Running

#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!

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FORE! Miler race recap – M3S Sports & Ohio Health

Wow, its been too long!  Between learning to juggle two kids, going back to work after maternity leave and then a much needed vacation in Florida, life has been crazy and chaotic (in a good way, just doesn’t leave much time for blogging!)

Recently a bunch of Living Fit gals, along with tons of other Cbus runners, participated in the FORE! Miler race.  It was the second year for the event and we hope to run it every year.  M3S always puts on awesome events and this one was no exception!  It was a great run and a superb after party which included a live band, a drink ticket and of course, lots of photos (download yours for free HERE).

My personal goal was just to finish and have fun as this was my first four mile run post-baby.  We also had three pregnant mommas with us ~ Christine, Lauren and Gretchen ~ who brought their bumps along for the run. Below is a photo recap of this fantastic event. The first few are courtesy of Cap City Sports Media and the rest are from a trusty iPhone 5. 🙂

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Loved that my bib was 614, representing Cbus!  

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Living Fit Spring RUN+YOGA Challenge & FORE! Miler Training

We love fitness and community.  This challenge involves both!

Many of our runners are doing the FORE! Miler this May so we’ve created a fun training plan with multiple weekly challenges.  Of course many of them involve photos, so don’t forget your camera phone.  Our schedule is below.  Attend weekly group runs for more details and to ask questions about mileage, etc.

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The first group event is this Thursday, our spring kickoff run.  We will meet at the Town Lot in Historic Dublin (behind Starbucks), run 3-4 social miles, then end at Vitality Smoothie & Juice for samples and giveaways from several companies including lululemon athletica polaris, Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter, Vitafusion, Winans and more!

Hope you will join in the fun!

Fit Momma Monday – Getting back to the run

Getting into running shape – whether you’re a first time runner or are getting back at it after a hiatus – well, to be frank… it kinda sucks!  Its hard.  You’re out of breath and can’t carry a conversation.  Your lungs burn.  Your legs feel heavy.  You look at your Garmin and have only gone .34 miles.  How on earth will you ever get to that happy place of easily running (and talking through) a four mile run?

Set small goals that you can achieve!  Breaking it down into mini milestones will make the journey more enjoyable and seem more achievable.

Here are a few of mine…

1. SLOWLY progress to running four+ miles.  Four miles has always been a personal milestone for me.  Four miles (or 35-40ish minutes) is a good workout length and four miles is a good base to start training for longer races.  When my three year old son was born, my doctor made me wait until my six week checkup to run.  This time around with our daughter, I suppose I’m an old veteran because my doc gave me the green light right after delivery.  She said “Do what your body allows.  If you can run, run!”  She did advise me to hold off core work for 6-8 weeks, and I decided to wait 3 full weeks before I started running [stitches, milk supply and other TMI facts!]

Here is the [slow] progress I’ve made so far…

  • 2 weeks postpartum – Walked 1.5 miles
  • 3 weeks postpartum – Ran/walked 2.5 miles (ran first mile, then ran/walked last 1.5)
  • 4 weeks postpartum – Ran 2 miles
  • 5 weeks postpartum – Ran 3 miles

At six weeks, I plan to up my runs to two times per week.  I started slow to make sure my body could handle it.  I also DO NOT WORRY ABOUT PACE.  I don’t even wear my Garmin.  I want to gradually build mileage before I worry about pace and I don’t want to be discouraged by feeling slow.  After a few weeks of conquering and feeling good about three miles, I’ll add that 4th mile on and then eventually a 5th and even 6th.  Quality over quantity, in my opinion.  And at some point, hopefully in a month or so, I’ll start wearing my Garmin again.  For now its FitBit only.  Tracking steps and mileage and NOT allowing myself to go crazy about pace [or lack thereof!]    

 

My FitBit flex syncs with my phone, my Weight Watchers app (gotta lose those baby-weight pounds) and allows me to focus on steps and mileage right now… not concerned with pace just yet!     And I love the Tori Burch accessory hubby got me, dresses up my FitBit Flex when I want more style.

Oh and group runs make it more fun!

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**Sidenote… leave the baby at home in the beginning while you’re running!  It will be good bonding time for your spouse or other caretaker(s), good for you to have some ‘momma’ time AND will make it easier on your run while you’re getting back into shape.  And for safety purposes, most stroller companies recommend not jogging with a baby until they have decent head control.  You can invest in a good jogging stroller and bring baby along in a few months.  I usually nurse my little, head out the door for a run, then am back before she needs to eat again.  For now, if you want to spend time getting FIT with baby, WALK with the stroller, or better yet, carry baby and keep them close! 

