Category Archives: Fitness

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!

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

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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!

 

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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.

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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 😉

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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

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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!

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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

What’s Black & Blue and Cold All Over?… I am, after the Survival Race

Obstacle courses are scattered all over my Facebook and twitter portals now-a-days. They differ in event type, fund raiser or charity and don’t forget good old fashion sportsmanship and competition. Last year Matt and I decided to compete in the 1st Annual Survival Race, a 5k obstacle course. It was fun and we did well! It was about 40 degrees in 2013 and just plain cold, the ground was hard and no amount of hopping aka dynamic stretching warmed you up. When it was all said and done though we had a blast and were both proud of our performance.

DSC01236So of course the second I found out race registration had begun for this year I immediately signed up! What I like about The Survival Race is that with your entrance fee you receive admission to The Arnold Classic Event at the Convention Center that weekend. You also get a kick ass race shirt, P.S. don’t even try to be cool and act like you don’t LOVE a good race shirt, even if the only people who ever see it is you, your dog and the self checkout attendant at the grocery store. The race also gives you something to train for during the gloomy months succeeding the worn off Christmas cheer. If it wasn’t for the fear of getting my butt handed to me during the obstacle course I may have been totally content creating the ultimate Netflix hibernation list while dwindling down my collection of left over stocking stuffer candy. It doesn’t hurt that both last year and this year Matt and I both had Arnold Schwarzenegger just feet (this year inches) away from us. It’s especially awesome because he bears a pretty similar resemblance to our dad who doesn’t live nearby and we don’t see often. This year Arnold introduced our race wave so we got to high five him as we passed the staring line, no lie, it was COOL!

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I jumped in to video record Arnold via my cell phone right before the race and Matt got a nice close up with him directly behind us. Matt’s showing off his I’ll Be Back, face!

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This course was demanding to say the least, the obstacles were tougher than last year, and it was considerably colder. The temperature read 28 degrees for our race time, Arnold was running late and the crowd was substantially larger. But eventually the horn blew and we were off! The best part of the race was the start where we got to run through Columbus Crew Soccer Stadium. It was beyond a moment of awe to have little ole you running through a huge empty stadium (insert Rocky music and roar). When we arrived at the beginning of the actual obstacles there was quite a bit of crowding. You just can’t go any faster than the swarm of people waiting for their chance to crawl through a tube. Lesson learned, next year pick a wave time that doesn’t start with a famous person doling out high fives. Speaking of tubes there were plenty of them, tubes to jump over of all sizes, one obstacle involved a large hurdle neither Matt nor myself could clear. The ego bruise didn’t sting as badly since we didn’t witness any other fellow racers defeat the beast. the hurdle

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Obstacles also consisted of cargo nets, sand bag carrying, rope climbing,  rope swinging, rock wall climbing and let me also mention the ice pond that became an obstacle to slide across, thanks to the collaboration of Mother Nature and the Midwest.

To be honest, I was a bit of a nervous wreck before the race, I was sweaty yet freezing, my heart rapidly thumping, adrenalin was free flowing and every single sensory nerve was heightened like little static-y arm hairs. I have a fear that I will fail or that I will get hurt. I know I will give it my all but will that be enough?

After the race was over and every fearling subsided I really had a chance to realize how amazing of an experience I had. I thought to myself, let me ask others what they did that Saturday March 1st. Many wouldn’t say they conquered an obstacle course in below freezing temperatures and did it well, I can say I did that! The Survival Race was a great event, well managed and all around motivating. If you can bear the temperatures I would highly recommend doing it, you just need some mind over frozen matter. I can’t wait to give it my all again next year. I mean think about it, even if it is just an obstacle course… it’s no longer an obstacle for me.

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For more info on The Survival Race and where it’s held click below!
http://thesurvivalrace.com/

Do you have any obstacle courses you love, please share with us!

Spinning Q & A with Instructor Lisa Paquette – By: Jenn

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Matt and I with Spin Instructor Lisa Paquette

Lisa’s music selection was fun and her vibe was upbeat without being pushy. Check out her class at CSC on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at noon. http://www.columbussportsconnection.com/group_fitness_2.shtml

FFF – The spin class was great, tell us a little about your background with spinning.

Lisa -Glad to know that you enjoyed the class.  Thanks for coming in! I’ve been Spinning for about 14 years now, and I still love it.  I love putting together the music and the road, and getting feedback from my classes about it all.

FFF – What are the benefits of spin class?

Lisa – Spinning is designed as a cardio workout (gets your heart rate up!) to help achieve or maintain full body fitness.  It’s also great as a cross training workout for runners, or just as an indoor alternative for outdoor cyclists.

FFF – As a Spiginner, how can you get the most out of a spinning workout?

Lisa – To get the most out of Spinning class, it’s important to relax and have fun.  Do what you can, but don’t expect to do everything that the Spinning regular on the bike next to you is doing.  It takes a while to get used to the bike, to the format of the class, and to the variety of movements that are included in a class.  Give yourself time to learn and enjoy.

FFF – What are some first-timer mistakes?

Lisa – I’ve seen first-timers that push to try and do everything, and then end up not liking the class (because they think it was too hard), or they end up straining muscles they didn’t realize they were using.  Or, they don’t use any resistance during their ride, and feel out of control.

FFF – Tell us a little about form/posture?

