Never take a man shopping

I’ve been thinking of getting back into running. My Nikes and Adidas fell apart a couple of years ago and I haven’t run since then.

I have been putting off getting new ones because there are so many other things I need to spend money on in England, such as warm clothing and… even warmer clothing.

But I am finally putting my feet down to have them fitted for a new pair of running shoes.

 

Now, Bournemouth (where I live now) is not a shopping paradise like Singapore is. You can’t just take a short MRT ride to Orchard Road and immediately have access to 500 sporting stores offering pretty much the same stuff but all the brands and models are represented within a 500m radius.

(That means if you don’t like the attitude in one store, you can walk 10 seconds to another store to get exactly the same thing.)

 

Adidas

 

You can even find trained consultants who professionally flirt with you and make you run on gait analysing thingies, then know exactly which pair of shoes you need to instantly improve your speed, stamina and intelligence by 300%.

 

In Bournemouth, on the other hand, you could choose to walk 10 minutes to a small sports supermarket (and I’m using the term “super” very loosely here) offering products that would make all the fashion policemen in the world vaporise from agony.

And there are two staff members in the whole place, one manning the cash register and the other bustling about pretending to be busy with stock or something.

Or you could drive an hour to a slightly bigger sports supermarket offering similary fashion-offensive products, and there are three staff members manning the cash registers or pretending to be busy.

 

I chose to go online.

 

And after a bit of looking around, this caught my eye:

 

Adidas

 

I am partial to Adidas shoes. I had a pair several years ago which were the lightest and most comfortable track shoes you’d ever wear. I almost felt like I was flying in them. Sadly, they didn’t last very long because I wore them almost every day, not just for running but for everyday use.

 

Old Adidas

 

So I’m hoping to find another pair that feels the same.

I was quite excited to find the pink and black Adidas because I love the colours and design and it’s really hard to find running shoes with nice designs. Most branded running shoes seem to me to be designed for aliens. Which makes them only marginally better than the ones in Bournemouth.

I quickly MSN’ed the link to Piers (who was at work).

 

I said, “I’m going to buy this!!!”

It took him just one second to reply, “Those trainers look ugly!”

“What?!” I said, “They don’t!”

“They do to me!”

I said, “You’re just saying that cos it’s £75!”

He said, “I am not!”

 

Then, he was silent for two seconds and came back with this:

“These ones look much nicer!”

 

Cheap running shoes

 

I said, “That’s £8!!!!!!!!!!”

“Oh! Are they?” he said, “Wow, that’s good value!”

“Yeah, right,” I told him. “Too bad, cos I need an Adidas.”

 

Then another three seconds and he sent me this:

“These look nice!”

 

Cheaper running shoes

 

I said, “Those are man shoes!!”

“And old!”

 

“Oh, yeah,” he said.

Not to be deterred, he took a few more seconds and came back with this:

“Nice!”

 

Cheapest running shoes

 

Indeed, it was time to change strategy.

“Thanks,” I said, to lull him into a sense of false security, “I love that.”

 

He doesn’t know that I have gone ahead to order the £75 Adidas. With his credit card! Mwahahaha.

I suppose he will find out when he receives the bill at the end of the month.

Or when he reads this post, which will presumably be sooner.

But that’s okay because I have suddenly and mysteriously turned into a good cook so I will distract him with some nice Chinese cooking.

 

He liked the wat tan mai fan and curry puffs I made in the last week, which is saying a lot because men’s taste buds are as good as their fashion senses are bad.

 

wat tan mai fan
Vermicelli in egg gravy

 

Curry puffs
Curry puffs

 

I don’t mean all men, of course. Just the ones who equate expensive with ugly and cheap with sublimely gorgeous.

 

Which is why I will never take a man shopping with me. The best strategy is to go online to buy anything and everything you want while the man is at work. It’s fast and convenient and when the packages arrive, you can feign ignorance. “Goodness me, where did that come from?”

Just remember not to send him any links.

Or if you must, send him eBay links of really cheap stuff to drive him into a permanent state of deep, deep security.

 

In other news, I am micro-blogging on Facebook more than updating this silly blog so I would respectfully suggest that you go to Facebook for quicker updates on my superfluous life.

Thanks!

Do a good deed, join the Human Race

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Last year, I made my friends buy me an iPod nano for my birthday so I could use Nike+ for my running.

