Friday Fête

I’m in a major food rut. I’m just sick of meal planning, sick of cooking, sick of it all… We go out for dinner 1-2 times a week and it’s to the same 3 places and then I make the same 5-6 meals the rest of the time. I used to think I liked cooking, but then I realized I was married to a picky man. And then I had a child who wants lots of attention and doesn’t give me much space/time to prepare food. So now I hate cooking. I need help!

I get very frustrated that I do the vast majority of parenting myself. And there are times that I’m really annoyed that I have to wake up way before dawn to be able to get in a run before the kid wakes up. But you know what is more annoying? Not even having that option. I really do like running early (except I still find it a lot harder to wake up in the 4AM hour than I ever did pre-kid, what up with that?) and this week my hubby has been out-of-town for work. From what I understand, it’s not considered “good parenting” to get up really early and go for a run and leave your toddler asleep at home alone. Even if you leave the dog behind to watch her. ;-)

And my hubby does usually take her to school each morning, so most days I can get started working early enough. But this week I’ve been late to work every day. Which means that I worked my 8 hours each day without taking any breaks so I could still go pick her up on time, 8-4. So no lunch break workouts either. All my fitness endeavors this week have been after I put her to bed. But no running, because remember… you’re not supposed to leave the kid home alone to go run! (And my treadmill scares me, it just changes incline on its own without warning. Which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t the fact that it decides to rise the incline all the way and then plummet back down. That’s dangerous!)

Not that I could have run anyway… my hip/groin/glute/quad/hammie/IT Band* has been bugging me. I’m on about 3 weeks of no running now. Taking my shoe selfies lets me know that my last run was on September 2. I think it might be starting to feel better, but I can’t tell for certain. Just when I think it might be easing up, then it gives me a sudden and sharp reminder about its existence.

And no running has been making me grumpy. I had to miss a half marathon I was registered for last weekend. Of course, a freak storm washed out the freeway and would have made travel to the race a nuisance anyway. But still… And it’s playing head games with me and making me have body confidence issues. (Just being totally honest here.) I feel the ED voice getting louder telling me that I’m getting huge with this break. I know that’s not the truth, but it’s hard when something that helps keep that voice quiet (running) is taken away from me. But it hasn’t been too overwhelmingly hot out so I’ve at least been able to take the kid out on a few evening walks in the stroller this week. (By not overwhelmingly hot I mean in the mid 90’s!)

* Seriously, I am not entirely sure what this pain is, the pain source seems to move all around. Some times I think it’s a groin injury, sometimes I think it’s my hip, sometimes I’m afraid it’s a bone injury, other days I’m sure it’s all muscular/soft tissue. And I don’t really want to go to the doctor because truthfully, I’m cheap. I hate going to my primary care doc and paying a $40 co-pay to have her say, “That sounds like this. Go see this specialist.” Then the specialist charges $50, then sends me for other diagnostics that cost more money. But I’ve been dealing with other health issues that I may or may not discuss on here, so all of the tests and appointments on that may have me nearing my deductible amount now. So that expense would be gone! I need a good sports chiropractor that isn’t super far away from my home.

If you’ve read my site long enough, you know that I am a fan of ChiRunning. I’ve wanted to attend a ChiRunning event with Danny Dreyer since 2007 or 2008 when I first stumbled upon the book. But who has time to go away for a week to a camp for grown ups?! They’ve just announced a ChiWeekend on October 24-26 in North Carolina. And I’d really like to go! I don’t think I’m going to get the opportunity, but one can dream, right?

chirunning

Amazon announced a new kid-friendly Kindle Fire tablet. Watching stuff on the iPad is the closest my kid gets to watching TV. We watch a few videos from the Super Simple Songs channel on YouTube. Media is totally addicting to kids and she now begs to watch the videos. “Mommy, get the PAAAAAAD! One more? One more?” I can see her vocabulary expanding from these 3-5 minute clips, but it’s amazing how angry she can get when it’s time to shut it off. Media and children are a whole new world these days… we get in the car and she asks for certain songs to be played. And we can just bust out the iPhones and play it for her. *crotchety old voice* When I was a kid we had to wait for our favorite songs to be played on the radio and we were happy when it did! *end crotchety old voice*

Got any fun weekend plans? Have you ever dealt with pain-of-unknown-origin? How did you track down the problem?

New Workout Clothes Rock!

Have you ever thought things were just fine, but then when you got a new version or saw your belongings next to something new you realize how shabby they look? Yeah, I had that epiphany recently about my running wardrobe after I was sent some activewear from Lorna Jane.

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I had not heard of Lorna Jane activewear before they reached out to me, but now I’m both glad and upset that I’ve been introduced to them. Glad: because they have a lot of cute stuff. Upset: because they have a lot of cute stuff and I’m tempted to buy it all! But for those of you who need an introduction, Lorna Jane is a global activewear brand, with 130 stores in Australia and now 30 in the USA. “We design activewear for women and inspire them to live their best active life through our philosophy of Move. Nourish. Believe.” I can get behind that message.

I loved all the stuff they sent, but my favorite was this tank, I love the keyhole opening in the back for extra ventilation. PS. It’s hard to take a picture of your own back, especially when you just decide to do it with your cell phone before heading out to run instead of taking the time to set up a tripod, DSLR and remote shutter!

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The Max Run shorts they sent are shorter than I usually go, but I really liked how they looked when on. Plus they have a handy zipper pocket at the back as well as an internal pocket.

Max Run Short   Running   Activities   Styles   Shop   Categories   Lorna Jane US Site

Oh, I said the pink top up there was my favorite, but maybe this one was my favorite too… I love this top for Barre workouts or the Fitstar/Strava 26.2 workouts I’ve been doing lately.

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A new Lorna Jane store will open Oct 16th at Fashion Show mall here in Las Vegas. I hope they have some kind of Grand Opening party that I can go to! It’s also probably a good thing that the Fashion Show mall is on The Strip and I don’t venture there all that much, because it would be too tempting to pop in the store all the time to see what else is new!

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

It’s My Site and I’ll Vent if I Want To!

So… I’ve been without my iPhone since noon today due to the AWESOME iOS 8 update. My iPad updated just fine, but my phone? Nope… It went through the download process and started to install. All seemed fine until it came back up in the recovery mood and got stuck in a recovery loop. After I realized it had been sitting like that for a couple of hours (I was working at the same time!) I tried to make it stop installing or restart or something. I couldn’t reset it by holding down the home and power buttons, it just sat there ignoring me… taunting me with a white screen and a little black apple logo in the middle.

apple-logo-black

So it was time to send it into DFU mode.  Meaning I got to wipe my phone completely! No big deal, I backed it up. But then in the middle of the process (it has to be connected to the computer) iTunes crashed. And when I restarted it, it said it was corrupt. So I got to re-install iTunes!

And then I finally got my computer to say it recognized a phone in recovery mode, did I want to reinstall everything?
Yes.
Okay, downloading the OS.
Which it has been doing for the past 6 hours.

It’s crazy, and probably slightly pathetic, how vulnerable this makes me feel. And I’m just done for the night… had it. So I’ll try again in the morning and go get some sleep. But then I have to wonder, “How will I wake up in the morning? My iPhone is my alarm. Am I supposed to use a regular alarm clock? How uncivilized!”

To leave this post on a less downer note… I’ve been watching The Office on Netflix lately and I really loved this quote from Pam in the finale.

It’d be great if people saw this documentary and learned from my mistakes. Not that I’m a tragic person. I’m really happy now. But…it would just…just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this and she said to herself “be strong, trust yourself, love yourself. Conquer your fears. Just go after what you want and act fast, because life just isn’t that long.

