Archive for the ‘Cross Training’Category

Race Report: Wild Dog Triathlon 2016

Race Report: Wild Dog Triathlon 2016

Wild Dog Triathlon ready! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Wild Dog Triathlon in Bristol, Rhode Island was my first time participating in a triathlon on a relay instead of on my own. The takeaway? Being part of a team is so much fun!

I participated in the Wild Dog Triathlon in 2013, and loved the event. (You can read my Race Report here.) The course was gorgeous, it was well-organized, and low-key at the same time. Perfect for a summer tri on vacation.

Race Report: Wild Dog Triathlon

Coming out of the water at the Wild Dog Triathlon in 2013. (Phil Hospod)

I debated doing the race on my own, but I honestly wasn’t even remotely trained. I’ve been on a bike exactly once this year—a solid 26 miles, but still—and have swum just a handful of times. Throw in the fact that race week was my first week back to exercising after being sick for three full weeks, thanks to the flu and bronchitis. Sure, I could have “jogged” it. But I know myself; I’m totally able to do that during a half-marathon where I’m taking in the scenery or having fun. But during triathlons and shorter races, I get too competitive.

It just so happened that my husband, Phil, and I were spending the weekend with a friend who’s done a few triathlons, so I recruited them to join a team with me. Enter team KAP’n Crunch—aka Karla, Adam, and Phil. It was a last-minute affair. We registered just two days before the race.

Race Report: Wild Dog Triathlon 2016

Yay team! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Sorting out who would do which leg was pretty easy. Phil is hands down the fastest runner among us, with his 18:37 5K PR. That’s a 5:59 pace, folks. A ringer on the run? You, bet!

Adam and I are both strong swimmers—and faster than Phil—but Adam is a much better cyclist than me. He can knock out 20 mph in his sleep, whereas my fastest overall racing speed was 17.2 mph at the 2015 Boston Triathlon. So biking it was for him.

That meant I would swim. We managed to cobble together a team where each of us was competing in a strong leg for us. A recipe for success. Read the rest of this entry →

17

Aug 2016

17 Ways To Prevent Knee & Running Injuries

17 Ways To Prevent Knee, Foot & Running Injuries

Prevent running injuries with these 17 tips. (RunKarlaRun.com)

Running injuries are public enemy no. 1. Unfortunately, they happen to most of us. After 10 years as a mythical injury-free runner, I spent a chunk of 2015 sidelined by two different running injuries in the same foot—a stress fracture (that was later downgraded to a bone bruise) and persistent plantar fasciitis.

Now that I’m back on the road and running well—I ran a 10-mile PR in April and my second fastest half-marathon in May—I’m more motivated than ever to keep running injuries away. How? Strength training is key, along with tools like ye olde foam roller, KT Tape, and stretching. I got specific advice from top experts about the most common running injuries and the sneaky ways we injure our knees for Shape.com.

17 Ways To Prevent Knee, Foot & Running Injuries

Running Central Park in NYC (RunKarlaRun.com)

5 Beginner Running Injuries & How to Dodge ‘Em

From plantar fasciitis to runner’s knee and iliotibial band syndrome to tendonitis, don’t let these common discomforts sideline you.

The five running injuries included here are among the most common that physical therapists see. And no, they’re not just for beginners. I got one after 10 years of running.

Here’s how to avoid and relieve them once they strike. Read the entire story at Shape.com

17 Ways To Prevent Knee, Foot & Running Injuries

Running Rhode Island (RunKarlaRun.com)

7 Things You Don’t Realize Are Killing Your Knees

Guess what? Running doesn’t ruin knees! Numerous studies and top docs agree.

What will do your knees in? Injuries from running hills, yoga, boot camp style classes, and even simple lunges—lunges!—where you might get sloppy with your form. Proper technique is key, and so is—you guessed it—strength training.

Avoid these seven common training pitfalls with doctor-approved tips on how to avoid injury for each. Check out more at Shape.com

Read the rest of this entry →

2015 Panasonic NYC Triathlon On TV Nationwide

2015 Panasonic NYC Triathlon On TV

The professional men start. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Once a summer, some 4,000 athletes brave the waters of the Hudson River, ride the highways of Manhattan, and pound the pavement in Central Park at the Panasonic New York City Triathlon. This year, I had the honor and pleasure to catch the action as co-host of the NYC Triathlon TV broadcast.

