Miles To Go

Blog by Kelly Mitchell

So Many Journals

Who else has a personal agenda, work agenda, running journal, and nutrition log? Only me? Am I the only one?

Yes, I have way too many journals that I keep up with. I recently added more journals to my stash to really see what was going on in my nutrition after last week’s doctor appointment. I love writing things down, it’s giving me time to think about my goals and see the progress.


I wish I was running more this past week, but the Blizzard of 2016 made it so I was stuck inside for two days. This was probably a great thing because I got in a lot of strength training that I would normally pass up on. Also, shoveling is a work out. It is. After my mind was made up about taking a rest after MCM, I think I got a little too comfortable. So, I’m back to getting myself out of my comfort zone and doing more of what I need to do, not want to do.

I have been getting in most of my training miles for RnR DC 1/2, but spending most of my time really looking into what I’m eating and other ways to work out. On Sunday, I ran up and down my apartment buildings stairs for a total of one mile. I needed some fresh air and outside exercise. No, I didn’t slip…maybe once…

IMG_0515 IMG_0530

It was great to see the sun and breathe fresh air again! Now with all the ice, I’m back to the treadmill. Still getting in lower milage for RnR, which I don’t mind. Training amps up in February, so I will be happy for all the rest I’ve gotten.


I’m hoping to be 5 pounds down by end of February. I am religiously logging all my runs and work outs in my Believe journal and all my food in Fitness Pal. I haven’t weighed myself because it has only been a week, but I am watching the portions that I eat. Like I said in my last post, I really don’t eat bad so I’m going to try smaller portions before I cut out any foods. I do feel better already. Not from weight loss, but just portioning and being content. I always eat until I’m full and then it’s too late. I think a lot of runners have this issue, especially during marathon training!

Just a quick update and keeping myself accountable! What are your snow days looking like? 

Less is More, right?

We hear this saying all the time. But in running, we mostly hear “run more!”. Many runners are/have been streaking, and getting in miles every day. I believe when you are healthy, yes – run all the time! Clearly, I’m burnt out. We all knew this after I ran MCM this past October. I swore I wouldn’t run a full marathon until this fall, which I still stand by. But, I never thought that not running would make me stronger.


Running RnR Savannah in November, a week after MCM.

Since November, the most I have run is 4 miles at a time. It is glorious. I am still running 3-4 times per week. Mostly, I am cross-training, focusing on flexibility, and just enjoying my mornings of not running at 5am through the winter. I am training for RnR DC 1/2 in March, but I’m not taking it too seriously. I want, I need, to fall in love with running again. Constantly running will not help me do that. But, I’m pretty happy with how strong I feel and how weight lifting has helped my running.

I need to fall in love with my body, too. We are less than six months away from the wedding…holy what?! I’ve been a planning fool. I rarely talk about my weight on here or to my friends/family, but I feel it’s time to bring it up. I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that I’ve gained weight. When I was a rower in college, I bulked up to 165 pounds from 148 in high school. This was due to the freshmen 15 and power lifting for crew. I didn’t look bad, I just looked thick and bulky. But, I was an athlete and you could clearly tell so I didn’t mind.

After rowing season in May 2011.

After rowing season in May 2011.


September 2011 – running my first half in RnR VA Beach. Felt great here – still had a bit of muscle from rowing but slimmed down!

After I stopped rowing, I dropped down to 158 pounds because of running and not power lifting. I lost most of my muscle and some weight. When I looked at my race pictures for this past MCM, I had noticed I looked bigger. Not fat, just big. I have noticed my knees hurting while running, which I have never had problems with before. I couldn’t go to B’s last Marine Corps Ball because the Rent the Runway dress I rented didn’t fit (yes, both sizes). That was a low point. But, I don’t own a scale and didn’t want to know the number. I just knew I felt bad.


Love these people and this race, but definitely don’t like the way I look in this photo. (RnR VA Beach, September)

I just had my annual physical yesterday…guess what I weigh? 175 pounds. Shit. A year and a half out of college and I feel like I’ve lost control of my body and running.

