About runstrongrun

Christian, wife, stepmom, no meat athlete, runner, teacher

Review: Oofos… Feel the Ooo

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

I don’t know about you, but the first thing that I want to do after a run, is take my shoes off (not to mention also taking off all of my sweaty clothes)!  After I take my shoes off, the question then becomes, “What do I put on my feet?”  Before Oofos entered my life, I’d normally just throw on any ‘ol pair of sandals.  Now, however, with my Oofos, my body can tell a difference and its thrilled!

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Makes you say, “Oooo”

Oofos slogan, “Feel the Ooo”, is so appropriate!  I can guarantee that the first time you put on a pair of Oofos, you will make an audible, “Oooo” sound.  Here’s a clip of my 12 year old putting on a pair of Oofos for the first time. (Note: When he says, “It feels weird,” what he really means is, “It feels so amazing!”)

My husband also tried on my Oofos.  After trying them on, he quickly hopped online to purchase himself a pair.  Here’s my husband and son discussing how amazing the Oofos felt and trying to decide which color to buy.

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What’s so great about Oofos?

  1. ABSORBS MORE SHOCK THAN TRADITIONAL FOAMS – Traditional athletic shoe foams are designed to “rebound” and propel you forward. With OOfoam, however, it does the opposite, absorbing 37% more shock with every step than traditional footwear foam.
  2. REDUCES STRESS ON SORE FEET, KNEES AND BACK – Your feet and joints take a pounding on hard surfaces everyday. Slipping on OOFOS after a workout, provides them with relief and a chance to recover.
  3. CRADLES YOUR ARCHES – Unlike flip-flops, the OOFOS patented footbed is designed with tremendous arch support to take the pressure off of ankles, knees and hips, as well as your lower back.
  4. ENABLES MORE NATURAL MOTION – Biomechanically designed, OOFOS flex with both your foot and the ground. The soft, flexible OOfoam material enables your foot to articulate the way nature intended. (Oofos.com)

An Everyday Shoe

While testing out my Oofos, my husband and I traveled to Cancun, Mexico.  Yes, my Oofos most certainly came along with us!  Here’s my Oofos on the beach.

img_7027Here’s my Oofos on our kayak. (The Oofos are made with a moisture resistant closed cell foam which is shower-ready and machine washable!)

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Here’s my Oofos during a relaxing morning by the ocean with a mimosa in hand.

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After spending a whole day walking around with my brown sandals on, I could not wait to put on my Oofos to finally feel some relief from my tried feet, ankles, knees, and back!

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Although my pair of Women’s OOriginal Sport Sandal may seem a little big, it’s amazing how lightweight they are!  They provide the support my body needs while adding minimal weight to my feet!

One Monday evening, while at my friend’s house to watch the Bachelorette, my friend asked, “Are those Oofos really as great as you say they are?”

I then took off my Oofos, handed them to her, and said, “Try them on for yourself.”

As soon as she put them on, she giggled and said, “Wow!  These are amazing!”

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Recently, while at the Oakland Town’s Half expo representing the California International Marathon, I spotted some Oofos for sale at a booth across from me.  I so badly wanted to purchase a pair of the Women’s OOlala sandals, but I was a good girl and kept my wallet put away.  (I’ve spent way too much money lately for my classroom!)

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In the end, I’d highly recommend that everyone own at least one pair of Oofos.  Wear them before you workout, after you workout, and even on your rest days like I did below.

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Check out what my fellow BibRave Pros had to say about their Oofos.

Jeannine     Amy     James     Vanessa

Do you own a pair of Oofos?  If so, what do you think about them?  If you don’t own a pair of Oofos, what do you normally wear after a hard run / workout?

Until next time,

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Review: Knuckle Lights… See and Be Seen

Disclaimer: I received a set of Knuckle Lights to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you’ve surely seen my early am running posts.  As a busy wife, mom, and 5th grade teacher, running at 4:45am makes sense. When I try to run in the evenings, helping kids with homework, making dinner, or simply feeling exhausted all get in the way.  It’s no surprise that at 4:45am, it is dark outside and I have found myself in need of a light of some sort.  Enter Knuckle Lights.

