Author: Tgellenbeck1

Wife, momma, teacher, photographer, runner and choc-o-holic!

The Road to Cap City… and a GIVEAWAY entry!

We are SO excited to be preparing for our fifth year of Cap City Half Marathon events! This is always a great weekend and you can view many of our recaps on our M3S Sports page. In collaboration with some running friends and a few local studios, we’ve developed a 12 week ROAD TO CAP CITY training challenge, which focuses on mixing things up and having some fun! We certainly hope you’ll join us!

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Click here for a printable version! –> 2019 training – road to cap city challenge printable

Weekly meet ups, events & community partners 

Although we have lots of places around Columbus we like to visit for a great sweat (see our Tour of Columbus page) some were love at first sight. We’ve partnered with three local favs during our challenge to bring you some special meet ups & keep your training fresh and in balance…

Barre3, Powell 

  • Owner: Suzy Mihocik
  • Perfect for: cross training, helping lengthen, strengthen & balance muscles that don’t get used as much during distance running – so much of the movement incorporated into these classes are exercises our Physical Therapists have recommended for runners!
  • Road to Cap City meet ups & events: Join us for our Barre3 + Runners community class on Wednesday, February 27th at 5:45PM. Use promo code RUNB3 and join us for FREE! Suzy will also be offering a special discounted 5 class pass so you can join us for more drop in classes on our Road to Cap City.

RISE Fitness Community, Upper Arlington 

  • Owners: Michelle Flemming & Jessica Kopp
  • Perfect for: speed & hill work (in the RRC classes), cross & strength training and getting in a push-your-limits, fat-burning cardio workout. Both owners and many of the trainers are certified run coaches and distance runners, providing crazy amounts of experience and knowledge to help you stay injury free, fall in love with running, set a new PR or whatever your goals may be!
  • Road to Cap City meet ups & events: Join us for their Rise Run Club Marathon/Half Marathon Training Kick-off Meeting on Friday, February 1st at 6:30PM. We’ll also be dropping in for weekly RRC and HIIT classes – including the RRC Power 7PM class on Wed Feb 13 –  as well as at least one outdoor group long run on Saturday mornings.

Harbor Yoga, Dublin

  • Owners: Angie O’ Brien & Heidi Bell
  • Perfect for: those that like their yoga HOT, upbeat and fast! Harbor’s cardio yoga will get your heart pumping. Start with a Level 1 class if you’re new to yoga. They do offer a slow flow on Sundays, a great recovery activity the day after your long run!
  • Road to Cap City meet ups & events: We will be attending a few drop in classes during our training (check in with us for a a special Road to Cap City discounted drop in rate!) as well as promoting Harbor’s donation based class on Friday, Feb 15 for the Wesley Grace Foundation for adoption.

Other groups we plan to meet up with include Rocky Fork Run Crew (helping coordinate our Cap City Kickoff Run+Social at Land Grant on Sun, Feb 3), Columbus Running Co, Fleet Feet/MIT training groups, MRTT & more!

Weekly workout schedule

Our weekly training is based on previous training schedules and races we’ve completed. What worked, and what didn’t. Collectively (there are three of us putting together this 12 week plan) we’ve run over 25 half and 5 full marathons – so although we don’t claim to be “experts” we have been through this a few times! 🙂 We aim to get in at least three runs per week; a regular run, a “push” or tempo run and a long, slow run. Our long runs climb one mile per week with a drop back week the weekend before race day. We believe that a well balanced training plan that has a mix of workouts will get you to the finish line healthy, injury free and ready to go!

*Disclaimer: always consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program  

Wait… did you say giveaway!? 

Yes, we are giving away two complimentary registrations to the Capital City Half Marathon events! Participants can enter up to FIVE entries, see below for details.

  • 1 entry –> Attend RISE Run Club Kick-off Meeting Friday, Feb 1st
  • 1 entry –> Attend our Cap City Kick-off RUN+SOCIAL at LandGrant Sunday, Feb 3rd at 1PM in conjunction with Rocky Fork Running Club
  • 1 entry –> Participate in the M3S Ohio Health CBJ 5th Line 5K, Saturday, Feb (post a pic to Instagram and tag us @LivingFitColumbus or email us with CAP CITY ENTRY in the subject line)
  • 1 entry –> Attend our Wed Workout on Feb 13th @7PM at RISE Fitness
  • 1 entry –> Instagram 2/13 Inspiration Challenge! Follow @M3SSports @LivingFitColumbus and @CapCityHalf on Instagram. Then post a picture (story or grid) that shows how you are preparing for  “The Road to Cap City” and inspires others to be fit! It could be from a recent run, your favorite cross training activity or fitness studio, how much water you drink, your go-to rest day or self care tips… just be sure to tag us and if possible, use the #LivingFitColumbus hashtag. You have 24 hours so post by 8:30AM on 2/14!

