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.
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…
Basic tank and skirt (RunKarlaRun.com)
into this Cinderella pink dress!
Gather all the pieces for the costume. I have zero background in sewing, so the sewing tools I used were:
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.
After 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 →
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.”
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 →
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.
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.
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.
The Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival from June 5-8, 2014 in Newton and Boston, Massachusetts was a genuine celebration of running. 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.)
Running the 5K. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)
Roughly 6,700 finishers from 47 U.S. states ran in the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, kids’ run and dog run. 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.
Something about the weekend made it feel like running camp. Maybe it was because I was staying on Boston College’s campus in a dorm. Maybe it was the programming, including seminars, movies, meet and greets with runners like Shalane Flanagan and Sarah Reinertsen, an expo and pasta party. Maybe it was the five races and two race challenges that started and finished on campus.
Whatever it was, it added up to a weekend where I lived, ate and breathed running—in a good way.
Boston College has that leafy New England campus vibe that makes you want to sprawl across a green lawn and sing folk songs in a circle. It reminded me of my undergrad experience attending Amherst College in Massachusetts, just a 90 minute drive due west.
Runners tackle the race. (Photo: Grace Donnelly)
One evening, a group of us bloggers sat on the grass whiling an hour away. We spotted Bart Yasso walking to the dorm and waved him over. He sat with us and chatted a while. The whole weekend had that kind of feel—friendly and relaxed. Everywhere you looked, there was someone running, about to run, just finished running or talking about running.
It’s finally up: the full episode of “On The Run at the 2014 NYRR Brooklyn Half,” hosted by yours truly. It aired on ABC in New York on May 31, 2014. So if you missed it or live outside the New York metro area, check out New York Road Runners’ show from America’s biggest half-marathon with 25,646 finishers.
On The Run at the 2014 Brooklyn Half
The focus of this show is less, “Who will win?” and more, “How much fun will everyone have?”
We go on a running tour of the course in the days before the race, meet a variety of Brooklyn locals from a first-time half-marathoner to a runner gunning for a top 10 finish, party it up at the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party presented by New Balance, bike through north Brooklyn and capture all the excitement of race day from the finish on the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Watch the full episode that aired on ABC above or take a look at a few of the show’s segments broken out from the full episode, below. Read the rest of this entry →
My National Running Day bib. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)
Runners, did you know that we have our own holiday? On Wednesday, June 4 say, “Happy National Running Day!”
National Running Day is a coast-to-coast celebration of putting one foot in front of the other as a fun way to stay fit and healthy. Join a group run, chat on social media, cheer on kids, get race discounts, find a running team, score New Balance gear from a vending machine and more at events taking place around the U.S.
Held on the first Wednesday each June, National Running Day is an annual collaboration between America’s premier running organizations, including the Atlanta Track Club, the Boston Athletic Association, the Chevron Houston Marathon, the Chicago Area Runners Association, Competitor Group, Inc., the Little Rock Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, New York Road Runners, the Oregon Track Club, Running USA, the Twin Cities In Motion, and USA Track & Field. This year is the sixth anniversary of the event.
Join the conversation with #runningday on social media and visit www.runningday.org for more information. Here are just a few National Running Day events taking place online, nationwide and in New York City. Read the rest of this entry →
Harriette Thompson after breaking the world record. (Photo: Courtesy of the Competitor Group, Inc.)
If you need some inspiration this week, here it is: 91-year-old cancer survivor Harriette Thompson ran a new age-group world record marathon in 7:07:42 at the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 Marathon To Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on June 1. She became the second oldest woman in U.S. history to finish a 26.2-mile race.
Thompson, who hails from North Carolina, didn’t just break the previous world record marathon of 9 hours, 53 minutes. She shattered it by almost three hours. Plus, she accomplished the feat just four weeks after undergoing radiation treatment for skin cancer.
Thompson at the start of the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. (Photo: Courtesy of Wireimage/Jerod Harris)
The race was Thompson’s 15th marathon, all run in San Diego. She ran her first 26.2-mile race at the age of 76.
“It’s never too late,” Thomspon said about starting a running and walking routine.
But more than simply running, Thompson has been a member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training since her first marathon, raising more than $90,000 for the charity over the course of her 15 marathons. Altogether, she’s logged 393 miles at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.
The classically trained pianist, who performed at Carnegie Hall, said she planned to celebrate with a long bath, a good night sleep and a big breakfast on Monday morning. “I don’t deserve all this attention,” Thompson said. “But it’s fun being famous for a day!”
