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Running Through a Pandemic and Still Meeting Running Goals; An Interview with KayLee (@kay.runs)

You are our first interview since the COVID 19 Pandemic hit. How have you been handling it and has exercise helped? Has your fitness improved or worsened?

This entire pandemic is of course the craziest thing many of us will experience in our lifetimes, and I've been thinking so much about how powerful it is that we are all going through this together. In general, the quarantine period was and has been really really good for me. My loved ones and I are safe and healthy and I was able to transition easily into working full time from home and enjoy the extra time at home with my husband and dog! I fully realize how lucky I am to be able to say that and I don't take it for granted. Running and exercise have helped in so many ways by allowing me a constant and some structure in the midst of so many changes. I've been able to devote way more time to strength training, yoga, and recovery than I could in regular life. Also, I miss races for sure, but not having the distractions of traveling and racing this spring has allowed me to truly focus on the basics and very slowly and intentionally work on my speed and overall base mileage. It has been wonderful and I'm very grateful for this unique time that I may never have again.


2020 running goals?

I want to continue to increase my mileage and strength so that whenever we can race again, I'll be ready! As of right now I still have two half marathons and a full this year that have not been cancelled, so I still have my sights set on strong performances there.


How long have you been running and what got you started?

I have been running for about 11 years now, which is crazy to think! I started running regularly right after college when I started graduate school and just really needed an outlet and something to do that wasn't going to school or working. I quickly fell in love with how it made me feel and got hooked for life!


Any tips for new runners?

I always have 4 tips for new runners: 1. Get fitted for the right shoes for you, 2. Don't do too much too quickly; be patient and slowly build, 3. STRENGTH TRAIN, and 4. Have fun! Enjoy it, because if it's not fun, then what's the point?


On your Instagram you show some awesome run views! What is your favorite type of terrain to run on?

I will always be both a road runner and a trail runner and thank goodness because I could never choose! I love the peaceful serenity of the trails as much as the hustle and bustle intensity of the roads. Dirt, gravel, rocks, roots, pavement, track... I love it all. That being said, there is nothing like frolicking through the forest and getting my feet in the dirt!


Tell us something the Instagram running community may not know about you?

I had just about every type of pet imaginable growing up: lizards, frogs, snakes, birds, tarantulas, rodents, fish, etc. etc. I love animals and all critters! Now I have one very sweet and chill dog.


Favorite post run meal? PS we heard a rumor you have a small Oreo obsession :)

YES I am truly obsessed with Oreos and I haven't NOT brought them as trail run fuel before! It is my ultimate goal in life to try all the flavors and I'm making good progress on that so far. Aside from Oreos, after a long run or race I always want breakfast food or brunch! Eggs, pancakes, potatoes, toast, etc.

Favorite Alter Ego Running product and why? I absolutely love my "Keep Showing Up" hat which has become one of my mantras. For me, consistency with running and training is everything. I stick to the plan because once I start skipping things or cutting corners, injury and fatigue prevail. It's a reminder to keep showing up even if I'm tired, if I'm busy, if other things get in the way, or even on the rare occasion I just don't feel like it. I will keep showing up. Not showing up is not an option!

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