I may not be a winner, but at least I’m losing in style!

26 Mar

Yesterday was such an exciting day. I came home at lunchtime, as I needed to get my car for work and noticed that there was a man on my front lawn. On closer inspection, I realised that it was Adrian, my lovely gardener (I’m not posh, but it was cheaper to have a gardener for a couple of years than buy a new lawnmower, and it gives me a bit more time for training!) Adrian told me that I’d just missed the postman who’d tried to deliver a parcel. I assumed that I would need to wait 24 hours before going to the post office to collect it, but when I looked at the delivery notes, I found that the postman had delivered my parcel to my next-door neighbours.

I needed to head down to the Oceanography Centre for work, so on my way to the car, I called at my neighbours’ house and collected my parcel. Instantly, I could see it was a parcel from Team SOAS – yay!

My Team SOAS parcel

My Team SOAS parcel

In the last few days, I’ve seen a few posts on social media about the American Brand Ambassadors receiving their kit, but I’d assumed that I’d need to wait a couple of weeks for mine to arrive. I wanted to take photos to savour the moment and share it with all of you, so I put the parcel on the front seat of my car and it remained there until I got home from work, which is when the excitement began.

I carefully opened the box, which was packed full of exciting goodies, all carefully packaged with turquoise tissue paper.

So many goodies!

So many goodies!

First out of the box was a headband. Unless it’s really hot, you’ll have noticed that I almost always wear a headband. It fits really well and is incredibly comfortable. I love the details on it – at the back there are cute little SOAS logos.

The cute headband (and a slightly crazed smile!)

The cute headband (and a slightly crazed smile!)

Next out of the box was the hoodie. It’s soft, warm and comfortable and I can tell it’s going to be a favourite for wearing to and from races and just about any other occasion. (I’m currently on my way to an education and technology conference, where I’m going to be giving a presentation on Digital Literacies and I seriously considered wearing it today!)

The hoodie

The hoodie

Sadly, I then had to take a pause from the excitement, as I had to go to my Weight Watchers meeting. That seemed like as good a reason as any to put on my new hoodie. I found out that I put on 1.5lbs in Cyprus, but I think my new kit will be great motivation for me to get back on track with eating healthily!

When I got back, I was able to start going through the contents more thoroughly. First out of the box was a lovely note from Steph, one of the founders of SOAS. It is so exciting to be part of a team of amazing women.

The note from Steph

The note from Steph

The next items that I tried on were the grey marl cropped jogging bottoms. I’ve never had cropped jogging bottoms before, but they felt really comfortable on. They’ll be ideal for wearing to and from races in the warmer months of the year, and for after open water swimming. They’ve got a gorgeous logo patch on the left hip.

My SOAS bottoms

My SOAS bottoms

You’ll see that I’ve teamed the trousers with my new flip-flops. Last year was the first time since I was a small child that I owned a pair of flip-flops as I’ve always found them incredibly uncomfortable. Part of the reason is that I have conjoined toes and they’ve always rubbed between my toes. Last year I invested in a pair of the most hideous flip-flops known to man (pearly pink straps and multicoloured leopard print soles). I chose them specifically as I wanted them for when I went open water swimming. I figured that if they were brightly coloured, I would be able to spot them even without glasses on/contact lenses in. Fortunately, they can now be retired for a significantly more stylish option… now I just need a SOAS swimming costume to match. (I wonder whether one is in the pipeline!)

The running kit

The running kit

I then decided to try on the running kit. You may have noticed that I rarely wear a vest for running. This is for several reasons – I only own three or four vests and they tend to get lost in my running drawer; I don’t like revealing my fat arms and finally, my club vest was bought when I was a lot slimmer than I am now and I intended to lose more weight, so it’s a teeny tiny size 34”, which means that I can’t breathe when I wear it. As we’re now coming into the warmer months, I’m looking forward to running in a vest. My other challenge is that for several years I’ve favoured a particular sports bra that doesn’t have a racer back. I have a couple of racer back sports bras from my martial arts days, but think I’ll need to invest in some new, stylish ones so that no grubby straps can be seen emerging from my pristine kit!!!

