Archive for the ‘Travel’Category

A Disney Cruise Bachelorette Weekend

A Disney Cruise Bachelorette Weekend

Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic cruises from New York City. (Disney Cruise Line/Matt Stroshane)

Happy Anniversary to my favorite runner, Phil! It’s been four + four years of running love (dating + married). On another anniversary, I shared photos from our 1930s and 1940s themed wedding. This year, I thought I’d share highlights from my bachelorette weekend…on a Disney cruise!

A Disney Cruise Bachelorette Weekend

Gathering on deck (

That’s right. I love running Disney races and Phil and I got engaged at Walt Disney World. So I thought it fitting to take a Disney cruise with 10 of my BFFs in lieu of a traditional bridal shower and bachelorette party. We wrapped it up into one fun-filled weekend on the high seas. A Disney cruise proved to be a surprisingly perfect getaway for a group of nerdy gal pals that just wanted to have good, clean fun.

A Disney Cruise Bachelorette Weekend

With my girls at dinner. (

Disney Cruise Line’s “Cruise To Nowhere”

On Friday afternoon, we boarded the Disney Magic for a two-night “cruise to nowhere” leaving from New York City. Read the rest of this entry →


Aug 2016

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Medals Revealed

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Medals Revealed

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon medals (Disney)

In nine weeks, runners will storm Disneyland Paris in Val d’Europe, France for the first time: the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon takes off on Sunday, September 25, 2016. I’ll be among them as a media guest of runDisney. Now, we’ve got a glimpse of the medals we’ll earn.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Medal

For the main 13.1-mile event, Mickey Mouse is, of course, the main man. He runs around Sleeping Beauty Castle, the iconic heart of Disneyland Paris, just like runners will. Flourished with the French fleur-de-lis, the gold medal hangs from a blue lanyard. It’s the official color of Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Medals Revealed

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon medal (Disney)

Disneyland Paris 5K & runDisney Kids Races Medallions

The runDisney Kids Races medallion also features Mickey Mouse in living color, while the Disneyland Paris 5K medallion stars another rodent—Remy of Ratatouille fame. Both hang from blue and gold ribbons. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Star Wars Half Marathon—The Dark Side

Race Report: Star Wars Half Marathon 'Dark Side'

The Star Wars Half Marathon ‘Dark Side’ Finish. (runDisney)

The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon—The Dark Side at Walt Disney World in Florida had 18,182 finishers on April 17, 2016. I was among them as a media guest of runDisney, with my husband, Phil, running by my side. Another 12,172 runners finished the Star Wars 10K the day before.

I had one goal for the race: run a PR. I wrote about the attempt for Should You Ever Give Up On A Fitness Goal?

“Do. Or do not,” Yoda famously says in Star Wars:The Empire Strikes Back. “There is no try.”

Yoda obviously wasn’t a runner.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I first tried to break two hours in a half-marathon. It was 2010 in Montreal, Canada, and I failed. Six years later, I’m still trying. I’ve run more than 25 half-marathons, gutting out 2:00:30 at my fastest. (What Makes You a Runner?)

At this year’s Star Wars Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Florida, I channeled the Force for yet another attempt. Dressed as Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with my husband as Chewbacca by my side, I set out on a 13.1-mile—or, you know, 6.83 parsec—quest.

In running and in life, goals and dreams keep pushing us forward. What keeps us chasing them? In a word: Hope. It’s true in Star Wars, running, and in life. But when is it time to say enough is enough? Should we ever let hope fade into resignation?

You can read the entire essay, full of Star Wars wisdom, at

Race Report: Star Wars Half Marathon 'Dark Side'

We did it! (Disney PhotoPass)

I’ll admit: I’m not the world’s biggest Star Wars nerd. Yes, I’ve seen all the movies and enjoy them. I even had an Ewok stuffed animal as a kid in the ’80s and wanted Princess Leia buns in my hair. But I’m not as into it as I am Disney animated films. After all, my dog is named Cinderella, not Princess Leia.

Why? Leia seemed to be the only female in a galaxy entirely populated by men, much like the Smurfs. Weird. As a little girl, it just didn’t speak to me. I didn’t see myself anywhere on screen, except in Leia.

