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 a Q&A at Shape.com.

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 →

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Weekend Info Is Here

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Registration Information

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.’’

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Info is Here

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.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Race Information

The Disneyland Paris races tour runners through two Disney Parks. Read the rest of this entry →

Race Report: New Amsterdam City Swim

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

That’s me finishing the New Amsterdam City Swim! (Photo: Alex Saveliev/Beemster Cheese)

I did it! I’m jumped into the Hudson River in New York City for the first annual 1-mile New Amsterdam City Swim on Sunday, June 21 to raise $675 for ALS research at ProjectMinE. As a group, the New Amsterdam City Swimmers have raised almost $438,000 so far. Thank you again to everyone who donated! I appreciate it so much. Hopefully we’re one step closer to curing ALS!

Race Report: New Amsterdam City Swim

Finisher! (Photo: New Amsterdam City Swim)

What threatened to be a thunderstormy day, turned into a scorcher—88 degrees, sun blinking bright, and humidity around 90 percent. By the time I jumped into the Hudson, I was good and ready! The water was welcoming and downright refreshing at 68 degrees.

For all my nervousness going into the swim, I needn’t have worried.

My plan going into the swim was to stay calm, cool, collected, and knock it out at an easy pace. I set out according to plan and manged to stick with it. I kept my pace easy peasy while focusing on my breath and my pull. It paid off.

Much to my surprise, I crushed it. I finished 15 out of 146 women! What!? Throw men into the mix and I was 77th among 351 swimmers in a time of 23:32 for the 1-mile course.

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Results!

Wish I could say the same of most of my running races! This just goes to show, once again, that I’m a much better swimmer than I am a runner. Which is probably why I work so hard at running!

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Finished announcing in Queens! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Queens 10K

My day started at 5 a.m., when my alarm woke me to announce at the NYRR Queens 10K in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I was on site and at the mike at 6:30 a.m. for pre-race announcements.

The rainy, overcast morning turned into a hot, steamy day, and one that was a bit longer than usual for a 10K. The start of the race was delayed an hour due to heavy rain flooding the course.

While I made morning announcements for runners, NYRR employees were busy bailing water off the course—literally. Before it was a park, Flushing Meadows was a marsh that eventually became a landfill during the industrial era. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the site was rehabbed to host the World’s Fair and in the 1960s it became a park. But once a marsh, always a marsh. As a result, the Queens 10K course is particularly flood prone.

By 9 a.m., the rain stopped, the course was clear, and the race was finally underway. I moved to the finish to cheer runners in.

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Queens 10K (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

But the main subway train that ferried runners to the start suffered a shutdown and resulting chaos, so race officials kept the start open much longer than usual to allow train-riding runners a chance to race. That meant the course was open longer than usual. The final finishers came in just before 11:30 a.m., and I hung up my announcer hat for the day.

I got home around 1 p.m., 8 hours after my day began, all of it spent standing. I didn’t even get a seat on the subway ride home. I was beat. So I walked my dog, wolfed down a slice of pizza, and took a quick 40 minute snooze before heading to downtown Manhattan for the swim. At 2 p.m., my alarm was ringing again. I pulled on my swimsuit, grabbed my bag, and ran out the door.

New Amsterdam City Swim

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Ah! Arriving on site (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The Start

The New Amsterdam City Swim started at Pier 45 at the Hudson River Park in the West Village of Manhattan. Check-in for the 3:45 pm start closed at 3 p.m.

I got there just in time to get my race-issued swim cap and timing chip, drink some water and eat half of a Quaker protein bar that came in my race bag.

I had a major headache, which often happens later in the day when I’ve had an early start. Food and water usually helps. A friend also had Tylenol, so I took some to help get me through. I shy away from taking pain killers when exercising, but my head was throbbing, so I went for it.

Jumping in the Hudson at New Amsterdam City Swim

Vera and I are ready! (Photo: Susan Bayat)

Wrestling my wetsuit onto my sweaty skin proved to be a 2-woman job. My wetsuit now has numerous finger-nail sized gashes in the neoprene from such abuse over the years. My friend and running teammate, Vera, and I readied together. She’s the one who roped me into doing the race.

By the time they called our wave, Wave 1, to the start we were baking in black neoprene and ready to jump in. Thankfully, the Tylenol, food, and water had kicked in and my headache was gone.

