Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review: Altheta High Rise Chaturanga Tight.

I'm still gym-bound, thanks to the crappy weather so I wanted to post a quick review about a pair of workout tights I bought that have exceeded my expectations. I generally expect most workout clothing to disappoint me, so when something doesn't? It deserves some praise.

I have a couple of pairs of bootcut style yoga pants that are kind of ancient. They're Lululemon from back when they had high quality that matched the high price tag. Sure, I paid a lot for those pants and got (I'm guessing?) five solid years of wear out of them. But they're finally looking a bit shabby so I decided to get some workout tights like all the kids are wearing. I ordered these:

High Rise Chaturanga Tight

I'm pretty sure my ass looks at least that fine in them. Heh. They're high-rise which is basically the best thing IN THE WHOLE WORLD. They come right up to my navel and just suck everything in very pleasingly. There's no slipping, there's no muffining. They're otherwise very plain which is just fine with me. They aren't inexpensive, but Altheta has decent sales/codes so I'd wait for one of those because why pay full-price if you don't have to? I know when a piece of clothing really works for me when I get mad when it's in the laundry basket. These are a win and I am impatiently waiting for a sale so I can buy another pair.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Winter Wool Doldrums.

What is it about February? It's the shortest month of the year, but it feels like the longest. The weather has taken a nasty turn and it looks like my bikes won't get any fresh air any time soon. I did get in a short ride last Saturday, mostly to test out my new winter kit:

I finally bought a team jacket and fleece-lined winter knickers and I will say it helps a lot to have the right clothes for the season. I posted this photo on FB just to show it off and immediately a debate started about the superiority of wool over fleece-lining. It was interesting and I believe it but I...didn't ask? This happens to me a lot, a grown woman. Why do people think I don't know how to dress myself?

Wool is fine if you can stand the itching. I cannot. I do have a really nice wool Road Holland jersey that I can wear over a full-sleeved base layer but I am never, ever going to be able to wear wool base layers. Just never. The only thing I can stand is Smartwool socks and even those are a little itchy for me.

Again, for layering, I cannot say enough good things about Craft base layers. They are warm, very fitted and hold up really well. They are expensive, but you can find some serious deals. This one in white is under $20 right now! Git it!

So, more proof that I'm a summer weather kind of person. I'm super happy with my winter kit (though the knickers are simultaneously too big and too small? I'm sure they'll stretch a bit. The chamois is amazing.) and hopefully it'll do the trick until the glorious death of winter which can't come too soon. Stupid winter.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Review: New CycleBox!

When RunnerBox asked if I'd be interested in being a CycleBox Ambassador, I didn't even hesitate. It's great! I just received my second box last weekend and I think I like it even better than the first one. It's amazing the amount of great stuff they pack in that little box. Here's the loot:

Whee! There isn't much in here that I won't happily use. I pretty much immediately ate the Good Bean roasted chickpeas and they were completely addictive, a very satisfying crunchy-salty snack. I was also happy to get the Honey Stinger gel in an intriguing flavor (acai and pomegranate.) Honey Stinger is a favorite brand of mine - tasty and natural.

But, the true gem of this box is definitely the AthLights set, which looks like this:

This is such a great idea - tiny powerful light dots that attach to your clothing with magnets. They are super-bright blinkies the size of a dime. I tested them out and the magnets are VERY strong- these will stay put. (Now, if someone can tell me how to avoid washing them, I'll be all set. Seriously, this will happen. I routinely forget to empty out my jersey pockets.) A set of AthLights will run you $9.99 so you definitely can see the amazing value you get with the CycleBox.

RunnerBoxes are available in three varieties - Runner, Tri and Cycle. They come every other month and cost $19.95 plus shipping. Aside from the bimonthly subscription they also offer gift boxes and right now there's a limited edition Valentine's Day gift box. Very cool.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review: Athleta Fast Track Tee.

Lately I've been spending a lot of my after-work hours at the gym. I lift weights which I enjoy in a solitary way. Of course I'd rather be on my bike but I also dig the challenge of lifting heavy things and I like the peaceful exhaustion from a workout well done.

Like spinning, I prefer my weight lifting tops to be unrevealing and functional. (Like, this one just mystifies me. It's cute, but what can you actually do in that?)  If I'm deadlifting I don't really want to be thinking about how much I'm exposing when I lean over the bar. I am about to pick up something that weighs nearly as much as I do, so I don't really give a shit about looking busty and cute.

I do, however, want my workout clothes to be well-fitting and functional. I don't want to hike up my pants or constantly pull my shirt hem down so I'm always looking for well-designed solutions to these problems. A while back I ordered the Fast Track Tee from Athleta because it made some bold claims and the reviews were pretty good. Also, it's on sale:

Fast Track Tee

It's good stuff. Breathable fabric, flattering ruching business around the middle, and, my favorite detail, grippers in the hem which mostly help keep it in place.  It's also really comfortable and doesn't have any itchy seams or weird tags. This is what it looks like on me in a sweaty-locker-room-sucking-it-in-selfie kinda way:

I was wearing it so often that I went ahead and bought another one in the pale grey color. They have a new version in cute spring colors, but that one isn't on sale yet so, eh. Wait for a sale price, I always say.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ode to the Toe Warmer.

I was having a blah day yesterday. It was a grey, coldish day and I'd managed to convince a friend to go on a mountain bike ride with me even though my motivation was low. I almost never regret a ride, even if I'm miserable at the start.  It was cold enough to need layers and long-fingered gloves, but it wasn't cold-cold.

Still, my toes are always the first to go and I recently bought an 8 pack of chemical toe warmers:


I used a pair yesterday even though it wasn't that cold and I wasn't going to ride more than an hour. And you know what? I'm glad I did. It was worth wasting a pair so that my toes were warm and happy. Gradually, I was warm and happy too and the rest of my day improved quite a bit.

I'm sure there are plenty of people I know who'd think I'm a total pussy for using toe warmers when it's 45 degrees out, but some of those people wear short-sleeved jerseys when it's 45 degrees out so we're just going to ignore them. And, we're going to happily blow past them on a 95 degree day when everything is fantastic. For me.

Moral of this mostly pointless blog entry: Do what works for you and your toes. Don't worry what other people think.