Resist the Resolution

My good pal Katie recently asked me if I had any New Year’s Resolutions. Back in the day, when I liked to torture and then punish myself, they were of the usual variety; starve to lose a few pounds and submit to a ridiculously intense exercise program.

I think the last resolution I made was  to be a “kinder, gentler Keli”.   No doubt that ended within the early days of January when someone cut me off in the Montecito Shopping Center parking lot. Kinder, gentler my patootie, that was my parking spot!

This year again I resolve not to resolve. I will continue with my running, try to eat well most of the time and most importantly spend time with my family and friends (old and new).

Best wishes to you all for a Happy 2009.

May you and your family have healthy and happiness. And don’t forget to ring in 2009 with a New Year’s Day run!

Run strong and remember to have fun.

Keli

Please feel free to contact me at keli.honsberger@gmail.com

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Five Fave Runs

There are great places to run in Marin.  I’ve included five that I do on a regular basis and that I enjoy.  I will also be listing some of my favorite longer runs for those of you who like to do more than 6 or  7 miles.  Enjoy!

Tennesee Valley (Mill Valley) 3 miles

This run is one of the many reasons to love where we live! Start at the horse stables and run down into the valley to the beach. You have an option a the for to take the flatter route by continuing into the meadow to the water or take the high road and challenge yourself by conquering a killer hill or two. To get more of a workout, do it twice. Surface: Bike Path, Trail and Sand

San Marin High to Stafford Lake (Novato) 6 miles

This is a very peaceful and enjoyable run. As country as you can get without going to Petaluma. Your run begins at the corner of the high school and horse barn. The bike path takes you past the dog park, cow pasture, up and over the golf course and dam of Stafford Lake. Continue past the ranger station past the first gate (where the road dead-ends) and into the disc golf course to the second gate. Turn around and go back. Surface: Bike Path

Rush Creek (Novato) 4 miles

This trail takes you off road and completely away to a peaceful marsh. Egrets and ducks float in the water along with the mist on a cold day. This is a great run to try without the Ipod or other distractions. You will see bird watchers and other hikers on this mostly flat trail. Watch out for the horse dung- this is a popular path for riding.

Surface: Trail

Phoenix Lake (Ross) about 5 miles

Pristine beauty surrounds you on this run. You begin at the Ross Post Office and run towards the state park. Enjoy the grand homes on your personal real estate tour as you make your way to the Natalie Greene Coffin State Park. You enter the park and run along the road (watch for cars) to the parking lot. Take a stretch then ready yourself for some short, yet challenging hills. Running around the lake itself is a treat while you naviate over and around. When you loop around and get back to your car, you have completed about 5 miles without realizing it!

Surface: Bike path, Trail

Terra Linda Double Loop (San Rafael) 4 miles

This is my go to run. My get out of bed, toss on my shoes and hit the road run. It’s a 2 mile loop (if you add on a smidge at the end) and it’s enjoyable in a predictable, boring way. From Holly Drive you do a long loop running down Freitas Parkway to Del ganado then run past the firehouse and pool, turning right after the pool onto Las Ovejas. Continue to the stop sign and turn right again following this road all the way down to Las Gallinas. Run to the corner of Holly and Las Gallinas and do the loop again all the way back to your starting point and down the easement to the corner of Las Gallinas and Holly again.

Surface: Sidewalk

Run strong and remember to have fun.

Keli

Please feel free to contact me at keli.honsberger@gmail.com

Dreams of Boston Danced in Her Head

It’s not a secret that I am a results-driven individual. Doing something for fun is all fine and dandy and I can play that way if I’m forced to. But when it comes down to it, I like to see results. Whether it’s organizing my filing cabinet or going for a run, I like to see concrete results of my effort.

When people find out that I have some marathons under my belt I get asked two questions. The first one is “How far is that?” (Note: a marathon is and always will be 26.2 miles). The second question is “Have you ever done Boston?”

The Boston Marathon, for those of you who might not know, is the only (please correct me if I’m wrong) marathon in the country that has a qualifying time requirement.

You can’t just sign up for it like you can for most other races; you must run a qualifying marathon or half marathon in a certain time based on age and sex.

For most of us recreational runners, the qualifying times are a bit daunting. I last looked at the qualifying requirements in my late 30’s and I would have had to do a marathon in under 3:45. At the time, my best marathon was about 5:15 so that’s some serious time to shave off.

So I put Boston on the shelf. Until this year.

In NY, I cut off 25 minutes from my previous personal best time. While not tooting my own horn, that is a good achievement for anyone. Let alone a middle-aged mother of two. After that race I got to thinking and just for fun decided to check Boston again.

If I wait until I’m 45, my qualfying time has to be 4 hours even. That, my math-challenged friends is only 30 minutes I’d have to shave off.

I’m not delusional, it is a big chunk of time to cut, but barring any injury (knock wood) or a serious falling out of love with running, I think I can do it.

Do you have any goals this coming year? Send me an email at keli.honsberger@gmail.com and we’ll post them.

Run strong and remember to have fun.

Keli

Naked Running

Got your attention, didn’t I?  Sorry,  I’m a big believer that running is a fully clothed sport and cannot advocate running sans apparel.

