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 →

RnR SD Half Marathon Training Program Weeks 5 + 6

Half Marathon Training Program Weeks 5 + 6

Running San Diego (Photo: Ashley Mateo)

I have good news and bad news.

The good news: I successfully met my half marathon training program goal of two strength training sessions per week! I also hit the trail! Yay!

The bad news: There’s trouble in paradise. After 10 years as a runner, it looks like I might finally have my first running injury. Oh sure, I’ve been sideline before, but by non-running related maladies—like that time I fell off a horse and hurt my hip or that time I found out I have arthritis, which I’ve actually managed through running. (And yes, my ortho told me it’s probably genetic and encouraged me to keep running. She was so right. It rarely bothers me any more.)

After five solid weeks of training, I noticed a niggle in my left foot. Not pain, but a slight discomfort under the ball of my foot while I run. I followed the old adage: if it hurts for two days, take two days off. When I resumed running, the discomfort returned. Booooo. It’s especially frustrating since I’ve been strength training to avoid precisely this type of thing. What does this mean for my race calendar? I don’t know!!!

Goal Half Marathon Time—1:59:59
Current Half Marathon PR—2:00:30
Goal Race: Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon, May 31
Tune-Up Race: The North Face Endurance Challenge NY 10K, May 3
Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 1 + 2
Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 3 + 4

WEEK 5

Easy: 3 miles outside

Progression: 5.15 miles on the treadmill

Strength: 1 hour strength-interval session at Westin Wellness Escapes in San Diego. This was the first time I felt the mysterious foot niggle.

Easy: 3.2 miles outside along the water in San Diego with my Shape.com editor, Ashley. Could still run totally fine, but my foot felt funky. But who cares when your run looks like this?

Half Marathon Training Program Weeks 5 + 6

California Dreaming! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Strength: 1 hour strength-interval session at Westin Wellness Escapes in San Diego.

Long: None. After feeling the foot ache two days in a row, I decided to skip the long run in my half marathon training program and take two days off. I was pretty bummed about it because I had two more days in California and had another gorgeous run planned. Read the rest of this entry →

22

Apr 2015

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

How To Watch Boston Marathon 2015 On TV Or Web

How to Watch the Boston Marathon 2015 on TV or Web

2014 Boston Marathon Elite Women (Photo © Kinchan1/Flickr)

Defending champion Meb Keflezighi returns to the Boston Marathon 2015 in Hopkinton, Mass., on Monday, April 20. Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila Linden, Amy Hastings, Dathan Ritzenhein, Nick Arciniaga, and Jeffrey Eggleston will be running too. They’ll face off against a stacked international field that includes past champions Lelisa Desisa, Wesley Korir, Sharon Cherop and Caroline Kilel, and former world record holder Patrick Makau. And don’t forget the field of 30,000 marathoners.

If you want to catch the action from Boston here’s how to tune in.

Boston Marathon 2015 Preview Show

On Sunday, April 19 Universal Sports will air a live preview show from the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street at 4 p.m. ET.

Boston Marathon 2015 National Broadcast

Watch the 119th Boston Marathon live on Universal Sports from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET on Monday, April 20. The pre-race show begins at 8:30 a.m. ET and the post-race show kicks off at 12:30 p.m. ET.

If you miss the race, Universal Sports will air a 2014 Boston Marathon Wrap-Up Show live at 4 p.m ET, followed by encore presentations of the race at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.

If you don’t get Universal Sports, don’t worry. The channel will be available for free during April and the 2015 Boston Marathon on DIRECTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks, Google Fiber, and other regional cable providers. You can find Universal Sports in your channel lineup at UniversalSports.com.

How to Watch the Boston Marathon 2015 on TV or Web

2014 Boston Marathon Elite Men (Photo © Kinchan1/Flickr)

Boston Marathon 2015 Local Broadcast

The Boston Marathon 2015 will broadcast live on CBS Boston’s WBZ-TV from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET. The race will be rerun on myTV38 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Monday, April 20.

Boston Marathon 2015 Online Coverage

The Boston Marathon will stream live online at watchlive.baa.org starting at 9:30 a.m. ET, and at CBSBoston.com.

