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 🙂


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.

Hello Tulsa!

This past weekend I was on the road again to Oklahoma.  The drive isn’t so bad – it’s about three hours north to Dallas and then another four from there to Tulsa.  The landscape this time was absolutely beautiful.  I think I missed the blooming of the sunflowers by a week or two (those are spectacular along 35 N to Dallas) but there was still plenty of green pastures with pops of wildflower color.

Plus I had a cute travel companion.

Travel companion

Travel companion

We drove straight to an appointment to close on a house!  On an earlier spring visit to Tulsa, I went to three open houses with my friend Katie and on the third one, I knew I wanted this house.  It’s hard to explain, just a feeling I had.  I put an offer on it and now here we are!  Miley and I will be in Owen Park and I love the historic feel of our neighborhood.  There is a park with a track and pond close by for us both to run in.  The best part is the front porch, just waiting for a good porch swing.  Miley likes the chickens in the community garden next door, and I sense some potential trouble there.



Miley and I hung out in the emptiness for a while (right after we set off the alarm and met the Tulsa police department…) until Katie and Justin brought over dinner and some folding chairs.

Empty.  And full of possibilities!

Empty. And full of possibilities!

I’ll give you a full tour of the house another time but for now, check out my second favorite feature (after the porch of course) – my office space!

Where all the workouts will be created!

Where all the workouts will be created!

So, that was our first task for the weekend.  A big, adult task.  The next one was hosting the inaugural running group from Foolish Things on Saturday morning.  Katie, Alexis and I spent the morning on a 2.4 mile run.  We started downtown and then met up with the Midland Valley Trail to head back into town.  A great start to a running and coffee community that I can’t wait to see expand!

Runnin' Fools!

Runnin’ Fools!

Then I had hours to fill in my new town.  So, Miley and I set out on foot to check out some trails.  The first one is called the Midland Valley Trail and runs through downtown.  It’s comparable to the Greenline in Memphis and the Monon in Indianapolis in that it’s nicely paved and has a few stops with water fountains.

On the Midland Valley Trail

On the Midland Valley Trail

Meeting up with the River

Meeting up with the River

We ended up along the Arkansas River and tackled some mega hills to head back to downtown.

A little farther out of town we were tipped off to a place called Turkey Mountain and dodged some thunderstorms for a hike.  This trail is a little more like Eagle Creek in Zionsville or the Greenbelt in Austin in that it’s dirt and woodsy.  Miley loved it!  There were little spots of water and plenty of hills.  She met her first turtle too!

A little outside the city.

A little outside the city.

The hills here will be great practice 🙂  I anticipate many Sundays spent on the mountain with the little monkey.

Hill training

Hill training

I also anticipate my running expanding to trails a bit, an exciting new realm of possibilities!

Trail running

Trail running

It was a wonderful, productive and active weekend in our new home!  I’m looking forward to being there permanently in August, and visiting a few more times before then for more exploring!

What do you love to do for activity in Tulsa?  Have you been to Turkey Mountain?



Meet Me Under the Oklahoma Sky

Dear Tulsans,

Last fall I came to your town to run in the Route 66 Half Marathon.  For me then, it was a chance to visit my friends Katie and Justin again, to see their now-open coffee shop Foolish Things Coffee Company and to check another state off my list.  In the three days I was there, something unexpected happened.

I felt it even before I arrived in your lovely city, somewhere between Atoka and the toll booths of the Indian Nation Turnpike.  The sun was setting over the breathtaking plains and it made possibilities for the future seem endless.  I’ve always been a go-with-my-gut kind of girl, often leaping into things without much thought.  Like when I chose Rhodes College over Wake Forest because Walkin’ in Memphis was the first song I heard on decision day.  Whatever feeling I had driving in, I announced it as soon as I walked in the door at Katie and Justin’s – “I think I might like to move here.”

Endless Possibilities

The events of that weekend – a wonderful race (albeit a cold 25 degrees), the first run where I’ve actually met people that I still keep in touch with, spending time at Foolish Things and talking to Tulsans about the town only solidified the feeling in my stomach. I love your small town city feel, the energy bursting out of the young entrepreneurs trying to get people excited about living in Tulsa, your riverfront and your friendliness.  There’s an energy in your city and I felt it.  I want to be a part of the growth, part of making Tulsa the best it can be.  And I love that I felt you want that same thing.

Mile 9. The cold riverfront.

