Posts Tagged ‘PR’

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Training Update

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Training Update

Training in my Gore Running Gear (RunKarlaRun.com)

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted a GORE-Tex Philadelphia Marathon training update. I’m running the race with Team Gore, and training was going well. Gore helped me gear up for the race with Gore Running Wear and GORE-TEX Saucony shoes. The sky was blue and birds were singing. In other words, all was right in my world.

But on October 20, my GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon training came to a screeching halt.

Skin Scare

During my bi-annual skin check in September, my dermatologist found a mole she didn’t like. She immediately pulled out her scalpel and sliced it off to be biopsied.

A week later, the results were in: it was precancerous, a term used for atypical moles that are more likely than regular moles to develop into melanoma. This particular mole was classified as “severely” atypical, the worst it gets before possibly becoming cancer.

Though my doc had already removed the entire mole, both she and the pathologist were in agreement: an entire patch of skin surrounding the mole should go too. It’s standard procedure when a mole comes back that abnormal.

So the day after the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco on October 19, I went under the knife. It was a simple procedure. My doctor used a local anesthesia to numb the area, remove the skin, and sew it all up with four sutures.

The skin was then sent back to the lab to check that all of the margins around the mole were clear of atypical cells, since it’s impossible to tell simply with a visual exam. Thankfully, all my margins were clear. After three weeks of bandages and healing cream, all I have to remember the incident by is an inch-long red scar.

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Training Update

At the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon San Francisco the day before my excision.

Doctor Demanded Downtime

There was just one problem: my doctor didn’t want me to run for two full weeks, lest I inadvertently rip open the stitches. The mole was on the right side of my back, over my latissimus dorsi, a muscle that plays a large role in your running gait.

I never realized how much the muscles and skin on my back move when I do, well, everything—putting away dishes, reaching in my closet, walking my dog, turning over in bed, you name it—until I had stitches. Give your skin a pat on the back—it works really hard.

So my doc told me one week of no activity at all. During week two I could add in the elliptical with no arms, leaving them dangling at my side, or ride a recumbent bike. Marathon training would have to wait. Read the rest of this entry →

11

Nov 2014

My Running Mantras For Racing And Training

My Running Mantras

“Just Keep Pushing!” (RunKarlaRun.com)

Recently, someone asked me: What’s your running mantra? I didn’t always have one. But this summer I’ve been using two mantras that have really been working for me. When I’m struggling and need to dig deep, I turn to these two phrase that somehow spur me on.

1) Just keep pushing

Hiking, Running and Eating in Italy's Cinque Terre

Pushing is easy when the run is this beautiful. (RunKarlaRun.com)

This is my go-to racing mantra. My husband thinks it’s too simple. “There’s no magic to it, no poetry to it,” he says. He prefers mantras like, “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” and, “Pain is temporary, glory is forever.” Yes, he actually says those to himself. Perhaps that’s why he is a Boston Qualifier and I am not.

But that’s the funny thing about mantras. What works for one person does not always work for someone else. Anytime he’s tried to encourage me during a run with one of his mantras, I just get annoyed. I don’t know why, but waxing poetic about pain seems to make me angry. And not in a good, “Yeah, I’m going to crush this run!” sort of way. But in a “Shut your face, you’re not helping!” sort of way. Read the rest of this entry →

I’m Running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014

Running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014

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

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

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

Running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

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

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

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

Race Report: Firecracker 8K in Southampton, New York

Race Report: Firecracker 8K in Southampton, NY

A PR! Yay! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Running the Firecracker 8K in Southampton, New York on Sunday, July 6 was an impromptu decision. Sometimes those last-minute races I throw in the calendar are the best. Without time to worry and hand-wring, I just shrug my shoulders with a, “Here goes something.”

What was that something? A pair of personal bests for both me and my husband, Phil. After a tough Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half in June, it felt great.

Race Report: Firecracker 8K in Southampton, New York

We are champions! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Phil and I were vacationing at a friend’s house in Southampton on Long Island’s southern oceanfront beach territory for the holiday weekend. We logged a run on the beach in deep sand two days before and did calisthenics by the pool the day before.

Race Report: Firecracker 8K in Southampton, New York

Beach run! (RunKarlaRun.com)

But like we do just about everywhere we go, we checked RunningInTheUSA.com to see if there were any races nearby. Wouldn’t you know it? The start was less than a mile from the house.

