Ohio’s Pace Per Mile Report for Week of February 13, 2012

You can also listen to my report on Pace Per Mile, the 1st Place for Endurance Radio HERE.
This is Sara from wordstorunby.com reporting on the Ohio race scene for Pace Per Mile Radio. It may be the season of love with Valentine’s Day literally just around the corner, but this Ohio Reporter is talking Zombies!  
That’s right, Zombies. On October 06, the Zombie Buffet 5Kis coming to none other than Columbus, Ohio. This is a unique road race that puts you right in the middle of a Zombie apocalypse where you will come face to face with the undead in a “run for your life!” Don’t worry, though, if you don’t “use your legs and lose your brains,” or flags, actually, you can still continue on as one of the undead in a race to claim the most flags before finishing. Hurry over to zombiebuffet5k.com for details and alternate locations – registration opens March 5!  
And, while it may not be the Zombie apocalypse, Cincinnati is gearing up for Pigs – Flying Pigs that is. The 14th Annual Flying Pig Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay are taking place on Sunday, May 06. Why a flying pig you ask? In the 1800s when riverboats piled on the Ohio River, Cincinnati was a center of Western commerce. Agriculture was a prime source of revenue in the area and boats filled with livestock would dock in the city to sell their wares. Hogs were a major source of income for farmers and so many were brought in by boat and marched through the streets to be processed it literally became known as a “Porkopolis.” In 1988, when Cincinnati celebrated its Bicentennial, the city decided to renovate its riverfront area to include a “Bicentennial Commons.” The designer created four smokestacks for the city’s riverboat heritage with four flying pigs on top, reflecting the spirits of the pigs who gave their lives so that the city could grow. Today, the “Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon” logo, swag and medals are prized possessions for runners from across the country and globe, so much so that Runner’s World magazine has dubbed it the “best named” marathon in the country. Don’t wait to register to claim your part of Cincinnati history, visit www.flyingpigmarathon.comtoday for complete details. 
Are you still trying to decide if you want to run the Columbus Marathon on October 21? Don’t wait; registration is open and filling up fast! The marathon recently announced the 2012 full-marathon course will include a run through Ohio Stadium. It’s the same flat, fast course our marathoners have come to love, but this year, runners and walkers will enter the stadium from the southeast corner and head down the same ramp that Ohio State football players use to take the field. Then, participants will cross in front of the south stands before exiting the stadium via the southwest ramp that OSU opponents use. There’s no better time than now to be a Buckeye!
Until next time, you can find me at wordstorunby.com to share your race day stories or offer feedback. Thanks for listening to Pace Per Mile Radio and see you at the next mile marker.
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Ohio’s Pace Per Mile Report for Week of January 16, 2012

Ohio State Report for Week of January 16, 2012

You can also listen to my report HERE.

This is Sara from wordstorunby.com reporting on the Ohio race scene for Pace Per Mile Radio. Last week, I was out of town in sunny (and warm!) Orlando, Florida to participate in the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World. The challenge consists of a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. While I did not finish the marathon, this race was an amazing experience. You can read my recap at wordstorunby.com. And, if you are thinking about running a Disney race or any other race in Florida, check out Florida’s Pace Per Mile reporter and author of www.fearlessfood.com Chuck Freerick for the latest information.
Although I am recovering from my 35 mile journey, there is still racing going on in Ohio! Check out the Fantastic Frigid 5K #2 on January 28th at 10:15 in Powell. The race is $10 pre-registration or on race day and is partnered with a free kids race for little ones 8 years old and under. The entire 5k loop course takes place within Concord Park. The vast majority of the course is on a thin crushed gravel trail. A small portion of the race is on grass trail, and pavement is only touched over a couple road crossings. It’s great for spectators. Make sure you dress warm because it is winter in Ohio and this race promises to be a “Chillingly Delightful.” Find out more at www.columbusrunning.com.
In exciting news, The Columbus Marathon and Nationwide Insurance announced Nationwide Children’s Hospital as the title beneficiary for the event. The race has also been given a new name, The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon. Mark your calendars for race day on October 21, 2012. Registration opens for the event this Saturday. As Ohio celebrates it’s Bicentennial this year, the Columbus Marathon continues to make an impact on the community, and to use running and walking to not only make a difference in the lives of the participants’ health, but in the lives of others, too. Visit www.columbusmarathon.comto find out how and to register!   
Stay warm out there! Until next time, you can find me at wordstorunby.com to share your race day stories. Thanks for listening to Pace Per Mile Radio and see you at the next mile marker.
Stay Connected:
Never miss a state report again! FOLLOW Pace Per Mile and Words to Run By on Twitter. Plus, stay up to date on endurance news, giveaways, contests, tips and training advice. Also, LIKE Pace Per Mile and Words to Run By on Facebook.

