Tag Archives: gear

C9 By Champion

Over a month ago, I received several pieces from the C9 by Champion for Target line, which after many workouts are now fully ready for review.

To give you a little information about the line, it is sold exclusively by Target.

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See that big smile? That’s how much I love Tarjay!

I received three pieces, the seamless sports bra in snazzy pink, seamless capri pants in black and cosmo pink and the V-neck athletic tank.

I have worn these pieces together and separate as the line can easily be mixed and matched.  They are also meant to be multi-purpose, so they can be worn to yoga, the gym, the grocery store…

Pants!

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These pants are super soft yoga style pants that retail for $24.99.  These are the type of the pants you could live in, the kind you wish you could wear to work because they are so comfy.  I like these best for yoga, spinning, the gym and short runs. The fit perfectly and have a nice stretch and are great for your everyday workout. I wouldn’t wear them for long runs because they don’t have pockets.  The one thing about them that I don’t love is the waistband, it doesn’t serve much aesthetic design purpose. I  like the colors, and think it would be better suited to a lower waist as it is hidden under my shirt. From a functionality standpoint, the waist very comfortable, so it doesn’t deter me from wearing the pants (band hidden) at all.

Next up, the seamless sports bra.  This is their most popular piece retailing at only $14.99.  I love this bra, it’s super supportive, but also soft and breathable.  It’s perfect for running support and the bright pink color makes it cute under white shirts.  I can see why this is so popular, you get a lot of quality for very little money.

I think I might get fired if I post a picture of me in a bra, so here’s the website photo:

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And the top:

IMG_1993  IMG_1991 The top has a tennis, golf, preppy look.  It’s snug, but soft and stretchy and made from moisture wicking fabric.  I like this for the gym and spinning, right now it’s a little warm for outdoor workouts, but it will be nice for fall.  Like all of the products I tried, it was very comfortable and affordable at only $12.99.

To tell you a little more about C9 by Champion for Target, it’s mission is to bring high technology performance wear at an affordable price for men, women and children. Every piece is under $42.00, but none of my pieces was more than $24.99!  It’s available at Target stores and Target.com.

I really liked the feel, comfort and functionality of all my pieces and the splash of color the top and bra and to my workout wardrobe.  Thanks so much to C9 for giving me a chance to try out their new line!

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The Giada Chronicles

My love and admiration of Giada is well-documented on the blog.  I have a fair number of cookbooks, but I reach for Everyday Italian time and time again! I’ve made over a dozen recipes from it, many more than once and I’ve also made quite a few that I saw on her show. Her recipes are simple, delicious and, generally, pretty healthy, so there’s a lot to love—and eat.

Last night, I finally made a recipe that I have been wanting to try forever!!!!!!!!!

Oreccheitte with Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese

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I made a few substitutions. I used whole wheat pasta, added grilled onions and subbed a baby arugula mix; as I fear soggy greens, I wanted something that would either stand up to the heat or wilt. It was delicious, I might make it again tonight—this time with more sundried tomatoes.  It also took less than 15 minutes start to finish, definitely a success.  The cheese sauce would have been smoother  (and more photogenic) if I added the suggested pasta water, but again, I don’t like soggy, wet greens (which is why I often forgo salad dressing), so I decided it didn’t need it—it’ didn’t.  Yum.IMG_1779

Another Giada success.  I decided to take a look back at some of my other Giada favs.

Caprese Salad– I definitely recommend adding basil generously, not sure why I didn’t in this photo.  This is great for entertaining as it looks so pretty.

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Eggplant caponatamy version/her recipe.  This is one of my favorite foods of all time!

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Lasagna Rolls

My version/her recipe.

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Brown Butter Sauce with Butternut Squash tortellini

My version/her recipe

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Pasta Primavera (over and over)

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Simple Pasta Bolognese

My version/her recipe

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Others I’ve tried sans photos

Salmon Baked in Foil (this is the only one that didn’t work, fail)

Salmon with Herb Mustard Glazeso good!

Linguine with Butter, Pecorino and Black Pepper

Chicken Cacciatori—huge raves from the boy.  I made it with skinless chicken breast to save time and calories—and I also doubled the veggies.

So thank you Giada for so many delicious meals and a trip down recipe lane!

