Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’Category

Cave of Wonders: Touring Cappadocia Turkey

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Cappadocia at night (

When adventure calls, I answer. In July, I journeyed to the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon and 20K as a guest of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, in conjunction with Argos in Cappadocia. My story for focused on the race: What It Took to Conquer (Part of) the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon in Turkey.

What does it take to run 160 miles through the scorching Turkish desert? Experience, sure. A death wish? Maybe. As a road runner, I’m no stranger to long routes, but I knew signing up for the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon would be a mythic and mettle-testing adventure, even for a multi-marathoner like me.

I signed up for the RFC 20K—my first trail race ever—along with two more days of running. But I quickly learned that nearly 13 miles through Cappadocia would be the most difficult—and beautiful—miles I’ve ever encountered. Of the 100 races and countless runs I’ve logged on six continents, none has been as hot, hilly, humbling, and exhilarating as Runfire Cappadocia. How tough is this race? The winning time at any given road half-marathon is between 1 hour and 1 hour, 20 minutes. The winning time at the RFC 20K was 2 hours, 43 minutes. That winner was the only person to finish under 3 hours.

In addition to the race, I toured the sites of Cappadocia. Breathtaking. Stunning. Unique. Pick the adjective. Throw around some superlatives. Cappadocia deserves it.

Cave Dwelling & Hot Air Balooning in Cappadocia Turkey

Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia. (

After 16 hours of travel from New York City on the delightfully luxurious Turkish Airlines (think foot rests and menus even in economy class), I made it to Argos in Cappadocia hotel in the village of Uchisar, my home for the next few days.

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Argos in Cappadocia (

Like many of the region’s buildings, Argos is a collection of hollows hewn from hoodoos. Once a monastery housing an extensive wine cellar and 3-mile tunnel cutting through the base of the rock, the hotel now features manses with street front facades, cave interiors, and a farm-to-table restaurant.

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Argos’s terraces (

A sunrise hot air balloon ride with Royal Balloon served as my introduction to the region in central Anatolia, Turkey’s heartland.

Cave of Wonders: Touring Cappadocia Turkey

Sunrise over Cappadocia (

While soaring over rock formations known as “fairy chimneys,” it was easy to appreciate the grandeur of the terrain I was about to run. Read the rest of this entry →


Oct 2015

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Running past Sleeping Beauty Castle. (Photo: runDisney)

Registration for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2016 Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry opens Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 12 p.m. Eastern. The women-focused race weekend celebrates its 5th anniversary from May 5-8, 2016 at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The race is the fourth largest women’s running event in the U.S. with 13,143 finishers in 2014.

In addition to the title half marathon, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2016 Weekend also includes the Pixie Dust Challenge presented by PANDORA Jewelry, Tinker Bell 10K presented by PANDORA Jewelry, Never Land 5K presented by PANDORA Jewelry, and runDisney Kids Races.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Info is Here

Mickey Mouse and friends escort runDisney finishers across the line. (Photo: runDisney)

Courses for the weekend’s races run through Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and the streets of Anaheim with music, entertainment and Disney characters, not to mention thousands of costumed runners. And don’t forget the jaunt through Sleeping Beauty Castle.

The runDisney Health and Fitness Expo is free and open to the public Thursday, May 5 through Saturday, May 7. That’s where runners pick-up their bibs and race gear, find official runDisney merchandise along with the coveted runDisney New Balance shoes, other retailers showcasing running apparel and products, and a speaker series with tips for training, racing and eating before the big day. In 2015, New Balance released a pair of special edition Tinker Bell shoes for the occasion.

The 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon and Pixie Dust Challenge sold-out in a little over a month. The runDisney Kids Races, however, filled up in 4 hours and 20 minutes. And the Tinker Bell 10K bibs were gone in 48 hours. Read the rest of this entry →


Aug 2015

Time to Jump In the New Amsterdam City Swim!

