Training for the Columbus Half Marathon: I’m Ready

The Columbus Marathon is in six days. I will run the Columbus Half Marathon in six days, having just completed my 15th week of training.

Training for the Columbus Half Marathon

Well. This is it.

Minus two three mile runs this week and a 15 minute shakeout run early Saturday morning, my training is over. I was feeling kind of awful about my pace on my weekday runs this week, which is not smart. I hate when I get lost in unnecessary comparison over time and pace and all that junk. I started doubting my ability to gain a PR at this race… again. I started looking too deeply at running bloggers’ paces. I started looking back at my husband’s paces during his training season, and I wanted to give up.

Then I hit just over four miles on my run yesterday, about to run back up the hill, and RunKeeper told me my average pace was 8:58.


I’m sorry. WHUT?

By the time I got back up the hill and then up the hill into my neighborhood, my pace dropped a little because I live in all the hills. But I ended with a 9:02 pace for five miles, thus running my fastest five miler ever and my fastest 4-6 miler ever.

Fastest Five Miler Ever

Okay. Fine. I’m ready.

I’ve run all the miles. I got up and ran at stupid early times. I ran with a full belly here and there as I couldn’t squeeze in a run until after dinner. I ran in rain. I rain in between hail. I didn’t run in lightning because I don’t run in lightning. I ran up hills and down. I ran and ran and ran and ran and ran.

Up Hills and Down

I’m ready.

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday, run 53: 4.00 miles, 39:13, 9:48/pace
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday, run 54: 4.01 miles, 41:32, 10:21/pace
Saturday: Rest Day (but walked all over The Farm)
Sunday, run 55: 5.01 miles, 45:11, 9:02/pace

And More Up

As I said, I only have two three milers and one 15 minute shakeout run this week. And then, you know, that whole 13.1 thing. No Big Deal. Actually, over dinner last night, LittleBrother asked again how many miles are in a half marathon. I told him. He replied, “Oh, thirteen is nothing for you.” I love my kids. They believe I can do anything. I’m kind of chomping at the bit to run a little more, but I won’t. This fall weather makes me want to go run all the miles, but that will just have to wait.

In Rain!

TO TRACK ME VIA TEXT ON RACE DAY, VISIT THIS LINK. Either enter my name OR my bib number, 14214, and follow directions. OR! Simply text COL to 48307 and follow the prompts. It will ask you to enter my bib number.

TO TRACK MY HUSBAND ON RACE DAY, DO THE SAME THING. But his bib number is 14215. BECAUSE WE’RE ADORABLE. I can’t wait to take a picture of us wearing our bib numbers. I CAN’T WAIT!

I’ve also set up my Twitter and Facebook feed to post my times at the start, 10K, and finish. Sometimes those don’t work like they’re supposed to, so the text messages might be best if you’re super set on tracking me. There’s no trackable map (to fail) at this race, so you’ll just have to believe that I’m keeping on even when you can’t follow my dot.

If you’re coming to Columbus on race day, let me know. I can’t guarantee I’ll find you in the mess afterward, but if you let me know where you’re cheering along the course, I’ll try to keep an eye out for you. Of note: I saw no one during mile 12 last year, not even my loud mouth Dad as I was so intent on just getting to the finish. (Which is why I’m glad the Angel Mile is now at Mile 11.)

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be wearing this, plus a white hat because I somehow became a hat wearing runner this summer:

I'll Be Wearing This, Plus a White Hat
Shoes: Mizuno Wave Sayonara | Shorts, Tank, Bra, and not-pictured-hat: Fabletics | Arm Warmers: Oiselle | Earbuds: Skullcandy | Fuel Belt: FuelBelt | Arm Band: Tune Belt | Hoodie: A friend

The hoodie will be tossed shortly after we start as the Columbus Marathon takes all tossed clothing and donates it to Goodwill in Columbus. The arm warmers will probably come off somewhere before mile 8, and tucked around my Fuel Belt. I debated on wearing capris versus shorts for a really long time. I was too hot in capris and a tank yesterday when it was in the 50s and sprinkling. I wore a skirt and long sleeves last year and was too hot—and the race started in the lower 30s. Race Day low this year is looking like a low of 43, a high of 59, and mostly sunny. So, nope. No capris. I’ll be lucky if I don’t overheat!

And PS: For everyone who makes fun of me and my love of cold running, the new Runner’s World shows that optimal marathon racing temperature is 38.9 degrees. SO THERE!

Okay, maybe I’m not an elite. BUT MAYBE I COULD BE. Maybe not.

I digress.

The boys will be traipsing around with my parents and my mother- and sister-in-law. We’re leaving town pretty much right after the race in hopes of grabbing lunch and getting the boys to their afternoon soccer game on time. If we don’t make it for that, it’s not the end of the world, but as they both have the late game that day, we figured we’d give it our best.

And that’s everything for now. Here’s to the last week, week 16, of training. See you on the race course in six days!


