Tag Archives: Lululemon

There’s so much that we need to share

Last year I posted a List of Awesome Gift Ideas for Runners Who have Everything. This year I’ve made a List of Awesome Gift Ideas for Runners Who Have Everything, Including Everything on the List I Posted Last Year, or the LOAGIFRWHEIEOTLIPLY, for short. Continue reading

And if it was warm she wouldn’t wear much more

Ontario doesn’t have four seasons. We have at least six seasons. Winter, pre-spring, spring, summer, autumn, pre-winter. For the runner these are known as freezing, cold, rainy, bloody hot, mild, chilly. Continue reading

I’ve got my orange crush

My least popular posts are the ones in which I write about my latest unnecessary running purchase. You’ve been warned. Continue reading

I see plenty of clothes that I like

I am weak.   I mean, obviously I need a pair of pants to wear over my superman running tights.  I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to use the word necessity.   These athletic pants in which I do not actually intend to be athletic are definitely a necessary-not-frivolous purchase.  I think even Charlie Sheen Charlie Sheen Charlie Sheen would approve of this pant purchase.

p.s.  I admit it.  I don’t have much to say today and a wiser blogger than me recently gave some helpful tips on how to craft a blog post out of absolutely nothing.  The result: a photo of someone (attention stalkers: not me) in a pair of pants and a link to a blog post about posting about nothing and the required Charlie Sheen mention.  Success?  I think so.

Title: Sinead O’Connor – The Emporer’s New Clothes. 1990.

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

Last night I went for a New Year’s Eve jog (going out pre-party was ambitious enough, I couldn’t bring myself to actually run).  Outdoors.  In Canada.  In winter.  Those last three statements are noteworthy because I wore my new Bermuda short shorts for the first time.  And I was worried about having a chance to test run them before the marathon.  Pfftttt.  I’d like to thank Global Warming for this timely opportunity.

The revellers, on their way to various horn-blowing festivities, were greatly impressed by my winter short shorts moxie.  I even earned a Happy New Year and comment compliment on the shortness of my shorts as I “sped” by a drunk pack of ladies wearing similarly skimpy garments.

New year’s eve run complete, now it’s time to dust off those failed running resolutions goals from January 2010.  It’s the third R.  Recycle.  The time-honoured tradition of recycling resolutions.

Happy New Year!

Title: Ella Fitzgerald – What are you doing New Year’s Eve. 1960.

Friday’s Mixed Tape Volume 3

Another lazy Friday, except it’s Thursday.  Well it’s Friday somewhere.  I think.  Those international date lines always confuse me.  Let’s just say the weekend is starting a day early for the holidays.  This week’s mix brings you a few seasonal selections and other cool running tidbits that I read on the Internets in the past week.

Hint: coloured text is a hyper link to an awesome story.  Click to enjoy!

  1. Raise Your ‘Ade.  Perhaps the best running rap song I’ve ever heard.  Also the only.
  2. Why running a race is better than Christmas shopping.  Easier too.
  3. You have one day left to shop!  Check out DC Rainmaker’s 2010 Holiday Gifts for Endurance Athletes.  He is THE Gadget Guru and my source for all techie gear reviews.  Dear Santa, please follow this link.
  4. The perfect training food?  186 grams of carbs and 23 grams of protein PER SERVING.  I’d like two please.  And a triple bypass for dessert.
  5. Running gloves to buy for.  Yeah, that’s a lame play on words.  To die for is a weird saying.  Maybe I should just call this post “the last-minute gift your girlfriend or girl friend who runs will love”.
  6. I was tagged in one of those meme things and my answers to a series of questions appear here, in the fine world of Sweaty KidCheck out the comments section.  When vegetable am I?  It’s complicated.

There goes a dogfish chased by a catfish

I found my Bermuda shorts.  Or as close as I’m willing to get if I have to run 42.2k in them.  They are arguably the exact opposite to Bermuda shorts in length, in that they are really short, not just above the knee; but they are plaid, which in my mind is Bermuda-ish.  I’m not sure I got that right.  But they were On Sale!  Now I just need to test out my new gear on a long run before the marathon.  In Canada.  In winter.  This is going to be a cold 30K. 

Also, that is totally me in the picture. 

Title: B-52s – Rock Lobster.  1978.