A sucker for rivers…

So, in eleven short weeks I will leave Austin in its dust, bringing with me the knowledge and experience I have gained here (of which there is much! Austin, I thank you for the rich growth I’ve experienced in my two years) and the heart for running and coaching I grew in Memphis.  I’ll start by hosting a running group – The Runnin’ Fools – out of Foolish Things Coffee Company.  We will train for the race that brought me to Tulsa in the first place, the Route 66 Half Marathon.   Join us for a FREE group run and meet the Coach (me!) session afterwards at Foolish Things.  Saturday, June 7 at 7 am.

Coffee and running: The perfect morning pair.

I am excited to continue in the spirit of Foolish Things’ ambition to create a community in the downtown neighborhood by creating an outlet for it through running.  Training for a common goal is a powerful way to bring people together and I hope you’ll join us for the miles ahead.  I’ll leave one of my favorite runs below for you to try while you wait for me:

The 30-20-10 (Great for 5k speed training/pretending you’re Katniss running through the arena)

  • Warm up jog for 10-20 minutes
  • The set: 30 seconds of jogging, 20 seconds of running, 10 seconds of sprinting.  Do this 5 times (that’s one set).
  • Complete 3-5 sets resting (walk or jog) for two minutes between sets.
  • Cool down for 10 minutes

I’m looking forward to this next chapter with you Tulsans, and I hope you’re ready for an energetic option in the fitness sector, straight from the capital of fitness, Austin.  See you in June!

Happy trails,

Coach Sprenk


2014 3M Half Marathon

For a few months now I’ve been meeting a group of ladies twice a week to coach them through the 3M Half Marathon here in Austin.  We met on Saturday mornings for long runs around the lake and Wednesday evenings for strength, conditioning and core workouts.  Several hundred pushups and miles later….it was RACE DAY!

As part of my coaching philosophy, I like to make it as easy on my runners on the big day as possible.  Making sure you’ve got all your gear (shoes, gu, water, body glide, bib, timing chip, watch etc) is hassle enough before the sun is up.  This morning that included chauffeuring my “kiddos” to the start of the race and doing a quick drop off before heading to the finish to cheer for them.  Excellent practice for the small percentage of me that might end up as a soccer mom.  3M is a little bit unique because it’s a point to point.  In my racing experience, most races start and end within a mile of each other so that characteristic made it a little tricky.

This race is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with over 5,000 people participating.  The weather was perfect.  Perfect.  Sunny and 48 to start, 52 around the finish.  Miley (mascot pup, for those of you new to my world) and I waited at the final corner of the race.  It was a little chilly at first before the sun was up over the buildings but the warmth and energy of the running community was vibrant.  We didn’t wait too long before the first place guy came zooming by, looking effortless at his 5:00ish pace.  He finished in just over 1:07.  A pace neither my body nor my mind will ever comprehend.  Even if I was put in a Katniss-esque situation and had to run from trackerjackers.  I’ll never be that fast.  But I’ve made peace with that, and my hallucinogenic fate if I ever do encounter trackerjackers.

Anyway, the race crowd was thin at first; not many can hold that pace.  It eventually started to dense up and I started looking for friends and my groupies.  I managed to catch them all and give a little shout and a brief final jog with them around the corner.

Race day is one of my favorite parts about this job.  It represents so many things.  Overcoming injuries, illnesses, doubts, fears and excuses.  Following something through to completion.  Sticking together as a group.  Making the impossible possible.  I’m so proud of these girls today for sticking with it when it was hot or cold,  as I demanded more pushups or planks, through pain and coughs – YOU DID IT!

Miley and I were wiped out just watching all that activity this morning.  After a big nap I was still feeling inspired by the 5,000+ runners I watched this morning so I stepped out into the still perfect weather for a run of my own.  Today was a time for distance style run where I see how far I can get in a certain amount of time.  I picked 45 minutes for today, and will use it as a benchmark as training strides along!

Backdrop to my evening run.

Backdrop to my evening run.

Congrats to ALL the racers today (but especially mine)!


Meet Team CIS!

One of my favorite things as a coach is the group training for long(er) distance races like half and full marathons.  This year I’ve got my first group of Austin runners training for the 3M Half Marathon in January.

I’m thrilled to be working with a group of dedicated and wonderful Communities in School employees.  We meet on Wednesday nights for circuit training and then again on Saturdays to enjoy the long runs together.  We’ve bumped up from our initial distance of 3 miles to 4 miles this month and everyone has a great base established!

The group has battled red ants, Zilker fences and now after this morning, rowing regattas!  Nothing keeps us off the trail 🙂

Team CIS long run of 4 miles! Mascot Miley was being disagreeable….and typical.