Category Archives: Savannah


“I’ve only been here three days and it’s just a shooting, but give it time, okay. This place is fantastic. It’s like ‘Gone with the Wind’ on Mescalin. I know you’re my agent. Listen to me, they walk imaginary pets here, Garland. On a …… leash. Alright? And they’re all heavily armed and drunk. New York is boring!”- Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil

In this section, you will find places to run, eat, shop, have fun and maybe a best kept secret or two.

Basically it’s the ‘why Savannah rocks’ section of my site…..

Pittsburgh Marathon Lessons and Woman of the Year

Before I begin, my thoughts and prayers are with those in  Oklahoma. I can not imagine the pain of what they are going through and will continue to as they rebuild from the ground up.


I mentioned that during the Pittsburgh Marathon, I struggled with turning my legs over from the pain my back was giving me from leaning into all the hills. So as soon as I landed back in pancake flat Savannah– I called Coach Jane!

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{and don’t worry– she doesn’t always look blurry!}

Coach Jane was my coach for my first Full marathon and is a certified trainer, plus has a slew of years of running under her belt. So I wanted to run my theory of “I leaned too much into the 26 miles of rolling hills which pulled on my lower back and therefore I couldn’t turn my legs and I am super bummed because my legs wanted to GOOOOOOOO, Coach!” theory. Thankfully, that super duper scientific theory was right 😉

So without further ado— here is MY Coach…. {and stay at the end…. for a brief closing from another sidekick— up for WOMAN OF the {FREAKIN’} YEAR!!!!!!}

Hello fellow runners and fellow fans of Victoria!

Let’s talk total core training. When referring to the core, I am referring to everything along the trunk of your body, from shoulders to hips, front and back and sides.  Movement along the spine is central to the core, naturally, but so is movement around the hip joints and shoulder joints.

There are three fundamentals to training any muscle group. They are, in order of importance, mobility, stability, and strength.  Stretch and mobilize the joints, stabilize the joints so they can hold steady when needed, and then strengthen them.

A quality, overall core training plan will incorporate stretching for the muscles involved in forward bending, back bending, side bending left and right, and rotation. Stabilization is achieved with planking exercises and balancing postures, keeping your trunk elongated and still under loads in different directions.  Strengthening the core musculature, especially for runners, involves lower resistance/higher repetition to enhance the endurance of these muscles.  A variety of planks, pikes, hip bridges, crunches, side bridges, and twists in seated, standing, inclined, and lying positions will do the job.  Yoga and Pilates exercises are GREAT for providing all three pillars for quality movement.  That’s three pillars, in five directions 🙂

If you have a history of spinal problems or back muscle injuries, anywhere from the neck to the tailbone, please minimize your risk of injury by consulting a certified trainer or physical therapist to assess your function prior to starting a core training program.

Living in a pancake-flat city and training for a long distance run in billy-goat country? A lot of people in Savannah will tell you to run the Talmadge Bridge every week or every other and that’ll do it.  And if your goal race is less than 10 to 12 miles and only has two hills, I’d agree with them.  But if you, like Victoria, are looking at “rolling hills” over a marathon distance, I would have to differ.  Do not take the word of the event description when it says “mostly flat” if your race takes you away from the coast of the Southeastern United States.  They will fudge the truth to entice you to register.  The coast out west is hilly.  The coast up north is hilly.  Almost everywhere but here and Kansas and southern Illinois is hilly. You have to look at the race course elevation chart.  If you see more than two hills on the chart, read on.

{Inserted by Victoria—-}

Savannah 2011 Course- Full #1

RocknRollSavannahMarathon_e (1)

Pittsburgh 2013 Course- Full #2

Marathon_Elevation(website) (1)

Hill repeat workouts are the way to go.  That means find a hill that takes you around 60 – 120 seconds to climb.  If you know your goal race pace, use it going uphill.  Then run back downhill at race pace or better.  You have to train your muscles to tolerate going downhill too, you know.  Then easy jog on a flat for a minute.  Repeat.  Start with 6 repeats.  Work your way up to 12 – 15 repeats over the course of your training.  Try to get to the hill repeat every other week.

Do you lean when hill running? Only from the ankles. Keep your spine long, no slouching, lead with your chest.

