Showing posts with label City Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label City Sports. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A return to my happy place (City Sports)

It looks better in the picture
Today's run (treadmill): 3.1 miles

Much of today was spent in the city and I began the day with a high energy treadmill run. I'd considered running outdoors, but outside conditions looked a little soggy. I'm trying to focus on performance running as I prepare for my next race, and set the speed faster than normal. Soon after that, I was wishing the workout would end. I figured that the faster the pace, the faster the run would get done, so I steadily increased my speed.

I was pleased with my workout performance, although I regretted pushing so hard. With a full day's work ahead of me, I should have thought through the amount of effort I'd expend. I ended up doing fine and didn't fall asleep once in my meetings.

I was on my way to see friends for lunch in midtown, so I stopped into nearby City Sport to see if they had anything new. The store is only a couple of blocks from my old office and I'd go there often at lunchtime for stress relief. I'm in the market for a lightweight running raincoat and found a Brooks LSD jacket on clearance for $59. It seemed like a good deal, but unfortunately they didn't have it in my size. I consoled myself with the thought that the black and red color scheme was fairly unattractive.

Altra Instinct
Topo RR
I checked out City Sports' running shoes and saw that they'd added some interesting brands, including Altra (a zero drop brand with a wide toe bed) and Topo (a low shoe with a split toe design) that reminded me of my Brooks Pure Drifts. I decided I'd come back when I had more time to try them on.

Between all the walking in NYC and my treadmill run this morning, I'm up to 16K steps for the day. After the heavy downpours this afternoon I became concerned that I could be be rained out again tomorrow. The skies have since cleared and I'm hoping that lasts through morning.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Observing transformation on my morning run

Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

One day can make a dramatic difference. During my run this morning I saw that most of the downed trees were removed some time yesterday. Some scary looking wires, artfully draped over a busy road for the past two weeks, were back up on their poles. The streets were clear of residual brush, and it looked like we'd never even had a hurricane.

This morning was colder than yesterday, but only by a few degrees. I wore my prized City Sports running pants and a lightweight 1/4 zip top with an short sleeve jersey over it. This combination worked well for the near freezing weather. Had I run longer, or pushed myself harder, I would have felt overheated. I ended up covering my route a minute slower than yesterday, although the effort seemed about the same.

I'm thinking about this weekend's running and I was disappointed to see that the New York State Parks website said that, besides the clubhouse, tennis facilities and golf courses, "Other areas of the park will remain closed until further notice." I need to find an alternative to Bethpage for my long weekend runs. Perhaps I'll head to Stillwell Woods tomorrow to do some trail running. It's been a long time since I've gone off road and I really miss that experience.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Seeking out a wrap and a baffle

Clammy and sloshy hydration
I went over to City Sports at lunch today because my CS Insider dollars expire at the end of the week I didn't want to lose them. I had hoped to find a new hand bottle to use on my long runs, because my Amphipod Hydroform unit is falling short in too many ways. Although it has a hand strap, there's no insulation between this bottle and my hand. The heat from my hand quickly transfers to the bottle and melts the ice inside. Soon after that, my hand heats up the remaining liquid.

Besides this heat issue, I don't really like the feeling of the cold bottle against the palm of my hand when I run. It's uncomfortable, and the condensation makes the bottle feel clammy. As the bottle empties, the water sloshes around inside. This becomes annoying over a long run.

City Sports didn't have a large selection of handheld bottles today, so I pretty much struck out. If a bottle exists that has an insulating wrapper and a baffle inside (that prevents sloshing) I'm ready to buy. I ended up spending my Insider dollars on Nuun electrolyte tabs along with some GU Roctane gels. I have the necessary contents, I just need a better bottle to put them in.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I heart my City Sports running pants

Today's run (street): 5.25 miles

I've been very happy with most of my race performances this year, including yesterday's 5K where I came within seconds of breaking 25 minutes. The biggest change in my training in 2011 has been less focus on speed during training runs and more focus on quality. While my average pace for recreational runs has slowed by about 15 seconds per mile, my average pace in races (the half marathon being a significant exception) has improved by about 10 seconds per mile.

I gotta say they fit me better than this
On Friday I walked a couple of blocks to City Sports on 48th and 6th and bought a pair of their house brand (CS) performance running pants. These pants are usually $60 but were on sale for $39.00. I compared them to similar, but higher priced, running pants from Brooks, Saucony and Adidas and saw little difference. If anything, the CS pants were heavier and better for winter temperatures.

I wore these pants at yesterday's race and loved the fit. My wife liked the way they looked on me and I didn't feel self conscious wearing them, as I sometimes do in running tights. These pants were a definite improvement over sweats and I was happy to find them on sale.

This morning the temperature in my town was 23° so I dressed in layers and wore a fleece wicking cap and my mitten-gloves. I was a little cold at the start but the new running pants did a good job keeping my legs warm and my Layer 8 thermal zip, with a layer beneath, kept me comfortable up top.

The wind was coming from the north and it was brisk at times. This created a situation where my body stayed comfortable because it was warmed by the run, but my face was freezing from the wind. Having glasses touching my face didn't help me any. It was a little uncomfortable at times, but not so bad that I needed a balaclava.

Ford GT: a cool surprise
I ran slowly to stay below my lactic threshold and give my muscles an opportunity to repair themselves. I criss-crossed the neighborhood, changing directions on a whim and totaled 5.25 miles. As I was running my final steps prior to turning onto my street, I noticed a Ford GT making its way in my direction. The driver was driving slowly but the engine was purring. As a person who loves great engineering and style, I was thrilled to experience it. The same may be said for my new running pants!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why is buying running pants so hard?

Such a deal!
Today's run (treadmill - 2% incline): 25 minutes

At my last race, I noticed many people wearing pants that looked like running tights, but with a looser fit. I liked the idea of these pants for very cold days. My running tights provide energizing compression, but not much insulation. I'm thinking a little space between the material and my legs would help trap some warm air on those below freezing mornings.

Every day I receive marketing emails from Roadrunner Sports, REI,, Brooks, City Sports, etc., all offering what seem to be great deals (40% off plus FREE 2-DAY SHIPPING!). When I link into these sites I often discover that the deals aren't as good as they seem. For instance, I pursued an offer through Roadrunner promising a 20% discount, etc., and found two items that I added to my cart. Even with the discount code added, (that took a while to find as well) I saw no reduction in the item's cost in my cart. So I left the website.

Unfortunately, I've had similar experiences on other sites. If it isn't price related, it's other things. I don't like when my running pants droop far below my ankles so I want to size the items correctly. The sizing guides show inseams ranging between 28.5"-32" for medium pants. Which is correct? Do I want to take a chance and be disappointed?

I'll probably end up going to either City Sports or Sports Authority and choosing items that I can try on first before buying. It's really too bad that the need for something simple can become so complicated. My wife wonders why I hate to shop, and this is the reason. Even done virtually, it can be a frustrating experience.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Singlet minded planning

I need to decide if less is more
With only six days before the Dirty Sock 10K, I'm working out my race day preparations. I've been thinking about whether to buy a singlet to wear as a hedge against the historically high humidity. The idea is sound, having less material on your body will allow more efficient evaporation of sweat. However, I've never run in a singlet and I don't know if I'd like it or if I would find it a distraction.

My fallback is my Craft Performance running tee that does an excellent job of wicking and evaporating sweat. I'm not sure what conditions to expect on Sunday but, if it rains, efficient evaporation becomes less important and, to the prior point, less material would be beneficial. I'll take a look at City Sports this week to see if there are any summer clearance bargains. If I get a singlet I can try it on one of my morning taper runs to see if I like it.

While I'm in shopping mode I need to remember to pick up more GU Roctane gels for the event. There aren't too many products that I think can make a noticeable difference, but this one does.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spending my (City Sports) dollars wisely

A combination of residual soreness from Sunday's run and a rare post-work celebration last night prevented me from running this morning. I hardly ever drink and almost never go out after work but last night was our sendoff for Adventure Girl who is leaving the company to finish of her Master's studies at Yale. By May she'll be graduated and off to the west coast to do research in her field. There was a great turnout at the place with people we hadn't seen in some time. We are sad to see AG leave but we know the friendship will continue.

Craft-y bargain at City Sports
I'm slightly regretting not running this morning because tomorrow morning's weather will be rainy and I'll be forced to workout indoors. I just got a great bargain at City Sports using my CS dollars earned by being a City Sports "Insider." It's a $45 Craft running shirt that cost me $7 after discounts and applied credits -- I'm picking it up at the store today. A new running shirt will be good consolation tomorrow morning when I'm forced to get back on the treadmill.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spending time in my happy place

I like to run because it's fun and healthy and it provides an opportunity to measure progress in scientific way. There's a lot of science in the sport of running and as a technologist I appreciate learning the physics of the sport and understanding the ways that changes to form and style can increase the efficiency and speed of a runner. On the other hand, while running is as simple as it gets in terms of sports, there's a whole lot of cool technology available to satisfy my inner tech geek.

I like to look at running stuff in stores, everything from clothes, to tech accessories, to shoes. Especially shoes. Running shoes are cool. They are like little high performance sports cars designed to help a runner reach his or her potential. I love the subtle differences that represent competitive advantage between companies. Each company serves a segment of the market. While I'm no fan of Nike they do have some great performance shoes and have actively responded to the minimalist running movement with the Frees. ASICS makes great performing shoes that feel great. They are the luxury cars of the running world. Brooks makes purposeful shoes with great designs and very smart technologies. They are my favorite shoe company and part of the reason for that is their focus on putting sustainable materials into their shoes. There's probably a dozen more companies I could mention that differentiate in interesting ways.

