Monday, May 28, 2012

Skora vs. Newton vs. Asics vs. Brooks running shoes

This weekend was a true shoe comparison weekend - over the three days I ran and/or walked in three different brands of running shoes. 

Here's the lowdown:
SKORA - I was so excited to get a sample pair of the women's SKORA minimalist shoes.  I was never able to get into the barefoot running thing - more because I think it makes people look like they have frog feed and while I don't want to run in Manolos, I also don't want to look like a major dork.  The shoes are super lightweight and it took me a lot of getting used to (like 6mi).  I'm not sure I love them yet, I think they require getting used to before going totally lightweight  it was like running with only half my clothes on ... it really felt that weird.

Newtons - these are my favorite road running shoes.  I started wearing Newtons when a colleague / awesome runner kept hyping them.  I could never bring myself to spend $175 on running shoes, let alone a brand I'd never heard of.  At a running expo about two years ago I found these shoes partially used (someone bought them, walked out of the store, and decided they didn't want them) for $50 - score!  Ever since, for any road running that I'm doing for speed, these are my shoes.  Road races?  Bam - bring on the Newtons.

Asics - when I first noticed my knee completely popped out about 7 years ago, I beelined for the nearest sports podiatrist.  After walking on the treadmill for her, getting my feet measured, and being told to shop (my favorite part - my Dr. told me to buy 7 pairs of shoes on and she would manage returning the 6 I didn't like) we landed on the Asics GT series (which has since changed many times).  These are my go to training / I want to go for a middle to long run and don't care about speed shoes.  They're supportive but not overly so.

Brooks - a couple months ago I went to a running store to pick up a race bib.  The store was having a sale for all runners picking up bibs (smart) - 20% off any shoe.  Of course I felt the compulsion to shop.  We had just moved, I couldn't find my 2 pairs of trail shoes, and a deal is a deal.  So I asked "what's the best selling trail shoe" (Amazon trained me to go for the customer feedback / behavior for bestsellers) and walked out with a pair of Cascadia 7 trail shoes.  The shoes are pretty good looking and I sport them around on weekends.  I don't love love them on the trails.  I like them, and they beat running in road shoes on trails, but I miss my old model of discontinued Asic trail shoes where the tongue acted as a second sock.  These are a close second.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Race report: Seattle's Best 15K

Yesterday was the Seattle's Best 15K and it was a ton of fun!  Emily and I did the race (this was her 2nd ever).  The weather was perfect, the crowd was small, and the course beautiful - rolling hills and great views throughout.  The field was pretty small - there was a cap of 1,000 people, but only about 500 did the race.  Could be because there was another race in Seattle today, or could be because it's still relatively unknown.

I won the race - woo hoo - with a time of 1:04:34 (6:54 per mile pace).
The course went from Gas Works park, over the Fremont Bridge, quick out and back by SPU, then around the lake.  At Eastlake some of the hills got me but I had a tiny voice in my head saying "you do this with both boys in the stroller - GO!"

The one thing that really got me was the previous night's dinner - Mexican food - BAD idea.  It tasted so good at the time, but for the first three miles all I could think was "why did I eat those chips," the next three miles moved to "oh salsa, please don't do this to me," and the final three miles my stomach was screaming "if you finish soon you won't have to listen to me anymore" because at this point the growls and jabbing Mex-pains were pretty loud.

Emily's husband Lloyd, their baby boy, and our buddy Scott met us at the finish line.  We hung around for the awards - I won a plaque and a gift card to Fleet Feet - and then we took off.  After a quick post-race shower and a house cleaning blitz, Emily and the gang came over for a mellow brunch.  They brought fruit and roses as a congrats - I've never gotten race roses and it was pretty awesome.

Time to look at the list for the next race...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

To take: Krill Oil

Recently, Everest Nutrition sent me some Everest Nutrition Krill Oil to sample, and I have to say I'm hooked.  From taking this daily for the past month, my skin looks better, I've been feeling more focused at work (which I've needed because things have been nutty busy), and somehow I've found the time and energy to get a workout in every day at lunch.

