BOSTON MARATHON RECAP.

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BOSTON MARATHON RECAP.

INTRO

The Boston Marathon is like no other race. Period. End of Story. Well, not end of story but that statement cannot be stressed enough. I've been running for over half my life and have never experienced anything like it. I've raced in Louisiana, I've raced in New York, I've raced in Maine, I've raced in Florida, I've raced in California and Ireland and no other race was as inspiring, incredible and awesome as the Boston Marathon was. I wanted to use this weeks blog post to give you my thoughts and encourage everyone who has the opportunity to take part in this fantastic event. 

ORGANIZATION/PRE-RACE

The most well organized race I've ever taken part in. End of Story...alright I'll stop with that. The day begins with a bus ride to Athletes Village from Boston Commons. I'm not sure if I just got there super early but the wait to get on the bus was non-existent and it quickly took off to the village. The Athletes Village is a sight to behold, with large tents for shades, Porto-johns that seemed to go on forever, bagels, bananas, water, gatorade, coffee, tea it had everything you need pre-race. I arrived a bit early and wasn't a huge fan of hanging around for 3 hours before the race, but after a quick nap, some snacks, an unmentionable amount of trips to the Porto-johns the time flew by. It did get a bit crowded toward the end of my stay and I was super nervous about not using the bathroom just one more time before the start...buuuuuut after heading to the start there was another hundred Porto-johns on the way! Hallelujah! We hung out at the start, saw the elites line up...well the tall people saw them line up, watched some planes cover the course in 4 mins (super jealous) and then bang the gun went off. 

COURSE

The course really is fast the first half. Folks are not kidding when they say you can get carried away going out too quickly. The first few miles drop quickly and then you're gradually going down hill through mile 13. Go out too fast and you'll have yourself a tricky second half for sure. The course levels out a bit and then starts to climb in the latter stages, while I've heard a lot of heartbreak hill it seemed to go by quickly, probably because of all the trips we've taken up and down Rochambeau! They call it heartbreak hill because of where its placed and it comes at a point in the marathon where you'd like to just take a walk up and maybe a nap at the top. After that though the race quickly (or not so quickly) comes to an end. This could be because of all the down hills but most likely is because the crowd just won't let up! Which leads me too...

ATMOSPHERE

Ridiculous. Its just ridiculous. There are no breaks, there is no silence. The crowd is always there pushing you towards the next mile, where the crowd is even louder. You can even grab yourself a smooch from the girls at Wellesley College at Mile 12 (no I did not do that!). Each mile marker is surrounded by throngs of cheering people, and it helps keep you focused on the task at hand. No stopping. No walking. Don't give up on yourself. Speaking of, the pure grit of some of the other runners taking part is palpable. Witnessing a war vet with one leg, carrying the flag cover 26.2 miles is awe inspiring. There is no way you can give up, not with that guy on the same course. Incredible. Throughout my journey, I saw blind runners, amputees, wheelchair athletes all grinding it out with a smile on their face. You really can't help but smile along with them! The few miles to the finish are incredible with a crazy amount of people out there cheering you on! A big thanks to those who were out there cheering! Stephen, Jayman, Gary, Gilly, My wifey, Stacia, Chris, Katie and everyone else I missed! Your cheers were much needed and appreciated! Why were they much needed? Well that had a lot to do with the....

WEATHER

The weather this past Monday was lovely...lovely for those not running 26.2 miles. I'm sure the folks cheering enjoyed the opportunity to rock shorts and a t-shirt, for me and the thousands of other folks running the heat was not welcome. The marathon is tricky, a spring marathon is even trickier. You train and train and prepare to cover 26.2 miles as fast as possible. You train through December, January, February and March through the darkness, through the snow, rain and freezing temps. Then bam April 17th comes and its 75-80 degrees with no clouds and now what? Things need to adjust and my race plan was one of those things. 

