Describe your athletic background and how you discovered your current sport?
My urge to run began in 2005 when I was 20 weeks pregnant and on bed-rest. I was in the midst of a complicated pregnancy with twins and was either laid up on the couch in our Wash Park home or I was at the hospital, under close watch. When I was at home, I would watch people through my house window as they ran by to do a few laps in the park. During that time, I decided I wanted to run my first marathon once our twins were born. While my husband and I did quite a bit of hiking in the high country, I never was a “runner” and I never competed in a race. Six months after our twins were born I ran my first half marathon, the Boulder Backroads Half. I loved it! I loved the energy I felt from running a race. Six months later, in 2006, I signed up for the inaugural year of the Colfax Marathon. I amazed myself by placing third in my age group and qualifying for Boston. My journey of traveling to marathons and seeing new cities began. After running Boston and then New York, I was completely hooked. I found running to be extremely invigorating, I loved the positive energy of the race environment and it helped build my self-confidence.
Over the next couple of years, I ran many marathons and half marathons around the country, often placing in the top three of my age group. In 2012, I was named one of Colorado’s fastest marathon runners in Colorado Runner Magazine. Then in 2012, I raced my first Ironman race, Ironman Arizona.The day was so unbelievable and so emotional. It was everything I thought it would and could be. I loved the entire race atmosphere and loved all the encouraging people around me – including my family who flew out to support me. Crossing that finish line was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. Those six words, “Kara Diamond-Husmann, You, Are, An, Ironman,” will always be with me. My life was changed forever.
My Ironman Journey continued with Ironman Mount Tremblant in 2013, Ironman Boulder 2014 (Kona Qualified), Ironman Kona World Championships 2014, and Ironman Wisconsin 2015. However, recently, one of my daughters was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. After this diagnosis I needed to be on call for her at all times of the day. I stopped going to the pool and I have not been back on my road bike. When I have free time, I enjoy doing things I love and that is RUNNING! As my passion for running was growing exponentially, I felt an urge to share this passion with others. Shortly after my running career began, I heard of a program called Girls on the Run, a national organization that teaches 8 to 13 year old girls self-respect, confidence, and healthy lifestyles through running. I immediately knew that I wanted to be part of this organization. I could integrate my love for teaching young kids (I am a former teacher) with my love for running and help build self-confidence in girls. I’ve been a coach and site director for Girls on the Run since 2006 and brought the program to my own children’s school in 2010. The Girls on the Run program ends each year with the girls completing a 5K run at an organized race event. It is very rewarding being an inspiration to all the young girls that I get to work with. And, watching all the young girls cross that finish line with a sparkle in their eye, an uncontrollable smile on their face, and an “I can do it” attitude is so inspiring to me.
My 12 year old daughter has Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is 7 days a week 24 hours a day for 365 days. It never sleeps and it never has a vacation! I have not slept a night since her diagnosis 20 months ago. I carry my phone with me on the trails and monitor her blood sugar while on runs. My runs are often interrupted with phone calls from school about her high or low blood sugars and I talk them through it from my runs. Thank goodness for technology.
Not let work get in the way of training. Booking your workouts as appointments with yourself. or with training partners.
Twin 12-year old girls.
My daughters are my biggest cheerleaders! I train after I drop them off at school during the week. On weekends in the summer, they hike 14ers with me and in the winter, they telemark ski with me. They run at night with me and we decorate ourselves in cool flashing lights and call ourselves "FIREFLIES."
Incorporate your kids into your training.
How do you balance your training with your partner? Any tips or tricks for keeping your partner happy while you train to reach your personal goals?
My husband and I both race, so he trains early in the morning and on some nights after work. We are lucky that my parents live near us so we can drop our girls off at their house and have dates on the trails (it's our HAPPY PLACE!!!)
I always wanted to run 100 miles and in the Emergency Room, at Hailey's diagnosis, it was then that I decided to run the Leadville 100 to raise money for Type 1 Diabetes. I raced Leadville 100 Trail Run August 20, 2016 to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I had 30 hours to complete the 100 mile trail race in the Collegiate Peaks of Colorado with almost 18,000 feet of climbing. I finished in 29 hours 59 minutes and 50 seconds. I was the last finisher to get in at the 30 hour mark and only 50% of racers finished in 30 hours! And I raised $16,776.20 for JDRF!
2. Always have fun with training.
3. Include your family members in your training.
Frozen yogurt with sprinkles and a 7-11 coffee.
I just completed the Boston Marathon. I will be racing the Run Rabbit 100 in Steamboat, Colorado in September.
What are your athletic goals for the next 5 years?
Running the Boston Marathon every year and running Ultra races, in exciting new places.
During training, I learn more about myself than I ever know. The long training runs give you plenty of time for self introspection. Training has taught me discipline, time management, and mental toughness. It has also built my self confidence and has made many of life’s big “obstacles” seem not so big any more. Training is very difficult at times, but I love every minute of it. I feel so alive. And, I make a lot of new friends on the way who have the same goal orientated attitude and zest for life as I do.
You can follow Kara on social media:
Instagram @ karamarathoner