Zante 3 – Arctic Fox!

Look at what I got on Sunday!

After months of shopping around for the “right price” I finally found a price that I could at least stomach. They arrived Sunday afternoon and I had been waiting all weekend to take them for a spin.

A few things that are different about my new pair of Zantes(v3):

  • The bottoms of the shoe have a distinctly different look and feel to the hand. It’s more plastic-y rubber than soft rubber.
  • The upper feels a little different too….like it might breathe better, but also that it might breathe worse. I haven’t decided yet.
  • The shoe itself seems longer. My last two pair are both 9.5 and so is this one, but yet it felt a little long in the toe.

How do they ride? Well, I can’t tell if it’s a post-race high, but I was able to put 37 minutes on them before I had to walk (bathroom issues) and after 5.12 miles averaging under 9:30/mi (even with walking) there was no pain in my ankle, shin, knee, hip, or anywhere at all.

Verdict: While they are a little different (and I’m not sure yet what my right foot arch has to say about them), I am excited to see how far I can go in this pair!

Any new gear for you lately?

Have you tried the Zantes?

What’s your go to shoe?

New Shoes!

Happy Friday to All!

Yesterday I read this post about changing your shoes

When Should You Replace Your Fitness Shoes

and the timing couldn’t have been better because guess what arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon?

My 1st Birthday Present!

Hard to see, but my kids drew hearts all over the box for me before I opened it.

It was my new running shoes that I had ordered over the weekend at a sweet price from Running Warehouse. (not a sponsored post) I used to order shoes from them all the time because they have great prices and selection. I’m the kind of person who likes to stick with the same shoe for awhile……although you wouldn’t know it since this is my fourth pair of runners since starting the blog.

Good-Bye Old Friends

2015 Road Shoe of the Year

But I went back to being a creature of habit this time around…..

Same shoe….different color

As you can see here….my old Fresh Foam Zante 1980 (year I was born….coincidence? I think not!) 20160909_132322had some serious wear to them. While my MapMyRun Gear Tracker says I still have 107 miles left on them, they’re only accounting for my logged miles and not the ones I walked around everywhere else.

So, this month I will be slowly transitioning out of the blue pair and into the purple pair. I ran this morning in the old shoes and will wear the new ones around the house for the next week before they get debuted. They also won’t be the ones I do the 5k in later this month. I mean, my birthday isn’t until the end of September so I’m not really even supposed to have them yet…..right?


Where do you buy your shoes?

How often do you change them out?

How do you go about transitioning to a new pair?

easy inversionDay 9 Yoga – After sun salutations all morning I am spending 5 minutes in Easy Inversion aka Legs Up the Wall pose for some much needed relaxation.

Crushing It!

I love that my Fitness Flashbacks from MapMyRun always tell me that I “crushed” something. Like I’m some kind of fitness giant who pounded the road into submission and tiny little pebbles remained behind my massive footprints. HAHAHAHAHA!

Maybe it’s not normal blog etiquette to write out your laughs like a maniacal scientist who just flipped the switch on your latest creation, but I’m having a good day….so, RULES BE DAMNED! Why such a good day? Well, because I actually got out of bed and ran….again! Continue reading “Crushing It!”

TOLT #39 – Throwback Thursday: Always a Runner and Fashions of the Eighties

If you haven’t been there yet, please click over and take my Runners’ Survey. But for today I want to do a quick Throwback Thursday and link up with Amanda for another TOLT!

80s runnerThis is me at the end of a 1 mile fun run in the 80’s. Dig the outfit? I did. I just had to have it and it’s one of the few times I can remember my mom actually indulging in buying me something new for the sole purpose of a single event. Now, I totally went on to wear that same outfit all summer long, but I had to have it just for that day’s race. It got me thinking more about my gear and how I really love certain things like Agnes and my New Balance socks for run days. And thinking about this got me more excited for my run tomorrow morning. It’s almost Easter and I may or may not get a new outfit for this weekend, but I’m still stoked about my current gear!

What is your favorite run finish photo?

Did you ever have to have an outfit?

What was the worst fashion choice in your past?

What’s your favorite gear now?

Running Around the Web

I meant for this post to appear on Thursday as part of Amanda’s TOLT, but just didn’t get it together in time, so here it is for a Sunday….

