Run: AZ Monsoons: Run in the rain?

 Behold! My first video-taping adventure! 

Today, I was supposed to wake up at 4:15 and run 9 miles. Shockingly, I actually did wake up at 4:15, but it was pouring rain (and much darker than I thought it would be). I waited around until five and then went back to bed.

Later today, I thought I might try it again. The cloud cover has kept it relatively cool outside so why not?... gah but those clouds once again did what they are oh-so-good at: making it rain.

Unless things clear up ASAP, no run for me. I was already contemplating slowing the training down since I don't really have to start training hard core for the RNR until mid September. Not to mention the legs are sore and the asthma is acting up. So overall, it's not a huge deal. I just get to feel like a fat ass all day after downing that HUGE plate of Chili Rellenos last night thinking I'd burn it all off today. FUN. 

Anyways, sorry for the erratic posting this week. I'll be back on track next week. Have a great weekend!


OH AND.. I'm not just asking this to get comments, because I really have no idea... Do most runners run anyway when it's raining? Am I just a lazy bum? How do you compensate for bad weather--especially on long run days?


Rate: Help Jim, Help Others


“You will get everything in life that you want if you just help enough other people get what they want” — Zig Ziglar

I know it's not Thursday, and not a good day to be doing "rate" posts, BUT a man I work for, a man I really respect has a goal. He is extremely passionate about reaching this goal, and he is not getting any financial compensation. I therefore, want to help him with his goal:

One man, with one objective: To help 263 people help themselves.

With only five days left, Jim Richards is only 62 people away from meeting his goal, to fulfilling what he set out to do. But he needs your help. Jim needs 62 more people to enroll. Why? Because they changed his life, and he feels they can change yours.  Any one who joins upon Jim's referral gets a $100 discount.

How can you support Jim? 
Jim will be hosting a Webinar!!
When: Tonight 6:30 PST   9:30 EST
Registration link: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/977158985


****Run post coming soon!


Rest: The benefits of solitude

Mr. Wonderful went out of town, and since I am staying at his house, I was forced to spend 24 hours all by my lonesome. *Tear*Sniffle*[insert big pouty lip]*. Actually it was nice to have a little RNR (noooo not the marathon, ha. ha. ha.) and be forced to listen to my thoughts. It always amazes me what a little solitude can do for my mood, and shoot, even my soul. I need at least two days though. The first day, I spend anxiously browsing the internet, starting cleaning projects but never finishing them, pacing the house and feeling downright sorry for myself. But the second day, ahhhhhhh, solitude becomes bliss: I write. I read. I rest. I run. I think. I cook. I stretch. I organize. I cuddle with my adorable dog. I completely decompress until I am acting completely like myself.  And that is exactly what happened this weekend. I think everyone can benefit from a little solitude. And not just being alone, but being still without distraction. It's completely cleansing and relaxing if done right.  Four awesome things also happened.

1. I ran 8 miles for my long run. Woot Woot! And hit a 22 mile week, which is a record for me. I hope to be increasing my mileage by ten percent every week, but we'll see how me knees feel about that. Today, they felt a bit uneasy, but hung in there. I feel really good overall though. I feel like I'm only going to get faster and run farther, and that is a very, very good feeling.

2. Today is my wonderful father's B DAY!!!!!! Happy Birthday Pops. I love you so much. (He's a fabulous father, and he looks like he just turned 45...)

3. I have a new job. And I know it's premature, so we shall see, but I think it might be quite the amazing experience for me. I feel I am getting close and closer to the person I want to be, and this job may give me the motivation and avenues to get even closer. AND new car, clothing, running shoes, race registrations and a treadmill, here I come!!!!!

4. It stayed under 106 this weekend!!! It didn't even hit 100 until noon today. How amazingly splendid!!!! 

 Toodles everyone!


Run: Create your own work out... asthma style!

It's been so long since I have an asthma attack that I started to forget I even had the stupid disease. I guess it's only been a couple months. That's not that long I suppose. It still irks me every time though.  Got up at 5:30 this morning (I'm working on getting up earlier and earlier with the goal of waking at 5:00 a.m. on regular days, and 4:30 a.m. on long run days). I was really excited for this run, hoping I could ease some of my recent life anxieties with a 4 mile run, some tempo runs and drills. My lungs, however, weren't feeling down with that plan.

