Archive for the ‘Ask The Running Nerd’Category

Philadelphia Marathon & Half Marathon Running Playlist

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Running Playlist

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!”

To help me get excited and inspired to run the streets of Philadelphia (see what I did there?), I put together a Philadelphia Running Playlist with 20 songs about the Birthplace of America that make for good running company. Use it for any Cradle of Liberty race you might be running: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, Blue Cross Broad Street Run or any other event.

Enjoy and please list in the comments any great Philly running songs I may have missed!

Philadelphia Running Playlist

1)   “Gonna Fly Now” Bill Conti

No Philadelphia running mix would be complete without the theme from Rocky.  

2)   “I-76″ G. Love & Special Sauce

Hands down, this ode to the Philadelphia 76ers and the highways of Philly is my favorite song about the City of Brotherly Love. It will help you find your running groove for sure.

3)   “Summertime” DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

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.

4)   “Streets of Philadelphia” The Fray

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.

5)   “Philly Night” Berry Jones

A 2010 retro dance pop number from Philly collective Berry Jones, it’s the perfect song when you need to pick up the pace. Read the rest of this entry →

My Running Mantras For Racing And Training

My Running Mantras

“Just Keep Pushing!” (RunKarlaRun.com)

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

Hiking, Running and Eating in Italy's Cinque Terre

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 →

Triathlon Gear List For Runners, Beginners and Beyond

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners. At the Wild Dog Triathlon

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.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners

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

Tri Kit

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 Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards

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.

Enter WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards.

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

Deck contents

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards: The Basics

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 →

Run Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 For Charity

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

Prince Mickey and Princess Mickey (runDisney)

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.

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

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 →

How To Make A Cinderella Pink Dress Running Costume

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

At Walt Disney World Half Marathon (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Cinderella pink dress might be my favorite running costume I’ve put together.

After crafting a Cinderella ball gown for the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon and Cinderella in rags running costume for the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon, I was excited to dig into the deep cuts for a new take on a Cinderella running costume for the 2014 Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

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.

Cinderella running costume

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…

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Basic tank and skirt (RunKarlaRun.com)

into this Cinderella pink dress!

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Gather all the pieces for the costume. I have zero background in sewing, so the sewing tools I used were:

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running1. Needle and thread

2. Hand-sewing machine

3. Safety pins

The costume items I used are:

1. Skirt

2. Tank

3. Petticoat

4. Ribbon (pink and white)

5. Old T-shirt

6. Headband

7. Hair rats

8. Blue beads

9. Shorts

10. Running shoes Read the rest of this entry →

Run Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF For Charity TNT

Run Nike Women's Half Marathon SF for charity with TNT

The Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF. (Photo: Nike)

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.

Run Nike Women's Hlaf Marathon SF for charity with TNT

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 →

Race Report: Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

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.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

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.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

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.

Up now is the half-marathon! Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Runner’s World 5K at Heartbreak Hill Half

Race Report: Runner's World 5K at Heartbreak Hill Half

The Runner’s World 5K. (Photo: Grace Donnelly)

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.)

Race Report: Runner's World 5K at Heartbreak Hill Half

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.

Race Report: Runner's World 5K at Heartbreak Hill Half

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.

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, including: Runner’s World 5K, Eukanuba Dog Run, Heartbreak Hill Half, Q&A with Shalane Flanagan, Sarah Reinertsen, tips on building a running blog from the seminar I was a part of, and more. I’ll start with the 5K. Read the rest of this entry →

Star Wars Disney Race Bibs Available Via Charity + Tour

Run The Sold-Out Star Wars Disney Races With Charity or Tour Group

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 →

Star Wars Disney Half Marathon Registration Opens

Star Wars Disney Half Marathon Registration Opens

The Star Wars Half Marathon is coming to Disneyland. (Photo: Disney/Ali Nasser)

UPDATE: All Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend races are now sold out. If you want to run the Disney half marathon or any of the other Star Wars races, charity and tour groups have entries available.
Read more: Star Wars Disney Race Bibs Available Via Charity + Tour

* * *

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 →

Happy National Running Day! Join These Free Events

Happy National Running Day! Join These Free Events

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 →

Star Wars Half Marathon Comes To Disneyland In 2015

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Makes Its Intergalactic Arrival at Disneyland Resort in 2015

Star Wars Half Marathon Comes to Disneyland. (Photo: Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.)

