Posts Tagged ‘swimming’

Race Report: New Amsterdam City Swim

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

That’s me finishing the New Amsterdam City Swim! (Photo: Alex Saveliev/Beemster Cheese)

I did it! I’m jumped into the Hudson River in New York City for the first annual 1-mile New Amsterdam City Swim on Sunday, June 21 to raise $675 for ALS research at ProjectMinE. As a group, the New Amsterdam City Swimmers have raised almost $438,000 so far. Thank you again to everyone who donated! I appreciate it so much. Hopefully we’re one step closer to curing ALS!

Race Report: New Amsterdam City Swim

Finisher! (Photo: New Amsterdam City Swim)

What threatened to be a thunderstormy day, turned into a scorcher—88 degrees, sun blinking bright, and humidity around 90 percent. By the time I jumped into the Hudson, I was good and ready! The water was welcoming and downright refreshing at 68 degrees.

For all my nervousness going into the swim, I needn’t have worried.

My plan going into the swim was to stay calm, cool, collected, and knock it out at an easy pace. I set out according to plan and manged to stick with it. I kept my pace easy peasy while focusing on my breath and my pull. It paid off.

Much to my surprise, I crushed it. I finished 15 out of 146 women! What!? Throw men into the mix and I was 77th among 351 swimmers in a time of 23:32 for the 1-mile course.

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Results!

Wish I could say the same of most of my running races! This just goes to show, once again, that I’m a much better swimmer than I am a runner. Which is probably why I work so hard at running!

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Finished announcing in Queens! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Queens 10K

My day started at 5 a.m., when my alarm woke me to announce at the NYRR Queens 10K in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I was on site and at the mike at 6:30 a.m. for pre-race announcements.

The rainy, overcast morning turned into a hot, steamy day, and one that was a bit longer than usual for a 10K. The start of the race was delayed an hour due to heavy rain flooding the course.

While I made morning announcements for runners, NYRR employees were busy bailing water off the course—literally. Before it was a park, Flushing Meadows was a marsh that eventually became a landfill during the industrial era. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the site was rehabbed to host the World’s Fair and in the 1960s it became a park. But once a marsh, always a marsh. As a result, the Queens 10K course is particularly flood prone.

By 9 a.m., the rain stopped, the course was clear, and the race was finally underway. I moved to the finish to cheer runners in.

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Queens 10K (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

But the main subway train that ferried runners to the start suffered a shutdown and resulting chaos, so race officials kept the start open much longer than usual to allow train-riding runners a chance to race. That meant the course was open longer than usual. The final finishers came in just before 11:30 a.m., and I hung up my announcer hat for the day.

I got home around 1 p.m., 8 hours after my day began, all of it spent standing. I didn’t even get a seat on the subway ride home. I was beat. So I walked my dog, wolfed down a slice of pizza, and took a quick 40 minute snooze before heading to downtown Manhattan for the swim. At 2 p.m., my alarm was ringing again. I pulled on my swimsuit, grabbed my bag, and ran out the door.

New Amsterdam City Swim

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Ah! Arriving on site (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The Start

The New Amsterdam City Swim started at Pier 45 at the Hudson River Park in the West Village of Manhattan. Check-in for the 3:45 pm start closed at 3 p.m.

I got there just in time to get my race-issued swim cap and timing chip, drink some water and eat half of a Quaker protein bar that came in my race bag.

I had a major headache, which often happens later in the day when I’ve had an early start. Food and water usually helps. A friend also had Tylenol, so I took some to help get me through. I shy away from taking pain killers when exercising, but my head was throbbing, so I went for it.

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Vera and I are ready! (Photo: Susan Bayat)

Wrestling my wetsuit onto my sweaty skin proved to be a 2-woman job. My wetsuit now has numerous finger-nail sized gashes in the neoprene from such abuse over the years. My friend and running teammate, Vera, and I readied together. She’s the one who roped me into doing the race.

By the time they called our wave, Wave 1, to the start we were baking in black neoprene and ready to jump in. Thankfully, the Tylenol, food, and water had kicked in and my headache was gone.

The start of the swim was timed with the end of high tide, so that the southbound current would be in our favor as the water flowed out to sea before low tide. The Hudson is actually a tidal estuary, where the salty ocean tides meet the river’s fresh water current in New York Bay. As such, the currents swirling around NYC change every six hours or so to the whims of the ocean tides. Amid the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s easy to forget that NYC sits like teeth in the jaws of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

Separated into six waves, we entered a floating dock attached to the pier three at a time. Then, one swimmer at a time, we jumped off the dock, timing chips strapped to our ankles. The mouth of the Hudson River in New York Bay is brackish, and I immediately tasted the salt on my lips as I plunged into the water. But jumping in was one of the most fun parts of the day. How often do you get to jump off a barge into the Hudson River in New York City? That was a first for me! I felt like screaming, “Wheeeeee!” Read the rest of this entry →

23

Jun 2015

Time to Jump In the New Amsterdam City Swim!

Jump In NYC With New Amsterdam City Swim

Ready to jump in! (RunKarlaRun.com)

In about 48 hours, I’ll be starting the New Amsterdam City Swim on Sunday, June 21, knocking out 1-mile in the Hudson River to raise money for ALS research.

Thank you to everyone who donated! I truly appreciate it. I have to give a special shout-out to Leslie Miller. Leslie, I couldn’t find a way to contact you to say thank you! Hope you read this.

Thanks to your donations, I met my $500 fundraising goal with $600.17. As a group the New Amsterdam City Swimmers have raised $281,384.79 and counting for Project MinE, a large-scale research initiative with the biggest DNA database in the world. They’re planning to map and compare the DNA profiles of at least 15,000 ALS patients and 7,500 control subjects, with the goal of understanding the genetics of the disease in order to find a cure. It’s a huge undertaking, and they couldn’t do it without your help.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners. At the Wild Dog Triathlon

Wetsuit ready (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Now, it’s time to swim! Honestly, I’m a bit nervous. I haven’t gotten in as many swim sessions as I had hoped. On the plus side, I did get in one full mile-swim in a pool, along with five shorter swim sessions in the last few weeks. My past triathlon experience tells me that’s enough to get me through. But let’s hope that Hudson River current really is as helpful as folks say, just in case.

I also enrolled in a 10-week triathlon swim clinic with the Asphalt Green Triathlon Club in New York City. We meet once a week for 75 minutes. It’s more of a “back to basics” look at technique than it is a workout.

The one session I’ve had already helped me tweak my stroke to be more efficient, which was my reason for doing the clinic. I’m a strong swimmer, having been a swim team kid until the age of 15. But I haven’t had anyone look at my stroke and critique it in 22 years! I know I have room for improvement, and when it comes to swimming, perfecting technique is the foundation to getting faster.

All that said, my goal for Sunday is to finish! This will be the longest open water swim I’ve ever done. Here’s the course: Read the rest of this entry →

On The Road Again For National Running Day!

On The Road Again For National Running Day

On the road at the White House! (©RunKarlaRun.com)

Happy National Running Day! How are you planning to celebrate?

Check out runningday.org, runnersworld.com, and nyrr.org in NYC for lots of ways to get in on the action.

I’m happy to report that I’m on the road again! I’m back to running after my time-out from a bone bruise/stress fracture. Yay!

On The Road Again For National Running Day

Trail Running with Cinderella (©RunKarlaRun.com)

It’s been four very easy, very tentative weeks back on the road for me. My doctor told me to start with short runs, every other day, and to slowly work my way back up in mileage. And that’s exactly what I’ve done.

After four weeks, I finally feel like I’m starting to get back into the swing of it and edging my pace and mileage up. And so far, my foot feels fine. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

Sadly, I decided not to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon this past weekend. It would have been way too much mileage too soon. I was incredibly bummed about it. I was really looking forward to the race. But I know I made the smart, and the right, decision.

