Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Running Stuff I've Tried Lately!

Over the past couple months, I've either received or bought a lot of running related stuff.  I thought it would be nice to give a quick review to some of it.  I hope this post doesn't bore the crap out of you.  If it does, tell me, and I won't do it again.=)  Also, I'd love to hear about any awesome running gear you've tried out lately in the comments!

I want to be as transparent and honest as I can be about what I got for free and what I purchased.   So, a "*" means it was sent to me.    

Running-wise, everything is going ok.  My legs are still recovering from Eugene/Ragnar and I've done a couple very relaxed speed sessions.  I also signed up for a 10k in three weeks, but I'm unsure of whether I'll be ready for it.  I don't want to disappoint myself by setting expectations that are too high, but it would also be fun to run a shorter race.  Guess I'll see what my legs decide in the next couple weeks!


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Running Gear 


Run Pretty Far Tank* ($36)

What I Like:  This tank is pretty awesome.  It fits really well and the rest of the girls on the relay team agreed that it was very flattering.  The fabric is light and skims the body.   I also like that it isn't too tight fitting (I have a small), strappy or low cut.
What I'd Change: As cute as the saying "j'adore hardcore" is, I'm just not one for words on my shirts.
Bottom Line: 8/10. A cute and unique running shirt that could be worn casually as well.  A buy.  
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Mizuno Rider Tee* (On sale for $20, regularly $40)

What I Like:  This is a good staple running shirt with simple styling and a flattering fit (especially if you are curvy because it definitely comes in at the waist!).
What I'd Change:  While this is a good basic and does everything you'd want in a sport shirt, the styling is almost too simple for me.
Bottom Line: 7/10 A good addition if you're looking for running basics. 



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Mizuno Maverick Split Short* ($15 - $36)

What I Like: This is a really great racing short (I wore it for Eugene).  The 2" inseam, the slight split, and the light fabric makes it perfect for me.  I also like that it doesn't come up on the sides as much as other shorts (like Nike Tempos), which is way more flattering on my hips.
What I'd Change: More pockets.  The little key one is not enough.
Bottom Line: 9/10. Favorite shorts for racing.




Lululemon TaTa Tamer Sports Bra ($58)
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What I Like: Keeps you in place even if you are endowed and is really cute.  I don't care too much about padding and separation and stuff, but let me say this bra might make you look like you have fake boobs.  If that's your goal, this is a must have.
What I'd Change: Not a fan of the clasps in back or the absurd price ($58).
Bottom Line: 7.5/10. Cute and very functional but be prepared to pay 2x of a normal sports bra price.




Lululemon Recognition Pant ($98)

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What I Like: Um pretty much everything.  The little top and bottom ties make it so that this pant is actually the right length on me.  There are front seams that look nice.  It's also ridiculously flattering on athletic legs.
What I'd Change: The absurd Lululemon price.  More pockets.
Bottom Line: 9.5/10.  I am convinced this is the best offering at Lululemon, period.  If you only buy one thing, get these.




Compression Gear


ProCompression Socks (and shorties)* ($50)
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What I Like: There are a lot of crappy compression socks out there on the market (like random tube socks), and these are the real deal.  Good for taller and bigger runners due to the length of the sock.  There are cute argyle designs as well!
What I'd Change:  I felt like the socks should be a little tighter on me, and I had an XS.
Bottom Line: 7.5/10.  A great compression sock, especially if there's a a coupon out there (sometimes there are!) and if you're tall.



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SL3S Compression Socks ($60)

What I like: The butterfly design option is honestly what sold me.  They also have a legit compression feeling that is great for me.
What I'd Change: The price is pretty high unless there is a discount. They can get uncomfortable if you wear them all day.
Bottom Line:  8/10.  Tight fit, feels nice, cute butterflies.


Aspaeris Compression Shorts* ($60)


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What I Like: These are great for lounging around in post race.  They really make it easier for me to walk when I'm super sore. Guess the shorts are holding something in right. (technical, I know).  I enjoy sitting in them more than running in them.
What I'd Change: The design.  I'm not sure why, but I don't look that cute in them.   Also, they don't hold up well in the drier.
Bottom Line:  6.5/10. Great if you're looking for a reasonably priced compression short for recovery (compression is expensive!).  





