Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

I’m leaving on a jet plane for Cappadocia Turkey! Why, pray tell? I’m running the Runfire Cappadocia 20K, part of the the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon!

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, in conjunction with Argos in Cappadocia, has put together a media trip for this year’s race. They’d first invited me out to the inaugural event in 2012, but the race was taking place shortly before my wedding so it was a no-go. There was no race in 2014. But this year, I’ll be there and writing a story about the experience for Shape.com.

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

Runfire Cappadocia is a six-stage ultra marathon in Central Anatolia, taking runners from a rock formation known as “Three Graces” in Uchisar to the white salt of Lake Tuz across 160 miles through arid plains. Conical rock formations make stone “fairy chimneys” as they’ve come to be known, and caves form the basis for dwellings that date to the 4th century. Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To run among all of it? I can’t wait.

This year is the first time Runfire Cappadocia has offered six different categories of races.

There’s the RFC 20K I’ll be running, which comprises the first 20K of the ultra marathon; the RFC Ultra, which includes 260K over 6 stages in 6 days, all self-supported; the RFC Toughest Day, which is the longest stage of the Ultra at 104K; Discovery 6D, where runners cover 15-20K per day for 6 days while fully supported by race staff; Discovery 4K, where runners cover 15-20K per day for 4 days while fully supported by race staff; and corporate team races.

Runfire Cappadocia Turkey 20K + Ultra Marathon

(Photo: Runfire Cappadocia)

I’ll be touring Cappadocia for two days before the race begins, then running the 20k and bits of the ultra for three days to get a feel for the event and the terrain.

I wish I could commit to one of the longer categories, but my schedule and stress fracture recovery prevent it. I’ve been back to running for 12 weeks since my injury. I’ve successfully rebuilt my longest run from scratch, starting at 2 miles and building to 13 miles so far.

It’s tempting to say, Yeah, I can run 9-12 miles a day for 4 or 6 days in row! But I know I shouldn’t, especially when my weekly mileage has barely topped 20 miles so far. So it’s the 20K and bits of the other days for me.

Then I’ll spend two days in Istanbul to get a taste of one of Eurasia’s grandest cities.

I visited Turkey for all of one day as a 16-year-old on a high school trip to Italy and Greece. I was a Latin and Classics student, so we tromped around the Mediterranean touring ancient sites in Rome, Pompeii, Athens, and beyond. Our one-day stop in Ephesus, Turkey was a highlight. Once a great Greek, then Roman, city of antiquity, Ephesus housed one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Though that temple is long gone, other ruins remain, like the facade of the Library of Celsus.

But this time around, I’m excited to see a bit more of the country than one day allows—the ancient and the modern, the natural and the man-made. I’m not just going to see it. I’m going to run it. See you in Turkey!

Scenes from 2013 Runfire Cappadocia, Turkey

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23

Jul 2015

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

My sis high-fives Mickey at the finish. (Photo: MarathonFoto)

How much fun did my sister and I have at the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon? Her Mickey Mouse high-five at the finish line pretty much says it all.

When my sister decided to run her first half-marathon, there was no doubt which race it would be. She’d run her first 5K with me at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in 2012. As a family, we did everything there was to do at the time: Pasta in the Park Party, Kids Races, 5K, and my husband and I ran the Half Marathon.

So naturally, we decided to return for my sister’s 13.1 debut in 2015. I attended the race as a media guest of runDisney to write a story for Shape.com about our experience. You can read it here: Why I’d Rather Run With Women.

First, we tackled the Disney Princess Frozen 5K dressed as Disney’s most infamous sisters, Cinderella’s stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine. We had too much fun, despite wearing tank tops in a 33-degree race.

Race Report: Frozen Disney Princess 5K

Anastasia and Drizella (Photo: runDisney)

Then, I ran the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K on my own, dressed as Cinderella in tatters, just so I could earn that beautiful Glass Slipper Challenge medal.

Finally, for the half-marathon, our choice was obvious. My sister and I are totally Elsa and Anna. Right down to our birth order, hair, coloring, and temperaments, she’s definitely an Elsa and I’m completely an Anna. We’re a match made in runDisney heaven.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Elsa & Anna! (Photo: MarathonFoto)

Yup, we learned to love team costumes from an early age.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Twinsies! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Disney Princess Half Marathon: The Course

The Disney Princess Half Marathon takes runners from just outside Epcot to the Magic Kingdom and back.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

The Course

The first five miles are a long, and sometimes lonely, stretch of road on the way to Magic Kingdom. Disney lines this section of the course with bands, DJs, and character stops, but at other parts you’ll simply hear the sound of 20,000 pairs of feet pattering away.

