I recently received a complimentary pair of women’s Mizuno Wave Rider 18′s to review. This was my first ever pair of Mizuno running shoes. I had heard only positive reviews from my BRF, Janice. Janice is an official tester for Mizuno and is constantly showing up to our long runs in yet another pair of Mizuno’s to test (lucky girl).
Style: The color sent was Black/Silver/Florida Key colors. I would have never picked out black shoes for myself, but I was open to trying something new and the color grew on me. I really liked the Florida Key color accents on the soles and laces. Styling was fresh and current – I felt like a hipster.
Cushioning: The shoe is designed for neutral runners and I found there was enough support for me. I didn’t feel the need to add a shoe insert. The Wave Rider 18′s were quite springy and lightweight/airy.
Wear test: I received these shoes to review right between my 2 marathons – Hartford, October 13th and New York City, November 2nd. I decided to break in the Wave Rider 18′s running errands and on my short runs. Then I decided to give them the full test during the Hershey Half Marathon on Sunday, October 19th (my 38th race of 2014).
What I liked:
- The fit – I normally wear a size 9 in a running shoe and the Wave Rider 18′s Women’s size 9 fit perfectly (meaning perfect amount of extra room for my toes while not allowing my heel to move).
- The support was perfect for my run especially the race. The shoe was stable, yet lightweight and durable. The hills of the Hershey Half were rolling, I had tripped and almost fallen on my face, the shoes kept me grounded.
- They are new shoes so I felt the difference in cushioning right away. It will be interesting to see how they wear once more miles are put on them.
What I didn’t like:
- The shoelaces were short. I had to loosen the laces to allow for swelling and I couldn’t double knot my laces. I had to stop and retie during the race which was an annoyance.
- When I got tired my ankle rubbed against the right (and only the right) side of the shoe. Not a fault of the shoe, but my tired gate.
All in all – I liked the Mizuno Wave Rider 18. I thought they were a good solid, sturdy running shoe – perfect for a wide range of neutral runners.
Mizuno’s Wave Rider 18 are available in both Men’s and Women’s sizes in a wide selection of colors. The Weight of the Men’s shoe is 9.2 oz. The Weight of the Women’s shoe is 7.8 oz. The suggested MSRP is $119.99. The Mizuno Wave Rider 18′s are on sale now nationwide and on Mizunorunning.com – Check out the Fuchsia Purple color!
Disclosure: I was given Mizumo’s Wave Rider 18 product to review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.
If your family is actively participating in sports, then you probably do A LOT of laundry. Since my daughter is running cross country and I am running 48 races this year, we are constantly in and out of active gear! And what I know about active gear is – it can stink! And what I also know about sports gear is that if you don’t use a sports wash, the tech gear can retain the stinky smell. I was sent two bottles of WIN Sports Detergent to put to the test!
I like to use sports wash for my sports gear because I spent lots of money on my gear and I want them to last for years. I find washing with WIN on the delicate cycle/cold and then line drying keeps my clothes in tip top, non-stinky shape! WIN removes pesky sweat & odors and helps keep my favorite workout clothes fresh and new.
I really liked the GREEN version of WIN. It is dye-free and fragrance free. My skin can be very sensitive and the GREEN version was very mild. I didn’t even notice a scent when trying this new version.
Both versions of WIN are made in the USA, with a bottle made from 25% post consumer recycled plastics. WIN is septic safe, phosphate free, and can be used in high efficiency washers. WIN does not do any animal testing.
Now here’s an opportunity for you to give WIN a try! Use coupon code WINGIVE1 at WIN’s Amazon page
Giveaway: I’m giving away two bottles of WIN (one regular, one green) to a lucky reader! Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was given WIN product to review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Disneyland Half marathon is hands down my favorite runDisney Half Marathon race (although the Tinker Bell Half Marathon is a very close second). The Disneyland Half Marathon holds a special place in my heart for many reasons, but what made the 2014 running of the Disneyland Half so special was I would be earning my 50th runDisney medal (actually 50, 51 AND 52) at the completion of the half marathon. Not only that, this race would also be my 30th half marathon. Note: Perfectly Goofy Gail earned HER 50th runDisney medal at the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon – coincidence?