Giveaway will be separated into two categories; Living Fit Columbus regular runners & the general Cbus 6run4 community. Winners will be announced on Thursday, February 14th – Happy Valentine’s Day! 😉 Or if you aren’t doing the giveaway  – use discount code LIVINGFITCOLUMBUS for $10 off your Cap City event registration! 

We look forward to training & “challenging” ourselves with the Columbus running community this spring. See you on the trails – or rather, the road to Cap City! 🙂

Fitness goals for 2019

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when most of us start reflecting back on the previous 12 months, all that you’ve accomplished, the memories you made and possibly, the things you wanted to do… but didn’t quite get to.

Some of my favorite 2018 fitness memories include running in over 10 cities, completing my 18th half marathon, hiking the Smoky & Rocky Mountains and finishing a two mile race with my 5 year old (hoping for a 5K in 2019!)

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Most of my frustrating moments involved an ongoing injury and at least temporarily, postponing PR & bucket list goals. Thankful for medical professionals (think doctors, PTs and chiropractors) and emotional support from family and running buddies. 🙂

Then as the new year rolls in, we start looking forward on all we hope to accomplish. Perhaps you’re cleaning out closets & drawers – have you seen the series, “Tidying Up?!” Maybe you’re planning to spend more time on discovering your passions or reading (Girl, Wash Your Face!) or making a travel bucket list & budget. Or if you’re a distance runner, you’re likely choosing races and training schedules.

What are your 2019 goals?

Do you have a short list or long one?

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Here are some we’ve thrown around on recent group runs.

  • Stay healthy and run for fun – although racing and training are great, listening to your body and knowing when to “go easy” is just as important
  • Do more yoga, barre and cross training – a stronger body can help prevent injury & help you run faster
  • Attend a variety of group runs  – new routes and new friends!
  • Try a new workout or local studio – we recently visited and loved the new Shred 415 in Dublin and plan to check out many more in 2019! Visit our Tour of Columbus area to see some of our favorites over the years.
  • Try a new race, event or new destination – we are planning to do the Flying Pig 10K as a girls’ destination weekend… maybe another?
  • Register for an “old favorite” – we are running Cap City again this April and can’t wait! Stay tuned for our 2019 Road to Cap City Training Challenge and details regarding kick off events. And if you haven’t yet registered, use our Cap City discount code LIVINGFITCOLUMBUS for $10 off your registration!

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Check out some of our previous posts related to fitness & wellness Goal Setting and if you’re a momma, take a minute to read Rachel Hollis’s post “How to Have a Dream and Be a Parent.”   You’ll be left feeling inspired and ready to tackle the new year.

Image result for rachel hollis write your goals downGood luck working towards your 2019 goals & dreams! 

Cbus Park Tour & Passport // Part 1 Northwest(ish) Columbus

We’ve been touring parks around Columbus for the last several summers, exploring all that our amazing city has to offer. From fitness trails and events, playgrounds, extreme adventure and awesome photography opportunities, the great outdoors in central Ohio never disappoints! We have two little ones (2.5 and 5.5 years old) so most of our posts include them, although you could easily entertain yourself without an entourage. 🙂

Check out some previous posts here…

This summer we discovered that the Columbus Metro Parks started a METRO PARKS PASSPORT PROGRAM. Visit the 19 metro parks using the passport as your guide to “Discover Your Nature” and you can earn a t-shirt and a swag bag, not to mention all the memories you’ll collect along the way. My five year old loves conquering the parks and finding the ranger to get his stamps – a real life scavenger hunt – so the prizes at the end will just be a bonus! We started at the park headquarters to pick up the passport, maps & even stickers for the littles.


Here are the parks we will cover in this post…

  • Glacier Ridge Metro Park
  • Homestead Metro Park & Heritage Trail
  • Highbanks Metro Park
  • Scioto Audubon Metro Park
  • Sharon Woods Metro Park
  • Prairie Oaks – Overview coming soon… hoping to make a stop here this week & we’ll update this post to include it with the “NorthWest” portion of Cbus parks! 

We live in Dublin, so these were the ones that were closer to us on the Northwest-ish side of Cbus. We’ll conquer more this summer & fall, hopefully completing the passport before the weather gets too chilly! We’ve done a quick recap of each, visit the Columbus Metro Parks website for detailed information on all the parks, trails & more!

Glacier Ridge Metro Park 

Good for: running, walking, biking, picnics, cross-country skiing, climbing, riding, disc golf

Overview: Glacier has two entrances with paved trails that connect the two parking areas. We’ve run many races here and frequent this park the most (its in our hometown!) They have recently added a really cool obstacle course to the north end, perfect for a family outing, a hardcore workout or hey, even date night! There is a playground at the north entrance, a wetlands observation deck at the south entrance and seasonal restrooms at both entrances.


