Don’t take this the wrong way, I love workout stuff – it’s nearly as essential to my workouts as my will to workout is. That might sound ridiculous, but if you’ve ever worked out in the wrong shirt or a bra that’s chafed you, you know exactly what is is I’m saying.
So even though between my job and teaching classes, I spend a lot of time in any variety of workout gear – yoga pants, sports bras, and technical tops, I was really puzzled when Austin, the boy behind the blog, gave this thought-provoking answer to one of the questions I asked him during an interview last week.
The question was: What’s a popular fashion item for women right now?
Okayyyyyy. So I was really trying to figure out where this answer came from. Again, it’s not that I find yoga pants offensive, but really, when you think of popular women’s fashion items, you might think of things like, the color mint green, sparkly ear cuffs, or cropped tops with jorts, especially for Coachella. But yoga pants?
So I asked him to clarify, and this is what he had to say. Imagine this in a southern accent.
Well that’s all I see those girls wearing when I go to shop at the Cameron Village Teeter [Harris Teeter].
Annnnnd that would explain it. Every single girl who shops at the Cameron Village Harris Teeter, which is where you go if you want to make sure someone hits your car when they drive 30 mph in a parking lot to return their Redbox DVDs, is a student at either Meredith or NC State. Their uniform is either Norts (Nike Shorts) an oversized sorority tee, with an option of swapping the Norts for sweatpants with a pair of boat shoes, Nike Frees with high socks, or Rainbows.
The moral of the story? Austin is taking his fashion cues from the Harris Teeter. Cool.
I worked at Fleet Feet this past Saturday, which means, quite unfortunately for my budget, which we’ve talked about here, it starts to feel threatened and starts shivering.
For months and months, I drool and daydream about various pieces of technical running gear, until finally, I feel comfortable enough to actually purchase it without feeling guilty. As soon as I walked into work yesterday, I spotted a few items that will need to be made into little family members in my growing collection of running stuff that I’ve acquired over the past few years.
This photo has been popping up on my feed in celebration of the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, and went on sale for 90 euros. Now, I’m not the bomb with math, but that’s not looking too good for the running budget.
This was staring at me when I walked into the store on Saturday, and I’m a total sucker for anything that’s a 3/4 tight, and textured. It probably does nothing for making me look svelte, but I really don’t care. I love how fun a textured tight looks, and I’m sick of just running around in my basic black 3/4 tight.
And I totally wish that I could let you guys touch fabrics through the blog. This top was lined with a really light fleece, and I think since it’s starting to get warm, it will be on sale pretty soon.
But alas, this is just a wish list.
Anything you’ve seen that you wish you could just stick in your closet?
Let me tell you this right now, and then I will stop rantin’ and ravin’. However I am tall and thin and very cold-blooded (I forgot what they call that body type, but my yoga friend calls me watery), and I have been cold on a consistent basis since November, and I find that highly ridiculous. So I’m protesting, and I’m liking up with Helene from Helene in Between to bring you….
This amazing link-up.
Plus Helene, if you’re reading this, I really think we could be blogger besties, and you should really think about forging a friendship with me. But that’s really just a suggestion, do with it what you’d like.
+Camp. Seriously camp. I’ve talked nonstop about camp here, and I’ll talk about it more. But Camp Pocono Trails, a camp where I’ve been working since 2010, is literally one of the happiest places on earth. I will dedicate an entire post to all the amazingness of camp, but rest assured, you will hear all friggin about how amazing camp is. These girls are my camp children.
+Jorts + crop tops. I live for weather warm enough to rock this delicious combo.
+Summer nights going to concerts and sitting outside while you eat. Can you sit outside while an ice storm is raging? Yeah maybe, but you will be very cold. Very cold and very icy.
+We got engaged on a beautiful summer night. And therefore, summer reminds me of love.
+Bikinis! I love them, and there’s nothing better than sitting out in one on the 4th of July. Speaking of, I need some new cute ones.
+Iced coffee. It’s fine in the winter. Makes me DIE in the summer time.
+Summer storms. I love thunderstorms. I always have. My poor roomie, Mackenzie Coconuts does not feel the same way, and used to crawl into bed with me when it stormed in college, fun fact.
Link up! And what are your favorite things about summer? What can’t you wait for?
