Wednesday, November 4, 2015

(Almost) All About Me...a re-introduction of sorts

How about a re-introduction?

I wrote a blog post (when I first started this blogging gig) with some trivia about myself (you can read it HERE), but a lot has changed since way back then. I have run several more races, trained for three marathons (and ran them!), did my first duathlon, and even ran an Ultra! And, the best thing of all, I have made so many wonderful friends while doing all of the above.

My running journey started 10 years ago, and I have loved every minute of it. There have been some annoyances and injuries, but every setback has made me stronger and wiser. I have run everything from  5K's to marathons...and my first Ultra (back in July) was ever-so-tough, but ever-so-incredible. The half marathon is, hands-down, my favorite distance.

Care to learn more about me? Read on... 

I used to be an introvert. Key words, "used to be" (past tense). I am not afraid of the photographers on the race course, and have no shame in "posing" for the camera.
 I am a self-professed art geek. Drawing. Painting. Knitting. Sidewalk chalk. All of these make me happy.
I get inspiration from the non-traditional runners (who often struggle with calling themselves "runners"). I recently had this revelation at a marathon I was spectating (while waiting for the final runner on my relay team). I saw a lot of the fast runners coming through, and their speed was very impressive. But it was the ones who finished a couple hours later that had me in tears and  in awe. They were the ones (also in tears themselves), who were high-5'ing the spectators, laughing and totally taking in the experience of the finish line.

For as modern as I may appear, I am very old-school when it comes to technology. I like running in its most rare form....outside, with no gadgets dictating my speed or geographic location. I like to think my running is all of my own doing, without relying on pace/speed/distance prompts. I like music, though, so I do embrace the technology that enables me to have it with me.

Shoes. Oh, how I love my shoes (and not just my running shoes). As much as I adore my running shoes, you will seldom ever see me wearing them unless I'm headed out for a run or race. It's just not my thing to wear them with non-running clothing.....that's what my sparkly sandals, cheetah-print flats, and boots are for.
And, speaking of running shoes, I usually have to enhance my shoes with colorful laces and "Sharpie-work" on the soles. Blending in is SO over-rated, in my opinion. Here's another blog post, discussing this "shoe enhancing" obsession of mine HERE.
I LOVE bright colors (again, it's that not-blending-in thing). Like with my "non-running" clothing, I seldom ever wear the same outfit twice. No, I am not constantly buying new stuff...instead, I'm a huge believer in mixing & matching. One of my mantras is "Go bright or stay home." 
I change up my hair from time-to-time as well. No boring pony tails for me, I usually have a colorful visor, a funky head band, or a crazy "messy" up-do thing happening. You can read about my various hair options for running  HERE 

I run outside, almost always. And I live in Iowa, so I get to experience every kind of weather....wind, rain, snow, sub-freezing temps, and crazy heat & humidity (sometimes all on the same day). Running outside keeps me ready for almost any race day conditions, and that will not happen inside a inside a gym.
 I have a treadmill (whom I have non-affectionately named Duh-Mill), but I seldom ever climb on it and press "go." A lot of people love 'mill running, but I am not a fan. It's too repetitive, and always makes me feel like the 'mill is in control of the workout (and not me). Sure, I program the speed (and incline), but ultimately the 'mill is moving and I'm merely keeping up with it. Besides, I know for a fact, it smells much better outside....fresh air makes my hyper-sensitive sense of smell happy.
 I finish almost every race with my hands in the air. Truth. Every finish line is a victory, why not celebrate it?

I am a huge advocate for cross-training. Running is my first love, but it does a body good to be more than "just a runner." My second favorite fitness activity is stair-climbing. I have done the Fight for Air Climb four times (once in Chicago and three times in Des Moines). You can read about my climbing adventures here (Des Moines 2015 and Des Moines 2014 and Chicago 2014 and  Des Moines 2013 ).


I am very lucky to have a great support system, not just from friends but also from my family. My husband has been at a lot of my finish lines, and it means the world to me (even when he photo bombs me at mile 26).