Things Running Around the Webnew shoes 1

  1. Thinking about balance and running as one: Stronger in the Long Run: Muscle Imbalance and Memory I am planning a post on yoga for runners very soon.
  2. Shoes that keep my mileage for me? THIS SHOE SYNCS WITH
    UA MAPMYRUN I am still making strides in my New Balance, but they’re getting close to the end of their life.
  3. And speaking of MapMyRun…..Check out my runs this week here. I am finally back on track!
  4. Did you know that signing up for MapMyRun has benefits with Under Armour (it’s parent company)? I am not sponsored by either, but recently I received $40 off of a $100 or more order just by being a member. I don’t plan to use mine, but the first follower to email me can have my code. It’s only good until March 4th, sign up today at and receive these special offers in your inbox!
  5. Music for your run: 24 great running songs that don’t show up on lists of great running songs
  6. Running and sport of any kind for all women: Help me raise money to support female athletes in Afghanistan
  7. More gear…sort of: Say “No” to Leakage! Period Panties for Athletes
  8. And to make it an even number….re-read my post on progressive overload in running from last Monday: 110%

What’s your best link on running to share this week?

Any running milestones to celebrate?


2015 Road Shoe of the Year

new shoes 1I finally did it folks; I picked a winner! According to this review I picked the 2015 Road Shoe of the Year as my free pair from New Balance Wilmington. My review on these shoes is long overdue and I preface this with the fact that these shoes were my payment for coaching the inMotion walking group along with the following other items: two kids’ pair of shoes (one for each child), a pair of men’s running shoes (for my husband), three pair of NB short socks in very bright colors, and a NB headband featured in my race recap photos.

However, all of the opinions about these shoes are my own and are not an endorsement for which I received any additional swag or commission.

Back in late August I went in to the New Balance store to get my new shoes for leading the inMotion walking group. If you recall, it had been a year since my last new pair of running shoes and I was in desperate need of some new ones! My last pair were a minimalist style of shoe and provided almost no cushion as I ran. I am not much of a pronator, but one foot has a slight tendency to roll inward as I lose form during normal fatigue. This has caused me some pain on the left anterior medial aspect of the knee. I was trying to avoid a stability shoe this time around for two reasons. First, I’ve found them to be too bulky for my tastes. Second, they unnecessarily push my right foot out as I run and that aggravates my hip dysplasia on that side. My new shoes had to be the best of all worlds.

new shoes 2I was recommended the Fresh Foam Zante and became sooo excited that it was offered in such a wide variety of colors. I ended up with the navy just because that particular pair had the best feel to my foot. There were a few pairs I tried on of the Zante that felt like I had a rock stuck under the lateral ball of my foot, but the navy pair suited me most. I have been running and walking in these shoes for about 2.5 months now with my first run taking place on September 3rd. (See all of my runs here.) In that time I’ve only logged 53 miles on the shoes from dedicated walking and running sessions, but I’ve also been wearing them on the regular.

I started wearing the shoes on a daily basis because I’ve found that the secure fit through the midsection of the shoe makes my extremely high arches feel stable throughout the day. It keeps my hip from acting up on days that I’ve overstretched in deep yoga sessions and provides the cushion necessary for both my hip and knee while running errands around town with the kids. Plus, they’re just so LIGHT! I feel like I’m not wearing them most of the time.

So, are there any negatives? Yes….for walking this shoe was not designed to take the beating that a walking shoe is meant to handle. The walks with the inMotion group would get tiring on my body if they were closer to the 3 mile range and  I was pushing their time. The mechanics of running and walking are so different that it really does make a difference in your shoe choice. At the end of the day my foot feels like it has been squeezed and I have to start to loosen the laces. The fit is great while I run, in that I never feel the need to double tie to prevent slippage, but over the course of many hours that starts to pinch the top of the foot and needs to be relieved. And finally, the navy color is great because it goes with almost anything I wear, but it can feel a little warm on a hot day running.

