Emerald City Half Marathon Recap. My first half marathon! Woo Hoo

As far as training for The Emerald City Half Marathon went it started steady and dwindled quickly. The humidity was pretty strong for my first year as a runner in training. I was really bummed out when I was training for the race. At first I was pretty hard on myself, why was I so much faster in February, March etc. I didn’t take into account the heat/humidity and sweltering sun. Luckily I am a member of the Columbus chapter of Ohio Moms Run This Town (a group of women only runners in C-Bus that run together, share advice, triumphs and tribulations) a few of the ladies had mentioned (right around the time that I was having a self declaration pity party for worlds slowest runner) that the humidity slows everyone down. Phew! Okay I won’t quit 😉

run as if

Life was busy being life and throwing hurdles in my fitness regimen. So I didn’t train nearly as much as I should have. I got a solid 10 miles in before the race, which was the longest mileage that I had achieved prior to the half. I wanted to do better and questioned going through with the half, but I was determined to accomplish my goal. Especially before my baby arrives! My wife Kari is pregnant with our son who is due in mid-October.

I was super thankful to receive this package from Clif Bar to review while training. Thanks Clif for the blogportunity (just made that up), my first gifted blog review! Virgin territories all over the place in this post.

unnamed (14)

The MoJo bars were delicious for a quick snack and flavorful without being too sweet. The protein recovery drink mix was tasty and not chalky like a lot of other unnamed mixes. The orange mango flavor hit the spot! The electrolyte hydration mixes were great too. I like that they are individually wrapped single servings. I normally use Ultima replenisher for my electrolyte fix after a run, but I have a big jug of that so these little on-the-go sizes are fun. I have already been training with Clif Bloks, I can totally feel them enhance my performance. Matter of fact I can’t say enough good things about the Bloks! They have a huge variety of flavors. Some carry a higher dose of caffeine (love) or a higher dose of sodium for the long runs and hot days. I take them mostly at the half way point in any run above 4 miles. It gives me an energy boost to finish strong. For more on Clif products: http://clifbar.com/find-your-favorite

The night before the race I was a bit of a nervous wreck, but my plan was to finish, no PR, no unattainable expectations – just finish. I set up all of my gear, got the directions and was toting a positive attitude. Sleeping the night before a race, well that’s another story. Just sing 99 bottles of beer on the wall that’s all the advice I got for you there 🙂

Morning of, traffic was heavier than I anticipated, which had me freaking a bit. When it was all said and done I had a moment to use the porta pottie and get in line before the gun went off.

The race began, I had my playlist titled Beast Mode (of course) shuffling through what I believe to be the best run-hard hits and I felt good. It was supposed to be dangerously humid but the race gods made an exception for the 12,000 peeps that took part. I wasn’t going too fast and kept in line with the pacers (always thank them and wave) that were set to finish at 2:30. I went strong for 10 miles, the other runners kept me going as well as the gorgeous Dublin scenery. After that I kinda felt like I wanted to chat with someone and little things started to bother me. Prime examples, the chick who’s music was playing out loud for everyone to hear (Back Street Boys, not for running, thanks) and the lady who was sway running in front of me, making it impossible to pass her. The guy who kept spitting with poor aim and the chatty friends who would not let up for air. I lowered my music to see if there was an opportunity to talk with anyone around me but just got bothered by the whole situation. By mile 12 I was tired and a ball of sweaty wet grouchiness. *The last 7 miles or so were through the park trail so there was a lack of visual support, except for the amazing water and Gatorade volunteers (again always thank them).* The last quarter of a mile of the race helped with sign holders and high fivers. I powered through and finished strong.

DSC03390 DSC03389 DSC03387 DSC03384

My mom and wife above  meeting me at the finish line!

Overall I was totally thrilled with the fact that I set out a goal and competed it. The run was beautiful! But I became aware of the fact that I’m a city runner. I prefer tall buildings and large crowds waiving signs and fist pumping, like I experienced when running the Cap City Quarter Marathon.

Is a full marathon next for me? Not just yet, but maybe one day! In the meantime I will continue to run and build stamina and strength as well as improve my speed.

92d0dfe0841cc989516de431b396496b

More race recaps to come in the future.

Advertisements

Cap City Quarter Marathon

OK it’s been an extra busy few weeks and I haven’t posted in oh… Forever! So here goes. I participated in the Cap City Quarter Marathon on May 3rd. Here is my night before attire all set and ready to go!

20140502_225748

It was extra chilly and windy that morning! I DO NOT LIKE THE COLD!

