Boston Distance Medley

Back when I was researching specific races to check some more states off, I came across the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) half marathon, hosted in October.  I stumbled across this race last summer and it was already too late to register for it, but I made a point to pay attention to registration this year.


Boston bound!

As I was double checking the registration date, I stumbled across a series of events called the Boston Distance Medley.  This race series includes a 5k, 10k and the half marathon.  Registration for the series opened up before all of the others and it guarantees your entry into each race.  I figured the little bit of extra money for all three was worth it to make sure I got into both the 5k and half, my two target races.

As excited as I am to cross the state off in October for the half marathon, I’m actually more excited for the 5k in April (I’ll probably skip the 10k.  Three trips to Boston is a little much for me in one year, when there are other states to cross off!)  The race is Saturday, April 15 which is 13 weeks away. That gives me the Sweetheart Race and the St. Patricks Day Run to practice breaking that 22 mark, and then I can really go for it on a historic course!  And the best part?  Marathon Monday is the Monday right after the 5k so of course I’ll stick around to see one of the (if not THE) most historic runs in the world.  Not sure if I’m more excited for my race, or that race.


Nothing motivates like a race deadline

I’m hoping to find someone to go with me, either to run the race or just to go watch the marathon but this is one trip I’m so excited about I’d do it solo if I had to!

Any suggestions for things to do in Boston?!


State 18:Go! St. Louis Half Marathon

The road to all the states continues and for number 18 I took some friends with me.  I’m still working on getting all the states that my new home touches: MO, KS and NM remained.   St. Louis quickly won out among the group vote and so we began to plan for the April 9 race.

I had the privilege of coaching a group of friends through the first of 2016 leading up to the run – 2 who had one half under their belts and 2 who had none.  We had a great spring season and I was so confident in each of the runners.

Nicole and I drove up a day early to have some time in St. Louis to hang out.  We explored the city, picked up our packets and of course took some time for yoga under the arch!

Due to some shitty life circumstances, our 3-D friend Alexis couldn’t make the trip.  We took a flat version along all our adventures with us.  She went to the expo, the arch and enjoyed coffee at all of our stops around town.  I hate it when one of my kiddos trains for a race and for one reason or another can’t make it.  But that’s how racing goes, and life.

Katie and Justin joined us later in the day for some fun around town.  We walked around way too much for the day before a race but it was a beautiful spring day and we just couldn’t help ourselves.



Dinner was of course, pizza.  We ate at a place recommended by local friends called Pizzeola.  They’re a wood fired thin crust place in a neighborhood east of the city.  Pretty tasty but be warned, there are no meat options!  It was fun watching the boys try vegan sausage and pepperoni though.

I was lucky enough to find an amazing downtown Air BnB to stay in for the weekend.  We were just a few blocks from the start line so we all met there on Sunday morning for bananas, low-quality coffee and a bathroom.  The plan was for me to pace Katie and Justin to keep them from that early stage energy that can sweep runners away and Nicole would enjoy her first half at her own pace.  Flat Alexis would tag along in Justin’s pocket!

We were worried about rain but otherwise it was a perfect morning weather wise.  The first 5k took us across into Illinois.  That bridge really sucked because there were construction cones adding to the already crowded and narrow exit ramps.  Katie had to stop to pull glass out of her shoe and we weaved in and out of the cones, dodging runners and watching our step the whole way.  The streets widened for a bit once we were across the river but then it seemed to get pretty crowded again.  It was great to not feel alone but a little too tight for my preference.

Even with my pace assistance, we went out a little too fast.  But managed to fall into a right-on-target pace for the rest of the race.  Justin pulled ahead and I stayed with Katie, enjoying a Sunday morning long run.  All was going great until we came up to the Brewery. We were chugging along, Katie had Taylor Swift on and I was listening to Sam Hunt.  Then out of nowhere this horrible smell of literal shit hung in the air.  We both looked at each other in horror “WHAT IS THAT?”  We had two ideas: the clydesdale horses or someone had pooped their pants.  Based on several pieces of evidence we found 1. Neither Justin (in front of us) nor Nicole (behind us) smelled it and 2. The horses don’t live at the brewery, we came to our own conclusions.  I’ll let you be your own detective.

Katie and I turned it on at the end to push for that sub-2.  We knew Justin made it since we never saw him again and we were cutting it close.  It was one of those finishes where you could hear the screaming and announcing but the line seemed to never appear.  We turned corner after corner until finally it was in sight.  Katie nailed a PR and they both made it under 2!  We hung around for a bit in the finish area and then I went in search of Nicole.

By this point the temperature was dropping and I was a little chilly even in my space blanket.  I ran upstream of the runners cheering them on and scanning the crowd for our smallest runner.  I spotted her and ran with her as long as I could hang.  She kept a steady pace to the end and finished her first half!