Instead, I signed up for the New Amsterdam City Swim, a charity swim to fight ALS, on June 21 to capitalize on the swimming I’d been doing while I couldn’t run. I’ll be jumping in for 1-mile in the Hudson River. Eeks! But I’ve fallen off the wagon with strength training as I’ve been running and swimming more. I want to figure out how I can make time for all three.

So here’s how my last four weeks of easing into running have looked.

On The Road Again For National Running Day

Running the National Mall! (©RunKarlaRun.com)

WEEK 1

Treadmill: 2.25 miles super easy. This was my first run after taking time off. I’ve never been so conscious of each step in my life! Read the rest of this entry →

03

Jun 2015

Jump In NYC With The New Amsterdam City Swim

Jump In NYC With The New Amsterdam City Swim

Jump In!

This was originally published 5/22/2015, but thanks to technical hijinks, I had to restore my site and re-upload a few posts. Apologies to subscribers for finding this in your inbox again!

Last summer, I dumped a bucket of ice water on my head to raise awareness for ALS.

This summer, I’m jumping into a bucket of ice water. In other words, I’m swimming a mile in the ice cold Hudson River! Want to join me? Jump in!

The first ever New Amsterdam City Swim is taking place on World ALS Day, June 21 in the Hudson River in New York City. As They Might Be Giants once sang, “Even old New York was once New Amsterdam.” The swim is the first international companion event to the Amsterdam City Swim, the largest charity swim in the Netherlands. In 2014 more than 2,000 swimmers jumped into the Amsterdam canals to raise more than $2.5 million for ALS research.

With a clever wink to New York’s old name, the New Amsterdam City Swim will coincide with the Amsterdam City Swim to raise money for medical research to fight ALS.

Jump In NYC With New Amsterdam City Swim

Swim training in Quebec. (RunKarlaRun.com)

Every swimmer, myself included, commits to raising at least $500 to fight ALS. Where is the money going? To Project MinE, a large-scale research initiative with the biggest DNA database in the world.

Starting at 3:45 p.m., to benefit from a favorable current, the course begins at Hudson River Park’s Pier 45 at Christopher Street in Greenwich Village and finishes at Hudson’s River Park Pier 26 at N. Moore Street in Tribeca.

But the event will be more than just a swim. The Finish Festival on Pier 26 is a concert with complimentary Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (my fave!), complimentary Heineken beer, free Pepsi soft drinks & water, live entertainment, children’s events, and BBQ food for purchase. DJ Questlove—yes, Questlove!—is headlining the festival, and Candy Dulfer—who has toured with Prince—is the opener. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill post-race party.

One of my friends and running teammates is Dutch and works for the Netherlands consulate in NYC. She invited me to be a part of the event and wrangled a complimentary entry for me. But I’m still committing to raise at least $500 for ProjectMinE.

The timing is perfect. I got a “time out” from running thanks to a stress fracture/bone bruise and started swimming again to keep my cardio up. Swimming is my favorite part of triathlon training and I even finished as the second woman overall at a small open water swim in Rhode Island last summer. So I jumped at the chance to jump in for such an important cause.

Jump In NYC at New Amsterdam City Swim

Coming out of the water at the Wild Dog Triathlon. (Phil Hospod)

Yes, the Hudson will be cold—60-66 degrees on race day. Hello wetsuit! Yes, I’ve heard about the “Hudson Mustache,” the film of debris coating Hudson River swimmers in NYC. And yes, the only other time I swam in the Hudson I got a fever, chills, and associated cold/flu symptoms immediately afterward. But that just shows how important ALS is that I’m willing to brave the Hudson again.

Please join me by registering to be one of the swimmers braving the Hudson in June at www.newamsterdamcityswim.org. If you need your swim certification for the New York City Triathlon, you can get it at the New Amsterdam City Swim!