After teasing out details via social media with the hashtag #LetTheWookieWin, runDisney has announced today its newest race: Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation slated for January 15-18, 2015 at Disneyland Resort in California.

Star Wars Half Marathon Comes to Disneyland

Get your Star Wars costumes ready. (Photo: Preston Mack / WDW)

The race weekend will include the title Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races, plus the two-race Star Wars Rebel Challenge following in the footsteps of the popular Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Runners who register for the challenge and complete the 10K and half marathon on back-to-back days will earn a special challenge medal. The weekend will also feature a Health and Fitness Expo, Star Wars Wookie Welcome Party, and more Star Wars and Disney-themed entertainment.

Lucasfilm and runDisney have teamed up with presenting sponsor Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace company best known for its Dream Chaser spacecraft to sponsor the event. 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 →

How To Run Faster? Run With The Fast Crowd

running races, New York Harriers

The New York Harrier men (inlcuding my fist-pumping husband) are ready to cheer on the Harrier women at the 2011 NYRR Team Championships. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

I stared down the track in front of me. I’d already run a 1600, two 800s and four 400s at an all-out pace. Now just one more 800 stood between me and the end of the workout. I didn’t know how to run faster. But that was the task before me.

“Group 4, you’re up!” my coach yelled.

“Why do we have to run another 800?” someone moaned.

“Because it mentally prepares you to run hard, even when you’re tired,” he said. “All right, this is all-out. This should hurt. Group 4, go!”

I had a cramp in my left foot, a stitch in my right side, and I still hadn’t caught my breath from the last interval. Everything in me wanted to quit.

But I took one look at the rest of the runners in my group, and I thought, “I can do this.”

How to run faster? Run with the fast crowd

(Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Over the years, team speed workouts have become my favorite part of half-marathon and marathon training. There are so many reasons to train with a friend or a team. Camaraderie, accountability and encouragement are some of them. But my favorite reason to show up to team speed workouts is that I like to run with the fast crowd. It’s inspirational, motivational and encourages me to push myself harder than I ever would on my own. Read the rest of this entry →

60 Destination Races For Your Next Runcation

60 Destination Races For Your Next Runcation

The Tunnel of Trees at the Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Looking for destination races? Check out my three latest stories at Shape.com. I picked 10 women’s races, 10 wine races and 10 beach races worth booking a ticket for. Many of them aren’t even single race weekends, but running series with multiple events all over the U.S. and around the world. In all, these 30 running events have 60 race weekends among them, and even more distances to choose from. Let the day dreaming begin!

60 Destination Races For Your Next Runcation

Runners toast their efforts at the Wine Country Half Marathon Series (Photo: TJ Nelson/Destination Races)

The 30-year-old Marathon du Medoc in France may be the grandfather of wine races, with tasting stations along the course and wine-fueled parties all weekend long. But you don’t have to travel to France to guzzle grape at destination races that stomp through vineyards on the way to wine-fueled feasts. Events all over North America, from 5Ks to marathons, cater to wine lovers who like to run hard and drink harder.

I picked 10 wine running series with 20 races in 10 U.S. states and Canadian provinces for runners who like to cool down with vino. See them all at Shape.com.

10 Beach Destination Races for Your Next Racecation

60 Destination Races For Your Next Runcation

The Southernmost Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K in Key West. (Photo: Marrero/Doll Photography)

Run and sun under a palm tree at these courses for sand and shore lovers. From Jamaica and the Bahamas to the South Pacific and coast of Australia, these dream-worthy destinations have races to match. Want to surf in California? Party during Carnival in France? Hula in Hawaii? Get lost in the Bermuda triangle? You can, and run too. Read the rest of this entry →

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