Happy Halloween!

pumpkinHappy Halloween!  Today was our annual pumpkin workout at boot-camp.  It just goes to show that you can get a great sweat on with or without any traditional equipment. 

We’re *this* close to November and we have some big things planned.

You know we talk a big game here about healthy eating and exercise.  In November we’ll be providing more useful tips and  a lot of real-life strategies that will help you stay on track during the festive and oh-so-fun holidays.  

And don’t forget to mark your calendar for our Annual Turkey Trot!  Stay tuned for details on our Thanksgiving Day event. 

Now go run!

Keli 🙂


Following the Plan

Today was a really rainy day in my neck o’ the woods.  Luckily I don’t mind the rain.   And even if I did, it wouldn’t matter because I don’t have a back up plan for my training runs.  So into the dark and rainy morning I went and 8.42 miles later I sloshed back to the house, sopping wet head to toe.  Check.

The Plan

Week 10 was a huge week, the highest weekly mileage to date and 2 hard runs.  The first long run on Thursday was 10 miles and 6 of those were at tempo run pace of 8:35 per mile.  It was a good run but I was really tired the rest of the day.

Then the longer run on Sunday was 16-18 miles with the last 6 or 8 of it at marathon pace.  Overall I’d say it was a great run.  My last part was a smidge slower than I planned but there wasn’t any (please forgive the foul language) “mind-fuckery” that often gets in the way of my training.   So I consider it a victory.

Here’s how the week ended.





The Food

Yep.  Still hungry.  But not allowing myself that “oh I’m training for a marathon so I deserve mountains of food”.  I’m just kind of eating what my body needs and allowing some treats.  Wish I could share some very wise nutrition tips but, yeah, nothing.  🙂

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

Well, something had to give.  And I’m sad that yoga has had to take a back seat to the couch stretch and other pre and post-run stuff.  I fit in a few short practices last week and I’ll be back but I have to cut myself some slack.

The stretching I force myself to do after a run is really helping.  Sure, my body will be tired but I’m not particularly sore.  Ok, when I wake up in the morning after a long run I’m stiff but just until I get moving.  But I’m not in pain.  If that makes sense.

Do I sound a little short this week?  My daughter told me last night that I’ve been snappy and on my run this morning I realized she was right.  So I had to have a family meeting this morning to explain that this training has been long and hard and I still have to work and take care of the normal day to day things that goes with being an adult so I asked them to cut me a little slack.   And I promised to chill a bit.  Then we awkwardly hugged it out.

This week’s training looks interesting.   I don’t have a big run but some speed work on Thursday and Sunday.  We’ll see how it goes.

Thanks for following my journey.  I appreciate the support!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂


Don’t be a Whener

A what??

  • I’ll start my diet when the weekend is over.
  • I’ll get back to exercise class when the kids are back in school.
  • I’ll go for a walk when my friend is available.
  • I’ll start to run or exercise when I lose weight.

You know, a whener.

I wonder if one of the reasons Mondays gets such a bad rap is because that’s usually the first official day of deprivation (the diet starts), discomfort (the workout starts) or general meh (because one thinks the fun has ended).  However, I digress.

I am not a fan of the word “when”.  Because I’m not a fan of procrastination.  So here’s a novel idea!  Why not start today?  Heck, let’s do it right now!

Here are a few things you can do right this minute that will set you on a healthier path.

  1. Fill up your water bottle and keep it glued to your side.  Keep drinking and re-filling.  Yeah, yeah, you’ll have to tinkle.  Sorry, not sorry.  Drink up buttercup.
  2. Go to your refrigerator and move all of the healthy foods to the front and move the less healthy to the back.
  3. Remove any snacks or treats from the counter top and put them in a bin or in the rear of a cabinet.  Out of sight, out of mind works.
  4. Get off the couch and go for a walk.  Note:  the only acceptable reasons for not doing this right now is a) your young children or babies are napping and you’re running the house solo b) there’s a blizzard or hurricane happening outside c) you don’t have a safe place to walk
  5. Get off the couch and move.  Dance, jump rope, march in place.
  6. Use the tv for good!  Head over to OnDemand, go to Sports, then find yoga or fitness videos.  Pick a free video and do some or all of it (based on your level of fitness).
  7. Surf the ‘net and head over to Yoga with Adriene for an oh-so-feel good yoga practice. (seriously, 10 minutes will make you a convert).
  8. Get out a sheet of paper and write a few goals for yourself.  Detailed goals and action plans are super but listen, we’re taking baby steps here so just jot a few things you’d like to achieve and maybe 1 or 2 things you can do to help yourself be successful.

The point of these small things is that you’re breaking your routine and habit immediately.  Instead of thinking about making changes, you’ve taken action.  Nice job.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

5 Mistakes Marathoners Make

I was listening to a Runner’s World podcast on my very long run the other day.  I actually listened to 3 of them over the course of 2 hours and 47 minutes so you can imagine how excited I am to open my Sprint bill.  However, I digress.

