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Review: Ellie

21 Apr

ellieA couple of months ago one of my friends posted her review on her first outfit from Ellie. I had never heard of the brand, but the photos of her super cute, new workout outfit caught my attention. And seeing as I have a couple of sports bras that need to be retired (they are no longer … ahem … doing their job) and  my favorite pair of run tights has succumbed to that smell that never seems to wash away, I decided to give it a whirl.

You can buy single pieces from their line at the retail price. However, their Fit Fashionista Club membership allows you to choose any two pieces each month for only $49.95. Just think of Birchbox for running clothes.

At the start of every month, members receive an email letting them know the new line is available. Members can either choose their two pieces or do nothing and receive the two pieces that Ellie choses for them based on their user profile (and be charged $49.95), or they can skip the month (and not be charged anything).

After reviewing the pieces from their February 2013 line, I settled on the peek-a-boo tank and the love struck leggings. Here are pics of how they appeared online:

ellie_font_model

ellie_back_model

Since I placed my order on February 22nd, I made sure to request to skip the month of March so that I could review the quality for myself before ordering anything else.

Although the website said the pieces usually ship between 5 to 7 days, my delivery took closer to a month. Certainly it was a bad first impression, but I was willing to overlook it if the clothes were good enough.

When I got my new workout clothes I tried them on immediately and was impressed. I loved the shirt and knew the open back would be much loved during my hot summer runs.The pants felt soft to the touch, yet a little itchy when I slipped them on. The fit was flattering so I was pleased with that. I made sure to bend and twist every which way to see if they were see-through and jumped up and down to see if they fell off. The tights passed both tests.  I thought this was the beginning of a long friendship.

ellie_outfit_front

My first outfit from Ellie.com

The next morning I was scheduled to run five miles and decided to take my new tights out for a spin. It was too cold for the top so I set it aside for another day.

Only a couple minutes into my run, I found the first major problem with my tights: they were falling off so badly that the crotch of my pants dropped 2 or so inches from where they should’ve been. I yanked them up and told my running partner that we might have to cut our run short. A minute later I confirmed that we would have to cut our run short. These tights that seemingly fit me perfect the night before were now falling off of me as a ran.

We managed to finish our run without my tights falling to my ankles, but it was no easy fete. Afterwards I joked that they would have to become yoga pants. That is until I got home.

When I got home I glanced in the mirror and noticed a giant sweat mark in the crotch of my pants. I gasped. Seriously… Really?  My running pants collection is made up of tights from Old Navy, Nike and Lululemon and I had never experienced this with any of those brands!

I still can’t believe I walked into Starbucks like that. I can only imagine the nicknames I must have there now. To avoid getting dirty old men from visiting this blog post by searching certain keywords, I will refrain from typing any of them out here. But you get the point.

So, the tights were a big, huge giant fail. On the bright side, they are comfy and no longer itchy now that I’ve washed them so I wear them to lounge around the house. But if I was looking for lounge clothes, I would’ve shopped elsewhere.

As for the top, it finally warmed up a couple of weekends ago and I took it out for a spin. I noticed that the neckline looked a bit flimsy, but since the top is loose it’s not incredibly noticeable. However, for $34.95 I think Ellie needs to work on the neckline.

I loved the open back of the top and it was really perfect for Florida running. Plus, I received lots of compliments from the ladies on it.

Here’s a photo I took after my 6-mile run:

Love the breeze I could feel on my back

Love the breeze I could feel on my back

Side view: must be okay with showing sportsbra

Side view: must be okay with showing sportsbra

Final verdict: I cancelled my subscription to Ellie. I may one day purchase another top (based on how this one holds up after a few washes), but am not interested on giving their run tights a second chance. And based on the performance of the tights, I also have no interest in their sports bras.

It’s a shame. I really wanted to be all BFF with Ellie. But it turns out Ellie is just one of those friends that is always late, exaggerates on their good qualities and only sometimes manages to impress you.

Have you tried Ellie? What did you think?

