Paying full price is silly these days, unless of course you are rolling in dollar bills and buying the most high-end fashion straight from the runway (even then, I’m not sure those girls are paying full price).
For the rest of us who only dream of sitting in tents at fashion week, our hearts pine, but our pocketbooks do not. The creation of flash sale websites like Gilt Groupe (my favorite), Haute Look, and Rue La La have up to this point helped make us fashionable, while not breaking the bank.
This morning I received an early invite to a soon to be launched site called Hipiti created by co-founders Rama Katkar and Kristin Flink (friends from Stanford business school whose love for Internet shopping and finding great deals spurred the idea). Their website was built to simplify the shopping experience by collecting information about your favorite retailers and compiling a dashboard of recent sales (Gilt Groupe included) making the need to filter through mass promotional emails a thing of the past.
Even Lululemon is listed as a choice to add to your dashboard! Those of us always following the We Made to Much section recognize how fast LLL’s sales pieces are scooped up lightning fast only to be gone forever.
Even better (according to their Twitter feed), new companies and lines will be added as the demand grows.
Hipiti hop….hip fashion calls!
How about you? Will it be a site that will help you in your busy life?
This morning when I rolled out of bed my first thought was coffee.
When I came downstairs, groggy still, I auto piloted through the making of a new carafe.
As is my ritual, the next thought was breakfast.
Usually I’d go for my Greek yogurt concoction, or a measured bowl of cereal, maybe some Ezekiel and peanut butter. I had to remind myself of the smoothie challenge I began just yesterday.
A cup of kale and banana and berries was not what I wanted.
It got me thinking about habits; good habits, bad habits, auto pilot habits, and make life easier habits.
When the coffee was ready I poured it into my sunny yellow cup and added skim milk. Then I waited, taking a few minutes to think about the challenge and why I was doing it.
I took yesterday’s second kale portion out of the fridge and gave it a good whirl with a spoon.
Having just drunk it down I can honestly say that it was good. I feel satisfied and full despite the fact that there was no chewing involved.
Habits are hard to adjust. They take thought and work and in the case of yesterday’s trip to Target I was able to avoid the toy buying habit, but fell victim to the children’s pleas for checkout candy (I caved and I can admit it). Rome was not built in a day.
One habit I am not ready to break is my fairly regular visit to Lululemon.
This week’s upload showcased a whole lot of dots. From what I’ve seen, I’m not a fan, so the girls and I will visit the store today to check them out in person.
Of course, I will let you know what I think.
What habits are you working to change? What are some of your rituals that you do on autopilot and take concentration to do differently?
It’s raining and pouring and since I’m not in the midst of serious training I’ve canned the morning run.
Instead, the girls and I have rolled out the old yoga mats and cued up the Jillian Michaels Boost Your Metabolism DVD.
It’s been a long time since we’ve burpied and Jack jumped, but we are ready.
I’m wearing my pink run swiftly and black (and ancient) Hind shorts. Grace is still in her Boden doggy nightgown and Soph is wearing her Barbie high heel underpants and chicken socks she rummaged from out the back of my sock drawer. I’m not really sure why I have chicken socks. They’re probably from my teacher days.
I’m determined to start the day off right and try instill good habits in the kids today (it’s really more like a minute at a time thing).
Good habits will be challenged on our afternoon visit to Target. I’ve already said, “No,” to any more toys. I’ve also said, “Absolutely not,” to Swedish Fish. We are going for milk, bubbles, and band aids. I’ll spring for the Spongebob ones, even if they aren’t on sale. This is the line. Temper fits be damned.
Brian forgot that he had scheduled Wednesday to work at home. As difficult as it is to keep the kids quiet and away from him when he’s here during the week, there is a little bitty silver lining; he doesn’t leave and I get to run.
Those kind of surprises are the best. Within minutes of telling me his plans I’d gathered my gear and run out of the door half-dressed. I finished getting ready in the driveway, tying up my shoes and situating my Yurbuds.
