Donald Duck Fresh Foam Boracay (Photo: New Balance)
“Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!” New Balance has revealed yet another pair of Disney shoes, this time modeled after Disney’s favorite duck. The Donald Duck Fresh Foam Boracay is coming to Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna in honor of Disneyland Resort’s 60th Anniversary celebration. The shoes will be available at the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo starting September 3.
Red bow tie (Photo: New Balance)
Donald’s signature look is woven throughout the shoe, from his red bow tie to a black heel tab evocative of the ribbon on Donald’s hat. The Donald Duck kicks will sell for $140.
New Balance’s Fresh Foam Boracay is a neutral cushioned shoe meant to carry runners for many a mile. I tried and reviewed the new kicks; read all about them here:
Along with Disney shoes for adults, New Balance is also releasing kids versions of the Donald Duck Fresh Foam Boracay and Tinker Bell Fresh Foam Boracay. They will also debut at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.
So you didn’t get into any of the Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 races from January 14-17 at Disneyland in California, including the Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars Rebel Challenge, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K and runDisney Kids Races? You’ve still got a chance. Charity and travel providers offer limited entries for runners who register and run with them.
Contact the following organizations directly to find out how to run the races with them. Charities will ask runners to raise a certain amount of money and tour providers may require purchase of a travel package.
Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 Charities
runDisney Charity Groups offer guaranteed entries to sold-out races. Some charity teams include other perks for the Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 races like complimentary or discounted entries, party party tickets, training resources, and other benefits. Check with each group individually for their fundraising requirements, benefits, and to register with them.
The Star Wars Half Marathon start (Photo: runDisney)
Runners can also register for the Star Wars Disney races through a runDisney Travel Provider. They offer packages for runners, including guaranteed race entry and specially priced Disneyland hotel rates and theme park ticket options. Contact each tour provider individually to learn more and to register through them. Read the rest of this entry →
I’ve watched with interest how the fashion industry and the running world alike have started to—but not fully—address the normative images of beauty, health, and fitness. Most recently, France banned the use of models with a BMI of under 18 from working in the country. Israel, Italy and Spain have similar measures in place.
I used to be one of those models. That’s me 15 years ago. Thigh gap? I had it.
I rarely talk about my former life as a model. In fact, this is the first time I’ve written about it here. My brief stint in the fashion industry left a sour taste in my mouth. Working as a model made me susceptible to unhealthy habits that may have made me skinny, but certainly not fit. When I started running—12 years younger and 12 pounds lighter than I am now—I fit the stereotype of what a runner “looked” like. People used to assume I was fast because I was skinny. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.
All too often we equate fitness with thinness. And that’s why I was happy to see Schenk on the cover of Women’s Running. Because we all know that a runner doesn’t look like any one thing, doesn’t run at any one speed, and that fitness has little to do with weight. You see people of all shapes and sizes toward the front, in the middle, and in the back of the pack at races.
It’s taken time, but I’m more comfortable in my skin now than I was then. These photos (all un-retouched) were taken about 15 years apart. Don’t I even look happier?
I wrote about my experience as a model—and lessons learned—for Shape.com. It wasn’t even my idea. My editor twisted my arm into writing an essay after she learned about my past life. After some hesitation, I finally gave in. Here it is.
Confession: I used to model. I was young, I was beautiful, and I didn’t know it. I stumbled into modeling as a lanky musical theater performer in New York City. After one model scout, then another, stopped me on the street, I found an agency. I figured it beat waiting tables. I was 22 years old and had an “underweight” BMI of 18.2. “Normal” starts at 18.5, according to the National Institutes of Health.
But I didn’t think of myself as a model. I was shocked every time someone hired me: major-market magazines, brands you see in Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, boutiques, hair care companies, and morning talk shows. Showrooms—where I modeled a brand’s wares for buyers from Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and other big-name stores—were my bread and butter, but I did some print, TV, and runway too. I was never a top girl, but one of the nameless, sometimes faceless minions selling an image of beauty of which I didn’t believe myself worthy.
At go-sees (modeling lingo for auditions), I faced a barrage of physical critiques. I heard I was too short, too tall, too old, too young, too fat, or too thin. I was too everything and not enough of anything. Read the rest of this entry →
My sis high-fives Mickey at the finish. (Photo: MarathonFoto)
How much fun did my sister and I have at the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon? Her Mickey Mouse high-five at the finish line pretty much says it all.
When my sister decided to run her first half-marathon, there was no doubt which race it would be. She’d run her first 5K with me at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in 2012. As a family, we did everything there was to do at the time: Pasta in the Park Party, Kids Races, 5K, and my husband and I ran the Half Marathon.
