Reader Question!

So I had a great question pop up in the comments a few days ago, and I thought that you guys could benefit from the answer!

I’m a borderline overpronator with flat-ish feet. I’m not a runner, but I go for Zumba classes 3-5 days a week. I’m looking for new shoes to avoid the knee pain I seem to have after classes these days.
Would you recommend the transcend for Zumba I wonder? Or does it have too much traction for dance?
Thanks a ton!

First off, this is a great question, and I definitely encourage all of you guys, if you have questions for me, about anything, to ask. If I DON’T know the answer, lord knows I will try and do my best to find an answer for you!

And if you’re at all wondering what my qualifications are to even answer this kind of question, I have taught group fitness for almost 6 years now (eek), since January of 2010 officially with NC State, and I have worked for Fleet Feet Raleigh for a long time, where we are trained to assess and prescribe, so to speak, the best shoe for your most comfortable run.

Now, before you go and buy a new show for whatever activity you are doing, figure out what you will be doing with the shoe.  If you are a runner, you should be running in a running shoe.  If you are a tennis player, a tennis shoe.  Same for playing basketball.

But what do you wear if you find yourself teaching or taking a ton of classes in studios, like a Zumba, Cardio Dance, Step, or Kickboxing class?  A lot of folks tend to assume that you can just wear a running shoe for something like that, but that can be really tricky for two reasons.

  1. Running shoes are designed to go front and back, not side-to-side, or laterally.  There is a guidance line built right down the center of a running shoe that keeps that shoe wanting to move front to back.  So for a salsa, mambo, or any other move that you find yourself doing in a lot of studio classes that are NOT a bootcamp, the shoe is literally fighting you every step.
  2. Running shoes are designed to grip, and that gripping motion will tear up your knees and joints when you fight the traction and hit pivots, or movements similar to this one.  

So what’s a studio queen to do?

There are actually shoes designed for this specific thing.

Reebok Dance Ryka Dance


Both of these are available online – the first is a Reebok dance shoe, and the second a Ryka shoe.  I would link you to it buy Reebok and Ryka ain’t offered to pay me for it so I’m trusting you all to be able to find this without too much trouble.  But Reebok, Ryka, and sometimes Nike are the places I tend to head when searching for a good studio shoe.  The main difference between this shoe and a running shoe is that these are less grippy, hug your foot, and often feature a pivot point, a point right on the ball of the shoe that allows you to effectively pivot, cha-cha, mambo, or anything else.

Put any other shoe questions you may have in the comments!


Weekend Update!



I’ve missed you guys a lot. But things have been sort of bananas around the house – we’re finally, almost a full year after moving in to our first home together, starting to get things set up. Our next order of business is for Austin to order and go pick up office furniture from the Ikea in Charlotte, and I’m measuring for/ordering curtains from overstock. Austin told me I can start thinking about my she-shed if we get the house set up, so you know I’m on it.

More on my she-shed later.

This weekend was SO bonkers, but in the best way possible.

First, this weekend marks one year since my bachelorette, which I’m weepy about. In that time, I’ve gotten married, we bought a house, Melanie’s mom passed away, she moved overseas, Chelsie had a baby, Matthew is in a relationship, and I’m just not sure where this beautiful year went.

Friday, after a really long week, I don’t think we did a whole bunch of anything. We tried to go to sushi at our normal place, and after an hour wait and a weird experience with the guy at the host stand where he sat some hot girls at our table, we decided to leave and just ended up eating at one of our old haunts.

Saturday morning started with a text from an instructor, letting me know that there was a screw-up on the schedule, and that no one was really there to teach step. Oops! So I “stepped” in (hee hee), and taught a step class, which I’m positive was a hot mess, but the people who stuck around seemed to enjoy it okay, and my music is always pretty decent which usually helps things. I followed it up with my normal Zumba class, which I haven’t taught at the Y in a while, and it was so sweet – Austin came to class!

After class, I hopped in the shower and hustled my butt over to Fleet Feet. North Carolina has done away with tax-free weekend, but Fleet Feet kept it, so they needed a bit of support, which I was happy to give. And straight away after I worked the day at Fleet Feet, I headed out for a friend’s bachelorette festivities in downtown Raleigh.

Speaking of that bachelorette party, can I tell you about something so weird that happened? So after the festivities, we were sort of wandering about downtown, ambling our way back to the car. I happened upon this girl who was literally face down on the sidewalk. Another friend was sitting at her side, tending to her. Seeing as how she was facedown on the ground, I asked her if she needed some help.

She told me to fuck off.

I wasn’t 1000% positive that I’d heard her correctly, since typically people don’t tell me to eff myself when I’ve offered them assistance, so I may have asked her again, if she needed help, or needed me to call someone for her.


