Run Thunder Road!

While on any given weekend, you can find a handful of 5ks, 10ks and half-marathon races, Thunder Road is Charlotte’s only full-marathon. This year’s race is scheduled for November 14. Last year’s race drew 960 runners for the marathon, 99 more than 2013’s race. Masashi Shirotake won for the males and overall with a time of 2:31:07. Meghan Hovis was the female winner with a time of 2:56:37.  In addition to the full-marathon, a half-marathon and 5k are also offered. The full and half marathon races both start promptly at 7:30 AM.


The 26.2 mile race winds through uptown, Dilworth, Plaza Midwood and Noda, giving you the most scenic (and sweaty) tour of Charlotte. The course has live bands playing throughout to keep you moving, and not to mention, plenty of friends and family cheering runners along.


Not a runner? There’s a course cheer contest which places cheer groups along the course at various mile markers to cheer along the runners. The winning groups will have money donated in their honor to a charity of their choice! The music and cheering continues once you cross the finish line with more music and expo booths to explore as you recover.


If you’re considering running the full or the half marathon, you should be aware of the time limits. The full has a time limit of 6 hours and the half 3 hours. Not to worry, Run for Your Life offers training sessions to get you up to speed no matter what distance you’re aiming to run. Training sessions are offered through Run For Your Life locations in Piper Glen, Midtown and University. Now that Fall is just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get started with a running group.


If you want to get your kids involved in running and help fight childhood obesity, check out the Chick-Fil-A Thunder Kids Marathon Program. Kids will run 26.2 miles over a 5-9 week period and get a finisher’s medal at the Thunder Road Finish Line! Hurry, registration closed October 9 for the kids program.


As of 9/1, the price for the full marathon is $115. You can register up until the expo and packet pick up, the day before the race (but the price is $135 that day!), but it’s best to get your entry in early to secure a spot and have time to mentally prepare. While the weather can be tricky to predict in November, it’s most likely to be mild in the morning, giving you cool air for the start of the race. The mean temperature for race day is 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The race will go on rain or shine.


Stay up to date with Thunder Road on Facebook and Twitter for details on bands, weather, and inspirational stories leading up to the big day!


Never Coast [#flywheel]

When I first heard about FlyWheel, I thought, it can’t be that different than other spin classes. I taught spin in college. I’ve taken classes at more than a dozen different gyms/studios. So what’s so special about FlyWheel? I’ll tell you. In FlyWheel, I can compete with myself and with the other riders by watching the torq board and seeing where I fall in the class. The men and women are separated on the board, and participation is all by choice, and nicknames are used. While I am proud of my rides, and feel exhausted at the end of class, I quickly learned that the other women can kick my butt on these rides.

IMG_8176FlyWheel is a workout where you can push yourself to new limits. Each teacher has a different style of workout. Some like faster rides where you sprint until you’re out of breath. Others have you climbing imaginary hills until your legs feel like jello. And because each workout is so amazing, people keep coming back and paying large sums of money for class passes ($180 for 10 classes).


The teachers ride on a stage in front of the class which is shaped in a semi-circle. When the ride starts, the room goes dark. No one is looking around at the other riders, you’re focused on your own torq and RPMs. Rides typically last for 11 songs in the 45 minute classes (60 minute classes are also offered). One song is a break for your legs and work for your arms with weighted bars. Another difference in FlyWheel and other cycle classes.


In FlyWheel, you are given shoes that clip into your bike. Most classes at other gyms, you wear your own tennis shoes. The clip in shoe really gives you the feel of cycling. It can be tricky to get the hang of clipping in and out at first, but the stability of this is much better than riding in your own shoes with non-clip pedals. Have you ever slipped off the pedal and had it hit your leg? OUCH.


Towels, changing rooms, and lockers are also provided. With the lockers, you set your own code each time, so only you can access it. No worries if you forget the code, a master key does exist for those cases. When you arrive to FlyWheel, you check in at computers in the front. You select your bike when you reserve the class, so there’s never any waiting to see if you have a bike. You also have pre-loaded your shoe size and your shoes are waiting for you in a numbered cubby (matching your bike number) when you arrive.


The water station is a nice alternative to water fountains and allows 3 users to get water at the same time. I have to fill up at least twice while there. Whatever you do, don’t forget your water bottle when you go for class.

IMG_8181If you’re in the mood for new workout clothes after sweating through class, they have quite the selection and generally have a good sale going, too.


If you’re looking for a sweaty, excellent, indoor workout, check out FlyWheel on Providence road. Your first class is FREE (for both FlyWheel and FlyBarre). I tried my first FlyBarre class yesterday and it hurts to type this today but now I understand how all of the instructors have arms that make women everywhere jealous. It’s a free class, what are you waiting for? Here’s a link to get you started with signing up for your first class. Let’s ride together!


What’s all the buzz about?

On Saturday, we ventured to Time Warner Cable arena to watch the Charlotte Hornets face off against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Hornets were Charlotte’s team from 1988-2002 and then left for New Orleans. The Bobcats filled in until last season, when the decision was made to bring back the buzz, in big part to Michael Jordan (thanks, MJ!).


On Saturday, the first 10,000 fans received Hugo the Hornet bobble heads, so the line was quite long (and the air was quite cold!). The arena was much more packed than it used to be for Bobcats games, but still wasn’t full. I’m sure it will be when we play Cleveland and LeBron visits.


Everywhere you looked you could find Hornets memorabilia or gear, as well as purple and teal people on stilts, a DJ or “honey bees” signing photos or calendars.


It’s the perfect set up if you have young kids who need some entertainment and can’t sit still through a two-hour game.


The team store is packed on game days. Supposedly it’s being moved to make for a better user experience and traffic flow. On Saturday it was one out, one in. That being said, the line moved pretty fast but the store itself was crowded and it was difficult to look around. I did manage to snag a shirt from one of the smaller merchandise booths.

IMG_6455Our first stop was the Craft Beer Garden which is sponsored by Dandelion Market. They serve mostly local brews, which is awesome since we have so many wonderful breweries here in Charlotte.


If you’re not interested in craft beer, you can find domestic beer in about a million other spots in the stadium. The court has a beautiful new honeycomb design. Huge monitors project the game so folks in the upper levels can see clearly if the court is too far away. There’s not really a bad seat in the house.


There are still tickets available for plenty of games, so you can still visit Buzz City and watch the Hornets in their inaugural season back in Charlotte. IMG_6458

While the Hornets didn’t win their game on Saturday, they did have a miraculous comeback during their first game from a 24-point deficit and won in overtime with a shot by Kemba Walker. There’s guaranteed to be plenty more of that action this season. I can’t wait to see what this team does throughout this first season back. Welcome back, Hornets, welcome back.