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Sunday Links, October 12, 2014

This Week

I subscribed to eight new blogs this week, some of which are newer bloggers in general. They have a zest for blogging that some of us “older” bloggers lost somewhere along the way. I think I’ll be looking for some new ones this week. Meanwhile, here’s some great stuff I read this week. Check it out.

4 Mistakes I Was Making on My About Page (and How to Fix Them): Reading this inspired me to fix my About page. I mean, I still haven’t done it, but I’m inspired.

When a Joke Isn’t Funny: Bomb Threat Causes Panic in Newtown: I can’t imagine the fear; I don’t want to ever have to. Read it and then think about why this post even needs to exist. Think.

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up: Oh, hmm. What would I do? I’d probably write. And eat more butter.

I’m Not Impressed: A) I discovered this blog this week through random clicking on the Internet, one of my favorite things to do. I ended up first on this post, which spoke to me enough to click through and read all the things. B) The “I’m Not Impressed” post should be required reading for humanity. Because yes. C) The author of the blog, Carrie Hilgert, is also an extraordinary artist selling things on Etsy and amazing photographer. Basically, I’m telling you to check out this woman. I think she’s pretty awesome and I don’t even know her. Yet.

Can Christians Support Brittany Maynard’s Decision?: Oh man. When I read the piece this piece is referencing earlier this week, it didn’t sit quite right but I couldn’t put words as to why. This writer does, and I am thankful for the graceful, loving way she goes about saying it. I’m not always the most graceful, you know?

Breastfeeding and the Eucharist: Yep. I maybe sniffled near the end, because wow, what an amazing point, beautiful piece of writing, and OMG, RIGHT?!

The Dead Ball Century: Two things. A) I love baseball, so saying it’s dying makes me laugh. I mean, I’m a Pittsburgh Pirates fan and have been since birth. There was a 19 year streak in which it felt like baseball was dying or should be dying or OMG WHY CAN’T WE WIN. But it didn’t die. B) See? Everyone always says everything is dying. So the next time someone says blogging is dying, say, “When baseball dies, blogging can start to feel nervous.”

The Tunnel: Oh hey, this is so about my work at home experience… minus the fact that I only have a few local friends who save me and not a large group of people here and there and everywhere. Which is my fault because I don’t let anyone in, but still.

Snowfall, and the Silence of Pregnancy: This is a piece of mine published on Brain, Child Magazine this week. You guys. It’s a rework (and rework and work and rework) of a piece I wrote a while back on Chronicles. I love the title the editor gave it, and I love that I put myself back out there with an adoption piece.

Did you read something great this week? Did you write something great this week? I’d love to read it.


Friday Five: Running Things I Currently Love or Lust After

Last week I shared fall things I love. This week, one week away from the Columbus Half Marathon, I’m sharing some running things I’m either currently loving/using or busy lusting after for various reasons. I love running gear and running things. I could have made this list really long.

1. Columbus Marathon Personalized Print.

JHill Design Columbus Marathon Print

I was going to place my order for this JHill Design Columbus Marathon print, but I’ll wait until after the race so I can put my time on the piece. She’s also working on one for Pittsburgh in the spring (YES!). If you check out her site, she has a number of great marathons, including this weekend’s Chicago Marathon. If you have a marathon runner in your life or you just want to commemorate your own run, this would be a great gift for them/for yourself. I can’t wait to hang one in my office!

2. Mizuno Wave Sayonara.

Wave Sayonara

I switched Mizuno shoes. Mizuno has always been the best for my feet as their arch support matches my ridiculously high arches and their narrower toe box means a less sloppy fit than other brands. Also, they’re so lightweight. When I put on other brands, I’m shocked at how heavy and clompy they are. Previously, I had been running in the Wave Rider because they felt fine. The Wave Rider 17 made some changes to the toe that I didn’t quite like, but they still worked. I stocked up on 16s for awhile and hoped for something better in the 18. But then I discovered the Wave Sayonara. YOU GUYS. It’s so lightweight. It hits my arch so perfectly. It holds my foot so it doesn’t roll all over the place. I love, love, love them. I stocked up on this past year’s release in both of these amazing colors, and I’m waiting for the price to drop a little on the Wave Sayonara II because, OMG LOOK AT IT YOU GUYS.

Wave Sayonara II

Tell me that shoe doesn’t SCREAM Jenna right in your FACE. I’m hoping the changes in the 2 will keep my feet happy. But I have two more pair of 1s to get through first! (I strongly recommend stocking up when you find a shoe that fits your foot. Always.)

3. Skullcandy Earbuds.

Skullcandy Earbuds

Remember when I told you about my Skullcandy earbuds? Well, I’m still in love with them. In fact, I buy them for everyone who starts running. I just replaced my pair, giving my old, still-working ones to LittleBrother who had a pair of cheapies that refused to not break. My old ones still work just fine, but I wanted the updated Mic 3 on the newer version. Why? These suckers are also great for conference calls. I can’t hear a thing when my kids come in the office and I have both buds in as they’re noise cancelling. That means I can get through a conference call while they’re roughhousing elsewhere in the house and not be disturbed. BONUS! Now that they offer a Mic 3, I can pause, skip songs, and adjust volume while running, answer calls and adjust volume while using them with my phone. Love, love, love.