For my 4th straight Disneyland Half and 2nd Dumbo Double Dare, I was excited to share the miles with some BRF’s – Sweaty Band Merle and Perfectly Goofy Gail. Gail and I were dressed as Dumbo the flying elephant – complete with his magic feather and the ring master. Merle’s costume was her Sweaty Band ;-) Note: I have a mission to get her into a costume.
The Disneyland Half Marathon begins where both the 5K and 10K started days earlier on Disneyland Way. We headed south past Disney’s Grand California Hotel and Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, turning left on West Katella Avenue and then another left onto South Harbor Boulevard. There we turned into Disney California Adventure for our 3+ magical miles through both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Park.
Our race plan was to “take it easy,” but Gail and I took off like jackrabbits pulling Merle along for the ride. Thank goodness we planned on stopping at all the photo opportunities because we seriously needed a break to catch our breath!
Even though the Disneyland Half Marathon spends the least amount of course time in a Disney park, it is still my favorite race because of what it offers outside the park. Yes, the course outside the park is unspectacular, however, the people of Anaheim and the community/cultural groups who come out and support the race ARE spectacular. As with previous years, there were school bands, school cheerleaders and dance teams, cultural dancers, and my favorite part – the vintage classic cars! The cars are grouped together, not only by type, but by decade. Photo stops included a DeLorean, Herbie the Love Bug and even a hearse.
Although many complain and see miles 4 through 12 as boring, I personally find they ‘fly by’ and remember them fondly. My favorite part of the Disneyland Half Marathon, other than running through Sleeping Beauty Castle, is running through Angels Stadium. The stadium is located at 15K or 9.3 miles – where energy can be lacking. Once you enter the stadium (watch the steep hill) the energy is electrifying. The stadium is filled with both Boy and Girl Scouts cheering you on as your round the bases! New for 2014 – an announcer interviewing runners! Gail & I took the opportunity to take an #Usie with him!
Unfortunately, the fun of the Disneyland Half Marathon only lasts 13.1 miles and IMO is over too quickly. We soon headed towards the Disneyland Resort and on property to finish the race. After we collected our Disneyland Half medal (my 50th runDisney medal) we also collected our blue Coast to Coast medal (our 2nd of the year since we had collected our Pink Coast to Coast at the finish of the Princess Half Marathon Weekend). We then picked up our 5th runDisney medal of the weekend – the Dumbo Double Dare.
I thought the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon/Dumbo Double Dare was on-par with other Disneyland Half Marathons I have run (2011, 2012, 2013). Course entertainment was stellar and there was a good assortment of photo stops:
- Green Army Men
- Mater and Lightning McQueen
- The Three Caballeros
- Lady Tremaine, Drizella, Anastasia and Prince Charming
- Darth Vader
- Jafar and The Evil Queen
- Cruella de Vil and Dr. Facilier
- Big Thunder Ranch assorted animals
The runDisney volunteers were outstanding as usual. The water stations were well stocked with happy and encouraging volunteers. I also think the runDisney post-race recovery box is getting better with each race! The tech race shirts were finally available in ladies sizes this year (YAY!!!!) and the colors and designs were pretty. The medals and their ribbons consistent with the runDisney standards. To me, it was a success and I cannot wait until 2015! For a full video recap please see the link below:
What was your favorite part of the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon? Are you coming back in 2015?
I really think the 10K is the perfect distance of a Disneyland Resort runDisney race. It’s long enough for total immersion in the resort without having to venture too far out into the city streets of Anaheim. This was the 2nd running of the Dumbo Double Dare and the Disneyland 10K. This year I was running the race with Perfectly Goofy Gail, Photo-Bomb Rebecca and Pammy. In 2013, the theme of the race was Alice in Wonderland. Not thinking runDisney would change the theme, we decided to run as playing cards. However, runDisney changed the theme of this year’s race to Stitch, but playing card costumes were made so playing cards we were!