Don’t want to swim? Buy a ticket to the finish festival! For $75 you’re getting a party headlined by Questlove with all-you-can-eat Ben & Jerry’s and Heineken too. Best of all, the cost of your ticket goes to ProjectMinE.

Not in NYC? Please consider donating to my fight against ALS at the New Amsterdam City Swim.
Read the rest of this entry →

31

May 2015

Injury Update: Stress Fracture or Bone Bruise?

A Stress Fracture or a Bone Bruise?

I miss running Central Park. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

I saw my doctor on Monday after taking two full weeks off from running and all weight bearing exercise, wearing a foot pad and wrap, and avoiding heels like I avoid broccoli.

Last I saw the doc, he had my MRI results in hand. “Findings suggestive of a stress fracture of the tibial sesamoid,” read the radiology report. When doc pressed on the area—one of the two tiny bones in the ball of the foot—it was pretty painful.

Now? No pain whatsoever, not even when he really dug in there. Based on that, he thinks I may not have had a crack in the bone, but a bruise.

Bone Crack Or Bone Bruise?

A Stress Fracture or a Bone Bruise?

My MRI results

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons describes it this way: “A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone, or severe bruising within a bone.” They’re both stress fractures, but two different types.

A crack and a bruise can appear the same on an MRI, which doesn’t necessarily show the fracture. MRIs might show swelling, or edema, which is indicative of a stress fracture. But I’d have the same swelling whether it was a crack or a bruise, my doc said.

He thinks I caught the bone bruise right away and nipped it in the bud before it had the chance to become a crack. That’s the theory anyway.

So what next? He told me to try a short run on the treadmill, 20 minutes or so nice and easy. If I had any pain, he wanted me to march right back into his office, at which point he’d slap me with a full stress fracture diagnosis, put me in a cast, and pass down a sentence of four more weeks without running.

If I had no pain, he said I could ease back into running every other day, with short, easy jogs. He wants me to keep wearing the foot pad and wrap for the time being. If the pain creeps back in at any point, I march right back into his office. If I’m still pain free, I see him for a follow-up in three weeks.

Test Run

Soooooooo? I hopped on the treadmill Monday night for that test drive. Talk about knots in my stomach! I don’t think I’ve ever been as conscious of one teeny, tiny bone as I was for that 20 minutes, constantly assessing for the slightest hint of discomfort. The good news? It never crept in. Those 20 minutes—building slowly up to a conservative for me 11:30 min/mile pace—felt great. Yee-haw! Read the rest of this entry →

My Running New Year’s Resolutions For 2015

Running Resolutions For 2015

Happy New Year! (RunKarlaRun.com)

We’re now one week into 2015, which means I should set some running New Year’s resolutions!

I wrote 10 Running Goals You Should Make for 2015 for SHAPE.com, a collection of resolutions that will make you a healthier and happier runner. Some of them I’m already good at doing, like “Work Hard, Play Hard“—pairing hard-lined PR goals with ones that are more fun, like taking a runcation. Others, I need to work on, like “Prioritize Injury Prevention“—I could certainly be better about dynamic warm-ups, strength training, rolling, and other preventative measures.

So here’s a look at how I did with my personal goals in 2014 and how I’m going to tweak them for 2015. As always, I want to build on my successes and learn from my failures.

New Year’s Resolutions For 2014 Analyzed and Tweaked For 2015

Running Goals For 2015

Chasing Cinderella (Phil Hospod)

1) 2014: Get even faster

I make this goal every year. I finished my very first race, a 4-miler, at an 11:34 pace. Now, almost eight years later, I run a 5K at a 7:59 pace. I’ve gotten much faster over the years. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that.

How’d I do in 2014? So-so at this one. I nabbed three PRs: 8K/5-mile road, 10K road, and ITU Sprint Distance Triathlon.