The start of the swim was timed with the end of high tide, so that the southbound current would be in our favor as the water flowed out to sea before low tide. The Hudson is actually a tidal estuary, where the salty ocean tides meet the river’s fresh water current in New York Bay. As such, the currents swirling around NYC change every six hours or so to the whims of the ocean tides. Amid the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s easy to forget that NYC sits like teeth in the jaws of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

Separated into six waves, we entered a floating dock attached to the pier three at a time. Then, one swimmer at a time, we jumped off the dock, timing chips strapped to our ankles. The mouth of the Hudson River in New York Bay is brackish, and I immediately tasted the salt on my lips as I plunged into the water. But jumping in was one of the most fun parts of the day. How often do you get to jump off a barge into the Hudson River in New York City? That was a first for me! I felt like screaming, “Wheeeeee!” Read the rest of this entry →

23

Jun 2015

Time to Jump In the New Amsterdam City Swim!

Jump In NYC With New Amsterdam City Swim

Ready to jump in! (RunKarlaRun.com)

In about 48 hours, I’ll be starting the New Amsterdam City Swim on Sunday, June 21, knocking out 1-mile in the Hudson River to raise money for ALS research.

Thank you to everyone who donated! I truly appreciate it. I have to give a special shout-out to Leslie Miller. Leslie, I couldn’t find a way to contact you to say thank you! Hope you read this.

Thanks to your donations, I met my $500 fundraising goal with $600.17. As a group the New Amsterdam City Swimmers have raised $281,384.79 and counting for Project MinE, a large-scale research initiative with the biggest DNA database in the world. They’re planning to map and compare the DNA profiles of at least 15,000 ALS patients and 7,500 control subjects, with the goal of understanding the genetics of the disease in order to find a cure. It’s a huge undertaking, and they couldn’t do it without your help.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners. At the Wild Dog Triathlon

Wetsuit ready (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Now, it’s time to swim! Honestly, I’m a bit nervous. I haven’t gotten in as many swim sessions as I had hoped. On the plus side, I did get in one full mile-swim in a pool, along with five shorter swim sessions in the last few weeks. My past triathlon experience tells me that’s enough to get me through. But let’s hope that Hudson River current really is as helpful as folks say, just in case.

I also enrolled in a 10-week triathlon swim clinic with the Asphalt Green Triathlon Club in New York City. We meet once a week for 75 minutes. It’s more of a “back to basics” look at technique than it is a workout.

The one session I’ve had already helped me tweak my stroke to be more efficient, which was my reason for doing the clinic. I’m a strong swimmer, having been a swim team kid until the age of 15. But I haven’t had anyone look at my stroke and critique it in 22 years! I know I have room for improvement, and when it comes to swimming, perfecting technique is the foundation to getting faster.

All that said, my goal for Sunday is to finish! This will be the longest open water swim I’ve ever done. Here’s the course: Read the rest of this entry →

Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

The 2015 Star Wars Half Marathon (Photo: runDisney)

UPDATE 8/19/15: The Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 is sold-out but you can still register via charity or tour group:

Run Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 with Charity or Tour

* * *

Registration for the Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 Weekend opens at 12 p.m. Eastern on June 16, 2015. The Disney half marathon race weekend will take place January 14-17, 2016 in a galaxy far, far away. OK, it’s really at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

More than 23,000 runners took part in the inaugural event in 2015, which included the Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K, Star Wars 5K, Star Wars Rebel Challenge—where runners complete the 10K and half-marathon on consecutive days—and runDisney Kids Races. All those races will be back for 2016, along with the runDisney Health and Fitness Expo—where you can buy the coveted New Balance runDisney shoes. The 2016 course maps have yet to be released, but last year’s races ran through Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney and the streets of Anaheim, Calif.

How fast will the Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 Weekend sell-out? Likely faster than the Millennium Falcon can travel 6.8323E-13 parsecs (that’s 13.1-miles). The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend in 2015 sold out in two hours. The Star Wars Rebel Challenge sold out first in 24 minutes. The runDisney Kids Races followed in 38 minutes. The Star Wars 5K filled up in 54 minutes. The Star Wars 10K was gone inside of 80 minutes, and the Star Wars Half Marathon closed in 2 hours and 2 minutes. Read the rest of this entry →

15

Jun 2015

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 →

On The Road Again For National Running Day!

On The Road Again For National Running Day

On the road at the White House! (©RunKarlaRun.com)

Happy National Running Day! How are you planning to celebrate?

Check out runningday.org, runnersworld.com, and nyrr.org in NYC for lots of ways to get in on the action.

I’m happy to report that I’m on the road again! I’m back to running after my time-out from a bone bruise/stress fracture. Yay!

On The Road Again For National Running Day

Trail Running with Cinderella (©RunKarlaRun.com)

It’s been four very easy, very tentative weeks back on the road for me. My doctor told me to start with short runs, every other day, and to slowly work my way back up in mileage. And that’s exactly what I’ve done.

