Races were cancelled and my blogging may have came to a halt, but I’m back and excited to share what I have been up to!
I’ve reached my highest mileage months and I’ve reached my lowest mileage months. I’ve gone through phases of practicing yoga every day to sitting in my inflatable pool every day (lol, I’m not kidding at all). But most recently, I launched Runnergrams, a place where I can share my running-inspired designs through print, digital and watercolor on a variety of mediums.
I “designed” my first shirt when I was in 5th grade for my entire elementary school (big whoop), but my first “REAL” design was for a 4 mile race during my senior year of high school. That was when I really grew my passion for running-inspired art. As I pursued a career outside of art, I lost my desire to share my designs – I thought “I’m not a professional” or “someone else can do it better than I can”. While both are true, I decided to start sharing my work because why not? Check out the links below to see what I’ve been working on and thanks for following as I re-find this hobby of mine.
Things are a bit crazy right now to say the least – we’re under a ‘Shelter in Place’ order here in the Bay Area for the next three weeks due to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus or COVID-19. This means that we’ll be staying home and trying our best to stay healthy.
Focus on the things we can control and let go of the things we can’t.
I felt mentally and physically drained last week with the stress of ‘what-ifs’ scenarios – what if my marathon gets cancelled, what if we have to cancel our wedding, what if I have the virus, etc., but none of these things are in my control. So, what is in my control? Staying active – to keep myself both mentally and physically healthy. Here are some great ideas on how to stay active without having to buy equipment, while also practicing social distancing.
Local Fitness Studios – Virtual Classes
I list this one first because our local businesses need our help right now. My two favorite studios in San Francisco – Ritual Hot Yoga and MNT Studio (Barre/Pilates) – are offering virtual classes through Zoom. These classes are free for studio members and $10 for non-members – this price is a steal! I highly recommend trying out one of their classes or a studio near you.
Run, Hike and Walk – 6 feet away from others
With the Shelter in Place order, health officials encourage getting outside for regular exercise such as running, hiking or walking. Note that you should do things activities alone or with close family, while keeping 6 feet away from others. Bored of your neighborhood and not sure where to find an isolated trail near you? I highly recommend checking out All Trails.
Free Workouts On Demand
Ever heard the saying, “there’s an app for everything”? There is no shortage when it comes to fitness apps and you can have your favorite workouts at the tips of your fingertips. Self.com published this list of Best New Workout Apps this year, but my two favorites are Nike Training Club and Down Dog. You can find anything on the Nike Training Club app and it’s free with an account. I recently discovered Down Dog as they are offering yoga, HIIT and barre workouts free until April 1st. In response to school closures, they are also offering free access until July 1st for all students and teachers – how cool is that?!
There are a lot of businesses doing awesome things right now despite this very difficult and unprecedented time. Let’s continue to share, inspire and support one another!
My favorite race in my favorite city – ready to run?! Register with code AMBOKelli to save 15% on the full marathon, half marathon or 5k distances at thesfmarathon.com.
When I ran this race for the first time three years ago, I didn’t expect to run my first sub 4-hour marathon and I definitely didn’t expect Cade to propose at the finish line. Then I ran the full marathon for a second time in 2018 and got accepted into the ambassador program where I met friends who became my running family. Last year, I was coming back from injury so I ran the second half and ran my best half marathon ever. I am super excited and grateful for the opportunity to represent this race for another year and to be back out on my favorite course!
In a short summary, 2019 was a year of injuries and PRs. First I PR’d, then I got injured, then I PR’d again only to find myself injured again.. and then I PR’d one more time. All things considered, I would say 2019 ended up being a successful year.
- New 5k PR – 20:18
- New Half Marathon PR – 1:43:18
- New Marathon PR – 3:41:27
- No PR but placed 2nd in the Berkeley Half 5k!
- Overcame two injuries
- Switched to a vegan diet (it’s been two months)
- Found my race nutrition strategy with Gen UCAN
- Finally executed negative splits
Honestly, I’m not quite ready for 2020 and I’m not sure what the new year has in store for me but I’m ok with that!
It’s time for one of my favorite campaigns of the year! #sharetheSPARK is “Momentum’s movement to inspire, encourage, & motivate others to find their own SPARK while becoming their very best selves”!