One podcast had the royalty of runners, Bart Yasso, Amby Burfoot and a few others.  They were part of the running boom back when guys wore split shorts.  shorts

Anyway they were talking about running then and running now.  How more women are racing, tech advances and running shoes.  They touch on injuries and mileage, common mistakes newbie marathoners make, etc.  Super interesting for a geeky runner like myself.

I was most interested when they broke down mistakes marathoners make. I know that many of you aren’t going to run a marathon but it can help if you’re training for any endurance event.

5 Mistakes Marathoners Make (in training or on race day)

  1. Going out too fast.  The rule is don’t pass anyone for the first 10 miles.
  2. Their long training runs are too fast.  Run at least a minute per mile slower than marathon pace.  It feels counter-intuitive but all the greats swear that it’s the best way to train.  If you are breathing too hard you’re going too fast.
  3. They ignore injuries.  A few days of rest with a nagging problem now will save you later.
  4. They try to ‘bank’ time.  They all laughed at this one.  Your goal should be a faster second half of the race, or a negative split.  If you are running a positive split, meaning your first half is faster than your second, you need to work on your pacing.
  5. Stay away from new – stick to tried and true.  Do not eat anything, drink anything, wear anything or carry anything that has not been tested out on one or two long runs first.

Sound advice for sure.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

One Mile at a Time

Monday started my 9th week of training and I’ll be honest, I was a bit tired from the trail race last Sunday.  Overall I felt good but my calves were talking to me a bit on Tuesday when I went out on my run.  A reminder of the 2 mile uphill grind from the race I guess.

I picked up a great tip this week.  Don’t worry about how many miles you have left in a run or race, just focus on the mile you’re at.   When you get to the next mile, think about that one.  Credit Deena Kastor, if I recall from the Runner’s World podcast.  It’s super advice.

The Plan

I have settled into the training and am finding comfort in the pattern of the workouts.  Tuesdays are straightforward easy runs of varying time.  Wednesdays and Saturdays are short and sweet.  Thursdays are for “training”; hill repeats, tempo runs, track workouts, etc.  and Sundays are long runs with some super fun add-ons in the mix every few weeks.

This week I had Yasso 800’s on the schedule and I’ll be honest, I was worried about them.  I have avoided track workouts for years and finally admit that it’s a confidence issue.  I don’t consider myself a fast runner and think speed work is for other, better runners.

But this training is breaking me out of my comfort zone, and track workouts were on the plan so  so I found myself at the track banging out  7 – 800 meter repeats with a target of 4:15 per 800.  Most of the repeats were at 4:10.  One was 4:12 and the last one was 4:03.

The long run was a straight 16-20 miler.  I settled on a 17 miler in the neighborhood.  Not the most scenic route but it worked.  I felt good for most of it, the last mile or so I was feeling fatigued but at the end when I looked at my splits the last 4 miles were the fastest.

Here’s what the training looked like this week.






The Food

Having the proper breakfast before a long run is always something runners discuss.  What works, what doesn’t.  Some people swear by smoothies, others have pb&j and others have eggs and toast.

Since my training is new I thought I’d check out some other breakfast options before a long run.   My greek yogurt parfait but that was a bust (too hungry, too quickly).  Peanut butter sits like a blob in my stomach, bagels are too heavy and bananas make me burp.  So I’ve gone back to my tried and tested.  Oatmeal cooked in water or almond milk, cinnamon, nuts and raisins with a drizzle of honey.  Perfection in a bowl.

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

Breakthrough on the Couch Stretch this week!  I’m up to 3 minutes on each side and without grimacing or my Lamaze breathing.    I’ve also noticed that I’m able to get lower in the pigeon so that my hip isn’t 12 inches off the ground and heels are *this* close to touching on down dog.  It’s very satisfying as you can imagine.

This week is a big one, a tempo run mid week that with a warm up and cool down will top at 10 miles (on a Thursday) and then an 18 miler on Sunday.  Yeah.  It’s a big week.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Staying the Course

I am officially halfway through with my marathon training program.  And I’m loving this training plan.  I’m running more overall.  More mileage.  More runs per week.  More varied workouts.  And being a touch OCD about my training I’m following the plan without much deviation.  The plan says run 40-50 minutes I do 50.  6-8 hill repeats I do 8.  Add a 2 mile warm up before my half marathon, well ok.

Here’s the recap.

The Plan

All good in the hood.  We had hill repeats.  Again.  Longer intervals, but a less steep hill so I had to find a new location.  I have found a trend with hill repeats; the first 3 are the biggest challenge, then I settle down, buckle in and just run.  I felt strong at the end and that made me happy.  I also had a trail half marathon on Sunday that had been on the books for a few months.

My plan had me doing 14-18 miles so I was a little concerned about my race only being 13.125.  I know, I could justify the shorter distance because of the difficulty of the course.  But, well.  No.  So I email the folks at McMillan Running and thought they’d suggest I add some miles to another day or just do the half and regroup for the next long run.  Nope.  Add a 2 mile warm up or cool down run, they said.  Crap, I said.  Now that I had their recommendation I couldn’t just ignore it.