UniversalSports.com will also stream the Boston Marathon live. Plus, their Finish Line Web Cam will show runners as they complete the 26.2-mile race on Boylston Street. The web cam goes live on UniversalSports.com at 10 a.m. ET on April 20. After April 20, runners will be able to search their finish time to find themselves crossing the line.

Read the rest of this entry →

17

Apr 2015

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

San Diego! (Photo: Starwood Hotels & Resorts)

Greetings, from sunny San Diego! I have escaped New York City for Westin Wellness Escapes, a new series of health and fitness retreats hosted at Westin Hotels & Resorts nationwide and led by experts in running, yoga, nutrition, meditation and more. I’m in Southern California, courtesy of Westin, to check out their very first workout weekend: Women’s Strength Nation LIVE with trainer Holly Perkins.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Women’s Strength Nation (Photo: Women’s Strength Network)

This is just the first in what Westin plans to be a national, and even global series. Next up on the calendar is a Triathlon Recovery Retreat with runWESTIN concierge Chris Heuisler from May 16-17 at The Westin Jekyll Island in Georgia following the Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl Triathlon.

But first up, it’s off to The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, where Westin Move Well advocate Holly Perkins will lead us through a two-day itinerary aimed at honing physical and personal strength.

Westin Wellness Escapes Health and Fitness Retreats

Gaslamp District (Photo: Starwood Hotels & Resorts)

This getaway could not have come at a better time for me. I made strength training one of my New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve only been so-so about upping my time getting strong, as I mentioned in my last two training posts: Half Marathon Training Weeks 1 + 2 and Half Marathon Training Weeks 3 + 4. Read the rest of this entry →

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

RnR San Diego Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 3 + 4

Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 3 + 4

Spring comes to Central Park (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Four weeks down, eight weeks to go on my half marathon training plan for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon. My tune-up race at The North Face Endurance Challenge 10K is less than four weeks away. How’d my last two weeks of training go? Comme ci comme ça.

I’m aiming to run four times a week, following a half marathon training plan from Greg McMillan’s book You (Only Faster). I’m also slowly building my mileage from my winter base of 20 miles per week to 30 miles a week and beyond. Last week I said: “I want to get off the road and onto dirt once a week during my runs. I also want to up my strength training from once to twice a week.” Um, not so much. I had some great workouts, but did zero trail running, minimal strength training, and missed a long run. Thus the comme ci comme ça.

Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 3 + 4

Announcing at the Scotland Run (Photo: Phil Hospod)

But I also announced at the Scotland Run 10K with 8,000 runners, some in kilts, storming Central Park. Announcing is always a highlight of my week. If I can’t run a race, the next best thing is announcing at one!

So here’s the run down on my last two weeks of training.

Goal Half Marathon Time—1:59:59
Current Half Marathon PR—2:00:30
Goal Race: Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon, May 31
Tune-Up Race: The North Face Endurance Challenge NY 10K, May 3
Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 1 + 2

WEEK 3
Half Marathon Training Plan Weeks 3 + 4

The U.N.

Fartlek: 3.65 miles outside. After a warm-up, I ran 1 minute on, 1 minute off fartleks. It was a solid workout and I was pushing really hard by the end. I ran past the United Nations, which is a beautiful complex.

Hills: 4 miles on the treadmill. I ran 10 x 1-minute hill repeats at a 5% incline, roughly the incline I’ll face at Bear Mountain. Got a great sweat going on this one. Big bonus: Positive K’s “I Got A Man” came up in my running mix. I usually run with all my music on one giant shuffle, so I don’t actually repeat songs all that often. Yeah, I was super pumped! Pretty sure I got some stares as I rapped and gestured along. “But how you talking? Pshaw, whatever!”

Easy: 5.4 miles on the treadmill. I’ve been doing all my easy runs as progression runs, but still felt great the whole time on this one. Watching A League of Their Own didn’t hurt either!

Strength: Tacked this onto the easy run above. Did some planks, push-ups, and what not, followed by foam rolling, just so I could watch more of A League of Their Own.