Jump In NYC With New Amsterdam City Swim

Ready to jump in! (

In about 48 hours, I’ll be starting the New Amsterdam City Swim on Sunday, June 21, knocking out 1-mile in the Hudson River to raise money for ALS research.

Thank you to everyone who donated! I truly appreciate it. I have to give a special shout-out to Leslie Miller. Leslie, I couldn’t find a way to contact you to say thank you! Hope you read this.

Thanks to your donations, I met my $500 fundraising goal with $600.17. As a group the New Amsterdam City Swimmers have raised $281,384.79 and counting for Project MinE, a large-scale research initiative with the biggest DNA database in the world. They’re planning to map and compare the DNA profiles of at least 15,000 ALS patients and 7,500 control subjects, with the goal of understanding the genetics of the disease in order to find a cure. It’s a huge undertaking, and they couldn’t do it without your help.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners. At the Wild Dog Triathlon

Wetsuit ready (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Now, it’s time to swim! Honestly, I’m a bit nervous. I haven’t gotten in as many swim sessions as I had hoped. On the plus side, I did get in one full mile-swim in a pool, along with five shorter swim sessions in the last few weeks. My past triathlon experience tells me that’s enough to get me through. But let’s hope that Hudson River current really is as helpful as folks say, just in case.

I also enrolled in a 10-week triathlon swim clinic with the Asphalt Green Triathlon Club in New York City. We meet once a week for 75 minutes. It’s more of a “back to basics” look at technique than it is a workout.

The one session I’ve had already helped me tweak my stroke to be more efficient, which was my reason for doing the clinic. I’m a strong swimmer, having been a swim team kid until the age of 15. But I haven’t had anyone look at my stroke and critique it in 22 years! I know I have room for improvement, and when it comes to swimming, perfecting technique is the foundation to getting faster.

All that said, my goal for Sunday is to finish! This will be the longest open water swim I’ve ever done. Here’s the course: Read the rest of this entry →

Runners Are Like Wine, Says Brooks Running Report

Runners Are Like Wine, Brooks Running Report Says

Brooks Run Happy Nation Report

We already knew that runners like wine. My roundup of 10 Wine-Themed Runs To Get Your Drink On at has more than 11,000 Facebook likes. But a new report from Brooks Running found that runners are like wine. That’s right, 44% of runners say they get better with age, just like a good bottle of vino. While 24% of runners tied to say they’re more like beer, with a little hop in their step, or more like a cocktail, shaking up their routine.

That was just one of the fun tidbits unearthed in the third annual Brooks Run Happy Nation report, a survey of 1,000 runners in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, commissioned by Brooks Running. Here are some of the results.

Training Partners
  • 32% of Americans say they choose a friend as their go-to training partner
  • 24% pick a digital fitness tracker
  • 20% would rather hoof it with their dog
Business Time (Flight of the Conchords fans, you know what I’m talkin’ about)
  • 48% percent of Americans under 40 like to get it on pre-run
  • 41% of Americans reveal they feel “frisky” after hitting the pavement
  • 35% say a pre-race horizontal rhumba improves running performance
Runder Wear
  • 62% of American women prefer briefs, compared to 72% of German women
  • 8% of American women go full commando, versus 11% of Canadians
  • 47% of runners prefer racerback sports bras
  • 39% like crossback sports bras
  • 14% prefer front closure sports bras 
Movie Time
  • 32% of respondents say Forrest Gump inspires them the most among running movies
  • 26% connect with Rocky‘s eye of the tiger
  • 18% love Silver Linings Playbook’s wackier take on running
Running Locales
  • 47% of respondents say trails are their favorite place to run
  • 27% of respondents pick running around the Grand Canyon as their dream runcation destination
  • 24% choose the Romantic Road of Germany
  • 23% dream about running the Great Wall of China

Read the rest of this entry →

Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Dog is 6 Years Old Today

Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Girl is 6 Years Old Today

Cinderella! (Photo: Phil Hospod)

No, I have no idea if today is actually her birthday. But I do know that four years ago today, this sweet little dog came into my life. Since she was a stray without papers, my husband, Phil, and I anointed the day we got her as her annual fete. The vet guessed she was about two years old then, so we’ll call her six!

