ASICS GEL-Pursue Review

Back in 2007, when I first started working out regularly, I met with a personal trainer. Nick and I were getting married and I wanted to get in better shape. I had motivational issues, working my first full-time job, wedding planning, and trying to have a social life was taking its toll, getting up at 5 am to go to the gym before work (I was a morning person before kids too) and sometimes going after work took a lot of effort.

My trainer made a deal with me, if I logged a certain amount of workouts, cardio and strength, for 3 months, he would buy me a pair of shoes. The shoes were a pair of Asics, my first real running sneakers. I couldn’t tell you anything else about them, except they were lime green, but I did run my first 5K in them.

vision5kasiscs2

Those shoes started my journey, and while there have been a few shoes in between, some of which I truly did love, no shoe brand has been able to update a shoe and keep my feet happy.

asics

These are our old asics that we use for house and yard work!

I was recently contacted by the team at Asics and they believed that I embodied their mantra, Better Your Best. This is something I truly am passionate about, I am not competing with anyone but myself. I want to be a better me, and continue to get stronger and faster! They asked if I would review their new shoe, the GEL-Pursue, the shoe was featured in the September issue of Runner’s World as the Best Debut Shoe. They wrote that the GEL-Pursue delivers equal parts cushioning and stability in a shoe that rides a bit lower.

asics gel-pursue

asicsGELpursueRW

I have taken these shoes on a plethora of runs, some with B and the stroller, and most recently a few solo jaunts. One thing that I love about Asics is that their wide fit truly is a wide fit. I don’t have any overhang like I do with other shoes, my entire foot is comfortable and snug. While my training hasn’t been as great as I hoped it would be, my feet didn’t have any issues after almost a year of no running. The ASICS GEL-Pursue is a great shoe for neutral runners and it retails for $110.  These are one of the best pairs of shoes that I’ve ever worn, they offer the same support as all the other Asics I have worn, but they are not as heavy (8.7 oz) and have a lower drop, which is something I have grown to want in my running shoe.  I know to others that the shoe might seem heavy, but to me it was lighter than all the other Asics I have owned and run in.

Some other great features about the ASICS GEL-Pursue:

  • Impact Guidance System (I.G.S®) – enhances the foot’s natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL® Cushioning Systems – Mitigates shock during impact and toe-off phases, as well as allowing movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.

There are more pros, but I don’t want to make this post too long. My only complaint is that there is only one color scheme for the mens and women’s shoe. Obviously comfort is the most important thing, but I can’t say I wouldn’t love these more if they were pink! If you want to try and win a pair of your own, check out this post! I am really excited to run in them at Zooma, and even though it won’t be a race PR, it will be an emotional one!

The family that Asics together, stays together!

The family that Asics together, stays together!

Do you remember the shoes you ran your first race in?

Weekly Updates: 09/08/14 – 09/14/14 (Zooma Week 6)

Have you RSVP’d to the Mocktail Party sponsored by Honest Tea on Friday, September 26 from 7-8 pm at the SeaCrest Hotel yet? Make sure you do that ASAP!

weeklyworkouts.jpg

Monday, September 8 – Cross Training. I went to an evening Pure Barre class. I ended up taking an evening class, and as much as I talk about being a morning person, I don’t hate the night time classes. I do hate getting home super late, and the parking issues ha.

Tuesday, September 9 – 55 minutes. Today was B’s first day of preschool, and it was pretty overwhelming for me, I did however get to do my training on my own. It wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. I am currently on some temporary medications to help with some of the fertility issues I have been dealing with and the medicine is taking a toll on my GI system. Any time I started doing anything faster then a slow jog my body started revolting and I had to find the nearest bathroom. I feel like Zooma is definitely not going to be a PR, and will be more like a power walk 10K…

Wednesday, September 10 – Cross Training. I went to my 75th Pure Barre class! I am so close to that 100 class milestone!

