You know the saying that your only competition is yourself? Well I don’t even think you can compare yourSELF race to race because there are just so many variables. Races are not science experiments!!!!!!! Factors like sleep, temperature, HILLS, crowds, GI tracts, fuel, hydration, weather, emotions all create so much variation that you really can’t even compare annual races. Year to year, the same races often have different courses with different hills and terrain. Just like weight, calories, weight lifting reps, etc. – we cannot let the numbers override the pride of finishing strong.

That said, here are a bunch of my race + training recaps to poke around with:


2008 Race For The Cure 5K | October 2008


  • Time: 23:26
  • Pace: 7:32


2008 Jingle Jog 5K | December 2009


  • Time: 23:49
  • Pace: 7:40


2009 Race For The Cure 5K | October 2009

Race For The Mountain

  • Time: 24:17
  • Pace: 7:49

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Charlotte Airport Runway 5K | October 2009

Spooky Sprint

  • Time: 24:26
  • Pace: 7:52

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Run For Your Cause 4 Miler | July 2010

The New Muscle

  • Time: 33:03
  • Pace: 8:16

IMG_7998 (427x640)

RaceFest Half Marathon | April 2010

Race Pace

  • Time: 1:53:20 (PR)
  • Pace: 8:41

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Charlottesville Fall Classic | October 2010

My first 10K!

K 10 2.6

  • Time: 50:53 (PR)


  • 7:46
  • 7:57
  • 8:06
  • 8:30
  • 8:57
  • 8:09
  • and the .2..


Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler | September 2011

Four Country Miles

  •  Time: 32:37 (PR)
  • Pace: 8:11
  • 7:38
  • 8:07
  • 8:47 [ <—killer hill + side stich]
  • 8:07



Half Marathon Training

I had no idea how much fun training for a distance race would be!! I loved the planning and mental challenge of long distances, and I can promise you that the hardest part is imaging the distances. Doing them was easy and so much fun! (And it helped that I had an awesome training partner :) )

Here was my plan, as it stood at the beginning of training:


And here’s what I actually did (loosely):


As you can see, I did long runs on the weekends and usually 1-2 short (4-6 mile) runs mid-week. I was doing my dietetic internship at the time and so my schedule had to be very flexible for weather and time. I went to hot yoga at least once a week and often needed a TOTAL rest day after each long run towards the end. It took me a complete rest day plus a light elliptical day to get my running legs back. I don’t think I could have done a plan that called for more than 3 days a week of running. This plan worked for me and I smoked the time. My only regret was not training on hills towards the end because I ended up with an injury that I feel was due to a steep increase in hills.

The Runs

Read Run Relax Repeat – 7 miles (1:00:00)

KERF vs Obstacles – 7.22 miles

Ghosts In The Night – 7.23 miles

Eight, Then Ate – 8 miles (1:12:00)

9 Miles Of Mud Ganache – 9 miles

Redeemed – 9.5 miles

Ten Times The Fun – 10 miles (1:29)

10.26 – 10.26 miles (1:29:35)

Swim Like A Fish – 11.88 miles

Dress Rehearsal – 13 miles (1:56:13) [Lots of info on Fueling, hydration, homemade sport drink, ice bath]


Right after (during? before?) my half marathon, I noticed I was extremely sore behind my right knee. I figured it was just because I’d ran a hard race and continued with my activity. I went for a short run on Wednesday (after two days of post-race rest) and then proceeded to run 10 miles 8 days after my half. That’s when I knew I had a real injury. I made it through the run, but knew that would be my last run for a while.

My plan was to ice + rest like crazy. I took about a week off completely of exercise, with the exception of some yoga. I did light things like walking or the elliptical on a light setting so long as my leg did not hurt.

Two posts on my injury update:

And I took up swimming for the second time in my life!

IMG_0140 (640x480)

Here are two posts on swimming and my attempt to love it. And love it I did! I continued to swim weekly until my gym membership ended (and I have yet to join a gym with a pool in my new city or I’d still be swimming weekly!)

When I was injured, I also ate anti-inflammatory foods :)

I went on a few short “test” runs to see how my leg was doing once the pain was totally gone while walking. Two of those were fails.

I ended up talking 5 whole weeks off from running, and am happy to say it worked and my leg healed. Thank goodness!