Homestead Metro Park & Heritage Trail 

Good for: running, walking, biking, picnics, fishing, photos, dog lovers

Overview: Homestead is one of my kid’s favorite parks, with two playgrounds, a large tractor (we actually call it “the tractor park”) and a bright blue caboose they can climb on. The photographer in you will love all the photo opportunities with a historic white Ohio barn, tractor, caboose, a covered bridge and open fields perfect at sunset. The park itself only has a 3/4 mile loop trail, but it is in the center of the 6 mile Heritage Trail which runners, walkers and bikers can easily connect to. If you’re trying to collect all three stamps for your passport or brought your furry friend, you’ll want to make a stop at the Heritage Trail & Dog Park about 3/4 miles away.


Highbanks Metro Park 

Good for: running, walking, biking, hiking, picnics, cross-country skiing, sledding, fishing, canoeing

Overview: Highbanks is another park we frequent more often, partially due to its location (we live in Dublin and work in Lewis Center) and partially due to its challenging, yet beautiful terrain, perfect for trail runs or hikes. There are tons of trails including paved, natural, gravel and varying from easy to hilly & strenuous. The Nature Center is a great place to take a break from the heat & has a children’s learning/play area. The park has a playground as well as a natural play area and lots of areas for picnics & those mid-hike snack breaks!


Scioto Audubon Metro Park 

Good for: running, walking, biking, picnics, fishing, climbing, photos, dog lovers

Overview: Scioto Audubon is for the adventurer with a nine station obstacle course and a 35 foot climbing wall! Bring your camera along and enjoy photo opps including a skyline of Columbus, several observation decks and open fields that are glowing at sunset. There is also a dog park for your four legged friends.


Sharon Woods Metro Park 

Good for: running, walking, biking, hiking, picnics, cross-country skiing, sledding, fishing

Overview: This was actually our first park stop because we picked up our passport from the nearby park headquarters. We’ve come to Sharon Woods for a few playdates and runs, but this was our first time really exploring all that the park offers. There are multiple trails including paved, gravel and grass, several playground areas and multiple docks for the water & fish lovers. Several hills will give you a great trail run workout and/or a perfect spot for some winter sledding.


Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3 as we continue the Columbus Metro Parks Passport Program! We are loving all the adventure… and memories!

Work That Buti at Bexley Yoga // Blogger Event Recap

As part of the Cbus Fitness Influencers group, we get invited to a lot of cool events, spaces & places. Last Friday was no exception as we checked out a unique type of yoga at Bexley Yoga in Upper Arlington called Buti Yoga. The event organizer was Lindsay of Find Where You Fit and I was happy to finally meet her in person. She is a Columbus fitness & wellness blogger @FindWhereYouFit and “Your PT and guide to fitness in the 614 and beyond.” We likely would have met up sooner… except for that she hates to run which is kinda my thing. 🙂

This was my first visit to Bexley Yoga and it was such a cute studio! A quaint, inviting space with pixie lights, a ballet bar, props for yoga class and a small retail section with some local goodies including Bend Active.


If you’ve never tried Buti Yoga, it’s part yoga, part tribal dance, a bit wild and a LOT of fun. An article on “What is Buti Yoga?” explains that “Buti is a practice of going within to discover your true power and full potential… It’s for the Boss Babes.” Amy Lee, the owner of Bexley Yoga, told Lindsay as they were organizing the event, “They’ll love it, but it definitely needs to be on a Friday night. It’s kind of like a party.” So Friday night it was! We first met Amy (owner) and later I read her story on her website about how Bexley Yoga came to be. Inspiring!


The class then started and it was definitely an adventurous, “wild” class! It was a good mix of plyometrics, vinyasa yoga with some flow & a sprinkle of tribal dance. Class was lead by Stacy and I LOVED it. We got in a great sweaty workout, while feeling feminine, sexy and empowered. I didn’t get any mid-class pics because I was too busy workin’ it, but snapped a few at the end…


Being a blogger’s event, we finished class with some snacks (thanks Lindsay) and some Sierra Nevada (thanks SN!) First we sweat, then we socialize… the perfect ending to a fun Friday night with some of Cbus’ finest fitness gals!IMG_1240IMG_1242IMG_1243IMG_1247

I would HIGHLY recommend both Bexley Yoga and Buti Yoga. Its not yet on their class schedule, but may be offered soon and can be inquired for private events. As quoted by Yoga Fever… Buti Yoga will rock your world!


My race is over… now what?

Your big event is over. Maybe it was a vacation you long awaited. Maybe you planned a wedding for the last 14 months (the average length of an engagement). Or maybe, in this case, that big race you trained for 3-4 months has come and gone.