After cleaning up and packing up, we went out to a little coffeeshop and grabbed a brunch. Nicole and I hit the road again while Katie and Justin stayed behind.  This was not in the top half of my favorite races but I loved St. Louis and definitely want to go back when there is more time to enjoy the park, the City Museum, the baseball field and nightlife.

NEXT UP FOR THE STUDIONE RUNNERS!:  We will have our fall training groups starting in August.  We will target locally the Tulsa Run and Route 66.  I am taking into consideration our spring race options for next year but KS is in a strong first place!  Leave a comment if you’re interested in coaching – either electronically or locally in Tulsa :D.


Teaching Schedule

There are lots of opportunities and ways to workout and find your fitness – all over Tulsa!  Come take a class with me and see what it’s like to get #sprenkeled!


6:00 am (starting July 6) Runnin’ Fools Group Run – $20 per month

12:50pm – 1:30pm Sets and Reps: Downtown YMCA – Membership required or $10 drop in

5:30 – 6:30 pm Boot Camp: Downtown YMCA –  Membership required or $10 drop in

7:30 – 8:15 pm  Yoga-Flo: Thunderkick Fitness – Membership required or $10 drop in


5:30-6:30 pm Boot Camp: Guthrie Green – FREE

6:30 pm (starting July 7) Runnin’ Fools Group Run – $20 per month


6am (starting July 8) Runnin’ Fools Group Run – $20 per month

12:50 – 1:30pm Sets and Reps: Downtown YMCA – Membership required or $10 drop in

7:30-8:15pm Yoga-Flo: Thunderkick Fitness – Membership require or $10 drop in


5:30-6:30pm Boot Camp: Guthrie Green – FREE

6:30 pm (Starting July 9) Runnin’ Fools Group Run – $20 per month


12:50-1:30 pm Sets and Reps: Downtown YMCA – Membership required or $10 drop in


7 am (starts July 4) Runnin’ Fools Long Run – $20 per month

8 am Yoga at Foolish Things Coffee – Donation based

10 am PiYo at Thunderkick Fitness – Membership required or $10 drop in

Quality Run 2: Hills

The Runnin’ Fools are starting a new phase of our training cycle.  We’ve just finished several weeks of circuit style workouts to help build total body strength in combination with running.  Now, with race day less than two months away, it’s time to introduce the next Quality Run: Hills.

And what better way to do that than on hump day 😉

I’ve run hills for as long as I can remember in my running career.  In middle school we would zig zag down a wooden ramp and run back up a steeply banked trail hill and proudly shout out what rep we were on.  And then we’d repeat.  And repeat.  And repeat.

In Memphis I would run laps on the Auction Street Bridge.  The slow slope of this bridge was longer but I’d go up and down, and then cross to the other side and repeat the process.  Some days I’d do it for time, others for reps but a secret and dark part of me really enjoyed it.

Austin was a hilly enough town that a regular street run would cover the hill workout.  One of my favorites though was Red River which was just rolling with slopes.

Now that I’m in Tulsa, I’m still trying to figure out how to get some incline practice in (especially with San Francisco just weeks away!).  There’s a significant incline coming back east from the river, and an elusive hill that the bikers call “Crybaby Hill”.  I stumbled upon the one we used today on a run last week in Owen Park.  We did an easy one mile warmup through the park and then three repeats on the hill.  It was about .15 miles up the hill and then we took a longer loop back down.  There was no rest between repeats except the slower pace down.  Finish with a cool down and we hit 2.85 miles!

Quality Run 2: Hills

Quality Run 2: Hills


What:  A run that includes a significant amount of incline, whether built into the route or from repeats up and down the same hill.

When:  Once a week in the middle of the training process, after some body weight strength training (circuits).


  • Combines strength training with function.  Hills are great at coordinating the strength of tendons, ligaments, muscles and capsules of all major joints involved in running.
  • Power development.  Because your muscles have to work against more gravity to propel your body weight upward, they are able to develop more power than they would on flat surfaces.
  • Improved running economy.  Hill running has been shown in Sweden to improve runners’ economy by at least 3% after twice weekly hill sessions for 12 weeks.
  • Higher concentrations of aerobic enzymes.  The presence of these enzymes in the quadriceps can contribute to increased speed while running.
  • Maintained fitness.  It’s been shown that athletes who include hill training in their routine do not lose their fitness as quickly as those who do not run hills when time is taken off working out.
  • Increased calorie burn.  Adding hills to the routine dramatically increases the caloric expenditure of your workout as compared to the same distance and speed run on flat surfaces.