Build Your Running Body [Book Review]

This may be it… the definitive running book that covers every aspect of the runner’s body and how to train each area.
Build Your Running Body
by Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz, Melissa Breyer

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Want to know just how complete this is? The book is BIG… 434 pages… divided into 25 chapters, each one covering how to “Build Your… [insert topic here]” to help all distance runners, milers to ultramarathoners. And these chapters are PRECISE. Like “Build Your Motivation” and “Build Your Connective Tissue” and “Build Your Brain.”

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Since the book is a beast and I can’t get through it all with a fine-tooth comb and still post a review in a timely manner, let’s just focus on one of the sections: Build Your Running Muscles.

The section starts off describing the different kinds of muscles in the body and the different kinds of muscle fibers. Then we move into the science of how to progress to get stronger the right way, not specific exercises yet… just information about how we must walk before we can run, and beginners working on the strength need to spend 2-4 weeks doing body-weight only exercises before incorporating weights.

Next we move into info on stretching and the 4 different kinds of stretching that exist, the whys and whens and hows of using stretching in your running program. I used to think there was just dynamic and static stretching… but there are more. There is Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) and Active Isolated Stretching (AIS). Although, these kinds seem to need some assistance.

Finally it is time to hit the photo illustrations of actual movements to work our running muscles. And the first movements it demonstrates, are ones that you may not think immediately as “I’m working my muscles!” – Walking, Walk/Jog, Easy Run, Beginner Fartleks… and so on, into Hill Strides and Downhill Running. Because really, the act of running is building our muscles. But there is more to do beyond just running… oh no, it can’t be that simple!

Now we are introduced to The Runner 360, a complete strength program for runners, especially for people who don’t want/have a lot of equipment and might prefer to take care of their workout at home or outdoors. The whole routine is supposed to take about 12 minutes, but I think that comes once you know all the steps and have them memorized as opposed to constantly looking back at the book to figure out what is up next.

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Want a traditional weight room experience? Oh yes… we have a routine for that too. Photos and descriptions of all the exercises with recommendations on the order to do them in if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced are all included. And this is not the end, next we move into stretching. Lots of info on stretching, since we already established there are 4 types of stretching!

See?! It’s very comprehensive. And this is just my paraphrasing! The downside of this thoroughness is that it’s overwhelming… I am not quite sure where I should start! And if I’m working to build all my running components, then am I going to be spending all day long workout out? Does it fit into a normal person’s life?

There is an awesome 9-page chart toward the back of the book about injury rehab/prevention. It lists all the ailments you could possibly think of and then some, provides a description of that issue and then gives a list of the exercises that will help fix it. There are also some notes for each one such as certain problems where icing isn’t recommended or when you should see a doctor.

The book is awesome, especially if you are all geeky because there is a lot of science and big words in it! I am really impressed with this book, each time I pick it up and flip through it something else catches my eye and educates me. The book costs $13.88 in paperback on Amazon or you can pick up the Kindle version for $10.99.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Multi Flask

I was sent a Multi Flask by Precidio Design to test and review on the site. I was kind of intrigued by the description so I was willing to give it a go.

This newly, launched all-in-one system makes it easy to bring all kinds of healthy drinks on the go — without cluttering up the cabinets with eigth different bottles.

Simply enjoy your favorite drinks in one easy to carry bottle.

This complete drinking system allows you to create healthy, delicious fruit-infused drinks, power shakes and sports drinks, filtered drinks and all forms of hot & cold beverages in your best flavors. Equipped with a glass inner for hot beverages, a plastic inner that can be insulated or not for cool drinks, an infuser and a novel agitator cap for powder drinks, Multi Flask is the purest way to drink healthy.

The one-flask-six-functions system is dishwasher safe, making it easy to create drinks on the fly with minimal clean up.

One of the most exciting features of Multi Flask is that you can enjoy the benefits of glass safely with its patented inner glass design and protective, silicone shock-absorbing base. Enclosed in an indestructible Tritan outer shell, Multi Flask is the one bottle you need today.

