Dusting off the Racing Shoes

I ran my first race in the Run the Bay Series yesterday; the San Jose 408K Race to the Row.  It was, in fact, my first race of 2017 and the first race in my brand new age bracket.  Buh-bye 44-49, Hello 50-54!

I normally don’t travel far or pay for shorter races.  And it’s not that I feel a certain way about shorter runs or think they aren’t worth it but I can bang out a 5 mile run for free.  In my neighborhood.  Plus, let’s talk economics.  Race fees add up.  But, as you can guess from my opening sentence, this is a SERIES.  Meaning, special goodies and props for running all of the races involved.  And besides, my friend Stephanie said it would be fun.

So at 5:45am we piled in my car and drove 75 minutes in the rain to San Jose.  The race started at the SAP Center, home to the San Jose Sharks.  And venue of many concerts including an upcoming show by Neil Diamond.  I know!  Neil Diamond!

This is a very well run race.  Plenty of parking and cheap at $5, a large line of port-a-potties, a UPS bag drop and 4 Corrals for runners.  They announced that there were close to 5,000 runners so it was a good field.

After the National Anthem and the wheelchair athletes, they started Wave 1 for the speedy demons and the folks who would have a chance at winning.  There was about 5 minutes between waves so in Wave 2 we were next to go.

What I love about shorter races is that it’s a fantastic way to see how your training is going.    You race.  You push.  You get uncomfortable.   Sometimes that’s hard to do on your own.

What I dislike about shorter races is that it’s more of a cluster at the beginning.  In a marathon you don’t worry about crowds because you are supposed to start slow and easy.  There’s plenty of miles to settle in to your pace.  In a shorter race I feel more pressure to get out the gate and go.  So there’s a lot of moving around to find space to hit your stride.  Luckily it was only for about half or three quarters of a mile before it opened up.

Stephanie and I stayed together for the first mile then settled in to our own paces.

Side note.  My husband Brad asked if it’s expected that friends run together if they go to races together.  He seemed to think it was weird and maybe rude that we didn’t stick together.  I’ve done some races running with friends but most of the time I find it’s a hard thing to do because no one has the same pace and is able to run the same race on the same day. But I’m curious to hear what you think.

The course was pretty flat, mostly flat actually.  There were some spectators, a Mariachi Mile at the end (3 or 4 mariachi bands playing along the last mile) and the Memorial Mile, a block along the course where veterans were invited to come and cheer the runners on.  They were a great boost and I know that the runners were grateful for their presence and service to our country.

The race finished at Santana Row, which is a lovely outdoor shopping center with restaurants, etc.  We were medaled, snacked, watered and directed to the shuttle buses to take us back to the start and our cars.   Next time we will have to plan more time to have a proper meal and maybe a celebratory libation!

I’d definitely do this race again and am looking forward to the other two races in the series.  For more info on the series click here.

Ok results, because when you race you want to see how it all went.

  • Race Place:  402
  • Chip Time:  00:41:51
  • Pace:  08:22
  • Age: 50
  • Age Place:  8
  • Gender Place:  116

Stephanie and I joked that no matter what we ran it would be a PR because neither of us had done an 8K before.  So yeah, nailed that PR!

My next scheduled race is Ragnar So. Cal on April 7-8 so I’ve got some long runs to get under my belt.  My three running legs total 25 miles.  Cannot.  Wait.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂




Nine is Fine but Ten is My Goal

As I’ve written about in the past, I started running, really running, with Team in Training back in December, 2000 when my daughter was just 13 months old.

I ran my first marathon (Nashville) in April, 2001.  I ran my second marathon (CIM – California International) in December, 2001.  Then my third (San Diego) in June, 2002.  My fourth (Maui) came in September, 2003.  I  got into NY in 2005 but I was pregnant with Jack so I had to defer so I ran numbers five and six (New York) in 2006 and 2008, respectively.  My seventh race (CIM again) was in 2010,  eighth (Big Sur) in 2012 and ninth (Vancouver) in 2015.

I think it was after Maui or the first New York that I decided I would run 10 marathons by the time I was 50. So I was either 36 or 38.  My math worked out to a marathon every 2 years and I’d hit 10 when I was 49, thereby reaching my goal.

Well.  I’m 49.  Actually, 49 and 4 months to be exact.  And I am still at number nine.  Harumph.

In 2015 I ran a few Ragnar races and I enjoyed the change of pace of these races.  I liked the multiple legs and the camaraderie of van life.  I started to think I’d switch focus and run different races instead of a marathon.   I even went so far as to tell my marathon buddy Lisa that I was thinking about not doing another marathon she was shocked and told me I had to do one.  But as I explained to her, I’d lost my marathon mojo.  I was feeling uninspired.  And I had been feeling uninspired for a while.

And then all of a sudden I wasn’t.  Uninspired, that is.

In fact, it was kind of funny.  Not “Ha ha funny” but ironic funny.  It happened when I sat down recently and started thinking about goals and what I should do and a stupid little voice said “marathon”.  Crap.  And then I knew I had to do number 10.  And it was kind of now or never.

So I started thinking about timing.  Fall and early winter, for me are horrible times for marathons.  Work is busy, kids are busy, I have a hard time training in the summer, blah blah blah.  So I thought spring of 2017 but you know what.  I would already be 50 by then.  And what was my original goal?  I would run 10 marathons by the time I was 50.

Now you must remember that I will NOT round up.  If my Garmin says 5.99 miles, I run until that sucker beeps at 6.  So if my goal was to run 10 marathons by the time I was 50 it doesn’t mean when I’m 50.  It means that it has to be in the books by 11:59 pm on February 21, 2017.  Cause once Feb 22 rolls around, I’m 50.

So I’ve narrowed it down to 2 marathons.  One option is the CIM in December.  Third time’s a charm, right?  Kind of take it back to where it started.  Except that would be Nashville but I that race is in April and well, I’ll be 50 so it’s out.  The second choice is in January up in Redding.  The course looks gorgeous but it may be a little too remote for me and that 3 mile downhill at the start scares me.  Flashbacks of Big Sur I think 🙂

And now the exciting part.  I need to make some training changes.  I can train myself to run a marathon but I want to push my limits for this one.  If it’s my “final marathon” I want to go out big.

So I’m going to do some research into marathon training groups and find some groups to run with or even a coach to help me with my training.   I will also work on nutrition to make sure that my fuel supports the training.  Dropping some extra lbs will make running easier and my body more efficient.

Big goals, I know.  But you know what, I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge and I’ve given myself 5 full months for this race instead of my normal 3 to train and I’ve been training for a half marathon so my mileage is at a higher level to start.

So like with any good goal I have 2 action items that I’m going to complete within the next week.

  1.  Register for the race (oh yeah, that) and
  2. Find a training plan or group

And of course I’m going to share my training journey along the way.

Hey listen, if you are training for a marathon or even a shorter distance race please stay in touch.  I’d love to hear about what’s working for you or what you are trying so you achieve your goal.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

What’s Your Vision?

A vision board is a great tool to use for attracting or bringing into your life the things you want.  In a nutshell it’s based on the Law of Attraction (here’s where it gets kind of New Age, but stick with me) where you are putting out in the Universe that which you want to receive.  I have used one in the past and still have it on my wall in front of my computer.  It has some sayings I love, an old PR goal for the NY Marathon (which I did make, by the way), photos of my kids and other offbeat things.

Vision boards are usually done on a large sheet of paper.  If you want to take a trip to Hawaii, you may put a tropical photo on your vision board.  If you want a new job with the financial security that comes along you may put the name of the company you wish to work for or the salary you wish to achieve.   Health or weight loss goals can be posted as well as photos or phrase that will motivate you to stick with your goals.  The only rule for a vision board is to put positive things on there, things you wish to receive by asking for them.

Since my current vision board is about two years old I decided I needed a fresh one to help bring some new opportunities my way.  For example, I want to run the Portland Marathon at a PR pace of 4:15, so on my vision board I have written PR:  4:15 on 10/10/10.   I have written some key words to help me stay focused; Run Faster.  Run Longer.  Run Stronger.  I’ve also written ‘what can I do today to make the world a better place?’ and the word Fun repeatedly on the bottom of my page because I can take things too seriously and sometimes I just need to have fun.   My vision board took me about 10 minutes to do – it’s kind of the quick and dirty version of one but it has all the things that I am looking for.   There are no creativity rules, it doesn’t have to be a work of art, it just has to have meaning to YOU!

When you are done you can either stick it in a drawer and forget about it (and let the Universe do its thing) or you can post if for reference.  Being a visual gal, mine is posted prominently above my computer.  It’s totally up to you.   If you create a vision board, I’d love to hear what some of your goals and aspirations are so drop me an email or post a comment.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

3 Race Day Goals

It seems the wheels have come off my training the past 2 weeks or so. My long run was 3 weeks ago due to scheduling and some injuries that popped up after my soccer debut.  Note to self:  should not start a new sport during the crucial last few weeks of a training program.   So here I am with a few days until race day and I need to re-evaluate my goals.   Luckily, I always set  3 Race Day Goals so I can avoid a race day disaster!

  • Ideal Race Day Goal
  • Happy Race Day Goal
  • I Can Live With It (Just Barely)Race Day Goal

Ideal Race Day Goal

The planets align to give you the perfect condition for your desired outcome.  Cool temps, no rain, you are well-rested, have eaten properly and are hydrated.  Your training has been sublime, your running  is smooth, there’s no unexpected potty stops and you are in the groove.  You reach your PR.

Happy Race Day Goal

You are running a good race but cannot keep up the race pace you planned.  To avoid crashing and burning by mile 8 you adjust your pace to one you can maintain so you finish the race strong and are happy with the outcome.  It’s not as fast as you had hoped but you are pleased with your time.

I Can Live With It (Just Barely) Race Day Goal

Let’s face it, you are not prepared for this race.  Your goal at this point is to try to run a  consistent race at a pace you can manage.  Since your goal time is a bust,  enjoy the race, take pride in your running and turn your initially perceived failure into a nice LDR with crowd support, free snacks and goodies at the end.

Remember, not all races will be a PR.  On the flip side, sometimes you feel unprepared for your race only to turn in a spectacular time.  Just remember to run your own race and do your best.  It’s all we can ask of anyone, especially ourselves!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Half Marathons and Other Fall and Winter Races

It’s officially Fall and there are some great races coming up!  Check them out!  I’m going to be running all four!

San Jose Rock N Roll Half Marathon

San Jose, Ca -October 4, 2009

Fast.  Flat.  Music at almost every mile.  It’s an easy PR, what else is there to say?  Register NOW!

Nike Women’s Full and Half Marathon

San Francisco, CA – October 18, 2009

Hilly.  Beautiful.  Great bling presented by tuxedoed SF Firemen! Sold out but worth paying the price for a bib on Ebay!  (not that you heard it from me.)

Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay

Monterey, CA – November 15, 2009

Coastline.  Monterey.  Aquarium.  Cannery Row.  Priceless.  Get thee to Monterey!

Hark the Herald Angels 12K and 25K

Angels Island, CA – December 12, 2009

Trail running on an island in the middle of SF Bay with 360 degree panoramic views?  Sign me up!

If you know of a kicking race, let me know so I can promote it here!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