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 🙂


Work It


I run an outdoor fitness program.  And when I talk to people about the program there’s a mixture of responses but over half go like this.

  1. Is there running?
  2. I don’t run.

So I explain that yes we do run but that you can walk, run/walk, etc.  The main goal is to move and we can modify it for any level.  Because it’s true that you don’t have to be a runner to start but I promise, you will be running.  And it happens gradually so you don’t even realize it.

Now if you have an injury or are not able to run; I won’t have you run.  There are a slew of exercises we can do to get your heart rate up.  A slew. 🙂

But back to running.  I’d say easily half of the people in my group today would not classify themselves as runners.

Yet, in class they run.  In fact, for today’s workout they ran 2 1/2 or 3 miles, in quarter mile intervals.

Mighty impressive, I’ll say.

So the next time you head out for a walk or a hike add in some running, faster walking, or throw in a really steep hill.  Breathe harder, work more, step outside of your comfort zone.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Stuff I Luv

I’m often asked about certain running gear, products, and stuff in general.  Here’s a partial list of the things I have, use, read and love.

Garmin 405 Watch

watchIt tracks my stuff, is pretty easy to use and the face isn’t so sensitive that I can mistakenly reset it on a run. Granted it’s older and there are some peccadilloes to deal with, but the truth is, I’m older too so we’re a perfect match.  The key was replacing the plastic band with the Velcro one.  Now this bad boy has tons of functions but I just want to see how far I ran, how fast I ran and the total minutes I ran.   I’m actually on my second one, the first bonked after about 6 years so I was sent a refurbished model for free.  Garmin stands by their products and I appreciate that.

Thin, No Show Socks

I know compression socks are “yuuuge” right now, but give me a very thin and very low pair of socks.   I don’t need cushioning or extra padding.  Just the socks, ma’am. My favorite are the ones from Road Runner Sports.  I just bought a new 3-pack for $30.  Score.  And thank you Shelly for the gift card!

Nathan iPhone Arm Band download

Until 2015 I had a well-loved iPod Shuffle for my long runs.  I think it was my 4th shuffle.  I had the same playlist “Keli’s Running” for oh, about 4 years.  It had 80 or so songs on it.  In mid 2015 the shuffle died and I upgraded to carrying my iPhone.  I tried various arm bands and finally found my soul, or arm-mate.  This little jobber is small, holds nothing but an iPhone 5s (because as you may have realized I’m a tad behind in tech) and I can listen to my podcasts or the Hamilton soundtrack to my little ear’s content.

Brooks Shorts – Versatile 5″

Sadly, Brooks doens’t sell these shorts any longer.  And it’s a shame because these are the perfect running shorts. I don’t like shorty mcshort shorts so these cover the bits, the cheeks and I don’t have to worry about my nether regions being on full display when I stretch.  So when these are no longer wearable I’m screwed.  But they made the list because I love them so much.  Um, Brooks Running.  Help a girl out!

Champion Sports Bras

Some low-priced athletic gear works well.  Champion Sports Bras (sold at Target) are a gem.  Being, um, less-endowed than many other females on the planet I don’t have a need for underwire or super industrial materials.  In fact, I can live with a uniboob.  I mean, I’m not looking for a date, I’m running and those girls just need to lay low.  And bonus!  The ones I have are reversible.  So it’s like 2 for the price of 1.

Runner’s World Magazine

The Runner’s Bible.  The Holy Grail.  If you can’t find what you need about running, nutrition, etc. in this magazine, on their website ( or via their podcast then it’s not necessary.   What I especially appreciate is that they have embraced that runners come in all speeds, shapes, sizes and abilities.  Whether we run a 7 minute pace or 12 minute pace we’re still covering the same ground.

The Ragnar Race Seriesragnar-logo

A 200-mile, 12-person, 24 to 36 hour relay run?  Ragnar is like a frat party on wheels. Without the drinking and nudity.  Or maybe with all of that, but in a different context.  Only sweatier and smellier.  Did I mention that you sleep in the vans too?  Whatever.  Find one.  Run one.  If you need a teammate, call me.  I’m your gal.