MY RACE PLAN

Initially I thought hey, I've been running for a long time now, I should go out there and give this thing a go. While my training hasn't gone quite as planned (or at all) I've put in a 20 miler and have been consistent for a month now...maybe just maybe I could bang out a good time.  Luckily when race morning came I changed my mind and decided to be super conservative and just hit the goal of three hours. I thought really a month is not enough time to do this properly, its going to be hot and the Boston Marathon is an experience, just experience it and enjoy the run. The first few miles went by around 6:15 pace and felt nice and comfortable (probably because they were all down hill!) then around half way through I started to settle into 6:30s and eventually finished up around 7:00 minute pace. While it's nearly 30 minutes slower than my qualifying time, I was super pumped to finish at 2:54 and most of all have a pleasant experience at Boston. My two cents, run fast to qualify for Boston and enjoy the atmosphere of the Boston Marathon when you get there. 

CONCLUSION

Overall it was awesome. Hands down the best race I've ever taken part in. If you can qualify do it. If you're not quite there yet, work hard and get there, you will not regret it. Big congrats to all the Rhode Runner Running Club Members who took part! You are super impressive and I'm so pumped to be on your team! 

Eric Lonergan | Run Club Member 

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RHODE TO BOSTON 2

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RHODE TO BOSTON 2

So last week we shared with ya'll some insight into the training of some of the Rhode Runner Running Club members running the Boston Marathon. This week we take a peek into a few more. Lets run down the list of the Rhode Runner Running Club participants. 

Wave 1 (10:00am start time)
* Eric Lonergan - Corral 1 (#149)
* Jason Ashley - Corral 2 (#1891)
* Kurt Mias - Corral 3 (#2948)
* Eric Rudman - Corral 5 (#4095)
* Mike Muschiano - Corral 5 (#4587)
* Serge McKhann - Corral 6 (#5825)

Wave 2 (10:25am start time)
* Paul Chekal - Corral 2 (#9583)
* Brian Patrick Mulligan - Corral 3 (#10671)

Wave 3 (10:50am start time)
* Wendy Billings-Litke - Corral 2 (#17958)
* Mary D'Arcy - Corral 3 (#18712)

Wave 4 (11:15am start time)
* Liz Goodermote - Corral 4 (#27078)
* Paul Morrissey - Corral 4 (#27164)
* Allison Johnson - Corral 6 (#29808)

JASON ASHLEY 

Boston. Where do I begin? It has been a journey, one that I never thought would happen, a journey I am proud of, and something that is such a wild card that anything is possible. I generally run five miles a day (it keeps the doctor away). Long runs have been interesting, anything from 6:45 pace to 8:40. On  rainy days, I tend to soak in the water, snowy days, I generally crawl through the final hour, and hot days.... well, hopefully it isn't a scorcher on race day. One thing is certain, the city of Boston will mean more to me on the day we all come together, Patriots day, 26.2 miles of camaraderie and perseverance.  Thank you to everyone who has helped me with the process, Jake, Coach Doyle, Eric, Amy, Sean, and Serge. 

Brian Patrick Mulligan

I finally started keeping a running log again, after years of thinking about it & not doing it. I'm glad I have it because my training, which I thought was pathetic, is not so bad. In the first 3 months of the year, I have run a total of only 12 weekdays! Because I have not done as many shorter runs as I'd like to, I have piled on the long runs on the weekends. My log reminds me of 2 20-milers, 3 18-milers, 1 17-miler, and 4 16-milers. And the plan is for one final 22-23 miler this Saturday on the Boston course. Not expecting to PR, but certainly hoping for a BQ.

Wendy Billings-Litke

This will be my first (of hopefully many) Boston Marathons. I am finishing up week twelve of my plan and have my last long run on the course this weekend (I do a two week taper). My training plan has me running every day with a maximum of about 65 miles for a week plus some biking or swimming and a decent amount of strength training. For the past few weeks, I have been going to Boston on Saturdays and doing my long run on the course and then doing a shorter recovery run on Sunday with the Rhode Runner group. Running on course has really increased my confidence, because I think I have a good idea how race day will feel for my legs. I have a new appreciation for hills and have started to feel bored on extended flat areas of road. Last week I tested out my race day strategy at the Eastern States 20 Miler. I went faster than I intended for the first half of the race, but still finished the last 10 miles at goal marathon pace for a negative split and felt like I could have easily run another six miles, so I know I am ready to kill it in Boston. 

