Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stayin' Cool

I'm beginning to think I really hate this weather!
It's 80 degrees by 7am most days and the humidity it RE-Donk-QUE-lous!!!!
I have to bring dry clothes to change into during the week, just so I can get in my car. I've been getting my workouts in while Judah is in a "Fun-Fit" class at the gym. So, my time is limited and my schedule gets me out in a pretty toasty time of the day. But, he has got to be priority over running, so I will not complain. I have nothing to complain about anyways. I'm a spoiled runner who doesn't have a "punch the clock" job to get to. I get to "sleep-in" most days (I promise I'm up by 7 at the very latest!). I live in a city with incredible running paths. I have incredible people to encourage me. And I have a wonderful family to enjoy as soon as I'm done.
But alas, it's the hottest time of year and only a few things have been getting me through it this past week.
1. My ipod came back to life!!!!!
My Dad gave me an engraved Shuffle in 2008 and I absolutely love it! I wear it clipped on my shorts and have his message to me in my sights during every run.
I got caught in a downpour last summer and my Shuffle never played another beat. While cleaning my desk last week I found it thought, "what the hey." I put it on the charger and the glorious "do-doo" sound of usb connection rang through the office!! I was afraid to move, for fear it would all go away. But it's been over a week and it works just fine!
While I had another option for listening to music, having this gift back on my side made me smile so big. Every girl needs to have a constant reminder of her Dad's support.

2. My hair has finally grown! Why is this good? Because now I don't have to wait for hours for it to dry or stand under a hot blow drier. I can go for the surfer look and not embarrass my son in public!

           *Halloween 2009*
                            *Independence Day, 2010* 

So, I'm super happy about the hair but a funny thing happened as a result of my short hair this fall.
I struggle to do anything girly 'the right way.' So when my short hair  presented a running/hair issue I panicked. Pins, barretts, stretchy headbands, and hats were all part of my attempted arsenal. Nothing worked. I still found myself messing with said paraphernalia during every run. I was getting so irritated. So out of desperation I grabbed the blue bandanna from the drawer. I folded it and tied it on. It was like magic! The cheap cheap piece of fabric kept my hair back and it didn't budge.
From that day on, I don't think I've left the house for a run without the dark blue bandanna. It has to be the dark blue ones (I have 2), I tried other colors, for some reason, they're not the same length and they fall off.

All that to say, I accidentally have become recognizable by my blue bandanna. People will tell me they recognized me at a run, "You had your blue bandanna on, right?" Or, "I was just looking for the blue bandanna." So, that's been fun, but what I don't like is, like I told Kenton several months ago, "I've accidentally become the running Bret Michaels."
                                                       * October 2009, Rosstoberfest*

*April 2010, Boston Marathon*

*May 2009,Bank of America River Run*

So now I guess I'll just own it. Yes, that's me, the one who looks like Bret Michaels. How most of those girls look so cute out there, is beyond me. I'm a sweaty, hair flying mess when I'm running. But I guess every rose has it's thorn, right? 

3. Well, it's not necessarily a good thing, but it's not all that bad either. I promised myself I would cross train more. I was spent from marathon training and I vowed to mixed it up more. So in the last few weeks I've drug out my road bike and given it the 'ol college try. I'm barely turning in the 'as-seen-on-tv mail order college' try. But I'm working on it. The best thing I can say is that even though I'm slow, it's been a nice break from running a few days a week. I briefly get excited for a change, then I'm reminded how hard it is to cycle fast. Kenton and I rode 30 miles together this week and I was also reminded how much better he is at it than I am. He really pushed the pace and I struggled to keep up. However, his endurance isn't as strong as mine and by mile 15 he was tapped and I was still kickin'. I told him, "I could ride slow all day and never tire." Not sure that's a great skill, just an observation. 
And to add insult to my damaged ego, I have to get my butt in a pool this week. Yes, it's great cross training, but it's also the first leg of any triathlon. And once again Kenton, my Dad, and I are all signed up for a sprint triathlon in a few weeks. 
                  *August 2009, Salty Dog Tri*

I'd like improve my time from last year and I can't phone in the swim. So, I think I'm going to need Judah to help me. This kid has become a great swimmer this year.
 I seriously need some stroke development. I inherited my Dad's swimming style. He says he swims like Forest Gump. I will be certain to be practicing my doggy paddle this week. I want to finish well and not get beat by, oh I don't know, a little girl.

