Racing/Races

Finding your next race… or maybe your first!

Tomorrow morning is one of the biggest races in Columbus and thousands of walkers and runners will be pushing through the miles for Nationwide Children’s Hospital champion kids.  This is an amazing race in a city we love for a cause that can’t be better!  Good luck to all participants and BIG hugs to all the patient champions and their families!

Some of us live for races, run some every month and even plan vacations around them.  Others do one or two a year.  Maybe you’re even thinking about signing up for your first race ever!  Regardless of what your racing calendar looks like, sometimes its fun to try something new. Here are some ways you can find that next race (or plan out your whole racing season!)

1.Find a local race & support your community.  Businesses, run clubs, schools and even individuals plan races right in your backyard! Ask friends for favorites or use the good old internet to search for upcoming events. Great Columbus-based races and racing companies (that help host races) are M3SSports, Columbus Running Co, and Premier Races.

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2. Plan a destination race.  Some may find a favorite and visit year after year, while others may chase those bucket list goals and go somewhere new.  Run for fun with a group or find a fast, flat course and hit a new PR… the options are endless!  We usually travel for half marathons and try to plan a fun weekend around the race.  We have a personal goal to “run a half marathon in half the states” & daydream by visiting sites such as Runner’s World Bucket List: 9 Destination Halfs and NY Post’s 15 Best Half Marathons in America.  This past spring we ran the rolling countryside of “America’s Prettiest Half” in Lexington, Kentucky… planning spring 2018 very soon!

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3. Join forces for a good cause. Races such as the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & St Jude Memphis Marathon as well as the recent races series organized by Rocky Fork Running Club bring awareness and raise funds for a variety of causes. Really, there’s no better reason to run. #WillRunForBlingAndCharity

4. Try a virtual race.  Maybe you’re not big on 4:55AM wake-ups on a Saturday morning for a regular race start.  Or maybe you can’t find one near you that fits your schedule.  A virtual race allows you to run (or walk) on your own time, at your own pace, at a location of your choice, while still having the support of other online friends! Many have budget-friendly entry fees and several we’ve found support charities.  Here’s a quick video blurb from GoneForARun.com if you want to know more.

5. Create your own! If you have a group of friends & some bibs or medals… its considered a “race,” right?  Our September race was canceled last minute and we needed to fit one in…. so we gathered each other, made our own bling (thanks to Brokeman’s Running Co for the inspo!), ran our hearts out & took some photos at the end!

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We hope you find all the races your hearts desire as you plan your next one, two, twelve!  Keep us updated on your favorites!

What races do you love?  What’s on your race bucket list? How do you choose your races?  We’d love to hear from you!  

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Emerald City 2017 Recap

I’m a sucker for cheesy hashtags so #medalmonday seemed an appropriate time to recap this! The OhioHealth Emerald City Half Marathon was half number 17 for me and another fun event executed by M3S Sports so a quick recap seems worth it!

I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this race.  I had been putting in the training and mileage over the summer, but with school starting I had really cut back on runs for the two weeks prior and probably not getting as much sleep as my body would like. Our running group has been training for the Scioto River Run half on September 23, so Emerald City was supposed to be an easy training run. My mom & I got a free entry through Fleet Feet with a summer buy-a-pair-of-shoes-get-a-free-entry special (woo hoo!) and I was supposed to run 11 miles for my training plan anyhow, so a complimentary half seemed like a no brainer.

The best thing about treating this as a training run (vs an actual “race”) was I had no anxiety the days leading up to the event.  When I’m training to race or attempting to PR, I tend to get inside my head and stress for a few days prior.  This “training run” mentality allowed me to relax and I even got decent sleep the two nights prior!  The night before the race I had a great salad & pasta meal from Piada, laid out my gear and headed to bed.

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Although most would call this perfect running weather, it was a chilly 52 degrees at the start, requiring a light zip up for me.  I almost always wear crops (a post for another day), but I decided to start with the hoodie and would just tie it around my waist as I warmed up.  This bothers some, but has never bothered me!