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2. Run a timed mile, 1-2 times per week.  I plan to gradually work toward a 9:00 minute mile then ultimately back under 8:00 (my goal pace for a PR 5k).  I did my first timed mile last week and barely kept it under 10 minutes – 9:51, see below.  Between carrying an extra 20 pounds of weight I need to lose, and not having run much since last October, I knew it would be a challenge.  Progress not perfection, they say!  In my defense, the last leg of it was up hill and against wind, not the ideal elements for a strong finish.  I plan to do one mile per week on this same route, and one per week at the track or a flatter terrain.  Doing 1-2 timed runs per week will allow me to incorporate what will feel like a little bit of speed work and push my lungs & legs to get faster over time.  Keeping it low in mileage (one mile) will help prevent any injury or strain on my body by potentially doing too much too fast.

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3. Sign up for a race.  This always gives me the focus I need for training.  Several runners in our Living Fit run crew have signed up for the M3S Sports FORE! Miler on Thursday, May 28.  This gives me two months to work up to running four miles at a pace I can be proud of.

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Well, guess I’d better stop talking and start walking.  Heading out for a quick run now.  Good luck in your journey and hope to see you out on the trail!

 

Five ways to spark your love affair with running

On our group run this AM, several of our runners were discussing our lack-luster performances this summer.  Sure, we log some miles here and there, head to a yoga class now and then… but the spring workouts of speed training, hill running, fartleks & double digit miles seem to be a thing of the past.  Blame it on the rain [remember that song?], the heat, humidity, travels for family vacations… the list goes on! So what can we do to get our rears in gear?

1. Group accountability.  For us, the group keeps us going.  Some days there are 10+ of us, and some days only 3 or 4.  But having set runs [typically Thursdays @ 6:30PM and Saturdays @ 8:30AM in Summer] and the opportunity to always have a running buddy, keep many of us committed to showing up at least a few times each month.  So if you haven’t already, consider joining a local running group [preferably ours!] to chat away the miles.

2.  Register!  For many runners, signing up for a race is just the motivation you need to get yourself going.  For some if might be the cost commitment and others the training schedule, but having that end goal will help keep you committed.  We have a few runners participating in the Ohio State Tri-Fit Challenge tomorrow as well as upcoming races including…

Others we’ve discussed are the Buckeye Classic 10K, Hot Chocolate Run and Run Like a Girl.

3.  Write it down.  Keeping a training log ~ pen and paper, a race training schedule or even a computer-based system ~ is like seeing your goals and accomplishments mapped out in front of you.  A few blank days in a row will motivate you to get back to it.  Plus you can track your progress, calculate total weekly mileage [or mat time or whatever!] and more.  A favorite is the Lauren Fleshman Believe Training Journal, but any old notepad or spreadsheet will do just fine!

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4.  Unplug and just go run!  Sometimes leaving the Garmin at home is a liberating way to fall in love with running again.  If you’re feeling really crazy, leave the headphones at home too and just take it all in.  Don’t worry about your pace, your distance, your performance… just run for joy!

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5.  Take your camera phone, try a new route and literally stop to smell the roses.  Running the same trail over and over can become mundane, so its easy to just blow it off.  But if you try a new route and consider it an adventure, it can be a lot more interesting!  Stop when you see something beautiful and snap a photo for your IG.

Hope this gets you excited to go RUN!  See you on the trails!

Not a runner?  Check out our previous post, Top Ten Reasons to Run! or our page for beginning runners.  Maybe you’ll change your mind!  🙂

Shout Out // FORE! Miler 2015

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What a fun race!

I don’t normally take so many photos and don’t always do a post-race recap, but this one was special.  This was the first FORE miler inaugural event.  If you’ve been to Dublin, you know how important The Memorial is.

I grew up here and the tournament each year was a HUGE event!  Many of our parents would let us miss school to attend and one of my best friends lived on the course, hosting the best tournament weekend each and every year.  So I was excited that the annual golf event had added something I was actually decent at… anyone that knows me knows that I can’t golf!

The race was HOT, but other than that, it was awesome!

Here are some things we loved;

1.  The experience. As listed above, I have a personal love for the tournament and basically Dublin in general.  #DublinIsHome!  Winding through the streets of Muirfield was great.  Only in Dublin, will you see runners sporting full golf outfits and porta-potties with six-panel doors and hardwood floors.

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2.  The swag!  The medals, tshirts, beverage ticket, practice round ticket… it was all great!

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3.  Post-race PARTY!  It was a blast.  A band, beverages, the beauty of the course… awesome time!

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4. Race Director, Mr Babner.  Not only is he the owner of M3S Sports, but he is also a Dublin resident!  He was out on the course, cheering people on and being awesome.  We interviewed him last year, check it out HERE.  Also loving photo-bombing guy in background…

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5.  Friendships and photo-ops.  Okay, these can happen at every race, but the pictures are truly the most important part of any event.  What else do you have to remember it all by? And check out our custom Living Fit Columbus tanks by Bend Active ~ Run, Yoga, Repeat!

Overall ~ We had a great time, a great race [in spite of the heat, still finished around 36 minutes, just over a 9 min pace] and would love to make it an annual event.

See you at Emerald City!