Within 1/2 mile my breathing became tight. My type of asthma causes me to have trouble getting air out rather than in, so sometimes I don't notice that I'm not breathing properly. So I tried to keep running. Maybe the preventative inhaler puffs I did prior to running haven't kicked in yet. Maybe I just need a longer warm-up than usual. Nah, optimism FAIL. I had to walk and catch my breath near the end of the first mile. I tried a couple more times to get into a good pace, but nothing was working. So then it became Create Your Own Work Out time!!!

From miles 2-4.5 I did approx. 45-60 second all out sprints (or until I was gasping for breath) and walked about a minute in between. I know this type of workout doesn't really help long distance runners. We should jog in between sprints so our body learns what it feels like to not fully recover. I know, I know, I know. But try telling my asthma that. My asthma is a spoiled, stubborn brat that does whatever it wants. My asthma does not listen to simple, logical directions. My asthma throws temper tantrums instead. GUH! I hate you asthma!

I also did a few drills, 100 squats (bad ass right?) and a few upper body resistance band exercises.

Do you guys ever make up a work out? Or do you stick to the traditional routines? Do you recommend any speed play routines? Or strength training routines? I'll take all I can get.

OH! One more thing. I'm doing this:

And if you are thinking about doing it too please email me so we can train together. Fabulous. kahavens@gmail.com.



Rest: Keep finding the silver lining

Well to be honest, it's been a rough week. But who really cares? I'm a very emotional, very expressive person (maybe that's why I blog?). So, if I didn't learn to get over the bad stuff quickly, I'd spend 75% of my life in my underwear, wrapped in covers in my bed, watching romantic European firms and eating frozen yogurt and potato chips. It wouldn't be pretty. So, instead of telling you about how I'm stressed about jobs, moving, running, writing, traveling, money and all my hopes and dreams, I give you...

1. My dog is quite possibly the most lovable, and hilarious creature on earth. I know I'm a bit partial, but if you've ever had a basset hound, you know that they have more personality than I do. She really cheers me up when I'm in a bad mood, so I thought I'd be a creepy dog lady (I'm not a hoarder, I swear), and give her a little shout out. Here is a picture of her when she was a puppy (she's three now). Adorable, right?

2. After two weeks off, I started running again! My knees are still bugging me a little, but I am stretching and icing constantly and trying not too push myself too hard. I actually had one of my best runs yet on Friday. It was crazy hot (about 105-- and don't tell me it's just a dry heat until you've experienced 116 for three weeks in a row. It's like living in a freaking oven), but I ran about five miles (which is awesome considering the knee problem), did a few fartlek miles at a pretty fast pace and ended the run in a sprint. AND, I saw a HUGE lizard. It was super cool... and scary.  I consider this one of my better runs because I did so much speed work, put myself in the pain locker and caught myself smiling in the middle of it all. Sadly, my GPS chose to stop working so I'm not sure how fast I was actually running. But it doesn't really matter. I'm stoked to be back on the road (I hope this will last). Here's the view from the top of South Mountain (I run the canals at the bottom). I believe this picture is fairly old, but I like the eerie, desolate look of it.

3. I watched a ton of movies this weekend (of course it has nothing to do with the fact that I was feeling emotional). Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona is quite possibly one of my favorite movies. I could watch it over and over and over, and I can't say that about a lot of films. I'm a sucker for European beauty and passion combined with the whims of overly educated characters struck by trite romance. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. 

I also saw Inception. I see very few blockbusters in the theater, but this one was well worth the money and time. Although it had a bit of that cloying Hollywood cheese, most of it was absolutely amazing. It also gave me a lot of personal satisfaction for being able to figure out what was going on most of the time. It's pretty amazing, so go see it (But watch the aforementioned Woody Allan film first). 

So those are the weekend highlights. Who else has some silver lining to talk about (or just good weekend stuff)?


Run: Obsessed

I get really excited about a lot of things, and therefore I end up with a lot of hobbies. For instance, I can honestly say that I love reading, writing, fashion, wine, cycling, cooking and watching movies. I literally spend time doing, or at least thinking about doing, every one of those things, every single day (I know you can’t do fashion, but let’s not get picky with my word choice, OK?). That’s a lot of things to honestly love, and I could keep adding to that list.

