If Cinderella Were A Runner…

Well, it is back to work for me after a relaxing 4 day weekend.  And we had some Wizard of Oz level wind last night preventing me from getting any kind of restful sleep.  More coffee, please.

But aside from that.

I know this isn’t earth shattering news, but runners are on their feet a lot.  Everything else on the body comes into play while running, but it is our feet that physically carry us through those long miles.

So needless to say, running shoes (and pedicures!) are an important piece of the whole “I want to run a marathon” pie.

As I start getting more and more into longer mileage, I obviously want to make sure that I’m wearing the best shoes for the occasion (no hippy running for this girl…sorry).

About a year ago I did the formal gait analysis at my local running shop (Heart and Sole if you are in Albuquerque and looking to see a video of what your feet do when they run…pretty crazy stuff).

I learned that I am a pronator.  Kind of an extreme one actually.  It has been recommended that I wear shoes that provide a fair amount of support.  I’m also trying to improve my form so that I pronate less.

{Mizuno, Asics, Newton, Asics}

{View from the top!}

I currently rotate between 4 different pairs of shoes for running.  Rotating gives the foam a chance to recover and helps shoes last longer.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 7’s are nearing the end of their life, so I keep those for shorter distance recovery runs.  The Newton Lady Issacs help improve form, and I currently use them for shorter to moderate distance runs.  The Asics Gel-DS Trainers are slightly less supported and lighter, so those are used for speedwork. And the Asics GT-2160 are my “long run” shoe. (Also, you can tell by the outdated model numbers that I’m a big fan of purchasing last year’s models for cheaper online!).

But here’s the thing.  I do like my Mizuno Wave Inspires (they are probably my favorite).  I do like my Asics.  The Asics Gel-DS are really comfortable for non-running activities.  The Newtons are kind of weird but I feel like a Trendy B when I wear them (walking feels pretty awkward though).  However, loyalty hasn’t yet been established.   I want to try out every possibility in the land to make sure that I am truly going to have my running shoe happily ever after.

The question about which shoes you use came up on #runchat this weekend.  I was able to get some good ideas on what my next purchase might be.  I think I will try out the Brooks Adrenaline based on some suggestions I received.

Brooks Adrenaline

But I’m also looking for some other ideas.

Except for the Vibram Five Fingers shoes.  You couldn’t pay me to wear those (no offense Jon and other Vibram peeps, but your shoes weird me out).

Are you a pronator, a supinator, or a neutral runner?  

Which shoes do you use?  

Would you ever consider the Vibram Five Fingers or do they give you nightmares?  

Are you like me and make it a personal mission to pass as many Five Fingers wearing runners as possible?

Am I the only person who considers how pretty shoes are in addition to functionality?  

Another product I need help with:

Compression Gear.  I have never used it (MAJOR running sin I know) and I know that I absolutely need to start to aid in the recovery process! But I have no idea what to look for in a good compression brand.  PRO Compression seems to be the brand all over social media, but they make me weary because most of the reviews come from sponsored bloggers who receive free stuff.   And I am painfully short, so I need a brand geared toward people who don’t have long legs.

Do you use compression gear?

What brand of compression gear do you use? Would someone half your height be able to fit in them?

Happy Tuesday, y’all! Only 3.5 more days until the weekend!

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The Art of the White Elephant

Tis the season for lots of Christmas parties.  Whether they be office, friend, or family, it seems like our whole December is filled with them. 

Where the idea of a “white elephant” gift exchange came from, I have no idea (I’m sure it would take about 5 seconds on google to figure it out).  Sometimes, the gift exchange is cordial.  You give fancy chocolate sauce, a bottle of wine, or gift certificates to Starbucks.  While the gift is typically useful and appreciated, it is also very boring.

Sometimes, the white elephant is tacky.  The purpose is to hand off some terrible present that you’ve received in exchange for something equally terrible that someone else didn’t want.  Useful, no.  Entertaining, you bet.

We went to one of those last weekend. 

Aaron and I don’t have a lot of terrible gifts in our house, and the ones we do have were given to us by very nice people, and we’d feel bad if they ever knew we gave their treasured gift away in a white elephant gift exchange. So, we had no choice but to head to Goodwill and do some treasure hunting.

I don’t really go to thrift stores too often, but maybe I should start.  Where else could I find some of these amazing treasures! If I ever need a VCR, a figurine, or some vintage 90’s decor, I know exactly where I’m going!  In addition to getting some pretty marvelous White Elephant presents, I got a $6 tennis racket in great shape, and a $1 vase.  Can’t beat that!

This was one of the winners!

This was another winner!

