Achieved a goal…maybe?

Nature is cruel.

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Again, for the second day in a row, we had gooorgeous weather all day long…until we got out of meetings.  Then it started storming, HARD.  So, bye-bye, beach.  I have one more day to maybe dip my feet in the ocean!  Cross your fingers.

Happily, though, the rain was good for my plans to take a longer than usual run.

We don’t have a full-length mirror at home, so I used the hotel’s to take a full-length picture of me in all my running gear glory.0604 002Love my lucy shorts and BondiBand.  These are two of my favorite things lately.  Seriously.  

Pre-run snackage:

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My camera ate my lunch picture, but I ate about 1/3 of a Starbucks chicken caesar salad and a Dannon Light n’ Fit yogurt.   I wasn’t that hungry, and the buffet for lunch was gross-looking greasy Chinese that turned my stomach.  (I’m sure it was good, I’m just not a big Chinese food fan, especially not before a run!)

Anyway, I wasn’t totally feeling a run, so I challenged myself to beat a goal I’ve had in my goals tab for awhile—run 10K in under an hour.  I figured giving myself a mission would make it a little more fun!

And…I did it.  6.2 miles in 59:47.  It was HARD.  The gym was humid and I sweated more than I have in a long time.  But it felt good!  The thing is…I’m not sure I feel right crossing it off my goal list because it wasn’t a timed race.

In other news, these shoes feel fantabulous without orthotics.  I can’t remember the last time I ran a 10K and didn’t wind up with blisters or some kind of lower leg pain.  Eep!

In other OTHER news, we got to see 112 of our wedding pictures today online!  The gallery is password-protected so I can’t share, but we will have the full CD with several hundred images next week and I will do an exhaustive blow-by-blow wedding recap.

What do you say?  Did I reach my goal or not?

Half marathon STYLE

Chocolate Raspberry Luna Bars are the best.

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After work, instead of going to the gym, I went to my beloved TJ Maxx to scope out the situation on their workout gear.  I love TJ’s (no, not Trader Joe’s, though I love them too) because they have high quality wicking-type clothes at low prices. 

Backup: I went to TJ Maxx because I freaked out realizing that even though the forecast for Saturday is 75 and sunny…at 7 a.m., it will be in the low 50s.  And it will be that chilly for the entire race (unless I take, like, four hours to finish, in which case I doubt I’ll care what I’m wearing).  And I don’t really have a dri-fit short-sleeved shirt I liked—I like V-necks, and my other two are too big.  I contemplated using my Zensah calf compression sleeves as arm warmers, and then realized I’d look like a total douchebag.

So yes.  My options were light pink, dark pink, and fluorescent green.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t hate pink.  Our wedding flowers are pink.  I think pink is pretty.  But it annoys the bejeezus out of me that all women’s workout gear is pink.  I realize TJ Maxx has a limited selection, but I don’t think it’s just there.  Whenever I want to buy workout clothes, I feel like my options are white, pink, and purple!  I want to wear green and navy and black and red and gray and yellow and orange, too!  (I don’t really look great in pink, either, which also explains my bias.)

Anyway.  Obviously, I am going to be a bright lime green runner on Saturday!  (My decision was actually mostly based on the fact that this fabric was much lighter and is basically the exact same as my favorite adidas tank top that I was planning on wearing, but with light sleeves.)

Tim has NO EXCUSE for missing me running by on Saturday.

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I also bought the black dri-fit capris with green accents to match because they were cheap.  (They are the exact same as another pair of adidas capris I have, just different colors, so I know I’m not going to burst into flames for wearing new gear on race day.)

So if you are at the Olathe Marathon on Saturday, I will be the asshole in neon green.

Also, I ordered a BondiBand on Monday and it came! 

Cripes, I need to Windex our mirror. 

0408 004I can’t usually wear fabric headbands, even the ones with rubbery grips, because they pop off the back of my oddly-shaped, large head.  But this one is holding strong so far!  I usually wear a hard plastic headband, but this is much more comfortable.  I am reserving judgment for awhile until I take it for a workout, but so far so good!

And again, our little lovers:

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Oh yeah!  In more exciting news…I got my first donation to Team in Training today!  Super exciting.  If you think I can finish a marathon, throw a few dimes in my tip jar, please! 

What’s your take on the predominance of girly workout gear?   Would you rather workout clothing be more unisex? 

Snow? In March?

This has been SUCH a long day. 

I rolled out of bed at 5 so I could be at work by 6:30.  Worked from 6:30-noon.  Hey, guess what?