Although I do not believe in daily running, on occasion I will partake in a running streak (usually for no longer than 30 days at a time). It's a good way to step out of my comfort zone, and it always reinforces the beauty of NOT streaking all the time.  Streaking works for some runners, but I'm not one of them. And I'm alright with that.

I am working on being more disciplined with yoga. Flexibility does not come naturally for me, so yoga is really an awesome challenge. My balance has dramatically improved!
I may or may not have a small obsession with sidewalk art appearing at random times in my driveway.


So there you have it! Anything else you'd like to know about me? Care to share a random fact about YOU?

***A big thank you to Kristy at Runaway Bridal Planner for hosting this awesome blog hop for myself and a bunch of fellow bloggers!!!

61 comments:

  1. The shoe collection! and the socks! I love your style! It was so nice to meet you through the blog hop. Thank you for sharing and keep on runnin'!

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    1. thanks!!! My shoes make me happy (especially if they're cOlOrFuL). Great to meet you also...and rest assured, I will keep on runnng ;-)

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  2. :) Love that quote "the celebration doesn't have to start at the finish line" - when I ran my first marathon in January I started crying at about mile 24 and didn't stop until... well, I still get emotional when I think about it! :)

    p.s. you have the cutest running shoes. All mine are pretty boring (grey's and deep purples).

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    1. If your shoes are "pretty boring," it's easy to liven them up with colorful laces. Honestly, what are the shoe manufacturers thinking??? ;-) Great to meet you via the Hop ;-)

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  3. I'm so impressed that you run outside year round in Iowa!! Although I definitely agree, outside is SO much better than the DREADmill (my term for that contraption, haha). I am a fan of bright colors as well... at least in my workout apparel. I am somewhat of a bland dresser when it comes to regular ol' clothes ;) I need to take a tip from you and incorporate some color! So nice to meet a fellow Iowan through the hop.

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    1. another name I have for the 'mill is "the indoor run-in-place torture device" LOL I faithfully ran on it exclusively during my first year of running...but once I stepped outside, I just could not go back....

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  4. fun to learn more about you in the blog hop! We have lots in common. I totally agree that becoming a blogger has made me much social and I post way more pics than I ever thought I would. I would also run outside in any conditions rather than the treadmill and cross training is the key for me! Confessions of a Mother Runner

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    1. Blogging has been fun....it's kind of my "public" online journal. It also keeps me accountable with my writing.....my "private" journal doesn't get much attention these days (and certainly is lacking in colorful pics). #bloggerprobs

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  5. Isn't it wonderful how running brings out the best in us? I love how you express yourself and your creativity through running. And I'm with you on running outside. All. year. long!!!

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    1. absolutely, outside is where it's at LOL I think I ran on the ,mill maybe 4 or 5 times TOTAL during the winter season last year....just can't do it unless I'm doing intervals (because they don't seem like "real" running...they're more of a speed drill) That's what works for me ;-)

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  6. It's fun to learn more about you! You are so creative....which I already knew. And yep, we both love to run outside no matter what the conditions!

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    1. yes...we are like sisters separated at birth ;-) Just another "trait" we have in common ;-)

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  7. What a lovely post! It's great to get to know you!:)

    Also, I <3 your shoes.

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    1. Awww, thanks! It's been fun getting to know other bloggers ;-) It's neat seeing how much we all have in common!

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  8. I totally relate to everything you wrote! I am training for my first marathon, and am so imp ressed that you have done an ultra. I am also going to check out your shoe-enhancing techniques. LOVE that idea. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    http://wholisticwoman.com

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    1. thank you!! And, congrats on your upcoming marathon!!!!! I never would have believed I'd ever do a marathon...until I finally realized that there would never be a "perfect" time to train for the 26.2 miles, so I just went for it ;-) #noregrets

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  9. Before I go on... I love you #UBAGESIS! I love that you are an artist on the sidewalk and on your shoes. And I'm always admiring how you get your hair to look so stinkin' cute while you're running. I tend to like my headbands and hats to cover up my flat hair. I guess not having any girls doesn't help me learn how to primp at all. One random fact about me: I'm half-Japanes (hence my love for sushi). #runon #ubagestrong

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    1. awwwww...#ditto on the #ubageLOVE ;-) WOW--I did not know about your Japanese heritage! I'm Norwegian (with a little mix of German), so I love my sweets and carb-olicious comfort food. Life is good #ubagestrong

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  11. So nice to meet you through the blog hop! Even though I am not a runner in the least (I just recently ran my first mile on the treadmill since running it for the physical fitness test back in high school), we have a lot in common!

