Catching Up With Kara
With Kara in Boulder, it's been fun to feel like The Nest has an outpost in the Rocky Mountain High! Better yet, we've been hearing nothing but good news about our girl's comeback. After some hardcore non-running, and then blowing up her Alter-G, she's starting to hit the roads and focus on a Fall marathon. Get your cowbells America, your favorite sister hero is storming BACK!
How’s the injury recovery coming along? Where are you at now?
I’m running outside! After a month or so of gradually longer runs on the AlterG, I’m so pumped to be running outside. Six miles today, and up to 12 miles at 94% body weight on the AlterG. But I’m being smart about it, only running every other day. Nothing is worth rushing - especially if I want to reach my long term goals.
And what do you see those (goals) as right now?
I’m running a fall marathon this year - either Chicago or NYC. If I have an amazing race, I’ll transition to 10K training with the goal of making the World Championship Team in Beijing in 2015. If I’m not happy with it, I might run another marathon. Either way, the goal is the Olympics and Rio '16.
You’ve dealt with injury before. Has this time been different?
Yeah totally different. In the past, I rushed it too much. Unfortunately, a lot of pro contracts are set up that work against your long term goals — favoring a set quota of races or national rankings versus what might be better for you as an athlete. It’s great to be in a place where I can be more strategic.
So NYC or Chicago…do you have a preference?
It’s hard to be beat NYC. When I ran there in '08, it changed my life. To be honest, there was a lot of pressure before that race. I was was scared. 23 miles was my longest run. Could I handle the course? Would I live up to the hype? I felt ready, but it was intense. After finishing, I never looked at myself the same again. I knew I was stronger than I had ever thought. I knew I could compete, and compete hard, in the marathon.
Chicago is great too. I've never run it. And it's a faster course, so that’s always a plus. But NYC favors gritty runners…the hills, the turns, the fact that there's no chance you can go out at a suicide pace…in terms of the kind of runner I am, those factors benefit me. NYC is for the psycho gritty runner!
What’s it like to run in NYC as a top level pro?
Mary Wittenberg, David Monti and everyone at NYRR run a first class event. They put thought and effort into every single athlete who runs there. They know me. They know my family. It’s a great feeling to compete in New York.
So what’s your day-to-day life like in Boulder?
Well we bought a house, which we’re super excited about! We probably won’t move in until next year, as we’ve got some work to do, but we’re thrilled with being back in Boulder.
As far as coaching, Mark [Wetmore] and Heather [Burroughs] are exactly what I needed. They’ve got me on track, without doing too much too soon. And with their other athletes, they’re getting awesome results this Spring which is so exciting to watch. Emma [Coburn] running sub 9:20 in the Steeple and Jenny [Simpson] dipping under the 4 minute mark for 1500m. I already had a ton of confidence in Mark & Heather, but that’s great evidence of how they structure training and racing.
My runs are mostly with Emma, Jenny and Shalaya Kipp. We have a great group. The energy is positive…we run hard, and get to hang out too, having brunch at one of our favorite spots - or using the CU facilities for cross training, etc.
Other than training, what’s coming up for you?
Unfortunately, I can’t make it down to Sacto for USA Outdoors, but I’ll be cheering from Boulder! In July, I’ll be focusing on training while my teammates are in Europe, and I believe a photo shoot with you guys in Seattle.
In August, I’m starting a new series of women’s health retreats. Details not out yet, but overall, they will focus on ways we can all stay healthy, strong - and sane! I’ll be at Oiselle’s Bird Camp in August as well, and then I’m hoping to pair running some miles on the NYC course in tandem with Oiselle going back to New York Fashion Week in September. it’s busy - but lots of good stuff!
Last question…something fashion…what kind of kit are you hoping to wear for your marathon this fall?
I love some of the new elite kit designs I’ve seen from you guys. I like the idea of adding something patriotic. Maybe the wing graphic with the right colors. My go to marathon kit is a traditional elite top plus buns and compression socks. Can’t wait to make my first official flight for Oiselle!