The Answer is Yes!

When I first started running, I was fit into a traditional pair of Saucony running shoes. They had a high arch to offset my over pronating feet. They were good shoes, but as I improved, lost weight, read and learned about running, I started transitioning into a mid-forefoot strike. These first shoes helped me learn to run, helped me train for my first half marathon, and helped me push a double stroller all over Honolulu, but eventually the time came to bid them adieu.

There were a few other shoes in the mix – my Vibram’s for example – which I still love for lifting and strength training, but in our wet Washington weather, they just aren’t my favorite choice outside of the summer months.

Then I discovered the Brooks’ Pure Project. Neon pink PureCadence felt like they were MADE for my feet.

20131228-154935.jpg

Putting these on, they were seriously like buttah. I loved them so much that when they wore out, I bought a second pair. Why I didn’t purchase 5 more I don’t know, but sadly I didn’t and they were discontinued. Brooks released the PureCadence 2, but they were awful. They hurt my feet and felt nothing like their predecessor. (The only redeeming quality was the fact that they were purple!)

Then I got some cheap Reebok RealFlex shoes which felt cushy and nice, but wore out quickly and had this kind of sole:

20131228-155825.jpg

Cute when they’re new, pain in the butt when they have every rock, pine cone or hunk of bark lodged in them!

The last few days I’ve been sorting out my race/training plans knowing it’s way past time to get some new kicks. Trying on nearly every pair in Sports Authority, doing research online, I finally found a pair that were a close fit to those original pink PureCadence, but they were a trail shoe so they had a quarter of the support of a good road shoe.

My sweet hubby took the minions to visit the toys in Target while I flitted from store to store in a mall 2 hours away from home, all to support my running habit. (Have I mentioned I love this man!?) After 4 stores, my last hope was a Lady Foot Locker (or I’d have to order online and ship back what didn’t work.) I’m a tactile shopper so I like to roll around in my goods and feel them before I buy – unless I know the product, online shopping usually doesn’t cut it for me.

There were a couple of girls chatting when I went in, but they were friendly and one came right over to see if I needed any help. I told her what I was looking for, what size (11!) and her eyes lit up. I might have been heard praying to the shoe gods to “please have something in my size that wasn’t hideous”.

She asked me if I minded crazy colors, to which I affirmed I love. She then walked over with these Mizunos:

20131228-161901.jpg

They have a forward roll that encourages that forefoot strike. They feel amazing, roomy toe box (imperative for keeping those toenails!) and are a fun design with great color.

My shoe fairy lady then said she had one other shoe in mind and skittered away to bring me another treasure. While waiting, I noticed the price tag on the first pair. Ouch.

The next pair she brought me were these:

20131228-162342.jpg

Saucony’s version of a minimalist shoe with a tiny heel to toe drop! Also cute, but more importantly – uber comfy and great fit! Again I look at the price tag. Ouch again.

I look at her and she is almost giddy as she informs me that she had grabbed both pair from the sale area! I’m thinking perhaps a few bucks off, but nothing earth-shattering. Yeah, they were 80% off!

Can a person be in love with a pair of shoes? The answer in my world is a resounding YES!

What shoes are you in love with? Ever been heartbroken by a favorite that was discontinued?

The Run That Wasn’t

I really REALLY do not like the treadmill. I often refer to it as the dreadmill. It’s great for speed training and blah, blah, rains a lot, blah, blah, blah. I don’t care. I like to feel the road (or dirt, or gravel, or grass) beneath my feet. Perhaps it’s because I fell in love with running while living in a place where I could run outside all the time.
So I splurged (what’s new?!) on a BOB stroller. Those of you that have one KNOW how AWESOME these things are! WOW. The only thing I don’t like about it is that I didn’t get one sooner! UGH! Where have you been all my life!? Ha!
I have been round and round trying to find the “just right” mobile of some kind to incorporate the kiddos into workouts. I have the bike trailer, but of course Jake is now at the point where he likes to ride his own bike. Hannah still likes to ride though so often Jake and I ride and Hannah gets the trailer to herself – win – win- win!
But, as much fun as the bike is, my first love is running. So we have been out in the new “ride” a couple of times and we decided to take it out to the trails near our house.
Also – I got these in the mail today so I was dying to get out and RUN!