Shiny New Running Outfit

2 May

There are only four days until the Flying Pig Marathon and my emotions are everywhere. One minute I’m excited, and the other I’m so nervous because of this IT band issue. Excited is currently winning out and I think it’s because of this:

My new Lululemon marathon top

Yuppers, I got myself the Lululemon no limits tank in hot, hot pink for marathon day. I ran my first marathon in a no limits tank (in a different color) and had absolutely zero issues with chafing or the shirt riding up so I think I’m safe running in the same top without having actually taken it for a long test run. I will, however, wash the shirt so I don’t bleed hot pink (though that may be cool). I think the color is perfect for Flying Pig, don’t you think?

A couple of weeks ago I got the crops in the photo. They are the run: a marathon crop, also from Lululemon. I’ve done a couple of runs in them (one long run and one short) and they were great: the bottoms of the legs didn’t ride up and the top is higher wasted and didn’t ride down. And they passed the very-important-for-all-tights-bend-over test (when I bend over the pant does NOT get transparent). Perfect!

On a side note, it will be toasty on Sunday:

Expected weather for 2012 Flying Pig Marathon

However, I can’t run in shorts. My lovely Spanish thighs engulf shorts and I end up chafing and pulling my shorts down all run. So that’s why I’m usually in tights (unless it’s my Lululemon running skirt that I can use for anything shorter than 10 miles). It’s a good thing that my shirt opens up on the sides for some fresh air. 🙂

Yesterday I read this post by Meghann of Meals and Miles and it made me chuckle. I am in complete agreement with her when she wrote “I’m a big believer that a big race deserves a new outfit, sorta like a big date requires a new dress – am I wrong?” Nope, not wrong at all.

If you’re running your first half or full marathon, I would recommend you buy your new outfit a month before your race and wear it during a shorter long run. If it passes the test (no chafing, riding up, etc.) then wear it for your longest run. It’s amazing how a few miles can alter the wear of your running outfit. For example, I have a singlet that I wore in different colors for all three of my half marathons without any problems. However, when I wore one of them for an 18-mile run, I was surprised to see severe chafing on the inside of my arms. It was so bad I was bleeding! Needless to say, those are now restricted to runs 13 miles or shorter.

I consider this running outfit quite the splurge, but I’ve worked hard the last four months (and seven months before that training for Disney) and I like that I’m at a place where I can reward my hard work with a splurge like this. In my future I’ll have kids and a home to worry about and these days will be long gone. I’ll enjoy it while I can!

What do you do for your race-day running attire? 


Yesterday morning I went for a 3-mile walk with Emily, one of my group leaders. She’s running Flying Pig with me so it was nice to catch up and do some race day strategizing. Afterwards I rushed home to start my day with some yoga. I took it easy with this Yoga Vibes class, focusing on the outer hip and IT band.

Four days until the Flying Pig Marathon!

Running and Squats and Stretches… Oh My!

24 Apr

After some thought, and talking it out with the people around me (or them coaxing it out of me), I think there are two major things that could be contributing to my IT band problems in my left leg:

  • Need new shoes
  • Lack of strength training

Recently I did get new shoes, but since my current NB Minimus shoes were still feeling good, I decided to wait until after the marathon to switch over to the new pair. I’m not sure that I have any good reasoning beyond that… as I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe I was afraid that since the new pair was a slightly different style (the new ones are the trail version while my old ones are the road version) I could injure myself switching so close to Flying Pig. And when I say the old pair were still feeling good, what I mean is that it usually takes me a while to realize that the pain I’m suffering from might just mean it’s time for new shoes. Here I was worried about hurting myself with the new shoes when I’m hurting with the current shoes!

So this morning I tossed on the new shoes:

I also wore long tights and a long sleeved shirt… and gloves. Yes, gloves. That’s right… my body no longer remembers living in New York and I’m officially a Florida girl that wears long sleeves and gloves when the weather drops to this (in April in Florida nonetheless):

The run went well. There were only three of us this morning and we ran four miles at an easy pace. While I felt the familiar twinge of my IT band in my right leg, it wasn’t so bad that I was in pain or limping for that matter.

