Tag Archives: cardio workout

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.

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!