OCTOBER: Run, Work, Run, Work…

3 Oct

Well, it is only the 3rd of the month, but October is shaping up to be busy, busy, BUSY!

October 3: International Walk to School Day
Did you know that today is International Walk to School Day? I didn’t either until my super awesome friend, Jil Littlejohn, who happens to be Greenville City Councilwoman, filled me in! Over the last several weeks, I have been coaching Jil to race her first 5k at the end of this month. We are currently in Week 5 of her 8-week training. Normally we run at Cleveland Park, near downtown Greenville, but today we ventured over to Nichol Town Green. The new route brought on lots of twists and turns and steep hills! After the run, we went over to the playground area where all of the children were gathering before heading off to school. Jil put on her City Councilwoman hat and helped present a check for $39,474 to the neighborhood. The money will go to making improvements to the trail so that the children will have a safe path to travel on to get to the school every day! Thanks, State Farm for helping to improve our community!
Walk to School Day
Walk to School Day
October 4 – 7: Chicago Marathon with Nuun Hydration (Chicago, IL)
I’ll be working the Nuun Hydration booth at the expo for the Chicago Marathon! If you will be there too, swing by Booth #584 and say hello! One of my best good friends, Valerie, will be running her very first marathon ever in Chicago and I cannot wait to cheer her on. Plus, I will get to see Jocelyn, one of my Nuun-mates from Hood to Coast, again! All around WIN!
Nuun Chicago Marathon
October 8 – 15: Ironman World Championships with Timex (Kona, HI)
If you missed the big announcement the other day, click here to find out all the details. Since then, I have received a sweet welcome kit from Timex! I received a pretty blue Timex Kona t-shirt, a commemorative Timex Ironman Kona watch, the promotional DVD from last year’s event, and a Visa gift card! I *love* the watch! This particular design/style is sold only at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and the social ambassadors are the first ones to receive them! AWESOME.
Timex Welcome Kit
October 18 – 21: Runner’s World Half Marathon (Bethlehem, PA)
I am so excited to be able to participate in this inaugural event! Again, I will get to reunite with a few of my Hood to Coast Nuun-mates…Elizabeth, Jess, and Laura! I will be going up a day ahead of time to participate in some blogger activities like a BBQ at the Runner’s World headquarters and a shakeout run with the editors of Runner’s World. This will be super fun! Plus, I will get to hang out with my boy, Bart Yasso again! Good times! If you have not signed up for this race, but want to register, use code BLOGGER23 to save 10%!
Runner's World Half Marathon Discount Code
October 27: Spinx Run Fest (Greenville, SC)
This is the big day for Jil and I! I will be pacing Jil during the Big Punkin 5k for the Spinx Run Fest. I have run the half marathon that is part of this running festival and I loved it! Maybe next year I will do the full marathon. Who knows, maybe next year I will be pacing Jil through the marathon! All of the races that are part of this running festival offer beautiful courses and I would highly recommend them if you are looking to run a race in SC! This is also the same weekend as the Marine Corps Marathon. My friend, Tess, will be running her first marathon there, so I will be cheering her on from afar!

October 31: Halloween!
This will be Baby Key’s first Halloween! Woo hoo! I am a total GEEK for Halloween, so we need to come up with a good costume for him! Should we do coordinating family costumes, or is that totally nerdy? What do YOU think?

WHEW! I’m exhausted just looking at all of this, so I better just take it one day at a time…




1 Oct

So, here it is…I have teased this announcement and I have held my breath until I thought I would nearly pass out. Are you sitting down? You should definitely be sitting down.


Me and M-Dot. We’re gonna be like peas and carrots.

Okay, before you get *too* excited…no, I am not going as a competitor. (Whomp, whomp. Sorry to let you down.) However, I will be spectating as an Ambassador of Timex!

I know, I know. You can’t even handle this right now, can you?? I am excited too!

A while back I saw that Timex put out a call to arms, seeking socially saavy endurance sports enthusiasts to represent them at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. After I read the job description, I immediately knew that I was the right person for the task! I hurriedly sent in my application. And then I waited…and waited…

Was this a total long shot? Yes, indeed.
Was this my total dream assignment? Yes, indeed.

Long story short, yours truly got selected as one of the finalists! WOO HOO! So, what does this all mean??