I’ve always liked having things on my calendar to look forward to. Planning for them. Anticipating them. Adding and checking things off the to-do list. A race is no different. I choose an event, then a training plan. I make time in my schedule. I train and record – what worked and what didn’t – in my training log. I work my butt off (well, not literally). I show up race morning with anxiety & nervous energy. I have fun and do my best.

And then, just like that, its over.

So now what?

After the Cap City Half last Saturday, I enjoyed a beautiful Sunday relaxing with family, reminiscing through my iPhone gallery and browsing all the race photos filling my Instagram feed. Recap on that, coming soon!

Then Monday came and I was like, “So… what’s next?”

We have a few smaller races on the calendar, some family vacations planned (woohoo!) and an upcoming wedding for some dear friends… but not having a BIG, distance race to work towards leaves me feeling a tad off fitness-wise. So I texted & emailed some run buddies, posted to a few running groups on FB, spent time Googling terms like “best destination races,” dreamed about doing a destination race, analyzed my budget (hello Personal Finance!), bothered my husband… and on and on.

Without much progress being made, the jury is still out. I’m not sure what 2018 or even 2019 has in store for my personal fitness goals. Maybe I’ll knock state #10 off the half marathon bucket list? Get stronger & faster… and strive for a new PR? Attempt my first relay or pump & run or duathlon… or dare I say triathlon? Or perhaps I’ll end up doing the Emerald City or Columbus Marathon races again, they are great ones!

I know I’ll soon have a plan and yet another fun fitness/running event to look forward to. Until then, I’ll continue to research and dream.

What are your running goals for the rest of this year and beyond?

Are you making time to dream, plan and pursue? 

We’d love to hear from you!


RACE WEEK!! Cap City’s 15th anniversary party is right around the corner!

This Saturday is RACE DAY! Anyone else excited (but anxious) for the Cap City Half Marathon? We have a fun week filled with a short group run, a 15th anniversary VIP reception, a visit to the expotique at The Vue Columbus, the race (duh) and of course, the after-party in the Cbus Commons! Many local companies will be present or represented this year, my favorites including Homage, Land Grant Brewery & Cameron Mitchell.

We have had a loooooong winter with too many cold runs. We have fought through wind, rain, snow and sub-zero temps. Some of us have dealt with injury. First timers and those trying to PR may be trying to control anxiety. Many ran & trained on vacations and business trips across the United States (and maybe beyond!) As you reflect back on your training and look forward to Saturday morning, remind yourself of all the hard work you’ve done and be proud of yourself, no matter what happens.


Many of you are tried & true veterans, but a lot of you are first timers! Here are some tips that have helped us prep for “race week” and the big day you’ve been working so hard towards…  {revamped a little from our previous 2014 Cap City blog post}

Five Things To Keep In Mind During Race Week
1.  Stay hydrated and eat

  • Hydrate all week!  I’ve learned to hydrate Mon-Fri, but then cut back a bit at Friday’s bedtime and into race morning. I prefer not to have to stop for a pee break along the course!
  • The few days leading up to the race, try to consume only “normal” foods that your body is used to. This is not the time to try something new that may give you stomach issues. Eat clean so you feel great!
  • Pre-race dinner // Something you’ve tried before and know it works. Think lean protein, small serving of carbs and lots of vegetables. Nothing too heavy or spicy. One glass of wine may help you sleep, but a bottle will dehydrate you… so find some balance. 🙂
  • Race morning breakfast // your standard, pre-long-run breakfast ~ don’t try anything new! For shorter races I just have a banana with peanut butter, but for longer races (halfs and fulls) I’ll throw in a piece of bread or half a bagel. Eat early enough that you can hopefully make a potty stop before the gun shot start. I’m usually a ball of nerves and not at all hungry, so I have to force this. Heck, I’m nervous just writing this post and *thinking* about race morning!
  • Race day fuel // again, use only what you’ve tried previously. Some are okay on just water and/or a Gatorade type beverage along the course. I usually do some light fueling (a few HoneyStinger gummies) somewhere along the half way mark and a swig of water towards the end. This year, Cap City is offering a Carb Boom! Energy Gel station around the 6.5 mile marker.

2.  Try your best to get some quality sleep.  They say that its the “night before the night before” race day that you have a chance of getting some rest… and I’d agree. So for a Saturday race, you may not sleep well Friday night (pre-race jitters, early morning rise & run), but try to get a good night’s sleep on Thursday night. Some bed-time yoga may help you fall asleep!

3.  Make arrangements to get your packet at the expo. Don’t forget this important detail! This can be a challenge if you’re doing an out of town race and the expo ends at say, 7PM the night before, so plan accordingly. Many races will allow a friend to pick up your packet for you, but know the requirements.

