Switching Shoes {A Continuation of the Mizuno Saucony Shoe Story Saga}

So, a while ago I bought and RAVED ABOUT Mizuno Wave Rider 17s.

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I loved them. I PR’d in them. They were my jam. They made my feet happy!

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And then I started marathon training.

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Not only was I running more, A LOT more, I was running more in higher temps. You don’t have to be a genius to realize that in Florida, in the middle of the summer, that shit gets HOT and it tends to destroy things.

This did not make my shoes happy.

Or my feet.

And, especially, my knees.

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My shoes seemed to start wearing early (with less than under 150 miles). I thought, “eh, I’m sure this is normal.”

I kept running. I kept increasing my mileage.

A few weeks ago I reached a weird breaking point and I started wondering why the runs after my 20-miler felt hard. At first, I chalked it up to training just feeling tough because I was adding more mileage and feeling tired. Except, I actually took a cut week, so that didn’t make sense. Then my knees started hurting. And my feet — oh my poor feet were KILLING me. I would just wake up in the middle of the night with them aching.

Then I remembered to check out the outer soles of my shoes.

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A-ha! Parts of my heel and toe were missing – and there was a lot of mid-section wear as well.

I was sad.

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Then I calculated my mileage (I started wearing my shoes at the end of May — I had JUST hit the 2-month mark and maybe 250, if that). W.T.F???

Maybe I’m spoiled, but I’ve never burned through shoes THAT fast before. I felt like I had been cheated, especially because I really LIKED the shoes. The kicker — I didn’t even RACE in those shoes.

So, I did what every person would do when they are angry at a brand for reducing the quality of their product… I found another one.

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Meet my new shoes — Saucony Ride 7s.

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I did a lot of research on these things. I needed shoes that could carry me through the next 100+ miles of training and 26.2 miles on October 12th (OMG, THE MARATHON IS IN 6 WEEKS).

My verdict, so far, is that they run a little shorter than the Wave Riders – so I have to half-size up. BUT, I don’t feel like an old lady after I run. In fact I had one of my best long runs in MONTHS last weekend.

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They are the weirdest shoes in the best way possible – if that makes any sense. They are cushy, but not too cushy. They are light (around 8.5-9oz), but feel substantial. The outer sole is solid and from all of the 90878291 reviews I read – really hold up. I wear custom orthotics, so I can’t talk about the inner sole – but the one time I ran in them without my inserts, they were comfy and didn’t bother my ankle.

I’m hopeful. Which is a good thing since I just ordered another pair that will (if all goes well) be my Chicago Marathon Shoes, next month.

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Imagine these shoes with a TON of names written on them. Can’t wait!

TL;DR version… the running shoe love story saga continues because companies keep changing designs and quality. Or they just like to piss me off and keep things interesting (verdict is still out).

Will I switch back to Mizunos when I’m running half marathons?? Will I try Brooks again? Will Saucony become MY SHOE? Only time will tell.

Shoe love/hate… Which brand has disappointed you the most?? Which brand did you not expect to love/wear?

#RunWithMe

It’s hard to believe, but I started running 4 years ago. L was E’s age and *shocker* she wasn’t sleeping through the night. I was tired and struggling to squeeze in exercise. I wanted to find a workout that required as little prep time as possible , including driving to and from the gym – and I knew I could run. I couldn’t necessarily run FAR, but I knew my body could handle at least 5-6 miles. Around that time, Paula mentioned to me that she was signing up to run Disney’s Inaugural Wine and Dine Half. There was food AND wine after a half? Sign me up! The rest is history… or at the very least documented on this blog.

Why am I reminding you of this? Tribesports asked me to spread the word about their awesome #RunWithMe campaign. They are trying to spread their LOVE and grow their brand.

I picked 5 pictures that I thought represented what running means to me – and they turned it into a gif.

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So obviously to ME running means sweaty selfies, PR bell kissing, the Garmin, Jazz Hands, and the Running BFF.