I don’t even know what this is…

One of the rules of White Elephant is that you can steal other people’s gifts, but usually the gifts are so hideous, no one wants to do any stealing.  Apparently that didn’t apply to the ones I chose.  My gifts got stolen TWICE.  First, I was deprived of a genuine Village People Live and Sleezy record. I guess there will be no dance parties at Amy’s house anytime soon.

THEN (and this one hurts), a bottle of rum was stolen from me (the person who brought this obviously thought this would be a cordial White Elephant exchange).  We ended up leaving with a lovely mermaid figurine that is meant for hanging (don’t think that it isn’t!), and a lovely box full of incense should I ever need to conceal certain aromas. 

Lesson learned from all this….Goodwill is a good source of entertainment.  So are white elephant gift exchanges!

What I’m Loving Wednesday: Black Friday Edition

Linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I’m Loving Wednesday.  Obviously this Wednesday I’m LOVING the 4 day weekend which has started for me, the amazing meal I will have tomorrow, all of the wonderful things in my life that make me eternally grateful, and…BLACK FRIDAY!

I remember watching the news as a 7 year old (yes, I was that kid…one of my first childhood crushes was on Peter Jennings), and a report came on about Black Friday shopping.  It looked marvelous! I wondered why we weren’t taking part in this amazing tradition.  Ever since, I have dragged family, high school boyfriends, and now Aaron with me to participate in this beloved part of the holiday season!

My Black Friday shopping rule is, if it isn’t on sale, I can’t buy it (I usually won’t even go below a 15% discount).  There is a whole month to buy stuff that isn’t on sale.  Black Friday is for good deals and good deals only. I’ve been making my game plan, and trying to figure out which places have good sales.  I haven’t been able to track down everything but here is a list of what I’ve found in my research (I’ll update as I find out new info!).

Santa Fe Fashion Outlets (open at midnight)

Coach Outlet: Not positive, but they will usually hand out 30% off coupons at the door.

Nike Factory: According the Fashion Outlets website, they will have 40% off all clearance and 20% of “back wall” shoes.

Under Armour Factory: $10 off ColdGear, extra discounts on clearance.

Tommy Hilfiger Outlet: 15% off entire purchase, or 20% off purchase of $150 or more.

Aeropostale Outlet: 50% off everything.

Levis: 30% off all tops and outerwear.

Coronado Mall (opens at 5 am, but many stores opening at midnight): If you spend $100 at the mall on Friday, you get a $10 Shop Etc. Gift Card

Sephora: Specials on select products from Tarte, Korres, Josie Moran, Buxom, Bare Minerals, The Art of Shaving, Sephora Collection, and Tokidoki.  (By select I mean 1 product each).  “Like” them on facebook for complete listing.

Forever 21: Don’t know yet, but they will have Black Friday deals according to their website.

Victoria Secret: Bras buy 1, get 1 50% off, $10 off pajamas, $20 off robes, save on crewnecks and yoga pants from the Pink collection (opens at midnight).

Bath and Body Works: $20 VIP bag stuffed with 11 different products ($100 value) with any $40 purchase.

Banana Republic: Don’t know yet, but they usually run 40% off everything sales.

Gap: UP TO 60% everything until Saturday.

Express: Don’t know yet, but they will have deals.

Sunglasses Hut: Don’t know yet, but they have a great sale that ends tomorrow for 30% off all sale items.

Macy’s: Perhaps the inventor of Black Friday, they have too many to list (see complete list here), brands on sale include Betsey Johnson, Perry Ellis, Calvin Klein, Levis, and Michael Kors among MANY others.

WINROCK MALL

UPDATED: Dillards: 50% off all clearance.  They open at 8 am

ABQ UPTOWN:

Anthropologie: 50% off all sale items, 25% off all sale items until Sunday.

BCBG: 50% off all sweaters, outerwear, leather, and boots.

Pottery Barn: Select items with free shipping and/or free monogramming, 50% off throws.  You can see the complete list of applicable free shipping/monogramming items HERE.

Williams Sonoma: 40% off very limited merchandise.  You can see what it is HERE.

AROUND TOWN:

Target: Too many to list, but you can see their ad HERE.  Deals include TVs under $200 and Kitchen Aide mixers for $199.  They open at midnight.

Best Buy: If you aren’t camping out right now, you may not get one of the limited stock TVs, but they have other TVs, SmartPhones, and BlueRay disks on sale.  Their list is HERE.  They open at midnight.

PetsMart: 50% off select merchandise including crates, treats and holiday toys.  You can see their ad HERE.  They open at 7 a.m.