After four weeks, I finally feel like I’m starting to get back into the swing of it and edging my pace and mileage up. And so far, my foot feels fine. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

Sadly, I decided not to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon this past weekend. It would have been way too much mileage too soon. I was incredibly bummed about it. I was really looking forward to the race. But I know I made the smart, and the right, decision.

Instead, I signed up for the New Amsterdam City Swim, a charity swim to fight ALS, on June 21 to capitalize on the swimming I’d been doing while I couldn’t run. I’ll be jumping in for 1-mile in the Hudson River. Eeks! But I’ve fallen off the wagon with strength training as I’ve been running and swimming more. I want to figure out how I can make time for all three.

So here’s how my last four weeks of easing into running have looked.

On The Road Again For National Running Day

Running the National Mall! (©RunKarlaRun.com)

WEEK 1

Treadmill: 2.25 miles super easy. This was my first run after taking time off. I’ve never been so conscious of each step in my life! Read the rest of this entry →

03

Jun 2015

Jump In NYC With The New Amsterdam City Swim

Jump In NYC With The New Amsterdam City Swim

Jump In!

This was originally published 5/22/2015, 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!

Last summer, I dumped a bucket of ice water on my head to raise awareness for ALS.

This summer, I’m jumping into a bucket of ice water. In other words, I’m swimming a mile in the ice cold Hudson River! Want to join me? Jump in!

The first ever New Amsterdam City Swim is taking place on World ALS Day, June 21 in the Hudson River in New York City. As They Might Be Giants once sang, “Even old New York was once New Amsterdam.” The swim is the first international companion event to the Amsterdam City Swim, the largest charity swim in the Netherlands. In 2014 more than 2,000 swimmers jumped into the Amsterdam canals to raise more than $2.5 million for ALS research.

With a clever wink to New York’s old name, the New Amsterdam City Swim will coincide with the Amsterdam City Swim to raise money for medical research to fight ALS.

Jump In NYC With New Amsterdam City Swim

Swim training in Quebec. (RunKarlaRun.com)

Every swimmer, myself included, commits to raising at least $500 to fight ALS. Where is the money going? To Project MinE, a large-scale research initiative with the biggest DNA database in the world.

Starting at 3:45 p.m., to benefit from a favorable current, the course begins at Hudson River Park’s Pier 45 at Christopher Street in Greenwich Village and finishes at Hudson’s River Park Pier 26 at N. Moore Street in Tribeca.

But the event will be more than just a swim. The Finish Festival on Pier 26 is a concert with complimentary Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (my fave!), complimentary Heineken beer, free Pepsi soft drinks & water, live entertainment, children’s events, and BBQ food for purchase. DJ Questlove—yes, Questlove!—is headlining the festival, and Candy Dulfer—who has toured with Prince—is the opener. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill post-race party.

One of my friends and running teammates is Dutch and works for the Netherlands consulate in NYC. She invited me to be a part of the event and wrangled a complimentary entry for me. But I’m still committing to raise at least $500 for ProjectMinE.

The timing is perfect. I got a “time out” from running thanks to a stress fracture/bone bruise and started swimming again to keep my cardio up. Swimming is my favorite part of triathlon training and I even finished as the second woman overall at a small open water swim in Rhode Island last summer. So I jumped at the chance to jump in for such an important cause.

Jump In NYC at New Amsterdam City Swim

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

Yes, the Hudson will be cold—60-66 degrees on race day. Hello wetsuit! Yes, I’ve heard about the “Hudson Mustache,” the film of debris coating Hudson River swimmers in NYC. And yes, the only other time I swam in the Hudson I got a fever, chills, and associated cold/flu symptoms immediately afterward. But that just shows how important ALS is that I’m willing to brave the Hudson again.

Please join me by registering to be one of the swimmers braving the Hudson in June at www.newamsterdamcityswim.org. If you need your swim certification for the New York City Triathlon, you can get it at the New Amsterdam City Swim!

Don’t want to swim? Buy a ticket to the finish festival! For $75 you’re getting a party headlined by Questlove with all-you-can-eat Ben & Jerry’s and Heineken too. Best of all, the cost of your ticket goes to ProjectMinE.

Not in NYC? Please consider donating to my fight against ALS at the New Amsterdam City Swim.
Read the rest of this entry →

31

May 2015

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 →

Injury Update: Stress Fracture or Bone Bruise?

A Stress Fracture or a Bone Bruise?

I miss running Central Park. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

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?

A Stress Fracture or a 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.

