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Posts tagged ‘shoes’

A training rut


I’ve had two false starts this week in my two runs. Needless to say, I’m not doing good with my training.

On Monday, me and both my running buddies all simultaneously felt horrible at the same time. That meant our five-mile run got cut into a two-mile walk. At least we got a nice view, see above photo.

Today, I missed my alarm for the five-mile run completely. I was even awake at 4:45 a.m. But the alarm didn’t go off. Or I didn’t hear it. At 5:40 a.m. I woke up to a text message asking me where I was.

When I recommitted to the run this afternoon, I decided I would push myself to eight miles.

I got two and felt like I was falling apart.

Maybe it’s because it is hot again here. Or because I’ve been busy with website work all day. But I can’t get motivated.

And school goes back into session next Tuesday. We hit the ground running with the first of seven issues for the semester coming out on Sept. 13. I know things are just going to get more and more hectic.

I wonder if yoga is really doing a number on me. I hurt more than I used to. It’s a good hurt, but still a hurt.

Or maybe I need new shoes?

Whatever it is, I need to find answers. I need to get out of this rut.

I just want a good run.

Going through the motions

And getting ready to head down to Pasadena early on Saturday morning.

I’ve been working on a really awesome website renovation this week, that today kind of made me frustrated. So instead of waiting for SQL databases to behave appropriately, I decided it as time to get ready for the ride to southern California. I started clearing out, mind you not “cleaning out,” but “clearing out” my car.

I keep a lot of jackets, scarves and other items in my car. So I decided to get it washed. Professionally. I’ve only had it for six months.


It took about an hour (the car wash was really busy on a nice 70-degree day here in northern California). But my car is bright and shiny. I went and got a tank of gas as well ($80! Prices are going up again).

Then I headed to Target to pick up some needed supplies. I haven’t traveled anywhere since December for California International Marathon, so I had a few toiletries to gather.

When I got home, I was greeted to a package from Road Runner Sports.

It was my two new pairs of LunarEclipse +2s.


And they are actually pretty cute. I kept putting off buying this color before because I thought they would be black and too dark. The color is actually more of a dark gray.

One of the boxes was completely trashed. The other was in decent shape. So I replaced the broken box with one I already had, then I put both pairs up in my closet for “when the time comes.” That means the first pair of these to be used will probably come out in June sometime, likely before I run the San Francisco Marathon.

I’ve been slowly gathering my running clothes and other essential items all day in preparation for the journey down and the actual run. I hate to say it but my anxiety is peaking a little.

I’d like to think that was prompted by the $1,200 in hospital bills I just got from my gallbladder removal (seriously, if they were going to charge me that much, they should have at least let me keep it to take home in a jar). Yikes.

So I’m a little jumpy tonight. It makes “going through the motions” all that much harder, but I’m trying to breathe, relax and know that no matter what I can run 13.1 miles. I’ve done it before, many times. It may not be the best run I’ve ever done, but it will be OK. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I’m not sure if it’s working to calm me at all. But I kind of feel like hitting the road and just going will be the push I need to be more “present” and, maybe even “participate.”

Speaking of the last sentence, if you haven’t seen “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” I highly recommend it. I actually can’t recommend it enough.


I read the book when I was 14 for the first time, back when it was just a little MTV novel that no one had ever heard of. By the time I graduated from high school in 2002, nearly everyone I knew that had any sort of taste in literature had read it. I spent years imagining what Charlie would sound like if he was ever brought to life.

When the movie came out last year, there were no local theaters showing it. The nearest one was about 30 minutes away and I just never got to see it. So when it came out on Tuesday, I made a night out of it. I ran the day before so I didn’t have to run that night.

I picked up dinner from a drive-thru fundraising dinner that I had purchased tickets from weeks before and headed home, immediately putting on the movie. I even went to two different Target stores to make sure I got the super-low priced BluRay for $16.99.

Call me cheesy, but the moment I heard Charlie’s voice for the first time, I had a bit of a moment. I guess it was kind of living seeing the opening screen of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. I had a moment. (I’m completely aware of how big of a dork I sound like right now. I don’t even care.)

I may put it on now as I finish packing all my stuff up for the road trip.