The 2014 course was exactly the same as the 2013 course. However, this year the 5K was held on Friday instead of Saturday prior to the 10K. This made for a much easier and less stressful morning for all – except those needing to take extra vacation time to #RUNALLTHERACES.
The 10K course started on Disneyland Drive, continuing south until turning left on West Convention Way. From there we ran past the Marriott and Hilton until turning left onto South Harbor Boulevard. There we ran into the back stage area of Disney California Adventure. We wound our way through Paradise Pier, Condor Flats, Sunset Boulevard and down the tunnel under the bus parking into the gate of Disneyland Park.
From there we ran up Main Street USA and into Tomorrowland. We ran around It’s a Small World to back stage and into Toontown, Fantasyland, Aventureland and Critter Country until we were once again in Downtown Disney and heading towards the finish.
After completing the race and being interview by runDisney for the video race recap, we added the 10K finisher wristband to our Coast to Coast wristband and grabbed our medal. This Disneyland 10K medal was a beauty. Although, I’m not the biggest Stitch fan, I do think it is one of the prettiest runDisney medals in my collection.
In my opinion, the second running of the Disneyland 10K/Dumbo Double Dare improved in some areas and lacked in others.
IMPROVEMENT: I thought moving the 5K and having only one race (coupled with the Kids Races) was easier on the runDisney staff and the volunteers. This year the water stops were ready and prepared for the racers. The volunteers did not seem like they had survived an ambush like in 2013. Note – this year the weather was on our side. It was not as hot and humid as it had been in 2013.
LACKLUSTER: The course was great, however, I believe there weren’t as many character photo opportunities as in 2013. I love, love, love me some Elvis, but I’m not running a race in DISNEYLAND to take a photo with ELVIS. If I wanted to see Elvis I’d run at GRACELAND or VEGAS. runDisney please listen up – we want DISNEY characters at runDisney events. Please provide us with plentiful photo opportunities with characters that compliment the themeing of the race or the Disney Park which we run the event.
All in all – a fine, well-run event through Disneyland Resort, although a smidge disappointing if you were a veteran of the event. For the complete video recap of our race please see the link below.
What did you think improved or was lacking at the 2014 Disneyland 10K?
There’s something really, really special about the runDisney Disneyland Family 5K’s. In my humble opinion, I believe it is because you run the most park miles of any runDisney 5K in some of, if not, THE best Disney parks in the world. The 2014 Disneyland Family 5K was my 3rd straight time running this race. Running with me was my partner-in-crime, Perfectly Goofy Gail.
We had been working on our costumes for this race weekend for months and decided we were going to go #AllOut since we weren’t “really” going to “run” the 5K because it was a “fun run” and “not timed.” We decided on the theme of our costumes based on the theme of the 2013 race – Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately, the theme was changed to Stitch for 2014, but since we were already committed to our costumes we kept the Alice in Wonderland theme with Perfectly Goofy Gail running as the Cheshire Cat and I as the Caterpillar (complete with hookah).
The Disneyland Family 5K course was not changed from 2013. The race began heading south on Disneyland Drive. From there we turned left into Disney California Adventure running into Cars Land and down Route 66. Then we ran in front of Paradise Bay and The World of Color. We then made our way past Grizzly Peak and Condor Flats turning left onto Carthay Circle and down Buena Vista Street out of the park and into Disneyland Park.
Once in Disneyland Park we made our way down Main Street USA and into the central hub. From there we ran past Matterhorn Bobsleds turning left into Fantasyland and Frontierland. We ran around Rivers of America into Critter Country. Winding our way backstage, we ran until we were out of the park and into Downtown Disney. This was the home stretch as we ran towards the Disneyland Hotel, turned right onto Downtown Drive and through to the finish line!