I really planned to just run & enjoy it, perhaps beating my 2:05 finish at our last half in Kentucky. I felt like I was in better shape after all those summer miles, and this course was MUCH flatter and easier than the Bluegrass. Although the website had stated there was a 2:05 pace group, the 2:00 and 2:10 pacers assured me there was no such thing.  So after some debating, I decided to hang in between those two pace groups and create my own 2:05.  I found a few fellow runners who had the same strategy and off we went.  IMG_3296

The sunset race was beautiful. The weather was perfect. I was feeling good by the middle of mile two so I decided to try and catch the two hour pace group. It took me four miles, but about 36ish minutes in, I got ’em! I hung with the pacers and runners for the next several miles, sometimes chatting with those around me, sometimes just taking it all in. By mile 10 I still felt great. I thanked the pacers and the girls I’d been gabbing with, put in my headphones, turned on my power playlist and went for it.  IMG_3307FullSizeRender 10

I felt great even as I crossed the finish line (thanks for the photo mom!) and was very happy to see a sub-two on my watch.  This used to be common for me, but add in babies, life, too much work, too little sleep…. and its been a while since I’ve seen it! 🙂  IMG_3292FullSizeRender 8IMG_3306

We celebrated at the end, hugged some sweaty familiar faces & of course, grabbed our snacks and hydration.  Congrats to all the finishers, including our girl Mary who took over 10 minutes off her PR!  She attributes hard work and sessions at OTF Perimeter!

A few days later, with the help of some running friends, I finally figured out how to look at my mile splits on my new iWatch!  I was very happy to see negative splits the last few miles, a goal I always strive for.  #NegativeSplitsPositiveVibes they say!

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Thanks for sticking around this long!  Moral of the story… sometimes NOT preparing to race turns out to be the best strategy!

What is your race day strategy?  We’d love to know!

Summer Racing… and a one year race challenge

Racing Cbus and beyond 

Races are what some of us train for.  What keeps us going.  Maybe you are doing it for fun, to raise money or awareness for a charity or perhaps you’re chasing that next PR.  Maybe you like to travel and running/racing is a fun way to see a new city. Whatever your reasons, we understand them. And support them!

Personally, I have several race goals, including a half marathon in half the states and a new run goal this year, participating in at least one race per month for a year.  I didn’t start until April so I’ll be chasing this challenge into March of 2018. 🙂   Here is what I have on the books so far…

April 2017Run the Bluegrass Half (recap)Cap City Quarter (recap) 

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MayDuchenne Dash (Team Austin 5K) | FORE! Miler (hometown favorite, recap below)

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JuneFind Me Where the Wild Things Are – one hour night run (my first!)

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JulyLiving Fit Columbus Independence Family Fun Run/Walk 

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AugustEmerald City Half or Quarter | Rocky Fork Run Club Racing Series | SuperHero Bull Run and/or Irish Festival 5K (still pending)

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SeptemberScioto River Run Half Marathon

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October – Still pending, perhaps the Cbus Half?

NovemberHot Chocolate 15K

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I haven’t thought past that so if you have any favorites for December – March, send them my way!  Hoping hubby will let us go somewhere warm in the winter months!

So what are you waiting for?  Go sign up for a race!  Maybe by yourself with your race face on.  Or maybe with your kids to help them finish their first one.  Heck, you could even start your own race for a cause!  Just go do it.  You’ll be happy you did.  🙂

 


FORE! Miler 2017

I’ve been super busy and traveling and baaaaaad about blogging… but here is a quick recap from this year’s FORE! Miler.  This is our third year since the race began in 2015 and I hope to do it for years to come.

Race day was ANOTHER rainy Columbus day.  Almost all of my races this year have had rain, so it was nothing new to me!  Some bailed, most showed up.  Some had ponchos and rain jackets, some braved it in tanks.  This was another “run for fun” race for me personally, we were just out there to get in some miles, take some pics and enjoy the after party.  We all huddled under the Golden Bear Club until the race started, attempting to stay dry until it was time.

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My husband and his buddy wore their bathing suits.  We thought this was hilarious, but they thought it was perfectly normal…. if its going to be raining, why not? 🙂  I didn’t realize until now looking at this pic that I think they are both due for some new running shoes.

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It is a nice four mile course through my hometown of Dublin, Ohio.  The rain came and went, but it actually kept the heat at bay (the last two years it was HOT!!!) so it was actually a welcome change.

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I ran with my friend Jen and there were Living Fit crew that finished ahead of us and behind us.  We carried on conversation during the run, finished with a respectable time, grabbed our bling and then headed to what M3S is known for… their after party!

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Another great race and a fit happy hour with friends.  We will be back next year!


 

Well, I spent more time on this post than I’d planned.  Time to go conquer the day.  Make it a great week!  Hope you get to enjoy International Yoga day tomorrow!

