Friday, May 09, 2008
A discussion about running clothes on the Wedding Bells forum got me thinking about, well, running clothes. When I first started to run, I used any cotton shirt and shorts...you know, the kind of clothes you wore for high school phys ed class? On the left is a picture of me at one of my very first running events, the Run for the Cure in October 2004 (wow, I was chubbier back then, too!). That outfit was fine for running 5k. No fuel belt or anything! As I started running longer distances, I began to recognize the merits of wicking fabrics. Cotton shirts and shorts soak up the sweat and become damp, heavy and gross. And yes, chafing. No one likes chafing. Having your skin rubbed raw is not fun. And being the repetitive motion that running is, chafing happens.
On the right is a picture of me running my first half marathon in 2005 (Scotiabank Vancouver half marathon). As you can see, I have advanced from the cotton overload to a moisture-wicking shirt, bicycle shorts and a fanny pack. I think that I carried a couple of gels with me in the fanny pack, as well as my cell phone and ID, etc. I much prefer the bicycle shorts to regular running shorts because my thighs rub together when I run. And that causes chafing...not good. I admire all of those runners out there who have the great legs required to wear the loose running shorts. I'm not bitter, really. I'll just hide in the corner with my bike shorts :)
Now I have all kinds of new criteria to add to my list of demands on running clothes. I rarely buy shirts anymore, because when you enter a lot of races, you tend to collect race shirts, as you can see. I thought that I had more, actually...there are probably a few others kicking around somewhere in the house. Most of the races give out technical shirts now, so I don't need to worry about chafing. However, when the shirt is snug on me, I do get some rubbing on the inside of my upper arms. Body glide solves that problem.
I've been choosing the shorts/capris/tights more carefully now. Running tights can be a challenge for someone who is 5'2". Most of them are much too long, and have zippers at the bottom which makes them difficult to alter. I have a pair of Mizuno tights are are almost the right length. Alternatively, some of the longer capris can pass for full-length tights ;). Actually, the Lululemon "tights" that I wore for the Vancouver marathon are capris. Which brings me to another point: the waistband. I learned from some of my Running Mania friends that Lululemon makes running tights that don't slide down, with waistbands that don't fold over (which would reveal my not-so-attractive tummy bulge which no one needs to see). So, I had to get over my Lululemon trepidation and try out a pair. My gosh! They were right! I LOVE these capris!
I own a couple of running skirts as well. The first one I bought was a Triks skirt, which I can only tolerate wearing for shorter runs (up to maybe 6-7 km). The shorts ride up. However it looks like they have improved the design since I bought mine. I also have a Nike running skirt, which again, is only for short runs.
Zippered pockets in the clothes are always handy to have for keys, change, cell phone, etc. I have a pair of Adidas bike shorts that have a zippered pocket.
Hmm, I feel like going for a run now. This is a good sign. I haven't run since the marathon :)