Why do I say that’s so-so? I still have 8K and 10K track times that are faster. The IAAF and USATF log track and road records separately, so I do too. That said, track records tend to be faster than road ones. The track is a nice flat, predictable surface. The road is not. My 8K PR was set on a hot, muggy day whereas the track PR was on a nice, cool fall day. So I’ll take it. Same with my 10K PR. I set it during the same fall track workout as my 8K, whereas my new road PR was the first half of the hilly Staten Island Half Marathon. So, all in all, I’m happy with both of those.

As for my triathlon PR, I was deliriously happy with that. It was the second time I’ve raced an ITU Sprint Distance course and I walloped my swim, bike, and run times. OK, so maybe I did get faster in 2014.

2015: Run tempos

This year, rather than focusing on PRs, I’m going to focus on faster overall paces in targeted workouts. I’m excellent at the easy run, and those will remain just that—easy. But what I’m not great at are tempo runs. I don’t do them, and it reflects in my racing. So for 2015 my “Get even faster” will be dedicated to hitting those tempo paces, which will hopefully pay off on race day. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon

Race Report: Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon

Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon (RunKarlaRun.com)

A sprint triathlon on a U.S. Naval base? Sign me up! The MWR Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon on the Naval Station Newport base in Rhode Island is part of the Navy’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation programming, designed to support Navy personnel, their families, and civilian employees.

Race Report: Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon

Getting my timing chip (RunKarlaRun.com)

Members of the general public, like me, were welcome to support and take part in the event for a $65 registration fee, while active duty, retired and reservist military members and their families paid reduced fees.

Nearly 50 of the 140 participants at the 2014 race on Sunday, July 27 were active duty military personnel.

I headed to the race with my friend, Justin, a budding triathlete, and my husband, Phil, who came to cheer us on.

We had great weather with cool temps, starting in the high 60s and reaching 70 by the end of the race. A sunny, blue-skied morning gave way to storm-clouds as the triathlon got underway. But the rain held off until later in the day.

Organization

As you would expect from the U.S. military, the Naval Station Newport Sprint Triathlon was incredibly well-organized. Pre-race communication via e-mail in the week before was thorough. Packet pick-up on race morning was a breeze; right next to the parking lot, with one table for race packets, another for chip timing, and a third for body marking. Read the rest of this entry →

28

Aug 2014

Race Report: William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim

Race Report: William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim

Getting ready to swim. (RunKarlaRun.com)

The William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim in Bristol, Rhode Island on Saturday, August 16 was my last open water swim before the Triathlon Valleyfield in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec on Sunday, August 24.

Race Report: William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim

Swim shirt (RunKarlaRun.com)

The event was put on by the town of Bristol Parks and Recreation department to raise money to develop an aquatics program, including swim lessons for kids, and two proposed swimming pools, none of which the town currently has.

The William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim

The swim was a quarter-mile in open water at the Bristol Town Beach on Narragansett Bay. For my running friends, picture one lap around a 400-meter track. The event also included a 4 x 100 yard relay and a Fins & Floaties fun race for kids.

Registration was a bargain at $20 per swimmer, per event, or $10 for the kids race, and that included the event T-Shirt. It might be my favorite cotton shirt I’ve ever gotten at a race— incredibly soft in heather red. Best of all, they actually had my size. Read the rest of this entry →

18

Aug 2014

Sprint Triathlon Training: Swim, Bike and Run, Oh My!

Sprint Triathlon Training: Swimming and Biking and Running, Oh My!

Biking in Rhode Island (RunKarlaRun.com)

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.

Sprint Triathlon Training: Swimming, Biking and Running, Oh My!

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 →

22

Jul 2014

I’ve Got Peace Like A River: Reflections On Running

i've got peace like a river

After a swim at the Holy Cross Monastery in 2007 (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

In just four weeks I’ll be on my way to the Jerusalem Half Marathon.

I thought this would be the perfect time to share an essay I wrote back in August 2007 called “I’ve Got Peace Like a River.” I was one month into training for my first marathon—the New York City Marathon—and at the end of a religion reporting fellowship. I’d spent the previous eight months immersing myself in the world of belief, traveling to India and across the U.S. to uncover stories of faith.