Cap City 2017 Recap

Its #throwbackThursday so a great time for a race recap!  The weather really put a damper on some people’s finish & overall race experience at Cap City this year, but personally I had a great race and wanted to remember it as a positive event.

The expo was held at VUE this year and I dragged little man along with me.  He was excited to tag along… so excited he fell asleep on the way there. 🙂  FullSizeRender(14)The first volunteer I encountered was super helpful and walked us to where we needed to go (we had to make a registration change, as I decided to drop from the half down to the quarter.)  We also had VIP passes so we made the treck upstairs to get our additional swag.  I’m not a huge expo junkie, so the smaller size didn’t bother me at all, although I have several running friends that missed the traditional large-scale event.  We got our goods, took some pics and headed out.

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Our dear friends from out of town decided to come down for the race, so we had a fun Friday night of “catching up” and watching all the little ones play (my two and my friend Kate’s two, ranging in ages from 1-8).  We set our alarms for 5:40AM, checked the weather for what seemed like the 1 millionth time and headed down to the Columbus Commons at 6:20AM, ponchos in tow.  We met up with some other groups of friends, took some group photos, of course made a pitstop at the porta-pots and finally around 7:40 made our way to our corrals.

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The weather held off and we started promptly at 8AM.  My husband and our friend, Mitch, helped pace me as I was attempting a PR finish of under an 8:52/mile.  We started with the half pace group of 8:47/mile pace and stuck with them until they veered off a little after mile two.  The first few miles were SUPER humid & sticky and shortly after, the storm began to move in.  It rained lightly for the last part of my race and helped give me the extra motivation to finish strong… I wanted to get to that dry VIP tent!

I struggled the last mile.  I was tired, wet & my lungs felt like exploding.  I honestly thought about walking at one point.  The guys kept me going though, pushing me the last stretch with an 8:10/pace and a strong finish.

As I crossed the finish line, I proudly redeemed my medal & finally got a glimpse of my overall time… a new PR!  Although my Garmin said 8:25/mile average, my eventual chip time would be an 8:29/mile, but a much improved time which gave me a big smile. 🙂 We posed for a few photos, waited for a bit at the finish line, then started to head to the Commons as the sky turned black.

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In the VIP tent post-race, we enjoyed drinks and FANTASTIC refreshments catered by Cameron Mitchell including The Pearl Grilled Cheese, Marcella’s Meatball Sliders, Hudson 29 Roasted Chicken Salad, Guild House Honey Cake Bites & Buckeyes.  I’m sure I put back on most of the 784 calories that my trusty Garmin claims I burned.

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After hanging out for a while, the storm really started to move in and the race was eventually black flagged.  It was sad to see all the runners get moved off the course (some of our friends had trained hard and had to stop between miles 10-12), but lightening was all around us & safety was their priority.  Around 10AM, we decided to call it a morning and make a dash for the car.

Back home, our littles greeted us with hugs, stole all our snacks (granola bars, bananas & other goodies we’d collected at the finish line) and put on our medals with giant smiles.

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After the gloomy, chaotic storm-filled morning, the weather in Cbus took a turn for the better and we were able to spend our afternoon and evening wearing tank tops & playing outside.  It was a fabulous weekend with family, friends & the Columbus running community!

 


 

Note:  We know things got crazy during the storm.  A lot of feedback was provided and we are aware that not every runner had as positive of an experience as we did.  I honestly believe that M3S Sports puts on great events, values feedback and is consistently working to improve what they do.  Whether your experience was fantastic or subpar, we hope you’ll take advantage of the 50% off next year’s registration that M3S is extending to all 2017 participants.  They posted this message to their FB page last week…

“YOU “weathered the storm” last weekend and we want to CELEBRATE YOU at the 15th Anniversary of the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon, OhioHealth Quarter Marathon and Commit to Be Fit 5k on April 28th, 2018.  The week of May 15th, we are going to email all of you who participated in 2017 a coupon code to register for 50% off the early registration fee good ONLY on May 30th and May 31st. Registration opens to the general public on June 1st at the regular price.” -Giddyup, David Babner, Race Director M3S Sports.

Watch for their email and we hope to see you at the starting line in 2018!  Better yet, meet up with us at some of the other 2017 events, we’ll be at the FORE! Miler, Emerald City and The Ohio State Four Miler for sure!