So we plunked down $25 each and biked over on race morning with little expectations. Read the rest of this entry →

13

Jul 2014

Race Report: Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Heartbreak Hill Half medals. (Photo: Grace Donnelly)

The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival from June 5-8, 2014 in Newton and Boston, Massachusetts felt a lot like running camp. But the titular half-marathon lived up to its name: it was a bit heartbreaky and a bit hilly. And I loved almost every minute of it.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Taking the Heartbreak Hill Half seriously. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

I attended the race courtesy of Runner’s World as part of their official blogger crew. (They covered my race entries, dorm room and some meals. I covered my transportation to and from Boston and other meals.)

The race was a chance to run along the most famous section of Boston Marathon course. For Boston Marathon qualifiers and hopefuls, it was a chance to test their legs on the storied climb. For runners like me—for whom qualifying for Boston is a distant “someday” dream—it was a chance to know exactly what all those faster runners are talking about when they dismiss Heartbreak Hill as “not that bad” or confirm its notoriety as “brutal.” I’ve heard the hill described both ways and was excited to find out for myself.

Roughly 6,700 finishers from 47 U.S. states ran in the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids’ run and dog run at the weekend. Exactly 3,074 runners finished the half-marathon; 1,838 completed the 10K; 1,565 crossed the line in the 5K, and 69 doggies finished the Eukanuba Dog Run.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

The post-race festival. (Photo: Brita Meng Outzen)

There’s too much for me to cover in one post, so I’ll share all my doings at the race over the next few weeks. I already covered the Runner’s World 5K, Expo, Festival programming, on-campus accommodations and blogger crew in Race Report: Runner’s World 5K at Heartbreak Hill Half.

Up now is the half-marathon! Read the rest of this entry →

7-Year Raceiversary Inspiration For Running Beginners

Raceiversary Inspiration For Running Beginners

Finishing my first 10K. (Photo: brightroom)

Seven years ago to the day, I toed the line in my very first race. My raceiversary reminds me how far I’ve come: from a totally clueless newbie in cotton socks to an intermediate runner with seven marathons under my race belt. Running beginners, take heart.

On April 29, 2007, I remember being incredibly nervous as I readied for my first race ever, with 5,720 other runners lining up in New York City’s Central Park. I’d being running casually for two years already, so I’d run those hills countless times. But I still didn’t know what to expect from a “race.” It was New York Road Runners’ Run as One TGL Classic. I pushed myself as hard as I could and finished the 4-miler in 46:19 at an 11:34 pace.

Seven years later, I’m amazed by how far I’ve come. My 4-mile personal best is 34:38 at an 8:40 pace. I clawed my way from the back of the pack to the middle to the front of the middle. My half-marathon personal best is 19:18 faster than the national median time of 2:19:48 for women.

And I’m still getting faster.

I hear from running beginners a lot. Having started running from scratch after battling a bone tumor in my leg for a decade, I know what it’s like to hit the pavement and be instantly out of breath. But I also know that by sticking with it, I just kept getting better and running just kept getting easier.

So I thought I’d share some cold, hard stats about just how far I’ve come as a runner. Here’s a comparison between my race times from 2007 and now. The moral of the story: If I can do it, anyone can.

Inspiration For Beginning Runners

My first 1 miler at the Norway Run. (Photo: brightroom)

Inspiration For Running Beginners

My first race, April 29, 2007

4 miles then: 46:19 at 11:34 pace
4 miles now: 34:38 at 8:40 pace

At a 2013 track workout

My first 3-miler/5K, May 22, 2007

3 miles then: 32:17 at 10:45 pace
3 miles now: 23:22 at 7:47 pace

At the 2013 Wild Dog Triathlon

My first 10K, June 9, 2007

6.2 miles then: 1:11:20 at 11:30 pace
6.2 miles now: 54:09 at 8:44 pace

At a 2013 track workout

My first 1-miler, October 6, 2007

1.7 miles then: 16:14 at 9:32 pace
1 mile now: 6:46 at 6:46 pace

At the 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile (I haven’t raced a mile since then!)