So, I wish I could have a subscription to every workout publication that’s out there, but usually, I limit myself to purchasing them when I see someone on the cover whom I love, and Kate Hudson definitely falls into that category for me. She’s funny, she’s Goldie Hawn’s daughter, and I was particularly intrigued by this cover cause didn’t she just have another baby?
At any rate, Kate Hudson teamed up with Fabletics, which is her new, affordable brand of activewear. I’m sure that you’ve started to see all the commercials for things like JustFab, FabKids, Stichfix, and Runnerbox, all subscription programs that you can enroll in, and Fabletics is a similar program, and I was super thrilled when they sent me a few pieces from their spring line to try and tell you guys all about.
The way it works:
You go to Fabletics, and you start by taking their Fit Quiz, which determines what sort of activity you’re engaging in. From there, there are a few options, a VIP membership option, which will allow for more discounts and a full outfit option, and a regular membership option which still allows you to shop, but at a less deep discount. But basically, after selecting your option, you’ll receive a new set of active wear (from a wide array of bottoms, tops, bras, jackets, and all of that), and If you hate anything, or you want to skip a month you’re totally welcome, but the basic premise is that you’re paying less for active-wear that’s pretty good quality, as opposed to a $90 pair of tights, which you can easily do elsewhere (and I’ve done it!).
So the pieces that I have are:
The Kingston Hoodie, which I’ve been wearing nonstop since it came in the mail a few weeks ago. Seriously, I wore this and the tank top like 3 times to work last week with different bottoms, and wore them to my race last Sunday.
The Extension True Tank, which is kind of like a muscle tee, and seems like it would be really good for hot yoga if you don’t want to run around without a bra on. I also wore this in my race Saturday, and it moves really really well with you, but I probably would go down in a size personally, and…
The Lima Capri, which is truly one of the most beautiful colors I’ve ever seen. The tight is really really comfortable and warm, and I’d probably do shorter runs in this one. This one is a little tricky in the sizing – I felt like I’m in-between the small and medium, and when I was down on the floor stretching, I felt like it was pulling in the crotch a little bit, fit that makes sense.
The verdict: I’ll start with some improvements so that we can end on the good stuff 🙂 This seems really dumb, but the tags inside of the clothing are really stiff and crunchy, and in a piece of active wear, that’s a big no-no. I don’t like taking scissors to my tags, because sometimes that makes it worse, so I’ve dealt, but I don’t love that aspect of the clothing.
The good stuff is very good. The clothing comes in the most stunning colors I’ve ever seen, and the photos don’t do it justice. The clothing is comfy and extremely easy to wear or pair with regular pieces to make it more “street-ready” and it translates easily between activity. I taught a Zumba class in them last week, hopped on the treadmill after and ran for a while, and was able to run a full half-marathon in the tops pictured above with ZERO chafing and that says something. At the very least, check out Fabletics, give them or month or two, and let me know what you think about your new (and affordable) digs!
[Full disclosure: Fabletics hooked me up with the beautiful clothing, but these opinions are 1000% my own]
This is Scott, over at One White Guy. He’s a bestie of mine, and has been for like, 10 years now? That makes me sounds really old, but I promise, I’m not.
Anyhoo, Scott suggested a really really good blog topic, so I credit this entire masterpiece that you’re about to get. 🙂
I’m a new runner. When do I….
…Invest in “real” shoes?
The first thing that you do, even if you don’t consider yourself a “real” runner (which I hate, if you run, you’re a “real” runner), is invest in a good pair of shoes. When you go running in a crappy pair of shoes, and your feet throb after, you’re never really going to want to run again. Reduce your chances of wanting to quit, and invest in a good pair as soon as you decide you’re going for a run. Plus I think pretty new shoes are a great way to motivate yourself.
…Spend a good bit of money of a sports bra?
Well that really depends? How big are are your breasts? If you’re a smaller chested women, I’m thinking small C and below, you can get away with a perhaps, not as expensive bra, maybe like you’d find at a Target. However, if you’re a mid C and above, or if you’ve ever had the experience of having to put two bras on, it’s time to drop some cash on a real bra. Your nipples and your breast tissue will thank you when it’s not being chafed and stretched all over the place.
…Buy shorts/shirts (running apparel) other than the t-shirts/shorts I have in my drawers
This is one of those things that I think you can wait on, especially if you don’t have particularly sensitive skin. Wear your t-shirts and shorts until you get sick of running around in sopping wet clothes, and invest in a few pieces that you can reuse again and again.