Enter Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I loved it, largely and not-so-subconsciously because women were everywhere. You have your latent Jedi in Rey, your military leader in Leia, your villain in Captain Phasma, your female fighter pilots. Even Rey’s “Yoda”—Maz Kanata—is female. The movie brought me a new love and appreciation for the Star Wars franchise.

So I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this race and totally geeked out over all the Star Wars characters. Any time one of them—like Stormtroopers or Captain Phasma—talked to me though a thoroughly convincing voice modulator, I felt giddy as a kid completely transported to another world. Both Phil and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Here’s the scoop, including running in costume, the course, where I stayed, and the race itself. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run (MarathonFoto)

This post is brought you by the letters P and R. That’s right! I had a fantastic race at the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run despite some wonky weather that brought 50 mph winds and a sub-freezing windchill.

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Success! (MarathonFoto)

More than 16,000 runners finished the race around Washington, D.C. on Sunday, April 3. I headed to D.C. with my husband and a dozen friends who decided to make a weekend of it.

This was my second time running the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run. In 2012, I found the course far too crowded and no cherry blossoms on the trees. The second time around, there were still no cherry blossoms—what had been left from peak season blew off the trees the night before in 50 mph winds. There was not a one to be found.

But I headed to Washington, D.C. earlier in the week and had the chance to see them during a gorgeous run around the National Mall, before they all blew away. Phew!

Where I Stayed

I’ve come to love visiting Washington, D.C. It’s a truly fantastic running town.

Race Report: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run

Running the National Mall in 2015! (

This is my third trip to the city in the last year, and my husband Phil’s umpteenth. I’ve stayed at three different hotels in that time; Phil has stayed at a dozen different properties in the city. Our go-to hotel has become The Carlyle Dupont Circle, a Kimpton Hotel. Read the rest of this entry →

Three Disney Parks, Three Disney Races In 2016

3 Disney Parks, 3 Disney Races

Three Disney castles (Photo: Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris

Three Disney theme parks world-wide offer Disney races—Walt Disney World in Florida, Disneyland in California, and Disneyland Paris in France. I’m going to run a half-marathon, or more, at each of them in 2016 (partially as a media guest of runDisney).

I’m a lifelong Disney fan. My dog’s name is Cinderella, after all. And I’ve been a runDisney fan since I tackled the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon for the first time in 2011.

But I’ve only been to Disneyland once and I’ve never been to Disneyland Paris. So I’m incredibly excited to hit all three parks in one year to get the full back-to-back-to-back runDisney experience.

3 Disney Parks, 3 Disney Races

Minnie & Mickey at the Inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon (runDisney)

Which Disney Races To Run?

I really toyed with how I wanted to approach this adventure, and how to choose which three Disney races I’d run.

Did I want to run the three “title” races at each park—Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Disneyland Half Marathon, and Disneyland Paris Half Marathon? That would take me through all three castles and give me the “big picture” experience. I considered it as the most obvious way to experience each theme park as a runner. Read the rest of this entry →


Feb 2016

Disneyland Paris Half Bib-Only Registration Opens

Disneyland Paris Half Bib Only Registration Opens

Meet Mickey at the finish (runDisney)

Bib-only registration for the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon opens Tuesday, February 16 at 5 p.m. Paris time, or 11 a.m. Eastern. The race weekend runs from September 22-25, 2016 at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée, France.

Registration through Disney travel partners opened in October. If you’re interested in a travel package that includes hotel, race bibs, and more, Magical Racecations in the U.S. still has availability for all of the weekend’s running events, as of press time.

Charity partners will also have bibs available at some point in the future.

I’ll be headed to the race to write about the event courtesy of runDisney. Excited? As Mickey Mouse would say, “Oh, boy! Oh, boy!”

How To Register

1) Register for a bib only, without a travel package, online.

2) Call the Disneyland Paris Reservation Center. The U.S. phone is 011 33 160 30 20 30. Phone numbers are also available for other countries in the link. Runners can buy running packages any time.

3) Book a package through one of the travel agency partners. Magical Racecations and GET Travel Sports are the U.S. agencies, but seven other agencies in the U.K. and other countries have packages for runners as well. You can book through any of them. Magical Racecations does have packages available as of press time. Packages include at least three nights hotel, one three-day park ticket, and a half-marathon or 5K registration, with other additional options.

4) Register to run with a charity. Limited charity entries will be released soon.

Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Bermuda Triangle Challenge

Race Report: Bermuda Triangle Challenge

Argh! (

Arrrgh! That was the word of the weekend when my husband, Phil, and I ran the Bermuda Triangle Challenge, as guests of Bermuda Marathon Weekend. Every January over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, the Bermuda Triangle Challenge dares runners to tackle three races in three days—the Front Street Mile on Friday night, the Bermuda 10K on Saturday, and the Bermuda Marathon or Bermuda Half Marathon run concurrently on Sunday.

At the 2015 races, we opted for the half challenge and had a blast in the process, dressed as pirates for the 10K and half-marathon. We even earned a spot on the race’s website and marketing materials for the feat.

Race Report: Bermuda Triangle Challenge

Bermuda Marathon Weekend quickly became one of my favorite running events ever, thanks to the gorgeous courses, robust spectator support, and island-wide friendliness that makes Canadians look surly by comparison. Seriously. And Phil is Canadian! We even started hatching a plan to retire in Bermuda.

I’ll post the usual race report for each event individually, but thought I’d kick things off with a video montage of the Bermuda Triangle Challenge. We even have a cameo by none other than Bart Yasso. Check it out!

Read the rest of this entry →

Running In Hawai’i From Kona To Kaua’i

Running in Hawai'i From Kona To Kaua'i

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (

The Honolulu Marathon is Sunday! I’ve been having an incredible—and I mean incredible—time running in Hawai’i. Over the last eight days I’ve run, hiked, SUPed, sailed, swum, summited, star-gazed, and so much more on Hawai’i, the Big Island, and on Maui.

The Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau at sponsored and helped me plan the trip so I can experience active Hawai’i at its best. Now I’m on O’ahu for the big race and headed to Kaua’i after that.

But this isn’t my first rodeo in Hawai’i. In 2013, I ran the Kaua’i Half Marathon and published a few stories at, in Women’s Running magazine, and Canadian Running magazine about the race, Kaua’i, Hawai’i Island, and points beyond. Thought I’d share them here. Aloha!

Running in Hawai'i From Kona To Kaua'i

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Phil Hospod)

Healthy Travel Guide: Kona, Hawai’i at

Sure, Hawai’i invokes dreams of lazy days on sandy beaches sipping umbrella drinks. But every year, more than 2,300 triathletes trek to Kona on Hawai’i Island to make it big—Big Island big—at the Ironman World Championship.

But you don’t have to be an Ironman to swim, bike, run, or get your sweat on in Kailua-Kona, the triathlon mecca of the world. Hawai’i’s residents are the second most prolific runners in the U.S., with only Massachusetts logging more miles per capita on RunKeeper. The state also has the second lowest obesity levels in the U.S., behind only Colorado, according to Retale.

It’s no wonder. Running is Hawai’i is a dream come true. Just north of Kona, the rugged black lava fields give way to sunny, white sand beaches on the Kohala Coast, where water sports abound. The area came in seventh on our list of the healthiest beach towns in America, while the Kona District ranked 19th. (Find them all in The 35 Best Beaches in America For Fitness Lovers). Inland, Waimea is home to Hawai’i’s tallest mountain, the snowcapped Mauna Kea, which rises 13,796 feet and has hiking and horseback trails galore. And we can’t forget Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, with 150 miles of hiking trails around one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Yep, we said volcanoes.

Inspired to get your Ironman on? Hawai’i Island makes healthy travel easy with year round warm weather, world class sporting events, mountains and more. Say Aloha to Kona!

Find out where to sleep, stay in shape, fuel your trip, splurge, and play in Kona at

Running in Hawai'i From Kona To Kaua'i

Rainbow run in Kaua’i (Phil Hospod)

Kauai Is The Ultimate Vacation For Runners in Women’s Running

The least-visited of Hawaii’s major islands, Kauai is the Aloha State’s best-kept secret. Only 1.1 million of Hawaii’s 8.2 million visitors annually venture to Kauai. But runners in the know head to the Garden Isle for technical mountain trails between lushly green volcanic peaks, flat recreation paths with ocean views and one of America’s most scenic—and challenging—marathons. The island is best explored on foot (in fact, 90 percent of Kauai is inaccessible by vehicle!), so lace up your shoes and get ready to sweat. Read the rest of this entry →

Honolulu Marathon, Ready Or Not, Here I Come

Fall Running Schedule: Halves & Relays & Marathons, Oh My!