Thursday, September 11 – 55 minutes. School drop off for the B man, and then off to walk/jog the 55 minutes for me. Again, my GI was not happy with the running, but I am able to walk fast very comfortably.

Friday, September 12 – 5.5 miles. I took a Pure Barre class in the morning, still trying to get in lots of classes for the Fit for Fall challenge. I did not end up getting my run though.

Saturday, September 13 – Rest. B was up the night before getting sick all over our bed, I ended up being able to get out of the house on my own for a bit and did 3 miles instead of the 5.5 on yesterday’s plan.

Sunday, September 14 – 85 minutes. I went to Pure Barre in the morning, then I took B out for a bit in the afternoon so Nick could get some last minute work done. Thankfully this ensured I could get me 85 minutes in. Again, it was walking/jogging, and not running.

How is your training going?

The Underground Girls of Kabul: Raising Boys

This post was inspired by The Underground Girls of Kabul by journalist Jenny Nordberg, who discovers a secret Afghani practice where girls are dressed and raised as boys. Join From Left to Write on September 16th as we discuss The Underground Girls of Kabul. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Underground-Girls-of-Kabul-FL2W-Book-Club The first book for September is a bit heavy. If you’d like to read a bit about it you can read this modified piece from The Atlantic. The author talked to many families in Afghanistan, where it is not just nice to have a son, it is necessary. Regardless of your financial stature, if you do not produce a son you are not a worthy woman, and your husband should be embarrassed. This has led to a society where women will say that their daughter is a son, and will present the child as such. This is used for two reasons, the first is that many believe this will lead to the next child actually being a son, and also because the child can help out. The “boy” can get a job and make money, can escort the women in the family outside the house, etc…

This led to me thinking about raising boys vs. raising girls. I obviously don’t have a girl, but I have some friends that do. Coming from an engineering college, a lot of these women raise their girls with dolls and frilly pink. They have tractors and trucks, and toys that generally are labeled boys toys. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with raising your daughter that way, but I think there is a double standard. When a girl chooses a truck over a doll people think it is great, bend those gender stereotypes, but if a boy is seen playing with a doll or something pink they are immediately labeled gay or fruity or a pansy, etc…

Personally, my son can play with whichever toy he wants. He loves Cars and Legos (we have about 1000 of each currently strewn about our living room), he loves getting playing in the dirt and racing his Tonka trucks down the driveway, he also Frozen and Sofia, and at preschool the two toys he loves the most, right now anyway, are the lego table and the doll house. He wasn’t the only boy who gravitated to the doll house either, and no parent had a problem with it. If he showed up with the Sofia backpack he wanted, he already had a Cars one at home, I don’t know that all parents would have taken it in stride. My fear isn’t that my son would want to play with girly toys, my fear is that other parents or children will make fun of him for it.

What would you do if your son wanted a Sofia backpack?

Preschool, Asics, and 5 Things My Kids Will Never Know

Yesterday was ridiculously hard for me. It’s been a year since the worst day of my life. Clearly we aren’t any closer to having a child than we were back then, which can be super frustrating.

On top of all that we sent B off to preschool, he did wonderful, he wasn’t upset, he had fun, it was pretty much everything I could hope for. I, on the other hand, was a total mess. It was very lonely being by myself. I got my Zooma training in, and ran some errands, and then I picked B up.

bschool

It was really great to get some miles in without pushing a non-running stroller. I have been testing the new Asics Gel-Pursue, courtesy of Asics, and I have been loving them. I feel like I am running on soft pillows. It’s been awhile since I had done any running, so it was nice to have shoes that really catered to my feet. I will have a full product review coming to you in the next week or so!

asics gel-pursue

I mean this really is an Asics family.

asicsfamily

Nick and I were talking the other day, and I was telling him about a road trip I took in college from Vermont to D.C. (where my sister was). There was a part of the trip where we took a the wrong split on the highway and got seriously lost. We ended up having to find a non-sketchy gas station to get a new map and directions. This led us to having a conversation about things our kids will never have to do.

