It’s that time of year: sprint triathlon training. Ever since I got bit by the multi-sport bug in 2011, my summers have been a mélange of cross-training activities. This year is no different: swimming and biking and running, oh my!
I got a later start than usual this year. I’ll blame it on the long, cold winter. But I know myself and know that the best way to get me to train is to sign up for something. So that’s what I did. I now have two triathlons on my calendar: the Newport Naval Station Triathlon in Newport, Rhode Island on Sunday, July 27 and the Triathlon Valleyfield in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Québec on Sunday, August 24.
Swimming in a friend’s pool (RunKarlaRun.com)
Sprint Triathlon Training
I’m two weeks into training, and I’ve managed to ride my bike three times and swim three times. One of my swims was in open water, which is a must for me before any open water race like the tri in Newport.
Since I’ve just started biking and swimming, my goal for the Newport Naval Station Triathlon is just to survive the 1/3 mile swim, 10.5-mile bike and 3.1-mile run. Read the rest of this entry →
When my husband first told me about Cinque Terre in Italy, he described it as his favorite place on earth. Those are strong words coming from a man who has lived in six countries on three continents and traveled to another 25.
After spending three nights on this rugged section of the Italian Riviera three hours south of Milan, I understand Cinque Terre’s appeal. It’s the perfect place to work up a sweat and an appetite for local Italian fare.
Nestled among the cliffs along the Mediterranean’s Ligurian Sea are the “Five Lands” of Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. This collection of fishing villages cut into the hillside on steep man-made terraces dates back to 643 AD. Some 5,000 residents live within the 4,226 acre Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
You won’t find cars here. Connecting the villages are a 19th century rail line and ferry system that seems to run on Roman time.
But the area’s main attraction and thoroughfare is a series of hiking trails that carry wayfarers from town to town. Read the rest of this entry →
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.
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.
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.
The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival from June 5-8, 2014 in Newton and Boston, Massachusetts was a genuine celebration of running. 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.)
Running the 5K. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)
Roughly 6,700 finishers from 47 U.S. states ran in the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids’ run and dog run. 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.
Something about the weekend made it feel like running camp. Maybe it was because I was staying on Boston College’s campus in a dorm. Maybe it was the programming, including seminars, movies, meet and greets with runners like Shalane Flanagan and Sarah Reinertsen, an expo and pasta party. Maybe it was the five races and two race challenges that started and finished on campus.
Whatever it was, it added up to a weekend where I lived, ate and breathed running—in a good way.
Boston College has that leafy New England campus vibe that makes you want to sprawl across a green lawn and sing folk songs in a circle. It reminded me of my undergrad experience attending Amherst College in Massachusetts, just a 90 minute drive due west.
Runners tackle the race. (Photo: Grace Donnelly)
One evening, a group of us bloggers sat on the grass whiling an hour away. We spotted Bart Yasso walking to the dorm and waved him over. He sat with us and chatted a while. The whole weekend had that kind of feel—friendly and relaxed. Everywhere you looked, there was someone running, about to run, just finished running or talking about running.
It’s finally up: the full episode of “On The Run at the 2014 NYRR Brooklyn Half,” hosted by yours truly. It aired on ABC in New York on May 31, 2014. So if you missed it or live outside the New York metro area, check out New York Road Runners’ show from America’s biggest half-marathon with 25,646 finishers.
On The Run at the 2014 Brooklyn Half
The focus of this show is less, “Who will win?” and more, “How much fun will everyone have?”
We go on a running tour of the course in the days before the race, meet a variety of Brooklyn locals from a first-time half-marathoner to a runner gunning for a top 10 finish, party it up at the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party presented by New Balance, bike through north Brooklyn and capture all the excitement of race day from the finish on the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Watch the full episode that aired on ABC above or take a look at a few of the show’s segments broken out from the full episode, below. Read the rest of this entry →
Charities and tour groups offer entries into the sold out Star Wars Disney races. (Photo: Disney/Ali Nasser)
So you didn’t get into any of the Star Wars Disney races from January 15-18 at Disneyland in California, including the Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars Rebel Challenge, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races? You’ve still got a chance. Charity and travel providers offer limited entries for runners who register and run with them.
The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend sold out in two hours, nearly matching the runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend sell-out record of 1 hour and 48 minutes for all races. The Star Wars Rebel Challenge, where runners complete the Star Wars 10K and Star Wars Half Marathon on back-to-back days, sold out first in 25 minutes. The runDisney Kids Races followed in 40 minutes. The Star Wars 5K filled up in 1 hour. The Star Wars 10K was gone inside of 1 hour and 40 minutes, and the Star Wars Half Marathon closed in 2 hours.
