Archive for the ‘Products’Category

Your Guides To Compression Socks and Fitness Fabrics

Your Guide To Compression Socks and Fitness Fabrics

Compression socks and fitness fabrics, explained

In addition to fun race roundups like Night Runs, Costumes Races and Mile Runs and 60 Destination Races For Your Next Runcation, I’ve also been writing about the science of sweat and fitness fashion for SHAPE.com. I learned a lot doing these two stories that break down what we wear and why we wear them when we run.

best gifts for runners

Asics Printed Calf Sleeve

Your Guide to Compression Running Gear

You’ve seen countless runners sporting them at races, maybe you even wear them yourself, but what exactly do compression socks do?

From compression socks, recovery socks, calf sleeves, arm sleeves, tights and shorts to tops, I looked at what each piece of compression gear claims to do, and whether or not research backs it up.

I also picked my faves in each category. For the record, I loves me some compression socks. I’ve got six pairs. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Buy Disney New Balance Shoes At Wine & Dine and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekends

How to buy Disney New Balance shoes at Wine & Dine and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekends

New Balance 890v4 runDisney Cinderella shoes

Runners, your last chances to buy the 2014 Disney New Balance shoes are here: Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World in Florida from November 7-8, and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland in California from November 14-15.

The procedure for buying the Disney New Balance shoes will be the same for each race. Registered runners have the chance to get an appointment at the runDisney Health & Fitness Expo on Friday of each race weekend. The general public can march straight to the expo on Saturday. Runners can also go to the expo on Saturday.

How To Buy Disney New Balance Shoes At Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Registered runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, November 7 to get an early bird appointment to try on and buy Disney New Balance shoes.

How to buy Disney New Balance shoes at Wine & Dine and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekends

2014 Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Mouse Shoe

You can reserve one style and size through the virtual queue, and pick up to five more pairs at your appointment.

Spectators and other shoppers can buy the Disney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.

After you sign-up, you’ll get a text or e-mail confirming your group letter and a time to return to the expo. Then you’ll get a second notification when it’s time to high-tail it to the expo for your appointment. Head to the New Balance tent to check in near the West Entrance to the Jostens Center. They’ve got a queue that tells you when it’s your turn. Read the rest of this entry →

Get Your New York On With NYC Inspired Running Gear

The 2014 TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2 is here! I’ll be at the finish line in the announcer’s booth all day, cheering runners in. The race’s motto this year is “Get Your New York On.” You can, quite literally, with some of the running gear inspired by the town so nice, they named it twice.

Get Your New York On With This NYC-Inspired Gear

ASICS NYC Marathon Map Long Sleeve

ASICS 2014 TCS New York City Marathon Collection

As the official running gear sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon, ASICS’ line of tanks, shirts, shorts, pants, socks, hats, shoes and more has the official marathon logo and seal of approval.

They even made two shoes for the occasion: Gel-Nimbus 16 NYC ($150) and Gel-Kayano 21 NYC ($160), along with bags, arm warmers, jackets, gloves, vests and any other running gear marathoners could possibly think to put on their bodies. I like the NYC Marathon Map Long Sleeve ($34). 

Get Your New York On With NYC Marathon-Inspired Running Gear

Brooks Adrenaline Freedom

Brooks Adrenaline Freedom GTS NYC 

Lady Liberty is the star of Brooks’ Adrenaline Freedom GTS NYC ($130) limited edition shoes, available in select stores and online. Inspired by Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, the shoe borrows the oxidized copper color of the Statue of Liberty with orange accents, representing her flame. Throw in black-and-white photos of the gal herself, and you’ve got one inspiring pair of shoes.

Brooks sent me a sample of these puppies; they’re even more beautiful in person. This New Yorker says, “It’s love!” 

Get Your New York On With This NYC-Inspired Running Gear

lululemon NYC Run Inspire Crop

lululemon Limited Edition NYC Marathon Capsule Collection

Available only in New York City stores while supplies last, lululemon’s NYC Marathon Capsule Collection says “been there, run that.” As a New Yorker and three-time New York City Marathon finisher, I love it!

lululemon gave me the Run: Inspire Crop ($96), which features the NYC skyline from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building and beyond. The Home Stretch Crew ($198) in gold and black with a color contrast skyline and NYC2014 logo is also available. But hurry. This running gear will be gone in a New York minute.