Here are the 2014 Disneyland 5K photo stops:
- Lightening McQueen
- Mile 1 sign with Hula Girl
- World of Color
- Chip & Dale, Daisy Duck, Clarice
- Mile 2 sign
- Stitch with Hula Girl
The Disneyland Family 5K race was great as always. This is the perfect race to begin your runDisney obsession. You’ll never get bored with the course entertainment. And the race course itself cannot be beat because it stays within the Disneyland Resort! A race belt is not needed because water is plentiful! The water stops were well staffed with happy, cheerful volunteers. And the medallion and personalized bib were delightful! Yes, the Disneyland 5k is expensive for a 5K, but I believe it is totally worth the expense – a great 5k in a location that cannot be beat!!!
Here’s a video recap of the race and be sure to check out Run All The Races. What was your favorite part of the Disneyland 5K?
Hartford Marathon Foundation’s Surftown Half Marathon is quickly becoming one of my favorite races. This was my second time running the course – I had run it last year. In my opinion it’s a race that is 100% worth a drive to experience. Please note a 5K race is also offered after the start of the half.
Surftown Half Marathon takes place along the streets of Misquamicut Beach and Watch Hill, Rhode Island. It offers beach and ocean views and a flat and fast course (except for 1 little hill at mile 10).
Joining me on my run of Surftown Half was my pal, Perfectly Goofy Gail, in town on business from Arizona. We left my house, just outside of Hartford, Connecticut at 4:30am in order to get to packet pick up at 6am. Since it was an hour and a half drive to the race, I wore my PR Soles to drive. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to put my running shoes in the car! It was a good thing I remember while still in town…
Traffic was non-existent and we made great time even stopping for gas. We arrived a little after packet pick up opening. We quickly picked up our number, tech shirt and bag. We got to use the potties and then Gail & I settled in for a 45-minute nap prior to race start.
The races were both sold out. The start-line was full of energy and the music kept us pumped. The wheelchair athletes started racing first and soon we were off! Having both run the day prior – Gail ran a Half Marathon and I ran a training run of 14-miles – our legs were a little tired. We started off running 2-minutes and walking 30-seconds, but somewhere in mile 2 when we were run/walking a 9:27 mile we decided we did not have the energy to keep this pace and switched down to a 1 minute run and 30 second walk. We managed to keep ourselves at a 11:11 pace the entire race.
We finished the race in 2:27. No where near a PR, but not at all bad for racing on tired legs! After our race, we decided to celebrate with a visit to Sloppy Waffle located on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington!
One of my favorite things about the Surftown Half is the surfboard medal. I’m proud to add it to my collection. I’m also a big fan of all the 2014 HMF tech shirts. The techs are available in both men’s and ladies sizes and the designs have been exceptional this year. I would highly recommend this race to those wanting a PR, a racecation or even a really cool medal!
Did you earn a Surftown Half surfboard? Is this race on your #buck-list?
I experienced my first runDisney The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler Weekend last year. I completed both the Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ 10-Miler. I loved both races, not only for their courses and themeing, but for the variety of characters I encountered during each race.
Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run:
If you have ever experienced Mickey’s Not So Scarey Halloween Party, you’ll know the highlight is the parade opening featuring The Headless Horseman. In 2013, we experienced a similar surprise at the start of the Happy Haunted 5K Trail Run. Here are the characters I encountered in 2013.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler:
Character photos during a night race can get a little tricky due to the low lighting. Most of my photos did not come out. So if you are “dying” to grab a photo with your favorite character, I would suggest waiting in line for the professional photographer. Here are some of the characters we encountered in 2013:
- Witch from Snow White
- Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas
- Queen of Hearts
- Dr. Facilier
- Shenzi, Banzai and Ed
- Wreck it Ralph
What character stop is your MUST STOP SNAP for the 2014 race weekend?