Chantilly lace and a pretty face and a pony tail hanging down

Images of “protesters” (read: hooligans) assaulting helpless chain stores had an expected effect on me.  Consumeritis.  I started at Starbucks then settled in at  Lululemon, where I bought this totally cute new running outfit.  Yes, it is an outfit.  And yes, it will help me run faster. 

Not pictured: me. 

Hint: Click the pic for a full-sized peek.

Flight Running Visor

Run Energy SL Top

Run Speed Short

See through in the sunlight, she wore lemon

I borrowed this image from dancesingflosstravel.wordpress.com

Friday night I was invited to a Lululemon Run Design Meeting.  They invited 10 or so local runners to a meet with the Design Director to get feedback on what runners want in running clothes.  Husband and I were among the participants.  Imagine, asking runners what they want to wear.  If they use the same tactics with yoga folks I think I know why the company has a monopoly on Toronto-area yoga class apparel.    

As my athletic wardrobe is dominated by two brands, Lululemon and Nike, I was keen to participate.  Most of the group members seemed to be serious recreational runners – not elite, but beyond the 5K fundraiser.  Marathoners, Ironman triathletes, and people for who health and fitness is their career and not just a hobby.  But not elite runners, which is also important.  Sure Paula Radcliff and I are likely to have some overlapping needs, but some that extra hour I spend running my marathon can make or break a pair of shorts with an ill-placed pocket.    

Jill, the Design Director, came in from Vancouver to lead the session.  It helped that she is a runner, so she could easily relate our feedback to her own experiences and you could see her design wheels turning as we chatted.  I think a designer who actually participates in the sport for which they are designing gear makes a difference.  That top may work on the runway, but 42.2K is a lot longer than the catwalk on America’s Next Top Model.  We spent about 90 minutes giving feedback on the hits and misses of designs past.  We answered questions about our favourite articles of clothing, gear accessories we’d like to use, and gaps in the market.   

Like Goldilocks, Husband is desperately seeking shorts that are not too short (thigh high) and not too long (knee-length).  It’s a surprising hole in the men’s market.  I grow weary of over-designed gear with hooks for 27 attachments and enough pockets for a multi-day expedition.  Simplicity was my mantra.  Lululemon’s mantras are posted left.  What did you do today that scares you?   

Title Reference: U2 – Lemon. 1993

If your train’s on time you can get to work by 9

A recent study by the Board of Trade compared the commuting times across 19 major cities and as a surprise to no one who lives in Toronto (or the greater urban sprawl, I mean the GTA), Hogtown ranked dead last.  Torontonians spend a daily average of 80 minutes in travel to and from work.  That’s 400 minutes a week.  That’s 6 hours and 40 minutes a week.  That’s a solid night’s sleep.  Or a Back to the Future movie-a-thon.  Or 40 minutes longer than the Dirty Girls Race I want/tentatively to run this year.

At 76 minutes a day Montrealers don’t fare much better.  Both Canadian metropolises beat out cities like New York (68 minutes), London (74 minutes), and Los Angeles (56 minutes, seriously, what are they complaining about?), all of which are much more famous for long commute times. 

Don’t worry Torontonians, I have a solution.  One that doesn’t involve highway expansion, road tolls, or the TTC.  Lululemon’s run-to-work backpack.  I just bought one.  And I love it already.  I spent [insert ridiculously big number] years as a student, so I’m partial to bags that can be strapped to my back and in my mind black = dressy backpack suitable for work.  The drawstring pulls everything in tight, which means if the bag isn’t full the contents don’t bounce around, it is equipped to hold a hydration system, it has fancy pockets for essentials like iPods and phones, and it feels nearly weightless.  It’s called the run to work bag.  As if I could resist.  I’m a sucker for marketing. 

Will I run to work?  Not unless they install a shower.  And a washroom without stalls because I can’t change in that small space without dropping a sock in the lidless toilet.  But I will consider running home from work.  It may be faster than transit. 

Title Reference: Bachman Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care of Business.  1973.

The Running Man

I have a confession.  I could never get the hang of The Running Man.  Lucky for me the running man years coincided with the lowered expectations of elementary school, not the dance-off days of high school.  According to Wikipedia, the popular (and surprisingly long-lived) dance was created by Paula Abdul for Janet Jackson’s 1987-1988 Control Tour, although it was memorably embraced by MC Hammer – seems he can touch this.  My heart fluttered Vanilla Ice Ice Baby broke into a run.  In 2007 Britney brought it back during her M+Ms Tour and more recently Sony Playstation Home introduced a new generation to those crazy legs with kids everywhere trying to set a record for the longest line of avatars doing the running man.  Everything old is new again.

