Archive for the ‘Cross Training’Category

Greetings From Switzerland and Austria

greetings from switzerland

The Swiss flag

Greetings from Switzerland! I’m in the land of cheese and chocolate for a six-day getaway.

Two of my friends, who work for two different companies in two completely different industries, were both transferred to Switzerland for work.

So my husband, Phil, and I thought we’d use it as an excuse for a European ski vacation.

We cashed in some airline miles and got ourselves two tickets to Zurich, where we’re staying with friends. It’s going to look like “Cathy” cartoon up in here. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

winter olympics, greetings from switzerland

Canada and Team USA face off in the 2010 Olympic men’s gold medal hockey game. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Then it’s off to St. Anton in the Austrian Alps, which is known as much for its après ski scene as for its slopes. I see a lot of Winter Olympics viewing in Austrian bars in my future. That is, if Austrians watch TV in bars.

Phil is already excited about being in Austria for the Austria v. Canada men’s hockey game. Yes, Phil is Canadian… and a hockey fan. He packed his Canadian flag to bring to watch the game. Sigh. The hills won’t be alive with the sound of music, but with the sound of Olympic hockey. Read the rest of this entry →

12

Feb 2014

Running Goals For 2014: I Feel The Need For Speed

running goals

Thanks for the thumbs up, Maverick!

We’re nearly a week into 2014 and my first three races of the year—the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon—are already upon us.

I guess it’s finally time to write down my running goals for 2014.

When I look at them, one thing comes to mind: I’m a Maverick. I want to go faster. In 2013, I made the realization I’m a Speed Demon, not an Endurance Monster. I love speed workouts. I hate long runs. I run a 6:46 mile, but have struggled to break 2 hours in the half-marathon. Speed, not distance, has been good to me. So I’m giving into that for 2014.

But let’s see how I did on my 2013 goals, first.

Running Goals For 2013

1. Get even faster

SUCCESS! I make this goal every year because it works for me. Last year I wrote: “In 2013, I’m going to try to knock out a 5K and 10K PR.” Done and done. I knocked out the following personal records in 2013: Read the rest of this entry →

Running in Hawai’i, Big Island: Where to Race, Run, Stay

running in Hawai'i

Running through Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Hawai’i Island is the triathlon Mecca of the world. But Hawai’i is also a great running vacation destination, as my husband, Phil, and I learned on a trip there in August, which was sponsored by the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau. When it comes to running in Hawai’i—whether you’re going there to race, to train or just for fun—there are many iconic, unforgettable places to get in a jog.

I put together a “Running Vacation” guide to Hawai’i, the Big Island in my column at The Washington Times Communities. Here are some highlights and embellishments.

What To Race

Triathlons in Hawai’i
running in Hawai'i, triathlon

A cyclist on Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway (Photo: Phil Hospod)

To compete in the Ironman World Championship, athletes must earn a spot at a qualifying race, gain entry through a lottery or win a bib at a charitable auction. But that’s not the only triathlon on Hawai’i Island.

The Ironman 70.3 Hawai’i on May 31, 2014 is the only Ironman World Championship qualifier held on the island, with a start and finish on the Kohala Coast.

Or try the Lavaman Triathlon Series with Olympic distance races at Keauhou on November 24, 2013 and Waikoloa on March 30, 2014. And many other triathlon events take place on the island throughout the year.

Running in Hawai’i
running in Hawai'i

Kona Marathon Map

Just want to run? Tackle the Kona Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K or 5K on June 22, 2014, or the Big Island International Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K on March 16, 2014.

Big Island Road Runners put together many local races like Hilo To Volcano 50k Ultra Marathon and Relay on January 18, 2014 and Mana 10s—your choice of a 10K or 10-miler on Mana Road in August.

And Peaman puts on a free series of events throughout the year. There are lots of year-round options for running in Hawai’i.

Where To Run

running in hawai'i

Views from a run on Ali’i Drive. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Ali’i Drive

The most famous spot for running in Hawai’i might be Ali’i Drive. The iconic road is seven-miles long from start to finish with markers every mile. Winding through Kailua-Kona, the oceanfront road features prominently in most races in Kona, including the Ironman World Championship and Kona Marathon.