The Honolulu Marathon (Photo: Honolulu Marathon Association)

Ready or not, Hawai’i here I come!

It’s almost time for the fifth race on my fall running schedule: the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday, December 13.

The Honolulu Marathon has been on my bucket list since I realized that marathons would be a permanent fixture in my life. I’m mildly obsessed with Hawai’i (just ask my husband). I’d been a few times as a child, when I had two cousins living in the islands.

I’ve been to Honolulu just once, more than 20 years ago. It’s high time I returned, and what better reason than a race?

Ready Or Not For Honolulu Marathon

(Photo: Honolulu Marathon Association)

After all, the Kaua’i Marathon & Half Marathon, which I tackled in 2013, is one of my all time favorite races.

And Hawai’i is one of my all time favorite places—and I’ve been to 35 countries on 6 continents.

Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon

After the Kaua’i Half Marathon. (Photo: Sport Photo)

So I’m heading out to the Aloha state early for a 16-night mega tour of Hawai’i Island, Maui, O’ahu, and Kaua’i. The Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau at helped me plan the trip so I can experience active Hawai’i at its best.

On the itinerary? Swimming, SUPing, surfing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and, of course, running.

Ready Or Not For Honolulu Marathon

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Phil Hospod)

You can follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I’ll be posting photos and updates as long as cell service co-operates.

How excited am I for this trip? I bought a potted hibiscus and have managed to keep it alive for 25 weeks! That’s no small feat in New York City.

Ready Or Not For Honolulu Marathon

My hibiscus (

Honolulu Marathon Training

But, Karla, you’re thinking. You haven’t been training for a marathon. Yes, you would be right. No, I have not.

I had every intention of doing all the proper marathon prep. I started the season right, kicking things off with the Fjord Norway Half Marathon near Bergen, Norway. Then I ramped it up with the New Balance Reach The Beach Relay.

But shortly after that my training was derailed by a flu, then nagging plantar fasciitis that struck in October. Read the rest of this entry →


Dec 2015

Race Report: Gore-Tex Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

They colored my green shirt purple for this green screen pic! (Island Photos)

I ran the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015 with race sponsor GORE-TEX, returning to the City of Brotherly Love for the third time as a runner. I’d scored a personal best at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012, ran my third fastest 13.1-miler at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2014, and I was back to give the half-marathon another go on Sunday, November 22.

Nearly 22,000 runners finished races at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, with 10,899 finishers in the half-marathon, another 9,159 in the marathon, and 1,910 in the 8K. And approximately 60,000 spectators lined the course to cheer us on. My husband, Phil, joined me, along with a bunch of our running teammates.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

We are the champions! (

The event is a big city race with a small town feel. Unlike more crowded marathons in New York and Chicago, runners wander into corrals just 15 minutes or so before the race’s 7 a.m. start. The vibe is relaxed and unhurried. It feels like the city simply wants you to relax and have a good time. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is at the start and the finish passing out high-fives to runners, setting the tone for a friendly race experience.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Expo fun! (

The Expo

The Comcast Health & Fitness Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center has a great selection of vendors. Last year, I bought some last minute race items. This year, I picked up some Clif Shots and a Christmas present for Phil. Plus, it’s fun to try some GORE-TEX shoes and splash around in the water pools at the GORE-TEX booth.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

Comcast Health & Fitness Expo (

Seriously you guys, if you run in the rain or snow, you need a pair of these shoes. They’ve been a game-changer for me. New Balance, Brooks, Asics, Saucony, The North Face, Salomon, and La Sportiva all make running shoes with GORE-TEX lining. Just look for models with GTX in the name.

How does it work? The GORE-TEX lining has more than 9 billion pores per square inch. Each pore is 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water. That means rain, puddle water, snow, and the like can’t get into your shoes (unless they spill over the top). At the same time, those pores are 700 times larger than a water vapor molecule, so sweat can get out.

Your feet stay dry, your shoes stay breathable. It’s a win-win. If you’re among the 75% of runners who head outdoors in cold and wet weather, have ever run in soggy shoes and waited days for them them to dry out, check out some GORE-TEX kicks. I’ve genuinely become an evangelist for this brand. I love it.

