Archive for the ‘Obstacle Races’Category

Ready For New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay!

Ready For New Balance Reach The Beach 2015

(Photo: Reach The Beach Relay)

201 miles. 12 women. 1 state. And 1 unforgettable experience. I’m ready for the New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay! I’m running as a guest of New Balance with the “Girls Run Beta” media team! New Balance has kitted me out (along with all the other team members) for the occasion. I’ll also be taking a tour of the New Balance Global Headquarters in Boston before taking on the trails and roads of New Hampshire.

Ready For New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay

Vistas! (Photo: Reach The Beach)

New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay

The New Balance Reach The Beach Relay, in partnership with the Ragnar Relay Series, takes teams of 12 runners 201 miles across New Hampshire, from the White Mountains to Hampton Beach State Park on the Atlantic shore. Mountain vistas, serene lakes, and a covered bridge or two are on the menu. I can’t wait!

Teams start in waves from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday and have until 8 p.m. on Saturday to finish. We’re expected to maintain a pace of 10 minutes per mile or thereabouts for a total of 33.5 hours running.

“Girls Run Beta” starts at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, so we have exactly 33.5 hours until 8 p.m. Saturday. The pressure is on to maintain that 10 minute per mile pace. I’ll be racing each mile as fast as I can. I’m aiming to stick as close to my 9:00-9:10 half marathon pace as possible, but we’ll see how I fare with the hills, multi-legs, and longer distances. As long as I’m at a 10:00 or faster, I’ll be happy!

Ready For New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay

Hand off! (Photo: Reach The Beach)

Most teams include 12 runners, who finish three legs each. Leg distances vary wildly from 2.5 miles to 10.9. Each team member runs 12 to 20 miles total, depending on the legs they’re assigned. We have a designated order that dictates which legs we run, always in the same rotation. So Runner #1 does Legs 1, 13, and 25. Runner #2 does Legs 2, 14, and 26, and so on. We pass off a slap bracelet between runners as our baton.

As with distance, the difficulty of each leg varies as well. Reach The Beach 2015 uses four descriptors to classify legs: Easy, Moderate, Hard, and Very Hard. There are nine “Easy” legs, 13 “Moderate” legs, nine “Hard” legs and five “Very Hard” Legs.

Me? I drew a Hard, Very Hard, and Hard for a total of 19.8 miles. No other runner has all three legs with “Hard” in the name. Everyone else gets at least one easy or moderate leg. And I’m tied for the second highest mileage overall. What did I get myself into??? An adventure, it would seem! Here’s goes something!

Ready For New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay!

Leg 1

Karla’s Leg 1

Start Time: 10:30 a.m.
Classification: Hard
Miles: 2.5

I have the honor of kicking off the race as Runner #1 on our team. Woohoo! This is the shortest leg of the race, but also the steepest. It takes me 954 feet up a mountain in 1.25 miles, then down just as quickly. Gulp. It’s apparently known as the “hero” leg: “For the mountain goats on your team.”

Um, that’s not me. If I’ve written it once, I’ve written it a hundred times: I swim like a fish and hike like a fish. I’ve run exactly one trail race in my life, this summer in Turkey at the Runfire Cappadocia 20K. And I didn’t even finish. Because I got lost. Oh boy. (You can read about it at Shape.com: What It Took to Conquer (Part of) the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon in Turkey)

In my defense, I did run three days in a row during the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon through the Turkish desert, with the heat index peaking above 100 degrees, for a total of 24 miles. If anything, that experience should have prepared me well for this. (More to come on that soon!)

Running the “hero” leg is poetic justice. In my Shape.com story about Runfire Cappadocia, I wrote:

I wanted to be an ultra marathoner for all my days. What does it take to run through the scorching Turkish desert? The willingness to be a hero “for ever and ever,” as David Bowie sang. Or, you know, just for one day.

