Success stories

Living Fit Columbus Winter Challenge WINNERS!

If I can accomplish an “impossible” feat on my yoga mat, think of all of the possibilities for my life off of the mat. – Masumi Goldman

So proud of these girls!  They ran, they yoga-d [sp?], they tried new places and met new faces, and man did they SWEAT!

WINNERS & prizes of our Living Fit Winter Challenge

Winter Fitness Challenge WINNER 2014-15

First Place – Jen!

  • Recap:
    • Total Points Earned: 2535
    • Some of her 2015 FIT goals:
      • Train to get faster & stronger for the Indy Mini Half Marathon [Hoping to PR and break the 2 hour mark!]
      • Participate in #LFCMilesandMats2015
      • Finish TriFit Duathlon challenge distance [2.4 mi run + 25 mi bike + 10K run]
      • Continue working on forearm balances, choose at least three
      • Run 2015 miles with Amanda R
      • Choose a fall fitness event or retreat to participate in

Second Place – Christine

  • Recap:
    • Total Points Earned: 2505
    • Some of her 2015 FIT goals:
      • Participate in #LFCMilesandMats2015
      • Complete two half marathons
      • Complete five total races, including one with her husband
      • Work towards setting and accomplishing personal yoga goals

Third Place – Amanda R

  • Recap:
    • Total Points Earned: 2445
    • Some of her 2015 FIT goals:
      • Complete the 2015 miles challenge with Jen (1007.5 miles for each of us!)
      • Participate in #LFCMilesandMats2015
      • PR for a half marathon
      • Commit to another half for the fall
      • Continue to become a better yogi, which has significantly helped my running!

Living Fit 1000 Point Club

  • Jen
  • Christine
  • Amanda R
  • Teresa
  • Peggy
  • Joan
  • Lan
  • Deedra

*All 1000 Point Club members [those that logged over 1000 points during the eight week challenge] will be entered in a drawing for a Winans gift basket! Drawing will be conducted this weekend at our YOGA class @ VUE.*

Thank you to all our sponsors & supporters and GREAT JOB to all our participants!

Watch for more challenges and details on our #LFCMilesandMats2015 challenge on the blog!

Winter Fitness Challenge Memories

[more pics to come ~ also check out #lfcwinterchallenge on Instagram]

Why I Run [Guest Post]

Why I run.  [by A Racanelli]


Running to me was never something I really enjoyed; I was more of a “team” kind of girl. 

Columbus marathon 2014-3

Of course, I would run if my coach assigned sprints for speed, or long distance runs to build endurance; but it was never my choice of exercise.

During college, a few of my sorority sisters had been cross country runners in high school, and convinced me to join them a few times a week on a run throughout Lexington, Kentucky.  I enjoyed the time I spent with them, but still never considered myself a runner.  During my last year of college, I experienced a few personal trials and decided to get my running shoes out again, at the suggestion of a counselor that I had been working with.  Running brought escape, and solstice from what was going on around me.  It gave me an opportunity to free my mind from the problems that I was facing.
In January, 2001 I decided that I would set a running goal – a half marathon – to help me feel better about my situation and give me something to look forward to and feel good about.  So, I trained and ran my first big race in April of that year.  It was so fulfilling; to accomplish something so great during a time of trouble.
Each time I’ve been faced with winding roads (work, marriage, family, etc…), I’ve gotten my shoes out again.  The road is open and it provides the time that I need to sort through the issues ahead.  Running gives me the opportunity I need to feel good about me, and eliminates the stress that I am feeling at the time.
After 13 years, I finally consider myself a runner.  I am proud of myself for meeting all the goals I’ve set and accomplished; I know that I am a better wife, mother, and individual when I carve time out for me to hit the pavement or treadmill.
And that’s why I run!

Amanda has now completed 12 half and 3 full marathons and recently become a yoga lover.  Her favorite marathons were Disney & Chicago, while her favorite half was the Louisville Derby Festival.  She is one of our Living Fit Columbus runners and motivates us all to push harder and embrace our inner strength.

Run on, Amanda!

Photo credits to:
Living Fit Columbus & Amanda 🙂

Marathon training – what we learned

[Guest posts by L Nguyen & M Ahmed]

L Nguyen:  What we learned from marathon training

Marathon (n.): a long distance running race, strictly one of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 km).