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Similarly to  Dan Hopkins, founder of Knuckle Lights, I too have tried carrying a flashlight with me and wearing a headlamp.  The flashlight was annoying since I didn’t like having something in my hand that I had to carry.  The headlamp was annoying because 1) it’d leave a line indent going across my forehead (and it’d still be faintly visible when I went into work) 2) it’d hurt my head.  When I found out about Knuckle Lights, I couldn’t wait to try them!

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Here are my thoughts after testing out my Knuckle Lights…

Pros

  • Lightweight – hardly felt them there!
  • Bright – it was easy to see in front of me!
  • Steady – the wide beam of light did not bounce around, even with my arms moving!
  • Adjustable – the knuckle lights can be made smaller or larger depending on hand size and/or with gloves.
  • Magnetic – great for storing at home and once the sun comes out! (Since I usually wear my SPIbelt, I was able to attach my Knuckle Lights to my SPIbelt once the sun came out.)

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Cons

  • Sweaty – Yes, they made my hands sweat.  Not really too big of a deal because when my hands would begin to feel a little sweaty, I’d simply adjust where the knuckle lights were placed.

The Knuckle Lights that I tested out were the Knuckle Lights Colors.  Here are the specs:

  • 2 LIGHTS PER SET — The units connect together magnetically. The soft silicone straps can be adjusted to fit any size hand and even over gloves.
  • 120 TOTAL LUMENS — The super bright lights provide a wide flood beam, providing a steady, even light in front of you that does not bounce around, even with your arms moving.
  • BATTERIES INCLUDED — Each Unit Operates on 1 X AA Battery.
  • WATERPROOF — Units can be used in any type of weather.
  • Price point: $39.99 and ALWAYS free standard shipping for US orders

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Knuckle Lights has recently come out with a new, rechargeable design!  So, if you’re looking for a product that can be recharged, be sure to check out the new design.  (I’ve been using my Knuckle Lights for about a month now and the batteries are still going strong!)  There’s also the original Knuckle Lights design.

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So, if you’re an early morning runner such as myself or a late night runner, then you need to ditch your flashlight / headlamp and get yourself some Knuckle Lights! BONUS: Use code “BRKL2017” for 15% off your purchase at https://www.knucklelights.com/ (expires 9/1/17).

Check out what my fellow BibRave Pros thought about their Knuckle Lights.

Mai     Allison     Amy W.     Lindsey     Tedrick

Until next time,

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When One Door Closes

When one door closes, another opens. As I was sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for my connecting flight, I watched pilots and flight attendants walk past. This reminded me of the time in my early 20s when I flew to Texas to interview for a job as a Southwest flight attendant. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t even make it past the first round of interviews. I was disappointed. I really had envisioned my life as a flight attendant. (This was during my 1.5 year break from college.)

Today, all of the sudden, I had a revelation. If I had gotten that job as a Southwest flight attendant a decade ago, I probably would never have finished college. If I had never finished college, I would have never become a teacher. If I had never become a teacher, I would have never traveled to China, Honduras, and Mexico to live and teach abroad. If I had never traveled to Mexico, I may have never picked up running since I began running while living in Mexico. My life, therefore, would be radically different.

Clearly, in those early years of my 20s, God had different plans for my life. Jeremiah 29:11-13 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” NIV

This is hard for me. I am a strong, independent woman who likes to be in control. It’s not easy for me to give up control of my life. Today, however, I will choose to remember that sometimes the plans we make for yourselves are not God’s plan for our life.

I am appreciative for where I find myself now, a decade later. I am married to the love of my life, I have two fantastic “bonus” children, I am a 5th grade teacher, and I am a 15 time marathoner. I’m so glad God knows the desires of my heart and has great plans for my life.

Does your current life reflect the one you had envisioned for yourself 5, 10, or 15 years ago? Tell me about it. I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Making Smart Food Choices

Food. We are surrounded by it everyday almost everywhere we go. How do we make smart food choices while on the go, while traveling, while stressed, while sad, while happy, and while celebrating? 

