At 5 months and 2 weeks shy of my 30th birthday, I feel like I have finally crossed over into adulthood in one major way. Somewhat relatedly, my birthday is September 7, and rest assured I have not crossed over into adulthood with regards to my birthday and telling everyone about it for months beforehand and expecting birthday acknowledgements from everyone and anyone for the whole month of September.

Anyhow, the milestone is that I have actually started researching stuff prior to purchasing and dumping money down the drain. I have never done this. Impulse buys were my M.O. for ages – and part of the reason I got into bike racing I think. I just HAD to have that carbon bike way back in 2003, it was so PRETTY!! Then a year later I found out it was a full 2 cm too big and thus was the reason behind all my back problems and inabilities to ride in the drops or descend or feel my fingers, hands, and elbows. But it was still a pretty bike!

I must say, I like the new me.

Reading user reviews, reading professional reviews, closely comparing functionality, searching for the best price (OK am I one step short of my aunt who clips coupons and will drive 20 miles for a better price on steaks??), comparing warranty information… I’m saving myself some cash AND increasing my nerd-value!

I’ll share some lessons:

-the Brooks Adrenaline 7, my current training shoe, has actually received a lot of negative reviews from long-time Brooks wearers, particularly for the lack of longevity of the shoe. Many users say it wears out after 100 miles. I wish I had read this prior to hitting 200+ miles on my last pairs, thinking that my physical complaints were just evidence that I needed to “toughen up”.

-Sample girly review of a running shoe: “I love the color! I give this shoe 4 stars!” Lesson being: read the actual reviews rather than trusting the “average score”.

-The Polar F6 heart rate monitor, while cute and bearing the supposedly-worthy-of-extra-$50 Polar logo and the “most popular” designation on Amazon, does not do lap times. Thus it is not good for athletes.

-The Polar RS200, at a mere $30 more than the F6, does lap times, has a back light, has a 2 year warranty, and does a bunch of other cool crap.

-However, my Timex HRM that broke last week actually has a 1 year warranty and I can get it fixed for $7 (to cover return postage). So, no new Polar for me.

That’s it for now, although New Me is hoping to expand into non-athletic territory soon (after putting a bunch of Old Me purchases on Ebay with the help of my New Me Camera that is arriving today).

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 24th, 2008 at 11:43 am and is filed under enjoy the blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Comments so far


  1. Sarah on March 24, 2008 4:49 pm

    I love it!! I’m still not quite as anal as I’d like to be about comparison shopping, but I’ve lessened my impulse buys by 95%.

    Like, why the hell did I buy the Polar Fwhateveritwas way back in the day? It was $50 more than any other HR monitor out there, looked like crap and Matt nicknamed it the “Star Trek Watch” and asked me to beam him up on numerous occasions. But I thought I HAD to have a Polar…for some odd reason. I love my Timex so much more and for a better price, warranty and much cheaper replacement parts (like the chest strap)…such a better deal.

    Interesting to hear about the Adrenaline, since I’ve put right about 100 miles on them. Bummer. :( But I’m glad to know that so that I, too, won’t think I’m all of a sudden doing something wrong or not ‘tough enough.’

    I’ve also learned to be wary of the user reviews on Yelp…that’s a whole other can of worms.

    What’s the “New Me” camera going to be?

    And of course, now you KNOW everybody in the blog land is going to be wishing you a big 3-0 come September. ;)

  2. Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach on March 24, 2008 11:27 pm

    Hee hee hee.

    My MOm and Sister are still trying to get me to expand my purchases beyond the world of swim-bike-run.

    Very helpful! Sweet! You know that we’re ALL guilty of this – the impulse purchase.

    Just a few weeks ago, Nathaniel and I were THIS CLOSE to buying a new dining room table and chairs. Yes – we are like an old married couple. Go figure. But the cheap side of me said NO, and the practical side of Nate said NO (The table was at bar-level height and VERY different from everything else in our place)… so we didn’t get it.

    But yeah… the impuse buy. For me – its the impulse buy with sweets and peanut butter cups. Yeah – thank god those don’t cost the same as a carbon tt bike. Sheesh!

    Happy early birthday, my dear!

  3. Sarah on March 25, 2008 9:12 am

    So just yesterday Matt was at Costco and texted me a picture of an iron (that looked pretty awesome, as irons go) that was $30 (we need an iron). I impulsively responded “BUY IT!” His reply: “Patience, young grasshopper. We must research first. Buy later.”

    I just rolled my eyes. Someday I’ll learn.

  4. Courtenay on March 25, 2008 9:51 am

    marit!: i have *totally* impulse-bought furniture. the one problem is that when you have furniture that you actually like and want to keep, moving is way harder! thusly i say go for the carbon tt bike. OR road bike. methinks i recall you might need the latter… were you wishing the giant got destroyed in the crash?

    sarah: researching an iron?! that’s awesome. ish. and reminds me of one time a few years ago when my boyfriend-at-the-time and i spent an hour in the temescal walgreens at 10-11 pm deciding which mop to get…

    i got a fuji finepix: http://cour10ay.blogspot.com/2008/03/camera-won.html is my blog post about it but it was before you found my blog

  5. b-luv on March 26, 2008 7:34 am

    give it ten more years and you will be researching juvederm and botox! hehehe….

  6. Sam on March 27, 2008 6:27 am

    I am in the process of opening up my own company and, for the first time, have started analyzing my purchases…to make sure I am getting the best value. It def. makes me feel more responsible.

    As for a HRM/Watch. I know it is expensive but you should check out the Garmin Forerunner 305. It is an awesome addition to your gear and will work well for both biking and running.

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