16 May 2011

When the shoe fits........

I thought I'd had most of my summer sandals sorted out, was just searching for a great pair of black heels for the season but one pair of the neutral colored shoes that I purchased has turned out to be a bit of a disappointment.  Totally a shame because I absolutely love the color and styling of these Max Studio heels but the quality just isn't there especially for the price........

Quick specs--4 1/4" heel, 3/4" platform. Nappa leather upper and leather sole. Comes in black or the taupe that I purchased. MSRP $149 but can be found on sale for much less than that if you shop around.  I personally paid $75 for mine.

The good--great heel height,  platform that blends well with the shoe, buttery soft leather, and that great olive-brown-gray color that goes with so much.  They also run completely true to size which is a definite plus when it comes to ordering online.

Loved the strappiness of these (ignore the closet mess please)

The bad--these killed the ball of my foot within an hour of having them on and I rarely have that problem, Also the "woodgrain" of the stacked heel and near the toe area started fading and showing uneven color wear on the first ever wearing.  That's not very visible on the photos but definitely is there when viewing them in person.

The next problem was with the strap itself, the leather around the holes on the ankle strap fastening started to tear almost immediately and that is not with wearing the straps tight, there also didn't seem to be excessive pulling on the strap when walking about.  It's probably because of the softness of the leather but I'm thinking there should have been some reinforcement if that's the case.

Also the small metal ball that is part of the fastening fell off one of the shoes already, thankfully it came apart while the shoe was in the box and is a simple screw on but for sure that's a quality control issue.  The leather sole is also beginning to come up from the footbed where it was glued rather than sewn on.

I run......really I do

Ok after a post earlier this spring bemoaning my lack of mileage I'm finally starting to get my numbers back into a somewhat more respectable range.  I've actually had 3 weeks of 20 plus miles thanks in large part to Brenda and Cindy (thanks ladies!!!).  Don't laugh, lol--I'm trying to build back up without injury and burnout.

2 out of 4 ain't bad, right?  I used to ride my bicycle......

2 weeks ago I was able to find a parking spot at the Sulphur Springs, TX Pilot and run a route I hadn't in a while.  Started out very humid and muggy but I could see a storm brewing just to the northwest of me, I've never wished it would hurry up and rain so much as that day. Last 1.5 miles I got my wish of rain, the last .5 was a deluge......maybe I should watch what I wish for eh?

 This guy (or girl?) was in the middle of the road, I stopped to help it across after I took pics of course

Part of the Sulphur Springs route I ran, this was taken where I helped the turtle out

Our weather has been so crazy......it's bouncing between hot as hades or downright cold, I'm good with shorts down to freezing temps usually but like to have gloves and long sleeves for anything below 50F.  However I'm pretty sure that most days from here on out are going to be HAWT & HUMID.......ugh.

My DIY sleeves made from a pair of Target socks, I think they're cute and certainly cheaper than buying readymade sleeves

Weekend before this last one I got in my first double digit run since the half marathon in Malta at the end of February. Can't believe it has been that long already.  Ran around the lake nearby with Brenda, Cindy and their pups.  Think it was just under 11 miles, felt great afterwards but I did need a nap because I'd just come off the 9 days straight working I'd mentioned in last post.  So needed that run and to spend time with friends to decompress.

Treating myself to an apple fritter and coffee from Shipley's Donuts after a long run

Last Tuesday I ran one of my absolute most favorite routes at Hurricane Mills, TN....Barren Hollow Road, there's 1.2 miles of smooth asphalt then it turns into a hilly dirt road.  Love it because once you get back on the asphalt you feel like you're flying!!!  It was "interesting" that day because I got chased by an obnoxious little dog (twice), had to cop a squat in the woods and saw a dead rattlesnake.....Yeah, the rattler sighting was after the side trip into the woods, yikes.  It was a memorable morning, made for good tweets and facebook posts, lol.

So I talked about it being cold and then hot, then back again.........the worst humid run so far at home this year was this past week (I had one at Laredo that was hotter but not near as muggy).  I had to leave my truck overnight at the shop for them to work on the air conditioning again so thought I would take advantage of running where I could clean up in my own shower.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Before dawn and it was like breathing water....I think it was 87% humidity and low 70F temps, ugh......

Literally dripping with sweat......note the Brooks Green Silence shoes ;-)

This weekend I was able to run with Brenda and Cindy again--actually on both Saturday and Sunday, yay!!  Saturday I met them at Burns Park where they were getting in some serious trail training.  A word of advice, be sure and ask about the route and distance BEFORE the run, haha!! I didn't ask until we were about a mile in and then at about 3 miles in after climbing this never-ending hill I told them it was a good job that I loved them, lol.  It was tough, a lot of climbing and lateral movements, plus the trail was a bit washed out due to the flooding so a lot more exposed rocks than usual.  My knees and feet are a bit achy still :-(.  Ended up with almost 12 very hard miles but loved every moment of it.  Oh, I also swallowed a bug, whole and alive, ewwwww.  Didn't love that moment so much.

These Injinji socks got me through my marathon in 2009 

Dirty shoes after the Sunday pup run around the lake yesterday :)

Oh my, time flies

Has it really been 3 weeks since I last posted? Wow.......not that I live a terribly exciting life or anything but I do try to at least check in every so often. I haven't even replied to some blog comments and for that I do apologize. I received the email notifications but was busy and stressed and didn't move them to an appropriate folder where I'd remember to reply.  Not a very good excuse or action on my part.

So what's been up?  Storms, flooding, running, working.  Nine days straight at one point on the latter, granted they weren't all full days of driving but they were all away from home and in the truck and that's way more than what I like.  Speaking of trucks, Lola's starter problem has finally been resolved and now it's been an air conditioning issue for the past couple of weeks......however that was repaired this last weekend so good to go now.  As far as the storms go I've been extremely fortunate in no damage has been sustained by me but friends in Tuscaloosa, AL had family that was affected.  Scary, sad situation with all that.  The flooding has caused major detours on I40 through Arkansas and that always equals delays.  Quite eerie last week going east on I40 and not seeing any oncoming traffic from where the westbound side was shutdown.

This is normally nearly bumper to bumper with trucks and cars

Local media heading out to film the flooding

Approaching the White River on I40, you can see the westbound lanes are underwater 

Closeup of the flooding, note the watermarks on the eastbound lanes and the cones marking the shoulder, EB had only been opened up 3 hours prior to me coming through

Another closeup

Looks like a lake 

Amazing, and I was approximately a mile from the small river 

The obligatory Mississippi River flooding pic, this is approaching the westbound Arkansas weigh station, there's a road under that water between the trees and freeway 

Hwy 67 westbound approaching Earle, this is down quite a bit from what it was earlier in the week