  
I’ll be honest with you and say there’s no easy answer to this. This involves hard work and making conscious decisions. I still struggle with this myself. I will say, however, that I have had a few victories lately that I’d like to share.

Victory #1
While at a teacher conference recently where breakfast and lunch were provided, I was presented with a table full of pastries upon arriving. Those close to me know that I love, love, LOVE maple bars! Last year, I even had a student who brought me a maple bar to school everyday for a week straight! I, however, confidently walked past the maple bars, headed to the fruit trays, put some cantaloupe and pineapple on my plate, and walked to my table. When I got to my table of 7 other teachers, guess what many of them had on their plate? Yes, that’s right… maple bars! The smell wafting my way almost made me walk back over and pick up a maple bar for myself, but I didn’t! Yay! Victory!


Victory #2
I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I normally take some kind of candy with me to munch on. While I was preparing for my current vacation, however, I did not purchase any candy! Nope, no Skittles, no M&Ms, no Hot Tamales, nothing! Victory!


Victory #3
It’s so easy for me to mindlessly eat. As read above, I eat while traveling, while stressed, while sad, while happy, and while celebrating. Nearly every emotion is connected to food! While vacationing, it’s so easy to mindlessly eat while sitting at the beach, laying by the pool, or relaxing in the room. Today, however, there’s been minimal snacking. One way I have combated the snacking has been by consuming plenty of water. I, in fact, have drank over 3 liters of water today! That may seem like a lot, but you should have seen how much Sweat came from my body today on my run (walk / jog). Lots of sweat, lots of water consumption, and minimal snacking! Victory!


How do you make smart food choices? Do you have any tips to share? What do you struggle with when it comes to food? 

Until next time,

Thursday Thoughts

I’ve said it once I’ll say it again… Thursday is my favorite day of the week. Why? Well it’s because you’re excited about the weekend, but the weekend isn’t quite here yet. By the time the weekend starts you are sad because you know the weekend is coming to an end. What’s your favorite day of the week? 

Disclaimer: this blog is going to be filled with a lot of random thoughts. Not all of the thoughts will pertain to running. 

Can you believe that three weeks from today school starts?  I told that to a friend yesterday and her response was, “It seems like just yesterday summer vacation started!” As much as I love summer I’m actually very excited for the new school year! Out of my nine years of teaching, this will be my first time to be at a school for more than two years! 

Wow! I just counted and I’ve been on summer vacation for six weeks now. It doesn’t really feel like it’s been six weeks. But on the other hand it does. A lot has happened this summer. I ran a marathon in Utah, the daughter traveled  to Europe, and as a family we traveled to Napa, San Francisco, San Diego, and Palm Springs. In two days, the husband and I leave for another week long vacation! Yes, we are truly utilizing our summer vacation!


Do not be fooled however, because this summer has not been all sunshine and happiness. There’s been some trials and struggles but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Right? 

Through the struggles, I find myself being incredibly thankful for my husband, for my parents, and other friends and family members who have been so supportive. Truly I am blessed beyond measure. 

It doesn’t do any good to stay in the muck of struggles. Instead, you must move on and trust that God knows what he’s doing. How am I moving in and trusting God? Well, I’m finding projects to work on. Naturally, I am someone who doesn’t do well being still.  So I’ve worked on a few big projects this summer which included doing some curriculum work as a side job, organizing my pantry, organizing my closet and transitioning to flexible seating in my classroom. 


As you can see, these Thursday thoughts are quite unorganized partly due to the fact that I am writing them by speaking into my phone while out on a walk at 5:30 in the morning. Some of the best thoughts are done in the wee hours of the morning. My 4:50 AM partner is moving to the other side of the town, so I may be having some more solo wee hours of the mornings in my near future. 


Speaking of the future, what’s next for Run Strong Run? I have Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver on tap for October and the California International Marathon (CIM) in December. Use BIBRAVE15 to save $15 off of Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver half marathon and use code RUNSTRONG10 to save $10 off of CIM

Do you ever find yourself needing to clear your mind of random thoughts? What’s coming up on your schedule that you’re excited about? 

Until next time,