Running Goals For 2015

Cinderella loves to run too (Photo: RunKarlaRun)

I shared Cinderella’s dog story two years ago. If you haven’t read it, it’s a tear jerker: Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Favorite Running Gal. It still breaks my heart to think of her living in the woods on her own, foraging for food, getting by any way she could until a kind man lured her into his yard and eventually put her into rescue. Especially since I know what a tender heart she has.

Cinderella has so much love to give, truly, and bestows it upon anyone who comes in the door. She’ll look you soulfully in the eyes, plop down on your lap, and give your hand a lick. All she wants from life is a warm body or two to snuggle.

Happy National Dog Day! Happy dog in a field of wild flowers

Cinderella in the wild. (Photo: RunKarlaRun)

Recently, my sister-in-law got some good news that sent the two of us jumping up and down and screaming with glee. What did Cinderella do? She started jumping up and down with us! When we hugged, Cinderella stretched her long body up to ours and joined us. Group hug! That is Cinderella in a nutshell.

But, of course, she also loves many other things. Her hobbies include running, napping, traveling, hiking, car rides, long walks on the beach, playing poker, watching hockey with her dad, and snuggling her babies (aka toys).

Hers is a true Cinderella story. So happy birthday to my girl, my doghter! In honor of the occasion, here is a retrospective: Cinderella, in pictures, 2014-2015. Read the rest of this entry →


Apr 2015

Happy National Dog Day! Celebrate Man’s Best Friend

Happy National Dog Day!

We love our dog! (

Happy National Dog Day! As a dog lover and dog mom, I’m a huge advocate for dogs and all the wonderful ways they add to human lives.

National Dog Day serves to “recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for a child who is disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage,” according to

Happy National Dog Day! Happy dog in a field of wild flowers

Cinderella in the wild. (

And that’s not all that dogs do. Research shows that dog owners live longer on average than non-pet owners, have fewer signs of heart disease, and better cardiovascular fitness. Pets also lower stress, anxiety, and blood pressure for their human friends. And they boost immunity and self-esteem for their owners. Plus, dog owners are less likely to suffer from despression than those living without four-legged friends. The Atlantic published a great article about the many ways dogs enrich our lives, physically and mentally. A dog really is man’s best friend.

I can honestly say I’m happier now than I was when I didn’t have a dog. My life is certainly better because Cinderella, my doghter, is in it.

I’ve shared Cinderella’s story in the past—from homeless and living in the woods of Tennessee to finding her fur-ever home in New York City with my husband and me. I found her on, one of the supporters of National Dog Day and a great resource for finding adoptable dogs throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Happy National Dog Day! Trail run in Colt State Park

Running with Relly (

I’m a vocal advocate for dog adoption, versus purchasing from anyone but the most reputable breeders. According to the ASPCA, 7.3 million dogs and cats enter the shelter system every year through no fault of their own. Approximately 2.6 million of them die there. The ASPCA says 31 percent of the dogs that enter shelters are euthanized.

By adopting—and not buying—and spaying or neutering your dog, you can be a part of the solution. You’ll find your pick of purebreds and one-of-a-kinds like Cinderella in our nation’s vast shelter and rescue system. Looking for even the rarest of breeds? You can find one for adoption, like my sister did with her Bedlington Terrier.

So let’s raise a bone to all the furry friends out there who make our lives and our worlds a better place. Take National Dog Day as an opportunity to donate to your local shelter or dog rescue organization, or spend some quality time with your furry friend. I practice what I preach. This year, I’ve donated to the Friends of the Bristol Animal Shelter in Rhode Island and the North Shore Animal League in New York. Now, it’s time to snuggle my dog.

So Happy National Dog Day from Cinderella and me!