So naturally, we decided to return for my sister’s 13.1 debut in 2015. I attended the race as a media guest of runDisney to write a story for Shape.com about our experience. You can read it here: Why I’d Rather Run With Women.
First, we tackled the Disney Princess Frozen 5K dressed as Disney’s most infamous sisters, Cinderella’s stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine. We had too much fun, despite wearing tank tops in a 33-degree race.
Anastasia and Drizella (Photo: runDisney)
Then, I ran the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K on my own, dressed as Cinderella in tatters, just so I could earn that beautiful Glass Slipper Challenge medal.
Finally, for the half-marathon, our choice was obvious. My sister and I are totally Elsa and Anna. Right down to our birth order, hair, coloring, and temperaments, she’s definitely an Elsa and I’m completely an Anna. We’re a match made in runDisney heaven.
Elsa & Anna! (Photo: MarathonFoto)
Yup, we learned to love team costumes from an early age.
Twinsies! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Disney Princess Half Marathon: The Course
The Disney Princess Half Marathon takes runners from just outside Epcot to the Magic Kingdom and back.
The first five miles are a long, and sometimes lonely, stretch of road on the way to Magic Kingdom. Disney lines this section of the course with bands, DJs, and character stops, but at other parts you’ll simply hear the sound of 20,000 pairs of feet pattering away.
Highlights of the first five miles include the car entrance to the Magic Kingdom near Mile 3, which makes for a great photo opp.
Friends Tara and Lesa are runDisney photo superstars! (Photo: runDisney)
Throngs of spectators and Taiko drummers at the Ticket & Transportation Center near Mile 4 always give me a boost.
Drummers! (Photo: runDisney)
And a dancing DJ pumping tunes at the overpass leading to the Contemporary Resort near Mile 5 is also a fave of mine.
Dancing DJ at the overpass (Photo: runDisney)
Mile 5 to 6 is by far the most exciting of the course: the run through Magic Kingdom. No matter how many times I do it, it never gets old.
From the Mile 5 marker, the course is lined with Disney cast members and spectators cheering you on. You’ll hear them before you see them—the roar of the crowds waiting on Main Street USA as you run toward Cinderella Castle. I get so pumped every time.
But before the castle, you’ll turn into Tomorrowland, run through the back of Fantasyland, then through Cinderella Castle from the carousel side and out the front. There are tons of characters, photo opps, and course photographers along the way in Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, before the castle, through the castle, and in front of the castle.
We nailed our Cinderella Castle shot! (Photo: MarathonFoto)
Then you’ll turn into Liberty Square before exiting the park through Frontierland. You’ll find a few more characters awaiting you in this section as you pass the Mile 6 marker and again once you exit the park. Read the rest of this entry →
Mirinda Carfrae leads a class at Mile High Run Club. (Photo: Ironman)
Want to learn to run fast on tired legs? If you’re a half-marathoner, marathoner, or triathlete, methinks you do. I’ve got a Miranda Carfrae running workout for you from the best runner in Ironman, Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae herself.
On Tuesday afternoon, I headed to Mile High Run Club in NYC at the invitation of Ironman to meet Rinny, try one of her favorite run workouts while she coaches on the mic, and interview her for a Q&A at Shape.com.
Running with Rinny (Photo: Ironman)
As a reporter and broadcaster, I’ve met and interviewed some of the world’s best athletes—from runners like Meb Keflezighi to winter Olympians like Apolo Ohno. I’ve watched them cruise to gold medals and major marathon wins, interviewing them before and after.
But getting to run a workout led by one of them? Like a Visa ad, that’s priceless.
Ever since I watched Rinny cruise to her second Ironman World Championship victory in Kona (on TV, not in person—I wish!), I had an instant girl crush. She’s such a fierce and confident runner, perhaps the best in the world of Ironman. That fierceness and confidence lacks in my own running. I tend to admire in others what I lack myself. Read the rest of this entry →
Want to take part in the Nike Women San Francisco Race Weekend from October 16-18, 2015, including the Nike Women’s Half Marathon? Registration for the random draw is open until Monday June 29, 2015 at 11:59 a.m. PDT. The random draw will take place July 8, 2015.
Registration is $200, and only runners picked through the draw will be charged. You can enter the lottery as an individual or as a group, and men are welcome too.
If you’re one of the lucky runners to get a half-marathon entry, you’ll also be able to register for other Nike Women San Francisco Race weekend events at no additional cost, until events have reached capacity. For more information or to register, visit nike.com/sf.
Running San Francisco!
