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Cardigan, Yoins ($34) | Dress styled as shirt, Yoins ($16) | Skirt, thrifted | Shoes, Keds | Necklace, Love Nail Tree | Earrings, LC Lauren Conrad
Photos by Alura Chung-Mehdi
I began researching ultramarathons mere hours after completing the Hartford half in October. After a nearly-ideal race in ideal conditions, I was soaring. I hungered for more--13.1, or even my past longest run of 20 miles wasn't enough. I wanted 30. By the end of this year.
But my body had its own agenda. Tendons in my foot protested fiercely as I attempted to continue training. After three weeks of relentless tug-of-war, I yielded. I realized that it'd been four months since I'd had an extended break from workouts. My body had endured countless hours of hard efforts since mid-June, and it had performed well. It was time to let it rest.
I consider my relentless drive and penchant for crazy ideas my greatest strengths, but they can also be my greatest inhibitors. I sometimes hack away too stubbornly at my aspirations. I sometimes ignore my body's not-so-subtle nudges. I sometimes thirst to accomplish things for the wrong reasons. Running half marathons may be becoming more and more mainstream, but that doesn't make my personal experiences any less special. I'm not competing to run the farthest, fastest, and strongest among my peers. I run because I find purpose, passion, and clarity in pushing my body beyond my notions of possible.
Now that I've rested, I'll play it by ear. Staying in tune with my body is of the upmost importance. Adapting my route in face of unanticipated obstacles is key. I grew immensely from my last detour, and I will find my way again.
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So how did I spend my recovery week? On day one, the golden sunlight, colorful leaves, and comfortable temperature beckoned. So I obliged with an outdoor photo expedition.
As prefaced by my style inspiration sets a couple weeks ago, I agreed to collaborate with Yoins, an online retailer, for a review. Here's the run-down of my thoughts, in ratings out of 5:
The chunky sweater and printed dress looked just like I expected. I was really impressed by Yoins' selection of eye-catching items and how true to the site photos they were.
For an retailer based in Hong Kong, shipping was speedy, clocking in at just over a week. The package, however, did arrive in a compact packet and not a box. It was no problem for me, but I'm concerned about the more fragile items, such as jewelry.
It was no arbitrary decision to wear the dress as a shirt. While the dress certainly fit, the straight cut was unflattering for my body type, even more than most hip-hugging dresses are. The customer service reps, however were extremely helpful in offering advice on which sizes to select. Take note that 2 corresponds to small, 4 to medium, 6 to large, etc for this cut.
The sweater, offered only in one size, fit just right.
This is Yoins' greatest area for improvement. The sweater was warm and well-made, but there were several threads that hadn't been integrated into the knit (see photos below). It wasn't a huge aesthetic problem since they were mostly on the inside, but they were nonetheless present and noticeable to the wearer.
The bigger shortcoming was the collar of the printed dress--it had been hemmed, but the excess fabric hadn't been secured to the rest of the dress. Again, it wasn't extremely noticeable, but I did notice the excess fabric finding itself out of the collar a few times during the day.
As a proud penny-pincher, I love a good deal. I was happy to see several prices under $20 on the site--for instance, the dress was $16. But given the unfinished collar and thin material, I think $16 could go towards a better-made dress. Obviously, it would require more hunting, since most dresses with low original prices will probably have similar quality, but it's very possible to find well-made products on sale.
Same goes for the sweater--I absolutely love it and have worn it often already, but I think $34 warrants just a bit more polished of a product without loose threads.
The shopping experience was overall pleasant since the site was navigable, products were chic, the reps were responsive, and the shipping was reliable. My advice is to be cautious of ordering the products with hard-to-believe low prices and to pick cuts that you know are flattering on you. Don't hesitate to ask me or the online reps questions!
In the meantime, you'll certainly be seeing more of this sweater.