Aug 2014

Race Report: William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim

Race Report: William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim

Getting ready to swim. (

The William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim in Bristol, Rhode Island on Saturday, August 16 was my last open water swim before the Triathlon Valleyfield in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec on Sunday, August 24.

Race Report: William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim

Swim shirt (

The event was put on by the town of Bristol Parks and Recreation department to raise money to develop an aquatics program, including swim lessons for kids, and two proposed swimming pools, none of which the town currently has.

The William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim

The swim was a quarter-mile in open water at the Bristol Town Beach on Narragansett Bay. For my running friends, picture one lap around a 400-meter track. The event also included a 4 x 100 yard relay and a Fins & Floaties fun race for kids.

Registration was a bargain at $20 per swimmer, per event, or $10 for the kids race, and that included the event T-Shirt. It might be my favorite cotton shirt I’ve ever gotten at a race— incredibly soft in heather red. Best of all, they actually had my size. Read the rest of this entry →


Aug 2014

Gait Analysis For The Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF

Gait Analysis For Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco

(Courtesy of Nike)

Have you ever had a running gait analysis? I now have video of mine thanks to Nike Running.

On Sunday, October 19, I’ll be running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco! I’ll be attending the race courtesy of Nike as part of a media group. Along with the race, they’re helping me train and gear up for the event. Excited? You bet!

Gait Analysis

To help me gear up for the race, I got fit for shoes at the Nike Running store in New York City’s Flatiron district. I’ve had my gait analyzed four times before at various running stores and in physical therapy. I have it checked periodically in case my form has changed dramatically since I’ve gotten faster, been diagnosed with arthritis, injured my hip in a horseback riding fall, and all the other things that affect how I run.

But year after year, gait analysis shows I’m a steadfast neutral shoe runner. This time I have video proof.

But what does it mean to be a neutral shoe runner? Read the rest of this entry →


Aug 2014

Chasing the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon at Heartbreak Hill

Chasing the sub 2 hour half marathon

1:58 is my goal time! (Photo: morgueFile)

In two weeks from today I’ll be at the start of the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half in Newton, Mass. The race will be my third half marathon in 2014, but my first attempt at a sub 2 hour half marathon this year. My current half marathon personal best stands at 2:00:30 from the 2012 Staten Island Half. Breaking “2” is the one running goal that has eluded me time and time again. It has become my Everest.

Chasing the sub 2 hour half marathon

I’ve got “2” on the brain. (Photo: morgueFile)

Last Long Run

On Saturday, I finished my last long run before the big race. I ran 12.15 miles total, with 10 of them in Central Park’s rolling hills at a 9:40 pace overall. My goal half marathon pace is 9:00, which would bring me in at 1:58. A sub 2 hour half marathon pace is 9:10. I’m absolutely within striking distance.

My splits were:


I don’t like that I had two 10:13 miles as I climbed one of Central Park’s steepest hills twice during miles one and five. But I like that I was at least consistent over said hill. And I love that my last mile was my fastest.

Race Goals

My goals for the race are:

A) Run a sub 2 hour half marathon
B) Run a personal record, which means besting 2:00:30
C) Run as hard as I can, whatever time that means

Chasing the sub 2 hour half marathon

My “A” goal is a sub 2 hour finish! (Photo: morgueFile)

I know I have the speed in me to finally break 2 hours. I’m much faster than when I set my current half-marathon PR. My long runs have been consistently 30 to 40 seconds faster per mile than they were in fall 2012. And I’ve since lowered my 5K and 10 PRs by two minutes and three minutes, respectively.

But I’m just not sure I have the endurance I’d like to have at this point in the season. Going into the Staten Island Half, my longest run was a 16-miler since I was in the middle of marathon training. Going into this race, my longest run was yesterday’s 12.15-miler, with just 10 of them at speed. The other 2.15 miles were an easy warm-up and cool down. Do I have 13.1 fast miles in me? That remains to be seen. Read the rest of this entry →

Liebster Award Q&A, Nominations + Silly Photos

Liebster AwardThanks to Danielle at Live, Run, Grow for including me in her Liebster Award group of blogs!

