Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run (MarathonFoto)

This post is brought you by the letters P and R. That’s right! I had a fantastic race at the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run despite some wonky weather that brought 50 mph winds and a sub-freezing windchill.

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Success! (MarathonFoto)

More than 16,000 runners finished the race around Washington, D.C. on Sunday, April 3. I headed to D.C. with my husband and a dozen friends who decided to make a weekend of it.

This was my second time running the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. In 2012, I found the course far too crowded and no cherry blossoms on the trees. The second time around, there were still no cherry blossoms—what had been left from peak season blew off the trees the night before in 50 mph winds. There was not a one to be found.

But I headed to Washington, D.C. earlier in the week and had the chance to see them during a gorgeous run around the National Mall, before they all blew away. Phew!

Where I Stayed

I’ve come to love visiting Washington, D.C. It’s a truly fantastic running town.

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Running the National Mall in 2015! (RunKarlaRun.com)

This is my third trip to the city in the last year, and my husband Phil’s umpteenth. I’ve stayed at three different hotels in that time; Phil has stayed at a dozen different properties in the city. Our go-to hotel has become The Carlyle Dupont Circle, a Kimpton Hotel. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

We won! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Trot Off Your Turkey 5K and 1.5-Miler on Saturday, November 28 was my third year running the event in Barrington, RI. It’s a fantastic local turkey trot with 552 runners in the 5K and 263 in the 1.5-mile run/walk.

I love everything about this race, from the gloriously flat course and bountiful post-race spread to the warm, community vibe.

Best of all, the course is actually USATF certified, a rarity in small-town 5K running. So I know I can count on these times. I’ve got three other “5K” times in my Athlinks profile that were on non-certified courses both short and long, which I don’t count in my PR logs.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

The race raised money for St. Luke’s School. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The turkey trot is a fundraiser for St. Luke’s School, where the race is held. Bib pick-up and the raffle are inside the school gym.

The $20 entry fee is one of the best bangs for your buck out there. After the race, the gym transforms into a smorgasbord with Blount’s Chicken Noodle Soup and Butternut Squash Bisque, Dunkin’ Donuts, Domino’s Pizza, Chips & Salsa from Tito’s Cantina, Bananas, Bagels, Water, and Gatorade. Runners also get a cotton tee.

An additional food drive and raffle raises money for TapIn, an all-volunteer, outreach program that provides food, clothing, household goods, transportation, and other services to Rhode Island in need. Raffle tickets are just $1 each, or six for $5. You can even pre-purchase raffle tickets online with your race registration, which is what I did, so you can leave your wallet at home.

My mom, husband, and I showed up ready to run in the warm, November mist. It was about 55 degrees with no wind—a rarity in Rhode Island!—and a light drizzle coming down. My mom was tackling the 1.5-miler, while Phil and I were running the 5K. I had no idea what my legs might have in them just six days after the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon.

I’m happy to report that Phil, my mom, and I won! Raffle prizes that is! For the third year in a row (what?!) someone in my family has taken home a prize. Phil also won 2nd in his age group!

But I also had a surprisingly fantastic race, turning in my second fastest 5K ever, just 20 seconds behind my PR. I honestly shocked myself.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

Ready to run! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Karla’s Turkey Trot

My first time out of the gates at this turkey trot in 2013, I ran a 5K personal record of 24:46 that stands to this day.

Last year was the opposite. Riding high after a great race at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2014, I decided to chase my 5K PR. Instead, I crashed and burned. I ended up having to walk thanks to some hefty abdominal cramps, finishing in a slow-for-me 28:03.

I didn’t want a repeat of that performance.

Phil and I lined up for the start, chatting about how his watch had died and he was just going to have to run by feel.

