A Lululemon Focus Group Run

 

I have the amazing opportunity to work for a company who believes that the consumer rules and whose goal is to please the consumer each day through our products and innovation. I’ve traveled the United States, listening to consumer insight and focus groups, and enjoyed every moment.

But, tonight, was the first time when the tables were turned. I had the pleasure to join Lululemon SoHo tonight for a quick Marathon fashion shopping trip, short test run, and then focus group session. It was awesome!

image I showed up to the store a few minutes early, eager to look through their new Fall arrivals. My mom asked me what I want for my upcoming birthday so I figured this would be a good chance to make a list.

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Within minutes, another familiar face entered the showroom: my long lost friend Theodora. Due to my crazy travel schedule we haven’t seen each other in weeks. We caught up with Caitlin who just rocked the Chicago Marathon this past weekend while perusing the racks. Caitlin works at the Lululemon Soho location and was very helpful, along with the rest of the staff.

imageOur job was to search their run section for articles of clothing we’d likely wear for the marathon. We each spent some time in the dressing room evaluating options before choosing our final favorite pieces.

image  I fell in love with three pieces in particular, the Run Swiftly Tech Tee in Black Swan, the Pace Setter Skirt in black, and Run Inspire Crop with Ruffles. Unbeknownst to us, Lululemon wanted us to run in our favorite two items because they were giving them to us free of cost! image

I chose to run in the skirt since I’ve never run in a skirt before and due to this evening’s temperature!

The verdict? I LOVED THE SKIRT! The ruffles along the back are a fun, frilly touch that left me feeling extra girly even though I was sweating. There was no chafing due to the shorts underneath which fit very much like the Reverse Groove short. I am going to give this skirt a test run on Saturday during my 20 miler with Meghann. If everything goes well, this will be my warm weather outfit if the temperature on marathon day is 50 or above. The skirt is especially convenient since I can wear my Zensah compression sleeves with it.

After our short out and back run, we came back to the store for the focus session. Over some delicious fruit and crackers, we chatted about our Lululemon frustrations, loves, and requests. Nothing was off limits, which I loved. I vented about their lack of size range for those people who can’t fit in a 2-12 while others requested better branding for men, improved fit in the men’s shorts, and tank tops that down drop down to your waist when drenched with sweat. But, they also listened as we pleaded for them to keep popular items more than one season, even if only online.

Overall, it was a great evening and I can’t wait to test the outfit out this weekend!

Question: Have you ever worn Lululemon? If so, what do you love or hate about the clothing or brand? If not, why haven’t you tried it?

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A Few Positive Changes

I can’t believe it’s already Tuesday! This week is flying! Maybe it’s because my calendar has been jam packed from 5:30am until 8pm the past two days. Luckily, I’ve made two little tweaks this week that have left me smiling from ear to ear!

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1. Take my lunch to work challenge: If you recall, I’ve challenged myself to pack my lunch once or twice before but failed both times. My office’s culture includes a strong lunch group camaraderie which includes walking across the street to Pax or Toasties and picking up lunch before returning to the office. It also happens to be the only dose of fresh air most of us get during a 10-12 hour work day. Therefore, I decided that it was socially beneficial for me to go out to lunch daily with co-workers. But, last week I realized that a few people come out with us daily and only tag along for the fresh air, opting to enjoy a lunch they brought from home. After a refrigerator filling Trader Joe’s trip on Sunday I was inspired to try packing my lunch again.

IMG_2687 (478x640) IMG_2688 (478x640) IMG_2690 (640x478) IMG_2691 (640x478) My lunch bag has included the following the past two days:

Healthy Greek Salad (romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, fat free feta, and TJ’s fake chicken strips

Greek Style plain yogurt+Kashi Go Lean (only ate 1/2 of this each day)

Carrot & Celery sticks with 2Tbsp peanut butter

Apple as a safety snack (I haven’t needed this)

Banana+oatmeal for breakfast

2. Run Outside Last week, my indoor runs were mentally challenging and it took every ounce of my willpower to finish the runs. While Bo and I were running on Saturday I realized how much I love running outside in New York City during the warmer months. Therefore, I challenged myself to enjoy all of my runs this week outside versus on the treadmill and see if I feel a difference physically and emotionally. IMG_2703 (478x640)This morning’s early run through the bustling city streets left me energized and sweaty! I mean, how many people have this view when they run?

I had to get to the office early this morning so I busted out a quick 5k, focused on negative splits. The path even included a slight climb up Murray Hill which made this run feel like a perfect mix of hill training and speed. I was able to keep a 9:23 pace which I was really proud of especially since that included some street swerving when the lights didn’t work in my favor.

IMG_2706 (640x480) IMG_2704 (640x480) IMG_2705 (480x640) I spent a few minutes after the run stretching and cooling down with some hip work in front of my building. Between the sweat puddle and awkward movements, I think I got more than one stare.

I also have to take a second to give some love to my new Lululemon Circuit tank! I bought this on sale from Lululemon Union Square on Sunday and am officially in love! (Yes, Lululemon has sales both online in their Oops we made too much section and in the stores.) The tank is long enough to stay in place during yoga poses and long runs, the Luon Light material seems to wick sweat better than their original material, and the cut is very flattering!

Check out the nifty back design as well which allows for plenty of ventilation!

IMG_2702 (640x480) IMG_2701 (478x640) So, even though tonight’s late work schedule didn’t allow for yoga, I’m still proud of myself and feeling better after these two small, positive changes.

Question: What are some small changes you’re making?

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Friday Favorites: Running Edition

 

It’s Friday night and I’m sitting at home enjoying a glass of wine and a bowl of cereal. You can’t get much classier than that, can you?

Unfortunately, while Bo and I have lots to toast to tonight, he is unfortunately still at the office. Luckily for me, that means I have time to spend sharing with you guys the things I’m loving right now!

Today’s Friday Favorites will revolve around all the wonderful running things I’m enjoying these days!

Running Tank

I’ve had a hard time historically, finding a workout tank that will move with me from running to yoga without leaving my belly exposed or falling around my head during downward dog. Luckily, Lululemon has come to the rescue with a wonderful tank that not only breathes, but also stays in place. I am absolutely loving my inner strength tank which I have in 2 different colors!

Best Place for Running or Workout Playlists

I love finding new workout songs as I believe the make even the most boring of treadmill runs fly! While Caitlin and Jes normally feaure some great playlists on their blog, I just discovered another great website which features songs and playlists to match your workouts! Running Playlist uploads a new playlist at least once a week which also lets you know the average BPM it matches. They have playlists featuring The Doors, Glee, and even a direct from Texas country playlist! I love that they feature a sidebar showing all the different playlist categories offered. I found a few new songs on the site this week alone, including a few country favorites.  In addition, since many people have asked, below is my most recent playlist!

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Best Post Run Stretch Session

Unfortunately for my muscles, I rarely spend enough time stretching before or after my runs, whether long or short. I’ve tried to focus on yoga more during this training cycle, in hopes that my legs and body will thank me. Thus far, it is working wonderfully! I’ve found these online yoga programs very helpful since they are short, focused, and accessible almost anywhere! Make it your goal to fit at least one quality yoga session into your week and at least a 10 minute stretching and rolling session into your post long run routine.

 

What are your favorite running

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