Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for Fleet Feet Sports Tacoma! I have spent the last 5+ years “leading” (I’m too slow to call myself the leader, more like directing from the back of the pack) first the stroller group run, and then the Tuesday night run. I have loved every single second spent volunteering with the store, leading the run groups, and making some amazing friends.

Fleet Feet truly changed my running life, and if not for the support and gear they offer their volunteers I would not have been able to afford to continue running after we were down to a single income. They helped keep me going and growing, and treated Sky like she was the best friend the store had. She still loves running and visiting the store to this day!

154488_420662274673921_1818042525_n
First race with Sky.

I feel like I have always received way more than I’ve given with support from the store and other runners. I know for a fact I would not have had the courage to run my first half without the encouragement from the run group, and I never would have PR’d the half that I did without the Tuesday Night runs pushing me to my pace limits.

Week after week…such an awesome group of people!

This last Tuesday was my last run as a group run leader. It was a hard decision to make, but it comes down to what is best for my body. Given some of the aches and pains that I have with road running, and that those aches and pains are not an issue (or as much of an issue) when trail running I decided it was time to take care of my body, and run in a way that will allow me to still be running with I’m 90 (lets hope!).

Celebrate good times!

Sky asked me the other day if I’d run her first half with her, if and when that happens I want to be able to do it. With that long term running thought in my head I pounded my last 3 miles of pavement with some of my favorite people in my favorite run group.

A huge Thank You to Fleet Feet Tacoma, and every single stroller runner/walker and Tuesday Night group runner out there. You’ve all made me smile and helped me be a better mom and runner!

I’ll see you all on the trails I hope! Fleet Feet Forever!

 

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for running with Michelle!

img_46081.jpg

She’s the one I started running with, the one who knew me when running 1 full mile was almost unthinkable. She knows it took months to be ready to run my first 5K, and she’s also the one that has been up for any and every crazy running idea I’ve had. I don’t know very many people I could call up and say I need you to be ready to run a 1/2 in 3 weeks (she had not been training to run a half!), and she did it, and then proceeded to become a Half Fanatic with me through two more 1/2 marathons.

img_46091.jpg

Life you know it gets busy, and there have been back issues, care accidents, and each of us focusing on running in the way that is best for us individually. We don’t get to run together much, but when we do it feels comfortable…like coming home. Running with the person who has known you as a runner from day one…race #1 is special!

img_46101.jpg

We did a virtual 5K to celebrate Yellowstone’s Birthday last night. It was cold, and we got rained on, and we probable didn’t say more than a handful of words the entire run, but it still felt good…still felt like I was spending quality time with my friend. And, the pace was right up there, for me anyway, so it was a good workout!

Looking forward to our next run being a bit warmer and not wet!

Thank you for sharing your photos Michelle and for being such an awesome running buddy!

361 – One Degree Beyond

Guys, there is a new running shoe that is totally turning my head! I had the chance to test run the 361 Spire last week, and you know what, I really liked it! I liked it so much that it may be my next road shoe!

wp-1468848133139.jpg

They are a newer shoe company, one I’d not head of actually. So, when I heard that Asics and adidas fans would like them, I was excited and a bit skeptical. I’ve stopped testing out the vendor shoes at the group run because my adidas ultra boost are perfect for me. They just work and I love them. But, I’ll give the new shoe on the block a try, and offer honest feedback to the rep (I know him from his work with another line).

During the run I liked how the upper felt and where the crease line is behind my toes, no pinching or discomfort there, and I’m picky about the crease line! The landing feels similar to the Ultra Boost, but with a bit more substance, which I liked a lot. The big difference was the push off. I’ve gotten used to the Ultra Boost springing my foot off the pavement, and that doesn’t happen with the 361 but I still liked it, and it didn’t feel like hard work to run in them. adidas feels so easy to run in, so I judge all shoes by that feeling, and the 361 felt pretty comparable, even if less springy.

wp-1468848183312.jpg

The biggest win for me though was that my knee and hips felt great with zero pain during or after the run, and I didn’t get blisters! I’m so susceptible to blisters, even getting them on just 3 mile runs, so to not feel any rubbing, or beginnings of a blister is huge for me!

There have been shoes that withing the first half mile of the test run I’m hating them, and kicking myself for trying them. Not these though! The 361 Spire felt really good and I enjoyed my run from start to finish. So much so I’m sad that the store doesn’t carry the shoe. But, I’m hopeful, because the feedback from those in the group that did try them was really good. Everyone liked them and had good things to say. Until I can get them through the store I’ll have to order online from their site.

Check them out, read the reviews, see what Runner’s World has to say…everything I’ve seen so far has been really positive, and then give the new shoe on the block a try for yourself!

P.S. this is not a sponsored post, I’m sharing because I truly liked the shoe and like to help out the “new guy” when I can.

 

 

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for being party of an awesome Rainier 2 Ruston Relay team a few weekends ago.

13312601_785138764695_2451489681302151105_n
Running into running friends at the start! 

There is something special about cramming 6 runners into a vehicle for 11’ish hours. It gets smelly, and hilarious, and deep, and silly again. But we all have each others back, and do everything we can to make sure each runner is successful.

13320964_10154180959044933_8593338970128294662_o
Thank you to Esther for flying in from Hawaii with trucker hats for the team! We could spot each other no problem with our neon hats, and I’m a trucker hat convert! 

I was so thankful for their support along the way during my last leg of the race. It was hot, and  ugly (through industrial & construction areas), and just overall not the leg that anyone really wants to run.

img_80891.jpg
Finishing my last leg of the day, with a smile on my face and support from Shawna. It ended up being a slightly longer leg than expected and at this point we were finally able to see the exchange area!

Given my struggles with heat stroke while running I was stressed about it. But, my team found extra places to stop along the way so that I always had fresh water to drink & dump on my head. I finished that leg with soaking wet clothing, drenched to the point of water running down my butt crack…hahahaha, but I felt pretty amazing! It’s the best I’ve felt running in heat, that 5’ish miles went by so fast, and I feel like I killed a route that has sort of haunted me for years (since running it as support with Elya years ago). I’ve dreaded the possibility of being assigned that leg for years, but now it’s been conquered and I can’t wait to see what next years relay brings my way!

img_36251.jpg
Team A finished! We started the day up at the mountain in the background!
13346159_10154072523711438_2499776805100960738_o
The whole group (we had two teams) and our support person Kim (in pink) who ran the dreaded industrial/construction leg with the runner from team 2.