I have already recommended this shoe to three people. One was a total stranger I saw trying on the shoe in the New Balance store. I told her about my experience with a minimalist shoe before and how much I adored the light weight feel of these shoes as I run. They do not seem to inhibit my natural running pattern, but provide just the right amount of cushion to comfort my aging body. I recommend them to you as well if you are a moderate runner who has the need for some cushion in your shoe, but doesn’t need a lot of correction. I haven’t yet named this part of my gear, but they are truly my new besties when it comes to training. My MapMyRun Gear Tracker says I still have 347 miles of life in these shoes, so I look forward to lacing them up in the morning and hitting the streets while the big guy is off at preschool. Check in tomorrow as I’ll let you know all about my experiences in Anderson, SC last week via a TOLT post.

What’s on your feet these days?

What special needs do your shoes require?

Race Report – Battleship 5K

I’m really behind in writing here and I’m sure it’s going to get worse as travel time to Iowa closes in. Who knows….maybe it means more time to write? But, mostly lately I’ve been reading. Reading lots of books by comedians and comedic actors. I promise to write more about that later, but for now, let’s step back in time to last Sunday, November 8th. I got up really early that morning in the cool, damp, darkness and drove downtown for the culmination of the New Balance inMotion walking group’s season.

See my fancy New Balance headband? Works amazingly well for running and teaching yoga!
See my fancy New Balance headband? Works amazingly well for running and teaching yoga!

Sunday morning was the Battleship Half-Marathon and 5k and for the last 8 weeks the ladies I worked with had been building up to this event. The goal? Finish in under 1 hour. This post can be considered somewhat sponsored by New Balance, but mostly by New Balance Wilmington as they hired me to train these ladies and paid me in shoes for my whole family and a few other items. I just want to preface that because the there are a lot of bloggers out there who wait until the end of the post to tell you these kinds of things and it really irks me.

First, a little backstory on our journey. In the beginning of September we started our adventure and you can check out our walks on Mondays and Thursdays through September, October, and the beginning of November on my MapMyRun page here. The first day out was a pacing walk of 1 mile (approximately). During the course of our time we increased our distance and pace with the goal to complete the 5k in under 1 hour. The three ladies in my group (Judi, Liz, and Mary) had all previously participated in 5k events and all walked semi regularly. However, they all had different things that had kept them from performing at their best.

We spent weeks working on pacing drills, warm-up drills, strengthening drills, learning about injury prevention and recovery, and sports nutrition. The people at New Balance Wilmington (Barry and Mary) were instrumental in fitting the participants in new shoes, providing them with socks, and supporting their journey (including giving us entry to the event for free). This was a free program they were providing to improve traffic to the store in the evening hours. I also want to send out a special thanks to Dr. King at King Chiropractic and again to Kim at Fuel Factor for their help.

During our training we hit a few speed bumps including the weather raining us out on more than one occasion, with myself and the kids getting stomach flu, and the time change dousing us in darkness during our regularly scheduled walk time. However, these three ladies kept their spirits up and determination to compete strong. Come race weekend we were down one (Judi) due to a sinus infection. I could hear the disappointment in her voice when she told me that she wouldn’t be there that morning. I really hope I get the chance to walk with her again in a different event.

Riding the water taxi to the Battleship North Carolina.
Riding the water taxi to the Battleship North Carolina.

I arrived on site early, pumped, and in my New Balance gear. I still owe you a review of my amazing new running shoes and I’ve prepared a post about that for early this next week. Come back then! I had the pleasure of riding a water taxi over to the event and waited for my other two ladies to arrive. We were all early and met up with our New Balance Wilmington crew and tried to stay warm before the race started. We talked some race strategy and I geared up with New Balance promo items and coupons to hand out during the race (I wish I’d taken a picture of some of the cute things I was handing out, but you can see me carrying them in my race photos here).

Liz, Mary, and I before we started. We forgot to take an "after" photo and apparently I can't not look oddly at the camera when taking selfies.
Liz, Mary, and I before we started. We forgot to take an “after” photo and apparently I can’t not look oddly at the camera when taking selfies.

The half-marathoners started at 8am and the 5k participants at about 8:12am. We were off and working at a good pace toward the back of the pack. The wind was very chilly and I was glad I’d worn many layers that morning. The course went out and took a quick left along the waterfront and under a bridge was the first turn around. We came back out the first road and went left again. We started talking about visualizing people ahead of us to try and “catch”, but Liz was losing speed. Mary and I stayed with her until we got to the main road and headed right and up to the concrete bridge.

