This might be my favorite article to write because as much as I love working out and finding new ways to sweat around Columbus, I love to carb load, whether there is any reason to or not. But, with Cap City coming up this weekend, the smart runner knows that Friday (and Thursday's!) night’s meal should include lots of good carbs for quick and accessible energy for your big run. You will want to make sure your Friday meals are full of high-carb, low-fiber meals to ensure you run your best. Do your best to also reduce the amount of protein and fats (cheeses, creams, butter, etc.) for one or two days before. With all that in mind, below are the top ten places we love around Columbus to carb load ahead of the Cap City half and quarter marathons.
1. Sammy’s New York Bagels
Sammy’s is a deliver-to-your-door bagel company that also has some other baked goods on their menu. Sammy’s is the perfect way to get hot, fresh bagels at your doorstep race morning, or even the day before to ensure you have enough carbs to power you through Cap City. They deliver to most Columbus’ suburbs, and they have just about every kind of bagel you can think of. Make sure you order by 3:00 to ensure they arrive the next day, fresh on your doorstep when you wake up!
2. Northstar Cafe
Everyone has been to Northstar, so there is nothing we’ll tell you about how fantastic their food is that you don’t already know. However, lost in the quest for pasta are all the great carby options Northstar has, like their Buddah Bowl, Square Meal, Korma Bowl, or one of their delicious burritos (pictured above is Northstar's Thai Burrito). Oh, and they have the best pancakes in the world, so there’s that...
3. Vittoria Ristorante & Bar
Vittoria is on the fancier side of carb-loading, but their menu rivals any Italian restaurant you’ve ever been to. Vittorio, their maitre d (aka professional host) is one of my absolute favorite people in the world (with the coolest tie collection you’ve ever seen). The service at Vittoria is top notch, and their menu is straight out of the Motherland. Get their gnocchi...no get their vegetarian penne...no get their lasagna. Better yet, get all of it and have some for dinner!
This ramen shop on Bethel serves up some of the very best noodles in Columbus. They offer ramen in either chicken stock or vegetable stock, which is perfect for vegetarians like me. The staff is super friendly and will help you find the perfect bowl.
5. Borgata Pizza Cafe
Borgata makes homemade pasta, and their pizza is great too (but try to limit the cheese while carb loading). For delishious pizza, pasta, and calzones, the price point is way lower than what it probably should be. They are located in Worthington, and every single thing we’ve tasted is perfectly cooked and so so good. One of our favorites is the cavatelli pasta (little shells) with their marinara sauce.
6. Villa Nova
Villa Nova has a special place in our hearts because it’s our parents favorite place in Columbus to meet for dinner. Their food is fantastic though, and they have the best breadsticks! The staff is very friendly, and the bar is always welcoming (in case you wanted to go back after the race, of course). Portions aren’t too big, but the menu has every kind of pasta, pizza, or dish you’d hope to see.
7. Sushi Ten
You didn’t think about sushi as a way to carb load, did you? Well, as long as you’re smart about it, you can get the perfect carb-heavy meal before Cap City. The trick is, stick to veggie sushi and limit the protein from the raw fish. It’s odd ordering veggie sushi at a traditional sushi restaurant, but they do have plenty of options that you can mix in with a few of their fish rolls. They also are the sushi place for party trays, in case you are having a big pre-Cap party Friday!
Located in the North Market, Pastaria has traditional Italian dishes that all cost $7.99. Everything is super fresh and makes for a great lunch. Plenty of options that are all perfect to eat there or take home. There might not be a better quality vs. cost option to fuel your big race this weekend!
Everyone knows about Katalina’s famous pancake balls, and if you don’t, well, perfect time to try them, right?!? They are only open from 8:00-3:00, so make sure you plan ahead. Their lunch is fantastic, but they are known for their breakfast and brunch. Aside from the pancake balls, make sure you try their Sunrise Sammy, a vegetarian twist on a pork and egg sandwich that is absolutely perfect.
10. Thai Grille in Westerville
This hidden gem is right in the heart of Westerville, and has some of the best pad thai in the city (extra spicy for me!). Thai food is a great alternative to anyone looking to carb load that might be sensitive to cheese before a big endurance race. Their dishes are noodle and rice focused, with tons of fresh and tasty vegetables that make for the perfect night-before meal. They always have a table available, so check them out and get ready to crush Cap City this Saturday!
What places are we missing? Where will you carb load the final hours leading up to the race?
