Archive for the ‘Ask The Running Nerd’Category

Lessons From Boston Marathon Winner Meb Keflezighi

Lessons From Boston Marathon Winner Meb Keflezighi

Meb Keflezighi at the 2006 Boston Marathon. (Photo: Ethan Bagley/Flickr)

Back in 2009 when “Run, Karla, Run!” debuted, one of my very first posts was about Meb Keflezighi’s historic win at the New York City Marathon—Keflezighi’s Win: An American Marathon Renaissance?

On April 21, he did it again by becoming the first American Boston Marathon winner in 30 years. Even more amazing? He won at the age of 38 and in personal record time of 2:08:37.

Keflezighi is without question the U.S.’s best distance runner on the roads today. With an Olympic marathon silver medal and New York City and Boston Marathon titles to his name, he enters an elite group of American runners known as “the greatest.” Even Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic marathon gold medalist and 1976 Olympic marathon silver medalist, said it during the Boston Marathon wrap-up show on Universal Sports: “If there is a club, welcome to it!”

But we mere mortals can learn a thing or two from Marathon Meb. Here’s what comes to mind.

Lessons From Boston Marathon Winner Meb Keflezighi

Meb Keflezighi at the 2013 New York City Marathon. (Photo: ccho/Flickr)

1) The big 30 isn’t old. Neither, it seems, is 40.

So many people think the end is nigh once your age no longer begins with a “2.” I’m as guilty as the next runner, wringing my hands at what feels like the inevitable decline now that my age starts with a “3.”

So it’s refreshing and inspiring to see a runner like Meb, just two weeks from his 39th birthday, becoming the Boston Marathon winner, running not just the best time of his life, but the best time in a field of younger guys.

Lesson? You’re only as old as you think you are. Being young at heart pays and, yes, 40 is the new 30.

2) Being the fastest runner doesn’t always matter. But being the smartest does.

Meb Keflezighi is rarely the fastest man in the field. In the 2014 Boston Marathon, no fewer than 14 men had personal best times speedier than Meb, some fully 5 minutes quicker. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Watch The 2014 Boston Marathon On TV Or Web

2014 Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon finish line. (Photo: By Aaron “tango” Tang/Wikimedia Commons)

The most anticipated marathon of 2014 is finally here. The 2014 Boston Marathon starts in Hopkinton, Mass., on Monday, April 21. If you want to catch all the action from Boston here’s how to tune in.

Boston Marathon Preview Show

Saturday, April 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. ET Universal Sports will air a live preview show from the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street.

Boston Marathon National Broadcast

Watch the 118th Boston Marathon live on Universal Sports from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET on Monday, April 21.

If you miss the race, Universal Sports will air a 2014 Boston Marathon Wrap-Up Show live from 4 to 5 p.m ET, followed by an encore presentation of the race at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.

If you don’t get Universal Sports, don’t worry. A free preview of the channel will be available nationwide via all of its distribution partners from April 14-21. You can find Universal Sports in your channel lineup at UniversalSports.com.

Boston Marathon Local Broadcast

The 2014 Boston Marathon will broadcast live on CBS Boston’s WBZ-TV from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. The race will be rerun on myTV38 from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. ET.

Boston Marathon Online Coverage

The Boston Marathon will stream live online at watchlive.baa.org starting at 9:30 a.m. ET, and at CBSBoston.com all day.

UniversalSports.com will also stream the Boston Marathon live. Plus, their Finish Line Web Cam will show runners as they complete the 26.2-mile race on Boylston Street. The web cam goes live on UniversalSports.com at 10:30 AM ET on April 21. Read the rest of this entry →

Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit Running Shoes Review

Nike 3.0 Flyknit Running Shoes

The Nike 3.0 Flyknit shoe. (Photo: Nike)

Last week, I popped over to Niketown in New York City to try a pair of the new Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes. They’re an update to the Nike Free 3.0, a shoe that previously did not have a Flyknit upper. Nike gave me the shoes to keep and a spot in one of the Nike Free Stride treadmill sessions taking place at Niketown in New York City.

Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes

I’m warming up in the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit shoes. (Photo: Nike)

The 32-minute Nike Free Stride workout focused on curating a more efficient and natural stride in the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit shoes. A gentle warm-up and mini-stride clinic preceded a butt-kicking hill interval workout, as a DJ pumped throwback jams into the multi-story atrium of Niketown.

I’m not usually one for exercising on a stage while shoppers watch, but I was curious to try the shoes.

Nike had previously given me a pair of Nike Free Flyknit+ shoes, which came out in summer 2013. They were similar to the Nike Free 5.0, but with a Flyknit upper. I ended up not reviewing them and not including them in my Holiday Gift Guide for one simple reason: I didn’t love them.

