Final Full Week of Training

My final, full week of training is done.

The Plan

I had to do some jiggering with my schedule  this week since I was not going to do a tempo run on Thanksgiving Day.  As everyone knows, that day is reserved for our Annual Turkey Trot.   I pushed that run to Friday morning and then did my long run on Sunday as planned.  It was a shorter break than usual but I don’t think it hampered my long run.

Sunday’s run I went back to San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge.  6 miles gets you to Pier 39 and then it’s a turnaround and back home.  The weather was lovely and I was in a great head space.  I think it was the perfect finish to my training plan.  And the clear weather felt like a good Omen for next week!

Here’s how the week ended up. week-15-1






The Food

The first part of the week started out balanced.  But I’ll be honest, I haven’t had anything green to eat since Wednesday.   Moving on…

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

Stretch.  Digging the LAX ball into my tender spots.  Repeat.  It’s become as addicting as watching Bravo TV.

The Final Week of Training

My 16th week of training is light.  A few tune up runs then the race.

Mostly I’m going to focus on logistics; finalizing what I’ll wear, what time I need to get to Sacramento, what time the shuttle will pick me up and reviewing the course and what to bring to eat before the race.  I eat a lot prior to a marathon.

I also need to work on race day strategy.

I initially set my goal for 4:28 which would beat my previous PR (set in 2008) by a minute.    When I found the McMillan Training Plan I changed my goal to 4:15.   All of my training paces are based on that faster goal so I feel that if all goes well on race day I should hit it.

But as any runner knows, anything can happen on race day so I’ll plot out my 3 scenarios.

  • Best Case
  • Something’s Off, 4:28 is Great
  • Wheels Fell Off And I Just Want To Finish

Making this training public and sharing my goals, training, successes as well as struggles, has been very helpful for me.  In a nutshell, posting about it kept me accountable.  So thanks for your support and for cheering me on.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂




A Turkey Trot Success

photo courtesy of Jen Marks
photo courtesy of Jen Marks




Thank you to everyone who came out to the turkey trot yesterday!  And for braving the chilly temps, fog and muck along the levee.   You guys are awesome.

Enjoy your holiday weekend and I look forward to seeing you at next year’s event.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Over the Hump

My marathon is in less than 2 weeks away so I’m in what is considered a “taper” phase.  The training has peaked and now I start to scale back; both in mileage and intensity.  In theory it’s so I’m rested and prepared for the race.  In my reality it’s prime-time for freaking out.

Am I ready?  What’s that pain?  IT band, calf strain, tumor?  I’m tired.  I’m hungry, but I shouldn’t be hungry, I’m not running that much.  Do my running shorts still fit?  Am I drinking too much water?  Not enough?  Why didn’t I do more core work? Am I ready?  Why did I do this?  Am I ready????

At this point I have to let it go and trust in the training.

The Plan

I ran into a weather snag this week.  It rained cats and dogs on Saturday morning so I only did strength training instead of run my usual 30 minutes.  I tried to time my planned 16 mile run on Sunday around the weather report.   I saw a gap of dry weather between 7 and 9am.  The weather people lied.

I got 15 minutes into my run before it started to rain. It was just a sprinkle, no big deal. Then it got harder and harder still.  At 8 miles I had to loop back home and change into dry clothes.  I got another 3 miles done before I had to turn back again.  I tried to wait out the rain and complete my remaining 5 miles but that 45 minute break was just enough time for my muscles to tighten up.  At a half a mile on my 3rd attempt of the day it started to rain again.  I said a very loud expletive and went home.  I was done, it was not going to happen!

Even with the shortened run on Sunday I felt good about the week.   Here’s the recap. week-14-1

The Food

With a hectic schedule it’s easier for me to prepare and even cook dinner in the morning.  It’s not uncommon for me to come home after boot-camp on Monday mornings and make a pot of soup, putting chicken breasts and salsa in the oven to bake and cooking a pot of pinto beans.  I wouldn’t say I’m a great cook but I enjoy cooking and having healthy food on hand.

Plus, when you make the components of a meal, say the chicken and beans, you can do a lot with it.  Make a salad or rice bowl for work lunch, tacos for dinner or even layer it in a dish with corn tortillas some cheese and salsa for a Mexican-inspired lasagne.  My daughter complains that I don’t buy food.  I tell her I buy ingredients to make the food.  She’s unimpressed.

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

Here’s the go to stretches and mobility work that are part of my regimen.

  • The Couch Stretch
  • Half Pigeon
  • The “Four”
  • Foam roller – hamstrings, IT band, quads, lower back
  • LAX ball – Glutes (all over – focusing on tender and tight spots), hip area – insertion points, calf, feet and shins
  • Pelvic tilts and leg crossovers for the Psoas

Some of these like the pelvic tilts, leg crossovers and LAX ball I do prior to running or my workout and the others for after running so it’s splitting these 6 things in half.  Give or take.

This training week is light as is next week. Except for that marathon, that is.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

My Five Faves

Pressed for time?  Here’s a quick workout featuring 5 of my favorite exercises.

