Columbus Nationwide Marathon Recap!

Well. I finished! Injury free! THAT deserves some pizza and wine right there! ;)

I don’t even know where to begin here because my mind is replaying everything from yesterday – and even leading up to it. I was just really more excited about the whole thing, than I was anxious or worried. Because it was time to see my training, hard work, blood, sweat, & tears, pay off. And you guys, the expo is a dangerous place. I’m just sayin’. I could have done a lot of damage, so it’s probably a good thing that The Hus went with me. Otherwise, I would have never felt the glares. But I did score a spibelt and a long sleeve marathon shirt. I love the long sleeve race shirts.

(I had grabbed a band for the 4:45 finish pace group mile times, but I never did see the pace guy.)

First of all, I actually got some sleep the night before, so that alone was a huge race improvement! Usually, i’m practically up all night, tossing and turning, worrying about missing my alarm(s), playing the race out in my head, etc…For some reason, I was actually pretty calm, cool, and collected all week – including the day OF! I guess I just tried to focus on the fact that I trained for this. I was ready. I could do it. My body and mind had been prepped. I knew I could do it. Keeping your mind positive really will get you through the toughest of times I tell ya! :) And because of that, I really never hit the dreaded “wall” – mentally, that is. Or physically for that matter.

But I did hit the “energy wall”. Like, really early. Mile 10. I could just feel my sugar and blood pressure dropping and I started getting that weak, shaky feeling I get before I pass out. I didn’t like it. At least not that early! I just don’t even know what that was about. My 20 mile training run went better than that as far as fueling, so I guess I will still be doing the trial and error thing as far as what works and what doesn’t. I ate my banana around mile 11. Didn’t help. Drank some Nuun. Helped for about 1-2 miles. I don’t even remember when, but I ate some Honey Stingers, kept taking sips of Nuun, and my sugar, blood pressure, whatever, was not improving. Miles 11-19 were REALLY rough, to say the least. Not mentally or physically, but since I was trying to NOT pass out, I had to do a lot of walking…a lot more than I wanted to. And waaaaay earlier than I wanted to. I wanted to at least make it to mile 15 before fueling and walking. Through those miles, I kept thinking about the oranges at mile 19. One of my bible study girls did this race last year (and will hopefully be able to do it with me next year?! ;) ), and said that the oranges at mile 19 had never tasted so good. So I kept looking forward for them. For 9 miles. haha. And as soon as I saw the table at 19, I booked it to the first volunteer with oranges! And I just stood there enjoying every bite.

Let me tell you. Those oranges. They saved my LIFE. They kicked in so fast. Those last miles that I was so worried about? Weren’t anything to be worried about. I did still have to take walk breaks. Mostly because once I start taking walk breaks, that’s when my feet – the ole planter fasciitis – kicks in, so since I had been taking walk breaks for 9 miles already, and my feet were already sore/tender/bruised/dead/falling off, I did still take some walk breaks for the last miles – but not as many. Since my blood pressure/sugar was back up, I was able to push through the pain. Big difference. And my goodness! The pain that ensues your calves around mile 22! Ugh! But again, the aches and pains were much easier to run through than the low BP/sugar! It was just great to never really hit a mental wall!

And those first 13 miles went really fast! When I saw my fam at mile 13, I couldn’t believe I was half done already. And my half marathon time was right on par with my typical half times – 2:15.

I was hoping the fam would be able to catch the shuttle to the ‘shoe (mile 16), but it was too crowded and they would have only had 30 minutes to get there. I tried to video it a little, but it was kinda bouncy for some reason…

Some signs that made me  laugh:

“New Years Resolution – Cheer at a marathon – checkmark box

“You stay classy Columbus. With a picture of Ron Burgundy.”

“Because 26.3 would just be crazy.”

“Short cut here →” And then a man was standing next to that sign, holding another sign that said, “Ask me about my bike rentals”

Oh, my Garmin died at mile 25. Ya. Not cool Garmin. Not cool. Guess it’s only a 5 hour battery and I get punished because it took me 16 extra minutes to finish a marathon.

I really wanted an under 5 hour finish, but I’m still proud of 5:16. Just gives me a new goal for the next one. ;) You can totally tell from my splits where I struggled. But I learned from it!

Things I loved about this race:

~The expo. It’s a runners dream.

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~The start. Exhibit A & B. Self-explanatory:

Just watching those again is making me tear up. Good Lord.

~Columbus support for races is incredible. There were people cheering, bands, etc…the WHOLE time. You have no idea how much that helps!

~All the volunteers. They were great. And to give up their Sunday to pass out water, Gatorade, Gu, oranges…bless them!

~No blisters!

~The medals of course!

