Archive for the ‘Training’Category

Ready For GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon

Ready for GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon

Ready to race! (Phil Hospod)

Cue butterflies in my stomach. The GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon is my goal race. I’m running with Team GORE-TEX.

In my Fall Running Schedule: 13.1, 26.2, and 200, Oh My!, I wrote: “So this is it. I’m racing this one, baby. My time will start with a 1.”

Wow, I’m really good at talking a big game.

After struggling with plantar fasciitis for the last month, my doc has cleared me to run. Forward, march!

Ready For GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon

Shoes ready!

Ready or Not?

Am I ready to PR? The power-of-positive-thinking answer is: Yes. The honest answer is: I don’t know.

My training has been rough. I missed 5 days of training thanks to the flu. Then another 11 days thanks to the PF and bone spur. Even since going back to running, it’s been touch and go with my foot pain waxing and waning. I don’t feel it at all when I’m walking around or running at an easy pace. But when I put some speed under my legs, I can sometimes feel the ache in my heel.

The longest run I’ve been able to muster since my 13.1-miler at the Fjord Norway Half Marathon on September 5 is 9.3 miles. I ran the Fjord Norway Half Marathon at an easy pace, having hiked 9 miles the day before and collectively run, walked, and hiked 60 miles in 10 days. The race was the grand finale to my run around Norway, and I counted finishing in 2:20:55— having run a rock-steady and unwavering 10:45 pace from start to finish on an undulating course—a major win.

Ready for GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon

At Fjord Norway Half Marathon

Then I ran 18 miles in 24 hours at New Balance Reach The Beach Relay two weeks later.

After that the flu struck, along with my foot problems. Those two ailments wiped out a chunk of October; I logged just 9 runs the entire month, the equivalent of 2 weeks of workouts. Whereas I logged 20 workouts in August and 18 in September. I’ve fit in 12 workouts in the last three weeks that I’ve been back to running, with the longest single run being 8.1 miles. I’m used to going into a half-marathon with a 15 to 16-mile long run under my belt. This feels scary. I just haven’t been able to build back up to double digit runs.

On the plus side, I’ve done a lot of back-to-back runs since then, covering anywhere from 10 to 13 miles in 24 hours. Plus, I’ve run more mileage overall than I ever have before. I’ve already surpassed all my annual mileage totals from years prior, and it’s not even December yet. So while my single run endurance isn’t there, my speed and volume are looking good.

My foot is feeling OK, too. I’ve been wearing a night splint for my plantar fasciitis, KT Tape on my foot during longer runs, and got a nice massage to work out the tightness in my calves, along with ice baths for my foot, rolling sessions, and lots of stretching. Is it 100%? No. Does it feel 100% with the KT Tape and all these efforts? Pretty darn close. So I’m going against my nature and choosing to be optimistic.

Ready for GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon

Been stretching a lot lately.

Here I Come

Considering all of this, I was tempted to say, I’m not going to attempt a PR. But…. I’ve decided to go for it. I’d rather crash and burn knowing I tried than wonder, “What if?”

Why? Two races haunt me. OK, I’m being dramatic. They don’t haunt me, but they were missed opportunities. They were both days were I went out to run a good hard effort and enjoy the race rather than PR. Then, late in the race I realized I was having such a great day that I could have PRed. But it was too late. I’d gone out too slowly and couldn’t make up the time. Read the rest of this entry →


Nov 2015

Brooks Running Gear Rundown & Giveaway

Brooks Running Gear Rundown For Fall & Winter

In the Dash 1/2 Zip & Streaker Capri at Runner’s World 5K

Now that the days are shorter, it’s time to bust out my all-weather running gear. I had a sneak peak at fall elements while running in Norway and Sweden in late August and early September, and winter running while shivering at the Runner’s World Half & Festival in October. Running in temps between 40 and 70 degrees— with varying degrees of sun, cloud, wind, and rain—reminded me that fall running can mean anything and everything.

Brooks Running Gear Rundown For Thank You Thursday

Streaker Capri & UpRise Bra carried me through Sweden (

These Brooks Running pieces (all freebies) have become a go-to part of my wardrobe. They’ve traveled the world with me in the last few months. I brought them with me to the Turkish desert—where the days were hot and the nights were cold. They carried me through Sweden and Norway. And most recently, they kept me warm at the unseasonably cold Runner’s World Half & Festival. Why? They perform and wash well, and they’re crazy cute.