This means that I will be onsite in Kona from October 8th through October 15th spectating the Ironman World Championships like, well…a champ! This will be my first time at an event of this magnitude and I simply cannot wait to share all of the events, excitement, and happenings with you. Thanks to the great world wide interweb, I will be able to fill you in via my blog, Twitter, facebook, and instagram (@katieRUNSthis), so be ready for some posts, photos, and videos! And if I am really feeling frisky, I might just hope on Ustream during the annual Underpants Run so that you can see what is going on…in real-time! And don’t forget…to see all of the other action and to find out what the other ambassadors are up to, be sure to LIKE the Timex facebook page!

This is going to be so much fun! I. AM. PSYCHED. I never, never thought this would be happening, but alas, here it is. I am so ready!

I have to give a huge, HUGE shout out to Timex. I mean, massive HUGE. I am so thankful for this opportunity to see this event and, more importantly, share it with all of you! I already know that I will get inspired to pursue my goal of being an Ironman 70.3 finisher!

Immediately, I suppose this means two things…

I need to pick out a decent alternative to “next to nothin’” skivvies for the Underpants Run. This mama will NOT be out there running in a thong. (Yeah, yeah…call me a poor sport. Trust me, it would not be good for anyone!)

Photo Credit: EveryManTri.com

I’ll have to add some sweet tunes by Iz Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole to my running mix to start getting me in the mood!
Iz Hawaii

I seriously love his music. Baby Key is a huge fan too!)

Many, many more details to come over the next couple of weeks! As soon as I know them, you’ll know them! I promise! Stay tuned, boys and girls!

In the meantime, I need some suggestions! Which competitor would you have YOUR eyes on? Which triathlete would YOU love to meet? What should I see while I am there? Where should I eat? Any advice for traveling that far?

Friday Funnies…A Twitter Showdown with Bart Yasso

28 Sep

Before we get down to the nitty gritty, here is a brief summary of our accomplishments:

Bart Yasso
Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World
Member of the Running USA Hall of Champions
Invented the Yasso 800’s
Has completed races on all seven continents
5 time Ironman finisher
Badwater finisher

Katie Key
Weekend road warrior
Beastly running mama armed with a running stroller
Has completed races in 11 states

…soooo, obviously, Bart and I are totally even, right?? [I sure hope your computer has a sarcasm font.] 🙂
Twitter Showdown

Yep, so now we know who is #winning. And its definitely not me!


Wait…(Most) Women Shouldn’t Run? Ugh.

27 Sep

Michael Boyle is a DOPE.

Recently, an asinine article about why women shouldn’t run has made its resurgence on the interwebs. I had read this composition a while back (maybe four years ago?) but had noticed that just as fast as it had been spread around the web, it was gone. It had crept into the bowels of the internet, right where it should have stayed. Lately though, I have noticed it making a comeback on several web sites and I just cannot keep from throwing my two cents in this time.

(For the complete text of the article, click here.

These are awesome women runners…

I will be honest. Taken point by point, Mr. Boyle actually makes a couple of decent arguments. As long as you only consider how women are physically constructed, no, we probably should not run. But you know what? All my life I have been warned of things I should not do, and for the ones I was passionate about and did anyway, I never regretted it. Not once.

For starters, I find his use of Diane Lee’s quote, “You can’t run to get fit, you need to be fit to run,” to be a misleading half-truth. Thee word “run” is relative to each person who participates in the sport. Personally, I disagree with the idea that you can’t run to get fit. No, I am not a fitness professional, but I can tell you that I have seen MANY of my friends get on the path to fitness by taking up running. And by “running,” I do not mean “hard core, sub-6:00, sprint until you vomit” running. At the time when each one started, their own version of running may not have been much more than a shuffle. But that shuffle got them burning calories and getting fitter. And the fitter they got, the faster their feet shuffled. Funny how that works, right?

…but so are these…

Yes, running is a hard sport. It is hard on the body. To be an elite runner, I think it is pretty safe to say that you need to be pretty darn fit. However, I do NOT think this means that your body needs to look like Mr. Universe or Ms. Fitness USA in order to compete in your local 5k. I feel like telling people that you NEED to be fit to run is intimidating to people who may be considering the sport. As long as your expectations are reasonable for YOU, I do not feel like you need to be “fit” before taking up running. Running should just be one more tool that you use in your path to fitness.

