The month of love

I’m not generally a big Valentine’s Day fan. It’s too commercial and I’d much rather get flowers on a random day than anytime around a holiday.  Sure, Robyn and I have some traditions for V-day, like buying a new specialty box of chocolate each year to enjoy together and going into Boston to get Burdick’s hot chocolate, but that is the extent of our V-day celebrations.  However, when you have a child, you are always looking for a way to make them feel special (year round) and I found something that happens to fit in well with the month of February.

I’m not sure where I found this, probably Pinterest, but I remembered that I saw something where someone cut out hearts in different colors and wrote down compliments for their child and then put one on their door each day for the month of February, so when they woke up, there was a new message for them to read. Since February is “the month of love” and also Ashton’s birthday month, I thought this was a really cute idea to do with Ashton to let him know how much he is loved and appreciated by Robyn and I.  It also tied in nicely with his preschool and their “kindness curriculum” the past two months.

So, I got to cutting out 29 hearts in pink, red and white and wrote things on them like  “You are kind,” “You are smart,”  “You have great ideas,” “We believe in you,” and “We love you.”

month of love

I have loved hanging his hearts on his bedroom door each night after he has gone to bed and hearing about them when I pick him up from school in the evening.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be woken up to a new surprise each day that let them know all the great things others feel about them? What a great way to start each morning, right?

ash door

In a day and age where things are so busy, so structured, everyone is so pressed for time, people don’t take the time to let those in their lives know how they feel, it’s important to me that Ashton always knows how much Robyn and I love and appreciate him, and that while we have very small family, he always has him Mama and Dad to be there to support him.  This was just a small, fun way to do that and for us to celebrate the month of love at the same time!

 

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Question of the day

Do you celebrate Valentine’s day?  How do you let the ones you love know you care outside of “commercial” holidays?

The Weekly Wrap Up-Rock CF Half Marathon training Week 5

Hey friends–happy 1st day of February!  One month into the new year, it went by quick, am I right?  It doesn’t really feel like February with the temps in the 50’s today, but I will take it!  I just checked my mileage log and I logged 79 miles last month (which is a lot for me as of late!)  I am looking forward to seeing how this month shakes out as my training continues to increase!

So, last week I spent Monday-Thursday in a work summit which meant very early mornings and even later nights, so I am really happy that I managed to work out every morning like usual–it was a miracle really! HA!  I just finished week 5 of my Rock CF half marathon training, so let’s see how it went with the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week of 1/25-1/31

Monday: I had 4 miles on the books, I only made it 2. It was a terrible run, I stopped and stretched but nothing helped loosen my calves. At 2 miles, I threw in the towel. There is no use hurting myself or beating myself up over it…some runs are good, some aren’t.  This clearly wasn’t a good one.

mon run

 

Tuesday: I did a full body strength training circuit and managed to lift between 5 and 10 lbs heavier than usual on certain body parts which made me really happy, I’m hoping that all the strength training I am incorporating not only makes me stronger and able to lift heavier, but makes me a stronger runner too!

tues strength

 

Wednesday: Speed work day-total of 5 miles.  I warmed up for 1/2 a mile, then did 7x400m at a 7:30 pace with 400m of slow running recovery in between each set and did a mile cool down.  During the recovery a few times I had to stop and quickly stretch out my calves, but overall I felt pretty good. It does surprise me though at how I used to be able to do repeats at this speed and it felt a heck of a lot easier than it does right now, but I’m getting there, baby steps right?

5 mile speed work wed

Thursday: After a really late night out at work that included too much dancing and a few drinks (which is very unusual for me) I was happy that I made it to the gym in the morning. I was exhausted but once I got going with my strength training circuit I felt a million times better. I did a full body circuit and then foam rolled my calves and IT bands.

thus strenth training

Friday:  I think the week of being away at a work summit took its toll on me because when I woke up in the morning, I felt like I was going to vomit I was so tired.  By the time I made it into work, I was still super tired, but not so sick so I did my “easy” 2 miles and foam rolled in prep for my long run on Saturday.  I did both miles in my Altras and felt pretty good!

friday run

Saturday: I had 10 miles on my training plan (my longest run since 2014.)  I was up at 5 am and needed to get my miles in before a super busy day with my boys, so I quickly got dressed and grabbed my water and Nuun and headed downstairs to get it done!  I had saved up a few episodes of  Jane the Virgin (don’t judge, I love that show) and watched the last 2 episodes so I was all caught up.  I ran the first 3 miles with my Altras and they felt great. I really wanted to keep going in them but played it smart and switched my shoes out to finish the last 7 miles.  I ate a piece of an orange around mile 5 and then at every mile took another slice or two throughout the rest of my run.  I really was unprepared with fuel for this run, but I actually felt fine with the Nuun and the orange, so I went with it.

