Monday, December 30, 2013

Gear For The New Year

Written by: Ali Halpin

Gear for the New Year! Now that Christmas is in the rear view mirror we are looking towards the New Year! Here is some great gear to help you stick with your new years resolution. Whether it’s to learn to run, try your first 5k, or PR in a marathon we have what you need to achieve your goals.

Womens Oiselle Lesley Knickers
A favorite among the ladies here at the FootZone the Lesley knicker is perfectly at home in the gym and out on the roads and trails. This functional and flattering  kicker is an essential. $60

Womens Oiselle Flyter Jacket
Don’t let the weather keep you from your run!  Keep the elements out with the Flyer Jacket. This ultra lightweight wind and water resistant jacket will keep you running and happy through anything mother nature has to throw at you! $160

Womens La Sportiva Avail Hoody
A perfect piece for those chilly morning runs or use it as a cozy hoody to throw on post run. This buttery soft hoody is calling your name! $119

Mens Sugoi Titan Tight
Gentlemen here is the essential tight for you! This lightweight versatile tight will keep you running through the 2014. $75

Mens Patagonia Nine Trails Jacket
When the weather turns for the worst here is the jacket that you want to turn to. So lightweight that you will hardly know you have it on. Add wind and water resistance and what more could you ask for? $99

Mens La Sportiva Voyager Jacket
This cozy fleece loves running through pines in the crisp early morning as much as it loves hitting the town at night.

Garmin Forerunner 220
Whether you are training for you first half marathon or are looking to PR at your next marathon the Garmin Forerunner 220 is the training partner you have been looking for. Track your miles, pace, calories and hear rate all from this sleek watch. $250

Feetures Socks
Now we don’t want to forget about our feet. Feetures has synthetic, wool, non cushioned and cushioned options. Socks are the most important pieces to keeping our feet blister free and happy! $15-$20

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Max's January Tip: How to Keep the New Years Goals You Set.

Wow, I can't believe that 2013 is already in the books. Lots of new goals to look forward to in this new year whether it's a new race, a better time at one you've done before, just running a mile, or losing a couple pounds. I know a lot of you are setting goals this year and while you intend to keep them it gets pretty hard as soon as life creeps back in. So, here are a few tips to help you keep those goals. 

1) Set a realistic goal first off and if you reach it sooner than expected, set another one a little further out. 
2) A goal without a plan is just a wish. Or something like that, so make sure you lay out how to achieve that goal as well. Write down a step by step plan of how you're going to achieve that goal. That might be your workouts that you have to do before race day or that you need to limit yourself to 1800 cal/day and what that looks like.
3) Make sure you put eyes on that goal every day. Write it out and post it at your desk at work or somewhere you'll see it everyday when you wake up. As much as that sounds like high school, studies show it really does work. 
4) Get your groove on. A schedule groove that is. Get a routine early on and stick to that routine throughout your journey. Build in a bit of wiggle room so that when, not if, you miss a day or two it doesn't derail your whole plan but you can just jump back in where you left off without feeling like you've lost the battle. You will miss days, that's ok. It's not ok to quit.

The best thing to do is to set a goal that you're whole heartedly going after, that is going to be fun, and you'll feel a good sense of accomplishment when you've completed it. This is the year with new challenges abounding to do something great for yourself. Go get it.

Written By Max King as part of the FootZone Newsletter. 

Plantar Fasciitis Soft Splint: Move Over Strassburg Sock

Written By: Kristen Godfrey

Arg, the curse of plantar fasciitis!! It first struck me 28 months ago. Since then I've tried everything short of finding a shaman and circling my bed with magic crystals at night to feel normal again.

Granted, I'm a long way from where I started. I can now run 4 to 5 miles comfortably, and can tolerate a little bit of speed work, but it's still a slow process of testing the upper limits and then backing off to a simmer again. I’m longing for the long run…

My current maintenance routine consists of a few rolls per day on the ice bottle, stretching, strengthening, wearing supportive shoes with molded arches (pretty much all of the time, other than intentional strengthening), and of course, the ever popular Strassburg Sock. My "sexy sock" I call it.

When Kraig at the FZ asked me to test out the Pro-Tec Soft Splint to compare, I, of course, agreed and eagerly examined the goods. (My enthusiastic experimentation with every tool on the market -- while entertaining for my friends -- will hopefully not be the only thing I'm remembered for).

The verdict on the Soft Splint? Yahoo! Love it! This'll knock your Sexy Sock off.

