Black Friday Hypocrite…and a New Running Around Normal!

Well, I was going to wait until tomorrow to post because……

A. It’s RAN Household Thanksgiving 2010 Preparation Insanity in the kitchen right now



B. I’m running out of daylight to take pictures!!

But I can’t help myself. As you can see, Running Around Normal looks a little different this afternoon!!

That’s because this whole week, I’ve been working with Cory of Zesty Blog Consulting to give my blog a facelift! We worked together a lot yesterday and today, and I’m happy to share with you the final product!!! I love it 😀 😀

He also gave a makeover to my other website, Fitconomy! I recommend checking out his superb work (and my content!) by either clicking on the hyper link, or on the cute little logo Cory created for me at the bottom right hand sidebar 😀


Let’s talk Black Friday.

I am the most anti-black Friday one person can get. I hate lines, I hate crowds, and I’d be more than happy to shovel over the extra 20 dollars NOT to stand in line for three hours. Additionally, I don’t get many days to sleep in. I’m not gonna waste them 😉

I did, however, wake up with the sun this morning, and after some coffee and blogging I met up with my girl Heidi for a spinning session!

After class……I did the Black Friday thing. But my way!! After 9:30 in the morning and at a local establishment. I’ll stay far, far, away from Best Buy, Toys R Us, and Wal-Mart, but my local running store? I can handle.


Besides…they were having a 25% off of EVERYTHING sale.

So I made the impulsive decision to console myself from having to take a month off of running by buying some spin class shoes:


What can I say? I like to jump right in with both feet and immerse myself!

I was in and out in 20 minutes, and that includes the time it took for the guy to attach my clip ins for the pedals! I also left with some sweet black wick dry socks:)

I can’t wait to try the shoes out!!



I’m sure I’ll be fumbling my way through “clipping in” in Monday morning’s spin class.


IMG_0476 IMG_0477

I have no idea how to clip in. Is clip in the right term??


I think my potatoes are tender! Back to cooking I go!

Oh – and you’ll be happy to know that the Amish turkey is completely thawed out and ready to be cooked.



Big thanks to the husband for taking care of that job. However, I’ll be partaking in butternut squash lasagna instead of turkey 😉

Did you participate in Black Friday? Or are you Anti-Black Friday, like me??


Choose Your Shoes

Morning! 🙂 Happy Thursday! What makes today exciting for you? I’m pumped up because I get to go to my favorite power yoga class tonight that I haven’t been to in AGES! Woo hoo!!

It sounds like a lot of us have to deal with cooking for those who live with us and have different appetites. I’m glad I’m not alone, and you guys offered some great tips! The commonality was compromise – work with what we’ve got 🙂

That’s exactly what I did last night for dinner. The meal I cooked up involved both paige-food qualities and husband-food qualities.

Whole wheat pasta (Paige – I)


Insane amount of cheese (Shane – I…ok Paige I, too)


Veggies (Paige – II)



Rich flavors (Shane – II)


…So how’d it go?




We came out even! And both thoroughly enjoyed this delicious pasta that I put under the broiler as a bake so the cheese would get all golden 🙂 mmmm



A delicious meal all around – for both of us!



Choose Your Shoes

While discussing running the other day with my cube mates (who, me?) the topic quickly turned to injuries. I was very surprised to hear that two of my cubies have experienced plantar fasciitis, the issue I’m currently dealing with. That’s when the only male of the group was quick to say that women get plantar fasciitis because they all wear high heels and this shortens the calf muscle. I won’t get into that entire statement (hello, generalization) but he did make a good point – that the shoes we wear can have a huge impact on our feet.

However, wearing flat shoes with no support can have just as detrimental of an effect on our feet as super high heels can. This is actually what put my feet over the edge. During the Healthy Living Summit, I trucked around Chicago in my $10 Target flats, which killed my feet.