Ok babe, last time I checked, I wasn’t the one face down on the sidewalk.  So like after the third or fourth time she continued to yell, I (not-so) nicely told her about herself, and kept it moving.  I don’t know how me and my husband always happen upon these weirdos, but we do.

We tied up the weekend by deep-cleaning our house, which.  Can we talk about for a second?  There is nothing, nothing that feels better than deep-cleaning your home.  It took a few hours, maybe three, and we included cleaning the pantry, actually scrubbing out the laundry room, scrubbing all the bathrooms, and organizing little piles that had started to form in our bedroom.  It felt really inspiring, and I might actually get this book that I’ve been hearing about?


My mom’s told me about it – Kate Hudson has Instagrammed about it, and it might be me next! I just feel so light and free now that I’ve decluttered, thrown things out, and cleared my space.

Ok, enough about me. What did you do this weekend?

How I Landed My Job

Hi! (Whenever I say that, it makes me think of this vine).

I hope you guys had a good 4th. I went to Atlanta with some friends from Elon, while my husband headed to his mom’s to help her move some stuff. It was really cool to see my friends, some of whom I haven’t seen since Elon Homecoming last year. Everyone seems like they’re doing well, and we all get a huge kick out of giving each other a hard time.

Elon ReunionPeep how cute this high-waisted bikini I snagged from ModCloth is!

ModClothI appreciate the vintage style, and I snagged this bikini because I saw this style on a few girls at the beach last week, and was impressed by how forgiving it was.

How I Landed my Job

First off, I totally stole this from Kristyn at Chits and Giggles, who took us through how she landed her gig at Coca-Cola.  It was really interesting because I too came to my job in a fun way, and I’m always interested to see how other folks land their jobs.

So, I am a Group Fitness Director at a Y here.  The job is amazing, incredible, and I feel often like I’m living a dream with the position.

So the way I got it.

I’m not sure I even quite realized that being a Group Fitness Director was a thing until I worked for UREC at NC State.  Suddenly, what I wanted to do started to become clear.  My heart was in group fitness, teaching, weight loss, nutrition, and counseling, and I wasn’t really sure how to do it.

One of the best things I ever did was to get a job with Fleet Feet Raleigh shortly after I graduated, and I’m so grateful that Bob (owner) took a chance on me, and I’ll tell you why in just a minute.

So, in the summer of 2012, the woman who was in my position moved on from the job, and I applied for the position a clueless 20-something with not a whole lot of job experience.  I think I remember the interview going well, but not having networked a ton around Raleigh, and not having a ton of job experience, the position went to another candidate, and I was devastated.  For a few days after I got the news that I didn’t get the job, I took the hit extremely personally, and cried for days.

After crying, I think I wasn’t entirely sure what my next move should be, and I asked people around me what I should do.  A few people were angry on my behalf, and told me that I should quit teaching my classes and sever all ties with the Y.  And I think deep down, we all have that desire in there, but the thought of not teaching my classes anymore there was really even more devastating.  I made the conscious decision to stick it out there, stick with Fleet Feet Raleigh, and begin applying to jobs, learning about the field, and networking with the hopes of eventually becoming Group X Director.

Fleet Feet Raleigh

I’d like to take a second here to talk about my time with Fleet Feet Raleigh (FFR), which I really need to credit for a lot.  Fleet Feet Raleigh is a running specialty shop, specializing in running.  Running shoes, apparel, nutrition, and hydration is our bread and butter.  I have to credit FFRal with helping me to grow as a candidate.  In my time there, Bob (our fearless leader), encouraged and supported my foray into this blog, provided me leadership opportunities, allowed me to learn and play with social media, and really provided me the tools I needed to become more marketable in this field.  He and his wife, Kathy, are truly the bomb.

So, last year, in the thick of us preparing to get married, I received word along with the monthly schedule requests that our Group Fitness Director was moving on elsewhere.  I wanted to go for it again, but I was honestly afraid of how humiliated I might feel if I didn’t get the job again.  One night, walking around the mall parking lot, I asked Austin about what he thought.  He was supportive, told me to go for it, and reminded me that if I didn’t get it for whatever reason, that I shouldn’t beat myself up, and that it didn’t mean that I wasn’t valuable.

So I sent Matt, my current boss, an email, and explained that I had applied for the position once before, and hadn’t gotten it, but was still interested.  He responded, and called me within the next few days, and asked if I’d like to set up an interview.


I really don’t remember a ton about that first interview to be honest, because I was trying to approach it as chill as possible.  Matt called me a few days later and asked me to come back for a second interview, this one an interview with maybe four people there.  That was was intimidating, but I really tried to speak from my heart.  I talked about my passion for group fitness.  I talked about not getting the position before and the grown I felt like I’d had in the 2(ish) years since.  I just was really honest.

