Tag Archives: athlete

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 😉

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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.

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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.

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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.

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More race recaps to come in the future.

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!

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 🙂

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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!

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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!

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***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!

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

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

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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?).

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

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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!

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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

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Have you ever been to Earth Fare?

What was your experience like?

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!