20140503_074530

The race was great, well organized, plenty of port-a-potties (yes that is super important) and lots of water/Gatorade stations. Before this race (at that point my farthest run- 6.25 miles) I thought for a moment, why am I doing this, the training, the nerves, the cost (yes running does end up actually being expensive). I wasn’t sure that I would run for a while after. It was a mentally and emotionally draining. But as soon as I finished, and I mean within minutes… all I could think was, I can’t wait to run a half marathon next. I signed up for a half later that week 🙂 Which I am currently training for.

The race photographers snapped some great pics of me running, I wish the pictures weren’t so expensive, really… $30 for one picture. That’s just not fair! I opted not to buy them, but I really had to dig up the inner frugalness. The bigger part of me just wanted proof that I don’t look as crazy as I think I do when I run!

I decided going into the event that I would use a pacer. Fleet Feet Sports provided them, which was amazing. I participated in a 5k that I started too fast (rookie mistake #1, I know) and ended up with an injury that put me out of running commission for 3 months this past November. So I picked a time that I felt I would be challenged yet comfortable with. It worked out perfectly! I’m glad I didn’t stray from the pack either. I wasn’t all that familiar with a pacer and just did some general research on how the event would work. It’s simple – what’s your reasonable goal to finish the race in, got it, good, now pick that pace and follow the sign. Even better, seasoned runners know pacers are volunteering this effort and have the hard work of actually monitoring our progress to an exact time, so they get lot’s of cheers along the way. Which of course made me feel like I was getting lots of cheers too (put down Rocky pumping fists) 🙂

Pacers rule! Thanks to everyone who has ever contributed, what a great gift. Oh and cheerleaders, sign holders, family and friends, you guys really make things easier. It feels damn good to see someone lending a you can do it smile. Thank you for that!

P.S. Best race sign I saw, one that said WORST PARADE EVER, LOL! 2nd best was this big lightening bolt that said tap here for power, bet your butt I sure did give it a good tap, it totally worked, at least in the moment it did!

 

20140503_084555

When it was all said and done, I was a little shaky and a lot of pumped. The accomplishment really made me thankful for completing a goal. You see, I’ve only been running or a runner in training for about a year. I had set a goal, I want to be a runner. I felt it was a reasonable, attainable goal. I would start small, running a couple of times every week or two to get my body used to it, then I would try a few 5k’s, followed by a quarter marathon, a half than a full. I am more than halfway completed with my goal, and I love running!

Here are my quarter marathon stats! I’m thrilled with the results, not to shabby for a beginner.

20140508_230903  20140503_092930

I’m a big believer in rewards after running mine was obviously this nice ice cold beer! The one that followed the first was also considered a reward 🙂

 

Right now I’ve been focusing on training, the half marathon is in August so I don’t have too long to train. I’m going through some achy knees and calves, I’m also trying to figure out my pace. The recent extreme humidity is making for a trying time with pace, it for sure makes it harder to breathe. The sticky weather is also making my run times significantly longer. Just think about how good I’ll be in October when the chilly air arrives again – daily optimism point… Check!

What’s My Age Again?!..

So last month I was gifted with the BEST Birthday present yet! VIP tickets to the Jillian Michaels Maximize Your Life Tour The event was so much fun and super informative. Yes, as I expected it provided a good amount of information that I already knew, but it also gave me insight on a professional, passionate, hysterical fitness trainer. Jillian spoke about food, health, wellness and of course exercise. The VIP guests got a short and sweet visit with Jillian, we had a few pictures taken and I also got an opportunity to pose with my article in (614) FIT Magazine that I wrote about her fitness DVD Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. If you were wondering, yes, that’s me below being ballsy and flexing in front of Jillian Michaels. I think she’s impressed 😉

jillian michaels 3 jillian michaels 4

DSC02696

One of the tools she shared with us was the importance of learning your BMR aka. basal metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate is the rate at which energy is utilized at complete rest. *Breaking it down* How many calories you can eat without doing a thing other than breathing and watching seasons of Scandal without gaining an ounce. In my case as long as I don’t exceed 1,293 calories me and Olivia Pope can hang out all day guilt-ish free. Here is a BMR calculator http://www.myfitnesspal.com/tools/bmr-calculator

While delving into the world of BMR and learning a bit about calories and energy consumption, or lack there of, I came across a really interesting tool that calculates your fitness age. This fitness calculator comes from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, they are studying the benefits of Cardio Vascular fitness. http://www.ntnu.edu/cerg/vo2max

At one point you will convert your height into centimeters, here is a tool to do so. http://www.manuelsweb.com/ft_in_cm.htm you will also need to measure your waist (1 inch above your belly button) and calculate your resting pulse (just count your beats via wrist or neck for 15 seconds and multiply by 4)

After you answer the info about your body type and activity levels they will ask you a few questions for their study, it is noted that all information provided is confidential. The total calculation from start to finish took about 10 minutes.

