Friday, January 13, 2012

Great Customer Service!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently had some problems with my Saucony ProGrid Cohesion shoes. I purchased these shoes in October 2011, and by late November, this happened:

Yup, that's my finger poking through all four places where the leather meets the mesh:( I was totally bummed out because I LOVE Saucony! So I decided to figure out my options. I wasn't able to return them to the store where I purchased them because it recently went out of business (and had an awesome sale where I picked up another pair of Saucony's at a great price!). I contacted the customer service department using Saucony's website. (I explained that the holes may have formed due to my recently adopted mid-foot strike.) I received a very informative email with explicit directions on how to go about returning the merchandise. I shipped the shoes to the company on Saturday, and by Wednesday, I received a phone call from a representative letting me know that a new pair of shoes would be here next week! 

After several bad customer service interactions, I almost came to view it as the norm. Thank goodness for professional companies like Saucony who take care of their customers. I knew there was a reason (besides their AWESOME shoes) that I've been buying their shoes for the last 7 years. So to the customer service department, THANK YOU! And for anyone wondering about what type of shoe to purchase next, I strongly urge you to consider this great company!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

12 in 12: Guest Blogger

Hi! I'm Lynsey from The Moores: Capturing Our Adventures One Day at a Time. I was thrilled when Jen & Jess asked me to write about a recent challenge that I just completed called 12 in 12. Basically I ran 12 5k's in 12 months. I started in January 2011 and ended in December 2011. 

Why did I challenge myself to do this? Plain and simple: running is not something I really enjoy. Sure, I love to be active and work out but I prefer to run with a ball at my feet (aka soccer!). So this really was a challenge for me and I had one goal in mind.... FINISH! Some months I would do an actual organized 5K race while other months, I managed to squeeze in a 3.1 mile run around our neighborhood. No matter what though, I did it. I did 12 5k's in 12 months! I FINISHED! I didn't let pregnancy stop me either! 

Jen asked me what my favorite race was and why. I would have to say that my July race: Beat the Heat 5K was my favorite. This is because 1- It was my fastest time and 2- one of my sweet friends tagged along and watched Mason for my husband and I so neither of us had to push the stroller, thus, improving my time! Also, this was an evening race and there was free pizza afterwards! That right there is a race after my own heart. 

In all honesty, I am glad I pushed myself to finish this challenge. Do I love running now? No, but I don't dread it like I used to. It's all about baby steps! I did learn through this challenge that if I really set my mind to something, I can accomplish it. It never hurts to have an amazing group of people that are cheering you along as you strive to accomplish your goals. Jen & Jess have been amazing friends through this. They challenge me and inspire me to always push myself a little harder than I think I can go. 

So tell me, what have you done lately to really push yourself? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 Goals

Ok, so most every other blogger got around to doing this post a couple weeks ago, but better late than never, right?   All the way from the deserts of Afghanistan, Jessica's goals are as follows:

1) Complete 10 pull-ups (without assistance) before returning to the States. - I am currently able to haul chin over the bar 4 times while kipping. Ideally I'd like to get 10 dead-hang pull ups, but if it takes kipping, I think I'll be ok with that.
2) Run a 6:30 mile. - I knocked out a 7:17 within the last couple months. 6:30 is absolutely feasible. However, short distance is not my forte, so this is definitely going to be a challenge!
3) Bench press her weight (about 135-145). - I recently maxed out at 95. And while I briefly considered cutting weight until I hit 105, maxing out and then eating like a fat kid in a donut shop, I'm not sure that's a healthy approach:) 

And from a much less exciting part of the world, straight out of eastern NC, here are Jennifer's goals:

1) Run a 1:45 half marathon. - As I've posted previously, I'm running the Quintiles Half Marathon in Wilmington, NC this March, so no time like the present to test yourself, right? If it doesn't happen then, I've left myself plenty of racing season to try again.
2) Find the perfect running shoe. - After reading Born to Run, I joined the cult of mid-foot strikers. While that has done wonders for my running, it has been chewing up my shoes:( I had to return my most recent pair to Saucony because it was causing holes to form where the leather toe protector meets the mesh part. Total bummer. Still rocking Saucony's but a different style for now. I've got some friends who have similarly giant feet (size 11) who are willing to let me test their shoes (Brooks, Merrill, etc.). Hoping it's not a fruitless search.
3) Incorporate speed work into my training. - For anyone who has been reading this, you're probably laughing since I tried to do this in the month of November, and failed miserably. But now I've got a race goal and a training plan, so if I can hit the track once a week (starting February), I'll consider it good. 

Do you have any goals that you haven't yet made public? Please share them with us!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


In preparation for the Quintiles Half Marathon in March 2012, I've been recording my distances. As I wrote down my daily mileage recently on my printed half marathon training plan, I casually glanced up at the top to see this:

I was prepared for everything but the word Novice. By no means do I consider myself a seasoned runner; however, I have completed my fair share of races of varying distances (5k, 8k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon) and I've been running about 5-6 times a week for about the last 8 months. 

Using a pace calculator on Runner's World, I decided (before I began training) that based on my most recent 5k PR, I am capable of running a 1:45 half marathon. When I began training (using the Novice plan), I thought it seemed a bit low on the mileage and was shocked that it didn't include speed work. (That's what I get for not reading carefully until I reached day 1 of week 6!) Now that I've realized my error, I'll be switching to this plan for intermediate runners. I wasn't following it to the letter and I was starting to mix in my own speed work, so hopefully it won't shock my body too much. 

Let this be a lesson to the rest of you though: As my 3rd grade teacher said, "You miss a lot if you skip ahead!"

Monday, January 9, 2012

In Need Of Tips!

On Thursday morning, my husband, daughter, dog and I will be driving to Northern Virginia for two reasons. 1) So my husband's family can welcome him home from his most recent deployment and 2) So we can drop off our daughter and dog with Grandma & Grandpa as we travel to England, Scotland, and Ireland for 2 weeks!

I have a family blog where I can ask fellow mamas for tips on coping with leaving your child for the first long duration; but from this crowd, I'm seeking tips on running abroad. The temperatures will be cold and we will most likely encounter plenty of rain. The roads will be unfamiliar. The jet lag might be rough.

That being said:

What do I pack?
How do I locate good places/routes to run?
One or two pairs of shoes? 
Any other advice you can share?

As of right now, we have round trip plane tickets from DC to London and a hotel booked for the first night. Other than that, we'll be "flying by the seat of our pants" (in the words of Pretty Woman). We're both excited about seeing the lands and indulging in the pubs, but I've got a 1/2 marathon coming up in the spring, and taking 2 weeks off doesn't really fit into my training plan!