Good News / Bad News / Ugly

Bad news first (I like to save the best for last):
I'm sending my Saucony shoes back. Yesterday's 5 mile including hill repeats sealed the deal. I love the cushion, flexibility, and stability of the trainers, but not their ability to make my left achilles raw. 17.5 miles and I'm pulling the plug. The last shoe I had that did this (only I think those were problematic for my right achilles area) I fought (using a variety of things to help protect my heel...including duct tape on my skin) for almost 50 miles before pulling retiring them and returning to the store. I'm no longer as willing to fight with a shoe in the hopes that it *might* break-in and work. A friend of mine had similar issues with a Saucony shoe and it eventually yielded, but blisters are one thing--blood is another.

Good news:
Yesterday I purchased TWO new pair of shoes. We have a NB store an hour away that I don't usually shop at that much at (their prices are kinda high and I often find better deals once gas is figured-in, since lots of places have free shipping). I was taking DS to a botanical garden in the general area of the NB store, so figured I would pop in and see if they had the new 903...they did and I with them on my feet I felt like Cinderella with the glass slipper (I think the 903 might even fit better than the 902...the forefoot is a bit more roomy and I don't feel the overlays nearly as much)--so they went home with me.

While I was there I asked to try the 768 (I wore through 3.5 pairs of the 767 before they started disagreeing with me...I think my legs became so accustomed to the flexibility of the 902 that going to a stiffer shoe didn't work--and they have a weird cant to the forefoot). Wow...very different from the 767...much softer, more flexible, and no cant in the forefoot (I even had one 767 on one foot and a 768 on the other to really compare feel). So I grabbed a pair of those from Holabird Sports (they have them almost $20 cheaper than everyone else and I need to get SofSole "Arch" insoles for my 903s, anyhow...NB still doesn't put a decent insole in their shoes, though the newer ones do seem to have a bit more oomph to the arches than the earlier models did).

Hopefully this means I will have 2 models of shoe to rotate, again. I'm still not convinced that the 903 is enough shoe for me to run a marathon in, either. I keep picturing my feet and legs wanting a shoe with more "oomph" by the midpoint of the race.

Ugly (well, sorta):
NB is trying to make us broke. The color of the new 903 is "persimmon." I discovered that NB now has a full line of running clothes in that color...skirts, shorts, tops, jackets...even a DRESS!!! Eek! Good thing I don't *love* the bonita skirt (no pocket, high side slits cause back of skirt to ride up under Camelbak or Amphipod belt to reveal liner compression short), or I'd have to have one to match my shoes ('cause I'm a dork like that). That dress is hella cute, though. If I do end up wearing the 903s for my marathon I will probably look for a persimmon-colored top, then wear black or gray bottoms of some sort (and a garish yellow LiveStrong hat). I'd like to have something that stands out a bit so that my family can easily pick me out in the pack.

DS and I spent a nice couple of hours at Meijer Gardens. Every spring they have an awesome feature--a couple of months of live butterflies, "Butterflies Are Blooming," by the hundreds (40+ species) in their main conservatory. We have gone to this for years...it's amazing. The place is just full of exotic, fluttery beauties that will frequently land on people. We also spent about an hour in the children's garden while Dane rammed around and burned off some energy. Last year we bought a family membership and will definitely renew it at the end of the month. FMG is definitely our favorite attraction in West MI. Every time we go there is something new to see...and the opportunity to see works of art by names like Rodin and Chihuly is an added bonus.

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