Kelley Schranz continues to amaze. The Carlsbad 5000 is the premier road 5000 in California, attracting the best racers, including elites. Kelley is usually near or at the top of her age group, a model of consistency and perseverance. In 2012, age 61, she ran 22:53. In 2016, age 65, she won her age group in 23:00. In 2017, age 66 (nearly 67) she won again, ahead of 47 others in her age group, with a 23:05. Her age group rating was a phenomenal 86.64%.
1. Kelley, really, what is going on? Phenoms at 66 is more rare than grace and virtue in Washington, D.C. Any changes in training, philosophy since, say, 2012?
Don, I appreciate the compliment, but I really think "phenom" is too big of a word. I'm just blessed with good health, enjoy running, and love racing.
I'm still following the Run Less Run Faster regimen of 3 runs per week -- speed, tempo, and distance -- rarely more than 25 miles per week and I never run on consecutive days. But a couple of things have changed since 2012. First, Henry Mayo Hospital opened a new fitness center a few months ago and Frank and I joined. I absolutely love the place and was going on nearly all of my non-running days -- swimming, cycling, rowing, lifting, and going to classes. I was working myself crazy and loving it. Kristin finally convinced me to back off a bit, telling me that I was absolutely going to get injured. She told me that "A rest day does NOT mean running hills easy," which is what I was doing. It was a great few months...
Second, we attended a Chi running workshop a couple of years ago. A fellow SCR encouraged me to read the Chi Running book, which I did, but I needed an instructor to really teach me. I use three or four of the techniques now and find them very helpful.
My result at Carlsbad truly came as a surprise. I jumped into a 12-week training program at Week 7, doing most of the runs but knowing I had missed the first half. And then, two weeks before the race, Frank and I went to Cozumel for a week and only did one short run and one treadmill workout the entire time. Maybe the fresh fish and beer and Caribbean sun and a week of rest did us well (?), but I went into Carlsbad feeling really ill-prepared. I really wanted to run 24:00, my "B" goal was any time less, and my pipe dream goal was a 7:20 pace. So I really mean it when I tell you how surprised I was with my 7:19 pace (23:05), and I think my success was due in large part to my overall fitness training.
2. Advice to your younger self in 2012?
Frank's dad once told us to "Just keep doing what you're doing," and I think that's the advice I'd give. In 2012 we were very active retirees, continuing to figure out what's really important in life. Family, friends, running, traveling (and always running at least one race while abroad), and craft beer were at the top of our list, and they still are. We plan to continue to "Just keep doing what we're doing."
3. Describe average week of training schedule in 2017.
One of our "goals" for 2017 is to race each month, and so far we're on target. But that's as far as any schedule goes. I almost always run three times weekly, but other than that, it's whatever I do at the gym each day.
4. What specific non-running activities seem to be working for you, and that might work for other (and slower) seniors?
At the beginning of the year I wanted to have fun and just get all-around fit, rather than key in on particular races and devote all of my energy to just training for them. I have always wanted to swim and am working on that, and though I'm slow as molasses, I'm working hard and am getting better. I also use a recumbent bike for leg turnover and cardio, a rowing machine, and a great circuit of weight machines targeting just about every muscle group. And I regularly use a foam roller -- at the gym and at home. I wanted to see if this overall fitness would translate to successful running, and so far, so good.
5. We share friendships with various colorful, quirky, crazy friends in Santa Clarita. Please supply a quick story about one or more.
I'll talk again about Steve Watanabe, the person I credit with making me realize that I can run. Steve is a running shoe guru. I have no idea how this dentist has become so knowledgable about shoes, but he is our Saturday morning expert. Not only can he suggest the model of shoe that would work, but he also knows where to get it at the best price. And he knows this information right now. A couple of years ago, after a Saturday morning run at Lowes, I asked for his help in finding a shoe and a racing flat, and by the time I got home, Steve had emailed me the names of both and links to my size at the best price. He is my go-to guide and has never steered me wrong. Plus, he has a terrific sense of humor, a great work ethic, and what we Irish call the "gift of gab." It's great to see him back running injury-free. I'm a fan.
6. Quotes you live by, or quote often?
A quote from Lisa Bentley that I use each time I step up to a start line. "Use it all. Don't leave anything out there on the course. You never know if this may be the last race you ever run."
And "Don't ever look down on failure. At least it's proof that someone tried."
7. What did you have for breakfast? Usual breakfast time?
Usual breakfast time is about 7:00 am. Always start with a cup of coffee, then oatmeal (Frank's) or cold cereal. Usually a glass of juice. Every once in a while we'll get fancy and have scrambled eggs. That's it. Real simple.
8. What "good advice" is actually bad advice?
A fitness class instructor who doesn't work with you personally, doesn't know your limitations and tells the class to "work through the pain" to get strong. Drives me crazy. I learned the hard way and now will walk out of a class if this happens.
9. Books on your night table?
I read while on vacation but not much otherwise. Often a goal but not one that I reach. So right now Run Less Run Faster and a Sudoku book are on my night table -- one for my body and one for my brain.
10. Parting advice?
You only go around once, so have fun and don't sweat the small stuff.
Posted: 2017/4/11 23:45 Updated: 2017/4/11 23:46
Re: Q&A with Kelley Schranz
Frank and Kelley Schranz @ Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon