In Which Jenn Doesn’t Need New Running Clothes – But…

My dresser is 80% running clothes. I have a draw each for sports bras, short sleeved tops and tanks, long sleeved tops, and running pants, plus a couple free-floating warm weather tops and vests and a collection of hats and gloves. Probably, most likely, I have enough running clothes.

And yet I can’t help but coveting new things. It’s so motivating to say to myself, hey, on tomorrow’s run you can wear your new running socks – get excited! So even though I know, logically, that I don’t need to spend the money, I have a hard time letting a running gear sale pass me by.

Mostly I’m talking about C9 by Champion, Target’s athletic line. They release discounts periodically, and every time they do I can’t help but browse. And then there was the time Target was offering a $10 gift card for every $40 in clothing purchased, C9 included. I walked out with a small but no less superfluous haul. And let’s not even talk about what’s on my Christmas list.

It’s not strictly wanton! Since I’ve been running outside more and more a lot of the warmer stuff is quite necessary. And since it’s a Target brand it’s not like I’m constantly dropping tons of tons of money. And this is how I snagged a pair of running pants that had stripes in Figment purple and orange that doubled as part of a race costume. Practical!

But the best example of my playing with fire was when I ran the Baltimore Marathon. Guys, I did something very very stupid: I bought a pair of running capris a week before the race, and without even testing them, I RAN THE RACE IN THEM.

Like so.

Why? Why would I pull such an obviously boneheaded stunt? Was it the spectacular pattern? The superior design? Did all my other tried and tested running capris spontaneously combust?

No. It’s just that these pants had… A ZIPPERED POCKET. I could put my house key and a credit card and ID in my pocket and fear NOTHING. In perfect comfort too, unlike my sometimes sweaty and restrictive wristlet. It was 100% worth the risk. And it paid off, too – I didn’t see so much as a lick of chafing.

A classic case of do as I say, not as I do, kids. But the siren call of shiny new running gear is so tantalizing sometimes…

Do you have a minor obsession with new running gear, too?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Fairest Week In Review: 8/08

Hmmm. I know I mentioned this on Twitter, but I can’t remember if I told the blogosphere – have I told you yet that a lot of that Mickey Mouse for Target collection of which I reviewed a bit is at least partially on serious clearance right now? I picked up a bunch of the Mickey face masks at 50% off, as well as a Mickey-themed nail file set for less than a dollar. My Target also had scads and scads of Mickey head-shaped bath sponges if that sounds like something you’d be into.

After all, it’s important to keep yourself clean after a workout, like these ones I did last week:

Sunday | ran 10.24 miles in 1:45

Monday | walked 2.35 miles outside; 45 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 5.3 miles outside in 55 minutes

Wednesday | walked 2.33 miles outside in 40 minutes; 50 minute hip hop workout class

Thursday | ran 5.11 miles outside in 50 minutes
Are my new Under Armour sneakers magic? Stay tuned to find out! And by that I mean, we’ll find out together, because it’s too soon to tell. Lord knows I could use some magic sneakers.

Friday | ran 5.14 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes
Ah, summer speed runs on the treadmill.

Saturday | 20 minute arms and abs workout with Pat
In case you’re wondering where my arms are on the fitness spectrum, I have to use a chair to do pull-ups.

… I did already tell you guys I signed up for the 2019 WDW Marathon, right? I mean, it’s not like anyone’s surprised. I did say I’d never miss it again. But it’s certainly relevant.

Dang, forget my own head next. Or even forget the roundup! Oh, wait, here it is:

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Lets Mickey Do Her Makeup

I’m such a sucker for Target’s Disney collections. I’m there every week to buy my groceries, and they always seem to have something new! Usually I’m pretty strong about not buying extras unless there’s a good sale, but in the case of the cheapity-cheap skin and makeup items they just released, I allowed myself to succumb a bit. Hence last week’s review of the sheet masks – and today’s review of an eyeshadow palette!

Quick note: usually I try spread out similar content so that you have more variety to read, but since I’m not sure how long this collection will be available I wanted to get a review out sooner rather than later so you can decide if you want to buy it while there’s still time. If there’s something else in the collection you’d particularly like reviewed, hit me up in the comments. Okay, onward!

Eight bucks will snag you a palette in one of two color schemes, a smokey neutral that bottoms out in black or the one I picked up, which is warmer with reds and browns. Both feature a mix of matte and metallic shades.