I was in the mood so I walked the two blocks to City Sports yesterday to see what was new. I only spent 20 minutes there during lunch but I had a great time looking at the new models and the niche brands like Karhu, Newton and Zoot. I finally tried on the Brooks GTS-10's and I have to say they lived up to their reviews. I love my 9's but the 10's fit, wrap and spring off the forefoot were much improved. I'm still considering a more minimal/front strike shoe like the NB M800, the Newton's or Brook's new Green Silence which has a mere 8mm offset from heel to toe. I didn't buy anything yesterday but I left happy.

I'm also happy to note that I ran about 2.25 miles on the treadmill this morning. According to the Garmin my pace was around 9:40 but that seems faster than the moderate pace I attempted to maintain. I did focus on front foot landing throughout the run so perhaps I managed more speed with less effort. I was glad to get back into the week day running routine and I'm fully energized for the work day. That makes me happy too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New running gear cures all ills

Yesterday I took a rest day from both running and posting. This has been a tough week for my company and I think it caught up to me on Wednesday both physically and psychologically. I felt exhausted when I woke up and I thought that there would be little to gain from running. My workday was busy and I considered writing a post over lunch but instead I decided to head over to City Sports to look for a couple of needed items. It was exactly what I needed to break out of my week's malaise. My morning runs used to be a perfect respite to the hot summer weather. I could count on cooler temperatures and, of course, no sun at 4 AM. Now it's darn chilly in the morning and while I have the gear to keep me comfortable there are a few things that could improve.

When I got to City Sports I noticed that they had really nice cold gear from ASICS, Brooks, Mizuno, Adidas and others. I'm always tempted by this stuff but I know that my less compelling but functionally competent cold gear would carry me through another season. What I really needed were a mid weight hat that would cover my ears but not affect the position of my glasses when I run. I found a Brooks Vapor 2 racing cap for a very good price and I was pleased to accomplish at least one task. Along the way I found a pair of ASICS Winter Run Hybrid gloves marked down to less than $10 (from $28) so I was happy about that. I spend a little more time looking at running shoes and saw they had some of the new ASICS models. They also had some excellent bargains on shoes in their clearance section. As much as I'd have liked to buy a pair of $140 shoes for 35% off it wasn't the right choice for me. I returned to the office happy with my purchases and felt better overall.

This morning I used the new hat and gloves on my run but they certainly didn't help my performance. It may be that I am fighting a cold or just over tired but through the entire run I felt like I had a tether holding me back. I couldn't generate much speed and I ended up covering 2.4 miles at a mid 9:00 pace. All the same I did get back out today and despite my sluggish run I liked the way the new cold gear performed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Zoot suited - a shopping story

I was out after lunch yesterday in the mid-town heat so I stopped into City Sports to cool off a bit. Okay, it was very hot outside but I don't really need an excuse to stop into that store. What I like about City Sports is that, while they stock plenty of gear for other sports, they have a big running section that greets you right as you walk in. Since most of my athletic wear shopping takes place in the suburbs at Sports Authority, Dick's and Target (their Champion running stuff is a very good value for the price) or in private running stores that have less selection and (understandably) higher markups I appreciate the expanse and brand diversity at City. The only other place I've seen such choice is Paragon in Union Square but City Sports is just two blocks away!

My intention was not to buy anything during that visit. I really like looking at running gear and it's interesting to see brands like Sugoi and Craft displayed along with apparel from Mizuno, Brooks, Pearl Izumi plus the more common suppliers. One brand that caught my eye a few months ago is Zoot, a company that makes performance apparel primarily for triathletes. Hanging seductively in their section has been an Ultra Tech Tee that is so sheer that it almost doesn't exist. I imagined that this would be the perfect running shirt - light as a feather but with venting, sun protection and wicking capabilities. The only reason I never bought it was its sizable cost that I felt was just too high a price to pay for an item that is likely to be outweighed by a honey bee. As I looked at the racks I noticed signs indicating that a clearance sale was going on and I gravitated to the Zoot section only to see that this shirt was marked down quite a bit. Even so I hesitated to buy it, I probably have six or seven running shirts already and two, my Nike Sphere and Adidas adiZero shirts, are excellent for competition. I then thought about what my wife would say if she was standing there: "Go ahead, you've been looking for an excuse to get it. If it was me you'd say to buy it." So I did.

I'm glad I did. I remember reading a comment on my Runner's World blog from someone who said he buys a new shirt for every race. That sounds about right but I think I'm done for now. I invested in some good cold weather gear last year and now I'm fully equipped. Of course my Brooks running shoes are almost five months old so maybe its time to start thinking about their replacement...

blogger templates | Webtalks