Runners Rule

Tuesdays and Thursdays I run with my friend Stephanie.  We stick to the same route, distance and run at a pace so we are able to catch up on each other’s goings on while we run.  We also find random stuff funny, often funny enough to double us over laughing.   Plus we share an appreciation and love of sarcasm.  Stephanie is one of those go-to friends that if I was in a pinch I’d call her and I know she’d do the same.  In fact, these personality traits are common in most of my running pals.

Lisa and I ran 3 days a week for years and completed 9 marathons together.  We laughed a lot during our runs and usually could solve any problem in 4 miles or less.  We ran through all of the things that life throws at you and then some.  Lisa’s enthusiasm for adventure was a bonus.  She was always up for a run or race; whether she’d trained or not.  Plus Lisa is an aesthetician so you can run and she can give you a facial after!  (shamelss plug – go see her at La Jolie Marin).

My friend Barbara  and I both had little ones at home when we started training.  We ran at the same pace and logged countless Wednesday evenings running on Crown Road and chatting about life with kids.  She also has a wicked sense of humor and a very keen sarcastic bent.  Plus she’d give you the shirt off your back if you needed it.  And Barbara is one of those runners that will tell you she hasn’t been running much but kick your ass on a run.  But you love her anyway!

And there’s the gals and guys who I run with on Sundays and also my Ragnar teammates.   These friends and teammates not only keep me motivated, they inspire me.  I’m grateful for my running tribe!  Runners rule!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂





This weekend marks the return of our trail run series!  For those interested in getting off the pavement and onto the dirt you are welcome to join us this Sunday, May 28th.

The run starts at 8:30 am sharp.  We’ll start at the Ross Post Office and run towards the Natalie Coffin Greene Park.  From there we’ll head up past Phoenix Lake to Shaver Grade up to Five Corners.  Once there, options abound.  You can turn and run back down to the post office, turn left to go up towards Lake Lagunitas, turn right and connect with Yolanda or pop over and down towards Fairfax.

The run from the post office to Five Corners and back is just about 6 miles.  FYI.

If you come please bring water in case it’s warm.  One lovely thing about this run is you can shorten or extend it as you need to.

The Ross Post Office is located at 1 Ross Common.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Do You Have Your Plan?

Hello Monday.  You merciless beast.  Ideally you were able to plan out your week yesterday.  Spend time in the kitchen doing prep work and washing your workout clothes.  Nope?  Welcome to the 99%. No worries, we’ve got you covered.

Take 5 minutes to do the following.  And since it’s already past noon that’s ok – you can start Tuesday off with a bang.

  1. Plan your  5 workouts for this week.  Yes 5. Summer’s coming.
  2. Get your breakfasts figured out for the workweek. Here’s a trick.  Find 2 meals you like and rotate them.  Oatmeal, fruit and nuts tomorrow, avocado toast the next and rotate.  Keep it simple.
  3. Same thing for lunches.  If you don’t have a lot of time to shop and prep, a simple peanut butter sammie with fruit and veggie sticks are a filling and simple lunch.  Hummus and carrot sticks plus fruit and crackers or sliced eggs on wheat bread with some mustard or avocado.  Always round out your meal with extra veggies and fruit.

Why plan it out?  Well, I bet you take care to have the kids well fed and prepared for their day and just muddle through with your workouts and/or meals.  But let me tell you that a granola bar from the bottom of your purse is not breakfast.  So I want you to give yourself a healthier day.  Besides, I bet your dinner looks pretty solid since you’re feeding you families.   Let’s give you a fighting chance.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂


Adventure Race

Earlier this month my training partner Stephanie and I ran the Angel Island Adventure Race.  It was fun.  Scratch that.  Super Fun.

Here’s the gist.  A team of 2 or 4 people race around Angel Island, stopping at 10 different stations along the way.  At each station you complete a challenge and earn a card or a sticker that is part of a puzzle that you’ll solve at Station 10.  Each team of 2 people could bring 1 bike, teams of 4 could bring 2 bikes.  Challenges would need the entire team to complete or just one person could do it.  Like the Amazing Race.  Ok, I’ve watched that.  I got it.

Here’s where the fun comes in. The stations are scattered around the island so you must circle the island completely.  Most are right off the main perimeter road while 3 or 4 are on trails.  The challenges weren’t very hard but did require spatial skills, good eyesight, balance and team work.  The website said it would take 2 1/2 to 3 hours to complete the course.  Check.

We boarded the Angel Island Ferry in Tiburon at 9 am with our bike in tow and was handed our race packet.  At 9:15am we were given the all clear to open our envelope and get a look at the course and map.  We had time to strategize how we’d get around.  We figured out our plan of attack pretty easily then enjoyed the ride to the island.

We’d head straight up together to Station 8 at the top of Mt. Livermore (at 800 feet) the come back down to Station 9 then run down grab the bike and continue along the perimeter of the island until we circled back to Station 10 (which was near the start).

So here’s what we both thought.  We’d do the race; one of us riding the bike, one of us running. We’d stop at different stations, complete the challenge then continue together.  We figured the bike would be required for one or more of the challenges.