This year, there are TWO new mantras – “Keep Reaching Higher” and “Find Your Courage”. I decided to keep ‘Find Your Courage’ for myself and give ‘Keep Reaching Higher’ to my amazingly-talented friend, Christine (@christinerunsfast). I remember when I first met Christine at my first SFRRC Saturday club run in 2017. If it wasn’t intimidating enough just to join a new running group, it was also my first weekend as a San Francisco resident so I was a little anxious. I don’t remember really remember the actual run at all but I do remember the breakfast after. Christine and I talked about our favorite insta-famous runners and our personal running goals – BOOM, instant friendship! But really, I went home after that run and was like, omg did I just find a new BFF?!
Since then, Christine has qualified for Boston several more times, finished her first Boston Marathon last month and is chasing a sub-3 hour marathon goal! How amazing is that?! On top of that though, she finds the time to inspire others because she is a teacher, but also other runners like me. She is there on the good days and the bad days; and the days when I don’t want to run up a hill but she makes me do it anyway.
So anyway, I am excited to #sharetheSPARK with Christine, it wasn’t the first time and probably won’t be the last (lol). And if you don’t already, go follow @christinerunsfast to see her ‘Keep Reaching Higher’ and accomplish her inspiring goal!
In true spirit of the movement, the #sharetheSPARK collection is on sale with an opportunity to pass it on and pay it forward! From now until May 6th, each of the #sharetheSPARK mantras are priced at $14/each and if you buy one, you can get a second for only $7! Check them out on https://momentumjewelry.com/.
Share your #sharetheSPARK story by tagging @momentumjewelry and using #sharetheSPARK.
I put in 13 near-perfect weeks of training and there are still 7 weeks to go until the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon. So why did I decide to defer my race entry?
More Recovery Time
For starters, I’m injured. I haven’t run for the past two weeks and it looks like I’ll be going on a third week of no running. My ankle-area started hurting two weeks back and I won’t justify running through this pain. The first several days were tough – I wanted to run and sometimes I would even try, but then the pain would come and I would find myself walking home. My PT suggested giving myself another week to rest it before even thinking about deferring my race. That made my second week a little easier, without the pressure to run. I even enjoyed my cross-training workouts in the pool and the gym. Now I’ve made it to the third week and I feel really good about my decision to skip this race.
Who Knows Me Best
I am truly grateful that so many people have reached out during the last couple of weeks but one of the hardest parts has been having to explain myself, explain my reasons for deferring and having to listen and accept unsolicited advice. At the end of the day, I know myself best. I’ve been here numerous times before – injured and making the decision on whether or not I can realistically run the race that I want to (which takes me to my next point).
The brutal truth is my goal this year wasn’t to run races for fun. I want to train hard, race hard and challenge myself to accomplish bigger goals. Even though my momentum has been strong in the past 6 months with new PRs and different challenges, I felt like I needed to sit this one out and that is all just a part of the journey.
On To The Next One
People always say, ‘there’s always next time’. And in my case, there is literally always the next one. While I would have loved to run Mountains 2 Beach, the Chicago Marathon was always my larger focus of 2019. And it looks like I will have a lot of work to do before October!
A strong week overall but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I wanted to hit 44 miles this week and fell 2 miles short because I skipped my run on Sunday due to ankle pain.. it is silly to be disappointed about but some things are just all mental.
6 miles at 8:41 /mile – nothing special about this run. My legs felt heavy but I got outside and got my miles in.
6.4 miles total on the track – 1.6 mile warm up + track ladder (400 / 800 / 1600 / 2000 / 1600 / 800 / 400). This was really hard.. I was supposed to add in a couple 200s and cool down but my legs were done and I was getting kicked off the track by the high school teams anyway.
4.6 EASY miles at 8:27 /mile – my time was fast but my effort was definitely easier. I really didn’t want to run today.. my legs were tired and I felt like I had no power behind them.
8.5 miles at 8:26 /mile! At surface level, this run looks good. But when you look mile by mile, this run looks great. I tried to start my first 4 mile loop “easy”, cutting down every mile. The second loop took a lot more effort with the start of the loop going uphill and then continuing to cut down every mile, ending with negative splits!
It’s finally rest day and I’ve never been more ready! Coming off the last two weeks of hard workouts and a race, my legs are 100% feeling it. I thought about taking a rest day earlier in the week but I pushed through and earned it today.
16.2 miles of constant hills – the challenge felt pretty good but my ankle was hurting by the end of it. A few weeks ago, I ran 17 miles and it felt amazing. This run was almost the complete opposite but I made it through the whole thing!
I wanted to run a couple of easy miles so badly but I knew that my ankle needed the rest.