Highlights of the first five miles include the car entrance to the Magic Kingdom near Mile 3, which makes for a great photo opp.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Friends Tara and Lesa are runDisney photo superstars! (Photo: runDisney)

Throngs of spectators and Taiko drummers at the Ticket & Transportation Center near Mile 4 always give me a boost.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Drummers! (Photo: runDisney)

And a dancing DJ pumping tunes at the overpass leading to the Contemporary Resort near Mile 5 is also a fave of mine.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

Dancing DJ at the overpass (Photo: runDisney)

Mile 5 to 6 is by far the most exciting of the course: the run through Magic Kingdom. No matter how many times I do it, it never gets old.

From the Mile 5 marker, the course is lined with Disney cast members and spectators cheering you on. You’ll hear them before you see them—the roar of the crowds waiting on Main Street USA as you run toward Cinderella Castle. I get so pumped every time.

But before the castle, you’ll turn into Tomorrowland, run through the back of Fantasyland, then through Cinderella Castle from the carousel side and out the front. There are tons of characters, photo opps, and course photographers along the way in Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, before the castle, through the castle, and in front of the castle.

Race Report: Disney Princess Half Marathon

We nailed our Cinderella Castle shot! (Photo: MarathonFoto)

Then you’ll turn into Liberty Square before exiting the park through Frontierland. You’ll find a few more characters awaiting you in this section as you pass the Mile 6 marker and again once you exit the park. Read the rest of this entry →

Run Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 For Charity

Run Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 For Charity

Photo: runDisney

Missed out on registration for the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including the sold-out Disney Glass Slipper Challenge and Disney Princess Enchanted 10K? Limited bibs are available via charity and tour groups. Runners must register directly through the groups listed below to participate in those three events from February 18-21, 2016 at Walt Disney World in Florida.

While the half-marathon, 10K, and challenge sold out inside of 5 hours, regular registration is still available for the Disney Princess 5K and runDisney Kids Races. At publication time, the 5K was 75 percent full and the kids races were 80 percent sold.

Tickets are also still available for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast and Pasta in the Park Party, both on Friday and Saturday, and the Race Retreat on Sunday. Free, non-ticketed events include the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo from Thursday through Saturday and the Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney on Sunday.

Run the sold-out Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 via Charity or Tour Groups

(runDisney)

Still Want To Run?

If you really want to run any of the three sold-out races at the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016, you can still register through a charity or tour group. Contact the following organizations directly to find out how to run the races with them. Charities will ask runners to raise a certain amount of money and tour providers may require purchase of a travel package.

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Charities

runDisney Charity Groups offer guaranteed entries, discounted Walt Disney World theme park tickets, special Walt Disney World hotel rates, and discounts on other amenities at the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Weekend of races. Check with each group individually for their requirements, benefits, and to register with them. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Frozen Disney Princess 5K

Race Report: Frozen Disney Princess 5K

Goofin’ with Pluto (Photo: MarathonFoto)

What happens when two Disney-loving sisters take on the Disney Princess 5K together? Costumes, cold-weather, and lots of laughs.

My sister ran her first 5K with me at the 2012 Disney Princess Tangled 5K. Three years later, we headed back to the race weekend to tackle her first half-marathon. I attended the race as a media guest of runDisney to write a story for Shape.com.

Race Report: Frozen Disney Princess 5KRace Report: Frozen Disney Princess 5KBut before we laced up for 13.1, we made our triumphant return to the Disney Princess 5K—this time clad in costume.

Drizella and Anastasia Tremaine are ready to run #Princess5K! Thank you @sparkleathletic for the inspiration & gear!

A photo posted by Karla Bruning (@runkarlarun) on

Running Costumes

We stayed up way too late the night before the race, huddled in my hotel room at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, finishing our running costumes. My sister was staying at the Walt Disney World Dolphin, but decided to have a sleepover so we could head to the race together.

For the half-marathon, we planned to run as Disney’s most famous sisters—Frozen’s Elsa and Anna.

So for the 5K, we chose to run as Disney’s most infamous sisters—Cinderella‘s wicked stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine.

