Trying Out My New Kicks - Mizuno Wave Runner 18 Review

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Disclaimer: This a sponsored post in conjunction with Fitfluential & Mizuno. I received these shoes to review and was compensated. All blog contents are my honest opinion and genuine experiences.

"Mama always said there's an awful lot you can tell about a person's shoes." --Forrest Gump. 

I'll be honest, Forrest Gump is hands down one of my favorite movies to watch and consistently quote. In all seriousness though, it's so true! 

When I first started running, the number one piece of advice I received was to invest in a GOOD pair of shoes - the second piece of advice was to get a supportive sports bra, in case you were wondering. So I went to a running store and did just that...

Not really...but I digress. By now I've gone through quite a few pairs of shoes. In order to prevent a flare up of my dreaded tendonitis, I have started a mildly strategic shoe rotation. Recently, I added another pair of AWESOME shoes to my rotation - the Mizuno Wave Rider 18

These guys are a lot different than my typical running shoe by another brand I won't mention (but if you look at old posts you can figure it out, you smarties!). I was highly skeptical of trying out a new brand. Once I find something I like, I tend to stick with it. Like ice cream flavors or pizza toppings - you just don't wanna mess that stuff up! 

Mizuno really surprised me. I mean, I know they are a well-regarded company in the running world but I'm pretty picky. I've come to really love how lightweight they are - plus they provide just the right amount of support! My other shoes are a lot heavier and cushier - these are definitely more solid with a harder "end feel" (oh boy...that's an osteopathic phrase). My flat feet feel supported but aren't being forced into an uncomfortable arch.  Best of all, no shin splits, tendonitis, or leg/foot pain. Very comfy!

A little about the shoe specs. Mine are the White/ Dress Blue/ Vibrant Orange style. Since this is a men's shoe (I have large, flipper feet...), it's a little heavier than the women's model (9.2 oz versus 7.8 oz, respectively). Ramp is 12 mm for both. I went for a 10.5 in the men's shoe and found that it was a perfect fit! Thankfully my husband wears the same size so I had a pretty good idea what I would need! My feet are pretty long and narrow so I find the width to be just perfect with a good amount of room in the toe. I have lost a couple toenails thanks to slamming my toe into the top of a too big/small shoe for 13.1 miles. These, I believe, may be the best fit so far!

As far as surfaces go, I found these to be VERY comfortable on asphalt and concrete. I didn't get a chance to do any trail running at this point but I'm hoping to test them out this weekend along the canal. They also performed well on the treadmill, although I didn't feel the same "pep" in my step as I did on the road. Then again, I hate the dreadmill so I'm a little biased!


  • This shoe is lightweight and constructed with high quality materials.
  • Great for neutral runners or people who do not need extreme support. They are perfect for a wide variety of runners, even us flat footed folks.
  • Lots of cool color options for both women and men.
  • May or may not be related but I've been running a little bit faster than usual - especially on the road. But can anyone explain why I run SLOWER on the dreadmill?


  • Women's sizes only go up to 12's - I wear a 13 in running shoes so I opted for the men's sizes. They were still great, though.
I can't wait to take these babies out for a REAL test on Thanksgiving Day - my next scheduled 10k race! I know I'll definitely be lighter on my feet and ready to set a new PR.

Overall, I would highly recommend these shoes if you're looking for a solid neutral shoe. The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 retails for a very reasonable $119.99 for both men's and women's styles.

To learn more, check out Mizuno's website or follow #WaveRider18 on social media.  While you're at it, you can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

What do you think? Do you have a special shoe you love to run/workout in?

Weigh In Wednesday: October 29

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

Decided to work from the home office this morning and I still forgot to post at a decent time. Worst blogger EVER. 

Everything is just ok around here. Yesterday I had my last OSCE (I still don't know what it stands for...) of the semester for my GI course. YAY!!! I think I've talked about OSCEs before but it's basically a 30 minutes clinical encounter with a standardized patient - meaning someone is paid to be a patient actor so we can practice our history and physical exam skills. I think it went pretty well - seems like I got the diagnosis right and managed the patient appropriately :) 

My last OSCE for EENT was probably my worst performance so far - I was stupidly nervous for some reason. This time I really tried to stay calm and not getting amped up before I went in the room. You'd think after working as a CNA (interacting with people in the most vulernable and awkward situations) that I wouldn't get nervous...I think there is a lot of pressure to make sure I get all my points for the encounter. It's so easy to forget to ask an important part of the history or physical exam, especially now that I'm really working to make sure what I'm doing is clinically relevant and useful! 

