Chi-Town Mara-Thon


Chi-Town Mara-Thon

getting there

Traveling is always fun. Getting to Chicago went very smoothly. Christine and got a pretty solid deal at Southwest and the boarding process was pretty easy! We decided to take the CTA from the airport to our hotel to save a few bucks vs. an uber or taxi. That also went pretty well, aside from a few colorful characters on the train...It dropped us off maybe a block or two from our hotel and we were ready to check in! 



We arrived a little late in the day on Friday so rather than have a dinner with the rest of the RRRC squad we decided to do Breakfast! Whats better than that? We had breakfast Saturday AM at a great spot called yolk with a few of the team members and it was there I noticed how excited/nervous folks were. I'm super proud of all the work the team put in, the long runs, the marathon pace runs, the morning runs and everything else that training for a marathon entails. We enjoyed the breakfast and then for Christine and I it was off to the Expo! 


Before I get into the expo I have to just mention the atmosphere around the race. It was palpable. People were excited. People from all over the world, were rocking their Chicago gear and you could tell they were pumped the day was nearly here. The Nike store in Chi-town wasn't as crazy as I thought it would be but it was still madness. We snagged a jacket (cause you have to!) and then from there we hopped on a shuttle and to the expo we went! 

the expo


Talk about well organized. We literally got Christine's number in maybe 3 minutes. They give you a QR code in your email, you hand that and your license over and boom you're getting your number. Now, in what was clearly an attempt to get you to explore the expo floor they put the race t-shirts on the other side of the building...well done. We took a little bit of time and explored the different vendors and luckily had already hit up the Nike store so we didn't need to get involved with that booth. At the expo you could feel the excitement in the air and while it didn't feel as big as the Boston Expo it was still quite impressive! I was most impressed with how quickly and efficiently the shuttle system worked. 

the race


The race itself took place on Sunday and luckily we know Stephen Oliveira so I ended up dropping Christine off at his charities meeting spot. I can't tell you exactly how the start was executed but Christine mentioned it went smoothly...apart from some bathroom issues...but you can ask her about all that! I was tasked with making my way to mile 17 for some much needed encouragement. I was able to set up at mile 2.5 and see some of the wheelchair athletes, elite men and women come through although it was early I was super impressed with all of the athletes running! I hung out even spotted a few Rhode Runner athletes amongst the crowd! 

The atmosphere at mile 17 (once I made my way over there) was awesome there was a british woman MCing and getting the crowd pumped. I was mostly impressed with how she was able to keep talking for what seemed like hours! I hit up Starbucks near by and hung out and watched the elites roll through (again unbelievable) the app they had allowed you to track the athletes so that was super helpful to know approximately when folks were rolling through. I later watched the elite athlete race and it was epic, the two winners blasted the field and dominated. As for the RRRC The race went well for folks doing their first Marathon I was super impressed with the strength and resolve they showed. I was also super impressed with the smart races our teammates ran, it was clear they knew what they were doing, and I was very impressed with Maria's ability to make a tiny picture of Gil look huge! 



After the race it was time to explore the city. Christine and I have made a habit of walking a tremendous amount of miles after a marathon. In Philly we toured the Art Museum, restaurants and local hotspots, we must have walked another marathon! Chicago was no different! We walked to the hotel, then got our stuff and headed over to the Art Institute of Chicago Contemporary Art Museum. I saw some Art I liked (Sargent, Cassat etc...some we didn' square? I'm no conneisuer but really?) Anyway...after that deep dish pizza became the order of the day. We snagged some (it was delicious). Then we decided to hop on a river boat tour and learn all about the Architecture lining the River. That was truly a blast and very informative we basically travelled through time and learned about how engineers, solved some very difficult problems. Chicago was definitely a cool city and we immediately looked up how much condos in Chicago cost when we got home! 

going home

Going home went just as smoothly as getting there, aside from spending $5 on a bottle of water I was happy with Midway Airport. We again took the CTA directly to Midway which went well. We weren't super stressed at the airport, maybe it was because we managed to snag direct flights, but overall the flow of security was on point. We even had a very friendly TSA agent work with us. The flight home was a little bumpy given the windy/rainy day we came home on but overall it was a great trip and I definitely reccomend you run Chicago if you're thinking about it. Even if your race doesn't go quite to plan you'll have yourself a great time and isn't what this running thing is all about? 