Race Report: Frozen Disney Princess 5K

Anastasia and Drizella (Photo: runDisney)

Read the rest of this entry →

13

Jul 2015

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Lauren Passell wins the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon (Photo: Disney)

Registration for the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals opens Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 12 p.m. ET. The women-focused race weekend will take place at Walt Disney World in Florida from February 18-21, 2016. The race is the sixth largest half-marathon in the U.S., according to Running USA, and the second largest women’s running event with 20,770 finishers in 2014.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Registration Opens

(runDisney)

The Disney Princess Half Marathon 2016 Weekend includes the titular Disney Princess Half Marathon, Disney Princess Enchanted 10K, Disney Glass Slipper Challenge, Disney Princess 5K, and runDisney Kids Races.

The Disney Glass Slipper Challenge asks runners to complete both the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday for a total of 19.3 miles. They’ll earn three medals total: one for each race and one for the challenge. To qualify, runners must register for the Challenge, not each race individually.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon takes runners from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and back, including a run through Cinderella Castle. The 10K and 5K courses traditionally run through Epcot and the Disney BoardWalk area.

The weekend also includes the Happily Ever After Party in Downtown Disney—a post-race celebration on Sunday—and the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from Thursday through Saturday. Both events are free and open to the public. Read the rest of this entry →

Harnessing the Power of Running Like a Girl

Harnessing the Power of Running Like a Girl

My sister and I run through Cinderella Castle. (Photo: MarathonFoto)

When I was 8 years old, I promised myself I’d never forget what it feels like to be a kid.

The inciting incident was simple enough: a grown-up yelled at me, essentially, for having fun—the kind of fun a kid has on warm spring days, doing cartwheels, playing, and running like a girl is apt to do. Maybe I accidentally cartwheeled into her, or maybe I was giggling too loudly. Whatever I’d done, it was completely innocent.

But her grumpy admonition, that I wasn’t being “lady like,” stung. As I sat sulking, staring at the grass stains on my pants, I promised myself I would never be that grumpy grown-up, that I would never forget the glee of childhood, that I would never forget the Barbie slogan of the era: “We girls can do anything.”

It was a solemn promise that I’ve held close to my heart. I run Disney races—dressed in costume as a parade of princesses who stir the child-within—because of that promise. In other words, I run like the girl I used to be and the child at heart I continue to nurture.

I ran the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon as a media guest of runDisney, with my sister by my side, and wrote about it for Shape.com.

It was my second go at the race. I’d run it in 2012 dressed as Cinderella with my real-life Prince Charming by my side, in costume too. Having my husband pace me to my then half-marathon PR is still one of my favorite running experiences ever.

But I found running a women’s race with one of the most important women in my life to be another running career highlight.

I make no bones about it: I really enjoy women-focused races. My first 10K was the Oakley New York Mini 10K, the original women’s road race. I’ve since sung the national anthem at that event and worked it as a race announcer, too. I’ve gone on to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland, and SHAPE Diva Dash in New York and Minnesota. I believe that races that focus on women still have a place in the fabric of our sport. Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Bristol Independence Half Marathon

Race Report: Bristol Independence Half Marathon

Wet, windy, and fun! (Photo: Phil Hospod)

A wet, windy morning welcomed runners to the inaugural Bristol Independence Rhode Race Half Marathon on Sunday, June 28. The event is the newest part of the month-long celebration that is 4th of July in Bristol, Rhode Island. The hamlet on Narragansett Bay is home to the nation’s oldest 4th of July parade, which celebrated its 230th anniversary in 2015.

Race Report: Bristol Independence Half Marathon

Waiting for the parade to start with my family (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

How serious is the town of Bristol about the parade? Bristol officials actually got Congress to pass legislation allowing a red, white, and blue stripe to act as the center road divider—in place of a double yellow line—year round. To wit, from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s  “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices:”

Section 353(b) STRIPES — Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a red, white, and blue center line in the Main Street of Bristol, Rhode Island, shall be deemed to comply with the requirements of Section 3B-1 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices of the Department of Transportation.

That’s how serious Bristol is about its 4th of July Parade.

Race Report: Bristol Independence Half Marathon

The carnival (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

A host of festivities mark the month-long build-up to the parade, including a free concert series in Independence Park, a Drum and Bugle Corps Competition including bands from around the U.S., tours of a visiting Navy ship, a carnival, fireworks, and now the half-marathon among them.

