Run with Meb Keflezighi at TCS New York City Marathon

Run with Meb Keflezighi at the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon

Meb Keflezighi runs the 2014 Boston Marathon to victory. (Gr5/Wikimedia via CC-BY-SA-3.0)

I told you about chances to run with Meb Keflezighi in both New York and San Diego earlier this year. Here’s another.

Meb Keflezighi will be back in New York on November 2, 2014. The 2009 New York City Marathon champion and 2014 Boston Marathon champion is running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon as a Team for Kids Ambassador. (I’ll be covering the race once again as host of NYRR On The Run.)

You may not be able to run with him, but you can join Team for Kids, along with pro tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, the 2014 Istanbul Cup winner who ranked first worldwide in 2010 and 2011.

“Meb will highlight a world-class field of athletes competing for the marathon title, while Caroline will join thousands of runners raising critical funds for worthy charities,” said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, in a press release. “They’ll serve as inspirations to the 50,000 runners and millions of fans lining the streets of the city’s five boroughs and watching the race broadcast around the world.”

As Team for Kids Ambassadors, Keflezighi and Wozniacki will take part in Team for Kids activities during race week and help raise money for New York Road Runners’ youth running programs. Money raised by Team for Kids participants goes toward free and low-cost health and fitness programs for kids who would otherwise have limited access to regular exercise. NYRR’s programs reach more than 200,000 children each year in more than 800 schools and community centers in New York City, the U.S., and the world. More than 1,700 Team for Kids runners will raise an estimated $4.5 million this year. Keflezighi will also be raising money for his own The MEB Foundation, which promotes youth health, education and fitness. Read the rest of this entry →


Jul 2014

Touring Duomo di Milano in Italy’s ‘Second City’

Touring Italy's 'Second City:' Duomo di Milano, Galleria and More

Duomo di Milano (Phil Hospod)

Milano. The name evokes thoughts of Italian fashion, espresso, opera and, yes, cookies. Though often overlooked by American tourists for more popular locales like Rome, Florence and Venice, Italy’s second largest city has plenty to offer sightseers, most notably the Duomo di Milano, Milan’s grand Gothic cathedral; Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the word’s oldest malls; Teatro alla Scala better known simply as La Scala, the famed opera house; and Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper mural; and that’s just scratching the surface.

Touring the Duomo di Milano in Italy's Second City

(Phil Hospod)

As Italy’s business and fashion center, you’re as likely to see a women in a suit and stilettos riding a scooter as you are tourists in sneakers and shorts. Milan is a vibrant cosmopolitan hub with gorgeous building stock, a unique cuisine, and culture in abundance.

After three nights luxuriating beside Lake Como and another three hiking through Cinque Terre, my husband, Phil, and I headed to the regional capital of Lombardy—Milan.

I’m one of those tourists who overlooked Milan on two previous trips to Italy. But Phil had been to Milan at least five times before, often spending weeks at a time. He urged me to give the city a chance. With just one afternoon and evening to take it in, we headed for Milano Centro, the city center.

Welcome to this week’s Travel Tuesday.

Touring the Duomo di Milano in Italy's Second City

(Phil Hospod)

Duomo di Milano

If I had time to see just one thing in Milan, it had to be the Duomo di Milano.

As a former religion major and religion reporter, I’ve visited many a cathedral over the years: St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the Duomo in Florence, Notre Dame in Paris, Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and many others around the world.

But as far as classical cathedrals go, the Duomo di Milano might be the most spectacular one I’ve seen.

In The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain wrote: “They say that the Cathedral of Milan is second only to St. Peter’s at Rome. I cannot understand how it can be second to anything made by human hands.” Read the rest of this entry →


Jul 2014

Win TCS New York City Marathon 2014 Entry with ASICS

TCS New York City Marathon 2014

Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start of the ING New York City marathon. (Photo: Fergal Carr, via Creative Commons)

It’s no secret that the TCS New York City Marathon is one of my absolute favorite races. It was my first marathon in 2007. I’ve run it three times total and now cover the race with New York Road Runner’s On The Run web and TV show. I’ll be at the TCS New York City Marathon 2014 race with “On The Run” on November 2.