Again, a few days later, Matt called and asked me to come in to meet with our branch director.  This interview was really more like a chat, and Dan was really warm and welcoming to me.  Again, I was really trying to be chill about this whole thing, so I tried not to get too excited, and with each meeting, I made sure to send a thank you and remind myself that if this didn’t go my way, there was probably a reason why it wouldn’t work out.

Matt stayed in touch with me.  He assigned me to evaluate a class one weekend.  He checked in with me regarding salary.  And finally, one day when I was at work, I recognized Matt’s phone number.

“Hey Cheri!  Is now a good time?”

Is that a trick question…

“We just want to thank you so much for going through this process with us..”

Oh dammit.  He’s breaking up with me…prepare for it…here it comes…

“…With the passion and the growth you’ve demonstrated…and…we just wanted to go ahead and offer you the position.  Now we don’t want you to answer us today, I want you to take a day or two to think about it..”


One fist went up in the air.  But I had to keep it together so I wouldn’t look like a jerk on the phone and so I wouldn’t distract from the regular day going on at my job.

Needless to say I took the job.  And I have not looked back.  I truly feel like I’m living my dream.  I get to teach classes, schedule classes, supervise a large staff, and develop my skills at a nonprofit – all things I feel truly passionate about.  I actually enjoy going to my job, and can see myself there for a long time, and hope that they feel the same about.

So all that great big long post aside:

What do you do (work-wise)?

How did you land your job?

3 Things I did this weekend.


I hope you had a good weekend!  I can’t stop eating, which I’ll explain later.  (I am not pregnant).

Three Things I Did This Weekend.

1.  Started, then finished the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.  

Kimmy SchmidtBefore you get all judgey, and comment about how I need to get a life, I will say in my defense, that I did not go to work on Friday, and that I had some time on Friday, which allowed me to finish like half the season.  I really liked it because I connected well with the humor.  It was culturally pertinent, and really smart.  Plus “Kimmy,” (Ellie) is hysterical, and plays her role perfectly,  Definitely recommend it!

2.  Worked at Fleet Feet.  

Clothing TagsI’ve been doing this a good bit.  There are a few weeks in the spring where there is a LOT of racing, and because the weather gets so nice, people rush to get their new shoes, socks, and apparel.  I love the job, and it doesn’t hurt to get a surprise paycheck sometimes in the middle of the week, right?  I had a good, busy day there, but managed to chuck a container full of clothing tags on the ground.  I never really got around to cleaning them up, so I feel bad.  A preemptive apology to whomever it was that will have to refile those 😦

3.  I paced an Ultra Marathon.  

I did this a few years ago.  This time, I went in armed with a little more knowledge.  My runner, Genno, was extremely prepared and organized.  We spoke on the phone in the weeks leading up to her race.  She expressed that she’d wanted to get in under 24 hours, and we chatted about when I should meet her.  On Saturday evening, I hopped in the shower about two hours before I estimated that she’d hit the first aid station once again.  Big shoutout to Austin to doing math for me.  I hit the park about 20 minutes before I ran into Genno, and off we went!

Now, keep in mind that I had never met Genno before, and only run in the same circles as her.  But we did not stop talking for virtually the whole run, which spanned just over 12 miles in chilly weather.  We talked about her husband, my husband.  Her marriage, her daughter.  Her time at the church.  And she honestly had some great insight on having kids as an active woman.  It was really fun!

Umstead Ultra

When I finally got out of the park and to the house, it was after 3 am, and I hopped into my married boudoir without taking a shower.  I’m sorry sweetie, I know that’s disgusting.  I woke up 4 or 5 hours later feeling okay, but like the pollen and dust in the park had aggravated my allergies.  I felt a little sore, but a lot swollen.  Also, I’m SO hungry after running all night.

I can’t say if a 100-miler is in my figure,  but I will say that I will pace again, and would love to meet someone like Genno.

What did you do this weekend?

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Controversy

So, last year, when Competitor Group announced that Raleigh would be getting a Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, and Full Marathon, the reaction was surprisingly mixed.

I, an avid runner and an employee at the local Fleet Feet was elated because the majority of my fulls and half marathons required me to travel out of town in order to find a race with an expo, support along the course, well-marked pace groups and all the trappings that some of the races in the larger cities had.  I’d run the Run Raleigh Half, relayed the City of Oaks, paced the Umstead 100-Miler, and shuffled through the Greensboro Marathon, and all though all of those races had been pleasant, there were a few things that stuck out about those experiences that I didn’t love.

