Running Goals: 2017

Golden Valley 10k running 042917 Valerie | Kale and Ale

In the home stretch of the Golden Valley Run the Valley 10k.

After a low-key year for running in 2016, I plan to make up for it in 2017. One of my top running goals since moving to Minnesota has been to run around nearby Medicine Lake at almost 9 miles. I’ve never built up to that distance during the short summer running season, but since I’m finally acclimating to weather and have been going to the gym regularly, I’ve made it a goal this year.

When I found a 10k for the end of April in the next town over from where I live, I signed up. I know the best way to hold myself accountable with a running goal is to sign up for a race. Having spent the winter doing yoga, elliptical and weights, I was training from 0 miles. I found a 10k training plan and started one day at a time. From my first run, I quickly got stronger.

The day of the race I was concerned about my performance. I hadn’t done my legs any favors the week leading up to it. I was at a concert standing and dancing the night before, and had attended a Barre fitness class two days prior. While my goal was to finish, I crushed it with a 10k personal record of just under an hour, at 59:26. I attribute that to the much-dreaded treadmill runs where I pushed up my speed on shorter runs. This is something I’ve known for years that I need to incorporate into my training and had been reluctant to do, so I guess now I know the results.

Golden Valley 10k 042917 group | Kale and Ale

Gotta love a race where pastries are part of the post-run snack. Holly, Nyssa and I with our post-run carbo-load.

I’m now at a good base to run Medicine Lake in a month or so (my personal running goal is to build up to 7.5 to 8 miles by the end of May). And when one of my race buddies Nyssa mentioned doing a 15k in June or July (a distance I’ve only done once), I was on board and am interested in doing one to keep up this momentum and distance. Either way, I plan to run around Medicine Lake this summer and make running outside earlier and later in the year a new tradition.

What are your summer fitness goals? I would love to hear them in the comments so we can help motivate one another!

Running update: Beyond running

I have been so busy getting this blog settled into its new home and living life and training for my runs, I haven’t been blogging much. I hope to change that, starting now with catching you up on two runs I did.

Three weeks ago I did my second 10k. It was a little more hilly than my first 10k and a lot more humid. But considering this, I was happy with how I felt and my time. We ran through a golf course and nice homes in North Palm Beach. Then we ate breakfast on Singer Island; good times.

Kim, Val, food and running. Can't beat it.

Kim, Val, food and running. Can’t beat it.

Yesterday I did a 5k in Jupiter with friends from work. I was sold by the fact friends were running and that I heard it was a well-organized smaller race that includes a great, free breakfast at the end. Sold. And it didn’t disappoint. It was fun hanging out with friends and doing a new race, but thinking my 10k was humid was nothing. This was very humid. And because of that and feeling cold and stiff during my past few runs, I didn’t run the time/speed I was hoping. Instead of making excuses (well, ok, after making excuses yesterday) I decided I am really going to step up my training plan. This probably will be near the last race for me before summer hits. I would like to run another race or two, but if it’s getting so humid already, I’m not sure I have it in me. Unless anyone is running something fun, I can be persuaded.

Training plan: So now that these races are behind me, I’m really going to focus on training for speed. I had mostly trained for distance in the past, but I know I can do a 10k ok and to get faster for both, I need to focus on speed. In addition, I am going to work on more non-running things, specifically core and leg workouts. I think I just need to tone and strengthening will give me more speed and endurance. Maybe I’ll get back to yoga for runners more, too. Those are my main goals for the summer, starting by looking at all the Pinterest workouts I have saved. But if anyone has a good plan to improve 5k speed for someone running about 20 months, I’m up for that. Unfortunately the training plan for MapMyRun, the app I use, is only for iPhone and I’m an Android girl.

What active things did you do this weekend? It’s that perfect time of year where it’s not super hot down south and starting to warm up north of here.

Running update

So the weather is (for the most part) pretty darn great in Florida right now. Trust me, I’m not bragging to my Northern readers, as summer is just around the corner here already. You will get your time soon enough, Northerners!


To take advantage of the weather, I’ve been trying to run, training for a 10k later this month. I know I’ll be able to run the 10k, but I’m not sure I will run it at the speed I would like. I felt much more ready for my 10k last spring. I just don’t seem to have the energy or even as much motivation (this is a first for me in running) and my “good” runs are happening less often. I’m enjoying running, so I”m not sure what’s up. However, the running app I use, MapMyRun, is giving me motivation with emails like the one above to keep moving! In addition to running, I’m working on a few things to make running better and get into the zone.

