Training was going swimmingly with four solid weeks of outstanding runs, including a weekly tempo run and fartlek workout, as I outlined in my Running New Year’s Resolutions for 2015. I started working toward those goals early.
Today is my five-year blogiversary! And I’m celebrating the best way I know how: going for a run. On Sunday, October 19 I’m running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco as part of a Nike media group. When I cross the finish line and earn my Tiffany & Co. necklace, it will be a reminder of just how far I’ve come since I launched “Run, Karla, Run!” back in 2009. And how far we’ve all come together.
Before the 2009 Chicago Marathon. (RunKarlaRun.com)
It’s appropriate that my five-year anniversary is occurring around a race. My very first post was about running the 2009 Bank of Chicago Marathon on the anniversary of my father’s death. I’m from Chicago and the course runs right past my dad’s old office, a place I spent many weekends growing up. Running that race on that day in that city was bittersweet for me. You can read that first post, and its follow-up if you’re curious.
Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, where my dad worked. (Phil Hospod)
But opening my blog with a post about the town where I got my start as a writer—on my high school newspaper, where I eventually served as editor-in-chief— was a fitting beginning to my career as a running reporter, which has taken me from Chicago and my home in New York City to places I never would have dreamed of five years ago: to far-flung locales like Israel, Peru and the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, to new career frontiers like hosting a web and TV show for New York Road Runners on ABC in New York, to seeing my byline in publications like SHAPE and Canadian Running, RunnersWorld.com and Active.com, and right here on RunKarlaRun.com.
Now, I’m off to my first race in San Francisco. Rather than try to PR on the city’s fierce hills, I’m going to use the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco as a litmus test. This time, it’s all about my marathon pace for the upcoming GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon in November. Can I run 13.1 miles at my goal marathon pace? If I can, will it feel easy enough? It’s time to find out.
Lessons From The Track
Last month, I hit the track with a Nike+ NYC training group, including some of the ladies who are joining me in San Francisco. We ventured to Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York City where we ran a workout led by Nike+ Head Coach Chris Bennett. It consisted of a warm-up, dynamic stretches and drills, strides across the infield, a speed workout on the track, cool down and foam rolling. Read the rest of this entry →
Recently, someone asked me: What’s your running mantra? I didn’t always have one. But this summer I’ve been using two mantras that have really been working for me. When I’m struggling and need to dig deep, I turn to these two phrase that somehow spur me on.
1) Just keep pushing
Pushing is easy when the run is this beautiful. (RunKarlaRun.com)
This is my go-to racing mantra. My husband thinks it’s too simple. “There’s no magic to it, no poetry to it,” he says. He prefers mantras like, “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” and, “Pain is temporary, glory is forever.” Yes, he actually says those to himself. Perhaps that’s why he is a Boston Qualifier and I am not.
But that’s the funny thing about mantras. What works for one person does not always work for someone else. Anytime he’s tried to encourage me during a run with one of his mantras, I just get annoyed. I don’t know why, but waxing poetic about pain seems to make me angry. And not in a good, “Yeah, I’m going to crush this run!” sort of way. But in a “Shut your face, you’re not helping!” sort of way. Read the rest of this entry →
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.
Stretching in Central Park after my 6-miler on Saturday. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
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 →
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 →
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 was snowing just yesterday, my Christmas tree is lighting up my living room and Christmas is just two weeks away. Wondering what to get for the runner on your list? These are just a few of my favorite things: the best gifts for runners this year.
I get lots of samples from sports companies and buy plenty of gear myself. The products on this list represent my favorite clothes, gadgets and gear currently available from a range of brands. In clothing, I’ve tried the women’s versions, but many come in men’s options too. I’ve indicated which items are available for men or in unisex sizing—a full 30 of them are. And I’ve included the list prices, though you’ll find many items for less than that.
Also, if it’s been in a past gift guide of mine, I didn’t include it here. But many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available. So here are my guides from 2012, 2011, and 2009.