Here’s another tip when exploring our National Parks: journal, journal, journal every evening! I took my laptop and tried to write down everything we saw each day, so when I finally wrote my blog entry and began to SCRAPBOOK, I would have all the details of my trip ready. Here are day 7′s highlights.
Lamar Valley: Woke up early and was out the door and on the road by 6:10am! We saw bison, prawn horn deer and the highlight was 2 black wolves we saw in the distance with the help of a scope.
Petrified Tree: Having been to the Petrified Forest it was a disappointment.
Mammoth Hot Springs: We walked the Lower Terraces Area and drove the Upper Terrace Drive. We spotted some Elk in the distance and were excited to cross them off our “must see” animal list….until we drove into town and we saw elk everywhere!!! And I mean everywhere – laying in front of the buildings in the shade resting.
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel: We had to stop in the historic hotel to take a peek at the Map Room and visit with a FaceBook friend who happens to work in the park! We also had some exceptional ice cream.
Blacktail Plateau Drive: Took this 6-mile dirt road in order to see more wildlife. We didn’t see anything except for a squirrel.
Have you traveled to any of these places? What was your favorite part?
Here’s my #1 tip to remember when exploring our National Parks: There is very little cellular service and WiFi in the parks so get over yourselves and DEAL WITH IT! That being said, once I got over the cold turkey shakes, I ENJOYED not being connected. I was not able to stay up-to-date with my posts while we traveled, but I did manage to take over 2,000 photos and journal! Here’s the continuation of our trip across America – highlights of day 5 & 6!
Jewel Cave National Monument: We took the 20-minute, 1-room tour included with our National Parks Annual Passport fee of $80 (per family for 1 year). If you have time, I would suggest taking a longer tour because this 20-minute tour was a disappointment, but good enough for our family since we had already visited Wind Cave.
Devil’s Tower National Monument: One of my favorites because it is just TOO COOL! Having grown up in the 70’s and having seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind Devil’s Tower National Monument is just TOO COOL! I had visited here as a young child and again just TOO COOL!! Did I mention that I think it is still wicked cool and takes my breath away!!! We’ve visited Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland and Devil’s Post Pile National Monument in California and this volcanic columnar basalt takes the cake. Next time I visit, I’m going to climb it. #NewBucketListItem
Little Bighorn National Monument: The site of Custer’s last stand and epic battle. Very moving. Very sad. SIGH. I’m not even going to discuss driving through the Indian Reservation.
KOA Cabins: Spending the night in a KOA in Red Lodge, Montana. Clean cabin with electricity for only $67 per night. Campground had clean shower rooms, pool, laundry, and best of all FREE WiFi.
The Beartooth All-American Road: We took the 68-mile Beartooth Highway from Red Lodge, Montana into Yellowstone via the Northeast entrance. The Beartooth is the highest elevation paved highway in the Northern Rocky Mountains. It starts at 6400 feet in elevation and then the road rises to 10,947 feet in elevation at Beartooth Pass. It ends in 7500 feet elevation in Cooke City, Montana. We stopped at Rock Creek Vista Point for view of Rock Creek Canyon and Hellroaring Plateau, the International Summer ski/Snowboard Camp (at 10,737 feet) complete with groomer and lift, Top of the World Store and Crazy Creek Cascade.
Yellowstone National Park: We entered the park via the Northeast Entrance and had a picnic lunch near Soda Butte Creek.
After lunch we decided to take a small hike up to Trout Lake to see the otters and fish. Note – fishing licenses are required for adults and are $18 for 3 days (longer term licenses are available). The hike to Trout Lake was only ½ mile, but it was steep and gave us a quick workout. Unfortunately, we didn’t see an otters and the fish were not biting, but Jack & the kids enjoyed the experience and I got to enjoy the scenery and read a book.
Lamar Valley: After fishing, we drove along the Lamar River and through the Lamar Valley. We saw hundreds of grazing bison and then more grazing bison. Beautiful and peaceful.