The rear view of the running kit

The rear view of the running kit

Accompanying the vest are the running shorts. They are made of absolutely gorgeous fabric and the design details are so stylish. I’m going to try a short run with them on, but I suspect that they are a little too short for my thunder thighs. This gives me three options: 1. Don’t wear them, 2. Lose weight, 3. Wear a base layer underneath them. I don’t want to miss out on wearing them, so I’m hoping they will be an inspiration for me to lose weight, but in the meantime, I think I’ll need to wear a base layer. I’ve already searched for some options online and may try them with some lightweight Lycra shorts that I have. If only there were a magic way to spot reduce!

The only part of the kit that is slightly disappointing is the socks. They fit beautifully and feel like they will wear well. The details are stylish, but unfortunately, they are not a perfect colour match for the rest of the kit – they’re blue whereas the rest of the kit is turquoise. This probably won’t bother most people, but I’m obsessive about matching things!

IMG_2220

Front and rear views of the socks

Front and rear views of the socks

I then moved onto the cycling kit. As the shorts are designed for cycling and triathlons, the chamois is fairly small. I’m hoping to go for a reasonable length bike ride at the weekend, so I’ll let you know how comfortable they are on the bike. I was worried that the grippers on the legs might be a little tight and that the waistband might be uncomfortable, but I needn’t have worried at all as they are incredibly comfortable and not in the slightest bit tight.

The cycling kit

The cycling kit

The cycling jersey has some lovely details on it. There are little buttons on the short sleeves, which add a stylish touch. The pockets on the back of the jersey are quite small, but as I have two bottles to put on my bike (and my bike has a snack pouch), then I won’t need to carry much in them!

The rear view of the cycling kit

The rear view of the cycling kit

I tried on the arm warmers with the jersey. I first tried arm warmers a year ago when I bought a pair for the Paris Marathon. Sadly, one of them got lost along the way, so I had to buy another pair. They come in really handy when it’s not obvious what the weather conditions will be like, as it’s much easier to roll them down than to take off another layer when cycling. The Team SOAS ones are absolutely gorgeous. They feature the beautiful wings design as well as having lovely turquoise cuffs. I think I should possibly have ordered a smaller size as my arms are a little short, but when I’m stretched out on my bike, I’ll get a better idea.

I also tried on the beanie that came in the parcel. It’s a black knitted beanie with a team patch that is stitched on off-centre. It took me a while to work out how to wear it and as the weather id now starting to get warm, it may take a while before I wear it… although as open water swimming starts in a few weeks, I may get it out for that.

The tri top and shorts

The tri top and shorts

I then tried on the tri vest. I’ve never worn a two-piece trisuit, but I think it will be preferable to a one piece for a half iron distance tri. In Chrissie Wellington’s autobiography she talks about peeing whilst on her bike, but I just don’t think I could bring myself to do that!!!

The tri top and shorts

The tri top and shorts

The last item that I had to try on was the casual vest. It looks enormous when spread out, but it is made of a very soft and drapy fabric. I’ll definitely be trying it out this weekend.

The casual vest

The casual vest

There were also a couple of stickers in the box, which I will use to decorate my bike box before I go on my triathlon holiday next month.

I wanted to take a couple of photographs of the whole kit, but I realised that my house is so small that there isn’t enough floor space in any of the rooms to lay everything out, so I had to lay it all out on our king-size bed. Wow! What a lot of stuff! I’m so excited about having an opportunity to wear it soon.

My new wardrobe!

My new wardrobe!

