Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines
Friday, October 31
5:25 p.m. at 7online.com
5:30 p.m. live on ABC7 in New York
Countdown to the Starting Line
Saturday, November 1
7:30 p.m. on ABC7 in New York
Get pumped for race day with “Countdown to the Starting Line,” live from the marathon finish line. “Eyewitness News” anchors Liz Cho and David Novarro preview the 44th TCS New York City Marathon. And I (yes, me!) pop-by to give a rundown on the top runners.
Today is my five-year blogiversary! And I’m celebrating the best way I know how: going for a run. On Sunday, October 19 I’m running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco as part of a Nike media group. When I cross the finish line and earn my Tiffany & Co. necklace, it will be a reminder of just how far I’ve come since I launched “Run, Karla, Run!” back in 2009. And how far we’ve all come together.
Before the 2009 Chicago Marathon. (RunKarlaRun.com)
It’s appropriate that my five-year anniversary is occurring around a race. My very first post was about running the 2009 Bank of Chicago Marathon on the anniversary of my father’s death. I’m from Chicago and the course runs right past my dad’s old office, a place I spent many weekends growing up. Running that race on that day in that city was bittersweet for me. You can read that first post, and its follow-up if you’re curious.
Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, where my dad worked. (Phil Hospod)
But opening my blog with a post about the town where I got my start as a writer—on my high school newspaper, where I eventually served as editor-in-chief— was a fitting beginning to my career as a running reporter, which has taken me from Chicago and my home in New York City to places I never would have dreamed of five years ago: to far-flung locales like Israel, Peru and the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, to new career frontiers like hosting a web and TV show for New York Road Runners on ABC in New York, to seeing my byline in publications like SHAPE and Canadian Running, RunnersWorld.com and Active.com, and right here on RunKarlaRun.com.
Now, I’m off to my first race in San Francisco. Rather than try to PR on the city’s fierce hills, I’m going to use the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco as a litmus test. This time, it’s all about my marathon pace for the upcoming GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon in November. Can I run 13.1 miles at my goal marathon pace? If I can, will it feel easy enough? It’s time to find out.
Lessons From The Track
Last month, I hit the track with a Nike+ NYC training group, including some of the ladies who are joining me in San Francisco. We ventured to Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York City where we ran a workout led by Nike+ Head Coach Chris Bennett. It consisted of a warm-up, dynamic stretches and drills, strides across the infield, a speed workout on the track, cool down and foam rolling. Read the rest of this entry →
New Balance Fresh Foam Trail shoes in action at Machu Picchu in Peru. (Phil Hospod)
One of the most common questions people ask me is: “What are the best running shoes?” Variations include: “What running shoes do you wear?” “What’s your favorite brand of running shoes?” and “Who makes the best running shoes?”
My answer is always the same. There is no one best kind, or pair, or brand of running shoes. What works for one runner might not work for someone else. And what worked for one runner a year ago may no longer work for them now. We all have different foot shapes, sizes, gaits, body weights, stride lengths, form, muscle weakness, imbalances, strengths, injuries and all the other things that affect how we run. And even then, it’s good to rotate your shoes and wear different types of shoes for different types of workouts. Brian Metzler at Competitor wrote a great column about it: Why You Should Have A Quiver Of Running Shoes.
And yet, we’re all on the quest for the perfect shoe. I’m no exception. I was once fiercely loyal to Mizuno’s Wave Rider, until they dramatically changed the shoe and it was no longer my personal glass slipper. Since then I’ve worn other pairs of Mizuno, ASICS, Nike, New Balance, K-Swiss and Saucony searching for that perfect pair. Here’s what I’ve found in 2014.
New Balance 890v4 runDisney Cinderella shoes
Karla’s Best Running Shoes of 2014
I’ve tried 30 pairs of running shoes in the last year. What can I say? I really like shoes. I am a Cinderella runner after all. Athletic companies sent complimentary pairs of some for me to try. Others I purchased myself. Some I took for a treadmill run or two only to return them because they didn’t work for me. Others, I kept to test on the road. Among those, I give some away once I decide they’re not for me. But I keep the best of the rest.
These are the 10 best running shoes of the bunch for me. Keep in mind that these are all neutral shoes and I am a neutral runner with high arches. If you have low arches, wear a stability or motion-control shoes, these may or may not work for you. (Need to learn more? Read: Gait Analysis For The Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF)
All the shoe vitals are for the women’s version as provided by each respective manufacturer. I tried each pair in a women’s size 9 and I’ve listed them by brand. Happy shoe shopping!