*Kenton finishing the Dog next to a Pup*

Oh yeah and did I mention, this race is really just between Kenton and I? The title of "fastest triathlete in the house" is up for grabs. Currently, I reign. But if you can believe it he has 2 wins to my 1. So, yeah I'll dish out all the trash I can. I could clarify about that picture, but I'll just let it say that yeah, that little girl crossed before him.

4. We celebrated 8 years of marriage on Monday! We actually went on the 30 mile bike ride as part of our celebration (That's normal, right?). While we were out in no man's land surrounded by corn fields, Kenton asked, "Are we just lucky?" Marriages all around us have crumbled and we know of how hard other's are struggling. But we both laughed because we know we're not lucky. We've had and will surly have our share of hardships. We have just been blessed with spirits that will not give up. I mentioned that my stubbornness may have been what has saved us during the hard times. He didn't disagree. Marriage is hard, but it can be wonderful. 
I will say, I don't thank my God enough for this man. He's my best friend. I hope we can always have this much fun together.

                                *July 12, 2002*
*July, 2010*
Oh, and I hope there's always sushi!
We feasted on some incredible sushi at a new restaurant in Wichita called Kanai. I could eat sushi every day and never desire for anything else, except fresh spring rolls. Which we went down the street to Pei Wei for, just to make the meal complete!
So I hope you are surviving the heat too. I realized extra rest is always helpful, if you can get it! I managed to get a nap this week. It wasn't on purpose though. After reading Junie B. Jones to Judah, I asked him if I could just rest my eyes for a minute. Next thing I knew I had woken up trapped under my baby. He was obviously tired too. 

Stay positive, hydrated, and rested this week!
Here's a few little gems to hopefully make your week sweeter, despite the heat.
A few of my favorite tunes to dump on a playlist right now:
1. Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny) [feat. Nicole Scherzinger] -A.R. Rahman (From Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack)
2. Ruby- Kaiser Chiefs 
3. Humans Beings- Van Halen (Don't judge, it's good and I always think of my Dad when I hear Van Halen)
4. Cousins- Vampire Weekend
5. Home- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Only because Kenton says it reminds him of me) *swoon*

What are you doing to beat the heat? Distracting yourself with any good tunes?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Drum Roll Please........

The moment has arrived. The winners of their very own Yurbuds Earbud Enhancers have been chosen!!!
I had so much fun this week hearing from everyone. It's nice to interact with you all. Please continue to do so. Please!!

So.... On to business. The first winner goes to the best story of ear bud woe. The lucky winner of this pair goes to Cole. She has her own blog as well,
She entered on her husband's behalf and had the most comical quote describing his frustration. 

"(He refers to his head a a taxicab with the doors open, calls his ears his sattilites and explains that this is why he works for NASA...if he doesn't laugh at himself everyone else would)."

I laughed all week at the imagery and felt bad for my fellow struggler on the opposite end of the ear size battle.

And on to the second pair. This pair was just a random name drawn out of the hat. And I promise it was random thanks to  the help of  Due to twitter mentions, blog roll adds, linking to my blog, a comment, officially following my blog, and for sharing your story, some names were thrown in more than once.

And the lucky random winner is...... Veronica, from her blog,

Congratulations winners! I hope you enjoy your Yurbuds!!
Contact me: and I'll get you set up with my friends at Yurbuds.

I wish I had endless pairs to gift to you all. I'm happy for the winners, but sad for the rest of you. Luckily Yurbuds are really reasonable. Compared to other companies who claim to make non-slip custom buds, they are so much more affordable and worth the price!

I hope you all will come back and chat with me in the future. 
As requested I'll be posting my favorite playlist this week. Maybe you all could share your favorites with me. This way we can all rock out while we run strong.

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Give Away at the End of This Post: Starring Lovable, Non-Furry, Old Lacy

Army- Ben Folds
At Least I'm Not Like All Those Other Old Guys- Five Iron Frenzy
Take On Me- Aha
Clocks- Coldplay

In the summer of 2006, I began my running journey. I did so right in front of my house. The mission: Run the 1/2 mile down the street and run back without stopping. It took me nearly a month the accomplish said mission.
And if you've followed my story at all, you probably know the rest of the crazy story. There is one element that rarely comes up, but it's been constant from my first measly mile to my run just this morning.
The beat I pump into my ears. The list above is the group of songs I ran to while I trained for my first mile. (And yes, some days it took all 4 songs to cover a mile!)

So, maybe I'm not a "purist." Maybe I'm a Generation 2.0 kid. Maybe I'm missing something by allowing the tunes to drown out the sound of the run. But, once I started masking my panting, I was able to ignore it and keep placing one foot in front of the other. Some days the music actually improves my run. Some days the music gets me home. Some days, the music makes me a runner.