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It started snowing/raining/sleeting late last night and continued throughout the night.  This morning, it turned to snow.  We now have probably 4-5 inches of snow on the ground.  And it’s March 20th.  Not cool, winter.  Not cool.

The upside is that it’s supposed to be in the 40s tomorrow so hopefully it will all melt.  But still, sucky.

I was absolutely determined to get the shopping-related errands done today.  They’ve been stressing me out for the last week and I was tired of it.  So I forged ahead and did my errands, snow be damned.

First stop: Ulta, for shower hostess gifts.  I have 7 hostesses (roughly) so it had to be something reasonably inexpensive.  I’m going to wrap them up with a note hoping that all their showers will be as nice as mine!

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And a nice flatiron for my hair.  My straightener right now is a joke—I think I bought it at the drugstore for $9.99 my freshman year in college, and it doesn’t work.  I’m so tired of long hair, but I want it to look nice for my shower/bachelorette parties/etc, so I figured I should splurge on a nice one.

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Then I stopped by the running store to a) restock on Gu and b) pick up some odds and ends to wrap up for my sister’s maid of honor gift half marathon registration.   My friend/the owner Bob was there, and of course he asked about my shoes.  Guiltily, I told him that they just weren’t working all that well and showed him my dead toenail/new blisters. 

He felt bad and gave me some new cushiony insoles to try.

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They are so wonderful there, but I think they think I’m a lost cause at this point.  Bob admitted that he can’t think of one more thing that would help me that I haven’t tried, and recommended I see a doctor.  (Which I plan to do after the wedding—things are just too crazy now.)  It makes me sad that there’s really nothing else they can think of that will help my poor feet.  😦

Bob even said, “I’ve never said this before, but maybe you should just go to a sporting goods store, find a pair of shoes that feels good on your feet for $50, and keep trying that until you find something.  At this point, you don’t have anything to lose.”  (Except more money.  But…a nice sentiment.)

Anyway, I got this.  I’m not sure if it’s going to be for my sister or for me quite yet.  Oops. 

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And an array of goodies to give my sister—non-cotton socks, sport beans, shot blocks, various Gu flavors, and Body Glide.

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I also bought a whole box of Chocolate Gu.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  This should last me awhile, and it’s discounted if you buy by the box.

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Then I headed to the mall and picked up some bronzing airbrush spray while I waited to get my eyebrows done.

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Got my eyebrows waxed, came home, ate dinner, and now we’re watching The September Issue and possibly The Hurt Locker later.

Anyway, not a cheap day, but I think I’m mostly done shopping-wise for my Chicago trip.  Tomorrow’s MUST GET DONE LIST:

  • thank you note for the gift we got this week
  • print/cut/assemble/address rehearsal dinner invitations
  • write out cards for shower hostesses
  • try to get as much Chicago packing done as possible

Anyone else getting unseasonably awful weather?

Invitations out, new shoes in!

I had one thing on my mind when I woke up this morning.

0227 001 Getting our invitations mailed!  We are exactly 10 weeks away from the wedding today, and today was the big day.  No turning back now!  I can’t wait to get back some RSVPs.

This is an incredibly unflattering picture.  Yuck.

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Second order of business: going to the running store to see if they could help me with my heinous foot and leg problems of late.

For those of you who have been here awhile, you’ll recall that about a month ago, I went to get fitted for running shoes, again, after battling the world’s largest blister, AKA Blistersquatch, in my right arch.  The store put me in New Balance 769s, size 8.5, wide width.  Since then, I’ve had shin splints, calf pain, and a developing new blistersquatch on my left arch.   So, I was not happy with the shoes, to say the least.

I can’t say enough about how well The Sports Medicine Store handled my troublesome feet.  Certain other running stores have basically shrugged their shoulders at my problems, and told me to try lacing my shoes tighter.  I went in today hoping I’d be able to modify my New Balances because I simply cannot buy a pair of running shoes a month. 

The trainer I worked with, Bob, was incredibly helpful from the get-go.  He was 100% willing to work with me on modifications to my New Balances, but after really looking at my feet from every possible angle (on the treadmill running, standing, sitting, with socks and without socks) he told me, flat out, “We made a mistake and put you in the wrong shoes.  You should not be in a wide shoe, and you should probably not be in a stability shoe either.  We’ll fix this, and we’ll have you running Chicago this fall with a smile on your face.” 

Hearing that floored me.  How often do you get that kind of service?  They don’t usually take shoes back after they’ve been worn (let alone for a month) but they acknowledged that their staff fitted me incorrectly and were willing to remedy the problem.