Why would anyone in their mind be crazy enough to run this distance?  There are a million reasons we can tell you, however, one of the biggest  is simply our passion for running. Most training programs are an average of 16 weeks long. Yes, that is a long period of time- 1/3 of the year.  While training for the Columbus Nationwide Marathon, we have really learned a lot about ourselves.  Here are some lessons learned;

  1. Listen to your body! Keeping a balance between life and work can get exhausting some weeks. While going on a run when you’re stressed and tired may sound like a good idea, on occasion, it may be better to either cut back some mileage or just take a rest day. Yes, to a runner, that is devastating news. We have learned to move on and make our next runs better.
  2. Nutrition. Towards the middle of training, mileage begins to get intense (average 20-30+ miles depending on the week). As runners, people think we will eat everything in sight (and we have). However, it is important to intake the right foods including fruits, veggies, proteins and carbs.   During runs, carry gels, blocks, chews, snacks-
    whatever works to curb mid-run hunger.
  3. Weight gain. Both of us had a mini life crisis when we realized that around the first round of our 20 milers, we had packed on a few pounds. It. Will. Happen. We were reminded by our coach that it will be ok! And it was. The extra weight went away right at the start of taper.
  4. Accountability. 16 weeks of marathon training does take a chunk of time. Finding accountability buddies keeps us motivated and gives you an ongoing cheerleader.
  5. Shoes. Running shoes do get expensive. But then again, so does a medical bill for a knee injury. We both listened to our bodies when our shoes became worn out. We know that we should get a new pair on average every 6 months or so, depending on your mileage. We always think we can outwear our shoes a little longer. A new pair definitely makes long distances bearable and pain free!
  6. Running buddies. Find a running buddy for those long weekend runs. We learned this one much later in the training. But better late than never! When running a long distance anywhere from 13mi+, it can get boring regardless of scenery. Having a running buddy to chat with definitely makes the miles go by faster. Perhaps find a local running group… maybe Living Fit Columbus!
  7. Yoga. Long miles of pounding the pavement do a number on a runner’s body. Often, we forget to stretch after runs, which results in knots. We found yoga to be our solution to not only stretch, but also get some cross-training workouts into our repertoire.
  8. Have fun!!! That feeling of accomplishment after every run has taught us why we began training in the first place… To have fun and enjoy ourselves. Running is one of our favorite hobbies.


This was Lan’s second marathon and a new PR!  Here she is, a proud finisher, ringing the PR gong.

M Ahmed:  Running my first marathon

There’s something amazing about seeing and living the world through a fresh pair of eyes. Whether it’s a baby mesmerized by the new sounds and colors that come with the rustling of the fall leaves, experiencing excitement and success as you reach your destination without backtracking in New York City, or having a friend witness their first Buckeye game with the infamous dotting of the “I”… Our first experiences always leave a special mark and become our reference point for the future. We sometimes take for granted those “ah-ha” moments and the astonishment that comes with accomplishing a goal as things slowly turn into habit.
It was not too long ago I never thought I could run again let alone a marathon, and I hope I never lose that sense of “so this is what it feels like.” But the process of getting there was something I reflected on throughout the race.
Everyone asked why a marathon, why this race. I definitely had my own personal reasons for starting the marathon. But by the end of the race, I found it to be for something even greater than myself. At one point…I think mile 18, I started thinking…”I really should’ve turned left and finished this race 5 miles ago.” But then somehow I would keep going because at each mile of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon, there would be a picture that was dedicated to another child that was battling the fight against various illnesses. The miracle mile was an emotional stretch being reminded of those that lost their lives to the fight. But seeing the families and how they honored each child, supported each of us runners and stood out in the cold for hours to remind us…it was a humbling experience to say the least. I started the race thinking, “Oh I wish maybe there was a sign someone I knew would be holding for me”, but found an ARMY of supporters cheering all of us to the finish.
I realized this race was about something even greater…I got to run through the most beautiful parts of this city seeing humanity at its finest as the volunteers would help refuel us, the police kept us out of harms way, the Red Cross was there to get us back up and the masses out to leave us candy and motivational posters to read along the way. The camaraderie amongst the runners was truly something to be witnessed. Even leading up to the training, yoga instructors and running enthusiasts were incredibly supportive and willing to help any way they could. It was an event that brought the community and it’s people together to make a positive impact on this world when despite so many times we hear the opposite.
This was one small goal I wanted to accomplish, but with all those that ran, it was a heroic effort to help this world and its people. It’s a beautiful thing to see strangers come together and wanting everyone to reach their goals and support an effort outside their own. . I really learned during this race what it means to live for something greater than myself. And I hope I never forget this feeling.
Whether you’re starting your first 5k walk or training to be an ultrarunner… Sometimes finding a reason greater than our own is all the motivation we need to reach that finish! 🙂
image(2) Mahvish out on the course – working towards finishing her first marathon!
A note from Living Fit Columbus:

Mahvish and Lan are truly an inspiration to not only our fitness/running/yogi-ing group, but to all humans everywhere.  They are two of the most positive, ambitious, motivated women we know, yet remain humble and kind during the process.  We are very proud of their marathon finish and can’t wait to hear more about their FIT adventures in 2015!


Featured Success Story ~ FITness after 50

Emerald City Quarter ~ Peggy's longest run!

Emerald City ~ Peggy’s longest run!