4.  Plan out race morning & all the details.

  • Have your clothes, socks, shoes, race bib, safety pins, Garmin/iWatch, race fuel, music playlist, poncho, throw aways ~ anything you need ~ ready the night before. It’s also best if you’ve done a (long) run in your race day attire.
  • Figure out where you will park, what time you need to leave and where you will meet up with loved ones or spectators. We like to be down in the area around an hour before the gun start. You may also want to hit up the good ol’ porta pot!
  • Run through your finish line goals! I always recommend having more than one… that way you don’t feel defeated. I’m not going for a PR this race and ideally I’ll be able to hang with the two hour pace group… but any finish is an accomplishment, so that is always the main goal!

5.  RELAX!!!!!!  You have done the hard work! You have likely logged a training run somewhere close to your race distance [we got in a 12 miler]. Some like to do a yoga session or short, easy walk/run the day before to relieve some jitters. Some will do a SHORT “shake out” jog the morning of. Get some rest, show up on time, start your power play list (I usually save mine for mile 10 and try for a strong 5K finish) and be ready to take some fabulous pictures at the finish line! YOU GOT THIS! 

Cheers to another 13.1 or whatever your distance! See you at the finish line party Columbus!

Still got time? Check out some of our training memories from this year’s road to Cap City!



Living Fit Mountain side! // TN & NC 2018

Columbus is a great place to live, but getting around the world and traveling to see, hike, walk, yoga, swim and of course >RUN< in new places is one of our passions! Every two to three years we do a big Spring Break trip, usually to the coast such as Mexico or Puerto Rico. On this “off” year, we kept the driving distance short and headed to the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounding areas. It was a great escape from the ongoing winter that Snow-hio has been blessing us with and even though we were only 7 hours south, the sunshine and warmth gave us an extra 20 degrees on most days. Yipee!

The first city stop was Knoxville, TN. My husband and I were originally planning to run the half marathon, but with both of us somewhat still on injury reserve, we decided to save our legs. We want to tackle the upcoming Cap City Half strong & healthy! We dragged the family to the expo on Saturday night, let the kids run around, got a lot of free goodies and had some fun at the selfie stations.


Sunday morning we slept in – which I have to admit, was better than the usual 5AM race day alarm – and headed out to watch part of the race. I love spectating almost as much as running. As the runners pass by, you witness all the sweat, hard work and often months of training come together in the magic of race day. If you want to be inspired, go watch runners finish a marathon. We sat at mile 25 for quite a while, cheering on the participants as they headed into their final mile. It was amazing and energizing!


Later that day, my husband and I headed out for a six mile run. We toured the streets, paths & greenways of Knoxville. Since we weren’t getting in a super-long-run, we decided to do a “pace” run and met my half marathon goal pace of close to 9 min/mile… this will get me over the finish line at that two hour goal, so hoping for that on race day! Hubs held the pace while I would stop, click a pic, then sprint to catch up. Otherwise, how would I get all these mid-run pics?! He is a pretty good sport about my camera… insert eye roll here. 🙂


We did some hiking at a nearby nature center, then spent the evening touring the restaurants and shops of Market Square. We LOVE the “square” type settings – another fav is in Savannah, GA – because the kids can roam a bit without the worry of cars.


At 11PM we realized we had covered 12.6 miles total that day. My brother decided we HAD to go out for another 1/2 mile to get to the 13.1 miles we had originally anticipated running in the half… so out we went to wander the streets & sites… and made our own Knoxville half marathon. 🙂


Our second stop was Del Rio, Tennessee to see family. We ventured out to hike at The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, crossing off the first visit both our littles had to a national park. One down, only 59 more to go! We hiked Big Creek Trail up to Midnight Hole and some beautiful waterfalls. Although it’s known as a swimming area, you likely wouldn’t dare this time of year… the water was frigid! It was a scenic three mile hike, a good calorie burn (especially since I had a toddler on my back for 1/2 the hike) and a great way to spend the afternoon.

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Our last stop was Asheville, North Carolina. We spent three nights in the mountains in a GORGEOUS mountain home called Starry Night. This place made me want to move south and take in the mountain views every morning over a cup of coffee. We spent the days hiking the Blue Ridge and the evenings exploring all the shops, dining and breweries in downtown Asheville. It was a gorgeous city to explore and would be even prettier after all the leaves begin to return later this spring.

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It was definitely a fun week filled with adventure and activity. If you are headed to any of those areas, feel free to email or reach out on Instagram, I’d love to be your virtual tour guide! Now, if we could just get the sunshine and warmer temps to come visit us here in good ‘ol Columbus…

For now, we think we’ll turn in for the night!

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Running, injury & lessons learned

Let’s chat about aches, pains & the dreaded I word… injury. I would assume that when faced with an injury, most people don’t joyfully shout, “YAY – physical therapy here I come, I can’t wait!” Or, at least I didn’t. Having to cut back on runs, schedule three sessions of PT a week and make many other changes to my fitness routine haven’t been the dreamiest.

