Posts Tagged ‘personal best’

I’m Running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014

Running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014

Irina Mashkantceva wins the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. (Philadelphia Marathon)

It’s official. I’m running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon 2014 on Sunday, November 23! I’d been debating which marathon, if any, to run this fall and I’ve finally committed to running Philly as a guest of sponsor GORE-TEX.

While I considered—and was invited to—a few other marathons in the U.S. and Canada, I decided on Philly for a few reasons.

Running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon 2014

Pausing for a photo just before a PR finish at the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. (RunKarlaRun.com)

1) PR Course: I ran my current marathon personal best of 4:28:06 at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2012. I failed to best it at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, despite perfect weather and a pancake flat course, thanks to a cold that settled in two weeks before race day and decided to linger.

2) Redemption: I feel like I have unfinished business in Philadelphia. Back in 2012, I’d been zipping along on target for a 4:14 finish when a quad cramp struck after the 20-mile mark and decided to linger. I lost 14 minutes in the last 10K, as I stopped to stretch the cramp a few times, jogging slowly in between. While I was ecstatic about my finish time, a new personal best, I knew I had even more in me. I want to return to Philly and run the time I should have two years ago: 4:15. Read the rest of this entry →

15

08 2014

Race Report: Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Heartbreak Hill Half medals. (Photo: Grace Donnelly)

The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival from June 5-8, 2014 in Newton and Boston, Massachusetts felt a lot like running camp. But the titular half-marathon lived up to its name: it was a bit heartbreaky and a bit hilly. And I loved almost every minute of it.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Taking the Heartbreak Hill Half seriously. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

I attended the race courtesy of Runner’s World as part of their official blogger crew. (They covered my race entries, dorm room and some meals. I covered my transportation to and from Boston and other meals.)

The race was a chance to run along the most famous section of Boston Marathon course. For Boston Marathon qualifiers and hopefuls, it was a chance to test their legs on the storied climb. For runners like me—for whom qualifying for Boston is a distant “someday” dream—it was a chance to know exactly what all those faster runners are talking about when they dismiss Heartbreak Hill as “not that bad” or confirm its notoriety as “brutal.” I’ve heard the hill described both ways and was excited to find out for myself.

Roughly 6,700 finishers from 47 U.S. states ran in the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids’ run and dog run at the weekend. Exactly 3,074 runners finished the half-marathon; 1,838 completed the 10K; 1,565 crossed the line in the 5K, and 69 doggies finished the Eukanuba Dog Run.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

The post-race festival. (Photo: Brita Meng Outzen)

There’s too much for me to cover in one post, so I’ll share all my doings at the race over the next few weeks. I already covered the Runner’s World 5K, Expo, Festival programming, on-campus accommodations and blogger crew in Race Report: Runner’s World 5K at Heartbreak Hill Half.

Up now is the half-marathon! Read the rest of this entry →

19

06 2014

7-Year Raceiversary Inspiration For Running Beginners

Raceiversary Inspiration For Running Beginners

Finishing my first 10K. (Photo: brightroom)

Seven years ago to the day, I toed the line in my very first race. My raceiversary reminds me how far I’ve come: from a totally clueless newbie in cotton socks to an intermediate runner with seven marathons under my race belt. Running beginners, take heart.

On April 29, 2007, I remember being incredibly nervous as I readied for my first race ever, with 5,720 other runners lining up in New York City’s Central Park. I’d being running casually for two years already, so I’d run those hills countless times. But I still didn’t know what to expect from a “race.” It was New York Road Runners’ Run as One TGL Classic. I pushed myself as hard as I could and finished the 4-miler in 46:19 at an 11:34 pace.

Seven years later, I’m amazed by how far I’ve come. My 4-mile personal best is 34:38 at an 8:40 pace. I clawed my way from the back of the pack to the middle to the front of the middle. My half-marathon personal best is 19:18 faster than the national median time of 2:19:48 for women.

And I’m still getting faster.

I hear from running beginners a lot. Having started running from scratch after battling a bone tumor in my leg for a decade, I know what it’s like to hit the pavement and be instantly out of breath. But I also know that by sticking with it, I just kept getting better and running just kept getting easier.

So I thought I’d share some cold, hard stats about just how far I’ve come as a runner. Here’s a comparison between my race times from 2007 and now. The moral of the story: If I can do it, anyone can.

Inspiration For Beginning Runners

My first 1 miler at the Norway Run. (Photo: brightroom)

Inspiration For Running Beginners

My first race, April 29, 2007

4 miles then: 46:19 at 11:34 pace
4 miles now: 34:38 at 8:40 pace

At a 2013 track workout

My first 3-miler/5K, May 22, 2007

3 miles then: 32:17 at 10:45 pace
3 miles now: 23:22 at 7:47 pace

At the 2013 Wild Dog Triathlon

My first 10K, June 9, 2007

6.2 miles then: 1:11:20 at 11:30 pace
6.2 miles now: 54:09 at 8:44 pace

At a 2013 track workout

My first 1-miler, October 6, 2007

1.7 miles then: 16:14 at 9:32 pace
1 mile now: 6:46 at 6:46 pace

At the 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile (I haven’t raced a mile since then!)