2015 Panasonic NYC Triathlon On TV

The pro women swim the Hudson. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Though I’ve never competed in the NYC Triathlon myself, I’ve done six other triathlons and a few open water races too, including the 1-mile New Amsterdam City Swim in the Hudson River. My seventh triathlon is this weekend at the Boston Triathlon. I run and cycle the hills of Central Park and the West Side where the course leads triathletes, too. So I know how formidable swimming, biking, and running New York City can be, especially in the dead of summer.

And the race on July 19, 2015 was one of the hottest in history, with the heat index peaking above 100 degrees with plenty of humidity too. I was so impressed by all the competitors and the grit they showed that day. What a way to tackle the Big Apple.

Working on the broadcast was incredibly fun. In addition to hosting, I took on some writing duties as well, and the finished product is finally ready to air all across the U.S. I hope you’ll tune in. I know I can’t wait to see it!

2015 Panasonic NYC Triathlon TV Schedule

Catch the 2015 Panasonic NYC Triathlon during one of the below air times. Check back at nyctri.com for additional dates coming soon.

Fox 5 / WWOR 9 — New York City Metro Area
  • Saturday, August 8: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 16: 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
SNY — New York State
  • Saturday, August 22: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 23: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 29: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Comcast SportsNet – Philadelphia
  • Saturday, August 22: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 5: 12:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, September 20: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Comcast Network – Philadelphia
  • Saturday, August 22: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 30: 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 5: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Comcast SportsNet – Mid-Atlantic
  • Sunday, August 9: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Friday, August 21: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The Comcast Network – Mid-Atlantic
  • Sunday, August 9: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 19: 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 5: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Comcast Network – Pittsburgh/North Jersey
  • Thursday, August 13: 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 5: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Comcast SportsNet – New England
  • Saturday, September 5: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Comcast SportsNet – Chicago
  • Saturday, August 15: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Comcast SportsNet – California
  • Saturday, August 15: 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 16: 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 26: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Comcast SportsNet – Northwest
  • Wednesday, August 12: 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 16: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Read the rest of this entry →

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: 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 →

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 →

On The Road Again For National Running Day!

On The Road Again For National Running Day

On the road at the White House! (©RunKarlaRun.com)

Happy National Running Day! How are you planning to celebrate?

Check out runningday.org, runnersworld.com, and nyrr.org in NYC for lots of ways to get in on the action.

I’m happy to report that I’m on the road again! I’m back to running after my time-out from a bone bruise/stress fracture. Yay!

On The Road Again For National Running Day

Trail Running with Cinderella (©RunKarlaRun.com)

It’s been four very easy, very tentative weeks back on the road for me. My doctor told me to start with short runs, every other day, and to slowly work my way back up in mileage. And that’s exactly what I’ve done.

After four weeks, I finally feel like I’m starting to get back into the swing of it and edging my pace and mileage up. And so far, my foot feels fine. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

Sadly, I decided not to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon this past weekend. It would have been way too much mileage too soon. I was incredibly bummed about it. I was really looking forward to the race. But I know I made the smart, and the right, decision.

Instead, I signed up for the New Amsterdam City Swim, a charity swim to fight ALS, on June 21 to capitalize on the swimming I’d been doing while I couldn’t run. I’ll be jumping in for 1-mile in the Hudson River. Eeks! But I’ve fallen off the wagon with strength training as I’ve been running and swimming more. I want to figure out how I can make time for all three.

So here’s how my last four weeks of easing into running have looked.

On The Road Again For National Running Day

Running the National Mall! (©RunKarlaRun.com)

WEEK 1

Treadmill: 2.25 miles super easy. This was my first run after taking time off. I’ve never been so conscious of each step in my life! Read the rest of this entry →

03

Jun 2015

Jump In NYC With The New Amsterdam City Swim

Jump In NYC With The New Amsterdam City Swim

Jump In!

This was originally published 5/22/2015, but thanks to technical hijinks, I had to restore my site and re-upload a few posts. Apologies to subscribers for finding this in your inbox again!

Last summer, I dumped a bucket of ice water on my head to raise awareness for ALS.

This summer, I’m jumping into a bucket of ice water. In other words, I’m swimming a mile in the ice cold Hudson River! Want to join me? Jump in!