All in all, I surprisingly felt great, maybe it was my body repaying me for my terrible run on Monday?? I was anticipating this to be much harder, but it looks like I just had a great running day!  I did the 10 miles at a 9:24 pace, which felt very comfortable for me and then did a short .3 mile walking cool down.

sat 10 miler

I finished up my run, had some breakfast, showered and did my hair before Ashton woke up, which was perfect timing!  We had a really busy day ahead of us with hair cuts, birthday parties, friends coming over the house, etc so I was really happy I got my run out of the way early so I didn’t have it hanging over my head all day.  Plus, this was a huge confidence booster for me as 10 miles just felt so long to me since it had been so long since I ran that long.  I have three 10 milers and one 12 miler on the books for this training cycle so I was happy this one went so well!

Sunday: A day of rest!!!  Robyn tweaked his back late Saturday night :( so he was down for the count for the day, which meant Ashton and I went grocery shopping, cooked, cleaned and did laundry while he rested. It was actually a perfect day (minus Robyn’s back) and we all napped, played games and generally just relaxed, which was much needed!

So, there you have it my friends, the Weekly Wrap Up!  Overall, it was a good week of training, I’m feelings stronger and hoping this week is just as good!

Have a great Monday–I will see you later this week!

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Question of the day

How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

2016 Goals

Hi friends–happy hump day!  I know I am super late to the party on this, since it seems like every blogger puts out their 2016 goals on or before Jan 1, but I don’t necessarily follow the norm and with that, I need time to think about my goals (no resolutions for this girl!) I have thought long and hard about the things that are most important to me, where I am right now and where I want to be at the end of December 2016.  I have some very concrete goals that I want to achieve this year, and most of them aren’t related to fitness (although there are a few), but more family and work related. I’ve broken them down into these categories, which just helps me focus better when things are bucketed. I won’t elaborate on each, as that would be the longest blog post ever but here are my 2016 goals!

goals

Family/Home

  • Be more present
  • Travel to at least one new place
  • Find a babysitter so Robyn and I can go on an occasional date night
  • Remodel the master bathroom
  • Create (and stick to) a house cleaning schedule
  • Put away my phone when I get home from work (until Ashton goes to bed)
  • Spend more time with my Mom and sister

Work

  • Find a better balance between work/home time
  • Block time to read industry publications at least 2x a month
  • Get promoted
  • Think about long-term career development and personal goals
  • Formally mentor at least one person

Fitness

  • Log 1,000 running miles
  • PR one race
  • Do 1 new Beachbody training program
  • Run one “new to me” race

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Question of the day

What are some of your goals for this year? What was one thing you are really proud of accomplishing last year?

The Weekly Wrap Up-Rock CF Half Marathon training Week 4

Happy Monday my friends!  How did everyone fare with the storm this weekend?  Thankfully, we didn’t get hit badly (which is very unusual) so I am really happy!  We probably got 6-8 inches, but for those of us in MA/New England, is really just a dusting. All the roads were plowed down to the pavement and it was a breeze getting into work this morning!

So, as most people were still waking up and/or getting ready to go to work, I was sitting down to type up this post and I couldn’t believe how quickly time was flying by–I just finished week 4 of my Rock CF half marathon training, so let’s see how it went with the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week of 1/18-1/24

Monday: I hit the streets early and since it was a holiday for most people (not for me), and it was ridiculously quiet. I passed one runner at about mile 2 of my run, and that was it.  Usually I pass 15-20 runners, but I guess with the snow and the holiday, people were sleeping in.  It was actually a really peaceful run. It wasn’t as easy navigating the docks and planks as usual but it was dark and quiet and nice.

monday run in snow

Tuesday: My body was pretty sore in the morning but I pushed through and did my full body strength training circuit workout but didn’t do as many leg exercises as usual to give my lower half a little break. Once I got moving and warm, I felt good.  Afterwards I foam rolled. Nothing exciting about this workout.