Test Run

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 →

New Balance Releases Tinker Bell Disney Shoes

New Balance Releases Tinker Bell Disney Shoes

New Balance Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay Disney shoes

UPDATE 8/25/15: New Balance has announced a pair of Donald Duck Fresh Foam Boracay Disney shoes. Check ’em out here:
New Balance Releases Donald Duck Disney Shoes

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New Balance and runDisney are at it again! New Balance announced the release of another pair of Disney shoes for the 2015 New Balance runDisney collection, debuting at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA jewelry at Disneyland in California from Thursday, May 7 to Sunday, May 10.

The Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay Disney shoes in green and yellow are inspired by the pixie of Peter Pan fame. New Balance’s Fresh Foam Boracay is a neutral cushioned shoe meant to carry runners for many a mile. The Tinker Bell kicks glow in the dark and will sell for $140. I tried and reviewed the new kicks; read all about them here: Testing 3 New Balance Shoes: Zante, Boracay, 890v5.

New Balance Releases New Disney Shoes For Princess Half

The 2015 New Balance runDisney Retro Collection

The Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay are the third pair of New Balance Disney shoes to debut this year. New Balance previously launched the 860v5 performance shoes and 990v3 recovery shoes, part of the 2015 runDisney Retro Mickey and Minnie collection modeled after Mickey Mouse’s 1928 debut in “Steamboat Willie.” The performance 860v5 Disney shoes are $135, while the recovery 990v3 kicks are $180.

Buying New Balance Disney Shoes

New Balance Releases Tinker Bell Fresh Foam Boracay Disney Shoes

Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay in action.

You can get your hands on a pair of the Fresh Foam Tinker Bell Boracay Disney shoes at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend expo in Anaheim, California from May 7-9.

But don’t just march to the expo. Runners can sign up at NBvirtualqueue.com using their bib number starting Thursday, May 7 at 6 a.m., and all other guests can sign up Friday, May 8 or Saturday, May 9.

Visit NBvirtualqueue.com for all the details about buying procedures, inventory availability, and updates throughout the weekend.

After the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend presented by PANDORA, the New Balance Disney shoes will be available at other runDisney race expos throughout the year. You can’t buy them online or in stores. Read the rest of this entry →

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

Minnie cheers runners at the Wat Disney World Marathon. (Photo: runDisney)

Registration for the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Weekend opens Tuesday, April 28 at 12 p.m. ET. Disney’s signature running event kicks off the new year from January 6-10 at Walt Disney World in Florida. The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna is the largest running festival in the U.S. with more than 65,000 finishers in five races and three race challenges: Walt Disney World Marathon, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K, Walt Disney World 5K, runDisney Kids’ Races, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, Dopey Challenge, and Disney Castaway Cay Challenge.

Race Report: Walt Disney World Marathon 2016

Runners dash through Cinderella Castle. (Photo: Todd Anderson/runDisney)

Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge dares runners to complete the half-marathon and marathon on back-to-back days in order to earn a Goofy designed medal. The Dopey Challenge asks runners to take on the 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon on four consecutive days for a special Dopey-themed medal. The Castaway Cay Challenge is for runners who opt to add on a 4-night Bahamas cruise from January 11-15, run a 5K race or longer at the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 weekend, and complete the Castaway Cay 5K on Disney Cruise Line’s private island.

The Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 weekend also includes the free runDisney Health & Fitness Expo, free Cool Down Party at Downtown Disney, ticketed Pasta in the Park Party, ticketed breakfasts after the 5K and 10K, ticketed Race Retreat before the half and full marathons, and Runner’s World Challenge race packages.

Registration for the Runner’s World Challenge is already open and 50 percent full as of press time. Registration for all the other events will open Tuesday, April 28 at 12 p.m. ET.

New Balance Releases New Disney Shoes For Princess Half

The 2015 New Balance runDisney Retro Collection

The weekend is usually runners’ first chance to buy the newest edition of the coveted New Balance runDisney running shoes, as well. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 new styles of the shoes went on sale for the first time at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. The shoes aren’t available online and can only be purchased at runDisney race expos.

For more information about the races, pricing, or to register for the Walt Disney World Marathon 2016, visit runDisney.com.

Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Weekend Sell-Out Times?
Walt Disney World Marathon 2016 Registration Opens

The Magic Kingdom archway (Photo: runDisney)

The 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend broke all of the event’s previous sell-out records. The Dopey Challenge, Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World 5K all sold out within 24 hours. The Walt Disney World Marathon filled up in 21 days, shattering the nearly four months it took the 2014 race to sell out.

Only Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge and runDisney kids races had availabilities lingering longer. Read the rest of this entry →