I know that being female is sometimes synonomous with being a shoe lover. But for me, I’m not a shoe girl. A jeans, jacket, or purse girl – sure! But stick me in a shoe department and you’ll find me covertly making my way to the least grandma-ish grandma shoes. I choose comfort over cuteness.

These are actually some of the favorite shoes I own:


Dansko’s, baby. Protecting my feet since 2007.

These are some faves, too, but only make it out of the closet if I’ll be wearing them 3 hours or less.




How about you? Are you a shoe person? What ranks higher when picking out a shoe, fashion or function? I wish I could wear super cute and edgy shoes, but I’d rather have pain free feet, too. And that trumps the situation.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!! 🙂

The Ones

Morning 🙂

Excuse my supa dupa late posting yesterday. As I mentioned in the post, I slept past my alarm, and then I got home to find out trying to post it at lunch didn’t work either!

So after posting about my new running shoes the other day, I received a few emails about what kind I got this time.

To be honest, a timeline would better explain. I’ve gone through a few different shoes now.

April 2007-June 2007: First time through with Couch to 5k

 image [/source]

This isn’t the actual shoe I wore, but it might have well been. The husband and I started out the couch 2 5k, and the running shoes I wore, I’d already had for a year, and I’m pretty sure they weren’t even running shoes. At the end of the training plan, my knees starting hurting, and I decided I was one of those people that running did more harm than help.

April 2009-June 2009: Second time though Couch to 5k


I got some running shoes this time. At Khol’s. They did better than the first ones, but the majority of my runs were on the treadmill. I was still clueless about different people needing different running shoes, and thought I was golden with them.


I mean, come on – they even say “run” on them!! 😛

July 2009- September 2009: Days before my first race


 Aasics Gel Nimbus 11’s

September 2009-October 2010: Continuing to be hooked on running and racing


Mizuno Wave Creation (bought two pairs over this time span) I bought these not long after running in the Aasics. In August, I developed tendonitis in my right ankle. And the Wave Creations helped immensely (that, and orthodics.) In August of 2010, I began feeling symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Granted, my mileage was increasing, and it’s summer so I was wearing flip flops, but regardless, I wanted to try something new. Additionally, my right hip was very tight.

Present (the new shoes!): Nearing the end of 2010 racing season: three races left


Saucony ProGrids Rides 3



AdiStar Solution – (praying they’re the solution for my tight hip!)

Note that the only pair of running shoes listed above that are women’s are the pink Aasics. I have a weird pinky toe, that forces me to need a wide toe box, and women’s shoes just don’t cut it. My heel is much more narrow, so I just use the loop method to tie my shoes to ensure the backs of my feet aren’t slip-sliding around in the shoe (as pictured in the Adidas’s above) This works like a charm! I recommend tying shoes as such.

So that’s my shoe story in a nut shell running shoe!

Here’s to the latest shoes being “the ones” 😉

Note: I have clients come up and ask me all the time about which shoe I recommend. I don’t really like to give advice on this topic. it’s outside my range of knowledge just because how shoes fit is SO subjective and personal. My best advice? Go to a running store and GET FITTED by a professional. I know Susan and Kasey could probably give you a few tips, too, as they both work in running stores 🙂

Ack! I’m late! Off I go! 🙂

Has a shoe ever caused you an injury? What’s your current favorite shoe for working out?

Have a great Wednesday, loves!

Tight Hip and Plantar Fasciitis

Congrats to all the Chicago Marathoners!!! 😀

Yesterday’s run may have been inspired by the Chicago Marathon, but I’m pretty sure it was the last leg of it. This week, my training planned called for taking it light. Yesterday’s run was only eight miles instead of the usual nine or ten. I felt fine. It was my body parts that were holding me back.

I felt like I was running eight miles after already running eight. My Plantar Fasciitis was acting up again, and around mile seven, my right hip’s “tightness” turned into a sharp pain. I had to walk, which is fine. I was just worried about the pain.

After showering and refueling,



With some crumbled pine nut bar and pumpkin cookie on top.