I didn’t wear the Garmin, which had been diligently strapped to my arm for all those months of training. Looking down at my wrist I was reminded of how differently it felt to not be consumed with distance or speed or time.
Still, I knew I’d run six miles, since I’d chosen the loop I like the most.
Since the race, the weather in Raleigh has shifted and the cold running gear has been rotated in the closet. The long sleeve Swiftly’s are now folded at the bottom of the tee pile and the shorts and short sleeves are peeking out of theirs (in not so neatly folded stacks).
I chose to wear my old Oiselle Run tee yesterday (that I love so much) despite it’s teeny bleach marks. I learned the hard way not to hold and spray Clorox Clean-Up too closely while still in my running clothes. I must have felt inspired after that run last year and my kitchen cleaning frenzy is forever evident on my very favorite shirt.
I had been worried that I’d lost the love for the run.
I am silly!
It was there, we just needed some time apart. Absence and the heart growing fonder, et al.
At 10:00 today I’m heading out again. I think I’ll wear my other Oiselle that says, “13.1 Half the Distance, Twice the Fun,” with my blurred gray Speed shorts. I will lace up the Newton’s tighter at the ankles than I did my Mizunos (explanation to come with my shoe review), Glide up, grab my phone and glasses and go.
Wonderful Wednesday began with a glass of lemon water while listening to Pete’s Sumatra brewing in the machine. I’d forgotten that I’d planned to drink a smoothie for breakfast, so I measured out exactly one cup of Special K and another cup of milk (skim, of course).
After a disastrous attempt to get my girls to match their skirts to their shirts to their socks, I gave up and they got in the car looking like red-eyed rag-a–muffins. I dropped them off and headed home for a fairly quick three-mile run.
Much like my girls and their pre-school fashion drama, I’ve been kvetching a little about my own race day outfit. The CW-X pants are out, my beloved Dash tights have gotten a little too roomy in the legs and I must resist the urge to wear shorts with my “how I love thee” compression socks. The socks would be wonderful, but shorts would leave me with the seriously chafed thighs; a horrendous and rashy mess. I tried my Lululemon Inspire crops today, but they slide down too much. I may prefer a low waisted jean, but when it comes to my running pants the higher the better!
This weekend I have scheduled a call with my first marathoning hero and second Scibelli sister, Sandra. We are going to go over the list of things I need to take on race day and I’ve written out my array of questions, for which I need some help to answer.
For example, there are different theories about how one should pace their race. Some people feel you start slowly no matter what and speed up when the mileage gets higher. I tried this in training, but found that I was so tired later my overall speed was really terrible.
I also attempted a long run where I did a form of speed work; would run comfortably for a bit and then speed up for a certain distance before slowing down again. This seemed to leave me feeling pretty good and I was happy with my time, but it may not be the best strategy.
With twelve days to go I don’t have much more to do.
It’s a nice feeling to just have to focus on the day-to-day tasks, relax a bit, sleep more, and stay committed to eating clean.
Now I know why so many people told me to enjoy the taper. It’s really quite nice.
Yesterday, Mother Nature played a trick by sending temperatures soaring near eighty with a high and hard humidity. This on a late February Winter day! My scheduled five-mile run was cut short when my panting and sweating evoked a pained and attitudinal me. I like running in the heat about as much as I enjoy Bikram, which I’ve suffered through twice. I know that people love it, but I am bothered that it’s called yoga when it doesn’t stand for anything that my yoga means to me. Both times I went, I left convinced that it’s really a form of torture that should be saved as punishment for the very worst of the human race.
Having just returned from an absolutely frigid yet sunny and bright six miles, I am reminded of why I love Winter running. When the air is cold and you breathe it in it fills and expands the lungs better than anything else can. The sweat that is produced by the movement of the body doesn’t drip into your eyes or fog up your glasses. It evaporates more quickly and the salt works as a heating element, protecting places like a forehead or a neck from the cold. Extremities, mine which are always more hot than the rest of me, don’t mind the sting of the air. As long as a person is dressed properly, running in the cold is about as good as it gets.
