Thursday, February 5, 2015

runDisney / New Balance Shoes - product tested by my 10 year old boy

One year ago last month (January of 2013) I was at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend at Disneyland.  You can read about that weekend HERE and HERE if you like.  A couple of years ago runDisney entered into a partnership with New Balance shoes.  New Balance actually designed and released 2 versions (men's and women's) of "Disney running shoes" in 2013.  I hemmed and hawed about purchasing a pair of these prior to going to TINK and then I wasn't able to even have an opportunity to purchase because when I attended the Tink weekend in 2013 New Balance had only brought a VERY LIMITED amount of shoes to the TINK EXPO so by the time I got to the EXPO they were LONG gone.  So sad!  Here is a photo I snagged online of the first edition of the shoes.  I still dream about owning a pair of these... I just saw a pair (slightly worn and IN MY SIZE) appear on EBAY last week.  I bid on them but was sad when the price exceeded what I was willing to spend on a pair of used shoes.  They actually ended up selling for OVER what they were new!  Can you believe that?  Pssst... New Balance... bring back the originals!

Photo courtesy of runDisney/New Balance

Anyway - fast forward to January of 2014... New Balance had promised a new batch of shoes to be released that month.  They didn't disappoint... New Balance actually came out with 4 new styles (6 if you want to count the kid shoes as separate designs)!  

Photo courtesy of runDisney/New Balance

I was still in love with the original women's design from 2013 but I figured if I liked the shoes I would possibly buy some if I had the chance when I headed down to the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in mid January 2014.   runDisney and new Balance did a much better job this second time around with being prepared for the demand.  They had a queue system in place for purchasing the shoes also.  Basically it worked like this... you got in a line to be able to input your texting information into a kiosk... then you were free to leave and then you would receive a text later for when you should return for your slotted "purchase time".  It worked pretty slick.  No problems for anyone in out party.  We came back when we got our texts and waited may 10 minutes before someone was helping us.  I tried on the Pink Minnie shoes and couldn't help my self... I had to have them.  Then I started thinking about my kiddos.  These shoes were well made and MORE then I would normally spend on any pair of kids shoes.  BUT... I had planned on bringing each of my kids something home and what could be better then a cool pair of Disney shoes.  Basically my souvenir money was burning a hole in my pocket.  So I went home with these... for my two older kids...

and these... for me.

I didn't buy them for running but really just bought them for fun.  So my real point of this post is to review how they have held up... I can't really give a good review of the Pink Minnies... I haven't worn them a ton.  They are very comfortable - I will give them that!  I had some issues with the insert slipping around when I first wore them but then my husband suggested using some shoe glue on the actual insert and that solved the problem.   My daughter hasn't worn hers very much either... she loves them... but doesn't want to get them dirty or "ruin" them.  We have worn them to match at a few 5Ks...

Safeco Field - Refuse to Abuse 5K - Summer 2014

So mine and my daughter's shoes still look awesome and are in practically brand new condition (I bought my daughter's a little big to last as long as possible).  My son - on the other hand is SUPER HARD on his shoes... he has worn the heck out his Sorcerer Mickey shoes.  I have to say though that considering how hard he is on shoes... these shoes have held up so well!  Don't get me wrong... they are well worn and have smelled better... (gross I know)... but he is still wearing them most days... there are no holes... the soles haven't cracked... and Mickey is still smiling!  These were pricey shoes but worth it in my book!  Here are a few photos of the Sorcerer Mickey shoes... one year later after a 10 year old boy has had his way with them... I will say that I have thrown them into the washer a few times in the past year but never dried them in the dryer.  Let me also add that this is a lot more money then I would normally spend on my kids' shoes... it was a total splurge! 

Recently runDisney released the 2015 versions of the runDisney running shoes and "re" released the 2014 versions for more sales because they were so popular... I am glad for those people who didn't have the chance to buy the ones they wanted in 2014... or for those that are just finding runDisney and deciding they can't live without the shoes either.  The new 2015 versions were met with some disappointment ... there are elements that I do like about the 2 new versions of the shoes but not enough to purchase them.

Photo courtesy of runDisney/New Balance

My only complaint?  BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL Minnie Mouse shoes... please???  I must have them!

