Monthly Archives: January 2013

Accepting Limitations – Not Excuses

Life has been throwing me a lot of curveballs lately as I attempt to take on some pretty significant fitness goals. Lots of international travel amongst other significantly schedule impacting events have made finding time to complete long runs and other training pretty much impossible as of late. Big goals have faded to the background as my most salient goal these days is to get enough sleep to make it through the next day. Things have just been a tiny bit crazy. And I have to face the facts that I’m dealing with a few limitations these days when it comes to capacity for training.

Unfortunately, dealing with limitations has recently equated into a lot of excuse making on my part. I don’t know how it happened to this girl who used to barely be able to skip a workout day without feeling antsy. One day I’m just a little too tired to get up. Another day the lure of happy hour keeps me from the gym, just this one time. And then another. Jet lag keeps me in bed for a few extra hours. The junk food flows and it’s free. And the dangerous cycle begins – one skipped workout becomes several. Good nutrition is neglected. And I’m definitely not feeling any better!

It came to a head this last weekend when I went to a trail race and ended up cutting my distance by a significant margin for no particularly significant reason – driven more by excuses (I’m tired. I fell and sprained my ankle and cut my palm but know I’m fine. I’m bored. These hills are hard!). Recognizing this and turning back anyways was a hard moment for me. I realized that […]

By |January 31st, 2013|Categories: Latest News||Comments Off

My Heart is in San Francisco

In less than five months, I will be running across the glorious Golden Gate Bridge not once, but twice – with thousands of my closest friends. Even though I’ve already booked my hotel room, made a list of San Francisco must-see’s and have connected online with fellow ambassadors, it still feels like a dream. Perhaps it has something to do with the allure of the fog, or the fact that it will be my lucky 7(th) marathon, but as I laid awake recently, the crazy idea popped into my mind: on June 16, 2013, I will be making my third official attempt at Boston-qualifying time.

Yes, I know this sounds crazy. Yes, I have read countless race reports about the killer hills – I mean, it was even ranked 15th in the Weather Channel’s 15 Toughest Marathons in the World! Yet still, the course beckons me to run – and run fast!

My current marathon PR was obtained at the Baltimore Marathon – another hilly course. This is not to say that I think hills are easy (they’re not) or that Baltimore is like San Francisco in anyway (other than they’re playing each other in the Super Bowl – coincidence? Haha!) but I think it does signify this: I love a challenge.

That said, on Monday, February 25th, I will be embarking upon the training cycle to rival all (of my previous) training cycles – more endurance, more speedwork and of course, hills than I’ve ever incorporated! I will train strong and I will train smart – and most of all, I will train with heart – all the way to San Francisco!

I am so excited to post all of my training updates via my blog and […]

By |January 29th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized||7 Comments

A Holiday From Racing

For me, January is always a strange month. It’s usually the one month in the year that I have no races planned. I always have a race the first weekend of February (Superbowl 10k in Santa Cruz!), but January is a big empty space. What is a girl addicted to running to do?

January means a month of training and recovery. Leading up to Christmas, I unintentionally ran 5 races in 5 weeks (half marathon, 5k, marathon, 5k, 5k), and typically I run anywhere from 12-20 races in a year. After all that racing, my body needs a break. And that’s why January is an important month for me.

I don’t give up my running schedule. In fact I’m training for three marathons this year (and will be completing the LA-SF marathon – see fellow SFM ambassador Chris’s posts about this) and have been averaging mileage in the high 40s each week. But I am also taking the time to remind myself why I love running other than the high of racing. Lately, I have been doing a lot of runs by myself. This usually means listening to a lot of music and podcasts, but this month I’ve left the ipod at home. I’ve enjoyed many of my runs without anything to listen to and it’s been great. I have focused on my form and my pace and enjoying my surroundings. I have run in new locations, including in the freezing snow during an impromptu trip to Lake Tahoe. I have also been trying some new workouts out, including Body Pump (have you tried it? It’s HARDCORE!) and a return to spin class after years of not going. Finally, the last weekend of the month my […]

By |January 28th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized||1 Comment

Packing My Running Shoes

A Bay Area native, after thirty something years, I am moving away from the place that I know and love. Thankfully, it is not too far away so that I will be back to visit often, but still far enough that I won’t be able to call up my running buddies for an impromptu afternoon run on the trails.

