Archive for the ‘Cross Training’Category

My Running New Year’s Resolutions For 2015

Running Resolutions For 2015

Happy New Year! (RunKarlaRun.com)

We’re now one week into 2015, which means I should set some running New Year’s resolutions!

I wrote 10 Running Goals You Should Make for 2015 for SHAPE.com, a collection of resolutions that will make you a healthier and happier runner. Some of them I’m already good at doing, like “Work Hard, Play Hard“—pairing hard-lined PR goals with ones that are more fun, like taking a runcation. Others, I need to work on, like “Prioritize Injury Prevention“—I could certainly be better about dynamic warm-ups, strength training, rolling, and other preventative measures.

So here’s a look at how I did with my personal goals in 2014 and how I’m going to tweak them for 2015. As always, I want to build on my successes and learn from my failures.

New Year’s Resolutions For 2014 Analyzed and Tweaked For 2015

Running Goals For 2015

Chasing Cinderella (Phil Hospod)

1) 2014: Get even faster

I make this goal every year. I finished my very first race, a 4-miler, at an 11:34 pace. Now, almost eight years later, I run a 5K at a 7:59 pace. I’ve gotten much faster over the years. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that.

How’d I do in 2014? So-so at this one. I nabbed three PRs: 8K/5-mile road, 10K road, and ITU Sprint Distance Triathlon.

Why do I say that’s so-so? I still have 8K and 10K track times that are faster. The IAAF and USATF log track and road records separately, so I do too. That said, track records tend to be faster than road ones. The track is a nice flat, predictable surface. The road is not. My 8K PR was set on a hot, muggy day whereas the track PR was on a nice, cool fall day. So I’ll take it. Same with my 10K PR. I set it during the same fall track workout as my 8K, whereas my new road PR was the first half of the hilly Staten Island Half Marathon. So, all in all, I’m happy with both of those.

As for my triathlon PR, I was deliriously happy with that. It was the second time I’ve raced an ITU Sprint Distance course and I walloped my swim, bike, and run times. OK, so maybe I did get faster in 2014.

2015: Run tempos

This year, rather than focusing on PRs, I’m going to focus on faster overall paces in targeted workouts. I’m excellent at the easy run, and those will remain just that—easy. But what I’m not great at are tempo runs. I don’t do them, and it reflects in my racing. So for 2015 my “Get even faster” will be dedicated to hitting those tempo paces, which will hopefully pay off on race day. Read the rest of this entry →

Final Expedition Everest Challenge Registration Opens

Registration for Final Expedition Everest Challenge Opens

Yeti! (runDisney)

This is it, runDisney fans: your last chance to run the Expedition Everest Challenge at Walt Disney World in Florida. Registration for the May 1-2, 2015 race weekend opens Tuesday, December 16 at 12 pm ET. After that, runDisney will bid namaste to the Yeti’s signature event.

Final Expedition Everest Challenge Registration Opens

Cargo net crawl (runDisney)

The Expedition Everest Challenge is a mash-up of a 5K obstacle run and scavenger hunt through Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park starting at 10 p.m. Themed to the Expedition Everest roller coaster and its mythical (or real?) Himalayan Yeti, runners complete about five miles total between the 5K and scavenger hunt.

Runners earn a compass medal for running the 5K with three obstacles—often a tire run, cargo net crawl, and hay bale jump—then solving a series of clues around the park to complete the scavenger hunt. Participants can compete as individuals or in teams that complete the race together.

Registration for Final Expedition Everest Challenge Opens

The compass medal

Where are they running to? A late-night post-race party inside Animal Kingdom, of course, with entertainment and wait-free rides like Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, and DINOSAUR, which go until 2:30 a.m. Race registration includes entrance to the party. Friends and family can buy party tickets to join you too.

I’ve never run this one, but it’s long been on my list. That medal might be the best one in the entire runDisney collection. Maybe this will finally be the year… Read the rest of this entry →

15

Dec 2014

Race Report: Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon

Race Report: Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon

Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon (RunKarlaRun.com)

A sprint triathlon on a U.S. Naval base? Sign me up! The MWR Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon on the Naval Station Newport base in Rhode Island is part of the Navy’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation programming, designed to support Navy personnel, their families, and civilian employees.