    First off, where in Iowa do you live? My grandparents live just outside Des Moines in Windsor Heights! I visit them just about every Christmas. Props to you for running outside in the wicked cold weather there!

    Second, I too LOVE bright colors! It's funny, I just moved in with my boyfriend and you can tell whose closet is whose. His is all shades of grays, browns, and tans, and mine is loaded with bright pink, green, blue and purple. Haha.

    I LOVE your obsession with decorating the bottom of your sneakers. How cool! I never would have thought to do that, but that's such a great idea for a runner!

    Let's see, a random fact about me. I traveled to Adelaide and Sydney, Australia this past January and got to climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge! It was an absolute BLAST and a once in a lifetime experience. :) So nice to meet you through to hop - hope we can stay in touch!

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    1. Ohhhh...the Bridge? You climbed it???? #sojealous
      I'm in Grinnell...an hour east of DSM...I do a lot of races in DSM, so I'm there frequently ;-) That's funny about our boyfriend...my husband and myself are polar opposites when it comes to fashion. He's Mr. Businessman and I'm the (somewhat) funky color-obsessed chick at his side LOL

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  12. Oh, my. Much of this post could have been written by me. Hands down, the half marathon is the best! I must dress in bright colors (are there any other kind?). I even had a flower made out of shoes pic on my blog for the longest! I gave my treadmill away this winter. And yes, I post with my hands in the air. -- Just to name a few similarities. I'm so glad to have met you through this hop!

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    1. This Hop has been SO much fun! It's crazy how much we all have in common with everyone else ;-) I have my last 13.1 of the season on Saturday...kind of looking forward to it and dreading it all at the same time ;-) Oh well, my body is ready for an off-season....scaled back mileage and a more concentrated focus on cross-training/yoga. Great to have met you!!

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  13. Loving all your sidewalk chalk art! I was never that creative with it as a kid and haven't touched it since my son was little.

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    1. I don't think we even had sidewalk chalk when I was a kid! If we did, I would have been outside, camped out on the sidewalk or driveway all day long LOL It's a fun way to brighten up the "yard." ;-)

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  14. I love your style! I can identify with the part you said about the non-runners, but as a fellow non-runner! I have never run any type of race and honestly don't really have any desire to, but I have done the Susan G Komen 3-Day many times, and seeing people of all ages and fitness levels cross mile sixty brings tears and goosebumps - I love it!

    Tomorrow is my "spotlight day," so you can get the random facts about me then! ;)
    (www.lipglosslungesandlunches.com)

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    1. That's awesome that you've done the Susan G Koman 3-Day! One does not have to be a runner to appreciate hard work, dedication to a goal, and finish line fanfare ;-) I did a triathlon a few years ago (I was the runner on a relay team), and seeing all the people taking part was so awe-inspiring....people of every age, shape, size and ability. Most were not competing to win, but they all crossed the same finish line as the "winners." I look forward to "meeting" you tomorrow ;-)

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  15. This was a great post to get to know you better!! Yay to stair climbing - I've done the Fight for Air Climb 6 times in Philly now, phew! I love all the bright colors - I need to work on my style! I did the #RWStreak last year but not sure if I would want to do it again...