Race Recap // Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon 2017

It’s been a while since our group has done a destination race!  The Living Fit Cbus run crew started in January 2014 and has done two destination races in smaller groups, including The Mini Indy and The Detroit Half Marathon.  This spring we tackled the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon in Kentucky, a hilly but gorgeous race known as “America’s Prettiest Half Marathon.”  This was also our largest road-trip group to date, with six of us making the trip down to Lexington.  We hope it is the start to a fun tradition of occasionally getting out of Cbus and seeing the roads and trails across America!

Run the Bluegrass

As we were training, several of us enjoyed reading blogs, reviews, etc about the race, especially since it was known to be a challenging course.  Because of this, we committed to start doing more recaps for our readers to view.  Here are some of our thoughts from running the countryside of Lexington….

Side note:  This was Teresa & Lauren’s first post-baby half! We were in it to “finish.”

Race thoughts by Teresa:

I was very excited to do my first road trip race since 2012 when my mom & I trekked down to Run Raleigh.  As a former assistant coach for LifeTime Fitness Run Club, I used to do a destination race annually, conquering many races in mostly mid-west states.  Run the Bluegrass was my first destination race with the Living Fit Cbus crew due to my constant cycle of being pregnant, having babies and/or nursing over the last five years! Now that my littles are ages four and one, I feel like I finally have time & enough nightly hours of sleep to begin pursing running goals again.  My personal bucket list includes running a half marathon in half the states and although I’ve run through Kentucky during the Flying Pig Half Marathon, this was technically my first “complete” half in the bluegrass state.

We traveled down on Friday night and got to the Expo just in time.  It was a smaller one, but it got the job done.  We ran into some people from one of our favorite local Cbus brands, Bend Active.

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I was weirdly nervous going into this race.  Between not having run a half since 2014, and knowing how hilly & challenging the course was, my nerves during race week were doing cartwheels!  Even though several of us had said “we should just run it for fun” and we weren’t truly worried about pace or finish time, my heart still wanted to finish with a time I could be proud of.  And we did.

Unless you had run the race before or you did the treadmill simulator (like Lauren!), it was somewhat challenging to know how your body can perform over miles & miles of hills.  Here in Columbus, you may find a hill here and there, but let’s be honest…. its known to be a flat, fast terrain.  So I was dreaming about (rather having nightmares about) hills starting about a week prior to race day.

We always aim to have THREE race day goals.  Your “top” goal, like if all goes right and the stars in the universe align. A middle goal. And lastly an “okay, I’d at least be happy if…” goal.  This way when you cross that finish line, no matter what your “time” is, you have something to feel proud of!  Mine were to 1) Stay at a 9:30 pace  2) Stay under 10 minutes  3)  Finish the race, while ‘mostly’ running & attempting to stay under a 10:30 pace.

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Several of us started in wave 2, hoping to finish under 2:15 or a 10:30/mile pace.  Christine, Lauren, Deedra and I stayed together until somewhere around mile three where we forced Christine to surge ahead – she was really holding back to stay with us and we were like “GO girl!”  For the next seven-ish miles, D, L & I embraced the hills, slowed down through the water stops and enjoyed conversation with each other.  The horse farms and countryside were as beautiful as the race website and all the bloggers had stated.  Although I personally would have preferred a bit warmer day and a little more sunshine (it was a cloudy low 40s), it was an enjoyable ten miles.

Once we hit the 10 mile mark, we discussed the “only a 5K left!” mentality and agreed to finish strong, at our own pace.  I popped my headphones in, turned on my power songs (Rise Up & Girl on Fire… repeat!) and went for it.  Deedra and I finished almost together and my chip time was 2:04:58.  Some miles were slower (those hills!) and some were faster (when I was chasing D at the end!) and averaged out to around a 9:33 pace.  Goal #1 met!  And this was almost the exact same finish time as my very first half.  Although I know there is room for improvement, a time I am happy with!

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Things I liked about Run the Bluegrass:

  • Although its often harder to get to a destination race expo on a Friday night, I much prefer a Saturday race.  I like to have Sunday to relax & recover before heading back into a busy workweek.  I’m not really an expo junkie like some, so getting there towards the end didn’t bother me much!  And my quads were on FIRE from all those downhills about 12 hours after the race, so I was happy to have Sunday for added R&R.
  • Wow, the scenery!  Aside from the gorgeous race route, there were many great photo opps including Expo photos with the “horses” (ok, they were fake), the Keenland track itself & the nearby UK Campus.
  • Having the girls there at the start, during the race, and at the finish made this one of my most memorable runs.  It is always more fun to have ‘support’ and of course, friends to take IG worthy pics with. 🙂
  • The website didn’t have a ton of information, but there were pacers, which aren’t always offered at smaller races.  Pace groups can be helpful to runners trying to PR, those who need help maintaining consistent laps or solo runners that want a little group camaraderie.

