Columbus Marathon (Half) Pre-Race Thoughts and Expo

Wow, I’m very behind on the blogging/social media scene. I’ve been in Ohio with my in-laws doing some fun family/friend stuff, and just arrived at my parents’ for some more fun family stuff (including babysitting my sweet little niece!) so life has taken precedence over all online activity. Today I have a little bit of time so HELLO! I’m back! Time to talk about the lead-up to my weekend race.

toddlers at zoo

My daughter and little niece having fun at the zoo yesterday.

The Columbus Marathon is my favorite race. I had my PR marathon there, and I had my biggest blow-up marathon there – still loved the race afterward. This year I decided to run the half marathon for the first time.

Columbus Marathon post race

Post race last year, 2011, my blowup race! Enjoying the after party with little bro Jason (who won the half) and Currie.

I approached this race as a “training run”. This initially felt very hypocritical to me because one of my pet peeves has always been when runners say “I’m not racing it, just using it as a workout.” I always think, “why wouldn’t you just run your hardest?!” I’m starting to realize there are major benefits to running hard, but not your hardest, with thousands of other people (in my case, 18,000 others).

The main reason I decided to do Columbus as a training run is quite frankly, I’m not in peak shape right now. I’m not in contention for money making. What I really need are some good solid workouts that make me feel confident about the rest of my racing for 2012. I need to work on a few aspects of racing, one being marathon fueling, pacing, working out stomach issues. I need to get a few long, fast runs completed. What better way to accomplish everything than in a race atmosphere?

Saturday pre-race:

I didn’t taper do a real taper for this race. I did a one-day-taper, meaning I ran regular mileage* all week until the day before when I ran 3 miles.

farm lane

3 mile pre-race started from my in-laws’ farm lane.

I have the asterisk after regular mileage above because there has been nothing regular about my miles lately thanks to crazy life. My mileage for the past 4 weeks went like this:

  • 40 miles: no workouts
  • 30 miles: no workouts – bad “life” week for me
  • 60 miles: 2 miles of speedwork (2 x 6 min mile), other miles easy
  • 52 miles: 1 day of speedwork alone, Columbus Half speed, other miles easy

Back to Saturday. After 3 miles of running, I showered and met my brothers and their ladies at Spaghetti Warehouse then carpooled over to the expo. Talking to my brothers about pacing strategies, I immediately knew the decision to use Columbus as a training run was a good idea.

It was SO GOOD to see my brothers. I giddily chirped away about nothing at all, and being the awesome brothers they are, they let me talk and talk about nonsense the whole way to the expo, through the expo, and back to the restaurant. I was feeling so good about racing and running and seeing my family the whole weekend. Life was good. I was ready to “race” the next day.

columbus marathon expo

Outside the expo with big brother Josh, me, little brother Jason, and his speedy girlfriend, Nicole.

I’ll end this post with some fun pics from the expo. Race recap coming next!

  • We found a banner of Jason on the start line and had to take a picture of him pointing at himself.
Jason Ordway runner

Hey, it’s me!

  • Loved the way they alphabetically divided up bib pickup and spelled out A-Bra
marathon expo bib number pickup

A-Bra… har har

  • This muscle man
muscle man columbus marathon expo
muscle man columbus marathon expo

Sort of cool, sort of creepy

  • Jason and me, taking time out to pose for a picture together.
jen and jason ordway


  • My bib
columbus marathon elite bib

What do you think about using races as training runs? What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen at a race expo? What is your favorite fall race?


11 thoughts on “Columbus Marathon (Half) Pre-Race Thoughts and Expo

  1. I am dying to run Cbus bc everyone says how awesome it is… maybe next year! Can’t wait to read the race recap! You ran awesome and so happy your exceeded your expectations.

    I am “for” doing races at workouts.. mainly bc I love race atmosphere and would love to race every weekend. But I have such a history of injury that running a race every weekend would not be wise. Therefore I have used them as workouts all summer this year and had a blast doing so. I also like to support my friends that are running races, so that means sometimes I run with them, or run the race just bc they are. I also think being in a race environment helps prep for your big race… nerves, preparedness… so the more you can get comfortable/acclimated to it, the better.

    Either way, I think everyone should just do what makes them happy! If that means jogging races, or wearing the race t-shirt on race day… if it makes them happy, that’s all that should matter.

  2. I love how your half marathon training run is INSANELY fast! LOL. You are seriously amazing.
    I’m anxiously awaiting the recap of the race! But totally get the need for family time – enjoy your niece =)
    PS. I constantly look at your PRs (pre and post baby) as motivation and inspiration for me !!!

  3. Pingback: Racing Update – Next Goal | The Local Elite

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