It hard not to be moved by a runner like Thompson, who shows that there is no such thing as “too late” or “too old” when it comes to running. My first marathon, the New York City Marathon in 2007, was filled with many memorable moments. But one of them was this: somewhere near the Pulaski Bridge, which takes runners from Brooklyn to Queens halfway through the race, a woman with a great shock of white hair cruised past me. I have no idea how old she actually was, but my guess was late 70s. I was 29-years-old and here was a woman more than double my age running rings around me. I instantly thought: that’s going to be me someday. Read the rest of this entry →
The Tunnel of Trees at the Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon. (Photo: Phil Hospod)
Looking for destination races? Check out my three latest stories at Shape.com. I picked 10 women’s races, 10 wine races and 10 beach races worth booking a ticket for. Many of them aren’t even single race weekends, but running series with multiple events all over the U.S. and around the world. In all, these 30 running events have 60 race weekends among them, and even more distances to choose from. Let the day dreaming begin!
Runners toast their efforts at the Wine Country Half Marathon Series (Photo: TJ Nelson/Destination Races)
The 30-year-old Marathon du Medoc in France may be the grandfather of wine races, with tasting stations along the course and wine-fueled parties all weekend long. But you don’t have to travel to France to guzzle grape at destination races that stomp through vineyards on the way to wine-fueled feasts. Events all over North America, from 5Ks to marathons, cater to wine lovers who like to run hard and drink harder.
I picked 10 wine running series with 20 races in 10 U.S. states and Canadian provinces for runners who like to cool down with vino. See them all at Shape.com.
The Southernmost Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K in Key West. (Photo: Marrero/Doll Photography)
Run and sun under a palm tree at these courses for sand and shore lovers. From Jamaica and the Bahamas to the South Pacific and coast of Australia, these dream-worthy destinations have races to match. Want to surf in California? Party during Carnival in France? Hula in Hawaii? Get lost in the Bermuda triangle? You can, and run too. Read the rest of this entry →
The Brooklyn Half Finish (Photo: nyrr_ontherun/Instagram)
With 25,587 finishers, the NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon 2014 on Saturday, May 17 surpassed the OneAmerica 500 Festival in Indiana with its 25,521 to become the largest half-marathon in the U.S.
The Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco on October 19, 2014 is likely the only half-marathon with the potential to unseat it.
In 2013, the top five largest half-marathons in the U.S., according to Running USA, were:
1) OneAmerica 500 Festival, Indiana: 30,059 finishers
2) Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco, California: 26,406 finishers
3) Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Florida: 23,148 finishers
4) Disney Princess Half Marathon, Florida: 22,739 finishers
5) NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon, New York: 21,427 finishers
Rounding out the top 10 in 2013 were five Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series races with 18,000-21,000 finishers: Las Vegas, USA (Washington, D.C.), Philadelphia, San Diego and Nashville.
For 2014, here are the standings. Of the previous top five, only the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco has yet to be run:
1) NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon, New York: 25,587 finishers
2) OneAmerica 500 Festival, Indiana: 25,521 finishers
3) Disney Princess Half Marathon, Florida: 20,777 finishers
4) Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Florida: 20,284 finishers
5) St. Jude Country Music Half Marathon, Tennessee: 19,149 finishers
Goofin’ at the start. (Photo: nyrr_ontherun/Instagram)
Brooklyn Half On TV
Befitting such a big race, I spent Brooklyn Half race day at the start outside the Brooklyn Museum and the finish on the Coney Island Boardwalk with “NYRR On the Run” filming a TV episode for ABC in New York. All week long, we ran around Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party presented by New Balance catching all the action from race week.
Until then, here are some photos from my week. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Brooklyn Half is one of my absolute favorite races of the year. I love the pre-party, the course and the vibe. The race was my first half-marathon back in 2010, and I cheered on friends in 2011 and 2012. Now I’ve reported from the Brooklyn Half two years running with “NYRR On The Run” and it’s always a highlight of my year. Read the rest of this entry →
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Photo: Kent Phillips/Disney)
I’ve gotten this question a lot and in many varieties: What Disney hotels are best for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend?
There is no “best” hotel for any runDisney race. The best hotel for you for any race depends on many factors: what you want to do while you’re at Walt Disney World, who is in your party, and what your price point is, among other things.
I’ve stayed at eight different Disney hotels (four of which Disney comped for me during runDisney events) and two off property hotels while visiting Walt Disney World. But my hotel recommendations for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend are based on two main factors: Whether or not you have spectators in your group and what you want to do while you’re not running.
If Your Group Includes Runners Only
Walt Disney World Half Marathon finishers. (Photo: runDisney)
If everyone traveling with you is running a race, all the Disney hotels are great.
All the Walt Disney World Resorts are official “host” hotels for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and offer event buses to shuttle runners to and from the start and finish of each race. The buses are comfortable and efficient, both before and after the race.