Spice Up Your Spring

Guest Blogger [S. Palmer]

What’s a better time to start getting fit and eating healthy again, than springtime? The season shifts and we start cleaning up our closets. Why not clean up our eating and exercising habits as well! There’s a couple things that you can do of course, but here are some tips to get back into the swing of things – or if you’ve been staying strong through out the winter season, some tips to spice things up.

  1. Treat yourself to something new!

Go to a new juice place or grab a smoothie after a workout. Buy ingredients for a healthy recipe, or go buy new workout clothes that’ll make you feel great. Do something to get you out of the rut that you are in or just because you deserve it!

  1. Get inspired

Whether it’s Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr, it doesn’t hurt to search inspirational quotes to encourage you! You could make it your phone background, or print it out and do some DIY framing and put it in a place that you’ll always see it.

  1. Find a  running or workout buddy & head outside

Head outside to find some new scenery & grab a friend for double the fun! This could help motivate you, encourage them, and make the workout [running, walking or however you sweat] a lot more enjoyable.  Maybe you even consider signing up for a race?  A new state?  A new distance?  Break out of your comfort zone!

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These are just some quick and easy fixes for anyone who’s trying to break out of a winter rut or spice up their spring fitness regime!  Do YOU have any ideas for breaking free from the winter blahs?

 

Photo credits; NotontheHighStreet.com, LeenaBee Photography

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

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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.

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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…

Weekly Workout – Interval [treadmill] Training II

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For yesterday’s speed session, I did a “ladder” interval workout.  My brother, a former Track & Field sprinter and state qualifier (yes, I’m bragging, but I’m a proud big sister!) once told me that ladders were one of the best speed workouts for getting faster.  They are also a nice change to your regular routine!

I did this at 5AM, so I needed a slower paced warmup to wake up my body.  Feel free to adjust to your own level, but make sure you warmup for 10-15 minutes at a comfortable, easy pace.

Following the warmup, the ladder begins!  It can be any time or distance you’d like, depending on how much time you have (I was limited) or what distance you’re training for.  A good goal would be 20-30 minutes or 2-3 miles.  Conclude with a short cool down and stretch.

Below is what my exact run looked like, feel free to modify!

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I did not rest at all between intervals due to my time constraint ~ plus once my body warmed up, I was feeling good!  Take rest breaks or recovery laps as needed, you know your body best.  One advantage of rest/recovery is that your intervals will likely be stronger.

Each week/time I try it, I will likely increase the speed and/or duration to gradually challenge myself and add rest as needed.

Do what works for you!

Here is another ladder workout from Triathalon.competitor.com ->

  • 15 minute warmup
  • At your 5K race pace, run a 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400 with 1-2 minute rest between each interval
  • If you’re training for a half or full marathon, add a 1600 and additional 1200 into the mix (sorry, longer race distance = longer training runs 😉
  • 10 minute cool down
  • If this is too easy or after a few weeks of conditioning, decrease the recovery and/or increase the distance and/or intensity

For more info and details on ladder workouts, check out this article, How Running Ladders Work.

Try to make sure you are getting in at least one speed, interval and/or hill session per week and one tempo session per week.

Run fast & stay fit!

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Disclaimer:  I am not an expert, just a seasoned runner.  Please consult your doctor and make sure you have been running, injury-free, for 6-12 months before introducing speed work! 

 

Weekly Workout – Interval [treadmill] Training

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While many of our running groupies are racing a half marathon this summer, I personally am focusing on a shorter distance ~ the 10K.  I’m somewhat pleased with my 5K, half marathon and marathon PRs, but my 10K one is less than stellar.  Therefore, many of the interval and speed sessions I’ll be attempting over the next 8-10 weeks will be geared towards that shorter distance.

For you half marathoners out there, a common goal is to break two hours.  This magical finish time is the one several of our runners have set their sights on for their spring race. If you want to see that 1:59:59 on the finish time clock, you need to keep your pace at 9 minutes & 9 seconds [or faster] per mile.  During training, you want to get your body used to running this pace, so running your tempo and some of your intervals at that 9:09 [or faster] will help you mentally and physically prepare for your half marathon pace [HMP] goal.  You can do it!   Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 10.47.57 PM

For today’s speed session, I kept the 2 hour half marathon finish time in mind.  My ‘recovery’ pace was a 9:05/mile ~ this way your HMP seems easy compared to the rest of the workout!

You can substitute songs as desired below [hey, not everyone is a Tswift fan!] but the just of it is to alternate periods of speed with periods of recovery [your HMP].  Take 30-60 second breaks between songs as needed, eventually working up to NOT needing breaks.

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I was sweaty and felt like I got in a great run.  Hope you can make it work for you!

Try to make sure you are getting in at least one speed/interval session per week and one tempo session per week.  Hill work is never a bad idea either.

Good luck & stay fit!
Disclaimer:  I am not an expert, just a seasoned runner.  Please consult your doctor and make sure you have been running, injury-free, for 6-12 months before introducing speed work!