I ran the 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco courtesy of Nike as part of a media group. I went in with high expectations and, somehow, the race managed to exceed them. I love, love, love this race. I’d never run a Nike event before, and I’d never run in San Francisco before. From start to finish, I was thoroughly impressed.
From the start at Union Square and on-course signage that let you know the next bathrooms were 1.4-miles away to the red carpet finish and free race photos after the fact, it was a superbly executed race and incredibly fun, too. Not to mention, instead of a finisher medal, I got a Tiffany & Co. finisher necklace. Yep, I’ve been wearing mine all the time. And Tiffany will be back for 2015.
The course’s natural beauty was among the most scenic of the 90 races I’ve run—behind the Kauai Half Marathon and Bermuda Half Marathon. Even through San Francisco’s famous fog I was able to appreciate the beauty of the city’s architecture, Golden Gate Park and the beach. No, we weren’t able to see the Golden Gate Bridge on race day because the fog was so thick. Thankfully, I got a shot in front of it the day before at a shakeout run.
Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris (Photo: Disney)
Finalement! More information about the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend has finally arrived. Disney’s first race weekend outside the U.S. will take place September 22-25, 2016, kicking off with a three-day runDisney Health & Fitness Expo starting Thursday, September 22 at Disneyland Paris Disney Events Arena.
The Disneyland Paris 5K and runDisney Kids Races will run Saturday, September 24, followed by the main event, the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon on Sunday, September 25. Runners can also buy tickets to a Pasta in the Park Party at Walt Disney Studios Park and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Disney Village in the evenings before the race.
“We could not be more excited about the upcoming runDisney event,’’ said Tom Wolber, President of Euro Disney S.A.S. in a press release. “It will make Disneyland Paris the world’s third Disney destination to host this successful sporting series that offers a whole new running experience for the young and young-at-heart.’’
Mickey Mouse and friends escort runDisney finishers across the line. (Photo: runDisney)
Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend Registration
Registration through runDisney Travel Providers is slated to open October 6, 2015. The list of tour companies offering travel packages for the weekend has not been released yet.
Runners can also register to run for charity starting October 6, 2015. The list of participating charities will be released on that date.
For individuals who want to register without a travel package or charity partner, limited race registrations will open January 12, 2016.
Pricing for all of the weekend’s events has not been announced yet.
A friend of mine, who’s not a runner, recently asked me for a training plan. Her husband—a chronic marathoner—signed her up for a Spartan Race. She’s run two 5Ks and a 2-miler in the past, but not recently. So she wanted something that would help her start from scratch. I’m guessing most of you have a similar friend, who sooner or later is going to sign up for that 5K or obstacle race and not know where to begin.
Thankfully, I’ve curated a few training plans for SHAPE.com with the help of top coaches, including a 5K training plan for total beginners, an obstacle race training plan, and Nike “all-around” training plan that mixes running, strength training, and yoga.
Every day, Nike+ NYC coaches lead runs and workouts for all skill levels on the streets of the Big Apple, using the city as a gym—no equipment needed.
But you don’t have to live in NYC to “Just Do It” with Nike+ NYC Run Club Head Coach Chris Bennett and Nike+ NYC Master Trainer Traci Copeland, who teamed up to design this exclusive plan for Shape.
With three days of training, two days of running, and two flex days per week, the plan integrates Nike+ Training Club and Nike+ Running to make you a stronger, faster, and fitter athlete, whether you’re simply looking to stay in shape or getting ready for a race.
Monkeying around at SHAPE Diva Dash (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
The annual Shape Diva Dash is dotted with fun obstacles sure to challenge your balance, strength, and speed. To help you dominate any 5K adventure run, this obstacle race training plan blends running, strength, balance, and agility training to help you finish strong.
No equipment required—just a pair of running shoes, a watch, and a nearby park or playground where you can play like a kids again. Read the rest of this entry →
We already knew that runners like wine. My roundup of 10 Wine-Themed Runs To Get Your Drink On at Shape.com has more than 11,000 Facebook likes. But a new report from Brooks Running found that runners are like wine. That’s right, 44% of runners say they get better with age, just like a good bottle of vino. While 24% of runners tied to say they’re more like beer, with a little hop in their step, or more like a cocktail, shaking up their routine.
That was just one of the fun tidbits unearthed in the third annual Brooks Run Happy Nation report, a survey of 1,000 runners in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, commissioned by Brooks Running. Here are some of the results.