4. Fabletics.


Ain’t gonna lie, that’s an affiliate link, but I’d tell you to buy some even if I didn’t get anything out of it. Here’s why: OMG THE BEST QUALITY EVER OMG. The running tights, the capris, the tanks, the shirts, the everything: so amazing. I’ve found pieces that work amazing for running: The Syndey, Nadi, and Salar Leggings for winter running. The Suva Run Short (I or II) and the Suki Short for summer running. The Yalu Jacket for running in wind or rain. The Rio Run and Lima Capris and for transition season running. The Versatile Cap (it has a pocket) to keep the sun/wind/rain out of your eyes. The NEW Fleece Tech Glove as it’s a breathable glove WITH tech fingers. And as far as bras go, nothing has ever come close to the Koia Sports Bra for running, though the Ayni comes close. ALL of their tanks are fine for running; no rubbing or bad seams. I have many other pieces that are either better for yoga or low impact (none of their other bras work for my bosom and running), but all mentioned are my go-to pieces for running. The above pictured outfit is the one I bought this month. I’m gonna rock those leggings all winter.

5. Body Glide.

Body Glide

No other “anti-chafe” “chub rub” stick/cream/ointment will do. I believe quite strongly that generics are okay except for Cheerios, Cream Cheese, and Body Glide. (Also, Amish butter is the best better.) Don’t risk it. Stick with Body Glide brand. They recently updated their packaging and they look all 21st century fancy. Good job, Body Glide. Thanks for protecting my thighs, and, with your liquified powder, my husband’s nipples. YOU WIN.


What do you love for running right now? Anything I should check out at the Columbus Marathon Expo next weekend?


They’ll Know, Right?

Throwing Apples, As You Do

I’ve been thinking a lot about parenting.

I’ve been thinking a lot about raising the two children under my own roof to adulthood and what all that means. The steps to take, the words to choose, the lessons to impart. And while I’ve managed to get them to nearly seven- and nine-years-old relatively unscathed, I’m looking forward at the long journey still ahead of us and thinking, “This is too much. This is too hard. I’m going to screw this up.”

Maybe it’s because I arrive at the boys’ elementary school in the afternoon, park my car, and watch the middle school kids trickle down the hill. They’re awesome and awkward all in the same breath. I see myself in some of the girls, their long hair obstructing their view and their back-in-style knock-off Doc Martens clomping down the sidewalk. I smile and think of how awful middle school was; how I survived despite being myself.

But it’s the boys that catch me most off guard. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, puberty doing what puberty does—wreaking havoc, causing confusion and delay. I try to guess their ages, guess anything about them: what they like to do, who they might be, how they treat others. I see them interact with one another, talking with their hands and waving goodbye as they separate at the bottom of the hill. I see them talking on their phones and wonder who in their life is so important that it warrants a call before three o’clock in the afternoon; I silently hope it’s their moms.

I look at them and can’t quite fathom BigBrother being one of these kids in three years, of LittleBrother following two years behind.

All of my friends with tweens and teens parent girls, not boys. I don’t quite know what to expect or whether BigBrother will eventually stop talking (though this is very, very hard to imagine) or if I will become Enemy Number One like some mothers and daughters. Do I get to remain their favorite for awhile? Will they become sullen and silent, like we’re told boys become, or will they remain themselves as I know them now, chatty and full of exuberance for all things, everyday? Will they hate spending time with me, with us? Will they hole up in their rooms? Will they get mouthy and full of attitude like I did, or will they just shrug and walk away?

Those currently unanswerable questions aside, I just don’t understand how I’m supposed to teach them everything they’re supposed to learn, how I’m in charge of this Very Big Job. I don’t feel qualified. In fact, most days when I’m trying to manage the load of life in general, I feel vastly underqualified for the job of raising capable adults. When I get frustrated and raise my voice, when my ears get tired from the constant talking, when I can’t think of one more answer to one more question, when I just want five minutes to myself.

I worry a lot about the mistakes, those moments when I don’t say what I need to say or say something completely wrong or, maybe worse, don’t say anything at all. Will that be the moment that they remember? Will that be the moment that outshines all others? Will they forget the good things in place of all of my many faults? Will they know, without a doubt, that they are not only loved but liked? Will they know that I don’t just love them because I’m required to love them as their parent, that I really, truly like them for who they are? Will they know it’s okay to make mistakes and tell us about them?

Why yes, my anxious brain is doing a lot of over-thinking on this subject! How did you know?

I logically know this line of thinking isn’t productive, it doesn’t solve problems or answer questions. Logic and anxiety and wanting the best for your kids don’t always go together, don’t always play by the rules. I’m just overcome as of late with the weight of it all. More than fearing a random virus or accident or anything else, I fear that they won’t know how much I love them, how I’d move mountains every single day to ensure they knew my love. I’m afraid I’m already mucking it up.

I hope they know now, that they know later. They know, right? They’ll remember, right? Of course. Sure. Right.


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