Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweaty Bands vs Bondi Bands

I am a sweat band girl. I can't go out for a run with out a sweat band on. I am the dork that didn't know those elastic ones from work out videos in the 1980s weren't cool any more. I can attribute my discovery of Sweaty Bands and Bondi bands to my friends on I had always wondered where those UW Softball players got those functional and girly purple sparkle head bands I saw on television. For an athlete they also make a great stalking stuffer, which is why I am writing about them today. I have tried out both versions, depending on your needs either one might work for you.

Sweaty bands are a head band with cloth on the top and velvet sewn underneath. Around the bottom is an elastic band that gives it stretch.

Me in my sweaty band
 Bondi bands are made out of a stretchy wicking fabric. They stretch over and around your head and are great for under helmets for you bikers out there.

Racing in my Bondi band
I haven't had slipping issues with either product. Both stay in place on my head. The two head bands also keep sweat out of my eyes, but the Bondi bands work slightly better. For this reason I like the Bondi bands more for running. They are also easier to wash. The Sweaty bands are supposed to be hand washed, but I still put them in the wash and air dry them. They don't look so great now because of it, but not terrible. Bondi bands also have fun sayings on them. It may be odd, but they motivate me not to slack off. If I am wearing a 13.1 on my head, no one better see me walking.

I like my Sweaty bands more for cross training. They keep the hair out of my eyes. They don't work so well for the poring sweat when I am running. Sweaty bands are also stylish, so on days I don't have time to dry my hair or if I go straight from the gym to go out I still look cute. Sweaty bands are also more expensive than Bondi bands. There is more to them, so I can see why. There is a grab bag option on their web site, where you can get some at a slight discount.

So which one do I like more? Defiantly the Bondi bands. I get way more use out of them and they are easier to wash. They are less expensive, so I can afford one for everyday of the week. They also keep the sweat out of my eyes more when I am running.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ethleteco: Shirts for Social Change

Ethleteco is a company owned by a friend of mine. It is a great company and I think she is on to something big. Her designs are cute and send a message. They are working on more designs everyday, so make sure to follow Ethleteco on Facebook or Twitter for the latest. Anyone would be proud to wear one of the shirts. Instead of me explaining the message I am going to let them explain it. From their web site:

"Ethleteco Clothing Company was formed with the purpose of promoting positive social change by building local economies that are not dependent on "big business".  Not only are we "sweatshop free", but our shirts are made in the U.S. by employees that are provided with a healthy work environment and benefits such as retirement plans, paid vacations, and health and dental coverage.  We're helping the environment by using the most sustainable materials that we can source.  We offer organic cotton, bamboo/cotton blend and 100% recycled shirts.  All printing is done with environmentally-friendly water based inks, and even the normally toxic clean-up solutions are safe for our streams.

That's all just dandy, but we wanted to go one step further.  The current global economy is really hurting the people of developing countries and the practices of U.S. clothing companies are a big part of the problem.  Overseas and "overborder" production of the clothes and other goods in free trade zones, maquiladoras, and sweatshops contributes to the continued poverty of the people in the countries where these facilities are located.  We wanted to help them break the dependence on under-paid jobs at foreign firms by helping them to start their own businesses.  We've partnered with Kiva to fund microloans for entrepreneurs throughout the world so that they can build their own local economies and reduce their reliance on foreign jobs and foreign imports.  Kiva also funds microloans in the U.S. for entrepreneurs who may not qualify for traditional financing.  We think that helping people to start their own businesses, no matter where they are located, will help us all.  A portion of profits from absolutely everything that we sell goes to this important cause."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NYC Celeb Marathon Results

I know I said I was going to do product reviews, but this is something I just find interesting. Eventually when I pull the trigger and run my first marathon, I want to say at least my time is faster than (insert celeb here). So here is a list of celebrity finish times for this year's 2010 NYC Marathon.

Al Roker 7:09
Robin Quivers (Howard Stern's sidekick) 6:09
Meredith Vieira 5:59
Edison Pena (the Chilean Miner) 5:40
Jared Fogle (Subway) 5:13
Ethan Zohn (Survivor) 4:16
Bobby Flay (my favorite) 4:01
Ryan Sutter (from the bachlorette) 3:20!!

Just think, if Al Roker can do it, I am sure we all can do it too. I think I will try to beat Jared and try to close in on Oprah (her time from years ago was 4:30).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Product Review: My Precious, Garmin Forerunner 405CX

With the holidays coming up my new couple posts plan to be product reviews. Hopefully it will give you some ideas on what to add to your own Christmas lists.

About six months ago I made the investment and purchased a running watch. REI was having sale and Garmin had a rebate going on. I was able to purchase the Garmin Forerunner 405cx for just over half the normal retail price. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

The Forerunner 405 has since been replaced by the 410. The 410 has enhancements helping to increase the length of time you can go between battery charges. It also has increase effectiveness of the touch bezel, especially in poor weather conditions. I know on mine it is almost possible to change screens when it is raining.

What I like about the 405 is it holds me accountable. I can see how far I am running, pace, and heart rate. I LOVE the Garmin Connect web site. It really helps to see how far I have improved. I can also see I have run 326 miles with my Garmin so far this year and burned 41 thousand calories! That is just since May when I bought it. Having the GPS capability is the main reason I chose the 405 over the 100 series. Garmin just gave the 110 a face lift this year. It has GPS now. It is cute, pink and it is made for women! (There is a guys model too that is blue.) If it had GPS back in may I probably would have looked into buying that model instead. One of the biggest complaints I have about the GPS watches is their bulkiness. The 405 fits on smaller wrists and isn't as bulky as the older models, another reason I picked it over other GPS watches.

The 405 is still bulky though. The heart rate monitor strap that came with it was also too big for me, so I had to spend more money to order a smaller one online ( has them, if you have the same problem). The battery life also isn't very good. I can get through two to three work outs with out having to charge it. Sometimes one long run drains it. This would be really irritating if I was trying to train for a marathon. I have noticed turning off the GPS helps lengthen the time between charges, but it isn't much.

I named my watch My Precious. It really does remind me of Lord of the Rings. It is easy to get obsessed over it. It knows so much! It is hard for me to leave home or do a workout with out it. If I do break myself from its hold, it is very freeing. Every once in a while it is nice to run for the sake of running and not having to beat myself up over going a slow pace.

So buy or don't buy? I think it really depends on what you are looking for and what your goals are. I am happy I bought, but mostly because I bought it on such a great deal. I would say if you are starting to train for half marathons you should at least get a stop watch with a heart rate monitor. If you don't have time to map out some runs ahead of time, the GPS might be worth it. The Garmin Connect site tracking is also a huge advantage over the Polar devices. It is definitely a great little tool if you want to spend the money.