Running Buddies

A running partner will motivate you and push you to be a better runner.  Do they have to be the same pace?  Not necessary, but it is nice to be close enough so you’re not dragging behind them too far or having to sprint to keep up with them.  How can you find a running partner?  Ask your friends, look at your social media feed to see who’s posting about running, or the races they are doing.  Look online and join a local running club or drop into a running store and see what they have going on.

Bani Band Headbands

I have a small head and slippery hair (attractive, right?) so headbands tend to fling off my head easily.  These are backed with a soft-grip backing material and you can cinch them for any head size so they stay put.  I am partial to the ones with glitter or sequins.  They make me happy and they aren’t too pricey.  The ones I get are $13 or so plus shipping.  Even better, they have a whole network of home sewers who are stay-at-home moms, veterans, college students and grandmas who make their products.  Check them out at

A LAX Ball, Foam Roller and Yoga Mat…walked into a bar

Like onion, celery and carrots are to a chef, these three items represent *my* Holy Trinity.  The LAX (lacrosse) ball hits the tight spots in my glutes, the foam roller tingles the IT band and my Yoga Mat is just y(om)my.   If you run you need to go get all three.  Next week I’ll post a mini tutorial on how to use them.

Ok, there you have it.  My list of fav things.

So now it’s your turn.  What’s YOUR go-to, must-have running stuff?  Drop me a note, post a comment on my FB page ( or tag me on twitter @kelihonsberger.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

Run and Done. Now What?

So I’ve been in the post-marathon meh phase.  The race is done, the medal hung, the race number pinned to the wall with the others.  My body is recovered, any soreness or aches have subsided, people are tired of hearing about it and the race photos came out and as usual, they are awful!   Meh.

So what’s a girl to do?

Why start a post-marathon training plan of course.  Four weeks to ease back into training shape before I start preparing for an upcoming Ragnar relay.

The marathon training plan I followed pulled me out of some hum-drum running patterns I’d fallen in to so I’m going to stick with what worked.  Only on a less intense scale.

  1. Scheduling specific training runs (speed, hills, track, easy, long, etc.)
  2. Tracking distance and pace
  3. Logging it all down on my spreadsheet

Having a plan is important for me, it keeps me accountable and on track.  And don’t worry, I won’t be posting my training plan every week.  Just updates now and then.

Here’s your Holiday Hustle Challenge Workout #15 for today.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂


Final Full Week of Training

My final, full week of training is done.

The Plan

I had to do some jiggering with my schedule  this week since I was not going to do a tempo run on Thanksgiving Day.  As everyone knows, that day is reserved for our Annual Turkey Trot.   I pushed that run to Friday morning and then did my long run on Sunday as planned.  It was a shorter break than usual but I don’t think it hampered my long run.

Sunday’s run I went back to San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge.  6 miles gets you to Pier 39 and then it’s a turnaround and back home.  The weather was lovely and I was in a great head space.  I think it was the perfect finish to my training plan.  And the clear weather felt like a good Omen for next week!

Here’s how the week ended up. week-15-1






The Food

The first part of the week started out balanced.  But I’ll be honest, I haven’t had anything green to eat since Wednesday.   Moving on…

Yoga/Stretching and Body Work

Stretch.  Digging the LAX ball into my tender spots.  Repeat.  It’s become as addicting as watching Bravo TV.

The Final Week of Training

My 16th week of training is light.  A few tune up runs then the race.

Mostly I’m going to focus on logistics; finalizing what I’ll wear, what time I need to get to Sacramento, what time the shuttle will pick me up and reviewing the course and what to bring to eat before the race.  I eat a lot prior to a marathon.

I also need to work on race day strategy.

I initially set my goal for 4:28 which would beat my previous PR (set in 2008) by a minute.    When I found the McMillan Training Plan I changed my goal to 4:15.   All of my training paces are based on that faster goal so I feel that if all goes well on race day I should hit it.

But as any runner knows, anything can happen on race day so I’ll plot out my 3 scenarios.

  • Best Case
  • Something’s Off, 4:28 is Great
  • Wheels Fell Off And I Just Want To Finish

Making this training public and sharing my goals, training, successes as well as struggles, has been very helpful for me.  In a nutshell, posting about it kept me accountable.  So thanks for your support and for cheering me on.

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 🙂