Tag Archives: Runner

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!

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/