No hills around?  Stair runs work.  Sixty seconds up, try to jog (safely) down instead of walk down.  Same parameters as above.  Please, Savannians, don’t use the River Street stairs of death for stair climbing repeats.  We have stairs and stadiums around, with nice, evenly spaced, 21st Century-human sized steps.

What about treadmills or stair climbers or ellipticals?  They should be a last resort.  They don’t train you for those downhills, for one thing.  For another, they do too much of the work for you.  The movement of the tread belt, or the automatic movement of one foot pedal up while you push the other down, reduces the work for your legs.  If you can find a stair climber that uses detached pedals, that’s a better choice for uphill training.  But no, sorry, going backwards is not the same as going downhill.

If you have questions, comments, concerns, or a burning desire for an appointment for a consultation, you can reach me, Trainer Jane Ogle, at 912-247-9500, or at  Feel free to check out my inconsistent blogging at   And you can find me coaching the C.R.E.W. intermediate half-marathon runners again, starting this June :-)——–> that’s the group I help with too– for all those non- local readers!! 😉


Thank you Coach Jane! You are a wealth of knowledge and so much fun to run with! AND if you are local— her personal stretching is amazing…. so I would hit for up for a session. Just sayin!

You better believe I will be incorporating all of the above…. and hey, it’s almost summer time anyways. Did someone say swimsuit AND core work? 😉


And Woman of the Year!

I am so super proud of my dear friend Jamie!

Jamie Smith headshot Jan. 2013

Jamie is fundraising for our Savannah Woman of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual fundraiser. As you all know, I am a huge advocate for cancer research and programs that directly impact a cancer patient’s quality of life. So if you have 5 or 10 bones you can donate to her campaign that would be awesome.

And on a sidenote– LLS is my other cancer charity of choice. Most of the kiddos at camp have a form of blood cancer, so I fully support the work they do day in and day out. So thank you Jamie for working tirelessly for this campaign for eight weeks. I am super proud of you and your accomplishments.


Friends Who Rock

If you know me, there has never truly been many moments in my life that I am left speechless. Well, there was “one”. But my teacher got me confused with another student… the parents of the other girl were so surprised when they were greeted with the news that their daughter “talked too much”. Anyways, I am usually always up for a good conversation, laugh, or debate.

Yesterday I was left speechless multiple times.


{6am at Fleet Feet Savannah}

I was running my last long run for Pittsburgh Marathon and met up with Dan, Tony and Dawn around mile 6 of the 22 miles. We were going to run by Fleet Feet because I had stashed fuel there…. as we approached FF, Tony was asking if we were picking up more people. But we weren’t picking up people until mile 16. I just assumed they were another running group. Nope. Not the case. They were there for me. My other coach {Nancy} and three of the runners who let me be apart of their running journey from 5k to half marathon {Janet, Anna & Jenn} where there with signs and fun accessories  And apparently there would be more to come!

As I hugged and cried, we refilled and refueled and headed on the way (while picking up another runner– Hi Gregg!)!

After we headed towards downtown, I hit a wall (again). Being that my first wall was hit early on when my head lamp died on the pitch black roads on the islands…. I was struggling. My pace was off by over a minute and I was mentally tapped. But I knew I had about 12 of my friends waiting for me to run the Talmadge Bridge and I didn’t want to let them down.

We meet up at Gallery Espresso after only having run 12.5 miles (or so I thought…) and picked up the gang and start up the bridge…. ugh. I was speechless (again) that so many of my friends took up my plea to come help me conquer the bridge after running so many miles before. They could have easily slept in on a Sunday morning.

first time over... mile 16

I get conned into running to the Westin for an additional two miles and a fancy smancy potty break. And then I figured out that my Garmin was wrong…. we actually had covered more ground. I was off by a few miles SOOOOOOOOO I would hit 22 miles for the day if we just turned around and run back over the bridge and back to Gallery Espresso!! Hot damn, that made my morning! So back over (ugh) we went… but at least that made me smile….

cheer squad

I swear these ladies were every where and had new posters each time and different accessories!!

Thank you team… from the bottom of my heart. I struggled mentality which really slowed me down. But you all stuck with me and I know that is not your normal pace, so I thank you.

all grou

Now bring on Pittsburgh!! Marathon #2…. TAPER TIME!!!

