The Reach

Goals are important to me.  They are tangible things I can work towards and that really suits my personality.  I don’t do well when I’m not pointed in a direction.  Besides, I’m a validation-whore who needs to have these accomplishments in my memory bank.  Or posted on Facebook.   No surprise there.

I’ve got some races lined up already; a 10K, a 9 mile train run, and I’m on a Ragnar team again and am back to my 5 days a week running schedule.  But I still need that goal race to work towards.

So I’m going to try a 5K.  Correction.  I’m going to try and run my fastest 5K. Thank you Runner’s World, for the motivation!  Their last issue highlighted a training plan for to “Run Your Fastest 5K” and for some reason I ripped out the training plan and set it on my bedside table.  And promptly forgot about it.  Because the 5K is not usually my thing.  But the more I got to thinking and due to a timely FB post that came into my feed from Runner’s World I figured it was time to give it a shot.

So I pulled the plan out from under a stack of books (yes, it was just where I left it last month) and will give it a go. The plan is 10 weeks long and includes a day of speed work, a hill repeat day,a long run and then 2 or 3 short easy run days.

Next up is to pick  a race.  I figure the early to middle of fall to give me the 10 weeks to train.  Like the marathon I’m going to try a new plan that will push me a bit (a lot) out of my comfort zone.

Truthfully, I don’t know if I can do a 20 minute 5K.  But what the hell, I’m willing to give it a shot.  You never know what you can do until you try and do it.  Right?

I’ll keep you posted on my experiment and we’ll see what happens.

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

Cruising Along

Things are or seem to be ramping up here at marathon training central.  I just completed Week 7. Here’s a recap of my week.

The Plan

It was a week of something old and something new.  First, let’s welcome back to the party our old pal “Hill Repeats”.  After last time’s cray-cray search I already had my hill picked out.  I did try a new loop to get me to the hill which was farther than I thought (surprised?) so my warm up was almost 20 minutes.  Fine.

This time I had 10-12 hills to do at a 5K pace (read:  fast) and each hill repeat was again 60 to 75 seconds.  This time I carried a piece of chalk with me because I have a problem with keeping count when I get tired and I didn’t recall a lot of rocks laying around which I’ve used at Boot-Camp to count intervals or repeats.  However, I digress.

Hill repeats are hard but I felt strong for most of them.  I wrote last week that I worked on some tricks to help me with my head space on the repeats.  You can read it here.

On Sunday I had a “Thirds Progression” run of 90 minutes.  It’s pretty straightforward; you run for 30 minutes, speed up for the next 30 minutes and again for the final 30 minutes.  It’s a tough little run, you have to stay focused and pay attention to your pace and that can be a little distracting.  Also distracting was that I’m so used to basing my runs on mileage I automatically turned around at 4 1/2 miles (because I had 9 miles on my brain, not 90 minutes).  It wasn’t until I hit mile 7 when I realized I was going to have to add on time at the end.  Crap.  Crap.  So when my watch beeped at 9 miles I kept running.  It was a long 6 minutes, let me tell you.  But on the plus side each 30 minute block was faster than the one before.  Mission accomplished.  Here’s how the week turned out.







The Food

Hungry.  Hungry.  Hungry.  I’m hungry.  And I’m craving meat.  I made a delicious flank steak at home (click here for the recipe from SkinnyTaste) and then we went out for a petite Filet Mignon on Saturday.  And I left nothing on the plate.  See?  Hungry.   If one is not careful, marathon training can result in a weight gain.  And you think you’re logging a 10 mile run you can splurge.  Ha, ha.  Ha.  Nope.  Training is more about quality calories to support the effort.  And even though some treats are sneaking in more often than not (damn you snack size Snickers), the rest of the plan is on track.

Here are 2 things that I’m loving to eat right now that won’t break the calorie bank.

  1. Greek yogurt fruit parfait.  Layer 1/2 c 2% greek yogurt, 1/4 c plain oats, 2 tsp chia seeds, 1/2 c chopped fruit in a bowl and drizzle with honey (1 tsp or so).  It’s filling and tasty.
  2. Popcorn popped in about a tsp of oil is a great snack.  I add cayenne pepper and salt when it’s hot off the stove.  But be careful, the spicy fumes will go directly up your nose and down your throat. So sprinkle, then walk away for a beat before you chow down.

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

Happy day, yoga made a return.  Just a few times but I realize how much I’ve missed it!  And also my gal over at  Yoga with Adriene.