32% of Americans say they choose a friend as their go-to training partner
24% pick a digital fitness tracker
20% would rather hoof it with their dog
Business Time (Flight of the Conchords fans, you know what I’m talkin’ about)
48% percent of Americans under 40 like to get it on pre-run
41% of Americans reveal they feel “frisky” after hitting the pavement
35% say a pre-race horizontal rhumba improves running performance
62% of American women prefer briefs, compared to 72% of German women
8% of American women go full commando, versus 11% of Canadians
47% of runners prefer racerback sports bras
39% like crossback sports bras
14% prefer front closure sports bras
32% of respondents say Forrest Gump inspires them the most among running movies
26% connect with Rocky‘s eye of the tiger
18% love Silver Linings Playbook’s wackier take on running
47% of respondents say trails are their favorite place to run
27% of respondents pick running around the Grand Canyon as their dream runcation destination
I saw my doctor on Monday after taking two full weeks off from running and all weight bearing exercise, wearing a foot pad and wrap, and avoiding heels like I avoid broccoli.
Last I saw the doc, he had my MRI results in hand. “Findings suggestive of a stress fracture of the tibial sesamoid,” read the radiology report. When doc pressed on the area—one of the two tiny bones in the ball of the foot—it was pretty painful.
Now? No pain whatsoever, not even when he really dug in there. Based on that, he thinks I may not have had a crack in the bone, but a bruise.
Bone Crack Or Bone Bruise?
My MRI results
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons describes it this way: “A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone, or severe bruising within a bone.” They’re both stress fractures, but two different types.
A crack and a bruise can appear the same on an MRI, which doesn’t necessarily show the fracture. MRIs might show swelling, or edema, which is indicative of a stress fracture. But I’d have the same swelling whether it was a crack or a bruise, my doc said.
He thinks I caught the bone bruise right away and nipped it in the bud before it had the chance to become a crack. That’s the theory anyway.
So what next? He told me to try a short run on the treadmill, 20 minutes or so nice and easy. If I had any pain, he wanted me to march right back into his office, at which point he’d slap me with a full stress fracture diagnosis, put me in a cast, and pass down a sentence of four more weeks without running.
If I had no pain, he said I could ease back into running every other day, with short, easy jogs. He wants me to keep wearing the foot pad and wrap for the time being. If the pain creeps back in at any point, I march right back into his office. If I’m still pain free, I see him for a follow-up in three weeks.
Soooooooo? I hopped on the treadmill Monday night for that test drive. Talk about knots in my stomach! I don’t think I’ve ever been as conscious of one teeny, tiny bone as I was for that 20 minutes, constantly assessing for the slightest hint of discomfort. The good news? It never crept in. Those 20 minutes—building slowly up to a conservative for me 11:30 min/mile pace—felt great. Yee-haw! Read the rest of this entry →
I really hoped I was over reacting by seeing a doctor a week after a mysterious ache crept into my left foot. Here’s the thing: it didn’t hurt and I only felt it while running. When I wasn’t running it felt totally fine. But when the ache was there, it felt deep within the bone in the ball of my foot. I didn’t like that. I thought, “It might just be a bruise.” But I also know that fractures are common among runners, and especially common among women—Deena Kastor famously fractured her foot, Desiree Linden her femur. I’m no elite runner, but I decided not to waste time. I booked a doctor’s appointment. I just had a feeling in my gut.
I’m so glad I did. An MRI confirmed I have a stress fracture in my tibial sesmoid—one of two tiny, round bones in the ball of the foot. I also have a swollen or “pinched” nerve known as a neuroma. Both are common in runners, says my doc, who is a runner himself. He’ll be running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half in in May and I’ll be announcing at the start.
“A chronic fracture is a stress fracture (a hairline break usually caused by repetitive stress or overuse). A chronic sesamoid fracture produces longstanding pain in the ball of the foot beneath the big toe joint. The pain, which tends to come and go, generally is aggravated with activity and relieved with rest.”
Yup, that’s it exactly.
The Good News
The good news is doc thinks my foot stress fracture isn’t too acute, so he’s prescribing two weeks of no running as a starting point. Read the rest of this entry →
Defending champion Meb Keflezighi returns to the Boston Marathon 2015 in Hopkinton, Mass., on Monday, April 20. Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila Linden, Amy Hastings, Dathan Ritzenhein, Nick Arciniaga, and Jeffrey Eggleston will be running too. They’ll face off against a stacked international field that includes past champions Lelisa Desisa, Wesley Korir, Sharon Cherop and Caroline Kilel, and former world record holder Patrick Makau. And don’t forget the field of 30,000 marathoners.
If you want to catch the action from Boston here’s how to tune in.
Boston Marathon 2015 Preview Show
On Sunday, April 19 Universal Sports will air a live preview show from the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street at 4 p.m. ET.
