Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Women's History Month!

March is Women's History Month and that makes it a great time to reflect on some inspirational superwomen.  In my life, I have been fortunate to be surrounded by incredible women who inspire me daily.  I have two amazing Sisters, and incredible friends and collegues that never cease to impress me. 

Though I am surrounded by some incredible ladies, my Mom, Patti, takes the cake as my number one inspirational woman.  She is the whole package: super-intelligent, an amazing mother, an even more incredible Toots (Grandma), a kick ass runner (she's been running for 40 years), a professional, a creative genius, a fabulous wife, and she's hot to boot! I honestly don't know how she does it. 
She's juggled a career and 3 kids for over 30 years and 25 moves as an Army Wife.  I had no idea how hard all of this was when I was kid, she just made everything happen, and it did, seamlessly.  She literally handmade our Halloween costumes, ensured every Birthday celebration was exciting and fabulous, and supported all three of our different after-school sports.  She earned her Master's Degree while teaching full-time and raising three crazy kids.  It wasn't until I had my daughter that I realized how hard she worked to make our lives wonderful.  I am so much more appreciative of her now that we have shared sleepless and achy Christmas and Birthday eves to ensure that every package is perfectly wrapped and magically placed.  It's hard work, especially after returning from a long day at work, and she never let on.   My Mom didn't even have a second to rest after all of us kids moved out, because she has selflessly cared for our little girl (and our rambunctious dog) every time my husband and I have deployed.  Hazel is never happier than when she is with her Toots and as tough as it is to be away from her, I am so fortunate that she is able to spend so much of her life with my incredible Mom.  My Mom inspires me to be a better mother, runner, athlete, fashionista, and professional every single day.  Thanks Mom!

 My Mom has encouraged and inspired me to achieve my dreams and I couldn't be where I am today without her!  I'm honored to be featured on the Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation page for Women's History month!  There are four other stellar Army Women Athletes featured too. I highly recommend checking it out at the link below for some excellent inspiration. 

MWR Women's History Month

Military Women in Sports Spotlight
CPT Kelly Calway
"Running is a huge part of my life and I am fortunate to be able to continue my running career through All Army Sports. The team competitions fostered by All Army Sports help develop leadership and teamwork skills which directly translate to my leadership role as an officer in the Army. All Army sports has given me the opportunity to travel and socialize with Soldiers from countries all over the world. This has provided me with a global perspective that I can apply in my work as a Military Intelligence Officer. Additionally, I am encouraged to maintain a high-level of physical fitness in order to continue to participate in All Army Sports, which translates to a high level of physical fitness and excellent APFT scores."

MOS: 35D, Military Intelligence
Duty Station: Fort Carson, CO

Sports/Position: Marathon, Cross Country, and Track
How Many Years of All Army Sports: 8
How Many Years of Military Service: 8
Hometown: Everywhere--I’m an Army Brat!
Alma Mater: North Carolina State University 2006, West Potomac HS 2002

Career with All Army Sports:

· All Army Ten Miler Team, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
· All Army Cross Country 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 (Champion), 2013 (Champion)
· All Army Marathon Team 2008, 2013 (Champion)
· CISM Cross Country 2010
· CISM World Games Track and Field 2011, 10,000m
  • Her personal goal is to make the Olympic Marathon Team in 2016.
  • Kelly enjoys running! She also loves spending time with her awesome family, hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and coaching.
  • Kelly chose to be a part of All Army Sports because she loves to represent the Army and race for all of her fellow Soldiers and Army families. She also loves the opportunity to engage with other services and countries during Armed Forces and CISM competitions to promote friendship through sport.
  • Best sports advice given to her was from her Dad, who was a superstar basketball player at West Point: “Hard work pays off!”
  • Few people know that she is a vegetarian.
  • Kelly is most proud of her incredible family. Her accomplishments in running would mean nothing if she was unable to share them with her family.
  • Kelly’s mom, Patti, has had the greatest influence on her athletic career. Her mom has been running for over 30 years and has always supported Kelly’s running career. When Kelly was young, her mom drove her to track practice and even ran with her during road races, cheering her on all the while. Even now, Patti facilitates Kelly’s running career by watching her daughter while Kelly travels to races. Kelly always calls her mom the night before a race and Patti always provides encouragement.
  • Best moment of her athletic career to date was either running a personal record and placing 25th at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials or winning the Marine Corps Marathon 2013.
  • If you walked into Kelly’s house, the first thing you’d probably notice is her crazy running partner: her dog, Aspen.
  • Among reality shows, she would fare best on The Amazing Race.
  • Best thing about being a Soldier-athlete is getting the chance to represent the United States at World Competitions. It’s a huge responsibility to represent our country and our military during the CISM World competitions, and Kelly really enjoys it.
  • Kelly would most like to meet the President.
Athlete: Joan Benoit
Movies: The Royal Tenenbaums
TV Shows: Breaking Bad
Music: The Decemberists
Actor or Actress: Bill Murray
TV Sports Personality: Phil Liggett
Foods: All vegetables!
Vacation spot: Hawaii! The best place ever.
Best Athlete Ever Faced: Shalane Flanagan in college and during the Olympic Trials.
Quote: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” –Chinese Proverb