They can also do the same for you. Check out their page - it has instructions on it explaining how anyone can have their own #RunWithMe story made up. While’ll you’re there —  take a quick survey about the companies newest clothing products that are going to be hitting their website soon (2-in-1 shorts for men and sports bras for women).

And this just isn’t a post about creating gifs! Tribesports was also kind enough to send me a pair of their new 2-in-1 shorts and Performance Tech Tee to test out.

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While I haven’t worn the 2-in-1 shorts yet, I really LOVED their Tee. It was crazy lightweight, breathed in the right places, and was the perfect length. I actually wish they had this tee in multiple colors (maybe some orange, pink, and purple? :)).

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I felt compelled to pose like this. At least you can see that the shirt doesn’t ride even when you look stupid.

They would be PERFECT for my summer marathon training (I know I keep bringing it up, what seriously what as I thinking training in the middle of the summer in Florida??).

In five words, what does running mean to you? Even if you don’t run, I bet you can find five words to describe it.

**In full disclosure, Tribesports created the GIF and sent me their products, but the opinions and stupid poses are my very own.**

Zensah Compression Socks + Giveaway

Disclosure: Zensah provided me with a free pair of their Argyle Compression socks for this review. However, all opinions and observations are my own.

Woot! It’s my Friday!

It’s really been a hectic week for me and instead of getting better at this whole “getting out the door” business – I think I’m getting worse.

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Seriously woman. Get your act together.

But those complaints are for another post…. What was I saying?

A few weeks ago, Zensah contacted me about doing a review and giveaway for their Argyle socks

My high school self squeeeeed at this because back in the day – I LOVED argyle. Seriously, I had like 20 pairs of argyle socks. I still might have a small collection…

Unfortunately, the color combination that I originally wanted was out in my size (I have large feet, this is a common theme) so instead of the super cute pink socks…

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I got the almost equally as cute blue and green socks.

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Resting and recovering from a 4 mile run. Yes, 4 miles requires recovering these days.

So my review…

Well, the socks fit. So that’s a good start. I have compression sleeves from Zensah that are too short, so we’re making progress. As for the compression part — well, they’re not my favorite. However, I was wearing them post run for recovery and I like a thicker more supportive sock to well… compress.

They might be better to run in, but truthfully when it’s 90 degrees outside with 110% humidity – I’m wearing as little as possible – so I haven’t tested them out in those conditions. They ARE more lightweight than Pro Compression (still my go-to socks), which is a plus if you want to run outside and only need light support.

Another difference between the socks I’ve tested is that the sock portion of the Zensah are really thick. This is a feature that I really LIKE, but I like running with thicker socks on, so I think it’s a personal preference.

So my verdict? The socks are really cute, but lower on the “compression” side of things. If you are looking for something fashionable and lightweight to run in – these might worth trying out. If you are looking for a sock to recover in – these might not be your cup of tea. Anyone else have this same experience?

The good news is that, Zensah has offered to give one of you lucky (US Citizen) readers a pair of socks as well. Just leave me a comment telling me what color argyle socks you want and follow Zensah either on Facebook or on Twitter (added extra bonus points that I assume increase your chances if you tweet about the giveaway or follow me on FB/Twitter).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So go forth and enter… I’ll pick the winner on Monday!

Disclosure: Zensah provided me with a free pair of their Argyle Compression socks for this review. However, all opinions and observations are my own.

Addicted to TV {Apple TV Review}

Have you heard of Apple TV?

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I’ve heard it mentioned in passing and envisioned a big TV with Mac capability that cost a fortune. Obviously, I had never researched it or thought it would be something that I would need or like.

I was wrong.

Staples contacted me a few weeks ago and wanted to know if I wanted to do a review of any of their accessories. Maybe for a little Father’s Day gift inspiration. When I saw they had Apple products, how could I say no?  The item I picked? Yep, Apple TV.

UntitledSo what is Apple TV?

Apple gives you all the best entertainment right on your widescreen TV. Choose from thousands of current and classic movies and TV shows on iTunes-many in amazing 1080p HD. Watch live sports in HD. Access content from Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, and more. And with AirPlay, you can play video, show off photos, and enjoy music from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on your TV.

