Category Archives: Shoe Me!

Four Things Friday

  1. I am so tired, you guys. Like jet lag and stress and pre-release week and new meds have all combined to kick my ass. I’ve been in bed before 10 almost every night this week and the only regret I have about my kiddo coming home tonight is that means I won’t be able to sleep in in the morning.

    This kid had my mom send me this picture while I was traveling. I just heart him so hard.

  2. Ireland was such an adventure. It was fraught with last minute schedule changes all over the place. The day we were to leave, I got a notification that our planned flight out of Portland was delayed, which meant we wouldn’t get our connection. A scramble later, and we were on a flight that left earlier, dropped my kid off at kindergarten, cried a little, and made it to the airport with 15 minutes to spare (hooray for TSA pre-check!) to get our luggage on the plane with us. The rearranged schedule meant a 5 hour layover in the worst airport in the world – Charles de Gaulle – and getting to Dublin four hours behind schedule. The drive to Cork when we’d both been up for 24+ hours, were getting used to a new car and opposite side road driving, and also the dark was…interesting. BUT! We made it, got into our hotel, and then found a pub on the corner for food and birthday beer for me.

    Me and beer and my cute new hat (necessary because COLD!)

    Oscar Wilde in the snow (Galway)

    Later, the Beast from the East trapped us in Galway and we were forced to cancel the Spain portion of our trip. The entire country – rail, airports, buses, etc. – was shut down and there were travel alerts everywhere. We ended up spending an extra few days in Galway and then heading to Limerick for a few days (where we celebrated the Beer Guy’s birthday). Spain will have to wait until next time, I guess.

    The Beer Guy, having a beer in Limerick, on the occasion of his 40th birthday

    Dunguaire Castle

  3. These shoes. YOU GUYS. These shoes got me through 2.5 weeks of constant walking, on cobblestones, in the snow and slush, through fields, everywhere. They are miracle shoes and I am going to buy 100 more pairs as soon as I find some in my size.

    Miracle Shoes on a 1000 year old step

  4. Lemme tell you about the new diet craze that will soon be sweeping  the nation. I lost weight on this trip. And it wasn’t despite my steady diet of beer and meat and potatoes, it was because of it. (It had nothing to do with the 5+  miles/day of walking…or the fact that I wasn’t stressed out – much…or the fact that I wasn’t sitting in front of a computer for 12+ hours a day…it was the BEER!) I’m going to write a book and get super rich, you guys!


    The Cliffs of Moher – one of the many long, long walks we did in snow and slush.



Not enough coffee in the world

Last night I slept worse than I’ve slept in ages. Which is good in that I’ve mostly been sleeping better lately but bad in that apparently my body is no longer adept at functioning on <4 hours of sleep.


A combination of a Saturday night allergic reaction plus a rather haphazard approach to food and drugs on Sunday was mostly to blame, I think. It is almost 10 am and I feel like I’ve been awake for four days instead of four hours.

HOWEVER – that is not what I’m here to tell you. If I blogged every time I was having insomnia, I’d probably be a lot more prolific in this space.

I am here to remind you that this week is my BIRTHDAY! And you know what that means, right?

french 75

That’s right, it’s national gin week. (Ha! Who am I kidding? Every week is national gin week.)

It also means that it’s very nearly time to reveal my 40 before 40 list that I’ve been working on for the past couple of months. I have some big plans for the last year in my 30s. (Although a friend told me on Saturday that, “[he didn’t] think anyone would guess [I was] over 35…[I] still look barely 30.”

Obviously that friend is now my new favorite person in all the land and probably deserves some kind of gin-based payment.



I’m hoping/planning on starting to post more in just over a week. More book reviews, writing updates, random goal-oriented posts, and possibly even some long-overdue shoe porn.

The world needs more of this.

The world needs more of this.


In the meantime, you can expect an exciting (for me) post on Wednesday and then regular contact will resume in a couple weeks or less. I’ve gotta start preparing everyone for the big event in April…

Gazelles on Crack is turning 10!

Gazelles on Crack is turning 10!

