Kelly Booth was a high school cross country athlete who started running marathons in college. Since her first one she hasn’t stopped. Earlier this year she raced the Boston Marathon which was the 10th marathon of her running career. Right now she has her sights set on the California International Marathon (CIM) where she gunning for her first sub-3 hour finish. With the help of her coach, Jenny Hitchings, Booth recently ran a PR of 1:23 at the Clarksburg Half Marathon this month.

We caught up with Kelly to talk about training, racing and the final prep for the California International Marathon on December 6.

You are a mom, a special education teacher and are training for CIM. What does your typical weekday look like?
Honestly, each weekday is different, which I love- the change and the different day to day activities in the classroom, with my own children, and of course workouts keeps me on my toes and keeps each day FUN! If I had to choose one day that is the busiest, but one of my favorites, I would have to say Tuesday. The alarm goes off at 4:15 am to meet my training partners for our morning track workout. We are at the Granite Bay High School track by 5 am, grinding out our own workouts along with 5-6 other strong ladies training for local fall races and CIM. I am home by about 6:15am to get ready and wake up my two kiddos, Bryce (4) and Brooklyn (2), and head to work.

I am an Early Childhood Special Education teacher in Rocklin, and I teach two classes- the first one is from 7:50 to 10:50 and then second session runs from 11:20-2:20. This is my ninth year in Rocklin teaching the Early Childhood Special Day Class, and I could not be happier. Of course, some days are more challenging than others, but working with children with special needs and their families is my happy place- I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else.

I usually arrive home to Bryce and Brooklyn around 3:00pm on Tuesdays and from about 3:00pm – 5:00pm we play, ride bikes, jump on the trampoline, and grab a snack before heading to run club with the motivating Molly Knox at Lifetime Athletic! It is the “Tuesday Two-a-day”, but the second workout is with my whole family, which makes it my favorite workout of the week. My husband and my Dad meet us after work, I push the double BOB, and my son Bryce begs to run the whole way (which is music to my ears)! We compromised on running the last mile of the 4 miles, and I have to say, he is getting stronger, keeps an awesome pace, and most of all truly loves to just run! We are home by about 6:45pm, for dinner, baths, and bedtime stories…prepping ourselves for next busy day.

Recently Jenny Hitchings, elite master’s runner and AG winner at the 2015 Boston Marathon, starting coaching you. How is your training changed since you started working with Hitchings?
Jenny is an all-around incredible athlete, runner, person, and friend. I will be forever grateful that our paths crossed- thanks to our mutual friend Stacy Armijo. I reached a point in the beginning of the summer of this year where I was ready to become comfortable with the uncomfortable and chase goals that I had set for myself. There is no better time than now, right?! At this point, I knew I had to look beyond my own boundaries and training programs to someone who could help me take the next step towards reaching these goals.

Prior to working with Jenny, I ran about five days a week and logged about 45-50 miles a week. Since working with Jenny, my training program consists of running six days a week, and I almost reached 70 miles this past week! Although it appears to be a large jump in mileage, Jenny’s workouts are always quality focused-whether it is keeping a certain pace for a 400 meter repeat, a mile repeat, two-mile repeats, a progression run, or an easy to steady paced run, each workout has meaning, which makes each workout exciting and motivating. Jenny is continuously there with encouraging words, positive and wise feedback, and most all she is the voice of reason- saying to push harder or back off a little, which has been very beneficial to me. She has taught me to trust in the process- and so far the results have been very rewarding. I look forward to many more miles with Jenny as my guide!

What are your goals for CIM this year?
I like to go into races with an A goal- B goal- and C goal. With three goal domains, I feel like you set yourself up for success rather than disappointment- as anything can happen on race day! My A-B-C goals are:

  • A- Break the 3:00 hour barrier!
  • B- Run a 3:05 marathon
  • C- PR! My last CIM was a 3:14 in 2014

I am feeling really excited going into this year’s CIM as I recently earned a new half marathon PR of 1:24, last month at Urban Cow, which gives me the confidence that the A goal is within reason and reach!

2015 is coming to a close. What do you have on tap for 2016?
I am already so excited for the 2016 racing season! My key races that I am looking forward too in 2016 are: Way Too Cool 50k (March), Auburn Olympic Triathlon (May), Lululemon Sea Wheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver (August), Big Blue Adventures Lake Tahoe Half Distance Triathlon (August – my first attempt at this distance), and CIM (December). I love participating in local races as well. Some of my local favorites are Shamrock’n Half Marathon, Run Rocklin Half Marathon, Dirty Secret Trail run, and Blood Sweat and Beers. If I could do all of these I would, but we’ll see what coach says (haha)!

Let’s finish with a few fun questions. What is your favorite fall treat/drink?
I LOVE the tropical acai bowl as a post long run treat along with a vanilla pumpkin chai with almond milk from the Nugget!

You are a Lululemon ambassador so I am sure you have LOTS of favorite pieces but if you had to pick just two what would they be?
Yes! My current two favorite pieces include: my race day shorts, “What the Sport Shorts” and the “Healthy Heart Pullover II,” which is perfect for the cooler weather. Try them; you will never want to take it off! Learn more about Kelly here.