In short: If you are a Mac/Apple lover like I am, it is AWESOME.

I say this as someone who also has a Wii and a Playstation 3 and has many of the same capabilities — but what makes this even better? Two things: The remote (which makes Apple TV SOOOO easy to use!) and Airplay.

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Remotes are exciting!!

Airplay has already allowed up to have hours of dance parties — I just have to tap a button and music streams directly from my iPhone.

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This is what a dance party looks like in my house.

Airplay actually has me considering dropping cable all together, since Apple TV allows you to mirror your iPhone, iPad, and Mac computer. Want to watch a college football game that’s not on TV, but is available through an app/online?? Yeah, you can stream it. Want to do a workout that posted onto YouTube? No worries, you just have to access the YouTube app on the Apple TV interface.

Another add bonus is that the Apple TV system is easy to set up, use, and navigate — and you only need to enter your password ONCE (unlike my experiences with other devices).  Apple TV connects directly to wifi, so you don’t have to do anything but plus it in and follow the simple set up directions. I have also accessed both Netflix and HuluPlus (I MUST FINISH ALL 5 Seasons of Parks and Recreation!) and have had zero problems. In fact, the only problem I *might* have is getting off the couch!

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My views.

So while this review might not have happened in time for Father’s Day, it is definitely worthwhile checking this product out if you are on the fence about canceling cable (the cost of an Apple TV? $99!).

Speaking of Father’s Day… I hope all of the dads out there had a great day. I got to spend the day with two of the best dads I know!

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Now excuse me as I go snuggle up with Evan and watch a few hours of TV. If you need me, you know where to find me.

Full disclosure: Staples.com provided me with this product for review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of Mac Accessories online.

Bestowed Box – Review and Giveaway!

A few weeks ago (or maybe longer… oops), I was given the opportunity to review a Bestowed Box!

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What is a Bestowed Box you ask?? From their site...

Bestowed is the creation of nationally recognized nutritionist and author Heather Bauer and is the answer to all those that have ever stood in the health food section of their local grocery store and said to themselves…”which one of these is really the best??”

Each month, Heather and her team of health and diet experts carefully curate 5 product samples that have caught their attention. Items like nutrition bars, snacks, breakfast cereals, and supplements are just a few of the categories considered.
Bestowed members receive these samples in a box delivered right to their door each month.
We like to think of ourselves as match makers. Introducing the right people to brands that they will absolutely love!

I received April’s box and I have to say, I was pretty impressed. The “samples” were all full-sized and were a good mix of healthy snacks AND treats. I especially enjoyed the Kind Granola – which I ended up snacking on the first week home from the hospital.

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I’m pretty sure Evan enjoyed it too… it definitely helped contribute to those chubby cheeks!

Sweet boy ❤❤❤

The boxes are $19 a month or $209 a year (which includes shipping costs) and include some top of the line brands including:

  • Amy’s Kitchen
  • Chobani
  • Nuun
  • Kind
  • Nature’s Path
  • Justin’s
  • Good Food Made Simple
  • And MANY others

If you are a big snacker and enjoy trying out healthy treats – this box is for you. I’ve tried other boxes and the products have not been as high quality or have just been tiny samples so I do think it’s worth the $$.

Truthfully, I am not a snacker (I know, I’m weird) so this box isn’t something I would normally be interested in, BUT it would be the PERFECT gift for an expecting or new-mom. I am so freaking hungry from nursing (and occasionally being too busy to remember to eat) having something like this really opened up my options!! (I ate a fig bar on the way to a Dr. appt for the breakfast I forgot to eat and snacked on some dark chocolate with my glass of wine!).

Not only did Bestowed give me a box to try, they also offered to send one to my readers. Who doesn’t like to win free food? Just comment below and tell me what your favorite snack is and you’ll be entered. I’ll announce the giveaway winner next Tuesday!

And if you don’t win? Bestowed is also offering my readers $5 off their monthly or annual subscriptions when they use the code 5OFFBSTOWED01. So go check it out!!

Disclosure: I WAS sent a Bestowed Box for free, but all opinions are my own :)