Posts Tagged ‘running’

Race The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half With Me!

Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival

Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival

That’s right! From June 6-8, I’ll be at Boston College in Newton, Mass., for the inaugural Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival as part of the official blogging crew. (Read: They’re covering my race entries, hotel and some meals.) And me? I’ve got discount codes for you.

Why Heartbreak Hill? Boston College sits at the top of the famous Heartbreak Hill section of the Boston Marathon. It’s a rare chance for runners who aren’t yet fast enough to qualify for Boston, myself included, to run this storied stretch of road. Consider me pumped.

The weekend of races includes the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon on Sunday and the Runner’s World 5K and Runner’s World 10K on Saturday. For you challenge lovers, take on multiple races. The Five & Dime is back-to-back 5K and 10K races on Saturday; the Hat Trick has you run the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon. All runners receive a finisher’s medal and shirt—tech for the half, event shirt for the 5K and 10K.

All three courses start at the Boston College campus. The 5K is a looped run around the college and Chestnut Hill Reservoir. The 10K and half marathon head west to Commonwealth Avenue and the hills of Newton, Mass. The 10K is an out-and-back run, as is the half-marathon, which also includes a large loop around the Brae Burn County Club. Miles 9.5 to 13 of the half cover the storied Heartbreak Hill section of the Boston Marathon, giving the race weekend its name. 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

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 →

I’m In SHAPE Magazine! Running Diva Dash Minneapolis

SHAPE April 2014

April’s SHAPE

If you’re a SHAPE Magazine subscriber, flip to page 104 where you’ll find me, yes, me!

SHAPE and EAS Sports Nutrition brought me on as a hired gun for the 2014 SHAPE Diva Dash series. I had so much fun at the 2013 SHAPE Diva Dash that it was easy to say yes. I’m sharing training tips in ads for the race and EAS in the April and May issues.

Then I’ll be running the SHAPE Diva Dash in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul on May 31, 2014.

The SHAPE Diva Dash is a series of 5K obstacle runs for women that are light on mud and barbed wire and heavy on the kinds of obstacles you might find at a playground: monkey bars, rope climbs and other challenges that test strength, speed and balance.

With 10 races around the U.S., each course is different and includes 10-12 obstacles. Terrain might be a combination of pavement, grass and trails. The most fun part is you won’t know what they’ll throw at you until race day.

SHAPE Diva Dash 5K Obstacle Race

Team “I ♥ NY” is ready to rock! (Photo: Cindy Gordon)

I ran the 2013 SHAPE Diva Dash in New Jersey last October. It certainly helped bring out the playground kid in me. I did the race with four of my friends, dressed in matching “I ♥ NY” gear.

Diva Dash races have one competitive wave and multiple non-competitive wave starts. We ran the race in one of the non-competitive waves, stayed together, and had a blast. We giggled through the whole thing. It was the perfect antidote to a long and laborious marathon training season. The race was just two weeks before my big fall marathon, perfect timing for a taper fun run. 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

How To Register For America’s 15 Biggest Marathons

biggest marathons

Runners at the Marine Corps Marathon. (Photo: Cpl. Bryan G. Lett/US Marine Corp)

Still deciding what marathon you want to run in the next 12 months? I am! The 15 biggest marathons in the U.S. are a common place to start.

Over the last few months, I’ve been posting when lotteries and registrations open for many popular races, from large runDisney events to a small 7-miler in Key West, half-marathons in New York to major marathons all over the U.S. It’s always frustrating to discover a race you want to run is already sold-out.

So here’s how and when to register for America’s 15 biggest marathons. Some of them are even among the biggest marathons in the world. And guess what? Most of them sell out before race day.

Half-marathoners, keep in mind that many of these events have 13.1-mile races the same weekend. So if you don’t want to go 26.2, you’ve still got options.

Biggest Marathons in the U.S. in 2013

1. TCS New York City Marathon

New York
50,266 finishers
#1 in the U.S. and #1 in the world
Next race: November 2, 2014
Registration: Lottery closed. Charity entries available.
Half Marathon? No Read the rest of this entry →

Scenes From Jerusalem Half Marathon and Marathon

Jerusalem Half Marathon

The Jerusalem Half Marathon. (Photo: Flash 90)

Holy hills! The Jerusalem Half Marathon is now behind me and 15,550 other runners who tackled 10K, half and marathon races at the Jerusalem Marathon. I ran the race as part of a press trip sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in cooperation with El Al Airlines. About 4,680 runners took on the half-marathon with me, mostly men. The event as a whole is 71 percent male. The women’s running boom hasn’t quite happened in Israel yet, it seems.

