Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Year, New Shoes, New Sponsors!

I'm feeling pretty good this week on several accounts!

#1 Change of perspective
 I had one heck of a 2013. I put a lot of thought into writing a summary of how bad it went, all the trials and tests of the year-- the months of time sitting on the bench wondering if I would ever run again.

I even made a graph of how bad 2013 was... (I used to be deeply concerned about numbers. And quite honestly, there are still a few that hold a special place in my heart.)  Then I looked at the colorful bars and decided I really don't need to win a "suck" contest.


I ran more the year I had a 9 pound baby than I did last year! But, by golly, I am done with that. Good bye last year. Hello 2014!

#2 The Flu is gone and Running is AWESOME!
It has been hard to be consistent with running recently due to a case of the flu, but for maybe the first time in my life, I slowed down enough to really fight it off. Two nights in a row I went to bed early, slept 12-13 hours, and ran some very, very short runs on the days that were not as severe.

Running 20-30 minutes every few days kept me sane and also kept my legs from totally rebelling on my next run. (They don't like a stop-and-go training style very much.)

This weekend I put in some good miles on the longest run I have done since last February (before the craziness of PF took hold).


This is my face after running 16 miles!
It was an amazing run, even if I stopped to take way too many pictures before my turn-around... I can't help myself!


This orange glove on a tree limb- way over my head, off the edge of the road-  caught my eye. 
I moved in a little closer...


And saw over the bank-- way over. That someone rolled their vehicle almost to the creek, and the glove was a flag. 


A little further down the road, I saw a detour... 
but did not take it.


I did manage a little steeple chase action. 
It was even more fun on the way back downhill :)


All in all, it was a nice, slow, easy uphill with a good progression back downhill.  I do need to pay better attention to the time I leave, though. I cut it close and almost had to finish in the dark. Running in the dark woods with bears is a bit too scary for me!

#3 New Shoes!! 
I got these Altra Lone Peaks from UPS today and had to try them out. :)


Altra - Lone Peak trail shoe

There will be a review coming, once I have enough miles on them. Today I took them for a 5 mile recovery run and enjoyed trying them out in gravel and wet grass. So far, I like them! And that's a good thing, since I was selected to be an Ambassador for Altra in 2014.

For the application, I had to create a video. This was challenging, but, it was fun to do. I applied very close to the deadline and had to learn a few youtube tricks in a very short time! 

If you are curious you can see it here ►VIDEO. My next one will probably look a little different :) 

***
Let me know.. 
How's running going for you? 
Have you ever tried Altra shoes?
Have you ever rolled your car before? I haven't - yet! 






53 comments:

  1. Congrats on the new sponsor and that is one great way to start the new year! Glad to hear you are feeling better. I know it must have felt great to just get it there and run after being sick that whole time. Anyway, congrats again and can't wait to hear your review. I want to try their Olympus model that is coming out this week, but I might wait a bit longer.

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    1. Thanks Fred! I am really excited about the sponsorship- and glad to be over the crud too! So far I am very happy with the shoes. That shoe is looking good to me too, but so far very happy with my Lone Peaks. It can take a month to adjust for calves and achilles, etc.. so consider that when you are scheduling races, etc. :)
      Good to hear from you!

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  2. That looks like a gorgeous run! Glad you are feeling better!

    I started filling out the app to be an Altra Ambassador, but when it asked how long I'd been running in them, I felt silly putting a month, so I closed it, and decided I'd wait until next year, LOL! Congrats to you though!

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    1. That was something I had to address on the application also- but next year apply for it! I know you are loving your Altras :) Thanks for commenting, Kristy ♥ Have a great week!

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    2. I wore them for both of my half marathons last weekend, and my love for them has grown. :)

      Have a good week yourself!

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  3. Altra is on my list to try, because of the foot-shaped shoe (seriously, these pointy-toed running shoes make no sense at all), so I want to hear all about them!
    Glad you're feeling better. All my patients have the flu. It's only a matter of time before I get it!

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    1. Hope you DON'T get the flu!
      Yes- the shape really makes sense to me too- and they feel so stable without any added build up. The design also is supposed to allow for a better push-off and they make road racing shoes too ;) I hope you will try them!
      Thanks for the comment, Gracie ♥

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  4. Congrats on the new sponsorship! I have not tried Altras.
    Gosh that pic is terrifying. Can only imagine how the driver felt. Flu season seems to be off to a strong start, unfortunately. Glad you are feeling better!