But if you want to join in the action in the Big Apple, you can win one of two official entries into the TCS New York City Marathon 2014 race courtesy of ASICS. Each winner will also receive an ASICS gift pack valued at $500. During “On The Run’s” race week coverage, I’m often decked out from head to toe in ASICS New York City Marathon gear. I love it so much that I continue to wear it year round, like at the Trot Off Your Turkey 5K. Read the rest of this entry →


Jul 2014

The Tutu-Da-Loo Running Tutu Giveaway Winner Is…

Tutu-da-loo Running Tutu

Princess Aurora tutu (Tutu-da-loo)

Thank you to everyone who entered my running tutu giveaway! I wish I could pass out tutus to you all.

But if you’ve got your heart set on one of Tutu-Da-Loo’s magnificent creations, use code “Karla” to get 15% off your next purchase at Tutu-Da-Loo. I’ll be wearing a Tutu-Da-Loo design, courtesy of Tutu-Da-Loo, at an upcoming race.

Tutu-Da-Lu Elsa Frozen Tutu

Elsa Frozen Tutu (Tutu-Da-Loo)

Whether you’re looking to run as Elsa from Frozen, Lilo from Lilo & Stitch, Captain America or some other character, Tutu-Da-Loo has an inspired design. Enter the coupon code at checkout for a 15% discount off any running tutu in the shop. Tutu-Da-Loo’s tutus normally range in price from $30 to $45. The code is good through Sunday, July 27. I don’t get compensated for your purchase in any way. Just want to pass along some savings.

Now, without further ado, the winner is… Read the rest of this entry →

Sprint Triathlon Training: Swim, Bike and Run, Oh My!

Sprint Triathlon Training: Swimming and Biking and Running, Oh My!

Biking in Rhode Island (

It’s that time of year: sprint triathlon training. Ever since I got bit by the multi-sport bug in 2011, my summers have been a mélange of cross-training activities. This year is no different: swimming and biking and running, oh my!

I got a later start than usual this year. I’ll blame it on the long, cold winter. But I know myself and know that the best way to get me to train is to sign up for something. So that’s what I did. I now have two triathlons on my calendar: the Newport Naval Station Triathlon in Newport, Rhode Island on Sunday, July 27 and the Triathlon Valleyfield in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Québec on Sunday, August 24.

Sprint Triathlon Training: Swimming, Biking and Running, Oh My!

Swimming in a friend’s pool (

Sprint Triathlon Training

I’m two weeks into training, and I’ve managed to ride my bike three times and swim three times. One of my swims was in open water, which is a must for me before any open water race like the tri in Newport.

Since I’ve just started biking and swimming, my goal for the Newport Naval Station Triathlon is just to survive the 1/3 mile swim, 10.5-mile bike and 3.1-mile run. Read the rest of this entry →


Jul 2014

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards

WorkoutLabs compensated me for the time it took me to test their product, write about it, and share it on this blog. Compensation I receive from any company is not compensation for my good opinion. Consider this an advertorial where I have complete editorial control.

I travel a lot. And while I do my best to squeeze in runs wherever I go, sometimes I’m traveling in an area or at a time when I don’t feel safe running alone; can’t stomach the tiny, windowless gym in the hotel basement; or might not have access to a gym at all.

I’m also a fan of calisthenic workouts. I’ll often roll-out my mat in front of the TV to squeeze in 30 minutes of exercises while I watch an old Friends or Seinfeld episode. But my rotation of exercises often gets stale, and I’m constantly losing the pages of exercises I’ve clipped from magazines over the years.

Enter WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards.