Race Report: Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon

Getting my timing chip (RunKarlaRun.com)

Members of the general public, like me, were welcome to support and take part in the event for a $65 registration fee, while active duty, retired and reservist military members and their families paid reduced fees.

Nearly 50 of the 140 participants at the 2014 race on Sunday, July 27 were active duty military personnel.

I headed to the race with my friend, Justin, a budding triathlete, and my husband, Phil, who came to cheer us on.

We had great weather with cool temps, starting in the high 60s and reaching 70 by the end of the race. A sunny, blue-skied morning gave way to storm-clouds as the triathlon got underway. But the rain held off until later in the day.

Organization

As you would expect from the U.S. military, the Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon was incredibly well-organized. Pre-race communication via e-mail in the week before was thorough. Packet pick-up on race morning was a breeze; right next to the parking lot, with one table for race packets, another for chip timing, and a third for body marking. Read the rest of this entry →

28

Aug 2014

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 →

I’m Running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014

Running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014

Irina Mashkantceva wins the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. (Philadelphia Marathon)

It’s official. I’m running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014 on Sunday, November 23! I’d been debating which marathon, if any, to run this fall and I’ve finally committed to running Philly as a guest of sponsor GORE-TEX.

While I considered—and was invited to—a few other marathons in the U.S. and Canada, I decided on Philly for a few reasons.

Running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Pausing for a photo just before a PR finish at the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. (RunKarlaRun.com)

1) PR Course: I ran my current marathon personal best of 4:28:06 at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012. I failed to best it at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, despite perfect weather and a pancake flat course, thanks to a cold that settled in two weeks before race day and decided to linger.

2) Redemption: I feel like I have unfinished business in Philadelphia. Back in 2012, I’d been zipping along on target for a 4:14 finish when a quad cramp struck after the 20-mile mark and decided to linger. I lost 14 minutes in the last 10K, as I stopped to stretch the cramp a few times, jogging slowly in between. While I was ecstatic about my finish time, a new personal best, I knew I had even more in me. I want to return to Philly and run the time I should have two years ago: 4:15. Read the rest of this entry →

Sprint Triathlon Training: Swim, Bike and Run, Oh My!

Sprint Triathlon Training: Swimming and Biking and Running, Oh My!

Biking in Rhode Island (RunKarlaRun.com)

It’s that time of year: sprint triathlon training. Ever since I got bit by the multi-sport bug in 2011, my summers have been a mélange of cross-training activities. This year is no different: swimming and biking and running, oh my!

I got a later start than usual this year. I’ll blame it on the long, cold winter. But I know myself and know that the best way to get me to train is to sign up for something. So that’s what I did. I now have two triathlons on my calendar: the Newport Naval Station Triathlon in Newport, Rhode Island on Sunday, July 27 and the Triathlon Valleyfield in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Québec on Sunday, August 24.

Sprint Triathlon Training: Swimming, Biking and Running, Oh My!

Swimming in a friend’s pool (RunKarlaRun.com)

Sprint Triathlon Training

I’m two weeks into training, and I’ve managed to ride my bike three times and swim three times. One of my swims was in open water, which is a must for me before any open water race like the tri in Newport.

Since I’ve just started biking and swimming, my goal for the Newport Naval Station Triathlon is just to survive the 1/3 mile swim, 10.5-mile bike and 3.1-mile run. Read the rest of this entry →

22

Jul 2014

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 →

Hiking, Running & Eating In Italy’s Cinque Terre

Hiking through Italy's Cinque Terre

Vernazza in Italy’s Cinque Terre. (Phil Hospod)

When my husband first told me about Cinque Terre in Italy, he described it as his favorite place on earth. Those are strong words coming from a man who has lived in six countries on three continents and traveled to another 25.

Hiking through Italy's Cinque TerreAfter spending three nights on this rugged section of the Italian Riviera three hours south of Milan, I understand Cinque Terre’s appeal. It’s the perfect place to work up a sweat and an appetite for local Italian fare.

