Posts Tagged ‘PR’

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

Race Report: Direct Edge Newport Liberty Half Marathon

Newport Liberty Half Marathon, Jersey City, Manhattan skyline

Smiling before the Direct Edge Newport Liberty Half Marathon. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The Direct Edge Newport Liberty Half Marathon on Sunday, September 22, 2013 was my half marathon moment of truth—my second attempt at breaking the 2-hour barrier at 13.1 miles. My personal best from the 2012 Staten Island Half Marathon stood at 2:00:30. And… it still stands.

Let’s start with the race itself.

Newport Liberty Half Marathon, Jersey City, Manhattan skyline

View of Manhattan from Newport Town Square. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Direct Edge Newport Liberty Half Marathon

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Direct Edge Newport Liberty Half Marathon is a low-frills event in Jersey City, N.J. with 2,700 runners and a gorgeous course.

When I say gorgeous, I mean gorgeous. As the website claims, this is easily the most beautiful half marathon course in New York City’s metro area. I’ve run the NYC Half, Brooklyn Half, Staten Island Half and Yonkers Half. While they all have their charms—run through Times Square at the NYC Half, finish on the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn, watch FDNY fire boats perform a water salute in Staten Island, and take in cliff high views of the Hudson River in Yonkers—the Newport Liberty Half Marathon offers more breathtaking views mile for mile than any other NYC area race I’ve done. Read the rest of this entry →

23

Sep 2013

Race Report: Wild Dog Triathlon in Rhode Island

The Wild Dog Triathlon on August 11, 2013 in the charming town of Bristol, Rhode Island did not disappoint with a gorgeous course and great organization. I’ve long been a fan of the state known as “Little Rhody.” It’s one of my favorite summer vacation getaways. I’ve run a small handful of races there—the UnitedHealthcare Providence Half Marathon and two local 5Ks.

But the Wild Dog Triathlon was my first multi-sport event in Rhode Island, and it has to be the most scenic of the bunch I’ve done. With a swim in the warm waters of Narragansett Bay, a looped bike course around the dazzling Colt State Park, and an out-and-back run entirely along the water, this is a race I’d happily do again.

Wild Dog Triathlon

Bristol Harbor at morning. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Bristol, Rhode Island

The town of Bristol recalls many a fictional, but picturesque New England hamlet like Stars Hollow, Conn., of “Gilmore Girls” fame or Cabot Cove, Maine from “Murder She Wrote.” There’s also a touch of Quahog, R.I. from “The Family Guy.” How cute is Rhode Island and Narragansett Bay? They’ve served as the backdrop for idyllic films like Moonrise Kingdom, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, and Dan In Real Life, not to mention many a Farrelly brothers’ movie like There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber. The Big Blue Bug? It’s actually mounted on the roof of a building in Rhode Island.

But Bristol is the real deal. The town is most famous for its 4th of July parade, the oldest in the U.S., dating back to 1785. The double-yellow line that marks two-way traffic on most streets isn’t yellow at all in Bristol. Along the parade-route, it’s red, white and blue year-round.

But that’s only part of Bristol’s charm. Throw in a town common with an actual white gazebo (take that Stars Hollow), a bustling downtown on the waterfront, a 14-mile bike path that goes all the way to Providence, and an embarrassment of museums, grand old mansions, and public-access green spaces like Colt State Park and Mount Hope Farm. Simply, Bristol is a perfect place for a summer retreat…or a triathlon.

Wild Dog Triathlon

The men of wave 1 wait for the start. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Wild Dog Triathlon

The race was exceedingly well organized. Registration and packet pick-up was a breeze, the race started on time, and the courses were well-marked. Read the rest of this entry →

22

Aug 2013

What if Disney’s Cinderella Were A Runner?

Cinderella, runDisney

Cinderella at the ball is like a runner at a big race.

runDisney Cinderella

If Disney characters were runners, what kind of runners would they be?

In honor of registration opening today for runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend including the new Enchanted 10K and Glass Slipper Challenge, I thought I’d share another installment of my runDisney Character Profiles.

Previous installments have looked at Sleeping Beauty as the runner who needs to take a few weeks off even if she doesn’t want to, and Alice in Wonderland as the newbie runner who has fallen down the running rabbit hole.

This week, we’re working hard with my favorite runDisney Princess and one who suits Disney’s Princess Half Marathon perfectly…Cinderella Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: UnitedHealthcare Providence Half

Providence Half Marathon

Phil and me after the race. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

It was a rainy weekend for the Cox Providence Rhode Races in Rhode Island on Sunday, May 12, 2013.

But the rain didn’t stop me and over 3,100 other runners from tackling the UnitedHealthcare Providence Half Marathon and Cox Providence Marathon. A race where “HOPE” is the state motto couldn’t be anything but uplifting.

I certainly looked happy on race day, as this video my husband took attests. He’s newly obsessed with Vine, the 6-second video version of Twitter. I’m saying “Rhode Races” at the end, but it gets cut off a bit.

Read the rest of this entry →

15

May 2013

UnitedHealthcare Providence Half Marathon Training

half marathon, half marathon training

UnitedHealthcare Providence Half Marathon

2012 was a great year in running for me. I set personal records in the marathon, half-marathon and sprint triathlon, then followed them up with a victory lap at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon in January.

But since then, I’ve been floating in a nebulous training zone, half-heartedly running and doing some weight training, while philosophizing about being “fit.” I joined two friends in “Fit February,” which meant, for me, making healthier food choices—basically not eating ice cream every night—and exercising five days a week. I succeeded in losing two pounds during “Fit February,” but not much else. It’s been a long, cold, snowy and treadmill heavy winter.

So after two loosey-goosey months, it’s time to focus again, shake out the cobwebs and get some real training done. I’m not a runner who can train hard with no goal in sight. I need a big race to look forward to.

So here goes. I’ve finally settled on my next big race: UnitedHealthcare Providence Half Marathon on May 12. Read the rest of this entry →

05

Mar 2013

Looking Back At My First Marathon PR, ’80s Music Style

NYC marathon, marathon PR

Ready to shave 1 hour from my marathon time.

In just a few days, I’ll be staring at the starting line of the Walt Disney World Marathon on January 13, 2013. It will be my sixth marathon and the first I’m not running for a personal best. This one is just for fun, and I don’t care how long it takes me. I’m going to wear a costume, take pictures with Disney characters and enjoy a course that runs through four theme parks, a race track and a baseball diamond.

To honor the occasion, I thought I’d take a look back at my second marathon, which was the exact opposite. At the 2008 ING New York City Marathon, I set out to shatter my one and only marathon time—clocked on the same course just a year before—by an hour. It would be a huge marathon PR.

This race report was first published on TheSportsBank.net in November 2008, but I thought I’d finally put it up here at RunKarlaRun.com too. After all, it was my first true marathon PR.

I also happen to be in an ’80s cover band called The Fades. This month marks the 5th anniversary of our first show. We’re all—save one—marathoners. In fact, I’m the slowest of the bunch. This post was inspired by them. Rock on, Fades!

Marathon Redux, ’80s Music Edition

I did it. I ran the ING New York City Marathon. Again. And by ran, I mean ran. The whole blessed thing. Who knew all it would take was zealous devotion to a few ‘80s songs? Read the rest of this entry →

08

Jan 2013

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