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!!


  1. I also have incredibly small ears...and have yet to find anything that stays in. If I don't win, I'll still check out yurbuds :) P.S. - You need to post your playlists.

  2. Becky Stover10:32 PM CDT

    I have had so many bad experiences with ear buds that I have tried to go the purist luck. The run is still out for me for now but I can't even keep the darned things in while elliping...ugh! Karl might let me start running again next week. Hopefully.

    By the way you are the way coolest runner I know..sorry all my other runner friends that may read this but you are not giving away "yurbuds". You rock Lacy!!

  3. I've got small ears too! I'm so glad someone else has a problem finding headphones that will work for them like I do. Every time I try a new pair I wonder if everyone in the world just has really big ears and mine are just abnormally small. The pair I use right now are the ones that kind of go in your ears and clip around the back. They hurt inside my ears, the hurt on the outside of my ears and when I wear my glasses or sunglasses they hurt even more. They don't stay on when I run, and they're just more hastle than they're worth. If I don't win, I'm still going to check out yurbuds, thanks! I also think you need to post your playlists, I'm always looking for new music to get me moving!
    I just tweeted too, but I'm sure you'll see it.

  4. Just added you to my blog reading list on my blog.(I really need new headphones that actually fit!)

  5. I can SO relate -- about the small ears, I mean, not the running thing. I walk, though, does that count?? The traditional buds never fit in my ears correctly. I've got some Skull Candy ones now, and they're not great either. Sign me up for the giveaway!! :)

  6. YUR a good BUD Lacy!! :) My incredibly small earholes miss resonating your voice vibrations! (In other words, you're a good friend and I miss the sound of your voice.) :))

  7. I had no idea such things were available! You know the struggles I'm having right now--even trying to run a little. My motivation comes from music - at this point I can't put one foot in front of the other without it. I have put on worship music and prayed my way through sometimes :) I am also a member of the "little ear club". The adventures you have had in finding ear buds sound like what I've gone through. I couldn't find any ear buds to fit, and I hurt myself trying to cram ones that were too large into my ear. In denial of the fact that they didn't fit, I would head out the door. They would fall out, I would cram them in, they would fall out, I would cram them in... I finally settled on using the trusty, cheap, over-the-head, foam earphones. And now, my trusty crappies have gone missing--they were a little ripped and worn, so I have my suspicions that a "helper" threw them out. I was always adjusting them though, and if they slid down, they interfered with my pony tail. I have been using my iPhone for the past few months when I walk or run (Couch Potato to 5k App), and when I first got it, I thought Apple surely would have fancy ear buds that would fit anyone--no! They won't go in my ear AT ALL. David has a pair of ear buds that he wears with his MP3 player that he suggested I try. I cram them in my ears, but the larger problem is that their cord is too short on one side. I suppose it would work fine if you could clip something on your collar, but my iPhone has to strap to my arm. I have been exercising with no slack for awhile now. I search out Dave's ear buds--on his dresser? No. In the closet? No. In his jacket? No. Entry table? NO. Near the computer? No. In the car? There they are. Then I head out, feeling like I'm on a leash if they stay in, and getting frustrated if they fall out. Anyway, I would forever love you if you would honor me with a pair of Yurbuds. Although, I suppose I'd love you forever even if you don't--you're a pretty great friend ;)

  8. UGH! I just typed a story, and it was too large to process???

  9. Anonymous10:28 AM CDT

    Hi! I'm a new stalker, er, um, reader.
    My favorite running song (usually) is "Pressing On" by Relient K. Or "Losing my Fear of Heights" by a little unknown Christian band called Sittser.

    Anyhoo, my frustration with ear buds is that I'm deaf in my right ear. Part of the reason for this is that the ear canal of that ear is much larger than it should be. So when I wear ear buds, the right side slips out in - oh, about 2 seconds. (Not that it makes sense to wear a bud in your deaf ear, but I dont like the extra bud to flop around.)

    And my left side, the buds never fit. So I'm a zen runner w/o music 90% of the time, but NOT BY CHOICE! Sometimes I just have to have music, but then I'm frustrated the whole run. *grumble grumble* I neeeeeeeeeeed those buds!

  10. You are very pretty and so much more!(hope that's a good start)...okay what else...Very motivating and I too have clocks on my playlist but experience same probem with ear buds so it's encouraging to find there are these super dooper Yurbuds on the market - and possibly being given away right here! Um...wot else can I are an amazing blogger too (hope I am not overdoing the flattery!) I am gripped by your blogs, feeling your passion for running as I experience mine...except mine is going to be on hold for while now but I hope many people that read your blogs will be inspired to run long distances because I have concluded there is nothing like the mental and physical experience of training for, and running a half marathon or a full 26.2 (yet to experience the latter) to prepare a person for other hills in one's life: The dread of the challege but the knowledge that with grit and determination, the intention to keep breathing from start to finish without allowing any negative thoughts in the mind, THAT will carry a person to the finish, a finish lined with cheering fans. Nothing like that feeling of accomplishment!

  11. Anonymous10:31 AM CDT

    I linked to your blog in this post:

    and you're on my sidebar as a blog I'm following.

    ps. I have no idea what you meant by "humbling photo" because you're a pretty runner. I, however, look like a lobster after running. gross.