I found them too tight around the ankle, to the point of being constrictive. Another runner I know even cut his Flyknits to reduce pressure on his Achilles tendon. While I like my shoes to fit well, I like my laces tied loosely. With no functional laces, the Flyknits are more like a supportive sock. With a tight top, they just weren’t the shoes for me.

Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes

That’s me giving the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknits a try. (Photo: Nike)

So I’m happy to report that the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes have a much more comfortable fit in this newest version of the Flyknit upper.

Altogether, Nike made three major changes to the 2014 Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit from the previous versions of both the Free 3.0 and Free Flyknit. Read the rest of this entry →

Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Girl Is 5 Years Old Today

Happy Birthday to Cinderella the Dog

Cinderella! (Photo: Lev Kuperman)

Happy Birthday, Cinderella!

OK, I have no idea if today is actually her birthday. There’s a 1/365 chance that it is. But three years ago today, this sweet little dog came into my life. Since she was a stray without papers, my husband, Phil, and I anointed the day we got her as her annual feast. The vet guessed she was about two years old then, so five it is!

I shared Cinderella’s story last year: Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Favorite Running Gal

Cinderella

Cinderella gets cozy on my pink Cinderella running costume.

This year, my favorite running princess—like so many runners—is coming back from injury. Her vet diagnosed her with intervertebral disc disease, which is essentially a herniated or slipped disc in her spine. She had most of the symptoms when I took her to the vet a week ago Monday. She’s been on pain killers and Prednisone since then and dedicated to a regimen of complete rest. In other words, she’s been lethargic and in pain.

It’s been breaking my heart to see her like this. When she’s not sleeping on a pile of laundry or, in this photo, a running costume, she’s usually running, playing, or trying to stop me from working. Cinderella is a dog full of life. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Register For America’s 15 Biggest Marathons

biggest marathons

Runners at the Marine Corps Marathon. (Photo: Cpl. Bryan G. Lett/US Marine Corp)

Still deciding what marathon you want to run in the next 12 months? I am! The 15 biggest marathons in the U.S. are a common place to start.

Over the last few months, I’ve been posting when lotteries and registrations open for many popular races, from large runDisney events to a small 7-miler in Key West, half-marathons in New York to major marathons all over the U.S. It’s always frustrating to discover a race you want to run is already sold-out.

So here’s how and when to register for America’s 15 biggest marathons. Some of them are even among the biggest marathons in the world. And guess what? Most of them sell out before race day.

Half-marathoners, keep in mind that many of these events have 13.1-mile races the same weekend. So if you don’t want to go 26.2, you’ve still got options.

Biggest Marathons in the U.S. in 2013

1. TCS New York City Marathon

New York
50,266 finishers
#1 in the U.S. and #1 in the world
Next race: November 2, 2014
Registration: Lottery closed. Charity entries available.
Half Marathon? No Read the rest of this entry →

Philadelphia Marathon 2014 Registration Opens

Philadelphia Marathon 2014

The Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon Start. (Photo: Philadelphia Marathon)

The GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014 registration is now open for the race on Sunday, November 23.

Though less famous than its bigger fall siblings like the TCS New York City Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Marine Corps Marathon, the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon has the distinction of being a world-class fall marathon that you can simply register for. No complicated lotteries, no qualifying standards, no registration drama. So if you got shut out of any of the aforementioned lotteries, I recommend Philly as a great alternative. In fact, I’ve sung its praises to many a runner looking for a big city race with a small town feel.

Philadelphia Marathon 2014

Pausing for a photo opp just before a PR finish at the Philadelphia Marathon. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

I ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012 to a 17-minute personal best. I would definitely call this a PR-course in general if you’re trained for a few hills. I ran that year with about a dozen friends and teammates, including my husband. Most of us walked away with personal best times. And it’s a race I would absolutely consider running again.

The Philadelphia Marathon 2014 weekend includes the marathon and half marathon on Sunday, November 23, the Rothman Institute 8K and Kids Fun Run on Saturday, November 22, and a two-day Health & Fitness Expo that’s free and open to the public on Friday, November 21, and Saturday, November 22. The race often sells out its 30,000 bibs, split between the three race distances, anywhere from a month to a few weeks before race day. More than 25,000 runners finished races in 2013 race, and organizers say 60,000 spectators came out to cheer them on. Read the rest of this entry →

Run Disney’s Avengers Half Marathon For Charity

Avengers Half Marathon

Captain America storms Disney (Photo: runDisney)

It’s no surprise that runDisney’s Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend of races at Disneyland in California sold out in under 2 hours. Half marathons at Disneyland are especially popular, and the Avengers Half Marathon was sure to be no different.