I’m looking to create the ultimate running playlist. I’m not talking Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift songs that are always on the radio. I’m looking for long-term, tried-and-true songs to get people moving, especially in the 10-15 years ago range. What songs get you moving?

I’m focusing more on what I’m eating, making sure I’m eating enough food in general and a good mix of food. I haven’t felt as hungry lately, but I think that is leading to a loss of energy. I have been eating the food from my farm, so I”m eating healthy, but I think it’s still not enough variety or calories some days, especially days for a big run. I’m having a post-run smoothie (so refreshing after a run and easy to digest and start muscle recovery and restore energy) but need to keep eating enough. What do you eat after a good workout or when you feel like you are in a slump?

This lentil salad caught my eye because it seems balanced, is served at room temperature and has contrasting flavors and texture, so I knew it would be a great post-run meal in a pita or lettuce, or a small snack. I added some three-seed bread for carbs and nutrients.

pomegranate lentil feta salad

Pomegranate, feta and lentil salad

Serves 6


  • 1 cup uncooked brown lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 or 8 cloves garlic very finely minced
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded
  • 4 ounces feta cheese


  1. Rinse the lentils under the tap then put them in a small pan with the water, bring to the boil, then simmer gently until lentils are cooked (about 25 – 30 mins). They should be tender inside but still holding their shape.
  2. Meanwhile, mince the garlic cloves & chop the onion very finely. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion & garlic and cook over a very low heat until well softened, about 10 – 12 minutes. Then remove from the heat.
  3. Whisk together the lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, cumin, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. When lentils are tender, drain well, rinse under cold water then return to the pan.(Not on the heat). Turn the heat back on the garlic & onion pan, add the lemon dressing mixture and heat for about a minute. Pour this over the lentils and gently stir to make sure the lentils are well coated in the dressing.
  5. Stir in parsley and season well with salt and black pepper. You can serve this salad warm or at room temperature. When you are ready to serve the salad sprinkle it with the pomegranate seeds, crumble over the feta and finish it off with a few more chopped herbs.

Healthy Orange Julius smoothie recipe

Healthy Orange Julius smoothie recipe | KaleAndAleWhen I found what I’m calling the Healthy Orange Julius smoothie (because that is what it reminds me of, though I haven’t had one for about 15 years) on Pinterest, I knew it would be the perfect South Florida winter smoothie. It’s basic ingredients, sweet and frothy, and great after a run in the Florida sun (sorry, Northerners!).

If you follow the original recipe (I have modified mine) and just use an orange, ice, milk, honey and vanilla, it’s 150 calories. To add more protein or thickness you could add yogurt. This is thicker than most of my smoothies, but you could add more milk and less ice, though that would change the calorie count. And to mine I use almond milk (great flavor), the peel of one segment of the orange (for fiber and added flavor) and flax seeds (for omega-3 and fiber).

Healthy Orange Julius smoothie

Serves 1


  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 1/6 of the orange peel


  1. Put all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth. Continue blending another 30 seconds to make sure everything (especially ice and orange peel) is fully blended.

10k running update

A week after my 5k race, I have started looking forward to a 10k. I think I’m about 6 weeks out from one Kim and I are going to do. I’m excited, but I know I’m out of shape for it, so I need to stay focused. But honestly, I love the training process and working toward a goal. And in South Florida, this is the time of year to do that and enjoy the weather and building up tolerance. So I am looking forward to it.

I went on a 4 mile run a few days ago, the longest distance I’ve run in many months. And I really didn’t feel bad until the last quarter-mile. I’m ready for a little longer run in a few days. Kim found a training plan and I think I’m going to follow it as well (jumping about halfway in) soooo, so far, so good!

If anyone else is up for a 10k, please let me know and I’ll pass along the information. The more, the merrier.

Friday links

Not much going on this week, but I made a mean pot pie full of tons of veggies from my farm. It was pretty great. Did you make anything great this week? And after two 5ks last week, I started running toward a 10k soon, with a good first longer run on Wednesday.

Here are a few of my fave links from the past week, feel free to add your own if you came across anything!