Food


Click Coffee Protein Drink* (~$3 per serving)


What I Like: The nutrition facts.  I'm a huge fan of stuff with protein and caffeine.  Sounds like a good way to start the day not hungry.
What I'd Change:  This review is a bit unfair because I don't like powdered drinks much or sweet coffee.  That said, the drink is kind of clumpy and too sweet for me.
Bottom Line: 5.5/10.  Good if you're looking for a quick pick-me-up that's better than 5-hour energy.




Honey Stinger Energy Chews ($2.19 per packet)

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What I Like: I could eat these as candy.  They seem more natural/organic than many other energy foods on the market.
What I Don't:  The price point is a little higher than other comparables.  The 160 calorie mark is sort of awkward for me (is this one gel or two?).   
Bottom Line: 9/10.  My favorite energy food out there.  Perfect if you like honey and fruit flavors.


Accessories 

 
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Bic Bands* ($10-$12 each,I got a couple sent to me and I've already purchased more!)

What I Like:  There are a lot of no-slip headbands on the market and Bic Bands are my favorite. There's a huge selection of colors and designs, the price point is relatively low, and they donate a lot to charities.   There're also some reflective headbands that I love.
What I Don't:  There's not a whole lot they could improve, in my opinion.  
Bottom Line:  10/10.  These don't slip, are cute, and the company gives to great causes. 


RoadRunner Sports The Stick($22+ depending on size)


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What I Like:  This stick changed my world after Ragnar Ultra.  It feels great and gets the knots out of muscles. Everyone I've talked to likes it better than a foam roller.
What I Don't: I'm not convinced I actually recover faster using this.  Also, if you try to carry it on a plane, the TSA might not let you.
Bottom Line: 8.5/10.  A better investment than getting a massage. 




25 comments:

  1. I love this rundown of stuff. Good to know you like the Mizuno shorts - I've seen then around for a good price but wasn't sure.

    The honey stingers! I have a pack and I haven't tried them yet. I'm going to break all the rules of "no new things" and use them for the Menifee Half this weekend.

    And those SLS3 socks are so cute. But $60. I can get almost two pairs of CEP calf sleeves for that price.

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    1. I think the shorts are the perfect length for me.

      Let me know what you think of the honey stingers!

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  2. The recognition pant are among my favorite things in the whole entire world. They're the best things around. I wish I had a million dollars to spend on cute Lulu clothing.
    What do you think of the running skirt you got from there? Are you a fan?

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    1. I love the running skirt. It is cute and is an amazing fit.

      That said, it's so ruffly and ridiculous I can't wear it too often. Like I'd feel like a fool just wearing it around my neighborhood by myself!

      I know they have some less ruffly (and probably more versatile ones) on the market!

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  3. Great post, I love this format! I had never heard of Run Pretty Far. That chevron hills shirt is calling my name, I think.

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    1. Yes! I love the Chevron Hills one too! If I buy another I'm getting that one.

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  4. I wish $58 were an abnormal sports bra price for me. As an...endowed runner, that's my baseline. That bra was actually the first thing I ever bought from Lulu, because the price didn't seem so bad! Sigh.

    With you on the honey stingers, which are so delicious I have to stop myself from eating them just for fun. (See also: why I don't use gummy vitamins.)

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    1. Dang girl, you must be one sexy momma. haha.

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  5. This is a great rundown. I like the pros and cons for both compression socks.
    I love the Honey Stinger Energy Chews, too. Have you tried the pink lemonade or fruit punch flavors yet? They totally taste like candy!

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    1. I don't think I've had those yet! Orange Blossom is my fave.

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  6. good to know about the lulu pants. lulu has really been working my last nerve for over 6months, all the stupid color bleeding, stuff selling out ridiculously fast- i hate the new like "panic" about lulu, being able to get the newest color and the newest items, AND they are having so much trouble with their stuff (fit and color bleeding, see through bikinis). Anyhoooo the only item i haven't gotten there but and willing to still purcaase is a pair of full length pants- so we need to discuss this more. i want to make sure u are defi pro this pant compared to groove :D we'll discuss!

