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 🙂


Race Ready

logoBy the time I step to the starting line this Sunday morning I will have logged close to 500 miles in training. I’ve never actually tracked my training mileage before so it was kind of a surprise when I tallied it up.

In the beginning of my training I ran with friends who helped me along the way.  Stephanie let me crash her 5:30am runs and then came along for some (a lot) of hill repeats and up to the trails and long runs.   Lisa joined me on the track in the dark.   Kerri, Kim and Katie came along for some of the long runs and during a brutally challenging trail run I kept trying to catch my friend Bill.  He’s like a rabbit so I never actually saw him except at the start and finish.

As I got into the more technical miles; Yasso 800’s, tempo runs, fast finishing long runs and the very long runs I ended up going solo. I would be running the race without a buddy to chat up so I knew I had to find a way to motivate, push and dig myself out of some hard spots.

The McMillan Running program was very comprehensive and I feel that I will toe up to the starting line as prepared as I can be.  But I’ve done enough races to know that sometimes things happen that are out of my control but no matter what, I’m going in strong and will push to the end.

I mean, I have so many people rooting for me that I would hate to let anyone down.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

An Even Dozen

Week 12 is in the books.  And now I have slightly less than 30 days to go until race day.  Gulp.  Sh*t is getting real.

The Plan

In a nutshell; there was a lot of running goin’ on last week!  My old pal, Yasso was back and I have to say I had a fun track workout. I got there at 5:50am and it was pitch black and the regular track-walking crew hadn’t yet shown up so I ran up and down the street until they arrived.  Now, I don’t know these folks, but knowing they were there with me made me feel much more safe.

Anyway, back to the workout.  Yasso 800’s are a good test run for a marathon; you run 2 laps around a track (800 meters) in minutes that is your marathon race goal (then you recover and do it 9 more times – keeping that same pace).  So my goal is 4 hrs, 15 minutes for the marathon so I aimed for 4:15 800’s.  I ended up doing all of them at or slightly faster than 4:08.  And I got them done before the high schoolers started PE.  Bonus!

The long run on Sunday was another ‘fast finish’ run.   You do a long slow pace for the first 10-12 miles then finish at marathon pace for the next 6-8 miles.  Sounds good but turning up the speed at mile 10, 11 or 12 is the challenge.  You are teaching your body to work through muscle fatigue.  And general fatigue as well.

I have some minor things to work on before race day but I felt strong for most of it. Running solo, even with the Hamilton soundtrack as company is not easy.  But I’ll be running this race without a posse or a group (except for the runners around me) so it’s good practice to rely on myself to get over tough spots.  Repeat after me, ‘mental toughness’.

Here’s how my week went.


The Food

Listen, if you want to eat somewhat healthfully you have to take care of the two P’s.  Planning and preparation.  Some people get hung up on the planning part and I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to spend 4 hours chopping and cutting veggies on a Sunday.   Be smart.  What can you make on Monday that you can reheat for lunch or dinner the next day?  Veggie lasagne, crock pot dishes, roasted pans of veggies, soups and large salads are all things that can be made once, eaten twice or even three times.  Salads can be refreshed during the week and veggies can be paired with a roasted chicken or ground beef and rice.  Think eating smarter, not harder.

I plan dinner for the week, figuring out what days we’ll eat out or have plans where we will be eating at different times due to sports, etc.  The night before long runs I make pasta.  For lunches I make a huge salad or soup and eat that and breakfast rotates between a yogurt parfait or eggs on toast.   Find what you like and go from there.

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

I am really happy that my body is recovering well and managing the training distances.  Sure there are some aches and pains when I finish a long run but that’s to be expected.  I give credit to stretching, yoga when I can fit it in and mobility exercises.  Also, I found the LAX ball and my foam roller is my new BFF.

Until about 6 months ago I was never a stretcher.  Like most of you I would go for a run, shower, dress and then get out the door to work.  Color me converted.  And if you want to keep running or doing the activities you enjoy, take 5 or 10 minutes once or twice a day for some mobility work and add yoga to your workout regimen. Your body with thank you

Oh wait!  I forgot.  Core work.  Having a strong core will save your bacon on long runs.   More on that Friday.

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 🙂


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 🙂

Rolling Rolling Rolling Along

Week 2 of marathon training is in the books.  Here’s a quick recap for those who are playing along at home.

The Plan

After some fixes last week I’ve gotten a good handle on the training and pace plan.  And while I’m kind of (kind of?) OCD about training for races I’ve never actually gone so far as to log each run with distance, pace, time, etc.  So for this race I created a spreadsheet with my plan entered per day per week and what kind of workout I need to do, what I actually did and my pacing.  Yes, it takes some set up time but I do enjoy seeing how my runs are going and how well I’m sticking to the plan.  Let’s remind ourselves it’s only week 2.  Here’s what my week ended up looking like.  I had to take an extra day off from running because of my psoas, which I’ll detail more below.

Week 2 Mon 8/22 Tues 8/23 Wed 8/24 Thur 8/25 Fri 8/26 Sat 8/27 Sun 8/28
Scheduled Workout Rest Easy Run 40-50 min Off, X-train or 30 min easy run Off or 30 min easy run Off, X-train or 30 min easy run Long Run 45-60 min Long Run 50-70 min
Goal Pace 9:32 to 10:29 9:32 to 10:29 9:32 to 10:29 9:35 to 10:52 9:35 to 10:52
Distance Rest 5.14 mi 3.2 mi Off-yoga X-train 5.2 mi 7.68 mi
Time 49 min 30 min 50:05 min 80 min
Actual Pac 9:44 9:25 9:38 10:25

The Food

This time around I’m working to fuel myself for the workouts instead of rewarding myself for the effort.  Make sense?  It’s easy to say “I deserve that because I just ran 8 miles” but the reality is, I only burn about 90 calories per mile so if I run 8 miles, that’s only 720 calories.  Eating a burger and fries clocks in at over 1500 calories so um, no.  The math is not in my favor.  Or anyone’s favor unless you are trying to gain weight.  Which is not my goal.  Running is an impact sport and the less junk in the trunk makes it easier on the joints.  Bottom (ha ha, bottom) line.

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

How’s your psoas?  Never heard of it?  Consider yourself lucky.  Like a cranky, overtired, and hungry toddler, it makes its’ displeasure known loudly.   The psoas is a band of tissue that connects the front of your hipbone (hip flexor) around the back and anchors itself in the lumbar region.  It’s purpose is to work with the other muscles in your abdominal region to move your hip joints.

Nestled very deeply you won’t even know it’s there.  Until it’s annoyed.  And for about 2 weeks mine was pissed off.  It made sitting and sleeping very uncomfortable and painful and it wasn’t getting better, even with the heating, stretching and few days of easier running.   So I went in and got myself some treatment.

My guy Ron (Ron Solari is a local chiropractor – message me if you need someone, he’s amazing) got me in right away, diagnosed that my psoas had locked up and was pulling on my glute, therefore causing the problem.  He did a very minor adjustment, some stimulus pads for about 20 minutes, and sent me home with homework in the form of some intense stretches.  Pelvic tilts, hip flexors on the floor and using a foam roller, a cross over leg thing that feels amazing.

After a few days I went back in and he was pleased that the spasming had calmed and it was starting to release.  As long as I promise to continue with the stretches and make sure I’m not going too crazy with my pacing he gave me the ok to resume my training.  I guess if you’re looking at it from an outsider’s point of view I have a lot of problems but in reality, I’m noticing things because I’m actually paying attention to and addressing them instead of sticking my head in the sand and hoping it would get better.  Such progress.  LOL

Now go run!

Keli 🙂