Today, love the run you’re with


I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, if only because tell my husband I love him everyday. And he doesn’t need to buy me chocolate or flowers to make me feel special.

Today, though, is a good day to live the moment and love the moment. So whether that’s by heading out to a fancy restaurant or lacing up your running shoes, love every minute of today.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Scoring a deal on shoes

I’m not good at couponing.

I have a friend who started doing it a couple years ago and she got really good at it for a minute. She even gave me some how-to lessons about a year ago. It’s only been in the past six months or so that I’ve started to pay more attention to coupon circulars and email alerts.

I also most always buy local. I love my local running store.

But in early 2012, I realized, after replacing my shoes every couple months, I was spending entirely too much on shoes. I kept waiting on my $15 reward coupon from my local running store just to get my shoes for $125 instead of $140.

Then one of my running buddies said to me, while I was lamenting on the cost of shoes one day (running is supposed to be a cheap sport, yes?): “Why don’t you just buy your shoes online?”

And suddenly it didn’t make sense to buy local anymore. I joined the Road Runner Sports VIP club. I was signed up for coupons. And every now and then I get a good deal.

Saturday is an awesome case in point.


You might not be able to read it very well, my cart included two pairs of LunarEclipse+2 shoes for a before tax price of $140. That’s the cost of two pairs of shoes for what I would normally pay for one.

Seriously. Best deal ever.

The shoes are now discontinued, since Nike just released the new models. And if you don’t mind the not-so-popular colors, you can score a good deal once a shoe gets phased out.

Original price: $140

VIP Price: $121

Discounted price: $87

VIP Price with discount for VIP Appreciation Month (last weekend to take advantage): $70

Savings: +$35 a pair

The best part is that I just popped out a new pair of shoes that will last, likely, through June. So these two pairs will basically get me through 2013 and into the beginning of 2014.

Big score.

I hate to promote turning away from local shoe sellers, especially since I got fitted for these shoes by some great people, but I can’t justify the replacement price every time I need new shoes. Honestly, I don’t spend that much money on any other pair of shoes I own. I recently bought a pair of leather boots for $135. Cheaper than my running shoes. And they’ll likely last much, much longer.

So I had to find a workaround.

I’ve been asked before if it’s worth buying the VIP membership. Yes. Definitely. This is now the fourth pair of shoes I’ve bought from Road Runner Sports, the first pair was my Nike Equalons that were retired last year. I’ve probably saved about $300 altogether from the discount deals I’ve received through emails.

The better bonus? Free shipping. And I was notified within twenty minutes of buying the shoes that my shoes were already on the way. I should receive them at the beginning of this week. And then what? They go into my closet for storage until I need them.

I hate to say it, but this is about as much stockpiling as I’m willing to do in the couponing world.

This week

If I ever thought I’d have more time to myself after trading full-time employment for freelancing and a part-time job, I was crazy. This week has proved that I will likely not have any more free time, especially during my student’s production weeks.

My newspaper staff has nearly double this semester. I’m having to create spreadsheets and sign ups for lab and one-on-ones. It’s amazing and a little overwhelming. We held three stories this issue because we sold out on ads weeks before. Sold out. On ads. As in, we can’t take anymore because we have too much content.

That’s a great problem for a college newspaper. That’s a great problem for any newspaper.

So between freelancing and my students this week, I probably worked 50 hours. Meaning little time for running.

Here’s a look at what I’ve been doing:



Mega Super Bowl party day. With lots of food.

I’m not a fan of any specific football team. I appreciate a good game for a good game. So I was kind of bored the first half. But then, when it got interesting, I was invested. I love games that go down to the wire.

But really, I go to the party for the food.


Oh hey pansit, where is your homeboy adobo? Oh, right next to you? Don’t mind if I do?

Wait… what’s that?


Pulled pork! This photo doesn’t do it justice. My friend’s husband is a culinary genius with the pulled pork. But really, the potato salad up top was the amazing part. I didn’t know she made such a great potato salad. (I’m a bit of a potato salad aficionado, really.) I took home a ton of it too. And ate it for two days. I’m not even going to lie.