The Bristol Independence Rhode Race Half Marathon was also my first race since February’s Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I was one of 462 finishers at the inaugural event. It’s great to be back!

Race Report: Bristol Independence Half Marathon

Running in my Red, White, and Blue.

Running Costume

What’s a theme race without a running costume? You know I loves me some sparkle. So in honor of Independence Day, I busted out my running stars and stripes. Amazingly, I already owned all of these pieces in my running wardrobe. The only new addition was the giant red, white, and blue bow.

Here’s what I wore from bottom to top, with handy affiliate links in case you want scoop up any of them yourself (and help me keep this blog running in the process):

ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 17 Running Shoe

Runningskirts Stars & Stripes Compression Socks

Sparkle Athletic White Sparkle Running Skirt Read the rest of this entry →

08

Jul 2015

Ironman World Champ Mirinda Carfrae Running Workout

Ironman World Champ Mirinda Carfrae Running Workout

Mirinda Carfrae leads a class at Mile High Run Club. (Photo: Ironman)

Want to learn to run fast on tired legs? If you’re a half-marathoner, marathoner, or triathlete, methinks you do. I’ve got a Miranda Carfrae running workout for you from the best runner in Ironman, Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae herself.

On Tuesday afternoon, I headed to Mile High Run Club in NYC at the invitation of Ironman to meet Rinny, try one of her favorite run workouts while she coaches on the mic, and interview her for a Q&A at Shape.com.

Ironman World Champ Mirinda Carfrae Running Workout

Running with Rinny (Photo: Ironman)

As a reporter and broadcaster, I’ve met and interviewed some of the world’s best athletes—from runners like Meb Keflezighi to winter Olympians like Apolo Ohno. I’ve watched them cruise to gold medals and major marathon wins, interviewing them before and after.

But getting to run a workout led by one of them? Like a Visa ad, that’s priceless.

Ever since I watched Rinny cruise to her second Ironman World Championship victory in Kona (on TV, not in person—I wish!), I had an instant girl crush. She’s such a fierce and confident runner, perhaps the best in the world of Ironman. That fierceness and confidence lacks in my own running. I tend to admire in others what I lack myself. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Fran

Race Report: Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco

Runners in Golden Gate Park (Photo: Nike)

Want to take part in the Nike Women San Francisco Race Weekend from October 16-18, 2015, including the Nike Women’s Half Marathon? Registration for the random draw is open until Monday June 29, 2015 at 11:59 a.m. PDT. The random draw will take place July 8, 2015.

Registration is $200, and only runners picked through the draw will be charged. You can enter the lottery as an individual or as a group, and men are welcome too.

If you’re one of the lucky runners to get a half-marathon entry, you’ll also be able to register for other Nike Women San Francisco Race weekend events at no additional cost, until events have reached capacity. For more information or to register, visit nike.com/sf.

Race Report: Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco

Running San Francisco!

I ran the 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco courtesy of Nike as part of a media group. I went in with high expectations and, somehow, the race managed to exceed them. I love, love, love this race. I’d never run a Nike event before, and I’d never run in San Francisco before. From start to finish, I was thoroughly impressed.

From the start at Union Square and on-course signage that let you know the next bathrooms were 1.4-miles away to the red carpet finish and free race photos after the fact, it was a superbly executed race and incredibly fun, too. Not to mention, instead of a finisher medal, I got a Tiffany & Co. finisher necklace. Yep, I’ve been wearing mine all the time. And Tiffany will be back for 2015.

The course’s natural beauty was among the most scenic of the 90 races I’ve run—behind the Kauai Half Marathon and Bermuda Half Marathon. Even through San Francisco’s famous fog I was able to appreciate the beauty of the city’s architecture, Golden Gate Park and the beach. No, we weren’t able to see the Golden Gate Bridge on race day because the fog was so thick. Thankfully, I got a shot in front of it the day before at a shakeout run.

If you’re thinking of registering for the random draw, here’s what you can expect come race weekend! Read the rest of this entry →

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend Info Is Here

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Information

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris (Photo: Disney)

Finalement! More information about the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend has finally arrived. Disney’s first race weekend outside the U.S. will take place September 22-25, 2016, kicking off with a three-day runDisney Health & Fitness Expo starting Thursday, September 22 at Disneyland Paris Disney Events Arena.