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    1. Yes- I hope this means we are done with our share for the year! !!
      The pic was scary, but i was glad for the glove because I hope it was a sign they made it out OK... and also, the truck didn't make it to the water.
      Nice to hear from you, Marcia :)

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  5. Congrats on being an Ambassador! I've been thinking of moving to low/zero drop shoes, so I will be very curious to hear your review! Sorry you had a case of the flu, but at least you are backing feeling healthy!

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    1. So far I love them :) ! I'm curious about their road racing shoes too. Will be fun to test! Thanks for your comment :) e

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  6. Congrats Raina!! I knew you would get it!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. Yay for new perspective and not being sick any more!

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    1. Thanks Ilana! Hope you're doing well :)

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  8. Happy New Year Raina! Here's to a big smile like your 16-miler after every run!
    And I loved your video - congratulations on being an Altra ambassador!

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  9. Of course, Altra picked you as an ambassador! How could they not after seeing that fun video? Congrats!

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    1. Aw... Thank you for watching, Tina! And thanks for the comment :) Have a super week <3 !

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  10. I'm running in Altra's "The One" (please use your clout to get that name changed -- perhaps "The Raina"?) and I just got over the flu. We may be the same person.

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    1. Come to think of it, the similarities are a bit spooky! Happy to hear from my favorite sock monkey :)

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  11. COngrats on ALtra, you are the perfect ambassador for them!! I have never ran it heir shoes but I have heard wonderful things!

    Running has been going pretty good on my end, just building my base back up! As for cars... yes I have been in a rolled car before- no bueno!

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    1. Thanks so much, Laura! I have no doubt you'll be out there crushing that amazing new PR in no time :) XOXO

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  12. Love all the pics. Here's to a happy running 2014!

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    1. Yay for 2014!! You have a great start with the sneaky 50k :)

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  13. I've heard really good things about those shoes. I am also liking the zero drop thing too! lets make 2013 ashamed of itself! in a good way, or course;)

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    1. I am all over that! Let's do it, Adrienne!! ♥

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  14. Congrats and woo hoo on the awesome run. You inspire to try to do more this year, Maybe the Lincoln marathon?

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    1. Thank you, Bruce!! I hope you can do Lincoln. I just checked and It looks like it's already sold out?! For may?

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  15. Cool sponsor! And congratulations!
    PF is a real pain to get over. Even though I haven't had any pf pain for more than 2 years now, I STILL wear orthotic shoes 90% of the time and choose my running shoes based mostly on arch support. I almost never wear high heels anymore, and still do my calf stretches and bottom of foot massage. Yeah - I NEVER want to go through that again!
    Thank God I've never rolled my car. But, perhaps I should put some orange gloves on the glovebox just in case :)

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    1. I completely know what you mean! I haven't got the orthotics, but I do those stretched daily. Still!!
      Massage is key too..
      LOL about the gloves in the glovebox. I might put one in the box and one on the antenna!

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  16. Congratulations on your new sponsor! I've had a lot of bloggy friends switch to Altra this year! I'm glad for a new start too! 2013 was a tough running year for me!

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    1. It's going to be a great year for us, Amy! I am looking forward to 2014 in a big way. Hopefully we will meet up at a race again :) Thanks for your kind comment!

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  17. Hi Raina! I'm coming off a stress fracture (I think I can take the boot off tomorrow--fingers crossed--still a tiny bit of pain, though, so I'm going to see how it goes), and I want to try some new shoes. I had the Altra Torins recommended to me a long time ago. I have a wide foot, and I think the too-narrow shoes I wore in the month before the fracture contributed. I don't want to go back to a big heel-toe drop, but I do think I need more cushioning, at least for a while. Have you tried the Torins? Any other minimalist-leaning shoe (with cushioning) you'd recommend?

    Congratulations on the new sponsor and on being "back"!

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    1. I haven't tried the Torins, but I would give them a shot if you are a neutral/supinator! That is what was recommended to me to try, and I am a supinator. Coming off a SFX is rough- but it also makes a good time to transition into a lower heel (so you don't get calf/achilles issues). I think you would like the toebox in the Altras! Very comfy..
      Also suggested for me was the 3 sum (for racing- even up to marathon) and the Intuition.
      For trails I love the Lone Peak (so far!).
      I will have fun testing all these out over 2014.


