Running Shoes 101

So you want to start running but you don’t know where to start when it comes to running shoes? I’ll give you a tip, do not purchase the cheapest pair that you can find online. Now I tend to be overly cautious when it comes to injuries and my feet but ask any runner and they will tell you that your running shoes can either make or break you, literally.

Getting Fitted

If you have never been fitted for running shoes, I highly recommend visiting your local running store. Most running stores will be able to evaluate your foot type, biomechanics and run a gait analysis. That will help to narrow down the models across different brands that are best for your feet. For example, I wear custom orthotics from my podiatrist so I know that I need to wear a neutral shoe. It may not seem important but this will help to keep you injury-free.

Sizing

Size up by at least half size and don’t be ashamed if you need to go even bigger. I started out by sizing up at a half size but feet change over time and I now size up a full size larger than my everyday shoes.

Track Mileage

While it may be tempting to run in the same pair of shoes until they are completely worn out, try to resist the urge to take care of your feet. The general rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles, depending on the individual. As I mentioned before, I am overly cautious and I replace my shoes every 250 to 300 miles. I am generally able to tell when my shoes are getting close to the end because either my shoes feel weak or my feet start to hurt.

Go By Feel

As with everything else in running, the most important takeaway is to go by feel. Pay attention to how everything is feeling, your feet will thank you for it!

 

If you are interested in learning more, Runner’s World posted a Running Shoe FAQ page that I highly recommend checking out!

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Training Tips for Your First Half Marathon

Many of my friends have asked me for advice in training for their first half marathon and I could not be happier and more excited to share my thoughts!

The first question to ask – do you have a goal race? If so, when is it? How much are you currently running?

  •  It is so important to make sure that you give yourself enough time to train and prepare for your first race. This will ensure that you are prepared and confident when you get to the start line.
  • Take a look at these training plans from Hal Higdon for some help!

Planning your race and training schedule can sometimes be overwhelming, but it helps to make it fun! I look at my training log almost daily and write down notes about my run to keep me motivated.

Other training tips

  • Practice proper nutrition and hydration, you will need it to run 13.1 miles.
  • Visit your local running store and make sure you are wearing good shoes for running. This is one that many first time runners overlook because any exercise shoe can be used for running, right? Wrong.
  • Listen to your body to avoid running through pain and thus potentially injuring yourself further.
  • Don’t worry about time! If you have a goal time then that is fantastic, otherwise I would not suggest stressing out over your first race.
  • There will be times that you may feel like quitting but remember why you started.
  • Running is a mental sport and can be different for everyone. Test out different training methods and see what works best for you!
  • Overall rule: trust the process and have fun!

 

What are some of your best half marathon training tips?

Stay tuned for race day tips!

Halloween Tanks You Didn’t Know You Needed

It is officially October so that means that Halloween will be coming up fast! Is anyone running any Halloween races or just love all things Halloween? These tanks may be just what you needed. Check out the slideshow and details below!

Based out of San Diego, CA, Miles & Pace Clothing + Goods is an active lifestyle brand with awesome and unique designs. As described on their website, “…it’s inspirational, its fun, its family“. I love my tanks from Miles & Pace and I highly recommend checking them out. You can use discount code: KELLI20 for 20% off!

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5 Reasons to Sign Up for The Berkeley Half Marathon

Maybe you have never heard of it. Maybe you never venture out to Berkeley, CA. Or maybe you just need some extra words of encouragement to register. Whatever the reason, here are my top 5 reasons why you should register for The Berkeley Half Marathon today (or the 10k and 5k).

