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Running with Soul: Meet Kelsey (#9)

Featured Runner: Kelsey

Name/Nickname:  Kelsey aka Go Girl

How many years have you been running?

  On and off for 3 years.  It has been a process.

Little bit about yourself:  

I am from a small town in East Tennessee, I lost 57 pounds through eating better and exercising, I am a graduate student working for my teaching license, and I love to run!  Also, I despise ketchup, love red velvet cake, and cannot stand cold weather.

Who or what inspires you to run?  

The feel-good feeling you get after a run is what makes me keep on running.  My biggest inspirations are the people who are considered "back of the pack" runners. They are the inspiring ones and it doesn't matter if they are walkers, joggers, runners, overweight, skinny, or whatever...they are the ones that bring inspiration to running and racing and oftentimes I find myself in the back right there with them.  I've seen many people degrade them for being "too slow" or other various things but back of the packers are honestly the most inspiring thing about running. Seeing people post their running or race pictures on Instagram and Twitter is what gets me out the door and is my motivation.  I love seeing other people be made so complete by the sport.

What is your running mantra?    

 "Can't stop, won't stop".  When I feel like taking walk breaks (which I take a lot of) I say this to try to keep me going.  It may not always work, but the times that it does is what makes it worth it.

 What is your favorite running/fitness blog?  

Well, my favorite blogger actually stopped blogging but there are so many other wonderful bloggers that I keep up with and love to read on a daily basis.  I would say two favorites are Hungry Runner Girl because she is so talented and every time I send her an email or have a question, she is so nice!  Also, Lisa from Because I Can  ( because she is from Tennessee and is only 2 states away from completing a half in every state which is one of my lifetime goals.

 What has been your most memorable race?  

I did a 5K on my birthday almost two years ago and I set a PR that was way out of what I thought I was capable of doing.  I remember every step of the race and how it felt.  Not only did I give myself the best birthday present ever but I ran with confidence.  Oh, and I also won a door prize so that made it awesome!

What is your dream race? (Besides Boston)  

I would love to do Eugene because it seems like that is where the big running boom started and where the famous Pre ran.  How could I not want to run on the same paths that the best runner of all time also ran?  Little Rock Marathon also has the ultimate medal so I would love to do it one day and snag that baby.

What are you currently training for?

 I am planning on PR'ing the 5k distance in June.  It is a long way off but it is a race and I plan to really work hard for and set a good time.  Plus I need that much time to train.  I also am signing up for a sprint triathlon on my birthday weekend.  It will be fun to add biking and swimming to my running workouts.

What one piece of running gear can you not live without?  

My Garmin.  Not only because it tells me my pace which I tend to obsess over but I mostly care about the distance.  Having a Garmin makes it easy to run on back roads in my little town so I don't have to drive a long way to find a marked greenway.  It is also helpful since it records splits so that you can go back and see your mile times.

If you could share any words of advice/encouragement to a new runner, what would it be?  

Learn to enjoy it.  When I first started running, I did so because I wanted to lose weight.  Getting wrapped up in long term goals took away the enjoyment for me and I ended up hating it.  Now I run because it makes me feel good and I love doing it.  Also, once you get past the "newbie" stage, don't forget where you started.  So many people I know have gotten significantly faster and now have a "I'm better than you attitude" because they forgot where they started out.  Don't be one of those people.

Be sure to follow Kelsey on her journey:

Thank you so much Kelsey! I have been following your blog for a while and love your positive attitude toward getting healthy and running! Us "back of the pack" runners have to stick together. I sometimes get discouraged not being able to knock out 9 minute miles during training, but running is running. Every person who has the courage to get out there is a champion in my book.

Be sure to check back each week as another runner shares their story of running with soul.

Happy Running!


  1. Yay I love Kelsey! (and not just b/c we share the same name or are from the same state...kinda beginning to think we're the same person lol) She's such an inspiration and I love her stuff! Great profile highlight.

  2. Thanks sooooo much for featuring me! I love that you host this series and highlight runners and am so thankful you chose to pick me!! Back of the packers definitely must stick together!! xoxo!