Get Your New York On With NYC-Inspired Gear

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante NYC

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante NYC

New Balance releases a New York City-inspired shoe every year, but this time around they’re pre-releasing their newest line with the Fresh Foam Zante NYC. The city’s concrete sidewalks inspired the grey upper and the skyline graces the liner. Tie them up with the the state motto, Excelsior, written on the shoelaces.  Read the rest of this entry →

01

Nov 2014

The Best Running Shoes? A Guide To 10 Neutral Pairs

The Best Running Shoes? A Rundown

New Balance Fresh Foam Trail shoes in action at Machu Picchu in Peru. (Phil Hospod)

One of the most common questions people ask me is: “What are the best running shoes?” Variations include: “What running shoes do you wear?” “What’s your favorite brand of running shoes?” and “Who makes the best running shoes?”

My answer is always the same. There is no one best kind, or pair, or brand of running shoes. What works for one runner might not work for someone else. And what worked for one runner a year ago may no longer work for them now. We all have different foot shapes, sizes, gaits, body weights, stride lengths, form, muscle weakness, imbalances, strengths, injuries and all the other things that affect how we run. And even then, it’s good to rotate your shoes and wear different types of shoes for different types of workouts. Brian Metzler at Competitor wrote a great column about it: Why You Should Have A Quiver Of Running Shoes.

And yet, we’re all on the quest for the perfect shoe. I’m no exception. I was once fiercely loyal to Mizuno’s Wave Rider, until they dramatically changed the shoe and it was no longer my personal glass slipper. Since then I’ve worn other pairs of Mizuno, ASICS, Nike, New Balance, K-Swiss and Saucony searching for that perfect pair. Here’s what I’ve found in 2014.

The Best Running Shoes? A Rundown of 10 Pairs: New Balance runDisney Shoe

New Balance 890v4 runDisney Cinderella shoes

Karla’s Best Running Shoes of 2014

I’ve tried 30 pairs of running shoes in the last year. What can I say? I really like shoes. I am a Cinderella runner after all. Athletic companies sent complimentary pairs of some for me to try. Others I purchased myself. Some I took for a treadmill run or two only to return them because they didn’t work for me. Others, I kept to test on the road. Among those, I give some away once I decide they’re not for me. But I keep the best of the rest.

These are the 10 best running shoes of the bunch for me. Keep in mind that these are all neutral shoes and I am a neutral runner with high arches. If you have low arches, wear a stability or motion-control shoes, these may or may not work for you. (Need to learn more? Read: Gait Analysis For The Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF)

All the shoe vitals are for the women’s version as provided by each respective manufacturer. I tried each pair in a women’s size 9 and I’ve listed them by brand. Happy shoe shopping!

The Best Running Shoes? A Rundown

ASICS Gel-Kinsei 5

ASICS Gel-Kinsei 5

MSP: $200
Weight: 9.4 oz
Drop (from heel to forefoot): 10mm
Colorways: 8

I bought the Gel-Kinsei looking for a sturdy trainer for marathon and half-marathon training. I got more than I bargained for. Read the rest of this entry →

Triathlon Gear List For Runners, Beginners and Beyond

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners. At the Wild Dog Triathlon

Coming out of the water at the Wild Dog Triathlon. (Phil Hospod)

As I stare down my sixth triathlon— Triathlon Valleyfield in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec on Sunday, August 24—I realize that I have fully fallen down the multi-sport rabbit hole. In that hole is an assortment of athletic equipment that I’ve accumulated to help me swim, bike and run my heart out. Before every race, I write out a triathlon gear list to be sure to pack for race day.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners

Biking my second triathlon. (Capstone Photography)

Unlike running, triathlon is incredibly gear intensive. All that “stuff” is the main barrier to entry for runners who are interested in dabbling their toes in the open waters of the sport. Buying everything at once can be intimidating and expensive. I’ve staggered my purchases over the course of three years, reached out to sponsors, and still don’t have all the gear a truly competitive triathlete calls their own, like a tri-specific bike, areobars and the like. But that hasn’t stopped me from getting into the sport and it shouldn’t stop you either.

So here is my triathlon gear list. Some of these items are essential, some merely nice to have. But once you know that the sport of triathlon will be part of your regular racing routine, you’ll want each of these items in your gear bag.

I’ve listed the full price for each item, but in many cases I found them on sale or got them for free, and have indicated where that was the case. Where gender specificity is a factor, I’ve listed the women’s gear. But most items are available in men’s options too.

Triathlon Gear For The Entire Race

Tri Kit

Your tri kit is the outfit that takes you through all three events. Ideally, you can swim, bike and run in it. You don’t have to buy a fancy tri kit. I certainly didn’t. Here’s what I use to race and train. Both of my kits have two things in common: 1) They’re designed and tested by female triathletes for female triathletes, and 2) They’re from American companies that manufacture the majority of their products in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry →

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 →

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 →

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

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

(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 →

Win SHAPE Diva Dash Entries, Magazine + EAS Product

SHAPE Diva Dash

SHAPE Diva Dash finish line. (Photo: Adventure Fit)

If you’re a SHAPE Magazine reader, flip to page 86 of the May issue where you’ll find me!

