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The winter blues are still running a muck here on the East Coast. There's is icy on the ground and it is making it incredibly difficult to get out and enjoy anything. As a result, I spend a good bit of my break time at work browsing the internet looking for things that interest me. In a new little segment I'd like to try out, here are three of my favorite things I have found this week:


#1 My VivoBarefoot Trail Freak Running Shoes

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A few years ago when I started getting active again I wanted to try out some minimalist shoes. I'm one of those people who hates wearing shoes when I don't have to and would prefer wandering in a good pair of flip flops, so it's no surprise when I started running that I wasn't favoring the popular 10mm drops in the Nikes and Hokas I was trying on in the shops. Being that I have a foot the size of an average eight year old it is always hard to find shoes to fit me, especially sport-specific shoes.

I ended up messing up my foot when I started running (probably from having to wear kids shoes), wound up in therapy, and as I was starting to run again a few months after that I started incorporating a few miles a week in a pair of Vivobarefoot shoes I grabbed off of Amazon.com. I purchased them mainly because they were my size (Size EU 35) and I could also use them comfortably in my toe clips while riding my bike (so if I could not necessarily "run" in them, I at least could wear them for something else).

The shoe really forced my feet to work, which was beneficial because you need to work it like any other muscle to prevent injury. I'm naturally a mid-foot-ish (i.e. not a heel striker nor a tip toe runner) striker, so they worked out perfectly for me. Now that I am trail running a little more this season, I have been buying trail shoes to experiment with, but I also want them to work for day to day cross training as well. The hubby got me an awesome pair of Newton trail runners for Christmas, but I wanted to start researching some other brands and styles. They seem to run larger than expected (although I see a lot of people posting that theirs are cut small). I expect that this is because there are trail shoes and constructed differently, however, they fit like a 36 on me, which is fine because I like/am used to having room in my shoes. They are very nicely made, sturdy, and quite comfortable, enough to allow for daily and multi-sport use. The lugs offer a nice grip and quick ties are convenient. I haven't taken them to the trail, but found that when the snow started pounding down a few weeks ago and I was sent on a rush errand at work (meaning that I had to run), I had absolutely no problem sprinting in the slick streets, a +1 in my book.

#2: Ginger Runner Podcast & Vlog


I'll admit it: I used to be one of those people who though that video blogs were the absolute worst thing in existence and were comprised of a bunch of self absorbed, no talent cry babies dying for the attention of the rest of the world...and to an extent most of YouTube STILL is comprised of a bunch of no talent asses screaming "Look at me!," however, there are some really talented film makers putting out top notch content. GingerRunner is one of them.

Since I started running I have slowly become obsessed with the trail running/ultra running world, which, since the release of that damned documentary about the Barkley Marathons movie on Netflix, has become the new "normal" in the running. Wanting to be a part of that whole world someday it is great that there are filmmakers out there running these amazing courses I know I will never be able to see let alone run but it at least creates an endless stream of motivation. The latest movie I have watched, A Decade On is a testament to strength and perseverance of the human spirit and what how determination can overcome what the body simply doesn't want to do. I'm not a hige fan of the reviews the vlog has to offer, but the podcasts and movies are great to tune into.

So, when listening to Spotify gets boring at work, I'll switch to You Tube and watch some trail documentaries: at least there I get to see trees.


#3 The Magic Tree House Book Series

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Switching tracks (pun intended) from running/fitness theme this week, my third obsession as of late, and one to fill the family oriented theme my blog usually takes, are in the form of a children's book. Written by Mary Pope Osbourne, the Magic Tree House Series follow the lead characters, two siblings - Jack and Annie - on adventures through time and space. After discovering a magical tree house filled with books in the woods bordering their suburban home in a fictional Pennsylvania town, they are whisked away on adventures to time and places they once only read in books (get it?). They soon discover that they have been summoned to help a magical enchantress from the time of Camelot to collect bits of history for her very special library. Later in the series, they come across Merlin the Magician as well and are sent throughout time completing special tasks and solving complex problems.

The books are a cry of relief from the five minute books we usually read with E and they have already taught him so much about science, nature, and particularly History. Jack and Annie meet with Equipment Queens, take a trip to the moon, spend a day with Abraham Lincoln (as a boy and an adult), land in camp with General George Washington as he is ready to cross the Delaware, and even convince a young Mozart to continue his pursuit in music. They are well written books that peak interest in subjects young kids may not yet have access to and have accompanying research guides that give detailed back stories and historical guides to the subjects covered in the novels.

Well, those are the three things I am loving this week. I always enjoy trying new things and sharing my thoughts. If you have any suggestions or ideas please comment below. I'd love to keep this a weekly segment on the blog if possible! 

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