This morning I woke up and realized that it was 9:30, and I was supposed to take a 10:00 30/60/90 class!  I got dressed as quickly as I could while still making myself Equinox appropriate (aka cute and fashionable), then I hauled booty to the 19th and Broadway location, which is probably 3/4 of a mile from my apartment. Somehow I managed to sign in (it was an open house weekend) and get to the class in plenty of time, despite all the fluster.  Missy also happened to be there, which was a fun surprise! Full review of the class to come!

Just a reminder, the Alo Clothing giveaway ends tomorrow at 5PM. 

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Alo Clothing Review and Giveaway!!!

A month ago I was lucky enough to receive two pieces of workout apparel from Alo Sport. It was hard to decide which stylish options to select from, I wanted every gorgeous piece. Alo manages to be trendy, eco-friendly and functional all at the same time. Ultimately, I chose a pair of Workout Short Capris in Black and the Performance Tank in Fire Magenta.

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Over the last month plus, I have put these pieces to the test in all types of workouts: running, dance classes, yoga and at the gym.

Let’s talk pants:

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The capris are awesome. They are flattering (seriously important for skin tight pants), they are comfortable (also, seriously important for skin tight pants), they have just enough compression to support the muscles during running without feeling restraining or chaffing in anyway, which means they translate well to other activities, like yoga. I am definitely happy with the level of support these pants give me. While the pants are very light and thin, they are just heavy enough that I should be able to wear them through the early fall season, until full length pants are needed, which is great. If these pants were designed solely for running, I would really like to see the addition of a small pocket, so I could stash keys and a metrocard in them rather than carrying separately.

Let’s Talk Top

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The top I was sent is very well made and the colors are just as bright and beautiful in person as they looked online. It’s one of the most fashionable pieces I own. The price points are slightly less expensive than similarly high end brands. I have worn the top for dance, yoga and at the gym, and the built in sports bra has provided plenty of support for these activities. The scoop neck and lines of the shirt are very feminine and the band right under the bust line is perfectly placed. The shirt is very form fitting with a little stretch—so if you are well endowed, you might want to order up a size to make sure the top is large enough.

Let’s Talk Eco

I do my best to be environmentally whenever possible–I recycle, I reuse, and I try to remember my own bags. However, sometimes fashion is where I draw the line. Alo clothing is just as high quality as your standard brand, but also minimizes impact on the earth. For me, that makes the decision to opt for Alo a simple one.

Check out their mission: To create high performance, stylish lifestyle wear with outstanding function, designed and produced with minimal impact on the environmental elements alo stands for: Air. Land. Ocean. We provide customers with a choice that is respectable of the environment without sacrificing fashion.

 

Through the use of recycled and minimal impact materials, alo creates high performance activewear that delivers superb function, fit and style. With environmentally mindful design and production processes, our men’s and women’s collections utilize eco-friendly performance fabrics that provide outstanding comfort and results. Our most technically advanced Bamboo Jersey fabric has inherent properties that wick moisture and is naturally anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic and breathable with no added chemicals.

Where to buy:

Check out their online retailers here.

HOW TO WIN:

Alo will generously be giving away two pieces of their awesome sportswear to one lucky FitnessNYC reader. 

4 Ways to enter!

1.) Follow Alo & mention @AloClothing on Twitter (comment letting me know you have)

2.) Become a fan of Alo on Facebook (comment letting me know you have)

3.) Leave a comment telling me what you think is most important when it comes to sportswear—i.e. quality, design, cost, comfort, environmentally friendly, etc.

4.) Tweet I entered to win @Aloclothing on @FitnessNYCblog http://tinyurl.com/4xh55ce

Fitness Gear Gift Card Giveaway!

What’s on your fitness gear wish list?  Do you need some  fall/winter training gear?  Who is still hitting the gym in that heat trapping cotton tank?  Do you desperately need a new sports bra—one that is actually supportive?  Or maybe you would like a replacement for those Om-ed out yoga pants? I sure could!