The first ever New Amsterdam City Swim is taking place on World ALS Day, June 21 in the Hudson River in New York City. As They Might Be Giants once sang, “Even old New York was once New Amsterdam.” The swim is the first international companion event to the Amsterdam City Swim, the largest charity swim in the Netherlands. In 2014 more than 2,000 swimmers jumped into the Amsterdam canals to raise more than $2.5 million for ALS research.

With a clever wink to New York’s old name, the New Amsterdam City Swim will coincide with the Amsterdam City Swim to raise money for medical research to fight ALS.

Jump In NYC With New Amsterdam City Swim

Swim training in Quebec. (RunKarlaRun.com)

Every swimmer, myself included, commits to raising at least $500 to fight ALS. Where is the money going? To Project MinE, a large-scale research initiative with the biggest DNA database in the world.

Starting at 3:45 p.m., to benefit from a favorable current, the course begins at Hudson River Park’s Pier 45 at Christopher Street in Greenwich Village and finishes at Hudson’s River Park Pier 26 at N. Moore Street in Tribeca.

But the event will be more than just a swim. The Finish Festival on Pier 26 is a concert with complimentary Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (my fave!), complimentary Heineken beer, free Pepsi soft drinks & water, live entertainment, children’s events, and BBQ food for purchase. DJ Questlove—yes, Questlove!—is headlining the festival, and Candy Dulfer—who has toured with Prince—is the opener. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill post-race party.

One of my friends and running teammates is Dutch and works for the Netherlands consulate in NYC. She invited me to be a part of the event and wrangled a complimentary entry for me. But I’m still committing to raise at least $500 for ProjectMinE.

The timing is perfect. I got a “time out” from running thanks to a stress fracture/bone bruise and started swimming again to keep my cardio up. Swimming is my favorite part of triathlon training and I even finished as the second woman overall at a small open water swim in Rhode Island last summer. So I jumped at the chance to jump in for such an important cause.

Jump In NYC at New Amsterdam City Swim

Coming out of the water at the Wild Dog Triathlon. (Phil Hospod)

Yes, the Hudson will be cold—60-66 degrees on race day. Hello wetsuit! Yes, I’ve heard about the “Hudson Mustache,” the film of debris coating Hudson River swimmers in NYC. And yes, the only other time I swam in the Hudson I got a fever, chills, and associated cold/flu symptoms immediately afterward. But that just shows how important ALS is that I’m willing to brave the Hudson again.

Please join me by registering to be one of the swimmers braving the Hudson in June at www.newamsterdamcityswim.org. If you need your swim certification for the New York City Triathlon, you can get it at the New Amsterdam City Swim!

Don’t want to swim? Buy a ticket to the finish festival! For $75 you’re getting a party headlined by Questlove with all-you-can-eat Ben & Jerry’s and Heineken too. Best of all, the cost of your ticket goes to ProjectMinE.

Not in NYC? Please consider donating to my fight against ALS at the New Amsterdam City Swim.
Read the rest of this entry →

31

May 2015

Injury Update: Stress Fracture or Bone Bruise?

A Stress Fracture or a Bone Bruise?

I miss running Central Park. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

I saw my doctor on Monday after taking two full weeks off from running and all weight bearing exercise, wearing a foot pad and wrap, and avoiding heels like I avoid broccoli.

Last I saw the doc, he had my MRI results in hand. “Findings suggestive of a stress fracture of the tibial sesamoid,” read the radiology report. When doc pressed on the area—one of the two tiny bones in the ball of the foot—it was pretty painful.

Now? No pain whatsoever, not even when he really dug in there. Based on that, he thinks I may not have had a crack in the bone, but a bruise.

Bone Crack Or Bone Bruise?

A Stress Fracture or a Bone Bruise?

My MRI results

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons describes it this way: “A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone, or severe bruising within a bone.” They’re both stress fractures, but two different types.

A crack and a bruise can appear the same on an MRI, which doesn’t necessarily show the fracture. MRIs might show swelling, or edema, which is indicative of a stress fracture. But I’d have the same swelling whether it was a crack or a bruise, my doc said.

He thinks I caught the bone bruise right away and nipped it in the bud before it had the chance to become a crack. That’s the theory anyway.