BUT, as I move through this hurdle, I am trying to focus on the positives…  like the fact that I’m still allowed to run. That I can run.

I’ve had my fair share of injuries and setbacks.

In 2008, while training for my first marathon, I had an IT band issue creep in during the week of my 20 miler, just a week before taper time. I visited a sports medicine physician, rested, foam rolled, rested some more… and was able to finish my first 26.2 with a smile on my face!

In 2015, while training for the Scioto Miles 10K, I had my first encounter with a true “pain in the butt” likely caused by a super tight right hip, glute & piriformis (and possibly SI joint dysfunction, if you want to get technical). I was able to work through one session of physical therapy, do PT from home, cut back training for a couple weeks, then ramp back up and achieve a new 10K PR just a few months later.

And then this winter, my 2015 injury came back for an angry visit. As my training began to ramp up in late January, something felt “off.” I was okay during runs, but the next day, my right leg would ache in the high hamstring, glute & low back area. It started off mild. Then, it got a little stronger and would ache all day. And eventually, as I refused to slow down & “pushed through it” – it began affecting the entire right side of my body. I would get lightening like zings in my lower back & down my leg, numbness, tingling, tightness, pain… you name it. We were in the middle of our Living Fit Columbus 2018 Winter Challenge and Cap City Half training had JUST kicked off…. so this was very untimely.

Are injuries ever timely though, really?

An injury or setback in your fitness routine is never welcome and I didn’t take it well, at least at first. It’s SO frustrating, especially when you feel like you are doing all the right things. Cross training. Stretching. Resting after a hard day. Increasing mileage slowly. Sometimes, no matter what we do (or don’t do), injuries happen. Pro triathelete Pedro Gomes once stated, “When you push your body to the limit – as athletes so often do – it can break down.”

After our Cap City kickoff run in early February, I took an entire week off running and took it “easy” over the next several weeks. I cut back. I modified. I had a 30 day pass to SOS and only went 4 times. I vented. I sought advice from running friends, local experts and of course, online bloggers. I gave up goals of a spring PR. I’m most likely sidelining my plans to run the Knoxville Half (state #10!)

Its been challenging. Both physically and mentally. Below are some lessons learned.

But first, sleep

Prior to my injury, I was only averaging about six hours of sleep per night, even though I know my body needs more. I did a sleep study a few years back and averaged almost 8 hours per night. Disregarding my body’s needs, the “get it all done” mentality had me staying up too late each night and trying to get one more thing accomplished. I’ve since told myself, the to-do list will still be there tomorrow and I’ve been aiming for 1-2 more hours of sleep each night. Some nights I get to bed early. Some mornings I skip that 5AM workout I was trying so hard to make a regular thing. I make sure to have a complete “rest” day at least 1-2 times per week. As athletes, we need to give our body the sleep & rest it needs to repair and rebuild.

Running 101 – the basics 

  • Complete rest may be what your body needs for a bit – I took a week off and only resumed running once experts (an athletic trainer, my family doctor who is a runner and my physical therapist) all gave me the green light to try it. It’s a complete & utter bummer to be sidelined for a day, a week or longer… but running on certain injuries can do further damage.  
  • When your body is ready to re-introduce running, start with short distances of slower paces. I gave up “race pace” for several weeks, stuck to flat courses, took walk and stretch breaks when needed… no BQ training over here, but I was just trying to be happy with anything I could get! 
  • Dynamic warm-ups are a MUST. Repeat, a MUST. This will be a separate post at some point, but for now, this Runner’s World warm-up will do just fine!
  • During runs, I’ve been conscious of shortening my stride and increasing my cadence (steps per minute) to help decrease the impact and pounding on my body
  • Make static stretching (30 second holds) and foam rolling (30 seconds on each body part) a regular part of your post-run routine.

Lean on me

You are not alone – be willing to seek guidance & support from others! When running is your physical fitness activity of choice, your mental outlet, your social “community” and suddenly you aren’t allowed to do it… you may go a little crazy.

  • Involve professionals to start the recovery process as quickly as possible. Run coaches, athletic trainers, Physical Therapists, sports medicine doctors – whatever best fits your situation. When my PT, Kyle, told me at our first consult that he was training for the Cap City Half, I knew he was a good match! Kyle runs regularly for cardiovascular health, has run one full marathon and is now training for his first “official” half (since he skipped the 13.1 to get to the 26.2!) I have enjoyed a runner’s perspective on my therapy & training, as well as gabbing about weekly mileage, long runs, and more. I personally would not want to work with someone who didn’t have the “runner’s mindset” – no matter how good of a PT they were!

Drayer PT Hilliard team! (Left to right) Becca, Michael, Kevin & Kyle. The boys are training for the Cap City Half, competing against their Grove City team. Excited to see them at the finish line!