My 2011 Columbus Marathon Weekend Report!

My weekend began on Friday night after work at the Spirit Award Reception that I was fortunate to attend with nine other well-deserving individuals. I also picked up my race packet, which unfortunately did not include much more than the race shirt, but I was too excited about the reception to care!

I attended the reception with my Dad, my husband Michael, Dave (who nominated me), and his friend Chad. Both Dave and Chad are first-time Marathoners as of this Sunday! Congratulations to you both!
Dave, Me, Michael and my Dad
There were cocktails, o’devours and an inspiring speech from the race director, Darris Blackford and a video about the marathon. The 2011 Nationwide Insurance Columbus Marathon featured a record, sold-out field of 17,000 athletes and after hearing Darris and watching the video, I was really getting excited for the event!
The Spirit Winners were introduced to the crowd, along with a short bio. I also got to meet several of the other winners including Jack McClain, who was leading a family of runners – his son, grandson and granddaughter. This was Jack’s 30th Columbus Marathon this year and he is 90 years old! According to Running USA, only eight other men in the world have ever completed a marathon at 90 years or older. Jack has run more than 45 marathons in several states. I hope to still be here when I am that old, not to mention running marathons! It was a fantastic evening and one that I am proud to have been a part of. 
Me and my Dad with my award.
You may never see me in a skirt again!
My award and purple flowers from the office!

Saturday I spent the day relaxing, getting my gear ready and clothing ready and continuing the battle against the cold that started on Tuesday. I spent the evening napping and was up almost all night Saturday and into Sunday morning with horrible stomach issues. Not how I planned to start my race morning! I knew when alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. after about 1 hour and 45 minutes of sleep that I was in trouble – and my stomach was still cramping.

Still, I was excited for the race and the Lucky 13’s and made it to the MIT meeting spot around 6:00 a.m. fully dressed and having remembered everything I needed. I choked down a banana and some frosted mini-wheats and it hit my stomach like a rock. I knew the race was going to be ugly for me, but not for the rest of the group.

They were all sporting anxious and excited smiles by the time I got there: 

The Lucky 13’s Ready to Race!
Duane, Judi (it was her birthday!) and Me
Me and the Birthday Gal
Me and my sister Mollie.

After a whirlwind of pictures and final preparations, we were off with the rest of MIT to the start line. Believe me; you don’t miss over 700 runners and walkers parading to the staring corrals together – just one of the things I love about training with MIT! The race-day logistics are all pre-planned and all you have to do is show up on time at the meeting spot and follow the crowd! I don’t think I would know how to get to the start of a race on my own! 😉

We made it to the corrals as [mostly] a group. I got separated for a minute – from everyone, which was scary – but we all made it together. Except for Keri, who we couldn’t find, but were screaming for her in a crowd of 17,000 people. It’s no surprise she didn’t find us until we started. The cannon sounded at 7:30, but we actually didn’t start until several minutes later. Until then, it looked something like this:

Ready to run?!
The start of the race went well for me. We set out a little under 13:00 minutes, a relief to me that Judi was successful (I knew she would be!) in not starting out too fast. I knew this race would be tough due to stomach issues already so I slowed down after the first mile to a 13:45 or so. I watched the Lucky 13’s pull out ahead of me and mentally tried to prepare myself for the miles to come.
That looked something like this:

Pretty hot close-up, right? I’m thinking, “Who is that close to me snapping a picture?!” Imagine my complete and utter surprise when this is what I saw:


Yes, folks, that would be our fearless leader running right along side of us, bringing smiles (and maybe tears?!) to young and old alike! It sure put a big smile on my face and reminded me above all else – HAVE FUN! 