I was there for over an hour and ran over a mile on their treadmill in different combinations of shoes.  He looked at the sockliner in my shoe and pointed out that it was very obviously rubbing against my foot—the pattern inside the shoe had faded pretty obviously.  We watched lots of slow-mo video of my feet—my arch was collapsing in the New Balances, and the vertical line on the back of the shoe was, well, not vertical.  I am also bow-legged, which affects my gait as well.  Oh, and the sports trainer recommended I see a dermatologist if I get another Blistersquatch, because “that isn’t normal.”  Poor Bob declared my feet “the biggest mess I’ve ever seen.”

After consulting with Bob, and their other athletic trainer as well, we concluded that these are the best solution to my problem:

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They are Brooks Defyance 2’s, in a size 9, regular width.  (As opposed to wide width, size 8.5s.)  My left foot is barely a size 8, but my right foot is about a size 8 and 2/3, so the larger size makes sense.

They also have some mods on them.  Namely, arch support insoles.  These shoes aren’t COMFORTABLE when I wear them—but my feet feel really locked down, and that’s what they suspect will help the problem.  If my foot doesn’t move in the shoe, it can’t rub, and can’t blister!  I ran in them, with arch supports, and they videotaped it, and the vertical line on the back of the shoe remains vertical.  Which means I’m not pronating in them.  Aack.  I hope these work.

They were happy I was running in Balega running socks, but they thought I might try out a double-layer running sock for extra blister protection.

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They also sent me home with a blister care kit to heal up the decent sized blister on my left foot before using the arch supports.  (Also, they actually put a liquid bandage on my foot IN THE STORE.  How’s that for service?)  I also got some new Gu flavors, per your suggestions, to try.

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Anyway.  I paid for the insoles and socks and everything else, but they exchanged my shoes for me free of charge and let me know that if I have any more problems, I should come in for more help.  I am absolutely floored with how good the service was.  Kansas City runners, get yourselves to The Sports Medicine Store ASAP. 

Then I went shopping.  Mission: find something to wear to the shower.  I big fat failed on this one.  Apparently, from what I can tell, the trends for spring 2010 are shapeless bags, ugly 70s throwback prints, and dingy gray or bright salmon-colored things.  Here are some of the horrors.

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Bleh.  And trust me, these are the best of the worst.  I have been trying to find something on a budget, but that has NOT been possible.  I may just break down and buy this dress online that I love.  (Or maybe this one.)  They’re both more expensive than I’d like, but I’m about to tear my hair out over this one.

Anyway, cross your fingers and pray to the foot gods that these shoes work.  I feel like my feet are the only thing holding me back from making a breakthrough distance and speed-wise with my running!  This is my fifth pair of fitted running running shoes (Adidas Supernovas, Asics Gel Cumulus, Saucony Progrid Rides, New Balance 769s, Brooks Defyance) and none of them have worked.  I’m desperate.

What do you think?  Keep shopping on a budget or spring for one of the dresses I really love?

lucy activewear review

Recently, the company lucy activewear sent me two pieces to try out and review.  I was super excited about this because I’ve heard great things about lucy stuff in the running world.  They sent me two pieces: the Propel Track Jacket and the Propel Run Tight.

The first piece I tried was the jacket.  I’ve been needing a running jacket that I can actually wear out running in the cold weather, but I also wanted something that was small enough to throw in my gym bag to walk to and from the gym in (so I don’t have to get my nice work coat all sweaty).  This piece absolutely fit the bill.  I’ve been wearing it for two or three weeks now so I could get a good feel for it, and I am 100% impressed.  Also, I didn’t wash it to see how it held up, and I’m happy to report that it does not hold stink in.

The jacket is two layers.  I’ve been wearing just the bottom layer for running and to-and-from gym travel.  It looks like this:

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Or like this:

lucy 006I got the size medium and it fits perfectly.  It’s snug, but I comfortably ran with it with a long-sleeved running shirt underneath it.  When I wore this out running, I was nice and toasty!  It was about 25 degrees that day, and I felt like it was a great combination.

This is what both layers look like together:

lucy 007The outer layer I’d wear, definitely, if I had to run in the rain or snow or sleet.  It’s a crop-top type, short sleeved jacket with a reflective zipper and reflective panels on it. The hood tightens with elastic, and stays put really well.

I also wore the Propel Run Tights out running.

lucy 010This is my second pair of running tights, and this one fits me far better than the others!  I will say that, while they are warm, they’re not super warm—my legs were still red and a little chilly when I came home from a quick two-miler.  I will definitely keep wearing them, though!  Just maybe when it’s not “total frozen tundra” weather.  I love the purple zippers, too.