Phil and I made sure to get in a run along the route while we were staying at the Sheraton Kona, which is perfectly situated and the end of Ali’i Drive. Read the rest of this entry →

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak: Week 3

running streak, runner's world holiday running streak, Holiday running

Rocking my run streak in Central Park. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

I’ve now survived three weeks of the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak, my quest to run at least 1 mile every single day from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day.

Only I have discovered that 2 miles is the new 1 mile.

Without consciously setting out to do it, I upped my mileage with longer “rest” days. Instead of 1 mile, I decided to get in 20 minutes of easy cardio.

The result? I feel amazing. I honestly can’t believe how well the streak is going and how totally normal running every day feels. I’m over the tiredness I felt in Week 2.

Ask me again in another few weeks, but for now, running and I are besties.

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak: Week 3

Wednesday, December 11: 2.05 miles

I had some errands to run that were roughly 1 mile away from home. So I ran there. And ran back. Love sneaking in easy miles that way. Plus, in certain neighborhoods and times of day, running is actually faster than the subway, bus, or cabs. Oh, to live in New York City.

Thursday, December 12: 6.25 miles

This was a gentle progression run on the treadmill. I watched TV, instead of listening to music as usual, and the miles just flew by. I could have kept going and going and going. It was my longest and overall fastest run of the week. Some days, you’re just on. Read the rest of this entry →

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak: Week 1

holiday running streak

Running Streak Day 1! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak is on!

So far, I’ve been surprised by how easy it’s been. But much of my first week was a “vacation” week, away from my desk and cavorting with family. So it was relatively easy to make time to run every day.

Now that I’m home and back behind the computer, things are getting real. Yesterday, I squeezed in one measly mile on the treadmill sandwiched between work and an evening trip to the grocery store because I had zero, and I mean, zero, zilch, nada food in my kitchen.

I know that not every day is going to be great. Those 1-miles days are essentially my days off. But I was surprised by how laborious that 1-mile felt. Here’s hoping today is better!

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak Week 1

Wednesday, Nov. 27: 6.50 miles

I started strong one day earlier than the official start on Thanksgiving Day with six miles and six hill repeats thrown in. Bam! It felt amazing.

Thursday, Nov. 28: 2.15 miles

I wanted to run more but this was all I had time for before it was time to start cooking for the big Thanksgiving feast. But I was still riding a high from the day before. Read the rest of this entry →

Review: Hickies Elastic Lacing System For Shoes

Hickies elastic lacing system, elastic show laces

Hickies elastic lacing system. (Photo: Hickies)

Many runners have a love-hate relationship with shoelaces. I love that they come in fun colors and keep my shoes on. I hate tying them. When it comes to running shoelaces, I like to make like Ron Popeil: set it and forget it.

When I get a new pair of running shoes, I tie the laces a few times until I find the “perfect fit.” Then I never tie them again. I put a double knot in and just slip my running shoes on and off for the rest of the life of the shoe.

I know that’s a cardinal sin of running, but it works for me.

So when I heard about Hickies, I thought I’d give it a try. Hickies elastic lacing system is a different concept than most elastic shoe laces, which look just like traditional laces. For starters, Hickies come in 16 color combinations. Yes, they promise you’ll never have to tie or untie your laces again. But for $19.99, you get a pack of 14 smaller, individual elastic shoe laces in your color choice plus two bonus Hickies in another color, instead of two regular old long elastic laces. Different? Yes. Better? I’m undecided. Worth a try? Certainly, if you’re thinking about going tie-free. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Wild Dog Triathlon in Rhode Island

The Wild Dog Triathlon on August 11, 2013 in the charming town of Bristol, Rhode Island did not disappoint with a gorgeous course and great organization. I’ve long been a fan of the state known as “Little Rhody.” It’s one of my favorite summer vacation getaways. I’ve run a small handful of races there—the UnitedHealthcare Providence Half Marathon and two local 5Ks.

But the Wild Dog Triathlon was my first multi-sport event in Rhode Island, and it has to be the most scenic of the bunch I’ve done. With a swim in the warm waters of Narragansett Bay, a looped bike course around the dazzling Colt State Park, and an out-and-back run entirely along the water, this is a race I’d happily do again.