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    1. I still have feelings of love/hate for lulu. Their marketing just drives me nuts still..but I'm loving more and more as time goes on...

      So I own the Groove as well. And I like these better. They are more flattering (IMO) and have more fun details. The leg is narrower and the waist is higher.

      But if you hate the Groove, you're probably not going to love these...they are similar enough so that it would be hard to love one if the other doesn't work at all!

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  7. Oh I love the stick! It actually works great for me. But it doesn't fit into my suitcase (I didn't get the travel size.. stupid!). I do have compression socks and get CEP sleeve ones on Amazon. They are around $35 so they are cheaper than the ProCompression ones. And I love the CEP ones, they are great!

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    1. The sleeves are on my list of things I'd like to try!

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  8. I bought a Lululemon Tata Tamer bra off of ebay (new) and I really don't like it. I wore it to the gym the other day, and the straps kept popping off. Luckily I had a shirt on, otherwise it would have been quite a scene. Maybe I have the straps too tight, I dunno, I'm just not a fan of the style/fit overall. Also I prefer racer-back styles. That being said, I looove the Moving Comfort Juno. In case you're interested :)

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    1. I know what you mean about the straps. It feels almost like a normal bra. You can cross the straps in the back though which might help!

      I have a couple moving comfort bras. They definitely hold me in but sometimes I feel like they are too tight (but I don't think I'm wearing the wrong size).

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  9. Great stuff! I haven't tried anything you mentioned above... But I'm always happy to read good reviews about new and awesome (or not so awesome) running gear. I have been contemplating doing a similar post about my likes and dislikes lately with running stuff.

    I love my CEP compression socks- super tight and comfy.

    Ok I lied- I have a stick and love it. It really helps my tight calf muscles.

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    1. Do a post! I'd love to see your thoughts on stuff.

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  10. I love...love...love my stick. I pack it with me wherever I go and my children think it's a super amazing toy. How do you think the Bic bands do for short hair? I can't really get my hair into much of a ponytail so I use bigger ones so I can keep my hair pulled out of my face and the thinner ones let it "drape". idk if that makes sense.

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    1. If my mom had had a stick I would have totally pretended it was a lightsaber (back in the 1980s!).

      So my hair a couple months ago was fairly short and SarahOual has pretty short hair too. I'm not sure if yours is a lot shorter than hers though?

      Anyways, I think they would still work! I actually like the medium width bic bands the best although the other girls seem to like the skinny ones.

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  11. I loved this post! very helpful and informative!

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  12. Lots of great info! Thanks for posting. I a new convert to Lulu. Just got the Gather and Crow Crop for mother's day and I can't stop wearing them...they are SO comfy. And I got the Aspera compression shorts recently and I have to admit, I am not really a fan. I feel like a sausage wearing them. And the inner lining is kind of weird; I feel like I am constantly adjusting them. Maybe I got the wrong size...but I measured and ordered according to their sizing chart. I am not a skinnyminnie by any means so I definitely won't be wearing them anywhere but home!

    Have you tried any other brands of shorts? I want to try another type.

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  13. That bra model looks ridiculously happy...and her boobs aren't big enough to entice me to seriously consider that bra for running. But since you say it works and we are about the same size, I guess I will believe you. And the stick... my savior :)

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  14. oh man the stupid TSA almost took my stick!! I was going to Nashville to run my first marathon and my calves love the stick so I brought it AND the searched my bag and the lady looks at me and was like what is this? I thought I'd cry and said please don't take that it's like a massager and 2 TSA agents later and about 5 min she let me go through with it... ridiculous - I'm obvi not the terrorist type.. The TSA has just about lost its marbles! So I love love love my stick!

    And I tried sports beans for the first time... I could just eat them as a small snack! They were soooo good! AND I'll have to try click.. I love caffeine and I like protein.. I add all my protein to a blueberry/banana smoothie!

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  15. I came here looking for reviews on SL3S compression socks. Some of the designs are awesome but am unfamiliar with the brand. You gave them an 8 of 10 score and with the butterflies, that's gotta get them at least another point so I think I will give them a shot. Thank you!

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