We quickly learned when teams and teammates scattered how it really was suppose to work.  One person could ride ahead and complete the single person challenges, then meet the other person at the team challenges.  And they could switch riders so one person got a running break.  Plus, it would cut your time.  Significantly.  The bike was just for transportation and to do the race quickly.

Color us contrarians but we both felt that since we were a team we should stick together.  Plus the whole bike thing threw us off.  So we decided to continue on foot to run the race together.  #thatshoweroll.

The challenges were more fun than I thought they wold be.  There were puzzles, finding visual clues using binoculars, sling shotting squeaky pizza slices into your teammates open pizza box, building things as well as some other physical and mental games.   For most of the race we were in really good spirits.

At mile7 or 8 we had to make a decision solely based on time.  We both wanted to catch the 2:20pm ferry back to town and it was 1pm.  We had 5 challenges to go we (I) couldn’t get a solid read on how many miles we had left to go.  Plus, full disclosure, I was hungry (the food we brought was left in our backpack with the bike at the starting line) and getting a little cranky.  We decided to move forward and figured if we missed our ferry we’d catch the next one.

About a half mile towards the next station a refueling duo rode by with water and snacks.  That lifted our glycogen stores and spirits and we managed to bang out the next few challenges quickly.  One challenge was being broken down when we arrived; that’s when we realized we were at the back of the pack.

After the second to last challenge we had to haul to get to the finish line.  We saw the ferry coming in and ran down the hill and to the 10th challenge.  We put our puzzle pieces and stickers together to try and form a phrase.  “The wind blows me”.  Wrong.  “Clouds in the trees.”  Wrong.  “Find me under the palm tree?”.  Bingo!  2:15pm.

Stephanie ran to get the bike, our checked bag and backpacks.  I ran to the beer tent for our free Lagunitas beers.  And we both hustled to the ferry.  Victoriously we toasted!  Even though we came in 5th to last place we did it.  On foot.

Can’t wait to do it again next year.  On foot.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂


A Simple Swap

Our family loves Mexican food so Taco Tuesday happens a few times a week.  But with this whole plant-based thing I’ve got going on I had to find an end-around to the typical ground turkey or beef or grilled chicken.

Say “Hey” to my little friend the garbanzo bean. (Insert fancy music).

Garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas) are a legume and are very versatile.  They can be mushed, mashed, smashed, chopped and roasted, adding texture and a nice flavor to any dish.  Plus they pack a lot of oomph.  A half cup serving will get you 6 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, magnesium, iron, folate and a serving clocks in at only 120 calories.

The sodium content in regular canned beans can be high but you have options.  Rinse regular beans well before using, buy no-salt added beans or set a pot of water to boil and cook your own from dried.  The latter being my favorite method because the beans stay firmer.  More firm.  But for quick and easy, canned works.

So what to do next?  How do you make garbanzos work in a taco? Well, like this.

  • Garbanzo beans (1 can or 1 cup cooked)
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • Cumin, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, Salt and Pepper
  • olive oil – 2 tsp
  1. In a heated skillet or cast iron pan add the olive oil
  2. Add the onion and garlic, saute for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add garbanzo beans, saute for a few minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, transfer garbanzo bean mixture to a bowl.
  5. Take potato masher and, well mash them.  If you don’t have a potato masher use a fork.  You want to break them up so they are crumbly in texture.  Don’t worry about the papery outer part of the garbanzo beans.  If you want to remove them do so as you mash, otherwise they are fine to stay in the mix.
  6. Note:  Mash, don’t mush.  You DO NOT want a paste.
  7. Set aside.
  8. Put your skillet or cast iron pan back on a  medium heat.  Add the tomatoes, chiles and spices to your liking.
  9. Add the garbanzo mixture back to the pan.  Feel free to add some water if your mixture seems too thick. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and you’re good to go.

(You can also really amp up the flavor by adding a diced jalepeno pepper (where on earth is my tilde when I need it?) or a few chopped chiles in adobo sauce.  In a pinch you can even skip the spices and use a packaged Taco seasoning mix.)

Once the mixture is to your liking use it as a filling for tacos with brown rice, chopped cabbage,  green onions, radishes and avocado.  Wrap it up in a burrito or use it in a bowl.  Whatever works.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Hating on Heat

I don’t like to run in the heat and I definitely don’t perform well in the heat.  And this fact was confirmed in April at the Ragnar So Cal event.  I had 2 long legs, a 12.2 miler and a 9.8 miler starting at 2:00 pm and noon respectively.  Both runs were on sunny days with temps in the low 70’s.  Argghh.

For me when the temperature rises I slow down, take more breaks and then head-trip about it.  Why am I so slow? What’s wrong with me?  I should have trained harder.  The fact is, warmer temperatures do affect your running.   Especially if you haven’t been running in the heat.

It’s all about the training.  How does a runner get faster?  You run faster.  Same thing with heat.  To get better in the heat you have to train in the heat. Sound advice, right?

So with summer around the corner I’ve decided to take on the heat and, well, run with it instead of against it.  Not, all of my runs will be in the middle of the day but I’ll start adding some shorter runs then gradually build up.  We’ll see how it goes.  I’m confident that I’ll be able to do it.  I just have to do it.

So a Camelbak, and some serious sunscreen is in my future.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