But if you want to run the 5K on Saturday, November 15 or the half marathon on Sunday, November 16, you still can. Limited entries are available through the runDisney Charity Groups Program and runDisney Travel Provider Program.

Contact each group below individually to find out their requirements for joining their team. Charities may require a fundraising minimum and travel providers may require a travel package purchase. Each group offers guaranteed entry, discount hotel rates and other perks. Read the rest of this entry →

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Comes To Disney

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

Runners dressed as Captain America. (Photo: runDisey)

UPDATE: The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend sold out in under 2 hours. If you still want to run the 5K or half-marathon, you can through charity and tour groups. Read about it at Run Disney’s Avengers Half Marathon For Charity.

Fanboys and fangirls, get your super hero costumes ready! runDisney announced today the Inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland slated for November 14-16.

In case you live under a rock, the Avengers are a Marvel Comics super hero team that includes Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Iron Man, among others. The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend themed around the Marvel universe will include a Half Marathon, 5K, Kids Races, Health & Fitness Expo, Pasta Party, and, of course, super hero themed entertainment and characters.

runDisney races are a natural fit because our comic book Super Heroes embody many of the same brand attributes as runDisney, such as heroism and intensity with a heavy dose of fun,” said Dan Buckley, president of TV, Publishing and Brand Management for Marvel Entertainment. “This race weekend will have a very distinct atmosphere that will appeal to comic book fans and runDisney fans.”

It’s the fall Disneyland half-marathon runDisney fans have been waiting for. Read the rest of this entry →

What If Disney’s Beauty & The Beast Were Runners?

Beauty & the Beast, runDisney

Beauty and the Beast

If Disney characters were runners, what kind of runners would they be?

The Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend of races kicked off today with the Cinderella Royal Family 5K, and continues Saturday with the inaugural Disney Princess Enchanted 10K and the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. Not to be forgotten is the first ever Glass Slipper Challenge, where runners complete both the 10K and half-marathon. Talk about medal envy; I’ve got it bad. You know I love me some Cinderella.

So in honor of the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I thought I’d share another installment of my runDisney Running Profiles.

Previous installments have looked at Sleeping Beauty as the runner who needs some rest and recovery, Alice in Wonderland as the newbie runner who has fallen down the running rabbit hole, and Cinderella as the hard working back-of-the-pack runner.

But who better to spur runners on this Princess Half Marathon weekend than Disney’s best cheerleader, Belle?

Beauty & the Beast, Disney running

Belle

Beauty & the Beast: The Coach and the Runner

Great coaches—in running and in life—are the people who bring out the best in us. They cheer us from the sidelines, encourage us when we’re down, expect more of us when we give them less, and help us show the world, and ourselves, just how great we really can be. Never is that more apparent than when watching the Olympics.

In the Disney universe, the greatest coach of them all is Belle from Beauty & the Beast. And the Beast is a quintessential runner.

If I had to pick one Disney character to coach me, Belle would be my top pick. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Buy New Balance Disney Shoes At Princess Half

New Balance Disney shoes

The 2014 runDisney New Balance collection.

I attended the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney, where they gave runners a first glimpse of the new New Balance Disney shoes. I’ve subsequently gotten a lot of questions about how to buy them. Here’s the scoop on how to get your hands on them at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

First, the New Balance Disney shoes are only available at runDisney race expos. Unfortunately, they are not sold online. Though I’m sure some enterprising individuals will hawk them for obscene amounts of money on eBay, as happened last year, or offer their services as virtual personal shoppers.

But New Balance is now offering runners with bibs at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend a way to register early to buy the shoes before all those non-runners, who are merely trying to capitalize on the craze.

New Balance Disney Shoes

2014 890v4 Cinderella Women’s Shoe (Photo: runDisney)

How To Buy New Balance Disney Shoes For Runners With Bibs

Starting at 6 a.m. each day of Disney’s Fit For a Princess Expo from Thursday, February 20 through Saturday, February 22 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, runners can visit www.nbvirtualqueue.com to enter their bib number and sign up early for a reservation at the New Balance expo booth. There, they can try on and purchase the New Balance Disney shoes.

Runners can reserve one style in a specific size ahead of time, and can buy three additional pairs in any style and size from the non-reserved inventory. Once registered, New Balance will send you a confirmation text with your group number, confirmation number, return time and requested style and size.

The men’s shoes come in sizes 7-14. The women’s shoes are available in sizes 5.5-12. Read the rest of this entry →

Happy Valentine’s Day From The Queen of Hearts!