1. Use a paper map. Now that everyone basically has a navigation app on their phone or a GPS system, paper maps are pretty much obsolete… and unless you are visiting the middle of nowhere you’ll never use one.

2. Listening to the radio all day to record your favorite new song on a tape. I hope I am not the only one that did this. I also had a walkman and a record player, so there’s that….

3. FLOPPY DISKS. I still have some from college that had info on them, I mean they are probably buried in a box in the basement, but I still have them.

4. Bringing your film to CVS or Wal-Mart to get it developed. I am not trying to start any drama here, but when I was in high school and college if I wanted photos I had to take them with film and let someone else develop that film. I feel like way fewer people took nude photos that they would be embarrassed  about if the whole world saw, since the tech developing would see them, and probably show more people who worked there.

5. Wanting to bail on plans, but because no one had cell phones you couldn’t. I didn’t have a cell phone until the end of my senior year of high school, not like the service was great where I grew up anyway, so if I made plans with someone I could never back out, especially if it was after work or after school, because I wouldn’t be able to get a hold of that person.

What things from your childhood and teenage years do you know that your kids won’t know about?

Weekly Updates: 09/01/14 – 09/07/14 (Zooma Week 5)

Before we get to this week workouts, I just wanted to share some information on the Zooma Cape Cod Race! There is a 10 Mile Training Run hosted by Marathon Sports of Mashpee, it is this Saturday, September 13 at 8 am in Mashpee, make sure you RSVP if you plan on attending!

There is also a Mocktail Party sponsored by Honest Tea on Friday, September 26 from 7-8 pm at the SeaCrest Hotel, and you will get the chance to mingle with all the ambassadors as well! Make sure you RSVP for this event as well! Now on to how I handled this weeks training plan!

weeklyworkouts.jpgMonday, September 1 – Cross Training. We were having a few people over for a BBQ so I was cleaning and prepping since 8 am. I didn’t get a chance to get to barre for a class since they had a modified schedule.

Tuesday, September 2 – 50 minutes. I took a barre class at 6am and had planned on getting my 50 minutes in after the fact, but I had a marketing call and by the time I was down it was too gross out for B in the stroller.

Wednesday, September 3 – Cross Training. I took another barre class. I am participating in their Fit for Fall Challenge, similar to the one I completed in March, it is to complete 40 classes in 60 days, starting September 2 and ending on October 31.

fitforfallpurebarreThursday, September 4 – 50 minutes. I had planned on getting this in after B’s preschool orientation, but I started feeling really sick on Wednesday night. I went to bed at 9 pm, woke up at 11 to change out of sweat soaked pj’s and take my temp (100) and then went back to bed until 7:30 am. I got B ready for school and off we went. With no AC and lots of kids and parents wandering around, I started feeling nauseous and my temp started to rise back up. I went back home and laid low.

Friday, September 5 – 5 miles. I was still feeling pretty weak, so I ended up taking another rest day.

Saturday, September 6 – Rest  Day. I felt like I had taken enough rest days, so I took a Pure Barre class with Jane, then in the afternoon I did 50 minutes at a very slow pace, just to get the time in.

Sunday, September 7 – 80 minutes. I got 50 minutes of slow walking in, I had plans for most of the day, and I couldn’t fit in the entire 80 minutes, unfortunately.

FOOD: Again, I am keeping mum on this for a bit. I had some test results that were unexpected, so until I get all results I will be postponing this section.

Are you planning on attending the Zooma Mocktail Party?

Weekly Updates: 08/18/14 – 08/31/14 (Zooma Week 3 & 4)

weeklyworkouts.jpg

Monday, August 18th - Cross Training. I hit up an evening Pure Barre class, it was one of the hardest Pure Barre classes I have ever taken. Melissa + the double tubes = insanity!

