January 24, 2014

Balancing the happy with the cruddy

You win some, you lose some. This week has been all about balancing the amazing with the questionable and cruddy.

I may be the only person on earth who was really excited about the Boston Marathon jacket for this year. Most of the reviewers (see the 2 our of 5 stars) hated the color, which I loved more than my college self loved the Beastie Boys. Extremely hard to top such love. But then I ordered this incredibly overpriced jacket, with a 15% off code for registering with adidas.com, and I too was disappointed.

But not with the color. I still stand firmly behind the awesomeness of highlighter orange. What I thought was lame was that this jacket felt like much lower quality than my other (much cheaper) running jackets. For example, there weren't as many pockets and vents, and the material wasn't as soft. The cuffs were kind of weird, like they were trying to make a cross between a warm-up suit and a running jacket. They are a totally different material from the rest of the jacket. But the part that is making me consider returning it is that the "Boston Runs as One" logo on the back collar is off center. Seriously, this really grates on my nerves. I can't even look at it without feeling irritated. 

I did have some more successful online purchases this week. This little Oiselle High 10 Shimmel number has got some very substantial removable pads. Perfect for my 13-year-old-boy chest. Even though we're in the middle of a cold front, I bought this because it went on sale, and I've been staring at it, via the internets, for some time now. If this shirt were a person, it would be feeling really weird right now because of how long I've been staring at it, possibly without blinking. 

And P.S. I love Oiselle packaging that comes with little bonus nuggets. Why can't I write nuggets without immediately thinking of bathroom humor? Help me. 

Second successful online purchase, these Pearl iZUMi Women's EM Trail N 1 from Alabama Outdoors. They were half off, and I've been itching to try them for forever, or at least since they came out. Did I need another pair of trail shoes right now? Absolutely not. Will I eventually need another pair? Absolutely yes. So I'm hoping to hang on to these for some future trail dancing. 

Fresh out of the package.

Things were hit and miss with eating this week too. First of all, we finished our two-week clean-up of our eating. Go, us! I feel more energized and am sleeping better (read: going to bed earlier) in general, which is hard for me to accomplish when I'm eating more sugar.

Here are my two favorite meals that were plan approved.

Fish tacos with homemade mango chutney. I couldn't stop eating these.

And for a super quick, delicious, and healthy meal, you cannot beat the loaded egg scrambles. Just throw every vegetable you've heard of into your eggs, and boom, loaded egg scramble. Top with avocado (optional, but only if you hate joy).

We celebrated our healthiness by turning to gluttony at our favorite Birmingham restaurant, Red Pearl. It's a hole-in-the-wall restaurant attached to an Asian grocery store. I went to the store five times before I even realized that there was a restaurant back there, so you have to really look for this place to find it. Their food tastes exactly like Chinese street vendor food, aka the best food on earth.

After so many successful attempts at ordering the most random thing we could think of (and had never heard of) and it coming out to the table amazing and delicious, we finally met our first fail.

Turns out that crispy baby fish with peanuts is just what it sounds like. Can you see the eyeballs? What's worse than a dead baby fish staring at you from your dinner plate? A million dead baby fish staring at you from your dinner plate. 

But the squid and beef with Chinese broccoli were on point.

Other fails this week?

When my son excitedly brought this book to me at the library.

Why? And just no.

Even though there were a few what-the-freak moments, this week has made me happy. We've gotten in solid workouts. 

Boxing is my new favorite cross training.

I'm back on my regular running schedule with no pain, other than the ordinary stuff. Plus my treadmill buddies dress as twins to entertain me. 

And I got a super comfy, light, and warm Salomon jacket (wearing it every day now) for winning the Southeastern Trail Series. Plus they gave us $100 gift cards to Mountain High Outfitters and an entry into the series for next year.

Champs for the long series.

The race directors for the series hosted a party at their house for the runners. Good food, some of my favorite people, and lots of running and non-running talk. All combined for a happy night.

All in Stride in the stripes. Word!

Plus they raffled off even more prizes: shoes, watches, entries to the race series.

The winners were the opposite of sad.

Happiest winners on earth.

Tell me one cruddy thing and one good thing from your week!

Would you eat crispy baby fish? For real.

What was your last online order fail/success?

Lady Gaga -- yes, no, maybe? Every once in a while she does something cool, like tell everyone that magazines photo-shopped the bejeez out of her for their cover and that that is not what she looks like when she wakes up in the morning -- all while dressed in bubbles and a warped slinky with a flowery wreath wig on top.


  1. I thought the baby fish were noodles;) Good thing is that I bought some new Brooks on sale! Cruddy thing is my house is a disaster and I have to clean it today:( Boo!

  2. I think there is a collective gasp anytime the BAA strays from the classic blue/gold. That said, I like the orange, although it smacks on ING NYCM to me. Bummer that the quality is lacking.

