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 →
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
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.
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
Views from a run on Ali’i Drive. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Ready for the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak. (Photo: Phil Hospod)
As Thanksgiving Day rapidly approaches I’m struggling with an age-old running question: To streak or not to streak? Back in 2011, I participated in the first annual Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak. I ran at least a mile a day from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, logging 100 miles in 40 days during a month when I often sit on my butt. It was an excellent exercise in perseverance that helped me battle the gluttony of the holidays and sluggishness of cold, dark winter days. I didn’t run a fall marathon in 2011, so I was raring to go.
Come 2012, I’d finished the Philadelphia Marathon just four days before Thanksgiving and I didn’t have the running streak in me. I needed a break.
But this year, I’m debating taking the pledge once again. My fall marathon, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, is more than a month behind me and I’m feeling that familiar itch—the itch to train. I loved doing the running streak in 2011. It kept me honest and gave me a great training base for nabbing some personal bests in 2012, which proved to be one of my fastest years on record. Though I bested my 5K and 10K times this year, my half-marathon and marathon PRs from 2012 still stand.
But the Holiday Running Streak is a commitment. I found that squeezing in a mile was sometimes difficult. There were midnight runs, a pre-holiday party run in 3-inch heels, and post-dinner runs with creamed spinach jiggling in my belly. There were sick runs, runs during snowstorms in rural Quebec, and plain, old “I don’t want to” runs.
What an amazing day to be in New York City. The 2013 ING New York City Marathon came back with the biggest field of runners in the history of the sport. At the 43rd running of the race 50,304 finishers made it the world’s largest marathon ever.
Bryan Steinhauer ran the ING New York City Marathon after recovering from a life-threatening attack and coma. (Photo: On The Run/NYRR)
In this episode of “On The Run” Tim Hutchings, Carrie Tollefson and I look at the highlights from the race, talk to some runners including pros and charity runners, and follow-up with a few of the athletes we profiled in previous episodes including Bryan Steinhauer, Team One Spirit, Bill Rancic and more. We also take a look back at the excitement of race week.
But I’d also like to share my thoughts about the marathon and what it means to me.
It was an honor to be a part of race week and the marathon, and to be in the middle of all the action. I’ve run the ING New York City Marathon three times and watched as a spectator even more. Each time, New York didn’t disappoint. It was my first marathon and it still stands as my favorite. Read the rest of this entry →
Just after the 12-mile mark, the marathon course tracks past The Merchandise Mart, where my dad worked during his glory days. I spent many weekends at my dad’s office when I was growing up. I can never pass the Mart without thinking of him. He was a workaholic, but more importantly, he was an alcoholic.
As we crossed the Chicago River near the 12-mile marker, we passed the building where my dad once worked. “That’s the Merchandise Mart,” one of the pace team leaders yelled to the group. “It’s the largest office building in the world.” I bowed my head and prayed for strength. Not for me, but for him. At some point during his life, he’d lost the strength he once had; he died of alcoholism at the age of 58.
Last month marked the 10th anniversary of this death.
My dad never knew me as a runner. For a decade, I hated running, thanks to a bone tumor in my leg just below my knee. The surgery that changed my life, and opened up the world of running to me, happened just two months after my father died. Read the rest of this entry →
In the latest installment of “On The Run at the 2013 ING New York City Marathon,” we broadcast from the Dash to the Finish Line 5k, a run from the United Nations to the marathon finish line in Central Park. More than 5,000 runners joined the race, including a stacked field of Olympians.
We bring you the race and chat with some of the favorites including Shalane Flanagan, Molly Huddle, Sally Kipyego, Evan Jager, Lopez Lomong, and Nick Willis.
Plus, the amazing story of Bryan Steinhauer: after languishing in a coma following a life-threatening attack, Steinhauer re-learned to talk, walk, and run. Now he’s taking on the ING New York City Marathon.
Join Tim Hutchings, Carrie Tollefson and and me as we cover a world-class field of athletes on marathon eve.
From left, Carrie Tollefson, Karla Bruning, Tim Hutchings, Tom Glick and Zach Starr. (Photo: On The Run/NYRR)
In this episode of “On the Run,” we travel west for a peek inside the lives of top American distance runners Alisha Williams and Jason Hartmann, who are each hoping for a big breakthrough here in New York.
Alisha holds down a full-time job as an accountant while also training as a professional runner.
Jason Hartmann runs unsponsored, despite the fast that he finished fourth as the top American at the Boston Marathon in both 2012 and 2013, and coaches one of America’s top high school runners.
“On The Run” visits Jason Hartmann. (Photo: On The Run/NYRR)
Joining us at the desk, ING New York City Marathon champions Geoffrey Mutai and Meb Keflezighi talk about the thrill of winning and the pressure of staying on top.
Mutai is the fastest marathoner in history with his unbelievable 2:03:02 finish at Boston in 2012, and Meb is the perennial American favorite who manages to keep running on top at the age of 38.
Journalists David Epstein, author of “The Sports Gene,” and Weldon Johnson of LetsRun.com, share their podium predictions for the professional fields in this year’s race.
Digging in at the On The Run desk. From left, David Epstein, Carrie Tollefson, Karla Bruning and Tim Hutchings. (Photo: On The Run/NYRR)
And wheeler Tatyana McFadden is poised to make marathon history. She’s just one win away from a Grand Slam of victories in 2013. She’s already won the London, Boston and Chicago marathons. All that’s left is New York.
So join Olympians Tim Hutchings, Carrie Tollefson and me as we go On The Run.
“On the Run” chats with with “The Apprentice” winner and “Giuliana and Bill” star Bill Rancic as he talks marathon running with Dean Karnazes.
We also meet two documentary filmmakers who traveled to Kenya with Boston Marathon champion, Kenyan parliamentarian and philanthropist, Wesley Korir.
Marathon legends Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter and Joan Benoit Samuelson talk about the growth of the sport, and “Runner’s World” Editor-in-Chief David Willey gives us his perspective on the men’s professional race.
Plus, runners from the Lakota Nation share their inspiring story as they prepare to run the 2013 ING New York City Marathon.
From left, David Willey, Carrie Tollefson, Karla Bruning and Tim Hutchings get ready to start the show. (Photo: On The Run/NYRR)
Join me and Olympians Carrie Tollefson and Tim Hutchings as we give you an all-access pass to the ING New York City Marathon. More to come tomorrow!
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!