Monthly Archives: September 2016

German Village Walking Club Weekly Newsletter | September 27, 2016


I hope everyone is enjoying a little fall weather.  The leaves will be turning soon. They are on the verge here in Ohio.  In this week’s newsletter, we have write-ups from two Jim M’s. First, Jim McVay provided a nice summary of last Saturday morning’s walk and coffee clatch. Next, Jim Matysiak writes about his quest for racing as many major Ohio races as possible. Also, we must change the date for the Community Urban Walk; we’re enjoying a little taper time; and pacing a race is a serious (and rewarding) job. It’s a lot to cover in one newsletter. Pace yourself!

LIFE IS GOOD | Saturday Morning Recap

Jim McVay, GVWC member, sent this email out after our walk on Saturday:

“What a great day in German Village! I counted 23 hardy souls gathered in the shadow of the general* for our walk. Only thing that Larry didn’t tell us about the route for the day was that it was mingle with the mutts day! (Editor’s note:  the Club got in the middle of the “Defend Your Friend 5K” walk/run sponsored by the Capital Area Humane Society.) I don’t think anyone tripped over all of the dog leashes as we passed through the middle of the defend my hero dog walk! When we got back to Winans seating was at a premium! A real full house! Lots of good conversation with old friends, new friends, soon-to-be friends, and you-don’t-have-any-choice friends! With all of these great friends and their diverse backgrounds ranging from engineering, to medical, to legal, to accounting, to I’m not sure on some of you. What do you think dominated the conversation, at least at the end of the room I was in? Shirts and donuts and cake!  Life is good!  Those of you not in attendance would have fit right in! We missed you!

Thanks Jim, for the nice words about the Club.

*The statue commemorates the famous German poet, Friedrich von Schiller, who is the namesake of Schiller Park.

UN-SAVE THE DATE | Community Urban Walk October 29

Yikes! Turns out the City of Columbus is hosting a walking event in the Linden Area on October 29—the date we picked for our Walk 4 All People. Therefore, we’ll reschedule our community urban walk, which will likely be November 12.

The City of Columbus is promoting the Linden Area with their own Community Urban Walk and is forming a Linden Walking Club. All the Walk With A Doc teams are invited. The mayor may be present to speak. The walk is not officially announced yet. But when I have more details, I’ll let you know. Maybe we can join them!

Pacer Gone Wild 

You will find pacers at most large races, and pacers can play a vital role in helping a runner or walker finish their race at their goal time. Pacers accomplish this by moving at an even, steady pace over the course of the race. A pacer motivates, encourages, and acts as cheerleader for all the athletes in their group. Because they have personal experience, they can allay doubts and anxieties that group members may be experiencing during the course of the race. Obviously, a pacer must be experienced at the assigned pace and must be able to easily and comfortably complete the distance at that pace. (I recently witnessed a walker being asked to pace an upcoming half marathon—a distance she had never attempted. Yikes!)

Being a pacer is a serious job. But it can also be most rewarding. A few years back, I paced a group of 2:45 half marathon walkers. Because 5:30 is twice a 2:45, we were pacing alongside the 5:30 marathon group. Crazy Mike was their pace leader, and he is a very experienced pacer.  He is crazy because he would do unpredictable things, like jump in with bands along the race course and start singing. Mike did a walk/run strategy for his group. Though we were at the same pace overall, sometimes his group was ahead when running, but then we caught them when they were walking.  We interacted well with his runners, and there was plenty of time over a half marathon to get to know people. I even took over for Crazy Mike when he stopped off to get a donut at a shop in Bexley. Crazy! I finished the half and Mike carried on with his group through the back half of the marathon (although Mike tried to coax me into doing the back half with him). One of Mike’s runners was doing the half marathon and finished with me. This guy was so excited and appreciative of me helping him achieve his half marathon goal that he brought his wife and two kids over to meet me after the finish. That was so unexpected and such a special moment for me!

During the Santa Rosa Marathon, a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon, a 3:03 pace group got off-course. The pacer accidentally made a wrong turn, causing his group to run an extra 0.9 miles. The added time it took them to complete the almost extra mile caused these runners to exceed their goal pace and miss their Boston-qualifying time. Officials of the Boston Athletic Association won’t accept their adjusted times. (Jerks!) How heartbreaking for the runners AND the pacer.

Taper Time!