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I unpacked it and was a little overwhelmed with all the parts. I had to go to the Multi Flask website to figure out what each one was and how they all worked together. It’s not often that I need instructions to figure out how to drink from a vessel.

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And after having it for a month, here’s what gets used regularly:

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That’s the Tritan Outer, the Agitator and the Sport lid. The agitator is useful for shaking up powdered drinks and helping them get mixed up well.

Odds are you would never use this bottle while running, unless you really don’t mind holding on to something. It would work fine for sitting at a desk or in the car or around home or even while using some kind of cardio machine and keeping it in the drink holder.

I suppose if I lived somewhere with more humidity and I had drinks that sweat a lot, I would use the Tritan inner and outer in combination more or when winter comes I would actually consider using the tea strainer/glass inner for hot drinks… but those haven’t been useful to me as of yet. And the idea of fruit-infused water sounds pleasant, but it also ends up being too much bother. I’ll just drink my water straight from the fridge dispenser. (Well, I’ll put it in a bottle or cup first, I’m not THAT uncivilized.)

And while the marketing-ese says it replaces 8 bottles cluttering the cabinets, you essentially end up with four bottles/bottle-ish-objects to store and some random littler pieces to stash… which is kind of harder to figure out where to put everything than if I had 8 different bottles.

So it still seems like a cool theory in concept, but I found that all the “features” aren’t really useful for me. It retails for $26.99 online.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

My Thinning Years [book review]

I was given the opportunity to be the first “stop” of a digital book tour for a new book by Jon Derek Croteau called My Thinning Years. The book is about the author’s life, growing up in a household where his father doesn’t accept him and his battle to learn how to accept himself. The subtext of the book is “Starving the Gay Within” – meaning it talks about the author’s struggle to come to grips with his homosexuality and the eating disorder he developed along the way in this battle.

My Thinning Years

While I’m not a man, I’m not a homosexual and I had parents that loved/accepted me… it’s still amazing how strongly I identified with elements of this book, particularly when he developed his eating disorder. From my experience, I think most people who develop an eating disorder feel out of control with some element(s) of their life and so they take the control back by controlling their body in some way.

The book paints a heartbreaking portrait of how difficult it was for the author to constantly be in flux with who he is. From the time he was young he knew he liked artistic endeavors, yet his father pushed him into sports. Despite injuries from the sports, his father still required him to be involved in many sports that made his life miserable. No child should have to feel completely unloved by a parent! And while he had a good relationship with his mother, his father didn’t condone having the close, confiding relationship with his mother and his mother had a hard time standing up to her husband.

And I had learned the hard way that when I told my mom things that I didn’t tell my dad, I’d just get her into trouble. Suffering in silence was the only option.

After the author dropped out of college (almost immediately after starting) he moved back home and to feel more in control of his own life he developed an eating disorder and an obsession with running. He would run miles upon miles with very little food to fuel him. Logically, people shouldn’t be able to physically do that… but I’ve been there and some other issues are fueling the fire inside to keep running. Because it just feels better to run on empty than to deal with the emotions and pain inside.

The inner dialogue began in my head. I wondered how many miles I could run without stopping. How little can I eat, I wondered, without running out of energy on a run? … I’d run in the rain, during thunderstorms, at five in the morning, and at eleven at night, oftentimes both. It didn’t matter, nothing could stop me. I never missed a day. As I soldiered on, something happened to me: I came to feel like a super hero.

The book is written in such a way that you really do feel how deep the pain went as well as feel such joy for the author when he has successes. Battling an eating disorder is hard… doing it as a man must be more difficult because they are not really recognized as having ED issues as much. In all my years of treatment, I only encountered one guy. He spoke about how hard it was to be in treatment as the only male. It makes me happy inside to know the author has found peace and a balance in his life, with friends/family that love him.