Here are my fitness test results

Fitness Age

My fitness age is 21! I answered everything correctly and even took the test again to double check. Wow, not too shabby! I’ll take those results any day! I read their recommendations for fitness and cardio vascular strength after the survey. Their most recommended tool… 4X4 Interval training. Okay! This method is so popular right now, why because it’s FAST… Zoom! Don’t know much about interval training? Here is a quick 4 minute video from the Norwegian University http://www.ntnu.edu/cerg/advice

Go take the test for yourself and leave me a comment with your results! Can’t wait!

How Exciting!!! My Earth Fare Winnings and Trip to Earth Fare-Columbus By: Jenn

As mentioned in a previous post in the beginning of March I participated in the Fight For Air Climb Event to benefit The American Lung Association. I arrived before my scheduled climb time. I always get weary of parking, lines, crowds and want some time to shake off my jitters before every event. While I waited I chatted up a lovely young lady working at the Earth Fare Columbus booth, I even ran into her afterwards and asked her to snap a post climb pic. Thanks BTW 🙂

fightforclimb2

I had no idea what earth Fare was. It turns out it’s a wonderful, environmentally friendly and nutrition oriented store, similar to Whole Foods. They are strict with what they put on their shelves, check out their food philosophy They also support a boot list (items which they no longer deem approved for their customers) a 100 Mile Commitment Stamp (foods purchased within 100 miles of your Earth Fare store) and a Family Producer stamp (shows you what comes from the little guys, come on people – SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY).  There is a location about 12 minutes from my house, not too far and as I would soon find out worth the drive!

earthfare'.png2

While enjoying a complimentary Banana and Clementine from the Earth Fare booth I signed up for their drawing to receive a bag o’ goodies from the store.

YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT… I WON! Super exciting for me, I don’t EVER win these type of things. IT MADE MY DAY!

On my very next day off I headed out to Earth Fare by Polaris in C-Bus. What a beautiful place!

earthfare.png3_.png

***Yes it was of course snowing out that day. Ohio’s Winter has been atrocious!

 

 

 

 

I felt so comfortable upon my arrival, the store was warming and bright. Not in the fluorescent light kind of way but with natural light.

How cute is their monthly calendar that’s displayed when you walk in, showing fun specials and store events!

earthfare'

Ahhhh my favorite area, the packaged dried fruits, nuts and granola.

What yogurt covered anything please!!!!!!!!!!!

earthfare'.png5earthfare'.png4

I spent way too long browsing around the store and discovered what I may consider, until proven otherwise, the best idea yet! A scoop your own ravioli freezer!!! This ice box of cheesy goodness totes ravioli made with no artificial preservatives or bleached flour (would you drink out of a gallon of bleach… no? Then why would you eat food soaked in it?).

earthfare'.png6

Winning the drawing proved profitable for both myself as well as the store, check out some of the items I picked up from them.

earthfare'.png7

I LOVE ULTIMA (the packets above are all natural electrolytes) and always use them at the gym. SnapPea Crisps are my new salty snack of choice! Home-made Brooklyn style spicy pickles (do you guys know I’m from NYC?!… Aayyy Oh) Nature’s Path Blueberry Pop tarts, these are for my beautiful wife, who has a Pop tart fetish but refuses to put the nasty preservatives and fake ingredients in her body (talk about a score on that find). Lastly Energy Chunks – Honey & Pistachio, perfect for after a run!

Here are my winnings! OH HAPPY DAY!

earthfare'.png9

I love the Nature’s Path brand and get all of my cereal from them so that was an awesome prize! I’m hyped for the organic honey which is always so expensive. The veggie chips are crunchy amazing-ness (I’m making up some words here, I know!). The only thing I didn’t care for in this group was the orange cranberry hot quinoa cereal, I LOVE QUINOA, and was really looking forward to my morning treat. I had to toss it unfortunately, it just didn’t mesh with my taste buds.

