Posts Tagged ‘hills’

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: RunKarlaRun.com)

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 →

RnR San Diego Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 3 + 4

Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 3 + 4

Spring comes to Central Park (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Four weeks down, eight weeks to go on my half marathon training plan for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon. My tune-up race at The North Face Endurance Challenge 10K is less than four weeks away. How’d my last two weeks of training go? Comme ci comme ça.

I’m aiming to run four times a week, following a half marathon training plan from Greg McMillan’s book You (Only Faster). I’m also slowly building my mileage from my winter base of 20 miles per week to 30 miles a week and beyond. Last week I said: “I want to get off the road and onto dirt once a week during my runs. I also want to up my strength training from once to twice a week.” Um, not so much. I had some great workouts, but did zero trail running, minimal strength training, and missed a long run. Thus the comme ci comme ça.

Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 3 + 4

Announcing at the Scotland Run (Photo: Phil Hospod)

But I also announced at the Scotland Run 10K with 8,000 runners, some in kilts, storming Central Park. Announcing is always a highlight of my week. If I can’t run a race, the next best thing is announcing at one!

So here’s the run down on my last two weeks of training.

Goal Half Marathon Time—1:59:59
Current Half Marathon PR—2:00:30
Goal Race: Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon, May 31
Tune-Up Race: The North Face Endurance Challenge NY 10K, May 3
Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 1 + 2

WEEK 3
Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 3 + 4

The U.N.

Fartlek: 3.65 miles outside. After a warm-up, I ran 1 minute on, 1 minute off fartleks. It was a solid workout and I was pushing really hard by the end. I ran past the United Nations, which is a beautiful complex.

Hills: 4 miles on the treadmill. I ran 10 x 1-minute hill repeats at a 5% incline, roughly the incline I’ll face at Bear Mountain. Got a great sweat going on this one. Big bonus: Positive K’s “I Got A Man” came up in my running mix. I usually run with all my music on one giant shuffle, so I don’t actually repeat songs all that often. Yeah, I was super pumped! Pretty sure I got some stares as I rapped and gestured along. “But how you talking? Pshaw, whatever!”

Easy: 5.4 miles on the treadmill. I’ve been doing all my easy runs as progression runs, but still felt great the whole time on this one. Watching A League of Their Own didn’t hurt either!

Strength: Tacked this onto the easy run above. Did some planks, push-ups, and what not, followed by foam rolling, just so I could watch more of A League of Their Own.

Long: 0 miles! Ahhhhhh! Totally skipped what was supposed to be a 9-miler. Why? No good reason whatsoever. I had a bad bout of cramps, and I just wasn’t in the mood. Told myself I’d do it the next day. But I slept oddly and cranked my neck, so the next day and the day after that were a wash. I didn’t run for 3 days in a row. Instead of trying to make up the long run, I decided to just plow ahead with my half marathon training plan. Read the rest of this entry →

08

04 2015

Heartbreak Hill Half Is Here! Will I or Won’t I PR?

Heartbreak Hill Half: Will I or Won't I?

My bib. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

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.

Heartbreak Hill Half: Will I or Won't I?

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.

And I’ll be a panelist in “How to Get Your Name in Lights: Building a Social Media Running Brand.” If you’re in the Boston area, come check it out at 3:45 on Saturday. Here’s the entire seminar schedule.

I’ll also be popping by the Eukanuba 2-Mile Dog Run because I’m obsessed with dogs. I really wish my pup, Cinderella, could be here to run it with me.

Heartbreak Hill Half PR Attempt

But the big day comes on Sunday. I’ve made no secret about the fact that I finally—finally!!—want to run a sub-2 hour half marathon.

There’s no good reason that I haven’t yet. My 5K and 10K race times indicate that it’s well within my power. My recent workouts agree, as I wrote about in Chasing the Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon at Heartbreak Hill.