Nope.  Today’s topic is on the running blahs (you’ll understand the headline in a minute).  As some of you know, I completed the ING NY Marathon in early November.   I took three full days off before I resumed boot camp and running.  I felt strong, lean and incredibly fit.  For about two or three weeks.

Then it hit.  As it always does for me after a marathon.  I ‘m sure there is a technical term for it but I call it the Post-Marathon Blues, or PMB.    The first symptom of PMB is the desire to do anything but run.   Thinking about getting out and doing my usual 4 mile run was almost painful for me.

Knowing I still had to keep running, I cut back to two or three days a week and cut my mileage.  It still didn’t help.  I felt tired and lazy and just wanted to sit on the couch and eat cookies.

I knew I was in a funk.  I knew I needed to get  back in my normal, “happy to run” place.  I needed to go for a run.  Naked.

Off went the Garmin 405 and I kept my Ipod buried in my running bag.   I didn’t time myself or distract myself with music.  I listened to my own internal chatter during my 4 mile loop.  I  listened to my breathing and enjoyed the very cold temperatures.

I don’t know if I was running faster than normal or slow as a snail.  I didn’t care.    My sole purpose was to run.  Not to train.  Not to compare, compete or to clock.

I did this for about a week.  Then I began to look forward to going for a run.  I had the desire to lace up my sneakers and get out the door.

So if you need to recharge your running batteries, drop your gear and go for a run.  It might be just what you need.

Run strong and remember to have fun.

Keli

Please feel free to contact me at keli.honsberger@gmail.com

NOTE:  If you experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness or any other feelings that are not normal for you, please contact a doctor to discuss this and perhaps seek treatment options.

Cookies and Candy and Sweets. Oh My!

If you have struggles like I do this time of year, then you will appreciate and understand today’s post.  My house is a veritable battlefield and the war is me versus Christmas treats.

I have boxes of See’s candy in the cupboard, a completed gingerbread house sitting on my counter, pumpkin bread in the refrigerator, a tupperware container filled with homemade buttercream frosting (leftover from a batch of gingerbread muffins I made for my daughter’s holiday party), various cheese products, bottles of wine as well as a box of candy canes (full-size, thank you very much).

Every time I walk into my kitchen it’s a full frontal assault. I usually keep any snack or treat hidden deep in the cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind. If I don’t see the See’s candy, I will not think about it and therefore, my husband can safely eat it at his leisure without worrying that I’ll eat it or worse, throw it out.

This time of year I don’t have a lot of space in the cupboard so the offending items are readily viewed and available. I have stopped myself quite a few times from reaching over and breaking off a piece of frosting from the gingerbread house. I don’t even like the kind of frosting we used but it’s just there. Mocking me.

After this internal battle waged for a few days I realized that I’d have to change strategy. I decided to only indulge in the things that I really really love. Whether it be a piece of See’s or a few Danish butter cookies (yes, the ones in the blue tin). Eat what I love, enjoy it and move on.

So even though this Christmas Battle might not be won, I keep in mind that ultimately I will win the war. So I trudge along to my boot camp class or go for a run and try and eat ok most of the time. It’s not perfect, but it’s manageable. For now.

But come New Year’s Day – whatever is left in the cupboards will go in the trash. But don’t tell Brad.

Run strong and remember to have fun.

Keli

You can contact me at keli.honsberger@gmail.com

Feeling the Need for Speed

Fartleks, chase the rabbit, intervals, Yasso 800’s are all terms used when doing speed work.   No matter what method you choose to incorporate into your training, the common denominator is this.  If you want to run faster, you have to train your legs, body and mind to run faster.  That is ultimately accomplished by (you guessed it) running faster.

You can incorporate speed work into one run a week and still achieve great results. The trick is to start doing it and being conistent with it.

Speed work is not about going all out for a 6 mile run. The method I use for speed work is by adding speed intervals to an average run. Begin with a warm up of a mile or so and then add bursts of speed to your run. You can time it with your watch for 1 to 2 minutes or pick a point that you want to run to and speed up for that distance. When you hit the mark, slow down for a few minutes and then speed up again until you hit the next marker.

Continue the process for a few miles or so and then cool down for a mile or so and you are done. But don’t forget to stretch.

You can find more detailed training programs on websites such as www.runnersworld.com or www.coolrunning.com.

So go for it. You’ll be happy with the results.

Run strong and don’t forget to have fun.

Keli

Contact me at keli.honsberger@gmail.com

Pumpkin Bread

I love to cook.  Around the holidays I love to bake.    A few years ago, Lisa gave me her pumpkin bread recipe and it’s been a family favorite ever since.  This recipe makes two full size loaves or 6-8 mini loaves which are great to give as gifts.

Enjoy the recipe and share some baked gifts this holiday season!

Lisa’s Pumpkin Bread

1 large can pumpkin

1 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup water

4 cups flour

4 cups sugar

4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. each cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg

Optional – 1 cup walnuts, 1 cup raisins or 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Combine all ingredients in bowl, mix until all ingredients are incorporated

Pour into greased tins

Bake for one hour and remove from oven

Enjoy!

Run strong and remember to have fun.

Keli

Contact me at keli.honsberger@gmail.com