When it comes to the physique of women runners, I have to say, Mr. Boyle hits the nail on the head. Yes, women with narrower hips and smaller breasts make faster runners. But if you notice, that is not what he said. He said that it makes them better runners. Is speed the only litmus test for what is “good” and “not good” about running? Sadly, Mr. Boyle assumes that all women runners only run to be fast. Being fast is fun, but there are so many other reasons why women run.

Women run for the joy of running.
Women run to relieve stress.
Women run to reach personal goals.
Women run to make friends and build a community.
Women run to set good examples for their children.
Women run to raise awareness for causes that are important to them.
Women run because they want to.

“So what happens when a ‘normal’ woman begins to run? She becomes a statistic. She becomes a physical-therapy client as she tries to shovel you-know-what against the tide. Her wider hips cause her to develop foot problems or most likely knee problems. Her greater body weight causes greater ground reaction forces. Greater ground reaction forces stress muscle tissue and breast tissue. Get my drift yet? The end result is likely to be hurt and saggy instead of the cute and little.”

This last paragraph was really the “icing on the cake” for me. The first time I read it, I seethed. And then my ire turned to pity. I felt bad for this man. And then I selfishly thought, “Please tell me he is not married.” With these words, he is basically saying there are only two kinds of women in the world…those who are 5’ 3”, 110lb female elites and all the other women in the world must be obese and not have any clue what we are doing when we get out on the road. His line of thinking here is so faulty, I almost don’t know where to begin.

For starters, I am a normal woman. I was a normal woman at 5’ 5” and 135lb before my son was born, and I am still a normal woman at 5’ 5” 150lb since having my son. One of my normal woman running friends is 5’ 10” and 170lb. My sister-in-law is a normal woman at 5’ 4” and 115lb. My running buddy is a normal woman runner at 5’ 7” and 165lb. Obviously, there are many shades of “normal” out there. You know how many of these normal women runners I have known to ever visit a physical therapist? None. Not one.

…and so are these.

And because we have wider hips, we should stop running? That is just ridiculous. When a woman gets pregnant, her hips widen, preparing her body for birth. After birth, some women are fortunate enough to have their hips go right back to the size they were pre-pregnancy. Other women are left with wider hips. Let’s say a woman was an avid runner before pregnancy, and after the baby, she was left with wider hips. However, she wanted to keep running. According to Mr. Boyle, this woman would no longer be a “good runner” because now she’s bigger. And since she isn’t “good” anymore, she might as well stop, because surely this running mama won’t have a clue how to handle her new body when running. Ugh, do you see where I am going with this? Please tell me I am not the only one who let out a massive eyeroll here.

In addition, all of the points he makes about why women shouldn’t run can easily be applied to why men shouldn’t run. Stressed muscle tissue and saggy body parts only apply to women? Oh, please. Trust me, I have seen my fair share of man boobs at races and, if I think anything when I see them, I think, “Wow! Look at that guy go!” The last thing I think is, “Hmmm, I wonder if that guy realizes that physics is really not on his side.”

Mr. Boyle, let me fill you in on a little secret. Not every runs to win first place. Bigger people aren’t in denial. They know they are bigger…just like I know I am not a size 4. Odds are, if they sign up for a race, they are pretty sure they won’t come in first. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t run. In case you had not heard, running is also good for people mentally and emotionally. And, sometimes, the overwhelming positive mental and emotional effects they experience are a fair trade for the occasional calf cramp or muscle ache.

Maybe I will never be a “good female runner” according to Mr. Boyle’s standards. However, I do know that I can be a “good female runner” according to me, Katie Key. With that, I am going to step off my soap box. After all, I have some miles to knock out before the sun goes down.

P. S. – Someone should also let Mr. Boyle know that there have been great advancements made in women’s running apparel. Sports bras have come a long way and we don’t have to worry about sagging body parts quite as much as we did once upon a time. Besides, how would Mr. Boyle have first-hand experience that running causes boob saggage…he’s a dude.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Concerns?

BOO! It’s (Halloween) Runner Swag Swap time!