I also completed reading Ready to Run this past week.  I first mentioned this book a few blog posts ago when I was halfway through it because I thought it was that important.  I won’t sugar coat it.  If you run or have any running-related injuries please go out and buy this book.  It’s no-nonsense, no-BS approach is one I appreciate.

This week marks the halfway point and we’re upping the training.  Hello hill repeats my old friend.  Plus I’m supposed to tack on a mile or 2 warm up or cool down after my half marathon trail run on Sunday.  Hmm?  Honey badger says what?

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Spring Races – UPDATE

Now that it’s officially Spring, here are some races you may want to try!

nightSweatsPacific Coast Trail Runs Night Sweats Spring Run – 8K, 15K and Marathon – April 2, 2016

This Night Marathon, 8 Km and 15 Km begins at Rodeo Beach. You will see from several vantage points on the trail the beauty of the lights of San Francisco, Tiburon and the Bay Bridge.  The trail is marked with glow sticks and reflective ribbon to keep you safely on course. They employ the same safety procedures used for their 100-mile nighttime events.  So they know what they are doing.   Click here for more details.  I am doing the shorter distance for this run.

P10-Levis_Logo-01Levi’s Presidio 10 – 10 miler, 10K or 5K – April 17, 2016

This run is a fundraising event for the Guardsman and it’s a very well-run race from my previous experience.  Added bonuses are that the 10 mile and 10K distances have you running across the GG Bridge and there’s a hot breakfast and festivities after the race.  Click here for more details.  I’m signed up for the 10 miler.

12670159_10156407989015167_4574996627822308198_nMuir Woods Marathon, Half Marathon and 7 Mile Trail Run – May 14, 2016

Not for the faint of heart but worth the climb! Starting at Stinson Beach you’ll be heading, up, up and away into the thick wooded trails of Muir Woods. You’ll follow the legendary Dipsea trail to Steep Ravine, where you’ll climb a wooden ladder, march up natural rock and wooden staircases and scramble under tree trunks. Along the way, enjoy the sounds of babbling brooks and waterfalls. Drink in the fresh smell of the towering redwoods and oaks that surround you. Click here for more details.

zapposB2Blogo2016Bay to Breakers 7 Mile Run – May 15, 2016

The Bay to Breakers has run continuously for over 100 year as a staple to the City by the Bay. With a starting point near the San Francisco Bay, a few blocks from The Embarcadero, the 12K race runs west through the city and finishes at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto the Pacific Coast’s Ocean Beach. It’s a wild run so be prepared for anything!  Click here for more details.


static1.squarespace.comBank of Marin Running Festival – May 22, 2016

This inaugural race has something for everyone in the family!  Featuring a half marathon, corporate challenge half marathon, 10K, 5K and a 1 mile fun run for girls 12 and under.  The race supports Veterans and the Run Like a Girl program and is designed to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.  Brad is going to sign up for the 5K and I’m going to do the 10K.  It will be a fun day and a chance to support my community.  Plus you get a chance to meet Dean Karnazes (who is a total running badass).  Bonus!  Click here for details.

10-Rodeo-BaseRodeo Valley Trail Run 8K, Half Marathon, 30K and 50K – June 11, 2016

Starting just steps away from historic Fort Cronkhite, this trail race is comprised of steep pitches and lofty downhill sections as it undulates the beautiful Marin Headlands hills and coastline. Coastal trail and Pirates cove provide astonishing views of the Pacific ocean, while glimpses of San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge appear as you traverse the SCA Trail single-track.  I’ve signed up for the half marathon.  Wish me luck!  If you want to join in the fun, click here for details.

Looks like with all of this variety, you really don’t have any excuses.  Right?

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

A Race a Month Through 2013

After my recent half marathon I’ve decided that I’m going to plan at least one race a month between now and December 31, 2013.

Normally I do a race then drop the training down to a maintenance level then ramp up as needed.  By scheduling and paying for races it will keep my training at a higher level for a longer period of time.

Here’s what I have planned so far:

June 16, 2013
Wipro First Half Marathon – San Francisco, CA (done)

July 28, 2013
Flower Power Sprint Triathlon – Novato, CA

August 4, 2013 
The Giant Race (Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and kids’ races) – San Francisco, CA  – I’m doing the 10K for a change of pace.

September 7, 2013
Zero Breast Cancer Dipsea Run/Hike (6 miles) – Mill Valley, CA

October 6, 2013 
Urban Cow Half Marathon – Sacramento, CA

November:  TBD

December:  TBD

If anyone has any suggestions for races in November and December please let me know!

So here’s my summer and fall schedule.  What’s yours?

Now go run!

Keli 🙂