As I rounded the final street corner before heading home I noticed three men in hooded sweatshirts walking up ahead of me. I had a choice, either cut across the grass to avoid them or shoot by and hope their eyes wouldn’t become fixed on my rear end as it raced by. I reminded myself that I’m a tough chick who doesn’t need to be intimidated by the hooded backs of strange men sauntering along the road. I pulled my long sleeve Swiftly down tight around my hips and cruised past them on the right.
Once back at the computer, with iCal pulled up, I counted the twenty-two squares until death or glory.
It’s time to figure some things out and attend to the calendar.
1. I must make an appointment for Katniss nails. I don’t know if I should schedule one for my toes to be worked on too, but it may be a good idea should I decide to have a massage after the race. I can only imagine the horror of pulling off my socks after 26.2 and asking some poor soul to rub my soles. Once upon a time I had pretty feet, but all of the running has made it necessary for my toe nails to be cut much too short to avoid any chance of them falling right off. Calluses and bits of toughness have replaced any softness; the price one pays for hours of stomping pavement, often without a good covering of Aquaphor first (sometimes I’m just too busy).
2. The hope that the CW-X pants would be my race go-to’s has been shattered. I don’t love them, I’ve decided. As sad as it makes me to give something a bad review, I’ve been spoiled by Luxtreme and have a nagging itch to head to Lululemon for new race day pants. This is ridiculous as I don’t need another pair of pants. My Dash tights have brought me this far and in a way I do feel a loyalty to them. A loyalty to my pants? Yes, an actual and real loyalty.
3. I’ve got to place an order for more GU. I must not forget!
4. An issue, of sorts, is where to carry my phone. At the beginning of training I was an iTouch arm band listener, but the twisting of the band to adjust my music became a time issue and I’d more often than not mess it up and have to slow down to fix the thing. Since Christmas, my iPhone has lived happily in the front pocket of the vest or jacket choice for the day. This leads to the question, what will race day weather be like and how will that affect the place I stash my phone? I can hope for weather like this morning, and in that case I’d wear my vest or even my LLL Essential Jacket (which I am loyal to like my pants). If the weather is warm I could still wear my vest with a short run swiftly and probably be alright. My Fuel Belt doesn’t have room for my phone, which is crazy I think. I may have to look into an extra waist belt, but I’d really love to stay away from any more gear purchases if it can be managed.
4. My hair is being colored on the twelfth. I’m not actually coloring my hair for the race, because that would be nuts. I’m pretty “light” already and have relegated hair coloring to only twice a year. Any more than that becomes too time consuming and I honestly don’t care all that much. I pretty much got talked into another coloring by the girl that I saw for my last cut. Once you get hair girls talking about color, their enthusiasm sucks me right in. I guess in a way I deserve a little pampering; a little gift to myself for all this hard work that’s been put toward the cause? I really want a big red streak, but I’ll probably go for what we talked about; a bunch of bleachy highlight like Grace with some strawberry thrown in for Soph.
The rest of the planning will have to wait until it’s closer, because it concerns the other people in my life.
My Peach has decided to spend the night so that I can leave early in the morning and she can bring the girls later to meet me at pit stops along the way. I told the littles that they will have to wave and shout with all their might, “Run, Mom, Run!” I’m unsure if they will be able to grasp what I’m doing, but hope that they’ll have a memory I can explain later (when they are bigger).
I had asked Brian to drive me the morning of, because I don’t really want to be alone, but he isn’t a morning person and might be happier going later with the rest of the family. This will be up in the air until the last minute, I am sure. I might need to focus before the race anyway and fussing with my sleepy husband about his speed on the road or parking ability might not be the way to go.
