i’m neurotic about my feet

When I first started running, I didn’t give much mind to my feet.  I was happy they got me from point A to point B and that was it.  My first 5k and all of the training leading up to it, I wore some really broken down shoes that weren’t meant for street running (maybe trail running?  but I really don’t think so) and they were OLD.  As in years old.

After that first 5k, I liked the running gig and decided it was time to have REAL running shoes.  I proceeded to search Kalamazoo over, looking for shoes I deemed appropriate for my new runner status.  I went everywhere – well, everywhere except my local running store.  Because I can be a dumb bunny.  After multiple purchases and returns (I’m pretty sure there are stores in my area that no longer want me to walk through their doors because of my returning issues), I went to Gazelle, my local running store.  It was a great experience and it increased my “I’m a runner!” feeling.

Even after this magical experience, I didn’t give much mind to my feet – or really, injuries in general.  I didn’t develop my first injury until 1/2 marathon training when I decided stretching was stupid.  Still, my feet were good to go.  Until the Headless Horseman 10 Miler.

happy cat lady runner - this was before I knew how much it was going to suck
happy cat lady runner – this was before I knew how much it was going to suck

This was an inaugural semi-local race that sounded darn cool.  The course was through a golf course, at night and you got a nifty little plaque.  I dug it and managed to trick convince two other runner friends to do it.  It was Halloweenie time so we kind of dressed up and were on our way!  The race sucked on so many levels.  I had a 1/2 a week or two before and then didn’t run much so the Monday of this week I decided I needed to squeeze in a 10 mile training run.  Unbeknownst to me, the route I chose had a ton of slanted sidewalk and I’d been slacking on overall training so this was a silly thing to do.

From that point forward, I’ve had troubles with my right foot.  I’m fairly certain my arch fell on that ill-fated training run as this is what all of the interwebs said.  It’s been problematic for the last 5 years or so?  I don’t know, it feels like forever.  It’s also what led to my ankle issues in this foot.  My neurosis officially set in after the headless horseman run.

Now, I’ve gone through a variety of different shoe styles to try to help it.  I’ve purchased all kinds of braces and arch bands.  My love for Tom’s probably didn’t help as the summer before last, this was all I wore.  I BARELY ever wear heels anymore as I know these aren’t good for my runner feet/ankles.  Any off feelings worry me and I immediately jump to some kind of worse case scenario.

cinderellaSince all of this, I’ve done few smart things: 1) I went with the special inserts.  As much as these initially pained me (literally) they have been a huge help.  My arch feels so much better and my ankle is hanging in there. 2) I’ve been stretching my ankles and rolling a tennis ball under my feet after running.  I hate stretching – no real reason, I just do.  3) I buy lots of Sketchers.  They have extra support and I’ve been able to find some cute ones to wear to work.  They are more comfy than typical flats and make my feet happier.

aaaaa – my eyes! I don’t hate, I just can’t handle it!

My soon to be sister-in-law LOVES high heels.  We talked about it recently and she said there are times when she can no longer feel her toes – even when not wearing heels.  The other day, I was walking behind a woman with those crazy heel-platform things and it was like watching a newborn calf try to walk.  Part of me wishes I could return to my high heel days.  But alas, this is not in the cards.  Not terribly high platforms do work well for me, so I can still be dressy but that’s it.  I’m neurotic about my feet.

You?  Do you love high heels?

Are you neurotic about your feet?

stop trying to make fetch happen

I find it interesting that Mean Girls has become a cult obsession.  For a little while, some of my student staff would ONLY quote this movie and yes, it drove me a little bonkers.  That being said, this is the perfect quote for me:

Why?  Because I need to stop trying to make Hokas happen.  Just like my student staff, I’m a bit obsessed with making these shoes work for me.  I really have no idea why.  They aren’t the cutest shoes on the planet and they are expensive.  My last pair gave me blisters.  Wouldn’t these all be a clear indication that maybe they aren’t right for me?