Pure Barre Lynnfield

Tuesday, August 19 - 40 minutes. On target so far with my Zooma training plan. Nick and I had some early doctors appointments so we got his mom to watch B. After Nick headed to work, I went for a 40 minute jog, followed by a Pure Barre class. Not my best plan, but I had some aggressions to work out.

Wednesday, August 20 – Cross Training. I was pretty sore and had a whole slew of more doctor appointments so I took a rest day instead.

Thursday, August 21 – 40 minutes. This ended up being only 30 minutes because of the weather, but I was pushing B, so it still counts….right?

Friday, August 22 – 4 miles. This ended up being only a 3 mile “jog”, B was getting cranky, and sometimes that’s what happens.

Saturday, August 23 – Rest. Since we had to get on the road early, I went to Pure Barre early because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get in a ton of workouts over the next week.

Sunday, August 24 – 65 minutes. Yeaaah, no this didn’t happen at all. Nick had been super busy all summer with a big project at work and we finally had some family vacation time. We spent the first half of the week visiting family in CT, and that clearly took precedent over anything else.

Monday, August 25 – Cross Training. We spent the entire morning walking around the Mystic Aquarium, so much better than the Boston one IMO. I tracked my time and I did a decent amount of walking so I counted it as Tuesday’s workout. Also, we had an amazing lunch on the water. A few friends of ours have lived in Mystic for a few years and they took us to this great lunch place off the beaten path and away from the tourist traps.

Tuesday, August 26 – 45 minutes. I used Monday’s workout as my 45 minutes, and I did a little cross training in the pool at Nick’s parents.

Wednesday, August 27 – Cross Training. We came home from CT early Wednesday afternoon. I was able to sneak in a workout at Pure Barre. Man it felt good to have the 3-day break, my muscles really needed it.

Thursday, August 28 – 45 minutes. I took a break, I spent some time cleaning the house and doing tons of laundry. It was nice to spend time with the family.

Friday, August 29 – 4.5 miles. I took a Pure Barre class in the afternoon and a little bit of a walk in the afternoon.

Saturday, August 30 – Rest. I knew I wanted to take a class since we were having guests over the weekend and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get out for long run so I went to Pure Barre in the morning.

Sunday, August 31 – 75 minutes. Again, I took a morning Barre class followed by a long walk. What you can, when you can.

XZr1Ndn

FOOD: I am keeping mum on this for a bit. I had some test results that were unexpected, so until I get all results I will be postponing this section.

2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas: Dealing with the Unexpected

This post was inspired by 2 A.M. At The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino, a novel about hope, love, and music in snow covered streets of Philadelphia. Join From Left to Write on August 28 we discuss 2 A.M. At The Cat’s Pajamas. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

2AM-at-Cats-Pajamas-FL2W-Book-Club-Banner

 In the book Madeline’s life changed forever with the death of her mother and she had to change her everyday life. It’s no secret that I had a miscarriage, so it is probably no secret that Nick and I have been trying for almost year to get pregnant again. I wish I could end this post with a ta-da, I am pregnant, but I can’t.

I hate saying this, but I got pregnant easily the first two times. The first time I was on the pill, and it was a shock to say the least, but now I have a happy and healthy 3-year-old, and I would not change a single thing. When Nick and I discussed having a second baby, without a lot of effort I was pregnant again. Just like that, I wasn’t. It  was the worst thing I have ever been through.

Now with B starting pre-school it is really hitting me hard. I never expected to have this time to be by myself. Having a few hours a day where I could pretty much do anything is completely unexpected. Many people tell me that I will figure it out, because hopefully soon enough that will change. And I get it, I do, but this wasn’t the plan, and I hate that I couldn’t control this.

IMG_8698I mean, who wants to spend a minute away from this guy?

On top of all this, Nick and I have been seeing an RE (reproductive endocrinologist) to figure out exactly what is wrong with me, and it is never an easy process, is anything.., and one that I am not quite ready to put on this blog because I am still dealing with the process that we are going through and some of the diagnosis we were given.