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RHODE TO BOSTON

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RHODE TO BOSTON

So as some of you may know a little know race called the Boston Marathon is fast approaching and we have ourselves a solid crew heading up there. I thought I'd reach out to our atheletes to see how their training is going and how they're feeling going into the big race! Below are all the folks taking part and some of their thoughts be sure to track them on race day! 

Wave 1 (10:00am start time)
* Eric Lonergan - Corral 1 (#149)
* Jason Ashley - Corral 2 (#1891)
* Kurt Mias - Corral 3 (#2948)
* Eric Rudman - Corral 5 (#4095)
* Mike Muschiano - Corral 5 (#4587)
* Serge McKhann - Corral 6 (#5825)

Wave 2 (10:25am start time)
* Paul Chekal - Corral 2 (#9583)
* Brian Patrick Mulligan - Corral 3 (#10671)

Wave 3 (10:50am start time)
* Wendy Billings-Litke - Corral 2 (#17958)
* Mary D'Arcy - Corral 3 (#18712)

Wave 4 (11:15am start time)
* Liz Goodermote - Corral 4 (#27078)
* Paul Morrissey - Corral 4 (#27164)
* Allison Johnson - Corral 6 (#29808)

Eric Lonergan (Aka: Me)

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So hows my training going? In one word terrible. With some personal things going on the past few months I've put my running on the back burner and am doing everything you should not do to train for a marathon...jamming all my training into one month. Zero to Hero. I've thought to myself the main goal here should be to experience the Boston Marathon and just get across the line...but being the competitor I am I'd like to at least put in the effort I think necessary. I hear folks talking about 20 milers and tempo runs and I think boy I haven't done any of those I better get to it! So I'm cranking out a bunch of miles for a few weeks bracing myself for injury (too much, too fast, too soon) and running literally with my fingers crossed until race day. 

Paul Morrissey MD

"It was a strange winter with not too much snow, but enough, some warm days and now the unofficial start of spring in Massachusetts is upon us. A very windy and cool New Bedford 13.1 provided a good tune up and assessment of current fitness.

Now we’ll see what weather is brought upon us April 17th by the increasingly unstable climate.

On the bright side, this will be our last chance to run 26.2 with (or should I say well behind) Meb."

Kurt Mias

"I’m definitely feeling very fit and ready for April 17th. Training has gone really well considering I caught a few colds this season. My mileage is currently at around 60-64 miles. A typical training week includes 6 days of running with a big tempo or speed workout on Wednesday, and then a substantial long run on Sunday. An example of a Wednesday workout I’m doing this week is 3 x 3 miles at a faster/moderate tempo pace with a little recovery in between. I also make sure I do my tempo runs on courses that have rolling terrain. Sunday’s long run is either at straight aerobic pace or it’s infused with something like “hot” marathon paced miles.

On some of the easier days I typically inject a bit of speed in the legs by completing some strides or some “uptempo” pick-ups at the end of a run. I’ve been trying to really be good about getting in regular foam rolling, stretching, massage, and core work. And meditation! And a morning green smoothie! I’m definitely nervous for the race. I know how hard this course is, and I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to PR and run a fast race. I unofficially PR’d at my half-marathon tune-up race this month, so that’s a big confidence booster. I think with this being my fourth marathon, I’m going to try to really apply all of the lessons I’ve learned in regards to training and racing at this distance. I’m wicked excited though, and can’t wait to see what happens on April 17th!"

Allison Johnson

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"Like everyone else I am sure, I have aches and some foot  pain but feel pretty good overall.  My last long run was on Saturday, March 25; I ran the first 21 miles of the course, finishing on Heartbreak Hill, woo!

