Thursday, June 16, 2016

Stitch Fix #14 - June 2016

I think I am officially an addict.  I skipped a month for the first time in about a year last month, but then I caved and ordered another fix this month.

What is Stitch Fix you might ask?  Here's a quick rundown:

Stitch Fix is a service that will send you five articles of clothing (or purses, scarves, jewelry, and now shoes) picked by a stylist at whatever interval you choose based on a style profile you fill out about yourself.  You pay a $20 styling fee for each box, but that money goes toward anything you keep.  So as long as at least one item works for you, there's nothing to lose.  And if you keep all five items, you get a 25% discount.

You don't have to sign up for a certain time period between fixes.  You could try it one time and never get another fix or get another one 2 years later!  There's no cost commitment until you schedule a fix.  When the box ships, that's when you are charged the $20 styling fee.

You can create a Pinterest board dedicated to your style and put the link in your style profile so that your stylist can see what items you like and why.  I love when I receive something I actually pinned or something very similar to a pin on my board!

Here is the note I wrote to my stylist this month:
 Same stylist (Anne) please! I would like more solid color tops/tanks to match my patterned shorts and skirts. I also could always use some jeans or pants (would love to try Kut from the Kloth brand!)

And here is what I received in my 14th Fix:

(1) Kut From The Cloth Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jean $78

From the pictures I'd seen of boyfriend jeans, I thought these were going to be a no.  But after trying them on, I think they look cute.  They are SO soft!  I've heard good things about Kut from the Kloth, and I finally understand.  I'm also not a big fan of the distressed look, but it's good to have one pair right?

(2) Market & Spruce Jenice Tulip Sleeve Knit Top $44

When I saw the grey color of this top, I was disappointed.  I have a lot of grey already, and it's too thin, see-through, and casual for work wear.  It's also pretty long.  I love the tulip sleeves, but that's about all I like about it.

(3) Market & Spruce Scott  Crochet Detail Knit Top $44

I had asked for tops to pair with my Dear John shorts from Fix #13.  This top is comfortable and can be paired with almost anything, but I'm not sure about the fit in the shoulders.  The lining there sticks out a bit more than I would like.  It does make quite a patriotic outfit with my red shorts.  My daughter wanted to join in on the fun!

 (4) 41Hawthorn Breyson Split Neck Pleated Sleeveless Blouse $54

I love the color yellow!  I have a similar yellow shirt, but the way it is hemmed at the bottom makes it hard to tuck into pants and skirts.  I tried it with my Level 99 Chino Pant from Fix #12

I also wanted another top to match my Pixley Polka Dot Skirt from Fix #5.  But now that I look back at that fix, I realize I had already tried it on with the other yellow top.  Should I keep this one too or just send it back since I don't think I'm keeping everything anyway?  

(5) Urban Expressions Elisha Zipper Accent Structured Satchel in Mint $64

 This bag was one of my first pins to my Stitch Fix board.  I have returned all the bags I have been sent because they aren't ever perfect, especially for the price.  I ended up buying a bag at Target for about $30 last time I wanted a new purse.  But this bag is a nice color and is very roomy.  I usually prefer small bags, but I feel that this one may be good for times I want to bring my camera with me when I'm traveling or walking around for a long period of time.  I also put on my Zad Metal Cuff from Fix #10 to dress up my outfit a bit.

So as always, I'm torn about which items to keep.  I'll have to take the next few days to think it over and decide.  I get three days to choose which items to keep and which I will send back.  I fill out a checkout survey to give specific feedback on each item so that my next fix can be even better.  Then I put the rejects in a prepaid envelope and drop it off at the post office.

Click here to sign up using my code!  I get a referral credit, and you get to join in on the fun!  Playing dress up has never been so easy!  Feedback and comments are always appreciated!  Have a great weekend, and stay cool!

Visit Crazy Together to see Maria's latest fix!  You can also click on other bloggers links as well!

Also, Stitch Fix is currently offering a great deal!  If you sign up for a fix using my referral code and receive your fix by July 28, we both get $25!  

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Triathon Journey: Race Weekend

There are lots of things to remember to bring to a triathlon.  Luckily for me, the only thing I forgot was my camera.  Unfortunately, you, my reader friends, will have to deal with cell phone camera photos. 

So the big day was yesterday.  I told one of my coworkers that my life was only planned up until June 5th.  Everything happening after that would be thought about AFTER this triathlon was complete. 

My husband, daughter, and I headed to Charlotte on Friday afternoon to check in to our hotel for the weekend.  We were able to enjoy ourselves Friday night and Saturday morning exploring the city.  Packet pickup was on Saturday afternoon, and there was a free clinic about transition at 3pm.  I got a lot of good advice at that meeting.  I learned about where the starts and finishes for each event would be located.  The speaker walked us through the motions of race day, starting with what time to arrive.  The race started at 8am, so she recommended we arrive by 6:15 in order to give us time to set everything up in transition before it closed at 7:45.  She told us to try to get a spot at the end of our assigned area and to face the bike in the direction of the "bike out."  She showed us how to arrange our gear on our towels with everything ready to throw on.  She recommended laces for shoes that you don't have to tie.  If I sign up for another tri, that will be my next piece of equipment!  She also told us to pack and repack the night before, not the morning of the race.

