by. Jessica Graham
North Bend, WA

A Volée member since 2013, this will be Jess's first time running the Boston Marathon and her 7th career marathon. Her favorite workout is running 4x2 miles at half marathon pace, with the last few miles done at marathon pace. To learn more about Jessica, check out her athlete profile.


How many times have you raced Boston?
This is my first Boston!

What makes you most excited about stepping to the line on April 21st? 
I remember watching the 100th anniversary running of Boston with my dad when I had just started running at age 12. I was amazed that spectators lined the entire course cheering, and my dad told me that this wasn't just any marathon- only the fastest people earned a spot in Boston. I wondered if I could run Boston someday and can't believe that,18 years and thousands of miles later, I will! It's hard to contain the excitement! And hard to believe that 5 years ago I was having lung surgery and in a few weeks I will be running Boston- I am very lucky :)

How has this training cycle been similar or different to races in the past? (training, tapering, fueling etc)
In my last training cycle I sometimes had company for the last few miles of my long runs but did the majority of them solo. This cycle I have been lucky that my training partner Emily is also running Boston, and we have done most of our long runs with the Oiselle Sunday run group here in Seattle. The miles go by so much faster with running buddies and I look forward to my long runs each week!

What are your goals for the race?
I have been training hard and really want to PR. But more importantly, I hope to be able to enjoy the race, take in the whole experience, and cross the finish line with a smile on my face :)

If you could run with any celebrity in Boston who would it be and why?
Kara Goucher! I would love to hear all of her tips and experiences in marathon training and what she remembers thinking and feeling as she ran Boston in 2009 and 2011.


What is your ideal weather?
Mid-40s, dry- perfect arm-warmers weather!

Are you a master of the water stops or will you need practice?
I am a master at the water stop FAIL- usually I am lucky to get a sip in. In my last half I dropped the first cup I grabbed at mile 6. More practice is needed!

How do you fuel morning of, during, and after?  
3 hrs before the race: bagel, peanut butter, banana, coffee, Nuun. Sport beans or some chomps in the hour before the race. This training cycle I am all about the Salted Caramel Gu: I usually take them at mile 8,15, and 20 in a marathon.

What cheer would you like to hear from fans to get you fired up?

What is your ideal treat to celebrate post race?
Sadly right after a race I want nothing to do with food, but in a few hours I will be ready to eat ALL THE THINGS. Can't wait to celebrate a great race with my husband, college teammates, Oiselle teammates, and my parents who are driving up from Ohio to watch the race!


Rapid-fire Round:
Nuun or water? Lemonade Nuun
Winter or summer? Seattle summers :)
GU or Shot Blocks? GU
Coffee or tea? COFFEE
Long run or track workout? long run
Buns or Randies? Randies

Atsuko Tamara