Thursday, April 28, 2011

[33] Retail Therapy

Note: I started writing this post in tandem with "Trail Blazin'", and it's best nestled in beween my brunch at the Ritz-Carlton and my run in the rain.  

After my peaceful brunch was interrupted, I decided to get some fresh air and do a little window shopping. The selection of running and athletic apparel shops in White Plains is very limited (and I wasn't in the mood ot deal with the bozos at Sports Authority or test out the newly opened Dick's Sporting Goods), so after a drop by at WRR, I drove out to my beloved Greenwich.

Westchester Road Runner (White Plains, NY)
I love the folks who work here because they are all warm, happy people. I remember their extensive sports bra collection, but alas, I couldn't find any of the Moving Comfort bras that fit right. I love the adjustable straps, but the lack of breast separation (pardon the TMI for my male readers) was rather annoying. Also, the bounce reduction on even their high impact bras weren't satifactory for me. Though I love taking my time to look around, I knew I had to book it to Greenwich so as to complete my quest.

lululemon athletica Greenwich (151 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830)
I love l.a.g., but I always wind up spending money because I find things on sale. Initially, my goal was to acquire the run:speed skirt in Tango Red ($54), but my hopes were crushed as they only had sizes six and two in stock (and its already sold out online). When I inquired the day before about the availability, they said they had it in stock, so I was rather disappointed to see it gone (as they do not hold merch or take phone purchases). Though I don't mind making the 20 minute drive to Greenwich, I was a little frustrated. After a little browsing, I managed to decide on the following: Chai Time Pullover (Gray; $88)Skinny Satin Pirouette Headband (Tango Red; $12), and another wonderful Ta-Ta Tamer (T3; Heather Stripes; $58).

I really love their lightweight jackets for spring, but the price is a little steep. I am also in the market for tanktops which have more than a spaghetti strap or plunging neckline (neither are practical for sports as far as I am concerned). I am still on my quest for a regular white T3, but it looks I am going to have to battle hooligans and snipers on eBay if I want one as its not an en vogue color currently.

Threads & Treads (17 East Putnam Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830)
I have been looking for T&T for months now, and I realized last week that it's a stone's throw from Greenwich Running Company on East Putnam. It was my first time in the shop and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The staff were really nice and knowledgeable about their product lines. The shop space is a little cozy, but that doesn't detract from their diverse selection of merchandise. I really wanted a pair of Under Armour 7" Bermuda shorts in sandstorm or black, but sadly they were out of stock. I will try to find a sports shop which has them in stock so I can buy the correct size. These would be ideal for summer program as they are a technical short disguised as "business casual" (or golf) shorts.

After chatting with the sales lady, I wound up picking up two Seamless Sugarlips Tanktops ($14; Kelly Green & Neon Lime): I was rather concerned about the "one size fits most" sizing, but it was nice and snug (and retains its shape after). I've heard about Sugarlips before, but never ventured to try on their products. Though they also make camisoles, I think I will be stocking up on the scoop neck tank tops, as there are over 30 colors to choose from! While I was checking out, I snagged some Honey Stinger Energy Chews on an impulse. Without realizing it, I picked up the "cherry blossom" (cherry) flavored pack. It was nice and seasonal. Though I intended on saving it for my race on Saturday, it wound up being a late night snack (in lieu of hitting up the vending machine for junk). I liked it very much, will definitely purchase more.

I liked that they had a selection of bicycle gear and surfing/beach wear in addition to their running and tennis wear. It was a refreshing change.

Greenwich Running Company (2 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830)
After my disappointing first visit to GRC, I figured I would give them another shot. Situated at the top of the hill on Greenwich Ave, they have a gorgeous view down the hill to the train station. Their selection on fuel and gear, as well as their own gait analysis system reminded my why I originally stepped through their doors the first time. Luckily, the two gents working the counter today were far nicer, and we had a nice chat. I asked for feedback on the fueling selection, as I couldn't buy everything (this time at least).

I wound up picking up a Crunchy Peanut Butter CLIF Bar ($2), CLIF Shot Gel (Mocha + Caffeine), and nuun U Tangerine Ginger Natural Hydration Tablets (16 Count; $9.00). I have loved CLIF bars since I discovered them at Trader Joes. I was using CLIF Shot Bloks for my half-marathons, but wound up snagging a free gel (in mocha) around mile eight or nine of the Princess Half, and it was pretty good. The only new product trial will be the hydration tablets, but I was reassured that I would not be disappointed. I also gravitated to the sock wall as my colorful Asics socks are wearing thin and I have a lack of technical socks currently. I bought a pair of Balega X-Athlete Hidden Comfort Socks (White; $10.00; Unisex Small) when I was in D.C. for the Cherry Blossom 5K, and I loved them. This resulted in a second pair being bought on the spot.

Lucy Activewear: The Avenue (72 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830)
I've passed Lucy nearly every time I've visited Greenwich, but I never went inside as I had never heard of the brand. What I like about this particular brand is that they also include trek wear, a la The North Face (with a diet price tag). I really liked their light weight materials for their hiking wear (which would make working without roasting in the summer time ideal). I will need to restock my summer, "cool biz" wardrobe for the office, so I am thinking their "Walk About" Bermuda Shorts ($48; which remind me so lovingly of LOST) may soon become a staple. Also, their shorter length ($48; for playtime) shorts are also cute. The Spa Skort is also cute, but I would need to see it before I commit to a return to culottes. With the slim, A-line shape, they may not be as suspect as they sound.

It was a close call, but I put a a copy of Dr. Mao's Secrets of Longevity 8-Week Diary ($14.95) and pair of Gal Pal's Retro Ice Bags ($16/each) back on the shelf. I wanted to check the online price versus their retail markup. Call me savvy or a cheapskate. I don't care. Turns out the section at Lucy was two dollars cheaper! If you buy direct from GP, it's $16 a piece (+S&H). Granted, the selection at GP was different than that of Lucy, so it is possible that Lucy has the older models. I like the idea of having a couple proper ice bags/hot water bottles in my running gear, epecially for destination races (plastic bags and hotel beds do not mix).

Overall, I had a rather productive shopping excursion. Granted, I bought everything but the one thing I set out for, but sometimes its the items that you don't look for that wind up being the better investments. I just hope I can get my hands on a Tango Red run:speed skirt (size 10) by 5/8 for my Japan Run for Hope in Central Park 4 Miler. It would look bad ass with the t-shirt my students designed.

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