SHAPE Diva Dash

SHAPE May 2014

SHAPE and EAS Sports Nutrition brought me on as a hired gun for the 2014 SHAPE Diva Dash series. I had so much fun at the 2013 SHAPE Diva Dash that it was easy to say yes. I’m sharing training tips in ads for EAS and the race in the April and May issues.

I’m also running the SHAPE Diva Dash in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul on May 31, 2014. Want to join me?

I’m giving away two entries to the SHAPE Diva Dash of your choice—one for you and one for a friend—with eight cities to choose from: Boulder, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Charlotte, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia and New York. The winner will also receive a subscription to SHAPE magazine and a month’s supply of EAS Lean 15 Bars and Lean 15 Protein Powder. Read the rest of this entry →

Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit Running Shoes Review

Nike 3.0 Flyknit Running Shoes

The Nike 3.0 Flyknit shoe. (Photo: Nike)

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.

Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes

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.

Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes

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 →

How To Buy New Balance Disney Shoes At Princess Half

New Balance Disney shoes

The 2014 runDisney New Balance collection.

UPDATE 11/4/2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend:

For the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, November 7 to get an early bird appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. For the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, November 14. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday during each race weekend. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.

UPDATE 10/2/2014 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend:

For the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, October 3 to get an appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday, October 4. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.

UPDATE 8/29/2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend:

For the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. PDT each morning that the race expo is open to get an appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday, August 30. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.

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I attended the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney, where they gave runners a first glimpse of the new New Balance Disney shoes. I’ve subsequently gotten a lot of questions about how to buy them. Here’s the scoop on how to get your hands on them at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

First, the New Balance Disney shoes are only available at runDisney race expos. Unfortunately, they are not sold online. Though I’m sure some enterprising individuals will hawk them for obscene amounts of money on eBay, as happened last year, or offer their services as virtual personal shoppers.

But New Balance is now offering runners with bibs at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend a way to register early to buy the shoes before all those non-runners, who are merely trying to capitalize on the craze.

New Balance Disney Shoes

2014 890v4 Cinderella Women’s Shoe (Photo: runDisney)

How To Buy New Balance Disney Shoes For Runners With Bibs

Starting at 6 a.m. each day of Disney’s Fit For a Princess Expo from Thursday, February 20 through Saturday, February 22 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, runners can visit www.nbvirtualqueue.com to enter their bib number and sign up early for a reservation at the New Balance expo booth. There, they can try on and purchase the New Balance Disney shoes.

Runners can reserve one style in a specific size ahead of time, and can buy three additional pairs in any style and size from the non-reserved inventory. Once registered, New Balance will send you a confirmation text with your group number, confirmation number, return time and requested style and size.

The men’s shoes come in sizes 7-14. The women’s shoes are available in sizes 5.5-12. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Buy Disney New Balance Shoes

Disney New Balance Shoes

The 2104 collection of Disney New Balance shoes. (Photo: runDisney)

UPDATE 11/4/2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend and Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend:

For the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, November 7 to get an early bird appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. For the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, November 14. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday during each race weekend. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.

UPDATE 10/2/2014 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend:

For the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Friday, October 3 to get an appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday, October 4. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.

UPDATE 8/29/2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend:

For the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, runners can sign up with their bib number online at NBvirtualQueue.com, beginning at 6:00 a.m. PDT each morning that the race expo is open to get an appointment to try on and buy runDisney New Balance shoes. Spectators and other shoppers can buy the runDisney New Balance shoes at the expo on Saturday, August 30. For more information and to sign-up, visit NBvirtualQueue.com.

UPDATE 2/20/2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend:

New Balance has instituted a new shoe buying process for runners at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. Here’s the scoop:

How To Buy New Balance Disney Shoes At Princess Half

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I attended the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend as part of a press trip sponsored by New Balance and runDisney, where they gave runners a first glimpse of the new Disney New Balance shoes. I’ve subsequently gotten a lot of questions about how to buy them.

First, the shoes are only available at runDisney race expos. Unfortunately, they are not sold online. Though I’m sure some enterprising individuals will hawk them for obscene amounts of money on eBay, as happened last year, or offer their services as virtual personal shoppers. There’s at least one personal shopping company already advertising their services around the shoes. (UPDATE: I’ve been told that particular company got shut-down at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.) Oh, Capitalism.