      So glad you are back to running!!!! ♥♥

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  18. LOVED your video. The music was so cute, the photos awesome, and what you wrote compelling. I would have chosen you too! I signed up for a half marathon and only gave myself six weeks to train for it. After almost a year off from training for a running race, it's been interesting but my speed and stamina are coming back much more quickly than I anticipated. And my foot that I fractured feels strong and healthy. I can't wait to race on February 1st in Scio.

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    1. What a great report!! I am so glad you are back to running strong and healthy, Jodi. This must feel fantastic :) I bet you'll do well at Scio. I am pulling for you!! Thanks for commenting ♥

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  19. I'm glad to say good bye to 2013 as well, glad you are feeling better and running awesome trails! Loved your video! And congrats on being selected! I'm off my running feet for awhile, had to switch over to biking while it heals. Makes me sad! Never rolled my car and I hope I never do!! Hope your 2014 is amazing! Carri~A Running bee

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    1. I am sorry you are dealing with an injury! You were running so strong, too. I hope the rest helps it heal ASAP so you can get back to enjoying what you love.
      Thanks so much for your comment!

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  20. The video was great for a last minute attempt. Great trails!
    I'm not too keen finishing trail runs in the dark either -- last time I did I crashed by tripping on a rock and ended up with a couple of nasty 'gravel rash' bits. No worry about bears though!

    I haven't tried Altra shoes. Interested to see how you go. I have a wide foot, so that's often an issue. Also didn't like the zero-drop Virratas (but love the 4mm Kinvaras). Running is going well, but like you I'm super conservative with this come-back. Haven't rolled a car, but have "rolled" motorcycles ;)

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    1. That's really my main concern about running after dark on logging roads- tripping! No bears there, eh? Just a bunch of roos and bats!
      Conservative will pay off - it is better than rushing into domino injuries, eh? I don't have a wide foot, but love the roomy toe box in the Lone Peaks. Have a great week, Ewen!

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  21. Yay! I love seeing other people who are loving running more than life itself! It makes my heart swell, and it makes me appreciate it more too! Thank you for that! Your running pictures are beautiful! Running in the woods/trails are my favorite places to run! Congratulations on a new sponsor too! I have never heart of Altra, guessing they are trail running shoes?

    My running is getting better each day, the marathon took a lot out of me, and I am not bouncing back as fast as I thought, but my 5 mile tempo yesterday went well, so hopefully even better now :)

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    1. :) Enjoy your recovery from the marathon. Doing tempo is a good sign things are coming back!
      Altra does make great trail running shoes, but there are also some road shoes and some fast racers! Thanks for coming by my blog ♥

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  22. 2014 is going to be such a better year for you! I had a rough ending to 2013 in running as well... those are not fun phases. So glad you're feeling like yourself again!

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  23. We all have had those years along the way. You are so smart to look at the positive parts and to look forward to 2014. 2012 was a TERRIBLE running year for me. I just seemed to fall apart at the seams. I reevaluated what I wanted out of this sport, and then rededicated 2013 to finding it. This year, while I don't have any super speedy races on my record, I feel like I've accomplished and grown more as a runner than any other year.

    Hoping and praying this year brings you everything you want from it!

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    1. It's been a pleasure following your blog the last few years- and I have witnessed this growth. Amazing!!! Thank you for your prayers and the comment, R. ♥

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  24. So many fun and happy things to celebrate in this post.

    A rolled over truck is kinda scary. I get scared going over mt passes and migrate over into the oncoming lane just to get away from the guard rail. Ha.

    Altra - LOVE! I just got Ryan some for Christmas and he's in heaven. I am a firm believer switching to a low heel drop is what got me back out running (amongst other things).

    Good riddance to 2013 and happy 2014, indeed! I hope the year is a super fantastic one for you!!
    xo

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    1. I can remember many of your posts and comments about a lower heel being better, Jill! And look what happened. I listened :)
      So good to hear from you! Hope you have a great weekend!!

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  25. I have not tried these shoes....sticking with my Ghost and hoping they won't change them..congrats on getting a new sponsor!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Caroline! I am glad you are happy and they are working for you :) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. Congrats pm the Altra-awesome news! I want to try em...but its a big step down to drop from 8-12 mm to zero...but i could try goin there slowly....last year I ran, but not all that well. Here's to a much better 2014 for ALL!!

    ps - I have rolled a car...lost control after a massive blowout...but i think a T-bone accident was scarier!!

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  27. Congrats! Have heard some about Altra's but not much so I look forward to hearing about your experiences with them. The trails are GORGEOUS! So jealous!

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Please comment! I love hearing from you!!! ♥