Friday, August 11, 2017

How to pick the PERFECT Shoes for your!

So, since I'm officially training for the Route 66 Marathon and Half, it means it is time for new running shoes.  While I may put too many miles on my training miles on these shoes, I'd rather buy a new pair a few weeks before race day then run on old shoes and risk injury.  I knew that needing new shoes meant I would go to my favorite running store.

There are plenty of speciality running stores in my city but I always choose Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa.   Disclaimer: I am a former employee of Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa but this is an unsolicited review of my experience.  I first discovered Fleet Feet years ago on a visit before one of the Route 66 marathons and realized that I had been in the wrong size and type of shoe for years.  Upon returning to Texas, I had to visit my local running stores and continued to be mis-fitted so therefore, my loyalty lies with Fleet Feet.  Their process is professional, personal and precise.

Last Sunday, I met with one of the owners of Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa, Lori, who personally fit my shoes.  It wouldn't be the first time in the past 5 years that she has fit me for shoes, but it had been over a year since she had last fit me so she put me through the whole process to see if anything had changed since the last fitting.

First she measured both of my feet - while sitting and standing.  Then she put me on the treadmill and taped my running from behind.  This tells her what me fit do when hitting the ground - heel striker, toe or mid foot runner, pronate, supinate or neutral.

It is quite an art of studying the runner foot.  I pronate and toe off.  I have bad form (that's my opinion) and will be needing to take the Healthy Runner class at Fleet Feet so I can get some guidance on how to change my striking.  What I didn't know was that my feet had changed (another benefit of aging).  I went from a 7 normal width to a 6 1/2 wide.  WOW!!

With measurements, and the visual analysis in hand, she knew which shoes would be perfect for me.  She came out with 3 pairs in hand.  She put a right foot of one style on my right foot, and the left of another style on my left foot.  I then went outside to the sidewalk to run.  This is the elimination portion.  Which one felt better?

I couldn't decide.  So I put a pair on and ran in the mates.  I then put the other pair on.  Ran some more.  I still couldn't decide since they were both such excellent runs and felt so comfy on my feet.  So after she felt the shoe on my foot (not just the toe, but the heel and mid point),  she gave me her professional opinion and I went with those.

Now these, are my new runners.  I had sworn years ago that I'd never ever run in a New Balance.  I never thought they made a decent running shoe.  Hmmm...she proved me wrong.

And of course, when you buy new running shoes, you should buy new running socks.  My favorite (as well as my son's) are Balegas.  Deep heel beds, no slip, and I swear I can't make a hole in the toe (and I'm a toe runner so I usually have toes in my socks and shoes).  So I bought myself these fun ones, and the boy the boring gray ones.

Then we looked at one of their new products - Groove silicon wedding rings.  Since my husband is a contractor and I use my hands a lot at up as well, we rarely well our actually wedding rings, so we knew this was a great daily wear answer.  So we both bought one and we haven't taken them off since.  We have had a few runs in them, showered in them, worked in them and we are so glad we made the investment!!

Running shoes are important.  Invest in your feet and in your shoes so your running career will last longer.  Your local Fleet Feet can also aid you in injury prevention, as well as sports bra fittings, and so much more.  Be sure to check out your Fleet Feet store before going somewhere else.  You won't regret it.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Running With Hypothyroidisn

This year I turned 52.  And apparently for me, that brings some changes.  Some more welcome then others.   I like to think that as an athlete I am pretty well in tune with my body.  I rarely have ever gotten sick (I can't even think of the last time I had the flu and I've never taken a flu shot).  But this year, I noticed some changes that I didn't think were good.

It started with my hair.  Most women love their hair.  It is our crowning glory.  When I was younger I had amazing thick hair.   And then I had 3 children.  And so it thinned.  Which is so very common after giving birth.  Now my children have super thick hair.  But now I was losing it.  By the handfuls. After I showered, I'd seen a ton of it in the drain.  After I brushed my hair, I'd see a ton of it in the sink.  I would get out of the car and have long strands all over my clothes.

Then I noticed a kind of overall sadness.  Not depression but just sadness.  No Mojo.  No desire.  No wanting to do much of anything.  And the fatigue.  O M G.  The Fatigue.  I'd sleep 10 hours and be exchausted after being awake for 2 hours.  So I'd nap.