Three main reasons you'll prefer the Soft Splint:

Your toes can breathe! And wiggle. And more importantly, spread! Toe spreaders have been one of the key tools on my journey to healthy feet, so having toes all bound up feels contradictory. (Plus my big toe nail tended to feel irritated by morning in the Strassburg).

2) The Soft Splint platform holds the foot steady and provides an even stretch across the entire foot. Your foot can turn willy-nilly in the tube-like Strassburg and you don't get that consistency. I felt a dramatic difference on morning one.

3) It's noticeably more comfortable around your calf. Less bindy feeling at the top. I accidentally wore it wrong the first night, with the Velcro strap folded back down over the sock, and that was extra comfy! (by night splint standards). Since that's not how it's designed, I wonder if it would wear the straps out more quickly... I might risk it.

If you are an unfortunate PF comrade, choose the Pro-Tec Soft Splint. I know we in the club can commiserate endlessly about our condition, but let me quickly run down some other takeaways from my experience:

Not helpful: cast, boot, minimal shoes all of the time, resting without doing the maintenance routine.

Helpful: massage, Graston, toe spreaders, custom-molded arch supports, building activity very gradually, routine mentioned above.

Nether here nor there: acupuncture (I've had results for other things, but nothin' here), …pick your self-massage tools of choice.

Decided against: cortisone shot, surgery. (Did not find enough evidence that the benefits outweigh the risks).

The most common answer I come across in PF recovery is: "One day it just goes away. " ….. Hm. Great... In the meantime, we've only got today, so let's take care of our feet as best we can and live it up! Here's to One Day!

Kristen Godfrey is a Licensed Professional Counselor who loves working with athletes and active folks, and would gladly meet you for a session on the trail! "The joy of my work is helping people move through their stuck places and seeing them thrive." Connect with Kristen at or find more at her web site

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I AM Willpower

Written By: Keith Christensen

Having willpower is a choice. It is not something that is given, nor something that is validated by the external. If you examine yourself, you will find it. When you find it, you will realize it. And when you realize it, you will know that nothing can stop you. For it is the strength of not only discipline, but perseverance and the willingness to never give up. It is the strength of a hero, and to embrace it, is the strength to shape your destiny. Here is my story this year.
2013 Earning my second chance to LIVE.
Who is Keith Christensen:
At 6-5 I have always been Big Keith or BK my whole life. But almost all those people don't know that it all goes back to being a child growing up & living in a physically and mentally abusive home. That has locked me in this l loop of never feeling good enough or  a failure my whole life. I have let this pain shape me and my life. My Dad taught me everything NOT to do raising a child or treating your wife and I truly thank him for that. With that being said I have never found a way to work though the Pain and the secrets that you have to keep. I, like most children in this position learned to just bury it down deep inside and move forward, that it is too painful to think about every day.
Just like any problem no matter how deep you think you bury it, it will come out sooner or later. On me it showed up on the scale. I topped the scales at 434 lbs January 2013. I was slowly poisoning myself with the 1 thing I found comfort in, FOOD. I looked at my wife and said I was sick and ashamed of what I had become.

I had tried before and like most I set a weight goal but never really committed and then when I did not hit the goal, I ate to feel better. After 16 years of smoking I finally quit on Valentines Day 2012 after my wife and daughter asked me to stop, because they loved me even though I did not love myself. I had used smoking as a crutch to deal with stress. What I realized was I had all the tools I needed to deal with stress without a cigarette. It is possible.

That experience taught me that if my WHY was strong enough that I could have the willpower to do this also. I refused to be a Victim in my own life any MORE for something I did not do. So I set out and made a board of short and long term goals . I have always put a weight goal instead of a just getting Healthy/Fit goal. I have to say setting the fitness goals is the best thing I could have done. I hiked all over Oregon, Alaska and California this year and am now running 5 days a week, hiking on the weekends and doing CrossFit 3 days a week.

The scale has moved just fine for me without obsessing over it. I have lost 61 fricken inches overall and 134lbs so far. Thats a 51"  134 lb. monkey off my back . I now realize that the scale measures just weight not Drive, Heart or Dedication to your goal, and knowing that it does not represent You !!

I still have a # that I want to hit but I don't care if it takes a month, a year or years to hit. I know it will come when it is ready. And unlike all those times before this time is different because I am fixing the mental side that was creating the problem in the first place.  