Kelly is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Kinesiology. She will be an instructor at West Point in the Department of Physical Education beginning in the summer of 2015.

Follow Kelly on twitter: @wikigazelle

Monday, March 3, 2014

I'm back!

Life and work got in the way and unfortunately, my blog fell by the way side.  I kept running through it all, and I will do my best to breeze through the past year and half that you all missed out on. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

So I'm a 10,000m runner now. . .

Getting back on the track after 6 years is a huge and refreshing change from road races and marathoning. I'm looking forward to the next race: Payton Jordan on 29 April.

In lieu of a long post-race recap, here are my thoughts on what I need to maintain/improve before I race again. I scribbled this out during Hazel's swim lessons.

I must give a huge shout-out to my husband, who played coach during the race, and WCAP teammates, who told him exactly what to say! Thanks for all of the support!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Olympic Marathon Trials and what comes next

I'm still on cloud nine following the Olympic Trials in Houston last week. My race was "textbook," according to my coach, and I couldn't have asked for a better place to set a five minute PR of 2:37. It was an incredible experience for me. It was also a validating experience, I have dropped 22 minutes over the past 16 months, and have gone from totally unranked nationally and unqualified for the trials to 25th place at the Olympic Trials! Oh yeah, and I was the first military person!

My immediate (and I mean immediate, I hadn't even had any water!) post-race excitement was captured in this article by Tim Hipps:

The Trials:

For starters, the event was first-class. The athlete and family support was fabulous and very well-planned. Everything from check-in, to provided food (tons of veg options and healthy stuff) and refreshments, to massage was amazing. The volunteers were awesome and everyone was super helpful.

I've never had more support before a race, my parents, husband, daughter, coach, and in-laws all made the trip to the Lone Star state just for me. And those who couldn't make it sent good luck letters, messages, and emails. It was awesome to know how many people stood behind me. Before the race, my family was super-supportive, they helped drag by bags all over Houston, juggled all of my gear for me, and even helped decorate my fluid bottles so that I could find them on the course.

Princess wands! What a great idea!

During the race, my support crew was spectacular! They spread out over the entire course with signs, cameras, and extremely loud voices! They recruited random spectators to cheer me on and tweeted my time, place, and pictures during the race. I couldn't have asked for better support. I love my family!

I've never felt so good during a taper or so ready to race before the trials. I owe most of that to my Coach, who in 3 months prepared me better than ever before. I did more miles and more long-tempo runs and a lot fewer track workouts than before. I ran through the summer heat, the 5 minute fall, and through the blizzards and crazy wind in Colorado, and Coach was with me (usually on a bike) the whole time. My last big work out before the trials I ran 2xmile and 3x 1,000 all faster than I've run in the past. We discussed the race plan several times. I knew I was ready to go.

I actually "carbo-loaded" 72 hours out from the race, which I've never done before. I thought it would be fun, but I actually thought it was a bit gross to try to get the amount of carbs necessary when I wasn't very hungry from tapering. By the time race day rolled around I felt like my whole body was oozing Gatorade. I think my eyes were even bloodshot. Needless to say, my glycogen stores were up!

I got a bit nervous the night before the trials. My first Olympic Trials! I already knew what I had to do, but I just needed to get over the pre-race butterflies. My routine helped with that, I painted my toenails, braided my hair, and still had some doubt when I climbed in to bed. Then I opened the many good luck cards from friends and family across the country. It meant so much to me that everyone took time to wish me luck and it was humbling to see how many people believed in me. How could I doubt myself? I snapped out of it, and got my race face on. And then I slept like a baby.