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Here’s your chance to win a $50 gift card from Shop It To Me Running, for some brand new running gear!  Who knows, new duds just may  get you excited to hit the gym!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the sister site of , Shop It To Me, Shop It To Me Running.  If you don’t know what Shop it To Me is, it is basically a free   online personal shopper that lets you know when your favorite brands of clothing and accessories go on SALE in your size.  When you sign up, you pick which companies, brands and stores you want included (they have everything from Old Navy to Gucci) and include your sizes.  Then you get an email once or twice a week (you decide) with all the items that are on sale in your size, from the brands you selected  It saves tons of time browsing clearance section after clearance section!

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Shop It To Me Running is the same concept, but for all your workout and running gear—you can pick all your favorite athletic brands–from Nike to New Balance—and find out when anything in your size (right down to shoe size and model) goes on SALE.

So guess what?  One Fitness NYC readers will receive a free $50 Shop It To Me Running Gift Card! You even get to pick which store you want it to be for: Sports Authority, Foot Locker, Roadrunner Sports, Finish Line, or Fog Dog. RetailerLogos

Entering is easy, here are the rules:

  1. Sign up it subscribe to Shop it To Me or Shop it To Me Running.  Don’t worry, it’s free,  it doesn’t take very long and you decide how many emails a week you would like to receive.  If you are already a subscriber, you are halfway there!
  2. Leave a comment below listing your favorite brand of workout/running clothing, or your favorite running shoe make and model

That’s it just two easy steps!
On Friday 10/30 at 5pm PST, I will randomly draw a winner from all of the commenter’s.
Good luck — and happy shopping!

See you guys tomorrow for some fitness deals and last minute marathon tips!

Loopy Lacing and Garmin FR60 Review

In addition to buying sneakers a half size bigger to alleviate the pressure on the top and forefront of my foot, I have been experimenting with some creative lacing to provide extra room for my very wide feet.

While the bigger size definitely helped give my toes more room, they were still a little snug across the widest part of my foot.  Skipping the second hole when lacing my shoes has helped given me a little extra room in that area.

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I was finding that I was experiencing some heel slippage due to the bigger size, so I have started lacing all the way to the very top, that second top hole no one every uses.  This has kept the shoes snug around the ankle, although it does put a little extra pressure on the top of the ankle.

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I bought the Garmin FR60 in late July.  The FR60 is much lighter and sleeker than the Garmin Forerunner 305 and less expensive that the Forerunner 405.  It also comes in ladylike lilac!  It can be used for running or biking, indoors or outdoors.  Overall, I give the product a 6.  I think second and third generations will really improve some of the less desirable elements of the product, but for my running purposes so far, I have enjoyed having a reliable tool to track my time, speed and distance.

For around $129, you can get the watch and heartrate monitor. But in order to fully utilize the Garmin FR60, you need to buy the bundle, which includes an ANT+ stick (to sync your workouts from your watch and/or exercise machingto the computer) and the footpod (which you need to track distance since there is no GPS with the FR60). The bundle brings the cost to around $180.

Design: 9

Aesthetically, I love the product. It is super light and streamline!  I had the Forerunner 305, but it was way too big for me and the GPS was not wel suited to NY skyscrapers.

Ease of use: 4

So the Garmin FR60 arrived with at least 8 Quick Start Manuals all in different languages.  However, you definitely need the full manual to use this product, and that is only available online.  I wish they had saved the paper form the 8 separate quickstarts and just given me one actual manual in English.  I am fairly technologically able, and my biggest complaint about this product, is there is nothing intuitive about the controls. It is very difficult to figure out how to set it up and use it.  I referred to the manual before and after my first ten workouts with this product. I am sure later editions will smooth out these issues, but if you don’t have patience for reading manuals, this is not the product for you.

Also, if you don’t have patience for pushing lots of slightly stiff buttons, this is not the product for you.  You have to push numerous buttons to get your product ready to track the type of workout you are doing and you have to push numerous buttons to end your workout.  I do not understand why they do not have a stop/reset button!

So here she is in neutral mode (need to fix date):

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On the bright side, once you finally figure out how to operate your workout buddy, you have lots of options.  You can have up to 5 pages displayed as you workout, and each page can display 3 different things. So on page one, you can have time, distance, and speed.  On page 2, you can have pace, calories burned and heart rate.  and so forth. You can also select what speed you want the Garmin to scroll through the pages (if at all) while you are working out.