Tickets are still available for the Star Wars Wookie Welcome Party on January 15. The event in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland will offer character meet-and-greets, entertainment, dessert and select attractions like Space Mountain, Star Tours, Astro Orbitor, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. At publication time, the party was 65 percent full.
But if you really want to be a part of the Star Wars Disney races, you can still register through a charity or tour group. Contact the following organizations directly to find out how to run the races with them. Charities will ask runners to raise a certain amount of money and tour providers may require purchase of a travel package. Read the rest of this entry →
Greetings from Boston College! I’m in my dorm room (yes, dorm room!) at the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon & Festival as part of the official blogging crew (Runner’s World is covering my race entries, dorm room and some meals).
The weekend has been packed with activities. I’ve been to Q&A’s with Paralympian Sarah Reinertsen and Olympian Shalane Flanagan. I watched the Saucony and Runner’s World film Finding Strong, and hit the expo to pick up my race bibs, among other things.
Sarah Reinertsen talks about life as a parathlete. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Tomorrow I’ll toe the line in the Runner’s World 5K as a shakeout run for the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon on Sunday.
New York City’s biggest borough now has America’s biggest half-marathon. And we’re bringing the action to you with “NYRR On The Run at the 2014 Brooklyn Half” on ABC7 in New York. Tune in Saturday, May 31 at 1:30 p.m.
My microphone (Photo: nyrr_ontherun/Instagram)
Hosted by yours truly, this half-hour episode of “On The Run” takes viewers on a tour of Brooklyn that’s 25,000 runners strong. We’ll bring you all the excitement of race week from the beer, bites and beats of the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party presented by New Balance in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge to the fantastic finish on the Coney Island boardwalk.
Be sure to watch or set your DVR. And if you’re not in the New York metro area, the episode will be available online after the broadcast at ontherun.nyrr.org.
Come take a trip on the Wonder Wheel and outrun the subway with “NYRR On The Run at the 2014 Brooklyn Half!”
In two weeks from today I’ll be at the start of the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half in Newton, Mass. The race will be my third half marathon in 2014, but my first attempt at a sub 2 hour half marathon this year. My current half marathon personal best stands at 2:00:30 from the 2012 Staten Island Half. Breaking “2” is the one running goal that has eluded me time and time again. It has become my Everest.
On Saturday, I finished my last long run before the big race. I ran 12.15 miles total, with 10 of them in Central Park’s rolling hills at a 9:40 pace overall. My goal half marathon pace is 9:00, which would bring me in at 1:58. A sub 2 hour half marathon pace is 9:10. I’m absolutely within striking distance.
I don’t like that I had two 10:13 miles as I climbed one of Central Park’s steepest hills twice during miles one and five. But I like that I was at least consistent over said hill. And I love that my last mile was my fastest.
My goals for the race are:
A) Run a sub 2 hour half marathon
B) Run a personal record, which means besting 2:00:30
C) Run as hard as I can, whatever time that means
My “A” goal is a sub 2 hour finish! (Photo: morgueFile)
I know I have the speed in me to finally break 2 hours. I’m much faster than when I set my current half-marathon PR. My long runs have been consistently 30 to 40 seconds faster per mile than they were in fall 2012. And I’ve since lowered my 5K and 10 PRs by two minutes and three minutes, respectively.
But I’m just not sure I have the endurance I’d like to have at this point in the season. Going into the Staten Island Half, my longest run was a 16-miler since I was in the middle of marathon training. Going into this race, my longest run was yesterday’s 12.15-miler, with just 10 of them at speed. The other 2.15 miles were an easy warm-up and cool down. Do I have 13.1 fast miles in me? That remains to be seen. Read the rest of this entry →
The New York Harrier men (inlcuding my fist-pumping husband) are ready to cheer on the Harrier women at the 2011 NYRR Team Championships. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
I stared down the track in front of me. I’d already run a 1600, two 800s and four 400s at an all-out pace. Now just one more 800 stood between me and the end of the workout. I didn’t know how to run faster. But that was the task before me.
“Group 4, you’re up!” my coach yelled.
“Why do we have to run another 800?” someone moaned.
“Because it mentally prepares you to run hard, even when you’re tired,” he said. “All right, this is all-out. This should hurt. Group 4, go!”
I had a cramp in my left foot, a stitch in my right side, and I still hadn’t caught my breath from the last interval. Everything in me wanted to quit.
But I took one look at the rest of the runners in my group, and I thought, “I can do this.”