The Carnival of the Grotesque

I am back from my follow-up appointment with the sports medicine doctor. The good news is that I do not have a stress fracture. The bad news is that my feet are severely deformed, grotesque even. Small children shrink in horror and although I wish that this was merely an allegorical reference to the state of today’s politics, sadly the deformity of my feet is neither a satirical literary trope nor is it a reference to an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art. (Etymology kinda turns me on.)

Good news: I do not need to be booted and resting my feet is not necessary for healing.

Bad news: My feet make Wesley’s threats to Prince Humperdinck seem angelic in comparison.

What this means for me: immediate amputation, followed by isolation to protect innocents from the sight of my twisted, misshapen feet.

Dramatic rendering of my right foot.

Real Talk

My feet are weirdly shaped. I’ve known this for ages. My toes do not lay flat, and instead curl up. I have a small tailor’s bunion on my left foot. The one on my right foot was NOT small and was removed in October 2010. That same surgery involved breaking my fifth metatarsal and putting pins in to straighten out the hammer toe issue.  ALL my toes are messed up. The curled up toes are creating an excess amount of pressure on the joints which has been exacerbated by running on hard surfaces (this issue only popped up when I started running lots of miles on asphalt and sidewalks) and has caused fluid to pool in the joints.

Oooh - I have metal in my feet. I'm practically the bionic woman.

Oooh – I have metal in my feet. I’m practically the bionic woman.

My official diagnosis: bilateral hammertoes with right sided metatarsalgia.

Treatment for now: custom orthotics. Also? I’m a gonna have to get rid of most of my shoes. No more heels (I’m assuming special occasions will continue to be okay). If the orthotics do not produce good results in 4-6 weeks, I am to get some kind of witchcraft done to my feet (some kind of electrodes and cortisone concoction).

Also, ice every night, anti-inflammatories twice a day, and not pushing through the pain. There are no restrictions on what I do, as long as it doesn’t hurt. So, if I can get to a place where walking doesn’t hurt anymore, I can start running again. However, the good doctor thinks that there are a few things I can do to minimize the likelihood of a recurrence.

  1. Move away from the minimalistic running shoes.
  2. As mentioned, high heels for daily wear are out.
  3. Choose softer running surfaces (trails and tracks)
  4. Be sensible about mileage increases

In addition, something I think will help is losing the rest of the excess weight I’m carrying about. I’d like to get back to this:


I know HOW to lose weight. I’ve done it before. I lost 70 lbs between early 2003 & mid 2008. (40 in 2003, and the remaining 30 slowly disappeared over the next 3 years.) I lost all fifty of the pounds I gained while pregnant over the course of about 18 months.  (Most of it pretty quickly, what with the actual having of the baby.)

3 weeks pre-Bean Day after gaining 53 lbs in six months.

3 weeks pre-Bean Day after gaining 53 lbs in six months.

So, what’s remaining is a niggling 25 lbs that slowly crept up between my marathon and getting pregnant. It happened when I stopped running because of my foot injury, and then I stopped caring as much (and although correlation ? causation, it was also during this time period that I discovered a deep and abiding love an appreciation for IPA).

It comes in pints!

It comes in pints!

I am not going to blog incessantly about weight loss, because I don’t want a number on a scale to be my end all and be all goal, and I don’t want to obsess over it. But, I do want to be healthy and I do want to run again.

Also, I am a planner, and so I am going to make a foot health plan.

  1. Make appointment for custom orthotics (done! It’s August 18).
  2. Get rid of all shoes that are size 6.
  3. Get rid of all athletic shoes that are size 6.5.
  4. Get rid of all but two pairs of heels that are size 6.5.
  5. Find two pairs of cute flattish shoes that will offer adequate support to my deformed limbs but will not shame me in public or cause my sartorially gifted friends to shun me.
  6. Go to nutritionist (appointment is August 5) and follow all advice.
  7. Walk as much as I’m able, swim 2x/week; recumbent bike 2-3x/week; weights 2-3x/week. And every bit of sweat counts. It doesn’t have to be an hour.


  1. Painless trail running by Thanksgiving.
  2. Achieving a fit and happy body.
  3. Developing a positive and balanced attitude about food and exercise.
  4. Being a great role model for this guy:
Sand is not part of a well-balanced diet, Bean!