How the heck did I gain 15 pounds?! My jaw dropped. It’s not just the number that is making me upset. It’s the fact that I’m a marathon runner. I don’t eat fast food. I eat pretty clean besides my Cheez-Itz that I love. I just don’t get it. B thinks I’ve gained weight because my body is so used to constantly running. I have refused to believe this because exercise is exercise, and I love running. But, maybe he is right? Maybe I don’t burn as much fat because my body is so used to training for marathons. I am NOT saying I’m fat or overweight or out-of-shape, or any of that. I am just saying that I don’t feel my best, and have never been in this spot before. I am just taken aback from what I usually weigh through out training. I am very active, so I thought I’d never really have to worry about gaining weight. Reality is hitting hard, my friends.

So, here we are at the start of my journey. I am a marathoner, over my usual weight for my height. It’s time for a change. I am now logging everything into the free app, My Fitness Pal, to see what I am really putting into my body. Along with more cross training and fat burning work outs. I am determined to look and feel like a runner again.


North Face Endurance Challenge 1/2. June 2014 – felt great here.


Here We Go…

Happy New Years Eve, friends! Well, this morning I took time to figure out where I want to be through the year of 2016.  I looked over what I wrote last year and knew I didn’t complete everything I wanted to. But, that’s OK. I exceeded some goals and barely started on others.

  • Get more uncomfortable – semi-check. Not really in running, but mentally there were times when I was extremely uncomfortable in my skin.
Those quiet moments when it's just you and your breath and your blood pumping in your ears. Those are the moments that define us as runners, that make us stronger, challenge us, push us to want to do more, be more.

Those quiet moments when it’s just you and your breath and your blood pumping in your ears. Those are the moments that define us as runners, that make us stronger, challenge us, push us to want to do more, be more.

  • Give more – BIG CHECK. I loved every minute of it.
  • Grow M2G and charity races – kind of. I gave up on my business, and my blog for awhile. It made me realize how much this blog and running means to me. I didn’t grow it, but it’s brought more fun and people into my life!
  • Prolong hip surgery – YES! My hip has been doing pretty well, even through marathon training.
  • Cross training – not really. Yes, I’ve done some workouts but during marathon training I got so caught up in running that I completely forgot how great it feels to change it up.
  • Flexibility – check. I try to stretch every night before bed.
  • Time for myself and have fun – yes, living alone for 6 months (something I never wanted to do), I completed my race director certification, got myself into 5am runs, volunteered and went after jobs out of my experience level, and more. Thanks, 2015!


  • Create photo albums – yes! I finished my first race scrapbook and am continuously adding photos to the 2015 album.

This year, my goals aren’t as specific. 2016 is the year I will get married. That in itself makes this year amazing. But, running wise, here are my goals:

  1. Keep chasing after the <4:15 marathon time and <1:55 half marathon time. These times may not seem amazing to some of you, but if you followed my running this past year – I need to put in work. I’ll work on speed training at least once a week and work on strength training at least twice a week. These are to help me focus on not running all the time. It’s what’s best for me and I’m writing a blog post on it now.
  2. Get stronger, mentally and physically. Last year, my goal was to get more uncomfortable. I really mean it this time. I need to prove to myself that I can run faster and be OK. It’s more a mental game for me now, so I need to train like it.


Personally, this year I just want to travel, find my career, and have fun. Smiling and experiencing life is important to me. Volunteering, running, and traveling is how I experience life.

Unlike last year, my race calendar only has one race scheduled so far: RnR DC Half Marathon and RnR VA Beach. This makes me feel so happy and relaxed. I’m taking my time with races and waiting until October for another marathon, MCM!

If I had to name 5 things I would change about 2015, I would change my mindset, running all the time, budgeting better, planning my career better, and having more game nights. I’m starting 2016 in a low mindset, but I’m excited to start figuring out life, one mile at a time. Let’s do this!


What are your goals for 2016? What would you change about this year?



50 Happy Things

Recently, I’ve had a lot of setbacks in my life. I wrote about some of them in my post “Getting Back To My Roots.” I am and have always been the happy and loud friend. I’ve been known for my contagious laugh and optimism. It’s time to get start getting back to this.



Holiday season is my favorite (CHRISTMAS MOVIES ALL THE TIME)! So todays post, I’m focusing on a list of 50 happy things in my life. This is going to take awhile, but here we go!

  1. Coffee
  2. Wine


    Wine everything.