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

Deck contents

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards: The Basics

The concept is simple—a deck of cards, the size and shape of playing cards, depict an exercise or stretch per card. Each deck has 40 exercises that don’t require any equipment, nine stretches and five workouts plus a stretching routine. A blank exercise card and workout card are also included, so you can create your own favorite routine among the included exercises or add an exercise of your own. Read the rest of this entry →

Run Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 For Charity

Run the sold-out Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 via Charity or Tour Groups

Prince Mickey and Princess Mickey (runDisney)

Missed out on registration for the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including the sold-out Glass Slipper Challenge and Enchanted 10K? Limited bibs are available via charity and tour groups. Runners must register directly through the groups listed below to participate in those three events from February 19-22 at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Run the sold-out Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 via Charity or Tour Groups

Frozen’s Elsa makes an appearance at the Princess Half. (runDisney)

Regular registration is still available for the Disney Princess 5K and runDisney Kids Races, both of which will feature a Frozen theme and finisher medals. At publication time, the 5K was 65 percent full and the kids races were 55 percent sold.

Tickets are also still available for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast and Pasta in the Park Party, both on Friday and Saturday, and the Race Retreat on Sunday. Though the Race Retreat and Breakfast are each 52 percent full. Free, non-ticketed events include the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo from Thursday through Saturday and the Happily Ever After Party at Downtown Disney on Sunday.

The Glass Slipper Challenge, where runners complete the Enchanted 10K and Disney Princess Half Marathon on back-to-back days, sold out first in 1 hour and 45 minutes after an hour of technical problems between and the registration system. Registration opened at 12 p.m. ET on July 15. At 12:34, runDisney posted on Twitter: Read the rest of this entry →

Giveaway: Win A Running Tutu By Tutu-Da-Loo

Giveaway: Win a running tutu from and Tutu-da-loo!

Tutu-da-loo’s Snow White tutu (Tutu-da-loo)

Registration opened today for the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Florida, from February 19-22, 2015. The Glass Slipper Challenge, Princess Half Marathon and Enchanted 10K are already sold out as of 6:30 p.m., while the 5K is 52 percent full and the Kids Races are 50 percent sold.

Giveaway: Win A Running Tutu From and Tutu-da-loo!


In honor of the occasion, I’m thrilled to give away a custom-made running tutu courtesy of Tutu-da-loo! One winner will receive a handmade tutu of their choice, perfect for running any themed or costume race. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the post.

Tutus are 9 inches long with a crocheted elastic waistband and two layers of tulle. Sizes range from X-Small to 3XL to cover women’s sizes 0-24. All of Tutu-da-loo’s tutus are custom-made, and they fill special orders as well. For an additional cost, runners can order a 12-inch length via Tutu-da-loo’s Etsy shop.

The winner of this giveaway can pick any basic multi-colored tutu of up to 3 colors, like the one pictured at right.

Or choose a basic single color tutu, like this: Read the rest of this entry →

Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 Registration Opens

Disney Princess Half Marathon Registration Opens

The Disney Princes Half Marathon finish (Preston Mack/WDW Photo)

UPDATE: The Disney Princess Half Marathon, Enchanted 10K, and Glass Slipper Challenge are sold out. Entries are still available via charity and tour groups:

Run Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015 For Charity or Tour Groups

* * *

Registration for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals opens Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 12 p.m. ET. The women-focused race weekend will take place at Walt Disney World in Florida from February 19-22, 2015. The race is the fourth largest half-marathon in the U.S., according to Running USA, and the second largest women’s running event with 22,739 finishers in 2013.

Here’s what runDisney has planned for 2015, including a Frozen themed 5K and Kids Races with medals to match.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Registration Opens


Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Races include:

  • Disney Princess Half Marathon
  • Disney Princess Enchanted 10K
  • Disney Glass Slipper Challenge
  • Disney Princess 5K themed to Frozen
  • runDisney Kids Races themed to Frozen

Other race options include:

  • Teams
  • Coast-to-Coast Race Challenge
  • Disney Castaway Cay Challenge

The Disney Princess Half Marathon takes runners from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and back, including a run through Cinderella Castle. The 10K, 5K courses and Kids Races go through Epcot.

The weekend also includes the Happily Ever After Party in Downtown Disney—a post-race celebration on Sunday—and the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from Thursday through Saturday. Both events are free and open to the public.