After our encounter, we write a SOAP note detailing the encounter. 
S = subjective, so everything the patient tells you - history of present illness, review of systems, family history, medications, etc.
O = objective, all the observable or measurable parts of the patient including vitals and physical exam & structural exam findings from OMT.
A = assessment, What's the diagnosis? We also include differential diagnosis, ongoing chronic disease, somatic dysfunction, etc.
P = plan, What are you going to do for this patient? Treatment, orders for labs/imaging, patient education, follow-up or referrals, OMT treatment. 

The most frustrating part of writing a SOAP note is forgetting to document something you KNOW you did or said! Grrrr I get so mad at myself - if you don't document it, it didn't happen!

So anyway, now that my OSCE is over I'm refocusing my energy on my current system - Endocrine. We have our first exam on Monday so I will be playing catchup today & studying my heart out. 

Since it's an exam weekend, I know it will be hard to stick to my nutrition and exercise plan but I just have to! I know it will make me feel better and keep my brain fresh :)

Now for the weigh in....technically I gained a pound but really my weight shot up a couple pounds over the weekend due to water weight and that infamous time of the month - and the subsequent cravings associated with it.  

Even though I haven't been losing weight steadily, I've gotten a few comments recently that have been encouraging. People are starting to notice changes which helps me keep going! When your weight loss isn't dramatic, its really hard to notice a difference but my clothes tell me its getting there!

Weighing In
Height: 5'8"
SW: 236.2
Last Week: 197.8
This week: 199.2
Change: +1.4
Total Loss: -37

This week I wrote out all my workouts from Becoming Extraordinary by Ashley Horner so I have them ready to go!

Weeks 3-7 call for muscle splits so my schedule will be:
Monday: Chest & tris
Tuesday: Back
Wednesday: active rest day (walk, run, yoga, something)
Thursday: Shoulders & bis
Friday: Legs
Saturday: active rest day
Sunday: full body Crossfit style workout

Each of my workouts call for a 2 mile warm up but sometimes I switch it up -- like last night I did the Stairmaster because I plan to run on my active rest day today! My 10K is coming up at the end of Thanksgiving so I hope I'll be ready. Even though I've run more than 6 miles many times,  I'm a little scared to run 6 because it's been so long! 

As a side note...anyone purchase the new T.Swift CD? I highly recommend :) -- I'm 24 years old and I still love T. Swift. Not afraid to admit it!

That's all for now! I'm really going to put my best effort into the rest of the week and hope for the best. 40 lb loss, I'm coming for you!

What's your favorite music to jam out to when you are working out? (or dancing around your house?) 

1/4 of the way through year 2

Monday, October 27, 2014

It's been a while since I've written about life in any coherent fashion so here it is! A summation of life as I know it....

Married Life

I have nothing but good things to report about married life! Without the distraction of planning a wedding and conducting a long-distance relationship, this area of my life is sooooo much better than last year. When people ask how married life is going, Nick and I tell them we are just really good roommates. Seriously, best roommates ever! I love waking up and seeing him every morning and I get excited to see him when he comes home from work. Hopefully he feels the same :)

At first, I thought that not much had changed in our relationship since getting married. We pay bills together (sorta...since I live on fake money) and we see each other a lot more than before. That's about it. We're still the same people, right?

Once I start to reflect, I realize that our relationship has changed drastically. We've never lived together so there have certainly been some adjustments & bumps along the way (mostly about hanging towels up properly or cleaning methods) but nothing of anything consequence.

When I first started med school, we attended a Significant Others seminar explaining what life would be like dating/being married to a med student. One piece of advice we received was to cherish the little moments together - this means going grocery shopping just to have some "us" time, going to the gym together, cleaning together -- little bits of time that allow us to stay productive while also spending quality time with one another. It is during these moments that I don't feel "guilty" for neglecting my books to spend time with my husband. And in turn I feel less guilty about "neglecting" my husband when I'm buried in my notes. It's a unique but neccesary way to achieve balance with school & also learn to be a married couple!

I think more than anything, marriage has taught me to focus less on "me" and more about "us." Admittedly, I have been a selfish person at times and on top of that, I'm an only child. Relinquishing my stubborn, "Heather's way or no way" attitude has been been difficult but I think it's helped up become stronger. None of this happened overnight, but marriage sure made me confront some of my shortcomings head on.