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The things I really love is that it saves all your workout, so you can review your stats, speed, laps, distance right form your watch.

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One thing that I feel was very mismarketed by  Garmin was the watches ability to track general fitness.  This watch can not be used for aerobics or any workouts not on a machine.  It is really for running or biking outside or on a machine.  NOTE: This has been fixed, you can know update your software to track calories at the gym.

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Under user you can enter all your stats, so your readings reflect your fitness level and body type.

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I also love that you can opt to have the Garmin beep at every lap (mile or distance you set), automatically pause if you drop below a certain speed (which is great when you are running in the city and hit a red light), and scroll through the pages you set up.

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THE FOOTPOD

So far I have found the footpod to be very accurate and reliable.  In fact, most people say the footpod is more accurate than GPS, so I lot the little, light pod!  It is not nearly as bulky as polar pods.

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The Heart Rate Monitor

The monitor is fairly comfortable, not hard or anything, but for some reason, even at its smallest setting, it is too big for me.

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I use this safety pin to tighten up the slack so it doesn’t keep sliding down.

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Overall:

Plus

  • Super sleek, light, and dare I say it, sexy…okay that’s pushing it :)
  • Footpod works anywhere and is very accurate
  • Lots of customizable options and useful features, autopause, page set up, lap counter.
  • great for running and biking, and possible swimming
  • Can be used inside or outside
  • Not too expensive
  • Tracks distance, heart rate, calories, and speed
  • Easy to sync workouts from Ant stick to computer (i haven’t tried but in theory it is very easy)
  • Don’t have to remember to recharge battery

Minus

  • Very difficult to learn to use
  • No stop, save and reset type button to end workouts
  • Lots and lots of button pushing to get things set up before, during and after workouts
  • Heart rate monitor a little large for smaller frames
  • Battery must be replaced after about 1 year

I have really enjoyed using this for running, but I do wish that I could use it for  fitness classes and other types of workouts.

Fit Recessionista: Apparel for Less

For my first official Fit Recessionista post, a series inspired by Gena, I thought workout apparel would be a good place to start.  We all need it, but with the high price of yoga classes, gym memberships, race entry fees and studio classes, we can’t always afford to spend a lot on it.  If I had the budget, I would love to prance around the cardio room clad in Stella McCartney’s Adidas line and hit Jivamukti in head-to-toe Lululemon. But that is not my reality.  So while it never hurts to invest in some high end pieces of fitness apparel, it’s more practical for me to compose the remainder of my gym wardrobe from the sale racks and/or bargain bins.

Here is my basic philosophy:

The bulk of your stuff, clothes for the gym, short runs or yoga, doesn’t really need to be expensive.

Invest in a few good pieces of workout clothing for long runs and races.  Good quality clothing can make your run more comfortable.  Breathable fabrics can decrease the heat and sweat factor.  And higher quality clothes are less likely to cause chaffing and more likely to support the girls.

Never skimp on shoes or put off replacing an old pair.

If having a few fashionista-worthy pieces of workout apparel makes it more fun for you to hit the gym, throw a few of those pieces into your athletic wardrobe as well.

So here are my tips:

Why pay more when you can payless?

Let’s face it for yoga and your daily gym trips, there is no need to be fancy schmancy!

As you have probably noticed Target, Old Navy and Wal-mart have decent yoga pants and sports tops.

A few finds:

Cute Target running skort: $13.99

Old Navy Running Tank: $8

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Wal-Mart Danskin Rollover pants $11

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Department Store Deals

While I think pretty much anything works for yoga and general gym workouts, long runs, race and sports specific training merits apparel of a bit higher caliber–clothing specifically designed for athletics. You can find trusted brands at bargain costs by looking for brands like Nike and Adidas  in the athletic apparel sections of the cheaper department stores like JcPenney and Kohl’s. This way you have the real deal for less, and better yet, for less plus on sale! You can get nice Nike workout tops with built in sports bras for under $20!

As for discount stores, TJ Maxx  tends to stock good athletic apparel. 

Just one fit find for less:

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Fila Running Jacket at Kohl’s $29 on sale

If sporting a brand not your thing, there is always American Apparel for cute, indie-esque sports wear at affordable-ish prices.