Miles 3-6 there’s really not much to tell. I battled stomach issues, stopped to use the Porto-John a couple of times and tried to focus on running from one water stop to the next. I still felt like I had a rock in the pit of my stomach. There was not much I could do about it except try to finish the race, no matter how long it took.
I knew I had to at least make it to Mile 8 where my Dad would be waiting with more fuel. I knew seeing him would give me the motivation I needed to finish.
What I was not expecting was for Keri to find me before I found him. She was also struggling with the dreaded cold and cough and was taking it slow like me. I was beyond thrilled to have one of my best running buddies with me!
Me and Keri coming into Mile 8.
Smiling for Dad!

Seeing my dad gave me the confidence boost I needed. There was no way I wouldn’t meet him at the finish line. Keri and I continued on our way, slowly, but surely. We ran – and walked – most of the miles together, talking and laughing as we went. We also walked right by Jack McClain (90 year-old Spirit Award Winner mentioned above) who shook my hand and told me to keep up the great work. Talk about inspiring! He looked fantastic too. Mr. McClain finished the marathon in 7:12:37. Hats off to you, sir!
The last mile was uphill and very hard. I wanted to stop, but Keri kept me going. I couldn’t imagine going past the finish half turnoff to 26.2. Not today. I wouldn’t have finished without Keri by my side that is for sure.
Here we are coming in for the home stretch:

The finish line shoot and Celebration Village was packed. We got out of the way and made it to the MIT tent where my dad, husband, Mollie, Duane and the rest of the Lucky 13’s were waiting. It was a victorious celebration – swapping race stories, taking pictures, and taking advantage of post-race ice baths and massages (Thank you MIT!). So many of the 13’s PR’d – I have never been more proud of a specific group of runners. Congratulations to each and every one of you!

Me and my sister Mollie at the MIT tent.
Here are two ladies that I spent some time getting to know this season, Kelley and Nita. Both are first-time half marathoners and it was a privilege getting to run with them and watch them grow from week to week. Superb job, ladies! I hope to run with you both again, soon. 
Kelley, Me, Duane and Nita
My results, although my Garmin said differently (about 10 minutes faster!):

Per my Daily Mile recap, which I wrote soon after the event:

This wasn’t the best race for me running-wise, but I had so much fun! Half Marathon #7 done! A little slow and painful due to stomach issues, but I wouldn’t have finished without my Lucky 13’s and the fabulous and funny Keri, who met up with me at about Mile 7 and we finished together!! Thank you to my Dad who was a Mile 8 to cheer us on with water and Gatorade. It was also great to see my husband at the Finish Line – thank you for being there, honey! 🙂

CONGRATULATIONS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO RAN COLUMBUS TODAY! I am so happy and proud of you all and so thankful to have you all in my life. Thank you to everyone who cheered me on, called me name and told me not to give up today. It was a tough race, but I did it and I am happy about that! Another great season of MIT – thank you for all you do to keep us happy, healthy and prepared to run! I’m already looking forward to next season!!

 Until the next mile marker,

Am I Goofy or What? Week #6 Training Recap

This recap is brought to you by…
Our post race photo!    

Yesterday, we ran the Columbus Half Marathon (Don’t worry, a full recap coming soon!). My sister PR’d with a 2:53:50! I am so proud of her! My official time was a 3:31:10, although my Garmin records a 3:19. I heard there may have been some technical difficulties with the timing device, but I am not sure about that. I struggled with some major stomach issues (not to mention fighting an ongoing cold) and had to take time-out to use the restroom more than once – which didn’t prove helpful. Every time I hydrated or fueled, my stomach knotted up causing severe discomfort. So many of the Lucky 13’s PR’d yesterday – which is fantastic! Check out their blogs for the awesome recaps that are being posted.
Mollie and I pre-race. I was already feeling rough, don’t let my smile fool you! 
This one is for you, Sarah. Someone had to do it.


  Am I Goofy or what?! My Weekly Training Recap:
  • TUE 10/11 – Ran for time; 45 minutes at an easy pace, 2.56 miles; 20 minutes strength training with Jillian Michaels Hot Bod in a Box.
  • WED – SAT – Resting due to illness. Ugh.
  • SUN 10/17- Completed my 7th Half Marathon – The Columbus Half Marathon!
My training this week was less than stellar. I should have run on Saturday in preparation for the Goofy, but I basically went on hiatus all week in an effort to avoid a full-blown cold, which pretty much happened anyway, just in time for my 7th Half! So much for Lucky #7! Guess I’ll have to wait for #13 now. 😉 

Did any of you race this weekend? If so, how was it? Did you PR?