We had no idea the race was about to start; the horn sounded, catching us both by surprise. I clicked my watch to start, but it was jammed on the “Can’t find GPS signal” screen. I tapped and tapped and tapped, but I couldn’t start the workout. Like Phil, I too would just have to run by feel. Read the rest of this entry →

30

Nov 2015

Race Report: Gore-Tex Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

They colored my green shirt purple for this green screen pic! (Island Photos)

I ran the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015 with race sponsor GORE-TEX, returning to the City of Brotherly Love for the third time as a runner. I’d scored a personal best at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012, ran my third fastest 13.1-miler at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2014, and I was back to give the half-marathon another go on Sunday, November 22.

Nearly 22,000 runners finished races at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, with 10,899 finishers in the half-marathon, another 9,159 in the marathon, and 1,910 in the 8K. And approximately 60,000 spectators lined the course to cheer us on. My husband, Phil, joined me, along with a bunch of our running teammates.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

We are the champions! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The event is a big city race with a small town feel. Unlike more crowded marathons in New York and Chicago, runners wander into corrals just 15 minutes or so before the race’s 7 a.m. start. The vibe is relaxed and unhurried. It feels like the city simply wants you to relax and have a good time. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is at the start and the finish passing out high-fives to runners, setting the tone for a friendly race experience.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Expo fun! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Expo

The Comcast Health & Fitness Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center has a great selection of vendors. Last year, I bought some last minute race items. This year, I picked up some Clif Shots and a Christmas present for Phil. Plus, it’s fun to try some GORE-TEX shoes and splash around in the water pools at the GORE-TEX booth.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Comcast Health & Fitness Expo (RunKarlaRun.com)

Seriously you guys, if you run in the rain or snow, you need a pair of these shoes. They’ve been a game-changer for me. New Balance, Brooks, Asics, Saucony, The North Face, Salomon, and La Sportiva all make running shoes with GORE-TEX lining. Just look for models with GTX in the name.

How does it work? The GORE-TEX lining has more than 9 billion pores per square inch. Each pore is 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water. That means rain, puddle water, snow, and the like can’t get into your shoes (unless they spill over the top). At the same time, those pores are 700 times larger than a water vapor molecule, so sweat can get out.

Your feet stay dry, your shoes stay breathable. It’s a win-win. If you’re among the 75% of runners who head outdoors in cold and wet weather, have ever run in soggy shoes and waited days for them them to dry out, check out some GORE-TEX kicks. I’ve genuinely become an evangelist for this brand. I love it.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

We’re ready to run! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Start

Phil and I left our hotel—1.5 miles to the start—at 5:45 a.m. and found a cab within 5 minutes. We were on site by 6 a.m. How’s that for no muss, no fuss? That’s what I mean about Philly being a low-key race. You could never do that in New York. Don’t get me wrong: the New York City Marathon is my favorite race ever, but it’s refreshing to run a big-city race where getting to the start isn’t an ordeal.

Despite heightened security at all of the start area entry points, we waited less than 5 minutes to get into the staging ground.

We found a bank of port-a-potties close to the entrance that no one seemed to be using. So we didn’t have to wait in line at all. Love that! The bathrooms near the corrals closer to the start time are much more crowded.

Baggage was easy to find, and by the time we’d used the bathroom and dropped off our bag, we still had 35 minutes to kill before the start. Read the rest of this entry →

27

Nov 2015

Training For A Bermuda Triangle Challenge PR Attempt

Getting Lost In The Bermuda Triangle Challenge

The Bermuda Marathon & Half Marathon (Photo: Bermuda Tourism Authority)

In six weeks, I’m taking on the Bermuda Triangle Challenge at the Bermuda Marathon Weekend, courtesy of the race’s organizers. It will be just eight weeks after I ran my fastest half-marathon in two years at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon.

The Bermuda Triangle Challenge dares runners to survive three races over three days: KPMG Bermuda Invitation Mile, HSBC Bermuda 10K, and HSBC Bermuda Marathon or Half Marathon. I’ll be taking on the Bermuda Triangle Half Marathon Challenge, building on my success at the Philly Half.