Wild Dog Triathlon

Bristol Harbor at morning. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Bristol, Rhode Island

The town of Bristol recalls many a fictional, but picturesque New England hamlet like Stars Hollow, Conn., of “Gilmore Girls” fame or Cabot Cove, Maine from “Murder She Wrote.” There’s also a touch of Quahog, R.I. from “The Family Guy.” How cute is Rhode Island and Narragansett Bay? They’ve served as the backdrop for idyllic films like Moonrise Kingdom, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, and Dan In Real Life, not to mention many a Farrelly brothers’ movie like There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber. The Big Blue Bug? It’s actually mounted on the roof of a building in Rhode Island.

But Bristol is the real deal. The town is most famous for its 4th of July parade, the oldest in the U.S., dating back to 1785. The double-yellow line that marks two-way traffic on most streets isn’t yellow at all in Bristol. Along the parade-route, it’s red, white and blue year-round.

But that’s only part of Bristol’s charm. Throw in a town common with an actual white gazebo (take that Stars Hollow), a bustling downtown on the waterfront, a 14-mile bike path that goes all the way to Providence, and an embarrassment of museums, grand old mansions, and public-access green spaces like Colt State Park and Mount Hope Farm. Simply, Bristol is a perfect place for a summer retreat…or a triathlon.

Wild Dog Triathlon

The men of wave 1 wait for the start. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Wild Dog Triathlon

The race was exceedingly well organized. Registration and packet pick-up was a breeze, the race started on time, and the courses were well-marked. Read the rest of this entry →

22

Aug 2013

VIDEO: Wild Dog Triathlon in Rhode Island

Wild Dog Triathlon, sprint triathlon, Colt State Park

Fourth triathlon done! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

I finished my fourth triathlon on Sunday, August 11 at the Wild Dog Triathlon In Bristol, Rhode Island. The course in Rhode Island’s Colt State Park was dazzling with a surprisingly warm open water swim in Narragansett Bay, a bike ride through the 464-acre park, and an out-and-back run entirely along the waterfront.

Check out the video below.

I had a great time at this triathlon and would love to do it again. But it was full of highs and lows.

Swim

The swim was a high. I finished 13th of 74 women, polishing off the quarter mile swim and tenth of a mile run to the transition zone in 7:49. The only woman in my age group who beat me won the women’s race overall. Read the rest of this entry →

15

Aug 2013

Ready To Rock The Wild Dog Mini Triathlon In RI

mini triathlon, triathlon, Wild Dog Triathlon, Colt State Park, mini triathlon

Colt State Park in Rhode Island plays host to the Wild Dog Triathlon. (Photo: By Jim Willis [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Triathlon fever continues.

Sunday is my fourth stab at the crazy art of swim-bike-run at the Wild Dog Triathlon in Bristol, Rhode Island. It’s a sprint or mini triathlon with a quarter-mile swim, 10-mile bike and 3-mile run.

After struggling through a hip injury for two months, I finally feel like I’m in fighting form again. I’ve had a few confidence building runs and feel like I might be able to give this race my all. Heck, I ran a 5K personal record this morning during a 4-mile tempo run. I haven’t raced a 5K since 2011, so maybe it’s time!

My hip is still not 100 percent, but it’s somewhere in the 90s. It only starts tightening up after running 7+ miles and has been feeling better every week. So a mini triathlon should be within my wheelhouse.

Since my last triathlon at the Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon on July 21, where I had an awful, tight-hipped, sluggish run, I’ve been running three days a week. I’ve also been swimming once a week. And biking? Well, my training there hasn’t exactly been stellar. My biking has fallen by the wayside as I’ve started upping my long runs to 12 miles as part of marathon training.

So we’ll see how Sunday goes. Suddenly, I’m very glad this is a mini triathlon. Read the rest of this entry →

09

Aug 2013

The Confidence Game In Running, Riding & Life

confidence

Confidence! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Confidence. We all struggle with it. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. Because I struggle with it in running, as in most things.

The last two months have been a real confidence struggle for me. And it all comes down to the day I fell off a horse.