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  1. Run Berkeley – I don’t know about you but I have never run through Berkeley. A race is my favorite way to run through the best parts of a city. As the race site says, “experience iconic Telegraph Avenue, vibrant Shattuck Avenue, serene North Berkeley streets, the picturesque waterfront, and more in this loop course“.
  2. Explore Berkeley – I don’t make the trip up to Berkeley often but when I do, it is usually either for food or a football game. So why not take the opportunity to get to run and eat? Most people know Berkeley as home to the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s, but what they may not know is that it is also home to some amazing restaurants. I highly recommend taking a look on Yelp or Trip Advisor’s Berkeley 2017: Best of Berkeley to make the most of your trip.
  3. A Distance for Everyone – Make this your first half marathon or maybe even your 50th half marathon. Maybe you don’t even feel like running a half marathon – try out the 10k! Bring your family, friends and coworkers to join you. You can even form a team and compete in the Team Challenge.
  4. The SF/Berkeley Challenge – I ran The San Francisco Marathon in July so by running The Berkeley Half, I will complete The SF/Berkeley Challenge and earn a third medal! If you ran TSFM, definitely sign up for this race and complete the challenge. If you didn’t run TSFM this year, don’t worry! You can run The Berkeley Half in November and still earn the challenge medal when you run TSFM next July. Find more details here.
  5. Discount Code – Yup, that’s right. You can get $10 OFF using the discount code: KELLI for the half or 10k events and $5 OFF with discount code: KELLI5K. So what are you waiting for? Sign up and run with us in November!
Hope to see you all out there on the course!

Why Should Runners Practice Yoga?

If you’re like me, most days include the essential activities such as going on my run, eating and going to work. Or as I like to say, “eat, sleep, run, repeat“. So why add another activity into your training program and how do you even find time for it?

Why Add Yoga?

Ok, so you already love to run. Why add in a new yoga practice? To be honest, I was not a fan after my first class. It was slow and I did not get the sense of accomplishment that I get from finishing a run. A friend recommended that I test out other types of yoga classes until I found a good fit and I am glad I did! As an avid runner, these are my favorite benefits of yoga:

  • Mindfulness – As you learn how to bring awareness and focus to your practice, you also bring awareness and focus to the other aspects of your life.
  • Strength, Balance & Core – Yoga teaches you how to use different muscles to balance your body in various poses. You might not even know you had some of these muscles!
  • Flexibility & Stretching – As a runner, you probably have tight hips or hamstrings… not to mention that IT band. Adding yoga to your current training program can definitely help, there is hope!

How to Add Yoga to Your Current Training Program?

Before I moved, I made a habit of going to vinyasa and/or hot yoga classes on weeknights after work or on weekends after my long run. This allowed for my yoga practice to best complement my running. Here are a couple things to remember when starting out:

  • Start out slow – This is important when starting any new activity but especially when practicing yoga. No matter how fit you are, yoga is a humbling practice and it takes time. Start by adding one class in addition to your running days and then you can begin to add more.
  • Every day is different – Similar to running, know and respect your body to stay injury-free. When I began my yoga practice, I found it is easy to get caught up in the mental and physical challenge. I immediately ended up overdoing it and was forced to take time off from both running and yoga.

 

If you’re considering adding yoga to your running routine, I would also recommend checking out this article from Runner’s World, 6 Reasons Your Yoga Instructor Needs to Know You’re a Runner.

Race Review: 2017 East Bay 510k

Yay, officially completed the Run The Bay Challenge (San Jose 408k, Across the Bay 12k and East Bay 10k)! Check out my review and be sure to mark your calendars for this series in 2018!

What: East Bay 510k
When: September 17, 2017
Where: Berkeley/Emeryville, CA
Distance: 10K or 5K

Bib Pickup

Bib pickup was extremely easy and quick. The pickup locations were hosted at multiple Sports Basement locations around the Bay Area so it was convenient to choose the one closest to you.

Parking/Shuttles

Parking was easier than bib pickup was! The race started at 8:05 AM so we arrived at 7:00 AM and parked in the IKEA garage as the race instructed us to do. There were many parking spaces and we had more than enough time to board the shuttles to the start line.

Pre-Race


We met up with the Represent Running crew at the start line because we had to get our pre-race picture first, duh! But also, if you check out the start line signage behind us in the picture, you’ll notice that it is being designed THAT morning. SO COOL, major props for a totally unique idea!

The Race

Well I can’t say it was the easiest 10K that I’ve ever run, but did you really race if you found it to be easy? The race sets out on a dirt path at first.. careful here since there were many ankles that were rolled. Then you find yourself running next to the bay with views of San Francisco – very cool but windy. Shortly after, you’re running along 880 and then over the freeway into Emeryville. It was my first time running in that area so it was a cool experience. I set the bar too high on my first 10K so while I don’t expect to ever PR for a 10K, I did come in 2nd for my age group so I’ll take the victory.

