out. It was one thing to feel sore from a previous workout, but my water bottle would literally freeze while I was running! Through this training, I discovered my love for layers and gloves!

What’s your favorite pre-race (night before) meal?
I love having a bowl of pasta for my meal and then wheat thins, cottage cheese, and jam for dessert. This year, I’m so excited to go to Anthem Kitchen and Bar for the “bottomless bowl of pasta.”

What is your favorite post-race meal?
Because I have been on a strict diet, I am already excited for two things: fondue and a pomegranate martini. Honestly, the thought of these two things will get me through mile 22 and 23.

How will you stay motivated during the course?
For me, running is all mental. I have my running mix that consists of mostly house music, but I also set a goal of four hours and thirty minutes for myself. I’ve already noticed that as I’m running, I am constantly telling myself to just go a little faster.

Why do you run the Boston Marathon?
Last year, I worked a double shift on Marathon Monday at Anthem. As runners came in to grab a post-race meal, I kept telling myself that I was going to run it the following year. At that time, I was about thirty pounds heavier. After Marathon Monday, I ate healthy, worked out every day, ran 26.2 miles for the first time, and lost thirty pounds in just six weeks. During those six weeks, I graduated from college and my sister and her boyfriend had given me a bottle on Veuve-Cliquot Rose Champagne. I remember thinking, “I’m going to open this when I finish the Boston Marathon next year.” It is still on my desk, waiting for Monday!

I ran the Bay State Marathon, where I finished in four hours and thirty-nine minutes. At that time, I told myself, I’m going to run the Boston Marathon in four hours and thirty minutes.

The Boston Marathon is very personal to me. It not only is a huge challenge that I am excited to overcome, but it represents the transformation I have made as a person. In just one year, I have made so many positive changes for myself that I intend on keeping for the rest of my life.

When I was accepted onto Playworks’ Marathon Team, I knew that the Boston Marathon was not just about my personal changes. Instead, it became about the changes that future elementary school students made by participating in the Playworks’ designed recess and after school programs.

Do you have any racing superstitions?
My Dad was an Eagle Scout, so I think I take after him. No matter what, my race belt has to be properly stocked. In order to be prepared for a race, my race belt has to have five Gu Gels, a Powerbar, a Chapstick, and Band-Aids.

What will you be doing the day after the Boston Marathon?
I will be sleeping in and spending time with my parents before they fly back to California. After I take them to the airport, I will be heading to UMASS Boston to go to my masters’ course, “Understanding Reading for Elementary School Students.”