Yay for Halloween!

I love Halloween. Everything about it. Decorating, candy, costumes, haunted houses, scary movies. All of it. This is absolutely my favorite time of year. I love Halloween way more than Christmas.

Sadly, I’ve not been able to celebrate it as much as I would like. My work schedule has been less than flexible the last several years (working 2 jobs will do that), with a lot of weekends and late nights. I can’t remember the last Halloween party I’ve been to, for the last 2 years I haven’t put out a single decoration, and I’ve lost my pumpkins to the squirrels because I didn’t around to carving them (although 1 year they sort of carved it for me). This year, I’m not doing a whole lot better.  The pumpkin is still waiting to be carved, and the decorations are still inside the house. But they are pretty good decorations, if I do say so myself…

It doesn't get much cooler than skull flowers and vultures...

... except maybe for a light up spider! And for the record, this is the closest that I will get to liking spiders

The best news is that I will be attending a Halloween party this year! And by party, I mean a 3 mile run (in my costume) followed by a party courtesy of M3S and their Dead Celebrity run. I even have the Hubby dressing up, and he doesn’t enjoy anywhere near quite as much as I do. And it’s also Highball Halloween in the Short North, which is always a good time, so we may wander down there as well.

There’s another run on satuday night, the Fright Night 5K in Gahanna that I would sort of like to do. According to the race info, it’s a 5K that runs through a haunted course. Sounds like it’s totally my kind of thing! Problem bring, the Ohio State football game is an evening game that night, and starts at the same time as the race. Which has created a couple of logistical issues.

1. No race photographer. He will be sitting in front of the TV watching the game, and cannot be convinced to do otherwise.

2. OSU football is kind of a big deal for almost everyone here in central Ohio, which means that I can’t find anyone to run with me.

Bummer.

But to make me feel better, I’ve put together a list of 61minutes of Halloween joy for your listening pleasure. Enjoy! (in no particular order)

Michael Jackson “Thriller”    5:58
Bobby Pickett  “Monster Mash”   3:00
Warren Zevon  “Werewolves of London”   3:27
Nightmare before Christmas  “This is Halloween”   3:16
Sheb Wooley   “Purple People Eater”   2:11
Charlie Daniels   “Devil went down to Georgia”   3:37
Ray Parker Jr   “Ghostbusters Theme”   4:04
The Sweet  “Ballroom Blitz”    4:06
Rockwell  “Somebody’s Watching me”    4:00
Rocky Horror Picture Show  “Time Warp”  4:00
The Clovers  “Love Potion #9”  2:02
Duran Duran “Hungry like the Wolf”   3:41
Mitch Ryder  “Devil with a Blue Dress”   3:01
Oingo Boingo  “Dead Man’s Party”   6:23
DJ Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince “A Nightmare on My Street”  4:16
Rhianna “Disturbia”   3:58

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Yay for New Shoes!

There are not many things that you need to start running. Basic athletic wear of some sort, and some comfy shoes. That’s pretty much it.

Except that it’s not. There’s much more to this whole shoe thing. There are some rules.

I got really lucky with my shoes. The week of the Capital City Quarter I bought a new pair of athletic shoes. Actually, it may have been the day before the race. The pair that I was wearing up to this was about a year old, had holes worn through the toe areas, and were generally worn for everything from work to walking/running. Mom and I had just walked about 7miles a few days before and my feet were killing me afterwards. So, I ended up at Meijer, and they had shoes on sale. I saw a pair that I liked (aka, I liked the color), bought them, and wore them the next day for a quarter marathon.

Rule #1– Don’t buy and wear brand new shoes the day of a race.

Shoes need to be broken in. I lucked out, since Mom and I mostly walked, I wasn’t doing a whole lot of damage to my feet. I didn’t have any blistering, and my feet were any more sore than normal after being on them for that long. Had I been trying to run the whole thing, I probably would have been hobbling half way through. The shoes that I purchased were Asics Gel-Enduro 6’s. They are specifically a trail running shoe, they have more grip on the sole for dealing with loose gravel/dirt/dog-poo/whatever else you might find on a trail. And (hence the name) they have a gel-based insole that is super comfortable.

ok, well, they had more grip...

Ol' reliable, my friend

You can see the current state of these shoes. I have been running in them for 5 months. And I didn’t actually use them on trails. I meant to, really, I did. I had a big master plan to go run on trails at one of the Metro Parks each week. It had promise. It’s just kinda never really saw fruition. Whoops.

Rule #2– Most shoes have a specific purpose in life. Pick the one that meets your needs.