Since then, I’ve been struggling through injury to get back into running shape, riding shape, and mental shape to believe that I can do the things I set out to do—score a personal record in a September half marathon, run an October marathon, continue to make progress as a runner and a horseback rider.

Shaken confidence is pernicious. It takes root like a tree and begins to shade every thing you do.

You thought you were making progress as a runner? Think again. You won’t be able to run a sub-2 hour half-marathon this fall. Not gonna happen! Maybe next year, kid.

You think you’re a good enough rider to play polo? Not even close. Maybe you should just give up. Hang up your mallet and call it a day. Or else you’re going to fall again!

A Christmas Story comes to mind. I feel like I have a chorus of naysayers in my brain chanting, You’ll shoot your eye out!

They’re the type of thoughts that, if given in to, undermine your best efforts and all but guarantee a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. Read the rest of this entry →

Swimming, Biking and Running Away From Injury

running, injury

I want to make it to the starting line healthy and strong. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Injury can be frustrating, especially when you’ve got a full slate of racing plans. But I want to make it to the starting line healthy and strong. So I’m counting down the weeks until I’m 100 percent by swimming, biking and running away from my injury…literally.

It’s been 7.5 weeks since I fell off a horse and injured my hip. I bruised the bone and the muscle, along with some whiplash to my neck. It was incredibly painful the first week, but luckily my x-rays showed no fractures. After two weeks off, I eased back into running and have been in doctor-prescribed physical therapy to strengthen my hip and get rid of the traumatic bursitis that settled into the joint.

Yesterday was my last physical therapy appointment. Today, I had my follow-up appointment with my hip doctor. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon

Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon, swim bike run

The Montauk Point Lighthouse was the spectacular finish at the Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon. (Photo: United States Coast Guard)

The Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, July 21, 2013 was my third and, by far, most scenic triathlon. The race was a point-to-point course that served as a fundraiser for the Montauk Point Lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark and the oldest lighthouse in New York state, dating to 1796.

Montauk sits at the very tip of Long Island surrounded by Block Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Starting with a swim in the sound, a bike course that toured triathletes around Lake Montauk and a run through a tree-lined state park, the Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon course put Montauk’s natural beauty on full display. Pair that with a finish beside the lighthouse at the top of Turtle Hill overlooking the sea, and you have a challenging but beautiful triathlon course.

I was tackling the race with my husband, Phil, who was doing his first triathlon. With my new bike in hand, I was ready to race.

Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon, swim, bike, run

With my new ride. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Read the rest of this entry →

23

Jul 2013

Friday Foto: Triathlon Training Is Done. It’s Go Time

triathlon training, swim, triathlon

Triathletes dash into the water at the start of the World Military Triathlon in California. (Photo: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Jason R. William/US Navy)

That’s going to be me on Sunday at the Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon.

I’m really excited for the race. It’s my third triathlon, and unlike my first two triathlons I’ve actually had a decent triathlon training season. Read the rest of this entry →

Triathlon Training: Buying A Bike For Triathlon Cycling

cycling, bike, triathlon training

Cruising on my new ride. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

My third triathlon, the Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon, is just five days away. But triathlon training without a bike is difficult. I rented a bike for my other two triathlons—the Subaru Triathlon Series Peterborough Sprint in Ontario and the Long Island Gold Coast Triathlon in New York. And since I didn’t own a bike, my triathlon training for the cycling leg of the race was lackluster at best. It’s hard to get better at cycling if you never cycle. And if you want to cycle more, you have to own a bike.

So I decided to take the plunge this season and buy a bike. Read the rest of this entry →

Obstacle Course Races For Women: A Run Down

obstacle course races

Mudderella is the newest women’s obstacle race series in town. (Photo: Mudderella)

Obstacle course races are more popular than ever, and ladies are getting in on the action. New obstacle course series like debutante Mudderella are popping up, and existing series like the SHAPE Diva Dash are expanding. Why? Women’s obstacle course races are proliferating thanks to the obstacle racing and women’s running booms. It’s a happy meeting of women who want to run—and jump, and climb, and crawl, and maybe even get a little dirty.

Here’s a run down of the biggest series in the genre, the newest series, what makes each one different, and why they’re so darn popular. Read the rest of this entry →