Here are my picks from top to bottom, and scroll all the way down for a chance to win some Brooks Running winter gear for yourself!

Brooks Dash 1/2 Zip

Brooks Dash 1/2 Zip

Dash 1/2 Zip, $75
Available in 5 colors

This is my new fave long sleeve. You’ve seen me wear it in Sweden, Norway, and Pennsylvania. Basically, I take it with me everywhere I go. Why? First, the zip has a really cute geographic pattern that gives any running outfit a pop. I even pair it with patterned tights.

Second, the thumbhole cuffs and sleeves are actually long enough for me. In long-sleeve tops and jackets, I usually need to size-up to get the arm length I need, but then the fit is often too boxy. This fits perfectly; no sizing-up needed.

Third, a small flap pocket in the back is big enough for a credit card. (The website says it’s a zip pocket; it’s not.)

Finally, it’s the perfect weight to cut the chill without making me hot—lightweight and soft. Honestly, there isn’t a thing I don’t love about this one.

A photo posted by Karla Bruning (@runkarlarun) on

Brooks Running Gear Rundown For Fall & Winter

LSD Jacket

LSD Jacket, $98
Available in 5 colors

This is the windbreaker that has it all. Most notable? It packs into its own pocket with an elastic strap to slide onto your hand or arm while you’re not wearing it. Cue angels singing! In September, I ran the Fjord Norway Half Marathon–which crossed a series of windy bridges—in a different windbreaker. The windbreaker packed into a pocket but was missing a strap. Once through the worst of the wind, I ended up carrying the darn thing in my hand and kept thinking, “I really wish this had a strap.”

The LSD Jacket is also crazy light and has an adorable split side-hem that looks like overlapping flower petals, allowing for a free range of motion. Throw in front and back reflectivity, a zipper pull that locks headphone cords in place, and water-resistant fabric, and you’re ready for just about any element night or day.

My only complaint is that, unlike the Dash 1/2 Zip, the sleeves are a tad short for my long, monkey arms. In my perfect world, the LSD Jacket would also have longer sleeves with thumbholes. But when I pair the two, it isn’t a problem. Either way, I’ll be wearing this beauty for many a run to come.

Brooks Running Gear Rundown For Fall & Winter

Fly-By SS VNeck

Fly-By SS VNeck, $60
Available in 4 colors

I’m not a big running tee wearer. Nine times out of 10, I reach for a tank instead. But I appreciate that the Fly-By short sleeve is much more than a basic tee, with two different strategically placed performance fabrics.

The coolest feature is a fitted bottom band that keeps the tee in place when you run—no bouncing or wind blowing up your shirt. In the fall, that’s half the battle for me.

The cut is on the boxy side. So if you like a more fitted top, this might not be for you. But if you’re looking for something to split the difference between a tank and a long-sleeve, the Fly-By fits the bill. Read the rest of this entry →


Nov 2015

Nike+ Run Club Offers Personal Pacers Via Uber

Nike+ Run Club Offers Personal Pacers Via Uber (Nike)

Running with my pacers (Nike)

In New York City for the world’s largest marathon on Sunday, November 1? Want to run like a pro with your own personal pacer? Now you can thanks to Nike+ Run Club and on-demand car-service Uber.

Instead of finding a ride with the Uber app, users can request a Nike+ Run Club pace team to lead them through a personalized on-demand jaunt around New York City for one day only: Saturday, October 31 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Best of all, it’s free!

Nike+ Run Club Offers Personal Pacers Via Uber (Nike)

Up a hill (Nike)

Nike+ Run Club sessions are 2-3 miles and tailored to your request. Pacers will also lead you through running-specific dynamic stretching, and gift you with some gear at the end of the run. Runs begin and end at your location, which must be between 72nd Street and 14th Street in Manhattan.

Nike+ Run Club Offers Personal Pacers Via Uber (Nike)

Running Midtown Manhattan (Nike)

Requesting a Nike+ Run Club pacer is exactly like requesting a car. I know, I had a chance to test out the service before it launches to the public. But instead of a car, two Nike+ Run Club pacers greet your on foot, with a race bib that looks like a license plate.