A few things have helped immensely to make me feel prepared for Boston:

Actual training runs on the course have helped with focus; and made it fun to run someplace different.

Consistently running 4 days a week with Saturday and Sunday runs(thank you Geoff!) and 2 days crosstraining.

Most of all, the strength training from RR bootcamp has made a big difference in my running endurance.  Fabio’s Bootcamp has helped physically by strengthening me overall as well as my core, but equally importantly has strengthened me mentally from endurance for the workouts – you have personal knowledge about that!

I am excited to see everyone’s hard work pay off on Marathon Monday,  I am so proud of everyone giving their best effort especially when life gets in the way and you have to adapt training.  The winter weather has made training challenging for sure, but difficult conditions only make you stronger."

Putting in the work makes all the difference. I think no matter the outcome of the race you all clearly trained hard and earned the right to run the Boston Marathon. Go Get Em! 

Eric

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FIVE GREAT PLACES TO RUN IN RHODE ISLAND

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FIVE GREAT PLACES TO RUN IN RHODE ISLAND

This little state of ours is jam-packed with great places to run. From top to bottom Woonsocket to Westerly, Barrington to Burriville there are no shortage of places to run. I've run in a few places myself and thought I'd share five of my favorite in no particular order. 

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BLACKSTONE VALLEY BIKEPATH

 

The third longest bike path in the state is filled with beautiful scenic views of the blackstone valley.  Whether you start in Woonsocket or Cumberland you're in for 11.6 miles of flat fast running with plenty to look at. This spot is especially nice in the Fall when foliage is at its high point. You'll also cross paths with a lot of fast folks out there its a well known spot by RI's Elites and you may see Molly Huddle out there cranking through some workouts. The Blackstone Valley Half Marathon is an awesome race that travels along the bike path. 

GODDARD PARK

 

Want to get off the Rhode a little bit? You can do so with well over 10 miles of weaving trails along the coast of Little Rhody Goddard Park is the perfect spot to get some easy miles in.  You can even get in a nice run along the beach...if you're into that kind of thing. Goddard Park is home to a few local 5ks as well so you can hit the Rhode if you'd like to as well. But the trails are certainly where its at. 

EAST BAY BIKEPATH

 

You'll find this path starting in India Point Park in Providence and ending in Independence Park in Bristol. Yup thats quite a ways. Its 14.5 miles in total. The perfect spot for anyone training for anything from a 5k up to a full marathon...heck if you're doing an Ultra Marathon it's a good spot. Its super flat aside from getting up and over to East Providence and its super scenic with views of Narragansett Bay. The Narragansett Bay Half Marathon and 5k travels along the bike path so be sure to check it out!

OCEAN DRIVE

 

I couldn't write this blog without mentioning Ocean Drive in Newport. It is an absolute must for run for everyone in Rhode Island.  With sweeping views of the Atlantic Oceans and breathtaking mansions along the way its sensory overload. Be sure to pick a day that isn't super windy and you'll not regret your run. I've gone down and had a great ten miler. There are a few awesome running events that take you on this road from the Newport Ten Miler, The Newport Marathon and Half and more. 

BLACKSTONE BOULEVARD 

 

If you've been around the Rhode Runner Running Club or Rhode Runner in general you'll know that Blackstone Blvd is one of our go-to spots. Affectionately known as the B-stone, the Boulevard or the Bully it's a beautiful 1.7 mile gravel path in the city. When the weather warms up you'll see the path fill up with runners, walkers and everyone in between. Get there at 730am and you'll most likely see our store manager Patrick knocking out a few miles. 

Do you have a favorite spot to run in Rhode Island? Share it in the comments section and you may just see it in a future blog!

See you on the Rhode! 

Eric Lonergan 

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Spring Road Race Faves

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Spring Road Race Faves

I hope that everyone has a wonderful start to 2017, isn’t it great so far!  So in honor of starting 2017 off on the right foot, I wanted to share some of my favorite spring races that I have added to my calendar.

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