For those doing the Chicago Marathon (October 9) and the Columbus Half Marathon or Marathon (October 16), you are entering your taper period. Taper begins 3 weeks before a marathon and 2 weeks before a half marathon. It’s time to rest up from your long training period, heal up those nagging aches and pains, and try to have your body fresh for race day. A typical tapering schedule involves cutting back mileage and speed work, and doing more active resting like stretching exercises and yoga.  For Emily Smith, who is doing the Chicago Marathon in less than 2 weeks, her taper period included a yoga session in Wrigley Field on Sunday as shown in the picture below. Can anyone top that for a taper session?


Congratulations Jim Matysiak!

Here is Jim Matysiak’s account of his experience at the First Energy Akron Half Marathon last weekend:

“My All-Ohio race quest continued Saturday at the First Energy Akron Half Marathon. Cool early Fall temps made very comfortable conditions. I really think this course is one of nicest that Ohio has to offer! The finish in the Akron Stadium surrounded by all of the family and fans of the participants was the most memorable finishes I have ever had! Time 2:45. Onward to Canton, Ohio next Spring!”

Jim says his All-Ohio Race goal is to do many “popular” half marathons in his home state as he can before he retires from the “game.” After that, he says he’s going to buy a map of Ohio and pin all the medals on it. Here is his bucket list:

Columbus – done (5 times)

Cleveland – done

Cincinnati – done

Akron – done

Ashtabula – done

New Albany – done

Still to go :

Canton Hall of Fame Half – Spring 2017

Dayton Air Force Half – Fall  2017

Toledo Glass Festival Half

Mentor Light House Festival Half

Portsmouth Winter Solstice Half

Youngstown Mill Creek Half

Jim, I am sure you will make it!  (I think you need to do the Winans to Winans Half also!)

GVWC Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

Check out little Jenna who cries out, “I can’t do it!” But then she does. She does! She crushes it. And you can, too. Whatever wall is in your way, you can conquer it, too.

Finishing Line

Hope to catch you all Saturday.  As always, whatever you do, finish strong!


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German Village Walking Club Weekly Newsletter | September 20, 2016


Ready or not, we officially move into fall this week.  Cooler temperatures and beautiful fall colors make for a great back drop when walking, and maybe a half or full marathon, too.

In this week’s newsletter, help us spread the word about our next Community Urban Walk; building muscle using our own body weight; and how GVWC walkers kick back after a 5K charity event.  Speaking of that 5K, pictured below is Maureen, Gloria, Darla and Chuck celebrating at the “Talk the Walk Strides for Hope 5K” for the fight against Ovarian Cancer. Go Gloria!


GVWC’s Next Community Urban Walk: the “Walk *4* All People” 4-Miler 10/29/16 @ 8am

The GVWC hosts its next Community Urban Walk: the Walk *4* All People 4-Miler.  Join the community along with  the New Albany Walking Club and the Buckeye Striders.  Get it on your calendar: October 29 at 8am. What makes this walk special? This is what are we’re walking “4”:

  1. For Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Prior to the walk, breast cancer oncology surgeons Drs. Shilpa Padia and Bridget O’Brien will talk about advancements in treatment.
  2. For All People Free Store. Bring a new or gently used winter article of clothing to be donated to the For All People Free Store serving our southside community. More than 40,000 families have become members of the Free Store since opening January 1999.
  3. For Good Health and Fitness. Walk four miles through the Scioto Audubon Park, across Main and Rich Street bridges, then back to Schiller Park. Second Sole and Hoka One will have shoes available for free fit tests during the walk. Oh, and snacks, too!
  4. For Chocolates and Coffee! Mingle and schmooze after the walk at Winans Chocolates & Coffee where free treats will be provided.

You can find a flyer on the GVWC website. Help spread the word! Better yet, bring two friends, co-workers, or family members.

Strength and Muscle

You don’t need no stinking fancy equipment to get strong. Use your own body weight. Here is an article from the VeryWell website showing 6 core bodyweight exercises. I take issue (of course I do) with one of the exercises: the crunch. The potential of back injury when performing a crunch is too great. A good substitute for the crunch is the plank. There are many variations of the plank.  Here are 22 for you from Men’s Health Magazine. And look where he is performing them. That’s right – outside!

GVWC Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

My goofy walking buddies lifted my spirits this weekend with this picture.


Finishing Line

Hope to catch you all Saturday.  As always, whatever you do, finish strong!


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German Village Walking Club Weekly Newsletter | September 13, 2016


It was a beautiful day for racing Sunday.  I am sure everyone had an awesome time at the New Albany Walking Classic and the Winans to Winans Half Marathon.