While I was at the checkout line I picked up a pamphlet on becoming an Earthlete Ambassador. Which is a program where you and your fitness adventures work with Earth Fare and spread the word about their earth friendly store, in return you get a 5% discount and some other pretty cool perks. I’m looking into that and will keep you updated on the progress. If you’re interested in becoming an Earth Fare Ambassador check out their program qualifications here:

http://www.earthfare.com/community/earth-fare-athlete-ambassadors

Lastly I want to mention the prices, I found them to be totally reasonable and not over-priced. I find some establishments feel that just because they are a fancy, shmancy, good for you store that only provides paper bags, that they can charge and arm and organic leg. ***Being a better person and not naming names***

Now don’t mind me, I’m just chomping away on a honey & pistachio energy chunk

earthfare'.png8

Have you ever been to Earth Fare?

What was your experience like?

Fight for Air Climb Event – At the Almighty Rhodes Tower By: Jenn

I passed by a stack of brochures just a couple of months ago with a large hovering tower on the cover and a vibrant red word jumping out at me, CLIMB

Without a second thought I picked up the tri-fold pamphlet, eagerly wondering if this is what I imagined… climb the largest building in Columbus, Ohio. Yes, yes I would certainly LOVE to! That’s right, I’m going vertical!

The Fight For Air Climb works in cahoots with the American Lung Association. A fundraising event dedicated to end lung disease by physically challenging your very own lungs.  The climb fights for those diagnosed with lung disease ( smokers and non-smokers) those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and both infants and adults affected with Asthma.

fight for climb

This event especially hit close to home for me since it has been almost one year to date since my mom has quit smoking. I remember telling her that I was at a point where she had 2 options regarding our relationship. Either she quit smoking or I quit speaking to her. Now believe me this would be no easy task! I love, admire and adore my mother. Which is why it was so very important for me to insure that I take every action I can to keep her around for as long as possible!

March 2013, also the month of my Birthday, she quit! I am so proud of her efforts and impressed with her results! So when this event came along, I immediately thought to myself this can be my thank you! When I told my mom that I would be participating, she wanted to be a part of it too! She volunteered for the event (even more proof on how very awesome my mom is)!

Here we are after the climb!

fightforclimb1                     fightforclimb3

My mom was a climb cheerleader. They had lots of them every few flights, there were cheerleaders encouraging you, playing music, passing out water and letting you know how far along you were in the climb. This was helpful for those of us in the zone!

A few floors past my mom I even ran into a friend that I used to work with. It was great seeing him and I stopped for a quick picture.

1899960_10153903963995713_307089068_n

I wasn’t aware of how hard stair climbing really is. I practiced a little with the climbing machine at the gym. The stair climber however, is no comparison to the real deal! When climbing stairs you reach your anaerobic threshold within seconds. Your heart rate is working at it’s maximum and it gets there quick. I planned on going into the race giving it my all, I did… and it hurt. I was surprised at the instantaneous sting that arose from my burning lungs.

Stair climbing is becoming a popular activity, I noticed my Runners World magazine just released an article about it as well here: http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/why-stair-climbing-is-good-for-runners

This event totally made me appreciate stair climbing and I can’t wait for this horrendous Ohio Winter, (and not so great start to Spring) to let up a little so I can get outdoors for some serious stair climbing! Let me mention I am NOT a fan of cold weather!!!

Learning how climbing helps runners endurance was an added perk. My next goal is to teach my body how to run at a greater endurance level (without feeling like I’m going to die).

At the end of the event fire fighters even went through in full gear including their oxygen tanks and ran the stairs. Wow! Mom and I made sure to stick around and cheer for them when they were through.

My stats for the event were not as great as I imagined, but that just gives me a reason to do it again next year. I finished in 68th place out of 197 participants (firefighters not included). I was the 14th female to finish (proud of that one). I climbed 40 flights or 880 stairs in 9 minutes and 15 seconds. Most importantly however is that I participated and personally raised $150 for a very important charity that will hopefully never effect my family nor friends!

fightforclimb2

For more info on The Fight For The Air Climb click here: http://www.lung.org/pledge-events/oh/columbus-climb-fy14/

The Arnold Classic Experience By: Jenn

Every year in the beginning of March, the largest multi-sport event in the nation is held in my fine city of Columbus, Ohio (614) BABY!