Roosevelt Lodge Cabins: We checked into the Roughrider units – little cabins with plank floors, a braided rug and a cast-iron wood stove! Our unit #88 – sleeps 6 and has 3 double beds. It has a shared bathhouse. $74/night (NOTE: I will update my blog shortly to include more photos of the cabins)
Roosevelt Lodge: We had dinner in the dining room. Ribs, bison burgers and Roosevelt beans!!! YUMMY! Bet my bottom dollar Disney Imagineers used this dining room to inspire Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Have you traveled to any of these places? What was your favorite part?
I’m not sure if there necessarily is an art to running multiple races in a day or weekend, but I do know it takes months of training and planning to make your races a success. Here are my tips for running multiple races in a weekend – assuming you put in the effort into training!
Get Your Game On: Or mentally prepare for your races. What I’ve learned from running multiple races on the same day or consecutive days is you must be mentally prepared for the long haul. The trick is to take each day at a time, with the emphasis on the last and longest race. So remember to pace yourself through the weekend, keeping your eye on finishing the weekend injury-free and smiling. And remember it is not advisable to run all the races for time – choose 1 race as a goal race and the others run for fun!
Layout Your Race Outfits: When packing for the trip, it makes sense to lay out your running clothes/costumes and fuel for each day so nothing is forgotten. I bring a pair of shoes for each race, cut my KT-Tape strips, count my bottles, count my NUUN tablets and ACCEL Gels, and prepare my race belts. I also pack each day together so when I arrive at my hotel everything is race-ready.
My race check-list:
- Hat/Sweaty Band/Bondi Band
- Chapstick – remember to put into race belt
- Deodorant – I use a double mixture for races – Ladies Speedy Stick & Ban (roll-on)
- Sports Bra
- Costume top or tech shirt
- Costume bottom or tech skirt
- Sports watch
- Road ID
- Wrist sweat band or towel
- Bib on Race Belt – gels, bottles of NUUN
- Compress sleeves or socks
Be Prepared for Anything: Anything will and can go wrong, so I like to be prepared and bring the following with me to the race: KT-Tape, BioFreeze, Glide, Advil, Sunblock, Ban Aids, blister powder, foam roller and stick. When running multiple races it is important not to injure yourself prior to finishing – especially when a Challenge medal is involved!!! Remember it’s best to tape, use BioFreeze PRIOR to the onset of pain. I also wear compression socks and always, always, always roll, roll, roll to flush out the toxins after each and every race. Both compression socks/sleeve and rolling help aid recovery. If you can schedule a massage the 2nd to last race that’s key as well!
Rest & Relax: runDisney races are amazing and I love enjoying the Disney Parks post-race. When running runDisney it is important though not to explore the parks at your normal touring speed. Maybe the day of your middle race is a pool day instead of a touring day. I always park tour while on a runDisney weekend, but I take it slow. Slow your speed to a more leisurely pace, enjoy yourself, but please take time to sit, relax and recover. Also, remember to turn in early for the night earlier than normal – you have a race to run tomorrow!
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Hydrate prior to the races. Hydrate post each race. If you are going to partake in an adult beverage, remember to replenish your fluids. When traveling to the race, bring water with you in the car, on the plane, or train. Carry water on your person at bib pick-up, through the expo and ESPECIALLY while park touring! Drink early and often!!!
Plan Your Fuel Wisely: The rule is nothing new on race day. That being said, remember to pack your breakfast or make sure it’s available at your hotel. If you are racing multiple days, pack for each day and don’t be shy about packing extras. Remember you are running multiple races on multiple days so it is vital to fuel and fuel properly. There’s nothing easy about running multiple days – sleep, fuel and hydration are the cornerstones to a successful race weekend. Remember to take special care when selecting your dining reservations. There’s nothing fun about the runner’s trots. Nothing.
What’s your favorite tip for running multiple races?