Athlete Spotlight: Kaila
The Athlete's Palate is dedicated to empowering athletes by encouraging wellness through holistic nutrition and sport in our community. The inaugural Athlete Spotlight post is on Kaila, an inspiring runner who focuses on health and happiness.
Hi! My name is Kaila and I blog at HealthyHelperBlog.com. There I share my love of all things food, fitness, and helping others on their own journey to health & happiness. I am a distance runner who started running in middle school. I’ve been running consistently since then and in 2016 tackled my first marathon! I ran it in 3:12 and fell in love with racing that distance. I ran my second in January 2017 in 2:57 and am now running the Boston Marathon for the first time in April 2017. Needless, to say I am marathon obsessed and can’t wait to see where my training takes me!
What is your most memorable sport accomplishment?
My first marathon, without question. I never thought I’d be able to do it…let alone feel so good while doing it. It was truly the BEST day of my life so far.
What do you eat before a race?
Before my marathons I eat the same breakfast of super high carb cereal (a special, custom mix I buy online) almond milk, and 1 or 2 bananas.
What is your favorite recovery fuel?
Snack bars (like larabars and thunderbird bars), dates, nut butter, cereal with cashew or almond milk, and protein ice cream! I always refuel right after my runs.
What is your mantra?
Run the mile you’re in. (sung to the tune of “love the one you’re with!”….haha don’t ask me why! It just always pops into my head that way!)
What keeps you motivated to train?
My sheer love of running. It’s my greatest passion and makes me feel so darn amazing. There’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment I feel after finishing a tough run. I always say, the minute I stop enjoying my runs is the minute I’ll hang up my sneakers. Until then, I’ll keep on running.
What is your go-to quick meal to make during a busy training week?
Annie’s Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar plus roasted veggies and some sort of dessert! This is also my pre-marathon dinner ALWAYS.
What do you like to do for your cross-training activities?
I actually don’t mind cross training! It’s a nice break from running so I stay fresh and focused for my training. If it’s cold or rainy I’ll head to the gym to do the arc trainer or elliptical. In the summer, I LOVE cycling outdoors for cross training. I also strength train 3-4 times a week. I find it helps me stay injury free.
What's your favorite race and why?
So far, the Harrisburg PA Marathon! The city was just so lovely and picturesque. Plus, the crowd support was amazing. I loved everything about it and would certainly run it again in a heartbeat. Perfect place for a first marathon!
What's your guilty pleasure food and how often do you have it?
Homemade brownies with peanut butter. EVERYDAY if I have a fresh batch made…if not, I put it on my to do list to make more. ;)