FITness after 50 // April, 2014 // by T Gellenbeck

Featured Cbus-er:  Peggy Bohn

Hometown:  Dublin

Goal accomplished:  To live a healthier lifestyle through good ‘ol diet & exercise

Story:  Peggy, also known as Mom or Gigi around here,  is one of my fitness role models.  At 57 years young, she is still conquering half marathons, countless hours of Insanity, weight lifting and power walking.  Her ‘Power Walk’ pace is faster than some runner’s jogging pace (we’ve actually overheard someone during a race say, ‘Great!  I’m being passed by a walker!’)

About ten years ago, due to the many stresses of work & life, she had gained weight without even realizing it.  Tired, stressed and unhappy with her fitness level, she thought, ‘something must be done!’  She vowed to eat healthier (which meant less cheese!) and make exercising a priority again.

Although her ‘day job’ is a Procurement Specialist (something to do with Supply Chain Management, I think…), her passion is fitness.  She now makes time 4-5 days per week to exercise and with degrees in both Nutrition & Chemistry, knows how to put together a mean, clean grocery list.   This knowledge comes in handy when shopping at Whole Foods for her grandson’s weekly Sunday night healthy dinners!

I can only hope to be this FIT and fabulous when I’m approaching 60. 🙂

Some FIT after 50 tips she has to offer;

  • Learn your limits.  I know I can’t run as fast as some of our running group members 20-30 years younger than me!  And I’m okay with that.
  • Eat your veggies.  I sometimes snack on kale chips and pretend they are potato chips.
  • Drink lots of water (especially if you drink a lot of coffee like I do!)
  • Get plenty of rest.  I try to get 8 hours or more each night.
  • Strength train.  I’ve found the older I get, the harder I have to work at staying in shape.  Building muscle is essential!

Some of her FITness goals;

  • Teach my grandson about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle
  • PR in a quarter marathon or 10K (current PR is 1:18 – 11:58 pace) or a half marathon (current PR is 2:31 – 11:31 pace).  I typically walk/run with no real strategy, but it works for me!
  • Run a Disney half marathon (take a family trip & possibly celebrate my 60th birthday!)
  • Run a race in 10 (or more) states.  So far I’ve done Ohio, California, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Michigan, Indiana.
  • Stay in shape, even if its just walking, until the day I rise up to Heaven (knowing her, she’ll probably continue to exercise there too!)

FITness workouts of choice;

  • Run/walk intervals ~ I don’t ‘like’ running, but I can make myself do it… I much prefer to power walk
  • Walking her Golden Retriever, Tucker
  • Strength training
  • Golfing (no cart, of course)
  • At home videos include Insanity and various Yoga routines
  • Used to love racquetball & scuba diving, although its been a few years
Getting ready for our long run

Getting ready for our long run, Mexico, 2014


Dancing & stretching, Haiti mission trip, 2012

New to running?

New to Running // 2014 // by T Gellenbeck

Featured runner:  Katie ‘Kate’ Shick

Hometown:  Canton, Ohio

Goal accomplished:  To run a 5K

My best friend is a classic example of a ‘non-runner’ turned runner.

When we first met, I’d always try to get her to come on a run with me… she would say ‘I’m not a runner!’ and we would end up walking.  After years of requesting and pressuring her, she FINALLY gave in and started training for her first 5K.  After that, it became a 10K (see photo below).  And now, I THINK I’ve got her on a half-marathon training schedule!  She is fit, FAST and loving running (and the many benefits!)

Canton 10K ~ Katie's first

Canton 10K ~ Katie’s first

I’m a firm believer that if you WANT to be a runner, you CAN.


  1. Make sure you have been fitted properly for the correct shoe.  This is perhaps the most important thing you can do.  A good pair may run you around $100, but it is totally worth it.  Stores around Columbus that are especially helpful include Columbus Running CoFleet Feet and RoadRunner.  All three are good, but RoadRunner has the most in depth fitting process.
  2. START OFF SLOW.  Too much, too soon is where you will run into over-use injuries including shin splints, knee problems, IT band problems, etc.  Find a good training plan that has you increase mileage by no more than 10% per week.  Some people want to come out of the gates full force and run everyday, but unless your body is used to that, I don’t recommend it.
  3. Determine what your motivation for running is (weight loss, overall health, bucket list, etc) and set up some way to keep yourself accountable.  Maybe you need a running buddy or group (check out ours!)  Maybe you just need a training schedule.  Whatever works for YOU, stick to it.  Set yourself up for success!
  4. If you have any health conditions or are pregnant, check with your doctor.  Both my family doctor and my OB were good with me running while pregnant, but my body was already used to it.  A good rule of thumb is to not try anything NEW after you’ve become pregnant (with the exception of walking).

For more information and in depth tips, read this article by ~ there is some very useful information.  We will update the NEW RUNNERS page, so check back for more info.

If you are a veteran, what got you started into running?

If you are new to running, how is it going?  What has helped?

Feel free to leave a comment and/or send any questions our way.  Run on!