It was at that point that we decided it was time for me to take Liz back. She is a diabetic and her blood sugar was on a fast decline despite measures to keep it up. She and I turned back and told Mary to push on. I got Liz back to the finish and to the EMS truck and headed back out to find Mary. So many people were finishing at that point that I had the opportunity to hand out my SWAG at this point. I powered through to find Mary and met up with her before I got over the bridge. I turned toward the finish again and brought her in….in 54:20!

Liz was doing much better by the time we caught back up with her, although disappointed to be a DNF. I was just happy that she made the smart choice to turn back instead of pushing and possibly collapsing on the course. That’s never a good idea….trust me….I know…I’ve been there more than once! We stuck around for the awards; Mary came in 4th in her age group and had really wished she had caught the 3rd place woman who we had seen not too far in front of us (you just can’t ever tell who you’re competing against at that time in the race). I placed 6th in my age group. And then, just like that, our time together was over and we all headed home.

I do hope that I will get to work with these three ladies again in the future and also with the New Balance Wilmington team, but it will be at least January before I take on another training task. Being at the 5k (my first “event” since August 2009) was mixed feelings. I was excited for the ladies I was there with and joyous to see Mary reach the goal we’d set. It was disheartening to see Liz DNF and Judi be too ill to come out. And it was bittersweet to cross the finish line and not be competing for myself. It did, however, renew my desire to get back into competing and doing races for myself instead of just always being the coach, the trainer, the timer, the instructor pushing others forward to their goals.

Overall thoughts: It’s always a great day when you can get out, finish a race, and eat pizza and bananas for breakfast!

Have you ever done a race for someone else?

What’s your next event?

Do you drink the beer after races?

Strangest breakfast you’ve ever had?

TOLT#26 – Renewal

It doesn’t seem like November should be a time for renewal, but for me something happened this week that made it like New Year’s for my yoga and I. It was so simple, so trivial, so small… was just doing it! Crazy huh?

Well, I wrote last week that I have been out of the game a bit lately. In truth I haven’t done much of anything other than eat, sleep, and run myself ragged. It’s my own fault and I’ve owned up to this before. However, there came a moment where I knew it was over. It was 5:45am on Tuesday morning and my alarm went off. I seriously considered just laying there and pretending that I forgot to live my life that day, but the push (literally) came from my husband who is the world’s lightest sleeper. I rolled out of bed and I was off.

I wish I looked this serene when my alarm went off….or that I could sleep to 7!

The night before I was supposed to have the walking group at New Balance, but, despite the amazing speaker I had lined up (thanks Kim from Fuel Factor!), only one participant showed and we didn’t even walk. So, it added one more day to my inactivity run that I had going. Then came Tuesday morning.

I got ready and out the door with a little more hesitation. When I arrived at the Boxing Center to teach, I was nervous. It had been pretty much two weeks since I had been there and I knew I wanted to take it easy on myself, but it’s always someone else’s practice when you teach. Luckily for me, they had no requests…so deep restorative stretching it was!

This is how I felt going into classes that day.

The same ensued in my two classes on campus, but something more happened there.

We talked about chakras, and specifically the third chakra. It’s what they’re studying in the second half of the semester. The third chakra is your power chakra, where you make your decisions about what you stand for in life, your ethics. We talked about how an underuse of this power can reflect as someone who always plays the martyr or doormat. We discussed how an overuse of this power is the person who is always argumentative, confrontational, and on the defense. We specifically identified at least one of these people in the media right now. But the discussions my students have had this semester are deep. They make me reexamine myself and my balance in life. They renew my commitment to the practice. They push me deeper into my yoga life.

So, this week I had a renewal of faith of sorts. Faith in myself and my lifestyle. Faith in my journey to live a more yoga me. And, because I find that I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junkie still….I LOVED waking up Wednesday morning sore from what I’d done! I was back at it this morning and I have another class tonight. I am going to be teaching more yoga in the spring and that will bring new challenges to my practice. I occasionally complain that all it seems I am known for these days is my yoga, but honestly, it’s just who I am….that one girl breathing in the front of a classroom, asking you to inhale the good and exhale the bad with me.

What in your life could use a little renewal?