Five Tips To Get Out The Door


Five Tips To Get Out The Door

If you're like me you know that sometimes it can be tough to get out and run. I typically don't have to be to work until 10am and I still can't get out the door in the morning. So I thought I'd write down my top 5 tips to help you get out the door. 

meet with someone.


These Folks

Seem Nice.

Having someone to meet with is the absolutely best way to get yourself up and out the door for a run. Whether you're meeting someone before work or after having a buddy to hold you accountable is one of the best ways to get motivated. Its also a two way street so you hold them accountable as well, it is literally how I got myself through marathon training two years ago. I would meet my friend Martin at 430am (yup) before he went to work just so we could get our miles in. I knew he'd be there and I didn't want to let him down. 


Some folks do this already, some folks get frustrated when I'm trying to converse with them on the track and they're rocking out (you know who you are). But I completely understand music is a great way to get pumped up and pushed out for a run. Sometimes I'll get it going well before my run and get in the zone. I try to pick uptempo stuff to run with but whatever musical tastes you have music will help get you out there and keep you running. Unless you listen to lullabies...those may keep you in bed...

pick a fun spot to run

Choosing a new spot to run is always a great way to keep things interesting and fun. One of the reasons we move around during our BRG program is to mix it up and keep it fun. Finding a great trail or a park is a good way to get motivated. Plus if you drive there, what else are you gonna do, you may as well get your run in! If you need a good spot to run check out our post on some great places to run in Rhode Island

mix up your run

Mix it up. We do intervals during our training session again to get you all fit but also to keep it interesting. When you’re all done with the BRG crew you may find your runs getting a little boring and redundant. A great way to mix it up and keep yourself motivated is to throw in some intervals. You can use RunKeeper or just pick a few telephone poles. Maybe run 3 telephone poles hard and 2 easy, these are fun because sometimes those poles are little bit farther then they looked…

get dressed




Last but not least. Dress the part. Put on your kicks, your sweet running outfit, and get yourself psyched up to run. I’ll do this every morning just putting on my running shorts and t-shirt get me in the mindset like “I’m going to run today”. 

So there ya have it. Those are just a few tips on how to stay motivated and get yourself out on the Rhode…oh look I did it again! 




Ocean Road 10K Recap


Ocean Road 10K Recap


Having never run a Gray Matter Marketing race before I was a little skeptical heading into this event. We have a great relationship with the race director but I wanted to experience one of their events first hand. Running a 10k is unique, if you read the blog post last week than you know what I think of them. Its a distance you don’t see very often and having a plan of attack is always necessary. My plan of attack was to start at a fairly comfortable pace and work my way down to an uncomfortable one. Luckily it seemed to work out that way.  


The warmup at any race is important, during a morning race it becomes a necessity. Its getting a little cooler these days so warming up is super important. The Ocean Rd 10k is a point to point race so I used the warmup as a course preview as well. I ran out with Chris Bleau, who had himself a long run so we took our time heading out to the light house before the race. It worked out pretty well as there were some bathrooms along the way and bonus a few waterstops were all set up! 



The race seemed to go off without a hitch. The pre-race situation at the light house seemed well organized with gear check, lockers and port-o-johns. Usually I get very familiar with the port-o-john situation but this time since I was able to stop along the way at Scarbourogh beach I didn’t get as familiar. The race ran from the lighthouse down to Narragansett beach. The course was super well marked and impossible to get lost, visible signs, cones along the way and a great police escort helped tremendously. There were also adequate waterstops and very friendly cheering sections along the way! The finish line atmosphere was fantastic and I don’t know how she did it but the phenomal announce made her way from the start down to the finish and did a great job out there! Overall the race itself was fantastic and I enjoyed every second of it. I was able to run my own race and bring my pace down as the race went along. The course was not super challenging and the scenery was beautiful! 


I was so pumped to see so many of the Rhode Runner Running Club out there and hung out to cheer them on as the race kept rolling. We dominated the race and had ourselves a great time. They held the awards ceremony in a very timely manner, and the post race set up was fun, music blasting, fruit, bagels, kind bars, polar seltzer and a great atmosphere. 



The one thing I admire about the Gray Matter Marketing folks is well…their marketing. I enjoy seeing folks execute a marketing plan and great marketing can create an atmosphere that people gravitate towards. Their emails are well done, the sold out crowd proves it and on race day the vibe was on point. People were excited and the announcer at the start is one of my faves, she does a great job keeping the crowd entertained when all they want to do is run! 