Lisa – The bikes are designed so they can be set up most efficiently for the largest variety of body types.  Your weight should be centered over the main frame of the bike, with the seat at a height so that your knees are slightly bent when your feet are on the pedals, so that you can easily and comfortably reach the handlebars without straining your back or being so close that there’s no room for your knees!  Once on the bike, relax your shoulders, bend your elbows and make the upper body engaged but easy – that’s the only way to be able to breathe!  If you lock your elbows and close out your upper body, it’s really difficult to find the necessary breath.

FFF – We sure got sweaty in there! Any clothing recommendations?

Lisa – If you’re going to stick with Spinning for the long haul, I recommend purchasing cycling shorts (to pad the bottom) and possibly even cycling shoes.  Otherwise, keep it simple.  A t-shirt and shorts are adequate.

FFF – Lastly, how many times per week would you suggest spinning, and what workouts do you think would benefit spiginners on their off days?

Lisa – I would suggest Spinning 2-3 times per week.  More if your schedule (and body) allow.  It’s your cardio… use it as an alternative to running (outdoors or treadmill) or elliptical, and it can be done on the same day or opposing days to strength training.  Just be sure to stay and enjoy the stretch at the end of class!

Thanks Lisa!

Like Lisa on Facebook! www.facebook.com/lisa.paquette1

Are you a Spiginner?

Do you have a favorite spin instructor or gym for spinning, share it!

Spiginner – Entering the realm of spinning – By: Jenn

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Not often, but every once in a while Matt and I share the same day off, and if neither of us have any particular obligations, (also a rarity) we see if we can do something together, workout, go to lunch, etc. Matt has been talking a lot recently about going to the gym after work and biking. So I enthusiastically made a small, yet ambitious plea for a buddy to go to a spinning class with. I have been to a spinning a total of 4 times over the past 6 months and have LOVED it! I thought it would be a gratifying challenge for Matt. Plus it’s always fun to have someone around for workout classes that you can chat with after about how it rocked and share sore muscle stories the next day. They do not offer spinning at my gym, but a gym close by does so the plan was made, meet tomorrow at noon.

Cutting it extra close to start time, we arrive at Columbus Sports Connection for our class. They offer day passes where you can take a class and/or use the facility for $10, a fee I feel is totally fair to get nice and sweaty in a really clean, well organized, professional environment. I really like this gym a lot, and their white glove tested cleanliness makes this facility most likely the next location I will be purchasing a membership from when my current contract runs out. Check it out here: http://www.columbussportsconnection.com/index.shtml

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The spinning class takes place in a dark room lit by black lights, it’s cool, but not cold and full of determined faces. Everyones legs are moving in a freestyle form awaiting the instructors arrival. I make sure the bike is at the appropriate height for me from the knowledge instilled during my first spin class, I pass the same info off to Matt and seconds later we are about to begin.

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Lights low, music up and go! The vibe is good, everyone is anticipating the workout. The class ranges in age from young 20’s to late 50’s. Some riders have clip in cycling shoes, some are rocking Nike’s that when the black light hits, the swoosh turns the sweetest neon pinkish/orange EVER… ahem… We start our warm up by getting comfortable and figuring out our resistance via large red knob in the center of the bike, this circle of pain (exaggeration queen) can take you anywhere from a nice bike ride in a freshly black topped driveway to a cringe worthy climb up a sand laden hill. However, with spin class, you get to determine your destiny and make your very own workout. All with help from the instructor of course, who tends to double as a bit of a destination storyteller. Each instructor differs in style, out of 5 classes I have had 4 different instructors, the music varies with each trainer’s personal preference, which is lively and totally motivating. Instructors give a description of what’s coming up, such as climbs, counts and positions. There are 3 positions with spin, and a few specific forms. If you want a diagram as well as the core movements of spin this will help http://www.spinning.com/file/download/tinymce_file_browser/79/Core_Movements.pdf  Don’t feel intimidated, spinning can range from a beginner’s low impact workout to a real heart in your throat ordeal, but the best part about it is you make it what it is.

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The experience  for me was another incredible workout. I thoroughly enjoy the music, lights and copious amounts of sweat that I produce. I frequently wage a battle with myself to try and push  harder than before, while safely experimenting with my fitness strengths and limits. Matt agreed that the workout was intense and we were both sweaty and red faced at classes end. Matt learned a little bit about strap tightening, as he was having some foot pain when doing the standing forms. We spoke with our instructor Lisa after class, who informed him that he probably strapped his shoes in the pedals harnesses too tight, lesson learned the hard way. We hit up the gym since the day pass includes its use, worked on abs for a bit and called it quits soon after. The next day we were both groaning about our sore legs, in a proud way though and Matt is down for another class soon, especially for a great cardio workout in the chilly months. Our spin session lasted about 50 minutes and my polar heart rate monitor http://www.polar.com/us-en/products/improve_fitness/fitness_crosstraining/FT40 clocked my calories burned at 453, not too shabby at all. Matt and I introduced ourselves to our instructor, Lisa Paquette after class and got her professional advice and knowledge regarding spinning. Check out our Q & A with Lisa here: https://fitforafoodie.com/2014/02/26/spinning-q-a-with-instructor-lisa-paquette/

P.S I Love this Shirt! (click on pic to buy)

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Have you ever been to a spin class?

What did you think?