Some things to consider when running this course:

  • Although the course was absolutely gorgeous, the crowd support was not like some of the larger city road races… so it was nice to have buddies to chat with along the 13.1 mile course.  Unless you love serene, quiet races… bring a friend, your favorite playlist & earbuds, or maybe both!
  • Hills. Man do I dislike hills.  But hey, they make you a stronger runner and help you “lift” those glutes!

Overall it was amazing and after 13 miles of hill training… I now have my sights set on breaking two hours in 2017!

Race thoughts by Lauren:

I always start my reviews on the expo because let’s be serious, the expo is just as much fun as the race. We arrived at the expo on Friday night and the place was packed! As soon as you walked into the Keeneland Entertainment Center you were able to grab your bag and bib which was super convenient BUT you had to go through the entire expo in order to receive your long sleeve hoodie at the end…very smart RTB peeps, very smart. The expo had a number of vendors but I left wanting something more. The space was on the smaller side and between the crowds and tight quarters I wanted to get through there as fast as possible which was a bummer since I normally LOVE the expos.

Friday night we stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by the Keeneland Airport which was about 10 minutes from Keeneland Racecourse. With the complementary breakfast and close proximity to the race, I highly recommend this hotel for future runners.

The race started at 9:00am Saturday morning which was wonderful. I love when races are on Saturdays and a 9am start time is even better. We were able to leave the hotel at 8:15 and make it to the start by 8:30 (I got dropped off and didn’t have to park which would have likely added more time). The temperature was a cool 44 degrees which was PERFECT in my book. We all met up in wave 2 (an approx. 2hr finish time) which was clearly marked and close to the starting line. The Yearling group went out first at 8:55 then Wave 1 was out exactly at 9am and we quickly followed.

Right out of the gate we started up an easy rolling hill and were greeted by a few horses galloping along the fence next to us, it was gorgeous and pretty surreal! There were a couple more rolling hills in the next 3 miles and then around mile 3.5 it started to get challenging. Luckily before the race I had used the treadmill simulator of the course elevation so I knew this big incline was coming. I highly recommend you take a look at the treadmill simulator on the RunTheBluegrass training page, it was helpful to know what was coming so that I could pace myself early on.

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Once we got past the big hill at mile 4 we had a steady decline and we were able to catch our breath and get some momentum back before we had to climb again. The next 5 miles were hill after hill (sorry, there is no sugarcoating this race!) but with every hill came a nice decline or flat and we were able to keep our pace. It certainly helped that the course was absolutely gorgeous. There were horses everywhere and beautiful farmland, it definitely lived up to it’s reputation for the prettiest half marathon in America.

It was around mile 9 that things were starting to hurt. I felt an aching pain in my back and started to cramp (note to self- don’t use fuel chomps on race day if you haven’t been training with them, rookie mistake). I promised myself I wouldn’t start walking until mile 10 and of course right after we passed the mile 10 flag we were greeted with 2 steep hills. I’m not sure if it was because we were chatting throughout the race or if they were easier than I thought but surprisingly the hills seemed pretty manageable up until this point. The final hills between miles 10-12 were tough and steep. I walked off and on before finally getting an adrenaline boost at mile 12.5 and finished strong.


Overall it was an awesome race. If you’re someone like me who relies on a good crowd to keep you motivated while you’re running I would strongly recommend running this with a buddy or group. Since there isn’t much crowd support along the way it was crucial to have my running buddies there for support and distraction from those wicked hills!

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Race thoughts by Christine:

I have fallen in love with running again since having my son 9 months ago and was excited to head to beautiful Lexington for this race with some of the LFC crew. Like T mentioned, the group had some collective pre-race nerves about the hilly course, but I had been preparing for a hilly trail race also taking place in April and had put in the work during my training. I knew I wanted to put in a good effort for my run, but still wasn’t sure that I wanted to “race” this one.  I woke up on Saturday and was feeling good — I was rested, the company was great, and the music at the starting line was pumping me up — so I decided to trust my training and push myself a bit.
I started in wave 2 with the group and surged ahead of the ladies between miles 3 and 4. Once I was solo, I began to focus on charging the hills and finding a comfortably challenging pace. When I reached mile 6.55 I saw that I was halfway through the race in under 1 hour. For the first time I knew I could finish in 2 hours or just under. I kept trucking and spotted the 2:00 pace leader way up the road and decided to keep him in eyesight and try to gain ground and get as close to him as possible before finishing. At about mile 10 I actually caught up to him. He gave me a run down of what to expect for the rest of the course and said I had to keep moving & he would see me at the finish. He was so encouraging, and it was such a welcome dose of motivation to carry me through that last 5K! I cruised on, found another happy runner who pushed me to sprint the final .10 with him, and finished with a PR of 1:56:26!
This was a TOUGH course, but the stars aligned for me on race day! It was a cool experience to run without headphones, through the beautiful KY roads, with nothing but my own determination and the kindness of other runners to get me to the finish. It was a great lesson in training healthy but hard, then trusting your body to do the task you set yourself up to complete.
13.1 & done!  Photos from the finish…

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Overall we loved the race and had a great weekend.  These iphone photos don’t do the course justice.  We all finished and two girls (Christine and Peggy whoop whoop!) even hit a PR on that challenging course.  We went for some re-fueling after and met at Pazzo’s pizza, which we’d highly recommend.  Can’t wait for our next racing road trip!

#WhyIRun // Race recaps & reflections

We had a lot of friends in and around Columbus running various races last weekend, including the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Half & Full, and the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon.

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Some running goals included…

  • Running ‘for fun’ just to get out there and tour the city
  • Chasing a new PR
  • Running their first _________ (fill in the blank!) ~ a few first time marathoners and a postpartum momma doing her first post-baby half

Here are some race recaps and insights into why they run!

Allison Jasper, Columbus Marathon Finisher

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“My journey to 26.2 began long before I started running.  Over 12 years ago I was dating a guy who ran marathons.  I didn’t even run, so we certainly didn’t have that in common, but I thought I’d see where things went…..  We just celebrated 10 years of marriage this past June!  My hubby got me into running six years ago, after having two babies in 17 months. I could barely run a mile!  I ran my first half in 2011, and have ran a total of six since.  Each time my husband would ask, “could you imagine only being half way done?”  No way!  Last March while I was training for the Cap City Half Marathon, a friend sent me a text asking if I was interested in running the Columbus Marathon – my hubby encouraged me to say yes, which I did!

I struggled with stomach pain on just about every long run during training. The marathon was no different. The first half went well, but then the temps heated up, the pain settled in and I fell apart. I went into this marathon with a goal to “finish”, so I wouldn’t be disappointed with time, but I really hoped to be under 5 hours.  I did finish, but I wasn’t under 5 hours and for a moment I was disappointed.

After a bit of reflection, I realized that despite my finish time, I did it.  I completed a marathon. I attempted something I never thought I’d accomplish.  And I’m ready to do it again!”

Christine Loncaric, Columbus Half Marathon Finisher

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“I ran the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus 1/2 Marathon last Sunday and had a blast! I had my second baby in June and was excited and anxious to get back to running throughout the end of my pregnancy and in the early weeks of recovery once my son was born. When I returned to work after my maternity leave was over there were a handful of my coworkers who were excitedly training for the half and I got bit hard by the racing bug — it didn’t take much encouragement from my running friends to register for the race!
I jammed my training into four short weeks.  I am an avid gym goer, but changed the focus of my workout schedule to be more heavily weighted on running rather than strength training. I got in four “official” long runs before the race, which isn’t ideal for everyone, but worked for me and my current fitness level.
This race weekend is one of my favorite things about living in Columbus. We have such a robust running community here and I was so excited to go to the expo and race with all of the other runners. The energy and enthusiasm is amazing! It was a beautiful morning, but race day temps were unseasonably high, and I was lucky to finish just as the day was really warming up — the conditions got tough out there for the marathoners who were anticipating normal October weather!
My husband, Bob, was my biggest cheerleader on Sunday. He loaded up his bike, dropped me off at the start and followed the self-guided bike tour route provided by the race organizers.  I was able to see him on the sidelines around miles 1, 7.5, 9, and 12.5 which gave me a lot to look forward to during the middle stretch of the race. I didn’t have any friends running at my race pace, so I decided to run with the 4:15marathon Clif Bar Pacer (shout out to Andy!). This was a perfect decision and it was awesome to run with a group and stay on a nice, steady pace (our goal was about 9:44 per mile). My company, Abercrombie & Fitch, sponsored Mile 10 of the race which gave me a perfect mental milestone to get to.  I told myself I would pick up the pace around that point if I was feeling strong. I broke away from the pace group at this point making my last 3 miles my fastest, and I finished at 2:03:24 feeling in high spirits and just tired enough! It wasn’t a PR, but I was running (not “racing”) for fun and am really proud of what I was able to do less than 4 months after having a baby!”