Wednesday: Hills-total of 4 miles.  1 mile warm up at 8:57 pace, 2 miles of 1/4 mile hill repeats at 7% incline at a 6.0 pace, 1 mile cool down at a variable pace (8:30-8:57)

wed hill

Robyn had his quarterly work meeting so that means he doesn’t get home until late, so I got to take advantage of the one on one time with Ashton and we went out for dinner at his favorite place and of course, followed dinner with some ice cream. He has sitting on my lap and we were doing some drawing and then he asked to take a pic, but each time I snapped it, he would make a funny face–I just love this kid, he is so goofy and fun loving. We were laughing so hard in between takes and he kept saying, “I’ll be serious Mama, I will, I promise!”

wed night w ash

Thursday: Strength training again. I did a full body circuit including legs and felt pretty good, but I need to write down a more focused plan for my strength training days and may even pull out some strength videos and write down the moves.  I am feeling a bit stale in this area right now. Afterwards I did some much needed foam rolling.

thurs strength

Friday: I like Fridays because they are my easy day.  I had 2 miles on the schedule and a lot of foam rolling. I wore my Altras for the entire run and they felt pretty good!

fri run

Saturday: Ashton woke up uncharacteristically early (7:00 a.m.), which means I was up too.  He had a play date at 9 with is old daycare provider (she is amazing and we keep in close contact with her), so we played for a bit and then dropped him off of her house for a few hours so he could play with her family.  We went home and I decided to get in my long run in the morning instead of waiting until the afternoon. I much prefer to run in the morning vs. the afternoon, that’s for sure!  I put on the new episode of Arrow and got started.  I wore my Altras for the first 2.5 miles and then switched them out and felt pretty good.

sat 8 miler

This has been my longest run since running Boston in 2014 so I was unsure on how I would feel, but I felt really good, thankfully!

Sunday: My day of rest.  We got up, ate a lazy breakfast, played, went grocery shopping and I did laundry and packed as I will be gone most of the week for our annual Sales and Marketing conference. Since we didn’t get slammed with snow and it was fairly good temperature wise (30 degrees) we took Ashton outside for some sledding.

ashton sledding

And of course, some ninja training!

So, there you have it my friends, the Weekly Wrap Up!  Overall, it was a good week of training with my longest “long” run in a very long time, a great weekend with my boys…and now I am off this week for a work training!

Have a great Monday–I hope to see you later this week!

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Question of the day

How was your weather this weekend? Get in any good runs?

 

My Year in Books and the 2016 Challenge

Happy Friday friends–are you all ready for the weekend??  I know I am!  It looks like the big Winter storm may not hit us as hard as they were initially anticipating, which I am VERY excited about!!  So, as I was reading last night before bed, I realized I never recapped the book challenge I did last year so, let’s talk about books today!

So, in the beginning of last year, I talked a bit about the 2015 Popsugar Reading Challenge and how a group of us were participating.  You all know how much I LOVE to read (and listen to audiobooks–you know, 3+ hour commute and all.) Well, I recently received my Goodread’s summary (where I track everything I read) of my year in books for 2015 and I ended up reading 116 books (I am a fast reader, and when I get into a book, I will literally devour it, sometimes in just one sitting/day.) I am seriously loving all the info-graphics companies sent out that synthesized our activities for the year.

year in books

While I didn’t hit every category in the 2015 challenge (which had 50 book categories,) there were many times that I read so far out of my normal comfort zone and I was really proud of myself.  These challenges are a fun incentive to diversify my reading and I was pleasantly surprised that I found some books I would never have normally picked up, that I ended up loving!  And…I read 116 books–given the year I had at work, I cannot believe it myself.

With that, I am going to do the 2016 challenge as well.

2016 reading challenge

This challenge feels a lot easier than the categories from 2015, so I may even be able to get them all done…either way, my goal is to read 100 books this year…we are now 3 weeks into the year and I have already finished 4 books (almost 5) so I am off to a good start!

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Question of the day

What is the last thing you have read?  Any recommendations?