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    1. Woot woot!!!! Another Climber!!!! My favorite part about the Climb is seeing all the fire fighters (in full gear). They always get a standing ovation as they line up to take to the stairs...and I'm the blubbering idiot clapping and cheering for them before they even start LOL The #RWStreak is a fun "temporary" challenge...I've done the winter one a couple times, and also the Memorial Day-4th of July one. I'm always glad when it's over, but I do have fun coming up with different outfits for each day (believe it or not). #priorities ;-)

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  16. I love that you are a self professed art geek! I am so envious of people who are artistic! I am working on becoming more disciplined on yoga as well! It is so helpful with running but I just get myself to commit. Very nice introduction!

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    1. Thanks, Missy! Yoga is SO much harder than I could ever imagine! It's not just stretching and "being quiet." I'm going to really focus on yoga this winter (after my race on Saturday (half marathon)....my "off-season" will be all about strength and flexibility this year.

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  17. Like you, I'm also a little old school when it comes to run technology :) I often leave my Garmin at home, unless I need stats from a workout, and never run with music. I'd always rather enjoy being out in nature and just letting my thoughts keep me company during the miles rather than a beeping watch!

    Great meeting you through the blog hop!

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    1. Although I don't like being dependent on a watch, I do appreciate the mile splits info (afterwards). And, (most times) I love having my music along with me...mainly just for "background white noise," but I can function without it ;-) Great to meet you, too!!

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  18. We have so much in common. I agree 100% on duh'mill. It's terrible. Bring on the snow & ice anyday. :) I'm so glad to connect with another crazy marathon & ultra runner. Although your shoe collection is way more impressive than mine. I have shoe envy looking at your pics, lol!

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    1. Ha ha ha...glad to find another "crazy marathon & ultra runner!" We got to stick together and defend ourselves from the "others" who think we REALLY are crazy. I love all the shoes, too, but sadly most of them are retired now ;-( Like you, I will take on the snow & ice (and heat & humidity) any day over running-in-place inside ;-)

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  19. I also hate that damn hamster wheel (treadmill) and avoid it at all costs. I love love your sidewalk art. I would love it if you were my neighbor and just randomly spruced things up. I always smile when I see chalk drawings on my runs. And I LOVE that pic of your husband running with you. So awesome!

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    1. Thanks!!! Hard to believe I spent my first year (in running shoes) on that inside torture device....once I ventured outside, I just could not stay inside any longer. Well, truth be told, I do run on it (rarely)...I think I used it maybe 4-5 times during the entire long Iowa winter last year. #confession The pic of myself & husband was taken by our youngest daughter.....it was a totally great day ;-)

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  20. We definitely have a lot in common!
    Love that you like bright colors. If I am running/racing you can always find me in bright colors. Though I don't do headbands, I do have running hats in almost any bright color, LOL
    Love that you switch your laces out to fun colors too, I never thought of doing that actually:)
    I don't like run streaks either, I think they promote injury too much:) I don't even like training plans from books:) I think you get to a point in life, you do what you do, and train how you do because you love to do it, and know what needs to be done to get the job done:)
    I laughed a little at the comments about race finishers. I was running a marathon once, and I hit around the 9 mile point and I heard one voluneer at a water station say to another. "Don't worry, we are almost to the fun runners, who always appreciate that we are here." I remember thinking does that mean I qualify:) I always like to say thanks, and I understand the faster ones are focused and don't have the time, but I admire the ones later in the pack who do take the time to say thanks and show the voluneers that they are so very welcomed!
    And as if this comment isn't long enough, I also have to say I too agree outdoor running beats indoor any day. I think the exact same way, if I train rain/snow wind or heat I am ready for any race condition that comes my way.
    Fun post, enjoyed learning more about you!

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    1. Thank you!! ;-) The Hop has been SOOO much fun, thank you for organizing it. I am amazed at how much we all have in common ;-) I love your comment about the mile-9 water station. I always make a point to make eye contact and thank as many volunteers (and police officers at the intersections) as possible. They are appreciated and need to hear it ;-)

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  21. I love love love this post!!

    Sidewalk chalk artist you are for sure!! I love sidewalk chalk!

    Shoes ...shoes and more shoes!!! yes please and of course boots....hello favorite Fall accessory!!