Nestled among the cliffs along the Mediterranean’s Ligurian Sea are the “Five Lands” of Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. This collection of fishing villages cut into the hillside on steep man-made terraces dates back to 643 AD. Some 5,000 residents live within the 4,226 acre Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

You won’t find cars here. Connecting the villages are a 19th century rail line and ferry system that seems to run on Roman time.

But the area’s main attraction and thoroughfare is a series of hiking trails that carry wayfarers from town to town. Read the rest of this entry →

07

Jul 2014

Race Report: SHAPE Diva Dash Obstacle Run New York

Race Report: Shape Diva Dash New York

We’re ready to run! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Greetings from Minnesota! I’m here to take on the SHAPE Diva Dash, a 5K obstacle run for women.

Race Report: Shape Diva Dash New York

Legs in! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

SHAPE and EAS Sports Nutrition brought me on as a hired gun to share training tips for the 2014 races in the April and May issues of SHAPE Magazine. I had so much fun at the 2013 SHAPE Diva Dash that it was easy to say yes. Now I’m running the Twin Cities edition of the race on Saturday, May 31.

Now that race day is finally here, I thought I’d share my race report from the SHAPE Diva Dash New York that I did with a group of my friends last October. We rocked it New York style.

The Race and Course

SHAPE Diva Dash is a 5K obstacle run for women that’s light on mud and heavy on fun. Run in 10 cities around the U.S., each course is different and includes 10-12 obstacles meant to test strength, balance and agility.

SHAPE Diva Dash 5K Obstacle Race

Team “I ♥ NY” is ready to rock! (Photo: Cindy Gordon)

Most obstacles have easier and harder options. And you can skip challenges that you simply don’t want to do. So it’s as difficult or as easy as you want it to be.

Terrain might include paved roads, grassy fields, dirt trails and more. And you never know what obstacles or terrain to expect until you’re faced with them on race day.

Runners can choose from a “competitive” wave, where the first 10 finishers receive prizes, or any of the “non-competitive” waves that follow every 15 minutes. None of the waves are timed.

You’ll see lots of women running together in team running costumes and snapping photos along the way. The vibe is definitely more fun than fierce.

Race Report: Shape Diva Dash New York

My girls. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Team I ♥ NY

I rallied four of my friends to run with me in one of the non-competitive waves at the New York-New Jersey race in October 2013.

We donned neon I ♥ NY gear and giggled all the way. Among our ranks were a 4-hour marathoner, a reluctant 5K finisher and a range of runners in between. As our photos will attest, we had a blast.

It was the perfect antidote to a long and laborious marathon training season for me. The race was just two weeks before my big fall marathon, perfect timing for a taper fun run.

Race Report: Shape Diva Dash New York

Waiting for the race to start. (Photo: Cindy Gordon)

As we waited for our wave to start, a DJ blasted tunes and we were led through a light warm-up and stretch. Before long, our group was off.

We jogged easily and stayed together. Waits at most of the obstacles were no more than two or three people long. Often, we didn’t have to wait at all.

But rather than tell you about this race, I’ll show you. This is an event where the course can speak for itself. So here is Team I ♥ NY as we take on the SHAPE Diva Dash.

Here we go! Read the rest of this entry →

The SHAPE Diva Dash Obstacle Run Giveaway Winner Is

Shape Diva Dash Obstacle Run

SHAPE Diva Dash (Photo: Adventure Fit)

Kelly Drinkwine. Congratulations, Kelly!

Not only do you have an amazing name, but you’re also taking home two entries to the SHAPE Diva Dash obstacle run of your choice, a subscription to SHAPE magazine and a month supply of EAS Lean 15 Bars and Lean 15 Protein Powder.

Thank you to everyone to entered. I wish I could be like Oprah and give you all free entries. Maybe someday… But I can give you this: Use coupon code AXKB to get $10 off registration at DivaDash.com if you want to join any of the upcoming SHAPE Diva Dash obstacle run events in eight cities around the U.S. Share and use the code as many times as you like. This is definitely one of those events that’s more fun with friends.

Here’s the SHAPE Diva Dash obstacle run schedule Read the rest of this entry →

I’m In SHAPE Magazine! Running Diva Dash Minneapolis

SHAPE April 2014

April’s SHAPE

If you’re a SHAPE Magazine subscriber, flip to page 104 where you’ll find me, yes, me!