Marriage has also caused me to shift my priorities and my thinking. I used to be very caught up in wanting to fit in with people my age and be a "normal" twenty-something - whatever that means. I guess the things that used to be important to me just aren't as much anymore. I find myself caring less about what others think about me (Am I fun enough? So and so doesn't like me...etc.) and more about cultivating quality relationships. The shift in priorities has certainly caused a shift in who I surround myself with which I think is for the best. We've developed great friendships here in Indy and back home and also have a wonderful support system in both of our families, so I couldn't be happier!

Aside from the changes in our relationship, we also have changes in our professional lives! N just recently received a promotion at work (after 5 months at his new location - I'm so proud of him!) so he will be studying for a few more licensing exams. It's nice to have a study buddy, even if it's only for a couple months. His hard-working, ambitious attitude rubs off on me, too. My classes are going better and he makes me want to continue to achieve so we can both be successful.


My weight loss has certainly stalled within the past few months. I'm not proud of it but its the truth. I've essentially been gaining and losing the same 5 pounds since the wedding, hopelessly teetering on this 200 lb precipice that I've come to hate.  

I can blame it on school and stress all I want but at the end of the day, I make the conscious decision to skip my workout or grab breakfast on the run (because I hit snooze one too many times). I make the decision to indulge too much because I've had a "hard day" and deserve it, instead of honoring my body with a good workout & a healthy meal.  

This journey would be hard regardless if I'm in school or not so that just isn't a valid argument anymore. It's also going to be A LOT hard to get this weight off once I start rotations in about 9 months. It needs to happen NOW.  

So here I am...recommitting again.   

One year - not the progress I want but it's progress nonetheless.


Believe it or not, I still manage to have fun :) It's the little pockets of fun that keep me going, like the school Gala two weeks ago. I was lucky enough to have been invited last year and this year and I've certainly never been to an event more fancy than this! The event is filled with community leaders in and around Indianapolis but also celebrates my little school with a pretty rich history! 

It was a great chance to get dressed up and relax before my GI final! I improved my score 7% for my first GI exam so maybe that helped :).  Side note to all you pre-meds/med students: sleep and relaxation make ALL the difference in your exam performance. The nights I stayed up "cramming" for exams were the times I performed poorly. It just isn't worth it!

I found this dress at Macy's - a steal, originally $300 for only $55! I loved the bead work but I think the cut of the dress was all wrong for me. It accentuated my hips/belly without really doing my waist any justice. Oh well...

The Monday of our final exam, we got together with our old Anatomy group (the boys are not pictured here...) for a good old Enchilada night.It was good to catch-up with everyone and relax, not that I don't see these ladies all the time! I never thought I'd walk away from medical school with such an amazing group of friends but I got pretty lucky - and their significant others are pretty great as well! 
*Another side note, I generally try to avoid posting pictures of other people here without them knowing so that's why you don't see them very often.*

Medical School
My atittude towards school tends to wax and wane but lately I've been feeling a little more "down" than usual. I don't regret going to med school. Becoming a physician has been my number one goal since I was a kid but lately I've been feeling quite existential when it comes to school. There are many times I end up asking myself "Why?" even though I know the answer to that question by heart. I feel like my life is missing directed purpose or 

I sometimes get frustrated learning about the intricacies of the human body - all the biochem, physio, micro, etc. because really this isn't the whole story about the patient. Maybe some people are able to accept that the human body is "just" a bag filled with more bags filled with chemicals, answers some test questions and leave it at that. I'm not. I get little joy out of memorizing biochemical pathways or drug mechanisms - it's something I do because I want to be a good, knowledgable doctor (who passes their boards & classes...). Yes, the science is fascinating to some degree but it isn't the whole picture.

My real passion comes from real, genuine interactions with people. Anyone, really - not just patients. I want to know the story behind the "38 year old white male who presents to the ER in moderate distress..." described in my case vingnette. It's not simply enough to get the answer right on a test and move on.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that up to this point, med school has not been very fulfilling for me.  

Let me be clear. I do not hate school.  I enjoy learning and I understand the importance of my time here but I want more than a 30 minute forced encounter with an actor to access my H&P exam skills (which is really my only clinical experience thus far besides volunteering & shadowing occasionally).  I've been reassured by my superiors that it gets better in rotations - things start to click and you start to recognize meaning in everything. That's what I'm hoping for because right now I'm just feeling a little lost

To end on a bright note, I'm more than halfway through my semester. I have two more systems courses to conquer - Endocrine/Metabolism & Reproductive System - and then we get Christmas! After that, I'm REALLY looking forward to my second semester - Behavioral Science, Dermatology, & Aging. Then we start an Integration course that will mark the beginning of our official board prep & clinical skills prep after Spring Break. Basically we will be taking everything we've learned and putting it all together! As a big picture person, I can't wait to see what this will be like. Personally, I'm kind of excited to study for boards. I'm much prefer synthesizing information and applying it to new cases (instead of memorizing and regurgitating onto a typical school exam). 