Race Report: GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2015

We’re ready to run! (

The Start

Phil and I left our hotel—1.5 miles to the start—at 5:45 a.m. and found a cab within 5 minutes. We were on site by 6 a.m. How’s that for no muss, no fuss? That’s what I mean about Philly being a low-key race. You could never do that in New York. Don’t get me wrong: the New York City Marathon is my favorite race ever, but it’s refreshing to run a big-city race where getting to the start isn’t an ordeal.

Despite heightened security at all of the start area entry points, we waited less than 5 minutes to get into the staging ground.

We found a bank of port-a-potties close to the entrance that no one seemed to be using. So we didn’t have to wait in line at all. Love that! The bathrooms near the corrals closer to the start time are much more crowded.

Baggage was easy to find, and by the time we’d used the bathroom and dropped off our bag, we still had 35 minutes to kill before the start. Read the rest of this entry →


Nov 2015

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Is Open

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Opens

(Photo: runDisney)

Looking for a bib only for Disneyland Paris Half Marathon? Here’s the info: Disneyland Paris Half Bib-Only Registration Opens

* * *

Registration for the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon from September 22-25, 2016 is open for runners who want to book a tour package through a Disney travel partner. Limited bib-only race registrations will open February 16, 2016 for individuals who want to register without a travel package. Runners will also be able to register via charity partners.

Runners can book directly by phone through the Disneyland Paris Reservation Center. The U.S. phone is 011 33 160 30 20 30. Packages include at least three nights hotel, one three-day park ticket, and a half-marathon or 5K registration.

Guests can also work with travel agency partners. Magical Racecations and GET Travel Sports are two U.S. agencies. Packages may include race registration, hotel, park tickets, breakfast, park transportation, and other options. Seven other agencies in the U.K. and other countries have packages for runners as well.

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be headed to the race to write about the event! (runDisney is covering some, but not all, of my expenses.)

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Race Information

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Info is Here

(Photo: Disney)

The Disneyland Paris races tour runners through two Disney Parks. The Disneyland 5K on Saturday, September 24 takes runners down Main Street, U.S.A., past Sleeping Beauty Castle, through Hollywood Boulevard, and around the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The Disneyland Paris Half Marathon on Sunday, September 25 will lead runners down Hollywood Boulevard and past the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Walt Disney Studios Park. At Disneyland Park, the course goes through Main Street, U.S.A., past Sleeping Beauty Castle, and through the villages that surround the Disney Parks before circling back to Disney Village on the way to the finish line. And like all runDisney races, runners will find Disney characters and entertainment all along the way.

The runDisney Kids Races on Saturday, September 24 offer 100m, 200m, 400m, 1K, and 2K courses (instead of 800m and 1 mile in the U.S.).

Runners can also buy tickets to a Pasta in the Park Party at Walt Disney Studios Park and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Disney Village in the evenings before the race.

In true runDisney fashion, the race will be part of the new Castle to Chateau Race Challenge. Runners who complete the half marathon at Disneyland Paris and a half-marathon at either Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in the same calendar year will earn a special medal for the occasion, much like the Coast to Coast Race Challenge. Read the rest of this entry →

Cave of Wonders: Touring Cappadocia Turkey

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Cappadocia at night (

When adventure calls, I answer. In July, I journeyed to the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon and 20K as a guest of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, in conjunction with Argos in Cappadocia. My story for focused on the race: What It Took to Conquer (Part of) the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon in Turkey.

What does it take to run 160 miles through the scorching Turkish desert? Experience, sure. A death wish? Maybe. As a road runner, I’m no stranger to long routes, but I knew signing up for the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon would be a mythic and mettle-testing adventure, even for a multi-marathoner like me.

I signed up for the RFC 20K—my first trail race ever—along with two more days of running. But I quickly learned that nearly 13 miles through Cappadocia would be the most difficult—and beautiful—miles I’ve ever encountered. Of the 100 races and countless runs I’ve logged on six continents, none has been as hot, hilly, humbling, and exhilarating as Runfire Cappadocia. How tough is this race? The winning time at any given road half-marathon is between 1 hour and 1 hour, 20 minutes. The winning time at the RFC 20K was 2 hours, 43 minutes. That winner was the only person to finish under 3 hours.

In addition to the race, I toured the sites of Cappadocia. Breathtaking. Stunning. Unique. Pick the adjective. Throw around some superlatives. Cappadocia deserves it.