Sheylara with iPod nano

Nike+ is a technology that measures distance, pace and calories burnt (and a lot more) while you’re running. I’ll talk more about it later. Back to my iPod nano.

After I got it, I ended up not buying the required Nike+ iPod Sport Kit. It’s one of those procrastination things. So I’ve just been using my nano for music while I run.

Sheylara with iPod nano

But I still want my Nike+ and I think I’ve found the right motivation to get it right now!

The Nike+ Human Race 10K is coming on Oct 24 and I’m eager to take part in it because it is the Day the World Runs. Literally!

Last year, almost 780,000 people all over the world took part in this race.

On that one day, all these people plugged into Nike+ and ran. And all these people were located in different countries all over the world. Very cool, is it not?

This year, there’s an attractive spin to the race: The Guys vs. Girls Challenge, involving an attractive pair of celebrities to entice us to do our part for charity!

Guys Vs. Girls Challenge

Tay Ping Hui and Rui En are leading a gender face-off, which is an ongoing charity event that will culminate in the Human Race 10K.

From now till Oct 24, when you clock miles using Nike+, your miles will contributed to your gender. The gender that clocks the most miles wins!

Each gender champions a different cause. Guys are running for WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature while girls are running for ST School Pocket Money Fund. Nike will donate $50,000 in stages to the winning gender’s charity in each stage.

Um, the guys, led by Tay Ping Hui, are winning. They’ve already won the first three stages. Only two more stages to go!

Guys Vs. Girls Challenge

I reckon they should have made Tay Ping Hui lead the girls and Rui En lead the guys. There might have been a fiercer competition!

In any case, we need more girls to take part. Give poor children in Singapore a chance. We need to win for the ST School Pocket Money Fund, too, so sign up here!

A while back, 98.7FM DJs got together to contribute miles for this good cause.

Guys Vs. Girls Challenge

Looks really fun, ya?

Let’s talk about Nike+ now.

First, the gear. You’ll need some Nike+ gear in order to take part in the Human Race 10K, as well as the Guys Vs. Girls Challenge.

There are a few options to choose from.

Option 1

[iPod nano + Sport Kit + shoes]

Nike+

The Sport Kit comes with a sensor (to attach to your shoes) and a receiver (to plug into your nano). These two things allow your nano to register your runs and record your progress. You can either view the info on the screen or have it read to you via earphones.

Option 2

[iPod touch + Sensor + shoes]

Nike+

The iPod Touch already comes with built-in support for Nike+, so a receiver isn’t needed. Otherwise, it funtions just like the nano package.

Option 3

[Nike+ Sportband]

Nike+

This cute little wristband (available in several colours) records your runs without requiring an iPod. When you get home, you can detach the black gizmo and plug it into a USB port to upload your run data. The Sportband comes with a sensor, which you’lll need to attach to your shoes.

So, just get any of these and you’re ready to roll.

But Nike+ is more than just gear. It’s a whole support system that connects you with runners from all over the world via the Internet.

Once you get the gear and get plugged in, a whole new world is opened up to you. You will be able to find, on the Nike+ website, a whole lot of activities and training options.

For instance, you can upload your run data online to tell the world how much you’ve been working out. You can compete with your friends or motivate each other online without needing to physically run together.

There are also cool programs like Nike+ Goals and Nike+ Coach, which help you set specific goals and customise training sessions.

Nike+

Ultimate coolness!

But the coolest thing about Nike+ right now is that it allows us to be part of the Human Race 10K. I’m so hyped about it! I wonder how many participants there will be this year. A million?

Taking part in the race is simple. All you need to do is sign up for it, then get some Nike+ gear and sync it up on Oct 24. You can run anywhere, at any hour, on that day.

The Human Race 10K

It’s literally the biggest race in the world, ever!

I have some friends who love running but shun races because they’re afraid of crowds. So I think this is just the race for them. They can pick a quiet spot to run on Oct 24 and still be part of the biggest race in the world. Nike+ would be great for them.

What about you, then? Are you going to be a part of the Human Race 10K?

Sheylara

First rule on the streets: Invent your own

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Wow, I just found something that’s making a groupie out of me again (like how I inadvertently became a basketball groupie, chasing basketballers for photographs after a game).

I’m having an unexpected day off today, you see, so I went to poke around the Nike Tribes website. I’ve seen it mentioned in other blogs but didn’t have time to check it out until today.

I’m in love with street sports culture!