Want to join me? Use code RUNBDA to get 20% off registration.

Getting Lost in the Bermuda Triangle Challenge

The Bermuda Triangle Challenge (Photo: Bermuda Tourism Authority)

Bermuda Triangle Challenge PR Attempt

When I first wrote about the Bermuda Triangle Challenge 12 weeks ago, I threw down the gauntlet: “I will run a personal best at one of the three events. I’m not sure which one I’m going to target yet, but I’d love take down any of my 1 mile, 10K or half-marathon PRs.”

But which one to choose?

At the Philly Half, I showed some serious closing speed that I didn’t know I had in me, finishing the last two miles of the race in 8:37 and 8:49 and with an overall time of 2:05:46. As a result, part of me is tempted to go for the half-marathon PR. But honestly? I’d rather not have it hanging over my head all weekend. I think I want to just enjoy the scenery on that one.

Plus, if the weather is on the warm side, that will put the kibosh on that. I’d rather bask in the glory of having run my best half-marathon in two years and take down a shorter distance before working up to the 13.1-mile PR has proven to be my personal Everest. Plus, the year that I ran my 2:00:30—my current PR—I ran 2:05:15 eight months before, awfully close to what I just ran in Philly. I think asking five minutes less of myself after just two months might be a stretch. So scratch PR-ing at the half. Read the rest of this entry →

10

Dec 2014

Race Report: Gore-Tex Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

The start (Island Photo)

I ran the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014 as a guest of race sponsor GORE-TEX, returning to the City of Brotherly Run and Sisterly Endurance for the second time as a runner. I’d scored a personal best at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012 and I was back to give the Philadelphia Half Marathon a go on Sunday, November 23. Meanwhile, my husband Phil was out to run his fastest marathon ever.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

The City of Brotherly Love (Island Photo)

The event is a big city race with a small town feel. Unlike more crowded marathons in New York and Chicago, runners wander into corrals just 15 minutes or so before the race’s 7 a.m. start. The vibe is relaxed and unhurried. It feels like the city simply wants you to relax and have a good time. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is at the start and the finish passing out high-fives to runners, setting the tone for a friendly, mostly flat and fast course.

Nearly 25,000 runners finished races at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, with 12,795 finishers in the half-marathon, another 10,364 in the marathon, and 1,699 in the 8K. And approximately 60,000 spectators lined the course to cheer us on.

Travel

Phil and I stayed at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, which was perfectly located for the race and touring the city. We arrived late Friday night, and ate breakfast on Saturday at the delicious Dutch Eating Place at the famous Reading Terminal Market right across the street from the hotel.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Dutch Eating Place (RunKarlaRun.com

It isn’t a trip to Philly without Amish baked treats like a grilled Sticky Bun. Yum! Then we were off to the expo just next door.

I headed back to the market later in the day for a blogger meet-up with Katherine at Food, Fitness, Fantasy, Jen at The Final Forty, Mer at Scoot a Doot, and Vic at Scoot a Doot. It was so great to finally meet these ladies after reading their blogs over the years!

Race Report: Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Bloggers! Courtesy of (Katherine Rautenberg)

The Marriott was about a mile to the start of the race, so you could easily walk or cab if you wanted to save your legs like we did. On Saturday after the meet-up, we headed to the Rodin Museum near the start and then out to dinner in Center City.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

The Thinker at the Rodin Musuem (RunKarlaRun.com)

It was all walkable from our hotel (though we cabbed to the museum because it was raining).

On Sunday after the race we walked back to the hotel, showered, and returned to the market for some post-race cheese steaks, cannolis and other goodies. It really was a great location to stay as a running tourist.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Bib in hand! (RunKarlaRun.com)

GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014 Expo

We got the expo when it opened at 10 a.m. on Saturday to get our bibs and check out the vendors. Read the rest of this entry →

07

Dec 2014

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 →

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