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A couple of our running friends also ran the Detroit Half.  They both enjoyed a new course and crossing over into Canada (although the tunnel was hot and crowded!)

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Congrats to all the finishers out there.  It is so inspiring to watch and read about runners’ accomplishments.  May you set your sights on new running goals, races & more!

Pre-race jitters… why they happen & how to manage them

[t gellenbeck]Columbus marathon 2014-3

Race week typically brings anxiety to many runners, especially if you are running a new distance, trying to set a new personal best or maybe qualify for an even bigger event [Boston is a popular one.]  I am running a 10K this Sunday and hoping to PR, so of course, I’ve been nervous about it since I woke up Monday morning.

So why does this happen?   

After doing some soul searching, talking with friends, runners & student-athletes as well as perusing the web, here’s what we’ve come up with…

Five Reasons For Race Day/Week ‘Jitters’

1.  You’ve worked really hard for __ [enter training schedule here] weeks or even months. Some runners train for 16+ weeks for that one moment… if you don’t perform to your expectations, the last x amount of weeks can seem all-for-not.

2.  “Fear is an indicator that you’re doing something remarkable.”  Many times our goals are set high and we know we are pushing ourselves to the limits, reaching out of our comfort zones.  This would make anyone nervous!

3.  You’re afraid of failure.  We don’t want to underachieve.  We definitely don’t want others to know if we underachieve! No one likes “failure.”

4.  You’re passionate [and/or competitive].   If you really truly want to do well at something, its only natural that some nerves will come into play.  That just means you care!

5. Adrenaline.  This is too much science for my brain (sorry mom!), but you can read more about it HERE if you’re interested.

 

So how do you overcome it?  Well, I’m no expert because as I sit here typing this, half of my brain is focused on the race and I’m a tad sick to my stomach thinking about it.  But here are some tips I’ve tried in the past and/or advice that’s been given to me…

Surround yourself with positive mantras and people.   You know you can do this.  Keep telling yourself that.  Put post-its on your mirror or share an inspirational quote on Instagram.

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Allow yourself some solo time before the race.  Take a moment before the gunshot for deep breathing, quiet meditation, prayer, visualization… whatever lifts you up & calms you down.

Bend active leggings and outer layers

Always have 2-3 goals for race day; that way you don’t feel let down if you don’t achieve your main one.  My previous run coach, Teresa Turnbull from MIT, always suggested having multiple goals.  This allows you to still feel a sense of accomplishment if you don’t PR, qualify, or whatever your top goal is.  Plus, what if you get a stomach bug?  What if it rains?  Sometimes, your main goal may become unachievable.  My goals for this race are…

  • Goal #1 – Cross that finish line [ideally running] & embrace the joy of running & finishing
  • Goal #2 – PR with a time under a 9:03 pace (should be totally doable, I’ve just never raced a 10K; in fact this 9:03 time is from a half marathon split time)
  • Goal #3 – Stay between an 8:20 (my 4 mile PR) and an 8:40 (my half marathon PR)

Here are some Half Marathon example goals from YogaOnTheRun

  • If it’s a great day – Go for a sub 1:55 (8:40ish pace)
  • If it’s an good day – Try to hit around what I did for A1A (8:55ish pace)
  • If it’s just a day – Just have fun!

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Know that in the end, you did your best ~ and that is all that truly matters.  Even if you don’t make your main goal, lululemon’s blog reminds us that “Setting a goal & falling short is still better than not trying at all.”  Be proud that you trained.  Be proud that you CAN run.  And know that you’re awesome!

 

For other tips on RACE WEEK PREPARATION, check out our previous post HERE.

Info & photo credits to…

Columbus Marathon 2014

Been a little over a week since our runners finished their race, but better late than never with our photos!  This race is in our hometown and in our opinion, one of the best out there.  Here are some more memories from race day…

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JP enjoying the action… although his face wouldn’t show it 🙂

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Go Amanda! A new PR!

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Columbus marathon 2014-5 Christine completing her first half! A new PR!

Columbus marathon 2014-6Coffee… hot chocolate… police!? haha!