Savannah Running

I truly believe that there is something magical in Savannah, especially in our run and fitness community.

This weekend, I was supposed to wake at 3am to start my 18 mile run by 4am so I could make it to a volunteer commitment with the Junior League of Savannah. When I woke up before my alarm, I had a raging migraine… I popped some of my Rx and hoped it would go away. Needless to say, I was in my bed- in the dark- until afternoon noon.

Since I only have two long runs left before Pittsburgh Marathon, I knew I would have to get the miles in on Sunday Funday. I posted on my Facebook Page that I was going to need my miles on Sunday. Thankfully, Hillary offered to make my 18 miles less of a suck-fest.


And then next weekend, I have 22 miles including the Talmadge Bridge (miles 18 & 22) to mimic the hills in Pittsburgh. I created a private Facebook event for some of my friends that are close to my pace to help drag me up, down, up and down that bridge after having run 16 miles right before. Not only did I get an amazing response, but Dan offered to run the whole thing with me!

Talk about your heart being overwhelmed with the love of this community!

And just so you don’t think this is the ‘Victoria Show’, the support flows over the whole community. One of my friends, Chris, runs a ton of Ultra Marathons and whenever he does Fleet Feet Savannah posts updates and photos from the races on their social media circuits. Not only do people ‘like’ the heck out of every post… but they also leave such encouraging comments for him.

Thank you Savannah for being such a class act!

St Patrick’s Day- Savannah Style

Holy Moly. I think I have finally recovered from this weekend’s debauchery.

St Pats Group

This is our Book Club’s second year having a stake on Lafayette Square for one of the largest St Patrick’s Day parades in the nation. As Madeline can attest to, we even had a Google spreadsheet to ensure we had enough food and drink to make it from 5am-4pm! And once you are done reading my random crap, head over to Madeline’s post because she goes into much greater detail on St Patty’s in the SAV.

I signed up to meet three other girls at the square at 5am(ish). Our square was lined around the perimeter with everyone and their tents, food, etc just waiting to hear ‘GO’ from the cops. The cops are given strict orders to not let ANYONE in the square until 6am. Well, when we heard ‘GO’ everyone ran into the square and immediately started popping up tents. And then we heard ‘GET OFF THE SQUARE’. Apparently, someone (not a cop) yelled ‘Go’ and we had to go back to the street and wait the other 3 minutes…. sticklers I tell ya 😉

Once we were able to set-up, we were ready to go by 6:30am with three tents, three tables, a plethora of chairs and TONS of food & drinks. I was keeping a keen eye out for my friends at Fleet Feet Savannah that were running some miles before their celebrations of the day!

FF runners

Once the parade started, drinks were flowing and food was eaten. I think I ate my weight in cookies, bean dip, and adult beverages. One of my besties from college was in town, so we stayed in Saturday night since we were 1) exhausted from the day’s activities and 2) I had to wake up and run…

nicole and i st pats

I made a bet with myself last week to run 15-18 miles on Sunday morning. Well… it was rough, but 15 miles were all mine! The first 9 I was rocking and then I hit a wall but I pushed through for a few more miles. Once I was done,  I knew that Sunday Funday was about to get started. And started it did!!!

This year was the perfect St Patrick’s Day…. and I can’t wait until 2014 😉

**I am running the Beaufort Twilight 8k on Saturday…. but if you can’t make it there, why not run a morning 5k with Carver Elementraty School!**

I need more Green!

I’ve done this to myself every year for the past five years….

Rush around at the last moment trying to find the perfect kelly green top for St Patrick’s Day here in Savannah. You would think that by living in the 2nd Largest St Pat’s parade area IN THE NATION, I would have acquired my fair share. But apparently, I didn’t get the memo.

But anyways, this week has been solid for workouts. I had a little mid-week check in and only missed my Thursday morning run. I love that my mojo is back… I think it had a little something to do with my refreshing trip to Durango, CO! Or maybe that my 2nd marathon and summer are just around the corner 😉 Either way, I’ll take it!