The inaugural San Jose Shamrock 5k & 10k Run/Walk & Leprechaun Kids Run did not disappoint! The race benefited the San Jose – Dublin Sister City Scholarship Program and had an awesome O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub & Five Points post-race party. Can’t wait to run this one again next year!
What: San Jose Shamrock Run
When: March 17, 2019
Where: San Jose, CA
The pickup locations were hosted at the Decathlon store in San Francisco and in San Pedro Square in Downtown San Jose. The race series also offers receiving your bib by mail for $10 – always super worth it but I never remember.
Everything was easy as it usually is with the Represent Running races. The race started at 8AM and I arrived around 7:30AM with more than enough time to spare to use the bathroom, take pictures and warm up. I would also note that if you care about your time, make your way to the start line at least 15 minutes before. It didn’t seem like runners cared about the corrals and there were also a couple dogs near the front – I heard a few runners complain.
The course was flat and fast with a couple minor hills. Due to the rain, the 10K course was updated at the last minute and was two loops of the 5K course – that didn’t affect me as I was running the 5K. The 5K included a “chase the leprechaun” competition – any runners who beat the leprechauns would win a Decathlon gift card. The leprechauns immediately took off and were out of sight. I started out way too fast in the first 100 yards but was able to settle into a pace that felt pretty decent. The course had a few turnaround points that were difficult to do in my VaporFlys but I managed. In the end, the leprechauns finished in first, I finished in 3rd place for overall women’s division with a new 5k PR of 20:18! My only caveat is that Strava tracked the course as 0.2 short.. but I’ll take the new PR and the new backpack that I won. Thank you!
The post-race festivities were cool – after all, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and runners got a free Guinness! Additionally, runners received a race shirt from Decathlon, a race medal and FREE RACE PHOTOS! Always super worth it, IMO.
Up next in the series: Silicon Valley Half Marathon & 5K – sign up with code RepresentKH to save 10%!
This week brought California sunshine, fast miles and a new PR!
6.2 miles at 8:26 /mile. After a tough weekend of “bad” runs, I set low expectations and planned for an easy run today, tomorrow and the day after. My “easy” run today exactly happen but it felt good!
6 miles at 8:37 /mile – easy effort run and just enjoying the sunshine.
4.5 miles at 8:20 /mile. This was also supposed to be an easy effort run but the pace just felt good once I got going.
8.1 miles at 8:16 /mile – KILLER!!!! I finished two laps around Lake Merced and enjoyed the sunshine outside. I’m definitely loving my new work schedule and running in the afternoon.
Rest day – I was itching to run because the weather was perfect outside but I knew that I needed to make myself take a rest day.
Planned for 16 miles but ended up finishing 14.3 miles with SFRRC around Golden Gate Park. I wasn’t too heartbroken about settling for less since I have a race tomorrow.
Let’s just say, I shamROCK’d it today at the San Jose Shamrock Run. Finished 3rd overall for women and set a new 5k PR at 20:18. My watch tracked the course a little short so that PR might be a little optimistic but I’ll take it.
TOTAL: 42 ish
What started out as a strong week ended in disappointment but I’m ready to put this behind me and move forward with training. Back to San Francisco on Friday!
KILLER WORKOUT – 1 mile warm up, 3 x 2 mile repeats at strength pace, 1 mile cool down. I was dreading this workout a little because I knew that it was going to be a tough one.. especially because it was also really cold!
I wanted to run again but I also wanted to give myself the rest after a tough track workout. Settled for a short run commute home after work; 1.5 miles at 8:46 /mile.
Yuck.. woke up to 29 degree weather. Another easy day in the books; 3 miles at 8:39 /mile. I’m definitely getting used to the weather and the hills in NC.
Another Tempo Thursday with my 5:30a crew in North Carolina! 8.6 perfect miles at 8:55 /mile.. I almost didn’t notice that it was 23 degrees!
Easy run after yesterday for one last run in Raleigh before heading back to San Francisco tonight! 3.1 miles at 8:57 /mile.
I planned to run a shorter long run of 8 miles this week but it didn’t happen today. After flying home yesterday, almost fainting on my flight and getting home at 1:00am, I decided that I could use a day of rest. After all, there is always tomorrow.
Disappointing. I had already pushed my long run back a day and I pretty much hit a wall immediately after I set out for my 8 mile run. Probably a combination of how I was feeling yesterday + jet lag + daylight savings. A short 3.5 miles at 9:12 pace.. but really a lot of walk breaks where I just stopped my watch completely.