Rocky cheers on runners at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon. (Photo: Philadelphia Marathon)
The 2014 GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, November 23 is a little over 10 weeks away. I’m running as a guest of GORE-TEX, my second tango in City of Brotherly Love. The 2012 race is where I ran my current marathon personal best of 4:28. I’m looking to put a huge dent in that number. So far, all my training and racing points to “Yes!”
It wouldn’t be a proper Philadelphia playlist without some Will Smith. For more comic effect The Fresh Prince of Bel Aire theme song would work in a pinch. But I’ve always liked the laid back vibe of Smith’s ode to hot summer days in West Philly.
Yes, The Boss’s version is the original and I’m sure many will disagree with me, but I prefer The Fray’s rendition. It feels a little more raw and running friendly. Either way, lyrics like “I walked the avenue, ’til my legs felt like stone,” don’t get any better for marathon training.
Recently, someone asked me: What’s your running mantra? I didn’t always have one. But this summer I’ve been using two mantras that have really been working for me. When I’m struggling and need to dig deep, I turn to these two phrase that somehow spur me on.
1) Just keep pushing
Pushing is easy when the run is this beautiful. (RunKarlaRun.com)
This is my go-to racing mantra. My husband thinks it’s too simple. “There’s no magic to it, no poetry to it,” he says. He prefers mantras like, “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” and, “Pain is temporary, glory is forever.” Yes, he actually says those to himself. Perhaps that’s why he is a Boston Qualifier and I am not.
But that’s the funny thing about mantras. What works for one person does not always work for someone else. Anytime he’s tried to encourage me during a run with one of his mantras, I just get annoyed. I don’t know why, but waxing poetic about pain seems to make me angry. And not in a good, “Yeah, I’m going to crush this run!” sort of way. But in a “Shut your face, you’re not helping!” sort of way. Read the rest of this entry →
Coming out of the water at the Wild Dog Triathlon. (Phil Hospod)
As I stare down my sixth triathlon— Triathlon Valleyfield in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec on Sunday, August 24—I realize that I have fully fallen down the multi-sport rabbit hole. In that hole is an assortment of athletic equipment that I’ve accumulated to help me swim, bike and run my heart out. Before every race, I write out a triathlon gear list to be sure to pack for race day.
Biking my second triathlon. (Capstone Photography)
Unlike running, triathlon is incredibly gear intensive. All that “stuff” is the main barrier to entry for runners who are interested in dabbling their toes in the open waters of the sport. Buying everything at once can be intimidating and expensive. I’ve staggered my purchases over the course of three years, reached out to sponsors, and still don’t have all the gear a truly competitive triathlete calls their own, like a tri-specific bike, areobars and the like. But that hasn’t stopped me from getting into the sport and it shouldn’t stop you either.
So here is my triathlon gear list. Some of these items are essential, some merely nice to have. But once you know that the sport of triathlon will be part of your regular racing routine, you’ll want each of these items in your gear bag.
I’ve listed the full price for each item, but in many cases I found them on sale or got them for free, and have indicated where that was the case. Where gender specificity is a factor, I’ve listed the women’s gear. But most items are available in men’s options too.
Triathlon Gear For The Entire Race
Your tri kit is the outfit that takes you through all three events. Ideally, you can swim, bike and run in it. You don’t have to buy a fancy tri kit. I certainly didn’t. Here’s what I use to race and train. Both of my kits have two things in common: 1) They’re designed and tested by female triathletes for female triathletes, and 2) They’re from American companies that manufacture the majority of their products in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry →
WorkoutLabs compensated me for the time it took me to test their product, write about it, and share it on this blog. Compensation I receive from any company is not compensation for my good opinion. Consider this an advertorial where I have complete editorial control.
I travel a lot. And while I do my best to squeeze in runs wherever I go, sometimes I’m traveling in an area or at a time when I don’t feel safe running alone; can’t stomach the tiny, windowless gym in the hotel basement; or might not have access to a gym at all.
I’m also a fan of calisthenic workouts. I’ll often roll-out my mat in front of the TV to squeeze in 30 minutes of exercises while I watch an old Friends or Seinfeld episode. But my rotation of exercises often gets stale, and I’m constantly losing the pages of exercises I’ve clipped from magazines over the years.