Weigh In Wednesday October 22

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

It's the first frost of the year and it's a little chill today! I love bundling up all snuggly for school today...ask me how I feel about this in about a month. I'll be over it!

Just wanted to do a quick update today before class starts - I'm coming off a very stressful period of exams and now I get about two weeks of cautious relaxation before another written exam. I took the past two days "off" - basically lightly studying and getting my life back in order. Ya know, meal prepping, doing laundry, trying to make sense out of a billion papers, emails, etc. that I've gotten behind on. It's never ending!

Weighing In
Height: 5'8"
SW: 236.2
Last Week: 198
This week: 197.6
Change: -0.4
Total Loss: -38.6

Not a big change this week but at least the scale is working towards the right direction, especially in light of this past weekend! So close to 40 lbs lost and I'm determined to get there next week. I'm gonna work my butt off this week to get there!

I'm sad to admit that most of my weekend was devoted to studying except for a minor blip of fun - the school fundraising Gala! We got to get all dressed up and have a fancy dinner with other med students, doctors, and community leaders - a really great time!

Again, during exam weekends I don't make a great effort to workout when I'm super stressed (even though that's probably the best thing for me) and my nutrition tends to suffer...Nick and I may have killed a bag of Lay's and a frozen pizza, among other things.

When these bad weekends happen, we get back on track a lot more quickly than in the past! Nick made an awesome pot roast on Sunday:

And I started prepping meals for the week yesterday - more oven baked chicken fajitas, egg white bites, and tonight I'm prepping sweet potatoes and an acorn squash! 

I got a really great workout in last night - Week 2 of Becoming Extraordinary! I actually did Sunday's workout because it was Crossfit style and I was getting a little bored with the standard lifting program. I'm super sore but feeling great today! 

Finally, a little note of encouragement for you. Remember you are enough. No matter where you are in your journey, you have to love yourself just as you are right in this minute. I struggle with this so much - I hold myself to really high expectations that I dont often meet which really plays into my self-confidence and worth. Regardless if I win or lose, succeed or fail, I try to love myself through it. It's a work in progress but I need to get to this point in order to feel happy when I finally reach my goal! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Weigh In Wednesday: October 15

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-host!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction

This. This is how my morning started. This is also one of the reasons I never eat oatmeal. I reduced the cooking time and it still exploded everywhere. Curse you, oatmeal! I don't even like you that much. Just didn't have time for my normal egg scramble today.

I'm posting WIW ON TIME & on the appropriate that's progress! 

Weighing In
Height: 5'8"
SW: 236.2
Last Week: 200
This week: 198
Change: -2.0
Total Loss: -38.2

The never ending saga of My Fitness Pal. I've been tracking for 3.5 years so you can literally see where I started my sophomore year of college (~193 although I was 173 going into my freshman year) to my highest weight and now this up and down battle I'm currently fighting. Interesting how you can literally watch your progress unfold before your eyes and still be blind to it.

So this week past week. I believe I had an exam last Wednesday (honestly, the days are starting to run together). That night Nick and I went to dinner at a Tex-Mex place in our little town called the Salty Cowboy. Just delicious and a well-deserved treat. 

This past weekend was great. I went home for the first time in a long while - like home-home where I live (not Nick's side of town) for my mom's birthday Haunted Hayride & dinner. We had a blast with everyone!  

I was glad we got to spend some time with family because the next few months are going to be rough. Especially December. Aside from the first weekend of November and Thanksgiving, I don't think we will be going home much at all until Christmas. Hopefully we'll have some visitors up here!

Even though I went home and relaxed (didn't get any formal workout in) I was still able to keep my nutrition pretty normal. When I indulged (like the BBQ brisket I had to lunch with my grandpa) I shared my sides with Nick and stopped when I was full. I think portion control really is the most important thing when you are out and about. You don't have to be miserable. Enjoy the foods you like (in moderation, of course) & then get back to your plan.

Went on a quick grocery run when we got home from Cincinnati on Sunday. Weekly staples include chicken breast, almond milk, eggs & egg whites, raw veggies like tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and snap peas, fruits like apples, bananas, frozen berries. Our fridge looks so unorganized here!

For our first meal prep of the week, I made a whole bunch of fajita chicken that I put over lettuce and/or black beans for lunch and dinner.  Later this week I plan to make a slow cooker pot roast with tons of carrots, onions, and potatoes! 