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~And Kris at No Limits RunningFinish Line Engravers!

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And just some pics from the day:

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Wounded Soldier…ran with army gear on.

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I see my fam!!! Mile 13!

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Fireman finishing the full in his gear.

Emma, a Nationwide Childrens hospital patient, crossing the finish line with her marathoner dad, Stephen.

(They had Nationwide Children’s Hospital patients at every mile. They sat out there in a tent, with an orange foam hand so WE could all high-five THEM. To say there were no tears involved in seeing those kids would be a lie.)

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The Hus thought this was ME, in black, finishing….

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Nope…THIS is his wife finishing.

And. The End. It’s relax. Hobble around as best as I can. And get a massage today at 5:00. I almost fell over this morning because I practically jumped out of bed, started walking, and then felt the pain and realized I just ran a marathon and my calves & feet aren’t working. Oofos sandals and walking backwards down the steps to save the day! :)

Hope YOU had a great weekend! What did you do?

What is one of your best marathons? Worst marathons?

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The ins and outs of race weekend. Bribery. Pants or no pants?

So I kept getting all these marathon emails this week, but none of them really said what times & days packet pick-up was at the expo. I just kept waiting and thinking, “huh, that’s strange i’m not getting any race info emails”…thank God one of my team leads is running it too, because she came over to me yesterday and was like, “did you see we can reserve & pay for parking now??” Uhhh, nope. No I did not. So she forwards me her marathon email and lo and behold…THERE WAS A LINK to the expo details…in the email we received about, um, a week and a half ago? Clearly I need to get with the times. So ya. I now know when the expo is, AND my parking spot is reserved. If anyone is in my spot Sunday morning at 5:45 am, I’m pushing your vehicle out of that spot with my own 2 bare hands. Well, I’ll be wearing gloves. I don’t need my prints lifted. But I’m not losing THAT $3.55 & gaining stress by having to find a spot!! :)

Anyway, there was actually a LOT of other race info in that link! Who would have thought?! Columbus Marathon, you are so organized and thorough.

 

 

Dear Nikki,

Welcome to the best week of the year – the week of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon!

 

You have all put in a great deal of time and effort to get prepared for this event and no doubt, your journey has motivated those around you. For extra motivation for yourself this week, we encourage you to check out the stories of our 2014 Spirit Award Winners this year we’re honoring 11 people who have overcome incredible obstacles to run or walk on Sunday.
We’re looking forward to seeing all 18,000 of you at the Health & Fitness Expo to pick up your Race Packet. In order to prepare you best for what this weekend holds, we have compiled a Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon Final Instructions Guide here. This PDF has all the information you need for a successful racing experience, but we’ve included the most important points here.

 

Bib Number Assignment

  • Your Bib Number is: 2267
  • Your Corral is: C

 

 

And it goes on…

You know what else they are offering for race day?? I dunno, maybe other marathons are cool like this too, but I think it’s cool that Columbus is doing this…they have free shuttle rides from downtown, to the football stadium (mile 16) so that the spectators can watch their runner run through the ‘Shoe. They will have some of the stands open for seating, concessions there, and then once you watch your runner run through like speedy Gonzalez, you got 9 ‘running miles’ to take that shuttle back downtown for their finish! I expect my Hus, mom, and nephew to be in that stadium! So I SHOULD see them at the half marathon finish line, mile 16 in the ‘Shoe, and then the finish line if all goes as planned for them…<insert the joker laugh>

Columbus also has bicycles that you can rent all over downtown. (This is somewhat new for downtown to cut back on cars, traffic, pollution, ect…) They are pretty cool because you can pick one up somewhere, ride to where you need to go, and they have bike racks all over to park it at. Anyway, they have put together a self-guided bike tour so that spectators can bike to “key spots” along the course and watch your runner along the way. How cool is that?! Since I won’t be able to do these self-guided bike tours ;), from the info, it looks like you bike to a certain location/store, and while you stop there to watch your runner, they will have coffee and a snack for ya too! :)

So now I don’t have to worry about my fam being bored out of their minds for 5 hours. They can bike around town, get some exercise, snacks, caffeine, shuttle to the ‘Shoe, and have a grand ole time! ;)

AND! This is so exciting to me because I remember doing this race 10 years ago, and from like, miles 16-26, it was quiet and dead. It was rough. The hype, music, energy, spectators helps a LOT! And this year, they have 100 bands along the ENTIRE course! ONE HUNDRED!! That’s kinda like a 26.2 mile party. :)

Oh, and I might have attempted to bribe Alexander tonight. Since we all know his love of candy, aka sugar, I took him 2 bags of candy tonight in hopes that he might make strength class tonight a little “marathon friendly”. I mean, not easy, but, ya know, no legs. :) A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. I’ll let you know if my bribe worked about 1:00 tomorrow. That’s typically when the pain hits…

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P.S. Do I want throw-away pants??? I have a throw-away hoodie and gloves, and I’m wearing shorts and compression socks, but at 30 degrees in the morning, standing around waiting, what do YOU do?! This is the first race I’ve done where the weather is iffy like this & super cold in the morning and then it will warm up quite a bit…

Ready or not….2 more days!