  1. There was not really a full expo for any of the local races.  The expos consisted of a gracious local running store, oftentimes us or Capital RunWalk opening their doors, you picking up your packet, and promptly leaving.  There was no fanfare, no booths for you to explore and discover new products, or places for you to snag some cool samples before the race.
  2. There was definitely medical support along the course, but not as dense as it was at some of the bigger races I have been to.  The Greensboro Marathon, for example, was awesome, but when I got sick, my option was to lay down and die, or finish the race.   At least at a bigger race, there might have been an option for me to rest a little bit, and then continue on.
  3. Further into fulls out here, it seems like everyone disappears.  You’re in, 17 miles into a race, and you’re alone.  That can’t be safe, right?  And it’s certainly no good for your mental status at that point in the race, to be running alone.

And then, the local newspaper, the News & Observer, and a local running retail store, that I will not name, has seemed to make it their personal mission to trash-talk this race, topped with this article, describing some level of shock that none of the races fees went to charity.  (And to keep it 100, the racers raised 250k for the V foundation, that’s not too shabby right?)

So, far all you RnR haters, a few points on the race that will have me running again and again.

  • The race was incredibly well-organized.  There was no confusion about where to go, where to park, or where we were running.  Everything, and I mean everything was clearly marked, right down to the split around mile 9 between the half the the full, and I have never been to a race where it was so clearly marked.
  • Following the race, we were given cold towels, pizza, bananas, fresh bottles of water, and a free beer, as well as a big fat chunk of a medal.  There’s a good chance some of our fees went to these perks.  And I didn’t hear anyone complaining about our beers, our medals, or our food there at the end.
  • Runners raised a TON for the V-Foundation, a local charity for cancer research.  
  • These smiles.



  • The fact that there were a ton of people in Raleigh making a good decision for their health and well-being. 
  • Just because I ran this big monster of a race, doesn’t mean I won’t run local, which is what a lot of the arguments against this race have implied.  The races do not have to be mutually exclusive.
  • “The city cut them a huge check that they didn’t normally cut to the other local races!”  Well in addition to the 12,500 runners, there were their families.  The hotels were sold out.  ESPN Run was in town.  People ate our food.  People drank our beer.  Folks shopped at our runnings stores.  People shopped at the expo.  People filled the bars and the brunch spots after.  And Raleigh was put on the map.  Do you think, for a second, that it’s a coincidence that Raleigh is starting to make all these lists, and we just brought HUGE amounts of national attention to the city?

A few examples of our spot on some of Forbes’ lists?

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 2.50.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 2.50.48 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 2.51.13 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 2.51.34 PM


Can we just stop complaining and embrace the fact that as a growing city, that things like this, cool, awesome things like this, are gonna happen?  You CAN run big AND run local.  And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

Running on a budget.

Clearly, as evidenced by my post following my adventures in Targetland, I’m not always the budget guru, however, when it comes to running on a budget, I kinda know the tips and tricks.

This came up the other day, when a friend, who is very cool and very very tatted up, mentioned that she loves to run, but that a pair of running shoes is nearly an entire one of her paychecks.

I totally get that.  I’ve been there before, and I feel so fortunate to not have to scrounge for shoes and some technical gear any longer.


So, I cannot stress to you enough how important good gear is.  If you want to avoid chafing, blisters, bunions, heel pain, the whole 9, you need to spend money on your stuff.  But how can you afford the stuff?  (Seriously, I just got a pair of tights that costed $90, so I feel you.)

  1. Recognize that the pricier stuff, both shoes and gear, is generally superior to the less-expensive stuff from Wal-Mart or Target.  I’ve worn both.  Sure, the less pricey stuff definitely has its perks – it’s great for bumming around, long drives, and sometimes, for the occasional workout.  But if you’ve ever tried to wear a cotton t-shirt during a hot, sweaty workout and it’s turned into a dress on you, you know that sometimes, the more-expensive stuff is worth it.
  2. Once you recognize that it might be worth it, let’s strategize on how we’re gonna save dem dollas.
  3. Pay for one anchor piece full-price.  That’s right, shell out that $110 for a pair of shoes at a running specialty place like a Fleet Feet, so you know what kind of shoe you need.  Get the whole fitting.  Let them fit you for a bra.  Try on some pieces of clothing that you think you might like or need.  And leave the store, guilt-free, with your new pair of shoes, and an idea of what your size might be in some other apparel.
  4. So let’s say you were fitted for something like the Brooks Ghost 6.  You know what you’re in now, right?  So there are a few things you can do to save money at this point.  Number one, ask your local Fleet Feet, or whatever running specialty store if they have a customer rewards program.  You may get 10% off of your next pair of shoes, a free pair of socks, or something along those lines!
  5. Ask the person fitting you if there is any discount for teachers or miltary. 
  6. Keep your eyes peeled for anytime your store might be having a sale, because often when a shoe is moving to its new model, the older model may be discounted. 
  7. As far as gear, shop in the off-season!  Shop the racks the end of winter and the end of summer, and you should be able to get some staple pieces to be able to use year-round at a pretty reasonable price.

What are you favorite tips for running on a budget?