So here I am 5k,10k,15k,1/2 marathon done this year and now getting ready to celebrate my 1000th mile ran in 2013. And I realize the boy that became the man that had always quit, never felt worthy and lost his smile, has become the guy that can't Quit. Thanks to eating healthy & running, he got his smile back. I realize that not only do I have willpower but "I AM WILLPOWER"

Be Unstoppable

Monday, December 2, 2013

How to be an Awesome Training Group: A case study of FootZone's latest 1/2 Marathon Training Session

Written By Cristina Stavro

Not too long ago was the Happy Girls Dirty Half in Sisters.  For the 8 weeks leading up to race day, I had the privilege of coaching these mighty fine runners, some of which were chasing down their very first half marathon.  This bunch was a special one that taught me about what it really means to be in a training group.  So to say "thank you" to the group, I'd like to share with you a non-comprehensive list of what it took these runners to truly be an awesome training group and come out at the end of this session with 13.1 miles in the book.

1. Sign Up: Everyone's motivation looks different when it comes to joining a group--lose a bet, take a dare, chase a dream, get fit, stave off boredom--but one way or another, something led them to sign up.  It was half the battle, and for some, the scariest part, but no matter where they were coming from, everyone in the group had to start here.

2. Show Up:  Enter the other half of the battle.  The list of better things to do on a Saturday morning than come run with me at 8AM isn't short (i.e. sleep, cartoons, sleep, give your cat a bath, brunch, and sleep, just to name a few). But the group showed up anyway... even on days when temperatures dropped and clouds hung heavy and low in the sky, they showed up.

3. Be Fearless (and a little nervous) but mostly fearless:  On week 4, I sent an email out saying our next run would be 9 miles at Meadow Picnic area.  And that Saturday the weather was in the 30s for one of the first times with a constant rain/drizzle.  And an amazing thing happened... the group showed up! Even more amazing? They showed up AND ran.  Did I bribe them with the promise of t-shirts afterward and a pancake breakfast the next week? Sure, but look at this group... they constantly surprised me with the buzz and bounce they'd bring to every long run no matter the
mileage or weather.  .   

4. A group that runs together, runs together: Funny how running with people leads to more running with people.  Saturday morning group runs just weren't enough.  Every week there were emails and posts about doing midweek training runs together--hill workouts, tempo runs, post-run coffee runs. I've never worked with a group that ran so much together outside of the program. Awesome.

5. A group that runs together, celebrates together: You know how sometimes, when you finish one of those particularly rough runs and you're just so pumped you made it through and all you want to do is high-five someone but there is no one around so you high-five your Garmin instead, but it's not the same since your watch is digital and doesn't have hands? Well, being in our training group meant always having someone to high-five... and we high-fived, A LOT, because every run was another victory.  7 mile run? High-five. 10 mile run? High five.  Tried a new gel/gu/bar during the run and had no stomach issues? Mega high-five. Quite a few of the runners were facing a new personal record for longest run every week and their energy was contagious, giving us all a little something extra to celebrate.  

6. Finish strong:  All of the above factors came together at the race and there is nothing quite like seeing everyone's hard work pay off.  On race day, the weather was a tad sour but I saw nothing but smiles from the runners crossing the finish line... smiles, fist pumps, hugs, and (of course) high-fives all around. 

A big thanks to everyone who participated... you made the experience unforgettable, not just for your fellow runners but for me as well.  Looking forward to round 2!

Breakfast with Broken Top

Written By: Cristina Stavro
(From that vault, this inspiring piece was written in September 2013)

Motivation to run: It’s different for everyone. I really like early morning runs.  Pre-dawn starts are the cake foundation on which I can make the rest of my day the icing on top.  And I’m particularly motivated by runs that take me cool places and create rad experiences, so it comes as no surprise that this particular run in late September was inspired by this text:
“Snow tonight on the peaks! Look for it tomorrow morning.”

Granted I may have taken this a little more literally than originally intended, but there was no way I’d miss getting a glimpse of the first snow up close on a trail run.  An adventure was in order.  I had to be at the shop by 9 the next morning, so I set my alarm for 5am.

I dug deep for my warmer running layers and laid them out that night.  I’ve found that the key to getting out the door for early runs is letting pumped up and stoked last-night-you pack, prep, and plan ahead for tired, cold, and oh-my-goodness-what-was-I-thinking 5am-you.  If everything is ready, there is no room for a “Where are my lucky early morning run socks? Guess I can ‘t run,” incident or an “I think my headlamp’s batteries are dead anyway” excuse before you even push back the covers.