The Disneyland Paris 5K and runDisney Kids Races will run Saturday, September 24, followed by the main event, the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon on Sunday, September 25. Runners can also buy tickets to a Pasta in the Park Party at Walt Disney Studios Park and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Disney Village in the evenings before the race.

“We could not be more excited about the upcoming runDisney event,’’ said Tom Wolber, President of Euro Disney S.A.S. in a press release. “It will make Disneyland Paris the world’s third Disney destination to host this successful sporting series that offers a whole new running experience for the young and young-at-heart.’’

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Info is Here

Mickey Mouse and friends escort runDisney finishers across the line. (Photo: runDisney)

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend Registration

Registration through runDisney Travel Providers is slated to open October 6, 2015. The list of tour companies offering travel packages for the weekend has not been released yet.

Runners can also register to run for charity starting October 6, 2015. The list of participating charities will be released on that date.

For individuals who want to register without a travel package or charity partner, limited race registrations will open January 12, 2016.

Pricing for all of the weekend’s events has not been announced yet.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Race Information

The Disneyland Paris races tour runners through two Disney Parks. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: New Amsterdam City Swim

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

That’s me finishing the New Amsterdam City Swim! (Photo: Alex Saveliev/Beemster Cheese)

I did it! I’m jumped into the Hudson River in New York City for the first annual 1-mile New Amsterdam City Swim on Sunday, June 21 to raise $675 for ALS research at ProjectMinE. As a group, the New Amsterdam City Swimmers have raised almost $438,000 so far. Thank you again to everyone who donated! I appreciate it so much. Hopefully we’re one step closer to curing ALS!

Race Report: New Amsterdam City Swim

Finisher! (Photo: New Amsterdam City Swim)

What threatened to be a thunderstormy day, turned into a scorcher—88 degrees, sun blinking bright, and humidity around 90 percent. By the time I jumped into the Hudson, I was good and ready! The water was welcoming and downright refreshing at 68 degrees.

For all my nervousness going into the swim, I needn’t have worried.

My plan going into the swim was to stay calm, cool, collected, and knock it out at an easy pace. I set out according to plan and manged to stick with it. I kept my pace easy peasy while focusing on my breath and my pull. It paid off.

Much to my surprise, I crushed it. I finished 15 out of 146 women! What!? Throw men into the mix and I was 77th among 351 swimmers in a time of 23:32 for the 1-mile course.

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Results!

Wish I could say the same of most of my running races! This just goes to show, once again, that I’m a much better swimmer than I am a runner. Which is probably why I work so hard at running!

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Finished announcing in Queens! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Queens 10K

My day started at 5 a.m., when my alarm woke me to announce at the NYRR Queens 10K in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I was on site and at the mike at 6:30 a.m. for pre-race announcements.

The rainy, overcast morning turned into a hot, steamy day, and one that was a bit longer than usual for a 10K. The start of the race was delayed an hour due to heavy rain flooding the course.

While I made morning announcements for runners, NYRR employees were busy bailing water off the course—literally. Before it was a park, Flushing Meadows was a marsh that eventually became a landfill during the industrial era. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the site was rehabbed to host the World’s Fair and in the 1960s it became a park. But once a marsh, always a marsh. As a result, the Queens 10K course is particularly flood prone.

By 9 a.m., the rain stopped, the course was clear, and the race was finally underway. I moved to the finish to cheer runners in.

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Queens 10K (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

But the main subway train that ferried runners to the start suffered a shutdown and resulting chaos, so race officials kept the start open much longer than usual to allow train-riding runners a chance to race. That meant the course was open longer than usual. The final finishers came in just before 11:30 a.m., and I hung up my announcer hat for the day.

I got home around 1 p.m., 8 hours after my day began, all of it spent standing. I didn’t even get a seat on the subway ride home. I was beat. So I walked my dog, wolfed down a slice of pizza, and took a quick 40 minute snooze before heading to downtown Manhattan for the swim. At 2 p.m., my alarm was ringing again. I pulled on my swimsuit, grabbed my bag, and ran out the door.

New Amsterdam City Swim

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Ah! Arriving on site (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The Start

The New Amsterdam City Swim started at Pier 45 at the Hudson River Park in the West Village of Manhattan. Check-in for the 3:45 pm start closed at 3 p.m.

I got there just in time to get my race-issued swim cap and timing chip, drink some water and eat half of a Quaker protein bar that came in my race bag.