Maybe to a normal person yes, but not me.  I went ahead and bought another pair in a different style.  Originally, I emailed Hokas and asked them if they made their shoes in a wide width.  Their answer was a negatory but did say the Bondi 3 has a wider toe box and might work better for me.  You can bet your bottom dollar that I hopped on Amazon to check them out.  They were sitting on my wish list for ages.  Then on runningwarehouse.com there was a mega sale so I hit the BUY button.

still trying to make it happen

This is the end to my happy story though.  I put them on and ran maybe a half mile on the treadmill.  Nope.  Hokas are not meant for my feet.  My right foot started hurting almost immediately – a dull ache that didn’t quit.  I was disappointed.  I definitely get caught up in what a “real runner” looks like and wears and Hokas are a symptom of this.

Hokas are a great shoe.  I’m really glad I gave them a go and am sure others are finding quite a bit of enjoyment from them.  Heck, I bet they are some runners’ nirvana shoes!  Just not mine…

Other than this bit of enlightenment, my life has been heavily intertwined with work.  Seriously, that is about it.  I don’t see or talk to family or friends during the month of August and I certainly haven’t been running very much.  Oct 20th a.k.a. Detroit Marathon day, is looming and I’m going to have to kick training into high gear.  I’ve looked into my future: My A goal is to still finish under 5 hours.  My more realistic B goal is to finish under 6 hours.  And ultimately, my C goal is to finish.

maybe my future will surprise me?

It will be an exercise in determination but what else is new?!  Happy Saturday folks!

ridiculous running shoe journey

I’ve mentioned it a few times many times that I’m on a search for the PERFECT shoe.  I want the clouds to part and rays of sunshine to fall on my beautiful, perfect new-running-shoe-fitted-feet.  This is the ideal.  But I will settle for something super-duper fabulous.

these are the emotions I want to feel

During Dopey, I saw a number of hokas running past me.  Considering I recently went from a stability shoe to a neutral with loads of cushion, I figured this would the PERFECT shoe.  Not to mention, Sweaty Emily raves about them and she runs a billion miles.  Then Kara from It’s a Dog Lick Baby World got them and I think she is very neato so I wanted to be like her.

did I mention I did this?!
did I mention I did this?!

A chunk of change later and I was the proud owner of a pair of Hokas.  Let’s just put it out there that these puppies aren’t the cutest things ever and they make my feet look giant.  Nevertheless, I was willing to overlook these for a sweet ride.

I wasn’t disappointed – at least not for a while.  They initially felt very large and clunky.  I kind of wondered if they were too big?  I ordered a size down so I could see if this was it and these rubbed against the side of my feet – the right side worse than the left.  So, I kept the 8.5’s thinking these would be the right choice.

Sadly they are not my earth-shattering dream shoes I hoped for.  The blisters on both feet are just getting worse and running is uncomfortable/painful.  I think my right foot is wider as this one is more irritated.  I thought I could push through it and I will but I need to mix them up with shoes that fit me better.  My Brooks Glycerin’s are good but my current pair are DONEZO.  I looked on amazon and they didn’t have any in my size so I will look somewhere else.  Amazon did suggest some Asics Nimbus though.  I started out my running career with Asics and maybe it’s time to go back?

p.s. NEVER look up “blister” under images… trust me

Clearly, I am incredibly wishy-washy when it comes to shoes.  My “journey” is silly and *perhaps* my standards are just a bit high.  OR I need to stop falling into the trap of hearing/reading about what others are wearing and thinking these will make me run like them.  While I don’t really believe this will make it true, some part of me wonders if there is magic in shoes…  I also should have gone to Hogwarts for my undergrad but you know… the owl got lost.

There you have it.  My Asics are coming today and I need to find the Glycerin’s right quick-like (just in case the Asics don’t work).  I have a 25k on 5/10 and I need time to break in the new shoes.  Not to mention, running in the Hokas on back to back days is making my feet all hurty.  I will stock up on some moleskin because Hokas last for 700ish miles.  I’m probably the only person who is disappointed by this.  I do want to say, I like a lot about the hokas.  The cushion is great and it definitely helps encourage mid-foot striking.  They also have a mad love affair with my treadmill.  I can’t explain it but running in these on the ‘mill is so much easier than in other shoes for me.