Saturday night, I brought my bike and helmet up to our hotel room.  I affixed my number on the front of my helmet, the top bar of my bike, and onto my race belt.  I had read ahead of time that having a race belt makes transition easier so that you don't have to stop and pin your number on your shirt or change after the swim. 

My alarm went off at 5:30 Sunday morning.  I dressed in my tri suit, put on sunscreen, and ate some oatmeal and yogurt.  I loaded my bike on the back of the car as Matt and Belle finished getting ready.  We took a quick photo in front of my bike.

 We arrived at the YMCA (not as early as I was told, but still well before 7am) and found a parking spot on site.  I took all my gear to the transition area.  My rack was in the very back, and I was able to rack my bike on the end by the walkway in the middle.  I set out all of my gear:  I put my drink in the holder of my bike, I laid out my towel with my running shoes untied and socks on top.  Another tip from the clinic was to wear my socks to the race so that they would be stretched out and easier to put on.  I didn't bring flip flops, so once it was close to race time, I just walked around barefoot.  I had my helmet set upside down on the towel with the straps open to the sides and my sunglasses open as well.  I had my swim cap and goggles ready to grab when it was time to line up.  I took my number and went over to body marking and timing chip pick up.  They wrote my name on one shoulder, my number on the other, and my number on both quads.  They also put my age on my calf.  The chip was attached to my left ankle.  I learned at the clinic that the reason for the left ankle is so that it doesn't get caught on your bike chain.  Here I am all marked and ready:

The pool opened at 7:15 for warmups, so I went to check it out.  I did two lengths of the pool in the colder side (supposedly cold makes you go faster).  After that, it was just a lot of waiting until the start.  The girl next to me took a pic with my swim cap on.  I think I look ridiculous, but it was better than the selfies I was trying to take.
Just before start time, we lined up in order of swim ability.  I assigned myself to the 8s, which was able to swim 250yds in 5 minutes or less.  I wasn't quite as nervous as I thought I would be in this moment.  The line crawled forward and we were able to watch the two pools.  The warmer pool had 3 people swimming in one direction at some points, so I headed to the colder pool where people seemed more spread out.  They released one person per pool about every 15 seconds.  We were to swim one length each way before ducking under to the next lane.  When I was in the water, I did pass one girl at the wall.  I also kicked the wall with the top of my foot on my first turn around.  I knew I hurt myself, but I didn't really feel it until after the race.  I have a scrape on the top of my foot, and I bled on my sock a little bit. 

Once the swim was over, we had to walk until we hit the sidewalk outside, and then we could run to transition.  I had my cap and goggles in my hand at that point and was able to throw them down and get my shoes on.  I caught a glimpse of my family cheering me on at the side of transition. 
I put on my shoes, strapped on my helmet, and once I was out of transition and able to mount my bike, the 8 mile ride began.  The ride was on the road, and it took a lot of energy to pass people.  We are not able to draft (which is following within 5 bike lengths), so I had to decide when to pass as well as look out for cars behind me.  The bike route was 2 loops with 8 total right hand turns.  There was a good bit of downhill with uphills to balance it out.  We were supposed to ride single file, but I saw a couple of pairs riding next to each other along the way.  It made it even harder to pass when you have to go around 2 riders.  I really need to learn how to grab my drink out of the holder as I ride.  I was too afraid I would fall, so I waited until I dismounted and then chugged my fluids. 

After the bike, all I had to do was put my bike on the rack and grab my race belt with my number on it for the run.  The bike next to mine was too close to my spot, so I had a little trouble getting my bike back up.  I actually knocked hers down and had to rehang hers before I could hang mine. 

The run was actually the hardest part for me.  It was only 2 miles, but I was so exhausted from everything else.  The first mile was downhill and there was a water station at the turn around point.  I had to walk some of the second mile since most of it was uphill.  I thought that once I was back in the field, I would be able to finish, but we had to lap around part of the track before crossing the finish line.  My family was there to cheer me during the final moments.

At last, I crossed the finish line and received my medal.  The volunteers took off my timing chip, and I was handed a bottle of water.  I had just finished a triathlon!!!

Transition was closed until all athletes were finished biking, so I was able to hang around, catch my breath, and eat all the snacks that were offered!  Matt told me after we left that I had missed out on homemade mimosas!  But that's okay; I rewarded myself with brunch at a local brewery! 

Today, I was able to see the final results.  I think it's neat that you are ranked on each part of the triathlon so that you can see where you can improve.  Here are my standings:

I had finished in under an hour!  This was out of 307 individual athletes.  I placed 7th out of 23 in my age group.  I feel very proud of my accomplishment.  Now I have to decide if I want to sign up for a true sprint.  I am looking at one at the end of August.  But it requires doubling my swim distance in open water and adding on to the bike and run portions as well.  We shall see.  Stay tuned to see what's next!