It was spectacularly scenic and easily the most difficult course I’ve ever run. Ever. No seriously, I mean it. Every runner I talked to agreed, including folks who have run 20-50 road marathons around the world. There are probably courses that are as difficult. But it’s hard to imagine a tougher one far as city marathons and half-marathons go. This was a road race with a trail profile. Between the hills—never ending climbs up never ending hills followed by quad-crushing descents—and the turns—more than 40 of them over 13.1 miles—this is not a course to run a personal best. The marathon is no different.

But the scenery makes up for it. At the tops of those hills are views of the Old City, the new city and Jordan in the distance. Around those turns are historic sites, charming neighborhoods and, sometimes, more hills.

So I sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the ride…or at least the running equivalent. I haven’t even looked up my official time because I really don’t care. I ran with a GoPro camera, stopped and shot video, took pictures and just enjoyed the gorgeous course. My good friend, triathlon partner in crime, and Canadian journalist Tania, was there with me. One look at the photos, and you’ll see why we’re friends.

So here’s a sneak peak at the event. My full race report—with the nitty gritty details on the race, organization, course, and my experience of it all—is still to come when I get home from the trip!

Jerusalem Half Marathon Preview

21

Mar 2014

The Jerusalem Half Marathon Is Finally Here

Jerusalem Half Marathon

A view of the Old City and the Dome of the Rock from the Mount of Olives. Definitely serious.

Greetings from Jerusalem!

The big day has finally arrived. I’m running the Jerusalem Half Marathon tomorrow as part of a press trip sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in cooperation with El Al Airlines.

I’ve written about why A Running Pilgrimage To The Jerusalem Marathon is special to me as a former religion reporter, waxed poetic with Reflections On Running and Religion, hatched a Jerusalem Half Marathon Training Plan, and shared my thoughts about my Jerusalem Half Marathon Training Or Lack Thereof. But now it’s time to run.

I won’t be racing this one, but instead want to take in the sights and sounds of the city. In my three days on the ground here, I’ve seen both sides of Jerusalem: serious and silly, somber and sublime. The photo above reflects the gravitas of Jerusalem. The one below, its goofy side.

I’ve met Muslims, Christians and Jews, runners and non-runners, many of whom have been delightfully candid in their views of life, politics, religion and the collision of them all in this spectacular setting. And it is spectacular.

But I’ll leave all that for another day. Tonight I sleep. Tomorrow I explore the city in yet another way—through the lens of running. Of course, there is much more to come.

Jerusalem Half Marathon

On a Segway Tour of Jerusalem. Definitely silly.

20

Mar 2014

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: MarathonFoto.com)

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.

Love,
Karla

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!

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 →

Happy 2014! Holiday Running Streak Finish: Week 5

running streak finish

Happy New Year! Starting it with a run.

Happy New Year! It’s 2014 and I’m already starting off the year right: with a victory.

I did it! I made it all the way through to the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak finish, running at least 1 mile every day from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day.

I finished the streak strong, with my highest mileage tally yet: 30.52 miles. Now I’ve got a solid base for some serious races in 2014.

The Holiday Running Streak was a really invigorating experience, so much so that I’m planning to continue the streak for as long as I can.

Whether that’s one more day, one more week or even one year, I’m going to keep on plugging. Let’s see how far I can go.

Here’s to a new year of running and all the excitement it brings!

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak Finish: Week 5 Read the rest of this entry →

Running in Hawai’i, Big Island: Where to Race, Run, Stay

running in Hawai'i

Running through Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Hawai’i Island is the triathlon Mecca of the world. But Hawai’i is also a great running vacation destination, as my husband, Phil, and I learned on a trip there in August, which was sponsored by the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau. When it comes to running in Hawai’i—whether you’re going there to race, to train or just for fun—there are many iconic, unforgettable places to get in a jog.

I put together a “Running Vacation” guide to Hawai’i, the Big Island in my column at The Washington Times Communities. Here are some highlights and embellishments.

What To Race

Triathlons in Hawai’i
running in Hawai'i, triathlon

A cyclist on Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway  (Photo: Phil Hospod)

To compete in the Ironman World Championship, athletes must earn a spot at a qualifying race, gain entry through a lottery or win a bib at a charitable auction. But that’s not the only triathlon on Hawai’i Island.