The most important thing to note is that, whether because of quality, handling, or some combination thereof, these shadows crumble easily. I didn’t see a single one that didn’t suffer some errant powder along the edges, and a couple even had completely shattered segments. Definitely open them up to check for breakage before you buy! And maybe think twice before having it sent through the mail, at least at full price.

The packaging, besides featuring a plainly shellshocked Mickey Mouse, is cardboard, but the finish is smooth and it doesn’t feel flimsy. The palette features a mirror, which is a nice touch, and comes with a double-sided brush, one side haired and one side sponge. Personally I prefer to use my own, larger brushes but this is handy in a pinch.

Unsurprisingly (at these prices), the color payoff is pretty sheer. Below I swatched each color with one sweep using the spongy side of the included brush. (None of the colors are named; I just went left to right out of the packaging.)

In brighter light.
Most apply to your lids pretty sheer, too, but they aren’t unworkable. The palest tan and the metallic reds were particularly malleable. I do think you’d be hard pressed to build up any truly vibrant color, but you can bring about a very pretty wash if natural is your thing. Some eyeshadow primer should help.

So there you have it! For an $8 palette, this one performs like… an $8 palette. You can probably pick up something better from your favorite drugstore brand if you’re not super into Mickey. But I just can’t get over the inherent cuteness of doing my makeup in my Disney resort room under Mickey’s heraldry. If you feel the same, it’s not a bad purchase.

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Tries Out Those New Mickey Mouse Sheet Masks

Target’s always had a smattering of Disney items available, but the launch that dropped a couple week ago is big – just check out all this loot:

Mugs! Cosmetic bags! Makeup! Skincare! Hand creams and bubble bath and, yeah, some t-shirts and stuff too, but the latter is pretty average, if you ask me. Standard Mickey Mouse prints.

I was immediately drawn to the skincare and makeup, with this romantic notion: how adorably apropos would it be to come back to your WDW resort hotel after a long day in the parks, slap on a Mickey sheet mask, and chill?

With that happy vision dancing before me, I snapped up one of each of the offered masks at $3 a pop (which is to say I purchased these myself for review). Should you do the same? LET’S FIND OUT.

The sheet masks are manufactured in Korea, where skincare is king, so that’s a good sign. The options are hydrating with hyaluronic acid, calming with green tea, and detoxifying with charcoal. Each mask can be left on for 20-30 minutes, with strict instructions to not go over that time.

Let’s start with the most disappointing item: these masks do not make you look like Mickey Mouse. No hilariously weird, Insta-worthy prints here. Just a standard sheet mask. Not gonna lie; I was a little disappointed.

I started with the green tea mask, which I left on for just shy of 30 minutes. The mask comes straight out of the package folded up. There are multiple notches on the edges for a more custom fit. (Theoretically; I’m not great at it.)

Once on, the mask offers a very standard experience, with no tingling or irritation. Upon removal, I noticed no particular redness. My face had the slick sheen of moisture on it, but I don’t know if my skin was particularly calmed. My Cheek Zit(tm) wasn’t noticeably less red – but then I guess it wasn’t any worse either. Overall an underwhelming but perfectly serviceable experience.

What up, last week’s cheek zit? #fbf

A couple days later I took a shot at the charcoal mask. I will not be featuring a picture of this because the mask is black, and, well, it’s darned hard to take a picture of without looking like you’re trying to channel an unflattering caricature, ya feel me? It looked exactly the same as the green tea one, only black.

And this one I did NOT like. It wasn’t as saturated as the green tea version, and edges kept peeling off, especially around my forehead. I ripped it off as soon as the 20 minute mark hit because constantly smoothing it back was driving me nuts. The ultimate result was no different than with the green tea mask, only less moisturizing. Do not recommend.

I haven’t tried the hyaluronic acid version but I’d imagine the experience is extremely similar to that of the green tea. If, when I use it, I find I have strong opinions after all, I’ll definitely keep you updated!

Ultimately I still think it’s fun to have a few of the green tea masks on hand for Disney trips. But if you already have a go-to mask and aren’t charmed by the Mickey packaging, you can probably skip these. Either way, find ’em here.

Come back next week for a review of one of the Mickey eyeshadow palettes! (I did say it was the FAIREST Run of All.)