With my week’s workouts being solid, I really hope I don’t drop the ball on my Sunday run. I think I have a pretty solid strategy! I am going to do about 5-6 miles on my own, then meet up with Jenn  to conquer the last 10-12 miles. All while my dear college friend, Nicole, is sleeping or sippin’ coffee!

I think that this may be good practice for the not so ideal race scenarios…. tired, sore legs from standing all day, sore arms from possible fist pumping at the parade, and sore stomach from crap food and a jello shot… or two!

And if you aren’t going to the parade or setting up a tent (like myself) at the crack o’ dawn….  join Fleet Feet Savannah for a Top O’ the Morning Run. You will be running past Lafayette Square, so make sure to say HI…. I’ll hand you a drink if you want 😉

Happy St Patrick’s Day, Savannah. Let’s keep it classy while getting sassy!

Cancer Sucks and a Give-a-Way

If you have been a long time reader,  you know that I F’n hate cancer.

I ran Rock n Roll Savannah Full Marathon in 2011 for the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program.


I love Camp Ukandu and am hosting a fundraising challenge all year that promotes running and helping kids with cancer.


And I fully believe in the research that the American Cancer Society does. Because a ‘world with less cancer, is a world with more birthdays’.

So how can you help? Besides donating to the “1,000 Miles” challenge (and hopefully joining!), YOU can get involved with ACS research. By participating in the CPS-3 , you will help the American Cancer Society learn more about how lifestyle, environmental and genetics play a role in cancer.

So are YOU eligible for the study?

Are you 30 (through 65 years old)?

mareesa and i

Yep. Pretty sure I rocked in my thirties, 80’s style.


{above photo from Camp Ukandu Teen Retreat}

Never been diagnosed with cancer?

Thank God, I have never had to hear the C word.

And willing to make a long commitment to receiving and answering questions about your lifestyle.

If that means that I take a few minutes every few years to fill out valuable questions will help save someone’s life…. game on!

So Savannah, want to enroll and help save a life? CLICK HERE. And if you don’t live in Savannah, check to see if a city near you is hosting a drive! All you need to do is start, is to register for a quick in-person enrollment that works for your schedule.

I just signed up, will you?


Two years ago, I ran the Beaufort Twilight 5k with two of my best college girlfriends who were in town for St Pattys.

beaufort 2011

If you re-read the race recap, it was my first 5k that I ran sub-40. You may think, oh wow… no big deal. But I was flippin’ stoked! The course was amazing and the oyster roast after was even better. And lucky for you, I have a race entry (winner picks 5k or 8k) to give-a-way!!!! Leave a comment below to enter {because I can’t get rafflecopter to show. argh} (edited at 7:12am).

For this give-a-way, you must be available to be in Beaufort, SC on March 23rd! Contest ends on Friday, February 15th a midnight


I will be there to run the 8k, so I hope to see you there!

Critz Tybee Run Fest

You may find this odd, but I don’t like racing. I like challenging myself on training runs, but somehow I usually tank at races. Somehow my ‘A Game’ is usually left at home on race day.

BUT I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t put negative thoughts in my head for this weekend’s Half Marathon at the Critz Tybee Run Fest, but fill it with positive energy. I had three goals going into the race.

3- PR

2- Run anywhere in the 2:30’s

1- Run sub 2:29

pre tybee

I managed to knock off one of them and was SO CLOSE to #2. My official time was 2:41.05! SO CLOSE!

I PR’d by over 4 minutes and am ready to amp up my training for my next half and full this Spring! And what full am I running, may you ask? Well you will just have to wait until I announce it this week 🙂

This was actually my first time running this race. I have cheered for it before and it’s a GREAT course for spectators because of how it’s laid out. My mom, who was down for the weekend, easily got to see me 4 times throughout! And my sweet, sweet ladies from C.R.E.W. came out with posters. I am just glad that my sweat masked the tears. And that I don’t wear mascara while I run or ever. Because that would have been a greater hot mess.


But the half marathon is not the only option! You can run the 5k on Friday night, complete with glowsticks. Or run the 10k, 2.8 mile beach run or 1.3 mile run on Saturday. Complete all 5 events and you just ran a marathon! And you get TONS of medals for the weekend. How awesome? Maybe I will do that next year, but let me tell you…. that beach run looked brutal.

tybee logo

Thanks Critz Tybee Run Fest, Fleet Feet and ALL the wonderful water station volunteers for such a great race!