Over the years, team speed workouts have become my favorite part of half-marathon and marathon training. There are so many reasons to train with a friend or a team. Camaraderie, accountability and encouragement are some of them. But my favorite reason to show up to team speed workouts is that I like to run with the fast crowd. It’s inspirational, motivational and encourages me to push myself harder than I ever would on my own. Read the rest of this entry →
The Tunnel of Trees at the Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon. (Photo: Phil Hospod)
Looking for destination races? Check out my three latest stories at Shape.com. I picked 10 women’s races, 10 wine races and 10 beach races worth booking a ticket for. Many of them aren’t even single race weekends, but running series with multiple events all over the U.S. and around the world. In all, these 30 running events have 60 race weekends among them, and even more distances to choose from. Let the day dreaming begin!
Runners toast their efforts at the Wine Country Half Marathon Series (Photo: TJ Nelson/Destination Races)
The 30-year-old Marathon du Medoc in France may be the grandfather of wine races, with tasting stations along the course and wine-fueled parties all weekend long. But you don’t have to travel to France to guzzle grape at destination races that stomp through vineyards on the way to wine-fueled feasts. Events all over North America, from 5Ks to marathons, cater to wine lovers who like to run hard and drink harder.
I picked 10 wine running series with 20 races in 10 U.S. states and Canadian provinces for runners who like to cool down with vino. See them all at Shape.com.
The Southernmost Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K in Key West. (Photo: Marrero/Doll Photography)
Run and sun under a palm tree at these courses for sand and shore lovers. From Jamaica and the Bahamas to the South Pacific and coast of Australia, these dream-worthy destinations have races to match. Want to surf in California? Party during Carnival in France? Hula in Hawaii? Get lost in the Bermuda triangle? You can, and run too. Read the rest of this entry →
Run, Karla, Running in New England on May 11, 2014. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Want to learn how to build your running brand? Join me at the inaugural Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival at Boston College in Newton, Mass., from June 6-8. I’ll be on a panel discussing that very topic, along with Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete and Katy Widrick of Healthy Living in a Hectic World. Runner’s World Editor at Large Mark Remy of Remy’s World fame will be our esteemed moderator. If you’ve ever wondered how to take your running blog to the next level, this is a seminar you don’t want to miss.
Shalane Flanagan at 2014 Boston Marathon. (Photo: Thomas Cole, tfxc/Flickr)
We’re just one of the dozen seminars that cover race strategy, gear, training, fuel, masters running, women’s running and dog running. Yup, you can even learn how to train with your pup. For the inaugural event, Runner’s World is bringing out the big guns. Shalane Flanagan, Bart Yasso, Paralympian Sarah Reinertsen, race director Dave McGillivray and, of course, the Runner’s World editorial team will be on hand to chew these topics at the Runner’s World Health and Fitness Expo. Read the rest of this entry →
Thank you to everyone to entered. I wish I could be like Oprah and give you all free entries. Maybe someday… But I can give you this: Use coupon code AXKB to get $10 off registration at DivaDash.com if you want to join any of the upcoming SHAPE Diva Dash obstacle run events in eight cities around the U.S. Share and use the code as many times as you like. This is definitely one of those events that’s more fun with friends.
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.
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!)
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
The Shelter Island 10K Run (Photo: BEVERLEA WALZ/ Shelter Island Reporter)
Want a chance to run with 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi? Head to the 35th annual Shelter Island 10K Run on Saturday, June 21, 2014. The Olympic silver medalist and New York City Marathon champion will be racing in the quiet Long Island town known for summer vacation.
Boston Marathon Winner Meb Keflezighi (Photo: Courtesy of Shelter Island 10K Run)
The Shelter Island Run includes the scenic 10K race and 5K Fun Walk with a pre-sunset start time of 5:30 p.m. Runners are treated to harbor and bay views on the rural island where the speed limit is 35 m.p.h.
In addition to running the race, Marathon Meb will speak at the Shelter Island High School and attend the pre-race Pasta Buffet and Post Race Party, which includes live music, dancing, a free BBQ dinner for runners and a cash bar.
Fans of ABC’s Revenge, this might be a run for you. Shelter Island is a sleepy vacation spot at the farthest reaches of Long Island sandwiched between North Fork wine country and the tony Hamptons made famous nationwide once again by the show. In short, it’s surrounded by beaches, bays, vineyards and summer-vacation land on all sides.
As a Manhattanite, I’ve spent my fair share of time in the Hamptons, Montauk, Sag Harbor and environs. But Shelter Island is a cozy hamlet that reminds me of lazy summer days of yore, when all I needed was a bathing suit and an ice cream cone. With five town beaches and loads of other activities like biking, boating, kayaking and hiking in the 2,039-acre Mashomack Preserve with 12 miles of coastline, it’s easy to spend a day or two there. Read the rest of this entry →
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!