Nike+ Run Club Offers Personal Pacers Via Uber

My pacers! (Nike)

Once you open the Uber app and enter the promo code RUNNYC, you’ll see “NRC PACER” alongside your usual Uber choices like “uberT” and “uberX.” You’ll also see where NRC pacers are located near you with the Nike+ swoosh on the map. Read the rest of this entry →


Oct 2015

Ready For The Runner’s World Half & Festival

Runner's World Half & Festival

Runner’s World Half & Festival (Photo: Ryan Hulvat/Runner’s World)

Greetings from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and the Runner’s World Half & Festival presented by Altra!

I’m seven weeks into my fall running schedule and 24-week training plan for the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, with a PR attempt at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon along the way. The Fjord Norway Half Marathon and New Balance Reach The Beach Relay are behind me.

Now on the menu is the Runner’s World Half & Festival! I’m attending as a guest of Runner’s World, and will be posting to InstagramFacebook, and Twitter throughout the trip if you want to virtually run with me.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Crossing the finish. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival

I had a blast at the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival in 2014, despite it being my roughest half-marathon ever. Runner’s World put together a thoughtful weekend of activities, seminars, and races with dedicated runners in mind.

So I’m excited to head to Bethlehem for the Runner’s World Half & Festival presented by Altra. Once again, they’ve got a full weekend of running cooked up: as in 26.2 miles full of running.

I’ll start with the the Altra 3.8-Mile Trail Run Presented by REI on Friday, then the Hat Trick of races that includes the Runner’s World 5K and Runner’s World 10K on Saturday, followed by the Runner’s World Half Marathon on Sunday for a total of 26.2 miles.

I’ll also get a tour of the Runner’s World headquarters, led by none other than Bart Yasso; get fitted with a pair of Altra running shoes by company founder Golden Harper; take a trail running course with Yasso, Harper, and Runner’s World Gear Editor Bryan Boyle; and eat lunch with Deena Kastor, among other activities.

Basically, it’s like a running fantasy camp. Consider me sufficiently geeked. Read the rest of this entry →

Marathon Training For Your Brain, Funny Bone + Body

Marathon Training For Your Brain, Funny Bone + More

(Joshua Sortino/

It’s October, which means one thing: Marathon season is officially here!

Many of us will slog long miles in marathon training this month. I’m prepping for the Honolulu Marathon in 10 weeks, and I know many runners targeting the New York City Marathon, Philadelphia Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and other races.

Others of us will toe the line at events this month, like the Wineglass Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and Marine Corps Marathon.

Others still are thinking about committing to 26.2 for the first time next year or a marathon training challenge like Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World Marathon in January.

Whatever your quest, I’m here to help with a round-up of my marathon articles at!

17 Things You Should Know Before Running Your 1st Marathon


This one was just plain fun to write. I don’t usually write “Listicles” but I couldn’t pass up sharing the wisdom I’ve culled from my seven marathons… in GIF form. I think #8 and #11 are my faves. Pretty sure they’ve happened to me during every single marathon.

What else would you add? Check out the list at

Marathon Training for Your Brain

You’ve put in the miles, training your body for the rigors of running 26.2. But is your mind ready too? Running a marathon is as much a mental battle as a physical one. Inevitable doubts and fears creep into many a marathoner’s mind. Train your brain while training your body with seven tips meant to help flex your mental muscle come race day.

Danielle at even shares her thoughts on “chunking.” Read it at Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: New Balance Reach the Beach Relay

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Girls Run Beta! (Reach The Beach)

6,000 runners. 500 teams. 201 miles. 32 hours. 12 women. 2 vans. 1 state. Put New Balance Reach The Beach Relay in the bag! I ran as a guest of New Balance, who covered all my expenses and kitted me out in gear for the event as part of the “Girls Run Beta” media team. And it was amazing.

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Girls Run Beta! (Carrie Kabat)

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.

The scenery was lovely, my teammates fantastic, and the overall experience amazing. It’s no wonder I’ve only heard great things about this race.

The fun levels were off the charts. We giggled, we danced, we ate, then ate some more, we told ghost stories, high-fived, commiserated and cheered. While looking for Jess during a night run, I busted out an impromptu rendition of “There’s a Light (Over At The Frankenstein Place) from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Another team called “Snoop Joggy Jog” inspired some “Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay” at our side-of-the-road dance party. Carrie and Dani played DJ with boy bands greatest hits. And the gummy bears flowed like water.

