New Gear

In marketing speak I’m a “late adapter”.  Which means I don’t jump on trends early, in fact, by the time I get around to new things, they aren’t new.  Which leads me to my Garmin.

I have had the same Garmin 435 since 2006.  And while new watches came to market, I was fine with my trusty Garmin.  I only had to replace the watch band once and the customer service or Garmin products, in my opinion, has been excellent.  I mean, why mess with something that was working, right?

Until it wasn’t.  Little things started happening,  the charging adapter only charged if the watch was laid on its side carefully and then it wasn’t staying charged for as long, I had trouble syncing with my computer, and the final straw was that it didn’t start tracking until I was over a mile in to my run.  So I figured it was time to retire the old girl.  The Garmin, not me.  🙂

fullsizerenderSo for my birthday I bit the bullet and bought myself a Garmin 230.  As far as running watches and functionality go, it’s in the middle.  Which is fine because all I need is this; how far, how fast, how long.

And the numbers needed to be big because listen, I’m 50 and my vision is shit.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

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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 🙂

Running Resources

I purchased a new pair of running shoes yesterday at Arch Rival in Greenbrae and discovered a local Marin-based running group run by Kees Tuinzing.  He’s a long time fixture in Marin running.

If anyone is interested in taking their running to the next level, check out this website for more information.   I’m going to try and check them out in August to see if  running with them will help fine tune my training and maybe help me get over my mental running block!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

The Real Soccer Moms of Marin

Until last month it has been 25 years since I played in a soccer game.  At a friend’s urging (thanks Kim) I signed up to play with the Marin Womens Soccer League (http://www.mwsl.net).  I was very honest on the application indicating that it had been eons since I actually played soccer but had played competitively in my youth and Varsity through High School.  (And no, I am not the kind of former high school athlete who waxes poetically about how much I rocked soccer in high school.  I mean I did, but that’s another story. )

Long story short I got assigned to the team that my pal Kim plays on.  The team captains sent me a nice note indicating that I’d been ‘drafted’ which is cute and made me feel warm and fuzzy until I realized that they probably don’t turn people away.  It’s Marin, for crying out loud where we don’t keep score for kids sports until they are like 18.  There are two divisions in Marin Womens Soccer; Open and Over 35.

Thankfully my pal Kim plays in the Over 35 division because having to play against women in their 20’s or even early 30’s scared me.  Let’s reiterate – 25 years since I’ve played soccer!

So how does it feel to be playing soccer again after so long?  One word:  awesome.  I like to play halfback which means I spend most of the game running back to help defend and running forward to help on offense.  We don’t have tons of subs so I’ve been playing a lot.  Now while I am a long distance runner, running and sprinting up and down a soccer field is a challenge.

Surprisingly my skills, while rusty are not that bad.   I’m a bit shy of charging a player who’s about to kick because frankly I’m afraid to have my teeth knocked out. I get anxious if I have to dribble because being I’m afraid of losing the ball and  I prefer to boot it or pass and I have never felt confident about my speed (or lack thereof). But I do have a lot of fun and yesterday I scored a goal.  I’m not quite sure how I did it but I’m told it looked pretty good!

So other than brag about my playing what is my point?  I guess it would be that it’s never too late to try something old.  If you loved swimming as a kid, you can take some masters swim classes.  If you loved riding your bike, look into joining up on a local weekend ride with a bike coalition or bike club.  If you played guitar in a garage band in your teen years, contact a local music store for lessons or post and ad on Craigslist for fellow middle agers who still love to rock!

So carry on mid-lifers – and have some fun!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Now That’s Dedication!

In case you missed this “just in Marin” piece.  A Mill Valley man is on a three-week awareness campaign against childhood obesity.  Is he walking across the country?  Nope.  Is he swimming the English Channel?  Nope.  Is he on a hunger strike?  Nope.  He is attempting to “burpee” his way from Petaluma to the GG Bridge.

Read the full story here in the Marin IJ.

I wish him luck in his endeavor and hope he’s wearing well-padded gloves!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

3 Tips To Run Smarter Not Harder

I ran the San Jose Rock N Roll Half Marathon yesterday.  I finished with a very respectable and fast (for me) time of 1:56:58.   I had three goals for my race, my “Happy Goal” of 2 hours, my “Happier Goal”  of 1:59:59 and my “WOW, I Rocked It Goal” of 1:57:00.

I didn’t even consider being able to beat 1:57.  And while I only beat it by 2 seconds, I will take those 2 seconds and dance with them.  For those of you who have run with me before, you know I don’t round up.  That goes for mileage and time!