The concept is simple—a deck of cards, the size and shape of playing cards, depict an exercise or stretch per card. Each deck has 40 exercises that don’t require any equipment, nine stretches and five workouts plus a stretching routine. A blank exercise card and workout card are also included, so you can create your own favorite routine among the included exercises or add an exercise of your own. Read the rest of this entry →
Missed out on registration for the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including the sold-out Glass Slipper Challenge and 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 19-22 at Walt Disney World in Florida.
Frozen’s Elsa makes an appearance at the Princess Half. (runDisney)
Regular registration is still available for the Disney Princess 5K and runDisney Kids Races, both of which will feature a Frozen theme and finisher medals. At publication time, the 5K was 65 percent full and the kids races were 55 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. Though the Race Retreat and Breakfast are each 52 percent full. 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.
The Glass Slipper Challenge, where runners complete the Enchanted 10K and Disney Princess Half Marathon on back-to-back days, sold out first in 1 hour and 45 minutes after an hour of technical problems between runDisney.com and the Active.com registration system. Registration opened at 12 p.m. ET on July 15. At 12:34, runDisney posted on Twitter: Read the rest of this entry →
The pretty in pink “dress for Cinderelly,” as the mice sing, sounded perfect to me. I’ve always loved the dress the mice made with love, crafted from Cinderella’s mother’s gown. It’s a dress fit for a princess.
Pretty in Pink!
How To Make The Cinderella Pink Dress
Registration opens Tuesday, July 15 at noon EST for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. If you want to put together your own Cinderella pink dress for the race, here’s my step-by-step “How To” turn this basic skirt and tank…
Basic tank and skirt (RunKarlaRun.com)
into this Cinderella pink dress!
Gather all the pieces for the costume. I have zero background in sewing, so the sewing tools I used were:
So you didn’t get into the 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF? If you want to be one of the 25,000 runners at the start on October 19, you still can. Charity bibs are available with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT), the series’ major beneficiary.
A TNT runner. (Photo courtesy of Team in Training)
Since the first Nike Women’s Marathon in 2004, Team in Training participants have raised more than $147.9 million in Nike Women Series events, helping The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) fund research to advance lifesaving blood cancer treatments.
Through its 25th anniversary last year, TNT had trained more than 600,000 participants and raised more than $1.4 billion for LLS.
If you want to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF with TNT, you’ll be asked to raise funds in exchange for your spot in the race. You’ll also train with TNT coaches for four months, receive access to clinics on nutrition and injury prevention, and race past San Francisco’s iconic sites.
Nike has yet to reveal the 2014 course. Previous editions started at Union Square in San Francisco and finished on the Great Highway at Ocean Beach, travelling along the San Francisco Bay with views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Read the rest of this entry →
Heartbreak Hill Half medals. (Photo: Grace Donnelly)
The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival from June 5-8, 2014 in Newton and Boston, Massachusetts felt a lot like running camp. But the titular half-marathon lived up to its name: it was a bit heartbreaky and a bit hilly. And I loved almost every minute of it.
Taking the Heartbreak Hill Half seriously. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)
I attended the race courtesy of Runner’s World as part of their official blogger crew. (They covered my race entries, dorm room and some meals. I covered my transportation to and from Boston and other meals.)
The race was a chance to run along the most famous section of Boston Marathon course. For Boston Marathon qualifiers and hopefuls, it was a chance to test their legs on the storied climb. For runners like me—for whom qualifying for Boston is a distant “someday” dream—it was a chance to know exactly what all those faster runners are talking about when they dismiss Heartbreak Hill as “not that bad” or confirm its notoriety as “brutal.” I’ve heard the hill described both ways and was excited to find out for myself.
Roughly 6,700 finishers from 47 U.S. states ran in the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids’ run and dog run at the weekend. Exactly 3,074 runners finished the half-marathon; 1,838 completed the 10K; 1,565 crossed the line in the 5K, and 69 doggies finished the Eukanuba Dog Run.
The post-race festival. (Photo: Brita Meng Outzen)
There’s too much for me to cover in one post, so I’ll share all my doings at the race over the next few weeks. I already covered the Runner’s World 5K, Expo, Festival programming, on-campus accommodations and blogger crew in Race Report: Runner’s World 5K at Heartbreak Hill Half.