Cave Dwelling & Hot Air Balooning in Cappadocia Turkey

Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia. (

After 16 hours of travel from New York City on the delightfully luxurious Turkish Airlines (think foot rests and menus even in economy class), I made it to Argos in Cappadocia hotel in the village of Uchisar, my home for the next few days.

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Argos in Cappadocia (

Like many of the region’s buildings, Argos is a collection of hollows hewn from hoodoos. Once a monastery housing an extensive wine cellar and 3-mile tunnel cutting through the base of the rock, the hotel now features manses with street front facades, cave interiors, and a farm-to-table restaurant.

supped on Ottoman cuisine in a stone house at Cappadocia Home Cooking, and sipped Turkish wines at Argos’s nearby vineyard.

Argos’s terraces (

A sunrise hot air balloon ride with Royal Balloon served as my introduction to the region in central Anatolia, Turkey’s heartland.

Cave of Wonders: Touring Cappadocia Turkey

Sunrise over Cappadocia (

While soaring over rock formations known as “fairy chimneys,” it was easy to appreciate the grandeur of the terrain I was about to run. Read the rest of this entry →


Oct 2015

Race Report: New Balance Reach the Beach Relay

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Girls Run Beta! (Reach The Beach)

6,000 runners. 500 teams. 201 miles. 32 hours. 12 women. 2 vans. 1 state. Put New Balance Reach The Beach Relay in the bag! I ran as a guest of New Balance, who covered all my expenses and kitted me out in gear for the event as part of the “Girls Run Beta” media team. And it was amazing.

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Girls Run Beta! (Carrie Kabat)

The New Balance Reach The Beach Relay, in partnership with the Ragnar Relay Series, takes teams of 12 runners 201 miles across New Hampshire, from the White Mountains to Hampton Beach State Park on the Atlantic shore.

The scenery was lovely, my teammates fantastic, and the overall experience amazing. It’s no wonder I’ve only heard great things about this race.

The fun levels were off the charts. We giggled, we danced, we ate, then ate some more, we told ghost stories, high-fived, commiserated and cheered. While looking for Jess during a night run, I busted out an impromptu rendition of “There’s a Light (Over At The Frankenstein Place) from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Another team called “Snoop Joggy Jog” inspired some “Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay” at our side-of-the-road dance party. Carrie and Dani played DJ with boy bands greatest hits. And the gummy bears flowed like water.

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Van 1! (Photo:

We worked as a team. Carrie finished her legs with a cart-wheel (true story) and chauffeured us from spot to spot. Dani was co-pilot and speedy anchor leg. Rachel recruited her dad’s team to cheer us on, and taught us the art of the silent scream (pictured). Jess kept a log of our start and finish times, and shared her Aleve when an afternoon migraine threatened to derail my second run. Kylie gave me her seat in the van to lay down. When it was time to suit me up mid-run with reflective vest and lights, the entire team swarmed me as my pit crew.

I was water girl, filling up and passing out water bottles to the finishing runner or the runner on the road—in one case jogging along side Dani for a brief stint so she didn’t have to stop. I also shared my massage stick with the team and Carrie shared her foam roller, so we could all stay limber.

In other words, the race was truly a team effort. You can see for yourself in this video New Balance put together for us.

Read the rest of this entry →

Tips & Tricks To #RunForFun

Tips & Tricks To #RunForFun

Make your next run fun! (Photo:

Want to put more fun in your run? I do! Check out Shape and Fitness Magazines30 Day #RunForFun Challenge, designed to get you moving each day and having fun.

Fitness reached out to me—along with 29 other runners—for a fave run-for-fun tip. I promise you’ll find a few new-to-you ideas that will refresh your next outing. I certainly did, like…

Day 9: Play ‘I Spy’
Day 11: Pick A Feel-Good Scent
Day 16: Let your S.O. or BFF make your playlist
Day 22: Wear a Sign
Day 23: Collect Coins

I’ve never done any of those! Some of the other tips are oldies but goldies that I keep in my arsenal, and seeing them again is a great reminder. 

My tip is Day 12 of the challenge. If you’ve ever read my blog before, you can probably guess it pretty easily. Did you guess right?

30-Day Running Challenge: 30 Ways to #RunForFun

But in addition to my tip in the 30-Day #RunForFun Challenge, here are five other tricks I use to keep me fleet of feet and young at heart.