UPDATED: Urban Outfitters: 50% off all sale items until 10:00 am

BlackFriday.com is a also wonderful resource for the actual print ads of some of the bigger chains like Kohls, Wal-Mart, and JCPenney.  Let me know if you have a specific store to look for, and HAPPY SHOPPING! 

Sales, Summerfest, and the Untimely Death of a Musician

First,  I can’t do any sort of weekend recap without acknowledging the death of my favorite modern musician, Amy Winehouse.  I will never forget the exact moment I was introduced to this extraordinary talent.  I was in my senior year of college.  I was in my bedroom one morning getting ready for class with VH1 Jumpstart playing in the background on the TV in the other room.  I suddenly heard this amazing jazzy beat start playing so I stopped what I was doing, went to the other room, and planted myself in front of the television to hear “You Know I’m No Good” for the first time.  I immediately became a devoted follower of this amazing artist.  She managed to take an outdated music form and make it relevant with lyrics far deeper than the upbeat rhythms suggested.  She talked about such serious issues like addiction, alcoholism, and depression without making the listener judgemental toward her or even feel pity for her.  Apparently she also greatly influenced some other major industry staples like Adele and Lady Gaga.  I recently wrote that she was one of my favorite things about Britain, and I always was hoping for her recovery from addiction.  News of her death devastated me on Saturday the way most celebrity deaths do not.  Perhaps listening to her albums made me feel like I knew a deeper part of her, or maybe I know that she could have done so much with her talent, but either way, I think the music industry lost something very special on Saturday.

ANYWAY…. (there really is no good way to transition off of this into the next subject).

This weekend was filled with some crazy shopping experiences.  After getting a 5.4 mile run in on Saturday morning, Aaron and I ventured to the REI Scratch and Dent Sale.  I actually have never been, but WOW.  The sale opened at 9 am, and when we got there shortly before, the line was around the building.  It was a complete mad dash for the best Birkenstocks and camping backpacks.  I helped Aaron grab some stuff, and then made my rounds at about 9:10, and everything was pretty well picked over.  It was kind of like the Day After Thanksgiving for hippy outdoorsy people.  But I can see why.  We snagged a Garmin for $100 and a fuel belt for my half marathon for $20 (regularly $50).  If I had known how crazy it was, I probably would have made my game plan ahead of time and went for the women’s apparel, but luckily Aaron knew just what he was doing, and scored some great deals.

On our way home, we stopped by the Border’s liquidation.  As a true book nerd who is mortified by the thought of e-readers and the lost art of book publishing, I was sad to find out that another book retailer was going out of business.  Admittedly, Borders does charge more than the likes of Amazon for the same product, but, as the weirdo who can spend hours browsing around the literature section, I have one less place to indulge myself.  The sales really aren’t that great yet.  Most books are only 10% (still more expensive than Amazon).  But CDs and DVDs are 20% off and magazines are 40% off.  We mostly grabbed a bunch of magazines, and then waited about 30 minutes in line to purchase.

In the middle of all our sale shopping, we went to Summerfest in Nob Hill.  For Summerfest, the neighborhood closes down Central Ave. to traffic allowing for lots of walking across what is usually a busy intersection.  The convenience was nice, but in all, it wasn’t too exciting.  I know as the event gets bigger (I think this is only the 2nd year that it has occurred), it will draw better vendors and more activities, but for the most part it was kind of like it is on any normal day with more people and less traffic.  It was also windy and rainy when we were there.

Sunday continued our sale shopping madness (after another 5.4 mile run) with a 10% shopping spree at Dillard’s, a perk hat you earn when you spend insane amounts of money  on their store issued credit card.  Dillard’s is really the only department store worth visiting in Albuquerque (we have no Nordstrom and our Macy’s carries about half the inventory that most normal Macy’s carry).  I kinda forgot that 10% off isn’t really a good deal until AFTER my two pairs of shoes were rung up. 10% off isn’t really helpful at all.  But, oh my goodness, I am in LOVE with my new shoes.  I may or may not have been wearing them around the house the last day.  I also bought Aaron a present.  This summer he will be smelling like Justin (Timberlake, NOT Bieber) with Givenchy Play Intense (or Intense Play?).  I figure Justin probably smells pretty good.

BCBGeneration

Vince Camuto

In other news, Giuseppe drank too much this weekend (but really, this was posed and he can’t drink until he’s 3 so no alcohol was actually consumed).  He also got kind of freaked out by the rain storm (like, the first rainstorm in 2 years), and decided peeing on the carpet was a much safer option…7 times in a row.  Back to square 1.  But before then, we had 9 accident free days, so hopefully it will be a fast transition back to being house trained.

Giuseppe, no!