So what next? He told me to try a short run on the treadmill, 20 minutes or so nice and easy. If I had any pain, he wanted me to march right back into his office, at which point he’d slap me with a full stress fracture diagnosis, put me in a cast, and pass down a sentence of four more weeks without running.

If I had no pain, he said I could ease back into running every other day, with short, easy jogs. He wants me to keep wearing the foot pad and wrap for the time being. If the pain creeps back in at any point, I march right back into his office. If I’m still pain free, I see him for a follow-up in three weeks.

Test Run

Soooooooo? I hopped on the treadmill Monday night for that test drive. Talk about knots in my stomach! I don’t think I’ve ever been as conscious of one teeny, tiny bone as I was for that 20 minutes, constantly assessing for the slightest hint of discomfort. The good news? It never crept in. Those 20 minutes—building slowly up to a conservative for me 11:30 min/mile pace—felt great. Yee-haw! Read the rest of this entry →

Yep, I Have A Foot Stress Fracture From Running

Cue Dramatic Chipmunk.

Oh, Dramatic Chipmuk, you never get old.

And I actually wrote about foot stress fractures back in 2010! Oh, the humanity:

How To Avoid Foot Fractures For Runners

Too bad I wasn’t able to follow my own advice.

I really hoped I was over reacting by seeing a doctor a week after a mysterious ache crept into my left foot. Here’s the thing: it didn’t hurt and I only felt it while running. When I wasn’t running it felt totally fine. But when the ache was there, it felt deep within the bone in the ball of my foot. I didn’t like that. I thought, “It might just be a bruise.” But I also know that fractures are common among runners, and especially common among women—Deena Kastor famously fractured her foot, Desiree Linden her femur. I’m no elite runner, but I decided not to waste time. I booked a doctor’s appointment. I just had a feeling in my gut.

I’m so glad I did. An MRI confirmed I have a stress fracture in my tibial sesmoid—one of two tiny, round bones in the ball of the foot. I also have a swollen or “pinched” nerve known as a neuroma. Both are common in runners, says my doc, who is a runner himself. He’ll be running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half in in May and I’ll be announcing at the start.

Stressing Over a Running Stress Fracture

Sesamoid bones

I found this description from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons:

“A chronic fracture is a stress fracture (a hairline break usually caused by repetitive stress or overuse). A chronic sesamoid fracture produces longstanding pain in the ball of the foot beneath the big toe joint. The pain, which tends to come and go, generally is aggravated with activity and relieved with rest.”

Yup, that’s it exactly.

The Good News

The good news is doc thinks my foot stress fracture isn’t too acute, so he’s prescribing two weeks of no running as a starting point. Read the rest of this entry →

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

San Diego! (Photo: Starwood Hotels & Resorts)

Greetings, from sunny San Diego! I have escaped New York City for Westin Wellness Escapes, a new series of health and fitness retreats hosted at Westin Hotels & Resorts nationwide and led by experts in running, yoga, nutrition, meditation and more. I’m in Southern California, courtesy of Westin, to check out their very first workout weekend: Women’s Strength Nation LIVE with trainer Holly Perkins.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Women’s Strength Nation (Photo: Women’s Strength Network)

This is just the first in what Westin plans to be a national, and even global series. Next up on the calendar is a Triathlon Recovery Retreat with runWESTIN concierge Chris Heuisler from May 16-17 at The Westin Jekyll Island in Georgia following the Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl Triathlon.

But first up, it’s off to The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, where Westin Move Well advocate Holly Perkins will lead us through a two-day itinerary aimed at honing physical and personal strength.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Gaslamp District (Photo: Starwood Hotels & Resorts)

This getaway could not have come at a better time for me. I made strength training one of my New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve only been so-so about upping my time getting strong, as I mentioned in my last two training posts: Half Marathon Training Weeks 1 + 2 and Half Marathon Training Weeks 3 + 4. Read the rest of this entry →

Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2

Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2

Central Park tempo run. (Photo: Seth Ross)

I’m in the third week of my half marathon training schedule for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon and first week of The North Face Endurance Challenge 10K training. How goes it? So far, so good. I’m aiming to run at least four times a week, following a four to five day per week plan from Greg McMillan’s book You (Only Faster). I’m also slowly building my mileage from my winter base of 20 miles per week to 30 miles a week and beyond. By that measure, the first two weeks were a success.