  3. Cinnamon-smelling candles
  4. Wedding planning


    The only wedding magazines purchased. I’m doing pretty well!

  5. Decorating our little one-bedroom apartment
  6. Giving back in any way possible
  7. Carbs
  8. Bobby getting out of the military in a week (OMG)
  9. Getting out engagement pictures back
  10. Justin Bieber’s new album…
  11. A break from running to strength train
  12. But, running whenever I want
  13. New Brooks PureFlows coming out soon
  14. Going a week without biting my nails!
  15. Racing – any and every race makes me happy
  16. My race scrapbook being almost finished
  17. Donating 52 hospital caddies to Children’s Hospital filled with games and tissues for the kiddos
  18. Volunteering for Wreaths Across America with Team RWB next weekIMG_7198
  19. Christmas parties
  20. Ugly sweaters
  21. Friends and family who always make me smile
  22. I’ve been having good hair days, so that’s a plus (this is getting increasingly more difficult…)
  23. My dad moving into his new townhouse this weekend
  24. Thanksgiving leftovers and not having to grocery shop for two weeks
  25. Having two Thanksgiving’s this year (FOOD) (Bonus of having divorced parents!)
  26. Starbucks cinnamon dolce latte
  27. Breakfast sandwiches
  28. Parmesan cheese
  29. TODAY show
  30. Chalk paint
  31. My Happy Planner 12238299_10153781640566719_6478772506977276142_o
  32. All Apple products
  33. Schnauzers


    The Mitchell Schnauzers. Can’t. Get. Over. The. Cuteness.

  34. This wonderful blog of mine
  35. Concerts
  36. Going to the movies
  37. The DC Car Show
  38. Dancing anywhere and everywhere
  39. This pillow


    Yes, I customized a pillow.

  40. My soon-to-be last name
  41. Sore muscles
  42. Sweat!
  43. Pinterest, but it’s very dangerous for wedding planning
  44. Me slowly turning into my mom (this is good, probably not happy…)

    Not amused. Maybe I should go back and buy this.

    Not amused. Maybe I should go back and buy this.

  45. Traveling and hopefully visiting NYC soon to meet the new baby in our fam
  46. Lazy, rainy days
  47. Happy, sunny days
  48. Organization and all things clean
  49. Elephants


    And my time in South Africa. Probably some of the happiest moments of my life, along with getting engaged (Sorry, B!)

  50. And, we made it! The last one is ME! All of these (and more) make me happy. They make me, me.

Well, if you’ve made it through that list – good job for toughing it out!

What are your 50 happy things in your life? What would you add?

What They Do While We Run…

We all love our spectators on race day. Whether it’s friends, family, significant others, or strangers – they know how to pump us up! But, what the hell are they doing when we are standing in lines for the porta-potties or running through mile 15? From researching my fiancé and family, these are my conclusions:

  • Sleep in the car.
  • Have a delicious breakfast and warm coffee.
  • Direct lost and confused parents so they can watch you at mile 20.
  • Carry all food, extra Gu’s, extra clothing and water.
  • Check out all other runners and wonder where the heck we are.
  • Give high fives (POWER) to the runners while waiting for you.
  • Taking pictures around the cities.
  • Racing from metro to metro to catch you at different miles.
  • Wonder and talk about why we are crazy.
  • Get McDonalds after dropping us off at the start at 6am.
  • Still wondering why we are running…


What do your spectators do while we run our hearts out? And after all of the wonderful brunches they have, we still choose to run. That’s why we are runners.


A Time For Giving

The holidays are here! I don’t know about you, but I love the Christmas music playing, decorations, and wrapping paper already out in stores. I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. When you’re younger, the holidays are exciting because you get presents! Now, I am more excited than ever to give back this season. This is how…

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Getting Back To My Roots

Somehow, in the middle of marathon training, I lost myself.

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Quitting is an Easy Mindset

Hello my people! This is the first post I’ve wrote in over a month. Don’t worry, I’m still running my butt off but just haven’t found the time or motivation to write a blog post. Well, that changed today on my run.

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Celebrate Summer

This post was originally posted as a guest post on Daydreams & Shoestrings.

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Happy 1 Year Blog-Versary! GIVEAWAYS!

It’s Miles To Go’s 1 year anniversary! WAHOOO!

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