Here are the stats for this AM’s run:

  • Distance: 4.06 miles
  • Time: 50:21.45
  • Avg Pace: 12:24/mile

Afterwards I came home and addressed problem #2: lack of strength training. I think I dropped my minimalist strength training plan that was working so well when I started up with yoga, thinking that was working the same muscles in a similar fashion and could just substitute yoga in. I think I was wrong, and need to be doing both, so back to squats, lunges, planks and push-ups I went! I tossed in some one-legged squats for good measure and finished up with some serious stretching of these hips of mine.

By the way, did you know you could download the Maxwell squeal on Geico’s website? Oh yeah. I totally just downloaded it.

Off I go to get my Tuesday on. Only 12 more days until the Flying Pig Marathon! Wee wee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Acorn!

22 Apr

This video cracked me up. I now run in New Balance Minimus shoes, but back in the day when I ran in my Nike Free+ shoes I would often get acorns stuck in my shoes. Each time I thought to myself “Well, at least I have shoes on.”

Rock My Face Off Yoga, New Shoes and a Lovely AM Run

5 Apr

As you may have already read, I’ve only recently started yoga. I’ve loved my few practices, but as a noob I underestimated the sort of experience I could have. Walking into the Full Circle Yoga studio last night, I had no idea what was coming.

In short, our Hatha instructor, Suzie, worked us last night. I twisted and turned and balanced and held and breathed like no other. And then at the end I was so relaxed during savasana that I think I dosed off! When I left that studio, I felt like I needed a cigarette. WHEW!

I came home last night, ate some fried chicken (I know, I know… poor life decision), showered and went right to bed. A few hours later I awoke in a startle and grabbed my phone to see what time it was… it was 4:30 AM and for some reason my alarm was turned off. Props to my internal alarm clock for getting the job done!

Tuesday night I came home to find that these babies had been delivered:

My new shoes: New Balance 20 Minimus Trail

I had tried the Minimus trail running shoes when I bought my New Balance 10 Minimus Road running shoes and thought they were the most comfy shoes in the world. However, I was transitioning from Nike Free Run+ shoes to these and was training for my first marathon, so I figured I should play it safe with the road version of the shoe. I ended up loving these shoes, and have had two pairs already:

My first and second pair of New Balance 10 Minimus Road running Shoes

I had forgotten about the trail versions of the shoe until recently when I came across the New Balance 20 Minimus Trail shoe at a store and stopped to admire them once again. And then suddenly I get an email from Amazon offering these shoes for 40% off. I jumped at the offer!

I only ran 4 miles this morning and the shoes felt great! I even think I might be able to go sans socks in them (for shorter runs). I’ll post more thoughts when I’ve had the chance to get a few short runs and a long run in. I’ll also work on a post about my slow transition from ‘more supportive’ running shoes to these more minimal shoes too. They’re not for everyone, but definitely worth some research and testing if you suffer from shin splints like I did!

Back to the run this morning. It was hot and muggy, and my body was a little tired from the yoga. But considering all that, I felt pretty good this morning. I don’t have official stats because I failed to charge my borrowed Garmin yet again. That reminds me, I need to charge my Garmin. 😉

Here’s the guestimate version:

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Time: fifty or so minutes?
While I don’t have official stats, I do have a photo of the Rice Krispy Treats that my group mate Rachelle brought in:

I promise we don’t usually have this many snacks. 😉

What kind of shoes do you run in?

Things I’m Glad I Don’t Have to Worry About

23 Nov

I sure am glad I don’t have to worry about this when I’m getting dressed for my early morning runs. Finding matching socks is hard enough.

Get Stuff Done Monday

21 Nov

Today I checked off three items on my to-do list so I’m feeling super accomplished:

  • Register for the Turkey Trot 5k: Five years ago I ran my first 5k – the Turkey Trot in the downtown Orlando area. Donnie ran it every year with his Pops and he  encouraged me to join in the tradition. Five years later I’m keeping the tradition alive. I love starting Thanksgiving with a run!  

My 5th Turkey Trot

  • Buy new running shoes: My NB Minimus kicks were looking pretty run down and with the marathon just over a month away, I figured now would be the perfect time to buy a new pair.

New shoes, meet old shoes.

  • Buy ingredients for my Thanksgiving cooking: I always make pumpkin pie and candied sweet potatoes. Plus this year I’m planning on making pumpkin pancakes after the Turkey Trot.

What did your Monday look like?