Now for some things I feel necessary to mention… if the reader is in the throes of an eating disorder or very early in the recovery process, this book could be triggering. I would recommend holding off for a while OR reading it with a support person to talk it over. I’m always scared to mention my crazed ED practices on the blog because I don’t want anyone with an eating disorder to stumble on those and think of them as suggestions or a how-to. This book is kind of descriptive in how he experienced ED. And if you or someone close to you is battling an eating disorder… please seek help. It may be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done in your life. Making the call to a treatment center was super hard. But I’m glad that I did it, even with the difficult moments in treatment and the fact that I still consider myself recovering and question if I’ll ever be recovered. Getting that help and learning to experience my life (the good and the bad) has been worth it. YOU are worth it… always remember that!

AmazonGoodreads – Author’s Website

TLC Book Tours - The Sky's the Limit

Friday Fête

I have a sore hip flexor.

That means there hasn’t been any of this since Tuesday:

And that makes me sad.

I have read a lot online about this pain and much of the info I see says that it can come from glutes not firing properly. (I could also have a hip fracture or bubonic plague. Because every health search on the internet can lead to the plague.) So I’m stretching and doing more glute strenghtening. In fact, I need to do more strength training in general. I’m sooooooooo bad about implementing it into my life. I let the day-to-day complexities wear me down and I don’t give myself that time. I scratch in time for early morning runs, but I don’t figure in other workouts anymore.

I’ve done the new Strava 26.2 workout on Fitstar twice this week though and I really like it. I think it’s a good counter-balance to all the running and I’m going to make a point to do it twice a week for the next several weeks. I wouldn’t mind trying P90X3, since those workouts are all just a half hour. (And we own it now.) PiYo intrigues me, but I don’t have that. And I’d like to do yoga more. And I’d like to attend Barre classes, and do pilates, and meditate… there aren’t enough hours in the week to do all these things I want!

Strava 26.2 on Fitstar

I’m supposed to run a half marathon a week from tomorrow and I want my hip to feel right for that! But then I also kind of let my mind wander to thinking that if I just skipped it, my life would be so much easier. It would mean that:

  • I wouldn’t have to load the kid into the car and travel for a race,
  • I wouldn’t have to decide how much of the school day the kiddo will have to miss (I know, she’s only two… she can miss a day. But she loves it and learns so much!),
  • I wouldn’t have to pack for two people,
  • I wouldn’t have to drive for 2.5-3 hours each way,
  • I wouldn’t end up with a kid who is furious after being stuck in a carseat,
  • I wouldn’t have decisions to make regarding work events the day before the race…

It would also mean:

  • I’d be disappointed. I’ve wanted to do this race again for several years!
  • I’d be depriving my kid of the chance to potentially see some cousins.
  • I’d be letting myself out of living my own life because I have a child.

I guess I’ll wait until next Thursday to make my final decision. If my hip still feels like it does now, I don’t think it will support me for 13.1 miles. I will try to KT Tape it up and take it out for a run to see how that feels tomorrow morning.

Anyone had hip flexor pain before? How long did it last? What was the issue?

Parenting: Ultimate fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants

My kid turned 2 a little bit ago. How did that happen? She’s already two-years-old! I’m so cliched now, time really does fly by! According to her school she’s no longer a toddler… and according to those annoying BabyCenter emails I still regularly get about her development stages, she’s no longer a toddler… she’s a “preschooler”.

She’s a lot of fun, she is saying the greatest things. She’s learning Spanish at school… so that means I need to learn some Spanish so I’m not stumped when she talks to me. So far I’ve been good, she’s said “Hola” and “Adios” to me and I know what those mean. She got a slide and a babydoll for her birthday. She will throw the baby down the slide and then say, “Is okay baby?” My stomach growled the other day and she said, “Mommy toot.” When we turn on the Nutribullet or the vacuum, she yells “Fire hole!” (AKA fire in the hole!)