And I bet your Super Bowl party didn’t feature animals.


Our friends live in the country. Sorry about the blur, Joleen the goat didn’t like the paparazzi.



We were still thinking of names for this little pup. Last night, we finally agreed on one: Cassiopeia.

We’re calling her Cassie for short. And her name fits our theme. We name our dogs after songs. Our oldest female is Sky Midnight Blue after Peter Gabriel’s Sky Blue. Our male is Hey Beau Diddley after the song Hey Bo Diddley.

Cassiopeia’s full name will be Winter Star Cassiopeia. If you love Third Eye Blind as much as I do, you know the line comes from the original version of Campfire, a song that made it to Ursa Major with a lot of tweaking. It was retitled Bonfire.

It’s appropriate, for many reasons.

These lines:

And there’s all these winter stars still flying


Everything’s changing now


Into one thousand pieces

I had broke into over you

Nightshade will soon be gone

But I keep burning on and on and on

I’m a bigger fan of 3EB’s less popular tracks than the band’s big hits, including God of Wine. But this song seems appropriate as nearly everything in my life is changing now. And I really feel a connection to the “burning on and on and on” line right now. And lately? Into a thousand pieces I broke into over journalism. Very fitting.

I’m not sure what it says about me that my love for a band transcends all the years it’s been out of the mainstream. I’ve seen them three times in concert, most recently at a day-long music festival where I swear I was the only one singing every word to every song. The song I most wanted to hear that night? Campfire.

We toyed with Page, for Mumford and Son’s White Blank Page. I also offered up Storm for Mumford’s After the Storm.

I think my husband agreed on Cassiopeia because he didn’t want me to name any of our future children that. No kidding.


I spent my morning clearing pages for my student’s first issue of the semester.


It included a spread, the first ever since I’ve been adviser, on gun control. The stories were well reported. The editors did a fine job on this. It looks even better in person. I’m really proud of the work they did on this issue.

But Tuesday, it’s on to the next one. Always on to the next one.


I had my worker’s compensation evaluation that I’d been dreading for months in the morning. I took my mom. I think if I hadn’t, I would have fallen into all those pieces all over again. She, at least, made me feel more comfortable as my heart sped up and I was forced to remember everything that led me to where I am right now.

The appointment lasted so long that my mom went with me to a dress fitting for my December bridesmaid duties.


This was the first dress I tried on. They were all cute, but I think the bride now knows which one we’ll all be purchasing pretty soon here. On the list of things I didn’t know: Bridesmaid dresses take 10-12 weeks to get.

I knew wedding dresses took a long time, but wow.

Confession: I bought my wedding dresses at a bridal discount store in Roseville. To be fair, my sister bought it for me. I didn’t have a credit card that would charge the $500, so my mom put it on hers and my sister paid her back.

My whole wedding was planned on a similar modus operandi. It cost $15,000 at the end, but was paid for over three years of engagement. To be fair, I was only 24. All my savings were pumped into my wedding. I came out of it with a husband and no money left in a savings account that one had $8,000.

Would I do it differently now? Definitely. I’d go to Las Vegas. Just saying.

My husband, though, a couple months ago said our wedding day was one of the best of his life. That makes it all worth it, since he’s not a man of many sweet words.

This is the first time I’ve ever been a bridesmaid, so I’m learning a ton of stuff. (Jenn, if you are reading this, I promise not to mess this up.) Yesterday, the woman at the bridal store mentioned fabric swatches and making sure dye colors matched. I’m like: “Whoa, slow down.” And I know the decisions are even harder for the bride.

Planning a wedding is hard business. I’m extremely fortunate that my bride friend is a really down-to-earth woman with a great sense of humor and a love for life. She doesn’t even mind me sending her a ton of photos of me with awkward faces in dresses (Some of the colors were crazy!).

I treated my mom to lunch after at a sandwich place I love. So a not-so-great day actually turned out better. When I got home another friend came over and ate pizza and junk food with me.



After weeks of feeling as if my legs were going to fall off, I realized I should maybe switch out my shoes, especially with a half marathon next weekend.

I’ve had this pair of LunarEclipes in my closet for about four months. I bought them on deep sale for about $80, marked down from $140.

