Tag Archives: cardio

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.

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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?