The Weekly Wrap Up-Rock CF Half Marathon training Week 3

Happy Monday and Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  Who is working today? Who is home? I am working but not complaining, I’ve been getting a ton knocked off my to do list!!  So, I just finished week 3 of my Rock CF half marathon training, so let’s see how it went with the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week of 1/11-1/17

Monday: It was  another really cold and windy Monday morning run.  I can deal with the cold relatively well (lots of warm clothing) but the wind cuts me to the bone and makes it really hard for me to breath. Am I alone on this??  Anyways, this run was a complete struggle from the get go.  I had to stop 5-6 times to stretch my calves because they were as hard as a rock and every step was a challenge, but I got it done.

mon am run

Tuesday: My body was pretty sore but I pushed through and did my full body strength training circuit workout but didn’t do as many leg exercises as usual to give my lower half a little break.  Afterwards I foam rolled. Nothing exciting about this workout.

Wednesday: Speedwork–4 total miles.  3 miles of 1/4 mile repeats at 7:30 pace and then a half mile warm up and cool down. I forgot how hard speed work is in the beginning. I know it will get easier over time as I get stronger, but man, I was sucking wind, which kind of boggles my mind since I have recently run my 5ks at a faster pace than 7:30 and it didn’t hurt that bad.

wed speedwork

Thursday: Strength training again. I did a full body circuit including legs and felt pretty good, but I need to write down a more focused plan for my strength training days and may even pull out some strength videos and write down the moves.  I am feeling a bit stale in this area right now. Afterwards I did some much needed foam rolling.

thurs workout

Friday: I was thankful to only have 2 easy miles on the books and it was the perfect opportunity to test out my new Altra shoes (more on that in a later post).  I ran in the Altras for the first mile and then switched them out for my Ghosts.  They didn’t feel crazy but my left calf was really tight, but honestly, I can’t tell if that is because of the shoe (which is common when transitioning to a zero drop) or just because my calves suck, so we will see.  Afterwards, I did some light yoga, stretching and some foam rolling.

altra first run

 

Saturday: On Saturday we woke up around 8:30, had some breakfast and were trying to decide what to do since it was POURING outside. Initially, we thought we would go to the local library that has an awesome play space in it, but Ashton asked that we head to the Ecotarium, so that is where we went.  He had a blast trying to direct the wind to make the pinwheels move…

eco 2

And then watch as electricity and magnets worked to move rings from one side to another…

eco 3

But what took the cake was meeting a Storm Trooper.  I will admit, I had no idea what a Storm Trooper was, but Ashton saw them down on the second floor and asked to go see them.  We headed down and of course, there were kids EVERYWHERE.  When it was his turn, he walked right up (a little cautiously,) said hi, told the Storm Trooper his name, grabbed his hand and smiled at him and then me.  This kid melts my heart.

ash at ecotarium

When we left, we stopped for a quick lunch and then got home and put Ashton down for a nap.  Once he was down, I got changed so I could get my long run in.  It was only 6 miles this week. I noticed as I was typing, I put only in front of 6 miles…why? I mean, 6 miles is a long distance, but for some reason, I think my mindset changes when I am training for a longer race and 6 just doesn’t feel as long as it should? Do you know what I mean? I don’t know…I’m rambling now. Anyways, I did 6 miles while watching a new to me show called The Affair on Showtime. I only watched the first episode and not sure I am sold on it yet, but I will watch one more to see if I get into it more. It did help the time go by fast though.

sat long run

Sunday: I love Sundays, they are not only rest days, but we do our usual morning grocery shopping, laundry, food prep, game playing, book reading and a lot of just great quality time together. Saturdays are usually busier, more hectic, so I really love the quiet of our Sunday’s as a family.

So, there you have it my friends, the Weekly Wrap Up!  Overall, it was a good week of training and I can’t believe I just kicked off week 4 of this training cycle.  What is the saying, long days, short weeks? Anyways, have a great Monday–I’ll see you later this week!

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Question of the day

How is your Winter running going? What are your favorite shows right now?