I ran five miles this morning in them.

And you know what? I needed new shoes.

I had little pain. My feet felt more supported. It was like running on cushions.

Anyone who tells you that you can run 400+ miles in a pair of shoes is an idiot. Seriously. I ran 600+ on my oldest pair of shoes. They sit next to the treadmill. Now I know they are only good for walking and housework. I should have known.

But I’m been trying to preserve my shoes for a bit longer and longer each time, if just to keep down the costs.

In January, Nike launched the LunarEclipse +3. It’s the same shoe, with new upper design. Now the +2’s are on sale for $79.16 at Road Runner Sports. I’m considering buying two pairs, which should get me through the year before I have to buy the more expensive +3s.

The best part of all of this is that I’m excited for my 10-mile run tomorrow morning. I haven’t said that in awhile. At five miles, I wanted to keep going, but I didn’t.

I’ve been avoiding the treadmill all week (I did run six outside this week), because of the pain my legs have been in.

So, if anything, take away this tidbit for the week: If you’re in pain, it’s likely your shoes. Change the shoes.

About that rain forecast for CIM

So rain is still on the forecast for Sunday’s California International Marathon. And it’s what everyone is talking about on Facebook on the race’s page. A lot of people have even asked if the race would be canceled due to the inclement weather.

That doesn’t surprise me, in light of the cancellation of the New York Marathon after Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast.

Except this is California.

And it’s rarely THAT BAD here.

In fact, one of the last times we experienced epic flooding in the Sacramento area was 1996. That’s when levees were breached. That’s when whole areas of homes were flooded, including some in areas down by my hometown of Stockton.

But it is never really that bad here. Sure, flooding is projected. But we sometimes define “flooding” as streets getting six inches of water. All the news stations today showed “flooding” just like that.

In any case, I’ve taken a couple days to prepare a plan.

A plan? If it’s not that serious, why would I have a plan?

I’m trying not to start the race completely drenched. I know that will be a fruitless effort once I get going, but I’m going to try to keep dry for a least a minute or two.

First off, the weather is projected to be about 60 degrees.

That’s not cold.

UPPER: So I’m actually planning on wearing a Lululemon Run:Swifty tank as my main race shirt. I’ll wear a long sleeve over it, but not something too heavy. I don’t want to wear something bulky, but I want to be warm. I’ll likely take a Nike wool pullover I have. The wool will keep me warm in the morning, but it’s light enough that I can tie it around my waist during the race. I’m not worried about it getting wet. I’ve run in the rain with it before.

I may, though, opt for just a regular Nike pullover. I’ll take a variety of clothes, just in case.

LOWER: I’m planning on wearing Lululemon Run: Bright at Night capris. I was considering pants, but because it won’t be too cold, I’d rather not have wet ankles. The capris will mean my ankles get wet, but with the wind (it’s supposed to be strong), I’m hoping I’ll also dry off a little too.

VISOR: I’ll wear my Asics visor to keep the rain out of my eyes. I’m opting to not wear a hat, if only because it will just get wet and my hair will get wet. I can handle running with wet hair, so why not just start out that way?

CONTACTS: I rarely, if ever, wear my contacts. I’m more annoyed with them than not most the time. And I’ve just become incredibly comfortable with glasses since I started wearing them in 2004. But my contacts come out every once in awhile, mostly for special occasions. Last year I ran with contacts for CIM. I’m doing it this year mainly because I’d rather not have rain all over my glasses.

SHOES AND SOCKS: I’m applying the fabric protector above to my shoes and socks. It may not work. That’s fine. My hope is that I can get through at least some of the race with dry feet. If it’s the downpour it’s expected to be, I’ll be all wet at the end. I’m hoping that a comfortable pair of socks will mean I don’t have blisters.

TOES: I’m still having issues with my baby toes curling under the toe next to them. I’ve gone through three pairs of shoes and this is still a problem. I actually bought toe spacers because if I end up with blisters, it will be in this area. I used similar toe spacers for the Clarksburg Country Run a couple weeks ago.

These ones are thicker, but I have a blood blister on one of my toes I don’t want to aggravate.