The weekend’s ticketed events include the Pasta in the Park Party on Friday and Saturday nights in Epcot with a buffet pasta dinner, Disney character Meet & Greets, DJ, face painter and a reserved viewing spot for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” a light, laser, and fireworks show; the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast on Friday and Saturday after the 5K and 10K, respectively; and VIP Race Retreat Packages, which give runners access to a suite of pre- and post-race amenities. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: Firecracker 8K in Southampton, New York

Race Report: Firecracker 8K in Southampton, NY

A PR! Yay! (

Running the Firecracker 8K in Southampton, New York on Sunday, July 6 was an impromptu decision. Sometimes those last-minute races I throw in the calendar are the best. Without time to worry and hand-wring, I just shrug my shoulders with a, “Here goes something.”

What was that something? A pair of personal bests for both me and my husband, Phil. After a tough Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half in June, it felt great.

Race Report: Firecracker 8K in Southampton, New York

We are champions! (

Phil and I were vacationing at a friend’s house in Southampton on Long Island’s southern oceanfront beach territory for the holiday weekend. We logged a run on the beach in deep sand two days before and did calisthenics by the pool the day before.

Race Report: Firecracker 8K in Southampton, New York

Beach run! (

But like we do just about everywhere we go, we checked to see if there were any races nearby. Wouldn’t you know it? The start was less than a mile from the house.

So we plunked down $25 each and biked over on race morning with little expectations. Read the rest of this entry →


Jul 2014

How To Make A Cinderella Pink Dress Running Costume

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

At Walt Disney World Half Marathon (

The Cinderella pink dress might be my favorite running costume I’ve put together.

After crafting a Cinderella ball gown for the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon and Cinderella in rags running costume for the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon, I was excited to dig into the deep cuts for a new take on a Cinderella running costume for the 2014 Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

The pretty in pink “dress for Cinderelly,” as the mice sing, sounded perfect to me. I’ve always loved the dress the mice made with love, crafted from Cinderella’s mother’s gown. It’s a dress fit for a princess.

Cinderella running costume

Pretty in Pink!

How To Make The Cinderella Pink Dress

Registration opens Tuesday, July 15 at noon EST for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. If you want to put together your own Cinderella pink dress for the race, here’s my step-by-step “How To” turn this basic skirt and tank…

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Basic tank and skirt (

into this Cinderella pink dress!

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Gather all the pieces for the costume. I have zero background in sewing, so the sewing tools I used were:

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running1. Needle and thread

2. Hand-sewing machine

3. Safety pins

The costume items I used are:

1. Skirt

2. Tank

3. Petticoat

4. Ribbon (pink and white)

5. Old T-shirt

6. Headband

7. Hair rats

8. Blue beads

9. Shorts

10. Running shoes Read the rest of this entry →

Hiking, Running & Eating In Italy’s Cinque Terre

Hiking through Italy's Cinque Terre

Vernazza in Italy’s Cinque Terre. (Phil Hospod)

When my husband first told me about Cinque Terre in Italy, he described it as his favorite place on earth. Those are strong words coming from a man who has lived in six countries on three continents and traveled to another 25.

Hiking through Italy's Cinque TerreAfter spending three nights on this rugged section of the Italian Riviera three hours south of Milan, I understand Cinque Terre’s appeal. It’s the perfect place to work up a sweat and an appetite for local Italian fare.

Nestled among the cliffs along the Mediterranean’s Ligurian Sea are the “Five Lands” of Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. This collection of fishing villages cut into the hillside on steep man-made terraces dates back to 643 AD. Some 5,000 residents live within the 4,226 acre Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

You won’t find cars here. Connecting the villages are a 19th century rail line and ferry system that seems to run on Roman time.

But the area’s main attraction and thoroughfare is a series of hiking trails that carry wayfarers from town to town. Read the rest of this entry →


Jul 2014

Living La Dolce Vita in Italy’s Lake Como

Living La Dolce Vita in Italy's Lake Como

Italy’s Lake Como. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Lake Como, or Lago di Como in Italian, is perhaps the most enchanting lake country I’ve ever visited. After spending three nights beside the watery paradise, I know first hand what Italians mean by “La Dolce Vita.”