#IRun4Lexie

Hey guys–happy Friday!  It’s a long weekend for most of you (not me) so I bet people are even more anxiously awaiting the end of the work day!  Today, I want to share with you something really special that I have been a part of recently.  So, back in April a few of my running friends were posting often about all the miles they were logging for their “buddies.”  Curious as to what this was about, I asked a few of them questions about this program and landed on the IR4 website.

i run 4

The basics: you sign up, they match you with a special needs child, or adult or even a sibling of a special needs person (you can pick which group you prefer).  Then, once you are matched, you run FOR that person, you dedicate your miles to them and post to them pics of you doing so through their Facebook page.  Don’t worry, if you don’t run, you can jog, workout, whatever.  The main point is that you are doing something that your buddy may or may not ever be able do.  You create this great relationship with your buddy and their family and it’s pretty freaking amazing.

So, I signed up and waited, and waited. Each week there was a wait list that was posted and I started in the thousands (yes plural), and each week I would download the wait list document and search for how much I moved up.

Well, on November 9th (almost 7 months after signing up) I received the email that I was finally matched!!!  I was SO excited!!  I have been matched to a young girl named Lexie who just melts my heart and I have seriously loved dedicating all my miles to her.  I talk with her and her Mom daily through the Facebook page and messenger and she is the reason I signed up for the two races I just ran at the end of the year.  She motivates me to get out there, even when I don’t want to!  I am forever grateful for this organization and love that #IRun4Lexie I can’t wait to dedicate all my 2016 miles to her!

I know a lot of you are runners, even if you aren’t a runner but like to work out…if you are looking for some extra motivation or heck, just want to do something nice for another human, sign up here!

Additionally, if you have a special needs child/adult that would love to have someone run for them, you can contact Tim Boyle, through the IR4 blog or the IR4 facebook page.

With that, I hope you have an awesome weekend–do something fun, get your sweat on and relax! I’ll see you next week!

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Question of the day

Anyone else here have a IR4 buddy? If not, are you interested in signing up?

2015 run stats and Run the Year 2016

Hi friends–happy Wednesday!  How’s the week going so far?  Did anyone else get snow last night?  Is Old Man Winter here to stay?  We shall see!

So today, I want to talk number.  I like numbers, metrics, stats.  They can help ground you in what is happening–and I use them almost daily at work to make important business decisions.  However, while numbers are important, they don’t always tell you the entire story.  For example, Daily Mile sends out this great end of year wrap up on your miles, number of runs, etc.. Do, here are my 2015 run stats:

2015 running summary

I like seeing the conciseness of this report, total miles, workouts, mileage by month, its simple and straight to the point, but what is this REALLY telling me other than numbers?  This didn’t show that I participated in two separate 8 and 12-week fitness challenges that focused on heavy strength training and little (non running) cardio that made me a lot stronger than I have been in years.  It also didn’t show that this is the first year since I started running in 2010, I didn’t end up in PT for injuries.  Is that because I was a lot stronger? Because I didn’t run as many miles? Some other reason? I don’t know, but again…numbers only tell part of the story. HOWEVER—they are a great start for bench marking.

I actually didn’t think my miles would be too high this year. First, I didn’t sign up to run a race until the end of September.  If I’m not signed up for a race, I’m not following a training plan, which means I am just going out for leisurely runs with not much focus.  There is nothing wrong with this, it actually was a nice change of pace for me for a while, especially when work was crazy. Just being able to go for a run, however short or long I wanted to, was great for my sanity.  However, for me, it doesn’t lend itself to racking up signficant milege.  Again, this was fine since I wasn’t training for anything and had no need to hit a certain weekly mileage.

I had also made a conscious decision to decrease the number of days I was running because my body just wasn’t handling the running stress well in 2014 (I have seriously terrible calves.) I also decided to spend more of 2015 focusing on building strength since I was no longer teaching my beloved Group Power classes.  I loved the two strength challenges I did, it pushed my limits in a different way than running does and I felt stronger and more confident.  That counts for something, right?  

So, I wasn’t at all surprised that my mileage wasn’t as high as in some other years.  However, I have some new goals for 2016….

My awesome fellow toddler Mama, reading, running, and all around awesome friend Christen asked if I would be interested in running the year with her (and a few other Moms.) Since I wanted a running goal (and some races) to log more miles this year, I said, sure, why not.  So we signed up for Run the Year 2016, came up with our team name 2016 Child Free Miles (#2016CFM) and are logging our miles.