Outlets and sale sections!

Go straight for these sections at your favorite sporting store before you get tempted by all the brand new stuff. It will still be there when you get done surfing the bargain bins.

And of course, who doesn’t love outlet shopping?  Sports outlets can be hard to come by, but keep an eye out.  Katherine, Gena and I got to check out the City Sports Outlet in Boston while we were at the summit!blogger summit and boston 019 blogger summit and boston 018

Next up: Website Clearance Sections!

If you can’t find an outlet, clearance sections of websites are great places to get the best deals! They usually have a much bigger selection than the actual store and more sizes.

My favorites is the:

Nike Women’s Clearance section

Other great ones include:

Sports Authority Outlet (Brooks Revelation Running Tee $20 down from $35)

Champion Outlet (Compression Vented Sports Bra-was $33, now $16)

Dick’s Clearance (Nike Sassy Short Long Top was $45 now $22 at Dick’s)

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Paragon Sale Sections

Be a Shoe Snob, but still save a few!

Shoes are not something to play around with! Shoes are the place to splurge bit. Why risk injury for a few bens?

I wrote a whole post about finding the perfect shoe.

I suggest finding your perfect shoe at a reputable running or sports store–one with patient and friendly staff that allow you to test as many pairs as you want desire, while they monitor your gait as you run on the on the treadmill. Once you have found a great pair, there is no reason not to comparison shop online. You can always find great deals with a little googling.

Road Runner Sports has great deals on shoes and apparel, so I always check them out for great deals on sneakers, shorts, and running tops. I have also found the Finish Line has good sales.

Also, see what deals your local running stores offer frequent customers. As you probably know, Jack Rabbit Sports is my personal favorite, and they offer 10% off every single purchase once you spend $100.

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Final Tip: Don’t Get Enticed at the Expo!

Always wait until after a marathon or big race to buy all the signature running bags, jackets and sweatshirts, a few weeks after everything goes on sale for at least 50% off. Just don’t wait so long they run out of your size.

ABrooklyn Half and BBQ Fun

The county of kings was alive with nearly 10,000 runners yesterday morning.  I am sure you have been reading recaps from all my fellow NYC bloggers as so many of us ran it! Congratulations Heather, Ashley, Sarah, and anyone I forgot!  I realized it was going to be quite packed when I found out 4 people on just one floor of my office alone were running! 

Since it was a bit more of a trek to BK than my usually park races, I made arrangements to stay at a friend’s in Brooklyn the night before, but at the last minute, I decided I wanted to sleep in my own bed and not have to adjust my morning routine.  Getting to the race wasn’t too bad, but I had to run over a mile to baggage drop off and back because it was closing a few minutes after I arrived in the park.  Then I had to wait while at least 400 other runners stood in line for the numerous, but not numerous enough bank of port-a-johns.  That took at least 15-20 minutes, however, I really didn’t have to worry too much about getting into my corral as things were slow to get moving, on the walk there I saw a co-worker and Heather waiting to start!

I am going to be honest, this was not a great race for me.  I did not run nearly enough since the More Half last month—make 5 times and never more than 4 miles—so mentally, I was not feeling physically prepared. Physically, the first two miles were tough, but then it was kind of autopilot from there.  However, the mental battle was exhausting.  I was so mad at myself for not properly training, for not making an effort to improve my speed; consequently, I spent a decent amount of time questioning whether running is even a good sport for me as I have maintained the same 10 minute mile pace since pretty much the day I started. 

I was also sad because I had been really looking forward to the great course, and I couldn’t even enjoy it because I was mad at myself the whole time.  I also had a very annoying sock bunch going on and my foot fell asleep for over a mile before I finally decided stop and loosen my laces, which helped.

On the bright side, I did make one very smart decision that morning: I decided to wear my fuel belt.  I like my fuel belt, but I bought it a size to big, so it can be a little annoying and a wee bit heavy, so if I want to be fast (humor me) I don’t wear it.  But when I looked at the course map I noticed that there were very few water stations, so I felt safer having my own water so I didn’t have to worry about getting dehydrated or clogged water stations.  This turned out to be a great idea because it was a hot day and the water stations were very far apart and under stocked.  I have never ran a race where people were waiting for water!  So that was a good move.  I also like to bring my fuel belt because it always makes me sad to see 50,000+ paper cups smashed along the road.  I am not an environmental goddess—I use way to many plastic bottles, but I do try to help out where I can.