  • Enlist emotional “therapy” from friends & family. There was a period of a few days when I was envisioning having to take weeks to months off running. My husband, mom & regular running buddies caught the main earful of my frustration. And yes, I ugly cried in my bedroom one night. They have all been very supportive through my struggles, my low days, my slow runs, and more recently, my progress (happy dance!) Michelle Fleming, co-owner of RISE Fitness emailed me saying, “I know its frustrating. Just think: you very rarely rest. It is important as athletes that we take time to truly rest… Hang in there. You can do it.”  Positive words from friends can go a long way.


  • Prayer & positive affirmation – whatever your faith or beliefs are, look to that “higher power” to give you support. I’ve prayed for health & healing, but also to be content with where I am and be thankful for what & who I have in my life.

Daily movement

This is simple. Sit less, stand/walk more! Whether you are a teacher (like me) or have a more traditional “desk job” – find way to incorporate more movement into your day. Read our previous post – Don’t Just SIT There, Tips for Squeezing in Movement During the Work Day – or check out some quick tips below.

  • Walk on your breaks… or maybe even during meetings! My co-worker and I do laps as we have some of our collaborative meetings.  This morning, we got in 2,000 steps before 8AM! Bonus – walking meetings can have many other benefits.
  • Stand up more – don’t have a fancy desk? Try using a crate, box, anything stable to raise your laptop up. Or invest in a standing desk if your budget allows.
  • Use a gadget or app to help motivate you – February was the first month where I closed my iWatch movement and exercise ring every day. March, I’m coming for you!  #closethoserings

Collaborative “Walking Meetings” with my co-worker at Orange HS!

Strength & Stretch

I love to run. And for whatever reason, I’ve never really loved lifting. I can get myself to an occasional group fitness class at OTF, RISE or SOS… but strength training has just never been my cup o’ joe. My PT has me convinced now, that a strong body, especially the core and glutes, will give me the power I need to be a faster runner and the muscle strength I need to (hopefully) remain injury-free. I have developed many total body and lower body routines with Kyle at PT sessions that I have PROMISED I’ll continue weekly after my time with him ends. I’m also working with my lift-loving friend, Jaime, on a post-run lower body routine. She is the strongest momma I know and swears she’ll whip me into shape if I join her on leg day!


Stretching has been something I’ve always been good about AFTER a run, but I’m now doing a dynamic warmup before runs and trying to incorporate some slow flow yoga (vs only Vinyasa & athletic yoga) into my week. “Journey to Handstand” will be put on hold for now, while back extensions & press ups (aka, baby Cobras), figure 4s and pigeon become a part of my regular routine.


Everyone loves a good comeback story

Injuries suck. They test your patience. Its hard to sit back, watching the running community posting 100+ mile months and their latest speed-work selfie. Its frustrating to know you may not be able to race this spring like you’d planned. But you HAVE to find a way to stay positive, embrace your setback & focus on your comeback. Maybe I’m not quite as bada*s as Lindsey Vonn, the comeback queen, but somehow, with time and a lot of hard work, I’ll climb this obstacle.  Gretchen, co-owner of System of Strength says it best… “Find A Way.”  


One of my fitness role models, Gretchen of System of Strength // “Find A Way” (photo by SOS)

I do believe that after six weeks, I’m on the road to recovery.  I am *mostly* pain free, have started sprinkling back in some speed-ish sessions and longer runs to test the water, and after four weeks of PT, hope to be re-evaluated soon for dismissal. As Lindsey Vonn said, “I’m still in the phase where I push myself and see how it responds – sometimes it responds well, sometimes it doesn’t and I have to kinda back it down a little bit.”  I don’t know when I’ll be back to 100% – but I do know that I’ve learned a lot and I’m thankful for my ability to run… even if I’ve had to slow down for a while.

We don’t need to always be in the speed lane.



Progress pic!! 8 mile run with my new routine // Dynamic warmup + one mile warmup + more stretching + six miles conversational + one mile cooldown + static stretch + foam roll. Phew!


Gearing up for Cap City 2018

This year is the 15th anniversary of the Cap City Half Marathon and will be my fourth time at the event. I really love this race and was honored when asked to be an ambassador and “Voice of Cap City” for 2018’s event! David Babner, Cap City race director, refers to this race as “the best tour of Columbus on two feet” and I would agree. What better way to view our city than a two hour jog through the streets! I have made a lot of great memories and met some amazing people along the miles of the Cap City events…

Year #1 – Cap City Half 2008 – Lifetime Fitness Run Club // Coached a few runners and helped them finish under 2 hours! Also ran 5 miles before the race, as I was training for my first full marathon in Cleveland later that spring… this was my longest run to date, 18.1 miles total! The race was fun and we had a blast at the finish line. Do I look 10 years younger in this pic? Wait, don’t answer that…

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Cap City Half 2008

Year #2 – Cap City Half 2014 – Living Fit Columbus Run Crew // I took a few years off from Columbus races as I was traveling around, conquering various states. After having my first baby in 2013, traveling the country became less feasible so I circled back to my roots. My BFF Katie ran this with me as her first half marathon, along with several other friends and my mom, who managed to carry a packH2O for 13.1 miles. Great race, even better after party.  See our full image gallery HERE.  Speaking of images, crazy how the iPhone camera quality has gotten so much better over the years!