…my parents came over for lunch. But before lunch, I had to get one thing out of the way. I’ve kept my Mizuno Wave Creations for far too long.




I immediately visited the local running store to get new kicks. Luckily, the owner was there, so for about 45 minutes I tried on shoes and run while he analyzed my gait.

There were two that felt great:


And I got ‘em both! I had planned on only getting one, but my mom has always told me to have two pairs of running shoes to rotate to help avoid injury. Thanks to her, I have a second pair to rotate. 🙂

Once that business was taken care of, we walked down the street to get some lunch from a vegetarian cafe called the Coffee House. I’ve been there quite a few times, and it’s delicious every time!

IMG_0545Falafel pita! Falafel pita!


And some of my mom’s sandwich:


Good times!



We made a couple other stops and by the time we got home, relaxation was in order:)


+ Snacks


Right now it’s unseasonably warm in Illinois. It’s typically in the 50’s in mid October and yesterday it reached 88 degrees! I, for one, LOVE it 😀


Breakin’ open a beer and breakin’ in the new shoes 😉

As you can see, the husband didn’t partake in our Sunday lunch + happy hour. As I mentioned yesterday, he’s worked far more than he’s slept this weekend. Well finally a little after noon, I found him crashed – hard


awww hehe. Apparently Niko was pretty wiped out too from…being so darn cute! It’s a full time job 😉

After a couple brewski’s, we said our good byes and I retreated to the basement for a foam rolling session, per orders of aforementioned running store owner.

That hip pain really scared me today, so I plan on foam rolling nightly – and really focusing on stretching. Also, I didn’t realize until after my run, that I had also run Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That’s five days in a row, and I try not to run more than three days in a row! Big mistake on my part.

Hm, now that I write about it, I did quite a bit yesterday, but somehow I also managed to watch two Gossip Girl episodes, one One Tree Hill, and a Big Bang Theory episode! I think that’s a great mix of activity + relaxation for a Sunday, don’t you? 🙂

Well I’m off to do a light workout of some elliptical upstairs along with a little upper body weights. Laying off the running for a couple days.

Have a marvelous Monday, friends!! 😀

What preventative measures do you take to make sure your fitness doesn’t hinder you instead of help you? I generally make sure I get 1-2 rest days per week, I try not to run more than three- four days in a row, I make sure to get in at least two days of strength training on non-heavy cardio days, I stretch thoroughly, and now I’ll use my foam roller more. I also make sure I’m getting adequate food intake and adequate nutrition. Gotta have all your bases covered!

***Running Around Normal is going to be self-hosted! To make the switch, it can take anywhere from 4-36 hours, so you may have some trouble accessing the blog. Don’t fret, and check back again soon!

Shopping! And a stay at the Parental’s

Hey everyone! I know I re-capped my race this weekend, but I hardly talked about anything else! Well, another good thing about the race was I got to stay at my parents’ house. I hardly ever do this anymore since Shane and I have our own house, but it’s nice to be “home” every once in a while. Niko came too. She loves visiting the grandparents.

I just headed home after I got off work Friday morning, because my mom and I had plans to go get pedicures.

I love, love, love this color! I actually went out and bought the shade yesterday haha. It’s part of OPI’s new line.

Then we hit up our favorite store – Banana Republic. I tried on about 6 things, and sort of liked some of the stuff:

But not enough to buy anything. It’s a rare occurrence that I leave BR empty happened, alas, it happened.

However, Dick’s was the next stop, and I did find a couple items o’ clothing there.

Cute, eh?

After our shopping extravaganza, it was time for cocktail hour at the homefront. My parents are retired, and have a cocktail hour every night consisting of these two beverages:

Naturally, I had to follow suit, and have them myself. They were good, but I was pretty tipsy when finished, so I decided to stop after these two.

We picked up sandwiches from Subway before we got home, so after the cocktails, I dug in to my foot long veggie sub 🙂

It ended up being a quiet, early night since I had the race in the morning.

Even though I was “vacaying” at the parentals house, I still had to blog, of course!