My main goal with this challenge is to run 1,000 miles in 2016. As much as I’d love to run 2,016 miles on my own, my body just doesn’t allow that kind of mileage, so I think 1,000 is more doable–but who knows if this is feasible. It works out to about 3 miles a day, but I can’t run everyday, so we will see how this all plays out. I’m training for a half marathon in March so getting my mileage in now is pretty easy…I just follow the plan!  I am signed up for an 8-10 mile adventure race in August and I have my eyes on a few other races throughout the year.  If they fit into our family schedule, I would like to do them…but all of that is up in the air.

I think it’s good to have goals, but I am also not going to beat myself up about them.  I was TERRIBLE at balancing work, fitness and family last year (and that is a major focus of mine this year that comes ahead of anything else I am doing) so we will see how the pieces fall–wish me luck! :)

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Question of the day

Anyone else doing the Run the Year challenge? Other fitness goals? Life goals?

The Weekly Wrap Up-Rock CF Half Marathon training Week 2

Hey friends, how are you doing? How was your weekend?  It’s been so all over the place here in MA in terms of weather with unseasonably warm temps and then freezing temps. It’s giving me whiplash and I never know how to dress. I mean, yesterday it was 60 and raining–in January! I don’t remember a January this warm, well….ever.  Anyways,  I just finished week 2 of my Rock CF half marathon training, so let’s see how it went with the Weekly Wrap Up!

Week of 1/4-1/10

Monday: It was really cold and windy out, so I bundled up well and hit the streets of Boston. It was still pitch black out when I started my run and when you run along the water, the wind kind of knocks the breath out of you, but it’s also kinda awesome to watch the city start to wake up. I got in 4 fairly comfortable miles.

mon week 2 training

Tuesday: I did a great strength training circuit workout followed by some much-needed foam rolling. I am really trying to get better at consistently doing this.

Wednesday: Holy hills. This was one of the toughest runs I’ve done in a VERY long time.  I did a 1/2 mile warm up, 2 miles at 7% incline of 1/4 mile repeats and then a 1/2 mile cool down.  Don’t let the picture fool you, this KICKED my butt, like seriously, I was sore about an hour after the run and I knew it was just what I needed. I need this hills, they will make me stronger.

wed hill run week 2

Thursday: My hamstrings were fried from the hill workout on Wednesday so I did an upper body lifting circuit and then I foam rolled.

Friday: 2 easy miles followed by some light yoga and foam rolling.  My legs were still a little sore, but nothing like yesterday! I’m also getting super hooked on my new Watermelon Nuun. I got it on Thursday and have been drinking it non-stop!

fri run week 2

Saturday: I slept in until almost 9 am and it was GLORIOUS! I got 11 hours of sleep and I can’t tell you how well rested I felt!  We got up, ate a leisurely breakfast and then went to an indoor play place so Ashton could run around for a few hours. We stopped quickly for lunch and then during Ashton’s nap I belted out 7 miles on the treadmill to wrap up my running for the week. I needed something to watch while I was running since all my shows are still on their Winter hiatus, so I was looking through Hulu Plus and the show Couples Therapy on VH1, come up so I thought why not…holy smokes…I could barely make it through a full episode, what a train wreck!  Have you guys seen it? If not, don’t start, but if you have, I’d love to hear what you think!  After that I just listened to Pandora to finish the last few miles.

sat long run week 2

Sunday: Well, I woke up and didn’t win the Powerball drawing, so I decided it was going to be a day of rest–next time right?? :)  It poured all day and was super warm out, so it would have kind of been nice to run outside for a bit, but I know how important rest is.  So, we did our usual morning grocery shopping, I made some homemade tomato soup–YUM, I did some laundry, food prepped and got my hair cut.  I have a really big few weeks at work coming up, so I needed to get my life at home under control.

hair cut

And of course, we played a ton with Ashton!

So, there you have it my friends, the Weekly Wrap Up!  Overall, it was a great week of training and I hope this week is just as good!  I hope you all have a great Monday–see you later this week!

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Question of the day

How was your weekend? Has it been unseasonably warm where you live?

 

Fixing Ashton’s foot

**Warning: this is a bit of a long post**

Back in late 2014, Robyn and I started to notice that Ashton’s right foot was turning in a bit, it was nothing drastic, but we noticed it from time to time while he was walking.  We talked to his pediatrician who took a look at it and said to keep an eye on it and if it continued, we would send him to a specialist. Flash forward to this summer and while on a hike, Ashton ran ahead of us and we both turned to each other after seeing a much more prominent turn of the foot. I told Robyn we needed to get it looked at now, I didn’t want to wait anymore and he agreed.