I’ve always liked street fashion because there’s creativity and individuality even in its conformity. Street sports is like an extension of that.

You know, every time I pass by skateboarders or inline-skaters having a skate fest in the streets, I always pause to watch with some wistfullness, always wishing I could be one of them.

I was into inline-skating for a time, but I finally gave up after getting too banged up from trying to perform crazy stunts. Pain doesn’t agree with me very much.

So, the fact that Nike (which everyone knows is my favourite sportswear brand) is endorsing street sports and has even dedicated an entire site to the youths who perpetuate this culture is quite exciting news for me (although it makes me die of envy because I can only be a spectator and not a player).

This is what the website looks like:

I like what Gerald said in an interview:

“You definitely see the world differently. You’ll suddenly notice kerbs, walls, rails, stairs, transitions, etc., like part of a huge playground.”

That is such a cool quote. I love when people give a different perspective on things.

Gerald is one of the stunt riders featured in the Nike Tribes website.

I don’t know if that’s Gerald in the above picture. It could be his bike buddy Chee Keong, who recently took part in the Asian X Games 2007 in Macau and took home a silver and bronze medal. Or it could be Huffy or Lawrence, the other two in the team.

I got all these photos off the Nike Tribes Facebook group and most of them are not tagged so I don’t know who’s who.

I also found these pictures with very cool slogans.

These boys are my latest heroes. If I were a bored teenaged girl with nothing to do after school, I would go stalk them and watch them play every day.

Haha, just kidding.

Being a stalker is boring. If I were still a teenager, I’d join in the fun myself and use the streets as my playground.

Nike calls this the “new generation of urban tribes”. Hence the name Nike Tribes. It’s made up of street skaters, riders, dancers and footballers, and I think it’s a very fitting name.

Well, I can’t join in the fun directly, being hopeless at extreme sports and dance, but I suppose I could troop down to a Nike shop and check out the gear. Shopping and buying clothes are certainly activities I’m good at. Haha.

At least I’m good at something!

Anyway, check out the Nike Tribes website for some cool videos of the urban tribes at play. Turn on your audio, too. It’ll make you wanna fly!

Well, it did to me.

Spending money to torture myself

Who the hell charges $111 for a pair of running shorts?

WAH LAU.

I’ve been trying to find a decent pair of running shorts forever (like since a year ago) but nothing remotely decent ever turns up.

I tried again today because Run For Hope 2007 is next week and I need real running shorts.

I was filming at VivoCity today, so had a chance to shop around after the shoot. I went to Nike, Adidas, Puma, Fila and Mizuno. Out of the five sports stores, I only saw a pair that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, but it turns out to be $111 (from Adidas’ designer range).

WTF. Who spends that kind of money on a stupid pair of running shorts? It doesn’t even have blings or exciting seams!

Unfortunately, that was the only pair of shorts that looked normal. The rest in all the stores were either too poofy or too long.

But I had to buy something, so I bought this Nike one that cost me $42.

It looks purplish-blue in the picture, but it’s actually dark grey. And it’s too damn long, but I have no other choice. It’s the most fitting I can find. I don’t know why they make running shorts so long these days. It looks so nerdy.

I ended up spending $200 on sports gear, something which would never have happened had my shoot not taken place in VivoCity! Grrrrr.

Besides the shorts, I also bought a Nike water bottle. And Adidas socks to wear with this:

That was an impulse buy. I had already planned to wear my ragged Nike shoes for the event and hope like hell that they don’t fall apart in the middle of the run.

But when I walked into Adidas today to find my illusive pair of shorts, my itchy feet took me to the running shoes display.

And then, this very friendly store assistant came over and managed to persuade me, by being very personable, to try on a few pairs of running shoes.

In response to my idiot question: “Running shoes got different types one meh?”, she very patiently educated me on the subject of running shoeology.

I was so impressed by the comfort, lightness and flexibility of this particular pair that I decided to buy it, despite the fact that I didn’t like the design that much.

I get 20% off Adidas products for being a participant of this year’s Great Eastern Women 10K and the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, so that helped.

Now, I feel superbly ready to face my first race! I shall endeavour not to come in last without killing myself. I think I should be able to manage that, but it’ll be tough. I haven’t been training much in the last six weeks or so.

I don’t know what I was thinking, signing up for three races, spending over $100 on registration fees to torture myself! And even more money on gear to endorse that madness.

Madness!!

