Archive for the ‘Best of’Category

Ironman World Champ Mirinda Carfrae Running Workout

Ironman World Champ Mirinda Carfrae Running Workout

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 Shape.com. (Be on the lookout for that Q&A at Shape.com soon!)

Ironman World Champ Mirinda Carfrae Running Workout

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 →

Race Report: Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Fran

Race Report: Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco

Runners in Golden Gate Park (Photo: Nike)

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.

Race Report: Nike Women's Half Marathon San Francisco

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.

If you’re thinking of registering for the random draw, here’s what you can expect come race weekend! Read the rest of this entry →

Obstacle Race, Nike Athlete + 5K Training Plan

5K Training Plan, Obstacle Race Training Plan, & Nike Training Plan

Training! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

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.

Nike+ NYC Training Plan to Become a Better Athlete

5K Training Plan, Obstacle Race Training Plan, & Nike Training Plan

Training at Niketown in NYC (Photo: Nike)

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.

Follow the plan at SHAPE.com.

Diva Dash Obstacle Race Training Plan

5K Training Plan, Obstacle Race Training Plan, & Nike Training Plan

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 →

Runners Are Like Wine, Says Brooks Running Report

Runners Are Like Wine, Brooks Running Report Says

Brooks Run Happy Nation Report

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.

Training Partners
  • 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
Runder Wear
  • 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 
Movie Time
  • 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
Running Locales
  • 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
  • 24% choose the Romantic Road of Germany
  • 23% dream about running the Great Wall of China

Read the rest of this entry →

Airbnb Brooklyn Half Largest Half Marathon in U.S.

Airbnb Brooklyn Half Largest in the U.S.

Runners finish the Airbnb Brooklyn Half at Coney Island. (Courtesy of NYRR)

This was originally published 5/19/2015, but thanks to technical hijinks, I had to restore my site and re-upload a few posts. Apologies to subscribers for finding this in your inbox again!

The 2015 Airbnb Brooklyn Half on Saturday, May 16 was the largest 13.1-mile race in the U.S. and the biggest in the event’s history with 26,482 runners crossing the finish line on the Coney Island Boardwalk. I worked the event for NYRR as a race announcer.

For perspective, the three largest American half-marathons in 2014, per RunningUSA, didn’t break the 26,000 runner mark:

  1. Airbnb Borrklyn Half Largest in U.S.

    Runners on the Coney Island Boardwalk. (Courtesy NYRR)

    NYRR Brooklyn Half: 25,610 finishers

  2. One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis: 25,524 finishers
  3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon: 25,227 finishers

It’s all part of the distance’s seismic growth. Competitor.com reports that the annual number of half-marathon finishers topped 2 million for the first time in 2014 with 2,046,637 finishers. Just 25 years ago, a mere 303,000 people squeaked across a 13.1-mile finish line in 1990. That same year the Brooklyn Half Marathon had just 1,523 finishers.

Airbnb Brooklyn Half Largest Half Marathon in U.S.

Kids races at the Airbnb Brooklyn Half. (Courtesy NYRR)

Now in its 35th year, the race has a new title—the Airbnb Brooklyn Half—and new accompanying kids races. The NYRR Kids’ Boardwalk Run took children ages 7 to 18 on a one-mile and-and-back run along the Coney Island Boardwalk, starting and finishing at the Airbnb Brooklyn Half finish line.

The 13.1-mile course took participants from the Brooklyn Museum, past Grand Army Plaza, through the borough’s bucolic Prospect Park and to the southern reaches of Brooklyn to finish on the boardwalk at Coney Island, where the after-party at MCU Park, home of the New York Mets’ affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones, bumped until 1 p.m.

Running Inspiration
Airbnb Brooklyn Half Largest in U.S.

Race announcer! (RunKarlaRun.com)

I kicked off the Airbnb Brooklyn Half as one of the race announcers, and I have to say, it’s really impressive to see how long it takes more than 26,000 runners to clear the start.

The race began beside the Brooklyn Museum at 7:00 a.m. with two waves of runners. The last person started around 8:15 a.m.