Moving is both exciting and scary. As a creature of change, I welcome the new adventures that await me. As a social runner, I fear that I will spend my days running alone. This of course is a silly notion for runners are everywhere! I just need to have some courage and do a little research.

Thanks to social media outlets and apps like Twitter, dailymile, and Banjo, I have already connected with a few local runners who would be happy to show me around their neck of the woods on a run tour. What a great way to explore the area!

While there are no running stores in the town that I am moving to (gasp), I have been successful in locating ones nearby that have run groups during the weekdays. Sure, I have to drive a bit, but totally worth it for me to connect and meet other runners.

There is a ton of run groups located in the surrounding area. While most require a membership fee, the opportunity to run and connect with like minded individuals is priceless. I have also searched on Meetup.com to happily discover that there are active running meet up groups that meet on weekends for a bit of trail running. I am currently training for my first 50k race and am absolutely excited to participate in some of these meetup groups […]

By |January 25th, 2013|Categories: Latest News||1 Comment

All Shapes and Sizes

Anybody who has ever been to a sanctioned race has been able to see all types of people.  The skinny dudes in short shorts, moms with baby joggers, normal 9-5ers out bettering their health, and even people like me.  Hi, my name is Kelsey and I am an overweight runner.  Most races I tend to stick towards the back so that I don’t get in anybody’s way and so that I don’t get passed as much.  I have been “running” off and on since my freshman year of college when I had to complete a health project that included completing a 5k.  I stopped running after that but still participated in several half marathons and other various races, mostly walking the entire distance. After that I was selected for a marathon weight loss team which trained for a half while losing weight.  During the program I lost almost 40 pounds and knocked 37 minutes off my half marathon time.  But yet again, I stopped running.  Last spring I tried out for my university’s division one rowing team and made it.  The two-a-day workouts combined with early morning track sessions and afternoon long runs got me back in relatively good shape to help me complete a PR half marathon that spring.  But guess what?  You guessed it…I stopped running after the season was over.  And I packed on the pounds I had formerly lost.

So here I am today starting from scratch.  I’ve started, stopped, started, stopped, started, stopped.  Learning to run again is at the top of my to-do list.  I’m slow, can hardly run a mile without stopping, and I”m fat.  Is that going to stop me?  NO.  One foot is going to go […]

By |January 24th, 2013|Categories: Latest News||5 Comments

The Challenge Update

Over the course of training for a marathon you get to meet and know individuals not just locally, but globally through the wonderful world of social media. The encouragement from the virtual world has helped runners of all levels stay focused and motivated through their journey towards their next 26.2-mile adventure. For me preparing for the LA/SF Challenge is more than just throwing in the miles, while mixing in tempo runs, intervals and long runs with recovery miles sprinkled in between. To me training is greater than the race itself, it is the meat of what we do, and the race is just the icing on the top of the cake, not the cake itself. If we as runners only look forward to the finish that means are spending moments of our day to day life, enduring some pretty exhausting task and going toe-to-toe with what mother nature has to offer just for a tenth of a second as we cross the finish line for a photo. If a photo at the end of a race is all we went then, why not run a 5k instead of the marathon?

I know I can only speak for myself, but I have to say that most runners opt for the marathon for several reasons, it keeps us fit, it provides us goals to work for, we get to experience the world in which we live through our day to day running, we meet some pretty awesome people, and of course we run marathons for the bling! Outside of the bling, we get to meet some interesting people along this journey, like each moment in a marathon or training, each person has a unique story to offer […]

By |January 21st, 2013|Categories: Latest News||Comments Off

Beginning Anew, Again

As we draw closer to the end of January, many of those who stepped away from their New Year’s Resolutions.

Time to hop back onto the horse!