The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival from June 5-8, 2014 in Newton and Boston, Massachusetts was a genuine celebration of running. I attended the race courtesy of Runner’s World as part of their official blogger crew. (They covered my race entries, dorm room and some meals. I covered my transportation to and from Boston and other meals.)
Running the 5K. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)
Roughly 6,700 finishers from 47 U.S. states ran in the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids’ run and dog run. Exactly 3,074 runners finished the half-marathon; 1,838 completed the 10K; 1,565 crossed the line in the 5K, and 69 doggies finished the Eukanuba Dog Run.
Something about the weekend made it feel like running camp. Maybe it was because I was staying on Boston College’s campus in a dorm. Maybe it was the programming, including seminars, movies, meet and greets with runners like Shalane Flanagan and Sarah Reinertsen, an expo and pasta party. Maybe it was the five races and two race challenges that started and finished on campus.
Whatever it was, it added up to a weekend where I lived, ate and breathed running—in a good way.
Boston College has that leafy New England campus vibe that makes you want to sprawl across a green lawn and sing folk songs in a circle. It reminded me of my undergrad experience attending Amherst College in Massachusetts, just a 90 minute drive due west.
Runners tackle the race. (Photo: Grace Donnelly)
One evening, a group of us bloggers sat on the grass whiling an hour away. We spotted Bart Yasso walking to the dorm and waved him over. He sat with us and chatted a while. The whole weekend had that kind of feel—friendly and relaxed. Everywhere you looked, there was someone running, about to run, just finished running or talking about running.
Charities and tour groups offer entries into the sold out Star Wars Disney races. (Photo: Disney/Ali Nasser)
So you didn’t get into any of the Star Wars Disney races from January 15-18 at Disneyland in California, including the Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars Rebel Challenge, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races? You’ve still got a chance. Charity and travel providers offer limited entries for runners who register and run with them.
The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend sold out in two hours, nearly matching the runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend sell-out record of 1 hour and 48 minutes for all races. The Star Wars Rebel Challenge, where runners complete the Star Wars 10K and Star Wars Half Marathon on back-to-back days, sold out first in 25 minutes. The runDisney Kids Races followed in 40 minutes. The Star Wars 5K filled up in 1 hour. The Star Wars 10K was gone inside of 1 hour and 40 minutes, and the Star Wars Half Marathon closed in 2 hours.
Tickets are still available for the Star Wars Wookie Welcome Party on January 15. The event in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland will offer character meet-and-greets, entertainment, dessert and select attractions like Space Mountain, Star Tours, Astro Orbitor, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. At publication time, the party was 65 percent full.
But if you really want to be a part of the Star Wars Disney races, 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. Read the rest of this entry →
Registration for the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation opens at 12 p.m. EDT on June 10, 2014. The Disney half marathon race weekend will take place January 15-18, 2015 at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Events include the Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races, plus the Star Wars Rebel Challenge. Runners who register for the challenge and complete the 10K and half marathon on back-to-back days will earn an extra medal. Like every Disney half marathon, the weekend will also feature a runDisney Health and Fitness Expo, along with Star Wars Wookie Welcome Party and more Star Wars and Disney-themed entertainment. Course maps have yet to be released, but the races will run through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney and the streets of Anaheim, Calif. Read the rest of this entry →
My National Running Day bib. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Runners, did you know that we have our own holiday? On Wednesday, June 4 say, “Happy National Running Day!”
National Running Day is a coast-to-coast celebration of putting one foot in front of the other as a fun way to stay fit and healthy. Join a group run, chat on social media, cheer on kids, get race discounts, find a running team, score New Balance gear from a vending machine and more at events taking place around the U.S.
Held on the first Wednesday each June, National Running Day is an annual collaboration between America’s premier running organizations, including the Atlanta Track Club, the Boston Athletic Association, the Chevron Houston Marathon, the Chicago Area Runners Association, Competitor Group, Inc., the Little Rock Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, New York Road Runners, the Oregon Track Club, Running USA, the Twin Cities In Motion, and USA Track & Field. This year is the sixth anniversary of the event.
Join the conversation with #runningday on social media and visit www.runningday.org for more information. Here are just a few National Running Day events taking place online, nationwide and in New York City. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!