My shoes would have enjoyed life a little more if I had followed through with that park plan. As it was, they saw a lot of time on paved walking paths, and roads. They are a bit heavier than a regular road-running shoe is, which may make a difference if you’re hard-core and speed is a big deal. Every ounce counts, right? But for me, they looked nice, and more importantly, they felt nice.

Rule #3– Make sure your shoes feel good, and fit properly.

I’m thinking that this is where most of us go wrong. We pick shoes for the wrong reasons (i.e. they’re pretty-I do it all the time, if it’s not in green, it’s not for me), and we don’t think about how those shoes are going to be used, and therefor don’t get the right size. Once again, I got real lucky. Right from the beginning these shoes were super comfortable and I never had any problems with blisters. My feet are a little bit wide, and these worked perfectly. I recently went up to Fleet Feet with Mom (she joined No Boundaries- Yay for Mom!) so that she could get her gait looked at since she had been having some foot trouble (hope you don’t mind me dishing your story out). Her doctor had ruled out major issues, and the thought was that she may be wearing too small of a shoe. Long story short, they looked at the way she landed on her feet as she ran, measured each of her feet so that she would know what size she should be looking at, and talked about about some shoes are padded differently depending on how you land on your feet. While I was there with her, they looked at my feet as well. I “toe-out” when I run. They looked at me from behind and you could see 2-3 toes peeking out around my calf as I touched down. So they talked to me a little about the kind of shoe that I should look for, something that provided more support on the outside of my foot to try and help correct that issue. Basically, if you’re not lined up right, you’re possibly going to have problems with your knees and hips. Proper alignment is kind of a big deal. As is proper shoe size. I had never specifically thought about it, but since I’ve been running, I notice how my other shoes aren’t actually very comfortable because they are probably a little too small. I have a pair of Nike’s that I usually just wear for show, and when I tried to run in them, my toes were very angry about it afterwards. I have also decided that my dress shoes should probably be another half size up as well, and then maybe we won’t hate each other so much.

Rule#4- Size does, in fact, matter

Anyway, I had gotten lucky that my impulse buy trail shoes had been working out so wonderfully for me. But they were getting worn down. Badly. I had been running a gravel trail near once or twice a week for a while, and the grip just wasn’t there. Plus I was starting to get toe-holes again (Apparently my big toe has a lot of personality and wants to be seen. Who knew?). And had gotten into the bad habit of wearing them to work everyday because they were so comfortable. Which doesn’t exactly help with their longevity. Whoops again.

Well, last week, I took a trip to DSW, which is my favorite shoe store ever. The funny part is that I was looking for a pair of dress shoes. All the ones I have now are older and have ridiculously high heels on them from back when I could actually walk on them and make them look good. Now they just punish me for my foolishness. I needed something that was a little smaller in the heel department. The trouble was, I wasn’t finding anything. I either didn’t like the look, couldn’t find my size, or they were more than I was willing to pay. It was one of the most miserable shopping trips ever. Ask the Hubby, he had to suffer through it. In a last ditch of desperation (because I couldn’t leave without buying something), I wandered over to the athletic shoes just to see what they might have, and there I found the new generation of my shoe. Yay! I was in need of a new pair anyway, the previous version had worked like magic, and they were reasonably priced. Done and done.

Rule # 5- When you find a pair that works for you, stick with them!

The New Ones!

Look at that tread! Come on trail running!

I really love these shoes. Is that weird? Maybe, but I don’t care. I only hope that the new generation of Gel-Enduro treats me just as well as the old ones.

The passing of the proverbial torch... or would it be a passing of the sock? I'm not sure that has the same ring to it...

That’s a lot of runners…

This morning, the Hubby and I got up obscenely early to not run. Not that Hubby runs anyways, but I do (sometimes), and about the only time I get up obscenely early is to run. Today, we volunteered at the Columbus Marathon.

I talked Hubby into it a few weeks ago. You might remember that I decided not to run the half marathon this year. I wasn’t being consistent enough, and 13.1 miles still felt like a really long way to run, among other reasons. However, I did know several people who did run today, a couple who did the half, and a couple that did the full. And they all did fantastic!

At the races that I’ve been to, the volunteers end up being the ones who help give you that little bit of encouragement just when you need it, when you’re out on the course and it’s getting harder and harder to keep going. They remind you that no matter what, the fact that you are out there at all is an accomplishment. At all my races, I try to smile and make eye contact with every volunteer and police officer out on the course and say ‘Thank You’ to them for being there. Without them, things would not go as smoothly. And today, I was proud to serve that function for approximately 17,000 runners and walkers.