Waking up the next morning was hardly going to be an issue in this case.  The prospect of snowy mountains nearly kept me up all night anyway.  That’s why my drive out to Todd Lake early that morning was a bit of a disappointment.

I’m picking up on some of the nuances of Bend’s weather.  This particular frosty morning left a bunch of thick clouds (or one really big one?) engulfing the very mountains I’d come out to see.  The clouds hung so low that even the tops of the trees on the side of the road were hidden.  Hopes of seeing a snow-covered Broken Top that morning were dashed, but I got out of my car and headed up to the foggy Todd Lake trailhead nevertheless.
The dark sky was just beginning to show signs of the sun’s return to our side of the horizon.  And the cold made
my nose numb and runny within two minutes of starting my run…right about the same time, I discovered that in my earnest I had over-dressed.  Thankfully there was a hole in my tights (from an impressively graceful fall on South Sister the week before) that kept me from over-heating. (Good rule of thumb: dress like it’s 10-15 degrees warmer than it actually is… so if it was 35, I should’ve dressed like it was 50… not like a sherpa on the trail to Everest’s  basecamp).

Sufficiently winded, I paused at the top of the hill and caught my breath, looking in the direction of where I had seen Broken Top the last time I was on the trail.  That’s when it happened… the perfect orchestration of clouds parting and sun rising, taking my already unsteady breath away.  The still-low sun lit up the South West face of Broken Top, wearing a fresh coat of snow and glowing orange. 

There are times in my life when I think I’ve got horrible timing (i.e. how I always happen to be behind the person who orders the last cookie at Backporch) but that morning at 6:58 AM on Todd Lake Trail, I was right on time.  And I stood there on our coldest morning yet, staring for the 3 or 4 minutes that Broken Top was visible through the clouds.  When the clouds did their thing and drew the curtain on Broken Top’s snowy debut, I continued with my run, high on the utter epic-ness of what had just happened.  The frozen dirt crunched under foot, my breath left my mouth in small clouds, and my nose froze even more.  Waking up super early for a trail run is never disappointing, but this particular time was pretty spectacular.

Cristina first discovered Bend while on a cross-country road trip with a friend this Spring. It was love at first sight, so she turned right back around, came back, and is loving every bit of it. She loves a good trail run and believes that avocados make the world a better place. Cristina is FootZone’s and OutsideIn’s newest crew member and helping out with the Half Marathon Training Group.

December Gift Guide

With the holidays upon us we are all fretting over the perfect gift for that runner or outdoor enthusiast in our lives. Fear not, the Footzone is here to help. Below are our top 10 gift ideas:

1.)    Balega Sock Packs: Who doesn’t love socks under the tree? Balega has placed their top selling Hidden comfort sock into a 3 pack for both the ladies and gentlemen. $35

2.)    Oiselle Randies: With cute sayings like “Lead from Behind” and “Get Your Rear in Gear” these technical undies are on all the FZ ladies wish lists! 3-Pack for $48.

3.)    Trail Rags: For that trail junkie in your life. Maps from all of our favorite trails in the Central Oregon area conveniently printed on a bandana. $10

4.)    Buffs: These are great for cold weather running, sking, hiking or just taking the dog for a walk. $12-$30.

5.)    Garmin 10: Do you know someone who loves to geek out on their run data? Well then a Garmin is the perfect gift! Track your distance, pace, time, speed and much more with the Garmin 10. $130

6.)    Hurraw: A perfect stocking stuffer! With fun flavors like rootbeer, chai, lemon, coffee and many more to choose from. $4

7.)    Oiselle Podium PJ’s: These are perfect for that lady in your life. Whether she is dreaming of a top 5 in her next marathon or dreaming of twisty singetrack trails these cozy PJ’s are sure to become her favorite lounge wear.

8.)    Yak Tracks: Don’t let the snow keep you from your daily jog or walk this winter! Yak Tracks will give you the traction you need to continue with your ventures on those snowy days.

9.)    Sauce Hats: Who doesn’t love a new hat? With lots of fun prints and colors you’re sure to find one that fits the runner, skier, hiker or biker on your list. We even have custom Footzone Sauce hats!

10.)  Nutrition: A couple GU’s or Hammer Gels are always a good stocking stuffer for the outdoor enthusiast in your life! We can help you navigate the nutrition racks and find the right fuels to gift!

Come pay us a visit for more fun gift ideas!