I had a major headache, which often happens later in the day when I’ve had an early start. Food and water usually helps. A friend also had Tylenol, so I took some to help get me through. I shy away from taking pain killers when exercising, but my head was throbbing, so I went for it.

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Vera and I are ready! (Photo: Susan Bayat)

Wrestling my wetsuit onto my sweaty skin proved to be a 2-woman job. My wetsuit now has numerous finger-nail sized gashes in the neoprene from such abuse over the years. My friend and running teammate, Vera, and I readied together. She’s the one who roped me into doing the race.

By the time they called our wave, Wave 1, to the start we were baking in black neoprene and ready to jump in. Thankfully, the Tylenol, food, and water had kicked in and my headache was gone.

The start of the swim was timed with the end of high tide, so that the southbound current would be in our favor as the water flowed out to sea before low tide. The Hudson is actually a tidal estuary, where the salty ocean tides meet the river’s fresh water current in New York Bay. As such, the currents swirling around NYC change every six hours or so to the whims of the ocean tides. Amid the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s easy to forget that NYC sits like teeth in the jaws of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

Separated into six waves, we entered a floating dock attached to the pier three at a time. Then, one swimmer at a time, we jumped off the dock, timing chips strapped to our ankles. The mouth of the Hudson River in New York Bay is brackish, and I immediately tasted the salt on my lips as I plunged into the water. But jumping in was one of the most fun parts of the day. How often do you get to jump off a barge into the Hudson River in New York City? That was a first for me! I felt like screaming, “Wheeeeee!” Read the rest of this entry →

23

Jun 2015

Time to Jump In the New Amsterdam City Swim!

Jump In NYC With New Amsterdam City Swim

Ready to jump in! (RunKarlaRun.com)

In about 48 hours, I’ll be starting the New Amsterdam City Swim on Sunday, June 21, knocking out 1-mile in the Hudson River to raise money for ALS research.

Thank you to everyone who donated! I truly appreciate it. I have to give a special shout-out to Leslie Miller. Leslie, I couldn’t find a way to contact you to say thank you! Hope you read this.

Thanks to your donations, I met my $500 fundraising goal with $600.17. As a group the New Amsterdam City Swimmers have raised $281,384.79 and counting for Project MinE, a large-scale research initiative with the biggest DNA database in the world. They’re planning to map and compare the DNA profiles of at least 15,000 ALS patients and 7,500 control subjects, with the goal of understanding the genetics of the disease in order to find a cure. It’s a huge undertaking, and they couldn’t do it without your help.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners. At the Wild Dog Triathlon

Wetsuit ready (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Now, it’s time to swim! Honestly, I’m a bit nervous. I haven’t gotten in as many swim sessions as I had hoped. On the plus side, I did get in one full mile-swim in a pool, along with five shorter swim sessions in the last few weeks. My past triathlon experience tells me that’s enough to get me through. But let’s hope that Hudson River current really is as helpful as folks say, just in case.

I also enrolled in a 10-week triathlon swim clinic with the Asphalt Green Triathlon Club in New York City. We meet once a week for 75 minutes. It’s more of a “back to basics” look at technique than it is a workout.

The one session I’ve had already helped me tweak my stroke to be more efficient, which was my reason for doing the clinic. I’m a strong swimmer, having been a swim team kid until the age of 15. But I haven’t had anyone look at my stroke and critique it in 22 years! I know I have room for improvement, and when it comes to swimming, perfecting technique is the foundation to getting faster.

All that said, my goal for Sunday is to finish! This will be the longest open water swim I’ve ever done. Here’s the course: Read the rest of this entry →

Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

The 2015 Star Wars Half Marathon (Photo: runDisney)

Registration for the Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 Weekend opens at 12 p.m. Eastern on June 16, 2015. The Disney half marathon race weekend will take place January 14-17, 2016 in a galaxy far, far away. OK, it’s really at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

More than 23,000 runners took part in the inaugural event in 2015, which included the Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K, Star Wars Rebel Challenge—where runners complete the 10K and half-marathon on consecutive days—and runDisney Kids Races. All those races will be back for 2016, along with the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo—where you can buy the coveted New Balance runDisney shoes. The 2016 course maps have yet to be released, but last year’s races ran through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney and the streets of Anaheim, Calif.

