Run Club Coach Spotlight: Kelly Kaineg

“If you made every decision based on logic and reason, life would be boring. Sometimes you gotta let go and believe.” ~Kelly Kaineg

I pulled this quotation from a text Kelly sent me last night. I received it in the midst of a flurry of messages about running, St. Patrick’s Day, Harper Lee, and beer. And this idea of opening ourselves up to seemingly-crazy possibilities has really stuck with me today. Like many moms, I’m a planner and I want to carefully calculate each choice. But when I think of the best parts of life--falling in love, playing with my children, spontaneous adventures with friends, deciding to do something because it just feels right--well, I’m wondering if I need to “let go and believe” a little more often.

If you’ve been lucky enough to spend any time with Kelly this last year, you know that she has been walking her talk. In October she ran her first ultramarathon, the Foothills Frenzy 50K. For roughly 31 miles she traversed the gorgeous Boise foothills. Absolutely amazing, but clearly not logical or even reasonable! When Kelly was competitively swimming and playing softball (as pitcher or catcher, not coincidentally, she told me, the two positions that require the least amount of movement), she never dreamed of running -- and definitely not more than a marathon all at once! But several months before becoming pregnant with her first child, Kelly decided to give running a go.

Since that monumental first run five years, Kelly has gone from total skepticism to embracing the possibilities and challenges of running. But it has been a journey. In fact, she promised herself that if she met her time goal for her first 5K race, she would “never have to sign up for a stupid race ever again.” Kelly didn't imagine that she would be looking forward to more ultra marathons, hoping to run four in 2019 in order to quality for the Idaho Trail Ultra Series. Kelly is even considering a 50 miler. “Dream big, right?” she says.

I’ve been fortunate to spend some time out on the trails with Kelly where she always inspires (and entertains!) me. And while I don’t know if I’ll be signing up for an ultra marathon in the near future, Kelly has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and get out on the trails. It turns out that running uphill is really hard! But Kelly reminds me, “Running uphill isn’t easy, but I think it’s hard to not feel like a kid again when you’re bombing back downhill.”

In addition to reclaiming her inner child, Kelly also appreciates having time to run off the frustrations of the day. “Particularly on trail runs,” she explains, “I can feel the weight of the day lift off me as I’m weaving along the hillsides and watching the sun set. I feel free and happy and at peace.” The mental health benefits along with the added physical strength (Have you seen this woman’s calves? Wow!) make running worth the time and effort it demands. Quoting one of her favorite movies, ‘“The hard is what makes it great.’”

And it is hard. Kelly describes watching video clips of elite runners who seem to effortlessly glide across the ground. “I’m certainly not there and don’t suspect I ever will be,” she reflects. “But without the challenge, I wouldn’t have the feeling of accomplishment of finishing the run or climbing the hill or running longer than I ever had before.” As the coach for the spring session of Fit4Mom Boise’s Run Club, Kelly will be working with brand new and experienced runners alike to help them achieve this amazing feeling of accomplishment. She knows the uncertainty and self doubt that can stand between moms and their goals, but Kelly also knows how empowering it is to do hard things.

So let go, believe, and join Kelly for an incredible season of running together!

Fit4Mom Boise’s Run Club starts on March 25 and Kelly has been preparing to coach YOU with her 5K and 10K running plans. Ready to join her? Sign up here and receive your training plan, two guided group runs a week (Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings), an injury prevention clinic, a shoe fitting clinic, and a team tank! Also, check out this link for a special discount. Happy running!