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 🙂


Keli’s Super Fun Super Bowl Fun Run II

super_fun_runKeli’s Super Fun Super Bowl Fun Run (part 2) is back. And it’s free.  That’s right.  No registration fee.  No processing fee.  No parking fee.  Granted, there won’t be medals, awards or crowd support but the view is sublime! And did I mention it’s free?

When:  Super Bowl Sunday (February 5th for those of you who could care less about football)

Start time:  8:00am

Location:  Blackie’s Pasture in Tiburon (101 south, exit at CA-131 E/Tiburon Blvd, go left at the light and continue for a mile and a half, turn right at Greenwood Beach Rd into the parking lot.) 

Details:  I’ll map out a 5 mile and 7 mile option.  Shorter options also available.  Walker, runners, kids, babes in strollers welcome.  It’s a VERY friendly route for all levels.

So let’s get this party started!  Share with your friends, the more the merrier.  Email me with questions.

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 🙂

‘Tis the Season…

For races, that is.  5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons, full marathons, ultras; they are popping up in your email inbox and flooding your feed on Facebook.  Signing up for and then training for a race is hard work so don’t blow all that prep by messing up on race day.

Here are some tips!

  • Plan your gear.  That includes what you’ll wear (nothing new), what you’ll eat (nothing new) and what you’ll drink (nothing new).  See a trend? Stick with what you know works because then there are no surprises to deal with on the course.
  • Trust your training.  Sure there will be pre-race jitters but if you’ve logged a 20 mile run, or an 18 miles run your body will be able to cover the distance.  Hell, I even ran my first marathon topping out at 16 miles.  It wasn’t pretty but I crossed that finish line, got a tee shirt, a medal and as many bagels and bananas I could eat at the end. 🙂
  • Got music?  Load up on your fav, inspiring music, download podcasts or audio books and most importantly, make sure your device is fully charged.  I bring music with me on my marathons but try and hold off listening until the last few miles when I’m just trying to distract myself.  Except in Vancouver when I plugged in at mile eight.  A true sign that doing a Ragnar three weeks prior was ill-advised.  #dummy
  • Plan for tough times.  Hate to break it to you but if you’re running 26.2 miles you will have some sucky miles.  And this can bring about doubt, anxiety, phantom and/or real aches or even panic.  Having strategies in place will be key.   KEY.

Count your steps to 10.  And again.  Repeat until you have calmed down.

Have some sugar. The muscles use their glycogen stores for energy and the brain is fed from the blood supply.  So if you are having negative and self-defeating thoughts try some Gu or Sport beans and see if once that sugar hits the bloodstream you feel better. (I have to credit a recent Another Mother Runner podcast for this tip – brilliant!)

Bring it in.  If your thoughts are still all over the place try this.

Imagine all of your negative thoughts are in a large bubble around you.  Take your arms wide to gather the bubble and bring it in front of you, clap your hands together and pop the bubble.  Now you can just run.  Nothing holding you back or distracting you.

Mile by mile.  Focus on getting to the next mile marker.  Then the next, etc.

  • Don’t mistake soreness for pain.  Your body may start to ache during a race and yes, even things that have never hurt before announce their presence.  Most of this is just because you’re on your feet for so long but if you have a sharp or sudden pain, it’s best to practice common sense and stop and pop in to a medical tent.
  • Celebrate every mile you pass.  When I’m running a marathon I touch the mile marker signs as I pass by.  Some people take selfies.  Whatever works for you!
  • Count up to the halfway point then back down.  Saying you have 3 miles left in a half marathon or 6 miles left in a full is much better than saying you’re at mile 10 or mile 20.  Remember how your brain likes to mess with you?  Think little numbers at this point because you know you can do 3 or 6 miles and it feels awesome to see those numbers drop.

Most importantly is to remember that even with the best training and preparation you may not have a good race.

But in the whole scheme of things it’s just another long run and as long as you gave it your best, that’s all that matters.  And the medal, tee shirt and free beer rocks.  I mean, let’s get our priorities straight.

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 🙂

Project Brad – Update

Brad ran a 5K over the weekend!  Brad, my husband, my formerly non-running husband RAN a 5K.  Here he is with his medal!  FullSizeRender

For those of you who’ve read this blog for a while I thought I’d update you on “Project Brad”.  For those of you who aren’t regulars, “Project Brad” is my bold attempt to help my husband get into better shape through running.

I know, I must be a joy to live with.

Here’s some background. Brad had been working out at our local YMCA for years.  He would try to go 2 or 3 times a week (but in reality it was more like once a week).  His workout consisted of riding the elliptical reading the paper or Rolling Stone and then do 15 minutes of weights.  He’d chit chat with people he knew, as really social people like to do at the gym, come home for a shower and off to work.

While not killing it at the gym he did like to play golf, go water skiing, hit the hills for an occasional family hike and also coaching sports for my son.   So he wasn’t a couch potato, just not (in my professional opinion) working out to his full potential.

And because I’m not good at beating around the bush, I flat out told him that if he worked himself up to running 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week he would drop weight, feel better and get more fit.  I am pretty sure I even guaranteed it.

This was back in late fall.  He had some foot problems come up after the first week so there was a two month setback.  Finally I urged him to get a real pair of running shoes that he didn’t pick up while buying a 50 ct of toilet paper or a gallon of ketchup and we, I mean he was ready.

I shared a few of my short loops in the ‘hood for him to run and he would go out a few times a week.  Run a little, walk a little.  Repeat until he got home.  After a few weeks I showed him a farther out and back route that he could manage and he’s added that to his schedule.

He ran/walk about 4 miles on “Keli’s Super Fun Super Bowl Fun Run” in February and he’s been pretty consistent since then, logging runs every few days.  And I’m happy to say that he’s going out (without any prodding on my part) most days.

Brad has also started to track his food intake using one of the food journal apps and is wearing my Garmin Vivofit to keep check on his steps.

Most importantly, he’s not going out for hour long runs, nor his he reshuffling his life so he can spend hours in the gym.  He’s made small but very important steps so he can achieve his goals:

  1.  He’s created a habit.  So now he rolls out of bed and into his running clothes without allowing himself to second guess his decision.
  2. He realizes how good he feels after a run so he’s focusing on that finishing feeling.
  3. As he gets stronger he gets more confident and that lends itself to helping him stay motivated.

I’m so proud of how far he’s come in such a short time and he’s already committed to running some more 5K’s over the summer.  Just like any runner would.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂



Spring Races

Having races on your calendar is a great way to push yourself to the next level in your training.  Here are a few of the races that I’ve either signed up for or are interested in.

12651366_1119737321404525_4838889025019815138_nSan Francisco Challenge / Urban Scavenger Hunt – March 19, 2016

Think Amazing Race Lite.  This 5K takes you through the City solving clues and completing challenges.  Not quite a fitness event but it might be a great way for team or friend bonding.  Plus there’s prizes, snacks and a team costume competition.  It looks like it’s totally family friendly too.  Click here for details.

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.

logo@2xRock N Roll San Francisco Half Marathon – April 3, 2016

This series hosts runs across the country.  Music.  Cool locations.  Fun Finisher Medals.  It’s a great time.  Click here for more details.

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.

10-Rodeo-BaseRodeo Valley Trail Run 8K, Half Marathon, 30K and 50K

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.

Remember, stepping outside of your running comfort zone can bring great rewards.  All you need to do is say “yes” and you’ve created an opportunity for growth!  And you never know where it can take you.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