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Pantsed A Mannequin For Running Tights

What is the present-tense of pantsed? Is it “pantses?” That doesn’t seem right. Hmmm…

Anyway, let me tell you the story of how I pantsed a mannequin. Twice. Well, once I was more of an accomplice. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

You may recall a coupled months ago I complained of tripping over a wire in the sidewalk and ripping my second favorite pair of long running tights. (THE HUMANITY.) Since then I’d been on the hunt for more running pants, of course, because if there’s one thing I don’t have enough of it’s running gear.*

*I have plenty of running gear. But oh, how I love running gear!

I tend to be pretty cheap, though, so rather than plunk down the money on a pricey pair I instead trolled clearance racks and online sales. I wanted reasonable quality, of course, but I also wanted a killer price. Alas, the weeks went buy and nothing quite tempted me enough to buy.

Then one day I was prowling around the Target activewear section and saw a pair of running tights… down around a mannequin’s ankles. Intrigued by this apparent violation of mannequin rights, I investigated. 

I investigated the pants, mind you. (The mannequin was on her own.) The tights hit my boxes – black, with a pocket, high-waisted. Bonus: cute pattern on the legs. I peeked at the size: small. Could work! 

But the mannequin’s feet were firmly attached to the podium. Additional wrinkle: those particular running tights were the only of their kind in the store. I checked all the piles and racks – nada. I checked the Target website, and while these particular tights WERE on sale (yay!). they were NOT available for online order (boo). So I slunk away, defeated. 

Eventually someone must’ve restored the mannequin’s dignity, because the next time I went to Target they had been pulled back up to their proper, clay-butt-covering height. And there they stayed… for weeks and weeks. Taunting me.  (This might be a good time to note that I go to Target weekly for my groceries. I don’t, like, hang around Target constantly like a ’90s mall rat or anything. Although that does sound kinda fun?) 

Finally I couldn’t take it any longer. I resolved that if the tights were still on that damned mannequin on my next grocery run, I would find an employee and I would GET THEM OFF THOSE DISEMBODIED LEGS.

Sure enough, next time I hit up Target, there they were! The waist of tights had been pulled down a bit off the half-torso, as if someone saw me coming and tried to rob me of my victory but couldn’t get them off in time. After multiple inquiries I was able to track down a staff member who could help me, and that remarkable employee lifted the mannequin off its support post, slipped off the tights, and handed them over to me like it was no big deal.

At the register, they rung up under $9. AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!!!!

And that’s the story of how I secured THE LAST RUNNING TIGHTS ON EARTH.

Okay, that’s not true. But man, was it satisfying all the same.

What’s your proudest running gear purchase moment?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Finds A Sneaky Running Gear Discount

We interrupt your regularly scheduled post I was gonna put up today in favor of breaking news: Target’s Cartwheel app is lying to you.

You have the Cartwheel app, right? That nets you lots of extra discounts at Target? Okay, good. So earlier this week I saw that Cartwheel was offering 20% off C9 by Champion workout gear. Great! I need new running socks anyway. I carted myself off merrily to Target and began browsing. Post sock grab, I rifled through the workout clearance racks and found a couple cute tops. Cute tops are an important part of running motivation.

I was about to toss it all in my cart when I saw the sign. It said: C9 by Champion, 20% off in the Cartwheel App! Yes, correct, good. I nodded. And then saw the fine print: does not apply to socks or clearance. DAMMIT.

I looked at my haul, sighed, and put most of it back, save for one shirt that was already deeply discounted so it was still worth it. I paid for it along with some other stuff for which I did use Cartwheel, and upon checking my receipt later, I saw something interesting: the discount had indeed applied to my clearance item.

Naturally the only logical thing to do at that point was go back to Target the next day, grab that other top I’d been eyeing plus the socks, and go through the checkout line again. Sure enough, the clearance top was 20% off! The socks: not, so that was legit. But I also had a Cartwheel offer for 5% off all socks, so I got a bit of a discount there too.

$45 worth of stuff for like $20.

I’m rushing to tell you this because these Cartwheel offers – 20% off C9 by Champion and 5% off socks, including workout socks – are good until October 8 and October 22, respectively. If you go between now and Saturday you could get some running gear for a steal too!

I’m 99% sure all Targets run on the same Cartwheel system, so if I got 20% off clearance items you should too. A couple tips!