Sand is not part of a well-balanced diet, Bean!


PS – Any help in cute, supportive flat finding would be most welcome.



Time for a Shoeneral


Earlier this month, I was walking down the hallway outside of my office and something felt…odd. I took an experimental step and the oddness persisted. I looked down. I raised my foot. The sole of the shoe stuck with me, but the heel did not.

Alas! My favorite summer sandals had died. My only consolation was that I did not fall down when the wedge cracked almost all the way through and the sole detached from the heel.


Shortly thereafter, I found out that the foot pain that had been plaguing me during and after runs and after a long day on my feet was likely a stress fracture. The doctor delicately suggested that with the history of foot issues I’ve had (foot surgery in 10/2006 on the same foot), maybe it would behoove me (heh) to stop wearing heels to work every day.

So, I need some cute flats. I know I said that almost four years ago, but I mean it now. There’s got to be cute, comfortable, work appropriate flats. I’m currently wearing my new purple running shoes everywhere, since I’m not actually doing any running.


So – thoughts on any of the below?

Coach Dorie

Coach Dorie


circus by sam edelman

circus by sam edelman


Anne Klein Jocelyne

Anne Klein Jocelyne


anne klein heida

anne klein heida


Any of you have a favorite, cute go-to flattish shoe you’d recommend?


Channeling Chicago* via Portland and Oakland

You know how sometimes, there’s that one person who always manages to say what you need to hear when you need to hear it? That person at whom you kind of want to karaoke “You’re my inspiration.”*

There’s this blogger. Her name is Carla. I’ve never met her, but I feel like I know her. She’s one of those bloggers who, when she comments on my blog, makes me feel exceptionally fancy.

Today, she had an extraordinary post. Go read it. Seriously. I’ll wait. The rest of my post won’t make sense until you do.



Are you back?


So – lately I’ve been struggling with something. My life has changed a lot in the last 2 to 2.5 years. I got pregnant. My father died. I had a baby. I finished grad school. I got a promotion. I have a lot more responsibilities than I ever could’ve thought I wanted. I lost some friends.

Yesterday was ridiculously craptastic.

I got my period and with it some of the worst cramps I’ve had in as long as I can remember (and I remember some pretty bad ones). [Redacted statement about bad work experience]. I lost my work ID badge which left me with no way to access certain parts of work without assistance. A work project I spearheaded & championed is doing very poorly and today I have to report to my boss’s boss on it. After getting groceries, I found that our pantry was infested with disgusting little bug-things living in all of our floury substances. And then my child pooped on me.

The combo of 2.5 years of life changes weighing on my mind + one Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day + the extra feels I have due to this being that euphemistic time of the month = very cranky gazelle.

And then I read that post. (You remember, the one I just told you to read.)

And I left this comment:

As you know, I love shoes. (But not flip flops. They kinda creep me out. Actually, toes creep me out, so any shoes that involve acknowledging that there are toes in there REALLY REALLY creep me out.)

My shoe closet: 40% cute yet moderately comfortable dress shoes (wedges, pumps, boots, dressy things); 40% sneakers (I own so many running shoes I could probably open my own store – if you could have a store where all the shoes are the same size) and other comfy shoes; 8% stilettos; and 2% flip-flops (hey! I swim a lot).

In the last two years, I’ve really moved from a much higher percentage of cute but impractical shoes to the 80% cute/comfy and functional/comfy ratio I currently have. Strangely enough, I’ve also lost (it was involuntary on my part) a huge percentage of my high-maintenance friends (those people that were fun to hang out with but when I look at our interactions, I find that there was no sincere closeness there). I’m still looking to refill that gap in my shoe-friend closet, but if my actual shoe closet trend is a good predictor, I’m going to have some awesome people come into my life.

And just like that, I feel better.

Yeah – things have changed. My life has changed. My friendships have changed. But with that hindsight, it’s easy to see that what I’ve lost was worth losing.

Life’s too short for uncomfortable friends shoes.

(And Carla, even if you are a flip-flop afficianado, I’m still glad you’re my bloggy friend.)


*You know you want it.