Next up are twenty miles on schedule for Monday.
I’m not great at math, but I like numbers and find certain combinations of them interesting, like the date 12/02/2012 or how there are exactly five twelve-minute miles in an hour.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed that I will run twenty miles with twenty days to go.
It feels like a good sign, but fingers are (as always) tightly crossed.
I have been lamenting the fact that I’ve turned into one of those moms who pick their kids up from school in sweat pants, wet hair up in a pony bun, and Ugg boots. It’s tragic actually, much worse than moms in mommy clothes; leggings, flats, and cute tunic sweaters. At least they are put together.
The hours when the children are in the care of their teachers are spent running. Once back home, there’s only time to shower quickly and throw on something before racing out the door again to return to the germ factory known as The Three’s Room.
Maybe it would be better to pick them up in my gear? I do love my gear, but I like being clean much more. Not to mention it’s a health issue, as wet running pants (no matter how wicky) are not good for girlie parts.
I’ve just returned from my first fifteen miler. It was a beautifully cold morning, the temperature only reaching thirty-five (even an hour later), as I sit here to type.
I bundled properly with my thick Target base layer, my trusty black Define Jacket, with a Lululemon wind breaking vest over top. My LLL Dash Tights have become my long run pant of choice, but due to the cold, I layered them with a pair of Speed Shorts and Running Skirts knee-high compression socks. Not a fan of running commando, I tested out my new hot pink Under Armour boy short underpants. The only part of me that was not layered was the space between my thighs and my knees.
Yesterday I signed up for audible.com, which is a site that charges a monthly fee for audiobooks. How happy I was to download The Hunger Games for a mere seven dollars. How happy I was that this book, like my last choice, is the story of a heroine. Girl power. My favorite kind.
I was tempted to name this post The Pee Pee Games, since my effort to hydrate this morning left me with a bladder that was full and uncomfortable after a mile. As I saw it, I had three options; find a bush, pee in my pants, or run back home. It was too cold to drop trou and if I peed my pants it would probably feel warm and nice for a second, but surely freeze within minutes making for an unhappy remaining thirteen miles. As I circled home, clearly the best option, I was lucky that the monsters were upstairs. I snuck in quiet as a mouse.
I literally had to peel off my pants to pee and my skin was both frozen and burning. The sting only lasted for a minute before I stopped worrying about it and focused on the warmth of the heat being pushed through the vent in the bathroom floor.
Pants pulled up, I was back on the road in one minute.
The next ten miles I spent transfixed by The Hunger Games and was reminded me what I love about books; story telling, picture painting, suspense, character development, all conjured through words. I love words. I love stringing them together and seeing what results. I think I’d like to meet the author of this adventure. I think I’d like her in real life.
My goal to run negative splits was like a dark cloud over my shoulder. I started slowly enough, but as happens around seven miles, I started feeling really strong and so I sped up more than I should. I told myself, “I can keep up the 12 point something pace,” but as I’d hit hills or a stomach cramp, would realize that I should have held back until a little later in the game.
The stomach cramps. I had three. They were more like bubbles that appeared out of nowhere and only subsided when I’d stop short, bend forward, watch my shoes for a few seconds and breathe. Maybe chinese noodles for dinner don’t really count as good carb loading before a big run?
My last three miles were happy ones. I was almost finished and my route home was familiar. I wanted to finish strong and I pushed so hard on my last half mile that my heart was beating out of my chest.
“Come on Martha! You can do this Martha! Negative splits! Negative splits! Finish strong Martha!” I was chanting to myself under my breath. Somehow repeating my name pushed me on. Miraculously, I finished my last mile a block away from home where I took a picture of the Garmin.
I can’t even imagine what I’ll be saying to myself as I near 26.2.
There may be no words, but there will certainly be tears.
In an effort to lighten things up, I’ve decided that it might be a good idea to update my “Gear Goodies” post once a month. Let’s be honest, if I continued to write about cancer day after day, I’d be living in Debbie Downerland!