Photo courtesy of runDisney/New Balance

Do you own a pair of the runDisney shoes?  Which ones?

What Disney characters are you hoping that New Balance will use next in their designs?  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Race Recap... The Rain Run Half Marathon

Wait what?  Half Marathon #14... that is so crazy. 

Let me start out by saying that last January when I returned from my trip to California for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon I happened to notice the following weekend... some of my Northwest runDisney friends posting pictures of themselves at another local Half Marathon that had the cutest medal (other then runDisney medals of course)! I decided right then and there that I had to do this race in 2015.  

Image not my own... 

So when the 2015 registration opened for this event... I threw my name in.  I wondered how it would be to run another Half Marathon the next weekend after Tinker Bell in 2015... but then later in 2014 it was announced that my Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend was being moved to May of 2015.  runDisney had moved the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend to Mother's Day weekend 2015 to make an addition to their race schedule... the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend was announced - but that is another story.  So my little worries about back to back weekends of Half Marathons disappeared quickly.

The Rain Run (so perfectly named for the Pacific Northwest) is a relatively small half marathon located in Redmond, WA.  This is about an hour of driving from my home... one way.  About as far as I like to go for a local race.  The race was set to begin at Marymoor Park near Lake Sammamish.  I had completed another Half Marathon (Lake Sammamish Half Marathon) that had this same start location but had a completely different route.  I was looking forward to a new route and the opportunity to explore a different place all within the confines of an organized race.  The runner capacity on this race according to their website was 700 runners and this race was sold out.  At the start... it didn't seem to be that many people but I am never very skilled at counting groups of people when looking at a crowd.  When I looked at the online posted results only 566 finishers are listed... still didn't seem like that many people out there that day.  This made me a little sad too because I know some gals that had wanted to sign up after the race was full online... too bad for the no shows.

Other than the long drive south that morning of January 24th... all went well.  I pulled off about a mile before I arrived at a Starbucks to use their nice restroom and then drove the rest of the way to Marymoor Park.  Signage was easy to find and I never had any questions about where to park.  My friend (Diana) had picked up my bib for me the day before and she was already messaging me on my arrival that she was there and waiting for me.  Parking was a breeze... in fact I was was literally about 50 paces to the start line from where I parked.  I do not like to be rushed on race days so I had arrived with plenty of time to spare.  There was about an hour before the actual start.  So I sat in my warm van waiting, used the porta potty (which there were plenty of), and scrolled Facebook for a bit before the start.  

The actual start of the race was quite informal... no corrals... no real announcements other then to look forward to the cupcakes at the finish.  This course was an out and back (not my favorite type of course) all on Park and County paved trails... no streets to deal with although the trail was not closed so we would be dealing with other bikers, runners, and walkers just using the trail that day...

The course was mostly flat and the weather that day was really nice for running.  Overcast and cool... there was a slight breeze now and then that actually felt quite good.  It sprinkled just a little bit a couple of times while I was out there but nothing to get you really wet or anything... enough to be able to call it the The Rain Run I guess.  Like I mentioned before an out and back course is not my mental favorite but it was nice not being out on streets and having to worry about traffic or other things.  

The clock time is different then the chip time... I started near the back of the pack.
Another FREE race photo!

I finished in 2 hours and 40 minutes... not my best and not my worst so I will take it.  My running app freaked out a little on the course so my mileage in my head was messed up but I am not going to blame my time on that.  I was hoping for a little faster time but who cares... I received the same medal regardless and always the sense of accomplishment!  I hadn't run a race since October... so it was good to get back out there and challenge myself.

One of my free race photos!

Another really great and fun perk of doing this race was FREE race photos!  I love that!  We also received a really fun umbrella instead of a T shirt... My race shirts are in abundance and who can't use a spare umbrella living where we do?

My cute model is my youngest... LUKE!

I would definitely do this one again.  The medal is right up there with my favorites and the after race treats... WOW!  

Next RACE... Hot Chocolate 15K in Seattle - March 1st! 

What are the best treats you have seen at a finish line? 

If you could have any treat at the end of race waiting for you ... what would it be? (my answer would be donuts)
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