Hubby modeling the shirt for me

I told him to put some feeling into this time

The sight of so many people coming by, not once but twice, so determined was beyond inspiring. Seeing the elite runners go by looking like they were barely breaking a sweat, using this marathon as a training ground, possibly to qualify for Boston. Seeing the other athletes go by, the ones who are that good, even though this is not actually their regular job. Seeing the groups of friends and families that are supporting each other and treating this as a great adventure, possibly a life-changing event. Seeing those who might not normally be considered athletes determinedly putting one foot in front of the other, looking towards that finish line. And today, they are all athletes.

Every. Single. One

Whether they finished or not, they all had the courage to start. At the heart of it all, that is what makes an athlete.

I also learned that I should not be so hard on my race photographer. And that maybe I need a new camera. With so many people, it was really hard to pick out my friends that were running. So much in fact, that I didn’t actually see any of them until they called out my name. Doesn’t seem quite right, does it? And in the time it took for me to untangle my camera from my wrist, get it the shutter open, press the button, and then wait for the camera to actually take the photo, they were already approximately 2 miles down the road. No joke. (ok, maybe a little)

See that random hand and foot behind the guy in grey? That's all I managed to get of my friend Sam. Not planning on quitting my day job anytime soon...

It was a great experience. I have come to think that everyone should take a turn at volunteering at an event, especially if it is an activity that matters to you. You get such an additional sense of appreciation for all the people that make your day better.

Congratulations to everyone who ran today! You rock my world!

Fit for a Diva

Last week Fleet Feet, a running store up in Westerville, held its Diva Night. It was pretty awesome. A night dedicated to pampering women with massages, brow waxing, wine, cupcakes, arts and crafts, and sales. If you’ve never been there, it’s kind of a small store that is usually jam packed with racks of athletic wear and can be sorta hard to maneuver around in if it’s busy. Last night, they had moved almost all of those racks out of the store front to make room for the festivities. Which was a good thing, since there were so many women there, it was still hard to walk around.

Itty bitty store, phenomenal cosmic shopping space... or something (it sounded better in my head)

That’s ok though, it made it easier to make new friends! Like the woman I met over the water bottles that were slightly pushed under a table, and we debated whether or not they were up for grabs, and we decided that they must be, and if not, then we would get in trouble together, cause trouble is more fun that way. Or Stephanie, who I met in line for the eye brow waxing (which, sadly, we did not get to partake in, as they had to stop because of the fashion show), and we talked about the running programs that Fleet Feet offers, No Boundaries and MIT. Stephanie runs with MIT, and I want to run with MIT to train for a half marathon next year. She was super nice, and she will be running her first marathon this weekend!

There were several giveaways over the course of the evening (of which I won exactly none), and free wine (from a local winery, Eldchrist Wine) and mini-cupcakes (from Baby Cakes Bakery). They also gave everyone a little gift bag when you first walked in.

The giftbag had a collapsible waterbottle from Brooks, some coupons from some of the vendors and a cute little "Runner Girl" sticker

All of the staff were on hand to help with your shopping needs, shoe fittings, bra fittings, whatever you were looking for. It was kinda cute because all of the men who work there were dressed up in suits, which gave it a little classier feel. Except for the one guy who was wearing white socks with his dress shoes, and the other guy that was wearing sandals. But, you know, whatever.

My favorite part was the arts and crafts time just outside the store. Sponsored by Marcy’s Clayground (awesome, I know), you could glaze your own little magnet. There were little clay squares and a variety of colors. You could paint anything you wanted on it, she would take it and fire it, and will be bringing it back to Fleet Feet for us to pick up. I love arts and crafts time. I probably spent a good 45 minutes out there trying to get it just right.

Apparently, you're supposed to layer from light to dark. Whoops..., but she was nice enough to let me have another go at it.

Honestly, it was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. I went by myself on a whim after work, but I still had a lot of fun. You never know who you’re going to meet, or what you’re going to find unless you go for an adventure every now and then.

Playing Catch Up

Last week I had every intention of getting caught up with my blog posts. There was a lot going on and, naturally, I have an opinion about all of it. The down side of it being a rather busy week was that most evenings I was too tired by the time I got home to put a lot of thought into a post. In other words, I am still being lazy.  Even daily mile called me out on it.

I’m working on not being lazy, but it is hard, especially this time of year. It’s getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and I am just not as inspired to run. Really, I’m not inspired to do much of anything. Even my video-gaming time has taken a hit.

The interesting thing is that even though it’s been really hard to find time to go run, I still really want to go run. Running has become “me” time. Not thinking required, my mind can just wander while I chug along. It’s peaceful and relaxing, even when it’s a little hard to breathe. I’ve been missing it, and trying to figure out how to make this work within my crazy schedule. And I promise to get on those other posts before too much more time goes by, and the moment is long gone. Until then, enjoy this little gem shamelessly stolen from facebook…

Yep. That's definitely me.