Columbus loves running (and so does Sweat Local!). The Columbus Marathon attracts some of the country’s elite runners, and the Cap City is one of the best half and quarter marathons around. This year, Runner’s World will be in Columbus to cover the Cap City Half Marathon, which will also host the USATF Half Marathon Championships. It’s kind of a big deal.
For those of you who are running (we are!), you will want to ensure you do everything you can to run your best and prevent injury. Aside from a quick stretch before the race, there are a ton of places around Columbus that will get your body ready for 13.1 miles. You’ve put in the miles, and now it’s time to get your body and mind in check before race day. Since you probably aren't running much at all this week, use this time to stretch get your body right. Below, we listed our top 5 places around Columbus you should consider checking out ahead of the Capital City Half Marathon on April 29th.
SOS SloFlo Class
SOS actually has a ton of great classes that will strengthen your core and major leg muscles that will help you with endurance racing. With SloFlo, you are taken through a 75 minute yoga class that is relaxing and challenging all at the same time. This is seriously one of the best stretches in the city. Check out either their Grandview or Dublin studio.
Barre classes are great for flexibility already, but throw in some heat and you have one heck of a workout! Melt has a lot of great classes, all heated (hello, MELT?), that will get you sweating and help with your mobility for the long run. What’s really cool is that your first class is free!
We blogged about this place a few weeks ago, and their pre-competition cocktail would be the perfect way to get all the essential vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants before the big race. Book your appointment soon and try to get in on that Friday to ensure you are performing at your best come race day!
PAI offers a great meditative yoga class that will allow you to get your body stretched out, but also get your mind in a good space so you can be focused, relaxed, and ready for the race. They have two locations in Dublin and Gahanna, and they offer different types of yoga classes for all levels. Classes begin at 5:30 a.m. and there are plenty of classes throughout the day to fit any schedule. PAI is also offering a free yoga class on Sunday for all Cap City runners at their Dublin location at 1pm! Grab your spot here: http://paiyogafitness.com/workshops-events.
Balanced Yoga Studios
Newly renovated and located in Clintonville, this yoga studio has everything for all types of Yogis out there. There are hot power yoga classes, and mindful “Baptiste” classes to clear out all the bad energy and find your focus. The classes are all taught by excellent instructors and the classes fly by. Check out our review of them here, and make sure you get in a class before the big race.
What are your plans the week before the big race?
Why Columbus' first Hydration Bar, Hydrate Me, will amplify your next workout and save your head from the hangover monster!
I’ll be honest: I had no idea what to expect when we walked into Hydrate Me, Columbus’ first Hydration IV bar. I had this idea that when we walked in on a Saturday, that half of the room would still be wearing last night’s hit-the-town outfit, and the other half would have an IV in one arm and a cocktail in their other hand. While you will probably see both of those people from time to time, the actual experience is something entirely different.
First of all, the space is done up beautifully with black, white, and gold, accented by pops of brown. The main space has TV’s on all walls, and enough couches and chairs to accommodate a group or get away from one, depending on why you’re there. Hydrate Me is staffed by Nurse Practitioners, ER Physician Assistants, ER Registered Nurses and Paramedics who all do this as a second job. When you sit down, you are guided through the whole Hydration process by one of the staff members, and after choosing the right “cocktail,” a nurse gets an IV going and you’re off! In addition to the IV concoctions, they also offer booster shots, IV add-ons, and VIP add-ons and private room experiences. They will also even come to you off-site which is perfect before a big event or a bachelor party!
Jim, our ER Physician/”Hydration Tour Guide” was really great about explaining everything that was involved with what was in each fluid bag. He then told us a story about a family member who had just gone through his last treatment of Chemo and had started using Hydrate Me to give him more energy and feel more like himself. This really opened our eyes to what Hydrate Me could be, which is more than just a hangover cure or performance enhancement tool. There is science and data that backs up what Hydrate Me does, and there isn’t a better way to get the essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs than through their IV absorption.
We left and didn’t feel much different than we did going in. We decided to “test” the claims that getting an IV therapy before a big night of drinking would prevent a hangover, and had a few cocktails of our own that night. We can testify that we both felt amazing the next day, and we each had a big workout later than morning and our bodies felt and performed great.
Whether you are an athlete looking to perform or recover, a High Street All-Star looking to perform or recover, or you just need to feel like yourself again after being sick, Hydrate Me should be high on your list for places to go. They’re located on West Fifth Avenue in Grandview by Zauber Brewing.