As a runner I almost feel obligated to master this retro-cool party trick.  The Lululemon Running Man challenge promotes the dance as a surefire way to impress people and make friends at the club.  Now I need to add rehearsal time to my training schedule. 

My last attempt was at least 17 years ago, before step by step instruction were available on youtube (hell, before I had an email account).  I think (think mind you) I finally may have got it:

Armed with my new skillz, I’m bringing back the 80s one dance fad at a time.   Some of you may prefer a vintage 80s approach to your dance lessons.  If so, try Totally Rad Dances with Dancin’ Kim.  Why didn’t I know about her in 1987?  I could have torn up the dance floor.  Darn my small town with no cable-TV access! 

I’m no Fresh Prince, but I’m getting there.

Hungry like the Wolf

As part of my summer survival plan I’m attempting to run at the crack of dawn.  Or my version of the crack of dawn, which happens about two hours after sunrise.  I’m enjoying the solitude of runs relatively free of hazards such as traffic, giant strollers, and teetering kids on bikes.  More unexpected was the active wildlife.  I know it’s not surprising that the woodland (or in this case, the urbanite) critters hustle and bustle before the car-revving, trail stomping humans take over; but the first time a bunny hopped in my path and stared me down I very nearly went into cardiac arrest.  I’m a bit jumpy before I’m fully awake.  Fully awake doesn’t happen until about three hours after I’m finished a morning run.  This tidbit is important, so file it away.

On a typical evening run I’m greeted by raggedy looking squirrels and a flock of pigeons and that’s about it for the animal kingdom.  Early rising has not only gotten me the worm, but the fox, rabbit, raccoon, rat, and several mice.  It’s nice to encounter “wild” life beyond a few overly exuberant dogs.  Much as I love dogs and all their fluffy cuteness, my most memorable (read: heart stopping) animal encounters always seem to involve untrustworthy canines.  Like the one last January in Banff National Park.  To fully appreciate that moment I need to take you back to the day before the run.

In an effort to keep luggage to a minimum, I decided to run indoors (so I could leave my bulky winter running gear at home), on a treadmill, during the trip.  We all know how that went.  Lucky for us, our trip coincided with the Chinook winds and the weather was gloriously warm.  I decided to test my resolve in the great outdoors, subbing in my winter play gear (i.e. the clothes I wear under my ski suit) for running gear.  The thing about my winter play gear – it is functional castoffs from the Lululemon warehouse sale.  The clothes were meant for wearing beneath a layer of outer clothing.  The exceptionally ugly pants are best described as sinus infection green, with an eerie glow.  This tidbit is important, so file it away.

The night before my outdoor run I went out for dinner at a tourist trap fondue restaurant called the Grizzly House.  The poorly ventilated room was filled with tables of people cooking all varieties of meat, the most popular of which seemed to be local flavours of venison, elk, bison, beef, and wild boar.  The smell of flesh wafted into every nook and granny.  Knowing I had a run in the morning I decided not to shower that night, saving the environment from wasteful water use (fine, being lazy) by waiting until post-run the next day.  I went to bed, and woke up the next morning, smelling like meat.  This tidbit is important, so file it away.

The next morning, as planned, I go on my run.  Dressed in my neon green pants, hair reeking of animal, I head out on the trails of Banff National Park.  The ranger, or whatever those parks people are called, plotted a route with me and in keeping with the plan I headed northbound on the scenic trail.  Upon entering the wooded area another runner came dashing out, jingling all the way.  Head to toe she was covered in wee little bells.  How odd, I sleepily thought.  The night before I noticed that my route, masterfully developed with the aid of the ranger, took me near a dead end road.  This road, I was informed earlier that same day by my dogsled guide, had been the scene of recent elk herd sightings.  Eager to see postcard-worthy Canadian wildlife I modified my course, the route advised by the knowledgeable ranger, to take me out to the elk feeding grounds.  As I’m running down the desolate road (the jingle lady at the start of my run was my sole human sighting) I see a dog out on the frozen pond.

I run toward the puppy, and the puppy crosses the pond headed in my direction, and I start to wonder about the owners.  Poor thing, I thought, he’s been abandoned or run away.  As I continue to approach the dog and vice versa, closing in at about 100 metres, my brain finally awakens.  I am, and have been for some time, running directly toward a wolf.  A wolf likely at that very spot in search of the elk that drew me there.