Then the running just got all crazy.  I knew I would have to rebuild to the longer distances slowly so I started smart - with intervals.  But after 30 seconds I'd be exhausted.  So I pushed even harder - after all I have a half marathon in a few months to run!  So now, I've managed to work myself up to 1 1/2 miles before having to take a very long walking break.  It's a struggle to get 4 miles, a challenge to make it to 5.

Let's not forget about the numbness in my fingers, followed by tingling.  And my body thermostat was reeking havoc -   No, things were not normal at all in my body. Let's also not forget that I was having conversations I couldn't remember, asking the same question a dozen times without remembering the answer, watching movies I couldn't remember.

So I started doing some research.  Yes, I googled my symptoms.  I knew it had to by my thyroid or maybe even my testosterone levels.  So I set an appointment with my doctor.  Recited to her all my symptoms since I was tracking them and making notes on my iPhone.

Pretty much a checklist for thyroid issues.  Yet, I felt that I was being dismissed when she said, "You probably just need sleep" and then wrote me a script for Ambien.  After I persisted and insisted that she do some blood work, she finally sent me to the lab for a T4 and TSH.  

3 days later, she called and said that indeed my T4 was low and proceeded to call in a script for levothyroxine.  1 pill, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, eat one hour later.  
 So I did just that and began researching some more.  I am one of those who wants to know symptoms, side effects, nutritional impact and the such.  That's when I learned that was a lot more to a blood work up for Thyroid then the two she ran.

The medication I am on is currently not working so I am off to an endocrinologist to get a full load of thyroid blood work done.  What I have found in the meantime about running with Hypothyroidism is that it can indeed be done.  But I just have to be smarter about it.  I can't always push myself.  I will have to listen my body and respect it.  There's a really great article about athletes and hypothyroidism here

I've also learned that Hypothyroid could actually be Hashimoto's, an autoimmune deficiency.  I also learned that their are foods that will help my thyroid such as Brazilian nuts (because of their selenium) seaweed, Omega 3 Fatty Acids (which can be found in wild caught fish and salmon).

I am not a dr and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn, but if you listen to your body and think you might have a thyroid issue to talk to your doctor about it.  Don't let yourself be dismissed but instead, insist on them exploring the possibility.

There's some great online resources - currently I am loving - she is a doctor with low thyroid so she gets it.  You can find her blog at

Another great resource regarding nutrition and your low thyroid can be found here.

Are you running with hypothyroidism?  Got any tips you want to pass along?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Big News!

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I adore Route 66 Marathon and Half.  And for good reason - their finish line celebration is one of the best, those medals (which just get better year after year), the incredible expo, their swag bag and their team of directors is amazing!!  This year, Route 66 Marathon and Half are adding another feature - Ambassadors!  And I've been asked to be one!

Becoming an Ambassador for one of the best races I've been in is super exciting for me.  It's given me the motivation to get back to blogging, focus on training and clean eating and it's a great way for me to give back to the race I love.

I was reflecting back on the past Route 66 marathons and realized that I always get so excited about the training for it because we start training in the hottest months and then we run the race on (what it seems to be) the coldest day of the year!  Every single time!!  Cold weather to me just means I'll run faster because I want to get out of the cold.

I also remember the year, we helped with set up (which makes for an even earlier wake up than if you are running).

That was also a year we were running it as well.  We thought it would be fun to just jump in at the start line (since we were there helping set it up) at the beginning of the race.  Look closely in the picture below - front row - the tall one and short one in blue.

By the way, that was a bad ideal.  Don't start with the elites if you can't hang with the elites. 

That year was one of the warmer Route 66 race days.

Unlike previous years when we would run with wool socks on our hands and double thermal layers. 

 One of my favorite stops on Route 66 is Mile 9 (it's on Cincinnati).  It's quite the party - complete with jello shots, snacks and a great cheering squad which helps motivate you to get up that long uphill mile! 

If you are running Route 66, you have got to stop and appreciate all the stops along the way!  The People of Tulsa really go out of their way to cheer on all the runners and walkers!  It definitely makes it worthwhile to make this a destination run if you are not from Tulsa.  

