Mother Runners of the Month: Caiti Ertz + Kate Klein

Each month, we celebrate two athletes monthly in our #motherrunnner community.
[because sports awards aren’t just for youth soccer]

One athlete participates in our Many Happy Miles program and the other one is in a Train Like a Mother Club program: nothing like vicariously living through workout specifics, training cycles, and upcoming races, right?

More importantly, they both epitomize the traits that keep us all moving forward: perspective, diligence, badassery, flexibility, and grit.

April Many Happy Miler of the Month: Caiti Ertz


Location: Butte, MT

Kids:Two girls, Nell (4 years old) and Mary (1 year old)

What's your running story?
One of my favorite running experiences was in high school when I was on the track team. My schedule made it impossible for me to attend the early-season practices with the rest of the team, so my dad and I would go to the school in the early mornings and run at the track. He and I still reflect on that time together.

My mom and I ran the Skagit Valley (WA) Slug Run together, though I cannot remember the mileage or what our time was. What I do remember is the pair of runners who were dressed up as slugs and the view while running alongside the tulip fields.

Some of my best training miles have been while pushing the stroller and singing show tunes with my girls or hiking with my family while looking for Bigfoot.

I may never be a Boston Qualifier, but having the memories of miles with the people you love is just as special.

Why did you join Many Happy Miles?
My mom, Mary VanNuland, and I have participated for many years in the Stride Into The Holidays Train Like a Mother program.

When the opportunity came up to do Many Happy Miles together with a large AMR community (or what I call the "Happiest Place On The Internet"), there was no hesitation.

I enjoy the constant positive attitudes and encouragement, the funny stories, and always having someone who has been there and can commiserate.

Best workout in Many Happy Miles so far:
The whole March Madness Bracket has been entertaining and so fun! Choosing to work on moves that are not natural for me has been challenging and entertaining.

Hardest workout in Many Happy Miles so far:
Any run without music is difficult! I crave the motivation that the tempo of music provides.

Upcoming races?
I hope to run the Missoula, Montana 5k with my BAMR, Mary VanNuland!

When I run, I feel: Awesome!

April Train Like a Mother Athlete of the Month Kate Klein


Kate Klein, Half Ironman

Location: Chicago- in the heart of the city, Lincoln Park

Kids: Helen age 8 and Patrick age 7

What’s your running story?
I had no idea that I could just hand over my babies, walk out the door and listen to my own music while getting my heart rate up a bit — until I actually did it for the first time in 2015. I learned about AMR though a mommy list-serve (remember those back in the day?) and that’s when I realized I wasn’t alone!

I ran my first 5k in 2015 — my first race ever! I then began increasing my distance and have now completed 9 half marathons.

I also had a theory that if I lost some weight and really figured out how to eat to stay satiated while training, that my running would improve. I signed up for Simply Nourished Like a Mother and am now just finishing up Metabolic Reset. Thanks to dietician/nutritionist Ellie Kempton, my running story has a new highlight. Since the end of January, I’ve lost 15 pounds and at least 2 dress sizes.

My running and training is the best it’s ever been. Ellie has even taught me how to eat while running and biking so that I don’t get a queasy belly or that dreaded sugar rush and crash.

Why did you join the Half Ironman program?
After getting a stress fracture in my neck, I used swimming in recovery. Even as I slowly got back to running I refused to give up the pool. I saw an ad for the 2019 Chicago Triathlon, signed up, and then IMMEDIATELY enrolled in the TLAM Olympic Triathlon coaching program.

Coaches Jenny and Liz were so patient answering all my novice questions. The Facebook page was hot with support and I was really excited by my BAMRs who were training for half and full Ironman races.

Even before I completed the Chicago Triathlon, I registered for my first half Ironman- 2020 Steelhead 70.3 in Benton Harbor MI. And then, of course, I immediately signed up for the TLAM Half Ironman training plan.

Best workout in Half Ironman program so far:
Maybe it’s because I have not been able to swim (thank you Covid-19), but I adore and miss the swim workouts. There’s nothing like the back-and-forth of laps that slowly add up to over 2000 yards.

Now that the pool’s closed, I’m doing “dryland” swims that are all strength-based workouts created by the coaches. They’re a whole new level of torture and I can tell that I’m getting stronger in all the right places so that one day soon I’ll be back in the water faster than ever.

Most challenging workout in Half Ironman so far:
Single-leg work on the bike! I had no clue that my left leg has been typically just along for the ride not really doing much. I had to start at much smaller intervals (way under a minute), and over several weeks I worked up to be able to do a full minute alone.

Goal Race:
Well, let’s all say a collective wish with me that my June 28, 2020 Steelhead 70.3 Half Ironman in Benton Harbor Michigan will happen.

All Ironman races through the end of May have now been canceled or postponed so I’m trying to stay hopeful and I continue to train at full speed ahead.

Race Goal:
To finish with a smile on my face and a finishing time. I’m hoping for under 8 hours.

When I run, I feel: like myself.

5 responses to “Mother Runners of the Month: Caiti Ertz + Kate Klein

  1. Congrats Kate! You have been such a fun co-resetter to get to know! So glad that all of AMR now gets to see how much you rock!

  2. Yay, Caiti!! You are an integral part of the “happiest place on the internet.” Your positivity and zest for life is contagious. I love that you and your mom are in it together.

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