Long: 0 miles! Ahhhhhh! Totally skipped what was supposed to be a 9-miler. Why? No good reason whatsoever. I had a bad bout of cramps, and I just wasn’t in the mood. Told myself I’d do it the next day. But I slept oddly and cranked my neck, so the next day and the day after that were a wash. I didn’t run for 3 days in a row. Instead of trying to make up the long run, I decided to just plow ahead with my half marathon training plan. Read the rest of this entry →

08

Apr 2015

Avengers Half Marathon Registration Opens Tuesday

Avengers Half Marathon Registration Opens

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend (Photo: Scott Brinegar/runDisney)

Registration for the 2015 Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA from November 12-15, 2015 opens Tuesday, April 7 at 12 p.m. Eastern. In its second year, the runDisney Avengers half marathon will debut the new Captain America 10K and Infinity Gauntlet Challenge—running the 10K and half-marathon on consecutive days—along with the Avengers Super Heroes 5K.

The Avengers half marathon and other races run through Disneyland Resort and the streets of Anaheim with Disney’s signature entertainment lining the course—characters from Marvel’s The Avengers, bands, cheerleaders, and more. Runners who register for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge will earn a challenge medal in addition to bling for each race. To qualify, you must register for the challenge—not register for each race individually.

Avengers Half Marathon Registration Opens

The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon start (Photo: Scott Brinegar/runDisney)

The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend also includes runDisney Kids Races in Downtown Disney, runDisney Health & Fitness Expo at Disneyland Hotel, and a pre-race Pasta in the Park Party inside Disneyland Park on Friday, November 13.

How quickly will the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend events sell out? If the most recent Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon is any indicator, faster than a flash of lightning. The wine-themed half marathon at Walt Disney World sold out in about 30 minutes. The 2014 Avengers half marathon and other weekend events filled up in under 2 hours.

Will the 2015 Avengers half marathon match that? Read the rest of this entry →

06

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 →

Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2

Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2

Central Park tempo run. (Photo: Seth Ross)

I’m in the third week of my half marathon training schedule for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon and first week of The North Face Endurance Challenge 10K training. How goes it? So far, so good. I’m aiming to run at least four times a week, following a four to five day per week plan from Greg McMillan’s book You (Only Faster). I’m also slowly building my mileage from my winter base of 20 miles per week to 30 miles a week and beyond. By that measure, the first two weeks were a success.

Goal Half Marathon Time—1:59:59
Current Half Marathon PR—2:00:30
Goal Race: Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon, May 31
Tune-Up Race: The North Face Endurance Challenge NY 10K, May 3

WEEK 1
Half Marathon Training Schedule Weeks 1 + 2

Hills!

Tempo: 6.65 miles in Central Park. This was a glorious run. I did 4 miles at what felt like tempo pace and might have set a new 4-mile personal best. Great way to kick off training!

Easy: 2 miles on city sidewalks. I love running errands as my easy runs. Two birds…

Hills: 3.3 miles with 8 hill repeats on the East River Greenway. This was my first proper hill workout in a looooooong time. But my half marathon training schedule called for hill repeats, so I jogged to a steep hill that’s a tenth of a mile long and just pushed up it as fast as I could. This workout reminded me why I haven’t done hill work in so long. Um, I hate it!

The hill sits in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge with the view pictured above. It reminded me what an incredible city New York is. And I’m really lucky that I get to run it. So I’ve started snapping shots of city landmarks that I spot on my runs and sharing them on Instagram with #RunNYC. Read the rest of this entry →

Training For The North Face Endurance Challenge

Tackling The North Face Endurance Challenge

Runners at Bear Mountain (Photo: The North Face Endurance Challenge)

It’s official. After eight years and 90 races, I’m finally tackling my first trail race: The North Face Endurance Challenge New York at Bear Mountain!

I blame my husband, Phil. He was all, “Can we do a trail race? I really want to do a trail race this year.” And I was all, “Sure, just pick one.” And he was all, “How about The North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain on May 3?” And I was all, “Bear Mountain? But it’s so steep! Ahhhhhhhh! Sure, let’s do it.”