Near the end of the fellowship, my colleagues and I went on retreat at an Anglican monastery that observes complete silence for 12 hours every day, from 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. It was a unique experience to play Scrabble in silence and eat breakfast at communal tables in quietude.

But it gave me a chance for reflection; I think that was the point. In the stillness, I found that running, rowing, and swimming—the exercise of my life—have been the conduits of my own spirituality.

I’ve Got Peace Like a River

i've got peace like a river

A tree on the Hudson River. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Floating. The sun stares down, turning the inside of my eyelids red. The water feels warm, but a cold current tickles my fingers, rolling over them in tiny waves. My arms above my head, my toes pointed, I stretch as long as I can, tensing all my muscles, then relaxing. Little splashes of water wash over my face as the wake of a boat crosses the river toward me.

I float downstream. I am all alone. Just me and my river.

The Hudson runs past my home in Manhattan. But here, at the Holy Cross Monastery in upstate New York, it’s a retreat. A retreat from my work-a-day world into the inner sanctum of my own being. 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 →

Aloha From A Hawai’i Adventure & Running Vacation

Hawaii running vacation

The Beach at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. (Photo: Hyatt Hotels)

Aloha from Hawai’i! I’m about to embark on a Hawai’i adventure and running vacation. It’s been a dream trip in the making. My husband, Phil, and I are celebrating our one-year anniversary doing a feast of our favorite things—hiking, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, horseback riding, and, of course, running a half marathon.

I’ll write all about my adventures when I get home, and Phil will be behind the camera taking photos and some video too. But during the trip, I’ll be all over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with updates. But for now, here’s a sneak peek at what we’re up to. Read the rest of this entry →

24

Aug 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

VIDEO: Wild Dog Triathlon in Rhode Island

Wild Dog Triathlon, sprint triathlon, Colt State Park

Fourth triathlon done! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

I finished my fourth triathlon on Sunday, August 11 at the Wild Dog Triathlon In Bristol, Rhode Island. The course in Rhode Island’s Colt State Park was dazzling with a surprisingly warm open water swim in Narragansett Bay, a bike ride through the 464-acre park, and an out-and-back run entirely along the waterfront.

Check out the video below.

I had a great time at this triathlon and would love to do it again. But it was full of highs and lows.

Swim

The swim was a high. I finished 13th of 74 women, polishing off the quarter mile swim and tenth of a mile run to the transition zone in 7:49. The only woman in my age group who beat me won the women’s race overall. Read the rest of this entry →

15

Aug 2013

Ready To Rock The Wild Dog Mini Triathlon In RI

mini triathlon, triathlon, Wild Dog Triathlon, Colt State Park, mini triathlon

Colt State Park in Rhode Island plays host to the Wild Dog Triathlon. (Photo: By Jim Willis [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Triathlon fever continues.

Sunday is my fourth stab at the crazy art of swim-bike-run at the Wild Dog Triathlon in Bristol, Rhode Island. It’s a sprint or mini triathlon with a quarter-mile swim, 10-mile bike and 3-mile run.

After struggling through a hip injury for two months, I finally feel like I’m in fighting form again. I’ve had a few confidence building runs and feel like I might be able to give this race my all. Heck, I ran a 5K personal record this morning during a 4-mile tempo run. I haven’t raced a 5K since 2011, so maybe it’s time!

My hip is still not 100 percent, but it’s somewhere in the 90s. It only starts tightening up after running 7+ miles and has been feeling better every week. So a mini triathlon should be within my wheelhouse.

Since my last triathlon at the Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon on July 21, where I had an awful, tight-hipped, sluggish run, I’ve been running three days a week. I’ve also been swimming once a week. And biking? Well, my training there hasn’t exactly been stellar. My biking has fallen by the wayside as I’ve started upping my long runs to 12 miles as part of marathon training.

So we’ll see how Sunday goes. Suddenly, I’m very glad this is a mini triathlon. Read the rest of this entry →

09

Aug 2013

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