We also have a few leftovers from previous weeks in the freezer if we need to mix things up - chili that Nick made with lean ground beef, veggies, and beans & a spaghetti squash cassarole I made. 

In general I try to prep a big portion of food that we can heat up as leftovers and then freeze the other half. It's great for all your busy/lazy cooks!

My hint - make your own seasoning! There are recipes all over Pinterest for "clean" seasoning mixes. With those store bought packets you are often getting WAYYY too much sodium, MSG, and other additives. Plus I like making my own to my tastes - I'm big on spicy, garlicy flavors.

On Monday I started a new lifting program because I've been feeling a little lost after completing Erin Stern's Elite Body from It's hard for me to find a program I like - I need a good mix of cardio and weights. Cardio really helps me break a good sweat and keeps my endurance up! 

My new program is by Ashley Horner - Becoming Extraordinary. I already have her Pipehitter program but found that it was a little too advanced for me at this stage of the game. I'm hoping BE will get me prepped to do Pipehitter at the beginning of the year while I start half marathon training again. 

So for now my workouts are focused around BE (which includes running!) and my 10K training schedule. 

Today is scheduled to be an off day but I plan to do something low-key like PiYo to stretch my muscles. I'm super sore after just two days - just got my flu shot too so that has my arm even more sore! (Get your flu shots people - especially if you are around kiddos, very sick people, or elderly).

Yesterday during my workout I was kind of disappointed with how much endurance and strength I had lost from only working out sporadically the past few weeks. If you don't use it, you really do lose it! Time to get back up to speed.

Do you follow a workout program? What's your favorite?

Weigh In Wednesday: October 8

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Hello everybody! Welcome to Weigh-In Wednesday!
Please go check out my sweet co-hosts!

Ash @ A Step in the Right Direction
Erin @ She's A Big Star

***This is from yesterday - it never published! Blogger fail***
Same story, different day. Just got back from my mid-system exam - Gastrointestinal & Hepatic Systems. I officially get a break from exams for at least 10 days and I couldn't be happier. Unfortunately exam fatigue really set in this go around and I have a feeling I didn't do as well on this exam. With two exams last week, I felt super behind on this material and just not very confident. 

Exam Chic - the latest in comfy exam clothes, including hipster glasses. 
Ah! My mirror is dirty! Can't wait to clean.

I have lab this afternoon for OMM so it's all about being comfy and being ready to get half naked in front your classmates at a moment's notice (we practice techniques on each other...It's not too uncommon to be walking around in your sports bra - modesty really goes out the window). 

This was my living room last night whilst in study mode. Med students, we nest. Got my blanket, seven bowls and cups, books, lecture notes, white board, computers...this is why we can't have nice things.

I forgot to weigh in this morning but as of last night, I was right at 200. Hovering at this number I hate! Like I said last week, nutrition and working out has taken a bit of a backseat with everything going on at school. I'm excited to get back on track today! I'm running a 10K on Thanksgiving so I'm starting to run again - following a Nike training program on the Nike+ app.

Weighing In
Height: 5'8"
SW: 236.2
Last Week: 200.6
This week: 200
Change: -0.6
Total Loss: -36.2

This weekend I'm going home to celebrate my mom's birthday but I plan to get my workouts in (I love running at home in the weather!) and try to keep the indulgences to a minimum. I will be going to the Apple Farm to get some yummy apples and maybe even some cider :) 

I think I said recently that Nick and I have been going to the gym together a lot. Now Nick has started running when we go to the gym which makes me excited! I'm hoping one of these days he will run some races with me - I'm trying to convince him to sign up for a 5k/10k together soon!  

I remember the first summer that we were dating and we tried to go running together. It lasted maybe five minutes. It was humid and I was super self-conscious. I didn't want him to see me sweaty or gross or breathing too hard. I didn't want to seem out of shape (even though I was) or lazy. I love how much that has changed - I not afraid to kick butt when we workout together. I want him to see my working hard so we can motivate each other and be healthier for each other, too! Just more motivation to grab your partner or a friend and get to work!

Here's an AMAZING lunch I had yesterday - crockpot chicken with a little homemade BBQ sauce, spinach & kale bites, and leftover smashed potatoes. 

Since it's about my halfway point of the semester, I'm going to do a recap post after I sum up my goals for September and set some for October - tomorrow. #worstbloggerever

If you are interested in following my journey a little more closely or just want to connect, add me on Twitter or Instagram. There's where I do my best work ;) 
@prettystrongmed for both!

What is your favorite form of social media?