Until the next mile marker,

Exciting News – This One’s For You, Mom!

This year, I will be running my third Nationwide Insurance Columbus Half Marathon with MIT, the Lucky 13’s and about 17,000 runners from my hometown and across the globe. For the fifth year in a row, the marathon and half marathon have sold out. Ladies and gentleman, if you haven’t made it to Columbus yet to run this race, what are you waiting for? Get ready to register for 2012 and make your plans now – after all, you already have a tour guide here!

Don’t miss it!

I like this race for several reasons and I will continue running it as long as I can. One of my favorite things about it is that is takes place in a big city, but has a hometown feel to it. And not just because it is my hometown. The streets of Columbus, jam-packed with a flood of runners on race day, are also lined with spectators through some of the most interesting neighborhoods and districts the city has to offer. I definitely do not get bored on this course because there is always something to see on a brilliant tour the best parts of Columbus including Downtown, Bexley, Olde Town East, German Village, Short North, Ohio State, Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, Victorian Village and the Arena District. The course is flat (not to mention fast!) and offers a chance for many runners obtain a PR.

I also like the Columbus Marathon because I don’t feel like I need to be a professional athlete to run it. I feel welcome by the race directors, volunteers and course support stuff, not to mention the entire city. I feel like whether you are the winner of the whole race or the last person to cross the finish line, you are important.

The Columbus Marathon team does a fantastic job of recognizing individuals who are running the race that are not your “typical” athlete, but have overcome sometimes devastating obstacles to be able to participate. Every year, the Nationwide Columbus Marathon recognizes these race participants by presenting them with the Spirit Award.

Per the marathon website, “The Spirit Award honors those people who have not only taken on the challenge of completing a marathon or 1/2 marathon, but who have overcome considerable obstacles while doing so. Throughout the years the marathon has witnessed runners and walkers who train while overcoming major illness or who use the marathon as part of a lifestyle change to accomplish significant weight loss, among other odds.”

Much to my surprise, I was nominated and selected for the Spirit Award by a running friend that I met through Daily Mile not too long ago – Dave.  He said he was touched by my story and what my mother’s passing and suggested that the race directors check out this blog. Dave was given the opportunity to share the news with me first and I couldn’t believe it when he called me – I was completely ecstatic!  I’ve had to keep quiet ever since last week! 🙂

Me & Dave at the Emerald City Quarter in September.

I am completely honored and humbled to be recognized along with nine other Spirit Award recipients who are running in the Columbus Marathon or Half Marathon on October 16th.

Not only am I touched to receive this award, but by the kindness and thoughtfulness Dave has extended to me and my family. You see, I barely knew Dave at all. We communicated mostly via Daily Mile and Twitter, offering support and encouragement to one another as fellow runners. I have only met him once, even though we live in the same area and attend a lot of the same races. Dave is running Columbus – his first full! – and has been battling injuries this training season, which I can relate to. This is exactly why I have come to love and treasure the relationships I have formed in the running community. Dave could have easily nominated himself given his circumstances or any other runner he knows, but he chose me because he wanted more people to know about mine and my mother’s story. For that, I am very grateful to you, Dave and the Columbus Marathon.

Dave said something to me on the phone, when he announced my nomination, that has stuck with me ever since. We were talking about my mother and how much she loved to run and how running brought us closer together as a family. Dave knows I have been struggling with running – and with life in general – these past few months, but has always offered a kind or encouraging word to me, despite his own struggle. Sometimes, it hurts to run because I think about my mother and how much I miss her. I told Dave that she passed away completely happy, doing what she loved – running. Dave said, “You will always have that. No one can take that away from you. Every time you’re running, it is just you and your mom out there together, and you will always have that time with her.” I was in tears, literally, but was trying to keep it together on the phone! It wasn’t until later I realized, Dave is right.

My mother and I will always have running. It brings people together, and she will forever be a part of me, both as a person and as a runner. This one’s for you, Mom.

Until the next mile marker,