…invest in a gps watch
This is one that can wait too. I love love love my GPS watch, and I’m a big fan of Garmin and their products, however, with the advent of Smart Phones, generally there is some type of app you can download. The app will not be as accurate (Garmin is accurate within 5 feet), and the life of the phone can be a lot shorter if you have a music app opened up along with a GPS app. This is one of the products that is extremely useful, and luckily, Garmin has a few products that aren’t $400 that you can choose if you’re really in want of a GPS.
…Buy a pair of socks for $15/pair
This is one of those that seems dumb (like who spends $12 on a pair of socks!) but once you make the jump from cotton socks to socks that are an acrylic blend, you won’t want to go back.
…Start taking Gu/nutritional supplements.
At the point at which you’re running for an hour or more, it’s time to explore the ideas of nutrition, especially if you’re a person who is sensitive to shifts in your blood sugar. If you’re planning one of those longer runs, take one of these before (with a lot of water), and then one about every 45 minutes. Experiment prior to a race situation because these things (some of them) have been known to cause stomach problems. I avoid the ones with caffeine generally.
…Start carrying water.
Same rules as nutrition. If you’re running for over an hour, take water. If it’s hot, take water. If you’re just a thirsty lady or gent, take water.
Do you think I covered it all? What other questions do you have?
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.)
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.
Once you recognize that it might be worth it, let’s strategize on how we’re gonna save dem dollas.
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.
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!
Ask the person fitting you if there is any discount for teachers or miltary.
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.
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?
During yesterday’s snow day debacle, where I literally spent the entire day inside, blogging, doing laundry, and cleaning. I did not do any running, and for that, I feel extremely guilty. [addendum to this post] I finally couldn’t take it anymore, and Austin and I put on our winter finest, and shuffle-ran to to local coffee joint, grabbed a cup, and shuffle-ran back. My feet are very cold!
But anyhoo, when I was working on the blog and doing my usual scan of Facebook/Twtiter/Bloglovin, I came across this gem by Clark Howard. Clark Howard, if you’re not familiar, is the resident financial guru on HLN, and he offers tips and tricks to “Save More, Spend Less, and Avoid Rip-Offs,” which I’m all game for.
Seriously, as I moved toward getting married and merging finances with another human, I’m working to get better with my finances, as Austin is seriously amazing with money, and I’ve learned a lot from him. So I try not to spend money on stupidity, but I was blown away when I came across this article, that was credited to things Clark Howard had said.
The main premise of the article?
Cheapo sneakers are actually better for runners.
No, no, no-no, no no no no no. Absolutely not. The article credits a Scottish study that somehow concluded that less-expensive shoes are just as good as low cost one.
Full disclosure here. I work for Fleet Feet, and I am biased, however, having run in both $25 shoes and $150 shoes, there is really no comparison. You pay more, your feet feel better.
I consider myself something of specialist when it comes to running shoes (since it’s my job) and I’ve said it once, and I will absolutely say it again. Go to a specialty shoe store, like a Fleet Feet or a Pacers, get a fitting, and pay the full price for your running shoes. If you’re running, there’s no reason you should be pounding around on shoes you found in a Payless.
And now, I present to you a list of stuff you don’t need to be skimping on!
Your bras. Sports bras or not, you don’t want to be turning into a floppy mess by the time you’re 25. Spend the money on something good and supportive, and you won’t regret it.
Your jeans. I’ve purchased jeans from Target, and they smell like mothballs. I’ve purchased designer jeans from a consignment store. Designer digs > Target jeans.
Your vacuum. If you buy it cheap and your ish is gonna break in 6 months anyways, spend the extra bucks and enjoy your vacuum for years to come. I have an Oreck XL that’s like a million years old. I don’t remember how much it cost when it was first purchased, but it’s still going strong.
Your food. Now let me clear, you can certainly afford healthy foods on the cheap. Heads of lettuce, fruits, and juices can be purchased for cheap. But don’t run out to some bargain place and sweep the bottom shelves for Ramen. You’re doing your body no favors.
Obviously, your running shoes. Unless you like bunions and bone spurs. But that’s completely up to you.
So what are you willing to spend your hard-earned money on?
When I was in high school, I used to repeatedly dream that I was being attacked by dogs, and that my report card was straight Fs.