    1. So true -- I didn't think about New York. Maybe because I've never run it.

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  4. That sucks about the logo being off center. I wonder if it was like that on a batch of them, or on all of them? Geno has run Boston 5 times. Each time, he buys a patch from that year. He buys a nice jacket here (usually NorthFace) and has our cleaners sew on the patch. It's pretty cool, because he gets the kind of jacket that he loves and still gets to sport the Boston Marathon badge.

  5. Ok, baby fish...definitely not!!! As far as Boston goes, I agree with the comments above - Boston needs to stay blue & yellow. That's Boston and NY is orange. I think the patch idea is great! I have a 1995 jacket from the first year that I often wear. I have patches from the other 4 years! Along the same vein, I just online purchased a tech shirt for $15 that says "Right on Hereford, left on Boylston". All Boston runners know that mantra. BTW, return the jacket if you don't love it. You can buy one at the expo that you will love.

    1. The good news: free shipping to and from Adidas. I was hoping that using the online coupon would make it cheaper, but in the end, it would be worth more cash to get one that I will actually wear.

  6. Lol to the Lady Gaga book. My 4-year old daughter loves to tell everyone that her FAVORITE singer (artist?) is Nicki Minaj. The looks I get!!

    I looooove Oiselle. They have stolen my heart and my wallet. I'm OK with that :)

  7. Aw man, I think my previous comment got lost......

    I was saying, I would send that jacket back. They will NOT run out of them in Boston. They sell them at the expo, AND there is a tent set up, near the expo and finish line, that sells all of the merchandise, and there were no lines. Also, I tried on the women's medium and the men's small, and actually liked the fit of the men's small better. (last years were completely different than this year's new cheap redesign though. I heard the emblem is screened on now instead of embroidered!!)

    1. The logo on the back of the collar is definitely screened on, but the rest of the emblems (small one on the front and large one on the back) are embroidered. I'll take some pics to show y'all. You guys are definitely making me feel more confident in sending it back. Thank you for sharing your experiences!!!

  8. Ugh I hate that they compromised on quality for the jackets... especially when it comes to an organization like BAA. I had a similar experience with the NYC finisher jacket that I bought after the 2010 race. It was just cheaply made, the zipper fell apart in a few weeks and it didn't have a good fit. Now, the jacket that I bought after the 2013 race? Different story... favorite finisher jacket ever. I think BAA will definitely hear the complaints this year and go back to a quality product next year :)

    ~ Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

  9. Ran 6 miles for the 1st time ever without little toe blister (swiftwick really saved me)
    Short runs in new running shoes was annoying.

    Return the jacket. It is not one you will learn to love, it'll end up at the goodwill.

  10. Pretty much anything with eyes still on is a no-go in my world!!
    Good this week - I ran 4 days (that is rare but I'm trying to up both days and mileage without getting injured!).
    Cruddy - very little sleep - I spend hours at night just laying in bed trying to sleep.

  11. One cruddy thing this week...it was 'that' week of the month. Ugh. One good thing...my ankle's mended and I ran 12 good miles today.

    I couldn't eat the fish. No eyes here. Cut the eyes out and yep, I'm there.

    My last online order was a CRACKING book for the Dude ' Hairy McClary'. You should def get it for the twins.

    Lady Gaga -- yes to the music, no to the marketing.

    Disappointed about that jacket for you - it's a bit of a let-down.

    1. Thanks for the book recommendation! Checking it out!

  12. One awesome thing: I already sold one of the yoga mat straps I crocheted to raise money to go to CA for the IDEA World Fitness Blogfest!! :) YAY!!
    One Downer: Only made it to the gym once and did yoga twice this week so working out was quite awesome...

    Wow... I don't like the color of the jacket at all... I would've wanted the traditional blue jacket if I made it to boston!

    1. Where are you selling those straps? A friend and I were just talking about homemade ones the other day!

  13. That fish dish gave me the heebie jeebies!!! UGH!!!! No way no how. I was one of the I"M OUT folks on that new jacket. Normally I don't mind orange but there's something about that particular shade and colour combo, not to mention the styling of the jacket itself that made my say nope. One awesome thing this week: I had the best burger I've had in a long time last night, ha ha. One crappy thing about this week: the weather. It's FREEZING. We're trapped in a Polar Vortex and today, the wind is gusting at around 50kph and I have to go and do my long run. I hope I don't get blown over.

    1. When we say "polar vortex" here, we mean slightly below freezing. I have a feeling that your meaning is much, much colder!

  14. First of all, I would recommend that you ditch the eyeglasses when boxing! :) I actually got the long roga shorts last week, love the fabric and the back pocket, don't care for the short rise. Got a new pair of shoes for work that are going to be awesome I hope. Sorry about that jacket, that I bet is going back. For that much money I would need to love it. And anything crooked would drive me crazy too.

    1. Hahaha, fortunately no one was actually punching me. I was just punching objects. And I hate that the rogas didn't work out. Dang it!


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