The Ironman 70.3 Hawai’i on May 31, 2014 is the only Ironman World Championship qualifier held on the island, with a start and finish on the Kohala Coast.

Or try the Lavaman Triathlon Series with Olympic distance races at Keauhou on November 24, 2013 and Waikoloa on March 30, 2014. And many other triathlon events take place on the island throughout the year.

Running in Hawai’i
running in Hawai'i

Kona Marathon Map

Just want to run? Tackle the Kona Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K or 5K on June 22, 2014, or the Big Island International Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K on March 16, 2014.

Big Island Road Runners put together many local races like Hilo To Volcano 50k Ultra Marathon and Relay on January 18, 2014 and Mana 10s—your choice of a 10K or 10-miler on Mana Road in August.

And Peaman puts on a free series of events throughout the year. There are lots of year-round options for running in Hawai’i.

Where To Run

running in hawai'i

Views from a run on Ali’i Drive. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Ali’i Drive

The most famous spot for running in Hawai’i might be Ali’i Drive. The iconic road is seven-miles long from start to finish with markers every mile. Winding through Kailua-Kona, the oceanfront road features prominently in most races in Kona, including the Ironman World Championship and Kona Marathon.

Phil and I made sure to get in a run along the route while we were staying at the Sheraton Kona, which is perfectly situated and the end of Ali’i Drive. Read the rest of this entry →

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak: Week 4

runner's world holiday running streak, Central Park

Running through Central Park on Christmas Day.

This is it. With four weeks down, I’m entering the final stretch of the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak.

So far, my quest to run at least 1 mile every day from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day has been a resounding success.

I had a slight drop-down in mileage this week thanks to holiday festivities, but my Monday to Sunday calendar week was my highest yet at 28.94 miles.

It’s keeping me so motivated that I’m thinking on continuing the streak into 2014.

But one step at a time. I have to get to the finish line of the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak first.

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak: Week 4

Wednesday, December 18: 3.51 miles

My favorite way to kill time on a treadmill is to push buttons. And a fartlek workout is a perfect workout for button-pushing. So I did 1-minute hard and 1-minute easy for 30 minutes with a little warm-up and cool-down on each side. Read the rest of this entry →

27

Dec 2013

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak: Week 3

running streak, runner's world holiday running streak, Holiday running

Rocking my run streak in Central Park. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

I’ve now survived three weeks of the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak, my quest to run at least 1 mile every single day from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day.

Only I have discovered that 2 miles is the new 1 mile.

Without consciously setting out to do it, I upped my mileage with longer “rest” days. Instead of 1 mile, I decided to get in 20 minutes of easy cardio.

The result? I feel amazing. I honestly can’t believe how well the streak is going and how totally normal running every day feels. I’m over the tiredness I felt in Week 2.

Ask me again in another few weeks, but for now, running and I are besties.

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak: Week 3

Wednesday, December 11: 2.05 miles

I had some errands to run that were roughly 1 mile away from home. So I ran there. And ran back. Love sneaking in easy miles that way. Plus, in certain neighborhoods and times of day, running is actually faster than the subway, bus, or cabs. Oh, to live in New York City.

Thursday, December 12: 6.25 miles

This was a gentle progression run on the treadmill. I watched TV, instead of listening to music as usual, and the miles just flew by. I could have kept going and going and going. It was my longest and overall fastest run of the week. Some days, you’re just on. 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 2

Runner's World Holiday Running Streak, Christmas Tree

My Christmas tree!

It’s alive!!! I’ve made it through two weeks of the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak.

In Week 1 I did 20.15 miles. This week I topped that by 3.56 miles. My plan is to use this streak as a base for some super fast personal record attempts in the Spring.

And it’s all going according to plan, mwah ha ha ha.

I started Week 2 feeling a bit worn down. Wednesday and Thursday took every drop of mental fortitude I had. My body and my mind just didn’t want to run. The bloom and excitement of starting the streak had worn off. I think my body started feeling the effects of running every day. But then I got my groove and finished the week strong.

Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak: Week 2

Wednesday, Dec. 4: 1.00 mile

I was just inexplicably tired. I logged precisely 1-mile with my dog. I mapped it out before hand and stopped the second I crossed the 1-mile mark. Sometimes a girl needs a break.

Thursday, Dec. 5: 5.32 miles

I planned a 5-mile workout. Every ounce of me wanted to quit at 3 miles. I was on the treadmill and I just wasn’t feeling it. The seconds were crawling by. But I made myself finish. Read the rest of this entry →

14

Dec 2013

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