I am not writing today to crow about my time.  I’m actually writing to remind you  that it’s important to work smarter, not harder.   Running, whether it be a race or just out for 5 miles can be challenging sometimes.  In a race you are pushing harder than normal (this is the definition of racing) and when you are running 5 miles you want to run 5 miles.

And while I’m not an expert, on this, I am experienced.  Meaning I have tried these tricks out and by golly, they work.  There are only 3.  Note:  You may not go with me on #3, but one day, give it a try.

1.  Use your arms.  Please.  People underestimate the power that your arms provide when running.  In fact, your legs can only go as fast as your arms swing.   I’ve been told that I have a very strong, very powerful arm swing.  I use them like pistons to keep me going when my legs get tired and let me tell you, it came in handy from miles 10-13.1 when my legs started to tire.

2.  Stop struggling.   Sometimes at the end of a run or during a race I feel like it’s so hard to keep going.  I’ve recently begun to let go of the struggle.  I breathe deeply and imagine my legs gliding and flowing.   I find my body relaxes and the rest of my run isn’t as hard.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still glad when it’s over.  But it’s not so mentally draining.

3.  Run faster.   Easier said than done, I know but this is what my running brain has figured out.  I’m running a race and I have 3 miles to go.  If I pick up the pace just a bit, move my arms faster, have a faster turnover, than I’ll be done sooner.  Even if it’s 15 or 20 seconds sooner, it is sooner and I’ll be done.  Done.  I have found that the pain, stiffness or tightness at that point is pretty much going to be there until the end of the race.  If I can finish earlier, I stop earlier and the pain ends.

Now go run!

Keli

An Ode to the Marathon

A couple of women I know are training together for their first marathon.  Both have been running for a while and have tackled 10k’s and half marathons.  To celebrate a milestone birthday one of the gals planned to run a marathon and her pal decided to join her.

As training has progressed, they have both had their share of pain, frustration and set backs.  I’ve received emails from them asking questions or just with updates on their training.  I’ve offered advice and a few “you go girls” to offer support and encouragement.

One recently responded to a post I made on her Facebook wall (yes, Facebook) wondering how I could enjoy running marathons.  The truth is,   I just do.

I enjoy the entire marathon experience.  And I’m not just talking about the marathon itself – that can sometimes be anti-climactic.   For me it starts months and months before the actual marathon.  It starts even before I’ve signed up for a race or taken a single training step.

It starts with the ultimate decision.  Which one?

Local?  Destination? What season?  I’ll run any time except summer.   Will there be bands?  Will there be lots of walkers?  Will there be running Elvis’ or Dolly Partons?  Does the run start at 10am or midnight?  All of these factors come into play before any decision is made.

Once I have the race narrowed down I get into planning mode.   I pull out the calendar, counting backward 16 weeks from race day and pick my Kick Off Date.

The next important step, after the Race and Kick Off Date is selected is recruit.  It’s not as much fun to train for and run a marathon alone so you need to recruit some people to run with you.  This is the most challenging facet of race prep because, much to my surprise, not every runner desires to run a marathon.

About a month before Kick Off I set out my marathon training plan.  It includes 3 or 4 days of running plus 2 days of cross and strength training.  I plan the long runs every Saturday, increasing the distance one Saturday and dropping down the next.    The key for my training is to start with an 8 mile base and spend a lot of time in the 14-18 mile range.  Adding a few 20 milers at the end of training as my longest runs.  The mid-distance for me is where I can lose steam so I want to make sure I’m strong at 14, 16 and 18 miles.   Then I can power the rest.

Once Kick Off begins I am very serious about training.  I get my mileage in, hydrate and focus on the marathon.  I love the actual training process.  The logging of the miles, the increasingly long runs.  I love the feeling after running 14 miles!

Once race day arrives it’s a blur.   Getting my bib number and goodie bag at the expo, buying cheap socks, GU, a new hat as I weave my way through throngs of marathon competitors is a really fun experience.  The required pasta dinner the night before is usually mediocre, fuel more than a gourmet experience.

The run itself is magical at the beginning. Wow, a marathon.   I won’t bore you with details of my marathon experiences but there are ups and downs.  Moments of elation and doubt.   Needless to say that no matter if my race was a PR or a pathetic trod, the overwhelming feeling of pride and relief at crossing that finish line is unlike any other.

So, yeah, I like to run marathons.

Now go run!

Keli