Inspiration For Beginning Runners, New York City Marathon

Crossing the finish line of my first marathon. (Photo: brightroom)

My first marathon, November 4, 2007

26.2 miles then: 5:54:25 at 13:31 pace
26.2 miles now: 4:28:06 at 10:14 pace

At the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon

U.S. median women: 4:41:38 at 10:45 pace
U.S. median men: 4:16:24 at 9:47 pace
Stats from Running USA
Read the rest of this entry →

29

04 2014

Race Report: 2014 Run for the Parks 4-Mile Run

Run For The Parks 4-Mile Run

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.

Run For The Parks 4-Mile Run

Stretching in Central Park after my 6-miler on Saturday. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Today, I finished the City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks 4-Mile Run. Last year, the race on April 21 was an especially emotional one. Just one week after the attack at the Boston Marathon, New York Road Runners turned the event into a Run For Boston and benefit for The One Fund Boston. I’ve never seen so much blue in Central Park. My race report is here: An Emotional Run For Boston At Run For The Parks.

This year’s race reminded me of a few things.

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 →

06

04 2014

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 →

I’m Going To Walt Disney World…Half Marathon!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Minnie cheers runners at the 2013 Wat Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

That’s right. In just three weeks, I’ll be at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend from January 8-12, and running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

The folks at runDisney graciously invited me and I just couldn’t say no.

Am I running the marathon again like last year? Um, no. With just a few weeks preparation, I’m not quite in marathon shape. Sure, I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20 and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon on November 9, but that 13.1 miles was my last long run. The longest I’ve gone since then is 6.5 miles.

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 →

18

12 2013

Running The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Media Challenge For Charity

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The start of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon (Photo: Canada Running Series)

The countdown is on. In just four days, I’ll be at the starting line of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

But I’m not just running the race. I’m also taking part in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Media Challenge, a race-within-a-race where reporters, editors, producers, photographers and assorted media folk face off against each other for charity. I’m running on behalf of the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada in memory of my cousin, Laura, who died last year from a sarcoma cancer.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Hamza family won Best Dressed Costume in the 5K. (Photo: Canada Running Series)

It’s all part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, an initiative that raised $4.3 million for 181 charities in 2012.

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon hosts 25,000 runners from over 60 countries for the event’s three race distances: the marathon, half-marathon and 5K.

The marathon course is known as a flat and fast, but sometimes windy, run around Canada’s largest city, with 150,000 spectators cheering runners on.

Whatsmore, more than one-quarter of the race’s runners register to support one of the event’s 180 official charities partners.

Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Stephane Hetherington won Best DressedCostume in the marathon and a Guinness World Record for fastest marathon in a superhero costume. (Photo: Canada Running Series)

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Charity Challenge

The Scotiabank Charity Challenge has lots of competitions to encourage people to raise money.

Charities can earn bonus money for placing in the top three in each of these categories: most participants, most money raised, most money per participant raised. It’s an extra incentive Scotiabank gives charities to get as many runners as they can out on the course.

But that’s just the beginning of the challenge.

Costume Challenge

Perhaps the most fun is the Best Dressed Costume contest. Runners can win extra money for their charity of choice by taking home the best-dressed prize. Scotiabank donates $5,000 to the costume winners’ charity picks. Read the rest of this entry →

16

10 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

08 2013

Training Begins for Philadelphia Marathon 2012

Philadelphia Marathon

The Philadelphia Marathon is on Nov. 18, 2012 (Photo: Philadelphia Marathon)

It’s that time of year again…dun dun dun! Marathon training starts! This year, I’m running the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon on Nov. 18. In just under 18 weeks, I’ll be at the starting line in the City of Brotherly Love, hopefully prepared to tackle my fifth tango with 26.2. Read the rest of this entry →

19

07 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

Fifth Avenue Mile Race Recap and Slideshow

The Fifth Ave Mile Finish

Call Me Kip, Lagat's Nickname

Lagat's Victory Lap

Bernard Lagat Wins

Amine Laalou Finishes Second

David Torrence Finishes Third

Lagat kicks, chasing down Laalou and Torrence

The Lead Pack

Here come the pro men

Simpson Dressed in Star and Stripes

Simpson's Victory Lap

Hannah England and Sally Kipyego finish third and second after a photo finish

Jenny Simpson Wins

The 1500-Meter Mark

Jenny Simpson makes a move

Jenny Simpson and Morgan Uceny chase Kipyego

Sally Kipyego of Kenya

Professional Women

Men 40-49

Down Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue Mile Start

Photos by Phil Hospod

Olympians, World Champions and thousands of regular runners alike barreled down New York City’s Fifth Avenue in the Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday, Sept. 24. The professional field this year was a doozy, with eight Olympians and four 2011 World Championship medalists among them. But what is it about running a mile that keeps runners, including professionals like Bernard Lagat, so entranced? Read the rest of this entry →

27

09 2011

Knowing Better Is One Thing, Doing Better Is Another

Karla at the NYRR New York Mini (left) and at the NYRR Team Championships (right). Photos by Phil Hospod and Anne Hospod.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was…well, you get the idea. Such was my own tale of two races.

We all have ups and downs when it comes to running. One minute we are trudging up the hill, both literally and metaphorically, the next we are sailing down it. But the difference between the best of times and worst of times is often a matter of execution.

Knowing better is one thing. Doing better is another. This summer, I learned that the hard way. With the NYRR Team Championships on August 6, I tried to heed my tale of two races and come out with a personal best. Read the rest of this entry →

08

08 2011

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