Columbus marathon 2014-7Loved this sign!

Columbus marathon 2014-8Yay Lan, only 13.6 miles left 🙂 A new PR!

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Columbus marathon 2014-11Georgia & Bonnie, half marathon finishers and new PRs!

Columbus marathon 2014-12JP & Teresa, spectating with Deedra [taking the pic]

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We are so proud of all our runners and ALL the finishers from the race.  Set your sights on your next goal ladies!  Congrats again!

It’s Race Week! // Tips & Info

This Saturday is the big day and we couldn’t be more excited!  And anxious.  And all the other emotions that come along with race week.  Three of our runners are newbies to the half distance and the rest of us are looking to log yet another 13.1 mile par-tay!!

We have been training for twelve weeks for the Cap City Half Marathon.  Through snow, sunshine, wind, rain, schedule conflicts, sleepless nights, El-Vaquero-food-coma-hangovers, injuries and lots of miles… we have almost made it to the starting line.  Our ladies have worked hard and are going to finish strong and look fabulous in our new race tees ~ we are ready!

Thank you #momo_inspire

Five Things To Keep In Mind During Race Week…

1.  Stay hydrated and eat healthy foods (with some clean carbohydrates).  Do you need to ‘carbo-load?’  Not necessarily.  Click HERE for an interesting article on carbs and racing.   A full-on PASTA PARTY isn’t necessary if you are running for two hours or less, although we are having one! Some favorite meals;

  • Pre-race dinner ideas; grilled chicken (or other protein), small serving of pasta or rice (your carbs) and lots of vegetables. Fruit for dessert.  Nothing too heavy or spicy.  One glass of wine may help you sleep, but too many will dehydrate you so find some balance.
  • Breakfast; your standard, pre-long-run breakfast ~ don’t try anything new.  For shorter races I just have a banana with natural peanut butter.  For longer races (halfs and fulls) I’ll throw in a piece of bread or half a bagel.
  • Be careful of drinking too many fluids on race morning as you may be in the looooong port-a-pot line at the beginning of the race!

2.  Try to get a good night’s sleep on the-night-before-the-night before your race.  I’ve learned that its the ‘night before the night before’ race day that you have a chance of getting some rest… because the Eve of the race, most of us are a pile of nerves and don’t sleep well.  So for a Sunday race, you may not sleep well Saturday night (pre-race jitters, early morning rise & run), but try to get a good night’s sleep on Friday night.  Some bed-time yoga or a glass of wine may help you fall asleep on Race Day Eve.

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.  We are meeting tomorrow, see details below.

4.  Plan out race morning.  Have your clothes, socks, shoes, race bib, safety pins, Garmin, race fuel, music ~ anything you need ~ laid out the night before (or even two nights before!)  Figure out where you will park, what time you need to leave, etc.

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].  YOU GOT THIS!  Some like to do a yoga session or short, easy walk/run the day before to relieve some jitters and a SHORT jog to warm up the morning of.  Breathe, get some rest, be ready to take some fabulous pictures at the finish line!

Walk jog run

Living Fit [Columbus] Run Club Event info ~ join us if you’d like! 

Thursday, May 1

  • We will be meeting at Abitec (Peggy’s office) in the Short North @ 5:30 to go to the Health & Fitness Expo Party & Packet Pickup.  Abitec is close to Goodale Park and has plenty of easy parking.  The address is 501 W 1st Ave, Columbus, 43215.  We can carpool or caravan from here to the Expo.
  • We will grab a bite to eat after (probably 6:30 or 7:00ish) at Northstar Cafe ~ Short North, 951 North High Street, Columbus, 43201.

Friday, May 2

  • Chicken & pasta meal at the Gellenbeck’s @ 6:30[ish]

Saturday, May 3 – race day!

  • Pre-race – We will be meeting at the Columbus Commons garage @ 7:00AM.  This gives us time for last minute potty stops and time to find the starting line.  The race starts @ 8AM, but runners are asked to be loaded into their corals by 7:40.
  • Post-race – Join us at the Finish Line Party for some refreshments, high-fives and of course, photos!  We will determine a meetup spot when we get together Thursday night at the Expo.

Feel free to email Teresa @ LivingFitColumbus@gmail.com if you’d like to meet us for any of the events or if you have any questions.

That’s all folks!  

Have a great week and pray for no rain!  See you at the starting line, if not before.  We will close with some motivation…

Don't give up!

 Photo credit to WalkJogRun