Once, in college I dreamt that my transcript was full of Fs and that I had run a bunch of red lights, which led me to wake up in a sweaty panic because my parents would take my car away had I ran all those red lights and gotten those tickets.
As of late, I still dream that all my teeth fall out, that I show up late to teach a class, and that I start my iPod and instead of Latin music, calming yoga music pipes through the speakers.
But the worst of all these stress dreams is the running stress dreams. The dreams where I show up late to a race, panicking about whether I can catch up to the sweeper. The dreams where I realize my marathon is only a month away and I haven’t started training. Those kinds.
But the worst of all the stress dreams came after I got off the plane from Atlanta, and laid down for what was supposed to be an hour-long nap. I was asleep instead for nearly 3 hours, and apparently worked through the entire REM cycle because the dream I had seemed to last forever, and it was completely, completely bananas.
In the dream: I was running my usual, but by myself this time on Monday evening in a pair of Vibram 5-Fingers. Pictured here for reference.
The terrain was more naturey than it usually is, and I was running through rivers and woods and over logs and all of that. I was running, in the Vibrams and jumping tree branches and logs and all that. All of a sudden, as I was running through the river, a fork that had been littered into the water goes into my toe, and punctures it deeply. So for the remainder of the run, I’m crawling as my toe bleeds all over the place and I try to get folks to help me call 911. I woke up from that terrifying nap with a horrible pain in my toe, like I’d fallen asleep weird and somehow managed to cut circulation off to it – but no blood. Yikes!
Do you ever have stress dreams? Describe some of them!
I cannot believe that we’re approaching the end of the year. I don’t know where the year went, but I feel so hashtag blessed that I’m still here. It has been an absolutely beautiful year. I’ve experienced a ton – good and bad, but I’m excited to see what 2014 in store for me and my family.
I stole this fun idea to sum up my year of running from Miss Zippy, and I encourage you guys to go ahead and steal it from me now! I’m nosy as hell, so I’d really like to know about your year – and I’ll post this to my Facebook status so some of you guys can play, and I’ll pull some of your comments into my blog.
What was your:
Best race experience? Hands down, my best race experience this year was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, which I blogged about back in April. The race itself was awesome. The weather was beautiful, the terrain was flat, and it was just incredibly well-organized, and I feel super lucky, because for the second year in a row, I won my lottery entrance into the race. Eep! Additionally, I am so enamored of Washington, D.C., and spending the weekend there with good friends made the weekend super duper enjoyable. Now I hope this year my ENTIRE name makes it onto the wall of race participant names they plaster the street with in Georgetown. ‘Member this?
Best run? I need to choose a few. One of my best runs was in Asheville, the weekend of Alexa’s bacherlorette party up in Asheville….
And this view of the river we stayed along…
And I’d have to say my second favorite best run was a run I did with my brother the day after Thanksgiving a few weeks ago. It was just fun to work out with a member of my family who kicked my butt. It’s also so nice to talk to that kid, who’s really impressed me with how he’s matured in the past year. Kid gets up at 3:45 to go to swim practice, and still manages to make it to school each day. Like – bye. Amazing.
Best new piece of gear? Geez, that’s hard. I have a lot of good stuff. But I think my favorite piece that I’ve acquired this year would either be my Glycerin 11s, cause that shoe update was so sweet, or this purple Moving Comfort full-zip that work gave us at the company holiday party. I have a problem staying warm, so the fact this jacket can stand up to some of the ungodly temps we’ve had lately around here in the mornings says a lot to me.
Best piece of running advice you received? Put one foot in front of the other. A co-worker told me this as I was training for Shamrock in March, and that’s really all you can do, in racing, and in life. When a race becomes challenging or miserable, you have to tell yourself to place one foot in front of the other. There’s simply not another option.
Most inspirational runner? I cannot pick just one, because working with runners, I am so inspired by my coworkers. Jenny, who I ran Shamrock with, was a mother, a wife, and still found time to run that full with me. Kerri teachers a full yoga course load, works, and trained hard and well enough to qualify for Boston. Kerry runs a big race a month. Fast. Shelly is pregnant and still running. I could go on and on and on, but you get it. My coworkers rock, and when I don’t feel like working at my running, I think of them, and I usually can muster up enough to get moving.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Be present. Don’t let worry or anxiety steal your happiness.
Now it’s your turn – fill me in in the comments, on your blog, on my Facebook, or Tweet me little tidbits!