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Does any of your family – or friends – go to your races? What do they do while they wait??

Thankfully The Hus got himself a nice little camera so he can pretend he’s a photographer for a few hours. ;)

5 more days and real clothes vs. fake clothes

Oh my gosh. 5 more days. I’m still not sure if I woke up at 4am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep because the race anxiety has kicked in, or if it was just because it got really hot last night…Needless to say, I’m utilizing a glass of wine to knock me out tonight and hopefully keep me knocked out until my alarm goes off at 5:45. Cheers.

You guys. There are 18,000 people running this race. The half and the full have been sold out for months. I looked it up, and back in 2004 when I ran it for the first time, there were like, 4,300 runners! Holy runners! Now I’m just worried about how early we need to get down there.

do at least have my clothes and some stuff put together. I mean, I’ve had my outfit picked out for weeks, but I had a few outfits picked out because I wasn’t sure about the weather. But after seeing what’s it’s supposed to be like this weekend, and hearing about other people’s races lately, I decided on shorts. Long sleeves and shorts. :) I’m just worried about my toes, because they have a tendency to freeze and get numb and I HATE that! I see some jumping around at 6am in my future…

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Anyway, enough about my nightmares.

So on Sunday, I met up with one of my high school friends (we’ve actually known each other for over 20 years), her hubby, our friends Rachel & Don, and another Columbus friend, Hallie. (I say “Columbus friend”, because me and Sarah Lynn – my hs friend – aren’t from The ‘Bus. We just both ended up here a few years ago and made some of the same friends. Although last year, she ended up moving back to where we were from…something about having to live with her new husband or something…?! I dunno.) Anyhow. As we were all getting ready to leave after having lunch, we discussed how we all couldn’t wait to get home and put sweats/yoga pants on, as opposed to “real clothes”, aka jeans. I think it was Rachel who even said, “Hey, my pants that I’m wearing right now aren’t even real pants!” And I said, “My shirt isn’t even a real shirt! It’s actually a workout shirt!”

I mean seriously. I have about 6 pairs of dress pants for work, a couple pairs of jeans, and lots-o workout clothes, yoga pants, running pants, sweats. So if i’m not in work clothes – aka dress pants – and i’m not at church – where we wear jeans – then it’s comfy fake clothes! I will literally get home from running, or the gym, take a shower, then put on clean workout clothes if we have to go out. Who’s with me? Thank God they are making workout clothes look cuter and cuter! And what’s pathetic? I used to be a fashionista! I was all about what was “in” I had to be dressed up all the time! But now, I would seriously shop at a store called “Forever 30’s” if they sold yoga pants and served wine. And I seriously need to buy some jeans and “regular shirts”, but every time I go shopping and decide i’m gonna buy “real clothes”, the workout clothes is always the first thing I walk by and at that point, it’s game over. I don’t even make it to the “real clothes” section. Every. Time. The only time I seem to end up buying “real clothes”, is online…Clearly my fashion sense has gone out the window and I have no idea what’s “in style” anymore. Don’t even ask me to put on a heel, because I think my feet would just kick them off.

Moral of the story: workout clothes, yoga pants, and sweats, are fake clothes. :)

Anyone have a race this weekend? Where??

Do you live in real or fake clothes??

Does your closet consist more of real clothes, or fake clothes??

 

1 week til go time, failure in the kitchen, and making mealtimes special.

At 9:35 this morning, my first thought as I sat down on the couch with coffee in hand was, “OHMYGOSH. At this time next week, I’ll be in, probably, mile 14 or 15″. Last week I was so blah and unmotivated to do ANY type of workout, that I was getting scared about having to run more than 1 mile in 2 weeks. But I kept making myself think positive and to trust in my training. I went out for an 8 mile run yesterday, in the most beautiful fall weather EVA!, and it seriously changed my life. I’m ready now. Bring it on, you little 26.2 miles of easy!

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I met a friend at the water fountain. He just sat there and watched me drink a gallon of water.

 

It’s a little baby spider if you can’t tell…no big.