But running, ah running, has taken on a life of it’s own. I once felt this way about writing, and I still do in a way, but writing has become such an intimate, deeply rooted part of me, it’s more like a habit or a way of breathing than a passion.

Running has taken over my mind. I didn’t realize it at first. But I haven’t been able to run much lately because of the knee situation, and I am going crazy. I miss it. I dream about it. I’m constantly reading about running, google-ing articles and diagnosing my knee over and over again. I’m talking to my friends about it and browsing through running clothing catalogs. I’ve even been watching triathlons on TV.  This isn’t passion, this is obsession.

And it’s not just about the act of running, it’s about having a challenging goal that takes effort and devotion. It’s about having a goal that doesn’t involve anyone else but myself. The idea of not being able to run that marathon because of my knees, literally sends chills down my spine. That would be devastating.

My name is Kelsey, and I’m a runaholic.

This is all pretty pathetic since I haven't even ran a race yet. What can I say, I get excited easily. And I know this is kind of similar to my last post, but I can't run right now, so clearly I have been doing a lot of thinking and romanticizing and getting all gooey and sentimental inside. Holy disclaimers batman. 

I know a lot of you have been running for years. But can you remember that moment when something clicked and suddenly you were passionate about running? When it stopped being a habit, a chore, a way to stay in shape, a way to lose weight or something your parents were making you do? I could probably define a certain event in almost all of my passions/hobbies (listed above) when I became passionate.

I’d love to hear your stories.

P.S. No “Rest” post this week. It was a boring weekend.


Rate: Guest blogging on
Simply Fit

It's come to my attention that I maybe, possibly talk about alcohol a lot on this blog... And that is completely A-OK with me.

BUT I have come a long way. My friend, Jay, has his own personal training company and he recently asked me to guest blog for him. Well, I do love blogging! So how could I say no? Although a lot of my FB friends have already seen it, it's a very appropriate "Rate" post because it really made my week a little bit happier (especially since I'm currently banned from running due to the knee problem) and it was great to reflect on how much I've evolved. After reading, maybe you'll forgive my love of beer and wine :)

So read here and tell me what you think. 

P.S. Don't tell anyone that I've only ran ten miles once.. and it about killed me. I will be running ten-milers like crazy soon!


Run: Why you should train smart and not faint

How could anyone ever say that running is boring? So far, my running adventures are full of mishaps, surprises and drama—hilarious drama. Let me bring you all up to date. Try to stay with me because the last parts a doozy.  

In April, I made a few summer goals. Although I have not completed them all within the time I allotted myself, I’m doing an okay job of crossing them off slowly. You know how I love lists, and this is quite amazing since, looking back, I set completely arbitrary standards for myself and didn’t take into consideration the science behind training, mileage, injuries and all that jazz. So after going from probably 12-mile weeks to 20-mile weeks over the course of a month or so, lo and behold…. my knees are feeling very angry and resentful.  

They were feeling a lot better after the icing, stretching and pouting involved in my group run preparation, and during the run I didn’t feel any pain. So, naturally, I was healed. I did, however, run much faster than I usually do in an attempt to stay with the group... and yet I still was dropped. Fabulous. It was fun anyway. So there’s bad decision number one: increasing speed on a junky knee.  

And then came Saturday: long run day. I woke up a little late, but I was determined to get closer to my eight-mile, eventually ten-mile, long run goal. The high on Saturday was 115, and it was probably well over 95 by 7am. From 7-9 am, I drenched myself in water, stayed clear of the stray dog pack and attempted to ignore the knee pain. Seven miles later, (the two hours included a lot of walking as a warm-up and cool-down), I almost fell over when my knee completely gave out. Ouch! I was also close to facing heat exhaustion. I guess I should stop. And how did I recover? Pizza and beer. Bad decision number two.

And then came Monday. After a weekend of celebrating, eating and hours in the sun, I thought it would be a great idea to go on a short run with my cousin around Tempe Town Lake. I didn’t eat dinner the night before, I only got six hours of sleep, and I was feeling extremely dehydrated. So guess what folks? After 15 minutes, I actually fainted! I mean eyes rolled back, cuddling with the pavement and twitching — fainted. The faint occurred after we stopped due to cousin’s side stitch. I suddenly became severely nauseated, had a jolt of pain to my stomach and then everything began to close in on me as I sat down and notified my running partner. Why exactly did I faint? No idea. I felt fine before that.  