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Van 1! (Photo:

We worked as a team. Carrie finished her legs with a cart-wheel (true story) and chauffeured us from spot to spot. Dani was co-pilot and speedy anchor leg. Rachel recruited her dad’s team to cheer us on, and taught us the art of the silent scream (pictured). Jess kept a log of our start and finish times, and shared her Aleve when an afternoon migraine threatened to derail my second run. Kylie gave me her seat in the van to lay down. When it was time to suit me up mid-run with reflective vest and lights, the entire team swarmed me as my pit crew.

I was water girl, filling up and passing out water bottles to the finishing runner or the runner on the road—in one case jogging along side Dani for a brief stint so she didn’t have to stop. I also shared my massage stick with the team and Carrie shared her foam roller, so we could all stay limber.

In other words, the race was truly a team effort. You can see for yourself in this video New Balance put together for us.

Read the rest of this entry →

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 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 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 →

Tips & Tricks To #RunForFun

Tips & Tricks To #RunForFun

Make your next run fun! (Photo:

Want to put more fun in your run? I do! Check out Shape and Fitness Magazines30 Day #RunForFun Challenge, designed to get you moving each day and having fun.

Fitness reached out to me—along with 29 other runners—for a fave run-for-fun tip. I promise you’ll find a few new-to-you ideas that will refresh your next outing. I certainly did, like…

Day 9: Play ‘I Spy’
Day 11: Pick A Feel-Good Scent
Day 16: Let your S.O. or BFF make your playlist
Day 22: Wear a Sign
Day 23: Collect Coins

I’ve never done any of those! Some of the other tips are oldies but goldies that I keep in my arsenal, and seeing them again is a great reminder. 

My tip is Day 12 of the challenge. If you’ve ever read my blog before, you can probably guess it pretty easily. Did you guess right?

30-Day Running Challenge: 30 Ways to #RunForFun

But in addition to my tip in the 30-Day #RunForFun Challenge, here are five other tricks I use to keep me fleet of feet and young at heart.

RunKarlaRun’s #RunForFun Tricks

Tips & Tricks To #RunForRun

We can make believe… (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Play Mind Games:
Who says pretend is just for kids? You’re a great white shark chasing seals. You’re running to the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. Watch out, a velociraptor is chasing you! Ahhh! My favorite? I’m a lion hunting gazelles. I don’t sprint, I stalk. And I pick off runners in front of me slowly. One. By. One. Playing pretend while I run keeps me entertained for miles and miles.

Put Your Music On Shuffle:
When you have no idea what song might come next, every few minutes bring a pleasant surprise. I’ll put my entire MP3 player—all 700 songs—on shuffle to keep my music unpredictable. Sure, I have to skip a song here and there, but shuffle is one of my favorite ways to keep my run fresh.

Forgotten jams often inspire a fist pump. “I Got A Man” by Positive K anyone? Or “Wonder Woman” aka the ’70s TV show theme song? Or “Come Out and Play” by The Offspring? And sometimes I discover unexpected songs that are great for running like “Trying My Best To Love You” by Jenny Lewis. Would have never put that one on a running mix, but it really peps me when it pops up. I get lost in the lyrics and dig deep for those few minutes. Read the rest of this entry →

Fall Running Schedule: 13.1, 26.2, and 200, Oh My!

Fall Running Schedule

Running is East Hampton, NY with Cinderella (Photo:

This is it, folks. The moment I have have been waiting for: My fall running schedule 2015, aka the season when I finally run a sub-2 hour half marathon. There, I said it. I’m throwing down. I know, I know. I’ve said it so many times before. And so many times I have failed. But if at first you don’t succeed…

This is the one goal that has eluded me. My white whale. My holy grail. My impossible dream. A mere 30 seconds stand between my personal best and dream time. Those 30 seconds are coming off the clock.

It all starts August 31. Thanks to the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project, I’ve got a personalized (and complimentary) training plan to see me through.

But that’s not all. After that, I’ve got another goal I’m working toward: a winter 2016 marathon PR. I haven’t run a marathon since 2013. So the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project put together a seamless 24-week training plan for me that takes me all the way through four tune-up and two goal races in a running schedule that spans September to February.

Here’s the run down. And, of course, I’ll share more info about each race as it approaches!