In grade school, I absolutely hated chain letters. But I actually enjoy reading Liebster Award posts, even if they are the blog equivalent of chain letters. They’re a fun way to learn something new about other bloggers and spread some blogger love.

Here are the rules:

  • You must link back to the person who nominated you
  • You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
  • You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
  • You must create 10 questions for your nominees
  • You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees

I’m not a fan of “musts.” Play along if you like, and if not, no worries!

Danielle’s Liebster Award Questions

1. If you could run any race in the world what would it be?

This is tough. I’m torn between a fast, iconic race in a fun city, like the Berlin Marathon or a destination race in a locale I’ve always dreamed of visiting, like the Marathon International de Moorea in French Polynesia. When I dream, I dream big!

That could be me in Moorea! (Photo: Te Moorea Club)

That could be me in Moorea! (Photo: Te Moorea Club)

2. What is the best race you’ve run so far?

I can’t pick just one! There are very few marquee races I’ve run time and time again, mainly because I’ve got a big bucket list and love experiencing new places and new races. Of the 21 half-marathons and marathons I’ve run, there are only three I’ve revisited more than once: TCS New York City Marathon, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. I’d run them every single year if I could. Read the rest of this entry →

Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Girl Is 5 Years Old Today

Happy Birthday to Cinderella the Dog

Cinderella! (Photo: Lev Kuperman)

Happy Birthday, Cinderella!

OK, I have no idea if today is actually her birthday. There’s a 1/365 chance that it is. But three years ago today, this sweet little dog came into my life. Since she was a stray without papers, my husband, Phil, and I anointed the day we got her as her annual feast. The vet guessed she was about two years old then, so five it is!

I shared Cinderella’s story last year: Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Favorite Running Gal


Cinderella gets cozy on my pink Cinderella running costume.

This year, my favorite running princess—like so many runners—is coming back from injury. Her vet diagnosed her with intervertebral disc disease, which is essentially a herniated or slipped disc in her spine. She had most of the symptoms when I took her to the vet a week ago Monday. She’s been on pain killers and Prednisone since then and dedicated to a regimen of complete rest. In other words, she’s been lethargic and in pain.

It’s been breaking my heart to see her like this. When she’s not sleeping on a pile of laundry or, in this photo, a running costume, she’s usually running, playing, or trying to stop me from working. Cinderella is a dog full of life. 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:

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, a public wellness center with a gym, pool, sauna, tennis center, skating rink and more. Read the rest of this entry →

Happy Valentine’s Day From The Queen of Hearts!

Queen of Hearts, Happy Valentine's Day

The Queen of Hearts and I “heart” you. (Photo:

Happy Valentine’s Day! The Queen of Hearts wants you to know you’re loved. She really does, even if her face doesn’t show it.

Hope you’ve got a run planned with someone you love—whether it’s a friend, family member, partner, furry friend or someone else close to your heart. You’re all close to mine.


P.S. If you want to read more love stories, here’s the story of how my husband and I fell in love through running: When Running And Love Collide

And how we stay in love: Sweat Together: A Valentine’s Day Ode To Running Love

And here’s all about how much I love my dog: Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Favorite Running Gal

And all about falling in love with running…again: Falling In Love With Running…All Over Again

So much to love!

Merry Christmas from “Run, Karla, Run!”

Merry Christmas

Christmas in New York!

Merry Christmas from my family here in New York City to you and yours wherever you are!

We started our celebration yesterday with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes. I’ve lived in New York City for 13 years and have never seen the show. It took my family coming to finally do it. I don’t know why I waited so long! It was truly spectacular and far exceeded my expectations. What a way to get into the Christmas spirit.

Merry Christmas

My family is going to Central Park today.

Today, we got our stockings from Santa and are making our way to Central Park.

I’ll be celebrating the way I celebrate most things…with a run! Read the rest of this entry →


Dec 2013

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