SHAPE and EAS Sports Nutrition brought me on as a hired gun for the 2014 SHAPE Diva Dash series. I had so much fun at the 2013 SHAPE Diva Dash that it was easy to say yes. I’m sharing training tips in ads for the race and EAS in the April and May issues.

Then I’ll be running the SHAPE Diva Dash in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul on May 31, 2014.

The SHAPE Diva Dash is a series of 5K obstacle runs for women that are light on mud and barbed wire and heavy on the kinds of obstacles you might find at a playground: monkey bars, rope climbs and other challenges that test strength, speed and balance.

With 10 races around the U.S., each course is different and includes 10-12 obstacles. Terrain might be a combination of pavement, grass and trails. The most fun part is you won’t know what they’ll throw at you until race day.

SHAPE Diva Dash 5K Obstacle Race

Team “I ♥ NY” is ready to rock! (Photo: Cindy Gordon)

I ran the 2013 SHAPE Diva Dash in New Jersey last October. It certainly helped bring out the playground kid in me. I did the race with four of my friends, dressed in matching “I ♥ NY” gear.

Diva Dash races have one competitive wave and multiple non-competitive wave starts. We ran the race in one of the non-competitive waves, stayed together, and had a blast. We giggled through the whole thing. It was the perfect antidote to a long and laborious marathon training season. The race was just two weeks before my big fall marathon, perfect timing for a taper fun run. Read the rest of this entry →

Alpine Skiing in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria

Yesterday, I shared pics from my first curling adventure. Earlier I took you on a trail run through the Austrian Alps. But most folks who head to St. Anton am Arlberg in Austria are there for some Alpine skiing.

I’m not a big skier, so I’ll let my husband, Phil, lead you on this particular tour. He shot this video on the slopes. It’s basically ski porn. As you’ll see, the Austrian Alps are truly gorgeous. Be sure to watch it in HD.

And the music? Well, you’ll probably be singing, “Hey! Das Geht Ab” by the end of the video. I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since I first heard it at the apres ski bar called Mooserwirt pictured in the video. You’re welcome.

apline skiing

Ski buddies! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Karla’s Alpine Skiing Adventure

As for me, I did spend one day skiing. I grew up downhill skiing on small hills in Wisconsin. But when I started having knee problems at the age of 14, my skiing days were over.

My friend, Cara, was a total ski newbie. She was the reason for my visit. She’d been transferred, along with another friend of mine, to Switzerland for work. So Phil and I cashed in some airline miles, flew into Zurich, and stayed with our friends there. Before long, a large group of us converged on St. Anton, about 2 hours away.

While the experts skied in the video above, Cara and I booked a 6-hour ski lesson. When you’re jet lagged and not really a skier, 6 hours is a long time!

We spent the morning on classic Nordic cross-country skis and hit the pristine trails around St. Anton. Read the rest of this entry →

An Alpine Curling Game in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria

curling game

Curling is fun! (Photo: Cara Morgan)

I’m finally home from my trip to the Jerusalem Marathon. While I sort through all my photos and videos from that trip, I’ve got a few more posts from my February trip to Switzerland and Austria. While there, I completed my own winter pentathlon of sports: running, curling, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and Alpine skiing. I also hit the pool, sauna and partook in some genuinely crazy apres ski.

I already shared scenes from a snowy trail run in Austria. Up next in the pentathlon is an Alpine curling game!

curling game

So close, but pink wins. (Photo: Cara Morgan)

Like most people, my first experience with curling was watching it on TV during the Olympics. When I went to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I actually got to watch a curling game, interview Team USA, and write an article about how the Olympics have raised the sport’s profile in the U.S.: Curling capitalizes on Olympic coverage.

But I’d never actually played a game of curling…until now.