How fast will the Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 Weekend sell-out? Likely faster than the Millennium Falcon can travel 6.8323E-13 parsecs (that’s 13.1-miles). The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend in 2015 sold out in two hours. The Star Wars Rebel Challenge sold out first in 24 minutes. The runDisney Kids Races followed in 38 minutes. The Star Wars 5K filled up in 54 minutes. The Star Wars 10K was gone inside of 80 minutes, and the Star Wars Half Marathon closed in 2 hours and 2 minutes. Read the rest of this entry →

15

Jun 2015

Obstacle Race, Nike Athlete + 5K Training Plan

5K Training Plan, Obstacle Race Training Plan, & Nike Training Plan

Training! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

A friend of mine, who’s not a runner, recently asked me for a training plan. Her husband—a chronic marathoner—signed her up for a Spartan Race. She’s run two 5Ks and a 2-miler in the past, but not recently. So she wanted something that would help her start from scratch. I’m guessing most of you have a similar friend, who sooner or later is going to sign up for that 5K or obstacle race and not know where to begin.

Thankfully, I’ve curated a few training plans for SHAPE.com with the help of top coaches, including a 5K training plan for total beginners, an obstacle race training plan, and Nike “all-around” training plan that mixes running, strength training, and yoga.

Nike+ NYC Training Plan to Become a Better Athlete

5K Training Plan, Obstacle Race Training Plan, & Nike Training Plan

Training at Niketown in NYC (Photo: Nike)

Every day, Nike+ NYC coaches lead runs and workouts for all skill levels on the streets of the Big Apple, using the city as a gym—no equipment needed.

But you don’t have to live in NYC to “Just Do It” with Nike+ NYC Run Club Head Coach Chris Bennett and Nike+ NYC Master Trainer Traci Copeland, who teamed up to design this exclusive plan for Shape.

With three days of training, two days of running, and two flex days per week, the plan integrates Nike+ Training Club and Nike+ Running to make you a stronger, faster, and fitter athlete, whether you’re simply looking to stay in shape or getting ready for a race.

Follow the plan at SHAPE.com.

Diva Dash Obstacle Race Training Plan

5K Training Plan, Obstacle Race Training Plan, & Nike Training Plan

Monkeying around at SHAPE Diva Dash (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The annual Shape Diva Dash is dotted with fun obstacles sure to challenge your balance, strength, and speed. To help you dominate any 5K adventure run, this obstacle race training plan blends running, strength, balance, and agility training to help you finish strong.

No equipment required—just a pair of running shoes, a watch, and a nearby park or playground where you can play like a kids again. Read the rest of this entry →

Runners Are Like Wine, Says Brooks Running Report

Runners Are Like Wine, Brooks Running Report Says

Brooks Run Happy Nation Report

We already knew that runners like wine. My roundup of 10 Wine-Themed Runs To Get Your Drink On at Shape.com has more than 11,000 Facebook likes. But a new report from Brooks Running found that runners are like wine. That’s right, 44% of runners say they get better with age, just like a good bottle of vino. While 24% of runners tied to say they’re more like beer, with a little hop in their step, or more like a cocktail, shaking up their routine.

That was just one of the fun tidbits unearthed in the third annual Brooks Run Happy Nation report, a survey of 1,000 runners in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, commissioned by Brooks Running. Here are some of the results.

Training Partners
  • 32% of Americans say they choose a friend as their go-to training partner
  • 24% pick a digital fitness tracker
  • 20% would rather hoof it with their dog
Business Time (Flight of the Conchords fans, you know what I’m talkin’ about)
  • 48% percent of Americans under 40 like to get it on pre-run
  • 41% of Americans reveal they feel “frisky” after hitting the pavement
  • 35% say a pre-race horizontal rhumba improves running performance
Runder Wear
  • 62% of American women prefer briefs, compared to 72% of German women
  • 8% of American women go full commando, versus 11% of Canadians
  • 47% of runners prefer racerback sports bras
  • 39% like crossback sports bras
  • 14% prefer front closure sports bras 
Movie Time
  • 32% of respondents say Forrest Gump inspires them the most among running movies
  • 26% connect with Rocky‘s eye of the tiger
  • 18% love Silver Linings Playbook’s wackier take on running
Running Locales
  • 47% of respondents say trails are their favorite place to run
  • 27% of respondents pick running around the Grand Canyon as their dream runcation destination
  • 24% choose the Romantic Road of Germany
  • 23% dream about running the Great Wall of China

Read the rest of this entry →