But more impressive than the sheer number of people is how excited folks are at the beginning of their 13.1-mile journey. From my perch on the start stage, I saw thousands of waves, whoops, fist-pumps, and smiles. Sure, steely eyed and focused runners could be seen too. But the overwhelming emotion I saw was pure joy and excitement. It got me really excited to toe the line in a race again. Read the rest of this entry →

30

May 2015

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Runners at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland. (Photo: runDisney)

This was originally published 5/09/2015, but thanks to technical hijinks, I had to restore my site and re-upload a few posts. Apologies to subscribers for finding this in your inbox again!

The Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry from May 7-10 at Disneyland in California wraps up on Mother’s Day with the title event, a 13.1-mile tour of the Happiest Place on Earth and the streets of Anaheim.

The women’s focused running festival includes the title half-marathon, Tinker Bell 10K, Never Land 5K, Pixie Dust Challenge, and runDisney Kids Races.

Here’s a look at every fairy’s favorite race by the numbers.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2015 By The Numbers

The start of the Tinker Bell 10K. (runDisney)

257,600 combined miles runners will tackle throughout the weekend

32,050 total race registrants for the 2015 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA Jewelry

16,000 participants in the Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry

13,700 women running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, nearly 1,000 more than women who started the Boston Marathon this year

12,800 runners participating in their first runDisney race during the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Read the rest of this entry →

Yep, I Have A Foot Stress Fracture From Running

Cue Dramatic Chipmunk.

Oh, Dramatic Chipmuk, you never get old.

And I actually wrote about foot stress fractures back in 2010! Oh, the humanity:

How To Avoid Foot Fractures For Runners

Too bad I wasn’t able to follow my own advice.

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.

Stressing Over a Running Stress Fracture

Sesamoid bones

I found this description from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons:

“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 →

Getting Over The Boston Marathon’s Heartbreak Hill

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Taking the Heartbreak Hill Half seriously. (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

The 119th Boston Marathon gets underway Monday, April 20. The race is the stuff of legend and many a runner’s dream. I’m no exception, though I’m far from qualifying. So when I had the chance to run the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half in Boston and Newton, Massachusetts last year, I leapt. This would be my big chance to run those infamous Newton Hills including the monster of titular fame.

But while I envisioned showing Heartbreak Hill what’s what, the incline ended up getting the best of me. I wrote about it in my race report after the fact. But I knew there was something more to my epic breakdown that day, something I didn’t quite pinpoint in that post. After mulling it over, I was finally able to put it into words.

Shape.com published the resulting essay, and I thought the eve of the Boston Marathon was the perfect time to share it.

Running Through Heartbreak: How Running Healed Me

Just keep pushing, I muttered to myself as I shuffled toward the 12-mile marker of the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half in Newton, Massachusetts, named for the Boston Marathon’s most notorious climb. I’d reached the slope in the final stretch of the half-marathon conceived for one sole purpose: conquering Heartbreak Hill.

Race Report: Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half

Happy to be finished! (Photo: @myEPevents, Inc)

It’s a moment many runners dream about—myself included. I’d envisioned confidently cresting the incline, my lungs bellowing in rhythm to my stride as I finally broke two hours. But what was supposed to be my fastest half-marathon quickly became my slowest. A cloudless, 80-degree day forced me to slacken my pace. And so I came face-to-face with the famed Heartbreak Hill, humbled and defeated.

As I approached the incline, heartbreak was all around me. A sign signaled its start: Heartbreak. A man in a gorilla suit wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the word: Heartbreak. Spectators shouted: “Heartbreak Hill up ahead!”

Suddenly, it wasn’t only a physical obstacle. Out of nowhere, the major heartaches of my own life washed over me. Exhausted, dehydrated, and staring down failure, I couldn’t shake the experiences I associate with that word…

Read the entire essay at SHAPE.com.

I learned a lot about myself that day, and it’s a moment I think about often while running. I hope that Heartbreak Hill and I will meet again someday. When we do, I’ll be ready.

