Roundtable and Roundup: Jan. 15, 2018

Sun’s out, buns out, right? Racing season has officially begun, with Houston and Rock ’n’ Roll Arizona both this weekend. We’ve updated our Monday morning post to bring you awesome stuff happening in the world of running (and beyond) and give us a place to discuss it! We’ve got a lot to share today, so let’s get cracking.

  • Oprah, the woman who showed all of us non-elites out there that we could run a marathon, brought down the house with her #MeToo-inspired speech at the Golden Globes. “I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”
  • Allie Kieffer, who we also mentioned last week, announced this week that she signed with Oiselle and then threw down like a boss to win Doha by 2 minutes in 70:41.
  • At Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona, Stephanie Bruce snagged a 1-second win over Elvin Kibet, finishing in 72:32.
  • Our own Sesame was first female at the First Light Marathon in Mobile, Al., in 3:14!

Meanwhile, Houston did not disappoint, unless we’re talking about the television coverage.

  • Molly Huddle set a new American record in the half marathon — 67:25 — and beat out Jordan Hasay, who ran 68:38. Becky Wade (12th, 71:15), Aliphine Tuliamuk (14th, 71:41) and Serena Burla (15th, 71:41) rounded out the top Americans. (Canadian Natasha Wodak was 13th, 71:31.)
  • And an award for stick-to-it-ness should go to Sarah Crouch, who rebounded after a rough Chicago to place 7th, first American, and hit the Olympic Trials A standard with her 2:35:22.
  • Six other women grabbed OTQ times in the full, which was paced by Deena Kastor. Ironically, that meant Kastor was on the course as Molly broke the AR Deena held for 12 years.
  • And, two of our own Saltines ran the half at Houston! Congrats Paprika (37th, 76:35) and Olive (121st, 1:35:16)!

And, one more Texas racing-related tidbit:

  • Chip Gaines is training for a marathon. Now, while we’ve got some diehard Fixer Upper fans around here (myself included), that’s not the best part of this story. Chip is running a marathon because he ran into Gabe Grunewald in Central Park one day. She was so excited to meet him and Jo, and what started as a joke about coaching him for a race apparently turned into a real thing. “After hearing Gabe’s story, I realized two things: I didn’t want to spend another second standing on the sidelines, and secondly, given what she’s gone through, I didn’t have any excuse not to give this a shot. So I committed.” No word yet on specifics, but Chip says Gabe will be coaching him and he’ll be documenting on Twitter throughout his training.

Like Chip, a lot of us are planning our races and racing strategies for this spring. Let’s talk about it!

Have you chosen your goal race for this spring, or for this year? How far out do you plan? How many “key” races do you train for a year? And, how do you pick them?


Started running in my early 20s and ended up running my first marathon 15 months later. Managed to break 3 hours in my 12th marathon. Pilates instructor passionate about the importance of your powerhouse in running and the mind/body connection. One husband, zero kids, mama to one Australian Shepherd.

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  1. My race season is planned already (might throw in some B and C races still). Carmel Marathon (3/31) is still in somewhat nebulous territory because I may drop to the half…stay tuned. Grand Rapids 70.3 is an “A” race. It is the Athena/Clydesdale championship for USAT and I would like to do well in the Masters Athena division. IM 70.3 Muncie is a training race on 7/14, only goal is to be faster than last time I did it (which was my first 70.3). IM Louisville on 10/14 is THE “A” race. I’ll run Monumental half as a fun race the first Saturday of November.

  2. So far I’ve just got the Berlin half marathon in April on my calendar, but I’m thinking of going for a fast 10k after that! I usually sign up for one or two key races a year but do others as workouts along the way.

  3. I put this whole post together but didn’t talk about my own process, haha. I pick my A race for the spring and then fill in some tune-up races around it. A couple of tune-ups might have a goal around them, but coach normally has me run through them or with just a half-week taper, so they’re not intended to be top-notch performances. I normally have some sense of what the A race will be for the fall, but I won’t decide for sure until summer.

  4. Great article! and good coverage of the Houston Marathon! I was cheering there yesterday and it was the most fun I’ve had not running a race!

  5. So many big things this past week! Congrats to all those with their stellar race results! Definitely kicking the year off with more incredible results on all levels showing how women’s running is just getting more and more badass.

    I CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT ABOUT CHIP GAINES THOUGH, I definitely read that post multiple times. Seriously though, CHIP…CHIP!!!!

    So before having Hannah I used to plan out my year pretty much all at once, at least in regards to the big key races. Now, it’s more like I plan one key race in the next few months and go from there. As a working mom it’s not quite as easy to plan as far ahead as I used to (and that’s A-OK!). I do have a spring goal race set, with hopefully 1-2 smaller races as tests and tuneup prior. After that, I have no idea. But then again, I am racing my butt down the Aisle in September so that totally takes precedence over planning other things right now! As for my spring goal race, I knew the distance I wanted and I knew I wanted it to be somewhat close to home for family and friends to come…which really narrowed down the options but I’m excited and happy with what I’m working for!

  6. Woo! Thanks for the shoutout and yes, so many exciting things this week! I’m still undecided on my next key race. Gotta take some time and reflect on that, but I think I’ll likely do a few half marathons and some 5Ks & 10Ks this Spring and then shift to one mile and two mile training this Summer. I like to race A LOT (like 24-25 races each year usually), but I like to use races as workouts sometimes as well.

    1. Congrats on the win again Sesame!! Are there are lot of one and 2 mile races around you to train for? We don’t have a great selection of those races where I am, shortest you’ll typically get is 5ks!

  7. So fun to read all the news and congrats to the racers! I’ve been known to fantasize about marathons even a couple of years out, but I generally only have one or two actually selected in advance. This year I’m running 26.2 with Donna in February and the Erie marathon in September. Picking both of these races had a lot to do with timing. With only re-starting running post-injury in July, I wasn’t comfortable with a marathon build-up for a fall race. On the other hand, I didn’t want to wait for New England to un-freeze so when my coach suggested Donna, it was a great match. The huge bonus is that I will get to meet him in person for the first time. The choice of Erie is partially strategic (flat course, last chance to BQ for 2019) and partially emotional (I grew up in Michigan and love the Great Lakes, yes, even Erie). I’ll run a couple of local half marathons and some shorter stuff during the spring. New England can be brutally hot over the summer so I’m not sure how much I’ll race then.

    1. That is cool that you will be able to meet your coach for the first time and he will be able to be there at the race for you! how long have you been working with your coach? I’m always interested in reading how people meet the coaches that they never met (usually assume social media but not always the case!)

      Erie is a great race, and the timing definitely works out well for Boston!

  8. Am I the only one here who doesn’t know who Chip Gaines is?

    Basically I run when I can afford to. I really want to run a spring marathon but it’s looking like I have to forego that in favor of a workshop for my career, financially speaking.

    Maybe the fall? I’d love to run NYC again but it’s so expensive, which basically makes not paying for travel pointless!

    Knowing that Chicory is running Erie is pretty darn appealing. I did love that race and did really really well there!

    1. Part of me wishes I didn’t know who Chip was, because our love for him is purely built on excessive watching of HGTV.

      While it may not bode well for running a spring race, it’s exciting that there are things in the works to advance your career even more!