Looks like I’ll be eating my own words! 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 →

Training For The North Face Endurance Challenge

Tackling The North Face Endurance Challenge

Runners at Bear Mountain (Photo: The North Face Endurance Challenge)

It’s official. After eight years and 90 races, I’m finally tackling my first trail race: The North Face Endurance Challenge New York at Bear Mountain!

I blame my husband, Phil. He was all, “Can we do a trail race? I really want to do a trail race this year.” And I was all, “Sure, just pick one.” And he was all, “How about The North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain on May 3?” And I was all, “Bear Mountain? But it’s so steep! Ahhhhhhhh! Sure, let’s do it.”

I love Bear Mountain and I love Harriman State Park that surrounds it. It’s a 90 minute drive north of New York City.

Tackling The North Face Endurance Challenge

Photo break in Harriman State Park (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

I love the views from the top of Bear Mountain, and I love taking Cinderella there for hikes.

Tackling The North Face Endurance Challenge

Cinderella hikes Bear Mountain (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Bear Mountain was where I trained to climb Mount Kilimanjaro back in 2008. Phil and I even did our engagement photo shoot in Harriman State Park.

Our engagement photo shoot in Harriman State Park (Photo: Lev Kuperman

Our engagement photo shoot in Harriman State Park (Photo: Lev Kuperman)

But running Bear Mountain? The thought has never occurred to me. It’s really, um, traily and technical.

Here’s the thing: I “hike like a fish,” as Phil likes to joke. He’s not being mean. He’s being completely accurate. I am, truly, a fish out of water. The second you take me off of a road, smooth grass, or groomed trail and onto a trail with any sort of technicality, I lose all sense of balance. I am the opposite of sure-footed. No, it doesn’t stop me from hiking and running in amazing places like Cinque Terre and Machu Picchu. Read the rest of this entry →

23

Mar 2015

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 →

Win SHAPE Diva Dash Entries, Magazine + EAS Product

SHAPE Diva Dash

SHAPE Diva Dash finish line. (Photo: Adventure Fit)

If you’re a SHAPE Magazine reader, flip to page 86 of the May issue where you’ll find me!

SHAPE Diva Dash

SHAPE May 2014

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 EAS and the race in the April and May issues.

I’m also running the SHAPE Diva Dash in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul on May 31, 2014. Want to join me?

I’m giving away two entries to the SHAPE Diva Dash of your choice—one for you and one for a friend—with eight cities to choose from: Boulder, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Charlotte, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia and New York. The winner will also receive a subscription to SHAPE magazine and a month’s supply of EAS Lean 15 Bars and Lean 15 Protein Powder. 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 →

Year in Review: Top 13 Races and Top 13 Posts of 2013

Toronto Waterfront Marathon, year in review

Finished! (Photo: Marathon-Photos.com)

Oh, 2013. Without setting out to do it, I ran 13 races in 2013. And I wrote a whole lot about them. Welcome to my year in review.

I started the year with a bang at the Walt Disney World Marathon. And I’m ending with a bang with the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak.

In between, the year was filled with a roller coaster of highs and lows.

There was the thrill of a new 3-mile PR after the low of a hip injury. I’m the klutz that fell off a horse. It knocked me out of the game for a few weeks and sent me into physical therapy.

There was the high of running in Hawai’i and the low of getting sick for my fall marathon. And there was the redemption of a 5K PR after marathon season was over.

If 2013 taught me anything, it’s that you can’t win them all. But you can still have fun trying.

This photo of me with my finisher’s medal at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is proof of that. I was sick, failed to run a marathon personal best like I wanted, but still managed to enjoy the race. My smile says it all.

And you know what? When you give a goal your best and fail, it makes the successes even sweeter. I ran 6 of the 13 races either as fun runs or training runs and I ran 7 of the 13 races as races, pushing with everything I had. I managed to PR at three of them, and scored a few PRs in workouts without even trying, too. I’ll save those for my Goals of 2014 post.

So here are my 13 races of 2013. 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 →

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