I think most of us who run can agree when that perfect song and that perfect beat beckons us into "the zone," we feel as though we could run forever. When that happens to me, I could care less about the naysayers.

While the tunes can be an incredible running companion, on the same note, there's nothing more frustrating than an annoying pair of earbuds popping out, painful earphones digging in, crappy sound blaring too high, or dorky phones weighing you down while you're trying to get in the zone.

I have ridiculously small ears. The buds that come with ipods won't even sort of fit in my ears. So since 2006 I have purchased countless types of buds, phones, or adapters attempting to deliver my playlists to my ears.
I used a pair that wrapped around the back of my head and hung over my ears. They were heavy, they rattled while I ran, and they hurt because of an ear piercing.

I tried phones that were off a band, with clips to hang over the ears. Unless I had a winter hat on, they fell off all the time.

I bought expensive clip behind the ear phones. Alas, made for normal ears, they wouldn't fit.

Kenton bought me adapters for my ear buds. They boasted that the 3 size options would surely find a match for me. They fit, and worked well, if I didn't move while they were in.

I gave up and went to an over the head band with buds. They worked...ish. The sound was awful and it was incredibly painful once a winter hat was required

Finally I found another pair of clip behind the ear buds. If I relied on my ear piercing to hold one in place, I could make it through my runs with at least one phone in.

(Humbling photo. Yikes!)

I resolved that I wasn't going to get anything better and dealt with it. Then one fateful day, blogging celebrity, Frayed Laces, was having a giveaway. This company claimed to make affordable custom earbuds. She had tried them and was claiming they worked. I was lucky enough to win a pair.
I won a pair of Yurbuds, In order to receive my custom buds, I didn't have to get a mold made of my freakish ears. All I had to do was send then a picture of my ear with a quarter next to it.

They sent me a little blue bag with a set of ear buds. Covering the buds were soft blue covers. I put them in and went for a run. Honestly I thought I should have packed a standby pair because I was skeptical they'd stay in.

But you know what?! They stayed in! I felt like I was finally in the ear buds club. I could run freely without annoying ear phones. I wasn't constantly adjusting. I was just running free. The buds are "acoustically brilliant" according to the website. I noticed immediately that I didn't have the ipod cranked and I wasn't hearing all the loud traffic noise.
They are comfortable and they do exactly what they say.
Since I've been using them I've only had two issues to contend with. One is that it's important to make sure the covers are adjusted per the instructions. If the covers aren't placed on properly, they won't stay in your ear.
The only other issue that I've dealt with is a new one just this season. When it's hot and I sweat, the buds can slip. Rarely do they ever fall out. But I have had to adjust them a bit more on these hot summer runs. Normally it just takes a few adjustments and they're back in place to stay.

I've been wearing them ever since. They've run many training runs with me. I didn't listen to music during The Boston Marathon, but I took them along, just in case I wanted to because I knew they wouldn't let me down.
I wore them on a bike ride this week too. I was impressed once more. I was cruising into a strong Kansas head wind and they never fell out. I was most pleased.

So, why am I rubbing it in that I have these awesome Yurbuds and you don't? Because I want you to get a pair!!
My friends at Yurbuds gifted me two custom earbud sets to give away to you.
You see, my computer geek husband shows me the analytics from my blog and it says lots of you are reading, but few of you are saying anything to me. I want to interact more with my fellow interweb friends. So, if I can entice you with a little treat, I'll shamelessly try to buy your friendship this week.
Glad you asked.
One pair is going out to the friend who leaves the best story of earbud annoyance/pain/frustration. Leave your horror story as a comment. As a qualified annoyed earbud/phone connoisseur I will pick the best story.
Another pair is going out to my best friend. I'm throwing names into a random hopper for the second pair. Your name can be thrown into the hopper more than once, more than twice... maybe more than three times.
Every time I see your name I'm throwing you in.
-Becoming a follower
-Linking to my blog
-Sending a friend who tells me you sent them
-Adding me as a blog you follow
-Tweet about this/blog (Hi, I'm @lacyjhansen)
(other friendly ideas, probably won't help you win earbuds, but you'll win my heart)
-Giving me high fives
-Making my family dinner
-Doing my laundry
-Buying me Diet Dr. Pepper
-Creating our secret handshake
-Telling me I'm pretty

Truly, I just want to interact with readers. I've been logging our life since 2006. I accidentally became a runner since then. I've had an incredible journey since my first playlist and I'd love to share my adventure with others.
I look forward to meeting some of you and reconnecting with others of you. I'll announce the winners next Saturday!!