 

So – off we went. And then Hannah wanted to ride her tricycle since Jake was riding his bike. I should mention that Hannah can’t even really pedal it yet. She likes to use her feet on the ground!
So round and round we go trying to get her out of the puddles (she enjoys riding right through them!) Jake meanwhile, is tearing it up down a little hill!
I really wanted to get running. I didn’t want to fiddle around up and down a hill. I wanted to plug my headphones in and ignore the fact that I was running with two kiddos. I love them, but sometimes I really miss my alone workout time.
So we played. And fiddled. And went up and down this hill about a bazillion times!
Oh! And then a bee landed on my shoe.
I DETEST bugs. And the ones that can bite/sting/maim I’m especially not a fan of.
So a flick off my new shoe, nearly missing the giant mud puddle.
So as I’m hopping around on one foot (looking like the stellar athlete that I am!) of course there has to be other people that come down the path to look at me like I’ve lost my marbles. I’m able to remove the bee and replace my shoe and pretend I don’t hear them whispering about me as they walk by.
Whatever. They just wish they could be cool like me.
So that was my non-run run.
Thank goodness a day only has 24 hours in it before we get a do-over!
Cheers for tomorrow!

One year ago

It seems only fitting that I run a race on the anniversary of my very first. One year ago today my intentional fitness journey began. I had always wanted to do a 5k “someday”.

Then I met Katy.

Katy “talked me into” doing the Ford Island Bridge Run 10k. Well, why not? And she even walked it with me when I killed my knees training! I have no idea what our pace was – probably somewhere around a 17-20 minute mile. Flash forward one year and I have set a new personal record! I ran the Tulip Run (5 miles) at a 9:25 pace!

I had a couple of epiphanies during this race (I do my best thinking while running!) I had thoughts this morning about every other runner being super fast and athletic, and having the old doubt and fear that “What if I can’t do this? What if I am dead last?”

I know, I know! It’s ridiculous! I still sometimes don’t feel like a “real” runner – whatever the heck that means! Basically (probably like most people) I feel like I’m a hack, a wannabe – fill in the blank with your own word. And what if for some reason I am only “athletic” in Hawaii? (again – I know it’s not rational, but these are the kinds of thoughts I have!) But as I looked around, feeling nervous and excited for my first race since moving, I noticed something. At every single event I have done, there is a WIDE range of fitness levels. This run was no different. That felt good. I am now “home”.

This epiphany then led to my next observation. There is the thought that a person who has a lot of money typically isn’t showy about it. And they really don’t care what the neighbors think. And the person who “thinks” they are rich (when they are in fact not) is typically very show-offy (yes it’s a word!) and cares very much about how they are perceived by others. The same seems to be true about runners. (and probably every other sport)! I came up on a fellow runner that seemed to have put into use EVERY running product available! Handheld water bottle, Garmin, sweatband, compression bands, compression socks, knee braces, reflective vest, waist belt for ipod….and on and on. Then I looked up and saw the runners in the lead positions rounding to the last mile.

Shirt. Shorts. Socks. Shoes.

That’s it. I found that rather funny!

When I relayed this to my husband he laughed too and then asked me where I fall on this continuum of beginner to expert/all geared up to running ‘naked’. I had to pause and think a minute. I do like my app on my iphone that tracks my pace/distance etc. And being an iphone it also has my music. (I’m two for one there!) Other than that – I didn’t have anything else. So perhaps I am becoming a “real” runner after all!

….Although – I do have a love/obsession with Lululemon. I have to admit I do have a ridiculous amount of their products.

Oh, well.  🙂

Happy Running!

The First Run….After

I went for my first run today since the marathon and I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous. During the marathon I had such crazy pains in my ankles, calves and knees that I think I was a little fearful that it would take so long to recover that I’d basically have to start from scratch again.

Well, I did just over three miles and it felt AMAZING! My body was seriously craving some endorphins! I felt so good and it was just a nice easy jog with the double stroller and it was over before I knew it…three miles flies right by when the last three long runs were 13.1 and 26.2!

With the holidays (and indulgent food) upon us, and three weeks without bootcamp to help me stay focused, I feel like it’s a real test for when we move back to Washington state and my hubbs is deployed. I still have to get out there and get moving – with the kiddos. No excuses. I will not go back to complacency. It feels to good right now and I just don’t want to lose this! If all else fails – I’ll do my silly Jillian Michaels’ videos 🙂

As I was bundling up my sick kiddos (one cold, one ear infection) into the double stroller, I realized that my son must have had a growth spurt because he doesn’t fit anymore! The straps couldn’t buckle him in and I had them slid to the longest length they would go! I had a moment of awe when I realized that I probably won’t be using that jogger anymore and I will have to find other ways to stay fit with the kids.
Is it weird that I was actually a bit sad? To be attached to a stroller?! That stroller has given me so much. The ability to spend time with my kids while I work out had made me a stronger runner. When I run without it, I almost feel naked. There is no doubt that without that stroller I would not be as physically fit as I am right now.

I have been doing some research and have found that Burley makes a great bike trailer that will convert to a double jogger -and t’s much bigger for my man-child! In the meantime, I will push the single and have Jake ride his bike while I run. Exercise for him, exercise for me – its a win-win! I think I’ll give that a try as soon as he is well.