Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Things I love!

I thought I would share some of my favorite products for 2011.  Some of these are new to me for 2011, and some are my go to brands.  Some of these I learned about through this wonderful blog world.  I'm sure I've mentioned, I'm not a shopper.  I also have a tendency to save dollars and go the cheaper route. 
For example, just a few years ago, I WOULD NEVER have spent $54.00 on a pair of shorts.  In fact, I thought $20.00 for my first Nike Tempos was crazy, and my first pair of $10.00 socks almost sent me over the edge.   As my mileage has continued to go up and up over the past few years, so has my willingness to pay for comfort and quality. 

**After reading several blogger's reviews of lululemon shorts,  I decided to SPLURGE and I bought the LuLu Groovy Run Shorts.  I would have included a link, but SADLY lulu decided to discontinue this item just after getting me hooked.  that's just wrong lulu !   (I'm thinking the lulu Turbo Run shorts will be the next best thing, but I haven't tried those yet)  I bought my first pair just before the Snicker's marathon in March and I decided to test them at Snickers.  26.31 miles of chaf-free running.  Yes, I'm hooked!  and yes, after learning of the item being discontinued, I searched and bought every new pair I could locate on EBay.   I'm hoping they have a LONG life, long enough for lulu to realize the mistake and bring them BACK!  :)
(note - when Running Sane reviews, I listen!)

**The next item on my list - BTB sunglasses
I have been using some FosterGrant Ironman sunglasses for years.  I like them, but they do have a short life. I like that they are flexible and light.   I like everything about them except the short life.  This fall, I received 2 pair of the BTB sunglasses to try (the 130, and 420).  The full test is not complete because I'm not sure about the "life" of the sunglasses, but so far I like them.  They are light weight and the clarity of these are superior to the Ironman sunglasses.   They are lightweight, but they have a hard plastic frame.  I wasn't sure that I would like that, but I'm thinking this will help to give the glasses a much longer life, and the hard plastic hasn't bothered me at all.   These are double the price, but if they offer a longer life, it will definitely be worth it.  So far, they are winning out, but the testing is not complete...... 
(this is the only item on the list that I was given to try.   He did not request, or require a review of the product) 

**DryMax socks - I found these a few years ago at the Houston Expo, and they continue to be my FAVORITE.  I like these so much I started selling them.  (if you want to try them, send me message and I will send you the details
always in stitches at yahoo dot com)

This fall, A.M. over at Running, Tri-ing and Living
blogged about the birthday celebration offering 25% off.  She mentioned the tights being great and cheaper than lulu.  (yay - I ♥ cheaper)  I decided to try the following items at 25% off.
Lucy - 223091 Distance Run short  ($33.00 during the sale)   
(as I searched for the link I noticed they have them on sale for $24.99)
cheaper than lulu ($54) I've yet to see a lulu sale (boo lulu)

Lucy - 214239 - Propel knee pant  ($43.50 during the sale)
Lucy - 214240 Propel Run Tight ($51.00 during the sale)

We've had a couple of "tight" days , and I've finally been able to give the tights a few test runs.  Let me say, AM was CORRECT!    I have a new love..... Lucy tights!  
so comfy and zero complaints with the pant or the tight. 

As for the Lucy shorts......lulu is still tops on my list.  The shorts are comfortable, and great for shorter runs, but on longer runs, I have some chafing with the Lucy shorts.   So for me, I would opt for my cheaper Nike shorts for the shorter runs over the more expensive Lucy shorts ($44.00 regular price).  I do like the material and the fit of the Lucy shorts, but not a winner overall for me personally.    
(however, with the $24.99 Lucy sale, if I needed shorts, I would buy another pair)
other notes - the back zipper pocket is small and no front pockets for gels.
if you read the reviews - many say these shorts are chafe free for them, so maybe they would work for you.  At $24.99, maybe worth a try if you need new shorts.

**Supreme 90 Day - $19.99 - such a deal
If you have been reading, I have mentioned S90D and my appreciation for it this year.  If not, I totally believe in this program as a compliment to my running, and  for weight loss and toning this year.   It's similar to P90X, but much cheaper, and I prefer the shorter length of the DVDs.  The dvds range from 30-45 min. including the warm-up and c/d.  For me, with my high mileage, 30 min. is the maximum amount of time that i want to invest in weight training.   (found at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Target, etc)  
(As I'm writing this review, The Docs have a show about "The Pink Method"  has anyone tried it??? 
If so, review please.  Sounds similar to S90D, but may be fun to try something new)

Other favorites:
Adidas Cushion Response 17s.  Adidas is now on 20 or 21.  I have a few more pair of the 17s and then I have to find a new shoe.  (boo!).  I had a pair of the Adidas Cushion Response 19s and they are hard and NOT the same.  I suppose my first trial will be the current model.  I seriously HATE these expensive trials and so far mostly errors.  I go through shoes quickly with my mileage, and I hate trying shoes that do not work for me.  Currently, I added a pair of Brooks Glycerins 8s,  to my 4 pair rotation.  A $90.00 fail!  Ouch!   I'm still wearing them, but each run,  I DO NOT like them.  They are hard!  I like my cushion!  
(I know, I know.....cushion is BAD for 2011, but it works for me, so far)   
anyone having a recommendation for a cushioned shoe for high arches, please share

My best tip concerning shoes - just in case you are new to my blog - I rotate 4 pair of shoes at a time.  Before starting the shoe rotation, I was LUCKY to get 400 miles on a pair of shoes.  Most of the time at 350 miles, they needed to be replaced.    Now with rotating each day, I can get between 500-600 miles.  Yes, the initial investment is large, and keeping up with the mileage on 4 pair of shoes IS a PAIN,  but overall, I save a lot by being able to get an extra 100-200 miles on my shoes.  For me, it's worth the extra effort to save $$s.