So you have to attend a runDisney race expo in person. There are currently eight runDisney race weekends throughout the year. Here they are for 2014:

  • Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, January 8-12, 2014
  • Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, January 16-19, 2014
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, February 20-23, 2014
  • Expedition Everest Challenge: Walt Disney World, May 3, 2014
  • Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, August 29-31, 2014
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend: Walt Disney World, October 3-4
  • Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend: Walt Disney World, November 7-8
  • Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend: Disneyland, November 14-16

You don’t have to actually register for any of the races to buy the shoes. The expos are free and open to the public. But you do have to get to Florida or California at the right rime.

Second, to buy the Disney New Balance shoes at the upcoming Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, folks have to make a reservation at the Disney Health & Fitness Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. They’re trying to minimize lines at the New Balance booth, which were mayhem last year.

Third, they’ve instituted buying limits so that a few people can’t scoop up all the merchandise. Read the rest of this entry →

2014 runDisney New Balance Shoes Are Here!

runDisney New Balance shoes

The Cinderella shoes. (Photo: runDisney)

Looking for how to get a pair?
How To Buy Disney New Balance Shoes

After the sneak peek of the new runDisney New Balance shoes last month and at the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, which I attended as press courtesy of New Balance and runDisney, photos of the full shoes are finally here, and with the beautiful backdrop of Cinderella Castle and Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat too. Scroll down for a slideshow and video of the shoes up close.

runDisney New Balance shoes

The 2014 runDisney New Balance collection. (Photo: runDisney)

Highlights of the Cinderella shoes include ribbons for laces, glass slipper silhouettes inside and Cinderella on the heel. The Goofy shoe has a rainbow of the dog’s signature colors, Mickey Mouse ears inside and Goofy on the heel. The Minnie Mouse shoe has eyelash details around the laces, a polka dot tread and Minnie on the heel. The Mickey Mouse shoe has a star and moon tread, Mickey Mouse ears inside and Mickey on the heel.

The kids shoes are mini-versions of the adult Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse shoes. Read the rest of this entry →

02

Jan 2014

Year in Review: Top 13 Races and Top 13 Posts of 2013

Toronto Waterfront Marathon, year in review

Finished! (Photo: Marathon-Photos.com)

Oh, 2013. Without setting out to do it, I ran 13 races in 2013. And I wrote a whole lot about them. Welcome to my year in review.

I started the year with a bang at the Walt Disney World Marathon. And I’m ending with a bang with the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak.

In between, the year was filled with a roller coaster of highs and lows.

There was the thrill of a new 3-mile PR after the low of a hip injury. I’m the klutz that fell off a horse. It knocked me out of the game for a few weeks and sent me into physical therapy.

There was the high of running in Hawai’i and the low of getting sick for my fall marathon. And there was the redemption of a 5K PR after marathon season was over.

If 2013 taught me anything, it’s that you can’t win them all. But you can still have fun trying.

This photo of me with my finisher’s medal at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is proof of that. I was sick, failed to run a marathon personal best like I wanted, but still managed to enjoy the race. My smile says it all.

And you know what? When you give a goal your best and fail, it makes the successes even sweeter. I ran 6 of the 13 races either as fun runs or training runs and I ran 7 of the 13 races as races, pushing with everything I had. I managed to PR at three of them, and scored a few PRs in workouts without even trying, too. I’ll save those for my Goals of 2014 post.

So here are my 13 races of 2013. Read the rest of this entry →

Best Gifts For Runners 2013: Karla’s Favorite Things

best gifts for runners

A winter scene by Currier & Ives.

It was snowing just yesterday, my Christmas tree is lighting up my living room and Christmas is just two weeks away. Wondering what to get for the runner on your list? These are just a few of my favorite things: the best gifts for runners this year.

I get lots of samples from sports companies and buy plenty of gear myself. The products on this list represent my favorite clothes, gadgets and gear currently available from a range of brands. In clothing, I’ve tried the women’s versions, but many come in men’s options too. I’ve indicated which items are available for men or in unisex sizing—a full 30 of them are. And I’ve included the list prices, though you’ll find many items for less than that.

Also, if it’s been in a past gift guide of mine, I didn’t include it here. But many of the products I highlighted in the days of yore are still available. So here are my guides from 2012, 2011, and 2009.

Without further ado, it’s time to get shopping and wish-listing. Here are my favorite running jackets, layers, tights, shorts, tanks, socks, sleeves, sports bras, gadgets, books and more this year. There are nearly 50 items in all.

Best Gifts For Runners 2013

Running Jackets

Three very different options for different needs: visibility, wind and all weather. Read the rest of this entry →

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