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Squat Jumps
  • Pushups
  • BW Squats
  • Plank

Do each exercise for 20 seconds on/10 off.  Perform this circuit 4 times

 How to do the exercises

Jumping Jacks

  1. Stand with your feet together and hands at your side
  2. Jump your legs apart wide as you bring your arms out to the side and above your head
  3. Repeat

Squat Jumps

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, place your hands on your hips
  2. Bend your knees slightly
  3. Keeping your hands on your hips, push your feet away from the ground and give a little jump
  4. Land softly, bend your knees and immediately pop back up
  5. Repeat (quickly)


  1. Get into your high plank position with your hands just outside of your chest
  2. Press your feet and legs together (or drop down onto your knees for a modified pushup)
  3. With a flat back, release down, trying to get your chest towards the ground as far as you can
  4. Exhale as you push back up to the top of the movement
  5. Repeat

Bodyweight Squats   

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, place your hands on your hips
  2. Keeping your weight in your heels, press your tush back as you squat down in a 2 count as low as is comfortable.
  3. Make sure your knees track over your ankles as you push your hips back
  4. Press through your heels into standing and squeeze your tush at the very top
  5. Repeat

Bicycle Crunch

  1. Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on ground
  2. Place hands behind head
  3. Lift shoulders and head off the ground, lift feet off ground
  4. Rotate your torso to the right so that your left elbow crosses your body and aims to your right knee. Keep your right knee at a 90 degree angle so you are forcing your upper body to reach up.  (Note – if you meet your left elbow and right knee in the middle you are most likely pulling your knee in and not engaging the torso)
  5. Your left leg should be extended straight out, about 12 to 18 inches off the floor.
  6. Rotate to the other side and repeat slowly, contracting each time you bring your elbow towards your knee.


  1. Hold yourself in the low plank position (on your forearms) or high plank (on your hands).
  2. Press your feet, knees and thighs together.
  3. Draw your shoulders down away from your ears and engage your shoulder blades so they are slightly pulling toward each other
  4. Lift your belly up nice and tight, pulling your belly button toward your spine
  5. Drop your tush so it’s flat but don’t drop your hips towards the ground.  Stay strong.
  6. Breathe – Hold position

If you don’t have a timer, just do 10-15 reps for each exercise (30 to 45 seconds for the plank) and repeat the circuit twice.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂







Lucky 13

The Plan

So this was the 13th week of my training.  I had a long run and some speed work tossed in to the mix.  In full disclosure, the Thursday tempo runs cause me anxiety. Speed work is my mental kryptonite.

But there’s no ‘opt-out’ button in my training.  I mean I could skip things that I don’t like but I’m no quitter and if my plan says speed work or track workouts or whatever I do it.  I just embrace the discomfort and bust my, um sweet cheeks.  🙂

Now the long slow run I’m used to.  You put one foot in front of the other at a consistent pace.  Check.   This weekend was my 20.  What can you say about running a 20 mile run in your neighborhood?  I notice the houses that are for sale, the rentals that are looking for tenants, who’s doing landscaping, who needs to do landscaping and how many people let their dogs leave their um, droppings along the sidewalk. I also feel like my very own Neighborhood Watch – on the lookout for shenanigans.  You’re welcome.

Before I forget, I have to give a huge shout out to my friend Noel for driving up alongside me and saying Hi as I was at Mile 12 of my 20 miler on Sunday!  It was the highlight of my run.

Here’s my recap.  week-13-12

The Food

Two bright spots.  1)  It’s pomegranate season and 2) our avocado tree in Petaluma is yielding some fruit.  Happy dances commence.

I wanted to do some baking this week (remember the energy bars I mentioned recently?) but didn’t get around to it.    I made a big pot of soup, a pasta dish and cooked a huge package of chicken breasts.  Having things on hand make it much easier for me but according to my kids, my culinary skills were lacking.

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

Here’s what I’m noticing.  I’m sore after a long run but I’m recovering very quickly.  And this is without icing, Ibuprofen or alcohol!  The only thing that’s a bit rough are Monday mornings.  I teach a 5:30am class and am stiff at the outset as we move along and around the neighborhood.  But about 10 minutes in I feel fine.  I’ll credit yoga and my stretching regime for the recovery.

So coming in to Week 14 I was expecting the taper.  And nothing. In fact, I have 2 long runs this week, both with fast finishes.  Today’s went well and I’m confident for Sunday’s run, I just have to figure out where to go.

I’m into the final weeks.  The homestretch.  Looking forward to the taper.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

15th Annual Turkey Trot

15th Annual Turkey Trot
Thanksgiving Morning

thanksgiving-turkey-clipart-1Thursday, November 24th, 2016
7:30am Start time
Rush Creek Open Space Reserve (click here for more info on this Marin County gem)

Bring your family and friends for a leisurely 4-ish mile run, walk or stroll.

No starting line, no timing chips, no tee shirts or medals – just a chance to justify pie! Plus it’s FREE!

This event is a lot of fun and is great for ALL levels!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