RunKarlaRun’s #RunForFun Tricks

Tips & Tricks To #RunForRun

We can make believe… (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Play Mind Games:
Who says pretend is just for kids? You’re a great white shark chasing seals. You’re running to the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. Watch out, a velociraptor is chasing you! Ahhh! My favorite? I’m a lion hunting gazelles. I don’t sprint, I stalk. And I pick off runners in front of me slowly. One. By. One. Playing pretend while I run keeps me entertained for miles and miles.

Put Your Music On Shuffle:
When you have no idea what song might come next, every few minutes bring a pleasant surprise. I’ll put my entire MP3 player—all 700 songs—on shuffle to keep my music unpredictable. Sure, I have to skip a song here and there, but shuffle is one of my favorite ways to keep my run fresh.

Forgotten jams often inspire a fist pump. “I Got A Man” by Positive K anyone? Or “Wonder Woman” aka the ’70s TV show theme song? Or “Come Out and Play” by The Offspring? And sometimes I discover unexpected songs that are great for running like “Trying My Best To Love You” by Jenny Lewis. Would have never put that one on a running mix, but it really peps me when it pops up. I get lost in the lyrics and dig deep for those few minutes. Read the rest of this entry →

Fall Running Schedule: 13.1, 26.2, and 200, Oh My!

Fall Running Schedule

Running is East Hampton, NY with Cinderella (Photo:

This is it, folks. The moment I have have been waiting for: My fall running schedule 2015, aka the season when I finally run a sub-2 hour half marathon. There, I said it. I’m throwing down. I know, I know. I’ve said it so many times before. And so many times I have failed. But if at first you don’t succeed…

This is the one goal that has eluded me. My white whale. My holy grail. My impossible dream. A mere 30 seconds stand between my personal best and dream time. Those 30 seconds are coming off the clock.

It all starts August 31. Thanks to the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project, I’ve got a personalized (and complimentary) training plan to see me through.

But that’s not all. After that, I’ve got another goal I’m working toward: a winter 2016 marathon PR. I haven’t run a marathon since 2013. So the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project put together a seamless 24-week training plan for me that takes me all the way through four tune-up and two goal races in a running schedule that spans September to February.

Here’s the run down. And, of course, I’ll share more info about each race as it approaches!

Fall Running Schedule

Great Fjord Run (Photo:

Great Fjord Run

Norway, September 5, 2016

What?! Norway? You bet! My husband, Phil, and I are headed on vacation to Sweden and Norway today. Naturally, I started poking around and found that the Great Fjord Run near Bergen just happens to be taking place while we’re there. So of course, we built our trip around it, as one of Norway’s premier running events with 6,000 participants from more than 30 countries. The event includes 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids races and a walk. We’ll be running the half-marathon! helped me put together an itinerary that includes touring Oslo and hiking the Fjords in Flam and Bergen. I’ll be posting to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter throughout the trip if you want to follow along.

Easy Run: Since it’s the beginning of my running schedule and the end of vacation, this will be a fun run for us with no delusions of running fast. Plus, we’ll want to take in the scenery as we cross three bridges where the waters of three fjords meet. So my training plan has me running this one at an easy pace.

Fall Running Schedule: Halves & Relays & Marathons, Oh My!

(Photo: Reach The Beach Relay)

New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

New Hampshire, September 18-19, 2015

The New Balance Reach The Beach Relay has been on my bucket list for a while. When New Balance invited me to be their guest as part of a media team, I jumped at the chance. Reach The Beach takes teams of 12 runners 200 miles across New Hampshire, from the White Mountains to Hampton Beach State Park on the Atlantic shore. Each team member runs three legs of the relay, totaling about 16.6 miles over the the course of 24 hours. We start Friday afternoon and finish Saturday evening, running around the clock in shifts through 36 transition areas. This will be my first relay and my first race in New Hampshire. Mountain vistas, serene lakes, and a covered bridge or two are on the menu. I can’t wait!

Tune-Up: My Run S.M.A.R.T Project training plan has me using this as a tune-up at half-marathon race pace. So it will be my first chance to test my fitness once my running schedule starts. I doubt I’ll be running all 16.6. miles at half-marathon race pace, but hopefully I’ll do a leg or two at a fast clip. Read the rest of this entry →