In other breaking news, I made a new recipe last night. Pumpkin cheesecake bars. Epic failure. They were so bad that even my mom made a face and wouldn’t eat them – that’s saying something because even if something is bad or stale, she will eat it so it doesn’t go to waste. The crust was made out of gingersnaps crushed up, but they got so burned that it smelled & tasted like burnt smores. They were so bad that I deleted the ugly pictures too. So. On to the next new pumpkin recipe today!

So I’ve shared stuff from my gym magazine before, because I love my ‘Experience Life’ magazine from my gym, and the last 2 issues (which I just read this past week) had a couple great articles that I have to share. Growing up, we ate dinner as a family, but we did eat in front of the TV a lot. And to this day, I would still choose to eat dinner on the couch, in front of the TV, if given the choice…but The Hus makes us eat at the dining room table like a civilized family. I mean, we might not act civilized, but at least we are eating at the table like a family…enjoying each other’s company and having conversation. How many families have gotten out of that little piece of “family time” at the end of the day?

Well, in both September & October’s issues of my magazine, there were articles that talked about bringing meaning to mealtime and how to make your perception of your meals, better. In the one article, there was a study that was done, that proved that even the smallest details in your meal preparation and delivery, can make a huge difference in how you perceive the flavors. Things like your silverware, plate color, plate shape, using chopsticks, creating an “ambiance” for your dining room table, etc…little things like these will make you slow down and enjoy your meal better…enjoy the flavors and textures of your meals. Interesting. I know that when I started buying white plates and bowls, I personally felt like the food looked prettier on the white. To me anyhow. I just liked how the white background made the meal like, pop. Call me crazy. But don’t call me late for dinner. ;)

The other article talked about bringing meaning to mealtime by creating a ritual dining space. Clearing the clutter off the table, setting the table formally, lighting candles, dim lights, play some relaxing music softly in the background, put away your phones (I didn’t know you could eat a meal without your phone in your empty hand…) and turn off the TV. These things will help you focus on the meal and enjoying it, instead of thinking about cleaning up or your “to-do list”. Also, pay attention to details and be mindful by showing gratitude, slowing down, use good manners, rest your fork in between bites, sit properly, etc…even if it’s just your little family eating lunch together, these things will help you enjoy your meal better and each other. It will make eating meals a memorable experience that people will look forward to. The other tip they shared, was to share the meal. Instead of serving it buffet style (which is what we always do), do it family style so that people have to help each other and connect more. And don’t let the conversation be negative!

So there. We may sit at the table and at least eat dinner together every night, but we could definitely incorporate a few more of these to make it even more special and meaningful! So let me know if you do any of these things!

And on that note, I have to go get myself cleaned up so that I can meet up with some long lost friends for a mexican lunch! :)

Have a great Sunday!

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What are some of your kitchen failures?

Do you eat meals as a family or in front of the TV??

Taking the “taper” seriously, and a workout for this coming Sunday.

Tapering. I’ve taken “tapering” to a whole new level. By “whole new level”, I mean I ran my scheduled 12 miles last Saturday, and have not worked out since. I mean, nothing. Nada. Not even a cross training workout…

Taper

 

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Now, MondayI didn’t feel like working out and going to strength class, but since I need more strength in my life, I decided to push my laziness aside and go to strength class. However, on our way to the gym, my brake line broke on my car, and I ended up broken down in the gas station parking lot. Right next to the gym. Why couldn’t I have broken down in the gym parking lot?! Oh well. The Hus came to the rescue. The tow truck came to the rescue. And we made it home safe and sound. AND! I still looked good when I got home! Not the drowned rat I typically look like! :)

Anyhow. Tuesday. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to anything this day because my furkid had a doctor’s appointment at 5:30. Which meant I would have to leave my house at like 4:45 to make it through the traffic. So that was my night. Dealing with a stressed out kid after her vet appointment. I think she recovered nicely though. :)

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Wednesday. Well. Technically, I could have done a little run this day…But, well, I didn’t feel like it. There. I said it. And so I got sucked in to catching up on Season 6 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. P.S. I miss Kathie, Caroline, and Jacqueline. Although the twins are slowly growing on me, I miss the “real, down to earth, honest, girls”.

Aaaaaand this brings us to today. Thursday. I MADE IT TO THE GYM!!! YAAAAY! Strength class. And I will definitely be feeling this workout for the next couple of days! My muscles were on FIRE!

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And this brings me to some exciting news. The Walking Dead is back this Sunday! Yay! And I found this workout on Pinterest that I thought would be great to share. Your welcome. :)

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You can find the source here at Back On Pointe.

And HEY! HAVE A GREAT FRIDAY TOMORROW!!!!! :) I’ve gotta get back to what I’ve been keeping busy doing lately, so ciao!

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Do you watch TWD?

Do you enjoy “the taper” or do you just end up going stir crazy??