The event, (for the weekend) is home to 18,000 athletes and more than 175,000 fitness enthusiasts! There are 700 booths chock full of protein shakes, energy drinks and fitness gadgets to help every tan, tank wearing, gym loving attendee open their wallet with a smile. I know I did 😉 And if your a fan of a good swag bag, this is where it’s at. Check out all of the goodies I scored

DSC02451

Matt and I headed over to the convention center after the Survival Race. We were a little tired but this event is worth it! It rates 1st place for people watching and if you are interested in learning about the new products emerging in the fitness scene, you will see it here.

We couldn’t help but to stop at the big Arnold cut-out courtesy of Homage and snap a pic.

DSC02398

Speaking of Homage they had one of the hottest booths at The Arnold! Their kitschy tees were loved by all and the booth was swamped! Arnold Classic gear is still available at their website http://www.homage.com/collections/arnold-classic

DSC02407

We got the pleasure to witness a fantastically odd experience, in which very large muscled men tried to get a very heavy weight (at least that’s what I think it was) out of a box. I’m not sure what the the lbs. of the weight was but those boys had a hell of a time trying to grab it! None were successful, at least while we watched.

DSC02417 DSC02420

We got to meet some folks with AMAZING bodies! Talk about a motivating experience!

DSC02433 DSC02440 DSC02441

There were quite a bit of characters as well! Ummmm…

DSC02447

We met Chuck Zito the actor from the HBO series OZ and Sons of Anarchy. He is also a boxer, martial artist, stuntman and a really nice guy!

 DSC02445

Matt and I purchased some clothing from the Monsta booth. We both really like our picks. I have worn my shirt during a few different workouts.. It’s quite comfy and is versatile for everything. http://www.monstaclothing.com/

DSC02436_thumb.jpg

monsta shirt 2

It was a fun action packed day. I left with one of my favorite protein bars to date as well: Clif Builder’s Mint Chocolate Bar. Sooo good! The guys that worked the Clif booth were super nice and we ended up chatting about fitness for a while. I didn’t know there were so many different varieties of Clif Bloks, which is what I use on my long runs. My grocery store only carries 2 varieties, black cherry and strawberry. Both are tasty, but I would love to “spice” it up a bit. I will keep a look out for additional flavors! Any C-Bus residents that may know of a store that carries more options, let a girl know.

clif bar

clif blok

Another fun year at Arnold Classic! Will you be there next year?

White Wine lemon Butter Sauce By: Matt

Spring and summer time is here. That triggers thoughts of fresh fish with a lite touch of a great lemon butter sauce. I’m not talking about that slice of lemon and pad of butter over seared southern flounder or shrimp. When i see that It reminds me of my mom’s lemon butter tilapia. I could hear her saying “Matt look at my fancy fish dish I made.”  With that being said this ain’t your mom’s lemon butter sauce.

Now, Let’s get to it!

ingd lemon butter 231

 

1 ½   cups white wine * Preferably a dry white wine*wpid-IMG_20140323_021941.jpg

2 bay leaves (optional)

8  each whole pepper corns

3 sprigs/steams of fresh thyme

1  each lemon   *Cut in half, squeeze the juice in the pot*

8 cloves garlic *crushed*

1  shallot *rough sliced*wpid-IMG_20140323_114037.jpg

¾ lb. unsalted butter cut into cubed pieces *if it is salted keep that in mind when you add salt TT at the end*

TT kosher salt TT=To Taste

Yields – 1 1/2 cups of sauce

1.  In a small sauce pot add all ingredients except the butter.

2.  Let this simmer on the stove top *medium/high heat* What we are doing here is cooking out alcohol and reducing the wine while still capturing the other flavors of the shallots and garlic, and herbs.

3.  When it is reduces to about 90% *you can see the bottom of the sauce pot*, turn yourwpid-IMG_20140323_113826.jpg stove to low heat

4.  Add the chilled cubed butter a little at a time while whisking vigorously.

*DO NOT STOP WHISKING WHILE ADDING THE BUTTER, OR ELSE YOUR SAUCE WILL BREAK*

Take off the heat when all the butter is incorporated. Add Salt TT, and then strain the sauce. There you have it, your very own White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce. You can hold this on the stove top in a warm spot so your sauce does not turn into a soft butter state.

Enjoy this with anything from Lobster, Sea Bass, Tilapia, to Seared Chicken, or over top of asparagus and Broccolini.

Attention: Did your sauce break? It’s okay, it happens to the best of us.  No worries, it will still be tasty. It may not be visually appealing but don’t worry, try it again.

Trouble shooting:  Make sure the pot is not to hot when adding butter. Make sure you are constantly whisking when adding butter. Make sure you have the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 of an inch.

Keep Cooking!!!