This homemade sports drink is my go-to for long runs! The proportions are very similar to that of Gatorade. More info on hydration and fuel here.


  • 40 oz water
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • Juice of one tangelo (~1/3 cup?)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  1. Heat 1 cup of water in the microwave
  2. Add ingredients
  3. Stir and dissolve
  4. Add ice and rest of water

This recipe should come out to about 250 calories, about 60 grams CHO, 480 mg sodium, 172 mg potassium.

I also LOVE coconut water [O.N.E. and Vita-Coco are my favorites], but it’s a bit expensive to be sustainable

IMG_0654 (640x427)

I have the Camelbak Charm for women’s running and could not run distances [or summers] without it. It does bounces a LITTLE but it’s worth it to me to have hydration and fuel during a run.

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Food + Recovery

Before long runs, I usually eat a normal oatmeal (= carbohydrate) breakfast and have a cup of coffee. Then I wait 3 hours. Coffee really does improve my pace! I would never run 10+ miles without a substantial breakfast in me.

IMG_8517 (640x427) (2)

If I’m going out running first thing in the morning for a shorter run, I often have a banana with peanut butter or toast, which are easy to digest quickly on my stomach.

IMG_7843 (640x427)

If I’m feeling hungry right before I run, sometimes I eat a date! They make great little bursts of fuel.

IMG_7952 (640x427)

After long runs I recommend SIABs – Smoothies In A Bowl! A great way to get in easy-to-digest nutrients and a good mix of carbs and protein. I found that my stomach was a bit sensitive after all those miles and a blended lunch was easier to eat than the same amount of food on a plate.

IMG_5945 (640x427)

My smoothies often contained:

  • A green (spinach, kale – for nutrients)
  • A milk (cow’s or soy for the protein – almond milk is too low in protein)
  • Banana (to emulsify)
  • Ice (for texture)
  • Raw oats (for carbohydrate)
  • Vega smoothie powders (for more protein, nutrients and amazing flavor/texture)
  • Granola on top (for more carb and awesome crunch!)

I would also sometimes add tofu, cottage cheese, chocolate powder, chia seeds, flax, nut butter, other fruits.

IMG_8540 (427x640)

IMG_7956 (640x427)


I run in Asiacs and they work well with my need for support and a wide toe box :)

This is my second pair of GT-2150s

IMG_2131 (640x480)

Q: Would you ever run a marathon? After all, it IS 26.2 miles!

A: No, I won’t. I’ve decided that even though I’d really, really, really like to try to run one, my chances of getting injured are too high. Since I had foot surgery on a fused joint in 2005, I know how awful it is NOT to be able to run and I never, ever want to lose the ability again!

Happy Running!

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily @ The Front Burner Blog August 31, 2010 at 10:17 am

I LOVE being your runner partner!! Counting the days until we can run together again. :)


2 Nicole @ yuppie yogini August 31, 2010 at 10:26 am

Good post. The information is very comprehensive and you lay out the guildelines that have worked best for you, but are also good general tips for anyone. I like that you mention how racing yourself isn’t really a realistic expectation–never thought of it that way.


3 Marie August 31, 2010 at 10:54 am

This is a great post Kath, thank you.


4 Jill August 31, 2010 at 11:03 am

Woohoo! Running rocks. So interesting to see all of your different pace times. Has everyone seen Run Lola Run? Now that is a movie that will get you moving!


5 Rhea (Greek Feaster) August 31, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Homegirl is SPEEDY!
And that last SIAB is beautiful. Totally nom-able and picturesque.


6 Olivia August 31, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Yay! This is great! I’m finally running my first half marathon this Sunday, so I’m really excited/nervous right now. But I did do my practice 13.1 miles 2 weeks ago like you recommended so I know I’ll be able to do it on the actual race day!


7 coco August 31, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I love this running page. I feel so related and learned a lot too! I can’t agree more on how fun it is training for a half. I’m feeling it right now! 😀


8 christi August 31, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Agreed, you are super speedy. Great post. How did you get your speed? I see your speedwork on your half-marathon plan, but it looks like you must have started with a solid base first. What’s your secret? :-)


9 Kath August 31, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I ran with faster people! Anne P and Sarah Shu Box are both sub-9:00 runners and I ran with them pretty close to one another. They helped me feel how it felt to run faster, and my legs remembered. I also had to choose to push myself – running fast is HARD!