"Brush the baby's hair."

“Brush the baby’s hair.”

She’s also a lot of work. It’s hard to balance my own desires for hobbies/entertainment along with my responsibilities as a fulltime employee and taking care of her needs as her mother. When she has a toddler meltdown it is mentally and emotionally draining. I don’t want to see my child sad or angry. But I also know that it’s my (shitty) responsibility as a parent to not give in to her every whim so she doesn’t grow up to be a shitty adult. (And also to potty train her so she doesn’t grow up to be a “shitty” adult… and potty training is a “shitty” process in many ways!)

This is "Jack Rabbit" and he needed to go potty. Yes, he's a giraffe (despite not having a long neck) but his name has been declared as "Jack Rabbit."

This is “Jack Rabbit” and he needed to go potty. Yes, he’s a giraffe (despite not having a long neck) but his name has been declared as “Jack Rabbit.”

But it’s also scary to think about the future. I’m not sure how I would parent a kid in this current day if they were a pre-teen/teen and the world is bound to be drastically different by the time I’ll actually be parenting a kid in that age range. I know I will want to give her advice, because some aspects of those horrible feelings of pre-teen/teen life are still very prominent in my mind. Yet I know that I thought my mom couldn’t possibly relate to what I was going through because she did it so long ago… and she had me 10-years earlier in her life than I had A. I’m even further removed! But the truth is, even though both she and I could remember what we did/felt at certain ages, we don’t know how to be that age at any given time other than when we were that age.

I saw an article the other day:  Why Today’s Parents Have No Business Giving Their Kids Advice – the headline is clickbait and overly dramatic… parents do have business giving their kids advice. But it’s also true in a way. The most we can do is give guidance because we’re not living in that daily situation at that age. And if you start thinking too much on that it feels too metta. I did, however, like the reminder that I need to work on instilling good manners and values in her and hope that she’ll be able to apply those in her life.

But it’s still terrifying to think this adorable little girl (who used to be my adorable little baby) will someday be an amazing child/teen/adult.

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Clearing the Brain’s Cobwebs

I’ve mentioned that I’m trying to incorporate meditation into my life. It’s hard! Really hard… and some resources I’ve found lately have verified that I’m not just crazy bad at meditation. (Headspace talks about managing your expectations, Dan Harris’ book goes into the difficulties of starting.)

This was a badass endeavor. I resolved to do it every day. I started getting up a little early each morning and banging out ten minutes, sitting on the floor of our living room with my back up against the couch. When I was on the road, I meditated on the floor of hotel rooms. It didn’t get any easier. – Dan Harris

I need to find ways to alleviate the stress in my life though, it’s having a really negative impact on my health lately. I’ve let stress get the better of me before and the outcome was ending up in an eating disorder treatment program.

Running can be a great tool for your mental well-being, provided you use it the right way. See, when I first tried to run… I started and failed several times. Why? Because I was always trying to do it as something I thought I “should do” to be healthy and that it was “good exercise.” But it wasn’t until I tried doing it for reasons greater than just myself (charity fundraising) that it finally stuck. And once I got to that point, I could actually use it for myself in a way that was constructive. Lacing up the shoes and hitting the pavement was a tool to clear my brain and gather a new focus.

Yoga is that way for me. Yes, yoga is a fantastic way to be more flexible and fluid. It’s a great form of exercise as well. But for me, I never actually thought of yoga as working out, but more as something that helped put me in a good place. I guess that’s why I never have been tempted by the idea of doing Bikram yoga… that just sounds like it would be too draining. I want my yoga to leave me feeling settled and soothed. Which is why I need to make a push to incorporate it into my life more. It’s so important and I love the way I feel after a practice.

The thing that is the most important to remember is that whatever you’re doing for your physical well-being, doesn’t have to be bad for your mental state as well. If you hate going out for a run… then don’t be a runner! Find something else. If going for a swim fills you with dread, try something different! There’s a whole world of possibility out there! Find what works for your mind/body/soul!