I know in life things never go how you plan and you have to roll with the punches, so here I go, attempting to let life guide me and not the other way around…

 

 

Weekly Updates: 08/11/14 – 08/17/14 (Zooma Week 2)

weeklyworkouts.jpg

Monday, August 11th – Cross Training. Since my car was still out of commission I exchanged Monday and Tuesday’s schedule. I did 35 minutes up and down the hill on my street. It was hard, but it’ll be worth it.

Tuesday, August 12th – 35 minutes. I did this workout on Monday, so I went to Pure Barre first thing in the morning!

Pure Barre Lynnfield

Wednesday, August 13 – Cross Training. I took another Pure Barre class. 55 minutes of pure fun!

Thursday, August 14 – 35 minutes. B and I went for our early morning jaunt. It was more of a slow jog/walk then a run, but I am just focusing on getting the minutes & miles in, more than anything.

Friday, August 15 – 3.5 miles. B and I did 2 miles, I was feeling sick the night before so we got a late start and I wanted to make it home for nap time. He didn’t end up taking a nap, so we spent some time running around outside.

purebarrelynnfieldintensive

Can you spot me? {Photo Credit: PBL Facebook}

In the evening I went to Pure Barre Lynnfield’s first intensive class, the theme was Slenderize Your Outer Thighs, instead of 55 minutes it was 75 minutes. I think every single one of us was incredibly scared. It was an intense class, I was dripping within 20 minutes of the start, but it wasn’t something that I couldn’t handle. Melissa, the instructor, really focused on making sure that our form was perfect, that our heels were high enough, our shoulders relaxed, etc… It was a great class and I can’t wait to take the next one.

Saturday,  August 16 – REST. I sort of did this. If you follow me on Instagram I am sure you saw the pictures I posted from the Keith Urban concert. We went with my sister-in-law and her husband to the show in CT. We had pit which is general admission so we got there as soon as we could and stood for a good 6 hours. My legs were pretty beat after the Pure Barre class on Friday so this wasn’t the best idea, but I don’t regret it one bit.

Sunday, August 17 – 55 minutes. This did not happen. When I woke up my legs were shot, plus I knew I’d have to drive back to Boston. I made the executive decision that rest was what was more important. I also soaked my lower legs in the freezing cold pool in hopes that it would speed up the recovery process.

Food: This week was a lot of quality veggies and lean proteins. The only exception being Thursday evening, I was feeling so gross and the only thing that sounded good was grilled cheese, but we didn’t have any bread in the house. I made a small bowl of pasta instead, it made feel a bit bloated, but it didn’t make me feel like throwing up so that’s a win. Saturday after the concert we were starving so we ended up at the local diner, we all ordered club sandwiches. I only ate half of mine and it definitely filled me up.

How is your training going? Have you ever taken a Pure Barre intensive?

Weekly Updates: 08/04/14 – 08/10/14 (Zooma Week 1)

I wrote this post before the tragic passing of Robin Williams. I know that some people feel like mourning celebrity deaths is ridiculous, and sometimes I feel that way too. When Paul Walker passed I read this article that explained so well why we feel more when certain celebrities pass away.

genie-im-gonna-miss-you-robin-williams

I feel like I grew up with Robin’s works. Mork & Mindy was one of my favorite TV shows as a kid. Dead Poets is what made me want to teach. Good Morning, Vietnam made me want to learn more about history. Hook, Aladdin, Jumanji & Mrs.Doubtfire are engrained in my childhood, and Good Will Hunting is always my  favorite Boston movie, but my favorite movie about life and love. Here is a great article on the life lessons we learned from Robin Williams.

I hope people remember that Depression is a disease, one that this no cure, but that needs constant vigilance and work. If you are feeling like you have no one please call the suicide prevention line (1-800-273-8255) or tell someone. Even in times of darkness you are loved.
weeklyworkouts.jpg

So, Zooma training has officially kicked off. I am excited for the training and for the workouts!