  12. Travis Ross10:50 AM CDT

    So, my story. You may have heard's been written about in a really famous book. I once put some ear buds in and they were so bad my right ear fell off. Luckily Jesus was there and healed it. was crazy., that wasn't me after all. Never mind. I guess my story is more like this - I sweat like a pig when i run so my earbuds are either a) nasty or b) slipping all over the place. Sad, but true.

    PS - Lacy, you are amazing and if I had long enough arms I would high five you from Colorado. Fairly certain that would pretty weird to see my long arm coming down your block, through your window and into you living room, though. I'll settle for a "hey, you're pretty!"

  13. I'm your Mom and I could write a story of your life (which is almost 29 years now), I'm just saying!

  14. "Everytime I see your name

  15. are you sure you mean that Lacy? it could get annoying for you... =)

  16. Yikes! My ears are too big and the iPod buds fall out! Not sure if they are too big or deformed, but I'd love to give the Yur Buds a shot.


  17. Anonymous2:11 PM CDT

    clearly there are a lot of people with ipod earbud issues. you'd think apple would get the hint....

  18. Becky Stover2:42 PM CDT

    ok...can you give my entries to Mels. She is truly a deservant (ok maybe not a word) but she truly is an inspiring soul. She would do the "yurbuds" justice on and off the course!

  19. Becky Stover2:44 PM CDT

    We have the same shoes and same PT, I think we should have the same ear buds as well ;) (remeber count me as Mels)

  20. Becky Stover2:50 PM CDT

    Ugh! Hate it when I misspell...that may be what has kept me from posting on your blog in the past -fear of hitting "post" before completing my spell check and the embarrassment that comes with the aftermath. But now there are buds on the line....

  21. Becky Stover3:26 PM CDT

    Today at the park a man asked us what we were training for. Randy answered "life" true.

    oh, and if Karl is a follower of yours, I wasn't really running cuz he told me not to.

  22. Becky are you trying to outdo the number of times I post!!

  23. oh wait I see what you are doing...what a SWEETHEART...I should have actually read what you wrote rather than just assume you were trying to post more entries than me!! xoxoxoxox

  24. be clear. One entry for a comment, one entry for each of the other options (but the more friends that you send, and they tell me you sent them, that number could go to the moon!). It's nice to see you're all having fun here :)

  25. Hi Lacy,
    I'm Jamie's step-sister. She's mentioned your running several times and I check out your blog about once a week. I'll definitely add you to my blog (that I need to update!) I just ran my first Marathon last week with TNT. What an awesome experience. I can't wait to run another marathon too! I've seen you out running the Health Stragies route but been too shy to say Hi. You're always running really fast too. What an awesome giveaway! I don't usually listen to music but might try it if I had earbuds that didn't hurt!

    Happy Running!
    Stacy Christy

  26. 8 lb 10 oz - no medication "I'm just sayin"

  27. Guess I have "normal" ears, but my husband has the opposit problem you do. He has Big ears (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). Headphones hurt him, earbuds don't stay in. He's tried hooking his bluetooth to his iphone and playing his music though worked if he wasn't hot/sweaty/going too fast. now he mostly just forgoes the earphone/buds and plays his music out loud so everyone can hear haha. Doesn't block sound but at least he can hear his music.

  28. Jeanie...WOW...7 lb 11 oz WITH medication over here

  29. you don't have to enter me in the giveaway, i already have some running headphones i like...but, these are pretty cool...
    i remember the '09 frosty 5k, i was all set to go with my ipod, and the ear buds died right when the starting gun went off...i spent 10-15 seconds fiddling with it as runners sped past me....i finally got one bud to work and ran the whole race with music in one ear and the sound of runners in the other....

  30. We nicknamed you Pokey because you were so slow at doing things - you didn't walk until you were 13 months old and you weren't very good at it either! But I was there helping you all the way.

  31. I've been a lurker on your blog for too long, Lacy! I live near Wichita and would love to have Yurbuds if they'll block the sound of Kansas' wind :)

  32. Nothing is better then good ear buds!

  33. Anonymous4:19 PM CDT

    I'm a new reader to your blog but I gave you a sunshine award on my blog because of how inspiring you are!


  34. okay. here's what i've got. you are pretty, and i'm bringing a smile, a high five AND some saigon to your doorstep this evening. BEAT THAT INTERWEB! :) these look killa, i want, i just don't have a clever story, i guess i have average ears. BORING. but i do have access to saigon and tsunami....sooooo....

  35. I didn't know these existed! I always just put up with the pain of the good ol' earbuds that came with my ipod. I would love a custom pair - and if I had them I would probably get back into running more too!!

  36. My body refuses to exercise without music. And my ears too, are crazy small for the buds that came with my iPod. So I hunted for a pair with a range of sizes and found some Sony's that have mushy little black thingies that pop on. The small and medium size work, but the problem is, they little black thingies get lost (by my kids?) so then I have the option of sticking hard metal pieces directly into my ears, which is quite uncomfortable. But then again, maybe that little diversionary pain draws my attention away from my exhausted legs.

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