Here are my “Gear Goodies” for December!
The owner of a company called, “Bic Bands,” also has a WordPress blog called, A Mom On the Run. A few other bloggers had mentioned Bic Bands; cute headbands that don’t fall off or leave a running gal with a massive headache. I checked out the website and placed an order for two. My skinny gold sparkle and skinny zebra print arrived within a few days, and I wore one during yesterday’s six miler. I am happy to report that my hair stayed back and I didn’t have to hit the Advil due to brain squeeze. Love!
A few weeks ago I tried Swiftwick socks. I bought them at Raleigh Running Outifitters based on a review by one of the female employees. There’s nothing fancy about Swiftwick. They are low, white, with the size (M) in black on the foot. I didn’t have great expectations (I fall for gimmicks too easily and these are so plain), but wow, they are terrific! The toe is a bit cushioned and the sock is made of a dry weave fabric, but they don’t feel synthetic. They also washed great. As a side note, I was excited to see that Runningskirts.com’s adorable heart compression knee socks are made by Swiftwick. I’m hoping those arrive at my front door soon.
I mentioned in last weekends’ post that I ran into Lululemon to check out the new stock in Paris Pink. I have been waiting for LLL to release some pink gear; everything has been purple, purple, purple for far too long. The Paris Pink color is gorgeous and bright. Unfortunately, I hated everything on me. The Turn Around Long Sleeve showed every lump and bump and the pace setter skirt was way too short. Since I was there, I tried on a couple other pieces that I loved! The Yoga to City Jacket (I tried black) is amazing with a ruffle placed at just the right point to hide what my sister lovingly refers to as the, “relaxed muscle.” The Essential and Run for it Jackets, also in black, made my must-have list. I told Brian I wanted an iPhone for Christmas, but maybe a gift card to Lulu would be better. Decisions, decisions!
I am always in the market for good running tops, so last week I tried Under Armour’s “Charged Cotton” tees. Under Armour’s fit is funny and I can’t rely on being the same size in every garment. The charged cotton fabric feels heavy and soft (the hang tag says it dries five times faster), and the medium was better than the large. I usually prefer a V or U-neck, because I think they are more flattering on me, but in this case the round neck was better. I didn’t end up buying it, but I might if it gets marked down.
I also tried the Under Armour Escape Lightweight 1/4 zip in white. In this, I liked the large, since it’s meant to be a layering piece. As the title describes, it is lightweight. I’m just not in the market for thin gear right now. It’s still pretty warm in Raleigh, but I know I’m going to be one cold potato in about a month.
I’m still on the fence about whether or not to try the CW-X Pro Compression pants. I have done lots of research about wearing this kind of gear for extra long runs (and also for recovery) and the consensus is that they work. I think I’m going to wait a little longer, until my mileage gets up to 14/15 to see if what I have is performing well enough.
Aside from running gear, I probably should mention some of the Mommyland clothes that have made an appearance lately, since I can’t live in running gear all the time (though sometimes I wish could).
I discovered a designer named Lesley Evers, out of Berkeley, California. Her day dresses and tunic are beyond cute. They are functional, well made, and thoughtfully designed. I called their design office to place an order and was met with the best customer service I’ve ever received (hand to God). Melissa, who I believe is Lesley’s right hand person, walked through the work room trying to find the right size dress for me. She even sent me a stack of extra pieces in different size to try for fit. Who does that? I ended up keeping two tunics that will get lots of wear in the Spring, and a dress that I wore to the girl’s birthday party.
