Bye Shin Splints — Hello Portland Running Company!

My new Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 shoes!

Dear shin splints, I think I am breaking up with you. You have the Portland Running Company to thank for that.

After much encouragement and an awesome recommendation from Amy, I went to the Portland Running Company this weekend for some new shoes. And trust me, I was in desperate need!

The pairs that I have been running in were just not cutting it. One pair I had gotten years and years ago, were just worn down and offered me little to no support. My other pair, which I had just gotten, were shin killers. I love my Nike Lunar Eclipses, but they now will just be “Roya wants to look sporty while she runs errands” shoes.

courtesy of Calvins Hub

I got there and was immediately helped by Shauna, who turned out to be a huge lifesaver! She measured my foot and immediately put me in a pair of basic, no frills shoes. And then she watched me run! After a couple laps back and forth on the sidewalk, Shauna was able to see that my foot and ankle overpronate which is the “excessive inward rolling (pronation) of the foot during its foot-strike and often creates alignment problems within the legs.”

Overpronation = shin splints = unhappy runs

After discovering my running gait, Shauna grabbed four different pairs for me to try on, all which provided adequate support for my running style. The wonderful part is that Portland Running Company let’s you take the shoes for a ride. I was able to run a couple blocks in each pair of shoes, to test drive the feel and comfort. After every run, she was there, bottle of water in hand, asking me about what I liked/disliked.

From there, we were able to pair down my perfect choices. I absolutely fell in love with the Mizuno Wave Inspire 8. Not only do they look completely bad ass (as a Portland Pilot, I can never say no to purple!), but they are so comfortable. I literally felt like I was gliding during my couple runs around the block. I am super excited for my first real run with them tonight!

All in all, I couldn’t have been happier with my new shoes and my experience at Portland Running Company. Every employee working seemed to really be invested in their client, working with them to find the perfect shoe.

If you are going to a running store to find shoes be sure to…

  • wear running attire, you need to test run your shoes
  • wear the socks you usually wear on your runs
  • bring your old running shoes, so they can look at the wear pattern and what you are accustomed to
  • budget at least $100 for a great pair of running shoes
  • carve out some time, the process can be a long one
  • keep an open mind. I’m a Nike girl, but the Mizunos were perfect for me

 

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Mid-Week Music: Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons

I will admit, I have previously made fun of Mumford and Sons. I like all of their songs but many of their songs sound exactly the same. They definitely have a “sound” and they stick to it. I mean, if it works, it works. They are growing more and more on me, and many thanks in part to this song. I absolutely love this song (and the banjo), and this live version is awesome!

Skinny Sloppy Joes, crockpot style

Steven’s grandparents got me a crockpot for Christmas and I have been obsessed with it! It’s really a genius invention, if you don’t have one, get one! It saves me tons of time and it’s perfect when I don’t feel like cooking dinner after work.

Literally, you put all of your ingridents in, turn it on, go to work, and come home to a delicious dinner! What more could I ask for?

Amy told me about the Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker recipes, and I have loved all of their recipies. Think traditional meals, made into crockpot recipes, that are (somewhat)healthy.

Last night I cooked the Skinny Sloppy Joes and they were delicious! I also got the approval from Steven, who really liked the “skinnier” version. The turkey was really moist and the sauce was fantastic! I also loved the fact that I had most of the ingridents.

1 pound ground turkey breast (raw)

1 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup green pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp yellow mustard

1/4 cup ketchup

1 15 oz can no-salt added tomato sauce

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp BBQ sauce (I used Bull’s Eye Guiness Draught Beer Barbecue Sauce)

Add all the other ingredients in crockpot and mix well.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.

Serve with a whole grain bun. I used Dave’s Killer Bread Blues Buns (which are super delicious.)

I also served it with a garden salad with light champagne dressing and sweet potato fries (I totally went overboard with the fries.)

4 servings Serving size: 1 cup (bun not included) Calories: 167 Fat: 3.8 g Carbs: 14 g Sugars: 7.8 g Fiber: 2.5 g Sodium: 387 mg Protein: 23 g

It’s a delicious, no fuss dinnner!

Mid-Week Music: Crystal Village by Pete Yorn

Portland has snow! Or we had snow…

But still, it was beautiful and as an Oregonian, I cherish the one time of year when it does snow.

I thought Crystal Village would be an appropriate song for this snowy/slushy/crystaly week! Andf you know me, you know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pete Yorn. He is my all-time favorite singer-songwriter and I have seen him in concert three times (super epic.) I even got a chance to interview him for the University of Portland Beacon newspaper (oh my god, one of the coolest experience of my life!)

Also, happy birthday to my one and only Eric Nesbit! Eric and I would listen to this song non-stop in high school so it kind of became “our song” Oh Eric, how I love and adore you!

Prom 2007

watch the video!

It’s not only an amazing song, but the music video is super endearing

Why I love Yoga

Last week, I was talking with two of my co-workers about yoga. They weren’t big fans and I was trying to convince them why yoga is awesome. But of course, all I kept saying was… “I love yoga,” “I love yoga,” “I love yoga.” (great argument right?)

And it got me thinking, what is it about those hour long classes that I love. I started attending Power Vinyasa Yoga classes in October. And I can tell you, those twice a week classes have been a lifesaver for my body as well as my mood.

So here it is Rachel and Bridget, this is why I love yoga! 

1. Yoga provides the perfect “me” time. It’s a hour away from my phone, away from life’s busyness. There is no room for stress or for outside thoughts. Through the practice of breathing and the focus on the poses, all I can think about is the moment. I am in tune with just me and how I am feeling in that second. With a busy life and a new career, I don’t get much of an opportunity to be in the moment with just myself. And for two hours a week, I get to do just that. The inner calmness that yoga gives me is something I hold onto and cherish during my hectic days.

courtesy of Yahoo.com

2. Yoga forces me to listen to my body. It’s during that quiet hour long class and those challenging poses that I am able to focus on how my body is feeling. Pose after pose, I am in tune with how my body and muscles are feeling. For instance I have recently found that my hip flexors are a huge problem area for me because of how rigid and tense they are. I am relieved every yoga class when we do Pigeon Pose because it allows me to stretch deep into the hip area which allows for better flexibility and movement throughout my day and my runs.

3. Yoga is great for cross-training for runners. Running exhaust the body. With each pound of the foot, your muscles are tightening and your body is imbalanced. Although running is wonderful, it wrecks havoc on the body. Yoga is the perfect cross-training for a runner because it helps elongate and loosen the muscles that have been shortened by running. Yoga provides an increase in flexibility of the leg muscles, balance strength, and increase range of motion. And I have found that there is nothing better then a yoga class after a 2+ mile run. The stretch you get is the most gratifying feeling you can have after a run.

Courtesy of ezdia.com

4. Yoga is open to anyone and everyone. My two classes are filled with the most eclectic mix of people. Young, old. Women, men. Yogis, beginning practicers. To practice yoga, you don’t have to be super flexible or in tune with your body. That is the end result of  practicing yoga. And the wonderful thing about yoga poses is that they can be adapted to your needs and flexibility. Both of my yoga instructors have us start a pose and will then add suggestions for those who wish to push farther. Most of the time, I stick with the original pose because those work for me.

Interested in trying yoga? Many gyms offer free classes with memberships! Also, yoga studios allow for beginners to try a couple classes before they commit to a membership. Keep in mind, there are also many different types of yoga. Some are more soothing, others are more challenging. My two classes are of the Power Vinyasa Yoga type, which is a vigorous and fitness-based class and focuses on strength and flexibility.

So go out there and try it! I promise you won’t be disappointed!