I’m sure it’s not surprise to the rest of you, but today I’m feeling exhausted, unmotivated, and my knees still hurt. I'm not sure if it's my ITB or what. It hurts on the outside of my knee, but also below my knee cap and on the inside side. Any ideas? Any suggestions?  I guess I’m going to have to take a few days off until they feel better. I’ll definitely try to fill my week with cycling, walking, jump roping and maybe even a swim or two. So stay tuned.  

Grr, I hate the ten percent rule.


Rest: Sangria Saturday

Saturday was my friend Jose's birthday, and his fabulous girlfriend Rhiannon (who happens to be one of my closest friends) threw him a party... at Mr. Wonderful's house. It was kind of awesome. Since it was at the boyfriends house we could get as drunk as we wanted and invite anyone we wanted, but we didn't have to prepare anything or clean anything. How cool is that? I highly recommend offering your house as a party venue... as long as you only rent it out to responsible hosts. If you get free beer, or shoot, if you charge them rent, then more power to ya.  Rhi was an amazing host and made pasta, cake and [trumpet sounds] SANGRIA! I just love sangria.

Being the sangria connoisseur that I am, I made a recipe suggestion to Rhi, and she ran with it. It not only added some extra charm to the night, but it was delicious. See, sangria is like nonalcoholic beer, but opposite. You think you're drinking some delectable concoction of juice, but you're actually getting wasted. What an amazing trick! So if you're in the mood for sangria (and I know all of you athletes let loose once in a while...) try this little recipe. In the winter, I add about a teaspoon of cinnamon and it's quite yummy.

3 tangerines, thinly sliced
2 lemons, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 pear cored and chopped
2 kiwis peeled and sliced
1 cup of fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup of fresh rasberries
1/2 cup of white sugar (or less if you don't want it too sweet)
1/2 cup of Cointreau or another orange liqueur
1 cup of white rum
1/2 cup of coconut flavored rum
2 cups of orange juice
2 bottle of dry, cheap wine
1/2 cup of frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1/2 cup of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of lime juice
Lemon lime soda, to taste (I use about 2 cups but I like it real spritzy)



Random: Ouch my knees!

How annoying! I finally have mustered up the courage to join a running group, and my body is saying no, no, no. I am supposed to meet with other runners, for the first time, and my knees are ki ki killling me. So I left work early to stretch, ice and pout. 

I am showing up for the run anyways, but now I have knee pain to add to my already skittish nerves. What a great way to start off my newest running adventure. Ugh, I do hope this goes well. 

Rate: Women's Running Magazine, you fail

Running magazines keep showing up in my mailbox. I’m honestly not sure if I keep ordering them while I’m drunk or if they are sending me them for free or if maybe I signed up for a bunch all at once. Eh, I probably order them while drunk.

Well a few days ago Women’s Running Magazine arrived in my mailbox. After my initial fit of bewilderment, I immediately curled up on my bed with my basset hound and pealed open the shiny cover with giddy excitement.

A women’s magazine that is also about running? I love women’s magazines and I love running. Perfect! I clearly make fabulous decisions while I’m drunk!

Alas, my experience in the land of Women's Running Magazine was torturous. The articles were short and not very informative (they all had a bit of the DUH factor), the photos were common istock images and the entire publication just lacked an overall oomph. I love magazines, like a lot. I love the photography, and the different styles of writing and creative stories that are just too good for the internet. I love getting lost in the pages and wishing there were more. I imagine myself as one of their top writer's and I revel in the fantasy of creative journalistic freedom. But this publication really lacked all that. 

To top it off, and I know it doesn’t really matter, but one of my biggest complaints is that the “fashion” shoot that featured active swimwear was horrible. The bathing suits were flat out ugly. Maybe, as an athlete, I shouldn’t care about how cute my bathing suit is or what running outfit I’m wearing, but gosh darn it, if you’re going to make a female-specific magazine for runners, then why not publish a spread that actually features things that girls want.

Personally, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to be somewhat fashionable while also upholding a bad ass athlete image. But hey, that’s just me. Maybe, assuming I do actually have a subscription, the next issue will be much more satisfying. Until then, I'll be on the look out for cute, yet athletic or "active," bathing suits just to prove that they should hire me instead of whatever dingbat wrote that article.