Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sports Basement Danger, Insurance Money, & the Dreaded Sports Beans

If you are a Bay Area athlete of just about any stripe, you know what I'm talking about.

They're all, "Oh, hey, we're having this cool event with food & wine & some awesome speaker & a bunch of free stuff, it's totally free, you should come by! Also here's a bunch of coupons & everyone who comes gets a sweet discount off THE ENTIRE STORE."

Or, "Oh, hey, this group is meeting up for a run with food & free samples, it's totally free, you should come! Also anything you buy is xx% off."

Or, "Oh, hey, we're hosting packet pickup for that race you're running, it's right by your house & totally free, you should come! Also please walk by all our cool stuff on the way up to the floor where it is, AND enjoy a discount on ALL OF IT."

Run Like A Mother reading / meet-up in April 2013 @ Sports Basement Presidio.
OMG, I got so much free stuff there. And wine. Lots & lots of wine.


This happens All. The. Time. And do you *ever* walk out with *just* a full belly / tired legs / mental satisfaction / your race packet? No; of course you don't. You're no fool.

SB Bryant Street in San Francisco hosted packet pickup for the Berkeley Half, and since there is no race day pickup, I obviously had no choice but to go and walk past all the stuff and see the sweet discount. And we all know where walking past discounted stuff leads.

Friends, I give you: The Bounty.

$126 & change, post discount. BAM.

Normally, after having my running bag stolen a couple of weeks back & paying $600 to get my car keys replaced & $200 for a new phone, I would feel bad about spending money on a bunch of stuff I don't technically need to live. But the truth is that most of that $126 went to replace things that were in the bag that I do actually kind of need and that are being covered by insurance. (It turns out that if you make a claim on your renter's insurance for stolen goods, they don't just write you a check for whatever you say was stolen. You actually have to replace the items yourself, then send them the receipts along with a description of what stolen item it's replacing, and they determine how much of it to reimburse you for based on the value of the stolen thing.)

And actually, if you're going to get your stuff stolen & you have to replace it anyway, there are in fact a few bright points, particularly if you weren't all that fond of some of the stuff that got stolen.

For example, I bought a light dri-fit UnderArmour zipper jacket about a year ago for wearing as a kind of warm-up top and also for days when I feared I might need long sleeves but didn't want to fully commit. I agonized over three different options & finally went with the UnderArmour one ($70, $60ish with a Sports Authority coupon I had). It was fine but over the weeks & months I discovered several things about it that kind of bugged me, like the way the sleeves were hard to get on and off over a Garmin, the fact that the pockets didn't have zippers (I sometimes safety pinned them closed, which sucked), and how if I zipped it halfway up the whole top would pop comically open to display my entire chest.

SB did not have much in the way of dri-fit zipper jackets (which was weird, I thought; it seems like the season for it), but I did find one, on the "Last Chance" rack, in my size, for $55 (or $49.50 with the 10% race discount), which I immediately snatched up. Not only does it have zipper pockets, stretchy sleeves, and manages to look totally casual & non-pervy when only half zipped, but it also has a hood & those little thumb hole cuffs for keeping the sleeves in place over gloves. Apparently it's by Alo Yoga (this one, I think) & retails for $80, so insurance company, I hope you appreciate the sweet deal I just got you.

Post-Berkeley Half, 11/24. Note the demur half-zipped chest-area fit.

I also really needed to replace my sunglasses, as commuting during sunrise/sunset was getting pretty sketchy. I liked that the stolen ones came with snap-in-snap-out lenses of different tints, a rubber nose piece, and little vents at the top to keep them from fogging up, but after a few weeks of wearing them I realized that they just didn't fit quite right & I always felt like they were about to slide off my face. As luck would have it, SB had ONE pair that fit me (I have a freakishly tiny head), & although they didn't have the fancy vents, they had everything else, AND they were half the price of my previous pair. I also got an extra discount on those since the only pair they had left was the display pair. SCORE.

I am still trying out new socks. Several different people mentioned Balega so I figured it was a good time to grab some.

Did I mention all my gels were in the stolen bag? Like $40 worth. (RUDE.) On the other hand (#runnerdalert), I've recently been reading some research on how mid-race carbs work better when they're combined with a bit of protein (I've been meaning to write about this), & most of the ones in the stolen bag didn't include any. The only brands I know of that do are Accel Gel & 2nd Surge, & while I've used Accel Gels several times, I've been curious to give 2nd Surge a try.

The only downside? They make only two flavors, chocolate & double espresso. BOOOOO. I am absolutely a fruity gel girl, & it showed during Berkeley Half. I had one of the two right before the race & one about an hour in, & both flavors made me feel sick. I may be an Accel girl from here on out.

Finally, the Sports Beans. Ohhhhh, Sports Beans. You are the bane of soooo many of my races. Though I guess I also kind of owe you; when I hear someone near me carrying them, the maraca-like tattoo spurs me to run harder, because I'm so desperate to get away from the rattling.

My experiments with solid carbs during races have all failed due to clumsiness / lack of coordination (let's face it, I can barely rip open a gel without getting it all over me), so my only reason for purchasing Sports Beans is because there is something about the sweet-salty-fruity-tangy flavor that I just love. I could eat these all the time; just not while running.

It turns out the "Sports Beans Advantage" is causing
your competitors to go insane from the noise.

(Oh, & the BodyGlide. I haven't used BodyGlide since M2BM, but suddenly I find that I'm running far enough again that the lack of it is a problem. As soon as I went looking for it, I realized that it was in the stolen bag. The only thing more hilarious than asking for my insurance company to reimburse me for BodyGlide is asking them to reimburse me for Hoo Ha Ride Glide, which, btw, is *totally* happening.)

I hope all your Thanksgivings were delicious & happy!! We just got back from Texas, where it was super cold, & then 80 degrees, & now about to be super cold again. While we were there we managed to get through a bunch of vacation pictures from Hawaii, so I'll try to post a few of those here & there in the not-too-distant future.


  1. Update on my Sports Basement holiday party situation: I thought of another thing I needed (air quotes implied) on the way to muni this morning.

    I've become inured to the 10% discounts because my tri club membership gets me that year-round ... but a 20% discount? THAT'S CHRISTMAS.

  2. Hah, there's a Sports Basement by my office I'm sometimes at in the city and I totally spend too much time in there. I have this tendency to buy lots of jackets and fun running clothes, because you can never have too many, but it turns out you CAN have too many.