I can’t speak too much on how the shuttle situation was, but from an outside perspective it seemed to go smoothly. I saw plenty of them driving down to the start line all filled up and I did not hear any complaining while we stood and waited for the race to start. The race logistics were great as I mentioned above the course was well marked and when you finished they corralled you into the parking lot at the cabanas to give you some room to breath and give folks a spot to go when they crossed the line. 

Overall the Ocean Road 10k is one to put on the calendar for next year. We had around 20 folks take part and if you’d like to share your experience feel free to do so in the comments below…it may just find its way to the race director :)





Fall Apparel Guide


Fall Apparel Guide

Getting dressed for Fall running can be a very challenging task especially here in New England where the weather is constantly changing.  So in this post, I have discussed the must haves for any fall running wardrobe and the different properties and styles available to best fit your needs! Hope that you find it helpful and if you have any further questions or needs feel free to ask us either by phone, Facebook or email!


10 KiloMeters


10 KiloMeters


What a strange distance. The 10K. You don't see them a whole lot, but when you do you should sign up. The 10K is a throwback to the good ol' days, in the eighties they were every where nowadays not so much. With the Ocean Road 10k coming up I thought we'd break down the 10k and discuss how to race it and why 6.2 is a heck of a lot different then 5k and way different than the half marathon. 


Have a Plan. You may be thinking a 10k is just two 5ks back to back. So I'll run a 5k and then another 5k right? Your approach will be different than mine and different than the person next to you. We’re all snowflakes! We’ve got different strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledge what yours are and tune your race plan to take advantage of your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Maybe you’ve done a ton of strength workouts and can push your pace a little earlier than most folks? Maybe you’ve got a nasty kick and save some for the last mile? Or maybe you’ve done a little of both and can adapt on the fly. 



A solid 10k or any other race for that matter comes from being consistent and having all your runs and workouts add up to a great race. The 10k is an interesting distance because it requires equal parts speed and strength. If we’re focusing on a 5k we’d lean a little heavier towards the speed side of things and if we’re doing a half we’d lean a little heavier towards the strength side of things. Since we’re smack dab in the middle its important to remember every run has a purpose. Easy runs need to be easy, recovery is key to seeing gains during your workouts. Speed runs need to be quality, interval work (like we do on Tuesdays) helps here. We need to feel our race pace. Longer runs need to be integrated into your training, especially if we’re jumping up from the 5k. Running long builds strength and we need to be able to carry a faster pace over 6.2 miles. 


Sleeping enough. Eating right. Hydrating properly. Remember the little things and practice them on a regular basis. Have a longer run coming up in your training? Practice your race-day routine, for me its waking up chucking back a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, and a bagel with peanut butter, warming up and heading out for a run. Make sure to practice these things on the regular and on race day when those butterflies are flying around your stomach you can slow down take a deep breath and fall into your routine. 


Do not forget why you do this. We love it. Its fun! In your training be sure to remember to socialize get out to our group run and chamiserate with other runners. Complain about all the hard work your putting in, the weather etc…Brag about that long run a little bit and generally have a good time with your crew. In addition, the race is not only a time to reach back and put our training to work, its also a time to hang out with our teammates, get caught up in all the hoopla and have a yourself a damn good time. 


Previewing the course can be a huge help for runners taking part in a race. You can visualize the course and mentally prepare yourself for what lay ahead. Theres a hill at mile three, sharp corner at mile five, know where your mile markers are and it will go a long way to making your race a success. Mentally preparing yourself can also help keep you calm during race day, if you know whats coming you can relax and be as cool as a cucumber. The reason Tom Brady can administer those fourth quarter drives so effectively is he’s calm, he’s done this before. 


10k is a little different than 5k. During the 5k you can let it fly a little bit more, the 10k needs to be a bit more measured you need to be a bit more efficient with your energy. Form can play a big role in wasting energy, every mile take an inventory of where you are at, check your posture, cadence etc…If we’ve reviewed the course you make sure to not waste any energy by cutting tangents and running the shortest line possible. Pacing yourself is key visualization will help keep you in check those first few miles so you don’t get carried away. 

The 10k can be fun and we’ve got a great squad taking part in the Ocean Road 10k this weekend so lets go out there and have ourselves a great time!!!