How: I’m sure I’ve convinced you to add hills to your routine, but there is one big thing to keep in mind.  ADD THEM SLOWLY.  Increasing intensity too fast is the number one cause of injury in runners!  Take your time with it, even if you feel like you’re fit enough to tackle ten repeats (which I’m sure we could have done this morning) start with 3-4. Then each time you run, you can add one to two additional repeats.  Be sure to take a rest day or an easy day between quality workouts!

Check out this article from Runner’s World (that I adapted some of the benefits listed earlier from) for much more detail!

Good luck, and see you on the hills (your glutes will thank you).

100 Days until November 23, 2014

Mark your calendars y’all!

The Route 66 Half Marathon in Tulsa is just 100 days away.  Organizers are predicting both the half and the marathon will sell out so be sure to register TODAY 🙂  and certainly before prices increase on August 31.


To celebrate this milestone in the countdown, I am dropping the registration prices for the Runnin’ Fools training group. We “practice” 3 days per week together, under the guidance of me, Coach Sprenk (avid international runner, University of Texas Masters grad in Sports Science and Nutrition, experienced running coach with a fierce love for coffee and community) and sponsored by Foolish Things Coffee Company in downtown Tulsa.

We’ll do track workouts, we’ll do tempo runs, we’ll practice hills.  I’ll be there for high fives and fist bumps when your short runs turn into long runs, and for smacks on the wrist when you oversleep your alarm.  We’re a fun, encouraging group and would love to have you!

New special price for the 100 day mark is $125 prorated from the end of August until race day!


If you’re interested in joining us to run your first or fifth + half marathon – leave your info below OR shoot an email to coachsprenkel AT gmail DOT com  and Sprenk (me, myself and I) will be in touch!  Don’t hesitate if you want to train remotely and make a weekend out of it – I specialize in that 🙂

Quality Run 1: Circuits

There are a few approaches to take to running training.  Running for a specific number of increasing miles, a growing amount of time, alternating walking and running, high mileage early in the week to fatigue for the long run……and on and on (and the approach that makes me cringe – a long run here and there, “I ran 10 miles once, I can do 3.1 more”  Yea, good luck with that).  My approach, one I learned in school and backed by my runner’s intuition, is to include a variety of kinds of runs throughout the week.  Fartleks.  Circuits.  Tempos.  Progressive.  Hills.  Track.  Speed. Intervals.  

Every so often as we progress through this training season, I’ll change up the weekly quality run as it suits our training needs and will do a brief intro on it here.  This week we’ve got the multi-tasking circuit workout.

Running Circuits

What:  After a warm-up, laps on the track alternate with running-specific strength moves for a specific number of sets and reps.  A cool-down follows.

When:  Frequently early in the training process to build strength in the most used running muscles, and less frequently but consistent later in the season.

Why:  Any type of strength move can be included in the intervals between running bouts but it makes the most sense to include moves that strengthen the leg, core and arm muscles used the most in running.  Doing laps after the strength exercises teaches your muscles to work after being fatigued.  = STRENGTH AND INJURY PREVENTION.

How:  After a one mile easy warmup and drills, complete the following circuit four times

Running Circuit

Running Circuit


The first week this may seem impossible but you’ll be a pro at it in no time!  Good luck friends and I’ll see ya out there 🙂

Saturday Long Run: Foolish Things Coffee at 7 am  

2014 Route 66 Half Marathon Training: Week 1

August has always been an exciting time of year for me.  My birthday.  Going to college.  Football season.  Cooler temperatures (hopefully).  Moving to Memphis, moving to Austin, moving to Tulsa.  It’s also usually the time I start training for fall races and I much prefer fall races to winter or springtime events.

And it’s just now that time to train for the fall half marathon here in Tulsa.  Route 66 race is on November 23 this year and puts us a perfect 15 weeks out to get started!  Here is the mileage plan for the first week of training.

Are you ready?

Are you ready?

Runnin’ Fools operates on the model of running three times per week together from Foolish Things Coffee company, and one time on your own schedule.  You may also swap out that fourth run for a cross training day in the pool or on a bike.

Week 1 Mileage 

Run 1: 2.5 miles

Run 2: 2 mile circuit (we’ll meet at the track for this)

Run 3: 2.5 easy (this one is on your own)

Long run: Timed 5k

The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare – Juma Ikangaa, Boston Marathoner

Stay tuned for updates from the group, more info on the specific types of runs and training groups.  It’s not too late to join us for fun, group support, t-shirts and discounted goodies from Foolish Things 🙂  I’ve done all the leg work putting a mileage calendar together for the entire season, mapping out the routes and will provide knuckle bumps and ass kicks along the way – me and the Fools would love to have you!  Email or comment for pricing options and different packages.

Schedule from the Shop

We run Tuesday and Thursday mornings from Foolish Things (unless Coach has a different plan that week) and Saturdays for our long runs.  Stay tuned for info on a FREE SOCIAL RUN.