A Learning Experience

Romayn Richards got a BQ in his first marathon attempt but learned a lot along the way…

I completed my first ever half marathon on 09/19/2020, with an unofficial time of 1:26:43 (per Garmin), and instantly decided I wanted to try running a full marathon.

I figured if I was going to run a marathon, why not sign up for a Boston Qualifier (BQ) marathon, just in case I’m able to achieve my age group’s qualifying time of 3:00:00. I knew from the beginning this was going to be a long shot, but I had to have something to aim for. 

Initially, I signed up for the Millinocket Marathon (in Maine), scheduled for early December. This gave me a little over 12 weeks to prepare. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled and the only remaining BQ marathon in all of New England for 2020 was the Manchester City Marathon (in New Hampshire), on November 8th, which gave me exactly 7 weeks to prepare.

Coincidentally, a guy I occasionally road bike with owned a copy of Daniels’ Running Formula (2nd edition). He offered me the book after I mentioned wanting to run a marathon. I not only read the entire book, but I ordered and read the entire 3rd edition; all within a week timeframe! (Thank you, Amazon!)

I then reached out to Run SMART for help with preparing for my first marathon in the small amount of time I had. Thankfully, they quickly responded and provided me with a very simple training schedule for the 6 weeks I had before the marathon.  

3…2…1… GO!

The first 15 miles felt absolutely perfect.  I held a 6:21/mile pace (WAY TOO FAST), and I had no doubt in my mind I would finish in under 3:00:00. But after mile 15, things began going south very quickly. My legs were fried, my form began failing, my breathing was sporadic, and my running form no longer felt fluid. I’d be lying if I said the thought of quitting never crossed my mind during the last 11.2 miles. 

Fast forward to the end: my final 3 miles were all over 8:00/mile, and I practically stumbled across the finish line. My wife told me that when my father saw me approaching the finish line he asked “Why isn’t he running?”

Thankfully, I officially finished the marathon in 2:58:20. I will not attempt to sugarcoat anything… This was hands down the most physically and mentally challenging event I’ve ever experienced. I obviously dug myself a hole early on by trying to hold a unrealistic pace, and I spent the final 11.2 miles paying for it!

Looking back on it, I would not advise anyone to attempt to prepare for a marathon in 7 weeks… It’s now almost 72 hours after the marathon and still barely able to walk. I have a peroneal tendon injury on my right foot that’ll likely take a few weeks to heal, both quadriceps still hurt to touch (let alone stretch), and I have nasty blisters covering the entire tip of three of my toes. 

But now that I have my first marathon under my belt, I would like to reach out to Run SMART for a proper training plan, seeing how I have adequate time before my next scheduled marathon (18-24 weeks), which is tentatively scheduled from early May 2021.

I cannot thank Jack and the entire Run SMART team enough for all their help! 

Jason Snyder Sets New Marathon PR

Jason Snyder continues to make great progress even during the pandemic. Congratulations on your new PR. Plus, with virtual racing you can finish two marathons at the same time!

“You’ve Gone And Done It Again!”

Charles Whobrey finished 121st out of over one thousand in the M50 age group…

I just wanted to write and say “you’ve gone and done it again!” I spent most of the LA Marathon cursing you guys thinking: “no way can I keep this up for 26.2” but I sucked it up and toughed it out and just thought about all the targets I’d hit in the personalized training program you put together for me, and… and… I did it! 3 hours 46mins & 37 seconds later I had a new PB crushing my previous time by over 12 mins.

“Trust” is the key word for me here. After the two highly successful training programs you’ve devised for me (I broke 4-hours for the first time in 2019) I completely TRUST that you guys know what you’re doing and that in turn gives me an ever increasing confidence in my performance abilities. Looking forward to the next one. I’ll be in touch!

Stacey Kincaid Hits PR On Negative Split In Chicago

Stacey Kincaid set a new PR at the Chicago Marathon. Her time placed her 14th in the F40 age group. [Results] Even more impressive was her pace management with a first half split of 1:27:11. Stacey works with Run SMART Project coach Ann Alyanak.

I couldn’t be happier with Ann and the coaching. She’s a perfect match for me :)I’m already antsy to get started on training for the next race.

“I Had More In The Tank When I Finished!”

Stephanie Tang set her second straight marathon PR, conquering the late climb at Twin Cities with a negative split (first half 1:45:54 vs second half 1:44:36).

A huge congrats to my teammates and thanks to New York Flyers for your support, and The Run SMART Project for the great coaching, as always!

I honestly felt great the entire time, no pains, sprinted to the finish, envisioning our threshold miles, and I had more in the tank when I finished!

What a great race, city and day!

Jorge Ospina Hits 2:52 In Berlin

Longtime Run SMART Project client Jorge Ospina of Detroit, MI ran 2:52:03 at the Berlin Marathon. [Full Results] This marks Jorge’s third fastest marathon ever and within 2 minutes of his personal best set six years ago.

Thanks again for a great training cycle. Even though I did not break 2:50 I am very happy with the result. – Jorge

“I Couldn’t Ask For A Better Coach”

Judy Dore of Saratoga Spring, NY set a 4.5 minute PR at the Boston Marathon. Her official result was 3:43:07. [Full Results]

After the race Judy thanked her coach…

This was my favorite training cycle so far. Leah really mixed things up with my workouts, and not only did I get more fit, I had a blast doing it. She really challenged me, and I’m not surprised at how strong I felt throughout the race. I passed quite a few people, especially at the end. I’m especially excited that I’ll now get to register a week earlier for Boston next year, even with the new qualifying times.

Leah is so positive and upbeat, and her enthusiasm is infectious. I couldn’t ask for a better coach.

Melissa Perlman Saved Her Best For Boston

Melissa Perlman of Delray Beach, FL took advantage of her south Florida training in Boston last week to set a huge PR.

Proud to have finished my first Boston Marathon in a time of 3:00:09. It was a personal best by over 9-minutes from my first marathon back in June 2018 and I was the 174th female overall in a race of tens of thousands!!! But as I’m sure many can imagine – it stings a little (or a lot)! Those 9 seconds will motivate me to break (no shatter) the elusive 3hr mark in my next marathon! Special thank you to my dad (Russell) and Mark for being here in Boston to love and support me; Mark for being my day to day supporter through training with food, coffee, driving, sleep, love and letting me be me; to Leah Rosenfeld and The Run S.M.A.R.T. Project, LLC. for coaching me to HUGE PRs in the marathon and half marathon this year…