Did you race this weekend?

Pure Barre Savannah

Holy Hell.

I went to the 5:30pm class for Pure Barre last night and would of probably have rather run 20 miles. And I mean that in the best way possible.

That class kicked my ass. Literally. I tucked my tush and gyrated my hips until I felt like Shakira laying on a yoga mat.

After reading a bunch of healthy living bloggers and their LOVE for Pure Barre…. I was stoked when I saw it coming to Savannah a few months ago. Finally on Sunday night, when I was at Katie’s house enjoying some wine, we decided to take a chance at a class.

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{photo from over a year ago of Katie and I}

Our instructor was super nice and walked around to help us newbies with our posture and tucking. I was sweating like a long run on a summer day. But that didn’t sway me from gyrating.

To begin the class, you do a quick warm-up and then immediately start with the arms & abs. I never thought 2 lb weights would rock my world. But they did. And make no mistakes, I LOVE to find a workout that challenges me and makes me sore. And what girl wouldn’t want to say goodbye to arm flab!

Then we started into thighs…. I had somewhat of a hard time when we got to the barre portion, because with my weak knee, I have a hard time squatting and doing exercises from a low position. I was extremely thankful when the instructor said “last 30 seconds”. My muscles were shaking and sweat was pouring off my forehead.

pure barre 1

{the ‘torture’ tools}

After some barre work for our thighs, we worked our tushies. Let me tell you, I was not blessed like J.Lo but good grief… I feel like my ass was just risen up to the heavens. I LOVED the tush part of the workout. Hard, but you could immediately feel where you were working.

After some stretching at the end, we were done {and a collective sigh of relief… ahhhh}

And while I grumbled in my head throughout; “why do these 2 lb weights seem to weigh a ton?”, “am I THAT out of shape?” and “damn… maybe I’ll look like Jessica Biel if I keep this up”- I LOVED the program and class. I can totally see why they say that people see results in as little as ten classes.

pure barre 2

{the instructor and I… I have nicknamed her ‘Killa’}

So if you have a Pure Barre in  your area… go check it out! It would be great cross training for running. You can’t be a fabulous runner if your core isn’t strong!

** This review is my honest opinion. I paid for my own class and would do so again!**

Ledesma Sports Medicine Ultra Marathon & VIPs

On Saturday, Savannah was home to the first annual Ledesma Sports Medicine Ultra Marathon. I have been so excited for this event, because local races are really my favorite. Plus, the event organizers are such sweet people (Hi, DAN, MICHELLE, and TIM!!).

I was supposed to run this race but due to my knee issues, I didn’t have my mileage where it was supposed to be. BUT that doesn’t mean I can’t go out there and cheer like hell for my friends!

Ultra Aide Station

Lindsay and I went out to set up Aide Station #3 around 7:30am. We had a wide selection of food, gels and hydration. The best part of it was the M&M cookies… thankfully I left them for the runners 😉

The above photo doesn’t even do our station justice… we added a tent, more food and a really loud cheering section. I believe that if they did a ‘customer service’ survey, we would have scored ’10’s across the board!

Once the leading runners came through, things stayed exciting the whole time. Helping runners fill water bottles, passing out salt tabs, and cheering our hearts out! The best part about volunteering at Ultras is that everyone is laid-back and full of spirit.

Mel Ultra

{Go, Melissa, Go!}

Now, a first year event wasn’t without a few kinks. But nothing catastrophic or anything major and everyone is looking forward to next year already! Bigger, better and even more fun!

So I hope to see EVERYONE out there next year. Whether it be the 5k, 25k or 50k. Just run!


And last night, I had the pleasure of dining with the Fleet Feet Savannah family, head haunchos from Saucony, and Fleet Feet corporate folks. The big wigs came into town to celebrate the local Fleet Feet store for winning the #FindYourStrong video contest. You can see the winning video on the link to Fleet Feet Savannah above!

Saucony Dinner

It’s amazing where social media can take you…. I never thought I would be meeting the President of Saucony.

Thank you Fleet Feet for being such a positive influence in Savannah!