22 Sep

Do you like fun, new running gear? Oh, who am I kidding…of course you do! What runner doesn’t like fun, new running gear!?

Several posts back, I mentioned how I had participated in @JerryMAllison’s Runner Swag Swap! (To see her original post about it, click here). Here is the skinny…everyone that participates will be given the name and address of their swap partner. Each person then has one month to prepare a box of goodies and send it off to their partner. And that is pretty much it! Simple, yes?

Runner Swag Swap

Runner Swag Swap

When I saw that she posted this earlier this year, I immediately jumped at the chance to participate. I love surprising other people and I was really excited to get a mystery package in return! You can see what I received from my Running Swag Swap partner, Mark, by clicking here.

After the swap was over, Jerry and I exchanged a couple of e-mails and I agreed to host the next one. Here are the details of how the swap works…

If you are interested, drop me an e-mail. The subject line should automatically fill in with the words, “Runner Swag Swap”.

In the body of the e-mail, include your name and address. Also include information regarding any allergies you may have. This is important if your swap partner is interested in sending you food items, gels, etc. You are also welcome to include other information that you would like your swap partner to have, such as Twitter handle, e-mail address, blog address, etc.

E-mails will be accepted through September 30, 2012. I will then pair you up and send you an e-mail with your swap partner’s information.

You are then charged with creating a package of your favorite running items for your partner! The price cap for each package is $30. And to step up the level of creativity, we are asking that each swap package contain one Halloween-related item!

The Running Swag Swap is really fun and I hope that you want to be included! Not only will you get a fun surprise in the mail, but who knows, you might just end up making a long-distance running buddy!


The Experience of a Lifetime

22 Aug

Note: For the next several days, I’ll be blogging from my iPad. Forgive me in advance for any weird formatting, wonky photos, etc. I’m doing the best I can. Promise!

ITS HERE. ITS REALLY HAPPENING. I AM NOT IN A DREAM. I AM REALLY GOING TO RUN HOOD TO COAST. Time to pull out the bucket list and scratch this one off!

As I am writing this, I am currently flying somewhere over the Midwest (I think) as I make my cross-country journey from South Carolina to Oregon for Hood to Coast! First of all, I have to say…and forgive me if this makes me sound a bit “country bumpkin come to town”-ish, but…IN-FLIGHT WI-FI ROCKS. And its free, which makes it rock even harder.

When I started packing yesterday, I felt like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I was trying to find all my gear, work some serious magic to get it all into my carry-on bag, manage not to forget anything…oh, AND make 1,000 race bibs for the Mutt Strut 5k this weekend. Throw in the mix a fussy, teething 9 month old, and you have a seriously sleepless night. I think my head finally managed to hit the pillow at 11:30PM. A few hours later, my adventure began…

3:00AM: Alarm goes off. *yawnGRUMBLEstretchYAWN* I peeled myself out of bed.

3:15AM: Dressed, and bare minimal make-up on. Yes, I put on some make-up that early. Don’t hate.

3:30AM: Finished up last minute packing, sat on my suitcase to get it to close. That’s how I roll.

4:05AM: Arrive at Corey’s house. Her super nice husband, Brad, played chauffeur and drove us to the airport. Her super cute Schnoodles even came too!

4:30AM: Get in line to go through security at GSP. We were there so early that security was not even open yet! Was it naive of me to think that airports sort of didn’t close?? After we got through security, there still wasn’t anyone even at our gate!!



5:30AM: Corey and I take off! We head off to our first stop, CLT! I desperately tried to catch some winks on this flight, but it proved impossible as it was so short.

6:30AM: We land in CLT and we are on a mission to find food! Thank goodness for healthy (though mondo expensive) food options in the airport. Naked Strawberry Banana smoothie and a banana for the win!


7:15AM: We board our flight to Seattle-Tacoma Airport! We were worried that our other traveling buddy, Jess, was not going to make it in time.

7:30AM: Jess walks on to the plane just in time! WHEW! A few minutes later, we are OFF! Hood to Coast, here we come!!

7:45AM: Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. More glorious sleep. ZZZzzz…

11:00AM: Awake and feeling like a million bucks. It is amazing how much better I feel with just a few hours of extra sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to need the biggest coffee I can find when we land, but at least I don’t feel like DEATH.