CHAFING: I’m going to use Body Glide everywhere. I’m also taking a small container of it, purchased at an expo a while back, to carry in my capri pocket just in case I chafe along the way. I know there will be Vasoline along the course as well.

BEFORE RACE: And I bought a poncho. I grabbed one for Jennie too. I’m not planning on running the entire race with this, but I likely will run a couple miles if it’s really bad. Or I may just throw it to the side once the race starts. I’m hoping it keeps me dry before the race though, when we’re all standing waiting for the gun to fire.

I know that I am going to be a mess at the end of this. That’s inevitable. But I’m hoping taking some precautions beforehand, and at least planning, will set me on the right path on a rainy day.

I’ve never run a half marathon in rain let alone a marathon, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m trying not to be worried about beating last year’s time. If it happens, it happens.

A lot of people are saying they are just hoping to finish this year. I’m trying not to be too pessimistic about my chances, but I think it’s going to be a “wait and see” thing for me.

But I’m ready. Even with the 100 percent chance of rain.


My luck might have changed

By some odd reversal of fortune, I was able to snag a reservation for a limited edition pair of Nike Women’s Marathon shoes in Tiffany blue.

I’m not usually this lucky. But I’m heading into San Francisco on a Thursday this year to avoid Friday/Saturday lines at the expo. And I knew I’d be there during the day, so I decided to try. What the hell, right?

I was surprised the system not only worked, but worked fast. I had an initial reservation. Then a confirmation within three minutes.


Holy cow.

I’ve never had a pair of shoes that pretty before.

There’s a raging debate on the Nike Women’s Marathon Facebook page going on about these shoes now. I kind of feel bad for the folks who control the Nike page, they are constantly subjected to people criticizing every decision. Plus, the women kind of attack each other. It’s a little ridiculous.

I’m just excited that I’m able to get a pair of these amazing shoes. I’m fortunate.

In reality, I’m fortunate to even get into this race two year’s in a row. The Tiffany necklace? An added bonus. The shoes? An even bigger bonus. I’m giddy with anticipation. (And those who know me know I don’t get giddy too often.) Even better, I may be more excited about the Nike Women’s Half Marathon than my “A” race this weekend in San Jose.

(By the way, I’m not selling these babies, so don’t ask. I only say that because someone has already asked me. I’m going to wear them with a great amount of excitement and pride.)

Laces make the difference

I’ve had some reservations about my new LunarEclipse’s lately, specifically the color. I know that’s petty. After years of running in basically white shoes with a little bit of blue detail. They weren’t pretty, but they were functional.

When I was fitted for the new shoes, they had a special style of the pair called the Breathe.

And that was the only pair my local Fleet Feet had in size nine. So I caved and bought them.

When I realized how much lighter this pair was than my previous shoes, I started having second thoughts. But they were the same shoes, so I went with it. I’d run quite a few miles in them when I realized that they just weren’t as flashy as my last pair.

They look kind of orthopedic. Like something my grandfather used to wear. I know they are gray and have some fun yellow detail, but I just wasn’t in love.

So I grabbed the florescent pink laces from my previous pair, which I recently machine washed (post on that coming), and switched the laces out on the pairs.

Now my old pair, which I’ll wear for dirty outdoor type runs because I still think they have a little life left in them, look a little more subdued. And my new pair has a lot more flair about them. It’s a win-win for me.

And yes, it’s only about appearance. The shoes function the exact same way the first pair did, but I like that they are a little different now. It won’t make me a better runner, obviously. But I like the change. And I really love those pink laces.

A bloggy birthday

It’s my blog’s birthday! Well, actually, it was yesterday. I’m a little belated in wishing my own blog a happy birthday. It just goes to show how busy I’ve been all week.

I’m excited about this milestone.

I started this blog on Sept. 22, 2011. This wasn’t my first blog. It’s the first, though, that I’ve been able to consistently maintain. In 12 months, I’ve written 130 posts (131 including this one).

I’ve moved to bigger server space with room to grow.

I’ve run and written reviews on 19 races.

I’ve shaved five minutes off my best half marathon time. But I’ve also ran a disastrous marathon.