Cap City Half 2014

Year #3 – Cap City Quarter 2017 – Living Fit Run Crew // My hubby & bff’s hubby helped me chase down a new PR! We “weathered the storm” and finished the quarter before the race got called and were enjoying our VIP privileges as the storm rolled in. Check out our full recap and media gallery HERE.


Cap City Quarter 2017


Year #4 –> Cap City 2018! // There are so many amazing people and groups of runners training for this race.  Below are just a few, jump in and join them for a group run!


Cap City Ambassador event 2018


Cap City kickoff run+social with Rocky Fork Run Club at Land Grant Brewery

I’m so excited for this race, but even more so, the after party. 🙂 I originally was training to run the half & break two hours with a couple friends and I’m hoping that is still feasible. As I work through a glute/hip injury… we shall see! If I can just get to the finish line, I’ll be happy… that VIP experience is top notch!

Today is the last day to sign up before the next price hike… so get registered if you haven’t already! I can promise you a great sweat, a fun event & a memorable experience. Use our code 18VOCLivingFit for $10 off and we’ll see you at the after-party!


Fit Mommas // Make time for #selfcare

Happy Valentine’s Day momma! Many think of this as a day to celebrate your “sweetheart” – but why not celebrate YOU as well!? Do something today to spoil yourself. Go workout. Take a hot bath. Maybe even sneak a piece of chocolate (full of antioxidants, right?)


When you take care of yourself, you show up better for others.


We all know it, we just don’t all do it. Maybe there aren’t enough hours in a day… and you’re constantly putting yourself last. Maybe you work outside of the home and feel guilty leaving the kids to go to the gym at night. Maybe you don’t have childcare. No matter the reason, convince yourself that “you are worth it” and try to find a couple hours per week (or more!) to focus on yourself. If there is a will, there’s a way.

And do NOT let guilt creep in! It is OKAY to take care of yourself & prioritize your own personal well being. In an article titled, Why its not selfish to take care of yourself, the authors state their research findings… the more time working mothers spent taking care of themselves, the better were the emotional and physical health of their children.

In case you need some more convincing, here are some thoughts from some fit moms around Columbus….

“As a working mom, I understand the challenge of balancing family, kids, work, healthy eating and exercise. I feel most capable of this balancing act when I make my health a priority.” – Sara W, RISE Fitness Community Trainer & Run Coach


“I show up for myself every day and I come work out here because I want to show my two sons that girls are strong. I feel like moms all the time put themselves last on the priority list so my thoughts are, you need to put yourself at the top because every day I show up… I give myself one hour just for me, just to get stronger and because that makes me better, then I’m a better mom.  When you have people to take care of, it’s important that you take care of yourself.”  -Gretchen, co-owner of System of Strength


“I wake up early to get in some ME time. As a mom, its super important to take care of YOU. You can’t give from an empty cup.” @Fit4momDublin


So how can we add more “me” time into our routines?

First, figure out what recharges you.  Hot Yoga? Group run chats? Reading one book per month like @wanderlustontherun? Think about what you can do that both fills you up and makes you a healthier version of yourself. Then make time to do more of those things.

Next, schedule it! Get those weekly pamperings on the calendar so you can make them happen! Some ideas to get you started…

  • Become a morning person and do the workout before the kids get up (read our previous morning posts Rise & Run and Conquer that early morning workout).
  • Take the bath after the kids are in bed. Maybe with a book, a glass of wine or maybe you just close your eyes and relax.
  • Enlist a buddy you can swap play dates with – they watch them while you #selfcare and then you switch!
  • Find a gym or fitness studio that has childcare – The Dublin Rec Center, Barre 3 in Powell & RISE! Fitness Community in UA are some, just to name a few.
  • Incorporate your littles into your workout… if you have the patience. 🙂
    • Check out a Fit 4 Mom workout, and in the process, meet a whole community of other fit-minded mommas like you!
    • Stroller pushing will make you that much stronger
    • Do some yoga with your little one(s)
    • As they get older, kids can run with you! Check out the RRCA suggestions on strategies and distances for youth running.

Your kids (and family and co-workers and friends and any other human in your life) need you to be the best version of yourself.  So make time to take care of that self.

You deserve it.

Baby yoga-3

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