In this week’s newsletter, you’ll read about a race weekend featuring needles in the back, ranting about water fountains, and the power of good balance.  Also, put this date on your calendar: October 29, for the next GVWC Community Walk.

Perfect Day for a Race (And Chocolate Factory Tour)!

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the New Albany Walking Classic and the Winans to Winans Half Marathon.  As it turns out, both GVWC participants (Larry and Andrea) for the Winans to Winans were on the injured list.  However, we got a personal tour of the chocolate factory (see picture below) by co-owner Joe Reiser, and I got a deep tissue massage and needle treatment by the physical therapist working the race.  So, it worked out well.


Our GVWC members did a great job – Age bracket winners included Nancy Traub (2nd); Neal Eiber (3rd), and Stephanie Ladson-Wofford (3rd).  Also congratulations for personal bests by Deb Hudson, Otto Beatty, Christie Angel and Chuck Marshall!  If you would like me to post your results on the website, please email them to me.  Also, feel free to send me your story of the good, the bad, and the funny, about your training or race day experience.  It can be a couple sentences.  Here is a picture of Darla and her Larrimer & Larrimer team at the New Albany Walking Classic. Larrimer & Larrimer is a great GVWC partner!


Next Community Group Walk – October 29 – Save the Date

Get it on your calendar: October 29, 8am. The GVWC is hosting its next community walk featuring walkers from the Buckeye Striders, Gahanna Get Moving Team, and New Albany Walking Club. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, prior to the walk we will hear from Drs. Shilpa Padia and Bridget O’Brien, breast cancer oncology surgeons at Mount Carmel, about advancements in treatment. As in the past, Second Sole and a shoe vendor will be present at the event and, as always, we will gather at Winans for complimentary coffee, chocolates and mingling.  For this event, we are asking that everyone bring a winter article of clothing to help out the needy this winter.  More information to come…

Rant to the City of Columbus

In this month’s Runner’s World Magazine, there was an article of America’s 50 Best Running Cities.  Sadly, Columbus did not make the list.  I am more than a little ticked off (but you expect nothing less, right?).  How could Columbus NOT make the cut of the top 50?  The magazine ranked the cities based on “run” (sanctioned clubs and races), parks, climate, access to healthy food, and safety.  The cities of Des Moines, Lincoln, and Omaha all made the list.  Omaha was No. 9.  Omaha?  Come on Columbus!  Apparently, our convention and visitors bureau needs to do a much better job promoting Columbus as a runner (and walker!) friendly town. Yes, I am enthusiastic about Columbus—and showing off Columbus’ cool urban environment is literally one of the stated goals of the GVWC. But I know we have the races, clubs, events, and parks/trails to make the list.  Easily.  We should not have been left off the list.

So, if you will allow me for a moment, I think the City of Columbus has missed the boat when it comes to some amenities for runners (walker and bikers).  Two words for you, City of Columbus – water fountains! To land in the Top 50, if not the Top 10, we must install water fountains on the major trails. It is pathetic how few there are.  I don’t know if there is one fountain on the Olentangy Trail along the 12 miles or so between downtown and Worthington.  And, with the multi-million dollar development of the Scioto Mile, which is awesome, I believe they installed only one fountain at Broad and Marconi Streets on the path.  That is just unacceptable.

A month ago, I ran (yes ran!) with Emily and Andrea along the Lake Michigan paths from downtown Chicago through Lincoln Park (about 2.5 miles). There were multiple fountains right on the path, each having 4 faucets per fountain. This is a great feature. And how basic!  It just shows the priority Chicago places on recreation and the lengths the city will go to create a great exercise environment for its residents and visitors.

Come on, Columbus.  You can do it.  Time to step up to the big leagues.  Omaha has!

Improve Balance.  And Beam!

One part of the equation for staying healthy is improving and maintaining good balance.  As this article from the VeryWell blog says, having good balance is for everyone, and it helps improve performance for athletes, and make every day activities easier for seniors.  The article provides 5 exercises to help improve balance. Time to balance out your life.

GVWC Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week


Thanks Darla K. for the contribution, as well as last week’s MOTW.

Finishing Line

Hope to catch you all Saturday.  As always, whatever you do, finish strong!


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German Village Walking Club Weekly Newsletter | September 6, 2016


I hope everyone had an enjoyable Labor Weekend.  We had beautiful, fall-like weather. It was great to be outside as you can see by the group gathered at Winans after our walk Saturday.