Without further ado, it’s time to get shopping and wish-listing. Here are my favorite running jackets, layers, tights, shorts, tanks, socks, sleeves, sports bras, gadgets, books and more this year. There are nearly 50 items in all.
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 →
I’m no running coach, but after eight years as a runner and four years as a running reporter, I’ve learned a repertoire of workouts that I love. Every Wednesday, I share one of them.
This week, let’s look at the progression run. Stamina workouts aren’t my strong suit. But for runners like me, a progression run is a great option.
What is a Progression Run?
The idea is simple: start your workout slowly and finish faster than you began. In races, we call it running a negative split. In workouts, it’s a progression run. There are many ways to tackle a progression run: breaking it into half or thirds, or running at a steady pace for most of the workout and then kicking it up a notch for the final mile or minutes, or making the harder effort at the end longer than the shorter, easier effort up front.
Desiree Davila (in black) poses with runners at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Meet-Up. (Photo: runDisney)
Olympian and 2011 Boston Marathon runner-up Desiree Davila is no stranger to running Disney. I had a chance to catch up with the American running star at the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January. We chatted about her recovery from injury, goals for the future and, of course, running at Walt Disney World.
“This is the only place in the world where people go, ‘I’m just doing the marathon,’” Davila said with a laugh.
Indeed, runDisney unveiled for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend the Dopey Challenge, an event that dares runners to complete four races on four consecutive days for a total of 48.6 miles: the Family Fun Run 5K on Thursday, a new Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday, and the Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday. The Dopey Challenge is already sold-out for 2014. But runners can still register for the Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where runners complete both the marathon and half marathon.
Desiree Davila, 29, didn’t run this year’s Walt Disney World Marathon. She’d been in long-term recovery from a femoral stress fracture, the same injury that forced her to drop out of the 2012 Olympic Marathon in London before the 5K mark.
After taking 12 weeks of from running, Davila slowly built up mileage and time on her feet.
“I took an extended amount of time off, let that all heal up, and I’m heading in the right direction now, making sure I’m 100 percent and slowly building mileage,” Davila said. Read the rest of this entry →
Our family on our wedding day (Photo: Lev Kuperman)
I’m a newlywed. My husband, Phil, and I have been married for six months and we’ve been together for five years. Running played a large part in our courtship, our engagement, and has been a mainstay of our relationship. We love to run, and whenever we can, we run together. They say that couples who sweat together stay together. I hope it’s true. Here’s to running love.
He’s much faster than me with his 3:03 marathon personal best; mine is 4:28. But that doesn’t stop us. Here’s how we keep on running side-by-side.
Want to train with Meb Keflezighi? Rock the Race with Meb, sponsored by the Meb Edition Sony W Series Walkman, can make it happen.
The 2GB Meb Edition Sony W Series MP3 player comes pre-loaded with audio tips from the marathon man himself along with a booklet on nutrition, stretching, strategy, and more — including a list of Meb’s favorite running songs. A portion of the sales go to the MEB FOUNDATION that aims to help kids lead healthy, balanced lives. Sony has pledged a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $20,000 based on unit sales.
The running life is like any other life—fraught with pitfalls and challenges, but also rewards and joys. And I’ve experienced them all. Some lessons I learned the hard way and others were pleasant surprises. Some are obvious, but not necessarily if you’re a new runner. Some are humorous and some are serious. But all of them are worth heeding.
I hope to keep adding to my trove of running wisdom over the course of my next 50 races and beyond—which begins with the Philadelphia Marathon on Nov. 18. But for now, here are a few nuggets from my running wisdom treasure trove, in no particular order. Read the rest of this entry →
Just about every runner who has ever used a pace calculator has obsessed over the McMillan Running Calculator on McMillanRunning.com. They’ve plugged in actual finish times, they’ve plugged in planned finish times, they’ve plugged in dream finish times to help them predict how fast they can run their next race and plan their pacing.
Now, iPhone users can harness the power of the McMillan Running Calculator with a simple tap of the finger. Brought to you by running coach Greg McMillan, “McRun” is now available as an iOS app in the Apple iTunes Store. 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!