If you haven't ever heard of Krill Oil, here's a Dr. Oz video on the benefits.  I have a race this weekend so let's see if it pays off in time ... :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

To do: luchtime run

Somehow the weeks are getting more and more full ... again ... between work and coming home to be an airplane, then train, then imaginary food eater, then story teller.  Hence, the lunchtime run!  This afternoon I had 45-minutes between meetings (my only free time of the work day) so my designer and I decided to lace up and get a quick 2mi in, then get back to work.  Wam bam.  For some this could count as a recovery run, but for me it was a quick energy boost.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Better run run run run run run run run

A recent study just came out saying that by 2030 more than 40% of the United States could be obese.

According to published reports of the study, there are five strategies which must be implemented if the U.S. is to get back in shape.  Those five strategies include:
1.    Make it easier for people to work physical activity into their daily lives;
2.    Create an environment where healthy food and beverage options are the routine, easy choice;
3.    Improve messages about physical activity and nutrition;
4.    Expand the role of health care providers, insurers and employers in obesity prevention;
5.    Make schools a national focal point for obesity prevention.

To point 3, I think it's so important to show our kids how fun being outside can be.  My boys are hooked on "running" and "yoga" and it makes my heart smile.

I am challenging myself to help kids get active. 

There, now I'll get off my soapbox.  :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

My mom has been my best friend since before I can remember.  Now that I'm a mom, I turn to my own mom even more for advice and commiserating ("he pooped where?!...")

This weekend was a great weekend all around.  First off it was warm in Seattle which was awesome.  We had a packed weekend with friends and family time which made things that much better.

Saturday we went to Abby's FIRST birthday party.  I think the first is mostly for the parents - that is one tough year - and it was great to celebrate with family friends.

Saturday evening I went to a girls night dinner with a pal up on Queen Anne.

Sunday we enjoyed the sun at Farmer's in the morning and then via a potluck / dinner with our neighbors on our front porch.

Pretty mellow, but perfect.

Here's to momming:
My favorite mom:
 Playing "hide and seek" the easy way:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Opening wallets like a mutha

I found this infographic incredibly interesting - view the full article at Alltop:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Weekend Roundup

This is a bit belated but it's been nutty busy in the Taylor world.  This weekend Gabe and Amanda were here and it was an amazing weekend.  That about sums it all up.  The boys LOVE their aunt and uncle and it was great for Matt and I having "grown up time" with two of the people we love most.

Saturday Amanda and I took the boys downtown on the bus (which the boys loved).  That evening we had Matt and Gabe's friends from childhood over for a pizza dinner / mellow hangout in the sun.  Sunday we had a mellow morning and then made our way to the beach which was packed!  We sat and watched the seals jumping while throwing rocks into the waves.  That evening Gabe taught the boys to "surf" in the living room on their lego box lid.

What a great weekend.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Taylor Twins Toddlering

They look so sweet ... and they are definitely two.  I've heard the saying "terrible twos" for years and different images always come to mind - screaming, monsters rumpusing (ala Wild Things), messes.  It's all true.  And then there's the poop.  We're in the tail end of potty training (for which Matt did most of the work) but unfortunately we still get the occasional pot of gold on the floor in the boys' room.  I think it's their way of showing us "if you don't let us stay up later, here's what we'll do," or something.  But they always look so sweet...
On the flip side, though, the boys are amazing.  They're talking all the time now and we're all having real conversations.  Conversations about the bear statue up the hill, and about the cool ants out front, or the ladybug they saw in the window.   The important stuff - really.  They notice everything and make us notice it too and it's pretty awesome.

The twos are tough, but also pretty friggin great.

Shoe report: Brooks Cascadia

About a month ago I bought new trail shoes as my tried and true Asics were buried somewhere in our moving mess.  I landed on the Brooks Cascadia

All in, not a huge fan.  Here's why ... for trail shoes these are really slick.  Not the "wow, those look rad" kind of slick (even though they do indeed look rad) but the "oh my gosh I hope I never step on a wet rock" kind of slick.  They're slippy and don't feel like they can grab a trail let alone a wet cement hill (of which there are many in Seattle). Also, while the laces have a cool slanty angle (adding to the rad look), they don't really wrap the foot in a way that makes the shoes feel supportive to run in.  Instead I wind up either tying them too tight or too lose and never really feeling good support.

I think I'll go back to my Asica with my next big shoe purchase.  Bummer, I wanted to support a Seattle store (Brooks are located here).  Maybe for something else or maybe a road shoe.