Oh no!  Another angsty post – here, look at this funny t-rex – maybe it will help you forget about my whining!

man, I love a good t-rex meme!
man, I love a good t-rex meme!


runnin’ just as fast I can

hmm, where have all the Tiffany gifs gone?

This morning was the annual Campus Classic.  It was the first race I ever ran (I trained a whole summer for it and never dreamed I would be able to finish) so it has a special place in my heart.  (Plus the start line is less than 5 mins from my front door.)  I’ve done it every year since and it’s always been hard.  They changed the course this year and seriously, they made it harder than ever.  It’s all around campus and they made the course hit every freakin’ hill there was.

But I was happy with my time, especially considering the hills.  TONS of people were walking and my goal was to keep pushing through.  It was harder than I anticipated since by the first mile we had already run up a long hill and my legs already felt shot!

When I got done, I finally knew it was time for some new shoes.  On long runs my feet have been really hurting, the outer part of my under foot has been bugging me, on Thursday I hurt my ankle and a few other issues.  Turns out, I don’t need stability shoes anymore.  Mind blown.

I went to my local running store and the woman, Ty, was awesome.  She brought out 4 different pairs and we set out to test them.  They let me run outside in each, which was great.  It came down to Brooks Glycerin and Mizuno Enigma.  I ended up with the Glycerin, however, in a few months I might pick up the Engima to switch off and on during the week.  Oh and I got the “Aquarius Blue” glycerin even before I knew the name – total fate friends.

Trust me, they are oh-so pretty.  And of course, practically the Rolls Royce of shoes.  Thanks feet, you have expensive tastes.

As I mentioned, I think I sprained my ankle a bit this week.  It’s really been bothering me so I’m icing and limping a bunch.  I won some Rock Tape from a blog (thanks Wine to Weightlifting) about a year ago so last night I watched a taping video.  I was skeptical but it really helped!  I was surprised.  It wasn’t perfect but a lot less pain then when I’ve been walking around.  So yeah, I recommend it.

If you are running, hope you have some happy miles this weekend

I’m a try-er of new things

Essentially, this is a #firstworldissues post… With a cup full of consumerism…

I should amend this title to say, “a try-er of new products” because indeed this is my thing.  I love to try new products.  Mostly because I am convinced there is something better out there and I want to find it.  I am extremely loyal to a product once I find the one but it takes me some time to get there.

searching – almost got it! wait… searching again

The other temptation is price.  If I find a product cheaper and I am fairly certain will do the same job then I get it.  However, this causes problems at times when it turns out I am allergic.  I would say the biggest areas where I do this are face products, shampoos/hair products, body wash and running shoes.  Obviously, there is a theme here (minus the running shoes) and ironically enough (please say I used irony correctly!) this is also the area where allergies pop up the MOST!

Recently, I wanted to buy a cheaper body wash than Dial.  I really like Dial, especially the yogurt ones but it can be really pricey – actually ridiculously so.  Since more often than not, I shower twice a day this adds up.  I decided to try another brand only to find it was extremely stinky – to the point it made me nauseous every time I showered.  I tried another one that I thought was the golden ticket and broke out in a rash.  Super awesome.  This rash then lead me down the path of my current stress rash/itchiness.

I decided I needed to hit up some of the basics.  I did purchase the Dial but then also found a travel size Dr. Bronner’s soap.  Have you heard of this?  It is extremely natural and not tested on animals (which I do think many companies avoid anyway simply from the sheer outrage factor) and I’ve read great reviews.  I’ve tried the peppermint so far and have the lavender one too.  The peppermint wakes up your senses!  I like it – there is some tingly action and some days it’s kind of much for me so I am anticipating the lavender to be on the gentler side of things.  It isn’t cheap but it also lasts a long time.  It simply takes a few drops and you are good to go.  I’ve read you can use it as shampoo, face wash, and cleaning your house!  Yes, I do think this last one is strange but whatever.