I love Bear Mountain and I love Harriman State Park that surrounds it. It’s a 90 minute drive north of New York City.

Tackling The North Face Endurance Challenge

Photo break in Harriman State Park (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

I love the views from the top of Bear Mountain, and I love taking Cinderella there for hikes.

Tackling The North Face Endurance Challenge

Cinderella hikes Bear Mountain (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Bear Mountain was where I trained to climb Mount Kilimanjaro back in 2008. Phil and I even did our engagement photo shoot in Harriman State Park.

Our engagement photo shoot in Harriman State Park (Photo: Lev Kuperman

Our engagement photo shoot in Harriman State Park (Photo: Lev Kuperman)

But running Bear Mountain? The thought has never occurred to me. It’s really, um, traily and technical.

Here’s the thing: I “hike like a fish,” as Phil likes to joke. He’s not being mean. He’s being completely accurate. I am, truly, a fish out of water. The second you take me off of a road, smooth grass, or groomed trail and onto a trail with any sort of technicality, I lose all sense of balance. I am the opposite of sure-footed. No, it doesn’t stop me from hiking and running in amazing places like Cinque Terre and Machu Picchu. Read the rest of this entry →

23

Mar 2015

Avengers Super Heroes Half Gets New 10K + Challenge

Avengers Super Heroes Half Gets 10K, New Challenge

The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon finish (Photo: Scott Brinegar/Disney)

The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend from November 13-15, 2015 at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA just got mightier. The runDisney race is adding a new Captain America 10K and Infinity Gauntlet Challenge, which includes running the 10K and half-marathon on back-to-back days.

Multi-day challenges have proven especially popular for runDisney, often selling out first among events. The new Infinity Gauntlet joins Dopey and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, Rebel Challenge at Stars Wars Half Marathon Weekend, Glass Slipper Challenge at Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, Pixie Dust Challenge at Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, and Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. The Infinity Gauntlet Challenge will include 19.3-miles of running.

Avengers Super Heroes Half Gets New 10K and Challenge

The half-marathon medal (Photo: Scott Brinegar/Disney)

Like the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, the Captain America 10K will run through through the Disneyland Resort and the streets of Anaheim. Runners who register for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge will earn a challenge medal in addition to bling for each race. You must register for the challenge—not register for each race individually–to qualify.

The second Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend will also include the Avengers Super Heroes 5K, runDisney Kids Races, Health & Fitness Expo, and a pre-race Pasta in the Park Party.

Registration opens April 7, 2015 at 12 p.m. Eastern. For more information visit runDisney.com.

Read the rest of this entry →

20

Mar 2015

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 2015 Charity Bibs

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Charity Bibs

Charity runner at Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon (Photo: runDisney)

The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015 Weekend of races sold out in an unprecedented 30 minutes when registration opened Tuesday, March 17, with both the half-marathon and Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K getting snapped up within a half hour. But you can still run the November 6-7 races at Walt Disney World by registering via the runDisney Charity Groups or Travel Providers Programs.

Registration is still available for the runDisney Kids’ Races and Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste. But don’t dawdle. The Kids Races were 90 percent full and Pre-Race Taste 85 percent full as of press time. Visit rundisney.com for more info or to register.

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015

Cheer! Runners get a complimentary drink at the finish. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com

No doubt the race weekend received a popularity boost as the only fall event at Walt Disney World in 2015. Previous years saw the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in October, another nighttime race that may have split the pool of interest among runDisney fans. But with no Tower of Terror in 2015 and Expedition Everest Challenge making its final bow in May 2015, Wine & Dine becomes the only nighttime race in runDisney’s repertoire and the only fall offering at Walt Disney World.

It doesn’t hurt that the race also has the best post-race festival known to runner kind, in the form of the Finish Line Party at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which keeps Epcot open until 4 a.m.

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon 2015 Charity Groups Program

runDisney Charity Groups offer guaranteed entries, discounted Walt Disney World Resort hotel rates, specially-prices Walt Disney World theme park tickets, and discounts on other race weekend amenities. Check with each group individually for their requirements and benefits. To register, contact each group below. 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 →

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Mar 2015