Good luck to everyone running the Boston Marathon tomorrow! I’ll be watching on TV, tweeting along, and cheering you on from New York City. Go out and show Heartbreak Hill who’s boss! Read the rest of this entry →

19

Apr 2015

Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Dog is 6 Years Old Today

Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Girl is 6 Years Old Today

Cinderella! (Photo: Phil Hospod)

No, I have no idea if today is actually her birthday. But I do know that four years ago today, this sweet little dog came into my life. Since she was a stray without papers, my husband, Phil, and I anointed the day we got her as her annual fete. The vet guessed she was about two years old then, so we’ll call her six!

Running Goals For 2015

Cinderella loves to run too (Photo: RunKarlaRun)

I shared Cinderella’s dog story two years ago. If you haven’t read it, it’s a tear jerker: Happy Birthday, Cinderella! My Favorite Running Gal. It still breaks my heart to think of her living in the woods on her own, foraging for food, getting by any way she could until a kind man lured her into his yard and eventually put her into rescue. Especially since I know what a tender heart she has.

Cinderella has so much love to give, truly, and bestows it upon anyone who comes in the door. She’ll look you soulfully in the eyes, plop down on your lap, and give your hand a lick. All she wants from life is a warm body or two to snuggle.

Happy National Dog Day! Happy dog in a field of wild flowers

Cinderella in the wild. (Photo: RunKarlaRun)

Recently, my sister-in-law got some good news that sent the two of us jumping up and down and screaming with glee. What did Cinderella do? She started jumping up and down with us! When we hugged, Cinderella stretched her long body up to ours and joined us. Group hug! That is Cinderella in a nutshell.

But, of course, she also loves many other things. Her hobbies include running, napping, traveling, hiking, car rides, long walks on the beach, playing poker, watching hockey with her dad, and snuggling her babies (aka toys).

Hers is a true Cinderella story. So happy birthday to my girl, my doghter! In honor of the occasion, here is a retrospective: Cinderella, in pictures, 2014-2015. Read the rest of this entry →

09

Apr 2015

Testing 3 New Balance Shoes: Zante, Boracay, 890v5

Testing 3 Neutral New Balance Shoes For Spring

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.

Testing 3 Neutral New Balance Shoes: Fresh Foam Zante, Boracay + 890v5

Fresh Foam Zante

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

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.

Testing 3 Neutral New Balance Shoes: Fresh Foam Zante, Boracay + 890v5

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 →

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Disney Race Weekends

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Offers Disney 'Marathon Weekends'

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.

Disney 'Marathon Weekends' at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

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 →

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Registration Opens

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Registration Opens

Runners at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

UPDATE 3/17/15
The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon and Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K sold out in 30 minutes! If you want to run, you can still register with a charity or tour provider: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015 Charity and Tour Bibs

Registration for the 2015 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World from November 6-7 opens Tuesday, March 17 at 12 p.m. EST. The race celebrates its sixth year.

How To Make Aladdin & Jasmine Running Costume

Bling! (Photo: Marathon Foto)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this might be my all-time favorite half-marathon. I ran Disney Wine and Dine in 2011 and 2013, as part of press trip courtesy of runDisney and New Balance, and loved every minute. I hope to keep running it for years to come. My husband proposed at the Finish Line Party after the race in 2011, so it’s our anniversary race of sorts.

But the proposal isn’t the only reason I love Disney Wine and Dine Half. The night-time race means dazzling Disney park lights and one killer after party that bumps all night long. This race is the best bang for your buck of all of runDisney’s half-marathons.

The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon starts at 10 p.m. outside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and traditionally takes runners through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, past Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and finally to the finish at Epcot. It’s a route runners won’t find at any other half-marathon. The Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Disney Princess Half Marathon share the same course. But Disney Wine and Dine is truly unique.

Plus, the race finishes with the best post-race party I’ve found—at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, which stays open until 4 a.m. just for runners. Admission to the Finish Line party is included in race registration, along with a $15 Disney gift card and a complimentary beer or wine at the finish. Read the rest of this entry →

16

Mar 2015

When Did You Start Calling Yourself A Runner?