That was on a Saturday and on Monday morning I immediately called my amazing podiatrist and asked if he saw toddlers, thankfully he did. He was able to squeeze me in that week due to a cancellation and Robyn, Ashton and I showed up in his office to get to the bottom of this problem and fix his foot.  He asked us some questions and then put Ashton though a bunch of movement tests.  Thankfully, there was nothing SERIOUSLY wrong with him.  What he did have was a slight weakness on his right side, mainly in his hips, which he thought he could quickly address with a small tweak.  Of course, when he said that I was thinking the worst. Does he need surgery? What kind of tweak?  But it was something much simpler…we needed to get Ashton into minimalist, zero drop shoes.  What?? That’s it?

Dr. Feldman taught us that the worst thing we can do is put our kids in hard soled, heavily structured shoes (which is basically what we have been told to do for YEARS.)  He said this is counterproductive and that we want children barefoot as often as possible (which was great since we always have him barefoot at home), and when that is not possible, they should be in ultra-thin soled, zero drop shoes to allow proper alignment and the ability to actually feel the ground below them.  That was Ashton’s problem, it was his foot’s lack of sensory ability to feel the ground because his shoes were TOO supportive.  He said he sees countless people (children and adults) that have problems with their feet and knees because they have been in overly structured shoes their entire lives and their bodies try to adjust to the shoes, instead of moving naturally as we were designed to do.

He then used the example of how people always use watching young kids run barefoot as being the prime example of how we are supposed to move. Now if that is how we are SUPPOSED to move, then why do we put ourselves in shoes that do everything to stop us from moving this way? The way we were born to move?  We talked a bit about the minimalist movement in running (since he is a distance runner) and all the points he made, made perfect sense, but goes against everything we have been told over the course of the last few decades.  However, the tides are changing and there is so much more research and science behind this minimalist movement.

He said at Ashton’s age,  we should have him in shoes that are soft to allow a natural foot function and that the soles should bend easily at the toe joints because this is where the foot is designed to bend to recreate the arch on take off.  They should have a zero drop which will enhance his lateral movement since the foot will not be up on a platform or have a slope from heel to forefoot, and that they should have a wide toe box so the toes can naturally spread.

Of course, after this information overload, I asked if he could recommend a shoe that had all of this.  His answer was Vivo Barefoot shoes.  He said this was all his young children wear and that was all I needed to hear.  I was sold and bought Ashton his first pair as soon as we got into the car post appointment and we had them in hand in less than a week!vivobarefootHe also wanted us to schedule a consult with a PT for Ashton to ensure there were no other imbalances in his body. The podiatrist works very closely with my amazing PT Mike and he was able to get him into see him a month later and we scheduled a follow-up appointment with Dr. Feldman in December.

Well, within a few days of Ashton wearing the shoes we saw a change.  By the time we went to see Mike to go through the PT evaluation, he couldn’t see any turn in on the right foot. He also put him through about 30 minutes work of drills to evaluate all his movement and he came out with perfect scores.

We had our follow-up appointment last week with Dr. Feldman and he said there is no turn it at all anymore and that the shoes were clearly working!  He fixed Ashton’s foot with the right pair of shoes–crazy right?  We talked a lot about his shoes since his feet are getting so big (he jumped 2 sizes in 6 weeks and then another size about a month later! Yeah, buying shoes for him has been awesome!) and the fact that I love the Vivos but they keep a very low stock of their little kids shoes and in between two pairs, we had to get him a pair of Nikes to hold him over because they were out of stock. He recommended Altras or something similar (as long as its zero drop).  Ashton should be able to size into the Altras soon if his current foot growth is any indication and we may give those a try next!

It’s incredible how drastically Ashton’s movement patterns changed once he was out of the Nikes and New Balances and into the zero drop shoes.  We have learned so much through this experience, most notably that proper shoes make all the difference and moving forward, Ashton will continue wear zero drop shoes…strong feet=happy feet!

Have a good day!

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Question of the day

Anyone else wear zero drop shoes? What shoes do you wear to run and for leisure? Did you know you shouldn’t put babies/kids (or anyone for that matter) in structured shoes?