The Race

I knew that the level of competition in the women's field was unprecedented. Looking around in the warm up area, that was extremely apparent. There were Olympians, Medalists, NCAA champions, and a whole lot of super-fit women. When they called us up to the line, this pack of women, all of whom are used to starting with her toes on the line, crammed onto the narrow roadway. I was in about the third row from the front. When the gun sounded, along with a zillion different metallic clicks of wristwatches, the groups set in motion. At that point everyone was the same, a school of fish swimming down the asphalt. We all swam an extremely slow first mile, a 6:17 and by mile 2 we all picked it up.

First lap: Remain in control and run smart.
The field broke up into groups, the front pack, chase group, and I found myself in the second pack, something I have zero experience with. I let myself go with the group, trusting the pace, and periodically checking mile splits. I was pretty confident that it was a smart pack because I was running beside Colleen Deruck!

Second Lap: Pick it up
The group stuck together until about the half marathon point and then began to string out. At this point I knew I was feeling good and that I had to pick it up, so I went with the girls in the front. I was still in control and feeling good.

Third Lap: Race!
When I got to the start of the third lap, I knew I could achieve my goal and I knew I had enough strength to actually race. I was excited! I saw Chris at mile 21 and he was so wired, he shouted "you're beating a lot of people!" that's good, I thought, that's exactly what I came here to do! My Dad was at mile 22 and he was hollering like a crazy person! "go Kelly! You're a Brown, damn it!". My mom was just before mile 24 and she was jumping and screaming too! Coach even ran out to about mile 25 with his old school stop-watch and told me to "see how many girls I could catch!" I did catch them too, it was awesome! I passed 4 girls after that point, including Colleen Deruck, and gave it everything I had. I was ecstatic! I beat some incredible athletes out there and felt like I proved myself!

What Next?

For starters, this sets me up really well for the trials in 2016. I'll continue to work with my Coach, Mark Stanforth, and will continue to improve over the next 4 years. All I have to do is improve by 2% per year order the next 4 years. Sounds easy, but I know it'll be a lot more hard work, which would be an issue if I didn't absolutely love what I do.

More immediately, I'm going to give the 10,000 meters a shot. As a miler in college, I never raced the 10k before and I think I can fuse my remaining speed and now endurance together to do great things. The 10k will also give me an opportunity to incorporate more speed work which will benefit my marathon. Plus, I'm looking forward to hitting the track!

After the 10k, I'm going
to go do my real Army job, but I will definitely make time to continue training. I've come too far to give it up now!

Do the Little things:
-My iron (ferritin) dipped to 25 before the trials, ideally I'd like it to be at 50, so I am declaring operation Pump up the Iron! I'm even giving up coffee (for a little bit) to facilitate this. And, under the supervision of a doctor, bumping up my iron intake to 3 times daily. Hopefully, this will produce some results!

-Rest: It's going to be tough to get in all of my training while working full-time, and I can't sacrifice rest to get it all in. I've definitely learned to value sleep as a huge part of training and recovery. In order to continue to make progress, I can't skimp on it.

-Physical Therapy: I have a slight imbalance in strength on my left side due to the Achilles injury I had last year that I never properly rehabbed. I'm all over that now, which will correct an annoying issue and make me more efficient.

-Drills: those pesky things that correct inefficiencies and make me stronger. I'm going to do those more often now.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Finally! I ran a new half marathon PR by over 2 minutes; 1:16!

It was another beautiful year at the Big Sur Half marathon in Monterey, CA. They have, hands down, the best elite support of any race in which I have participated. The professionalism and care for runners doesn't stop at the front pack, however, it definitely continues until the last runner crosses the line. I swear they worked some serious magic for the race because the rest of the day it poured down rain!

I felt very strong throughout the entire race and followed my race plan to a "T" and it worked (surprise)! I went out at a comfortable pace and held it for the first 5k (I was told no faster than 5:40). The next 5k I held there as the pack of women began to string out. I started gaining on a few women in front of me and I knew I was feeling good, so at mile 9 I picked it up and passed two and then reeled in the next woman at mile 10. I was definitely strong and gaining speed where I would normally slow up. I got the 4th runner in my sights and I probably would've gotten her with another half mile! But I was pleased with my PR and 5th place finish, because there were some rad chicks (Olympians) in front of me!

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Location:Big Sur Half Marathon Post Race Report

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Sports Cards!

I got my new WCAP sports cards recently and they are double-sided! Rad! Let me know if you want one!

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Check out my Article in the rad mag "This Mother Can Run"

You can find the full article here:

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