I’ve learned my share of lessons from running. I’ve become a better runner too. And I’ve shared it with the World Wide Web.

I’m excited that “…andsheruns.” has come so far. I’m happy that I’ve been able to post regularly about topics related to, mostly, running and every now and then explore other areas too. I’m excited about where this blog continues to go as well and the people I’m talking to because of it. I’m also excited to, twice, being recognized by someone at a race!

I think blogs can be a risky venture. This is particularly true when you buy a domain name and server space. It’s also true because the writer of a blog puts out a big part of them in the process of blogging.

My readers get to see first hand my successes and failures. I once told myself I’d never write about the bad races. But writing about the bad ones make the good ones all that much better (kind of like the bad runs).

So happy birthday to my blog. I’m excited for the year ahead, including the upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon (I’m in corral 11!) and the Nike Women’s Half the next week. October is going to be a great running month.

I’m ready to keep running and blogging.

A better fit

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about my second marathon slump in San Diego. There were a lot of reasons it all went bad, but one of them was shoes. Before I could even write my race recap, I went to my local Fleet Feet store. I’ve purchased my last three pairs of shoes from a great sales associate who takes her time with me, answers all my questions and understands my needs when it comes to shoes.

It was because of all this I was hoping the Saucony Hurricane 14s that I purchases earlier this year would be the new shoes for me. Instead, I realized more than 100 miles in that they weren’t. I was still getting blisters. I was in pain. I was trying to make them work.

They. Weren’t. Working.

So I went back to Fleet Feet, shoes in hand, and admitted what I had known, probably, since before the marathon: The Hurricane 14s were hurting my feet.

The sales associate shared my pain. Only weeks before, I had posted that they were totally working for me on the store’s Facebook group.

Then they weren’t.

She could see it in my thrashed feet. The shoes were making both fleet arch slightly, meaning my baby toe was pushed under my other toes and the inner side of each of my feet was being rubbed raw. My feet looked like a disaster.

I tried on three more pairs of shoes. Another pair of Sauconys. And a pair of Brooks.

Finally, another pair of Nikes.

The LunarEclipse +2.

I don’t want to say it was love at first site. It wasn’t. I had spent so much time in shoes that were consider more functional than pleasing that I’d never had a pair of “pretty” running shoes before.

These were definitely pretty.

I was worried. I think I had ever right to be after the Saucony disaster.

Then I went on my first run. No pain. No rubbing. No “breaking in.”

They fit me in a way that was comfortable, yet functional. I felt fully supported, but they weren’t bulky like my Equalon +4’s had been. The pair was also much, much lighter than any of my previous running shoes. But I was still cautious. I kept running, already putting more tan 40 miles on them and I haven’t had one issue.

I did a hot day outdoor run in them and they didn’t slip and slide. I remember at mile 3 looking at my running buddy Jennie and saying: “I’m sorry I ever cheated on Nike.”

And I am.

The LunarEclipse +2’s are stability shoes. But they are also slightly wider than the Sauconys. They also seem a tad bit longer. The biggest difference, though, is in the upper on the area near my baby toe.

The Hurricane 14s had a hard, yet flexible plastic. My Nike Equalon +4’s had a “bunion control” area. That area would expand based on my foot movement. The Sauconys wouldn’t expand. In fact, they would push my toes in. The inner side would push my feet in even more.

The new shoes, though, have a much more flexible upper.

That is the specific area in question. Even though that thin detail band goes across the area where my little toes go, it doesn’t bind them in. It lets them be much more flexible and move with greater ease.

Even better? I’ve had multiple pain free runs with these shoes. I seem to be able to go and go and go.

I’m hoping this means I found my “new” running shoes. These definitely are a better fit.

I’ve passed my Saucony’s with 100-plus miles on them, still in very good shape, to my mom. She has a job that requires her to be on her feet a lot, so they’ll likely be a good fit for her. She has much more narrow feet than I do. (I have flat little feet that don’t bother me all that much but are apparently bad for running.)

I’m considering this a costly mistake. The Sauconys were $140. The Nikes were $135.

But I’d rather trade in the shoes that were making running hard and unbearable for a pair that makes me enjoy it again. It’s made all the difference.