Don't forget you want to sign up now for the Route 66 Marathon & Half here.  By signing up early, you get to personalize your bib!  Plus there is another rate increase on August 31st!  

Not ready for a Half or a full but want to run long?  Grab some of your friends and sign up for the relay!! 

Look for my training plans to be posted later this week!  Gotta go get my run in...

“Disclosure: I am participating in the Route 66 Marathon Ambassadors  program and have been provided with a Free Entry and VIP  in exchange for my honest opinions about the race.”

Saturday, July 8, 2017

First Mile Recap

We did it.  We ran the First Mile - the official kick off to training season for the Tulsa Run and Route 66 Marathon.  It was about 98 degrees outside (with a triple digit heat index) but we ran.  1 mile.

Just how does one get a good race picture?  Most of the run pictures from that night show everyone smiling and having a great time - many with thumbs up - and then there is always me.  Serious face.  O well, my husband (in the blue with the Fun Hurts hat on) was all smiles!  If you want to see more First Mile pics, you can find them here.

We went with the 11:00 min pace group - a little slow for us, but since we are just both starting back, we felt that it was a reasonable goal.  We are also both having to learn how to run again. The hubs has a paralyzed diaphragm which takes up about half of his lung - so breathing is much more difficult than it should be.  It's a long story on how it happened (and I'm sure I'll write about it eventually), but the short end is that it cannot be fixed.  So running for him, which was never his passion, is more of a torture event.

As for me learning to run again, it's been months since hitting the road (losing your running partner can be a difficult adjustment) and while I've been pounding miles out on the treadmill, road running is more difficult. My endurance isn't what it was a year ago but that will come around.  My official training schedule won't start for a couple of more weeks, so for now, I'm concentrating on completing 3 miles without stopping.

So the First Mile is always produced by Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa, as they are the official training partner for both Tulsa Run and Route 66 Marathon.  They always do a stellar job in producing this fast paced event.  From food to beer (or sweet tea), to t-shirt give aways, new training apparel, and big water based inflatables.  This time was no different.  They pretty much have putting on events down to a science.  If you are looking for a great training program, you should check them out here.

What was great fun for me, was all the people.  Having worked with Fleet Feet for almost 4 years and being away from there for exactly one year, meant I got to see a lot of old friends and get lots of hugs and reconnect!  It's that kind of excitement that will help me keep running and training!

If you haven't signed up for the Route 66 Marathon yet, you better do it quickly as rates will go up on July 15th!  You can sign up here.

What are you training for?

“Disclosure: I am participating in the Route 66 Marathon Ambassadors  program and have been provided with a Free Entry and VIP  in exchange for my honest opinions about the race.”

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

It's Official...

I've registered for the Route 66 Half Marathon, so there is no turning back at this point!  Training for this iconic event officially starts with my participation in Thursday's night First Mile event.

They offer various distances so whether it is truly your first mile, or you'd like to go a little further (3 mile or 5 mile options are available), this is a great way to join other like minded crazy runners and make your training official!

Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa always makes great events, and this one will be no different.  Even though it is free, they pull out all the stops, from beer & beverages, to slip 'n slides and games for the little ones.  They will have last years Route 66 Marathon merchandise available as well, and they always debut the Route 66 Medals - ALL of them!.

I spent the weekend at a cousin's house (with a ton of other cousins) and put a team together.  One of the members lives in Tahlequah and so we won't be training side by side but virtually.  I'm putting together our training runs based on her schedule - she's a Maternity nurse so sometimes her schedule is pretty crazy.  It'll help us both to know someone else is out there doing our same runs.

I'll be posting the training plan here next week!  If you haven't signed up for the Route 66 Marathon yet, you can do so here.

That's it for today!  Have a great July Fourth!

“Disclosure: I am participating in the Route 66 Marathon Ambassadors  program and have been provided with a Free Entry and VIP  in exchange for my honest opinions about the race.”

Monday, June 26, 2017

I'm Back!

