Raising the Bar: Boston Marathon Edition

by: amy frankenthaler

HB All-Star Erica Mellone out for a training run in Kenmore with her dog

HB All-Star Erica Mellone out for a training run in Kenmore with her dog

With the Boston Marathon on Monday, we thought it would be a fantastic idea to shine a spotlight on one of our many regular riders that just completed a charity ride to fundraise for the Boston Marathon! Introducing Erica Mellone! Erica is a passionate rider at our Fenway location and a real inspiration to us. I had the privilege of speaking to her about her training experience and how the Handle Bar helped her reach her goal! Join me below for a look into Erica’s marathon training. She really is #handlebarstrong #bostonstrong.

What inspired you to run the Boston Marathon?

I ran XC in high school and college, and always had the goal of running a marathon. My Grandfather and I used to watch the Boston Marathon on tv together, and once I moved to Boston, I always went to see it.  Boston became my dream to run.  The whole city comes together to show the world what a great place Boston is, and we do it with a marathon!

Tell me a little bit about the charity you are running for. How did your charity ride go?

I’m running for the Alzheimer’s Association – I’ve been on their RunTriRide team for four years now.  The mission at the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

The best part about the charity ride was that I was able to tell and show many friends The Handle Bar.  It was really cool to see Sarah C get so excited about my charity ride.  One thing I’ve always noticed about HB instructors and staff is how enthusiastic everyone is about our success with spinning and fitness.

How did you incorporate HB cycling into your training? How has the HandleBar helped you with your Marathon training journey?

Do you want to know how you can train for a marathon with three feet of snow on the ground without getting sick or falling on ice?  You substitute 1-2 training runs a week with long (or double) spin classes.  There was once day I was supposed to run 15 miles and it was snowing hard.  So I did three miles on the treadmill (torture!) and sprinted to the Handlebar for back to back classes to get a similar cardio affect.

Time on the bike helped me build up my cardio endurance without the impact on my knees.  And every time the weather was bad or the roads were slippery, I had a place to go get a great cardio workout without getting injured.f

What are some favorite songs on your running playlist right now? Any song planned for Heartbreak Hill?

I have a lot of techno music on my playlist, and a few guilty pleasures.  It’s good to have a good beat to listen to, but also be able to listen to the crowds and everyone that encourages you along.  Classes with Cara reminded me that JT has some good running music!

What kept you running this winter with the record breaking snowfall? How did you stay inspired and stay on goal?

I’ve run marathons before, so I know that this isn’t something you can cram for.  You have to build up endurance for months or you will get seriously hurt or not finished.  So  I know that you have to keep training.  I’m lucky that I have a dog who expects a short run everyday and is ready to go as soon as the sun is up.  It’s the longer runs that are hard to do when it is cold – that’s when the support of friends checking in or recent donations are what push you along.  I ran in 2013 and 2014, so there is a lot to reflect on that becomes motivation to get out the door.

What it was like for you to run the 2013 marathon? It must have been and still be emotional for you. How close were you to the finish line?

Fortunately I was not close to the finish line. I started in the last corral of the last wave, which going into the marathon I was bummed about, but it means that when the bombs went off I had just gotten to the top of heartbreak hill, and was stopped shortly after.  It was pretty emotional, in many different ways, and things of course remind me of it, but what I chose to remember and focus on is the incredible amount of support that came after the marathon, and as I started training for 2014 – often when I wasn’t expecting it.  Someone tried to terrorize us, and while failing, let us see how incredibly strong and unified as a city we actually were.

As a city on April 15th, 2013, our lives changed forever. As the people of Boston thrive, so will the Handle Bar community…we have each other! As we go into the weekend before the Boston Marathon, take this time to reflect, but also celebrate how strong we are.

Are you running the marathon on Monday? How has spinning helped you with your training journey? We want to hear from you! Tweet us your story! Tweet or Instagram us @The_Handle_Bar a picture of you embodying #hbstrong #bostonstrong. We as a city are strong. Boston Strong.