What really strikes me as awesome about all of lucy’s stuff is the incredible attention to detail.  It’s obvious that the company tests their stuff on real runners and active women.  

Like this—they put a fabric tab over the top of the jacket zipper so you don’t get poked in the chin constantly while you run.

lucy 003And the pants have a zippered pocket on the back with a hole for iPod headphones to go through.

 lucy 011And the outer layer of the jacket has ventilated wicking fabric under the arms, so you’ll stay dry but won’t sweat to death.

lucy 009Oh, and the jacket has these cute little half-mittens attached, which are really nice for extra hand warmth on runs.  They also have little pockets in them to stash Gu or your keys or whatever.

lucy 005 All in all, I wholeheartedly love both of these products.  I appreciate a company that makes functional, fashionable clothing for active women.  All too often I’m out looking for running gear and my only options are pink, pink, and pink—as silly as it sounds, it’s so nice to be able to get some functional athletic clothing that doesn’t treat active women like a dog wearing a hat or some other spectacle.  These are just good, well-designed clothes without dumbing them down for women.  (If that makes any sense.)

  I am definitely going to be buying more from lucy in the future.  (Their website has a pretty awesome sale section, as well as great clothes for you yoga enthusiasts out there.)  I’m currently loving their Swift Knee Shorts (they look like the perfect length to be cool but not chafe) and this super cute gym bag.  Also, there is apparently a lucy store not too far from me and I think once we get out of this awful snow I may have to pay them a visit!

Note: I realize that I raved about these clothes like an idiot, but these opinions are all mine, even though they sent me this for free.  I’m open and honest, and if it sucked I would tell you.  (But it doesn’t.)

Girly things

This Saturday started out well.  I’m not one of those morning person bloggers who considers sleeping until 8 “sleeping in.”  Saturdays are my day to let my body sleep as long as it wants, and today I slept in until 10:30!  I guess I needed it.  (We went to bed around 11, so close to 12 straight hours.  It was glorious.)

Things took a bit of a downturn on my run this morning, though.  I’m hitting a pattern where basically 2 out of 3 runs are good and one is horrible, asthma-wise.  I had a few nice runs earlier this week, but today’s was just…not.  My chest tightened up and basically my asthma had me reeling the whole time.  I took my inhaler twice in three stinking miles and took a few walk breaks.  The inhaler makes my heart beat really quickly, which doesn’t help matters.  It stank, but I powered through and at least finished in about 32:00.  Most of the ice had melted, but I was still dodging some and running through snow at some points.  Not my best time, but not the worst.  Then I laid facedown on our living room floor until my lungs started feeling better.  Some days I wonder how the heck I’m going to run a half marathon in four months.  Ugh.

Tim and I later headed out for a haircut for him…and shopping for me!  I had a gift card and a $15 off coupon at Sephora, so I decided to look for some wedding makeup and re-stock some old favorites.  My cousin and bridesmaid Brandy is doing my makeup for the wedding–she’s a TV producer, and does makeup on the set and on location quite a bit.  She’s great at it!  But I wanted to pick up some stuff so we could practice a bit together at Christmas.

I am a girly girl in that I love nice makeup.  I’m all about buying some things as cheap as I can get them, but not makeup.  (Or shoes.)  I told the salesgirl three things: a) I love Stila cosmetics; b) pinks/peaches for a light, fresh spring look and c) dramatic eye, non-dramatic lip.  This is what we came up with for the wedding.

For the eyes, I’ll be wearing Stila Kajal Eyeliner in Tiger Eye (which I already own and wear all the time) and this eyeshadow, which is Stila Eye Shadow Trio in Champagne Glow.  (I already own and love the Gold Glow!)

And then for lips I’m doing a gloss (I hate lipstick).  It’s Bare Escentuals Buxom Lip Plumper in Bambi:

And then I restocked on my favorite eye shadow for everyday wear, Stila’s Kitten.  It was the same price for the eyeshadow alone as it was to buy this eyeshadow/gloss set, so I got that instead:

I seriously love this eyeshadow.  It’s a beautiful sheer/shimmery light pinky/peach color and looks gorgeous on everyone I’ve made try it.  Definitely suggest giving it a whirl!  (It’s pricey, but you get a large pan and it lasts forever.)

I also managed to pick up a pair of running tights at Target.  These are their C9 by Champion line, which I love.  Their tank tops have served me well for a long time!  I’ll give them a whirl this week.  My goal was to find something warm on my legs and these appear to be almost double-layered, which will hopefully work out well:

Anyway, I’m starting my pile of holiday baking tonight, so I’ve got to go take care of some cake balls! 

What beauty/makeup products do you recommend?