Other favorites:
**Adidas visor
**Garmin 305 - I'm old school but I like the the data of the 4 blocks on the screen, and from hearing other runners talk about the bezel on the newer models, I feel like me and the newer models would have "words" often.
**  (1 free class per week)  I prefer to go to 1 class a wk for correction, but I sometimes supplement additional classes during the week with
**Ipod Nano - I'm not a fan of the latest model but it's a necessity for me to have my Ipod.(it's a big part of my joy of running)   I dislike not having an on/off button, and I preferred the buttons to go forward/backward from song to song.  I do not like having to look at a touch screen to do what I want to do.  In addition, I sweat a LOT, so I'm not long into a run when I no longer have control over my tunes because my fingers are sweaty, and the touch screen will not work.  Boo Apple!  Please make an Ipod for sweaty runners.

For hydration - I have several different options, for different mileage days.  This year, I have really enjoyed my Camelbak for longer runs. I grew weary of dropping waters, and now the only time I need to go out and drop is for my long runs that require extra water, or when I need Gatorade, etc.  I have the Camelbak Snowflake(for women) , which may have been discontinued.  This one was recommended by K. over at  HappyTrails.  They have sense tried some different models and they do a lot of trail runs requiring hydration so they are a wonderful resource.  Also, check out The Running Artist.  She runs with a different model and has a review of it on her blog.  I also use a "Fuel Belt" for medium distances.  It works well and tightens down comfortably for running with no fiddling with it required.   For short distances I have a handheld, similar to the bottles in the "Fuel Belt", but it has a handle to slip your hand through, making it easy to carry on the run.  I will say all of the options do take a little adjusting to, but I did find that I quickly adjusted to each option.

I want to/do NOT want to,  try some of the lululemon tops.  I fear I will love them and then my $12-$18.00 running tops will be out.  So far, I've resisted, but 2012 may be the year for another new splurge.  

Thanks for sharing the products you love on your blogs.  I find it very helpful and has been very reliable so far.  Keep them coming for 2012 please!  

I'm heading out for a run/walk.  I have a few more miles that I want to complete before the end of 2011. 


Tricia said...

good info. I have yet to try a single lulu piece...

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Happy New Year!
I love Lulu groovy shorts. DO not like the turbo that much, they have a bit of a flare which looks weird. Love the speed shorts, though. Lucy tights are my favorites, better than Lulu; I adore the propel, wearing the Hatha as I type. Yes, rotating shoes is awesome. Did I mention I have 12 pairs in my rotation? Yes, a little nutty!

Fun post from you today:)

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I find that Karhus have a lot of cushion and they are pretty cheap. I bougfht pairs online for $30 before. Try them first if you can, though, because they tend to have a long, narrow toe.

misszippy said...

Sigh. I've not wanted to splurge on Lulu anything, but you are making a pretty good case for those shorts! And fyi--I am giving away a pair of Lucy tights in the beginning of January.

thanks for the reviews!

Meg said...

I love your header picture, just gorgeous!
Fun list of goodies, I can't wait to share my favorite one and no, it's not yoga but I do love yoga.

Christine said...

Thanks for sharing! The S90D sounds great! We have P90X but some workouts are 1+ hours and for me that is just too much after running. You can't do anything wrong with $20. I will order right now :)

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

I use an iPod shuffle w/o sweaty problems. I have that problem with my phone, though.

I rotate 3-4 pairs of shoes and often retire them at 400 or so miles. Hope you find a good pair of shoes.

In case you didn't have time to check my blog, the Houston marathon starts at 7 or 7:10 and the 5K starts at 7:30. Only 2 more weeks!!! (And 2 days!)

Jenn said...

Fun post Ginny! I know, I was SO mad they stopped making the Groovy run shorts! They were my favorite!! Don't try the Lulu tops. I also love them-ha! I love the tanks and the Run Swiftly long sleeve tech but I got that on sale. I just couldn't pay $64 for a running shirt although I'm much more willing to pay for comfort now! I figure at this stage of life I need quality running clothes and a quality bed and I'm set! Good to know about the Lucy shorts. I was just looking at those and considering ordering them! I've not tried the Lucy tights either!

Yes, I alternate shoes constantly. I primarily wear Brooks Launch for a trainer and also Brooks Pureflow and the T7 racers for speed on the TM. I wonder if you would like the Ghost more than the Adrenaline. Maybe not, I won't advise here as I really don't know how these fit!

I think I may do another post like this! I have a lot of favorites that I didn't touch on last time! Good to see a post from you Ginny! Hope you had a very merry Christmas!

Marissa said...

I wanna try LuLu...SO jealous!

Happy New Year 2012!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the information. I am learning a lot from all of you seasoned runners! I will have to try some of your recommendations!