Monday, August 4th -  Cross Training per the plan! I ended up using Monday as a rest day since I went to Pure Barre on Saturday and Sunday, and they were both tough workouts!

Tuesday, August 5th - 30 minutes running. I went to Pure Barre in the morning and when I got home I took B on a jog(ish) in town. His stroller is not a running stroller so it is heavy, and ended up walking more than running.

Wednesday, August 6th - Cross training. I took an evening class at Pure Barre with Jane, and we were rewarded with free wine at the end of the day! For my local friends, Pure Barre Lynnfield has $10 Tuesdays for the month of August for new clients, if you have been wanting to try it, this is your chance!

Pure Barre

Thursday, August 7th – 30 minutes running. My car started making wonky noises and we couldn’t get an appointment with the mechanic until Saturday, and he advised us not to drive unless absolutely necessary. So I did 30 minutes of running around outside our house with B.

Friday, August 8th – 3 miles. Same situation as above, and our street (and neighboring ones) don’t have sidewalks so I do not feel comfortable taking B’s large stroller out on the busy streets. We ran up and down our dead-end street for a while, I didn’t check for mileage because that seems silly, but we were out for over 2 hours, so hopefully that counts for something.

Saturday, August 9th – Rest. I knew Sunday would likely be a rest day, so Jane picked me up at home and drove me to Pure Barre. Thankful for awesome friends!

Sunday, August 10th – 45 minutes running. I was outside playing with B for a good chunk of the day, and also running around the house doing a ton of projects, it wasn’t the planned workout, but I think it’ll be okay.

Week 1 Lessons: It is not easy training with a toddler, that is something I don’t have to really explain. Where I run/jog/walk isn’t super populated during the early hours of the morning, at least not at the time that works for us. So until B starts pre-school I am going to have to fit in what I can, when I can. I also, have to keep my pace worries in check. With the stroller and B alone I am pushing about 70 pounds, plush whatever gear, snacks, toys, etc… I bring with us to keep him occupied until we get to the playground.

Food Updates:

This weekend was one of the first weekends this summer that resulted in spontaneous dinner plans. Cait and I had been trying to meet up for a while, and we both happened to be free on Friday night. She picked me up (seriously, I have great friends) and brought us to Legal C Bar at Market Street in Lynnfield.

LegalCBar

We took a couple of seats at the bar and had a great time, great food and conversation will do that for you. I also had a pretty healthy dinner. The combo plate hat scallops,scrimp and a crab cake full of crab not stuffing alongside a light salad.

LegalCBarFood

I still enjoyed the warm bread and some wine, but I still put this dinner in the win column.

LegalCBar Wine Flight

Do you run with a stroller? What was the best seafood dish you’ve made or had made for you?

Weekly Updates: 07/21/14 – 08/03/14

20140323-222747.jpg

In case you missed it, I posted my Zooma Cape Cod training plan last week. I start today, fingers crossed it already happened.

07/21 – 07/27

I was away during the weekends that bordered this week so I had to get all my classes in during the week. I ended up going to Pure Barre on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I was going to go on Friday morning but I had to fast for blood work (ten tubes, yuck) so I decided it’d be best if I took a rest day. It was definitely a wise decision since I was wiped after that blood work.

Pure Barre

07/28 – 08/03

I made it to Pure Barre on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I enjoy taking advantage of visits from my mother-in-law and mom so that I can take later morning classes. I also love when we are home for the weekends so that I can take a barre class with Jane. As of August 1, (Friday) I had taken 55 classes. My next goal is 100 classes!

Food

I hate going away because then I don’t have time to prep, but because of all the help we had this week I was able to prep a ton and eat really well. This weekend we were home so I was able to do the same. I am still seeing a nutritionist so that helps with keeping me accountable too. Although the stress has been high lately, I’ve been really trying to keep the stress eating reeled in.

How was your week in workouts? Are you training for something or have any big goals?