10 Annie (Delicious Wellness) August 31, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Love this post! I especially appreciate the “fuel” section. I haven’t seen that on other blogs and it’s super important! :)


11 Marci August 31, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Love your running page! You really are super speedy! I’m running my first half in December, and so worried about injury during training. We’ll see how it goes! I carry a bottle of water, but think Camelbaks are great too!


12 Justine August 31, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Hi Kath – Awesome idea for a page! Thanks for sharing all that info. Could you post a bit about the shoes you run in / what you did for your injury? thanks!


13 Kath August 31, 2010 at 6:13 pm



14 Dana August 31, 2010 at 6:03 pm

This is a very helpful post. Thanks Kath! I’ve been following your blog for the better part of two years now and always enjoy your information- and picture-filled posts. I got hooked when I discovered your tribute to oatmeal page, as I’m an oat fanatic as well. Thanks for all the time and energy you put into your blog. I wouldn’t have nearly as many fabulous workout and meal ideas if it weren’t for KERF. Cheers to oats in a jar and exercise!


15 Steph August 31, 2010 at 6:32 pm

This is so great. I especially love that you posted the half marathon info that you had used. I’ve been looking at all different plans since I decided I want to train for one that is in May. Lots of time to do some research and this will help me in that process. You rock! I love all of your info on everything. Thanks Kath!


16 Sally Mae August 31, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I really enjoyed reading your running page!! I’ve done two full marathons and by the end DID NOT enjoy the training. I get much more satisfaction from half marathons (or even a really good 8 miler) and believe it is super important to listen to your body’s cues. I think you are a great role model for that:) Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to read about your next running adventure!


17 Deidre August 31, 2010 at 7:25 pm

A twist of luck brought me to your website 7 weeks ago. I started the “Couch to 5K ” running program at the same time. I read your blogs every day. I’ve implemented many of your recipes into my daily life. I can’t even begin to tell you how much my life has changed in the last 7 weeks. You inspire me every single day! I ran my first practice 5k on Friday after work. I ran the entire thing! My first official 5k is October 10th. I have one scheduled every month until March of 2011. Running and eating real is everything to me now.

Thank you for KERF!


18 Kath August 31, 2010 at 7:27 pm
19 [email protected] August 31, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Love the running page! It’s nice to be able to read all about your running experience in one place. I’m planning on getting a camelbak asap!


20 Allegra August 31, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Thank you so much for this incredibly useful post! I am trying to decide whether or not to run a half marathon later in the fall (not from scratch; I currently run about 7 miles), and your blog is a great and inspiring resource. I’m leaning towards yes because it is fun to train for something, but I need to decide within the next few days…


21 Dorry August 31, 2010 at 10:49 pm

This is AMAZING! Thanks for taking the time to put it all in one place for a great resource.


22 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] August 31, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Asics 2100 series are the best shoes — I love my new ’50s : )


23 Canadian September 1, 2010 at 9:49 am

Great page! Thanks for all the handy info.

I was wondering, did you ever figure out exactly what your injury was? And is there anything you’re doing differently to prevent it recurring? Special stretching or strength training exercises? (I have been running for 6 months and love it so much that I really don’t want to get injured and not to be able to run!)


24 Kath September 1, 2010 at 11:23 am

I never did figure it out because I didn’t go to the doctor. I’m pretty sure it was just a combination of increasing hills, speed and distance all at the same time. Next time I’d increase all three one at a time and more gradually. Just like how now in Charlottesville with killer hills I’m hesitant to run longer distances yet.


25 ilana September 2, 2010 at 10:28 am

This is a fantastic page! Thank you. It will be a help as I learn to train to run over 5 miles.


26 Heather Marie September 4, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Hi Kath! Great info! Thanks for sharing. I was wondering if you started out as a fast runner. I just started running in the past year and my times are slow. I am really aiming for being a distance runner and not so much concerned about my time, BUT I would like to speed things up a bit. I am going to do a 10 mile race in November and my goal is to finish the race…. LOL! Anyways, I was just wondering if you started out fast or if it took you some time to get to your speedy paces? Thanks Kath!