So at 6am on Sunday morning I climbed into my running clothes, banged out a quick 2 miler then came home, changed, had breakfast and got ready for the trail half marathon.  Hindsight being 20/20 silly rabbit, I should have skipped the 2 mile run.

The beauty about training for a marathon is that you are slowly building up mileage to prepare you for the race so I was confident about the distance.  But it’s street miles. Which is like when you go from Arizona to Missouri in August.  The temps may be the same but the heat is way different.

Sure, I’d been adding the miles each week and increasing my speed even on my easy runs.  But, (and this is a big ole but) I had not been on trails in a while.  Probably 4 to 6 weeks.  And that kind of matters.

Plus I’d been so training focused I hadn’t done much (any) research to see what the course really looked like.  I knew the first loop and assumed (wrongly) that when they said “2 loops” it was the same loop.  Wrong.

The 700 foot climb from mile 8 to 10 were a very very loooong 2 miles. Not particularly steep at any given point but it was just a grind up and my pace stalled along the way.  Some of it because I took a few walking breaks and some of it because that’s the nature of a trail race.  A guy bit the dust about 15 feet behind me so I stopped to see if he was ok.  Another person was having some issues so I stopped to make sure he was ok.  I stopped for bikes to pass in front and behind of me so again, not like a road race.   More like an adventure.

I was very happy to finish and even happier that I’d tackled a pretty tough course.  I look forward to getting out there and doing it again.  Just not until after the marathon.  And maybe in the winter.  It was a very warm day.

The race capped off a good week, here’s what it looked like.






The Food

I’m a creature of habit and can eat the same breakfast or lunch for a month and be totally content.  I don’t do well with too many choices so this is a helpful trait.  I have expanded my repertoire by trying some recipes from PaleOMG, Skinnytaste and recently the new Run Fast. Eat Slow cookbook.  Luckily I love to cook and these resources provide great tasting recipes made with whole foods.   I am also a big fan of my crock pot.

If meal planning and prep are areas you need help with please let me know and I’ll share some tips and strategies that work for me and my family.

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

Oh LAX ball, how I love you so.  More importantly, how my medial glutes love you so.  The Gluteus Medius is one of the three main ‘glute’ muscles found in the buttocks. It abducts and rotates the hip. 


And if you have tight hips and do a lot of running without any body work such as stretching or yoga you may feel tenderness or something similar to a butt-cramp.  So with my hip openers and stretching I roll the LAX ball around the area and settle on any sticky spots.  Hurts.  So.  Good. 

This coming week I have Yasso 800’s (Repeat 800 meters in the minutes and seconds that match your goal hours and minutes of the marathon.)

My marathon goal is 4:15 so I have to do 800 meters in 4 minutes, 15 seconds.  In truth I have no idea what this speed will feel like so it’s going to be a trial and error for the first 2 Yasso’s.  Plus I have a 16-20 mile long run scheduled.   I guess I better get to sleep!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

How to Run a Trail Race

Ok runners, congrats on signing up for that trail race!  It’s so exciting and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

But first, lets get some of the ground, er, trail rules out of the way first.

Own Your Speed

If you are fast line up towards the front.  Passing on trails is kind of tricky so the farther to the front the less passing you have to do.  And if you are going to be nice and slow (no judgement) then line up at the back.  It makes for a more pleasant start all around.

Singular Sensation

A single track trail means there’s room for one person at a time.  Meaning you.  And if there’s people coming in the opposite direction one of you has to step aside and if people are passing from behind they will have to zig a little while you zag so they can have safe passage.  (See how important #1 above is?).

Most importantly is that if you’re on a SINGLE track trail you should not, circle with a slash through it, no be running next to your gal pal, chatting.  It’s a) unsafe and b) annoying to those trying to pass.

Personal Space

Is there drafting in trail runs?  I don’t think so.  But apparently the gal behind me at my trail race thought differently yesterday.  Breathing heavy on my left shoulder, stomping heavy trail shoes right behind.  I hugged the right side of the trail hoping she’d pass.  But she never did.  She’d give me some space and then again run up my baggy Brooks shorts.  Don’t be her.

If you are going to pass, pass.  Speed up to pass, say “on your left” and pass.  But don’t pass just to park yourself 2 steps in front of the other person.  Or else you play the chase game all day.  Pass and go about 10 feet before slowing down.  And if you can’t pass, back off.

Tuning Out

My personal opinion is that race organizers should ban headphones on trail runs.  But if you have to have your music, podcast, Audible book then fine but please keep an ear open.  You really need to hear if someone is trying to pass on your left.  Or if wild animals are coming up to eat you.

Trails are a blast and I think everyone should take advantage of what nature has to offer.  Just remember these simple tips and you’ll not only have fun but be a great trail racer.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