Post-Race


Can you say photo ops? There were a lot of places for an awesome post-race photo (#forthegram). There weren’t many vendor tents but we did get to go to IKEA for breakfast after the race.. so overall, it was a fantastic Sunday morning.

Running in the Dark – Crazy or Stupid?

Every morning my alarm goes off at 4:45 am and I know that it is time to go for a run – after all, it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t get my morning run in! I never used to worry about my early morning runs because I would rarely see anyone else or any cars on the road. Then I joined a running group and heard horror stories about running in the dark without a reflective vest so naturally, I bought one to fit in with all of the other runners. Now flash forward a year to yesterday morning when that running vest saved me from getting hit by a speeding Uber driver. Ok.. maybe that was a bit dramatic considering I also heard and saw the car coming so I easily moved out of the way. However, it did make me feel better to be wearing a reflective vest because I know for a fact that he saw me.

I don’t love running in the dark but here are some my favorite things to remember when I do:

  1. Be aware – I admit, I’m almost too aware. I always get startled by my shadow or sounds from nearby bushes. Better safe than sorry!
  2. Ditch the tunes – To my point above, I wouldn’t be able to be aware if I was distracted. I love listening to music and podcasts during my runs but I save it for when the sun is out.
  3. Lights, lights, lights! – In addition to being seen, I would also advise to run where there is at least SOME light for you to see, even if you have a flashlight. For me, it’s not worth falling and getting injured because I couldn’t see something on the ground.

I love hearing tips and stories from fellow runners, feel free to share!

Re: San Francisco Marry-thon

Wow! After moving across the country, starting a new job, getting engaged and running another marathon, I’m back!!!!

Let’s  start with the most interesting part – running another marathon. Ha, just kidding but I got engaged at the San Francisco Marathon so it’s kind of the same thing. First, I beat my PR by 15 minutes AND ran a sub-4 hour marathon so I was ecstatic. (I really wasn’t even expecting to PR but the course was amazing). Then… Cade proposed when I finished!

Find out more fun details about my weekend in my blog post for Represent Running and stay tuned for more to come!

Race Review: Not So Normal 3/4 Marathon

1/4 Marathon? 1/2 Marathon? 3/4 Marathon?!

Yes, you read that right. I ran a 3/4 marathon distance (19.65 miles) as a training run for my marathon – placed 6th Overall, 2nd Gender.


 

What: Not So Normal
When: April 2, 2017
Where: Carrboro, NC
Distance: 3/4 Marathon

The best part about running this race is that it is truly local. That being said, you do get the feeling of being part of a community but you don’t get all of the swag and support that you would get from a large for-profit race. The race also supports amazing local non-profits – Orange County Rape Crisis Center, First Pages and TABLE.

I have had the pleasure of volunteering and running this race for the past two years. While it is small, I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re available and in the area!

It’s TAPER Time!

To be honest, I have been MIA on blogging for the past few weeks. I was exhausted and worn out almost every day BUT I finally made it to my taper! That’s right, I only have 18 days until the Big Sur International Marathon (WOOHOO!).

I don’t think I have ever been so happy to make it to taper week… but then again, it is only the first week so there will probably be a future post on taper-crazies coming in the next few days (ha!).

Even though tapering generally means running less and resting more, it takes a lot of work – like any other part of a marathon training plan. Assuming you already have a pretty good idea of how to taper, here are a couple of my personal tips.

  • Don’t worry about gaining weight.

Practice what you preach, right? I hate to admit it but I’m the first to panic whenever I gain a pound or two when I step on the scale. My first instinct is to always cut back on my calorie intake. It is crucial that you do your best to ignore your instinct and those initial feelings otherwise you risk losing the benefits of tapering.

  • Pay attention to what you’re eating.

As a second part to my first tip, it is also important to continue eating a healthy diet. You might want to splurge but don’t, your body will thank you in the coming weeks when you run your race.

  • Reduce weekly mileage, maintain intensity.

Tapering is all about balance. You don’t want to go too easy but you also don’t want to push yourself too hard. By maintaining intensity while cutting mileage, you can work to balance your workouts.

What are some of your favorite taper tips?