Inspiration For Beginning Runners, New York City Marathon

Crossing the finish line of my first marathon. (Photo: brightroom)

My first marathon, November 4, 2007

26.2 miles then: 5:54:25 at 13:31 pace
26.2 miles now: 4:28:06 at 10:14 pace

At the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon

U.S. median women: 4:41:38 at 10:45 pace
U.S. median men: 4:16:24 at 9:47 pace
Stats from Running USA
Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: 2014 Run for the Parks 4-Mile Run

Run For The Parks 4-Mile Run

Finishing Run For The Parks in Central Park. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Regular readers know I host On The Run, New York Road Runners’ Web and TV show about running. It’s a job I genuinely love that has one flaw: I don’t get to run any of the races I cover for the show. It’s OK. I’ve run most of NYRR’s major events in the past: TCS New York City Marathon, NYC Half, Brooklyn Half, Staten Island Half, Fifth Avenue Mile, the list goes on.

Thankfully, NYRR puts on dozens of other races throughout the year. I’ve done a New York Road Runner’s 4-mile run in April every year since 2007, except 2012. It’s traditionally my first fitness test of the year. Basically, this one is my annual wake-up call.

Run For The Parks 4-Mile Run

Stretching in Central Park after my 6-miler on Saturday. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Today, I finished the City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks 4-Mile Run. Last year, the race on April 21 was an especially emotional one. Just one week after the attack at the Boston Marathon, New York Road Runners turned the event into a Run For Boston and benefit for The One Fund Boston. I’ve never seen so much blue in Central Park. My race report is here: An Emotional Run For Boston At Run For The Parks.

This year’s race reminded me of a few things.

First, I’m lucky to call Central Park home turf. The day before the race, I logged 6 miles, much of them through the park. After a winter of hiding out on the treadmill and running errands on the city streets, Central Park kicked my butt. It’s both an unusually beautiful and challenging place to run.

My splits at this race were a case in point. Mile 1 is uphill and (and pretty crowded): I ran 9:20. Slow for me. Too slow. Mile 2 is mostly flat: I ran 8:39. Mile 3 is a series of three hills: I ran 9:01. Mile 4 is largely downhill: I ran 8:35. Read the rest of this entry →

06

Apr 2014

Race Report: The Inaugural Walt Disney World 10K

Walt Disney World 10K

Minnie Mouse presides over the Walt Disney World 10K. (Photo: runDisney)

The Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, January 10, 2014 was the second of four races at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon.

runDisney invited me to be their guest at the race. Some 7,000 runners were completing all four races as part of the Dopey Challenge. Another 3,000 runners, like me, were just along for the ride.

It was the inaugural Walt Disney World 10K with a brand new race patron and medal: Minnie Mouse.

I can’t believe Minnie is only just now getting her own race. (UPDATE: A few readers have pointed out that Minnie Mouse used to host a Women Run the World 15K, known as the Minnie Marathon, that was eventually replaced by Disney’s Princess Half Marathon in 2009. Glad this isn’t Minnie’s first race!)

Of the three races I was running at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend—the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K, and Walt Disney World Half Marathon—I was most excited to earn that Minnie Mouse medal.

Minnie Mouse medals! (Photo: runDisney)

Minnie Mouse medals! (Photo: runDisney)

Going into the Walt Disney World 10K I had just two letters on my mind: PR. I desperately wanted to break 54 minutes and my personal best of 54:09. I was well trained and ready to run. But I had four things working against me come race day.

  1. Sleep deprivation
  2. Humidity
  3. A blister
  4. Dopey Challenge runners

More on that after a breakdown of the race itself. Read the rest of this entry →

My Disney Running Costumes: Walt Disney World 10K

Disney running costumes, Belle running costume

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere!” Me too, Belle!

It’s a tale as old as time: wearing Disney running costumes to races. OK, maybe it’s not a tale as old as time, but for me it does go back to the 2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon, where I donned my first of many Disney running costumes and emerged a changed woman.

I’m wearing three Disney running costumes while running three races as a guest of runDisney at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

Esmeralda running costume, Disney running costumes

I ran the Disney Family Fun Run 5K as Esmeralda.

With the Disney Family Fun Run 5K behind me—dressed as Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame—and a Pluto medal around my neck (full race report is here!), the Walt Disney World 10K is my big target race of the weekend. It’s the one I’m racing for a personal best.

So for this race, I really wanted a costume I can race in. I ran a personal record at the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon while dressed as Cinderella with Prince Charming by my side. So I know that Disney running costumes and PRs can go hand in hand.

But it also means choosing one carefully. No wigs, no hats, no elaborate accessories, and, most importantly, I need to have my hair pulled back. Cinderella was perfect because she wore her hair in a bun to the ball. I almost always wear my hair in a bun when I race.