Fall Running Schedule

Great Fjord Run (Photo:

Great Fjord Run

Norway, September 5, 2016

What?! Norway? You bet! My husband, Phil, and I are headed on vacation to Sweden and Norway today. Naturally, I started poking around and found that the Great Fjord Run near Bergen just happens to be taking place while we’re there. So of course, we built our trip around it, as one of Norway’s premier running events with 6,000 participants from more than 30 countries. The event includes 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids races and a walk. We’ll be running the half-marathon! helped me put together an itinerary that includes touring Oslo and hiking the Fjords in Flam and Bergen. I’ll be posting to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter throughout the trip if you want to follow along.

Easy Run: Since it’s the beginning of my running schedule and the end of vacation, this will be a fun run for us with no delusions of running fast. Plus, we’ll want to take in the scenery as we cross three bridges where the waters of three fjords meet. So my training plan has me running this one at an easy pace.

Fall Running Schedule: Halves & Relays & Marathons, Oh My!

(Photo: Reach The Beach Relay)

New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

New Hampshire, September 18-19, 2015

The New Balance Reach The Beach Relay has been on my bucket list for a while. When New Balance invited me to be their guest as part of a media team, I jumped at the chance. Reach The Beach takes teams of 12 runners 200 miles across New Hampshire, from the White Mountains to Hampton Beach State Park on the Atlantic shore. Each team member runs three legs of the relay, totaling about 16.6 miles over the the course of 24 hours. We start Friday afternoon and finish Saturday evening, running around the clock in shifts through 36 transition areas. This will be my first relay and my first race in New Hampshire. Mountain vistas, serene lakes, and a covered bridge or two are on the menu. I can’t wait!

Tune-Up: My Run S.M.A.R.T Project training plan has me using this as a tune-up at half-marathon race pace. So it will be my first chance to test my fitness once my running schedule starts. I doubt I’ll be running all 16.6. miles at half-marathon race pace, but hopefully I’ll do a leg or two at a fast clip. 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

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 →

Obstacle Race, Nike Athlete + 5K Training Plan

5K Training Plan, Obstacle Race Training Plan, & Nike Training Plan

Training! (Photo:

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 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

Diva Dash Obstacle Race Training Plan

5K Training Plan, Obstacle Race Training Plan, & Nike Training Plan

Monkeying around at SHAPE Diva Dash (Photo:

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! (©

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

Check out,, and 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 (©

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! (©


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 →


Jun 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 →

RnR SD Half Marathon Training Program Weeks 5 + 6

Half Marathon Training Program Weeks 5 + 6

Running San Diego (Photo: Ashley Mateo)

I have good news and bad news.

The good news: I successfully met my half marathon training program goal of two strength training sessions per week! I also hit the trail! Yay!

The bad news: There’s trouble in paradise. After 10 years as a runner, it looks like I might finally have my first running injury. Oh sure, I’ve been sideline before, but by non-running related maladies—like that time I fell off a horse and hurt my hip or that time I found out I have arthritis, which I’ve actually managed through running. (And yes, my ortho told me it’s probably genetic and encouraged me to keep running. She was so right. It rarely bothers me any more.)

After five solid weeks of training, I noticed a niggle in my left foot. Not pain, but a slight discomfort under the ball of my foot while I run. I followed the old adage: if it hurts for two days, take two days off. When I resumed running, the discomfort returned. Booooo. It’s especially frustrating since I’ve been strength training to avoid precisely this type of thing. What does this mean for my race calendar? I don’t know!!!

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
Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 1 + 2
Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 3 + 4


Easy: 3 miles outside

Progression: 5.15 miles on the treadmill

Strength: 1 hour strength-interval session at Westin Wellness Escapes in San Diego. This was the first time I felt the mysterious foot niggle.

Easy: 3.2 miles outside along the water in San Diego with my editor, Ashley. Could still run totally fine, but my foot felt funky. But who cares when your run looks like this?

Half Marathon Training Program Weeks 5 + 6

California Dreaming! (Photo:

Strength: 1 hour strength-interval session at Westin Wellness Escapes in San Diego.

Long: None. After feeling the foot ache two days in a row, I decided to skip the long run in my half marathon training program and take two days off. I was pretty bummed about it because I had two more days in California and had another gorgeous run planned. Read the rest of this entry →


Apr 2015

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