I know - it seems really expensive but it lasts a long time.  you can also buy smaller sizes
I know – it seems really expensive but it lasts a long time. you can also buy smaller sizes

Running shoes.  I’ve talked about this issue quite often because I am never sure if the perfect shoe is on my foot or if there is a better one out there.  It’s definitely possible I’m over thinking this but there is a part of me that feels if I haven’t given many of them a chance, how will I know?  Nikes are too narrow for me, Asics were good for a bit but are clunky and the colors aren’t always very fun.  I like my Brooks Pure Cadence but the balls of my feet were hurting badly during my marathon – they are a fast shoe though.  Currently, I am enjoying my Mizuno Wave Inspires but a bit pricey and don’t seem to go on sale.  I mentioned a few of weeks ago, I wanted to order the Saucony Mirage but I tried to fight the urge.  I did.  For three weeks.

hello my pretties
hello my pretties

I ordered them today and am looking forward to giving them a whirl.  They are also $45 right now.  I think this will be my last trial as far as running shoes are concerned.  There aren’t too many others I am wildly curious about so hopefully I’ll be content with my choice.

this is how I’ll feel when I finally decide

Yesterday I had the chance to escape work for a whole 2 hours!  I went to visit friends.  One friend has a 1 yr old, the other a newborn and then my third friend is preggers.  Umm… yes, there was a lot of estrogen in the room and my ovaries where saying things like, “you want a baby too!”.  One of them brought some wine, Moscato d’Asti and it was very delicious.  I highly recommend it!

see the cute baby in the background?  love him! and his mummy & daddy
see the cute baby in the background? love him! and his mummy & daddy

Funny thing, this doesn’t extend to people, my job or other major areas of my life.  Mostly running gear (although it may be simply I am addicted to gear!) and the body care thing.  It’s weird.

What about you?  Do you try products?  Are you on the constant search for the perfect whatever?  If not, how do you decide what is best for you?

treats for my tummy and my feet!

So I realize there are 100’s of posts out there right now talking about how grateful they are and I will do that.  Tomorrow.  I’ll do it in pics so then you won’t have to use your tired, overstuffed brain too much!

Today?  Probably just a few ramblings… like many, I am super grateful to have a few days off.  I’ve done a better job than in past years taking time off that I need but having a real life structured break is simply kind of awesome.  I took this afternoon off and I plan to do the following: bake, run and  bake some more.  Turns out, I got lazy and will just be baking these three things over the next few days.  Let me show you what I will be baking:

1. Pumpkin pie.  Yes, boring but still ever so tasty.  A classic.  I hated pumpkin pie for YEARS!  Then one day I actually tried it and I’m fairly certain I fought my dad for the last piece.

2.  Pumpkin pie MUFFINS!  Yes, can you see the theme?  These are muffins with pumpkin pie INSIDE!  I know… food heaven.  Actually, the nutrition stats aren’t terrible and the recipe has a lot of healthier alternatives.  170 for a muffin?  Not too shabby when you are splurging!

these look sooooo delish!

3.  Ummm… okay, these are in no way shape or form good for you… they are Cinnamon Roll cookie bars.  LOOK AT THIS PIC!  I’m kind of obsessed with cinnamon rolls.  I love them.  If it were possible to simply make one then I would be a happy camper.  I am going to make these but have plans to give many away.  Or eat the whole pan… who knows!

I might be slightly excited to make these!

Click on the top two pics for the recipes!

I’m super excited for my run tomorrow  – why?  These babies came in!


Last week (!! crazy mad shipping Mizunos, you rock!) my dear friend Meagan won a pair from FasterBunny.  When she logged on, Mizunos gave a second pair to give to someone else and that someone was ME!  Yes, I felt incredibly special.

thanks M – you are the bomb! btw, we need a new running pic!

After some very thorough research online and through twitter (it’s very scientific!) as well as a quick visit to my local running store, I decided on the Inspires 9.  They were really comfy and I am looking for a shoe with a bit more cushion, a bit of stability and of course some flair for my longer runs.  I can’t wait to run in these!

I would say the only odd thing is they feel sort of big.  As I mentioned, I tried them on and in normal shoes I wear a 7.5.  In many running shoes I wear an 8.  In both these and my Brooks PureCadence I wear an 8.5.  I ran up and down the sidewalk today and they feel pretty good.  Tomorrow will be the real test.

Okay, have I bored you enough?  Happy Thanksgiving eve!