Boston Marathon 2015 National Broadcast
Watch the 119th Boston Marathon live on Universal Sports from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET on Monday, April 20. The pre-race show begins at 8:30 a.m. ET and the post-race show kicks off at 12:30 p.m. ET.
If you miss the race, Universal Sports will air a 2014 Boston Marathon Wrap-Up Show live at 4 p.m ET, followed by encore presentations of the race at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.
If you don’t get Universal Sports, don’t worry. The channel will be available for free during April and the 2015 Boston Marathon on DIRECTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks, Google Fiber, and other regional cable providers. You can find Universal Sports in your channel lineup at UniversalSports.com.
UniversalSports.com will also stream the Boston Marathon live. Plus, their Finish Line Web Cam will show runners as they complete the 26.2-mile race on Boylston Street. The web cam goes live on UniversalSports.com at 10 a.m. ET on April 20. After April 20, runners will be able to search their finish time to find themselves crossing the line.
The Fresh Foam Boracay and Zante in action (Photo: New Balance)
New Balance shoes have been a part of my running shoe rotation for two years now. Last fall, I included the 890v4, 1400v2 and Fresh Foam 980 in my Guide To Neutral Running Shoes. In the last few weeks, I’ve been trying out the three newest New Balance shoes in the neutral running category: Fresh Foam Zante, Fresh Foam Boracay, and 890v5. How does each pair stack up? I’m happy to report that these are three excellent updates that will suit different types of neutral runners.
The shoe vitals are as listed by New Balance for the women’s version. I tried each pair in a women’s size 9, courtesy of New Balance, and listed them from lightest to heaviest.
MSRP: $100 Weight: 6.4 oz Drop: 6 mm Colorways: 3 standard
The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante is for folks who want to run—or feel—fast. The lightweight shoe rivals the New Balance 1400 in responsiveness, but with feel-so-good cushioning and an insole that cradles your arches like your favorite pillow. The Fresh Foam’s midsole design of interlocking convex and concave shapes means the shoe gives where you need flexibility and holds firm where you need support, much like the Fresh Foam Boracay. But New Balance used biomechanical data from faster runners to build the Zante.
Fresh Foam Zante
The result? A shoe that rides like a dream—a dream where you’re setting PR after PR. You may not run a 5-minute pace, but you can imagine what that feels like in these shoes.
Springy and speedy, the Zante promises a quick heel to toe transition with an “aggressive toe spring.” It delivers. The shoe is light, supple, and downright fun to run in.
The upper is a soft and flexible mesh bootie that hugs in all the right places—at the heel, arch, and outer ball of the foot—while leaving breathing room in the toes. In short, this shoe fits like a glove and responds like a race car.
The stripped down design has just what you need and nothing more. Best of all, it has enough cushioning to take you on long runs too.
I love everything about this shoe, and don’t have a singe critique for it. I totally see why Competitor Magazine named the Fresh Foam Zante the 2015 Road Shoe of the Year. It’s earned a spot in my personal shoe rotation and might even be my favorite pair of New Balance shoes yet.
Will you love it as much as I do? Yes, if you like to feel the road under your feet in a light and soft ride. Maybe not if you prefer a beefier or more plushly cushioned shoe. Read the rest of this entry →
Runners at the Walt Disney World Marathon (Photo: runDisney)
During my latest visit to Walt Disney World for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, I stayed at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek for two nights to get the scoop on their Marathon Weekends, offered during many runDisney races since 2011. Marathon Weekends at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and the adjacent Waldorf Astoria Orlando offer runners complimentary transportation to runDisney half-marathons and marathon, an included pre-race breakfast and send-off party, discounted rates that include late check-out, a runner’s concierge, and more.
Deluxe Double Queen guest room (Photo: Hilton)
My room was large, comfortable, and clean with a beautiful view of the pool and Walt Disney World beyond. And best of all, it was within the gates of Walt Disney World Resort—a 10-minute drive to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios—with free transportation to the parks. I thoroughly enjoyed the hotel and would stay there again in a heartbeat when visiting or running Walt Disney World. The value and bang-for-your-buck is exceptional.
As a mid-week guest I wasn’t able to experience the Marathon Weekends myself, but chatted with folks in the know, got a look at some of the runner amenities like the welcome bag, and took in much of what the resort had to offer. I ran the property, lounged poolside in a cabana, made use of guests’ 10% discount at the Waldorf Astoria spa, hit the lobby coffee shop—which has some amazing pastries, by the way—and more.
Here’s the low-down on Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Marathon Weekends, early bird Marathon Weekend rates for the 2015 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon, and runner-friendly amenities at the resort.Read the rest of this entry →