Having stayed at Disney hotels on the Monorail loop, on the BoardWalk and elsewhere on property for runDisney events, there’s not much of a difference from a runner’s perspective. The event buses got me where I needed to go and back every time from all those different areas.
A Dopey Challenge runner races around the BoardWalk. (Photo: runDisney)
So if all the people in your group are runners, I would pick the hotel that makes your days easiest and meets your price point.
Are you looking for a great pool to rest your legs each day while doing Dopey Challenge? Is there one park in particular where you want to spend most of your time? Do you want to be close to the Expo to stalk runDisney New Balance shoes? Different hotels are better suited for each of those scenarios.
The Wishes Nightime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom. (Photo: Disney)
If it’s Magic Kingdom you’re after, any resort on the Monorail loop is fantastic: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort, soon to become Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as it undergoes major renovation.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground also have water taxis to the park.
The perks of each? The Contemporary Resort has my favorite quick-service restaurant, Contempo Cafe, and Magic Kingdom fireworks viewing from the hotel. Plus, it’s the next stop after Magic Kingdom on the Monorail. So at the end of a long day in the park, you’re home in a jiffy. Read the rest of this entry →
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.
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!)
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
Thanks to Danielle at Live, Run, Grow for including me in her Liebster Award group of blogs!
In grade school, I absolutely hated chain letters. But I actually enjoy reading Liebster Award posts, even if they are the blog equivalent of chain letters. They’re a fun way to learn something new about other bloggers and spread some blogger love.
Here are the rules:
You must link back to the person who nominated you
You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
You must create 10 questions for your nominees
You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees
I’m not a fan of “musts.” Play along if you like, and if not, no worries!
Danielle’s Liebster Award Questions
1. If you could run any race in the world what would it be?
This is tough. I’m torn between a fast, iconic race in a fun city, like the Berlin Marathon or a destination race in a locale I’ve always dreamed of visiting, like the Marathon International de Moorea in French Polynesia. When I dream, I dream big!
That could be me in Moorea! (Photo: Te Moorea Club)
Last week, I popped over to Niketown in New York City to try a pair of the new Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes. They’re an update to the Nike Free 3.0, a shoe that previously did not have a Flyknit upper. Nike gave me the shoes to keep and a spot in one of the Nike Free Stride treadmill sessions taking place at Niketown in New York City.
I’m warming up in the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit shoes. (Photo: Nike)
The 32-minute Nike Free Stride workout focused on curating a more efficient and natural stride in the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit shoes. A gentle warm-up and mini-stride clinic preceded a butt-kicking hill interval workout, as a DJ pumped throwback jams into the multi-story atrium of Niketown.
I’m not usually one for exercising on a stage while shoppers watch, but I was curious to try the shoes.
Nike had previously given me a pair of Nike Free Flyknit+ shoes, which came out in summer 2013. They were similar to the Nike Free 5.0, but with a Flyknit upper. I ended up not reviewing them and not including them in my Holiday Gift Guide for one simple reason: I didn’t love them.
I found them too tight around the ankle, to the point of being constrictive. Another runner I know even cut his Flyknits to reduce pressure on his Achilles tendon. While I like my shoes to fit well, I like my laces tied loosely. With no functional laces, the Flyknits are more like a supportive sock. With a tight top, they just weren’t the shoes for me.
That’s me giving the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknits a try. (Photo: Nike)
So I’m happy to report that the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes have a much more comfortable fit in this newest version of the Flyknit upper.
Altogether, Nike made three major changes to the 2014 Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit from the previous versions of both the Free 3.0 and Free Flyknit. Read the rest of this entry →
Runners at the Marine Corps Marathon. (Photo: Cpl. Bryan G. Lett/US Marine Corp)
Still deciding what marathon you want to run in the next 12 months? I am! The 15 biggest marathons in the U.S. are a common place to start.
Over the last few months, I’ve been posting when lotteries and registrations open for many popular races, from large runDisney events to a small 7-miler in Key West, half-marathons in New York to major marathons all over the U.S. It’s always frustrating to discover a race you want to run is already sold-out.
So here’s how and when to register for America’s 15 biggest marathons. Some of them are even among the biggest marathons in the world. And guess what? Most of them sell out before race day.
Half-marathoners, keep in mind that many of these events have 13.1-mile races the same weekend. So if you don’t want to go 26.2, you’ve still got options.
I’m not the fastest runner and I’m not the slowest, but I am a running nerd. A journalist by trade, I love to research, read, learn and cogitate. So stick with me. Like all good nerds, I’ll do the homework and share it. But the running is up to you!