Yes, it's been awhile since I've blogged.  But life gets in the way sometimes - what's a girl to do?  Anyway, I could give you this amazingly boring recap of what's been going on in the past two years, but I won't.  I will however, share with you on this Motivational Monday (who started that anyway?), who I got to watch and cheer on yesterday!!

Even if you are not a runner, you must likely have heard of the New York City Marathon.  For me, it is a bucket list item that I would love to check off sometime.  I have a friend running it this upcoming November with her husband.  He is running for Team for Kids and has to raise $2500 by the end of October.  Team for Kids supports the NYRR Youth Programs which brings free running and fitness programs to students across the country.  You've been living under a rock if you aren't aware of the state of most public schools - underfunded in so many arenas and some of those cuts include removing recess, gym time and even after school athletics.

NYRR Youth Programs offers a free youth fitness program to schools, community centers and participants.  It's a great program that helps kids fall in love with running, offering curriculum, coaching and rewards!  If you fill like it's worth it, I'd love you to drop a little donation on my friend Kevin and support him as he trains to cross the finish line for this great organization.  The link to donate or to learn more is here. 

His first fundraiser was 25/25/625.  He was going to run 25k for $25 in donations on 6/25.  Clever, heh?  I really wanted to run a leg of it with him but since I just started my training after a year off...that wasn't really a good plan for either of us so I joined my friend in the sag wagon for cheer squad!  They rounded up pacers for each 5k leg of his 25K.  With the route planned, we met up at Riverwest Festival Park and sent Kevin off on his first 5k.

After his first solo 5k, the running friends started showing up - the weather was great, the company good and the cheer squad solid!  

For the 3rd 5k, he got two pacers.  

For the 4th leg, he was back down to one.  But first, a little re-fuel.  

Leg 5: Another friend to join the fun!!

Finish line!! 

Great job Kev!!  Amy and I held on and cheered him in good and strong.  I think it is great motivation watching someone else run a long distance in an effort to help out a worthy cause.  I'll keep Kevin's hard work in mind today to motivate me as I tackle getting back into my run training!!  Why do you run?

Friday, March 6, 2015

1st Trail Run Ever!

Last Sunday, March 1, I decided it would be great fun to go running on a mountain covered in snow.  Yep, the weather weenie was going stir crazy and decided it would be great fun to go try something new.  After all, what's life like without a little spontaneity?  

The race started at 1 pm.  I made this crazy decision at noon.  Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa owns the run so I knew I could probably get in with such a last minute notice (we showed up to the race at 12:30)! Plus with the weather being so dang cold and ALL the snow, I also knew that several runners would not show up.  

I grabbed my old retired Adidas Boost  because I just couldn't imagine getting my current runners all dirty/cold/wet.  I also grabbed my snow boots so I could walk around afterwards.  

We parked and I jumped out, only to discover that no tread on my shoes would not be good for the snow!  So, I quickly put my Superfeet Carbon in my snow boots (yes, my snow boots) and got myself  and Perfect Pacter registered to run!  

Trail Madness is a great name for this race - on this particular snow covered day!  

We decided we would run the 8k.  In Snow Boots.  I keep pointing out that I was running in Snow Boots because sometimes, we know better and yet....we don't listen to ourselves or to the multiple running specialty experts we work with.  TRAIL SHOES PEOPLE!!  

At the water stop (the turn around for the 4k) I realized I was in deep trouble as my ankles were chafing, a little bloody and in a lot of pain.  After all I had on my favorite Feeture Merino Wool shorty socks!  Note:  one should wear taller socks when wearing snow boots.  Perfect Pacer offered the option of diverting to the 4k finish.  Really???  

We kept plugging along.  It wasn't all horrific.  I kind of liked it.  A lot. You do things on a trail run that you normally don't do in other races.  Like stop at frozen ponds and take pictures.

And we actually got GOOD race photos for once by the official race photographer! 

This is what we did after the race: 

We tried to warm up with K and A as K cooked burgers for the couple of hundred brave, crazy folks!  
And it was really all worth it.  Because I placed 3rd in my age group.  I won't mention how many people were in my age group because that is irrelevant. 

Next time you have a chance to do something different, something spontaneous and totally  out of your comfort zone, you should.  Especially if it is Trail Madness!