So, that brings me to now…and what’s coming up in the next few days! We have so many fun things plan that I can barely stand it!

When we land, all of the AfterNUUN Delight teammates that have arrived will all be going to a Seattle Mariners baseball game! I have never been to a professional baseball game, so this will be another first for me! After the game, we will just hang out and wait for more Nuun runners to arrive!

Tomorrow morning, we have the option of the following: open water swim, group shakeout run, tour of Oiselle headquarters, and chilling at Starbucks. I *had* planned on giving the open water swim a whirl and then checking out Oiselle headquarters, but I’ll have to see if I am feeling jetlagged or not. I certainly want to be on top of my game for Friday. After the swim/run/tour, we have a smoothie breakfast graciously provided by Jamba Juice! We will be on our own for lunch tomorrow, but in the afternoon, the cool kids at Nuun have created an Amazing Race: Seattle Style game for us all to play! Awards will be handed out in the early evening, followed by a group dinner at Nuun Headquarters! After that, we have to get creative and decorate our vans!

Friday and Saturday are running days and will be running, running, and then running some more! My team (#TeamNight <;– Twitter hashtag) is predicted to finish around 6PM on Saturday. After all the teams finish, we will make our way over to the Nike VIP tent for some post-race partying!

And then by Sunday morning, its all over (whomp, whomp)…but I don't want to think about that yet! My journey is just getting started!!

I have to give a serious shout out to Nuun. Without this team and their amazing and supportive staff, none of us would be able to have this experience. I know this will be a runcation that I will never forget!

And if you want to stalk…um, I mean follow…our journey, I will blogging here as often as I can, but you can also check out my Twitter (@katieRUNSthis) and follow me on Instagram (@katieRUNSthis)! To follow all the AfterNUUN Delight runners, check out the #nuunHTC hashtag on Twitter!

Runner Swag Swap!

22 Jul

There is almost not faster way to get me jumping up and down like a little kid again than to send me a surprise in the mail. I love getting “fun mail.” As an adult, getting bills in the mail is a regular thing, but every now and then, something fun arrives that makes me super excited!

Yesterday, FUN MAIL arrived! EEEEEEEK!

A while back, a fellow running blogger, Eat to run. Run to eat., hosted a runner swag swap. All you had to do was send Jerry an e-mail letting her know that you were interested and include your mailing address. She paired runners together to swap a gift box of runner goods! I thought it was such a fun idea, so I immediately signed up to participate.

Well, my swag from my partner arrived yesterday! SWEET!
Surprise Running Swag
I got:

I am so excited! I have never tried an official sport wash, but I have heard it really does the trick on getting the stank out of “long run clothes.” Also, the reflective bands come with PERFECT TIMING! With Hood to Coast coming up in only a few weeks, these will be ideal for wearing during night runs. I have a lot of running gear, but I was seriously lacking on reflective, safety gear, so these will definitely come in handy! And Gu products? You really can’t go wrong!

Also, my super awesome swag swap partner made me a great running mix! I can’t wait to check out these tunes and add them to my running playlist!
Runner Swag Swap

  1. “Intro” by the xx
  2. “Cracks” by Freestylers
  3. “Throwing Fire” by Ronald Jenkees
  4. “Young Blood” by The Naked and Famous
  5. “Life in Technicolor” by Coldplay
  6. “Move Away” by The Killers
  7. “Goodness Gracious” by Person L
  8. “19-2000 [Soulchild Remix]” by Gorillaz
  9. “We Owe This to Ourselves” by Anberlin
  10. “Watch the World” by Boxcar Racer

IF I can get my act together by Halloween, I mentioned to Jerry that I might be interested in hosting a swap on this blog. Things with the move and new house should be much calmer by then, so I don’t see why I couldn’t, but I’ll let you know as that time gets closer. 🙂

Speaking of new house…tomorrow is the BIG DAY! We were supposed to close this past Friday, but due to circumstances out of our control, the closing got pushed to tomorrow. I am so excited! I really don’t know what to do with myself! We are going to finally have a home! There are so may awesome things about our new house that I don’t even have the time to write it all out here, but suffice it to say…super amazing things lay ahead!

How is YOUR weekend going? Did you RACE this weekend? If so, how did you do?