For some reason, though, that 2-hour barrier has plagued me. With a 2:00:30 personal best, I’ve got just 31 seconds to shave. Read the rest of this entry →

06

06 2014

Scenes From Jerusalem Half Marathon and Marathon

Jerusalem Half Marathon

The Jerusalem Half Marathon. (Photo: Flash 90)

Holy hills! The Jerusalem Half Marathon is now behind me and 15,550 other runners who tackled 10K, half and marathon races at the Jerusalem Marathon. I ran the race as part of a press trip sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in cooperation with El Al Airlines. About 4,680 runners took on the half-marathon with me, mostly men. The event as a whole is 71 percent male. The women’s running boom hasn’t quite happened in Israel yet, it seems.

It was spectacularly scenic and easily the most difficult course I’ve ever run. Ever. No seriously, I mean it. Every runner I talked to agreed, including folks who have run 20-50 road marathons around the world. There are probably courses that are as difficult. But it’s hard to imagine a tougher one far as city marathons and half-marathons go. This was a road race with a trail profile. Between the hills—never ending climbs up never ending hills followed by quad-crushing descents—and the turns—more than 40 of them over 13.1 miles—this is not a course to run a personal best. The marathon is no different.

But the scenery makes up for it. At the tops of those hills are views of the Old City, the new city and Jordan in the distance. Around those turns are historic sites, charming neighborhoods and, sometimes, more hills.

So I sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the ride…or at least the running equivalent. I haven’t even looked up my official time because I really don’t care. I ran with a GoPro camera, stopped and shot video, took pictures and just enjoyed the gorgeous course. My good friend, triathlon partner in crime, and Canadian journalist Tania, was there with me. One look at the photos, and you’ll see why we’re friends.

So here’s a sneak peak at the event. My full race report—with the nitty gritty details on the race, organization, course, and my experience of it all—is still to come when I get home from the trip!

Jerusalem Half Marathon Preview

21

03 2014

Race Report: Yonkers Marathon and Half Marathon 2013

Yonkers Marathon, Yonkers Half Marathon

2013 Yonkers Marathon and Half Marathon medals and bib. (Photo: NYCRUNS)

The Yonkers Marathon is the second oldest marathon in the U.S., running for the 88th time on September 29, 2013. The race has a storied history going back to Thanksgiving Day in 1907. Two-time Olympic marathoner John Kelley dubbed it the “marathoner’s marathon” and the moniker stuck.

The Yonkers Marathon has gone through many iterations and course changes over the years. After its initial run from 1907-1917, the race died, but was resurrected in 1935. It’s been run every year since. In decades past, the race was home to the national championships and Olympic Trials. Running legend Ted Corbitt ran the race 26 times.

This year, nearly 800 runners finished the Yonkers Marathon and Half Marathon. I used the marathon as a 20-mile training run for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20, and my final test to help me decide if I would stick with the marathon or switch to the half marathon there. Read the rest of this entry →

01

10 2013

Running Wisdom: Lessons From A Running Life

Running wisdom, running lessons

Photo: Phil Hospod

The Staten Island Half-Marathon on October 7, 2012 was my 50th race. In my transformation from loather to lover of running, I have culled a fair amount running wisdom as both a runner and a running reporter.

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 →

24

10 2012

Race Report: Disney’s Princess Half Marathon

Race Report: Disney's Princess Half Marathon

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon was a fairy tale race.

If you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.

Cinderella sang those words and I took them to heart at Disney’s Princess Half Marathon in Walt Disney World in Florida, which I attended as a guest of runDisney.

I channeled my inner Cinderella and believed that I could break my half-marathon personal record.

Disney races aren’t for PR’s many people say. Just have fun, they tell you.

But on Sunday, Feb. 26, I learned that it’s possible to PR and have fun too while running Disney.

Of course, it helps to have Prince Charming by your side.

Running in Costume: Cinderella and Prince Charming

Race Report: Disney Princess Half MarathonFor starters, I feel compelled to confess: I ran in costume. Not just that, I cajoled my fiancé, Phil, to run in costume with me—as Cinderella and Prince Charming.

Cinderella has long been my favorite princess, ever since I saw clips of the film on my Fisher Price Movie Viewer Theater back in the early 1980s. I even named my dog Cinderella. What better character to summon for a half-marathon than a gal who knows how to put her head down and work hard?

I found that once you put on a costume and give in to the Disney spirit, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have a good time, no matter how painful the running itself may be. Read the rest of this entry →

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02

03 2012

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