The rear view of the kit

The rear view of the kit

16 Responses to “I may not be a winner, but at least I’m losing in style!”

  1. Girl Runs Wild 26/03/2014 at 9:00 pm #

    Oh that looks super nice! I love the arm-warmers in particular. I can’t see you losing anything in that attire! 😉

    • tamsynsmith 27/03/2014 at 7:29 am #

      Thank you. I got back late from a conference, so I didn’t have an opportunity to wear any of it yesterday, so I’m hoping I cna go out for a run or a ride today! 🙂

  2. Sandra 26/03/2014 at 9:50 pm #

    Holy moly!!! You must be THE happiest girl in the world!!!! And you look awesome in everything!!!!!

    • tamsynsmith 27/03/2014 at 7:45 am #

      Thanks, Sandra – it was so exciting opening the box and unfolding each item of clothing. The sky is very grey right now and I think it’s going to rain, but I just want to get outside in teh fresh air with my new clothes on!!!

      • Sandra 27/03/2014 at 12:29 pm #

        I don’t Blaine you! Have a great day! Here’s hoping tomorrow is full of sunshine for you!

  3. HC 26/03/2014 at 9:53 pm #

    That’s quite a parcel! New athletic clothes are such a motivator. The cropped grey pants and hoodie look ridiculously comfortable. The shorts are cute, but I always find myself wishing for more length and zip pockets. Enjoy!

    • tamsynsmith 27/03/2014 at 7:48 am #

      Yes, I tend to buy the longest shorts that I can find (or at least ones that have long lycra undershorts)… but I’m hoping these ones will be a huge motivator for my weight-loss efforts. Tonight, I’m going to print some pics to put in my kitchen, so that if I go in there for a snack, I’m dissuaded!

  4. Leah Hallissey 26/03/2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Fantastic! I agree about the socks though, it would drive me bonkers!

    • tamsynsmith 27/03/2014 at 7:48 am #

      🙂 I thought it might just be me… I’m obsessive about mathcing colours!!!

  5. MarathoningMom 27/03/2014 at 2:49 am #

    Wow congrats. They really hooked you up. You look so happy!

    • tamsynsmith 27/03/2014 at 7:49 am #

      Thank you. It really was the most exciting delivery and I’ve now got kit for almost all occasions… I’m just hoping that SOAS bring out some swimwear soon!

  6. 2 Cups 'N Run 27/03/2014 at 12:33 pm #

    OMG that’s great gear!! I love that cycling jacket especially, although everything looks great!

    • tamsynsmith 27/03/2014 at 9:37 pm #

      I’m just sooooo desperate to wear it, but there’s been rain, hail, thunder and lightning all evening, so I haven’t been brave enough to venture outside… although I did wear the beanie under my bike helmet this morning as it was really cold and rainy!

  7. rosemarybyde 29/03/2014 at 3:26 pm #

    You got some great kit there! I liked the shorts though – they look good!

    My flipflop story: I only got a pair a couple of years ago. I had just done a very long expedition-style race, and had truly humongous blisters. I couldn’t put any shoes on and the wife of a team-mate took pity and gave me a pair of hers. They were a lifesaver! I even had to wear them to work one day. Though soon the pain between my toes was worse than the blisters and I went back to shoes 🙂

    • tamsynsmith 29/03/2014 at 10:20 pm #

      Owwww! That sounds bad. I’ve never had any blisters from running, but I wore some canvas shoes without socks a couple of weeks ago and they gave me the most hideous blisters. I was walking to Decathlon to get some bike kit and ended up buying some socks… sadly, they only had turquoise and my shoes were white to go with my red and white summer dress – not quite the style statement I was looking for! I’m not sure I’ve been sympathetic enough with people who’ve had blisters in the past, but now I know just how agonising they can be!

      • rosemarybyde 30/03/2014 at 4:05 pm #

        Summer dress? Must be warmer your end of the country!!

        Yes, we were racing for 5 days with no official stops. My feet were wet the whole time and we had some massive treks. At one point I was being literally towed off the mountain by a team-mate, whimpering in pain. You’d imagine it would be big muscles or your back or something that would cause most problems – not a (relatively) little blister! I took my trainers off, it was bliss. Then I had to squeeze my foot back into a bike shoe for the next leg of the race. I will never forget that awful moment!!

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