Queen of Hearts, Happy Valentine's Day

The Queen of Hearts and I “heart” you. (Photo: MarathonFoto.com)

Happy Valentine’s Day! The Queen of Hearts wants you to know you’re loved. She really does, even if her face doesn’t show it.

Hope you’ve got a run planned with someone you love—whether it’s a friend, family member, partner, furry friend or someone else close to your heart. You’re all close to mine.

Love,
Karla

P.S. If you want to read more love stories, here’s the story of how my husband and I fell in love through running: When Running And Love Collide

And how we stay in love: Sweat Together: A Valentine’s Day Ode To Running Love

And here’s all about how much I love my dog: Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Favorite Running Gal

And all about falling in love with running…again: Falling In Love With Running…All Over Again

So much to love!

How To Put Together A Race Medal Display

race medal display

My race medal display (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

It only took six years. I finally put together a race medal display for all my running medals. Here’s why, where and how I did it.

Why I Put Up A Race Medal Display

On Sunday, November 4, 2007, I earned my very first marathon medal.

NYC Marathon, ING New York City Marathon

My first running medal from the 2007 New York City Marathon. (Photo: Christy Hourihan)

I wore it for the rest of the day, unable to believe that I had actually finished a marathon. But the medal eventually found its way into a drawer. Over the years, medal after medal joined it.

No more. Those medals aren’t just pretty pieces of metal and ribbon. They’re tangible representations of all the hard work that went into each race. More importantly, they’re reminders of what I’ve overcome as a person and as a runner.

I came to the sport from square one, having overcome a bone tumor that plagued me for a decade and caused me to walk with a limp. I’ve gone from hating running to loving it to rearranging my life and career around it. I’ve gone from running 11:30 minute miles to 8:00 minutes miles. And I’m still growing as a runner, running personal bests and loving experiencing races all over the world. I think that’s important to remember. Read the rest of this entry →

Rest In Peace Running Streak

Walt Disney World Marathon, Cinderella running costume, running streak

This Dole Whip Pineapple Float celebrated the end of my running streak.

That’s right, my running streak has officially died. As my husband predicted, it passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 12, the day after the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, which I ran as a guest of runDisney.

As Walt Disney World Marathoners and Dopey Challengers arose at 3 a.m., I slept in until 8:15 a.m., the latest I’d slept all week.

And then I did the unthinkable: I didn’t go for a run. I ate a Dole Whip pineapple float at Magic Kingdom instead.

Sure, I walked a few miles around Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I even jogged a few steps to hurry to nab Fast Pass tickets for a few rides. But I did not run the requisite mile.

And so, my running streak ended after 46 days and 166 miles, averaging 3.6 miles a day. I started with a race in the first week and ended with three races (1, 2, 3) in the last week.

Here’s the run down of its final days since my last recap. Read the rest of this entry →

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2014 Slideshow

Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Cinderella running costume

Cinderella did it! Three races in three days. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Read my full Walt Disney World Half Marathon Race Report!

Three days. Three races. Three costumes. Two theme parks. And lots of fun.

I ran the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend as a guest of runDiseny. My full race reports are still to come!

But here are the pics I snagged while dressed as Cinderella, in the dress the mice made for her, at the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, January 11.

Hope everyone who ran this weekend had great races!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Slideshow Read the rest of this entry →

My Disney Running Costumes: Walt Disney World 10K

Disney running costumes, Belle running costume

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere!” Me too, Belle!

It’s a tale as old as time: wearing Disney running costumes to races. OK, maybe it’s not a tale as old as time, but for me it does go back to the 2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon, where I donned my first of many Disney running costumes and emerged a changed woman.

I’m wearing three Disney running costumes while running three races as a guest of runDisney at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

Esmeralda running costume, Disney running costumes

I ran the Disney Family Fun Run 5K as Esmeralda.

With the Disney Family Fun Run 5K behind me—dressed as Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame—and a Pluto medal around my neck (full race report is here!), the Walt Disney World 10K is my big target race of the weekend. It’s the one I’m racing for a personal best.

So for this race, I really wanted a costume I can race in. I ran a personal record at the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon while dressed as Cinderella with Prince Charming by my side. So I know that Disney running costumes and PRs can go hand in hand.

But it also means choosing one carefully. No wigs, no hats, no elaborate accessories, and, most importantly, I need to have my hair pulled back. Cinderella was perfect because she wore her hair in a bun to the ball. I almost always wear my hair in a bun when I race.

So I finally settled on the perfect Disney gal to guide me to a new running frontier: Beauty and the Beast’s Belle. Read the rest of this entry →

Last updated by at .