This post is sponsored by Silk Soymilk. To learn more about Silk Soymilk, visit their Protein Power page or their Learn More page. Thanks, as always, for supporting my blog and reading sponsored content. My family appreciates it a lot.

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Hoka One One Huaka Review [& a Giveaway!!]

Minimal shoes were all the rage for a while. And now it seems like maximum cushion is the hip thing. Do you know what this means? Nothing but good things for us runners… there are more options on the market! We’re all different people and have different needs. Even an individual can have different needs depending on what kind of running they’re doing. This has been the case for a long time with trail shoes, racing flats, etc.

I’ve been running in pretty minimal shoes and zero drop shoes for a while. But everyone I know that has tried super-cushioning raves about it. Most of them are trail runners, but road runners have been chiming in too. So when I was given the opportunity to try a pair of shoes from Hoka One One I was down for a little experimentation. BTW – you pronounce it Ho-kah Oh-nay Oh-nay… not like the number one.

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I love running on trails, but I don’t get to do it as often as I would like so in order to test these shoes I wanted to run on roads like I normally do. I looked through their road models and elected to go with the Huaka, a lightweight shoe with a 2mm heel-to-toe differential (I’ve been running in zero-drop for about 3 years now). I also chose the purple color from the three available options because I like purple and it was the only option that didn’t say “Hoka” really big on the side… which, honestly, I thought looked kind of goofy.

A maximalist racing flat? That might be the best way to sum up the Huaka, a lightweight speed merchant with a highly cushioned midsole and an energetic ride. Although it’s high off the ground like other Hoka shoes, it has the lowest heel-toe offset of any Hoka model and a rockered profile, allowing for a natural, efficient and very smooth ride.
– Brian Metzler, Competitor.com

I loved the bright colors and how light the shoe felt (7.5 oz). The shoe comes with regular shoelaces as an option, but it came pre-laced with a “race lace system” so I went with those… since that is a feature of the shoe… for my testing. The tongue on the shoes is very thin, not much cushion there, but it is comfortable. I found the collar around my ankles was a little stiff. And I felt taller wearing the shoes!

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My husband told me they looked like those fraudulent shaping shoes, which I gotta kind of agree with him to a certain extent. They do look kind of goofy. But we don’t buy our running shoes (solely) for the looks.

Running in them was definitely different. I didn’t feel this magical “Look at me, I’m floating on clouds!” moment. In fact, it took 3 runs in the shoes for my cadence to even be back to normal, the first couple runs my cadence was slower than usual (170 vs. 185) and I felt a little more awkward. I’m using to being lower to the ground. But after completing about 21 miles in them over the week I got my stride back in line. Other than that, I’m not sure I noticed anything really different about running in the shoes that made them feel super special. Also, sometimes when I was turning corners in them I felt the stiff collar kind of hit my ankle in an uncomfortable way.

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All said, they probably won’t become my regular running shoes. But I’m not going to write them off completely. It would be interesting to take them out for a short recovery run after a hard effort to see how that feels. I’m still debating if I’ll wear them for a downhill race in a few weeks or if I’d be better off sticking with the more familiar.

Here’s your chance to try a pair of Hoka One One for yourself. I’m giving away a pair of shoes! Any pair of Hokas you want. If you win, you get to look at the shoes and pick the model you feel would suit you best. Ways to enter:

  • Follow me and/or Hoka One One on Twitter
  • Like me and/or Hoka One One on Facebook
  • Tweet about the giveaway
  • Comment on this blog post (Earns you the most points)

You do need to enter via the Rafflecopter widget, it just makes it way easier for me to manage entries! Entry period ends August 31. I will pick a winner within 3 days of the closing and will contact the winner via email. If the winner does not respond within two weeks, a new winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! And as it says inside the shoes… Keep Running!