At this moment I should remind you that I smell like a delicious wolf smorgasboard.  Elk, venison, bison, beef, boar - I am a kabob running directly into the mouth of the beast.  So I do exactly what one should never ever do when approaching a wolf in the wild.  I turned tail and ran as fast as my little legs would go, head bobbing back to see if I was being chased.

My second thought, the one that followed Oh. My. God. I Smell Like Meat, was – and I’m a little ashamed to admit this – I Can’t Die in These Pants.  The wolf just watched me curiously as I sprinted (relative term, one leap and I’d be down) away.  I firmly believe that my horrifying phlegm coloured pants, combined with the confusing array of smells, gave the appearance of rancid meat.  Also once, at Canada’s Wonderland during a live-action show, a pirate grabbed me from the audience (seriously picked me up off my seat) but decided I was too skinny to cannabolize.  I’m not, it seems, worth the kill.  The wolf agreed, deciding not to risk food poisoning for a taste of my weirdly green, oddly smelling, relatively meatless stick legs.

It is easy to think that I was spooked and over-reacted out there in the lonely woods.  Husband, for one, was skeptical.  It didn’t help that the preceding days I left him notes like “gone to the waterfalls, if not back by 4 fell in” or “gone for a hike, if not back by 2 eaten by bear”.  He was working and I was left to explore Banff on my own.  Seeing the doubt in his eyes, the next morning I drove him out to Wolf Pond (not the official name).

Against all odds, the wolf was back …with a friend/lover/friend with benefits (who can tell anymore).  That’s right, two wolves.  Which is practically a pack.  So it’s fair to say a pack of wolves.  Husband’s eyes saucered a little as I jumped up and down shouting “that’s him, that’s him”.  Finally, he believed.  For all I know the other wolf, perhaps the entire pack, was there during my run, stalking me from afar.  It took me 15 minutes to realize the wolf was a wolf, so it’s not a leap to think an entire family might have been – without me noticing – watching me with their hungry, but puzzled, eyes.  I suspect I’m ridiculously easy prey.  It is fortunate that I’m not terribly appetizing.

We snapped some photographic evidence, which I later presented to the ranger who confirmed that I am not an urban scaredy cat terrorized by a lost puppy, but indeed I had the fortune of not one, not two, but three wolf viewings.  There are few wolves remaining in Banff, in twelve years the ranger had yet to see one in the wild, and I stumbled across one -which is almost two, which is almost a pack- on my little 8K jaunt.  Lucky me?

Title Reference:  Duran Duran – Hungry like the Wolf.  From the album Rio.  1982.

Dressed for Success

The “athletic” division of my wardrobe is rapidly engulfing my entire closet.  I have nicer work out clothes than I do clothes I wear out to work.  It’s a casual job environment, but still, a trip to BCBG is probably (definitely) overdue.  To get there though, I walk past Lululemon and Nike.  I seldom make it any farther.

Laundry day (otherwise known as the day I run out of gear and am desperately trying to avoid wearing a one-size-doesn’t-fit-all race shirt) requires a science degree.  Those high-tech anti-sweat, anti-smell, anti-jiggle, vitamin-infused fabrics can only touch like-fabrics, must be washed with special detergents, and set in the spin cycle for an optimal amount of time, at an optimal spin velocity, at the optimal temperature.  The wash n’ go setting is a risk I’m not willing to take.  Performance tech is the Goldilocks of fabrics.  I don’t want to sacrifice that magnificent wicking power because I absentmindedly used fabric softener.

In one week my athletic laundry alone would rival the total dirty output from a family of four, two of whom are small messy children.  Because of the sheer volume of dirty clothing I occasionally blur the lines between “clean” and “dirty”.  If I don’t sweat I can rewear those running tights, right?  Not the delicate next to the body base-layering stuff, I mean I do have a line (blurry as it is), but those outer layers can be extended.  Um, right?  Over-washing can damage my beloved super-fabrics and shorten the lifespan of the make-my-butt-look-good tights.  I don’t actually know if that’s true, but over-washing sounds like a reasonable excuse.  Those make-my-butt-look-good tights need, NEED, to last forever.  So consider yourself warned – if it looks like I wore it yesterday, adjust your proximity to me as required.

Title Reference: Roxette – Dressed for Success. From the album Look Sharp. 1988.