I was excited to reach mile 12 and know that the Coney Island Boardwalk was right around the corner! The Boardwalk was a little wobbly and harder to run on than I had anticipated but the ocean view, the smell of wet sand and sea salt and the sound of the water made it all worth it, I happily jaunted along until I saw the finish line and sprinted as hard as could to the end. By this point, my fuel belt was much lighter (cause it was 75% empty) and was riding up to the point that it was practically a sports bra. Time wise, it was not my best or worst half, I got 1:12:43.  A very steady 10:07. 

I did find out that my coworkers are far too modest about their mad running skills; they got 1:41 and 1:49—girls btw!

 

After the race I started thinking about whether I wanted to really train for one more race before South Africa, and on  ways I could get motivated to train for NYC.   I realized over the course of the last month that I really miss running with people.  So here is the motivation plan I came up with

  • I am 90% sure I am going to sign up for the Jack Rabbit Sports Marathon program, which meets twice a week from July 14-Nov. 1st. 
  • I have three friends that have (separately) expressed interest in running with me, so actually making that happen will be extremely beneficial.
  • Doing on Urban Run or Niketown training runs at least once a week
  • Wearing a watch and actually paying attention to pace and time.  I actually ordered the Garmin FR60, and I am very excited to receive it.  I returned the Forerunner 305 because it was just too darn big, and I think the foot pod will be more accurate in the long run.

Today I decided against doing another race before SA because my June calendar is pretty booked on all possible race dates, and the one possible exception is the mini (10K) on June 7th.  Today I decided against it, one because it is the morning after my roommates birthday extravaganza and two because today I went for a run and my ankle was feeling very tender.  During my hike last week I turned my ankle several times—I have very turned out feet and my ankles like to roll, but it was never sore enough to notice, since I really didn’t run much last week, mostly elliptical.  However, I felt it a little yesterday and all the pounding was enough to make me decide that an all out race would be too much.  I am icing right now (this is the second time I have ever iced anything!) and I might get a little stabilizer bandage.  It’s not severe pain, but it is the first time I have ever felt anything enough to decide to walk the last mile home.

So sorry to be a downer, I  have off days occassionally! However, all of this made me really commit to an idea I have been considering for a while, I am going to switch from marathons to triathlons after the NYC marathon.  Many people have suggested it to me, and it makes a lot of sense.  I am a swimmer, which tends to be the hardest part for most people. I am a decent biker, or will be when I get over my fear of city biking.  And running is my weakest link, but clearly I can muddle through when necessary and I have come a long long way endurance-wise in the last few years. So just thought I would let ya’ll know even though it is way in the future at this point!

Moving on, THANK YOU to everyone who gave me a response to my white dress question.  I truly appreciated your input.  On the way back from the marathon I stopped at Macy’s and got a pair of nude boy shorts—I haven’t found a decent half slip yet—and the shorts seemed to do the trick!  I also bought what I thought was a really cute BCBG dress, but since I wasn’t going to try it on in the store post-race (not exactly daisy fresh at that point), I waited until I got home and it looked awful, so much for the back up!  In the end, I much preferred my cheap-o Forever dress! 

No underwear (or anything else) showing day or night:

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Last night my roomies and I had our second annual roof deck party followed by water taxi beach and I got lots of compliments! The party was fun, I always worry because I have so many small groups of friends from different circles (NYU class, NYU roommates, high school friends, TNT friends, coffee shop friends, study abroad friends, Martha’s Vineyard friends, and now blog friends too), and I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable.  Fortunately, all the circles represented seemed to mix, mingle and have a good time.  A few bloggers even made the scene! 

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Me, Gena, Missy and Ashley

and I got to meet Missy’s boyfriend Nick too!

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Shane came a little bit later—no pic, and was so sweet as to bring me a great book and Grey Goose! Love those bottles!

 

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Coming up tomorrow, I am going to tackle all the Italian upgrade requests from so long ago!

In other news, I am BEYOND EXCITED to hear about Meghann’s first marathon!