If you missed a couple days or couple weeks, it is never too late to start a fitness and wellness program.  The choice is yours, do you feel you are worth it?  Do you feel your family is work having you healthy and strong?

On March 22,2010 that is the decision I made for myself.  At 48 years old and once being very ill, I had enough. I wanted to be healthy again.  I wasn’t over weight, but I wasn’t healthy.  How did I begin?  I dusted up one of my old Zumba DVD’s and started moving.  Sure, I lost a little weight – but soon, I was also eating cleaner and leaner.

Notice the date I started – March. It wasn’t in January.  I didn’t even set a New Year’s Resolution, I woke up one day and decided I was tired of being sick & tired.  I worked out at home, never once going outside for a walk or a run. I didn’t start running until 2 months later.  That same year, I ran my first Half Marathon and at the age of 51 – fitness is my lifestyle.   It didn’t start that way…it evolved.

While it is important to set goals and have dreams, we have to be too careful to forget the road we are on right now by focusing too much on the horizon ahead of us.  When I started working out, if someone would of told me I would be running in a Half Marathon 9 months later, I would of gotten scared and quit.  Set small […]

By |January 18th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized||Comments Off

A Love for the Trails!

In early 2013, I plan to run an ultramarathon. The very idea strikes some fear into my heart – not so much the five-ish extra miles past my comfortable 26.2 distance, but the endless climbing and hills. (I am much less proficient at running hills than a San Francisco local should be).

Despite the fear and quad-burning hill climbing, working towards an ultra has provided the butt kicking I need to hop in my car, head out across the Golden Gate and hit the trails. To me, trail running has hundreds of wonderful qualities, but three stick out to me:

Gorgeous views. Hooray!
You can run very, very slow.
You can walk. A LOT.

Road running, at a certain point, can become routine – Golden Gate Park is beautiful, but I see it every day. Paying close attention to speed and pushing the pace can be invigorating, but exhausting and can take some of the joy out of running just to run. Getting off the road has been the change of pace I’ve needed to rekindle my love of running.

This weekend, Alyssa and I headed to the Muir Woods area to catch up over a 10ish mile run. The terrain was varied – three hours of sun, shade, jagged coastlines, and serene woods.

Our pace never went above a 10 minute mile (and that was downhill and felt like flying). A couple miles were pretty much just hiking uphill. And that was fine. There was no worry about hitting a target or to hurry through as fast as possible. We were just enjoying the ride.

On the road, I find myself subconsciously competing with myself and with other runners much more than I’d like to. Don’t let her pass you. Don’t […]

By |January 16th, 2013|Categories: Latest News||Comments Off

Are you a Social Runner?

Until a little over a year ago, running was a rather solitary sport for me. Aside from long runs with my husband, I ran alone. It was my time to feel free, sort out thoughts, and generally de-stress. Although these things are still an important part of running for me, I’ve found renewed excitement in running by joining friends and groups on social runs and also by being active in the Twitter and blogging community.

Why did I shy away from social running for so long? Easy. I was super intimidated, afraid of being too slow, and thought anyone I ran with would be completely annoyed at me for those things. I avoided running with friends and groups at all costs. I was even skeptical about sharing times with friends or via social media.
Moving from Michigan to California was the big change that led me to find running friends and to engage with the running community in general. It’s hard to explore a new city and running trails alone, especially in a metro area so much more expansive than I was used to in Ann Arbor. I began running with a group in Campbell, met quite a few runners at work, and even found new run friends on Twitter and at race expos. Through these same methods, I discovered Oiselle Team and the SF Marathon Ambassador group.

Each new person or group made me nervous, but overcoming the fear and realizing how awesome the running community can be was amazing. No one was upset if I needed to slow down or take a break, and no one judged my race finish times. Instead, they were incredibly supportive of my personal goals and cheered for my successes. […]

By |January 14th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized||Comments Off

Running Injuries: Recovery via Cross Training

New blog post from Ambassador Elise! Running Injuries: Recovery via Cross Training
By |January 11th, 2013|Categories: Latest News||Comments Off