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