Another designer,Kayce Hughes, had a trunk show a few months back at a shop I love in North Hills; The Paper Buzz. Kayce used to work for Ralph Lauren and makes really classic, lovely pieces for women and children. I wore her Western denim shirt dress to meet my grandparents at Thanksgiving. I was planning on wearing my Frye (tall) boots, but since everyone took their shoes off at Aunt Nor’s front door, I decided against it. I probably could have gone bare-legged, but I knew I’d be on the floor with the kids, etc. In the end, I paired it with my Banana Republic skinny jeans in black, which worked out fine. The dress was super comfortable, I felt great (appropriately attired), and am looking forward to wearing it again; next time with flats and the sleeves rolled (when the season permits).
Finally, my Garmin arrived! I chose the 210 over the 405, mostly because I’m old school and prefer buttons over a touch bezel. It’s charged and ready to run, but today is a rest day, so until tomorrow….
When I left the house this morning, the air outside was misty, the ground was wet, the leaves were everywhere. I set off down the road and wondered where my feet would take me. I was grateful to be well enough to run, but I still looked down at my ankle for the entire first mile. I watched my sneakers hit the ground and only winced once, when I hit a crack in the road. After that, I felt steady and started to look around. It was a beautiful Fall morning!
I was wearing the Lulu pants with the DWR (Durable Water Protective) front that I mentioned in yesterday’s post, but I wondered if I should have worn regular tights, since it wasn’t raining all that much. I pondered that for a little while, but also thought I made a good choice with my Dash Long Sleeve and my run vest. My black, 1/2 size too small Mizunos were the shoes of the day, since I figured it would be a short run (and I didn’t want to get my new sneakers all wet).
I was feeling good and decided to run my favorite loop, which is mostly on side roads. I had to be careful to avoid the broken pavement in places, and when cars looked like they weren’t slowing down, I just jumped onto the grass to the left of the street. There was a lot of maneuvering and careful foot placement, so I just walked in those moments; better safe than sorry.
At about mile 2 I started to have fun and quit worrying about the sprain. It noticed that the rain had picked up and I was glad that I had chosen the right pants. Little beads of water sat on the top of the fabric. I had taken off my glasses by now, because the beads were making it hard to see, and I readjusted my headband to cover more of my ears.
It started to pour. I kept thinking, over and over, that I should have brought the Flip. It was coming down hard, and huge drops of water were falling from my eyebrows. I started laughing out loud. Cars drove by and I imagined the people in their warm, dry cars making comments about the crazy running lady with the big smile on her face. I didn’t care. I was in the mode.
The rain came down even harder. I saw a runner, up ahead, and I recognized her immediately; the fast lady who never smiles. I’ve been running past her for 4 years and she’s never even cracked one, not even a wave. I’m pretty sure the fast lady and I are about the same age, but besides her speed, I always notice what she’s wearing. This morning she was in her Outer Banks pale pink old school sweatshirt, regular sweatpants, and a big fleecy headband (she looked soaked). Running fashion is clearly not her thing, but it doesn’t hinder her performance. I usually wonder (while she’s flying by me) if she thinks, look at that girl in her fancy running clothes! I wonder if she thinks I’m less of a runner because I care about what I look like (and feel like) while pounding the pavement?
In the pouring rain with sheets coming down sideways, I raised my right hand to say, “Good Morning,” as I always do. And it happened! She actually raised her hand and said, “Good Morning,” right back. She was smiling too. I felt so happy.
I kept thinking about the Flip, so I decided to forgo the last half mile of my loop (by now I’d run about 4 1/2) and ran home to get it. Hopefully the girls would be upstairs so I could grab it and head back out. No such luck, but I was still in and out in a flash. I tried to film a bit, but by now the rain had let up and I didn’t get anything great. I circled up the road and then back home.
Usually after a run, I sit to map, take of my shoes, roll down my pants (can you say plumber?), and drink some water. I was so soaked that instead, I ran upstairs, peeled out of the wet clothes and jumped in a hot shower.
I realized, as I stood there in the warmth, how lucky I am. I was able to run without pain and found joy on a wet (and some would say, “miserable,”) morning. The fast lady found joy too. I could tell. I wonder if she’ll ever smile at me again?