So I finally settled on the perfect Disney gal to guide me to a new running frontier: Beauty and the Beast’s Belle. Read the rest of this entry →

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 →

I’m Going To Walt Disney World…Half Marathon!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Minnie cheers runners at the 2013 Wat Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

That’s right. In just three weeks, I’ll be at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend from January 8-12, and running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

The folks at runDisney graciously invited me and I just couldn’t say no.

Am I running the marathon again like last year? Um, no. With just a few weeks preparation, I’m not quite in marathon shape. Sure, I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20 and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on November 9, but that 13.1 miles was my last long run. The longest I’ve gone since then is 6.5 miles.

As tempting as it would be to tackle the marathon or, even more, the Dopey Challenge, I’m “just” going to run every other race that weekend instead. That’s right, I’ll be tackling the Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon on three consecutive days. 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 →

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K Turkey Trot

turkey trot

Great T-Shirt design at the Trot Off Your Turkey 5K. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The Trot Off Your Turkey 5K in Barrington, R.I., in Saturday, November 30 was, I’m amazed to say, my very first Turkey Trot in seven years of racing.

It was a fantastic local event with 637 runners in the 5K and 229 in the 1.5-mile run/walk. I loved everything about this race, from the flat course and bountiful post-race spread to the great T-shirt design and warm, community vibe.

It was 28 degrees at the start, so my husband, Phil, and I bundled up for a brisk run on a cloudless, blue-sky day.

A food drive and raffle raised money for TapIn, an all-volunteer, outreach program that provides food, clothing, household goods, transportation and other services to local residents in need.

The main event was a fundraiser for St. Luke’s School, where the race was held. Bib pick-up and the raffle were inside the school gym, which I very much appreciated since it was so cold outside. Read the rest of this entry →

02

Dec 2013

Race Report: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Finished! (Photo: Marathon-Photos.com)

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20, 2013 was my seventh marathon in as many years. Put on by Canada Running Series, the entire event was top-notch with a flat course around Canada’s largest city.

Hugging much of the city’s waterfront, the course is known as a fast, but sometimes windy, race.

But this year, runners couldn’t have asked for more ideal weather. The temperature at the start hovered around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, warming up to 55 later in the day. Clear skies brought plenty of sunshine, and wind was negligible. It was a perfect day to run a marathon.

More than 20,000 runners tackled races at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon: 3,655 runners finished the marathon, 10,094 finished the half-marathon, and 6,493 finished the 5K. Runners came from every Canadian province, more than 40 U.S. states, and 60 countries around the world. I heard runners speaking a myriad of languages, and heard even more end their sentences with, “Eh?” Only in Canada. Read the rest of this entry →

Running The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Media Challenge For Charity

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The start of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon (Photo: Canada Running Series)

The countdown is on. In just four days, I’ll be at the starting line of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

But I’m not just running the race. I’m also taking part in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Media Challenge, a race-within-a-race where reporters, editors, producers, photographers and assorted media folk face off against each other for charity. I’m running on behalf of the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada in memory of my cousin, Laura, who died last year from a sarcoma cancer.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Hamza family won Best Dressed Costume in the 5K. (Photo: Canada Running Series)

It’s all part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, an initiative that raised $4.3 million for 181 charities in 2012.

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon hosts 25,000 runners from over 60 countries for the event’s three race distances: the marathon, half-marathon and 5K.

The marathon course is known as a flat and fast, but sometimes windy, run around Canada’s largest city, with 150,000 spectators cheering runners on.

Whatsmore, more than one-quarter of the race’s runners register to support one of the event’s 180 official charities partners.

Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Stephane Hetherington won Best DressedCostume in the marathon and a Guinness World Record for fastest marathon in a superhero costume. (Photo: Canada Running Series)

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Charity Challenge

The Scotiabank Charity Challenge has lots of competitions to encourage people to raise money.

Charities can earn bonus money for placing in the top three in each of these categories: most participants, most money raised, most money per participant raised. It’s an extra incentive Scotiabank gives charities to get as many runners as they can out on the course.

But that’s just the beginning of the challenge.

Costume Challenge

Perhaps the most fun is the Best Dressed Costume contest. Runners can win extra money for their charity of choice by taking home the best-dressed prize. Scotiabank donates $5,000 to the costume winners’ charity picks. Read the rest of this entry →

16

Oct 2013

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