In this week’s newsletter, note the cut back to our walk this Saturday due to Sunday races; good luck to all on Sunday; my rant letter to race directors; college sports at its best; and the power of peanut butter.


Easy Like Saturday Morning

With a number of GVWC members racing this Sunday, we will be taking it easy on Saturday.  Anyone doing half marathons or 10K races on Sunday should take the day off or just do a mile or so Saturday to stay fresh.  With that in mind, we will still meet at 8am at the statue. For those doing races on Sunday, you have the choice of 0 (straight to Winans), 1, or 2 laps around Schiller Park, and then over to Winans.  Everyone else will do only a 3-mile route through the Scioto-Audubon Park, east on Main Street (at Main Street bridge) to 3rd Street, and south to Winans.

Good Luck to All Participants Sunday!

Good luck to everyone participating in the Winans to Winans Half Marathon and the New Albany Walking Classic – 10K and Half Marathon this Sunday.  Please email your results so I can put them on the website.  Let me know if this is your first time or if you achieve a PR (personal best).  Also, feel free to send a story of the good, the bad, and the funny, about your training or race day experience.

Rant to Race Directors

Dear Race Directors, stop the madness! I beg you. Please. Please stop using “quarter marathon” as a designation for races. It makes my head want to explode when I hear it. First, a marathon, by definition, is 26.2 miles – or 26 miles 385 yards, if you prefer. It’s an official distance. It’s always the same distance, no matter where you are. A half marathon, is half that distance, or 13.1 miles, and a half marathon is a legitimate race distance. A quarter marathon, if we extend out this logic, is 6.55 miles.

But we can’t. We can’t extend the logic out to a quarter marathon because there is no such established race distance. The established designation for the six-mile-or-so distance is 10,000 meters, or 10K. The 10K is used to track official records for middle-distance competitors. The 10K is the standard middle-distance contest in track & field competitions across the globe, from the Olympics to your neighborhood race. Though a quarter marathon is a mere 0.3 mile farther than a 10K, never at any of these officially-sanctioned events is that distance offered. Ever.

Again, there is no such thing as a quarter marathon. It’s a gimmick. It’s a ploy. It’s an affectation of race directors trying to be clever or cute. Rather than elevating the challenged posed by completing 6+ miles, the quarter marathon only serves to diminish the accomplishments of the marathon and half marathon competitors. What next? An 1/8th marathon instead of a 5K? A 1/16th marathon instead of running to the mailbox to get the mail? There are some things that should be held sacred, that should not be tampered with. And the strength, perseverance and fortitude it takes to complete a marathon is one of those things.

Mr. and Ms. Race Director, haven’t you heard the expression, “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon”? Well, you can’t chop up the word marathon in little bits and still have it make sense. A marathon is, by definition, an endurance race. While a 10K demands exceptional levels of aerobic endurance, it nowhere compares to the level of endurance called for in a marathon. You can’t cut the amount of sugar from your sugar cookie recipe by three fourth and still call them sugar cookies. You can, but who’s bragging about their “sugar” cookies? And, who’s actually eating them?

Six+ miles is a tough distance. No doubt about it. But there’s no reason to call a middle distance race a quarter marathon when there is already an established designation, a 10K. So, again I say to you, race directors, quit using quarter marathon. Where does it end?  Oh wait, next year your kids can do the Mini-Quarter Marathon, in Katy, Texas, January 7, 2017.  Mini-Quarter Marathon? It is 1.25 miles (I guess the phrase “fun run” is now dead, too.).  But, I digress.

Please … stop the madness!

Sportsmanship at it Best

No words. Watch the video.

Peanut Butter Power

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is my go-to pre-race meal.  I will be eating one about 5am on Sunday for my Winans to Winans Half Marathon race.  Here is an article from the blog touting the power of peanut butter, from protection against heart disease to better management of type 2 diabetes.  Bon appetite!

Raining Cats and Dogs

There are two 5Ks in September where the proceeds go to help our local animals.  The races are listed below with the links to the details.

  1. Sunday, September 18, 2016 – Cat Caper 5K benefiting the Welfare Association.
  2. Saturday, September 24, 2016 – Defend Your Friend 5K benefiting the Capital Area Humane Society. Our very own Alisa has been volunteering at the Capital Area Humane Society as she says “forever”, and that the money goes to a great cause.

GVWC Route of the Week

As discussed earlier, we have modified our routes based on the races Sunday.

Motivation of the Week


Finishing Line

Hope to catch you all Saturday.  As always, whatever you do, finish strong!


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