I kinda regret signing up because I am so not prepared to run competitively, and I am not prepared to disgrace myself.

On the other hand, I need these events to motivate myself into running regularly for health and fitness. Otherwise, I’d just totally embrace couch-potatohood and turn into a permanent blob of slime.

Not a very pleasant image. Therefore the necessary expenditure to further the cause of self-torture.

I must be crazy!

As if I don’t already receive enough (mental) torture from the one and only Goonfather.

He took one look at me walking around proudlly with my new shoes and he said, “You wear nice nice expensive brand new shoes for your race… later you lose, very malu one you know?”

Lust in my heart

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I can’t remember the last time I truly lusted over something so bad that life is meaningless if I can’t have it. Not even the Wii. Sure, I wanted a Wii, but it was fine if I couldn’t have one. I still had EQ2.

But this…. THIS!

I am currently dying to own THIS:

It’s this sensor thing you put in special Nike shoes which sends data to your iPod nano while you run. Later, your iPod nano will tell you how far you’ve run and how many calories you’ve burnt and all sorts of cool stuff. OMG I’m dying here can?

Thanks to the big red Nike ad in my blog (which my itchy fingers had to go click on), I’m going to have sleepless nights dreaming about this thing I can’t afford. High tech Nike shoes AND an iPod nano.

I am supremely jealous of Daniel Ong and Carrie Chong because they’re endorsing this latest Nike campaign and I bet they get it all free.

Actually, jealousy aside, the campaign is very interesting. Using this new Nike+ thing, Daniel and Carrie have a competition to run the most miles in May. Read about it here.

I wish I could sign up and support one of them (I’d probably support Daniel because he’s in a sad state even though he’s slightly leading. His team only clocked 546km as of now, as opposed to Carrie’s team’s 1763km. Hahahaha. Damn funny, though) but I can’t sign up because I don’t have the gear to clock my runs. Sorry Daniel, can’t help you. Which is just as well because you’re a bit obnoxious in that video. Hahaha.

Anyway, Nanny Wen and I have been jogging regularly for almost three months now. We try to jog four days a week for one hour each time, but due to schedule clashes and stuff, we mostly end up doing it only two or three times a week.

Jog until shoe spoil. Super dirty also.

Sad.

Coincidentally, just a week ago, I was telling the Goonfather that I needed a new pair of Nikes. And an iPod. Because sometimes Nanny Wen and I run out of stuff to talk about during our runs and listening to music will help motivate us to run further.

But that was just talk. I didn’t think I would buy them because I don’t have a budget for such luxuries. See, I don’t even have a budget for proper running clothes.

I wear home t-shirts and shorts for jogging.

Nanny Wen is better off. She’s wearing a Nike t-shirt and army running shorts. I’m wearing a $5 Kenny t-shirt from Hong Kong and $5 shorts from some factory outlet in KL.

Incidentally, I buy most of my stuff overseas because I can’t afford anything in Singapore. Hahaha.

Anyway, I don’t care about running clothes. Hardly anybody sees me in them anyway, only faceless strangers.

But, right now, all I want is the Nike+ gear because that will so enhance my jogging experience.

Funny that I just found out today that Nike has this cool technology that combines the very two things I was thinking (dreaming) of buying just a week ago. I have no idea how much the high tech shoes and an iPod nano cost but I bet it’s gonna be like $500. OMG. Can die.

The funniest thing is that I’ve never EVER wanted an iPod or Zen or anything like that, not even tempted when I can get them for free like by signing up with StarHub or something. And then, last week, because of a particularly boring and tedious jog, I realised that having an iPod would be nice and kinda considered getting one.

This coincidence makes me feel like I’m meant to have this thing, you know? So now I’m waiting for money to drop from the sky for me. Haha.

The Goonfather says I’m stupid and this Nike+ thing is just a gimmick and I should just go buy a cheapo $30 MP3 player, instead. But the Goonfather doesn’t even exercise so he knows shit. Well, actually he does. He washes his car like twice a month. And maybe he plays a bit of Wii.

Hahaha. Big deal.

You know what would be a great thing to do? When you come home after a jog all sweaty and gross, go hug someone you love.

Hahaha. And then threaten to do that four times a week unless they buy you that Nike+ gear.

Bwahahaaha!

Nah, don’t think that will work on the Goonfather so I’m just gonna go to bed and stare at the ceiling and hope that money will fall through it. LOL.