    I am always the lady with the loud tights...something about that makes me thinkit helps me run faster-lol!!

    I always finish races with my hands in the air or a thumbs up..such an achievement no matter the distance.

    i can not do the treadmill. Nothing but outdoor running for me.

    -Tamieka@fitballingrunningmom

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    1. the lady with the loud tights ;-) Nothing wrong with that!! I agree, the funky tights probably make you run faster because you feel good in them ;-) (and, at the very least, you know you look good!) Great to meet you ;-)

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  22. I love all your photos--they are so vibrant and happy! I saw one of your photos on IG today and I had the same thought. Happy to "meet" you and start following your story.

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    1. thanks ;-) I love color! I'm very much a "visually-stimulated" person, and know how color effects us, inside and out (probably a side-effect of that art-geek mentality of mine) ;-)

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  23. Ok, let me get this right out there - I love this! I love your attitude and outlook on running and your life - color, art, etc. Awesome!!! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. Wow an ultra. I think after reading this you may have become my own personal hero. :)

    -Lara @ Uptite Mamas

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    1. awwww, thanks! Yes, the Ultra....something I never thought I'd be capable of doing. There was a time when I never thought I'd be able to run a 5K nonstop Can you relate? (I just read your bio on your blog!) Great to meet you ;-)

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  24. Oh my goodness - you are so fun!! I love your spunk and your personality shines through in your writing!! I'm loving this blog hop and all of the fantastic friends we are making!! :)

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    1. I agree...this blog hop has been SO much fun. I'm not one of the featured blogs of the next two weeks,but I plan to hang around and stalk all the others. Thanks for your kind words ;-)

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  25. I feel like we could sit and chat for hours!
    I have a lot of family in Iowa! I have to admire you for running outside in the super cold weather! I was not really a fan of that when I lived in Chicago. Now that I live in TX I have wimped out and get annoyed when it is below 60! Haha
    Love the bright colors and the sidewalk chalk art! You do have some awesome art talents! I am happy when I can get a hop scotch game set up with chalk :)
    Glad to have met you through the hop :)

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    1. thank you! I've always been into art and expressiveness, but I have to confess...as I've gotten older, I am SO much less inhibited about acting out on my impulses. I wish that self-awareness (and liberation?) would have happened earlier in life ;-) Thanks for stopping by, great to meet you!!

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  26. Your enthusiasm and spunk shine bright in this blog post!

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    1. thanks ;-) It's fun asking ourselves, "who am I?" periodically.....because the answers are constantly evolving ;-)

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  27. I love your sidewalk chalk art!! And I love the bright colors! Go bright or go home!

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    1. Absolutely....gotta have some color! It keeps me young LOL ;-)

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  28. I love getting to know you, it's awesome to "meet" you. Your shoe beliefs, YES YES YES! I have a huge shoe fetish as well.

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    1. ha ha...yes, the shoes (sometimes) make the runner...at least they help her (or he!) look good. My usual she theory is "It's about fashion, not function." Of course, that is quite the opposite with regards to running ;-)

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  29. What a great post on YOU! I love so many things about you, the bright colors, the creative side with the sidewalk chalk, I may have to steal this idea for a post later, it is just that awesome! I can so relate you your shoe fetish too!

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    1. Thanks!!! It's no secret I love my colors, and my shoes ;-)

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  30. Your pictures are all SO happy. I love it!
    Meg x
    www.anchoringchange.com

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    1. thanks! Life is too short to not sMiLe ;-)

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  31. Happy to have met you through this fun Blog Hop! I am impressed that you can and will run in all sort of temps and weather conditions. I also keep my runs outdoors but I don't have too much to deal with out here in SoCal. I also do NOT like wearing running shoes with regular clothes. Not my idea of fashion. Fall is here so bring on the black boots! Great photo bomb pic!! Happy Running! Have a wonderful weekend :)

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    1. ha ha...yes, what is it with people wearing the sneakers with jeans? Just because we "live" in our running shoes, doesn't mean there aren't other (#better) options LOL

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