La Dolce Vita in  Italy's Lake Como The visit was part of a 10 day sojourn through three countries to attend two weddings. When a friend of mine told me she and her British fiance had chosen Lake Como as their wedding destination, my husband and I screamed, “We’re in!” before she even finished her sentence. I’ve been to Italy twice before, but never to the lake region.

After visiting 35 countries around the world, I realized that Italy is the only one I keep returning to again and again. Each time, I visit a new region, having knocked off Rome and Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Capri, Florence and part of Tuscany’s wine country, and now Lake Como, Cinque Terre and Milan. I still have a lot of ground to cover, including Venice and Verona. Guess I’ll just have to go back some day!

My husband, Phil, and I started our trip in Zürich, Switzerland to catch up with friends who moved there for work. It didn’t hurt that we booked free tickets with airline miles into Zürich. From there, it was just a 3 hour train ride through the ridiculously scenic Swiss Alps to our destination in Italy. Read the rest of this entry →


Jul 2014

Run Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF For Charity TNT

Run Nike Women's Half Marathon SF for charity with TNT

The Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF. (Photo: Nike)

So you didn’t get into the 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF? If you want to be one of the 25,000 runners at the start on October 19, you still can. Charity bibs are available with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT), the series’ major beneficiary.

Run Nike Women's Hlaf Marathon SF for charity with TNT

A TNT runner. (Photo courtesy of Team in Training)

Since the first Nike Women’s Marathon in 2004, Team in Training participants have raised more than $147.9 million in Nike Women Series events, helping The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) fund research to advance lifesaving blood cancer treatments.

Through its 25th anniversary last year, TNT had trained more than 600,000 participants and raised more than $1.4 billion for LLS.

If you want to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF with TNT, you’ll be asked to raise funds in exchange for your spot in the race. You’ll also train with TNT coaches for four months, receive access to clinics on nutrition and injury prevention, and race past San Francisco’s iconic sites.

Nike has yet to reveal the 2014 course. Previous editions started at Union Square in San Francisco and finished on the Great Highway at Ocean Beach, travelling along the San Francisco Bay with views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Read the rest of this entry →

I’m on ‘Guiliana & Bill’ on E! with ‘On The Run’

"On The Run" on "Giuliana & Bill" on E!

We’re on TV on TV!

A few folks who regularly watch “Giuliana & Bill” on E! recently told me that I was on the show! What?!

Back in November, half of the show’s dynamic duo ran the 2013 New York City Marathon for Timex. Bill Rancic started the race in dead last. For every runner he passed, Timex donated $1 to Giuliana Rancic’s charity for breast and ovarian cancer patients, Fab U Wish. I host New York Road Runners’ show, “On The Run,” and interviewed Bill twice before the race. He was incredibly nice and fun to chat with.

The E! camera crew was there filming us, filming Bill. Meta. I completely forgot that they asked us all to sign waivers so that they could use the footage on “Giuliana & Bill.” Apparently, the episode aired on May 20, 2014. Our little show about running was on E!

The segment they used is all of 20 seconds long. Here it is:

They dubbed my voice over my co-host Carrie Tollefson, when I say, “She’s a runner as well,” about Giuliana. They edited the footage to make it look like Carrie says it. Pretty funny. Even funnier is that the portion of the interview they used didn’t make our final cut.

Here’s our finished “On The Run” segment with Bill Rancic.

It’s interesting to see what one group of producers thinks is of interest to their audience, versus what another group of producers thinks is of interest to theirs. Two takes on one interview for two different audiences.

You can watch the entire “Giuliana & Bill” episode at Marathon Not A Sprint

You can watch the entire “On The Run at the 2013 New York City Marathon” recap with one of Bill’s interviews on YouTube: On the Run 2013 ING NYC Marathon Recap


Jun 2014