  • Don’t be afraid to look outside your regular sizes. I bought a tank in a small and one in a large and because of the way each is cut both fit fine.
  • C9 has sock packs for $10 that are breathable, synthetic fabrics AND some come with a bonus fourth pair. They don’t offer much compression, but wearing them on your shorter runs will take some of the strain off your fancier pairs.
  • Bra review.
  • Do NOT buy the cold weather long pants. They fall down something awful. Although maybe that’s just me being built funny. Run around in ’em before you take the tags off, is all I’m saying.

There you go. Now go get some cute workout stuff for a metaphorical song!

Let me know if you get anything good!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Corrals More Discounts

Discounts! I have more running-related discounts! I’m thinking of making this a monthly thing. Thoughts?

SLS3 is offering their compression foot sleeve for $19.90 – a $20 discount – in exchange for an Amazon review (on the honor system as far as I can tell.). The sleeve is designed to provide arch support and relieve plantar fasciitis if that’s your deal. It comes in different sizes so you can customize your fit.

If you’re in my neck of the woods, Groupon has a pretty good deal for The Great Inflatable Race on June 18 in DC – $29.99 for registration (normally $75). I for one have never been much for this sort of obstacle course thing, but if it’s your bag then it’s a worthwhile expenditure.

Also for my locals: run the Navy-Air Force Half with me! Prices went up on April 1, but you can bring them back down by $10 with code ACTNOW201. Code will also work on the 10k but the discount is only $5 in that case.

Another race you can run with me is the Zooma Half Annapolis – use code CYNTHIA16 to get 10% off. This code also works on any other race in the series, so if there’s one in a city close to you, have at it!

Also – and there’s no guarantee on this one, but I wanted to share – if you’re a Target denizen, I scored a pair of clearance running capris for $8 there yesterday, the fancier kind that used to be $25. They also had a bunch of reasonably cute workout tops in clearance if you’re in the market for long sleeves; that is, if you haven’t run a million runDisney races and wish desperately they’d look into a different sleeve length.

That’s all for this installment! Got a discount I didn’t mention here? Sound off in the comments!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Reviews A Cheap Sports Bra

Influenster recently sent me a 40% discount code off a C9 by Champion sports bra from Target. I was kinda on the fence about the whole thing – 40% off is good, but I have a fair array of sports bras already – until my Target run on Tuesday. Sports bras were on sale! I can’t resist stacked discounts, so I picked one up for review.

The discount code covered two lines of C9 bras: power core and power shape. The main difference seems to be in the cups; namely, are they molded (shape) or no? Some are racer backs, some not. All models I saw have adjustable straps.

I have in-between boobs; that is to say, not so small that I can throw on a tank top and wander about braless (you guys are lucky!), but then again not so big that I naturally get a ton of cleavage with little to no effort (you guys are lucky!). I liked the look of the molded bras, but most of them seemed to have back clasps, which I am less a fan of in sports bras – I hate standing around grappling for hooks with my arms twisted behind my back when I have a workout to get to, geez.

I was also having trouble finding my size, as some are sized like standard bras (ie, 34C) and some are S, M, L. I eventually picked out a medium support power core bra in size medium.

My selection.

Cute, right? Putting it on initially, I was struck by how much more support it offered than I expected. I got a little bit of boob-squish, but not to the extent that high support bras tend to provide. The boobs are definitely strapped down but not suffocated. Otherwise, while just hanging around, it’s pretty comfortable.

The real test is of course in the run. I have some sports bras that require a bit of lubrication if I’m going for a long run, under the band and sometimes on the upper boobs. To find out if this one has any hot spots, I went Vaseline-free for the inaugural run (you’re welcome). Chafe report: nada. Nary a mark on me. Now, I was running on a beautiful morning – low 60s, light breeze – so sweat wasn’t much of a factor; I’d need to try again on a hardcore sweaty day to get a sense of how chafe-y it gets then. But for starters: not bad!

In short, for my medium boobs, medium support was just fine. It’s not super flattering for small-to-medium boobs in that it squishes you down and flattens you out, but then again, it IS a sports bra. It keeps the bounce out. If you want something with a bit more shape, I’d suggest trying a model with molded cups (or this VSX bra, which I have and like). Otherwise this is a perfectly serviceable sports bra at a pretty great price.

Standard cost for the various models seems to run between $16.99 and $22.99, Target is running a bunch of sales both in store and online right now! I got mine in store for $10 ($6 after my discount code) and saw others marked at $15, so if you’re interested in a new sports bra now’s the time to jump on it.

Have you used C9 sports bras? How do you like ’em?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!