Goal Half Marathon Time—1:59:59
Current Half Marathon PR—2:00:30
Goal Race: Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon, May 31
Tune-Up Race: The North Face Endurance Challenge NY 10K, May 3

WEEK 1
Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2

Hills!

Tempo: 6.65 miles in Central Park. This was a glorious run. I did 4 miles at what felt like tempo pace and might have set a new 4-mile personal best. Great way to kick off training!

Easy: 2 miles on city sidewalks. I love running errands as my easy runs. Two birds…

Hills: 3.3 miles with 8 hill repeats on the East River Greenway. This was my first proper hill workout in a looooooong time. But my half marathon training schedule called for hill repeats, so I jogged to a steep hill that’s a tenth of a mile long and just pushed up it as fast as I could. This workout reminded me why I haven’t done hill work in so long. Um, I hate it!

The hill sits in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge with the view pictured above. It reminded me what an incredible city New York is. And I’m really lucky that I get to run it. So I’ve started snapping shots of city landmarks that I spot on my runs and sharing them on Instagram with #RunNYC. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Stay Fit This Winter & All Year Long

How To Stay Fit This Winter And All Year Long

Trail Running in Quebec. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! February is a great time to check in with the running and fitness goals you made for 2015. The weather is frightful and the sofa is so delightful. How to stay fit when you just want to hibernate? Set some goals, stick with them, and mix up your workouts when things start to sour.

How To Stay Fit

Step 1: Set SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

How To Stay Fit This Winter and All Year Long

A winter run through Central Park in New York City (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Still looking to make or tweak your running resolutions for 2015? I’ve got 10 ideas meant to make you a happier, healthier runner:

10 Running Goals You Should Make for 2015

Revamp your 2015 planning with goals meant to make you a more well-rounded runner. Set the right goals and you’ll run faster, train smarter, and have more fun hitting the pavement in the new year.

Resolutions that merely focus on going faster may set you up for frustration down the road. Sure, speed can be part of your resolutions, but goals that also focus on training, friends, and having fun will make your 2015 more successful—and enjoyable. Check them out at SHAPE.com.

Step 2: Stick to your goals and fitness routine.

How To Stay Fit This Winter and All Year Long

Pro women race the Front Street Mile in Bermuda. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Falling off the wagon already? Here’s something to motivate you: how quickly your fitness fades when you stop exercising completely.

But you can still dial back when need be and fight the fade with a few, short workouts:

Skipping Workouts? Your Fitness Fades Faster Than You Think

You can lose up to 50 percent of your hard-earned fitness gains in a single week of complete inactivity.

Now, I’m not talking about tapering; dialing back workouts before a big race puts you in peak performance shape.

But with every week that you don’t exercise at all, you chip away at any fitness you’ve built up in weeks or months prior. Read the rest of this entry →

New Run Nike Women’s Series 15K Comes To Toronto

New Run Nike Women's Series 15K Comes To Toronto

Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco (Photo: Nike)

UPDATE 3/9/15: Registration for the Nike Women’s 15K in Toronto is now open at Nike.com.

Big news in women’s running: Nike announced Tuesday that they’re expanding their Run Nike Women’s Series, which previously included half-marathons in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., to a 20 city tour around the world.

The new Nike Women’s Event Series will include the Nike Women’s Race Series and N+TC Tour with more than 200,000 participants. The series starts March 8, 2015 with the Nagoya Women’s Marathon and N+TC Tour Shanghai and culminates with the series signature event, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco. New to North America will be the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto on June 14, 2015, in place of the Washington, D.C. half-marathon.

New Run Nike Women's Series Comes To Toronto

Shalane Flanagan, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Jordan Hasay at Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco (Photo: Nike)

“We started over a decade ago with the inaugural Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, and now the Nike Women’s Event Series is expanding that vision to bring the inspiration and camaraderie we find at local races and gyms to women all over the world,” said running legend and Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson in a statement.

“The Nike Women’s Race Series motivates women to achieve personal running goals, and N+TC Tour offers challenge, variety and reward for athletes at any level. The choices and access for women who love sport and fitness are better than ever with the announcement of the Nike Women’s Event Series.”

Nike Women’s Race Series

The expansion of the series will make it the world’s largest for women and will include distances ranging from 10K to half-marathon. Each event will be tailor made for its host city right down to a custom finisher necklace designed for each town. Cities in the tour will include: Read the rest of this entry →

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