27 Kath September 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm

If you want to run fast, you must run with the fast runners. I ran with Sarah @ The Shu Box and AnneP and we set out for an 8:45 pace. Soon enough, my legs grew accustomed and I was a fast runner too. PS. Running fast is really hard!


28 Alaina @ The Jogging Concierge September 10, 2010 at 7:44 am

Thanks for the great tips Kath! :-)

Happy Running!


29 Katie September 10, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Hi Kath,

What kind of watch do you use to measure your distance and pace?



30 Kath September 10, 2010 at 9:05 pm

A Garmin 305


31 nicole October 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Hi Kath … I love your site! Would it be possible to send me a template of your training calendar. I’m a beginner runner and I am training for my first 5k. This would be a great help in developing a schedule! Thanks.


32 Kath October 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Nicole, you can save it as a JPG if that helps?


33 Jill November 25, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Are you happy with the Garmin 305? I am gonna take the plunge and am wondering if you would suggest that one. There are so many watches out there, it really is the paradox of choice.


34 Kath November 26, 2010 at 7:55 am

Yes, I love it!! It’s so helpful to see so many metrics when I run.


35 The Edgy Vedgy December 29, 2010 at 4:11 pm

This blog post has helped me out SO much. I’m new to the blogosphere and am recovering from hip surgery trying to get back into pre-surgery shape. I absolutely loved all your recipes, especially because many of them are vegan, and I’m incorporating your running plan you posted into my own. Thanks again, I love following your sight.


36 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) January 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm

This is so inspirational! Very cool 😀


37 Kath January 31, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I really love this site…and not just because you and I have the same name! haha


38 Ali March 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm

I just started training for a half marathon and am a bit worried I won’t have enough time to train. I can only go about 4 or five miles now and the race is in september!! any suggestions as how to crank in those miles faster? Also, you are my new idol. I am currently studying to become a dietican myself and am sooo excietd to find this blog about someone who shares the same interests as me. PS, i eat oatmeal everyday. its cheap and way healthier than ramen noodles!


39 KathEats March 11, 2011 at 10:53 pm


You can’t run fast if you don’t run fast! Do you have any friends who could push you faster? That’s how I increased my speed.


40 Rachel March 30, 2011 at 9:06 am

I found your blog through Meal Planning Monday. Love it! And my husband & I are running our very first 5k this Sunday. I know I didn’t train as much as I should but glad to be doing it. Thanks for all your tips & inspiration!


41 Lisa (Lisa at Home) April 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Hey Kath! I’m training for my first half marathon and I was wondering, how did you develop your schedule? Independently or by consulting an official program??



42 KathEats April 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I tweaked it from one of the Hal Higdon’s, I believe


43 Jetty June 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Wow, amazing. I’m working up to run my first 5k in a few months and really nervous I’ll finish last. Thanks for all the tips!


44 mi-an d. September 20, 2011 at 12:52 am

glad i ran into this page. i was just wondering what pre and post run food stuff is good to eat! i’m a rookie runner so this page was super helpful. thanks! btw, i’m one of your lurkers. don’t comment much but thought i did after reading this helpful page! :)


45 KathEats September 20, 2011 at 8:03 am

You must have missed that part above :) I talked about dates + bananas before and smoothies after. You want a mix of 4:1 carbs: protein after and mostly simple carbs before!


46 Danielle December 5, 2011 at 11:45 am

Starting to train for my first 1/2 Marathon – Historic Half…nice to see a fellow VAer who has already accomplished this type of event!


47 Nelle Douglas March 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

Um….So you are kind of awesome! I, too, have had some intense injuries (2 ACL surgeries, one reconstruction, one scope). I intend to start back with running (I had another injury concerning my lower lumbars from 8th grade that flared up during my pregnancy) and would love to do some running/races with you … if I can keep up!

You go, girl!


48 Alina May 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Hello Kath! :)
I’m 16 and I love running. But I often wonder how long should I wait to run after eating a little snack? Like 200-250 calories? after the snack, I feel ready to run but I don’t want a belly ache.


49 KathEats May 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm

It’s all up to your body’s tolerance! Some people can run right away, others need something simple and an hour to digest. I’d just do some trial and error. A date was always a great pre-run fuel for me – or a small piece of toast with PB for a longer run


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