Even after shopping Friday, I still had the shopping bug yesterday. So when I got back to Normal, I took a quick nappy and then got my shop face on again. I hit up Often Running, to get myself some new kicks!

Whoop whoop! Notice these aren’t the same ones I’ve been running in. I love my Asics Nimbus 11’s, but I wanted to try to find some that weren’t $125. Enter the Adidas Supernovas. Hopefully they work out OK. I’m going to wear them on my long run this morning and see how they do.

This morning’s run’s going to be a 7 miler – the longest I’ve run yet! I’m excited for it 😀 I’m not really sure how to prepare for it though. Do I need gummy’s or shot blocks for 7 miles? or is that needed for more miles than that? I know I’ll bring a water bottle, but I guess I’ll just have to hold it in my hand.

I already had my pre-run fuel:

It was actually a little much. It’s been an hour and I can still feel it just sitting in my stomach. Oh well, it’s not like I have to beat the heat today. It’s not even supposed to get above 60º until noon!!

How crazy is this weather we’ve been having lately? Is it already feeling like fall where you live too? I always get so sad when summer ends, so I really don’t want it to end this early 😦

If the Shoe Fits…

…consider more factors before running in it!!

Since I’m partaking in my very first race here in nine days (what?! Yikes!) I’ve been researching running and everything to do with running like crazy.

This is actually the second time I’ve taken up running (on my own, and not forced by a sports coach, haha.) The first time, I quit before even being able to run three miles. The main reason I quit was because running hurt me. By the time I’d gotten up to running 20 minutes (I was doing Couch 2 5K,) I’d come home, and my knees would be killing me. This scared me because my mom, who used to be a marathon runner and ran every day, was given the option of getting knee surgery or quitting running at the age of 52. Now, her case was a bit more extreme, as she ran long distances and often, but the pain still scared me.

So, I took the easy way out. I stopped running altogether, and went back to doing workout DVD’s and using the elliptical as my forms of cardio. I’m not saying these aren’t good choices of cardio, but I had just simply given up on running, not looking back to give it a second chance.

Two years passed, and I became more knowledgeable about running by reading all kinds of magazines and articles. This May, I decided I was going to go ahead and give it another shot. I’d learned a lot, and knew the main culprits of my running pain: poor form, but moreover, ill-fitted shoes. So, I took myself to Normal’s local running store, “Often Running,” and got myself fitted for running shoes.

Salesperson: “Take of your shoes and walk for me.”

Me: strutted my stuff down the catwalk carpeted shoe room.

Salesperson: “Ok that’s good, you don’t overpronote or underpronote, I have some ideas for you.”

I also told her that the last time I tried the whole running shebang my knees started hurting.

Then she brought out 3 different pair of cushiony shoes: Mizuno’s, Adidas Supernovas, and Asics Gel Nimbus.

I tried of each of them, immediately eliminating the Mizunos. They just didn’t feel right on my feet. I loved how light the Supernovas felt, but the didn’t feel like they’d absorb enough shock for me. This saddened me, because these are so cool looking, and made me feel light as a feather! Then, it happened. I tried on my Holy Grail shoe. The Asics Gel Nimbus:

And they were pink, to boot!!

They sized me up a size, and I was a bit nervous at first, but they are an amazing fit. And at $125, they damn well better be! What can I say, I’ve always had expensive taste, haha.
Since I was a little concerned about the size they had me at (a whopping 11.5!) she showed me a special way to tie my shoes, to ensure no slippage during a sweaty run.

You have to loop the ends back through the loopholes and then tie. I love this method!

Throw a couple pair of wick dry, no blister socks in and I was on my way out the door, and on my way to embark the wonderful journey of running.

I can now run 5.5 miles (and am going for 6 this Saturday.) I’m SO glad I gave running another chance. It’s not just a form of cardio anymore, but it’s a passion.

Have you found your running shoe HG? If not, and you are interested in running, I highly recommend to go to a professional running store to get fitted first. It made so much a different for me.