My Alpine Curling Game
curling game

Curling in Austria! (Photo: Cara Morgan)

It was a snowy night in St. Anton am Arlberg when my friend, Cara, and I made our way to ARLBERG-well.com, a public wellness center with a gym, pool, sauna, tennis center, skating rink and more. Read the rest of this entry →

A Snowy Trail Run in St. Anton and the Austrian Alps

Trail Run

The view from my room at the Karl Schranz Hotel. (Photo: Cara Morgan)

Sparkling snow, pine tree tunnels and glimpses of blue sky awaited me on the Verwall Trail in Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria. St. Anton is known around the world for its lively apres ski scene. But I was delighted to discover that the town is home to a large network of walking and cross-country skiing trails that snake through its corner of the Austrian Alps in the state of Tyrol.

I was staying at the Karl Schranz Hotel, a lovely inn owned by the famous Austrian Apline skier. If I’d never heard of Schranz before I reached Austria, townsfolk made certain I left knowing of his World Championship titles. But I’m no Alpine skier. So I was excited to see what else the Austrian Alps had to offer.

But I cursed silently to myself when I discovered that I’d forgotten to pack my Yaktrax, traction devices that slip onto shoes for running on snow and ice. But that wasn’t going to stop me from getting in at least one trail run in this winter wonderland. Luckily, there was a trail close to my hotel.

About a quarter of a mile up a steep road was the beginning of the Verwall Trail that winds through Verwall Valley. I knew I’d found the trailhead when I found this sign: Loipen und Winterwanderwege, which translates ski trails and winter trails.

Trail Run

The trailhead sign. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The loipen or cross-country ski trails, with their own magnificent entrance, ran beside the walking and running trails. Read the rest of this entry →

05

Mar 2014

Jerusalem Half Marathon Training Or Lack Thereof

half marathon training

Jerusalem Half Marathoners run through the old city. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90-Israel Tourism/Flickr)

I’ll come straight out with it: the wheels have fallen off my Jerusalem Half Marathon training.

In just three weeks I’ll be at the starting line of the race as part of a press trip sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in cooperation with El Al Airlines.

I’ve already told you why the race is especially meaningful to me and laid out my Jerusalem Half Marathon training plan.

But I had yet to decide if I would use the race as a sub-2 hour half-marathon personal record attempt or a training run for a PR attempt later in the spring.

Newport Liberty Half Marathon

This is how I felt after the Newport Liberty Half Marathon. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Well, I’ve decided.

While the runs I’ve been doing indicate that I am in or near PR shape, I haven’t put in the mileage I’d like to. Rather than have another crash and burn attempt, like my run at the DirectEdge Newport Liberty Half Marathon in the fall, I’d rather keep training, get my mileage up and use the race as a hilly, long run. Then I’ll target another race in April or early May as my big PR attempt.

This is all mainly coming out of my recent trip to Switzerland and Austria. (Posts to come!)

1) It took me longer to get over jet lag than I would have liked. It was a 6-hour time difference and took me four full days to adjust to the point where I didn’t want to take a nap every moment of every day. Jerusalem is a 7-hour time difference and I’ll have been there for three days before I toe the line. I don’t want to get my heart set on a PR when my body will likely be dazed and confused. Unfortunately, I’m just one of those people who needs lots of sleep.

half marathon training

This trail through the Apls proved slippery for running without traction. (Photo: RunKarlaRun)

2) I meant to run every day on my trip. I really did. But I forgot to pack my Yaktrax. Crucial mistake. In the Austrian ski town of Sankt Anton am Arlberg, where I spent most of the trip, the roads weren’t even remotely safe for running—no shoulder, no sidewalk, steep inclines covered in ice, blind turns, and ski buses speeding by.

Trails abounded, but they were covered in packed snow and ice. I went for one run on a gorgeous trail intended precisely for walking and running, but it was so icy it took me 80 minutes to cover 4.5 miles. After nearly wiping out three times, I realized baby steps were the only way I’d get through the run.

But I cross-trained galore throwing in curling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing and swimming at my hotel pool.

3) I came home from the trip with a mystery pain under the ball of my left foot. I don’t notice it at all while walking. But it was bad enough that I curtailed my first run at home after just a mile and hopped on the bike instead. I did three more runs of increasing mileage, but still felt the pain lurking, especially on the road more so than the treadmill. I’m guessing I bruised a bone or something. I’ve been babying it in case it’s something more serious. Read the rest of this entry →