When Did You Start Calling Yourself A Runner?

Running in New England on May 11, 2014. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of my life as a runner—my runiversary, if you will. It was late 2004 and early 2005 when I first laced up an old pair of sneakers unearthed from the depths of my closet and went for a run. Then, for some inexplicable reason, I did it again, and again, and again until it became a habit.

But I certainly didn’t call myself “a runner.” That didn’t happen for a few more years. But looking back, I wish I had staked a claim to the word “runner” a lot earlier.

I wrote about it in an essay at SHAPE.

What Makes You A Runner?

More than 65 million Americans went for a run last year. More than 19 million ran a race. But many of those people are hesitant to call themselves “runners.” I would know—I used to be one of them…

Sound familiar? I hear “Oh, I’m not a real runner” constantly—at races, parties, in social media, and everywhere else I encounter people who regularly put one foot in front of the other.

So what exactly makes you a runner? The short answer is simple: If you run, you’re a runner.

But the long answer is much more complicated—and it has nothing to do with how fast you are… One three-hour marathoner I know who has qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon—a feat only 10 percent of marathoners achieve—says he still has a hard time calling himself a runner. It’s an epidemic that extends far and wide, from the fastest to the slowest among us. Why?

You can read the whole thing at SHAPE.com.

What About You?

I take a liberal view: if you run, you’re a runner. Plain and simple. But I’d love to hear your thoughts. When did you start calling yourself a runner? When do you think you should have? What, exactly, makes someone a runner? Read the rest of this entry →

Testing Nike LunarTempo Shoes at Mile High Run Club

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

The Nike LunarTempo Shoes (Photo: Nike)

I’m a runner who loves ultra lightweight running shoes and ultra soft cushioning. I want to feel like I’m running on clouds and I want my shoe to weigh something in the range of clouds. So I was excited to try the new Nike LunarTempo shoes at a media workout at Mile High Run Club, a treadmill studio in New York City. Nike has billed the Nike LunarTempo as a shoe with “ultralight cushioning for high-speed miles.” The workout at Mile High Run Club would put that tagline to the test.

Nike LunarTempo Shoes

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

Nike LunarTempo in action. (Photo: Nike)

When I arrived at Mile High Run Club, a locker with my name on it was waiting for me, filled with complimentary running gear, including the new Nike LunarTempo shoes.

How did they fare in one treadmill run? The neutral shoe is a bit like running on clouds.

Nike used their Lunarlon foam midsole, which is indeed one of the cushiest rides in town. I currently wear the Nike Flyknit Lunar2 with Lunarlon. That oh-so-soft landing under the heel is one of my favorite things about that shoe, and the Nike LunarTempo didn’t disappoint.

But this time around, Nike has re-engineered the Lunarlon foam to make it even lighter at 6.2 oz for a women’s size 8, more responsive and just as supportive. After a few short wears, I can confirm that this shoes feels fantastic underfoot if you love a soft ride like I do. Read the rest of this entry →

Run Sold-Out Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Races

Register For 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Through Charity

Nick Arciniaga wins the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon. (Photo: Jimmy DeFlippo/runDisney)

The 2015 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in Anaheim, California from September 3-6 sold out in a matter of hours. But you can still register for the Disneyland Half Marathon, Dumbo Double Dare, the Disneyland 10K, and Disneyland 5K through charity and tour groups.

The Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland 10K, runDisney Kids Races, and Disneyland 5K all broke their sell-out records from 2014. The Dumbo Double Dare and Disneyland 10k closed in approximately 30 minutes in 2015. The runDisney Kids races filled up in about 90 minutes and the 5K followed in roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes. The Disneyland Half Marathon sold-out the next day. Tickets for the Pasta in the Park Party, 10th Anniversary Party, and ChEAR Squad remain.

But if you really want to be a part of the sold-out Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, you still can if you register through a charity or tour group. Contact the following groups directly to find out how to register for the race through them. Charities will ask runners to raise a certain amount of money for participating in the race, and tour groups may require purchase of a travel package. Read the rest of this entry →

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